Monthly Archives: January 2007

Brian Hall Project


Brandon Hutson, Brian Hall, Steve Smith, Dennis Dove, and Donavan Itawe Cunningham

Singer/writer /DJ/producer/engineer Brian Hall brought these amazing musicians together to Big Red for tracking his unique blend of classic Reggae grooves with cool modern influences.

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Greg Earl Project

D. K Stewart, Greg Earl, Reinhardt Melz, and Edwin Fontaine, Jr.

Greg Earl: Blues with New Orleans flavors. Legendary musicians.

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David Jacobs-Strain

David Jacobs-Strain and Kenny Passarelli

Blues singer/guitar wizard David Jacobs-Strain (Northern Blues label) and producer/bassist Kenny Passarelli [Elton John, Joe Walsh, Stephen Stills, Otis Taylor, et al.] were mixing and tracking with Billy at Big Red this week. Amidst hard work, the camaraderie was great. David will be releasing a new live and also a new studio CD later this year.

David and Kenny 'commuting' to Big Red in the once-every-couple-years snow

Kenny Passerelli’s well-traveled 1962 Fender Jazz Bass

A few of David Jacobs-Strain guitars

David’s web site is at:
Also, for some interesting reading, try Googling “Kenny Passarelli.”

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Jarrod Kaplan performing with Cirque de Soleil!

Percussion wizard Jarrod Kaplan

About 12 years ago I was at the Oregon Country Fair where I play violin with a crazy modern vaudeville troop every July. From a distance, (the fair is set on 200 acres of forests, paths and meadows), I heard the sound of a drum.

I followed the sound about 20 minutes to its source and found Jarrod Kaplan playing his Djembe with a unique and melodic style. I introduced myself and and we fast became friends. Jarrod soon after found a wonderful Senegalese Djembe for me, ever since a fixture at Big Red. And Jarrod became a regular session player, providing great sounds and playing on many of my productions. For each session, Jarrod would bring a van full of percussion instruments and would set up a “kit” consisting of a Djembe, 2 dumbeks, shakers and bells on his ankles, splash cymbals, bell trees and a large orchestral bass drum.

What a sound!

Jarrod began his creative life early, as a childhood actor in New York. He was in the cast of “The Guiding Light” soap opera and appeared in numerous commercials. He left acting and went to music school. Since moving to the west coast, Jarrod founded and toured extensively with Trillian Green, Hanuman and Taarka, three distinct and well-known high energy jam bands. It was great co-producing 3 CDs for the latter two.

Anyway, Jarrod auditioned for and received a call to be a member of the band for a new production of Cirque de Soleil. He left Oregon this New Years Day for two months of rehearsals in Montreal to be followed by two years of world tours.

I am happy for Jarrod’s deserved success and look forward to seeing him when Cirque de Soleil comes through Oregon.

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