billcantos

Check Bill Cantos out – a very interesting artist…

Early on in Bill Cantos career as one of Los Angeles best loved club performers, a local reviewer got swept up in the sheer emotion of the music and called the vocalist and keyboardist a “hopeless romantic. The reference wasnt simply to Cantos beautiful love songs, which range dramatically in style from jazz and Brazilian to pop and R&B. In a broader sense, the quote captured Cantos irresistible sense of optimism, an almost childlike, heartfelt faith in what is good while living in a world of cynicism.

Combining all of his musical loves and inspirations, his new project Movie in the Night Sky stands as a perfect testament to the power of never giving up. In fact, it all begins with a dream… “The title of the album comes from a dream I had as a child, where I would wake up, walk outside with a great feeling of anticipation, and literally see a personal, private screening of a movie in the night sky, says Cantos. “A few years ago, it came back to me and I got the idea for the song. In a broader sense, the song is a bridge bringing me back to all I´ve dreamed about doing, musically and otherwise. Theres a thread of hope, a rediscovery of my vision as an artist which can so easily get lost in the day-to-day business of living. I wanted this album to represent everything I do creatively, and for the overall vibe to reflect what I do in my live performances.

One of the joys of being such an integral part of Los Angeles club and studio scene is having some of the greatest musicians around help make your music. Kirk Whalums unmistakeable sax is featured on the laid back moods of “The Deepest Blue and the spirited jam “Can I Help It (chronicling the throes of love). Justo Almario brings his exuberant and exotic flute charisma to a Latin jazz version of El Debarges “All This Love, and Pat Kelley adds guitar and mandolin to the wistful title track, as well as bending his strings on “You Cant Go Back, co-written by Cantos and Kevyn Lettau.

Other guests on the album include trumpeter Lee Thornburg, bassist Jerry Watts and drummers Mike Shapiro and Vinnie Colaiuta. Charles Williams simmering Hammond B-3 organ adds a powerful blues touch to both “Can I Help It and the funky chantalong “New Red Coat. “New Red Coat is one of Cantos most requested live performance numbers, a clever and exuberant story-song that draws audiences in both rhythmically and lyrically. Another longtime crowdpleaser is his percussive and soulful cover of Annie Lennoxs “Precious. Keyboardist, vocalist, composer, lyricist, arranger, producer, musical director…the multi-talented Bill Cantos career has been defined by his amazing diversity and adaptability to any professional situation. He has toured and performed live with pop and jazz greats Diane Schuur, Kirk Whalum, Dori Caymmi, Marc Antoine, Tony Guerrero, Everette Harp, Rita Coolidge, and Freddie Hubbard; composed music for dozens of television shows; had songs recorded by Brenda Russell and Ramsey Lewis; appeared on over 100 albums by artists ranging from Andrae Crouch to Brian Bromberg to Clint Black; and performed on soundtracks for such recent films as “Titan AE, “Space Cowboys and “A Civil Action. He has also been profiled in Downbeat Magazine and the LA Times. Movie in the Night Sky is his third solo album, after Who Are You (Pioneer) & The Bill Cantos Project (Brentwood).

Gospel music is also a passion for Bill. He performed for over half a million people at Promise Keepers conferences nationwide as musical director, keyboardist and vocalist of their world-class band; written songs for The Imperials, Clay Crosse, Helen Baylor and Maranatha Music; and hes a member of the gospel group Haven, writing and performing music for the Haven broadcast heard daily all over the world. Cantos also won an unprecedented two Grand Prize awards at the Estes Park Christian Artists Music Seminar, as best songwriter and best instrumentalist.

Growing up in San Diego, Cantos was inspired by his mother, an opera and musical theatre performer, and all kinds of pop and jazz music of the day–Earth, Wind and Fire, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and Bill Evans. “There was always music in the house, he recalls, “but the turning point was listening to my sisters Sergio Mendes and Brazil Œ66 albums. I wanted to be Sergio Mendes! I got into Brazilian music early on from that, and then started playing jazz in high school. After attending San Diego State as a music major and receiving a Masters of Music, Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory, Cantos returned to Southern California and launched his career playing with mega-producer David Foster in Canada and building a community of musical friends in Los Angeles, where he now lives with his wife, keyboardist and recording artist Mari Falcone. “I developed a career behind the scenes, but my goal has always been to do my own music and be an artist in my own right, he says. “I always try to infuse my music and solo performances with an overriding sense of hope, and feel so appreciative when someone in the audience is touched personally by a song I wrote or sang. Having an emotional impact on peoples lives for me defines the gift of music.

Words and photo from the official Bill Cantos website.

Discography

Love Wins

G.I.C. Productions 2006

Tracks: I Feel You, Who Are You, After You Say It´s Over, You´ve Got Me, A Little Bit Of Help, Morning Coffee, Forgive Me In Advance, Avenue 18, Don´t Say A Word, Love Wins, Go Way Moon, Do I Ever & Summer Dream.

Musicians on the Love Wins album: Bill Cantos, Brian Bromberg, Luis Conte, John Ferraro, Grant Geissman, Pat Kelley, Michito Sanchez, Michael Shapiro, Ramon Stagnaro & Jerry Watts.

Joy

G.I.C. Productions 2003

Tracks: It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, I Saw Three Ships/Good King Wenceslas, Deck The Halls, What Child It Is, The Cherry Tree CarolI Wonder As I Wander, The Little Drummer Boy, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Angels From The Realms Of Glory/Angels We Have Heard On High, Got Tell It On The Mountain/Joy To The World & We Wish You A Merry Christmas/Here We Come A-Caroling.

