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DR. DAN MATRAZZO & THE LOOTERS At 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9
Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St. $7

"I'm half Japanese and half Italian," says jam-band keyboard wizard Dr. Dan Matrazzo. "But I'm a redneck at heart."

Matrazzo's father is from Baltimore, his mother from Tokyo, and it was in that Japanese capital that he learned to play and had his first taste of success. "I was in a rock band - we had a few hits, I was on TV three days a week and I had nine girls chasing me every day," he says. "It was a whole different wacky world over there."

At the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he formed the band Winter with Steve Vai and Jeff Sipe.

Marriage brought him to Atlanta in 1982, and Matrazzo spent two years in the touring and recording band of blues legend Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. Eventually, like every musician who spends enough time in Atlanta, he fell in with guitarist and bandleader Col. Bruce Hampton. Matrazzo first played with Hampton in the Arkansas Florists (later the Aquarium Rescue Unit), and was a founding member of the Fiji Mariners, with whom he toured between 1994 and '99.

He made a "space funk" album (Dan on the Moon), and cut a jazz/bebop set that was never released, and has performed with the Allman Brothers Band, Drum and Bass Society and Widespread Panic.

This year, Matrazzo renewed a friendship with Joe Layton of the Richmond Hill band the Looters, and together they've started touring Georgia clubs.

As for his gear .... "I'm an old vintage player," Matrazzo explains. "I don't have enough roadies to carry a B3, but I have a D-series clavinet, which is made in Germany and it's got real guitar strings in it - it's like a guitar, but with keyboards. It feeds back and everything. And I have a 1968 Wurlitzer, which is the choice of electric piano for rock keyboard players."

Matrazzo hopes to eventually get back to Japan; he still has family there. "The Imperial Family used to stay at my grandpa's in Himeji," he says. "They would move around during World War II because they didn't want to get bombed by the Americans at their palace in Tokyo, so they moved them around constantly with their relatives and such. We were somehow connected to the Imperial Family."
by Bill DeYoung

Dr. Dan Matrazzo Returns to Jam and Funk

Longtime Col. Bruce Hampton collaborator and early Aquarium Rescue Unit contributor Dr. Dan Matrazzo will turn his attention back to jam and funk-inspired music this fall. The keyboardist has largely focused on jazz during the past six years but has confirmed a series of dates with The Looters, the former backing band for Europe's Rosa King and Saskia Laroo, as well as Blue Note Recording artist Kristina Train (Herbie Hancock, Susan Tedeschi). On his upcoming tour, Dr. Dan will perform material from his fusion album Dan on the Moon and the funky '70s covers that characterized his seminal shows at Athens, GA's Georgia Theatre, Atlanta's The Brandy House and Charleston, SC's the Pour House. In addition, his upcoming gigs in Savannah, GA are billed as Widespread Panic after shows and promise some special guests.
-Relix Magazine 2011

The Looters

Well-traveled backing band for Amsterdam's Rosa King and others, tonight these guys are playing good ol' original funk, rock and blues.
-Flagpole Magazine Athens, Ga. June 8th 2011

"(Kristina) Train began singing and playing violin professionally in 1999 with The Looters, a band known for backing European musicians Rosa King and Saskia Laroo on tours of the United States. She also performed with "Rosa King and The Looters" for several showcases in Georgia before Rosa's death in 2000."

The Looters: Back to Music

"The Looters," seemed to be a launching pad for others, and a terrific backing band, shaking hands with greats and big names. After Rosa and Kristina, they played with Saskia Laroo, a tremendous trumpet player. They even played: The Jazz Below the Sea Festival in Holland, and their biggest show at The Atlanta Jazz Festival for over 15,000 people... The future looks promising. They are working on their first full-length album, which will be out later this year. They were also recently filmed for a debut show on The Learning Channel (TLC), that's yet to be named. The long and winding road for the Layden brothers doesn't necessarily work like a timeline. Rather, it is cyclical in nature, a hodgepodge of defining moments, always guiding them back to that common threaded passion-music. They do what they love.
-Reflections Magazine Apr 29th, 2010

Listening Notes: The Looters take over Live Wire By Adrian Stowers

On Saturday night, Live Wire Music Hall is hosting an after-Christmas party with local Savannah band, The Looters, taking the stage. The Looters are a popular backing band for other artists, who recently have turned into a recording and live act on their own. The band plays a mixture of "originals, blues, '80s hits, classic rock, jazz and old-school country." ...Music fans looking for a good way to continue their holiday celebration will want to come and check out this seasoned live band.
-Savannah Now, Savannah Morning News December 23, 2009

The Looters: Full speed ahead

J. Lyon Layden has a lot of irons in the fire, but so far, he hasn't been burned. That's because he's good at all the things he does. Layden - call him Joe - is also a poet, a journalist, the author of a successful children's book and the lead singer and lead guitarist of the blues, funk and rock band the Looters. The band, which includes Eric Layden on bass and vocals, the brothers' longtime pal Kenny Savage on rhythm guitar and vocals, and drummer John Tomaszewski, performs Saturday at Live Wire Music Hall.
-Connect Savannah, DECEMBER 22, 2009

Catch them playing around Statesboro by Mary-Kate Roan

CS: What can people expect from a live performance? TL:Besides our originals and songs by our former band mates, you will hear funk, soul, blues, 80s hits, southern rock, and maybe even a little neo-bluegrass. I think we have good stage presence, because it's almost a lost art form in America; bands here either get pretentious and do too much or get sedentary and do too little. The European musicians are not the musical improvisers that the Americans are, but their stage presence is far and above, and we've learned from the best.
-Connect Statesboro October 07, 2009

Kristina Train by Jeff Clark

Another person who noticed was veteran jazz producer John Snyder, who brought Kristina to New York to showcase for Blue Note CEO Bruce Lundvall, A&R VP Eli Wolf and late producer Arif Mardin when she was 19. At the time, Kristina had started playing gigs around Savannah and regionally with a band under the name Kristina Beaty and the Looters. Blue Note signed her to a development deal, but Train's mother insisted she attend college first. The deal fell through, and Kristina left for Athens to go to the University of Georgia.

