The Jazz Survivors are an instrumental jazz band that has been together for over 15 years. We play any and all styles of jazz -- from old school classics to swing to bebop to bossa nova to modern -- plus pop and Latin. Tell us what you like and we'll play it. We're led by Zoltan Grof on trumpet and Les Blachut on vibes and keyboard, and we can also add super sax players, guitarists and vocalists if you wish. We specialize in corporate events and private parties, but you can also find us at local festivals, clubs and restaurants.
Price Range: $200 and up
Gig Length: 60 - 240 minutes
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Other
What to Expect
Our band plays all the jazz standards from the Great American Songbook, plus bebop, swing-era jazz, lots of bossa nova and some smooth jazz tunes. The audience can expect us to play a mix of all those styles for the sake of variety, unless the client wants us to hone in on one school of jazz. We try to be up tempo most of the time, but we love the beautiful ballads, too. We will usually be dressed in all black clothes (tuxes or suits,if the client requests it). If we are hired to play jazz as background for an event, we won't spend any time talking to the audience. If the client wants us to take center stage to entertain the audience, we will do a lot more interacting.
Our band strives to be professional in every way, every time. Three of the four members are full-time musicians and/or music teachers, with years of music training under their belts. It shows in the quality of the music.
We dress professionally, act professionally on a gig, and always arrive with plenty of time to spare for set up and last minute details. The band has a high-quality sound system and a variety of music to play during breaks.
Our band takes great pride in being flexible to give clients exactly what they want, in terms of music and budget. We can shrink down to a trio or duo to become more affordable, or we can bring in other excellent players we work with regularly in order to create a richer, fuller sound. These are full-time musicians, including a college music professor.
The guys in the group are highly versatile, so we can play any kind of jazz that the client likes, and we can roll out some pop tunes, R&B or blues when the need arises. This helps us at private parties and weddings, when the clients want to hear a mix of music.
We play at many corporate events, often on repeat engagements. Event planners like the fact that we can stay in the background to let the guests talk, or we can turn it up to take the limelight. For bridal couples and hosts of private parties, we work very closely to target the music for their event.
We have landed a regular once- or twice-weekly gig at a local restaurant that has lasted for all of 2012 and will continue into 2013. Several of the local festivals have had us back for multiple years in a row. (See our website for a list of gigs past and present, plus references.)
Here's our lineup:
Zoltan Grof, trumpet. Zoltan grew up in Hungary, played in the national TV orchestra and then came to the West in his 20s -- first in Canada and now in South Florida. He is always in demand, playing with numerous jazz, pop and party bands. His biggest influences: Freddie Hubbard and Wallace Roney.
Les Blachut, vibes and keyboards: Les comes from Poland and came to the US to complete his music education at the Berkley College of Music in Boston. Here in Florida, he is a music teacher, church music director and player extraordinaire of jazz and polka. His influences: vibes men Gary Burton and Lionel Hampton.
Eloy Oliveros, drums: A native of Havana, Cuba, Eloy has played with such luminaries as trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, sax man Paquito d'Rivera (his personal friends) and many other bands in the Miami area. He's the author of a well-received drum instruction book. His influences: Steve Gadd, Tito Puente.
Bob LaMendola, bass: He's the band organizer and also the only one with a day job. Bob grew up in Rochester, N.Y., playing guitar but switched to bass, which better suited his musical tastes. Biggest influences: the Beatles, Ron Carter, Stanley Clark.
Additional Booking Notes
We have our own professional sound system and microphones that will handle all of our needs. All we need is access to a standard electrical outlet. We do not need a sound operator. If the venue is very large, we would need to supplement our system. We do not have lights, if that were needed.
A Foggy Day (Gershwin)
All Blues (Davis)
All of Me (Simons)
All the Things You Are (Kern/Hammerstein)
Alone Together (Schwartz)
At the Mambo Inn (Bauza et al)
Autumn Leaves (Kosma)
Beautiful Love (V.Young)
Birk's Works (Gillespie)
Black Orpheus (Bonfa et al)
Blue Bossa (Dorham)
Blues Walk (Brown)
Body and Soul (Green)
Bye Bye Blackbird (Dixon/Henderson)
Canteloupe Island (Hancock)
Days of Wine & Roses (Mancini/Mercer)
Easy Livin' (Robin/Rainger)
Freddie the Freeloader (Davis)
Fly Me to the Moon (Howard)
Gentle Rain (Bonfa)
Green Dolphin Street (Kaper/Washington)
Have You Met Miss Jones (Rodgers/Hart)
How High the Moon (Lewis)
How Insensitive (Jobim/DeMoraes)
I Got You Under My Skin (Porter)
I’ll Remember April (Raye et al)
In a Sentimental Mood (Ellington)
It Never Entered My Mind (Rodgers)
Joy Spring (C Brown)
Just Friends (Klenner)
Killer Joe (Golson)
Little Sunflower (Hubbard)
Love for Sale (Porter)
Lucky Southern (Jarrett)
Moment's Notice (Coltrane)
Mr. Magic (Washington)
Mr. PC (Coltrane)
My Funny Valentine (Rodgers/Hart)
My One and Only Love (Wood, Mellin)
Never Be Another You (Warren/Gordon)
Night in Tunisia (Gillespie)
One Note Samba (Jobim)
Quiet Nights (Jobim/Lees)
Round Midnight (Monk)
Secret Love (Fain)
Seven Steps to Heaven (Davis, Feldman)
Shadow of Your Smile (Mandel)
Softly as in Morning Sunrise (Romberg)
Song for My Father (Silver)
St. Thomas (Rollins)
Stella by Starlight (Young)
Straight No Chaser (Monk)
Sunny Moon for Two (Rollins)
Sweet Georgia Brown (Bernie, Pinkard)
There Is No Greater Love (Synes/Jones)
Watch What Happens (Gimbel/LeGrand)
Watermelon Man (Hancock)
Well You Needn’t (Monk)
You Don’t What Love Is (Raye/DePaul)
Influences & Inspiration
Freddie Hubbard, Gary Burton, Steve Gadd, Ron Carter