Band & Other Artists’ Bio info
Mason draws on the following musicians and other artists for the various kinds of performances and projects he undertakes. Some of them have worked with Mason throughout his career, in addition to building individual professional careers.
John Averill has been playing mandolin since the mid-1960's. Moving to Oregon from the San Francisco Bay area in the early seventies, John helped form the local group, Good and Country in 1972. He has performed and recorded with "Good N' Country" as well as "Kentucky Rose" for the past 23 years.
For the past three years, he has been the host of a one hour Bluegrass show on radio station KRVM. In 1983 John became adrift with Mason Williams' "Of Time & Rivers Flowing" concert and has been keeping his head above water ever since.
Bill Barrett and his wife Christy are staunch advocates of adoption and in 10 years together have gathered a busy family that includes eight children, ranging in age from 19 years to three weeks. In his other career, Bill is on the air in the morning at KUGN-FM. In his twenty years in Eugene, Bill has twice been nominated by the National Association of Broadcasters as one of the top 5 radio personalities in the U.S. for this market size. Bill has also been recognized by numerous organizations in the region for his community service.
In his other career, Bill is a Freelance Voice Talent. Bill can be heard around the U.S. on commercials and has done dozens of character voices that are being used in CD-ROM educational and game pieces in national distribution. Bill loves to fly airplanes and fly fish and figures he'll be able to do more of both when the kids leave the nest, sometime in the year 2075 A.D.
Wayne Bennett is conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra and Professor of Clarinet at the University of Oregon School of Music. He has also held the post of Music Director of the Cascade Festival of Music since 1984. Wayne has been a guest conductor in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and Mexico and was appointed conductor of the Cyprus State Chamber Orchestra in 1991, through the auspices of Arts in America.
Thom Bergeron is a native of New Hampshire, where he began performing in 1967. Since that time he has performed extensively throughout the United States, and in Europe and Central America with his own ensembles and as a soloist.
He has performed with a broad spectrum of nationally and internationally renown artists, including Robert Cray, Natalie Cole, Dick Hyman, Anthony Braxton, Ella Fitzgerald, Glen Moore, Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Shew, Oliver Lake, Vinnie Golia, Dumisani Maraire, Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians, The Fifth Dimension, The Inkspots, and The Temptations.
Tom is principal saxophonist with the Oregon Festival of American Music and the Eugene Symphony, and leads the Oregon Saxophone Quartet and Whirled Jazz. He teaches woodwinds and jazz at Western Oregon State College. "Saxophone Alone", released in 1996, is his first solo CD. Tom's work as a performer and composer can be heard on the Black Saint, Folkways, Helicon Nine, and Panting Hyena record labels.
Byron Berline is a three time National Fiddle Champion who turned to a musical career after earning a B.A. in Physical Education. Originally from Oklahoma, where he began playing the fiddle at age 5, Byron lived and worked in Los Angeles for 26 years before returning to his home state.
Byron's professional career reads like a who's who in the music business, as he has performed with or recorded with so many notables. He has led or been a member of the following bands: Bill Monroe & Bluegrass Boys, 1966-67; Dillard & Clark, 1969-70; Dillard Expedition, 1970-71; Country Gazette, 1971-75; Sundance, 1975-85; Berline, Crary, Hickman, 1978-90; L.A. Fiddle Band, 1978-93; California, 1990 - present.
Byron is one of the most sought after session fiddlers, and his long list of recording credits are proof: The Band, The Byrds, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Manhatten Transfer, Bob Dylan, John Denver, Elton John, Olivia Newton-John, Burt Reynolds, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart, Kay Starr, Hoyt Axton, Alabama, Susie Bogus, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joe Diffy, Vince Gill, Arlo Guthrie, Mickey Gilley, Emmylu Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Lee, Willie Nelson, Red Stegall, Doug Stone, Tammy Wynette, Jethro Burns, The Dillards, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Don Reno, Earl Scruggs, Mason Williams, and numerous Symphony Orchestras.
He has extensive movie and commercial sound track credits, including work with Henry Mancini, Jerry Fielding, Johnny Willimas, and Lalo Schrifrin. Byron scored his first major motion picture in 1975, "Stay Hungry", for director Bob Raphelson. He has appeared in "Star Trek, "Blaze", "Back to the Future III", and "Basic Instinct". He has been interviewed by major city newspapers and music magazines throughout the world, and has toured the United States extensively, Europe often, China, Japan, Australia, Northern Africa, and the South Pacific. In his spare time, Byron enjoys producing albums for his friends and himself. His most recent activities include his return to Oklahoma, where he has opened a small fiddle shop in the historic town of Guthrie, and the release of his highly acclaimed album, "Fiddle & a Song".
