GK Selected Film, TV Credits

Selected Film/TV Music: Gregg's credits as Keyboards / Synthesizer Programmer / Arranger / Engineer. Mostly with Composer Craig Safan

One critic recently wrote: Shangri La Plaza requires repeat viewing  in order to appreciate the nuances of its absurdity. If one can get past the “what the hell is this?” stage of viewing, one will see a rare gem. - See more at: http://www.crazytownblog.com/crazytown/2011/08/rou.html#sthash.MdVqJ4lT.dpuf.

Archived news updates: Gregg wins Grammy Award

 

  • GRAMMY AWARD:

One of urban contemporary jazz’s most versatile and acclaimed artists over the past 25 years, keyboardist/composer Gregg Karukas is now a Grammy Award winner for producing, arranging, engineering, co-writing and playing piano and all keyboards on Echoes of Love (a collaboration with Omar Akram), which won in the New Age Album category at the 55th Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles February 10, 2013.

On Echoes of Love, as well as on Akram’s 2007 recording Secret Journey, Karukas’ ability to seamlessly blend his own melodic writing and playing to match Akram’s flowing piano style has earned the project rave reviews from fans of instrumental music worldwide, and especially on Youtube. In composing and arranging the majority of the music on this Grammy winning recording, Karukas employs an orchestral palette and a universe of exotic sounds in his state-of-the-art studio. He uses a Disklavier and computers with highly detailed sampled instruments - from grand piano and the traditional orchestral families (strings, woodwinds, etc.) to a myriad of ethnic percussion sounds and loops from all over the globe. Some tracks start as very simple, romantic melodic ideas that develop into cinematic orchestral climaxes; others are full blown world groove adventures.

One the songs are "demoed", the melodies and arrangements are then transcribed and printed from the computer for the guest musicians, who are given plenty of solo room to show off their own unique talents – resulting in a project full of exciting interplay and powerful dynamics. Veteran violinist Charlie Bisharat and guitarist Ramon Stagnaro (renowned for their many years recording and touring with Yanni) are featured on Omar's recent releases; their work on Echoes of Love was augmented by Mark Hollingsworth on wood flutes and percussionist Brian Kilgore and tabla player Melad Youssofi.

Karukas has been Akram’s producer and collaborator on his last three recordings, thanks to a recommendation from New Age pioneer and Grammy winning pianist David Lanz. Gregg produced tracks on Lanz’s smooth jazz breakthrough CD Finding Paradise in 2002. Omar celebrates Gregg's contributions in the CD's liner notes: “Gregg: This album is the result of your creative genius. It has been an honor to work with you and call you my friend.” Karukas says, ”I have been fortunate to be involved with Omar and quite a few artists in the early stages of their careers. The challenge of presenting their raw talents in “hi-fi stereo” with the best musicians and collaborating on different styles of music is always fun. This award is quite a surprise and an incredible honor.”

 

  • Here are some projects 2000-2006:

