The Cincinnati-based duo of guitarist Brad Myers and bassist Michael Sharfe focuses on their special chemistry and the conversational dialogue that is at the core of all of the best Jazz music. Whether happily swinging four to the bar, bubbling through a bouncy island-flavored Latin groove, or tugging at your heart strings with a poignant ballad, these guys play music that resonates with the audience on many levels. In 2017, this dynamic duo have released a stunning and beautiful CD called Sanguinaria (Hopefulsongs) that focuses on the dialogue and interplay between guitar and bass in both duo and trio settings. It is a dynamic and balanced release that straddles the fertile valley between tradition and modernity. It is an intimate yet balanced release that straddles the fertile valley between the old and the new, and the critics love it.
“Sanguinaria (Hopefulsongs) is a master class in how important feel and emotion are to Jazz…the album’s directness and raw presentation is highly refreshing and the artistry in the performances is consistently riveting.”
— Mike Breen, Cincinnati CityBeat
Playing music since the age of 6, the remarkable composer/guitarist Brad Myers decided to pursue transcendence through jazz expression at the age of 13. That purity of spirit and joy of creativity has been at the core of his artistry throughout his musical life. After more than 20 years as a much sought after sideman, recording artist, producer, and co-directing a variety of acclaimed ensembles that crossed the boundaries of multiple musical genres, Brad has decided to emerge as a leader. The 2015 release of Prime Numbers, the first album released on his own label, Colloquy Records, is a stunning showcase for his brilliant talents as both composer and guitarist. Prime Numbers earned worldwide praise from critics and jazz radio alike, including “4 Stars” from Downbeat Magazine and rotation on PRI’s Jazz After Hours program. The 2017 release of Sanguinaria (Hopefulsongs) is the next phase of his journey as an artist.
Since moving to Cincinnati, OH in 1994 to study jazz guitar, Brad has shared the stage with a variety of top names including John Scofield, Stanley Jordan, Victor Wooten, Bela Fleck, Hammond Artist Brian Charette, the Cincinnati Pops, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and many more. He was a featured guest soloist playing the “part” of Cal Collins in Nancy James and Carmen DeLeone’s A Salute to Rosemary Clooney; and he performed with Pernell Santurnini in a live broadcast from the renowned percussionist’s native Curaçao. Brad recently recorded with Fareed Haque and the CCM Jazz Orchestra in a big band recording of pieces from the guitar great’s band, Garaj Mahal, and then premiered the music live with him at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center in NYC. He is currently on the Jazz and Commercial Music faculty at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where he teaches Jazz guitar and Music Business.
Continuing to create on an eclectic canvas, Brad is heavily involved in Cincinnati’s diverse music scene – as a member of Steve Schmidt’s Organ Trio for the past six years; wielding a telecaster with the country/honky tonk group Jeremy Pinnell & the 55s; playing Western Swing music with The Midwestern Swing; performing progressive original jazz with The David McDonnell Group; the music of Steely Dan with the 10 piece supergroup Aja; and funky experimental jazz with Ray’s Music Exchange, with whom he produced five CD’s and one live concert DVD.
In four decades of playing, native Cincinnatian Michael Sharfe has established himself as the premier jazz bassist of the Cincinnati region. His talent, passion, versatility and restless musical curiosity have led to appearances on more than 250 CDs and 150 vinyl discs, from jazz in all its forms to Latin to pops orchestras, Broadway shows, R&B, gospel, film scores and all the way through pop music.
While performing regularly throughout the Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana region, Sharfe also directs a thriving weekend jazz series at Cincinnati’s Washington Platform. Sharfe founded the series to fill a void in the city’s musical scene, building it into a regular weekend series in which he hosts and books a cross-section of jazz styles and performers, from established veterans to young lions.
A founding member of the Blue Wisp Big Band, a jazz institution in Cincinnati for 37 years, Sharfe continues to perform and record with the group, including a 2016 public-television concert featuring trumpeter Terrell Stafford. He’s also the longtime bassist for the composer-driven PsychoAcoustic Orchestra, led by pianist/composer Pat Kelly, whose most recent CD is 2016’s Fun With Notes. His regular appearances with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra led him to an association with Michael Feinstein; work with Rosemary Clooney; recordings with John Pizzarelli, the Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices; and a featured performance with Mercedes Ellington at Carnegie Hall for the Pops’ 1999 celebration of Duke Ellington’s centenary.
In Cincinnati, in addition to the duo/trio work with Brad Myers showcased on Sanguinaria, he is a guiding voice in several small jazz ensembles, including Mambo Combo, a six-piece Cuban-inflected Latin jazz group; Pan Vibe, playing jazz for steel drum and vibes; Retro Nouveau, playing post-bop a la John Coltrane; and Trio Pi (Plus One or Two), dedicated to deep grooves and swing. In his 2014 CD The Sideman Theory, Sharfe reflected on his musical life as a consummate sideman and a long career performing and recording with luminaries and legends.
THE SANGUINARIA TRIO & OUTREACH
PRAISE FOR SANGUINARIA (HOPEFULSONGS)
“…their chemistry is immediate and highly empathetic, in the tradition of (Jim) Hall’s duets with Ray Brown and Red Mitchell. Highly recommended for guitar aficionados.” — Bill Milkowski, The Absolute Sound
— Paul Allaer, Vine Voice/amazon.com
“Drawing on a broad range of musical inﬂuence, Myers and Sharfe have created a collaboration with an expansive sonic palette grounded in rich melody. Their tunes are both sophisticated and accessible, leaving audiences delighted and with a feeling of having shed some emotional baggage along the way.” — Joshua Steele, Manager Memorial Hall
“…the melodies they create together are unusually seamless — it’s almost as if one musician found a way to play both instruments at the same time.” — Marc Phillips, The Vinyl Anachronist
“This is a disc for a retro night in the back parlor, an evening for bringing the last of the beatniks to meet the first wave of hippies for a fond reminiscence of the way things used to be for all too short a time.” — Mark S. Tucker, Veritas Vampirus
“★★★★ 1/2…Outstanding arrangements for guitar & bass duo rooted in classic jazz and Midwestern Americana aesthetic. Sanguinaria is a superb achievement, a verified double-flowering and worthy of a large audience.” — Fritz Balwit, Audiophile Audition
“Tasty up market listening that throws Jim Hall into the future…” — Chris Spector, The Midwest Record
“…a very lyrical and deeply intimate atmosphere exists in each (piece).” — Leonid Auskern, Jazzquad
“Sanguinaria blew me away! Friendly and lovable out of the box…Definitely the kind of music you’ll want to share with friends.”
— Jann Nyffeler, radio host, Jazz90.1, Rochester, NY