Dillon Vado is an active professional drummer and vibraphonist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He grew up in San Jose, California, and started playing music at the age of 8. Dillon learned a lot from a family friend early on in his life, but also played in school band programs throughout middle and high school. This fueled Dillon’s interest in eventually marching snare drum with the Santa Clara Vanguard, and studying music full time at West Valley College. At West Valley, Dillon started playing the vibraphone, which eventually lead him to being a more serious multi-instrumentalist.
In 2012 Dillon transferred to the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, and went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree there in 2017. His performance experiences include playing in the South Bay scene at venues like the Art Boutiki, and Cafe Stritch, marching snare drum with the Santa Clara Vanguard, recording at Fantasy Studios, and playing with other professionals at The Freight and Salvage, Yoshi’s, and the SF Jazz Center. He has played at local festivals such as the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and the Fillmore Jazz Festival in San Francisco. He has also performed overseas at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy. Dillon has performed with Art Lande, Marcus Shelby, Hafez Modirzadeh, Royal Hartigan, Erik Jekabson, Jeff Denson, Alan Hall, and Marcos Silva.
In 2014, Dillon won 1st place in the Jazz Search West competition on vibraphone, and in 2017 was also selected for the Buddy Montgomery Jazz Legacy Award through the California Jazz Conservatory. Dillon can be found playing actively with Alan Hall’s Ratatet, Erik Jekabson’s String-tet, the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and many other creative musical endeavors lead by his peers around the Bay Area. He also leads several projects of his own, including Never Weather, Beyond Words: Jazz and Poetry, and The Table Trio.
The soulful, effortless sounds of vocalist and songwriter Amy D. envelop listeners in a dream-like fusion of jazz, soul, world, and R&B styles, bridging genres and generations alike.
Combined with inspiring lyrics and heartfelt storytelling, her music is a timeless soundscape inviting reflection, healing, and growth. There is intentional meaning in it all.
In a time where the world invites innovation and diverse influence, Amy D.’s songs imbue a multitude of juxtapositions: nostalgia with modern themes, powerful purpose with soft sophistication, lightness and warmth with cool, blue depths. Throughout, her textures are lush and uncomplicated, infusing art with a colorful breath of fresh air.
First creating a stir in the San Francisco Bay Area and now beyond, Amy D. partnered with producer and master keyboardist Michael Aaberg (Goapele, Lalah Hathaway, Derrick Hodge) for her debut portrait album, LIKE YOU.
“Neo-soul artist Amy D. puts a heartfelt flame into a blend of jazz and R&B soundscapes. Colorful harmonies back up the powerhouse singer while catchy melodies are sure to swim around your psyche for days. Finally, seductive textures combined with modern sensibilities dress the song with an old school charm, while the lyrics grab any listener who’s ever had a crush on anyone ever.”
Too Much Love Magazine
“Neo-soul artist Amy D. brings us a colorful new groove ‘Like You’ that honors self-love and diversity of culture and perspective. Filmed with an all female crew in Oakland, Amy D. created a video for the jazzy throwback featuring womxn and children of all shapes and flavors. Bay Area native Amy D. has a voice that rings through many eras. ‘Like You’ showcases a vibrato as smooth as honey, and a composition doused in modern textures and uplifting lyrics.”