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Extraordinary range and technical finesse
Chieli Minucci is both an influential elder statesman and true innovator.
Chieli Minucci . . . a fire-breathing dragon on guitar
Chieli Minucci’s seminal contemporary jazz super group Special EFX marks their thirty-fifth year of recording and touring in 2018 with the release of Deep as The Night, their twenty-first studio recording and the first celebrating their recent partnership with the Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm record label. The group formed in 1982 as the brainchild of guitarist Chieli Minucci and percussionist George Jinda. The combination of Minucci’s edgy and melodic, driving style and Jinda’s sense for temperament and rhythm struck a perfect balance, and the rise of a distinctive new and original sound that incorporated heavy percussive world elements fused with smart, energetic, playful, and memorable guitar lines was formed.
Minucci, now the leader and driving force behind the band, has recorded and performed over the years with some of pop music’s biggest: Celine Dion, Lou Reed, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Bolton, and Marc Anthony as well as some of the jazz genre elites, from Jeff Lorber to Kirk Whalum.
Saxophonist Eric Marienthal started his professional career in 1980 with famed New Orleans trumpeter Al Hirt. After returning to Los Angeles, Marienthal became a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band. He recorded six albums with that band and two of them won Grammy Awards. Six of the songs that Marienthal has recorded have made it to the top ten of the National Contemporary Jazz Radio Charts and two have made it to number one.
Karen Briggs, also known as the “Lady in Red,” is an American violinist performing predominantly in the jazz and contemporary instrumental genres. Best known for spending thirteen years on tour with contemporary instrumental musician Yanni, Briggs has performed or collaborated with well-known acts such as Dave Grusin, Diana Ross, the Wu Tang Clan, En Vogue, and Chaka Khan.
Keyboardist Lao Tizer is one of today’s rising stars of the world fusion genre. Tizer’s original music has spurred comparisons of a modern twist to the 1970s and early 1980s heyday of jazz fusion, garnering a multi-genre, multinational appeal.