    • I played keyboards on a few tunes on R&R (Rick Braun and Richard Eliott) including Wurlitzer on the #! hit " R&R".
    • I played keyboards on the #! hit "Tequila Moon" and arranged Mas Que Nada for Jessy J's new CD with producer Paul Brown
    • I co-produced, played, recorded and mixed Gene Burkert's new CD " Secret Passion" with Melvin Davis, Oscar Seaton, Mike O'Neill, Joe Bagg and others.
    • I'm done co-writing and producing  OMAR's 3rd CD on Real Music.
    • I've been in the studio working on tracks for the new Rippingtons 20th Anniversary CD with Russ, Dave Koz and Brandon Fields.
    • I'm producing singer/songwriter/pianist Christine Anderson's debut studio CD. 
    •  
    • I co-wrote a song for and played/mixed  Ron Boustead's cool new CD, "Blend".
    • I co-wrote a song (and did the track) with Richard Elliot for his new CD, Metro Blue.
    • I co-wrote, arranged, produced and played keyboards on the new (Patrick) Lamb and Meyer (Patsy) CD w/ Abe Laboriel, Curt Bisquera, Paul Jackson Jr. and Dave Hooper……
    • Here are some other projects I've been involved in over the past couple of years:
      • I  produced, mixed and arranged four cuts for David Lanz's latest CD The Good Life.
      • I just finished producing, mixing and arranging for "new age/world music" pianist OMAR's 2nd CD on Real Music w/ Charlie Bisharat, Ramon Stagnaro and Pedro Eustache know for their work in Yanni's band.
      • We tracked Michael Furey's new project here w/Joel Taylor, Keith Jones, Daryl Curraco, Adam Cohen, and others...
      • I engineered some sessions for Rick Braun's new CD Esperanto with Kirk Whalum and Gerald Albright
      • I'm done... co-producing songs w/Dave Koz for pianist David Lanz's new CD Finding Paradise.  
      • I recently recorded and mixed songs for Craig Safan's new Musical w/Broadway stars Alice Ripley (Sunset Bl., Rocky Horror), Jane Carr (Dear John TV) and Robert Gunton (Evita, Shawshank Redemption).
      • My old buddy, Drummer Shannon Ford with wife, Broadway star Alice Ripley, Alex and Stevie.
      •  
    • I'm doing pre-production and co-producing songs w/Dave Koz for pianist David Lanz's next CD. 
    • Michael Lington and I wrote a song together for his CD "Everything Must Change".
    • Here at Nightowl I did an "all synth" track/arrangement of N'Sync's "God Must have Spent...A Little More Time On You" for Kirk Whalum for his new Warner Bros. CD Unconditional... with producer Paul Brown
    • I mixed Phil Sheeran's new Christmas CD for Japan release
    • I mixed trumpeter Ken Ross' new CD shopping for a label now.
    • I played all the keyboards on a song by Brian Bromberg for Kim Waters new CD .
    • Rick Braun and I co-wrote a song, "Borders," for Craig Chaquico's new CD. I also played keyboards on the track.
    • We recorded five new songs for Tony Darren's next project. w/Land Richards, Keith Jones, Brian Kilgore.
    • Here at Nightowl I did two "all synth" track/arrangements for Kirk Whalum for his new WarnerBros. CD My All and For You... with producer Paul Brown. I also did three songs live in the studio with w/ Little John Smith, Ricky Peterson, Ricky Lawson, Alex Al, Paulinho Da Costa, and Tony Maiden... with producer Paul Brown Sunset Sound .
    • We just finished Phil Sheeran's new project Orchid w/Harvey Mason, Will Kennedy, Keith Jones, Andy Narrel, Eric, and others here at Nightowl.
    • I've played and arranged for Argentinian singer Gabriella Anders' new Warner Bros. CD including a cool new version of "The Girl From Impanema" with producer Paul Brown, Carlos Vega, Boney James, and Larry Kimpel. Sunset Sound.
    • We were tracking back in June for James Taylor's and Phil Collins' background singer Arnold McCuller. His new project features Ndugu, John Nau, and Nee Sakee, with Greg Porree producing. Nightowl.
    • I did a few tracks for Peter White's Christmas CD. I did an arrangement of Joni Mitchell's "River" with Kenny Latimore singing, and played on a jazz session with Peter, Brian Bromberg, and Peter Erskine. Nightowl and Alpha.
    • Speaking of Peter, I arranged and played a track for his new CD, a cover of Luther Vandross' "Don't Be A Fool." Nightowl .
    • Tony Darren's CD, which I played on and produced with Al Schmidt is out on Telarc this spring. Nightowl, Capitol.
    • I played all the instruments (except guitar) on two cuts on Craig Chaquico's new CD, a cover of Simply Red's “Holding Back the Years,” and keyboards on "Lights Out San Diego." Nightowl, Alpha.
    • In the winter I did five tracks with Brian Bromberg for his new CD out now on Zebra. Nightowl.
    • I played synths with an orchestra and mixed the score to the movie “Stinkers” to be released soon. Nightowl, Capitol
    • Ellen Degeneres' first movie “MR WRONG” is now on video (I played synths and piano solos with an 80 piece orchestra for the score). Sony
    • I also did the music to Rhea Pearlman's show “PEARL” with film composer Craig Safan. Nightowl
    • I'm working on a children's TV show for Australia called “Pumkin Pete” with Barry Ennis. Nightowl
    • I produced the Long Beach TV spot, a song written and sung by Shelby Flint. Nightowl
  •  

