The Mystic Mangos

Ava Scofield, "Elephants In My Ears" Producer/Singer/Songwriter has been singing and composing since the age of 5. Classically-trained as well as skilled in jazz technique Ava has performed professionally since the age of twelve. She has appeared in countless stage productions and choral groups in both leading and supporting roles. Her many solo performances and her music have been featured on stage, television and on the radio both in the U.S. and abroad. She has participated in vocal workshops with Bobby McFerrin, Carl Anderson and Giorgio Tozzi and studied cello technique with recently deceased famed cellist Gordon Epperson. She played a leading role as the daughter of the also now-deceased distinguished Metropolitan opera singer Jerome Hines in Boris Gudunov. She is a prolific and developed composer as well as a skilled cellist and guitarist.

Ava has been a choral conductor and worked extensively in providing music education to both children and adults. Starting in 1989, she has brought her music program, "MusiKids!" to schools, teaching music theory, performance technique and sharing the joys of music with children of all ages.

Ava's 1st CD, "Vision On The Rise" reflects her diverse musical training and is a testament to Ava's unique musical style. As a solo artist and in conjunction with others Ava continues to explore the many and varied facets of music and to grow as a musician and composer. She is thrilled to share the splendid, sweet, silly songs on her latest CD--"Elephants In My Ears"--with you!

John R. Burr, John R. Burr is that rare pianist who combines jazz technique with a genuine love for folk music. The Philadelphia Weekly said, "Pianist extraordinaire John R. Burr has the most sparkling style since former Allman Brother-turned-Rolling Stone hired hand Chuck Leavell." Discology wrote, "John R. Burr ranks with the best of the elegant jazzers."
Burr was first drawn to the piano at the age of 10 when he heard Vince Guaraldi's playing on the Peanut's animated TV specials. He started out as a child prodigy drummer; he was the only child out of 5 siblings not forced to study the piano. It wasn't until he was in high school that his focus turned to the keyboard. He then discovered that there were too many drummers to compete with and the piano became his instrument of choice.
After years of touring with such artists as Maria Muldaur, The Alison Brown Quartet, Paul McCandless, Michael Manring and Kathy Kallick and recognition including a feature spot on Windham Hill's Piano Sampler II, Burr is stepping out with his first solo album, Piedmont Avenue. His playing is as likely to be inspired by James Taylor or Doctor John as by Oscar Peterson or the Yellowjackets although he says it is his love of folk music that has influenced him most. His musical diversity has enabled him to tour and record with a variety of artists.

Mark Holzinger, Mark has lived, recorded and toured out of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nashville and Boston, having also performed in New York City, 50 U.S. States, Canada, Mexico and Jamaica. Performances include T.V., radio, music videos, musicals, LP's and CDs. Since moving back to his roots in the San Francisco Area in 1996 he has recorded and performed regularly, with venues including The Fillmore, the Warfield Theatre and the Masonic Auditorium (2002 S.F. Jazz Festival). Major music festivals include Strawberry, Hog Farm, Fat Fry, Two-Day Town, Earth Dance, and Kaleidoscope While performing concerts and festivals, he makes his living providing entertainment at restaurants, weddings, parties and private events. He has continuous,engagements on the Hornblower Yachts, Gordons House of Fine Eats, Jupiter Lounge, and Italian Colors where you can find Mark strolling through the restaurant with a remote wireless guitar system. He has a 2002 CD release featuring original music with his band "Groove.Org" located at and also a splendid 2002 CD release with a 12 -piece Western Swing band located at

