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I'm a pianist, composer, church organist, piano teacher, choir director, arranger, keyboardist, musical director, record producer. I have been on TV in Buffalo NY, New Orleans Louisiana, San Juan Puerto Rico. I have played professionally classical, rock, r&b, blues rock, arabic belly-dancing music, jazz of all kinds, latin, salsa and merengue. I'm currently playing jazz trio in Puerto Rico with Irving Cancel's Jazz Trio. Places we have been playing these last few years includes the following:
-Rincon Argentino in Ponce, PR June 2019 to the present
-Cafe Lucero in Ponce, PR March 2018 to the present
-Joe's Blue in Ponce, PR July 2015 to Jume 2019
-Hacienda MariBo in Adjuntas, PR December 2012 to September 2017
-Santorini's Ocean Lounge Restaurant in Ponce, PR October 2012 to October 2018
-Dora Clavell in Ponce, PR March 2011 to December 2012
-Bodega Andreu Sole in Guanica, PR Febuary 2011 to September 2017
I was also piano accompanist at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico from April 2018 to May 2019
Born Jan. 30, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois, where my father was stationed in the US Coast Guard. We moved to New Orleans in 1967, and later that year to Governor's Island in New York City. While we were stationed on Governor's Island in 1968, my father had to take a trip to the orient on a long mission totalling about 2 years, so we stayed at my grandmother's house in Buffalo's east side.
It was there, when on my fourth christmas, that my parents bought me a phonograph player. My aunt Peggie brought me some of her old records...Aretha Franklin's "Respect", Beach Boys' "409", Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love", Yardbird's "Shapes of Things", Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate One", The 1910's Fruitgum Company's "Indian Giver", The American Breed's "Bend Me Shape Me", along with my uncle Tony's Beatles and Rolling Stones records. He had a drumset upstairs that he let me use, and my grandmother had a small air organ. I was very picky about which songs I enjoyed, usually the A side. On the way to Buffalo and Governor's Island in NYC I often heard the song "Spinning Wheel" from Blood Sweat and Tears. This was absolutely my favorite song!
We came back to Governor's Island in 1969, and moved to Fire Island in the summer of 1970. It was there that I started playing by ear at 6 years old on a Magnus organ, and because my father found I had some talent, I started piano lessons at 8 years old in Fire Island, NY with Mrs. Hart, the elementary school teacher of Fire Island Elementary School. We moved back to Governor's Island in January 1974. Later on in the summer of 1974, we moved to a country hamlet called Higgins in Centerville NY, where my parents started a small farm just before my father retired fron the Coast Guard.
It was there that I really learned how to read popular and classical music; Beethoven, Bach, Clementi, Mozart, Debussy, Chopin, Haydn, Brahms and more. First from the lady across the street, Mrs. Roof, later Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. Stevens, then Mrs. Sadler. I graduated high school there from Fillmore NY, the next town over.
In 1982, I began studies in Music Composition and Piano Performance at the Fredonia School of Music, SUNY Fredonia NY, winning the Basic Studies Division Award for Excellence in Music Composition, graduating with a BA in 1987.
I studied composition with Donald Bohlen ( www.donaldbohlen.com ), and piano with Robert Jordan and Phyllis East. Originally considering a career in sound recording, I switched to piano performance and composition as a way to build a culture through excellence in performance skills, with harmonic technique. Repertory included Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #1, Bach French Suite, Messaien Vingt Regards De La Enfant Jesus, Beethoven Waldstein Sonata, as well as many others. Many recognize my avante-garde music there, as well as my jazz melodies and harmonies as I was developing in college. Also learning a craft in the electronic music studio, of music concrete, moog synthezizer, and the very first developments of Music Instrument Digital Interface, including programming of the Yamaha DX7 and Ensonique Mirage sampling...the very first!
Between 1986 to 1992, I freelanced as Church musician, organist, choir director for Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic in Cassadaga, NY;
Spanish Baptist Missions in Dunkirk and Buffalo NY; Church of Christ, Scientist in Hamburg, NY; St. John's Lutheran in Angola, NY; and accompanied for lessons and recitals at the University and abroad. When I graduated from Fredonia in 1987, the instruments that I was using at the time include a spinet piano, full rank pipe organ, and 9 ft heavy action concert grand and electric organ at the Peace Bridge Spanish Baptist Mission in Buffalo, NY.
