The history of human rights, workers’ rights and political activism has been filled with and strengthened by music. I was born into a politically progressive, compassionate, and pro-labor family. Whether on trips or at home, we sing out! Many of the old labor and protest songs use well known gospel songs as their foundation, changing only the words in order to deliver their new message of justice and equality.
For a long time, I have wanted to record some of these “Justice Standards”. With the invaluable help of some of New York City’s top improvising musicians, this dream has become a reality. “Just Cause” is a band and recording filled with unbridled joy, passion, anger, and hope. It is infused with the strength and weight of the past, the burning urgency of the present, and the eternal hope for the future…
I think youre really going to like this one. –Rolf
Going To Study War No More
We Shall Not Be Moved
We Shall Overcome
Jody Espina maintains a busy performing schedule in the New York City area as a multi-instrumentalist. He has performed with Illuminatti, the Walter Thompson Orchestra, Feed The Meter, Mel Torme, Patti Page, the Charlie Persip Superband, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and many other notables. He works as a regular substitute on Broadway, and frequently records for TV, Films, and CDs. He is both a noted jazz educator and an entrepreneur. He is the coordinator of the Jazz Program at The Hoff Barthelson Music School, he’s an adjunct faculty at Concordia College and he’s the president of “JodyJazz Saxophone and Clarinet Mouthpieces”. Jody is also a featured columnist for “Sax on the Web”. Jody is a graduate of Berklee College Of Music.
Rob Henke records, works, and tours with many New York City bands including Dr. Nerve, Gary Lucas’ Fast and Bulbous, Diane Moser’s Composer’s Big Band, Illuminati, the Walter Thompson Orchestra, and The Henke/Sturm Duo. He has recorded numerous CDs as a leader on the Cunniform and M-cons East record labels. He can also be heard on dozens of recordings as a sideman. Additionally, he works as an actor with, and co-director of, the educational theater company Good Clean Fun. He has performed with The Likeable War Criminals, and has worked as playwright with the Strike Anywhere theater company.
Rolf Sturm is a NJ area guitarist who has performed and/or toured with country singer Eddy Arnold, the Argentinean tango group New York-Buenos Aires Connection, Blue Note drummer Billy Martin, the Grateful Dead big band Illuminati, the Walter Thompson Orchestra, and klezmer clarinetist Giora Feidman. He is a member of the Tony Trischka band. He leads his own NYC area band Feed The Meter and was the featured guitarist in Night Music for John Lennon under the baton of its composer, Lukas Foss. Rolf has toured North America and Europe, performing at the World Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany. He has performed on soundtracks for both film and television and has released numerous cd’s on the Water Street Music label. Rolf has also recorded dozens of CDs as a sideman, appearing on recordings with Glen Valez, Maggie Roach, Dave Douglas, Cameron Brown, Jorma Kaukonen, Steven Bernstein, and members of the Grateful Dead. Rolf graduated from Ithaca College, with a BFA in Jazz Guitar. He has studied with John Abercrombie, Jim Hall, Bill Frisell, and Joe Pass.
Percussionist and composer Scott Neumann is a Bartlesville, Oklahoma native. He is currently a member of the Tony Trischka Band and he leads his own group Osage County. He has toured or performed with the Jazz Mandolin Project (Accurate and Blue Note), Madeleine Peyroux (Atlantic), the Woody Herman Thundering Herd, the Anthony Cox Quartet, Brother Jack McDuff, Makoto Ozone, Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, Joey Calderrazo and the Maria Schneider Orchestra. Scott has recorded with various artists including Eddie Gomez, Kenny Werner, David Liebman and Claudio Roditi. He has also recorded numerous soundtracks for the movies and television and performed both on and off Broadway in productions of Swing, 42nd Street, City of Angels and Eli’s Coming. Scott has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from North Texas State University and he has studied with Peter Erskine and Marvin “Smitty ” Smith. Scott plays G.M.S. drums, Sabian cymbals and Aquarian drumheads.
Jim Whitney is a freelance bassist living in New York City. He has performed and/or recorded with The Wayfaring Strangers, The Andy Statman Trio, Brock Mumford, The Walter Thompson Orchestra, The Flying Neutrinos, David Grisman, Tony Trischka, Bruce Barth, Matt Glaser, Alan Dawson, Mark O’Connor, Ben Monder, and Darol Anger. Jim is also an educator and clinician. He held a teaching position in the Bass Department at Berklee College of Music from 1994 to 1998. He has appeared on numerous television and movie soundtracks, including the CBS children’s show “Blue’s Clues”. Jim was a prize winner at the 1993 International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition. He has a Master’s Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Dave Holland, David Walter, and Cecil McBee.