Gregg KarukasView in iTunes
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A talented keyboardist, Gregg Karukas has mostly worked in the commercial side of jazz. Although he noodled on the piano from age six, he did not start studying music seriously until he was a teenager. Karukas often played organ in R&B bands early on and at 17 he began a five-year stint with Tim Eyermann's East Coast Offering. After a period working as a studio musician in D.C., he moved to Los Angeles in 1983, where he became a major part of the pop-jazz scene, playing with (among others) Richard Elliot, Grant Geissman, Ronnie Laws, and David Benoit. Karukas worked for a year and a half with Melissa Manchester, had a band that featured the young saxophonist Dave Koz, and in the mid-'80s became an original member of the Rippingtons. In addition to his crossover work, Karukas has gained extensive experience playing Brazilian music, including with Ricardo Silveira, Sergio Mendes, and Dori Caymmi; worked as a freelance producer; been a sideman on albums by Boney James, Peter White, and Craig Chaquico; worked as a studio musician; and written songs for a variety of R&B/pop artists. As a leader, Gregg Karukas has recorded for Optimism, Positive Music, Fahrenheit, I.E. Music, N-Coded Music, and Trippin 'N' Rhythm. ~ Scott Yanow