Official website for Inglewood, CA based band, Katalyst

Member bios


Brandon Cordoba

Brandon Cordoba is a Los Angeles based pianist, producer, and composer. Starting in his early teens, he has diligently developed and honed his craft. An alumn of the USC Thornton School of Music, he is continuously pursuing new and exciting musical territory. He is influenced by several genres, including Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, Gospel, Classical, and more. He has had the pleasure of performing with and producing for several bands and artists in the greater Los Angeles and beyond. 


Brian "Theory" Hargrove is a Los Angeles based musician from Dallas, Texas with professional ventures as a pianist/keyboardist, composer, arranger, sound designer and educator. After completing his studies in sound technology and percussion performance at Cedar Valley College, he moved to Los Angeles to continue his studies at University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music and Annenberg School of Communication.

As pianist/keyboardist, Hargrove has performed at several national and international festivals including France's Jazz à la Villette in Paris, DC Jazz Festival, Black Sea Jazz Festival, residencies at Yoshi's (San Francisco) and Amsterdam's Paradiso, China's JZ Festival in Shanghai, Java Jazz Festival in Indonesia, Blue Note Tokyo and most recently at the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival in Aruba. He is currently a member of the Grammy-nominated jazz/funk collective "The RH Factor" (led by Grammy-award winning jazz artist Roy Hargrove). He has also performed with Shafiq Husayn (of Sa-Ra Creative Partners), Fort Worth Jazz Orchestra, Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, Goapele, Renee Neufville (of "Zhane"), Selaelo Selota, Fred Wesley, The Anything Collaborative, Afro Caribbean percussion virtuoso Angel Luis Figueroa, David "Fathead" Newman and many others.


David Otis from Downey, California, is one of the upcoming rising Saxophonists of today. He graduated from California State University, Northridge with a bachelor's degree in Jazz Studies. In 2012, he was a featured soloist in the University's Jazz A Band, which was named Top College Big Band at the Monterrey Jazz Festival's 2012 Next Generation Jazz Festival.

 David then auditioned and got accepted to the presitigious Thelonius Monk Insitittute of Jazz Performance located at UCLA. Through the institute, David was able to perform, tour, and study with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chris POTTER, Jimmy Heath, Stefon Harris, John Pattitucci, and more.

Aside from the institute, David has performed with Shafiq Husayn, Jimetta Rose, SiR, D Smoke, Nick & Navi, Iman Omari, Jonathan Pinson, Anderson Pak, Chuck Morris, Nanna B, Usher, and many more. David is also a member of the groups Via Leaves, Ultra5ound, and the horn section, J.O.E. Horns. 

David has performed in countless music festivals throughout the states including headlining performances at the Monterey Jazz Festival with CSUN Jazz A Band, directed by John Daversa, and the Playboy Jazz Festival with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and the Monk Fellows. David Otis has performed at noted Los Angels, venues including the Blue Whale, Regent Theater, Walt Disney Hall, El Cid, The Mint, Catalina's Jazz Club, Nola's, the Piano Bar, Room 5, and many more.

Corbin Jones

Corbin Jones hails from Denver, Colorado, where he began pursuing music with classical double bass studies in grade school. After completing a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California, his love for groove led him to a career in performing and recording upright bass, bass guitar, and sousaphone. Jones has gone on to play with the likes of jazz trumpeter Ron Miles and rapper Kendrick Lamar, among many others. Look for him regularly in diverse musical settings throughout Southern California; from collaborations with Denver’s own folk singer-songwriter Zach Heckendorf, to Inglewood based hip-hop ensemble Katalyst, and his co-led instrumental trio Max Ox.

Jonah Levine

Jonah Levine is a Los Angeles-based trombonist, pianist, composer, and arranger. He has performed at leading jazz festivals worldwide including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, as well as venues throughout France, Italy, the Balkans, Mexico, and South America. Known as “Funky Lips,” Levine has versatile style that allows him to work in various types of situations such as big bands, world fusion groups, hip hop/pop producers, and more. In addition to leading the Jonah Levine Collective, he regularly performs with the Aditya Prakesh Ensemble, the Le J Trio, and the Late Night Jazz Orchestra. Levine has recorded with has worked with Leonard Cohen, The Game, Ed Sheeran, Ryan Leslie, Bennie Maupin, Rudimental UK, George Watsky, Dumbfoundead, and Shafiq Husayn, among many others. He has studied with Kenny Burrell, James Newton, James Miller, George Bohanon, Robin Eubanks, Steve Turre, Hal Crook, Andre Hayward, Wayne Wallace, and Marty Wehner.

