A new star is emerging on the San Francisco Bay Area Latin music horizon with his trombone in his heart and salsa dura in his soul. His name is Doug Beavers and right now, he is part of a new generation of emerging bandleaders and musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area that are bringing a refreshing new energy to the scene. Doug's recordings with Eddie Palmieri's La Perfecta II have raised his profile on the national scene as a musician with chops and intellect worth catching. Locally, he leads his Conjunto Rovira, which has already debuted at Yoshi's in San Francisco and at the Down Low Lounge in Berkeley. As you will discover in the following interview, Doug is a talented artist who is uplifting audiences and collecting fans with every performance.
Jesse Varela: You recently performed with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra at Yoshi's in Oakland. How was that experience?
Doug Beavers: Performing with Spanish Harlem was just a wonderful experience--each night a unique thrill. Every show was musically invigorating as well. Being an arranger, I just loved watching those great arrangements go by, while sneaking peaks at everyone's parts to see what was musically going down. Plus, whenever I get to hang and catch up with old NYC musician buddies of mine, it's like I'm hanging on East 105th Street. I always have an absolute ball when my man Jimmy Bosch and I get to handle the trombone work--talk about putting the pedal to the metal!
JV: Tell us about yourself, Doug. Where were you born, where did you grow up, and how did you start playing trombone?
DB: I'm actually an LA baby--I was born close to Long Beach, in the city of Bellflower. At about 9 years old, my folks moved up here, to the Bay Area, for work opportunities, and I entered the public school system in the far Bay Area suburb of Antioch. In the fifth grade, I picked up the trombone and started playing it on the spot. I guess in a way, you can say that the trombone found me. I came up through the public school system and transferred to the local community college. Three years later, I was accepted full-ride to UC Davis as an electrical engineer. While driving to Davis for school, I suddenly had a life-changing moment. John Coltrane's Crescent came on my radio, and it was as if I was being told by some greater power that I needed to pursue music as a career. I was shaken to the core. The very next day, I auditioned at Cal State Hayward and was accepted on the spot. So I...