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Diaspora release @ Sweetwater wowed

April 15, 2013

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

Diaspora, (commonly referred to as the dispersion of people from their homeland,) featuring: Tito Charneco, saxes; Brad Leali, saxes;

The core musicians of Diaspora are Stefan Karlsson, Tito Charneco, Fred Hamilton, Brad Leali and Jose Aponte.

The core musicians of Diaspora are Stefan Karlsson, Tito Charneco, Fred Hamilton, Brad Leali and Jose Aponte.

Stefan Karlsson, keyboard/piano; Evan Weiss, trumpet; Tony Baker, trombone; Fred Hamilton, upright bass; and Jose Aponte, drums; kicked off the group’s CD release last night at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, in Denton, to an enthusiastic, overflow crowd. The professional musicians, all at the “height of their game,” are either University of North Texas faculty or Alumni.

Jumping right in the deep end of Diaspora‘s eight-song repertoire, Charneco, Leali and trombone-Meister Tony Baker created a choir-like Jazz harmony on Warden’s World. Never faltering between solo hand-offs, band members took turns riffing and rolling through improvisations, then stepped away as others took off with runs, slides and brave challenges of rhythm and texture.

Listeners stood outside the open patio windows, or sat inside – sending up rousing applause after each solo and at the conclusion of the numbers. More acclamation came when Charneco introduced band members. Sadly, Baker had to pack his trombone after the opening number, as he had to make an out-of-town engagement.

New CD Diaspora

New CD Diaspora

This brings up a heart-felt appreciation for these astounding musicians – this is the end of another busy semester at UNT, most band members had classes on Monday – they may have played other gigs over the weekend. Some were playing with all-out verve after driving many hours to and from gigs, only to play other events, prior to Sunday night at Sweetwater. Music will out.

The be-bop Jazz on Diaspora is phenomenal and well worth adding to your audio library.

Purchase Diaspora at

More CD releases by University of North Texas Faculty, students and Alumni

Dan Haerle Quartet releases new CD


The new CD by the Dan Haerle Quartet, Live at Luminous Sound, featuring Brad Leali, James Driscoll, and Ed Soph, has just been released. Jazz standards played with a strong sense of the jazz tradition. This music was performed live and all tracks are first takes! Here’s the making-of video. The quartet plated a CD Release concert on Feb.3 at 3:30 in Kenton Hall. Buy the CD at

John Wasson releases “The New Cool”CD

“The New Cool” by John Wasson’s CoolBrass Jazztet

The much-anticipated first release by John Wasson’s CoolBrass Jazztet! Featuring arrangements of music from the Cool period along with other classic jazz compositions, this ensemble of five brass with a drummer creates a unique ensemble sound as they explore the music of Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, Oliver Nelson, Herbie Hancock and many other jazz greats. With stunning solo work and passionate ensemble playing, this group makes a bold statement with their first release. Featuring Chad Willis and Pete Clagett on trumpet, Luke Brimhall and John Allen on trombone, Jaelun Washington on drums, and John Wasson on tuba.

Available for download on iTunes and Amazon, or physical copy from, or

Brian Donohoe releases CD “Beatmaker”

Alumnus Brian Donohoe and his band Progress, which includes alumnus Matt Muehling, released the CD Beatmaker on Feb. 14. The CD consists of six original compositions: two by Matt and four by Brian. Find our more at

Mike Myers releases CD “The Big Picture

Alumnus Mike Myers (1985, Master of Music Education) recently released the CD The Big Picture. His website is Here’s a sample track, Prologue (.wma format). Mike is a loyal supporter of the UNT jazz program.

Visit for samples from other UNT Alumni CDs.

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