Ridgeway Records

Ridgeway Records


Jeff Denson

Jeff Denson

Today, the art of jazz expression and the world of formal education are fully intertwined, both demanding powerful commitment. Pursuing both is immensely challenging. Bassist/composer Jeff Denson is meeting that challenge.

Fully immersed in both worlds since the late 1990s, the bassist/composer has balanced a full career as both an acclaimed performing musician and a highly respected educator. Currently leading or co-leading four distinct ensembles, Jeff has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe with both his own groups – including the renowned cooperative trio Minsarah – and as a sideman with some of jazz’s finest artists, such as Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser, Joe Lovano, Jane Ira Bloom, Kenny Werner, Dave Douglas and an ongoing relationship with the legendary Lee Konitz since 2007.

With a doctorate from the University of California San Diego, Jeff is a full professor at the California Jazz Conservatory, also serving as its Outreach Director, nurturing young musicians into the world of professional performance, while promoting partnerships and relationships among various elements of the Bay Area scene.

Michael Echaniz

Michael Echaniz

Michael Echaniz is one of the brightest musicians, composers, and artists emerging from the West Coast. A pianist since five, Michael has studied music at Santa Clara University, California Jazz Conservatory (B.M.), and CalArts (MFA.) Michael is an avid performer, playing and recording alongside internationally-renowned artists such as Jeff Denson, Romain Pilon, Wu Man, Gerald Cleaver, and Friction Quartet in venues such as Black Cat, the Art Boutiki, and Yoshi’s, as well as Umbria and Montreux jazz festivals. Michael has won numerous awards, mostly recently, the 2021 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award and a New Music Workshop at the 2022 International Jazz Composers’ Symposium (ISJAC). Supported by InterMusic SF’s 2020 Music Grant Program and New Music USA’s Creator Development Fund in 2022-23, Michael will soon release Seven Shades of Violet (Rebiralost), an ambitious, virtuosic, symmetrical concept album of original compositions and arrangements on Ridgeway Records. Michael’s forward-thinking original music embraces rhythmic complexity, haunting melodicism, fluidity between improvisation and through-composition, influence from disparate styles of classical, world, and pop music, and deep emotional connection.

<p>Edward Simon</p>

Edward Simon

Edward Simon, a native of Venezuela, has made a name for himself over decades in America as a jazz improviser, composer-arranger and band leader, with his profile heightening in recent years as he has explored the commonalities jazz can have with the folkloric sounds of Latin America. JazzTimes summed up his impact this way: “Simon is less talked about than many other important jazz pianists from the Caribbean and South America, but he may be the most complete creative artist among them.”

<p>Alan Hall</p>

Alan Hall

Alan Hall has performed, toured and recorded with a variety of musical artists. Alan has worked with Taylor Eigsti, Russell Ferrante, Billy Childs, Kenny Werner, Art Lande, Christian Jacob, Kit Walker, Tom Coster, Eddie Harris, Bob Sheppard, Paul McCandless, John Handy, Jimmy Haslip, Ratzo Harris, Stuart Hamm, Kai Eckhardt, John Clayton, Rebecca Parris, Kenny Washington, Joyce Cooling, Victor Mendoza, Cirque du Soleil, Teatro Zinzanni San Francisco and many others. He has performed at: WAMU Theatre at Madison Square Garden, The Monterey Jazz Festival with Billy Childs and Bob Sheppard, Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco, Vancouver International Jazz Festival with Mike Zilber, Barbados International Jazz Festival with Wild Mango, JVC Jazz Festival with Rebecca Parris, BumberShoot Festival with Kai Eckhardt and Kit Walker and Yoshi’s with Kenny Werner.



Opaluna blends the versatile voice of Susana Pineda, a singer from Medellín Colombia, and guitar maestro Lu Salcedo, from the Bay Area, to create a culturally rich fabric of color and sound. Their music explores the frontiers of folk, rock, Latin groove, as well as the many vibrant colors of jazz. Their audience is invited to join for the adventure through the fusion.

