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Dennis Gittens

Dennis Gittens, an East Coast native, grew up listening to the music in his grandmother’s music collection. The combination of Jazz and Salsa music in her collection influences him to this day. In 2001, he moved to New York, where he attended as many live jazz performances as he could, learning from each and every performer. His desire to sing like his jazz heroes took root in his 30s as he began to study the art of jazz. Soon, he was bringing his engaging style to audiences all over San Diego. He has also performed several times in NYC at places such as the world famous Smoke Jazz Club. Dennis tells a story with his vocals and is one singer to keep an ear open for!

Back to the Garden

History can be rewritten, but a song is forever. Back To The Garden embodies this truth by taking their audiences back in time through the songs of past years. Invariably, their concerts become mass sing-alongs, set to the soundtrack of the free-love era. Their inspiration comes from a heartfelt love for the music, and it is experienced on many levels, from primal to spiritual, by anyone who attends one of their shows. Talk to any member of Back To The Garden, you will be speaking to someone who's made major contributions to the music scene. As session and live players, they have backed artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Kenny Loggins, America, Kim Carnes, Juice Newton, Chaka Khan, Art Neville, BJ Thomas, The Everly Brothers, and many more. Back To The Garden is: "Cactus" Jim Soldi, Marc "Twang" Intravaia, Sharon Whyte, Larry Grano, and Rick Nash.

MUSICIAN Born:

The OGeeZ

Over the years neither L.J. Witter nor Steve Gerick realized that the other had musical ‘chops’ since they rarely discussed it. It wasn’t until Steve mentioned he played ‘some guitar’ and L.J. said “Hey, I sing a little” that a seed was planted that has grown into a fervent collaboration that has lasted more than a decade. In 2008, Steve and L.J. decided to create music together and produced their first studio album. The fact that both Gerick and Witter were well past middle-age, deciding on a name for the band was more of a problem than actually creating music. They settled on The OGeeZ, which in modern parlance could mean Original Gangsters, Old Geezers, etc

MUSICIAN Active since:

Sibarg Ensemble

“...An organic authenticity that reflects strong ties to both traditional Persian music and the improvisational aspect of jazz.” - Robert Bush, San Diego Troubadour. The Sibarg Ensemble explores a creative intercultural music making by combining the sounds of traditional Iranian music and jazz. Through original compositions, arrangements of classical melodies and folk songs, and structured improvisations, ensemble members draw on their own distinct musical backgrounds, while creating a unique dialogue with one another. With each performance, Sibarg sets out to create a sense of unity and peace while facilitating multiculturalism. Vocalist Hesam Abedini and kamancheh player Niloufar Shiri established the Sibarg Ensemble in 2008 at the Tehran Music Conservatory as the first university ensemble to combine Iranian and non-Iranian music

MUSICIAN Born:

Christopher Vitas

Christopher Vitas is an accomplished violinist in San Diego. He has performed with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Starlight Theatre, the Old Globe Theatre, Lamb‘s Players Theatre, Pacific Chamber Opera, San Diego Repertory Theatre and the Grand Ole Opry. He performs on record albums, CDs, motion picture soundtracks, and radio and television commercials. Chris has also shared the stage with Lyle Lovett, Robert Plant, Jimmie Page, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, the Moody Blues, Johnny Mathis, Frankie Lane, Tony Bennett, John Tesh, David Benoit, and more. Chris can be found in different concert venues performing around the San Diego area, such as the San Diego County Fair

Debora Galán

Spanish vocalist and song-writer Debora Galan has performed on both coasts of the United States as well as in Canada, Mexico, and Spain, covering a variety of genres including Latin, jazz, R & B and contemporary Christian music. Currently residing in San Diego, she performs frequently on the West Coast as a guest vocalist and with her own ensemble, Silk. The group features some of Southern California’s leading musicians. Before moving to San Diego, she began her professional career in Washington, D.C. in Latin jazz and salsa clubs, performing with top-ranked bands and opening for major artists. Galan’s first album as a leader, All About Love (2016) features ten original compositions exploring the various aspects of love, from enchantment to heartbreak

Tommy Aros

Percussionist Tommy Aros is an in-demand session percussionist who has played on well over 60 albums by artists as diverse as Freddie Hubbard, Al Dimeola, David Benoit, Dan Segel, Mark Lessman, Charo, Trini Lopez, Tom Barabas, Luis Miguel and many more. Although he may be best recognized for his work with Grammy Award winning superstar Luis Miguel, Tom is also well known as a member of popular San Diego based band Fattburger, and Brazilian all-star band Brasilia.


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