Photo by Nano
Miranda Wilson
"With Sonya Jason, you're gonna get a great show. Seeing her onstage, I was absolutely wowed! Sonya has a way of capturing an audience. She plays what people want to hear - it's Soul jazz, R&B jazz, Latin jazz - it's just good music. The girl can play!"
(Miranda Wilson, Jazz Radio Host, Oakland, CA)

Steve Heard
"The music TIGRESS plays is the soundtrack of my youth. I think my first 'jazz' album was Herbie Hancock's Headhunters. I was blown away by how different it was from everything else I'd heard. Today, this music feels strong and fresh, yet definitely of a different era. The TIGRESS show is fun, funny, nostalgic and respectful of both the original artists and the audience."
(Steve Heard, Folsom, CA)

Katie Sanborn
"What a fabulous show! Great energy, great tunes, great band members. Sonya Jason is an amazing performer - from technical prowess, to creativity and audience involvement - the whole package."
(Katie Sanborn, El Granada, CA)

Raymond Hoche Mong
"Sonya's music is extraordinary, enchanting, and wonderful. Especially her sax: superb!"
(Raymond Hoche-Mong, Montara, CA)

Wilson King
"Sonya's talent is one of a kind. She is one of the best I have ever seen - so comfortable and natural playing sax onstage. Indescribable talent. Impeccable sax playing ability. She absolutely belongs to the big stage!"
(Wilson King, San Francisco, CA)

"Sonya Jason is a class act and one of the only artists that everyone demands to have back every New Year's Eve! So when we say 'by popular demand' - it's totally true."
(LaDonna Napier Trotman, J'LaChic Productions, Hercules, CA)

Laurie Jacobvitz
"We were all enthralled by the talent of Sonya Jason and her band called, TIGRESS. Sonya is a master on the saxophone, and we were so mesmerized. It is always inspiring to me to see someone doing what they love and putting so much passion into their work. Plus, she is damn good!"
(Laurie Jacobvitz, Rohnert Park, CA)

Giselle Stahl
"The band sounded great! I loved the repertoire - goes back to my college days when I saw Spyro Gyra at an open air concert on Long Island back in '83. It was so memorable..."
(Giselle Stahl, Calistoga, CA)

Markus Fromherz
"We loved the music, our friends loved the music, and even the police [who showed up at the house party] prefaced what they had to say with "it's really great music!" Good balance of original material and songs that most people knew."
(Markus Fromherz, Palo Alto, CA)

Kellie Morlock
"Awesome!!! Thanks to Sonya Jason for making great music and for sharing her beautiful, positive spirit!"
(Kellie Morlock, Half Moon Bay, CA)
Saxophonist Sonya Jason plays passionate instrumentals with memorable melodies, contemporary grooves and harmonic depth. Her TIGRESS band celebrates the innovative jazz fusion artists of the '70s and '80s, performing the music of David Sanborn, Spyro Gyra, Grover Washington Jr., Chuck Mangione, George Benson, Gato Barbieri, Yellowjackets, Jeff Lorber, Michael Brecker, Dave Grusin, The Crusaders, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Weather Report and more.

Tigress Band
Sonya Jason's TIGRESS
Band Member Bios

Sonya Jason
Sonya Jason
Saxophonist Sonya Jason was born in Nebraska and went on to graduate summa cum laude from acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston. Winner of ASCAP's Popular Music Award in Composition, she has released three CD's as solo artist and contributed her saxophone sound to more than three dozen additional recordings. Sonya has led her own bands in thousands of live performances. Playing for the King of Thailand was just one of more than 60 music festival appearances around the world. She has performed or recorded with the Yellowjacket's bassist Jimmy Haslip, smooth jazz guitarist Grant Geissman, the funky Brothers Johnson, and big band trumpeter Ray Anthony, to name a few. Sonya reveals, "Music is my gift, the craft that I have honed all my life. It is my contribution to the world." Visit

Allen Leong
Allen Leong
Keyboardist Allen Leong was born in Glendora CA and raised in Honolulu. He attended the University of Hawaii and played in many jazz and pop contexts, sometimes with visiting luminaries like Bobby Hutcherson, Ernie Watts, Ronnie Cuber and Jon Faddis when he was lucky, and sometimes with local legends like Don Ho and Brother Noland when he was pragmatic. In 1994, he decided he had had enough of sunny, predictable weather and moved to the Bay Area, where he's had the opportunity to play in many R&B bands and wear more sweaters. His musical tastes are varied, but he tries to play as many jazz gigs as his income allows and unsuspecting audiences will tolerate.

