Andy Weis began drumming in 1959 at the age of five on his father’s high school drum set, in the town of Saint Marys in northwestern Pennsylvania. He began to educate himself by practicing to his father’s jazz records. From the beginning, jazz drummer and family friend Andy Florio provided long-distance mentoring. Involvement in school bands, community bands, drum and bugle corps and various local combos followed along with a lifelong friendship with Louie Bellson that began in 1969.
In 1973 Duke Ellington and his Orchestra passed through town and Duke let Andy sit in. Andy was inspired; before long, he attended Berklee College of Music and studied with Alan Dawson. Now, having taught drum lessons himself for nearly 40 years, Andy uses Dawson’s teaching methods today with his own students. Several of those students have won the top drum chair in the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Star Competition.
Andy settled in Monterey in 1980 because of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Due to the MJF, he felt that the area would have an outstanding local music scene. He was not disappointed. Monterey residents know that the area is rich with world-class talent. Since moving to Monterey, Andy has made four previous appearances at Monterey Jazz Festival, and 2017 will be his second as a leader. He has also worked as a clinician for the festival in past years at jazz camps, as well as a behind-the-scenes drum tech for the festival.
Through the years, in Monterey alone, Andy has performed in concert with Clark Terry, Bill Watrous, Richie Cole, Mark Murphy, Plas Johnson, Red Holloway, Bruce Forman, Smith Dobson, Karyn Allison, Scott Hamilton, Tee Carson, and Louie Bellson just to name a few.
Andy Weis and the Monterey All-Stars is a gathering of some of Monterey Bay’s top musicians and vocalists in a rare extended set. It was a natural idea to showcase some of the first-rate talent that is ever present in the Monterey Bay. Collectively, these artists have performed with a veritable Who’s Who of the music world.
Andy Weis: drums
Scotty Wright: vocal
Eddie Mendenhall, Bill Spencer: piano
Steve Uccello, Kanoa Mendenhall: bass
Gary Meek, Paul Tarantino, Ben Herod, Todd Clickard, Stu Reynolds: tenor saxophones
Brian Stock, Dave Hoffman, John Taylor: flugelhorn
Steve Wilson, Brian Moore: trombone
Dale Mills: clarinet