Ian Faquini and Paula Santoro

Ian Faquini and Paula Santoro


ian-faquiniIan Faquini is a Brazilian guitar player and singer who resides near Berkeley, California, where he was a member of the renown Berkeley High School Jazz program. At the age of 16, Ian became the mentee of the legendary Brazilian guitar maestro Guinga, who took Ian under his wing. In a very short amount of time, Ian has become one of the most unique and respected guitar players in the San Francisco Bay Area, demonstrating rare chordal technique and a special delicate touch on very difficult pieces. His last few summers have been spent in Brazil, where he has performed and studied with some of that country’s highest level guitar players, including Marcus Tardelli, Guinga, and others. Ian recently joined the faculty at California Brazil Camp, and is a graduate of the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, and performs concerts in both a solo format as well as duos with saxophonist Doug Pet, flutist Rebecca Kleinmann, bassist Scott Thompson and others. Ian plays and sings originals, as well as a large reportoire of sambas, choros, bossa novas, and Brazilian classical guitar pieces.

paula-santoroPaula Santoro, who has earned critical favor in Europe and Brazil but is not well-known in North America, hails originally from the interior state of Minas Gerais, birthplace of Clube da Esquina, a lush strain of late ‘60s post-bossa nova music spearheaded by Milton Nascimento and Márcio Borges.

Santoro’s lush, warm vocals and gentle rhythms, often accompanied by piano, reflect that influence, as well as her deep background in jazz, classical music, bossa nova and rock.

Santoro cites Joni Mitchell as her ideal artist, though Elis Regina, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Gal Costa and Edith Piaf are also part of her musical pantheon.

As a child, she said she would press her ear to the door of musical salons hosted by her grandfather, a doctor who played violin.

“I was not allowed to be there,” she recalled fondly, “and sometimes the door would suddenly open and they would be so surprised to find me there!”

Santoro studied classical piano and voice — as well as medicine, which she gave up for music — and sings with quiet clarity and passion.

San Francisco String Trio

San Francisco String Trio

Two-time Grammy winner violinist Mads Tolling, six-time Downbeat Magazine International Critics Poll Winner guitarist Mimi Fox, and internationally acclaimed bassist and composer Jeff Denson, have forged their musical talents in a new group, the San Francisco String Trio. This super group made up of three dazzling virtuoso’s have come together to create an eclectic and riveting mixture of beautiful and passionate music crossing every genre from tango to funk, and gorgeous ballads to sizzling up-tempo originals. An all acoustic group defying categorization, the San Francisco String Trio provides its audiences with a special musical experience that is both poignant and compelling. Together they have developed The Sgt. Pepper Project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the groundbreaking Beatles album.

<p>Negative Press Project</p>

Negative Press Project

A (scalable) seven-piece electro-acoustic jazz/indie-rock–inspired original music collective from Oakland, California.

“Versatility abounds, and they always look for new ground to explore.”
-Michael Bang, The Bay Bridged

“They give hope for the future of creative music.”
-Jimmy Pedersen, Avonova Music

piano & Keys | ruthie dineen
tenor/alto sax | lyle link
bass | andrew lion
tenor sax | tony peebles
trumpet | rafa postel
guitar | luis salcedo
drums | isaac schwartz
alto sax | chris sullivan

Negative Press Project Website

Susana Pineda

Susana Pineda

Even before her debut in the United States in 2013, Susana Pineda had been acclaimed by the music community of her hometown, Medellin, Colombia, and continues to be sought after in the USA for her unique balance of subtlety and creativity.

From an early age, Susana showed signs of an artistic and creative mind. Her upbringing in Colombia gave her a foundation of color, song, and dance, as is reflected by the festive culture of Medellín.

Following her high school graduation at La Colegiatura Colombiana, a private visual arts and design school, she traveled to Brazil. It was in Brazil that her life changed forever when she decided to pursue a degree in music.

When Susana returned to Medellín, she began her studies as a vocal jazz major at the university of EAFIT. It was during this time that she studied under Colombian singer-songwriter, Claudia Gomez, and American jazz pianist, Samuel Farley.

After taking a masterclass from American vocal teacher, Madeline Eastman, Susana decided to go to the United States to continue her jazz studies. Susana is now a graduate of the California Jazz Conservatory where she was able to study with musicians such as  Marcos Silva, John SantosDann ZinnTheo BleckmannKai EckhardtJeff DensonJackie RagoLaurie AntonioliSandy Cressman and more.

In 2016, Susana, released her first album with one of her music projects, Opaluna, a modern jazz duo with highly acclaimed Bay Area guitarist, Luis Salcedo. Opaluna’s debut album was released under the Ridgeway Records record label and inaugurated the Rising Stars program of the non-profit organization, Ridgeway Arts. To premier their album debut, Opaluna toured throughout Colombia and the United States. Susana is now soon to release her second album with her new project : Susana Pineda & The New Quartet.

