Little Black Dog

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Little Black Dog Band

Inspired by the big band and bebop sounds of forties and fifties, the Joel Penner Sextet plays unique original arrangements of some of the most famous standard tunes, jazz classics, Latin, funk and pop related jazz.  The music is extremely "listenable" and is easily accessible to all levels of jazz audiences.

Joel is a veteran of the Los Angeles and San Francisco music scenes.  He has performed with such varied artists as Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Glen Campbell and Florence Henderson.

Because of his lengthy experience in the popular music field, Joel knows how to relate to an audience.  He has a large following and is usually able to fill a room and "keep it jumping".performed with such varied artists as Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Glen Campbell and Florence Henderson

Joel's first CD, DragonJazz, which was released in 2001 has been extremely well received and has been played on more than forty full time jazz radio stations across the country.

After hearing the  Sextet's new CD The Church of The Little Black Dog, Sea Breeze Records has invited them to join their artist roster, which includes such luminaries as Bobby Shew, Nick Brignola, Bob Florence, Rob McConnell, Carl Saunders and  many more.

The band has played at many of Los  Angeles finest Jazz Clubs, including: The Jazz Bakery, The Jazz Spot, Spazio's, Jax and The Baked Potato.  The  band was also featured at the 2001 Monterey Hills Jazz Festival.  They have also been featured performers at many of the areas municipal concert series', including: Beverly Hills, La Canada/Flintridge, Palm Desert, LA’s Pershing Square, Manhattan Beach and Oxnard's Heritage Square.   The band has also performed for private functions and public performances at many of the local colleges and universities in the area, including U.C. Riverside, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, Scripps College, Claremont, McKenna College and Woodbury University.

In April of 2003, the band was featured on KSDS FM 88.3's Jazz Live program in San Diego.  They performed a concert at the Saville Theater which was broadcast live over KSDS FM to more than 40,000 listeners.

The musicians  in the band are some of  L.A.'s finest.  The band features guitarist Doug MacDonald, one of the world's best.  Doug has recorded numerous CDs under his own name featuring performers such as Plas Johnson, Ray Brown, and Jake Hannah.  He has also recorded with Bill Holman, Ernie Andrews, Jack Sheldon and the Clayton/Hamilton Orchestra. The drummer is Steve Pemberton, one of the finest drummers in the world.  He spent almost five years as the drummer with the Boston Pops and more than fifteen years with Peter Nero.  He has numerous television and recording credits and has performed with many of the jazz greats including Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Mel Torme, Grover Washington and many others.  

Also featured in the band is bass player Bill von Ravensberg,  who has played with  Tom Jones, Thelma Houston, Della Reese,  Ray Anthony,  Jennifer Warnes and many more. The band includes Cengiz Yaltkaya on piano and saxophonist Michael Rose.

These musicians also have varied backgrounds having performed with such artists as Doc Severenson, Freddy Fender, Buddy Rich, Joanie Sommers and many others.

For more information about the Joel Penner Sextet, please call 818-632-4435, or fax 818-840-2728.  You may also reach him by e-mail at:  If you wish to listen to a sample of DragonJazz and The Church of The Little Black Dog please hit the button Sound Samples. To order the CDs, please hit the button Order.

The musicians  in the band are some of  L.A.'s finest.

Joel Penner, Trumpet/Flugelhorn - Joel is from Los Angeles, California. He began playing trumpet at eight years old.  He graduated with a Bachelor; Degree in Music from the University of California at Berkeley and has been playing professionally ever since.  He has backed up many famous artists, such as, The Temptations, Glenn Campbell, Florence Henderson and Stevie Wonder.  He has primarily been a band leader and has led groups which have played clubs all over the U.S. and Canada.  His present project, The Joel Penner Sextet has been together since 1999 and has performed all over Southern California at numerous venues including Clubs, Colleges and Universities, Festivals, Fairs and Concerts.  His 2001 CD, DragonJazz was very well received, getting airplay on jazz stations throughout the country.  His latest CD, The Church of the Little Black Dog on the Sea Breeze label was released in October, 2005.   Joel plays a Stomvi Master Series trumpet and a Courtois flugelhorn.

Bill von Ravensberg, Bass - Bill is also from Los Angeles.  He started studying guitar and bass at eight years old.  At eleven, he took up woodwinds which he played all through college.  Towards the end of his college career, he started playing bass exclusively.  Bill has recorded and toured with numerous stars including, Tom Jones, Pat Boone, Frieda Payne, Thelma Houston, Helen Reddy, Johnny Rivers, Jennifer Warnes, John Guerin, Bill Watrous, Ray Anthony and more.  Bill is a founding member of The Joel Penner Sextet and has been with  the  band since 1999.  Bill plays a 1962 Fender Precision bass through a Walter Woods amplifier and a Goss Speaker.

