Randy Villars

JodyJazz DV CHI Tenor 8*, HR* Alto 8M

Randy Villars on JodyJazz Sax Mouthpieces

“Just a quick note with a sort of testimonial…

along with andy narrell, i was a co-guest soloist with the steel band at miami university in oxford, ohio friday night.

i used my dv ny 9* with an alexander superial #3. andy had very nice things to say about the the sound of my tenor. with this setup, i was able to get that coltrane “thing” whatever it should be called–that fullness and focused, centered,vibration that has been very elusive for me with other pieces.

once again, jody, i can’t thank you enough for all the meticulous hard work you have put into designing and making your pieces. it truly is taking my playing and my music to a new level.

one other thing-ornette coleman’s statement about it feeling as if there is no mouthpiece there–that statement really helped me in picking reeds that allow that feeling to occur! i have probably tried to put too much air thru the horn in general in the past. i am now finding-with your pieces, that i don’t have to work so hard, and that the sound can exist in that perfect place that doesn’t require overblowing. it’s great that ornette made that statement. i think it will help lots of players to read what he said!

sorry to be so longwinded, jody, but i now have 6 of your pieces and they, and you, and your company have changed my musical life profoundly-for the better. ”
Thanks again, Jody
Randy Villars

Randy Villars Biography


At 20 years of age, Randy was blessed with the opportunity of playing piano for legendary be-bop saxophonist sonny stitt, along with future bass legend dave carpenter and drummer steve barnes at gilly’s jazz club in dayton ohio. Thus began a string of such appearances with jazz giants eddie harris, james moody, john scofield, steve turre, fred hersch, clark terry, tim hagans, conrad herwig, bernard purdy, othello molineaux, john von ohlen, lynn seaton, mark murphy, norris turney, mike davis, and others. While a high school student and later a graduate teaching associate at the ohio state university, Randy had the good fortune to play and/or study with more jazz greats such as maynard ferguson, ramsey lewis, dave samuels, andrew white, hank marr, john fedchock, jim rupp, and dick shearer. After osu, Randy became immersed in the then busy commercial music scene in cincinnati, ohio working as a free-lance session musician and also wearing a number of other hats. He found himself in demand as a pianist, synth player, saxophonist, composer/arranger and commercial music producer. In addition, he picked up some national credits playing on album projects for cbs records, polygram and other labels. He received a platinum record for his playing on a cbs album project. While working in the commercial music world in cincinnati, chicago and nashville, Randy composed and/or produced original music for clients such as mcdonald’s, gulf and western, kodak, and many others. He also took a brief sojourn into the world of film scoring composing and producing original scores for time-life films which were broadcast on the a & e television network. Working in cincinnati gave Randy the chance to play pit orchestra keyboards for some touring broadway musicals: victor, victoria, 42nd street, annie, and it’s a wonderful life. Heading in a different direction, Randy released three internationally distributed cd projects on the leviathan and positive music records labels. Each of the cds received glowing reviews and airplay on 50 plus stations. Some selections can still be heard on time-warner’s music choice digital cable and other music channels. Another shift in the wind brought Randy back to his jazz roots as he narrowed his focus to concentrate on the acoustic piano and the tenor saxophone as applied to the straight-ahead jazz world. He studied with jazz greats kenny werner and joe lovano at the banff center for the arts and is currently at work on a new trio cd (piano, acoustic bass, drums). The cd features new originals and re-worked jazz standards. The project is scheduled for completion in 2011. The past year has delivered a flurry of diverse musical experiences for Randy. Playing soulful rock and pop saxophone with kelly red and the hammerheads; lead alto in the eclectic carmon deleone new studio big band featuring arrangements by new york pianist/composer dave matthews; playing synthesizer and percussion for the live and studio performances of new music for dance presented by the dayton ballet; bringing his quartet and trio to perform at the redmoor jazz series in cincinnati, ohio; playing tenor sax on the miami university steel band’s new cd project; playing tenor sax in the bluebirds big band–winners of the cincinnati blues society’s annual competition and traveling with the band to memphis, tennessee to compete in the 27th annual international blues challenge; on saxophone, joining the image afro-beat band lead by nigerian composer and percussionist baoku moses; joining the encore lesson studio as instructor in piano, saxophone and jazz improvisation; joining the stivers school for the arts as an instructor in piano, saxophone and jazz improvisation and authoring two books which are now being utilized at encore lesson studio and stivers school for the arts. The books are called secrets of music theory-revealed! And the scale workout. The current highlight for Randy is the upcoming bootsy collins world tour. Randy will be playing alto and tenor saxophones in a three-piece horn section– backing up the funk icon bootsy collins–rounded out by trumpeter gary winters and trombonist sarah morrow. “the funk capital of the world” tour will feature concerts throughout the united states, europe and japan. Randy gives the deepest thanks and credit to his teachers for providing him with a solid and multifarious musical foundation upon which to build as an instrumentalist and composer: classical piano teachers louise whyte, william walters and robert wynne; classical clarinet teachers arthur eresman, john kemp, and richard york; symphonic band directors clark haines and richard butts; symphonic band and jazz ensemble director wes haines; jazz ensemble directors ian polster and and tom battenberg; orchestral conductors charles wendelken-wilson, donald detriech and joseph ferrito; songwriting coaches molly- ann leiken and the legendary sammy cahn; jazz gurus kenny werner, joe lovano, dave pietro, michael kanan, aaron goldberg, bill cunliffe, steve barnes, dave carpenter, and tom ranier. Other brushes with great players: bob berg, sonny rollins, bill mays, hal galper, gordie brisker, dave douglas, judy silvano, andreas weidenmueller, mark feldman, cal collins and others. Randy’s future musical goals include trio and quartet recording projects, deeper study of theory, harmony and composition, and expansion of the scope of his teaching to include master classes and more original educational books, cds, and dvds. Randy’s sites as his main iconic musical influences: bill evans (the pianist), sonny rollins, john coltrane, michael brecker, charlie parker, miles davis, dizzy gillespie, tim hagans, kenny werner, herbie hancock, chick corea, keith jarrett, dexter gordon, david sanborn, kenny garrett, pat metheny, weather report, artie shaw, pete fountain, bob mintzer, mike manieri, mccoy tyner, and gil evans, also classical composers debussy, ravel, ives, tchaikovsky, and others.

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