PAUL “PAZZO” MEHLING
Paul Mehling, the leader of HCSF, Le Jazz Hot, and the Ivory Club Boys, has been dubbed the godfather of American gypsy jazz. He discovered the music of Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in grammar school, and decades later the music that took root in his young soul finally bore fruit.
Isabelle Fontaine was born and raised in the French countryside with the voices of Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, and Yves Montand ringing in her ears. She originally had no intention of becoming a professional musician but when she started singing with a group of friends for fun, her talent was immediately recognized and her life took an unexpected turn. She spent the next twenty years singing and playing the snare drum to the jumping jive music of the 50’s throughout France, with detours to Spain and over the Alps to Switzerland.
Evan Price is steadily becoming one of the most respected jazz violinists of his generation. A native of Detroit, MI, his musical background includes some earnest dues-paying in a variety of genres. As a young competitive fiddler he won his share of awards, having been named the U.S. Scottish Fiddling Champion, Canadian Junior Fiddle Champion, and Canadian Novelty Fiddling Champion. He also performed with some of the masters of fiddle lore—Stephane Grappelli, Johnny Frigo, Claude “Fiddler” Williams, Johnny Gimble, Buddy Spicher, and Vassar Clements—as well as a diverse array of pop icons from Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to comedian, Steven Wright.
Jordan Samuels is an accomplished guitarist who has been studying, performing and teaching throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for the last twenty years. While at San Francisco State University, he completed his formal training in music composition under the guidance of Ronald Caltabiano and Richard Festinger while simultaneously pursuing a jazz studies curriculum directed by Andrew Speight and John Calloway.
A Fresno, California native, Sam Rocha showed an interest in music from a very early age. Beginning with piano lessons at age 4, his formal musical studies soon expanded to include the viola and bass guitar. At age 15, he fell in love with the acoustic string bass and has since identified himself as a bassist, playing his first professional gigs at 17 with Fresno’s Blue Street Jazz Band, among others. While largely self-taught on the string bass, Sam has closely studied such masters of the instrument as “Pops” Foster, Al Morgan, Milt Hinton, Bob Haggart, Jimmy Blanton, Ray Brown, Walter Page, and Scott LaFaro. In addition to his in-depth study of classic bass playing, Sam has absorbed the nuances of classic jazz tuba, cornet, and guitar playing, and he regularly performs on those instruments as well. Quickly becoming one of the rising stars of the traditional jazz and gypsy swing circuit, Sam is known for his innate musicality and rhythm and for his inventive, melodic solos. While on tour, Sam plays a Chadwick Folding Bass with a hybrid set of gut and steel strings.