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J and K South of the Border

Luis Bonilla, Luke Malewicz, Bruce Barth, Andy McKee, John Riley, Roberto Quintero

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As a young trombonist growing up in L.A., I was fortunate enough to see J.J. Johnson in person nearly a dozen times. J.J. In Person was also the name of the first Jazz record I’d ever heard. Needless to say, this was my tipping moment at wanting a life as a Jazz Trombonist, whatever that meant and still means. I just knew I wanted to play creative music for the rest of my life. As I ventured more into the music of J.J., I started coming across the fascinating recordings of J.J and Kai Winding. This eventually inspired me, along with my teacher Roy Main to form our jazz quintet. We called it Slide Area, a California thing, if you know what I mean. 

Years later, the Jazz life steered me towards a faculty position at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music where I had the fortune of meeting an eager, talented and hard working Luke Malewicz. After Luke graduated and moved back to Chicago, we always managed to stay in touch and became close friends. It didn’t take very long for ideas of playing together to come to fruition. We started with the Big Bad Bones Trombone ensemble then each got our big bands going and then the light turned on about celebrating the music of J & K with a twist. Our version of this music adds the gracious hands of Roberto Quintero on Latin percussion. Hence the title J and K: South Of The Border.

Luis Bonilla

Produced: Luis Bonilla and Luke Malewicz for SkyDeck Music

Executive Producers: Dave Lisik and Luis Bonilla

Recorded by Mike Marciano, December 13, 2016

at Systems Two Studios, Brooklyn, New York

Assisted by Max Ross

Mixed and Mastered July 28-31, 2018 by Ed Reed at Lighthouse Recording ,

Staten Island, New York

Cover Art by Chris Ellis

Layout and Design by Dave Lisik