Kay-ta Matsuno is a guitarist you just have to hear to believe. Kayta is a virtuoso of the guitar. After he graduated from Berkley College of Music in Boston, he moved to Los Angeles. The broad capacity of his playing style (from Gospel, R&B, country, jazz, and rock) helped him to start his career as a session guitarist. His list of credits includes Marlena Shaw, Steve Porcaro, Virgil Donatti, Tony Macalpine, Natalie Cole, David Foster, Baby Face, Mark Levang, Mikal Blue, Jun Abe, Colby O’ donis, Rudy Cardenas, Angela Via ,NOVO Philharmonic Orchestra etc.
Mike Dawson and Kay-ta met and immediately started recording material for Dawson & Lazo’s recording projects. His virtuoso performances are incredible and his session experience and songwriting prowess has proven to be invaluable to Dawson & Lazo’s sessions and realization of their latest songs.
Ben White’s recent move to Los Angeles primes him to become one of the city’s in-demand session and touring bass players. After paying his dues on the East Coast club circuit, Ben migrated to Austin where he quickly became a staple of the college town’s thriving music scene, playing with artists such as Kacy Crowley (Atlantic), Edens Plot (Pencil/thin) and Austin mainstay Troy Dillinger. After several tours of the Midwest and Europe as a sideman, Ben brought his own band to California. In Los Angeles, Ben quickly began securing session work in television music and albums for such clients as Warner Brothers, Disney, Word Records, Hollywood Records, and JSM Music.
Ben has shared stages with legends such as Gerry Brown (Stevie Wonder, Chick Corea), Ricky Lawson (The Yellowjackets, Michael Jackson), and Rick Latham (Edgar Winter, author of Advanced Funk Studies) He has recorded with, among others: Christian Burns (formerly of BBMak, for Hollywood Records), Josh Kelley (Hollywood), Kimberly Caldwell (American Idol finalist), Shooter Jennings (Universal South), Diamond Dallas Page (WCW), Country legend Jessie Colter, Rami Antoun (Seal), Mark Needham (Fleetwood Mac, The Killers), Glen Sobel (Beautiful Creatures, Jennifer Batten),Michael Frondelli (Oingo Boingo, Crowded House),and Suge Knight (Death Row Records).
Ben has recently completed recording projects with Texas World Music founder Mike Dawson that include the Dawson & Lazo project.
Chris Bell has developed his talents through years of experience in the recording industry, bringing musicians the masterful chemistry necessary to attract and enduring audience. He honed his skills on tape machines and analog mixing desks working on recordings like Erykah Badu’s “Mammas Gun”. His resume also includes studio time with U2, Everclear, Destiny’s Child, Fuel, The Polyphonic Spree, Earth, Wind, and Fire, along with remixes for Peter Gabriel and Death in Vegas. His most recent projects include The Eagles number 1 record “Long Road Out of Eden”, Erykah Badu’s upcoming release, Red Monroe, Jonahthan Tyler, Little Brian, Forjak, Cas Haley, Dawson’s New Rage, and Dawson & Lazo. Chris was nominated for a Grammy award in 1998 for “Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical as well as working on several Grammy winning projects. He continues to be active in the growth and development of the industry. Elected to the Texas Chapter Board of Governors of the Recording Academy, Chris has served in many roles from Governor, 1st Vice President, President, and Trustee. A skilled mixing engineer, recording engineer and producer Bell’s experience infuse his projects with a foundation for success.
Saxophonist/composer Mitch Paliga is originally from the small town of Libby Montana but has made the Chicago area his home since 1990. He attended Rocky Mountain College in Billings Montana (1980-81), received a bachelors of music degree from Eastern New Mexico University (1985) and a masters of music degree in jazz pedagogy from Northwestern University (1999). In 1993 he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study Grant to study with David Liebman and in 2001 received a City of Chicago Community Arts Assistance Program Grant. Mitch is an adjunct music professor at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest Illinois and a member of the jazz faculty at North Central College in Naperville Illinois.
Mitch has performed with Randy Brecker, Vinnie Colaiuta, Kimotion, the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, the Temptations, Marie Osmond, Bob Newhart, and Victor Kraus and is honored to be a member of the Lt. Dan Band. He has also been active on the local Chicago music scene and is known for his unique and individual voice on the soprano saxophone. Lorelai Clarke of Jazzreview.com wrote “If you’re not a fan of soprano sax playing, this album (Blithe Moments) may change some of your perceptions. The high level of musicianship, and Paliga’s skill at composing, make the album worth listening to in any case”. Jerome Wilson of Cadence Magazine also wrote “Paliga is an interesting composer but he also may be the next great voice on soprano saxophone”. Mitch has also recorded with Chicago artists and ensembles Kimotion, Ryan Cohan, Jo Ann Daugherty, Damon Short, Hard Art Groop as well as Texas singer/song writer Mike Dawson and is also a member of the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective. In 2006 Mitch released his first jazz recording of his original compositions “Blithe Moments” under his own name. Released in 2008 was “Fall Night” on the Origin label.
Greg Dugan has been playing drums and nourishing his abilities since his parents gave him his first drum kit at the age of 8. Greg studied music at the acclaimed University of North Texas and his love of Latin/Brazilian music enabled him to study the culture, music, and rhythms in Brazil. After graduating from The University of North Texas, Greg spent the next few years teaching young minds and performing with a wide variety of bands from country to jazz to pop to rock. He as performed for audiences of 100 to 100,000 and brings that experience to each and every performance.
He has been fortunate to share the stage with a number of great musicians over the years. He has performed along side great drummers such as Michael Spiro, Greg Bissonette, Paul Wertico and Andy Narrell just to name a few. Other groups he has share the stage with include Edwin McCain, the Eli Young Band, Patti Lovelace, Kenny Chesney, and many others.
Greg currently resides in the North Texas area and is fortunate to be working with the highly talented cast of Vocal Trash. He can also been seen performing with talented musicians throughout the DFW area including Mike Dawson and Lisa Lazo on the Dawson & Lazo project. Greg is thrilled to be able to share love and passion through music and entertainment.