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Bunny Brunel, Stanley Clarke, Kyle Eastwood, & Armand Sabal-Lecco Take Center Stage For An Unforgettable Night Of Bass!

Bunny Brunel, Stanley Clarke, Kyle Eastwood, & Armand Sabal-Lecco Take Center Stage For An Unforgettable Night Of Bass!

Courtesy Sheryl Aronson

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Tonight was the most beautiful jazz concert I have ever attended. Congratulations. True beauty is holy.
—Terran Steinhart
On January 19, 2024, legendary bassist Bunny Brunel headlined at the Catalina Jazz Club for his Bass Ball 2 CD release concert. The sold-out event featured iconic bassists Stanley Clarke, Kyle Eastwood, and Armand Sabal-Lecco, with performances by Larry Dunn and Kaylene Peoples. The night showcased bass virtuosity, surprise collaborations, and a captivating mix of jazz, blues, and Bossa Nova. Hosted by Kevin Foster and opened by Pat Prescott, the event received high praise and was an unforgettable evening for all.

Bunny Brunel & Friends Bass Ball 2 made its way to the Catalina Jazz Club on Sunset Blvd. for a once-in-a-lifetime night of music. Never have these four players (Bunny Brunel, Stanley Clarke, Armand Sabal-Lecco, & Kyle Eastwood) graced the same stage for a performance... and the audience was thrilled to be there to witness it. This night was filled with great collaborations with a variety of styles and techniques. Bunny Brunel and Stanley Clarke who are both known for their tenure with Chick Corea were pivotal in bringing the bass “upfront." Pioneers of the jazz-fusion bass movement, Brunel & Clarke helped pave the way for future bass players to carve their own niche in the industry. The performances that evening were epic, and several attendees remarked how distinctive each bassist’s sound was. One guest commented, “You could close your eyes and know who was playing.”

All Four Bass Players: (L-R) Kyle Easrwood, Armand Sabal-Lecco, Bunny Brunel, & Stanley Clarke; (Far Right) Percussionist Monette Marino

Larry Dunn, the original keyboardist for Earth, Wind & Fire, added to the musical feast, bringing his sound, filled with nostalgia to an adoring audience. Dunn’s performance was nothing short of brilliant. And Kaylene Peoples, a vocalist and flutist, charmed the crowd with her command of the stage, bringing another flavor entirely. As Peoples jokingly expressed before she performed, “I’m the treble amongst all this bass!” She, too, recieved fervent applause after her first stage appearance. The engaged audience was mesmerized by each performer. There was something very unique about this unexpected lineup. The personnel, featuring Mahesh Balasooriya on keys, Monette Marino on percussion, and DeCarlos Davis on drums, showcased a fusion of talent.

Keyboardist Larry Dunn

To kick off the show, TV Writer/Comedian (Monogamy) Kevin Foster warmed up the audience as anticipation brewed. He brought to the stage Pat Prescott, a popular radio host, expressed how important jazz and supporting live music is today. Then, bassists Bunny Brunel, Stanley Clarke, and Kyle Eastwood set the tone with the infectious grooves of “G-Blues," setting the crowd's anticipation for a night of musical grandeur. The spotlight remained firmly on the bass instrument, providing an innovative palette for musical expression. Larry Dunn joined Bunny Brunel and Stanley Clarke for a captivating performance of “Changing," which is slated as the first single from Bass Ball 2 and showcased Dunn's keyboard virtuosity. The dynamic duo of Stanley Clarke and Armand Sabal-Lecco then captivated the audience with a masterful interpretation of “La Caucion." Kaylene Peoples brought a touch of Romantic Bossa-Nova to the mix with her rendition of “Girl from Ipanema," accompanied by Bunny Brunel on bass.

Stanley Clarke and Armand Sabal-Lecco

The climax of the night was the “Bass Jam," where the four legendary bass players exhibited their technical prowess, melodic sensibility, and dynamic camaraderie on the electric bass. Honoring the iconic Chick Corea, Kaylene Peoples returned to perform a flute solo on Corea's “Spain." The grand finale featured Larry Dunn rejoining Stanley Clarke, Bunny Brunel, Kyle Eastwood, Armand Sabal-Lecco, and Kaylene Peoples for a jazzy rendition of “That's the Way of the World.

Kaylene Peoples performs “Spain” with Kyle Eastwood and Bunny Brunel

Attendees praised Bass Ball 2 and its legendary cast, with one remarking, “Tonight was the most beautiful jazz concert I have ever attended. Congratulations. True beauty is holy," said Terran Steinhart, an Attorney at Law. Journalist A. Scott Galloway added, “Truly an unforgettable evening of heartfelt joy, camaraderie, and low-end love." The enthusiastic crowd on January 19th included notables like fashion designer Kevan Hall, “Monogamy” Actress Chrystee Pharris, bassist Talmadge Hawkins, and Howard Johnson of “So Fine" fame. The event drew in a diverse audience, including Grammy-winning Phillip Aphillyated Guillory and the Executive Board of the Tuskegee Airman Scholarship Foundation.

Bass Ball 2, the brainchild of Bunny Brunel, follows the groundbreaking release of Bass Ball in 2017, the first-ever CD exclusively showcasing bass players. Co-produced by Stanley Clarke, the collaboration marked a historic moment for bass enthusiasts, thrusting the instrument into the forefront of musical expression. Bass Ball 2 released in 2023, features a stellar lineup, including Kyle Eastwood, Federico Malaman, Stanley Clarke, Armand Sabal-Lecco, Sekou Bunch, Josquin des Pres, Dominique di Piazza, and special guests Patrice Rushen, Larry Dunn, Kaylene Peoples, Virgil Donati, John Wackerman, Steve Ferrone, and countless other notable musicians. For more information about Bass Ball 2 and the complete lineup, visit bunnybrunel.com.

The concert was proudly supported by the promotional teams at First Take PR, Concerts.cafe, and Music Magique Promotions, with proceeds benefiting the Wounded Warriors Project.

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