We know you are already excited to meet all of our band members. Let's get to the horns section. We'll start with our trumpeter, Eric!
Born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico - where the Tequila is made. Actually, did you know that only spirits that are made in this specific area and under very specific conditions are allowed to be called Tequila? I bet you thought Tequila was just a quick way to forget your own name, but it's actually quite a highly regulated drink.
Anyway, back to Eric, he studied Bachelors in Tec de Monterrey (Guadalajara) and then moved to the US to do his Masters in NYU.
Before the master's degree, Eric worked for the state government (in his words, he was "killing the beast from the inside, like Ron Swanson") and played in a mariachi band. By the way, did we mention that he is also a very talented lawyer? Another one of Any Gama's members who made the smart financial decision of not being a full time musician. It's also another reason why he's quite the asset to have in the team.
Eric is currently working at a law firm and making his roommate's life difficult with the trumpet. Seriously, trumpet practicing is the worst. Eric's roommate, whoever and wherever you are, we salute you!
Finally, if you want to add some fun to your life, Eric suggests that you type "mariachi" in Wikipedia. Just do it ;) If you want to follow Eric, do so on @gallizal
Third photo by Brandon M. Weber - @mrbmwonline
Another band member spotlight! Please meet our guitarist, Omri Floman. Omri was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. He picked up the guitar at the age of twelve. At that time he loved listening to classic rock bands such as The Beatles and Queen. In high school, he was hugely influenced by guitar giants such as David Gilmour, John Petrucci, Brian May and many more. It was only in later years that he got into Jazz.
Pursuing an academic training and a career in music, Omri was enrolled to the Academy of Music in Jerusalem, studying Jazz, but quickly decided after a semester to change his major to computer science, which was definitely a very smart financial decision on his part :) He now works as a software engineer for a big tech company, but still considers music as one of his greatest passions.
In 2014, Omri had a chance to relocate with work to New York, an opportunity which he grabbed without thinking twice. For the past 10 years he's been mostly performing with ad hoc bands, but is now finally super excited to be a part of such an interesting project as Any Gama.
I met Omri through a mutual friend, in a web of Israeli connections in New York which I fondly like to call The Israeli Mafia. The connection was immediate, and even though I wasn't especially looking for a guitarist, I simply couldn't pass on his talent. In the very first rehearsal Omri proved that he can grasp things quickly and create a whole new sound for the band, and since then he has become quite indispensable. He is also a great friend and a pleasure to work with.
A final tiny secret about Omri - he is a great eater. You'd never be able to see it on his thin figure, but this guy knows all the best restaurants and bars in town, and is always in charge of some post-show or post-rehearsal feast. His apetite for good food and good music goes hand in hand, which is a characteristic that he shares with many great musicians and artists in history.
Ladies and gents, please meet our bass guitar player, José A. Navia. José is a professional freelance musician, composer, and arranger coming to us from La Paz, Bolivia.
José studied at the National Conservatory in Bolivia, and played in many music festivals. He started touring professionally at the age 17 through Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, and of course in his own Bolivia. In 2010 he moved to New York, where he graduated in Music and Fine Arts from Hunter College (2015). Nowadays he plays regularly in the city in venues, such as Irving Plaza, Arlene’s Grocery, Webster Hall, Blackthorn, St. Vitus, The Fat Cat, and in events such as Rock the Yacht and off-Broadway musicals.
José has experienced many different sides of the music business, and all these experiences led him to develop his playing to a point where he is familiar with most styles of music and musical settings, being able to play anything from rock to Big Band, from heavy metal to jazz, pop, R&B, salsa, funk, or progressive metal, with equal ease and fluidity. This fluidity and flexibility is definitely very apparent when working with him, and it brings a lot to the table.
When asked how I met José, much like all those couples who meet on Tinder, I shy away from the question, and then finally mumble "we met online..." because actually, it's true, I found José through an app connecting musicians in New York. I was just an innocent lad back then, but we hit it off right away, and on the first date he took me to his home and we jammed on his bass and a little keyboard. The rest is history :) A virtuoso on the bass, José has an outstanding technique, and a deep awareness of the intricacies of his instrument. If the drummer is the tempo keeper of the group, the bassist's job is to keep the harmony in check, and José does it above and beyond expectations. We're very happy to have him in our midst.