Mark was the lead guitarist in the musical "Cumberland Blues" featuring music by Jerry GarciaI/Robert Hunter which culminated in the 2000 major label release "Stolen Roses" along with artists like Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, David Grisman, Widespread Panic, Leftover Salmon,the Bobs and many more doing versions of Grateful Dead music. He also gave guitar lessons to successful bay area guitarists Charlie Hunter and Will Bernard. Performances include T.V., radio, music videos, musicals, LP's and CD'~ Some of the artists he has performed with include: Bobby Mcferrin, Joe Williams, Ricki Lee Jones, Marvin Gaye, David Benoit, Charlie Hunter, Big Joe Turner, Vince Welnick, The Coasters, The Platters, Mark Ishar Vinnie Coliuta, Eddie Harris, Lanie Kazaan, Big Mama Thornton, John Klemmer, The Jordenairs, Omar Sosa, Groove Holmes, Jamey Abersold, Alphonze Mousan, Rufus Reed, David Baker, Buddy Colette, Micky Gilley, Frank Morgan, Eddie Vinson. Mark has also been featured in the opening act on majortours with artists: Van Morrison, Chris Isaak, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Los Lobos, Merle Haggard, The Neville Brothers, Vince Gill, Allan Holdsworth, Merle Saunders, Leftover Salmon Trisha Yearwood, Steve Kimock, Dan Hicks, David Grisman, N.R.B.Q.,Wynona Judd Duane Eddy, Billy Ray Cyrus, David Lindley, and of course Ava and The Mystic Mangos.

Bill Lanphier, Bill Lanphier is one of those amazing humble people filled with a wealth of talent and a whirlwind of life experiences. Behind his mild-mannered kind-hearted personna is exactly that--a mild-mannered kind-hearted person. He has filled his life with adventures and creativity.

First a pianist and then a drummer, Bill "WBGO" Lanphier switched to bass at the age of 19. Currently, Bill is easily one of the most in-demand Balkan bassists in the USA, performing regularly with more than a half-dozen groups specializing in Bulgarian, Rom, Macedonian, Turkish, Romanian, Greek, Albanian and Armenian music. He has appeared on stage with several renowned Balkan artists including Vassil Bebelekov, Nikolay Georgiev, Christos Govetas, Nikolai Kolev, Ivan Milev, Georgi Georgiev, Georgi Petrov, Rumen Shopov, Gergana Toncheva, Mitko Tonchev, Trifon Trifonov, Ivan Varimezova, Tzvetanka Varimezova, Nedyalko Nedyalkov and Yasko Argirov.

Also deeply involved with Western music, Bill's bass playing can be heard on hundreds of radio and TV commercials. Bill has recorded with the Rippingtons, Richard Carpenter, Harry Chapin and Stephen Stills. Bill has performed live with Madonna (the 1985 Virgin Tour and Live Aid), Tom Scott, Kenny G, David Foster, Michael Bolton, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Art Garfunkle, Linda Ronstadt and Rickie Lee Jones.

Also a magazine writer, Bill's work has been published in Bass Player and Hal Leonard music publications. His playing and compositions are featured on the highly-acclaimed and top-selling instructional video, "The Slap Bass Program."

Ruth Davies, Ruth has performed with such jazz and blues greats as Charles Brown, Clark Terry, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Jay McShann, Van Morrison, Maria Muldaur, Junior Mance, Barbara Morrison, Etta Jones, Terry Gibbs, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Little Jimmy Scott.

Her discography (including several Platinum and Grammy-winning CDs) covers various jazz and blues styles as well as movie soundtracks. She has recorded with Charles Brown, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Van Morrison, Clark Terry, Vassar Clements, Toots Thielemans, Ernie Watts, Elvin Bishop, Maria Muldaur, Jackie Ryan, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others.

She toured the world for ten years with the late Charles Brown, performing at major jazz festivals and concerts and on radio and television broadcasts worldwide. Ruth continues to spend considerable time abroad. She records and tours internationally with Maria Muldaur, Denise Jannah, Dmitri Matheny, and European pianist/composer Amina Figarova.

Ruth believes in teaching and in bringing music to the public schools. She has been on the faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop for five years and has had a very successful "Ruth Davies Blues Night" at the Stanford Jazz Festival. The San Francisco Symphony’s "Adventures in Music" program and the "Just Say Jazz" project deliver music education to the classroom. By any conservative estimate, Ruth has presented music programs to over four hundred school groups. That's a serious commitment.

Bili Turner, born in Detroit, Michigan, started drumming at the age of 16. Self-taught, we know he did a great job because he ended up backing some of the World's great blues legends. This includes Albert King, Chuck Berry, Junior Wells, Sonny Rhodes, Koko Taylor, Willie Dixon, Luther Allison and even Jimmy Reed for the BBC's "All You Need Is Love" series filmed at Chicago's famous 1815 Club.

Bili has also worked with renowed jazz musicians Earl Klugh, Sonny Stitt and trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, whom Charles Mingus proclaimed as one of the greatest trumpeters in jazz.

