perkins | director, acoustic bass
distasi | trumpet
child growing up in the late 1960s in Berkeley, California, Miles
Perkins, the director, founder and bassist for Mingus Amungus, was
fortunate to be surrounded by music, dance, and a passion for exploration.
Growing up in such a diverse environment as Berkeley allowed Miles
to view the world, and jazz, in a non-traditional way. This world
view would become the basis for Mingus Amungus.
Perkins took advantage of the rich music and performing arts programs
for which Berkeley is renown. The classically trained bassist took
a hiatus from music while obtaining a degree in Philosophy from UCLA
before returning to the jazz fold. Since 1991 he has steadily gained
recognition not only as a bassist, but also as a creative and charismatic
band leader. Appearing with artists such as Peter Apelfbaum,
Billy Childs, Pete Escovedo, Chico Freeman, Craig Handy, John Handy,
Monyungo Jackson, William Kennedy, Charles McPherson, Marcus Printup,
Joshua Redman, Dianne Reeves, Carlos Santana, and Sonny
Simmons, he also makes a special guest appearance on the
Charlie Hunter Trio's self-titled debut CD and Cleveland
Lounge Act's debut CD and can also be seen gigging with Milestone
recording artist Dave Ellis.
Feeling the need to expand the concept of jazz, Perkins founded Mingus
Amungus in 1994. Using the inspiration of Charles Mingus' music as
a foundation, but also operating outside the confine of traditional
jazz, the group quickly became a Bay Area favorite at local clubs,
jazz festivals, and concert halls. Miles received a nomination for
Outstanding Bassist in the 2004 California
marshall | saxophones
an alumnus of the well-known Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, accepted
a scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied
for two years as a classical performance major. Upon returning to
the Bay Area, Gavin teamed up with fellow Berkeley High graduate,
Joshi Marshall. They soon began studying and performing
with Joshi’s father, longtime Bay Area jazz bass stalwart Fred
Marshall, in the avant garde ensemble Marshall Arts.
Soon after, Gavin and Joshi started two other well received groups,
Groove Shop and Daddy Goddus and
worked with many other groups in the 90’s San Francisco acid-jazz
scene, such as Fungo Mungo, the Mo’Fessionals, Alphabet
Soup, Jungle Biskit, and Human Flavor, to
name a few.
Since joining Mingus Amungus in 1998, Gavin has continued to expand
his musical interests, playing and touring with many reggae artists
including Don Carlos (of Black Uhuru fame), The
Abysinians, The Mighty Diamonds, Sister Carol, Big Youth, Charlie
Chaplin and many others. From this he helped form Dub
Vision, which is the permanent backing band for Don
Carlos, and works with many of the top names in reggae music.
Recently, Gavin and Joshi have been making cameos with local up-and-coming
neo soul star Goapele and her band The Heat,
and when he’s not on tour Gavin can be seen with Marcus
Shelby’s Jazz Orchestra as well as his own small group
the Gavin DiStasi Ensemble.
wehner | trombone
Marshall was born in 1971 in Berkeley California. At the age of ten
he picked up a saxophone and has been playing ever since. He played
in the prestigious Berkeley High School jazz ensemble and combo. In
1989 he took the award for Most Outstanding Soloist at the Monterey
Jazz Festival High School competition. While still in high school
Joshi had the opportunity to meet and host jam sessions at his house
with musicians such as Pharoe Saunders and Benny
After high school Joshi was offered a scholarship to Berkelee School
of Music in Boston which he turned down in order to start a professional
career and apprenticeship with Faye Carol, a prominent
Blues and Jazz singer in the bay area. After three years working with
Faye, Joshi began a jazz trio with his father, Fred Marshall,
the bassist for Vince Giralldi and has played with other artists such
as John Hendrix, Bullesseti and Max Roach. The band, Martial
Arts, played locally for over ten years. During that time
Joshi also played with artists such as Charlie Hunter
and Josh Jones.
In the early nineties he was a part of the Jazz Hip-Hop scene south
of Market in San Francisco playing and recording with bands such as
Groove Shop, Daddy Goddess, Dog Slyde, Human Flavor, The Mofessionals,
Jungle Biskit and Bop City.
In 1995 Joshi began playing with Mingus Amungus a
band he is still working with today.
Over the last five years Joshi has played with artists such as Santana,
John Santos and the Machete Ensemble, Blackalicious,
Goaple, Nicodemus and the Reggae artist Don Carlos.
He is currently working with his own ensemble, “The
Joshi Marshall Project”.
is a Berklee College of Music alumnus whose resume is impeccable.
The trombonist is a sought after player who has played with some very
big names in the music industry and is pursued regularly for live
performance gigs as well as studio work. He has played with Dizzy
Gillespie, Phil Woods, Benny Carter, the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra,
Tony Toni Tone, Wynton Marsalis, Bob Weir and Rat Dog, the Joe Henderson
Big Band, Natalie Cole, Lavay Smith, Tito Puente, Pete Escovedo, Dave
Ellis and more. He played on Carlos Santana's
song “The Game of Love” w/ Michele Branch
which won a Grammy Award. He has played some of the
biggest festivals and venues around the world and has played on TV
shows: David Letterman, Jay Leno, BET and VH1.
Currently, he gigs with his own group, Funkbone,
as well as teaching at the Univ. Of Cal.- Berkeley in the Jazz Department.
rossi | drums
his return to the Bay Area, some ten years ago, drummer Steve Rossi
found himself in a variety of musical situations. Known for his musical
versatility, the ground-breaking jazz group Marshal Arts Trio
and prog-rock recording artist Emily Bezar were among
his first endeavors. More recently Steve has performed alongside saxophonists,
James Moody, John Handy, Josh Redman and Dave
Ellis. He’s also appeared with violinist Regina
Carter and fellow drummers Albert “Tootie”
Heath, studio legend Ndugu Chancellor and
Latin jazz guru Pete Escovido. Other credits include
NY guitarist Cheryl Bailey, and the bands Groove
Shop and Alphabet Soup. He has been a visiting
faculty member at the Stanford Jazz Workshop since 1988 and was educated
at California Institute of the Arts and Berklee College of Music.
Steve can currently be found working with The Joshi Marshall
Project and fronting his own band, Fractious Culture.
A collaboration with renowned Lebanese guitarist Tony Khalife
is under way, entitled “Desert Raga Jazz”, in which Steve
draws on a vast expanse of influences including jazz, Middle Eastern,
Indian and Gypsy cultures. Steve Rossi currently endorses D’Amico
g. reynolds ("ho-flow") | vocals
Angeles Times writer once wrote, that "HoFlow has the unique
bridge genres of hip hop and jazz with his lyrical style, content
and presence." HoFlows professional career as an artist took
off in 1995 with the powerhouse hip hop/jazz band Jungle Biskit,
of which he was an original member. His lyrical tone, high energy
performances, lyrical content and ability to engage the crowd have
always been a crowd pleaser. He has shared the stage with: Carlos
Santana, Salt n' Pepa, Christian McBride, Joshua
Redman, The Mingus Big Band, John Santos, Wu Tang
Klan, Felonious, Alphabet Soup, and many others. HoFlow's
own hip hop group, Bop City, will release their debut
CD in 2004. He is also an award-winning journalist at the Oakland
Tribune who inspires to one day win both a Grammy Award and a Pulitzer