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.
UPCOMING EVENTS & MORE:
Summer NAMM Show - FINAL DAY!
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 in Nashville. 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.
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Beatles Gear Ultimate Edition - Available Now
Andy Babuik's critically-acclaimed book is now expanded with over 650 new and previously unpublished photos as well as plenty of new and never-before-told stories. This book is the first to tell the full story of how the Beatles made their music. It details exactly which guitars, drums, amplifiers and keyboards the Beatles used at the key points of their relatively brief but entirely revolutionary career…
Get your copy of a special limited edition with Gretsch cover at GretschGear.com.
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Recap of Recent Events
Visit our RECAP page for details of other Gretsch events from 2015, 2014, and earlier.
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Gretsch Day 2016 at Street Sounds
A very special event took place in Brooklyn, New York on June 4: the annual Gretsch Day at Street Sounds. Located on 3rd Avenue in Brooklyn (and touting itself as “the world’s largest Gretsch dealer” for guitars, amps, and related accessories), Street Sounds staged an all-day event that showcased Gretsch products and Gretsch artists alike. UPDATE: INTERVIEW WITH DARREL HIGHAM ADDED.
Fred Gretsch Receives Honorary Degree
Saturday, May 28 was a red-letter day for Fred W. Gretsch. The fourth-generation leader of the Gretsch family business was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree from suburban Chicago’s Elmhurst College at the school’s Spring Commencement ceremony. Bedecked in classic doctoral robes, Fred—who is himself an alumnus of Elmhurst—joined more than 600 Elmhurst graduates in celebrating their memorable life passage.
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.
Creative Zone: Embellished Instruments: Gretsch Style. Drop in between 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on any of the following dates: June 25, 26, and July 15.
Gretsch Guitar Demonstration: Richard Smith, July 13, 1:00 p.m.
Gretsch Guitar Demonstration: Craig Dobbins, July 14, 11:30 a.m.
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.
German Guitar Heroes
Read Fred Gretsch's examination of an important part of history not properly being represented.