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Guitar Trifecta

Independently, guitarists Calvin Keys, Lloyd Gregory, and Carl Lockett are three of the most skilled musicians the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer. While each has played on stage and in the studio with a variety of music industry giants across the musical spectrum, they have also individually proven themselves worthy of the center stage attention they each command. They have united as a trio to spotlight what can only be described as a guitar trifecta. Friends for decades, the sum total of their years as professional musicians is over 150 years, each of them having started in their youth. 

Calvin Keys interest in music began while he was a young boy learning about the art form from his musician father, drummer Otis Keys. By 1971, Calvin had signed with the record label Black Jazz and performed with the Ray Charles Orchestra and Ahmad Jamal, among many others, as the featured guitarist. In 1975 he moved to the Bay Area from his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. He then began to work with internationally recognized music legends from the Bay Area including John Handy, Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Marshall, and Ed Kelly. He has toured the U.S. and Europe extensively and continues to frequently appear at local venues. He also mentors up and coming young musicians and offers private guitar lessons. He is a member of and teacher at the Oakland Public Conservatory and frequently teaches at Jazz Camp West. Keys has released 15 widely acclaimed albums and CDs including: Detours Into Unconscious Rhythms, Calvinesque, Vertical Clearance, Hand-Made Portrait, and Simply Calvin.

Lloyd Gregory grew up in Cleveland where he had an aunt who played piano at their church; her influence prompted Gregory to begin playing the instrument at age 5. He ultimately became a multi-instrumentalist who learned to play trombone, drums, and cello in addition to piano and guitar, which he picked up at age 11. In his senior year of high school, he moved to Berkeley, where he put together his first band. After graduating from high school, he served as music director for the vocal groups The Ballads and The Natural Four as they toured with The Impressions, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, and Ike and Tina Turner. As a solo artist signed to various labels at one time or another, he has opened for Stanley Clarke, Phoebe Snow, Norman Brown, Bobby Caldwell, Chaka Khan, and The Whispers, among others. A well-respected guitar teacher, Gregory is a member of the faculty at The East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and offers private lessons. He has several CD releases: Wonderful, Only for You, Solo Guitar, Free Fallin’ and, Gentle Warrior.

Carl Lockett grew up as a musical child prodigy. His interest in music began with him behind the drums. He later learned to play the guitar and began his career as a professional guitarist at age 14, playing around the Bay Area. He has continued to work professionally for the past forty years with highly distinguished acts including The Edwin Hawkins Singers, Chuck Mangione, Randy Crawford, Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Tammy Terrell, Esther Phillips, The Platters, The Ink Spots, Big Mama Thornton, Jackie Wilson, Papa John Creach, Brook Benton, Dakota Staten, Bill Summers, David Ruffin, and many others. He has performed in diverse settings ranging from an organ trio that included Jimmy McGriff and Jimmy Smith to sitting in for Jerry Garcia. He has played the 1980 Winter Olympics, the North Sea, Montreux, Monterey jazz festivals and all three Blue Note clubs in Japan. So impressive is his playing that he was offered a sponsorship by guitar techs at Heritage Guitar Factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who’d witnessed one of his performances. They created for him a custom-made Heritage Golden Eagle. Lockett has independently released his own CD entitled Carl Lockett: All About Music.

Because of their many influences, styles, and professional experiences, these three amazing musicians have learned to adeptly fuse classical, jazz, and R&B, the results being smooth, soulful performances that will leave audiences with a clear understanding of why, when playing together, they are indeed
The Guitar Trifecta.