Ken Harrill
Ken Harrill
Guitarist Ken Harrill moved from Kansas City to the San Francisco Bay Area with his family at age eleven. He studied at Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, then returned to make San Jose his home. In 1981, he put together his own fusion band, "The Ken Harrill Group," inspired by George Benson, Larry Carlton and Jeff Lorber. He also began teaching guitar students and doing studio work. His sound can be heard on movie soundtracks, CDs,TV shows, and computer games. Over the years, Ken has freelanced with bands of many styles, performing with Narada Michael Walden, Angela Bofill, Patti Austin, Neil Young, Booker T, Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Clarence Clemens, and others. Ken advises, "Don't play the way you think people want you to play. Be true to yourself. Just have a good time and play."

Aaron Germaine
Aaron Germaine
Bassist Aaron Germain has spent over 20 years as a busy hired gun bass player, traveling the world and learning from the masters. Growing up in Massachusetts, he cut his teeth playing upright and electric bass in bands ranging from jazz, blues, and funk to reggae and Senegalese mbalax. From the beginning he learned to be picky about quality, but not genre. Moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2000, he entered the world of salsa and Afro-Cuban music, Brazilian forro music, Caribbean steel pan music and found himself accompanying Indian kathak dancers, veteran calypso singers from Trinidad, or navigating through dense, odd-meter jazz. Aaron has performed with Yusaf Lateef, Stanley Jordon, Andy Narell, Michael Wolff, and Bonnie Raitt, to name a few.

Rob Rhodes
Rob Rhodes
Drummer Rob Rhodes was born in Oakland and has performed in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years. He studied at the College of Alameda and San Francisco State University learning to play various musical styles including Rock, Heavy Metal, Jazz, Funk, Latin, and Blues. In the 1990s, Rob performed with Ledisi's Anibade group playing a jazz and hip-hop influenced kind of soul. Over the years, many other artists have benefitted from his solid and sensitive groove including guitarists Joyce Cooling, Ray Obiedo and Terrence Brewer, singers Mary Wilson, Tony Lindsay (from Santana), Denise Pierre,Jenna Mammina, Faye Carol, Fred Ross and Pamela Rose, keyboardist Ed Kelly, as well as saxophonists Sonya Jason and Robert Stewart.

by Sonya Jason, bandleader

There comes a day when many of us realize, "Life is short. I don't want to waste any more time. I want to live a life that I love, doing what I'm here to do on this planet."

For me, that means playing the music I love; inspiring and uplifting people who listen, so they come away with more energy, more passion for life, and maybe even a feeling of being healed in some way.

Sonya Jason Saxophone was the instrument I chose at age 10, only because it was shiny. I knew nothing about jazz. When I was a young teen, I saw a public television concert by trumpeter Chuck Mangione and his band, playing music from the soundtrack to the "Children of Sanchez." I was mesmerized and moved by the performance. The LP of this music was the first recording I ever owned, and my sister and I played it over and over again. Somehow, this soundtrack helped to comfort us during our emotionally tough teenage years.

Soon after, Chuck Mangione had a big instrumental hit with "Feels So Good," sharing the radio airspace with Spyro Gyra's hit "Morning Dance." Now I was hooked! This was the music I wanted to play: instrumentals with memorable melodies, contemporary grooves and harmonic depth.

The fiery romantic Latin jazz of Gato Barbieri and the west coast pop jazz of Tom Scott attracted my attention during my school years in Arizona. Later, at Berklee College of Music in Boston, I spent long hours in the practice rooms studying the heartfelt and funky R&B-influenced style of David Sanborn. I worked hard to develop my saxophone chops, boldly testing my budding musicianship by performing a concert of rigorous jazz rock fusion by Michael Brecker and the Brecker Brothers.

My musical roots expanded with professional experience to include the soul jazz of Grover Washington Jr., the intricate jazz fusion of the Yellowjackets, The Crusaders, Dave Grusin, George Benson, and the founding fathers of fusion including Weather Report, Miles Davis, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. When it came time to compose songs for my first two original recordings, "Secret Lover" and "Tigress," these jazz fusion artists were my biggest influence.

This is the music I love. This band, TIGRESS, is a tribute to the contemporary jazz and fusion artists from the '70s and '80s; the artists who seduced me into the music that was to become my life's work. Enjoy!