Doug MacDonald, Guitar - Doug was born in Philadelphia and raised in Honolulu.  He is one of the most respected guitar players in the business.  He is a well known sideman and leader with many recordings under his own name.  He has performed and recorded with Stan Getz, George Shearing, Joe Williams, Ray Brown, Buddy Rich, Dave McKenna, Groove Holmes, Jack McDuff, Ray Charles, Rosemary Clooney, Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Hank Jones, Jack Sheldon and many others.   Doug has been playing with the band sine 2000.  He plays a John Buscarino guitar through an Acoustic Image amplifier and a Rich Rezor speaker.

Cengiz Yaltkaya, Piano - Cengiz is from Istanbul.  His father was an accomplished pianist and one of the founders of The Istanbul Philharmonic. Cengiz, studied music in Geneva before he moved to New  York.  He has a Bachelor's Degree from NYU and has attended The New School, Julliard and graduated from The Berklee School of Music in Boston.  Cengiz has studied privately with Herb Pomeroy, Gary Burton, Mike Gibbs, Steve Swallow, Johnny Bowden, Jimmy Giuffre and Sir Roland Hannah.  He worked for Atlantic Records until 1995 when he moved permanently to Los Angeles.  Since that time he has been an active jazz pianist playing  and recording all over Southern California.  He frequently tours Europe and has performed at jazz festivals in France, The Czech Republic, Cuba, Morocco, Rumania and Scotland.  Cengiz is a founding member of The Joel Penner Sextet. Cengiz prefers Yamaha and Baldwin pianos and plays Roland electric pianos.

Michael Rose, Tenor/Soprano Saxophones - Michael was born in Omaha, Nebraska.   He started studying saxophone at age eleven and was playing professionally by age fifteen.  In 1980, Michael moved to Los Angeles to study with the great Joe Farrell.  He has also studied with David Schnitter, Archie Schepp and David Murray of The World Saxophone Quartet.  Michael has extensive film and recording work including, Honeymoon in Vegas with Nicholas Cage and Stanley's Gig with Faye Dunaway.  He has performed and recorded with Freddy Fender, Charlie Rich, James Intveld, Karen Black and Jules Aiken.  Michael has been with the band since 2000.  He plays a Selmer Mark VI tenor and an Oleg soprano.

Steve Pemberton, Drums - A graduate of Berklee College of Music,  Steve is one of the most active, prolific and eclectic performers on the scene today. For sixteen years Steve played with Peter Nero. He was the drummer for The Boston Pops for three years and has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Patti Page, Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Mel Torme, Grover Washington Jr., Doc Severenson, Patti Austin, Jeffrey Osborne, Ray Charles, Johnny Mathis, John Pizzarelli, The Smothers Brothers and many more.  Steve joined the band in 2004 and has added an exciting dimension  to an already excellent group.  Steve plays Yamaha drums and endorses Zildjian Cymbals, REMO Percussion Products and Vic Firth Drum Sticks and Mallets.

M.B. Gordy, Percussion - M.B. Gordy is a percussionist who has quite a musical background, and most of you reading this have probably heard some of his work in either movie sound tracks, TV sound tracks, or from a wide variety of recordings and performances. His performance work with the Doobie Brothers began in the summer of 2001, and some of you have already had a chance to appreciate his incredible energy and musical abilities firsthand. A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, M.B. has performed with the LA Philharmonic, The National Symphony, The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, The Long Beach Opera, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.  His versatility becomes apparent when you add his work with such varied artists as Frank Zappa, Three Dog Night, Green Day, John Tesh, Loggins and Messina, Wilco, Bill Withers, Anna Visi, REO Speedwagon, Jaguares, Juan Gabriel, and Neil Diamond.  In addition to all his recording and performance work, for the past 15 years M.B. has been involved with the Yamaha Education Division as a clinician and education consultant. He is a member of the Doobie Brothers Band.

Rick Hils, Arranger - Rick Hils has shared his time between playing piano and writing music. His love of writing was established when he was a boy through listening to records which covered a wide range of style. Whether it was "Sheherazade", Percy Faith's "A Summer Place" or "The Beatles", it all was valuable as creative inspiration. At five years of age, Rick was given music lessons. His piano and theory teacher had to teach him the alphabet, or at least "A" through "G". Rick will always be grateful for his parent's interest in seeing him study music, and both of his parents were musicians themselves. Rick has worked as a piano player and arranger in  the Los Angeles area most of his life.  He spent three years on the road with Sam Butera and has written arrangements for many of the top bands in town including The Joel Penner's Sextet. Rick considers his arrangements for Joel’s band some of his most inspired work.




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