My Music - A Retrospective

World Jazz Orchestra

I performed with this fine ensemble from 1998 through 2001. The UCLA World Jazz Orchestra was a multi-cultural ensemble created by Drs. Steve Loza and Ali Jihad Racy in the fall of 1998. Built on a true 'world beat' philosophy, the band specialized in juxtaposing musical elements from around the world into their arrangements. In the spirit of a unified humanity through music the WJO have enjoyed guest performers from around the world. Every composition we performed went through a collaborative arrangement process customized to the types

of instruments and traditions available in the ensemble. Membership varied every year with special guests working and performing with the ensemble. We were very fortunate to have: Francisco Aguabella, Tito Puente, Kenny Burrell, Chieck Tidiane Seck, Airto Moreira, Abhiman Kaushal and others. The steady guidance of Ali Jihad Racy, Steve Loza, Roberto Miranda, and Cheryl Keyes allowed this ensemble (which I call an Orchestra) to flourish and break new ground in musical explorations.

World Jazz Orchestra

World Jazz Orchestra

World Jazz Orchestra 1999

Featuring Kenny Burrell, Tito Puente, Francisco Aguabella, Ali Jihad Racy

  • Steve Loza- trumpet
  • Ali Jihad Racy- 'ud, nay, oboe
  • Abhiman Kaushal- tabla
  • Cheryl Keyes- piano
  • Ting-Ju Lai- piano
  • Roberto Miranda- bass
  • Marko Glogolja- drums
  • Vadim Ladon- congas/percussion
  • Jack Bishop- acoustic guitar
  • Jonathon Grasse- electric guitar
  • Eleni Maureas- flute
  • Andy Connell- soprano sax, clarinet
  • Juan Vicente Contreras- tenor sax
  • Charles Sharp- baritone sax
  • Marisol Saens- vocals
  • Alejandro Flores- vocals
  • Warren Ontiveros- percussion
  • Kevin Delgado- bass

In May 1999, the WJO performed 2 concerts at UCLA. One featured Tito Puente, Kenny Burrell and Francisco Aguabella.

Tito's Antics

Oye Como Va


Kenny Burrell, Francisco Aguabella, Jack Bishop, Kevin Delgado, Tito Puente

World Jazz Orchestra

World Jazz Orchestra 2000

Featuring Steve Loza, Ali Jihad Racy, Robert Miranda, Cheryl Keyes

  • Steve Loza- trumpet
  • Ali Jihad Racy- 'ud, nay
  • Abhiman Kaushal- tabla
  • Steve Loza - trumpet
  • Cheryl Keyes - piano
  • Roberto Miranda - bass
  • Brana Mijatovic - drums
  • Chris Garcia - percussion
  • Jack Bishop - acoustic guitar, berimbau, cavaquinho, vocals
  • David Green - electric guitar
  • Jordan Miller - trumpet, flugelhorn, violin
  • Vicente Contreras - tenor sax
  • Adam Reese - violin
  • Alejandro Flores - vocals

Unfortunately none of the recordings of these live performances are stellar, but they are good enough to hear what we were doing, and they stand as recorded historical documents.

On The Cusp - Cheryl Keyes

Seba Suite - David Green

I loved playing with Andy Connell. He is one of the finest musicians I have ever met. We share a common passion for Brazil and its music.

World Jazz Orchestra

Andy Connell, Roberto Miranda, Jack Bishop

World Jazz Orchestra

World Jazz Orchestra 2001

Featuring Airto Moreira, Steve Loza, Ali Jihad Racy, Robert Miranda

  • Airto Moreira - drums, percussion
  • Ali Jihad Racy- 'ud, nay
  • Steve Loza- trumpet
  • Cheryl Keyes - piano
  • Roberto Miranda - bass
  • Jack Bishop - acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Chris Garcia - percussion
  • David Green - electric guitar
  • Gee Rabe - steel drum
  • Jordan Miller - trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Douglas Wadle - trombone
  • Andy Connell - soprano sax, clarinet
  • Dylan King - tuba
  • Charles Sharp - baritone sax
  • Nick Bergh - congas
  • Garrett Savacho - vibes, piano
  • Nakisha Nesmith - vocals
"The repertoire of this ensemble has been experimental from the very beginning. The purpose is not to just come in and play pieces, although we do that, but we try to put in them a sense of adventure and we have, in the past, incorporated both repertoires and instruments from different world traditions. This time we have some particular things from the Near East and some other countries as well."
- Ali Jihad Racy, May 8, 2001

