ALEGRIA, made up of Charlottesville residents, brings a little bit of the sexy, sensous world of Spanish and Latin music to local events with their engaging mix of Brazilian, Cuban, Carribean, Spanish Flamenco, and American jazz standards.
ALEGRIA guitarist Peter Richardson fluently blends American, European and Latin Jazz styles, peppering his solos with surprise flourishes from Classical, Flamenco, and Gypsy Swing music. While attending high school at the Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, he began playing with several DC-area jazz ensembles. In 1991, he moved to Brazil, where he studied under renowned classical guitarist Eduardo Campolina and developed his knowledge of Bossa Nova. He then spent 3 years in Flagstaff Arizona, playing professionally and furthering his classical guitar education under the tutelage of Tom Sheeley at Northern Arizona University. Returning to DC, he joined the Clarity Jazz Quartet, with whom he appeared at the East Coast Jazz Festival in 1998 and 1999. He now resides Charlottesville, where he plays regularly at Hamilton’s, Maya, and private events. He has offered instruction in classical, jazz, rock, and folk guitar for over a decade. His teaching credentials include the Preparatory School of Northern Arizona University, Bethesda Music in Maryland, and the Guitar Gallery of Paco de Malaga in D.C., as well as his own studio.
Bob Bowen has been a freelance electric and acoustic bass player and instructor for the past nine years. Originally from McLean, Virginia, he holds a Music Business degree from Radford University, where he studied bass with Ed Mikenas. After graduating, he toured with the Gibb Droll Band, playing upright bass at top venues throughout the country. He moved to Charlottesville in the summer of 1999. Since then, he has studied classical bass with Pete Spaar and performed with many great area musicians, including Royce Campbell, Hod O'brien and Stephanie Nakasian, John D'earth, Jeff Decker, and the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra. Bob's vibrant stylings bring the bass line unusually to the fore as an equal and compelling participant in ALEGRIA's melodic discourse.
A graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, drummer Drex Weaver has been playing Jazz, World Beat and Rock professionally for over fifteen years. During college, he learned African percussion techniques while drumming with a Nigerian Ju Ju ensemble. Later, he joined the group of DC-based Cheick Hamala Diabate, the celebrated griot from Mali. For three years, he worked as a studio musician and free-lance drummer in San Francisco, playing major West Coast clubs such as Sweetwater (Mill Valley, CA) and Slim’s (San Francisco). Since returning to his hometown of Charlottesville, he has performed with many prominent regional artists, including Big Ray and the Kool Kats, Dee Dee Bellson, and John D’earth. For the past two years, he has also been studying Brazilian music (on cajon, congas and pandiero). In addition to his powerful, driving kit work on the ALEGRIA's hot Latin numbers, Drex deftly employs brushes and subtle hand percussion for their delicate ballads.
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