Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Molina, Al (Alfonso)

Molina, Al (Alfonso), trumpet; b. San Francisco, CA, 18 December 1935. He grew up in San Francisco. His mother was Natividad Belarde (born: Sept. 8, 1907 in Colton, California, Died: Jan. 8, 1981). His father was Alfonso Molina Sr. (born: March  19, 1905 in Tamolipas, Mexico, Died: Feb. 24, 1997). His father learned to play trumpet, trombone, baritone horn, alto saxophone, flute and drums in his father's Orchestras. His father, Jose Molina, led community bands, military bands, taught music in Mexico and in Pittsburg, California at the turn of the century through the 1940's when he died.  He was awarded a Haynes Master flute from the Queen of Spain while conducting a diplomatic performance by the Mexican military band in which he conducted and performed.

In 1943, he studied piano with Pablo Molina. In 1947, he studied trumpet with Alfonso Molina Sr. From 1962-1965, he attended San Mateo Junior College, where he studied music harmony with Elmer (Bud) Young. He played in the SMJC Big Band and combos under the direction of Dick Crest. The band performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1963. In 1990, he studied trumpet with the world-renowned trumpet player and teacher, Bobby Shew. His spouse is Claudette Rose Molina (b. 8/16/38). They have two daughters, Rebecca Marie Molina, b. 4/29/57  (Studied flute for 4 years) and Dolores Molina, b. 4/3/58 (played Cello for four years). Both children played in the Daly City Honor Orchestra in 1970. Al began playing cornet at age 12 in the James Denman Jr. High School Band under the direction of Fayette Noblet in the San Francisco School District. He continued playing trumpet in Balboa High School, S.F., and in the US ARMY 's 7th Division Band in Korea where he formed his second jazz quintet and received some recognition while entertaining troops.  In 1962, he enrolled in the San Mateo College as a music major and studied under Elmer "Bud" Young and Dick Crest. The college band received many awards and performed at Monterey Jazz Festival. Molina continued his career and consistently played over 50 years except for one year, 1970, when he suffer an attack of "Bells Palsy, a condition that attacks the  facial nerves through the ear, disabling the use of the facial muscles. After a gradual recovery, he continued to travel and play jazz in a variety of situations such as big bands, show bands, studio and clubs.. Al continues to teach privately and perform today in the San Francisco Bay Area in major jazz clubs with area greats while he composes, arranges, rehearses and records for Jazzer Records . His credits can be seen on his website at almolina.org and his CD's can be heard or purchased at Fivespot.com, wolfetones.com, MP3.com and JazzWest.com. In 1992, he played at the First Annual Jazz on the Hill Festival, KCSM, San Mateo, CA. In 1997, he played at the San Jose Jazz Festival and the 1st Latino Jazz Festival. In 1998, he toured Europe (Spain, Paris, France ,Germany and Amsterdam). He was a featured guest artist at the first and second "Bay Area loft Jazz festival." He's played at the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Russian River Jazz Festival. He toured in Hawaii the Philippines, Korea, and Japan. Some of the musicians that Al has shared the stage with are Mark Isham, Jack Sheldon     Flip Nunez, Pete Escovedeo, Bill Watrous, Jessica Williams, Johnny Griffin, Louis Gasca     Eddie Marshall, Red Holloway, George Cables, Eddie Moore, Colin Bailey, Merv Griffin, Tootie Heath, Monte Budwig, Larry Vuckovich, Eddie Henderson, Al Porcino, Al Plank, and Tom Harrell.

Recordings:
Straight From the Heart (1991); The Gift (2001)
As sideperson:
Pat Britt: Jazz from San Francisco (1966); Sir Douglas Quintet: Mercury Records (1976); Nerio Di Gracias: Evening in Luzon (1985); David Gonzalez: Jazz Mex (2000)

Films:
"Tucker" Francis Ford Coppola  (appearance and soundtrack)

Radio and television broadcasts:
PBS, KCSM radio Interviews.

Unissued recordings:
1979 -1980; 2 one hour concert appearances Private taped and recordings from San Francisco Bay Area Loft Jazz  1st and 2nd Jazz Festivals.

Bibliography:
2001 - "Trumpet Kings",  (The players Who Shaped the Sound of Jazz Trumpet) by Scott Yanow, Publ. Backbeat Books, San Francisco, copyright 2001.
1993 - California Jazz Now, Vol.3, #2, June 1993, Page 19. by Elizabeth Goodwin.
1987 - San Mateo Times newspaper Group - North County Publications. Pacifica Coastside Chonicle, Millbrae/Burlingame Recorder Progress, San Bruno Herald, South San Francisco Enterprise Journal, Daly City Record, San Francisco Today. "Inside North" by Bill Hurschman, Saturday, Sept. 19. 1987.

Awards:
2002 - Mayor's Achievement Award For Recognition in the Arts from the City of Brisbane, California on 26 day of August, 2002, in honor of his contribution to the Arts.
2001 - Daly City - Peninsula Partnership Enrichment Program for time and volunteer instruction to students of garden village School in "Fun with Music, Jazz with George" series.
1992 - First Annual Jazz on the Hill - KCSM FM RADIO, San Mateo, CA. Clair Mack, Executive Producer awarded Certificate of Recognition on August 1 1992 for worthy contribution and articulate expression of America's Classical Music, JAZZ.
1983 - Awarded "Best Jazz Trumpet in San Francisco" by the Bay Area Jazz Society during The "Jammies."
1963 - Awared "Best Collegient Jazz Combo" by KJAZ Radio and winner of a Northern California Competion.  Performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival - College Showcase.

Contact information:
almolina.org
jazzer@sonic.net  
1-415-467-9388
Jazzer Records
253 Tulare Street
Brisbane, CA, 94005

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