Puzzle of Light ensemble  world, jazz, american creative music


Puzzle of Light, based in Dayton, Ohio USA, is a group of musicians with individual musical backgrounds and experience ranging from jazz and rock to ethnic and world music. Their music is both technically exciting and emotionally deep, earning the quintet standing ovations everywhere. Puzzle of Light’s original and experimental music demonstrates their respect for nature, as well as world cultures, and thus they are sought-after by colleges, performing arts venues, nature centers and outdoor garden amphitheaters. Instrumentation includes Michael Bashaw on flutes, harmonica, vocals, and percussion; Sandy Bashaw on guitar and vocals; Richard Roll on bass; John Taylor on drums and Erich Reith on percussion.

Sculptor/multi-instrumentalist Michael Bashaw is well known for his Sound Sculpture concerts, installations and collaborations, appearing in a variety of venues and events. Michael has collaborated musically with former Blue Man Group performer, Steve White and acclaimed percussionists Gordon Gottlieb (instructor, Julliard), Jamey Haddad (instructor, Berklee School of Music). He has shared the stage with such diverse artists as; Paul Winter, Solas, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and many others. His performance accomplishments include concerts and artist residencies in hundreds of performing arts centers, schools and colleges across the US, as well as film score composition. His innovative approach to musical creation and intense stage presence is captivating. Michael composes and records for film scores, and is also a nationally recognized sculptor: his work is represented in numerous public and private collections, as well as the Smithsonian Art Museum Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture online.

Multi-instrumentalist/composer Sandy Bashaw started her professional musical career at the age of 18, recording an album for the Vanguard Recording Society in New York City. With acoustic guitar as her main instrument, she has developed a driving, percussive guitar technique as well as a distinctive finger style. She has had the privilege of sharing the concert stage with artists such as: Odetta, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Eric Anderson, Maria Muldaur, John Renbourne, Tom Paxton, Dougie MacLean, Riders in the Sky, Solas, and Peggy Seeger & Ewan McColl. During the late 1970s she played piano and sang with the legendary country-western/western swing band, the Last Mile Ramblers in New Mexico and Colorado. Sandy is a published writer and BMI member: she composes songs, instrumental music, and film scores. Her early Vanguard album has recently been re-released on CD by Ace Records in London, England.

John Taylor is a Professional Drummer, Composer, Arranger, and Educator based in Dayton, Ohio. John also plays Piano/Keyboard, Electric Bass, Guitar, and Marimba. John studied jazz composition at the Berklee College of Music and received a B.M. Education from Wright State University. He arranges music for competitive high school marching bands and indoor percussion ensembles throughout the Midwestern US. Besides playing with Puzzle of Light, John is currently performing with Theater of Sound – an eclectic percussion group from Dayton, Ohio that utilizes massive Sound Sculptures in an improvisational environment.

Richard Roll has an extensive background in American music forms – blues, R&B and jazz. He has performed professionally for over 25 years with many popular regional bands such as The Slugs Premium Band, Cincinnati Slim & the Headhunters, and The Bridge (with Michael Bashaw, Terry Taylor and Tim Taylor). Richard provides a solid structural underpinning, while maintaining a calm and laid-back stage presence.

Erich Reith is a versatile, creative and energetic percussionist. With a special talent for dumbek and knowledge of middle eastern drum styles, Erich has accompanied dancers and other performers at Renaissance Festivals and other venues for many years. Erich is also a fine wood sculptor: his work is found in numerous private collections. Erich brings playful, and positive energy to the stage in Puzzle of Light performances.

July 2013



 Friday, July 5  – Puzzle of Light quintet at JAY'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, 225 E. 6th St. in the Oregon District, Dayton.  Call for reservation 937-222-2892 if you're coming for dinner. OR you can come for a drink or dessert and MUSIC, 9:00 p.m. until midnight. NO cover charge.  

Saturday, July 20 -- Sandy & Michael duo at Spinoza’s Pizza & Salads 7:00 p.m.  Spinoza’s is located at the Sears entrance to the Mall at Fairfield Commons, Beavercreek OH.  Call 937-426-7799 for reservation.

Every Monday, the John Taylor Trio plays at Brio at The Greene, Beavercreek, OH.  6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
top:  Sandy & Michael; John Taylor
bottom:  Erich Reith; Richard Roll
group photo above by Bruce Soifer

“Puzzle of Light . . . is a world-flavored quintet with roots reaching deep into jazz, blues, folk, African rhythms, Middle Eastern harmonies, Brazilian chords, Old world sounds . . . The band leaps nimbly from one inspiration to the next, wrapping them all in the signature Puzzle sound; in the course of one set, listeners might hear sources as varied as Van Morrison, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Leonard Cohen, Duke Ellington, Sting, Stanley Turrentine, John Hyatt and Dave Brubeck, among numerous original tunes.”  Duante Beddingfield, Dayton City Paper, May 2010.

WINNER, Best Local Jazz Band, People’s Choice Awards, 2008. 

“Their music is a living melting pot which mixes jazz, world and folk music in a perpetual movement of invention and transformation. Easy to listen to, their compositions are an ode to peace and harmony, a song dedicated to nature. They communicate a profoundly spiritual vision of art and music.”
     Gerard Nicollet for EcouterVoir Dossier, N°124, Avril 2002.
“An intricate amalgam of Jazz and World Beat styles complemented by instrumentation as free form and skilled as you are likely to find on any stage at this moment. In short, a unique musical encounter founded on substantial musicianship – a rare find of late.” Pops, Chicago, IL 2002
“Puzzle of Light drew a large crowd at Borders Books Music & Cafe for its release of the CD Music From Fallingwater. . . Someone remarked that nobody else around does what Puzzle of Light does. Someone else said nobody else in the world does it.” Don Henke, Dayton Daily News, Dec. 3, 2000. 

“Puzzle of Light is a title fitting for the band and its intricate musical journey through the elastic regions of light, time and space.” Don Thrasher, Dayton Voice, April, 1998.
"the most interesting and inventive troupe of music-makers in our area . . . so diverse that it's beyond categorization" . . . "Go ahead and try to fit Puzzle of Light into our preconceived . . . notions of what things are supposed to sound like. [Puzzle of Light] . . . has chapels to fill with sound, rocks to play, grand adventures to undertake. Just thank your lucky musical stars that they always come back here to share the things they learned. " Ron Rollins Dayton Daily News, May 2, 1998.

Puzzle of Light