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Dino S.   
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Instruments: Saxophones, chromatic Harmonica, Woodwinds, Wind Controlled Synthesis
Top 5 Tours / Live Gigs: Beyonce, John Tesh, Lionel Richie, LeeAnn Rimes, Ray Charles
Recordings: Rick Springfield, Usher, Vanessa Williams, Johnny guitar Watson, Elton John


Like his idol, Buster Keaton, Dino makes everything physical seem effortless. The Keatonesque hat he dons is a trademark part of the image he cuts every time he hits the stage, and he's keenly aware of the value of keeping the audience amazed and involved. Yet when the band starts up, the Los Angeles based saxophonist and harmonica whiz is all about the music--and seeking a Balance, the name of his first all-instrumental solo CD, between his prime soul-jazz influences (Lester Young, Ben Webster, Eddie Harris), pop, contemporary jazz/funk and a lifelong love affair with the blues.

A consummate sideman who’s long been an electrifying presence blowing tenor sax and harmonica with top icons from the world of pop/R&B (Lionel Richie, Ray Charles) and contemporary funk/jazz (Peter White, Down To The Bone, Chris Standring), these past few years has also been seeking the perfect balance between ensembling with superstars and sharing his own solo artistry with the world.
Helping him achieve that on Balance is an incredible array of L.A.'s top musicians, including Mindi Abair, Chuckii Booker, Lenny Castro, Sheila E., Bryan Head ('s regular drummer), Reggie Hamilton, Rodney Lee and Standring. Balance, which also features the presence of two of ’s personal heroes, Hammond B-3 master Art Neville and sax great Ernie Watts, is more than simply an incredible jam session led by a versatile musical talent whose time has come; both in title and spirit, the 12-track collection reflects 's personal, heartfelt philosophy of music and life.

Growing up in La Verne, California with sons of local orange growers, Dino was encouraged by his parents to start guitar lessons at age five-which were followed shortly thereafter by years on clarinet. "My high school band director saw I was a spaz right away, and could do more things, and so he pushed me to piano, guitar and sax, whatever the orchestra needed," he says. "My dad was a harmonica player, and I had already toured with Tower of Power as a saxman before I picked it up and started playing it for him when I was 23!"

Although 's resume boasts superstars like Lionel Richie, Beyonce, Elton John, Cyndi Lauper, Barry Manilow, LeAnn Rimes and Sam Moore-and includes a load of "unrepeatable stories" from several mid-90s bus tours with the great Ray Charles-he learned the most about performing for an audience from blues great Johnny "Guitar" Watson. "I started doing weird things ...jumping around onstage, and he just joined me," laughs. "I learned a lot about connecting with people from the stage from him."

Even as a sideman, has developed into one of contemporary music's biggest onstage hams. "When I performed with Down To the Bone," he laughs, "they let me perfect the art of stage diving and one handed pushups. What I really feel is missing in live entertainment and music these days is the old tradition of vaudeville that gave the audience a job as well…a place to feel they can have as much fun as we have. I always want to include them in the act.

"Thinking about future side gigs and solo recordings," continues, "I hope I can always surprise myself. I like being a sideman and a leader as long as the musicians I am working with have the same goal, entertaining people. Musically, the thing that will define me is my big warm tone on the horn, which I adapted from other players but is definitely different in today’s world. Everyone has the image of a smoky sax in their mind, and I want to bring the smoky tenor back to the music."

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