ABOUT THE ARTIST
By Stephen K. Peeples
World-renowned jazz harp player Lori Andrews, backed by noted film-TV composer Bart Samolis on guitar and bass and Hollywood session ace Jim Honeyman on tenor sax, stars on the next all-new edition of SCVTV’s WAVE-nominated “House Blend” series, hosted by veteran Santa Clarita music journalist Stephen K. Peeples.
The half-hour music-and-interview program premieres Saturday, June 15, at 10 p.m. Pacific Time on SCVTV, seen on Time-Warner Channel 20 in the Santa Clarita Valley and AT&T U-Verse 99 in Los Angeles and Orange counties. “House Blend” also streams live everywhere else at www.scvhouseblend.com at the same time.
This marked Andrews’ and Samolis’ second appearance on “House Blend”; the first was in April 2011.
A winner of the “Best Jazz Harpist” award in the Jazziz Readers poll, Andrews takes the harp beyond its classical tradition, amps it, and infuses elements of jazz, fusion and R&B to create an original sound both soothing and exiting at the same time.
To open the “House Blend” show, Andrews performs a solo version the title track from her “Suspended” CD, accompanying herself on harp using a delay effect. Next, she brings Samolis onstage to play guitar on “Smilin’ Again” from “No Strings Attached.” Then they introduce the video she shot with her celebrated band, the Lori Andrews JazHarp Quartet, for “The Pluckin’ Blues,” a track from the same album.
To close the show, she and Samolis, who switches to Clevinger electric/acoustic bass, bring out first-call tenor sax player Jim Honeyman to join them. The trio performs “City Lights,” a shimmering Samolis original from “After Hours,” the most recent album by Andrews’ quartet, which includes Samolis.
Between songs, the musicians — all longtime Santa Clarita Valley residents — chat with Peeples about their music and travels; how Andrews and Samolis met professionally then fell for each other; and why audiences outside the U.S. seem to appreciate jazz more than the country of its origin.
Andrews recounts her career-changing encounter with Frank Sinatra, who gave her a priceless testimonial, brings us up to date with the international success of “After Hours” and more.
More About Lori Andrews and the JazHarp Quartet
Andrews and her JazHarp Quartet’s discography includes eight albums. She has performed for Presidents Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford, and for the King and Queen of Spain. Along with Sinatra, Andrews has entertained A-list celebrities including Barbra Streisand, Oprah Winfrey (50th birthday) and Clint Eastwood.
Each year, Andrews and her JazHarp Quartet play as the house band for the Oscars’ Technical Achievement Awards ceremony, kicking off the anual Academy Awards celebration.
In the States, she has performed at prestigious jazz festivals including Playboy, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Sacramento, Poppy and Idyllwild.
With growing followings in Japan, Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as the United States, Andrews and her quartet have become fixtures on the international festival circuit as well.
Andrews’ on-camera TV and film credits include musical appearances in “Beaches,” “In the Line of Fire,” “The Tonight Show,” “Mambo Kings,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Ally McBeal” and “MAD TV.”
Bart Samolis: Top Film & TV Composer, and ‘White House Down’
Samolis, longtime member of Andrews’ JazHarp Quartet, is a highly successful music, film and TV composer in his own right. He plays fretted, fretless, upright and orchestra basses, and has toured and recorded with Arturo Sandoval, Free Flight, Peter Gabriel, Rod Stewart and Michael Bolton, among many others.
Samolis’ IMDB profile lists more than 100 film and TV credits as a bass player and composer, including “Wolverine” (not yet released), “A Good Day to Die Hard,” “Jack Reacher,” “Dream Girls,” “Marmaduke,” “Superman Returns,” “X-Men” and “The Fantastic Four.”
Samolis’ most recent movie music credit is “White House Down” starring Jamie Foxx, which opens wide in theaters June 28.
Jim Honeyman: First-Call Reed Man in Hollywood, Educator in Santa Clarita
Sax player and woodwind specialist Jim Honeyman is a longtime friend and musical associate of both Andrews and Samolis, and joined the duo in the SCVTV studio for the closing interview segment and song of their “House Blend” set.
Honeyman likewise has an extensive track record as an in-demand performer, composer, orchestrator and bandleader. He has performed and/or recorded with Michael McDonald, Earth, Wind & Fire, Toto, They Might Be Giants, Johnny Mathis, Stevie Wonder, Donna Summer and Elton John.
Honeyman’s extensive IMDB profile lists film credits including “The Green Hornet,” “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Tropic Thunder” and “Spider-Man 3.” He has also worked on the music preparation team for thousands more motion picture, television and live performance projects.
At home in the Santa Clarita Valley, Honeyman leads the contemporary jazz group Slow Burn, and records with his wife, vocalist Anita Cortez. He has coached the Newhall District Honor Band saxophone section for the last nine years, and written arrangements for the Hart High School Regiment and Jazz Bands.
More About SCVTV’s “House Blend”
Peeples books, researches and writes “House Blend,” and co-produces the show with SCVTV studio director Megan Perez at the SCVTV Media Center in Newhall. Perez also directs the show, assisted by SCVTV’s Austin Dave, sound engineer Mike Mazzetti and the studio staff. Leon Worden, SCVTV president/CEO, is the series’ executive producer.
Now nearing the end of its third season, “House Blend” premiered on SCVTV in September 2010 and airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. Pacific Time, with an encore broadcast Thursdays at the same time.
A series highlight is the May 2011 “House Blend” program featuring folk-country-bluegrass legends Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen. The show was one of three finalists for a WAVE award from the Western Alliance for Community Media.
ABOUT THE HOST “House Blend” host, writer and co-producer Stephen K. Peeples is a Grammy-nominated record producer (“Monterey International Pop Festival,” 1992), award-winning radio writer-producer (“The Lost Lennon Tapes,” 1988-1990) and veteran record company executive (Capitol, Elektra/Asylum, Rhino). A Canyon Country resident since early 1988, Peeples wrote about the SCV music scene for The Signal newspaper in 2004-2006 and was Managing Editor of the My Santa Clarita community website in 2006-2007. He was The Signal’s Online Editor and social media manager from October 2007 to May 2011. In 2009 he was honored when The-Signal.com was named “Best Website” by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. A jazz and rock drummer since he was 12, Peeples was a member of the underground West L.A. garage band Peaking Duck from 1977-2008. In 2010, he co-founded the SCV-based jazz quartet RainTree.