ULYSSES JASZ was started in late 1998 by ALEX MARSHALL to play a Saturday residency at an Irish pub in busy downtown Santa Barbara. That pub, The James Joyce, owned and operated by County Galway native TOMMY BYRNE, has now presented live American traditional jazz in his pub for over fifteen years, unique in all of California.
The audience, of all classes and ages - from mature jazz fans to students, are discovering this vital American Roots Music for the first time.
The band consists of seven instrumentalists, a vocalist, and their own sound-man.
The authoritative and restrained power of CURT SLETTEN playing lead cornet in the front line reminds audiences of the big bands like those of Glenn Miller, and Harry James with whom he has played. He also adds his distinctive vocals and scat singing to the mix
LARRY JONES is well known in jazz circles as one of the best trombonists around. He used to have a rock show band called PRIMO but returned to jazz, his true love. He is also the virtuoso whistler in the band.
BOB EFFORD on clarinet and tenor saxophone is a resident of Malibu and plays his clarinet, weaving in and out with incisive counterpoint harmonies. His full tenor sound is a joy to hear.
DEAN DODS on string and tuba bass, is well known as the son and heir of BILL DODS, local jazz legend and former member. It's good to know Dean is carrying on the Dods sound.
Swinging keyboardist JOHN LEONARD has carefully acquired early styles such as Harlem Stride, and a vast repertoire of ragtime and popular pieces.
Scotsman ALEX MARSHALL, having many years experience with British trad jazz bands, plays rhythm archtop guitar and tenor banjo.
The band also proudly features HANNA, their jazz vocalist. She has developed her own dynamic style from Bourbon Street to Broadway with a fresh approach.
The whole ensemble is held together by the expert rhythmic pulse of RENE MARTINEZ and LARRY FISHER, who rotate engagements.
Their repertoire of spirited New Orleans Jazz, antique pop songs from the 1920's and 1930's is largely selected from the compositions of LOUIS ARMSTRONG, DUKE ELLINGTON, JELLY ROLL MORTON, JEROME KERN, IRVING BERLIN, JOHNNY MERCER, KURT WEILL and HOAGY CARMICHAEL.
ULYSSES plays this material with plenty rhythm and spirit, characteristic of THE GOLDEN AGE of JAZZ.