Pianist/Percussionist/Composer Bob Weller has enjoyed a significant career as a jazz drummer, working with jazz greats Joe Pass, Mose Allison, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Benny Golson, Kenny Baron, Herb Ellis, Dave Carpenter, Walt Weiskopf, Larry Koonse, Hollis Gentry III, Jeff Beal, Steve Tavaglione, Anthony Davis and Mike Garson. He has also recorded and performed with experimental/free jazz/avante garde artists including George Lewis, Bertram Turetzky, Nathan Hubbard, Lisle Ellis, Vinny Golia, Jason Robinson, David Borgo and wife Ellen Weller.
Bob's compositions early on crossed the boundary between jazz and classical chamber music, such as his jazz/chamber ensemble suite based upon J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings [1979 - well before the movie!]. Excerpts from "On the Road" features bassist/narrator Bertram Turetzky. Bob's bass concerto Homage to Jackson Pollock was selected to be performed by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Donald Portnoy at the 2002 Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and was performed with a slide show in 2001 by the University of California San Diego Wind Ensemble, conducted by Robert Zelickman. Other compositions include a trumpet concerto, a piece for flute and guitar, and any jazz tunes.
In addition to progressive jazz recordings with his brother, LA drummer Dick Weller, he was recorded with the radical klezmer group Rabbinical School Dropouts on John Zorn's Tzadik label. Weller has written an as-yet-to-be-published theoretical treatise on 20th century harmony entitled Quantum Dissonance and a useful/humorous book of suggestions, shortcuts and anectdotes from his NYC cab/limo driver days entitledDriving New York.
Bob graduated Cal. State Northridge in 1979 with a Bachelors in Percussion. While there he studied composition with Frank Campo, Aurelio De La Vega and Ladd McIntosh. Bob has played percussion with the Phoenix Symphony and also the LA Philharmonic. While living in NY he played with many well known jazz artists and studied piano with Phil Markowitz and drums with Peter Erskine. He has performed percussion/drums in numerous musicals, including the West Coast pre-Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum directed by Des McAnuff, starring Nathan Lane and which went on to win the 1996 Tony Award for best musical revival. Other productions include The Music Man, Mame, Annie Get Your Gun, Man of La Mancha at the Lawrence Welk Dinner Theater.
Bob earned the RPT [Registerd Piano Technician] designation from the Piano Technicians Guild in 2001. At present he makes a living playing drums and piano, and also tuning pianos for the San Diego Unified School District.
Ubuntu David Borgo
Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations - (Circumvention 041)
Cosmic Tree Rabbinical School Dropouts (Tzadik 7168 2002)
"Homage to Jackson Pollack" on New Music by American Composers (Piccolo Spoleto 2002)
Heros of the American Night - orchestral and chamber compositions (YUSM 2001)
Reflections Trio Alchemy (Websters Last Word 2001)
For the Record Hollis Gentry II (Gintree 1999)
Fire Martians Weller Bros (YUSM 1997)
For our Mothers Second Avenue Klezmer Ensemble (Second Avenue Productions 1998)
Coast to Coast Weller Bros (YUSM 1993)
Quantum_Dissonance_by_Bob_Weller.pdf (you might want to right click to download this. 8mb )
Multi-winds/Pianist/Ethnomusicologist/Improvisor/Composer Ellen Weller divides her musical performance activities between improvisation, jazz, klezmer and classical music. A member of San Diego's Trummerflora Collective (www.trummerflora.com ) and one of the original members of Maiden Voyage, an all-female big band out of Los Angeles, Weller has performed with George Lewis, Mark Dresser, Bertram Turetzky, Vinny Golia, Lisle Ellis, Anthony Davis, Muhal Richard Abrams, Jason Robinson, Nathan Hubbard Skeleton Key Orchestra, Lesli Dalaba, Carla Kihlstadt, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Hans Fjellestadt, Vanessa Tomlinson, Michael Dessen, Michael Friedman, Second Avenue Klezmer Ensemble and the Weller Family Jazz Quartet. She has twice toured Japan with Marcos Fernandes, and has appeared at several festivals, including the Long Beach Soundwalk, the SF Alt Festival, the Spring Reverb (San Diego), and the Big Sur Sound Shift. Her compositions have been performed in New York, Detroit, San Diego and Los Angeles, and includes incidental music for theater, orchestra, sax quintet, piano, and multi-media pieces for improvisers with audience participation.
Ellen received her Masters degree in Music Composition from Queens College of the City University of New York and the Ph.D. in music (Critical Studies and Experimental Practices) from the University of California San Diego. She has taught music at all levels, from kindergarten through college, including a course she designed entitled "The Music of War: Patriotism, Propaganda and Protest" at the University of California, San Diego. Her past research has focused on multicultural performance in San Diego, public arts funding and cultural tourism.