Learn more at susanapineda.com

<p>Dillon Vado</p>

Dillon Vado

Dillon Vado is an active professional drummer and vibraphonist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He grew up in San Jose, California, and started playing music at the age of 8. Dillon learned a lot from a family friend early on in his life, but also played in school band programs throughout middle and high school. This fueled Dillon’s interest in eventually marching snare drum with the Santa Clara Vanguard, and studying music full time at West Valley College. At West Valley, Dillon started playing the vibraphone, which eventually lead him to being a more serious multi-instrumentalist.
In 2012 Dillon transferred to the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, and went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree there in 2017. His performance experiences include playing in the South Bay scene at venues like the Art Boutiki, and Cafe Stritch, marching snare drum with the Santa Clara Vanguard, recording at Fantasy Studios, and playing with other professionals at The Freight and Salvage, Yoshi’s, and the SF Jazz Center. He has played at local festivals such as the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and the Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco. He has also performed overseas at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy. Dillon has performed with Art Lande, Marcus Shelby, Hafez Modirzadeh, Royal Hartigan, Erik Jekabson, Jeff Denson, Alan Hall, and Marcos Silva.

​In 2014, Dillon won 1st place in the Jazz Search West competition on vibraphone, and in 2017 was also selected for the Buddy Montgomery Jazz Legacy Award through the California Jazz Conservatory. Dillon can be found playing actively with Alan Hall’s Ratatet, Erik Jekabson’s String-tet, the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and many other creative musical endeavors lead by his peers around the Bay Area. He also leads several projects of his own, including Never Weather, Beyond Words: Jazz and Poetry, and The Table Trio.


Seven Shades of Violet (Rebiralost)

Seven Shades of Violet (Rebiralost)

On September 8th, 2023, Ridgeway Records releases Seven Shades of Violet (Rebiralost), the stunning debut jazz album from San Francisco based pianist, keyboardist, and composer, Michael Echaniz, in th...
Buy Now  
Finding Light

Finding Light

The first time that bassist Jeff Denson and guitarist Romain Pilon got together to record with drummer Brian Blade felt like a lightning strike. Like so many musicians before them, the longtime friend...
Buy Now  
<p>Solo Live</p>

Solo Live

Recorded at Oakland’s Piedmont Piano Company on his 50th birthday in 2019, Solo Live is Simon’s first unaccompanied recording (and only his second album documenting a concert). Unedited, it’s a ravish...
Buy Now  
25 Years

25 Years

In 2020, Edward Simon celebrates his illustrious three-decade career in music. During this timespan, the Venezuela-born pianist and composer has led and co-led award-winning ensembles and collaborated...
Buy Now  


Never Weather is a jazz-inspired quintet that plays original music by drummer, vibraphonist, and composer Dillon Vado. The songs for this group explore many genres, grooves and textures to make exciti...
Buy Now  
<p>Between Two Worlds </p>

Between Two Worlds

When these virtuoso players meet on the bandstand, the result is sheer magic. Join revered French guitarist Romain Pilon, powerhouse drummer Brian Blade and internationally acclaimed bassist, vocalist...
Buy Now  


Negative Press Project (NPP) releases their second album, Within. Negative Press Project, self described as jazz adjacent, alternating between through arranged to open and improvised, escalating towar...
Buy Now  
<p>Jeff Denson Live</p>

Jeff Denson Live

Jeff Denson Live, his seventh recording as a leader and first live album, is slated for a May 17 digital-only release via Ridgeway Records. Live was recorded at the CJC with a superlative band, includ...
Buy Now  
<p>The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret</p>

The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret

Negative Press Project (NPP) releases its first single, “The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret,” A Queens of the Stone Age song, from their upcoming 2019 release, Within. Negative Press Project...
Buy Now  


Neotropical, is a fresh and unique album by Colombian jazz singer Susana Pineda, and her international band, The New Quartet. This album explores the musical interaction and intermixture of the city a...
Buy Now  


Ridgeway Records, a program of Ridgeway Arts, is dedicated to the recording and perpetuation of jazz and related styles of music. The label is committed to providing artists a platform to promote improvisation, artistic growth and audience development.

About Ridgeway Arts
Ridgeway Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to developing cultural and educational imperatives. From an artistic perspective, the organization will be creating, performing and recording documentation opportunities through the development of a recording company, publishing company and touring program. Learn more about our current projects by visiting Ridgewayarts.org.


Contact Us