T Lavitz – Namba Gear Featured Artist

T Lavtiz After Show Reaching in his Namba Bag for the Special Autograph PenNAME:  T Lavitz (Keyboard Magazine’s “Jazz Keyboardist of the Year” & six-time Grammy nominated recording artist)

LOCATION:  Boston, Massachusetts

WEBSITE:  http://www.tlavitz.net/ and www.myspace.com/tlavitz

FAVORITE MUSIC SOFTWARE: Steinberg’s Cubase4 (with an M-Audio 1010LT)

Namba Gear: Kava Laptop Studio Bag

BRIEF BIO: Studied at the University of Miami (Coral Gables, Fl) after graduation from the Interlochen Arts Academy.

Was “Plucked” from student body by the rapidly-gaining-deserved-attention band the “Dixie Dregs”  As keyboardist for the “Dixie Dregs”, this led to recognition as “Best New Talent” and “Jazz Keyboardist of the Year” in Keyboard Magazine’s readers poll, 6 GRAMMY nominations and many other extraordinary experiences. To this day there are still occasional “Dregs” tours; although short in duration they still remind me of why we garnered so much acclaim pre internet!

I’m a founding member of Jazz is Dead which originally featured Billy Cobham on Drums.  Fellow “Dregs” band mate Rod Morgenstein had taken over for Billy and joined our group around 1999-2000. Also, played/toured and/or performed in “Widespread Panic“, “Jefferson Starship“, Pat Benatar“, “Joe Pass” , “Mother’s Finest” and countless others.

Latest CD as a leader is called ‘School of the Arts” which features Dave Weckl, John Patitucci, Frank Gambale, Steve Morse and Jerry Goodman.  It peaked at #2 on XM Radio’s Jazz Airplay chart around April 25th 2008.

Next up is the position of “Artistic Director” at the Berklee College of Music’s “Rock Workshop” 5 week summer program. I also have a brand new book/CD which has just been released by Hal Leonard.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECT, RECORDING, OR PERFORMANCE: On September 22nd (not necessarily the latest, but it was cool!) a featured performer on “Moogfest” at B.B. King’s nightclub in Times Square, NYC.  This is set up yearly by his foundation in commemoration of the late, great Robert (Bob) Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizers.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT YOUR NAMBA GEAR BAG? For one thing, although perhaps designed with a specific purpose of toting a laptop and external drives, etc.  I have already used my Kava Laptop Studio Bag for something completely different; a hip carry on bag that not only looked stylish but allowed me to still bring important items on an international trip, that I didn’t want to check with the baggage service.  I put in things like extra eyewear (can’t function too well without them), iPod, cell phone, compact camera, and the millions of cables and connectors I seem to also bring.  Since I was leaving the country, I brought some of the new kind of cables that snap apart and perform multi purpose functions as well.

 TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE REMOTE RECORDING LOCATION. Again, back to the latest project, my CD “School of the Arts” was done completely remote.  I wrote the music and then sent full band demos (I “played” drums, bass and guitar to help show how the music should sound after the afore mentioned musicians played on it. As I had hoped, they all brought it to life, one guy at a time.

The important thing to note here (in my opinion) is that now it isn’t just straight 1/6th note straight ahead funk, dance or whatever, but JAZZ with TONS of IMPROVISATION can be made remotely, if you have the right guys.  SO many times when I record(ed) in a typical studio setting, I would wear headphones and not see the other players anyway, so really…if you put your mind to it, it isn’t all that strange after all!

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