Ars Nova is a faculty membered contemporary jazz group that blends European classical music, Spanish flamenco, Brazilian samba and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. This exotic synthesis results from the diverse musical backgrounds of each band member and gives the music a distinct West Coast sound. By combining state of the art electronic instruments with acoustic guitar and piano, Ars Nova creates a rich, sonorous and current sound. Their sensitive ballads and other high energy originals impart a sophisticated atmosphere; vital,energetic, fun and romantic.
Steve Baker: Piano, synthesizers - Steve is the Chair of the Music Department at Grossmont College where he teaches piano and music theory. He has performed with artists such as Frankie Avalon, Charles McPherson and Mundell Lowe. He has opened concerts for Michael Franks, Little Anthony, Jack Mack and the Heart Attack, The Platters, The Coasters and the Diamonds.
Fred Benedetti: Guitars - Fred has performed with the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Opera, the Starlight Opera, the American Ballet company, Luciano Pavarotti and with jazz artist Dave Brubeck. Fred has studied with Celin and Pepe Romero, Christopher Parkening, and Andres Segovia. He is a professor of music and the head of the guitar department at Grossmont College. In the contemporary music field he has been an opening act for Basia, Ottmar Liebert, and Michael Franks and has recorded with Juice Newton, Paul Overstreet, Patty Loveless, Ronny Robbins & William Lee Golden. He also performs in the band "Blurring the Edges" with Peter, Tripp, and Hall Sprague..
James Morton: Drums - James teaches Drum Set and Rock and Roll History at Grossmont College. He began his career at the age of seventeen with a recording contract with Decca Records and has shared the stage with The Who, Ronnie Laws and Hal Robinson. James is the author of more than 12 books on drumming and percussion published by Mel Bay. He is a featured columnist with Modern Drummer magazine and is endorsed by major drum and cymbal manufacturers.
Doug Booth: Bass - A graduate of SDSU, Doug has performed extensively throughout California. He studied jazz guitar with Jack Conway in Palo Alto, and was elected to the Santa Clara County Honor Jazz band, as well as the California All-State Jazz band in 1978. Doug currently teaches guitar at Grossmont College and is a member of the highly successful rock and roll stage show, "Rockola."
Robert Williams: Flute - Robert was an instructor of music theory and music history at Grossmont College until accepting a position in the Poway School District as an instructor of woodwind instruments. Robert continues to perform as a flute soloist and member of several noted chamber ensembles in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas.
For more information on Ars Nova, or obtaining recordings of the group, please e-mail or contact Steve Baker directly at (619) 644-7254.