THE SAXATIONS

The Saxations are a San Diego based all-girl saxophone quartet performing popular music, smooth jazz, jazz, funk and blues. These four women, along with their rhythm section, bring to the stage a powerful and high-energy show, delightfully entertaining.

Allison Boles

Allison grew up in a suburb of Sacramento and moved to San Diego for college in 2004. She studied music and biology at the University of California, San Diego, where she excelled in diverse topics including music history, music theory, women in music, plant biology, language studies, and writing. While remaining dedicated to her studies, Allison made many lasting friendships during these years and greatly enjoyed exploring her new city.

After graduation, Allison remained in San Diego and began working as an editor at the Neil A. Kjos Music Company. Her main work there is with an amazing team supporting co-authors Bruce Pearson and Ryan Nowlin on their newest project, Tradition of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method. She has also contributed to projects by David M. Mruzek and Dean Sorenson, as well as acting as the sole editor for a new recorder method book by Wendy Barden and Bruce Pearson.

Through her work at Kjos, Allison has been able to attend many state music educator conventions around the country, as well as the international Midwest Clinic in Chicago; she has had the pleasure of working with award-winning, internationally-recognized educators and composers; and she has been able to explore different creative aspects of music publishing by working with print material, video and online components, and audio recording. Allison has great passion for music education and working in the music industry in general.

 In addition to playing with The Saxations, Allison performs with The Moonlight Serenade Orchestra and the American Flyboys big bands. She plays mainly tenor and alto saxophone, along with some clarinet, guitar, piano, and most recently, flute. She also loves to read, sail, enjoy time outdoors, try new restaurants, and spend time with her family and friends.

LeiLani Vidal

LeiLani Vidal began classical piano lessons at age seven, the same year she underwent successful open-heart surgery for a rare congenital condition. Soon after the delicate surgery, LeiLani’s parents, Cam and Dolly Vidal, both professional musicians, decided that the flute would provide excellent therapy during her long recovery. Playing the flute proved to be very helpful not only in strengthening her heart muscles and lungs, but helped instill a passion for music and determination to succeed that has lasted a lifetime. LeiLani’s heart and heart for music are as strong as ever.

By age eleven LeiLani was playing her flute on stage with Cam Vidal and the Blue Notes, her father’s popular pop, jazz and swing band, and quickly became a genuine crowd pleaser. Recognizing a good thing when he saw it, her father added alto sax, tenor sax and electric guitar to his list of demands on the young artist. From age eleven to twenty LeiLani performed with mom (vocals), father (trumpet & keyboards) and sisters Camella (drums) and Kim (bass guitar) at hundreds of gigs all over Southern California, sometimes doing four weddings, parties, special occasions and military events each weekend. They were a working band!

While the band played jazz, swing, R&B and pop music of the day, LeiLani’s true inspiration came mostly from the jazz era and, like her father Cam, she gravitated towards the great standards whenever the opportunity arose. Today, while LeiLani can hold her own at a blues jam, solo in a quartet, and is highly valued for her exceptional sight-reading skills with the big bands, her heart remains in the world of jazz.

At twenty-one, LeiLani left her father’s band and home (and steady income) to begin her education at Southern California College of Chiropractic in Los Angeles, CA. Completely on her own for the first time, and needing to make tuition and rent payments, LeiLani turned to what she knew and loved best – playing on stage. Along with the demands of classes and study, she survived by playing lead sax in an all-female house band in nearby Long Beach.

LeiLani’s diligence and determination to complete what she started earned her a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and finally, her Doctorate in Chiropractic. After the long struggle of putting herself through school, she returned to San Diego and opened up her own private practice. That was 24 years ago. Now LeiLani (Doc) is raising three beautiful young musicians of her own. Gino (16) plays trumpet and bass, Dominic (18) plays sax, bass and drums, and daughter Alexa (20) piano. Without a doubt, LeiLani has not only encouraged her children and given them the opportunity to explore their musical talents, but also provided a great example of what it takes to accomplish things in life. Most of all, she shared her love and passed on a heart for music.

After purchasing a Dakota tenor saxophone from brother-in-law and fellow Dakota artist Richard Elliot, LeiLani was instantly inspired and became determined to take her saxophone playing to another level. She joined a quartet, formed a quartet of her own, played with a number of San Diego’s premier big bands and popular house bands, and lately joined The Fabulous Mar Dels, one of San Diego best-known and long standing commercial bands.

