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:
Stay tuned for information on an exciting Gretsch Day event being planned for this Fall!
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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.
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Recap of Recent Events
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Six Degrees of Separation--Gretsch Style!
Question: What does a nearly century-old guitar have to do with a college in the Chicago area, a country music artist from New York, and a classic building in Williamsburg? Answer: More than you might think.
The Gretsch Building Turns 100
The Birthplace of Silver Jets, White Falcons, Round Badges, and “That Great Gretsch Sound” Turns 100 in 2016. Learn how in 1916 my grandfather, Fred Gretsch, Sr., took his bold vision of growing Gretsch into the largest music manufacturing company in America and constructed a large 10-story factory that, at the time, was the biggest building in Williamsburg, New York.
MORE GRETSCH NEWS!
American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection
The Bachman-Gretsch Collection Exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville, TN closed on July 17. We hope you had the opportunity to explore the history of the guitar with the exhibition that featured "...the largest collection of stringed instruments ever displayed by the museum" and also marked the first time this collection was made available to the public.
Some exciting and fun programs happened throughout the exhibit. Here are the most recent, some of which you can enjoy now:
Gretsch Bass Demonstration: Tom Petersson, June 23. Watch.
Gretsch Fred & Joe Show: The Story of the Gretsch Guitar with Fred Gretsch & Joe Carducci, June 24. Watch.
Songwriter Session: Lindsay Ell, June 25. Watch.
Beatles Gear: The Gretsch Invasion with Andy Babiuk, June 25.
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. Watch.
German Guitar Heroes
Read Fred Gretsch's examination of an important part of history not properly being represented.