Playing with these fine musicians improved my musicianship immensely. I look back with pride and fondness at the friends and music I made.

World Jazz Friends

Steve Loza, Airto Moreira, Garrett Savacho, Jack Bishop

Andy Connell
& Jack Bishop

Andy Connell and Jack Bishop in Rio

Andy Connell and Jack Bishop

In 1998, Andy and I were invited by Olympio D'Mello to perform at an International Music Festival he was hosting at his church. There was quite a line-up of global talent! We performed three tunes, of which Caetano Veloso's "Sampa" was chosen for the resulting CD. It was for a great cause and we had a blast!


Jack Bishop- Guitar Vocals/Andy Connell - Soprano Sax

Jamming with Hermeto Pascoal

Andy graciously took me to Hermeto's house in Rio where we had an incredible time hanging with O Mestre!

Ensemble Acustico

Ensemble Acustico

Jeff Russell, Jay Roman, Dave Smith, Monica Peixoto, Marcela Bianchi, Sydney Lewis

In early 1997, I formed an ensemble made up of musically inclined students at the Universities of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon. The idea was to practice and perform a wide variety of Brazilian Popular Music, or MPB, on acoustic instruments

only. Although many people wanted to participate we only accepted those who could make a steady commitment to the practices. In the end, we had a guitarist/vocalist, a bassist, two percussionists/vocalists, a lead guitarist and three singers (one of who played flute)! We performed fund raisers for the University of Pittsburgh, International Conferences,

Ensemble Acustico

Performing at Three Rivers Stadium

Latin American Festivals, and community benefit events. The Ensemble was beautifully enjoyable and I was so proud of the players. They really rose to the occasion and performed very complicated arrangements with ease! There is no telling where this might have gone had I not left the city in August of that year.

Ensemble Acustico

Performing at The Carnegie Museum

Bluegrass Police

"If you break the rules, we'll throw you in the hole. Bluegrass Police on patrol!"

Ensemble Acustico

Bluegrass Police - World Patrol

In the summer of 1986, somewhere in the hills of Pennsylvania, the Bluegrass Police were born. In pursuit of Hilarity the BGP poke fun at human behavior. The BGP touch on topics of racism, sterotypes, segregation, poverty, sexuality, brutality, domestic tension, etc. They poke fun at these human phenomena all the while denouncing the abuses. It is truly clever poetry crafted by Robert Gabig and I. It is important to listen to the lyrics (if you can stomach the music that long) if you want to understand the BGP. When I could stop laughing, I drew cartoons to accompany the songs on the CD.

Dom Coyote

The Legend of Dom Ciotti (Coyote)

First Shootin' Star

On Patrol

County Fair


Livin' Depressed

Doghouse Agin'

Yankee Tongue

Ol' Kentucky

Stamp Like Elvis

Christmas Bar-B-Que

Dom Coyote

Bluegrass Police

Doghouse Agin

I'm In The Doghouse Agin'

Stamp Like Elvis

We Deserve A Stamp Like Elvis

First Shootin' Star

There goes my first Shootin' Star

Yankee Tongue

Can't run my mouth when I go down south.

