XD 7

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About The Band

 

"I first called together Pat, Xavier, Gabe, Kevin, Max, and John to read my tune “How Things Change”, along with some other arrangements I had written. From the first note, I realized that this group of guys had a truly unique sound. I knew that these guys were all great musicians, but the group came together in a way that was cohesive yet still truly reflected our personal sounds and influences. Sure, we all met at Manhattan School of Music as jazz performance majors, but jazz is not what defines XD 7. Each member of the band comes from a different musical and cultural background, and brings his own unique sound and personality to the music. Our music certainly highlights individuality and personal expression, yet to be successful in the context of a septet, a strong element of teamwork needs to be present as well. What I love about this band is that we each embrace each other’s perspectives, and the music feeds off of this collaborative energy. This collaborative spirit helps us push each other to reach beyond our comfort zones in our music: while the music definitely highlights our individual strengths, we all challenge each other to find personal connections in unfamiliar musical situations, because in the end, music is music, regardless of style or genre. XD 7 strongly embraces the concept that music is universal, so no matter what “genre” one of our tunes might be in, the sound is still uniquely   XD 7."

Jon Hatamiya

Jon Hatamiya 

Trombone

Trombonist, composer, and B.A.C. Endorsing Artist Jon Hatamiya is one of the most promising trombonists to come out of the Sacramento area and is rapidly making a name for himself on the New York Music scene. He was recognized in the August 1st, 2011 edition of Jet Magazine as the only trombonist on Wynton Marsalis’s list of “Who’s Got Next”, which highlighted the next generation of emerging jazz artists. Still early in his career, Jon has already performed with such artists as Dianne Reeves, James Moody, Seamus Blake, Dave Matthews Band, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, among others, and at venues such as Yoshi's SF and Oakland, the Jazz Standard in New York, the Monterey Jazz Festival, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Staples Center.

Patrick Bartley

Alto/Soprano Saxophone, EWI

Born and raised in Broward County, FL, woodwind player Patrick Bartley has been involved with music since he was 9 where he started playing clarinet before learning the saxophone at age 12. Patrick's influences come from a variety of places, including video game music, J-Rock/J-Pop, Hip-Hop/R&B, and Rock, but has found his primary voice through jazz. Patrick has performed/recorded with Mulgrew Miller, Victor Lewis, Melton Mustafa, Wynton Marsalis, and was a steady member of the Winard Harper Sextet. Now a student at the Manhattan School of Music, Patrick also hopes to someday move to Japan to play music and be a part of a new lifestyle.

"This group has really been liberating for me because it's really one of the few times I get to be as free as I want to express the musical ideas from every area of my influence, with guys that are both incredible musicians and my best friends. I couldn't ask for a better atmosphere to be in."

Patrick Bartley

Xavier Del Castillo

Tenor Saxophone

Xavier Del Castillo, born in Anaheim California, moved at the age of two with his family to the greater Seattle area where he spent the remainder of his childhood. In the fifth grade he discovered simultaneously the alto saxophone and the music of John Coltrane, inspiring a strong passion for music, especially jazz, and its powerful creative energy. This passion pushed Xavier to continue his musical studies throughout his teens with the help of private teachers, who include Tobi Stone, Neil Proff, Richard Cole and Mark Taylor. He attended Roosevelt High School in Seattle playing in the acclaimed jazz band there under the direction of Scott Brown, as well as participating in various musical projects led by fellow students such as Julian Garvue and Andy Clausen. Along the way he picked up the flute and clarinet and began to develop an individual compositional and improvisational voice. After High School, Xavier left for New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music and continue to pursue his musical prospects.

"From the very start nothing about XD7 has been forced or contrived. Everybody puts in their best effort and speaks honestly through the music. It's a band like no other and what comes out is truly special."

Xavier Del Castillo

Gabe Schnider

Guitar

Guitarist/composer Gabe Schnider is a sophomore at the Manhattan School of Music and an in-demand young talent in NYC. Gabe has performed with James Moody, Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, Kenny Burrell and Hubert Laws, among many others, at notable venues including The Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center, Staples Center Jazz Standard, The Jazz Gallery, Birdland, and the Monterey, Toronto, Montreal, Pittsfield and Cape May Jazz Festivals. Gabe actively records and performs nationally and locally with a variety of different ensembles and is also involved in film scoring.

"XD 7 has been a great opportunity to explore great new music and have a fun time playing with some top shelf musicians/good friends. I can always count on this group for a good time and a laugh (and sexy dance moves [jnsert Kevin link lol])!"

Gabe Schnider

Kevin Bernstein

Piano/Keyboards

Kevin Bernstein is a 21 year old New York City based pianist trying to build a reputation as a creative composer and diverse sideman. He’s performed at venues in NYC like Jazz at Lincoln Center and Caffe Vivaldi. He’s performed with seasoned players like Tony Dumas (Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock), Doug Webb (Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard), and Steve Cotter. Originally from sunny Ventura, California, Mr. Bernstein started taking classical piano lessons at age 8. He’s won a number of awards and scholarships including Finalist in the 2012 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards. Kevin moved to New York from Ventura in 2010 to attend Manhattan school of Music.

"Although XD 7 is a relatively new band, it feels like it's been around for years. Everyone feels comfortable with each other, musically and personally. Every member of the band is a great musician and contributes a positive force to the music. The energy is intense but open. I always look forward to rocking out with these guys."

Kevin Bernstein

Max Calkin

Bass Guitar/Upright Bass

Jack Black might not present himself as a likely influence for a lot of jazz students in New York City, but the fun and livelihood that he displayed in the movie "School of Rock" was enough to kickstart Max Calkin's lifelong passion for the music and the bass. Max was born and raised in a small town in New Hampshire where he received his first electric bass at age nine. He began playing professionally at age 13 at venues around New Hampshire. It wasn't until 2008 that Max was introduced to the upright bass, but he immediately fell in love with the instrument's sound. In 2010, Max moved to New York City to study Jazz Bass at Manhattan School of Music.

"XD 7 is one of my absolute favorite musical projects.  As a band and as a group of friends, there are few people in the world I feel more in sync with.  It is also worth noting that there are few musical 'pockets' that rival these grooves.  You can thank John Spencer for that."

Max Calkin

John Spencer

Drums

John Spencer has been playing drums since the age of 8. His interest for the instrument began after witnessing a 10-minute drum solo by Dennis Chambers at a Santana concert, and ever since then he has been hooked. After studying with different teachers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and performing at such notable venues as Yoshi's SF and Oakland, and the Monterey Jazz Festival, John moved to New York City and began pursuit of a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Manhattan School of Music. After one year of study under renowned jazz educator John Riley, John left Manhattan and decided to pursue music outside of the school setting. John is currently studying at The City College of New York and performing with various groups throughout the city. He enjoys long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, and Impressionist art.

"Playing in XD 7 has been a fun and exciting experience as well as an educational one. The musicians in this band are all incredibly dedicated to their craft and that pushes me to work harder too. I can't think of a more loving group of people to be a part of."

John Spencer

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