A spinet piano and Rodger's Electronic Pipe Organ that was used by the theatre in Buffalo before St. John's Lutheran Church bought it,
as well as a very dedicated full 4 part choir. A hammond organ at the Church of Christ, Scientist.
A Steinway Baby Grand at the Presbyterian Church on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo NY.
A modern electric organ, and upright piano at The West Main Spanish Baptist Mission in Dunkirk, NY.
This I consider the main reason for my success throughout my career afterwards.
I moved to Buffalo NY in the summer of 1989 after many successful performances at the college as a paid professional accompanist. I moved near to where my father and grandparents and cousin Chuck Antolina (soundman for among others, The Goo Goo Dolls and the Riviera Theatre in Buffalo, NY) are from, the West Side, and soon I was introduced to Van Taylor in 1990. Van gave me his first job as arranger and keyboardist for The Lance Diamond Show. Lance was born and raised in Buffalo. He became a recording artist for Warner Brothers with the band The Goo Goo Dolls, whom we opened for and whom often visited us in the Elmwood Lounge, now called Milkies.
Our band and singer went on to win Buffalo Music Awards three years in a row, as well as Buffalo Music Hall of Fame (1992), as well as featuring on Buffalo Children's Hospital Telethon, and many stage appearances...with myself on keyboards, Van Taylor on 2nd keyboards, Lance Diamond as Front Vocalist, Bill Texido on guitar, Tony Blasting on bass, Robin Wilson singing on drums.
Lance died January 5, 2015...
We celebrate "Lance Diamond Day" as January 9 in Erie County, New York. I made a collection of a recording of our show...
Later, I moved to Birmingham Alabama in 1992 and was immediately introduced to the r&b funk soul band Musical Etceteras at the funky black club "French Quarter", whom played for almost completely black audiences on the chittlin circuit. We travelled on the road through Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Lousiana, Tennessee, South CaroIina, and Arkansas. I was playing keyboards and also as feature soloist and sideman for Willie Clayton, whom was recording for Ichiban before his big break with Ace Records. This group played the entire Southeastern United States, and gave great exposure of my talent and expertise to hundreds of thousands of people, LIVE!. With myself and David Camon on keyboards, Anthony Howse on guitar, Maurice (Pimm) Jones on bass, Kevin Scott on drums.
In 1993, I moved to New Orleans and met with Al Ancar and Premier Motown Review, who broadcasted our show on Cox Cable Network Television. Al has been making records and arrangements with me for over 20 years now! We played shows in Tipitina's,
The Chocolate Factory, Pampy's, Bourbon Street,
and other places in the New Orleans area. Al Ancar later introduced me the next year to Lee Bates and Cool Connection near the Bourbon Street, French Quarters area (Basin Street),
whose recordings with Allan, Alison, and Reginald Toussaint at the Sea Saints recording studio led us to play also at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1995. Mr. Toussaint told me in his studio that my spirit is "like Mick Jagger's". Al Ancar's Premier features Anthony Mimms, Randy and himself on vocals, Ben Williams on bass, myself and Marty on keyboards, and Walter Allen on drums.
I have been playing organ and choir director for the Episcopal Church since 1994 except for my years in the hotel business. My career in the Episcopal Church started in what was a Greek Orthodox Cathedral, the St. Luke's Episcopal Church,
complete with full rank electronic organ, baby grand piano, and full choir, making recitals and recordings for sale of the presentations offered there. Father Cyprian William Fields was being the rector who sponsered my talent, and made me famous. Later, after settling in Ponce in 2001, I started my organist duties at the Santissima Trinidad Episcopal church on Marina street, where I still am every Sunday at 10am!
I moved to Puerto Rico in April 1996 and was soon discovered by Leyla Zahar's of Raks Habibi Bellydancing Ensemble in San Juan, producing musical arrangements and recordings for the Hello WAPA TV Show, channel 4 in 1997. Musical lineup includes myself on keyboard and drum machine arrangements, Carol Roldan as Lead Vocalist, Bob Ritchie on guitar, Tony Makari on dumbek. Bellydancers include Leyla Zahar, Sandralis, Sandra, Cariceli, Nazirah, and Helena Irons.
