From 1998 to 2002 The Kokopelli Latin Jazz Ensemble was one of the most creative and popular groups in Southern California. KOKOPELLI performed for 6 years at Croce's Jazz Bar in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego. Festival appearances include: The Big Sur Jazz Festival, The Idyllwild Jazz Festival, and The Calle Diez Latin Festival. They have opened up for Eddie Palmieri, Pancho Sanchez, Arturo Sandoval, Jane Bunnet and The Spirits of Havana. The group became inactive in 2004 when drummer Skip Howlett was diagnosed with brain cancer and subsequently pianist Turiya Mareya moved to Europe. This CD documents the group at the height of their creativity and power. "La Luz Eterna" features original music by Turiya Mareya and one track composed by her mentor and teacher Daniel Jackson. It was recorded live at San Diego City College in 2002 as part of their "Jazz Live" weekly series. This is the legendary group at it’s finest and is the first of a series of 3 CD’s documenting the groups spiritual, powerful and healing music.
The music is being release on Jazz Label and is available at Café Press ) Contact Turiya Mareya
TURIYA MAREYA began studying Jazz at 15 years of age. She was originally mentored by San Diego Jazz legend Daniel Jackson, Mareya followed his example by becoming proficient on both piano and reeds and focusing on playing her original compositions. She continued her work in New York, studying at the Creative School of Music with The Art Ensemble of Chicago and studied privately with Joseph Jarman. Later she toured Mexico with the Tambu International Ensemble. All of those experiences help mold her unique approach based on World Music influences and drawing on the trance inducing and spirit calling focus of African and Indigenous approaches to music. She honed her abilities in Latin Jazz heading the Kokopelli Latin Jazz Ensemble. She also heads the Juneau Latin Jazz Project in Alaska and recently returned from Madrid where she was living, performing and teaching. She is currently based in Toronto Canada.
DAVID MILLARD performs on alto sax, Alto flute, C flute, Piccolo, Guitar and Cello. This original and innovative musician is known for his unique and passionate style. San Diego born he studied guitar in Spain and also worked in New York, Texas and Mexico. In San Diego he has worked with Tambu, Daniel Jackson and Jaime Moran and countless others.
SKIP HOWLETT plays drums and timbales. This internationally known artist was based for 20 years in New York. He has worked with Mongo Santamaria, Dave Valentin, Jorge Dalto and Xavier Cugat, Poncho Sanchez and Tito Puente. He was an original member of Jerry Gonzalez's Fort apache Band. After moving to San Diego he quickly was in demand for his technical skills and prowess as a soloist and became known as one of San Diego's most respected and hardest working Latin Jazz Artists. Currently Skip is in the last stages of terminal cancer.
RUSSEL BLAKE has been performing professionally since the age of twelve. Thus far, he has Performed/ Toured/ Taught in Twenty-Two Countries on Four Continents He has developed a technique, which he calls the Melodius-Chordal Technique. He currently has 422 pieces within his repertoire encompassing Classical, Spanish Classical, Jazz Classical, Brazilian, Latin & Pop Music Idioms. He has performed with many world class Artists including: Hugh Manacle, Sonny Rollins, Mongo Santamaria, Winton Marshals and Pharaoh Sanders.
STEVE FEIERABEND is one of San Diego's most respected artists who has just released his debut CD Revolving Doors. He received a master in Music from Brown University and presently teaches at San Diego State. He is a hard working sideman and is know for his master of his instrument and passionate soloing. He has released two CD’s and is currently living and working in San Francisco.
IRVING SOTO performs on congas. He is originally from New York and has performed with Charlie Palmieri, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea and Ishmael Quintana. He has a powerful and crowd pleasing style.
IGNACIO ARANGO was born in Havana Cuba where he studied at one of Havana's most prestigious Music Conservatories. He played with the Tropicana Cabaret Orchestra for 10 years and toured Europe and Mexico. Most recently in Cuba he was recording with the Havana Radio and Television Orchestra. In the USA he toured for 2 years with Giant People and has performed with Kokopelli, Unidos and Samba Brasil in San Diego. He is currently one of the most in demand bassists in Southern California. DANIEL JACKSON is a Southern California Jazz legend. Born in La Jolla in 1937, Daniel Jackson has been studying, teaching, and playing jazz music in San Diego for many years, except when he’s been touring the world-playing saxophone in the big bands of Ray Charles, Buddy Rich, and Art Farmer. He is a jazz purist, acknowledging and respecting jazz music’s spiritual ability to move and transform. He also plays piano, and can be seen playing jazz gigs throughout San Diego.