Musicians on the Joy album: Bill Cantos & Michito Sanchez.

Christmas Songs

G.I.C. Productions 2002

Tracks: Deck The Hall, Angels We Have Heard On High, Away In A Manger, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, Come O Come Immanuel, The Christmas Song, What Child Is This?, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Carol Of The Bells, Silent Night & Joy To The World.

Musicians on the Christmas Songs album: Bill Cantos & Tony Guerrero.

Embrase The Cross

G.I.C. Productions 2002

Tracks: Holy, Holy, Holy pt. 1 (instrumental), Embrace The Cross, At Your Throne, Pure And Holy (instrumental), All Creatures Of Our God And King, Burn Away, Psalm 121, Galatians 2:20, Nothing Can Separate Us, Nothing Can Separate Us (instrumental), Pure And Holy, How I Love To Hear From You, I Take My Rest, Holy, Holy, Holy pt. 2 (instrumental) & Revelation Song.

Musicians on the Embrase The Cross album: Bill Cantos, Mari Falcone, Alex Acuña, Randy Crenshaw, Sharon Perry, Michito Sanchez, Rachael Schunk. Ramon Stagnaro, Anna Vidito, and Jerry Watts.

Who Are You

Pioneer Music 2001

Tracks: Come Down (Two Words), Beautiful One, Hearts Of Hearts, Cool Drink Of Water, Go ‘way Moon, Who Are You, Love Is The Answer, Daddy’s Gonna Miss You, Settlin’ Down, Endless Nights, One More Stone & What Would You Do For A King.

Musicians on the Who Are You album: Bill Cantos, Michael Thompson, Pat Kelly, Carlos Rios, Richard Silveire, Tony Maiden, Keith Jones, Larry Kimpel, Abraham Laboriel, John Pena, Michael Shapiro, Ricky Lawson, Lee Thornburg, Tina Curtis, Glen Garrett, Kirk Whalum, Scott Mayo, Justo Almario, Mari Falcone, James Raymond, Kevyn Lettau, Arnold McCuller, Tommy Funderburk, Bill Champlin, Joseph Williams, Angela Carole Brown, Roxanne Catos Fulkerson, Debbie McClendon, Gene Miller, Natasha Pearce, Sharon Perry, Rick Riso & Deniece Williams.

Movie In The Night Sky

G.I.C. Productions 2000

Tracks: New Red Coat, You Can’t Go Back (But You Can Go On), Give Me That Smile, Precious, Blue Intro, The Deepest Blue, Can I Help It, My Dream About Ella, Sweet And Lovely / Lady Be Good, Perfect Day, All This Love, I’ll See You Tonight, Make The Storm Go Away & Movie In The Night Sky.

Musicians on the Movie In The Sky album: Bill Cantos, Pat Kelly, Ramon Stagnaro, Jerry Watts, Michael Shapiro, Vinnie Colaiuta, Bill Maxwell, Lee Thornburg, Michito Sanchez, Richie Gajate-Garcia, Kirk Whalum, Justo Almario, Charles Williams, Lauren Ellis, Rose Stone, Alison Wedding, Mari Falcone & Debbie McClendon Smith.

Be Still My Soul

Haven Ministries USA 1999

Tracks: Be Thou My Vision, Take My Life, I Sing Peace / Like A River Glorious, Blessed Assurance / Morning Has Broken, Nobody Else But You, Be Still My Soul, Great Is The Faithfulness, Christos Anesti / Christ The Lord Is Risen Today, Think About His Love, Holy, Holy, Holy & Amazing Grace.

Musicians on the Be Still My Soul album: Bill Cantos.

Who Are You

Pioneer Records 1995

Tracks: Come Down (Two Words), Beautiful One, Hearts Of Hearts, Cool Drink Of Water, Go ‘way Moon, Who Are You, Love Is The Answer, Daddy’s Gonna Miss You, Settlin’ Down, Endless Nights, One More Stone & What Would You Do For A King.

Musicians on the Who Are You album: Bill Cantos, Michael Thompson, Pat Kelly, Carlos Rios, Richard Silveire, Tony Maiden, Keith Jones, Larry Kimpel, Abraham Laboriel, John Pena, Michael Shapiro, Ricky Lawson, Lee Thornburg, Tina Curtis, Glen Garrett, Kirk Whalum, Scott Mayo, Justo Almario, Mari Falcone, James Raymond, Kevyn Lettau, Arnold McCuller, Tommy Funderburk, Bill Champlin, Joseph Williams, Angela Carole Brown, Roxanne Catos Fulkerson, Debbie McClendon, Gene Miller, Natasha Pearce, Sharon Perry, Rick Riso & Deniece Williams.

The Bill Cantos Project

Brentwood Music 1992

Tracks: A Mighty Fortless Is Our God, I Surrender All, My Jesus, I Love Thee, You Are My Hiding Place, Always Remember, So Happy, The Promise, More Love To Thee & Come Holy Sprit, Heavenly Dove.

Musicians on the Brentwood Jazz Bill Cantos Project album: Bill Cantos, Ramon Stagnaro, Brian Price, John Leftwich, Steve Bilman, Michael Shapiro, Doug Mathews, Sibling Revelry (Rita Cantos Cartwright, Roxanne Cantos Fulkerson), Justo Almario & Scott Breadman.

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