Emile Martinez

A trumpeter with an old spirit from Los Angeles, CA, Emile is a recent graduate from the California Institute of the Arts with a Master’s of Fine Arts, a recipient of the Gary Burton Presidential Scholarship and graduate of Berklee College of Music, and graduate of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). Martinez started playing the trumpet at the age of 10 and since then have studied with trumpeters Clay Jenkins, Oscar Brashear, and James Ford III, Charlie Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith, and Ed Carroll. His interactions with these musicians not only motivated him musically and creatively, but motivated him to become an educator to spread the knowledge he has gained to his community. While many would say Martinez to be a jazz musician, he says otherwise. Performing, recording, and listening to all many different genres of music ranging from Hip-Hop to R&B, Neo Soul to Old School funk, and even Classical music, Martinez has played and continues to incorporate these many different styles of music into his style and sound. Martinez, furthermore, is the Music Director for artist Iman Omari, Del Quadro Trumpet Artist, Grammy Nominated Trumpeter/Composer on Anderson Paak’s Malibu album for “The Bird”, in addition to performing and recording for MNDGSN for his 2016 album Body Wash.  He received honors at the Reno Jazz Festival, the Berklee in L.A. summer program, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington competition, the NAACP/ACT-SO competition, and the National Association of Negro Musicians. At Berklee College of Music, Martinez performed with the Miles Davis Ensemble, Art Blakey Ensemble, Hip/Hop Ensemble, Darren Barrett’s Ensemble (the Music of Myron Walden), Ralph Peterson’s Ensemble, and studied with Mark Whitfield, Darren Barrett, Tiger Okoshi, Ken Cervenka, Charlie Lewis, Ron Mahdi, and Bill Peirce.

Bradford Isaaq Tidwell

Hailing from Inglewood, CA, Bradford Tidwell is a guitarist with a clear vision set out to improve the state of the human being. His sounds involve a blend of guitar nuances that render spontaneity and continuous drive remnant of the modern jazz guitar sound mixed with deep blues and West African rhythms. Tidwell grounds himself in being a foundational rhythm section player within Katalyst in pursuit of musical ascension with his bandmates. "I listen to music that has a keen sense of originality and authenticity. It has to move me from deep within and give me vivid imagery as a listener." Graduating in 2015 from Cal Poly Pomona, Tidwell has since then devoted his time developing a technique that inspires his guitar playing as well as his composition. With mentors and devoted peers, Bradford has set quest to be apart of a resurgence in today's music using LA as a starting point and from there going beyond the nation. He girds all efforts into bringing the upmost interactive live performance presence so that the listener can leave purpose-filled and wholesome. Some of his favorite artists are Bobby Broom, Kenny Garrett, Meshell Ndgeocello, Maxwell, Prince, Derrick Hodge, Ambrose Akinmusire and Walter Smith.

Greg Paul

Greg Webster was born and raised in Buffalo, Ny. Being brought up in a musical household he quickly found his passion for the drums. Playing along side his father in church sunday to sunday, Greg's talent and appreciation for the instrument grew. While attending the Buffalo academy for Visual and Performing Arts he began to study the history and technique for the drum set, it was there where he also found an interest in studying jazz. In 2005, Greg won the judges choice award at the Berklee high school jazz festival. In college Greg continued his musical quest at the buffalo state, where he was involved in the wind ensemble, percussion ensemble, gospel choir and the lead drummer in the jazz band. His sophomore year he received the Paul Homer scholarship for excellence in academics and music. Greg recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a Masters in jazz studies. At the end of 2014 after a performance with friends/band mates he was inspired to form the Katalyst, a group of ten like minded musicians united to produce music that will prompt critical thinking and self reflection. Since the formation of the Katalyst, they have blessed to perform (in various configurations) with Vanessa Williams, Chuck Dickerson and the ICYOLA Orchestra, Keisha Cole and Kendrick Lamar. As a full time musician, Greg continues to hone his craft and perform/record a wide range of genres and settings with several musical groups around the Southern California area. 

Marlon Spears

A professional bassist since 2006, Marlon Spears has played for a variety of artists across various genres including The Mary Jane Girls, TQ, Deion, SiR, Jonathan Nelson, Gabriel Valensi, Natalie Cole, and many more, as well as performing at some of the country's great stages and events, including SXSW, The Walt Disney Concert Hall, N.Y.E.L.A., the Staples Center, The Belasco, The Sound of Tomorrow, and many more. In addition to live performances, Marlon has also recorded for various projects, albums, and singles ranging from Pop and Rock to Gospel and Jazz. 

Marlon prides himself on his tone which is often described as full, rich, and warm, and his approach to bass playing is inspired by some of his favorite players, including Derrick Hodge and Pino Palladino. He proudly plays MTD basses and DR Strings.


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