LeiLani recently performed on Smooth Jazz guitarist Will Sumner’s CD, and has also co-produced her first album entitled “The Saxations” working with industry greats such as Paul Brown.  Along with her numerous appearances on local TV news shows, she also made her acting debut in the well received documentary film “Hola America” in which she portrays a saxophone-wailing street performer.  We know that whatever we find LeiLani doing, she’ll be putting her heart into it.

Leilani exclusively plays and endorses Dakota Saxophone models: SDSS-XG 707 SOPRANO, SDA-XG-404 Alto and SDT-XG 606 TENOR at all venues and live performances.  All of her mouthpieces are made by Jody Jazz, Models DV and DV-Chi.

April Leslie

April is a San Diego native and has been involved with music for most of her life. She began playing the clarinet in the 6th grade and was lucky to have some fantastic musicians in her band that inspired her love for music and the clarinet. Throughout high school she made top honors being 1st chair in her band, making 1st chair in All-State honor band and Orchestra, playing principal clarinet in the Youth Symphony, and winning the John Philip Sousa award. After high school, April went on to receive her masters in music from APU. During that time she played principal clarinet in the Wind ensemble and Orchestra and had the great opportunity to play principal clarinet in the Monterrey, Mexico Symphony Orchestra for a few concerts. April studied clarinet with Frank Renk of the San Diego Symphony and Heather Millet of Ceora Winds.

From 2002-06, April was cast as the lead clarinet soloist in the show Blast II. This show really was a “blast” as she got to experience an extensive tour of the US as well as a 3 month stint in London at the Queens Theater and a tour of Japan. The show combined performing on stage while dancing, doing theatrics and even acrobatics!

From 2002-06, April was cast as the lead clarinet soloist in the show Blast II. This show really was a “blast” as she got to experience an extensive tour of the US as well as a 3 month stint in London at the Queens Theater and a tour of Japan. The show combined performing on stage while dancing, doing theatrics and even acrobatics!

It was through her experience doing Blast II that April began to play the saxophone and flute.  In 2012, she got the opportunity to go on a few tours with Michael Bolton playing the tenor sax, flute and background vocals.

From 2012 to the present, April subs rather frequently with the SD Symphony & Opera. She also plays principal clarinet in the Classic Philharmonics Orchestra. Throughout the years, she has played in several musical theater productions on clarinet, saxophones and flute. West Side Story is her favorite! When April isn’t performing, she is an in-demand clarinet coach and teacher with students/schools throughout San Diego County.

April is a proud member of the bass clarinet quartet JAMB and enjoys playing in a saxophone quartet for fun. She used to be a competitive Scottish highland dancer and now plays the tenor drum in the Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band. She will be traveling with the band in August ’16 to Scotland to compete in the World Championships!

April is totally excited to be the newest member of the Saxations!! She loves the vibe and the message of sharing music to make people smile, tap their feet, and maybe even get up and dance!

TOMOKA NOMURA-JARVIS

Tomoka is one busy sax player and has been busy all over the world!

Originally from Gifu, Japan, Tomoka earned a Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) from Buffalo State College and a Masters in Music from the State University of New York at Buffalo in saxophone performance. While maintaining a private teaching studio for small children to adults, Tomoka performed with or was a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Dortmund Symphony Orchestra (Germany), and Bemus Bay Pops. In Jazz, R&B, and Latin settings, she performed for numerous music festivals such as the Queen City Jazz Festival, Lewiston Jazz Festival, M&T Plaza Concert Series.

For more than a decade, Tomoka worked with Armed Forces Entertainment, performing in over 40 countries for soldiers, ambassadors and other diplomats at U.S. embassies and military bases. Among the countries visited were Kuwait, Kosovo, Ecuador, Germany and Mozambique, just to name a few. Tomoka has performed extensively for the Young Audience Program and Lecture Series for students in Western New York. Now she is working as a teaching artist giving workshops in elementary schools in Los Angeles Area for Dream A World Education led by Grammy Award winner Bunny Hull. Tomoka also has experience in musical theater, having been hired for pit orchestra and on-stage playing.  You can also see Tomoka playing with Jazz In Pink at various Jazz Festivals!