(Orange County, CA) - Gruv Gear, Orange County California-based designer and manufacturer of innovative music products and accessories, announces a live music clinic & concert event with two of Michael Jackson's legendary musicians from the acclaimed documentary film "This Is It." The event will be the first of its kind that will give the audience a unique sight & sounds experience where they will be immersed in the music and imagery of the pop icon that has touched millions.
Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffett and Alex Al were the foundation of the band for what would have been a historical epic world tour, and they have not done an event together since then. Jonathan returned a few months ago from a sold-out five-city tour in Australia where he did a "Tribute to Michael Jackson" run and single-handedly captivated the audience. Alex taking time out his busy session schedule to share his signature bass work brings the experience to a new level, and with the opportunity to hear both artists talk about their techniques and careers, it will be an evening that no one has ever seen or heard before. Dubbed "Behind The Groove" for its focus on drums and bass, the exclusive event will be held on Friday, June 24th in an intimate 500-seat venue in Orange County, which Gruv Gear calls home. "Having this event in a smaller venue will make every seat feel like front-and-center, and every ticket a backstage pass," says Jay Baldemor, Founder and President of Gruv Gear. "You'll get to meet and chat with the guys, take photos with them, and grab their autographs. It would've been nearly impossible to do that on any tour."
"Sitting with Jonathan at a local restaurant in Tustin California, we listened intently as he shares some very special moments from his long and illustrious career as one of the world's most accomplished drummers," recalls Jay. "He had a very engaging yet calm aura about him, telling each story at a leisurely pace that you can absorb every word, making you feel like you were right there with him. Jonathan shared some of the craziest moments touring with MJ in Europe, where fans almost tipped over the tour bus in their attempts to catch a glimpse of the star and band. He also tenderly expressed the shock and grief he felt the day he heard the news of Michael's passing, feeling the deep loss as any Jackson family member. Jonathan has had a long history with the Jacksons, having played drums with them for over 31 years including the world-famous Victory Tour. In the 1980's and 90's, Jonathan was the preeminent touring drummer with twenty major tours to his credit, including Madonna's Virgin World Tour and later was part of her documentary "Truth or Dare." He has worked with countless world-renowned artists including Janet Jackson, George Michael, Diana Ross, Elton John, Peter Cetera, Lionel Richie, Eddie Murphy, Patty Austin, Cameo and Richard Marx, to name a few. Jonathan recently became a Gruv Gear artist endorser following their first meeting at the NAMM Show in January 2011.
Alex Al is an American bassist, composer, producer and arranger. He is best known for his work with pop icon Michael Jackson, serving as the King of Pop's bassist over the last decade. Sharing the stage with Michael at the legendary 30th anniversary concerts at Madison Square Garden, featuring the historical and last performance of the legendary Jackson 5, and the most successful documentary film of all time, Michael Jackson's "This Is It" film, which has become the highest grossing documentary/concert movie of all time, with earnings of over 300 million worldwide.
"I've been looking forward to being back onstage with the great Jonathan Moffett for awhile now. We've been talking about it for quite some time!" exclaims Alex. "Sharing the stage together with Michael Jackson was magic, a true blessing, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When we lost Michael, we lost the greatest entertainer the world has ever seen, but we still have Michael in our hearts. We are thankful to Jay at Gruv Gear for bringing us both back together for this special one night occasion, and celebration of the music of The King Of Pop, Michael Jackson. God Bless..."
Alex has played, wrote and/or arranged on numerous albums in almost all genres of music that have sold in excess of over 100 million copies worldwide. His work appears on many well-known records by legendary artist such as Stevie Wonder, Sting, Paul Simon and Janet Jackson. He can be heard on George Benson's "Standing Together" album, Mariah Carey's multi-platinum "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" and Counting Crows' remake of the Joni Mitchell song "Big Yellow Taxi." Most recently you can hear Alex's signature bass style on the song "Behind The Mask" by Michael Jackson from the recent MJ album entitled "Michael." He is one of four legendary bassists on Herbie Hancock's album "The Essential Herbie Hancock," which spans the decades of music of Herbie Hancock, alongside legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius, Ron Carter and Paul Jackson.
"I met Alex a couple of years before we started this company," recalls Jay. "From the first time I heard him, he instantly became one of my favorite bass players because of the passion he exudes when playing his instrument. Being a bassist myself, I remember going up to Alex after a show in Anaheim to get my bass strap autographed. Little did I know that he would become one of my company's artist endorsers a few years later, and agree to do this exclusive event for us back in the same city!"
Alex has also worked with Alicia Keys, John Mayer, Mary J. Blige, Tupac Shakur, Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, Roger Daltry of The Who, Slash of Guns N' Roses, legendary Sergio Mendes, rock icon Carlos Santana and Miles Davis (post humously). Alex also has lent his upright bass skills on Herbie Hancock's Grammy-winning "Tribute to Gerswhin" album featuring the song "St. Louis Blues," which features Stevie Wonder, as well as important global work and recordings with legendary producer Quincy Jones. Alex also has worked closely with Hollywood film composers: James Newton Howard, John Powell, Stanley Clarke and Andrea Morricone (son of legendary composer Ennio Morricone). His unique bass playing can be heard nightly on Lopez Tonight with George Lopez.
The event will be held just one day before the 2nd anniversary of Michael's passing, which makes it that much more special. Jonathan notes, "It would be a great evening to celebrate his music and his life." Finally, it was also just announced that Jonathan Moffett will be the drummer on the Michael Jackson "The Immortal World Tour" by Cirque du Soleil, which will be a 3-year-long run before settling as a permanent installation in Las Vegas. Jay notes, "With Jonathan's tour rehearsals starting shortly after our event, it will be tough to catch him in this setting, let alone both guys together on one stage. It could very well turn out to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I'm thrilled that Gruv Gear is the company that's making it happen!"
For more information and tickets to this limited-seating event, visit http://www.gruvgear.com/behindthegroove
Learn more about Alex Al
Learn more about Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffett
About Gruv Gear
Gruv Gear designs and builds innovative utility gear and accessories for creative professionals, including musicians, DJs, photographers, cinematographers, film makers, audio/video engineers, and media crews. Founded in 2007 by a musician and product designer, the California-based company has been seeing tremendous forward momentum and widespread acclaims in a very short time, with global patents pending for its current innovations and more game-changing products slated in 2011. Gruv Gear continues to flex its marketing muscle with grassroots clinics and events, exclusive online campaigns, and major artist endorsements. Its brands and products include the Solo Series Personal Gear Cart (V-Cart Solo, Solo XL, Solo Lite), FretWraps String Muters, Sliiv, Venue Series Cargo Bags, and the V-Strap Signature, a true ergonomic guitar/bass double strap.
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