Javier Ojeda is a guitarist and producer from Bogotá, Colombia. Since his early years as a guitar player he has shown a diverse and passionate style, being recognized as a powerful live performer, composer and session guitarist.
Ojeda’s main project is Burning Caravan, a Gypsy/Rock band made up by musicians from France, Chile, and Colombia. With one EP and 2 full length albums (En el Espacio and Las Historias de los Hombres) this band has a great international prospective. They had toured Europe and had supported live shows to Emir Kusturica and the No Smoking Orquestra; The 5, 6, 7, 8’s from Japan; Dunkelbunt; and Asian Dub Foundation. As a producer, Ojeda had worked hand to hand with Mario Breuer, a well-known sound engineer from Argentina who had participated in many of the most influential recordings in Latin America (Soda Stereo, Charly García, Fito Paez, Andrés Calamaro, Mercedez Sosa).
Since 2006, Ojeda has been a dynamic component of a project called “Classicstone” which produces tribute shows to Queen, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Jesus Christ SuperStar. This band had the recognition of being the best Beatles Tribute Band in Latin America and had the chance to perform at The Cavern, in Liverpool, as well as in many other countries. Since 2014 Classicstone has been performing at Abbey Road on The River, in Louisville Kentucky.
Ojeda's main influences are George Harrison, Brian Setzer, Chet Atkins, and Django Reinhardt. The Gretsch Boxcar guitar has become a fundamental part of Javier’s sound, mixing up different styles and genres like blues, country, gypsy, balkan, and latin sounds to produce a unique way of playing the guitar that will continue to evolve in all the years to come.
Vinnie Colaiuta is a highly regarded drummer based in Los Angeles. Originally from Brownsville, Pennsylvania, he began playing drums as a child and received his first full drum kit from his parents at the age of 14. After attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston for a year, Colaiuta relocated to Los Angeles and made a mediocre living playing with lounge bands. His break came in April 1978 at the age of 22, when he auditioned for Frank Zappa. The audition was successful and Colaiuta went on to work with Zappa as his principal drummer for studio and live performances.
After leaving Zappa, Colaiuta went on to work with a long list of notable rock and pop artists, including Gino Vannelli, Joni Mitchell, Barbra Streisand, Sandy & Junior, Clannad, Wang Chung, Chaka Khan, and Jeff Beck. He has also appeared with many notable jazz musicians, including Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Haslip, Quincy Jones, the Buddy Rich Big Band and Buell Neidlinger.
In 1990, Colaiuta successfully auditioned for the drum spot in Sting's touring band in support of his album The Soul Cages. Colaiuta remained as a member of Sting's band for the next seven years. Colaiuta's studio work with Sting can be heard on Ten Summoner's Tales (1993), Mercury Falling (1996), three songs on Brand New Day (1999) and two songs on Sacred Love (2003). In September of 2003, Vinnie returned to Sting's touring lineup in a brief promotional tour of Sacred Love.
Colaiuta released a self-titled solo recording in 1994, and remains one of the most in demand studio musicians playing on countless albums, film soundtracks, TV and radio jingles. He has won a total of 18 “Drummer of the Year” awards from Modern Drummer magazine's annual reader polls. These include 10 awards in the “Best Overall” category. Colaiuta was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1996. The publication also cited Colaiuta as being the most important drummer of our time.
More recently, Colaiuta recorded and toured with Faith Hill, recorded with the thrash metal outfit Megadeth on their album The System Has Failed, and has most recently toured with Sting, Jeff Beck and Herbie Hancock.
EVENTS & MORE:
Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention
The annual Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) Convention takes place in Nashville from July 13 to 16 at the Sheraton Music City. Join the fun and help celebrate the music of "Mr. Guitar"...legendary studio musician, performer, recording artist, producer, and record executive. While in Nashville, make sure to visit American Beauty and Sound: Guitars From the Bachman-Gretsch Collection at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The exhibit ends July 17.
Summer NAMM SHOW
The 2016 Summer NAMM Show concluded on June 25. Check out the Bigsby Vibrato post-show wrap-up story and photos.
CHECK THIS OUT!
The Gretsch Drum Book
The Gretsch Drum Book is the work of Rob Cook—one of America’s best-known drum historians and the producer of the legendary Chicago Custom & Vintage Drum Show. With the invaluable assistance of researcher John Sheridan, Rob details the fascinating story of Gretsch Drums and the Gretsch Musical Instrument Company. It’s a story that’s inextricably linked to the history of the Gretsch Family—a history that spans 130 years and four generations. A foreward by Fred W. Gretsch adds a personal element to the family connection.
Get your copy of a special limited edition Gretsch Drum Book at GretschGear.com.
Find More Gretsch Community Events HERE.
Recap of Recent Events
Visit our RECAP page for details of other Gretsch events from 2015, 2014, and earlier.
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Remembering Louie Bellson
Louie Bellson was a legendary clinician and educator. The eternal student himself, he was always eager to share his knowledge and his skills with young drummers. And on top of everything else, Louie was an innovator. His vision of what a drumset could be literally revolutionized the design of the instrument, blazing a trail that would be followed by generations of creative drummers. And when Louie first sought to turn his vision into reality, he turned to the Gretsch Drum Company.
Chet Atkins’ Little Black Book (of Songs)
From the outside, it looks like an everyday, ordinary pocket-sized memo book. The kind you can still buy at any office supply store. Its black leather cover is worn around the edges and it’s scuffed from years of being put in coat pockets, briefcases, suitcases – and even guitar cases. Just like the man who bought it, the book’s cover is understated and unassuming. But once opened, you’re given a fascinating glimpse into the musical journey of the book’s original owner: Chet Atkins.
MORE GRETSCH NEWS!
American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection
OPEN THROUGH JULY 17!
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville, TN is exploring the history of the guitar with an exciting exhibition of "...the largest collection of stringed instruments ever displayed by the museum" which "marks the first time this collection has been made available to the public." Learn more.
Some exciting and fun programs are happening throughout the exhibit.
Gretsch Guitar Demonstration: Richard Smith, July 13, 1:00 p.m.
Gretsch Guitar Demonstration: Guy Van Duser, July 14, 1:00 p.m.
Creative Zone: Embellished Instruments: Gretsch Style. Drop in between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on July 15.
Gretsch Guitar Demonstration: Pat Kirtley, July 15, 1:00 p.m.
Musical Celebration to Send Off the Bachman-Gretsch Exhibit: The Gretsch Sound: A Guitar Pull with Tommy Emmanuel, Eddie Pennington, Joe Robinson, and Striking Matches, July 16, 2:00 p.m. To be live streamed.
Gretsch Bass Demonstration: Tom Petersson, June 23. Watch NOW.
Gretsch Fred & Joe Show: The Story of the Gretsch Guitar with Fred Gretsch & Joe Carducci, June 24. Watch NOW.
Songwriter Session: Lindsay Ell, June 25. Watch NOW.
Beatles Gear: The Gretsch Invasion with Andy Babiuk, June 25. Watch NOW.
German Guitar Heroes
Read Fred Gretsch's examination of an important part of history not properly being represented.