Acoustic Alchemy with special guest Jeff Kashiwa
“Born in the U.K. -- forged in the U.S.A.,” as they bill themselves, Acoustic Alchemy has been at the forefront of contemporary jazz for more than three decades, with 22 albums and three Grammy nominations.(opens in a new tab)
In 1981 nylon-string guitarist Simon James and steel-string guitarist Nick Webb started Acoustic Alchemy as a recording band in London with various other musicians. In 1985 James left, and Webb invited guitarist Greg Carmichael to join him. The two of them, with Julia Doyle on Mexican bass, played a gig on a Virgin Atlantic flight to the U.S., and started roving around the country to see if they could build a career here.
They sent demos to MCA, resulting in their first album, “Red Dust and Spanish Lace” (1987), with Mario Argandoña on bass, Anthony “Fred” White on keyboards and Greg Grainger on drums. After Webb died in 1998, Acoustic Alchemy continued with Carmichael and Miles Gilderdale on acoustic steel-string and electric guitars. Their latest album is “33 1/3” (2018).
Saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa replaced Brandon Fields when he joined The Rippingtons in 1988, and he performed and recorded with them for 11 years, also releasing two solo albums (“Remember Catalina” and “Walk a Mile”) during that time.
In 1999 he formed his own band, Coastal Access, and concentrated on developing his solo career. In 2004, Kashiwa started the Sax Pack with Steve Cole and Kim Waters, and they released three albums. In 2006 he rejoined The Rippingtons for their 20th Anniversary Tour, and continued touring and recording with them until 2016, while remaining a soloist. His latest album with Coastal Access, “Sunrise,” was released in 2021.