Equally at home in both jazz and latin guitar styles, Brian Moran is one of the Bay Area’s more versatile and accomplished musicians. Since graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1998, Brian has made the San Francisco Bay Area his home, where he maintains an active performance and teaching schedule.

Brian began his study of the guitar in 1987, beginning with rock guitar, and later focused exclusively on jazz for 10 years, in which time he led the Blowout Sextet, composing and performing original music and releasing the CD “The Supporting Theory” to rave reviews. Since 2001, Brian has dedicated much of his time to the study of 7 string jazz guitar, Spanish and Brazilian guitar, Brazilian cavaquinho and bandolim; and includes classical, Brazilian music, and flamenco in his diverse repertoire. He was nominated as a “Latin Jazz Guitarist of the Year” in 2011 by Latin Jazz Corner. He is a founding member of the Bay Area’s “Grupo Falso Baiano”, a project dedicated to Brazilian choro and samba music.

He has traveled to Spain and Brazil three times studying with Choro Rasgado guitarist Alessandro Penezzi and Marco Bertaglia, author of O Violao de 7 Cordas. In Feb of 2007 and Feb of 2008, Brian attended the 3rd and 4th annual Festival Nacional do Choro in Sao Paulo state, where he studied with some of  the top choro musicians from Rio and Sao Paulo, including Mauricio CarrilhoLuciana RabelloPedro Amorim and more.

Brian was a 2014 faculty member of The California Brazil Camp, a 2012 faculty member at JazzCamp West, has given workshops at the South Bay Guitar Society’s annual Guitar Festivals on the subject of Brazilian choro guitar styles, and has taught choro ensemble classes and workshops at the JazzSchool in Berkeley CA. Grupo Falso Baiano — the choro ensemble he co-founded — was twice awarded a grants by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music to help produce their second CD Simplicidade: Live at Yoshi’s., as well as their as-of-yet-unnamed 3rd CD, currently in production.

Brian is the lead instructor for the new instructional website StrumSchool, which focuses on teaching guitar to absolute beginners. It features videos, articles, blogs, and more. He also has content on the subject of choro guitar at RiffTime.

Brian’s instructional articles have been published in Acoustic Guitar Magazine (Dec 08, July 09, Nov 10).

Notable work includes performances with Brazilian guitarists Romero Lubambo,  Alessando PenezziRogerio Souza and  Ricardo Peixoto, jazz guitarists Howard Alden,  Bruce Forman and Mundell Lowe, and many others such as Jovino Santos Neto, Harvey Wainapel, Jorge AlabeTed Falcon,  and actor/improviser Timothy “Speed” Levitch (Waking LifeThe Cruise).

He has lent his talents as a recording artist to many projects, produced music for the openings of photographers Annie LiebowitzRuth Bernhard, painter Robert Bechtle, performed at the San Francisco, San Jose, and Healdburg Jazz Festivals, SFJAZZ, SFMOMA, LACMA, appeared on television and in theatre, and has composed and conducted for numerous other projects including The Alamo, and The Dallas Museum of Art. Bruce Forman calls him a “thorough musician who has spent a great deal of time assimilating the wealth of Jazz history and has found a wonderfully personal way of expressing himself”.

He currently plays with Grupo Falso BaianoJorge Alabe and Grupo Samba Rio, and as a leader and sideman in various other jazz, blues, and world music groups.

JONATHAN ALFORD – PianoJonathan Alford

Jonathan started playing the piano at 5. He studied classical piano at the University of Wisconisn and privately with Julian White .Mostly self-taught, he began studying jazz at the age of 25 with Mark Levine and a few years later entered the Latin music world, learning the rudiments of the latin style with the late piano legend Carlos Federico.

Bay Area native Jonathan Alford’s latin chops were honed by 12 long years playing piano in the salsa trenches – though he fondly recollects his days changing, Superman-like, from his postal worker’s uniform into his gig duds. His reputation for honest, melodic and harmonically modern compositions and accompaniment has drawn a vast array of singers to him.

Jonathan has been a regular on the SF Bay Area music scene for 20 years. He has performed and recorded with such local talents as singers Jenna Mamina, Maria Marquez, Elaine Lucia, Daria, Roberta Donnay as well as Bobby Hutcherson, Bud Shank, David Sanchez  and others. He has played at the SF and SJ Jazz Festivals  among others, as well as stints in France and Italy with various artists. As a latin pianist Jonathan has been fortunate to have shared the stage or recorded with some of the greats in latin percussion, Orestes Vilato, Armando Peraza, Francisco Aquabella, John Santos, Pete Escovedo as well as Chocolate Armenteros, the Machete Ensemble, Santana, Alexa Weber Morales and Julius Melendez.

Jonathan’s gorgeous collaborative album of 2011 is with Orestes Vilató, Sheldon Brown, Omar Ledezma Jr., Maria Marquez and David Pinto. http://azesu.bandcamp.com/