Gregg Karukas - Musical Director/Dave Koz Cruise

With decades of experience with All-Star shows and tours, Gregg has been tapped to MD many productions:

  • Jazzmasters / Paul Hardcastle Tribute Show Tour
  • Smooth Jazz Allstars Japan Tour 2005-2007
  • Gregg was Musical Director on the 2005 Smooth Jazz All-Star Cruise with Rick Braun, Euge Groove, Peter White Mindi Abair and many more...He even had his own "trading card".
  • Gregg  joined Dave Koz as Musical Director for the inaugural 2011 Dave Koz and Friends at Sea Cruise to Alaska! Gregg performed his own shows and handled keyboards for Dave and many of the artists.
  • Continuing as MD on the 2012 and 2013 Koz Cruises to Europe...
  • 2014: Dave Koz Cruise Update: In case you were wondering why I'm not joining you as Musical Director on this year's Dave Koz and Friends at Sea Cruise; after 3 exciting and inspiring July-September Summers of planning, traveling and helping Dave and all the artists express their musical vision since 2011, I realized I needed to devote more time to write and produce more of my own songs - since my approach is not like a factory.

    Everyone asks me, "When are you coming out with a new CD?" So, at this time in my life, with both my boys more independent and passionate about their own musical efforts, my focus needed to change. I told Dave last Fall that I already had a few schedule conflicts and needed "shore leave" this Summer to allow me the time and energy to finish, launch and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, promote my long overdue 12th CD "Soul Secrets". Dave has been totally supportive and such a friend to our family for 28+ years, so he gave his full blessing.

    What I didn't know is that I would break my collarbone in June and be set back for 5 weeks......This week, after 4 months of nonstop production, I get word my first single "Elegant Nights' is #1 Most Added on Radio. So thanks to Dave, and all of my guest musicians (you know many from the cruises), it has paid off. Here's to many more, and I hope to see you on tour and on a future Cruise.

Since the release of SOUL SECRETS in October 2014, both Elegant Nights and Rio Drive singles have hit the #1 spot on the Billboard charts.

Tim Eyermann RIP

  • TIM EYERMANN RIP

I was very saddened to hear about Tim's passing and just got off the phone with Shannon Ford (the original drummer in East Coast Offering, along with bassist Carl Cable).

We both agreed that Tim had an incredible impact on our lives as a mentor and partner in our early journey in the music business. 

To say: "Tim gave me/us our start" is the ultimate understatement.

I first met Tim Eyermann in 9th grade while I was the pianist in the Bowie H.S. Starliners Stage Band. His enthusiasm and command as a guest clinician was my first glimpse of what it meant to "make it" in Music. It was fun, and we were a better band immediately thanks to his concepts of phrasing and swing. He was the featured alto soloist in The Air Force -Airmen of Note, the TOP big band in the World as far as I was concerned, and through those rehearsals with Tim, Larry Skinner, Rick Whitehead and band director Col. Joe Carley, I learned much about jazz and playing together with others.

Tim lived right down the street from me and I became friends with him after graduation in 1974 (and after he got out of the Air Force). He let me record his great LP collection on cassette. We discovered Weather Report, Chick Corea's Return to Forever, Spyro Gyra and other original fusion groups together. He had heard Tom Scott and the LA Express and wanted to form a similar band…..hence, we came up with the name: East Coast Offering. We started playing parties and weddings and I also met his Air Force Band buddies: Dave Palamar, Lee Robertson, Dave Wundrow, Kenny Smuckal and other great, young players who would all go on to stellar careers.

Together, we took part in our first original recording project in 1974: we drove up to rural PA to a studio to put our own music to the spoken word recordings of Naturalist Euell Gibbons reading Henry David Thoreau. We improvised some and I used some of my song ideas and Minimoog to make a free-form sound tapestry.

