November 3, 2016 by Helen Borgers

Stix Hooper with Danny Glover and Ernestine Anderson (from

Percussionist Stix Hooper is a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders. For over 50 years, his campaign has been to bring music to people so they can feel good about themselves and others, so they can congregate in joy! 


He does not believe in boundaries or categories. He is credited with creating unique rhythms, and he gathers his players from all over the globe, welcoming influences from his various international musical partners. The last time I saw him in concert, his band featured guests from Japan, Brazil, Russia, Sweden and Costa Rica!


One of those players, Swedish guitarist Andreas Oberg, will be joining him again for another night of Universal Music on Saturday, November 12, at 8pm at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica. Andreas has been playing since he was eight, and has played in various settings, from bebop to Gypsy music to pop, with players such as John Patitucci, Joey DeFrancesco, Toots Thielemans, Hank Jones, Les Paul, and Bireli Lagrene.


Although his long-time and frequent collaborator, Russian-born pianist Eugene Maslov, will not be physically on stage, the band will be performing two of his compositions. The piano chair will instead be covered by internationally-revered southern California native, Josh Nelson. A fine composer and arranger in his own right, Josh is a CSULB jazz studies graduate and former accompanist for the late Natalie Cole. He performed with Stix last year and Stix is excited about their reunion.


Stix refers to his bassist, Del Atkins, as “my man.” Del is a regular in Stix’s international band, Viewpoint.  From south central Watts, Del’s mother played piano, inspiring him to pick up the bass in 9th grade. He got into Latin music early on, which led him to jazz, then on to working with Lou Rawls and Gladys Knight.

Del Atkins on bass with Les McCann on piano


The new player in the group is another Angelino, saxophonist Danny Janklow. Born in 1989, Danny has been enjoying an exciting career, having been recognized by Wynton Marsalis as an “Outstanding Soloist” on three instruments: saxophone, flute, and clarinet! And Danny was still only in high school! In 2013, he was a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. Since then, he has shared the stage with such luminaries as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Benny Golson, Gordon Goodwin, and Jimmy Heath.

Danny Janklow (alto) with John Beasley (piano), Dick Oatts (alto), Dan Schnelle (drums), and Ben Shepherd (bass).

Stix promises a great night of jazz, with influences from many countries and cultures.  He says, “Music connects us all, from Rio to Tokyo.” The concert on November 12th will include some of Stix’s compositions, some standards, and some pieces by his international friends. It will also feature a surprise guest vocalist of “International renown.” Stix would divulge nothing further, but he’s never been known to disappoint!

More information and tickets are available at


On-air personality, Helen Borgers, can be heard on KJazz 88.1 FM from 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. As a jazz broadcaster, Helen has been invited to give pre-concert lectures at various performing arts centers, served on panels in jazz conventions all over the world, and lectured about the history of jazz in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. She has also written articles for international jazz publications and regularly emcees concerts, festivals, and club dates throughout southern California.

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