Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Cavaseno, Joseph "G-Clef" (Harry)
Cavaseno, Joseph "G-Clef" (Harry), saxophonist, clarinetist, pianist, singer, composer; b. Mineola, NY, 2 June 1967. Raised originally, until 1969, in Laurelton, Queens, NY, then family moved to West Hempstead, NY, with father, Joseph Vincent, b 1927 NYC, and mother Leslie, b 1948, NY. Had one brother, Andrew, who plays bass and guitar, and one cousin Eddie Cavasenno, plays drums.
Studied at International Art of Jazz Worskshops (Hempstead H.S.)(1979-1983?) with teachers such as Arnie Lawrence, Dave Burns, Hale Smith, others. He had private clarinet and sax studies with Chasy Dean (Charles DeAngelis). Fellow students were Justin Robinson, Herman "X" Clark, Ray Holmes, Eric Lemmons. Attended Rutgers University (1985-6), studied under William Butler Fielder, Sahib Shihab, Keith Copeland, Kenny Barron. Fellow students included Steve Nelson, Frank Lacy, Mike Mossman, Peter Bernstein. Studied at New School for Jazz, NYC (1986), studied with Arnie Lawrence, Sir Roland Hanna, Jerry Gonzales.
Performances: Lionel Hampton, featured on clarinet (1984-85) with a small group featuring Kenny Washington. Featured with organist Wild Bill Davis (1984). Featured with Illinois Jacquet Big Band (on and off from 1985-1998) as lead alto sax and primary soloist, some arranging, recorded Grammy Nominated album on Atlantic (1987). Featured and recorded with trumpet legend Doc Cheatham.
Featured as leader and sideman with organist Bobby Forester, (1986-1997) incuding stint at Showman's Cafe in Harlem (1990-95?) and various clubs in NYC area. Performed as regular member of The Louis Armstrong Legacy Band led by Arvell Shaw, on clarinet, becoming musical director/arranger. Regular member and musical director for Panama Francis and the Savoy Sultans (1987-1998).
Featured intermittently with Weldon Irvine group, as well as being hired as producer and co-writer(1992-1997).
Also experimented with Jazz-HipHop fusion. Led group Ghetto Philharmoic, which signed deal with Tuff City Records (CBS) (1992-1994). as lead rap vocalist, saxophonist, arranger, producer, composer. Started own recording label called Soul Kid Records (1995-98), featured independent hip-hop oriented self-productions ranging from own group Soul Kid Klik, which entered into short lived affiliation with Wu-Tang Clan, to self titled "G-Clef's Jazzy Breaks" albums, featuring jazz improvisations with hiphop production.
Led Modern Swing Band Yalloppin' Hounds (1998- present) acting as musician, vocalist, musical director, composer, and arranger.
Doc Cheatham: Echoes of Harlem (1987); Illinois Jacquet: Jacquet's Got It (1989, rec. 1987); Arvell Shaw and the Armstrong Legacy: Live at NYU (1989); Ghetto Philharmonic: Don't Bite the Concept (single & video) (1992), Hip-Hop/Be-Bop (1993); Weldon "Master Wel" Irvine, When I Was a Sperm (single) (1994); Camille Gainer: G-Clef Meets the Funky Drummer, Vol.1 (1994), G-Clef Meets the Funky Drummer, Vol.2 (1994); Soul Kid Entertainment: P.O.W. (song on compilation LP) (1995); Soul Kid Klik: Mortal Combat (single) (1994); Rekanize:, Hip-Hop/Don't Stop (single) (1996); G-Clef: G-Clef's Jazzy Breaks, vol. 1 (1996); Goodfella Mike G: Strictly Dago (single) (1997); Dr. Ring Ding:, My Sound, from Diggin Up Dirt (1999); Yalloppin' Hounds, Ghetto Swing Extreme (2000), New Yalloppin' City (2001), Dirty, Raw and Swingin': Live at Lincoln Center (2002), Lindy Hop Deluxe (2002); G-Clef and da Houndz: Sampler (2002); The Blak ProphetZ: 'With FX' / 'The Maddest Style' - 12 Inch Single (2002); Soul Kid Klik: Invisible Army (2002); G-Clef: Journals from a Desert Planet (2003); Yalloppin' Hounds: The Architect: Play the music of Duke Ellington (2003); Rayzd: Fear is the Mind Killer (2003); G-Clef da Mad Komposa: G-Clef's Dramas Breaks (2004); Never Too Late: Joey Lee aka Skinslaya (2004)
Television and film:
1985- Talk of the Town, featured with Lionel Hampton
1987- French TV ?, featured with Illinois Jacquet Live in Concert
1994- Ghetto Philharmonic- Don't Bite the Concept, Tuff City Video
1995- German TV ?, featured with Illinois Jacquet Live in Concert
1995- Swiss TV ? , Live at Bern Jazz Fest, featured with Arvell Shaw
2001- Motion Picture "Dead Pet" usage of Yalloppin' Hounds "Oops, My Bad"
2002- Harold Ousley's Circle of Friends, Manhattan Cable Show
2003- Motion Picture "Nola" usage of Yalloppin' Hounds "Oops, My Bad"
1985- review of performance, NY Times
1985- review of performance, NY Post
1985- Downbeat Magazine, Upcoming Talent feature, Mary Snyder Vance
2001- Atomic Magazine- story on Yalloppin' Hounds
2001- The Swing Book by Degen Penner (Yalloppin' Hounds merit a writeup)