Drummer Shannon Ford, bassist Carl Cable and I lived in Tim's former house in Bowie, MD together as a band and spent 4 &1/2 years playing steady gigs, rehearsing, writing and having fun. Our travels were exciting for us, as it was the first time any of us had been on the road. We paid lots of dues traveling up and down the East Coast and to Tim's hometown, Pittsburgh, in Tim's van.

At home, the Fairfax Jolly Ox - Steak and Ale was our most frequent 5 night/week gig. We were lucky to play a mixture of jazz/funk and pop that made us the hot fusion band that was also commercial enough for a lounge. Tim's signature song, Jobim's "Manha de Carnival" was an experience to see; he switched off 8 horns for each section and played everything great; from oboe to piccolo. Every Concert in the Park Series in the Washington area hired us for their free concerts. We packed them in on weekends at Harold's Rogue and Jar, a tiny basement club that was home to Richie Cole, Eddie Jefferson, Marshall Hawkins, Teri Plumeri, Marc Copland and other regional jazz headliners. WGTB, the Georgetown U. radio station supported us, along with our friends Happy the Man and New Jazz Coalition. We opened for many National acts at the famous Cellar Door, Childe Harold, and had our own nights at Blues Alley with our new Jazz/operatic singer Jessica Farrow. Later, Columbia Station was the hot gig, especially in the Summer.

Tim was already a master at "doubling", playing all the woodwinds, from oboe, clarinet, flute to sax, and he was in demand constantly for studio overdubs. Through Tim, we became involved in the studio/jingle scene and were frequently hired as a band to crank out 2-6 jingles in an afternoon at Bias, Track Recorders, Sounds Reasonable or Omega. This was such a big break for young players like ourselves. We recorded a few East Coast Offering projects (2 lp's) and cut our teeth in the studio with Tim. I got another education learning how to produce and engineer from all the great engineers and jingle/film writers at those studios.

I was lucky to be able to develop my compositional skills in that band and I spent my days practicing Hanon and pentatonic scales before driving 1 hour to the Fairfax gig. Tim could play anything I wrote the first time, perfectly and was very tolerant of my stylistic experiments. I was influenced by so many people, but Tim's alto sax and flute became my lead "voice" to the new grooves Shannon and Carl were creating. We also became involved in Modern Dance/Jazz Collaborative Concerts with Carla Perlo and Dance Place with them choreographing to our original songs. Looking back, it was the opportunity to write in so many styles that helped me get to the point of playing less notes (fusion) and developing more of a personal (melodic, soulful) style. Later, once I had moved to Los Angeles, Tim recorded my song 'Walkin' With You" as the title cut of his first MCA LP, and that was my first real album cut, allowing me to establish my publishing company.

Tim was the ultimate OPTIMIST, and anyone who ever met him will agree. He was TYPE A+; practiced all his horns every day, spent hours making his own reeds, drinking coffee, chain smoking…. and always thought the next gig would lead to the "big deal" record contract. Some of the connections were scam artists, and that was an education too. There are so many stories…...for a later time.



After a few years apart, having split to form Natural Bridge with Shannon and Carl, I spent the Summer of 1982 playing with Tim again in DC and Pittsburgh before moving to LA. We played on of the biggest gigs of our life on the DC Mall for 500,000 people opening for the Beach Boys. I met his bassist Jay Dulaney then, and he and I would go on to tour and record together in LA, and we still play gigs on the East Coast after 24 years.

Tim spent time in Atlantic City playing with Clint Holmes and was a mainstay on the MD, DC, VA Jazz scene for over 30 years. Every young player who was any good played with Tim. He was always open to playing the songs of the members of his bands.

Teaching music was another, if not the most important, outlet for Tim. Both in the public schools, and private lessons, many of his students have gone on to excel in music and that is the true testament to Tim's contribution in life.

That is exactly how is all started for me, and I am filled with both immense gratitude and sadness since learning of his passing.

My deepest condolences to his family in Pittsburgh, daughter Angela, and all those whose lives he touched.

Thanks,

Gregg Karukas

www.karukas.com