Also at this time I was playing keyboards all over the island of Puerto Rico for the 80's band Club Soda. Meeting every weekend with some of the most prominent talents in town, including Alex Bonrod on Lead Vocals, Javier Hernandez on guitar, Josito, also known now as Alexander Perez Santiago on drums, Miguel Lopez on bass, Joe Cedeno replacing on drums, Manfred on bass, myself on keyboards.
I was also playing classical harpsicord, organ, and piano with Coro Sinfonico de Puerto Rico, James Rawie conducting. Featured in these videos of this choir, I'm playing piano keyboards with the Banda Municipal de Ponce.
After this, I met the legendary Aldo Matta at the San Juan Grand Beach Resort and Casino in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico in 1998. I was playing piano bar for the most lucrative tourism attraction in history to that date, called Flagship, producing recordings there as collector's items. The hotel was designed by architect Morris Lapidus in 1965, and had other names such as Americana, The Palace, and The Sands; where Gilberto Santa Rosa, The Jackson 5 and Sammy Davis Jr. performed. Marc Anthony was announced before arriving one time. The Miss Universe Pageant world contestants lined up 3 years in a row right in front of my instrument when I was playing, bikini edition! The Sands had sold to DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners in 1997, They purchased the franchise and renovated it for The San Juan Grand Hotel before I worked there. Richard Abati was the general manager, Rick Newman as operations manager; to include F&B managers Sheila Hernandez, Ivan Sotomayor, and Miguel Molina, and bartenders Lynette Chico, and Norris, whom has written some songs with me that I include on my Reverbnation and Myspace and CD Baby. The originals I made on location there sold very well, and also the background tracks that I had produced there were performed in Japan and China, as well as in the United States. This place turned into a huge financial success, and sold itself with the owners also having capitalized to a sell out in August 2000. The owners were Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jennrette, 277 Park Avenue, New York, NY. This place was eventually replaced by The Bank of India (notice my switch to Indian Hindu Music in the Tantra Restaurant 2003). I currently teach Indian piano students. The founder and top owner of DLJ, Commissioner William H. Donaldson, is from my parent's hometown, Buffalo, NY, born the same year as my father. These people were bought out by Credit Suisse of Zurich Switzerland, whom recently (May 2014) paid a penalty of $2.6 billion for their help in income tax evasion!
During this time, and later on, I freelanced in restaurants all around Ponce, Cabo Rojo, Fajardo and the San Juan metropolitan area. Especially prominent were The Tantra Restaurant Indian Cuisine in Old San Juan PR, Del Tingo Al Tango Argentine Restaurant in Pinones PR, El Pulpo Loco (Domiro Brugal's place in Pinones PR), The Caribe Hilton Restaurant in Condado PR, The El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan PR, Boqueron Beach Hotel in Boqueron PR.
I was later discovered at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan in 1999 by percussionist and record producer Sabu Rosado of Arabian Fantasies, whose demo with him caught the ear and attention of (and introduced me to) Sting's promoter and executive manager, Miles Copeland. This song is a hit on Desert Roses 2 called "Yala Habibi"! Many live and television shows crafted a unique style to our playing. Musicians with Arabian Fantasies includes myself and Lucca Silveira on keyboards, Falto Cintron on reeds and sequencer, Hector Matos, Ritchie Carau and Rafi Moreno on drums, Don Lugo on guitar, Tomas Rodriguez (Ramses) on vocals and computer sequencer, Junior Irrizary on bass, Luszelle and Aldo Matta on vocals.