Alright guys, let us tell you a three very important things you need to know about our upcoming show at the Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival 2018... 1. This is the sixth year this festival is running in New York! It started six years ago with one day and 50 acts. Now it's ten days (8/31 - 9/9) with 15 venues and more than 200 acts!
2. This monstrosity of a festival exists without any corporations or big money sponsors! Yep, you heard us right, it's totally DIY from beginning to end. With the help of websites like Artery - @artery.is - and the dedicated team at @bkwildlife, this event doesn't allow any corporate hands in the mix and focuses on what's important - high quality content with no branding or brainwashing at a just price for all people.
3. We will perform at Secret Project Robot - @secretprojectrobot (1186 Broadway, Brooklyn) on this Saturday September 8th at 11:40pm. We are super excited to perform just before one of our favorite bandfriends (check it out, it's a thing!), a group of wonderful people that go by the name of Noise Downstairs - @noisedownstairs. There are many other acts and shows going on in this event, and we can't wait to meet and hear all of them.
So, these three things are all the reasons you need to come and see us this Saturday, September 8th, 11:40pm at Secret Project Robot (1186 Broadway, Brooklyn). Let's show the love for the DIY community, the only community in New York that shows true love back to the artists!
So, now that we have a full two months of gigs and shows for you, we thought you would like to know a little more about us. From now on every week we'll highlight one of our most talented band members. So, without further ado... Please meet Emmanuel Penna, or as we call him, Manny. Manny came to us from Belem, Brazil, where he started playing drums at the age of twelve. By fifteen he was already working professionally with several bands and singers, played big festivals in Brazil such as Terrua Pará, Grito Rock, and Baiacool Jazz Festival, opened for bands like Matanza, Krisiun and Macaco Bong, and toured extensively around Europe.
Besides music, Manny's other passion is acting, and it wasn't long before he decided to move to New York City to pursue his acting career, studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and then moving on to appear in many Off-Off Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, especially doing Shakespeare, hence the serious look he always has on his face. Nah, just kidding, Shakespeare isn't serious, don't believe the press. And talking about faces, Manny is definitely the biggest face-maker in the group, with so many different expressions ranging from orgasmic to constipated. See if you can spot all of his various faces on our videos! :) Manny and I met while living in the dorms of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, sharing our mutual passion for music, and founding together what would later become the basis for Any Gama. His rock-steady rhythm and crazy ideas are invaluable to the group. You really can't have a good jazz band without a top-notch drummer, so it's very reassuring to have someone like Manny in every rehearsal, always on top and inside the music, guiding us all along.
If you want to follow Manny, go to his Instagram at @penna0492
First two photos by @elviralippe, third photo by @mrbmwonline
Any Gama is back from summer break! And we're coming down on you with a rain of gigs and shows!
8/31 - Friday 10pm - we're performing at the Connolly's bar and club, 14 E 47th St, New York
9/8 - Saturday - we're so excited to perform at the Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival #bwsf2018 . Our performance will be at 11:40pm, at Project Secret Robot, 1186 Broadway, Brooklyn! Thank you @bkwildlife for having us!
9/21 - Friday 10pm - we're performing at the West End Lounge, 995 West End Ave, New York
9/23 - Sunday - we're performing at Tha L. Spot Fashion Week 2018 event in the Roulette Theater, 509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn. Thank you @thalspotonline for having us! More details and times TBA!
9/29 - Saturday - we're performing at the Bushwick Open Studios Festival events both in the Unruly Collective - @unrulycollective and in Rubulad - @rub_ulad. Yep you heard me right, two shows at the same day! More details and times TBA!
10/19 - Friday 8pm - we're performing at The Nest, 504 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn
10/26 - Friday 7pm - we're performing at The Bitter End, 147 Bleecker St, New York
So many gigs! That's truly exciting. See you all soon!
Video music by bensound.com