We are fortunate to have Bili as our Mystic Mango drummer. In addition to performing and recording with Ava and The Mystic Mangos, Bili is a regular member of both the John "Broadway" Tucker Band and Jamie Faifua and The Jukes.

He is also a freelance artist and graphic designer with his business, Eturnal Graphics. He designed the cover of John "Broadway" Tucker's "Impromtu Blue" CD on which he played, provided extensive layout and design work for Ava and The Mystic Manogs "Elephants In My Ears" CD and does high-quality graphics work for Genentech's newsletter where he also works.

Did I mentioned that Bili Turner is versatile in his talents? He is.

Tom Politzer, Tom has had an extensive performance and recording career in the Bay Area and has toured throughout the world. He is founder and leader of a the fusion jazz/pop band Spang-A-Lang. His recording work includes dozens of CDs produced by Brian Withycombe and he currently tours with the Tower of Power. We are honored by his guest appearances and recording with Ava and The Mystic Mangos.

Nika Rejto, Nika acclaimed as one of the nation's finest jazz flutists, has graced the stage and stunned audiences with her "rich tone and technique that never descends into gimmickry" for the last 30 years (Leonard Feather). As a soloist, she has performed with many jazz greats, including Red Holloway, Hubert Laws, Lanny Morgan, Frank Wess, Jeremy Steig, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Benny Carter, Airto and Flora Purim, George Cables, Billy Higgins, Buddy Collette, and Horace Silver, to name a few. Downbeat Magazine wrote "... her solo brought the house down!" [referring to her guest appearance with Hubert Laws at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles.] Besides leading her own jazz band as both flutist and vocalist, she also performs with various orchestras and ensemble groups. Nika Rejto released her first album, Naked Emotions, on her own label, Unika Records, showcasing her multi-faceted talents as composer, arranger, and producer. Leonard Feather's liner notes set in motion her climb up the ladder as one of the best flutists to hit the scene. "Rejto's flute is rich in long, affirmative phrases decorated by all manners of trills, tremolos, growls and other effects that never descend into gimmickry...Rejto, who was once introduced as a guest soloist with Hubert Laws at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, sounded like a good bet for records with this diversified display of her well honed talents." In 1998, Bridge Weaver, produced by Herb Wong, firmly established Nika on the jazz scene. Jack Bowers of JAZZ NOW wrote, "...there are only a handful of working flutists with whom to compare her - old hands Frank Wess, Herbie Mann, James Moody..." Herb Wong states, "Anyone hearing Nika is simply knocked out by her remarkably gorgeous tone - something from the angels." Robert Tate of JAZZ NOW reviewed Nika's performance with Red Holloway at Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, and had this to say about her; "Nika's improvisation was beautiful, imaginative, swinging . . . anything but predictable; but what we were really hearing out in the seats was how much she meant every note of it. We got personally involved in her effort; it was as though we were making the journey with her, note by note."

Jeremy Cohen, Jeremy electrifying jazz violin performances have earned him nationwide accolades. Classically-trained and a student of Itzhak Perlman and Anne Crowden, Cohen’s eclectic style reflects his respect for a wide range of violinists from Perlman and Fritz Kreisler to Joe Venuti and Eddie South.
Cohen has performed as soloist with numerous orchestras including the Virginia Symphony, the California Symphony and the Reno Philharmonic. His recording credits include motion picture and television soundtracks including "The Dukes of Hazzard" and Jane Fonda’s "Dollmaker," and as concertmaster on recordings with Linda Ronstadt, Ray Charles, Aaron Neville, Howard Keel and Cleo Laine. He appeared on Carlos Santana’s Grammy-winning CD "Supernatural" and the original "Star Wars" compilation CD with John Williams. On the stage he was the solo violinist in "Forever Tango" and "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and has toured and recorded with the 2006 Grammy winners, the Turtle Island String Quartet.
A faculty member of the Henry Mancini Institute (Los Angeles) since 1997 and The Jazz School (Berkeley) since 2004, Cohen also taught for six years at the Stanford Jazz Workshop. In addition to those with Quartet San Francisco, Jeremy has recorded two CDs of jazz standards with his “ViolinJazz” quartet (violin, piano, bass, guitar). In 2004 he released “Jeremy Cohen and Friends Celebrate Joe Venuti –100 Years,” his DVD tribute to the great jazz violinist. Cohen’s orchestral arrangements have been featured by the San Jose and San Francisco Chamber Orchestras, the Bay Area’s Peninsula Symphony, the Reading (PA) Philharmonic, the Reno Philharmonic, and the Sun Valley (ID) and Mendocino (CA) Music Festivals. The 2006-2007 San Francisco Symphony season includes two arrangements by Cohen.