I also met a very nice young Dominican girl during this time...drove her around important places, also dancing bars and barrios like Barrio Obrero in Avenida Borinquen of Santurce. She is very pretty, and we thought that she could sing, had experience from Santo Domingo. Named "La Rubia Que Canta y Encanta" made her debuts around town with me and singers Felo and Junior, later on establishing her name as one of the top singers and performers in San Juan of all time. Our stint at the Empress Hotel in Isla Verde lasted from 2000-2006, ending in a famous federal court room battle that the hotel lost due to lack of music licenses. We met some very important people there, including World Wrestling Federation wrestlers, and MTV parties. Jose Feliciano even sat at the bar once with his girlfriend next to him! A real gag, it has been rumored that one time Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez currently own the abandoned premises. Daisy Jimenez moved on to Houston Texas in August of 2013, winning the Paoli Premio in Orlando Florida. On occasional visits, she's finishing her first debut videos and sound recordings with a live professional Dominican Merengue Band performing on Hello WAPA!
Finally I was rediscovered in 2007 by salseros of the Cuna de Bomba and Plena, Ponce Puerto Rico. Starting a salsa and merengue show with Philadelphia famous Puertorican Sonny Silva, different live salsa groups, and later to be introduced to Irving Cancel in the back streets of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Professor Cancel, a Master's Degree recipient from the New England Conservatory, is a former teacher of bass and jazz studies at the Berklee School of Jazz in Boston, Massachusetts. We started practicing at the El Sarabanda club in Urbanization San Anton, a famous indigenous location for Puertorican folkloric music, starting a trio of a fusion of cool jazz, salsa, beebop, and latin jazz to form the ensemble of what it is today! Now we are currently playing Heineken Jazz Festivals, and restaurants and private activities in San Juan, and the southern area of Puerto Rico. Also recently we are featured in the Raul PM show with Raul Carbonell on channel 6 in San Juan! Also on Silverio Perez's show. Irving Cancel's Lineup includes myself on piano, Irving Cancel on bass, Joe Laboy on drums.
We finally have our records, Caribbean Feelings, Al Fresco, Close to You, and Proscenium Live (also on DVD) on CD Baby:
More recently, the Irving Cancel Jazz Trio has been airing on public radio around Puerto Rico!!!
Also a review of our first record is in Caribe Jazz Magazine:
"I'm a musician trained in styles indigenious to their origin. I have met and worked for some of the most famous, talented, and important people in the world of their respective professions. I have played and composed music for white, black, and latin peoples. I am still practicing my art."
Recognizing that RECP needed a partner with local market expertise, RECP engaged Flagship Services Corporation to assist in the redesign and architectural modifications needed to upgrade the product under the name of San Juan Grand Beach Resort and Casino. Flagship had been actively involved in the evaluation of the financially troubled Sands Hotel & Casino since 1991 and was in large part responsible for enabling the hotel to remain competitive given the lack of available funds for a full renovation of the asset. RECP was introduced to the opportunity through Flagships’ senior managing members, Richard Abati and Rick Newman, and benefited from their direction during the acquisition of the property and thereafter.
RECP contracted Flagship to manage the comprehensive renovation and improvement of the property in 1996. In addition, RECP implemented a marketing and repositioning program geared toward promoting the property’s new image. As a result of the successful repositioning, the Hotel was included in the Resorts and Great Hotels publication, Millennium Edition.
The History of My Business at the San Juan Grand Beach Resort and Casino
Flagship Services Corporation was established in 1986 by Richard E.Abati, an experienced hospitality professional. The firm operated as an independent hotel development and operating company in Texas, taking on projects for the Resolution Trust Corporation in numerous states, as well as projects for private entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico.
Abati brought to Flaship Services the expertise acquired as a senior executive for American Airlines’ Flagship Hotels subsidiary, later renamed Americana Hotels, Inc. He was instrumental in the financial turnaround of several Americana Hotel properties (including the Americana San Juan) in the early 1970’s.
In 1991, Richard Abati, teamed up with Rick Newman and, together with Flagship, took on the reengineering of the financially-troubled Sands Hotel & Casino in Isla Verde, a tourist area of San Juan in Puerto Rico. Through their efforts, the Sands became one of the strongest competitors in the market
In 1996, RECP I acquired a controlling interest in the former Sands Hotel & Casino that had been under severe financial constraints for several years and was in need of a major physical renovation to remain competitive in the local market. RECP was introduced to the opportunity through Flagships’ senior managing members, Richard Abati and Rick Newman, and benefited from their direction during the acquisition of the property and thereafter. RECP contracted Flagship to manage the comprehensive renovation and improvement of the property in 1996. In addition, RECP implemented a marketing and repositioning program geared toward promoting the property’s new image. As a result of the successful repositioning, the Hotel was included in the Resorts and Great Hotels publication, Millennium Edition
In 1997 the Sands was purchased by Donaldson Lufkin & Jennrette’s (DLJ) Real Estate Capital Partners I (RECP I), which retained Flagship as operator and project manager for a major renovation of the property. Flagship further strengthened the property’s position, developing it into a financial success. In 2000, having reached its targeted financial objective, the property was sold to the InterContinental Hotels Group.