Byron Berline has been touted as "one of the most inventive fiddlers ever. . . ". His skill, versatility and artistry continue to be recognized by his peers, the press, and audiences world-wide. He is a witty, charming personality, and his music is evidence of that.
Berline's solo albums include: "Pickin' and Fiddlin' with the Dillards", Electra, 1964; "Dad's Favorites", Rounder, 1979; "Outrageous", Flying Fish, 1981; "Double Trouble" (with John Hickman), Sugar Hill, 1986; "Jumpin' the Strings", Sugar Hill, 1991; and "Fiddle & a Song", Sugar Hill, 1995.
Hal Blaine was the busiest recording session drummer in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s, playing the drums on by his count tens of thousands of recordings, from the Wall of Sound productions of Phil Spector to Brian Wilson's productions of the Beach Boys, and including most of the pop/rock performers in Los Angeles in the '60s, as well as such notables as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Blaine published a book of his memories, Hal Blaine and the Wrecking Crew, in 1990. William Ruhlmann
Dale Bradley's earliest experience with musical instruments was picking out harmonies to church hymns on his parent's piano. A few years later he began playing cello in the Springfield Public Schools. Later he studied with Robert Hladky at the University of Oregon, where he received both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Cello Performance. Dale is a long-timemember of both Oregon Mozart Players and Eugene Symphony Orchestra. He also appears regularly with the Pfaff Ensemble, a group devoted to exploring music and performance styles of the Baroque era. He has appeared with Eugene Ballet and Eugene Opera orchestras, as well as in summer festival orchestras across the state.
In addition to his classical music pursuits, Dale has appeared both live and on recordings with numerous local folk and gospel artists, including Mike & Carleen McCornack, and Frank Castanette,to name a few. He has also composed and arranged a number of works that have been performed in Oregon Mozart Players chamber concerts and Springfield schools, including a medley of American music that was performed in Disneyland by the Springfield High School orchestra in 1992. Dale's teaching activities includes Eugene's Strings Celebration music camps, and a private studio where he teaches cello, bass, and guitar. He resides in Springfield with his wife, Leslie, and their five children.
Dennis Caffey has been performing and teaching in the Northwest for the last 25 years. In addition to working with Mason Williams since 1988, he has performed with Herb Ellis, Mal Waldron, Eddie Weed, Jerry Van Dyke, Mose Allison, Dan Siegal, Ed Ragazinno, Carl Woideck, Barbara Dzuro, Emmett Williams, Dance Theater of Oregon, Joe Borland, Dana Lutes, Bill Sabol, Steve Owns, "Caliente", "Hot House", & "Caracas".
In 1997 Dennis was involved in the soundtrack for Mike Meyer?s film "Austin Powers: The International Man Of Mystery". Dennis continues to teach privately and is also a computer specialist in Web SiteDesign / Implementation and Search Engine Technology, optimizing web sites for top ten search engine results. His hobbies include reading, writing, development, biking hiking and golf.
Rick Cunha may truly be described as a guitar players' guitar player. He is also one of America's finest songwriters. Rick has performed in concert with Emmy Lou Harris, John Stewart, Anne Murray, Jennifer Warnes, Buck Owens, and The Smothers Brothers, to name a few. His songs have been recorded by Ms. Warnes, Ian Matthews, The Smothers Brothers, Michael Johnson and many other artists.
Mr. Cunha's solo recording career began in 1974 with an album for the GRC label, that included his song "Yo-Yo-Man" which has since been immortalized on television and in concert by Tom Smothers. Other solo albums include: "Cunha Tunes" and "Moving Pictures".
In addition to playing with Mason Williams in his symphony concerts, Mr. Cunha also produces Mr. Williams' recordings, including his latest for the Real Music label, "A Gift of Song", which features many of the songs featured in Williams' holiday concert.
Doug Haywood has recently finished his first solo album, "Nevada," which includes Craig Deorge.
Doug's songs have been recorded by many artists including Jennifer Warnes, The Dillards, Juice Newton, Jerry Reed, and John Hartford. When Doug's "If It Ain't Love By Now," co-written with Jeff Barry, was recorded by Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelious, it soared into Billboard's Top Ten Country chart. Doug's enchanting "Christmas Lullaby," co-written with Jack Tempchin, was released on Mason Williams' beautiful acoustic Christmas album, "A Gift of Song."
Doug's list of credits is an extensive, impressive one. He has played, sung, recorded, and/or performed on stage with numerous folk, country, and rock dignitaries including Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, Eric Andersen, Danny O'Keefe, Elyza Gilkyson, Steve Goodman, Jesse Colin Young, Willie Nelson, Leon Russel, and Mary McCaslin, just to name a few.