    Michaelle Goerlitz, Since her arrival in 1980 to San Francisco, Michaelle has been enjoying, absorbing and contributing to the Bay Area's musical richness. She has played, recorded and toured with a variety of artists including Soul Sauce, the Snake Trio, Lichi Fuentes, rhiannon, Patrick Palomo, John Worley, Jami Sieber, Erika Luckett, Voz do Brasil, Novo Tempo and Dimitri Vandellos. She was also a founding member of Wild Mango.

    The Kids

    (The Mangoettes)

    Dylan Ames, age 12, sang for two years with the S.F. Boys Chorus. He loves musical theater and has performed in many musicals including A.C.T.'s Christmas Carol, Suessical and in Oliver, playing the title role. “Neener, Neener, Neener!”--He had a great time with this CD-- So there!!

    Andrew Paul Breksa IV, age 12, likes to design contraptions and electrical devises. He loves to read--Harry Potter and Alex Rider are his current favorites. He enjoys practicing mountain climbing and is an accomplished Boy Scout. This is his first recording but not his first performance. He's been involved in music since the age of 7 in many piano and vocal programs as well as dancing in a modern dance production.

    Lyndsey Kristin Breksa, age 9, is a lover of music, the outdoors and history.
    The Beach Boys and The Hipwaders are two of her favorite bands. She enjoys hiking and the "Story of the World" series. This is her first voice over part. She has studied piano since the age of 6 and has performed in dance programs, vocal performances and in numerous other productions.

    Ari Ball-Burack, age 10, enjoys music and has been playing piano for 3 years. He plays baseball in Little League and basketball on his school team. Singing on this CD has been a very fun experience for him. He hopes to become a pianist/non-profit baseball player.

    Maya Ball-Burack, age 12, has been singing since she could talk. She's performed in numerous productions, with roles including Maria in the Sound of Music and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof. When Maya's not singing and acting, she enjoys writing, reading and babysitting.

    Noah Ball-Burack, age 7, enjoys playing soccer and the violin. He's an avid reader and also enjoys numbers. He's thrilled to be on this CD because, "My big brother and sister are on it!" Eventually he hopes to take a robotics class and become an American Idol.

    Evan Green, age 12, loves to sing in local choirs, participate in acting and improv classes and is pursuing an acting career. Home schooled, he loves animals, science, climbing trees, camping and pet care. Evan is the founder of the Red Dragons Conservation Team. His website is

    Keaton Wilkerson, age12, loves to oil paint, draw, dance and participate in his local theater group. This is Keaton's first experience singing for a CD. ...........................................................................

    Jenni Lopez, at 12 years old, is already an experienced vocalist. Jenni was a semi-finalist on Fox TV's “American Juniors” and runner-up in California State Fair's "Most Talented Kid" competition. Jenni has recorded two Christmas CD's at Balladyre Productions and is currently working on her 3rd CD. Her website is

    Amber Lily Solberg, age 10, discovered her singing talent at age 5 at a school talent show. Since then she has won numerous singing competitions, has performed in several professional plays and most recently sang on America's Got Talent. Amber knows you will LOVE Ava's newest CD! Her website is

    Kelsey Tostenson, age 8, has been singing for two years with Pastor Damon's Angel Choir. She studies in an intensive Spanish language immersion classroom & is bilingual. Kelsey enjoys play- dates, singing, camping, sailing and Sunday School.

    Marnina Wirtschafter, age 14, has always loved singing, dancing, playing violin, and performing. Her theater and musical training and experience include seven summers at Crowden Music and Opera Camp, Tony Kushner's Comedy on the Bridge and Brundibar at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, as well as playing Young Simba in The Lion King.

    Contact Ava and The Mystic Mangos!