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette or DLJ was a U.S. investment bank founded by William H. Donaldson, Richard Jenrette and Dan Lufkin in 1959. Taking the helm of DLJ in 1973, Jenrette successfully shepherded the firm through a recession and a later sale to worldwide insurance leader, The Equitable,where he served as Chairman and CEO from 1990 until 1996. The firm was headquartered at 277 Park Avenue in New York, New York and employed about 11,300 people as of July 2000. Donald, Lufkin & Jenrette was acquired in August 2000. DLJ, (which was majority owned by The Equitable (now known as (AXA Financial), announced on August 30, 2002 that it was being acquired by Credit Suisse First Boston for $11.5 Billion.
William H. Donaldson
27th Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission
February 18, 2003 – June 2005
Credit Suisse continues to use the DLJ acronym for certain business units, in areas such as private equity, real estate capital, and merchant banking. DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on leveraged buyouts, was spun off from Credit Suisse in March 2014. It continues to use the DLJ acronym. Credit Suisse First Boston's acquisition of DLJ closed in November 2000 with a purchase price of approximately $11.5 billion. Credit Suisse still uses the DLJ brand for its private equity operations, including DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners. DLJ Investment Partners and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners both spun off as separate companies in 2013 and 2014 (respectively), yet both retain the 'DLJ' in their corporate names.
The company restructured itself in 2002, 2004 and 2006. It was one of the least affected banks during the global financial crisis, but afterwards began shrinking its investment business, executing layoffs and cutting costs. During the period between 2008 and 2012, Germany, Brazil, and the United States began a series of investigations into the use of Credit Suisse accounts for tax evasion. In May 2014, the company pleaded guilty to decades of conspiring to help US citizens "hide their wealth" in order to avoid taxes, and agreed to pay $2.6 billion in fines.
On May 1, 2014 the stock exchange was fined $4.5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges it violated market rules.
---------------------------- DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners Inc. .
New York, NY 10010 Phone: 212-538-7118
Founded in 2010
Key Executives for DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners LLC
Mr. Andrew P. Rifkin Managing Partner Age: 53
Mr. Andrew P. Rifkin is the Managing Partner at DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners LLC. He leads the New York office of DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners (RECP) and is responsible for the acquisition efforts of RECP. He is a Managing Director at Credit Suisse Private Equity, LLC. Mr. Rifkin served as a Director of Anthracite Capital, Inc. Credit Suisse First Boston acquired Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in 2000, where he was a Managing Director. Prior to joining DLJ in 1995, Mr. Rifkin was a Vice President at Goldman, Sachs, & Co. in the Real Estate Principal Investment Area, where his responsibilities included asset management for various Whitehall portfolios. Mr. Rifkin received an M.S. in Computer Science from Cornell University and graduated with honors from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a B.S. in Mathematics.
Corporate Headquarters Eleven Madison Avenue New York, New York 10010-3629
Ms. Carla Giannini Managing Director and Head
Mr. John Lien Managing Director
Mr. John Lien serves as the Managing Director at DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners LLC. Mr. Lien is responsible for leading Credit Suisse's private equity real estate investments in Greater China. Previously, he has served as a Vice President at Lehman Brothers (5 years) and as General Manager-Special Projects at Henderson Land's China Group. Since arriving in China in 1993, he has underwritten and managed over US$ 2.5 billion of real estate transactions in the Greater ... China area. He serves as a Director of Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) Limited and Credit Suisse Principal Investments Limited (Tokyo Branch). He speaks Chinese, English, Japanese and is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and Minnan dialects. Mr. Lien obtained his M.B.A. from Columbia University.