The DHARMA ALL STARS are a group of New York based professional musicians driven by the extraordinary vision of master drummer and band leader John Favicchia. Formed in 2001, the group performs a mix of many styles of Jazz from John’s three critically acclaimed CDs. Each member has been hand picked based upon their individual musical talent and the manner in which they enhance the overall sound of the band. They are all highly experienced world class players who have their own groups, compose and arrange music for themselves and others, are constantly being sought after as studio musicians, or are touring members in the bands of well known stars. They now bring their combined musical talent and experience to The Dharma All-Stars in order to create a vibrant and exciting sound that brings audiences back time and time again. Some of The Dharma All-Stars recent performance venues include the IMAC Theater in Huntington NY, the Long Beach Jazz Festival, the Port Jefferson Jazz Festival, The Great South Bay Music Festival, The Village Underground NYC, the Cutting Room NYC, DAG Plaza NYC, and Drum Fest 2006.
DHARMA ALLSTARS BAND BIOS
BAND LEADER/DRUMMER JOHN FAVICCHIA–
One of today’s top players, New York-based John Favicchia has performed and/or recorded with such greats as Steve Khan, Eddie Money, Tony Levin, Chieli Minucci,Charlie Daniels, Lonnie Plaxico, Robbers, John Benitez, Gary US Bonds, Harvie S, Larry Coryell, Dean Brown, Rachel Z, Joe Butler-Love And Spoonful, The Tokens, Felix Cavaliere, Kerry Kearney, Chris Geith, Laco Deczi, Long Island Music Hall Of Fame Band, Mike Pope, Steve Adelson and Bob Malach just to name a few. Known for his extreme versatility, in the course of a week John can be seen drumming from NYC Jazz Clubs to Rock Concert halls to International Drum Festivals as well as the top Music Festivals around the world.
is the leader of the Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz group Special EFX, which formed in 1982. Minucci & Special EFX have recorded a combined 26 CDs, 8 of those being solo releases. In addition Minucci has recorded and performed with top pop artists such as Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Jewel, Mark Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Anastasia and others, as well as jazz/pop artists Bobby Caldwell, Marion Meadows, Jay Beckenstein, Kim Waters, Alex Bugnon, Gerald Veasley, Lao Tizer, Nestor Torez, Bob Baldwin, and many others. His father, Ulpio Minucci (concert pianist/composer) wrote the now ‘standard’ 1955 hit song “Domani,” as well as “A Thousand Thoughts of You,” and “Felicia” (both sung by Nat King Cole).
has been an integral part of the New York City area
music scene for nearly 30 years. He has performed in the clubs,
theaters and recording studios of the tri-state area as well as
throughout the US, Europe and Japan. Bill is a renowned performer
in any and all styles on all of the saxophones, clarinets
and flutes. His debut CD “The Extra Mile” was released to rave
reviews from critics and musicians alike. Bill has performed and
recorded with artists as varied as The Allman Brothers, Bruce
Springsteen, Bruce Willis, Dr. John, Darlene Love, Average White
Band, Jose Feliciano, Natalie Merchant, Celine Dion, Peter
White, Jeff Golub, Gerry Mulligan and Jack DeJohnette.
BASS- MIKE POPE–
Has been part of the NYC scene for many years. He has worked with
Blood, Sweat, and Tears
Gil Evans Orchestra
is one of the premier pianists in modern jazz today. His impeccable technique and harmonic knowledge, in my opinion, ranks Misha alongside standout modernists such as Mulgrew Miller, Brad Mehldau, and Bill Charlap. Misha also has rhythmic intensity and drive reminiscent of McCoy Tyner. He is also a great “comper” (accompanist). No doubt, the music world will soon hear a lot of Misha Tsiganov.”
“Tsiganov is a well-balanced, lyrical pianist… He writes strong tunes… sophisticated, confident musicianship… like the best jazz recordings, its validity grows on you and the music gets into your mind.”
Thomas Conrad / JazzTimes, February 2008 issue
Dharma Allstars Shine in Port Jeff
Review of Jazz concert in Port Jefferson.
The Dharma Allstars are a group of New York based professional musicians led by master drummer John Favicchia who has hand picked each musician based on his individual talent and what John feels can enhance the overall sound of the band. In short, each musician can and does perform on their own and has a long list of accomplished credits to show it.
I was certainly taken with Bill Harris and his version of the David Sanborn’s number Snakes. Playing sharp and crisp solos, his golden notes were out front and personal in each number. He and his sax were like two old friend getting together for old times sake. Although he has played with various performing artists and has aired on CD 101.9’s Cool Jazz station, he seemed very much at home with the All Stars.
Many times it is easy to overlook the drummer because of where they sit and the background beats they play. John Favicchia is not a drummer you can overlook. His solos are explosive, filled with ringing cymbals, and exciting, vibrant notes. His solo in the final number Kukuc rang out, driving a Latin Jazz number out to the harbor and way across the village. It was quite a show and a good demonstration of why he is such a widely respected drummer, producer, musical consultant, teacher, and studio musician. His performance on the drums was exceptional.
Bass player Nick Lazarev was very strong and innovative on the bass guitar. His performance in BodyBeat, written by Chieli Minucci, was very impressive holding a solid bass line for a difficult piece of music. Again we have a musician who easily stand out on his own.
Although I had to shift a bit to see keyboard player Misha Tsiganov, it was well worth falling out of my chair. The keyboard solos were tight and melodic in the numbers April Fools, and Kukuc, the last number of the set. As with the other musicians, Mr. Tsiganov is an accomplished key board player in his own right as has played with a number of other talented groups.
Oh did I forget someone? Yes, none other than Chieli Minucci, the lead guitar player and leader of the Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz group Special EFX, which formed in 1982. I’ll keep this short because you are going to want to follow up on Chieli Minucci yourself if you play guitar, follow the jazz scene, or just love listening to great music. The show put on by Chieli was riveting. His riffs and leads in every number were exemplary. Be it a soft, smooth jazz piece like Sing a Song of Songs or his own fast paced, hard driving song BodyBeat his work on the guitar is of world class quality.
Yes, It’s summer once again and the music scene here is as hot as ever. If the rest of the season is anything like this opening concert, the Summer Harbor Concert Series in Port Jefferson is sure to be a long Island summer classic. Enjoy the show.