As Summer Brings Heat, RS Berkeley Sizzles by Adding Three New Endorsers

RS Berkeley is pleased to welcome Jonathan Powell, Albert Rivera, and Gregory Tardy as their newest endorsers.

Greg Tardy
Albert Rivera
Jonathan Powell

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RS Berkeley is proud to welcome brass phenom, Jonathan Powell as a new endorser. Originally from Largo, Florida, Jonathan Powell was born into an extremely musical family and was thus motivated to pick up the trumpet at the age of eleven. Inspired by the great jazz trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, Jonathan dedicated himself to music with an improvisational and creative goal. Though Jazz was his first love, he soon began shifting his musical tastes to North Indian Classical music. Drum’n’Bass, Hip Hop, Death Metal and 20th Century Classical music. These new musical discoveries led Jonathan to take up the tablas, a pair of North Indian drums and electronic instruments, including Samplers, Drum Machines and eventually Electronic Valve Instrument (EVI).

At 19, Jonathan made his exodus to New York City to find the musical opportunities he has been searching for. It wasn’t long after he arrived that he began playing and recording with world re-known musicians such as JT Taylor, Sam Rivers, Q-Tip, Andy Milne, Kenny Werner, Dave Douglas, Gary Thomas, Lenny White, Reggie Workman, Just Blaze, CL Smooth, Slick Rick and Snoop Dogg to name a few. Such collaborations earned him praise with top critics including Jazz Critic, Nat Hentoff, who wrote “Powell’s crackling range and the electricity of his imagination reminded me of the first time I heard Lee Morgan and Clifford Brown. His voice is his own.” – JazzTimes (April 2003). Jonathan has since been working with up and coming artists and groups such as The Element, Saadiq, Blitz the Ambassador, PPP, The Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra, La Bola, MK Groove Orchestra, Rogue State, Yayoi Ikawa, Beetroot and La Excelencia.

Contemporary, smooth, and eclectic can be used to describe Albert Rivera, “a modern Jazz Messenger” with one of the most exciting and sought-after saxophone sounds in today‟s jazz scene. “When I first heard Elastic by Redman, I knew it was only a matter of time before I adapted it to my own voice. In my music, when composing new sounds, I use the modal aspect of John Coltrane‟s works as a creative launching pad, mixing in a variety of grooves and rhythms. My music can make you move, it may make you think, and it definitely will evoke your emotions,” says Rivera.

Albert has enjoyed the priceless opportunity to play and learn alongside some of the greats in jazz performance, like Don Braden, Jimmy Greene and Claudio Roditi. Albert currently teaches at the well-known Litchfield Jazz Camp, where he is now on the faculty coaching both young and old players. He also is starting new programs to expose and teach a greater number of children about Jazz.

“Music is an expression of the soul and I always try to speak through my horn,” says Gregory Tardy. “I once heard an older musician say „it is better to be felt than to be heard‟. I never forgot that. That is my approach to playing any style of music.”

Gregory has performed and recorded with an extremely large array of prominent artists including: Tom Harrell, Dave Douglas, Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, James Moody, Bill Frisell, Andrew Hill, Joe Lovano, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Dewey Redman and Ravi Coltrane to name a few. Gregory currently teaches at the University of Tennessee and is preparing to tour around the world during the summer and fall.

“Albert and Gregory would be notable additions to any music company. They both play with soulful styles and are well respected throughout the educational and Jazz communities. We are privileged to have them represent our growing brand,” said Les Silver, company president.

RS Berkeley specializes in student, intermediate and professional woodwind, brass and string instruments. For more information, please visit