Indonesian Gamelan 1995-1996 - University of Pittsburgh's Heavy Metal Band

In 1995, the University of Pittsburgh decided to house an Indonesian Gamelan as part of its music program. Gamelans are also prestigious and very popular among some of the top universities in the United States. So, they hired

ethnomusicologist René Lysloff, who had lived in Indonesia and was a master of the gamelan, and they purchased an entire gamelan orchestra. I had heard gamelan music years prior and loved it. When the chance arose, I eagerly joined the orchestra! We practiced twice a week with the goal of performing a spring concert, which we did. I performed in the gamelan, as you can see from this photo taken during a break at the spring concert. However, when I looked at the Pitt website to find the name given to the orchestra by the Indonesian master, they make no mention of this gamelan!! In fact, they start the history of the gamelan in


Pittsburgh's FIRST Gamelan and I

1998! I guess they rewrote history when Andrew Weintraub took over. That's cool, but it disavows any knowledge of the true inaugurators of the city's first gamelan!! I existed!! And I rocked the Sarod!

WTAE Bundle-Up Telethon 1996

It was thrill to be part of this project

In 1996, I was honored when the producer of the annual Project Bundle-Up Telethon (Bob Watt) invited me to perform on the program. I immediately asked my friend and guitar mentor John Maione to perform a tune with me. Together we came up with a jazzy rendition of "What Child Is This?" It was so cool to be part of this worthy campaign after watching it on TV for so many years. Project Bundle-Up is broadcast live in December. Volunteers take viewer pledges over the phone bank throughout the day, during a live, one-hour evening broadcast,

What Child Is This?

throughout prime time, and wrap up before the 11 p.m. broadcast of the news. All of the money raised by the auction and telethon is then used for personal shopping days in which needy children pick out their own new winter outerwear at local retail outlets.

Jack Bishop on WTAE

Mellon Jazz Festival 1992

In 1991, my friend saxophonist Kenny Blake was in the process of releasing his CD Rumor Has It... for the record label Heads Up International. He graciously invited me to contribute Portuguese lyrics to his song "Coffee Bean" which he wanted put on the CD. While we spoke of the tune (I had heard him play it innumerable times in clubs around town) I described a poem full of colors and imagery that exalted the

Interior Design Band at Mellon Jazz Festival.
That's me in the pink shirt

world's favorite beverage. He liked it so I went home and penned out a skeleton of the lyrics and began playing with combinations of sounds and meanings in the Portuguese language. Once I felt I had something legitimate, I shared it with my wife (then girlfriend) who is Brazilian. After she was finished laughing, she helped me whip it into proper Portuguese form. I will be forever grateful to her. The next summer when the Mellon Jazz Festival was being planned for Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, Kenny Blake and his Interior Design Band were invited to perform at the all-day festival being held at Starlake Ampitheatre. To my absolute astonishment he invited me to sing with the band during the show. I joined the band for "Coffee Bean" and "Babylon Sisters." We played to over 10,000 people! OUTRAGEOUS!! It was the musical highlight of those days.

Coffee Bean -

(Kenny Blake/Jack Bishop)

Coffee Bean (Grau de Café)

Grau de café vive na terra roxa Pra então tornar-se fruta gostosa O aroma conquista toda gente Sabor forte que é céu simplesmente Põe sorrisos nas tropicais faces E felicidade nos corações Solo roxo sob o sol amarelo Marron encarnado grau perfumado Nectar negro presente dos deuses Dado ao povo desse mundo azul Folha verde ginga no cafezal Grau de café traz sabor sem igual

English Translation

Coffee bean lives in the purple Earth To one day become a delicious fruit The aroma conquers everyone The strong flavor is simply heaven It puts smiles on tropical faces And happiness in the hearts Purple Earth under the yellow sun Aromatic reddish-brown bean Black nectar a present from the gods Given to the people of this blue planet The green leaves dance on the plantation Coffee bean brings a flavor unequalled

My Guitar Lineage 1983-1997

I was far from a child prodigy on guitar. I started playing when I was 11, but I had little formal training until I met John Maione in 1980 who was teaching guitar at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. John is a great teacher who patiently helped me overcome many of the ridiculous obstacles I had placed in my own way while teaching myself. He also taught me to read guitar music which was a daunting task

