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Season of Fire - A New Alma Matters Project with
Jovino Santos Neto
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Alma Matters new project "Season of Fire" is a collaboration between Brazilian composer/musician Jovino Santos Neto (piano, melodica, flute) and original Alma Matters members Peter Apfelbaum (tenor sax, flute, percussion), Jeff Cressman (trombone), Sandy Cressman (vocals, flute, percussion) , Natalie Cressman (trombone, vocals), and Jeff Weinmann (drums, flute), Erik Jekabson (trumpet), David Belove (bass),  and new additions, Ami Molinelli (percussion), and Mary Fettig (alto sax, flute).  The majority of the material on the recording was composed in Jovino's spontaneous composition ensemble at Jazz Camp West.  In addition, there are collaborations with Brazilian composer/guitarist/vocalist Ian Faquini who wrote the music for Natalie Cressmans' lyrics.  The centerpiece is a song inspired by the experience of living through the Northern California wild fires entitled "Hole In the Sky".  

Slated for an early June 2020 release with media and radio support.

Music Samples and Video Coming Soon!

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Alma Matters is a different kind of musical group—with members spread across both coasts, yet joined by shared Bay Area history and musical roots.


Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/producer Jeff Weinmann formed Alma Matters in 2012 with Berkeley childhood buddies composer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum (Don Cherry, Dafnis Prieto, Harry Belafonte) and trombonist/audio engineer Jeff Cressman (Santana, Pete Escovedo). The original collaboration also includes Jeff Cressman’s daughter, trombonist/vocalist/songwriter Natalie Cressman, and partner, vocalist Sandy's Cressman, both who have contributed stand-out tracks to the eponymous debut album (released in 2017). This collection includes fellow Berkeley High School alums master percussionist Josh Jones, guitarist Will Bernard, trumpet players Steven Bernstein and Erik Jekabson.


The shared history of the members of Alma Matters go back decades and make for a potent brew of musical styles that include Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms, layered with soulful vocals and powerful horns. The strong bay area tradition of multi-cultural expression and social activism are reflected in the lyrics, especially on the recently released singles "Mama Knows"  (a funky Natalie Cressman tune) and "Absolute" which features new addition to the group rapper Chris Burger.


Highlights include appearances by long time Santana vocalist Tony Lindsay on the horn driven reggae workout "Get Involved" and Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Founder and Director Terrance Kelly on a New Orleans style brass and percussion arrangement of "Wade In The Water”. Many of the compositions and arrangements were conceived by Apfelbaum.


Outstanding performances at Berkeley's UC Theatre, Oakland's Uptown, and Yoshi's nightclub have made it clear that Alma Matters!!


"Alma Matters is one of those albums that exudes passion and creativity, a true labour of love for all involved. Excellent indeed." – Jon Neudorf


"School’s in session with Jeff Weinmann’s Alma Matters" – by Andrew Gilbert, Berkeleyside

"Jeff Weinmann: Alma Matters" – by Dan Bilawsky,

"Supergroup Alma Matters ready to dig deep into the East Bay sound in Oakland" – by Andrew Gilbert, Mercury News

"Weinmann, Jeff: Alma Matters"– by Jon Neudorf,

"Berkeley High jazz comes home Friday at the UC Theatre" – by Andrew Gilbert, Berkleyside

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Photo Credit: Andy Mogg - Click image for high resolution


Photo Credit: Andy Mogg - Click image for high resolution


Photo Credit: Sara Herrera


Photo Credit: Sara Herrera


Photo Credit: Sara Herrera


Photo Credit: Sara Herrera


Alma Matters – "Mama Knows" Studio Version

Alma Matters – "Mama Knows" Official Video

Alma Matters - Absolute Official Video


Berkeley's UC Theatre


Oakland's Uptown


Yoshi's Oakland



For booking or press inquiries, contact Jeff Weinmann.

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