Second Nature –  The Santa Fe Jazz Piano Trios

John Rangel
John Rangelpiano
A native of New York City, John Rangel is a pianist, composer and producer. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s to become involved in music production and film scoring, and performed and recorded there with numerous jazz legends.

John immersed himself in Leimert Park (the center of African-American arts in LA), which was brimming with poets, artists and musicians. This community has had a major influence on his musical direction and worldview.

Since moving to Santa Fe in 2005, John has composed a Solar Concerto for Chamber Orchestra, recorded Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 & 2, composed music for film and audio books, and produced numerous audio CDs. He has won 15 New Mexico Music Awards for music production, and he also started The Tribute Trio to focus on the works of legendary jazz piano icons.

Some of John’s performance highlights include INNtöne Jazz Festival in Austria, Carnegie Hall, Royce Hall, the Gene Harris Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival, Central Avenue Jazz Festival in LA, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and the North Sea Jazz Festival. He has performed with Nat Adderley, Ravi Coltrane, Dave Grusin, Sam Rivers, Marcus Printup, Billy Higgins and many others.


Brian Bennett
Brian Bennettpiano
I have worked as a musician for over 40 years. Growing up near Washington, DC, my earliest musical preoccupation was the piano, but I ended up devoting my young years to mostly playing bass guitar. Later, I came to take composing very seriously, and earned master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Maryland and UCLA. I then lived in France for a time working as a teacher/composer/bassist. Through it all, in the background was the piano, which gradually emerged as my one true love.

Plato stated that music is a moral law. I like to extend that notion freely, understanding music to be a template of the universe. Great masters, like Bach, have been the Galileos whose genius divined the mysteries and structure of that universe, leaving us beautiful star charts. Other masters, like Coltrane, have had still other great insights through more free, less-charted discovery. I think the piano is far and away the best ship to explore this universe, but surely the hardest to master fully. In nearly 50 years of effort to do so, I have barely left the ground. But even a few inches up, every weightless moment has been bliss.


Bert Dalton
Bert Daltonpiano
Pianist Bert Dalton has performed with Herbie Mann, Regina Carter, Bud Shank, Anita O’Day, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Victor Mendoza and Howard Alden, among others, and he has recorded with John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton. Originally from Chicago, he toured extensively before becoming a Santa Fe resident in 1990.

Bert is currently music director of the National Dance Institute of New Mexico and is a jazz educator at New Mexico School for the Arts Jazz Ensemble. He has appeared at major jazz festivals in Telluride, Sedona, Santa Fe, Aspen, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia.

He has received numerous New Mexico Music Industry awards for his recordings, and his Latin group, Yoboso, won the 1996 BET (Black Entertainment Television) Jazz Discovery Competition. Bert is the recipient of the 2013 Santa Fe Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.


Rick Bowman
Rick Bowmanpiano
In college, my music-theory teacher said that he had noticed me practicing piano a lot. He suggested I go over to the psychology department and seek out a particular professor who was known for playing great jazz piano.

I found this professor and told him of my interest in jazz. He shared with me in a short time a voluminous amount of information about jazz piano. He was my introduction to Bill Evans, and I occasionally sat in with him on gigs.

After I had been studying with another teacher for many years, one day he said it was time to go out and play—no more lessons for now. He knew a bassist who would come and play with me so I could learn to play with an ensemble, not just as a soloist. A great teacher, he eventually introduced me to a bandleader who was looking for a piano player, and I started playing publicly.

After a long run with this quintet, I was invited to play in the trio The Three Faces of Jazz. We have played together for about 20 years, 15 of which have been at El Meson Restaurant in Santa Fe, where you can find us every Friday night.


Andy Zadrozny
Andy Zadroznydouble bass
I remember the first time I heard James Jameson playing bass on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. It was in 1971, and my family—my world—was in a state of shock. My older brother had just been drafted to go to Vietnam.

Today, many people whom I respect consider Jameson to be one of the great geniuses of the 20th century. For me, a son of college professors, his was a new kind of intelligence that trumped what I thought I knew. I loved the simplicity of it, the directness, the tonality, the vibe and especially the rhythm. It seemed to sum up in under four minutes what was happening in our country, the world, music, and my life.

That bass track, which Jameson apparently spontaneously composed lying on the studio floor, too sick to stand up, is constructed like a Debussy miniature: the first measure is a microcosm of the whole.

Looking back, I realize that it might have been in that moment that I was inspired to pick up my brother’s bass. After that I went to music school and got into jazz and Middle Eastern, Indian, Afro-Caribbean and new (avant-garde legit) music.

My brother came back from Nam, thank God.


Dave Brady
Dave Bradydrums
Born in 1952 in Maywood, CA, David Brady is a drummer, vibraphonist, teacher, author, writer and arranger. His father, Owen Brady, was a conductor, pianist and organist, and at one time David played cello, his brother played viola and both his sisters played violin, making a string quartet in their house.

Along with pursuing his passion to play drums and studying at Drum City in Hollywood, David was a weekly attendant at Shelley’s Manne-Hole, a local jazz club. There he was raised on the live sounds of Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Yusef Lateef, Wes Montgomery and Cannonball Adderly, as well as the great drummer Shelley Manne and his men.

David’s greatest drumming influences are Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Buddy Rich and Bill Douglass, his drum teacher, who was Art Tatum’s drummer. He has studied music in college, as well as privately with Douglass and with Bobby Hutcherson on vibes.

David has a passion for teaching, has written three instructional drum books and is a published author. He also loves playing vibes and writing and arranging vibes pieces. His Latin group, Shades of Tjader, honors and plays some of the classic compositions of the late great vibraphonist Cal Tjader