Peter Apfelbaum & Sparkler; Monday, July 8, 2013


Peter Apfelbaum & Sparkler
Monday, July 8, 2013
Kuumbwa Jazz

“…a visionary, galvanic composer…” – CMJ Magazine

Aside from being an acclaimed tenor saxophonist, composer, and arranger, Peter Apfelbaum has also branched over to a rock audience, due to his time playing with Phish, the Trey Anastasio Band and when his group, The Hieroglyphics Ensemble, was opening for the Grateful Dead.  He brings this jam-band mentality to sophisticated and jazzy heights with his new band, Sparkler, featuring Natalie Cressman (trombone/bass/vocals), Jill Ryan (alto saxophone/vocals), Will Bernard (guitar/bass), Barney McAll (keyboards/percussion), and Willard Dyson (drums).

Born in Berkeley in 1960, Apfelbaum got his start in the jazz scene in the late 1970s, playing with composer/arranger Carla Bley from 1978-1982.  During that time he also became heavily involved with the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY, where he began to make his impact on the avant-garde jazz and world music scenes.

Known primarily as a saxophonist, Apfelbaum is also an accomplished pianist and drummer, adding to the wide-ranging harmonic and rhythmic versatility of his compositions.  His pieces have seen a wide range of performers, from the legendary trumpeter Don Cherry, to his 17-piece group, The Heiroglyphics Ensemble.  Jazz accolades aside, Apfelbaum has plenty of rock and jam-band cred, as well.  In the early 1990s, The Heiroglyphics Ensemble boasted a who’s who of Bay Area jazz musicians, and opened numerous shows for The Grateful Dead.

His compositions and performances have influenced many artists in the contemporary jazz-fusion scene, and his new band, Sparkler, marks a new chapter in his career of blending world music with experimental jazz idioms.  As Apfelbaum himself puts it, “my vocabulary reflects the fact that I started life as a drummer, was trained in jazz theory, blues & gospel music as a pre-teenager, became absorbed in African and Latin music as a teenager, listened to a lot of contemporary classical music, worked in R&B, reggae, blues, Latin, African, jazz, funk, Middle Easter and Indian bands and, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by how sounds can be fitted together.”

Peter Apfelbaum & Sparkler

DATE: Monday, July 8, 2013
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $15/Adv $18/Door
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227 

Media contact:
Erica Jacobsohn

(610) 572-1353


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