GMF Tuscany International Workshop and Jazz Festival 2015
Certaldo, Italy, 04–12 August 2015

René Marie, USA Voice
Perico Sambeat, Spain Saxophone and Flute
Bruce Barth, USA Piano
Arnie Somogyi, UK Bass
Guillermo Rozenthuler, UK Voice
Alfred Kramer, ITA Drums
Stephen Keogh, IRL Drums
Libor Smoldas, CZ Guitar
Masa Kamaguchi, Japan Bass
Jean Toussaint, USA Saxophone
Francesco Petreni, ITA Percussion

René Marie the award winning singer whose style incorporates elements of jazz, soul, blues and gospel. Since the release of her recording debut, Renaissance, the Washington based vocalist has evolved into one of the greatest and most sensuous vocalists of our time. Unmistakably honest and unpretentious while transforming audiences worldwide with her powerful interpretations, electrifying deliveries and impassioned vocals — René Marie has drawn a legion of fans and music critics who find themselves not only entertained, but encouraged and even changed by her performances.

She made her professional debut in 2001 has enjoyed a whirlwind of success and great critical acclaim rarely seen in the jazz world, from The LA Times to the Washington Post, from the Miami Herald to the Chicago Tribune. She has received several awards throughout her career including Best International Jazz Vocal CD (besting Cassandra Wilson and Joni Mitchell) by the Academie Du Jazz (Paris, France) and has graced the Billboard Charts multiple times propelling her to headliner status at major festivals in the US & abroad

This workshop provides a rare opportunity to sing and converse with who many regard as the greatest singer of her generation. 

Bruce Barth is a pianist and composer  has been sharing his music with listeners the world over for more than two decades.  Deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, his music reflects both the depth and breadth of his life and musical experiences.  In addition to traveling widely performing his own music, he has also performed with revered jazz masters, as well as collaborated with leading musicians of his own generation.  And most notably, his performances feature material from his large book of very powerful and imaginative original compositions, written in a voice that is both deeply personal and expressive.  Tony Bennett, with whom Bruce toured for over a year, says "I have a great love for excellent musicians, and Bruce Barth is one of my favorites."

He has been teaching jazz for more than twenty-five years. He sees his own musical journey as a process of discovering new things and finding his own voice, and 
feels that he able to inspire others in their musical development. He combines a deep knowledge of the jazz tradition with a kind and empathetic disposition, and 
an intuitive sense of his students’ musical needs. 


Perico Sambeat is recognized worldwide as one of the great saxophonists around today. With more a hundred recordings many of his remarkable works are with outstanding musicians of high caliber including Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Tete Montoliu, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, among others. During Sambeat’s his career, he has received numerous awards including the "Bird Award" given by the North Sea Jazz Festival to the musician deserving wider recognition (2003), and best recording of the year for "Flamenco Big Band" (2008 and 2009). Sambeat first came to London as the leader of a quartet made up of Brad Mehldau and Stephen Keogh back in 1993. He is now considered to be one of the best musicians that Spain has ever produced.

He is devoted to sharing his knowledge and experience freely, and is gifted with the ability to do this with clarity and in a friendly down-to-earth manner.  This workshop is a must for any serious saxophonist whether student or professional.

Alfred Kramer has been working with musicians like Mal Waldron, Enrico Rava, Scott Hamilon, Pietro Tonolo, Enrico Pieranunzi, Paul McCandless, Benny Bailey , Chet Baker, Cedar Walton, Joe Henderson, Steve Lacy, Art Farmer, Miroslav Vitous and Gil Goldstein. He performed all over the EU and the U.S.A. and made a number of recordings worth mentioning with musicians like Phil Woods, Steve Lacy, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Scott Hamilton and Slide Hampton. He now lives near Florence and is working as a drummer, trombone player, arranger and conductor.

Arnie Somogyi is a much-sought after bassist, composer, bandleader and a jazz lecturer at Birmingham Conservatoire. He’s performed and recorded with a wide variety of leading musicians, from pop legends Tom Jones, Amy Winehouse and Charlie Watts to renowned jazz artists including John Dankworth, Stan Tracey, Steve Grossman, James Moody, Bobby Hutcherson, Annie Ross, Clare Martin, Art Farmer, Joey Calderazzo and Bud Shank. Arnie has featured on over 40 albums with leading talents including Eddie Henderson, Eric Alexander, Omar, Chris Botti, and the Verve’s Richard Ashcroft. He’s also appeared on film soundtracks including ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ and on-screen in the Oscar-nominated “An Education”. 

He is a gifted teacher and has the ability to work seriously with students while at the same time making it a fun experience.

Stephen Keogh became the drummer of choice for many visiting jazz artists to Europe, including Charles McPherson, Art Farmer, Harold Land, Bill Charlap and many others. Over the years he has played and recorded with many of the great jazz legends including Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Jimmy Witherspoon, Harry Sweets Edison, Johnny Griffin and Benny Carter, and more recently with Brad Mehldau, Mark Turner and Edward Simon. Recent tours and performances have been with Jason Rebello, Bruce Barth, Larry Willis, Jeremy Pelt and Rene Marie.

He founded Global Music Foundation in 2004 with Marney O'Sullivan to encourage people everywhere to enjoy, learn and provide opportunities for musicians, artists and listeners, and to maintain and raise awareness of music and the arts.

Masa Kamaguchi was born in 1966 in Wakkanai City, the northernmost city in Hokkaido, Japan. Masa was inspired to take up the electric bass at age 14 after listening to the records of Jaco Pastorius. In 1985 he moved to Tokyo to attend the Hosei University where he studied engineering but also took up the acoustic bass, studying privately with Yoshio Ikeda, himself a former student of Gary Peacock. In 1990, Masa moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, and proceeded to study with drummer Joe Hunt. While based in Boston, Kamaguchi was in demand to play with many of the area's great musicians, including Geoge Gazone, Bert Sieger, Hal Crook, Herb Pomeroy and Frank Carberg. During this time in Boston, Masa also toured Europe and Scandinavia on several occasions.

In 1994, Masa moved to New York City where he is much in demand by many groups, performing with such lumininaries as Frank Kimbrough, Sonny Simmons, Ben Monder, David Murray, Toots Thielmans, Tony Malaby, Charles Gale and many others. His recording credits include dates with Frank Kimbrough, Paul Motion, Ron Horton, Dave Douglas, Sonny Simmons, Tony Malaby, John O'allager, Russ Lossing, Billy Mintz and many others.

An acutely intuitive player, Masa brings an individual sound and fresh perspective to the acoustic bass. His rich warm tone and modern style define his individuality. Kamaguchi is a versatile player, at home with a truly wide range of musical influences, that translate into his brilliant concept.


Jean Toussaint

Born on the Dutch Antilles Island of Aruba, Toussaint grew up in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands and studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston.  Toussaint came to London in 1987 and still uses the capital as his base. Since then he has released 8 CDs as a leader.  Collaborations with musicians based in the UK have included Julian Joseph, Jason Rebello, Cleveland Watkiss, Tony Remy, Orphy Robinson, Bheki Mseleku, Troy Miller and many others.  Toussaint is also an experienced jazz educator, teaching at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Trinity College of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire, as well as on various workshops, most recently the London Philarmonic Orchestra.

Since Jean Toussaint Left Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, he hasn't looked back. Nor has he spent a career trying to repeat the past. The experiences gained in that world-class hothouse have enabled him to push forward and embrace challenging and often high-profile musical collaborations in many different jazz styles. Today he works out of London, England as a composer, tenor and soprano saxophonist, band leader and educator.


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