I am sure. I was beyond fortunate when I had the opportunity to study briefly with Tony Janflone, Jr. Tony is the finest guitarist I know. He was born to play. I would have truly benefited had I stuck with him longer. I continued studying with John Maione when an

opportunity arose for me to spend a few months under the tutelage of the great Joe Negri. Joe showed me ways of improvising that I would have never thought of on my own. My improv improved quite a bit while working with Joe. However, most of my development as a guitarist came from my work under John Maione. I was actively studying and performing with him right up until I left Pittsburgh for Los Angeles in August 1997. He prepared me well and made me confident to face the musical challenges to come. All three are still dear friends of mine.

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The Early Years of Rock-n-Roll

I started playing music when I was 11 years old, or in 1968. Aside from The Beatles, I was an avid listener to the sounds of Philadelphia (TSOP) and all the bands that entailed like the Stylistics, Delfonics, The Jones Girls, Soul Survivors, Billy Paul, Eddie Holman, etc. along with the great sounds of Motown. That year I met Jay Roman, a cool young cat who had just moved to the area from California. With him he brought the sounds of rock and roll to my ears.

I started listening to Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Mountain, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton and many others. Jay was an accomplished drummer who was proficient beyond his years. He could really rock the hell out of a kit at age 11!!! Under his influence I began experimenting with musical expression.

Bill Jack Jay

When his cousins Bill and Ray came out for the summer, we formed a rock and roll cover band. We had a killer time playing at battles of the bands, church functions, private parties and public events. Those years still contain some of my fondest memories.

Jay Bill Ray Jack

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The Jazz Bug

My infatuation with rock and roll was reasonably short-lived as I found myself immersed in the world of jazz by 1975. Miles, Monk and Dizzy took me on journeys that were mind blowing! I spent the next 10 years pursuing a greater appreciation for, and a higher knowledge of, jazz. There was nary a jazz musician uncovered as I combed through books and stacks of albums everywhere I went. In 1978, I entered the music program at the local

community college in order to understand music theory, harmony and arranging. Two years later, I had to put my studies on hold as I undertook the responsibilities and challenges of single parenthood. During my hiatus from education, I continued learning about jazz and began attending the annual jazz seminars and concert held at the University of Pittsburgh under the direction of Nathan Davis. It was around this time that I sought out John Maione,

who I had met through the music program, for jazz guitar lessons. In 1992, I was able to return to the University of Pittsburgh and declare myself a music major with a jazz specialization. Over the next decade my love for jazz grew ever stronger each day (and still remains a vibrant and important element in my life today); however, I had made a "discovery" on my jazz journey - a discovery that would eventually change the direction of my life...

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Brazilian Music

In 1978, I heard a record by jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter called Native Dancer, (released in 1975) on which was featured Brazilian singer Milton Nascimento. I had never heard anything like this in my life. I was mesmerized by the sounds and I wore the record out listening again and again. From that moment forward I began my search for a greater understanding of Milton's world and its beautiful music. Brazilian albums were very difficult to come by in Pittsburgh, so I extended my search to New

York City. There, I found a treasure trove of great music to explore. When CDs became abundant in stores (c.1986-7), there was a flood of great jazz releases that had been previously unavailable, as well as an increase in the availability of international music. I spent every waking moment between 1987 and 1992 basking in Brazilian music of all flavors, all the while growing more and more intimate with the culture. I wanted to share my "discovery" with the world. "Everyone must hear this!" I thought. So, from 1989 through 1991, I hosted

a Brazilian radio program in Pittsburgh where I was able to share the music I was collecting. Sweet! My thirst for knowledge about Brazil sent me to the university where I continued to focus on music research. The more I learned, the more there was to know. So, I kept studying and researching, including several field projects in Brazil until I had earned a doctorate in ethnomusicology!! Life can be funny. What began as an intense curiosity developed over time into my life's work.
Explore Brazilian Music Today!!

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