She is currently an Associate Professor-World Music at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA, where she conducts the Palomar Symphony Orchestra and teaches courses in music theory, sight-singing, jazz history and world music.
- Peter Gach – Fresh Piano [2010/Innova]
- Ellen and Bob Weller with Mark Dresser – Point of Contact [2007/Circumvention 052]
- Trummerflora Collective – Rubble 2 [2006/Accretions/Circumvention]
- Bob and Danny Weller – Tree of Thorns [2005/Circumvention 042]
- Emily Hay, Marcos Fernandes – We Are [2005/Public Eyesore #97]
- Ellen Weller - Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations [2004/Circumvention 041]
- Trummerflora Collective - Rubble 1 [2004/Accretions/Circumvention]
- Trummerflora Collective - No Stars Please [2001/Accretions, ALP022]
- Nathan Hubbard Skeleton Key Orchestra [2003/Circumvention, 039A-B]
- Hans Fjellestad - Red Sauce Baby [2000/Accretions, ALP019]
- Weller Bros Fire Martians - [1997/YUSM]
- Weller Bros Coast to Coast - [1995/YUSM]
A professsional bassist since the age of 16, Danny has backed up numerous jazz artists such as Gilbert Castellanos, Geoffrey Keezer, Charles McPherson, Mike Wofford, Peter Sprague, Jason Palmer, Mike Moreno, and Obed Calviere. Danny has also backed artists such as blues-singer Earl Thomas, and Scott Russo of Unwritten Law.
Danny attended New England Conservatory in Boston in 2004, where he got to study Jazz performance with Bob Moses, Cecil McBee, John Lockwood, Oscar Stagnaro, Jerry Bergonzi, and Danilo Perez. and in 2005, he performed in the NEC Jazz Honors Ensemble, and their performance of his original composition, The Cranning Call, was selected to represent NEC on Jazziz Magazine’s annual “Education Issue” CD. During his time in Boston, Danny became the steady bassist for the Wally’s Thursday night latin band, featuring among others, Aruan Ortiz and Francisco Mela. His 2005 debut album, “Tree of Thorns,” is a musical dialogue with his dad, Bob Weller, and also featured several original compositions inspired by his love of Sci-Fi literature, but also influenced by elements of experimental improvisation. In May 2006, Danny completed his Bachelor of Music and moved back to San Diego.
During his time back home, he joined Gilbert Castellanos’ band, and performed with Gilbert alongside artists such as Willie Jones III, Kevin Kanner, Mahesh Balasooriya, Ramon Banda, Josh Nelson, and Gerald Clayton. Danny got to back Gilbert’s weekly jam session, which featured guest artists such as Nicholas Payton, Ravi Coltrane, Chuchito Valdez, and Charles McPherson. Danny also did several performances of off-Broadway musicals in local San Diego playhouses, including the world premiere of shows such as Sammy and Bonnie & Clyde. In May 2010, Danny moved with his wife to NY. Shortly after moving, he joined the band of Miss Tess, a singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, and performed at hundreds of venues, clubs, and festivals, to audiences ranging from small to over 6,000.
Charlie Weller (drums, electronic processing) is in his senior year at San Diego School for the Creative and Performing Arts High School where he is principal trumpet in the top wind ensemble and sings bass in the school's acclaimed Choral Ensemble. He is a member of the trumpet section in the "Jazz Express" big band lead by Stan Lawrence and is the drummer for local rock group, "The Real You," which played this summer at Soma in San Diego with headliner Saosin, and in November at Ground Zero in El Cajon, CA. The band is currently working on material for their first cd, and will be recording in January 2005.
Charlie is active in the local musical theater scene, and has performed in pit orchestras for 42nd Street, Gypsy, The Music Man, Company, The Secret Garden, Peter Pan, Seussical (trumpet), Bye Bye Birdie and Once Upon An Island (drums/congas) at local theaters including San Diego Junior theater.
He stepped into the world of free jazz in 2004, first recording drums with George Lewis, Lisle Ellis, Marcos Fernandes and Bob Weller on Ellen Weller's recent Circumvention Music recording, "Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations." Since then, he appeared at Voz Alta and Dizzy's with the "Demopubligreen Party" National Convention and Get out the Note Funkfest. He also currently plays drums with a jazz combo (unnamed as of this date), which will be performing soon.
- Startover EP Aweekschange (2003)
- Spirits, Little Dreams and Improvisations - Circumvention 041