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Ken Kesey, best-selling author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Sometimes A Great Notion", is a featured performer and narrator in "Of Time and Rivers Flowing". His role in the concert demonstrated Ken's recent interest in combining the spoken word with appropriate musical arrangements. In 1986, to celebrate the publication of "Demon Box", he created and performed in the touring show "Still Kesey." Subsequently, Art Maddox composed an orchestral setting of one of the stories from the show, "Little Ticker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear". It was premiered by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra in April 1988, and by the full Kansas City Symphony in January 1989.
Regarding "Of Time and Rivers Flowing", Ken said, "This show speaks not to where we disagree, but to where we agree. That's where our strength lies. It's what we love that counts. Sometimes it's as simple as a river."
Latarski's background includes years of playing blues; since 1973 he has focused on incorporating jazz elements into his music. He's written a guitar series put out by Warner Bros. Publications.
Latarski has been an adjunct instructor of guitar at the University of Oregon, where he teaches jazz and blues styles, since 1983. He also owns and operates Crescent Studio and Crescent Records in Eugene, Oregon.
Composer/pianist Art Maddox is noted for the warmth and range of his musical gift, encompassing the avant-garde, classical, traditional, symphonic, choral, theatrical and pop genres. Classically trained, he holds master's and doctoral degrees in musical composition. He was the pianist for the U.S. Women's Gymnastic Team from 1971 to 1976, including performances at the Olympic Games in Munich and Montreal and other competitions and exhibitions throughout the world.
Since 1981 he has worked with Emmy Award-winning composer/guitarist Mason Williams ("Classical Gas", "The Smothers Brothers Show") on many projects, including music for television, theater, and live concerts. He is arranger-keyboardist and music director for Mr. Williams' concert of music about rivers and water, " Of Time & Rivers Flowing", which has received over 40 performances throughout the United States. Most recently, the acoustic instrumental Christmas album "A Gift Of Song: Mason Williams & Friends" (Real Music, Fall 1992) showcases several of his orchestral compositions and arrangements.
Art's wide-ranging musical persona made him a natural collaborator for Oregon novelist Ken Kesey ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Sometimes a Great Notion"). In 1986, Art created the musical setting for Kesey's retelling of an Ozark folk tale,"Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear". The orchestral version of this work, commissioned and premiered by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, has since been performed by the Oregon and Kansas City Symphony Orchestras, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York, and on conductor Bill McGlaughlin's syndicated radio program St. Paul Sunday Morning.
Since November 1995 Art has been performing "Simply Grand", a solo piano concert including ragtime, Celtic ballads and dances, swing, country, Latin music, lullabies, jazz, classical, boogie-woogie, and "anything else that catches his fancy". Some are well-known piano favorites. Many were composed for friends and family. An album of selections from this concert is now available in compact disc and cassette formats.
Bass player Forrest Moyer is an enthusiastic and talented musician from the Eugene area with experience as a teacher, jazz player, and bassist for several orchestras. Mr. Moyer has played with the Eugene Symphony since 1977 and with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra for many years. He has performed with Eddie Harris, Oliver Lake, The Smothers Brothers, Mason Williams, and Clark Terry, among others. He has recorded with Anthony Braxton and Mason Williams. Presently, Mr. Moyer is teaching middle school orchestra for Eugene School District 4J, is the Jazz Bass Instructor for the University of Oregon and teaches the string academy for the Eugene Youth Symphony.
Hollis Taylor began her career in classical music, including a summer as concertmaster and soloist at Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. She holds a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from Webster College in St. Louis.
In 1982 she won the Oregon State Old Time Fiddle Championship. Since then, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe in various ensembles exploring a variety of styles, including Texas fiddling, bluegrass, western swing, and jazz.
In 1986 the Oregon Arts Commission funded her composition Symphony for String Band with her trio as soloists. She has performed music for two Gus Van Sant films, "My Own Private Idaho" and "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"(on-screen performance).
Her 1991 recording "Twisted Fiddle" received international critical acclaim for its jazz-influence arrangements of country classics and was nominated "1991 Folk Album of the Year" by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors. She has also published four fiddle books with accompanying recordings. She is a regular correspondent to "Strings" and "Fiddler" magazines.
The American Center sponsored her two-year residency during 1993-95 at the Cite internationale des Arts in Paris, during which time she concertized and recorded composed violin duos based on European folk dance music, soon to be released on CD as "Unsquare Dances"
A self taught banjo player, George Relles has been playing since he was 10 years old. Upon moving to Eugene in 1969 to attend the University of Oregon, George began teaching others the art of banjo playing and has continued givingprivate lessons to local students.
In 1975, George put together a sound company, now called George Relles Sound, Inc. and provides sound engineering for concerts all over the Northwest. He was the producer of the Blitz Bluegrass Festivals from 1975-1979.
In addition to being a member of the local group, "Good and Country", George has been performing traditional and bluegrass music with Mason Williams since 1975.
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