Perhaps it was written in the stars that Gemini Jazz was meant to be …

… but founding members Z Amato, Dan Brodsky and Bruce Doran have more than their astrological sign in common. They share a great love of music — jazz standards in particular — and along with their special guests, create the unique blend that is Gemini Jazz!

Z Amato Z Amato: Vocals Z started her entertainment career in elementary school, lip-syncing to a Stevie Wonder ballad in a school talent show in Texas. After that, she was hooked. However, she felt it was wise to have a fall-back career just in case the entertainment thing didn't work out, and became a chiropractor. Z has sung in the Agape International Choir in Los Angeles; with local band Rio Frio; and with blues legend, Sista Monica. She also spent three seasons performing in Frank Duncan's Cabaret shows and trains regularly with Wally Trindade (of famed Wally's Swing World) to hone her vocal skills. Z loves all types of music, but has a special love of classic jazz standards. Give her a microphone and some music and she promises to deliver.
Dan Brodsky Dan Brodsky: Guitar Dan's foray into music began in his junior year in high school after receiving a D- on his term project in Ceramics. Realizing the need for a different avenue for artistic expression, he took up the guitar. Dan's father was a former vocalist in the Lawrence Welk Band and so Dan was immersed in music from an early age. From Lawrence Welk to Jimi Hendrix to Wes Montgomery was a natural progression. As a result, Dan has been playing in various jazz combos in the Santa Cruz area for the past 10 years. He is currently sitting by the phone waiting to hear from Carnegie Hall.
Bruce Doran Bruce Doran: Bass Bruce started playing bass in high school and performed with several bands. He played what is now called classic hard rock. After moving to Santa Cruz 30 years ago, he became a fan of jazz. Inspired by listening to the greats like Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday, he started studying jazz with Ray Brown. Since moving to Santa Cruz, he has been in a many bands (rock and jazz), including the Double Standard band. This was the first of many bands he played in with Dan Brodsky. Bruce is currently playing in four bands: Gemini Jazz, Rio Frio, The Brian Quinn Group and Glennie B and Friends. He also holds down the bass chair, when called upon, for Steve Newman's Tuesday Night Jazz Class.
Yves Tan Yves Tan: Saxophone and Congas Yves started out as a good East Coast boy, taking classical music lessons on piano and clarinet. However, when he learned saxophone at age 10, he quickly became corrupted, abandoning classical music for jazz. Things got worse when he moved west for college where he became interested in Latin music and began learning percussion. All hope was lost when he moved to Santa Cruz and got into funk and soul. Well, the good news is that he has found plenty of other corrupted musicians to play with. For the past decade, Yves has played in a number of local groups such as Terminal Degree, Pawn Shop Soul, Hoopty Funk, Modern Marvels, and now Gemini Jazz
Bill Van Bloom Bill Van Bloom: Drums Bill, like millions of other kids, was inspired to be a drummer by Ringo Starr, but he soon realized that the inspiration was larger than a single instrument. Bill loves the live music experience, pursuing the elusive magic that is created by musicians and audiences when music is invented in the moment. He’s also a bit of a propeller head so he was drawn to the technologies of the stage and for many years worked as a live sound engineer with performers in many genres. Over the last 20 years he has focused on his own jazz drumming while performing in venues around the Central Coast. The jazz canon has it all: beautiful melodies, international rhythms, universal emotions and it provides a platform for creating inspiring moments "without a net." Bill can also be heard on the JazzTracks program on KSQD Santa Cruz, 90.7 FM and on the second Thursday evening of every month.
Lee Griffith Lee Griffith: Piano and Trumpet Lee started playing trumpet in 5th grade and after finishing high school, he played in clubs in the Philadelphia area to pay for engineering college tuition. For six years he played guitar, trumpet and sax with his two brothers and a Hammond organ player. He stopped playing for nearly twenty years to pursue a graduate degree in Biomedical Engineering and then to attend medical school and surgical residency. Since retirement, he has been playing trumpet and keys in a variety of settings ranging from big bands, jazz combos and brass groups and musicals. He believes that as long as there is music, the reaper will not come.

Gemini Jazz