"I knew I didn't want to be [at UGA]. It just wasn't right for me," she remembers. "I thought I needed to be doing music! So I thought it was a big waste of time, and I was playing in a band and staying up late... That was definitely my first taste of freedom, and made sure I took advantage of that!" she laughs. "It's easy to do that there."
-Stomp and Stammer Nov.09, 2007


-- Arguably the world's most accomplished female trumpet player, this Dutch-born jazz artist makes her Atlanta debut. Having co-headlined the North Sea Jazz Festival many times, Laroo is a virtuoso musician as well as a pioneer in crossover music, mixing hip-hop, fusion, acid-jazz and ambient styles, at times drawing comparisons to Miles Davis. A one-time bandmate of expatriate Georgian Rosa King, Laroo has released three solo albums and one with jazz musician Teddy Edwards. Brandyhouse
-Creative Loafing Atlanta March 7 2001

Rosa King (1945?-2000) by Hal Horowitz

In October of 2000, (Rosa) King returned to her home state of Georgia for the first time in three decades. She played with her band The Looters in Savannah, Athens and Atlanta, doing a low-profile gig at the Northside Tavern on Oct. 13
-Creative Loafing (Atlanta) Jan. 13, 2001

Homeless Folks Sleep On 'Em And Old Folks Feed Ducks On 'Em Dept.:

The Park Bench Blues Band has officially added vocalist-violinist Kristina Beaty to its lineup. The band played recently as the ironically titled "Kristina Beaty Band." Beaty, who worked with the late Rosa King and The Looters (who have a name more appropriate for an Oi! band) replaces original singer Julia Schoenning, who is currently working on new material with drummer Carlton Owens (Squat). The new PPPB opens for Squat at the Georgia Theatre on Friday, January 12.
-Flagpole, Jan 10, 2001

Kristina Beaty And The Looters Share A Wealth Of Blues

Kristina (Train) has played and performed with big bands and symphonies, as well as blues and fusion groups, since she was four and is currently backed up by The Looters. The band features guitarist Billy Bazooka (Joe Layden), bassist Blaine Bazooka (Eric Layden), drummer Jeff Evans, and keyboardist Dan Walker. This February, The Looters will be returning to their favorite vacation spot, Holland, for a tour with Kristina which will also feature keyboard wizard Dr. Dan Matrazzo as the star performer...

(Kristina Train): "I wouldn't call it intimidating because all of the musicians I've worked with up until now have been so very supportive and uplifting; they've really been such positive experiences. Although I get a little awestruck by the talent I've been exposed to, I try to observe and soak up as much as I can in hopes that I can learn just a little bit of what they're doing. To be honest, I love sitting back and listening to all of them just as much as I love to sing and play with them."
-Flag Pole, Athens, Georgia Nov 29, 2000

Rosa King and The Looters A European Jazz Great From Macon, GA Is Unknown Here... But Not For Long

"The first time I met Rosa King was during my second trip to Amsterdam. My cousin Jamey and I were out on the town, wandering through the famous Leidseplein Square, and it began to rain, as is often the case in Holland. We ducked into a small jazz café called Club Alto to dry off before continuing on. Jamey had heard of the place before, being a huge jazz fan, and knew that the small cafe often hosted big jazz stars from The North Sea Jazz Festival." -J. Lyon Layden

FP: Are you excited about coming back to Georgia to play? RK: Yes, I am very excited about returning to Georgia to play because it's going to be my first time playing there. I sat in with a blues band at a place called Blind Willie's in Atlanta two or three years ago when I was passing through on my way back to Europe. Isn't it strange? I've played for millions of people over a very big part of this world but have never played in my home state or home town...

WHO: Rosa King, Kristina Beaty Band
WHERE: 40 Watt Club
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 12 HOW MUCH: $5
-Flag Pole, Athens, Georgia Oct. 2000

Longtime homecoming Amsteram's funk/blues queen returns to Georgia

Rosa King left her Macon hometown at 18 and has never played a show with her own band anywhere in the South -- until now. This week, after more than 30 years as a dancer, sidewoman and bandleader, King comes home for a string of Georgia shows. On her way to South Africa for the first time to play a week-long festival in Capetown, Rosa King and The Looters play the Northside Tavern on Fri., Oct. 13.
-Creative Loafing Atlanta October 2000

From Wikipedia

Saskia Laroo (Amsterdam, July 31 1959) Laroo also toured with the well-known American band The Looters and performed with them as co-headliner at the 2001 Atlanta Jazz Festival.

Rosa King (14 March 1939 - 12 December 2000) However, the year before her death Rosa returned to her home state of Georgia to play a handful of gigs with fellow Georgians and friends J. Lyon Layden and Eric Layden (guitar and bass respectively), Kristina Train(vocals and violin), Jeff Evans (drums,)and Dan Walker (keyboards) under the name "Rosa King and The Looters."

Kristina Train (née Beaty[1][2][3]) is an American pop/soul singer and songwriter. Train began singing and playing violin professionally in 1999 with The Looters, a band also known for backing European musicians Rosa King and Saskia Laroo on tours of the US. She also performed with "Rosa King and The Looters" for several showcases in Georgia before King's death in 2000.

For Press Contact:
Joe Layden

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