Instrumental Jazz Band
Abraham Laboriel is a bassist who has played on over 4,000 recordings and soundtracks. Guitar Player Magazine described him as "the most widely used session bassist of our time."
Abraham was born in Mexico City. Originally a classically trained guitarist, he switched to bass guitar while studying at the Berklee School of Music. Henry Mancini encouraged Abraham to move to Los Angeles, California and pursue a recording career.
Since then, he has worked with artists as diverse as Donald Fagen, Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, Dave Grusin, Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Billy Cobham, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Ray Charles, Madonna, Paul Simon, Andrae' Crouch, The Winans, The Crusaders, Keith Green, Quincy Jones, Umberto Tozzi, Ron Kenoly, Chris Isaak, Paul Jackson Jr., Alison Krauss, and Michael Jackson.
In 2005, Abraham was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the Berklee College of Music.
Abraham was a founding member of the bands, Friendship and Koinonia. He now is a member of "Open Hands" with Justo Almario, Greg Mathieson and Bill Maxwell.
Justo Almario is a native of Colombia, reedman, clinician, composer and arranger. He has fused Latin, Afro-Cuban, South American, Funk and Jazz genres into his own humble offering. Justo studied at the prestigious Berklee School of Music before a stint with Mongo Santamaria as the band’s musical director.
Justo has performed with Patrice Rushen’s Grammy Awards Orchestra, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Ayers, George Duke, Tito Puente, Koinonia, Dave Grusin, Ndugu Chancler, Alex Acuna, Abraham Laboriel, TOLU, Donald Vega, Harold Land Jr. Al Mckibbon, Master P, Bebe Winans, Queen Latifah, Charles Mingus, Chaka Kahn, Linda Rondstadt, Herb Alpert, Bobby Shew, John Heard, Lorca Hart, Billy Higgins and “Jose Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side All-Stars.” Always in demand, Justo’s complete list of credits and Grammy award recordings are simply too extensive to mention.
John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bach, Bartok and Debussy are among Justo’s primary influences. After evolving from child protégé to virtuoso, Almario taught at the Henry Mancini Institute and has mentored inner city youth during workshops at the World Stage.
A multi-instrumentalist of the highest caliber, Justo has mastered the soprano and tenor saxophones, clarinet and flute. Justo thoroughly engages his listeners with rhythmic, call and response interludes. Although he is extremely appreciative, this modest wind wizard frequently deflects any accolades, opting instead to thank folks for merely showing up and sharing. This is paramount to a keenly sensitive artist who warmly connects with his audience on so many levels.
Justo was featured on Let’s Get Loud, a Jennifer Lopez DVD. He also appeared on “Ahora Si," a CD by Israel Lopez “Cachao” that garnered two Grammys. No stranger to Hollywood, Justo was heard on the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film Sideways. In addition, Justo is featured on Andy Garcia's recent movie release The Lost City and on Romance and Cigarettes, produced by John Turturro and starring Susan Sarandon and James Gandolfini.
He has also produced and recorded on Tolu’s Grammy-nominated CD “El Bongo de Van Gogh.” Justo’s latest CD, “Love Thy Neighbor,” features his quartet playing original compositions as well as rare standards.
Justo cut his teeth, living in New York, before traveling widely throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Justo is now a member of "Open Hands" with Abraham Laboriel, Greg Mathieson and Bill Maxwell.
Justo's music will continue to heal and inspire. A devoted family man, Justo’s spiritual path nurtures both his creative journey and his warm compassion as a human being.
Tim Carmon is an American keyboard player. He was born a preacher’s son in Washington, D.C. Carmon grew up immersed in the church. He began playing piano in the fourth grade and by the age of 12 was organist for three different churches, including his father’s. His career led him to California. Carmon became known for his musical versatility. This quickly placed him in great demand by artists in a variety of genres.
The roster of musicians with whom Carmon has performed, toured, written or produced is lengthy: Eric Clapton, Babyface, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Queen Latifah, Marcus Miller, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Gladys Knight, B.B. King, Jamie Foxx, Earth Wind and Fire, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Michael McDonald, Mary J. Blige, David Sanborn and more.
In addition to playing keyboards, Carmon is a drummer, singer and music producer. He is an alumnus of the Duke Ellington School of Arts. Carmon worked with Eric Clapton on MTV’s Babyface Unplugged and also toured with Eric.
He provided arrangements, piano and keyboards for the film adaptation of Dreamgirls with R&B producers, The Underdogs, and he took part in the 50-year revision of “Lady Sings the Blues”.