Our Story

Los Angeles-based Cornel Fauler Jazz Ensemble breathes new life into jazz classics. The ensemble’s versatile instrumentation features the virtuosic and prolific jazz pianist Danny Grissett, the soulful bass playing from Jeff Littleton and the tight rhythms from Cornel Fauler. Effortlessly transitioning from American jazz standards to bossa nova, cumbia, and afro-cuban, the band’s dynamic and engaging performances are filled with classic musical gems.

“Gutsy, gritty and grabbing… straight-ahead jazz of the first order—no tricks or gimmicks here!”

“As a band, we were drawn together over a mutual interest in jazz. We all come from a wide variety of backgrounds. What holds us together is a mutual love of the music and the joy of playing together,” says band leader Cornel Fauler.

By focusing our efforts on straight-ahead hard-hitting Jazz, we have entered a genre that we are dedicated to giving voice to this commanding musical expression.

Please contact us for more information.  We would love to share our music with you. Be sure to check out our killer sound tracks below.


10 Electrifying Tracks!












Cornel Fauler, Drummer, Educator

Los Angeles native and drummer CORNEL FAULER has performed with Reggie Workman, Larry Graham, Jimmy Witherspoon, Patrice Rushen, The Billy Higgins Drum ensemble,and many more. Cornel’s love of Music began as a young child where he picked up tap dancing at the age of 6, as he was drawn to the style because of its percussive rhythmic foundation. He already wanted to play the #drums, and it was just a matter of love and time before he would began his love affair with the drums and #Jazz Music. Some of his earliest gigs came while still in grade school working in clubs with the likes of Latin Jazz great Willie Bo Bo, Patrice Rushen. As a Young Man he got to play with Freddie Hubbard due to a friends recommendation as well as with the great Dizzy Gillespie. Cornel has been performing and teaching, doing music clinics and workshops on a weekly basis for 20yrs.

Also, my weekly Monday night ‘Drum Workshop‘ classes for children ages 2 years – young adult at the infamous World Stage in Los Angeles is a mainstay in the Liemert Park community. Established in 1989, The World Stage was co-founded by the late world-renowned master jazz drummer Billy Higgins and performance poet, author and cultural activist Kamau Daáooud. The World Stage fosters exchange and interaction between artists of all ages and levels, and provides a place for self-discovery, experimentation and critical feedback in a nourishing environment.

As founder of this band, this particular line up has really met the high expectations I have always envisioned. It is our hope to augment whenever possible the addition of Soprano & Tenor Saxophone player Theodross Avery and/or Trumpet player Richard Grant.

After playing around Los Angeles he moved to New York City in 2003. He became trumpeter Nicholas Payton’s keyboardist early the following year, and has been a regular member of trumpeter Tom Harrell’s band since 2005. Grissett released his first album as a leader in 2006, on the Criss Cross label, for which he has continued to record. Promise and his following album, Encounters, were trio recordings with Vicente Archer (bass) and Kendrick Scott (drums). His next album, Form, from 2008, added saxophonist Seamus Blake, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, and trombonist Steve Davis to the trio.

A Down Beat reviewer in 2010 commented that Grissett employed “strategies drawn from Mulgrew Miller, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Clark to tell cogent stories that carry his own harmonic and rhythmic signature.”

Jeffery Littleton, Bass

Jeff Littleton is one of the most versatile, in-demand #bass players on the West Coast. He has toured and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of top jazz artists, including: Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Hank Crawford, Pharaoh Sanders, Charles Lloyd, Charles McPherson, James Newton, Harold Land, Stanley Turrentine, Nancy Wilson’s show ‘Red, Hot & Cool’, Joe Williams, George Cables, Billy Higgins and many more.

Jeff has recorded with many jazz greats including album ‘Live in Santa Barbara’ with Nate Morgan and Fritz Wise and ‘Tomas Janzon Experiences’ featuring Albert ‘Tootie’ Heath and Art Hillery.

Jeff is currently working on record and touring projects.


Teodross Avery, Soprano and Tenor Saxophone

As a musician, Dr. Teodross Avery stands as one who defines live music—best experienced front row, and full throttle. His commanding presence, on stage and off, reflects his musical ingenuity and skill. With an outstanding pedigree, both professionally and academically, Teodross is a #saxophonist to watch, as evidenced by many of today’s biggest names in music relying on his wide musical reach.

While growing up in Oakland and Vacaville, California, Teodross’ parents exposed him to a wide range of music including traditional Eastern and Western African music, Soul, Rock, and Jazz. At ten, his father started him with classical guitar lessons. Jolted by the sound of John Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps,’ Teodross switched to the saxophone at thirteen. As a testament to his young promise, the great Wynton Marsalis purchased a saxophone for him. At 17, Teodross eventually won a full music scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.

While at Berklee, renowned A&R exec, Carl Griffin of GRP/Impulse Records, heard of Teodross’ cutting edge sound and eventually signed him at 19, stating, “I was so thoroughly impressed with his lyricism and writing talent”. In 1994, Teodross launched his first album In Other Words, which was welcomed by critical acclaim, including a five star review in USA Today. Still an undergraduate, Teodross was now feverishly in demand by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Betty Carter and Ramsey Lewis. He balanced all of these demands and completed college while on the road in 1995.

After graduating, with a wealth of professional experience to add, Teodross did what any other talented musician would do – he tackled New York City. After just one week in New York, he performed at the legendary Bluenote Jazz Club with the Cedar Walton Sextet, featuring Art Farmer on trumpet. He also played and/or recorded in groups that were either led by or included jazz titans such as Hank Jones, Ben Riley, Harold Mabern, Cyrus Chestnut, Lewis Nash, Donald Harrison, Bobby Watson, The Roy Hargrove Big Band and (3X) Grammy Award winner, Dee Dee Bridgewater, among many others. He landed a performing role in the successful film Love Jones in 1995. He then launched his second album, My Generation, under the GRP/Impulse label, in 1996. “This album was ahead of it’s time. I was starting to mix Jazz with the Hip Hop sound of The Roots (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) by adding frontman, Black Thought and the Rock-influenced sound of John Scofield,” says Teodross.

Shortly after releasing My Generation he performed with the likes of Leela James, Roy Ayers, and Mos Def among many others. Lauryn Hill requested him as a member of her sold-out world tour from 1998 to 1999. On the heel of the Lauryn Hill tour, Teodross was invited in 2000 to tour with the mega rock group Matchbox Twenty.

As a composer and producer, Teodross has amassed a stunning number of credits, which include the feature films Beauty Shop, Brown Sugar, and Love Jones. He has also written music for Amy Winehouse’s debut album, ‘Frank’ (Island Records).

His television performances include: Blackish (2015), American Idol, MTV’s TRL, The Ellen Degeneres Show, The CBS Morning Show with Epic Recording Artist, Shakira (2006), VHI, Regis & Kelly with Leela James (2005); The Essence Awards, Soul Train Awards, Source Awards, Saturday Night Live, MTV Awards, Billboard Music Awards with Lauryn Hill (1998-99).

As a session saxophonist, Teodross has collaborated with a number of award- winning artists on their productions, including Amy Winehouse – Frank (Island Records) 2004 Gold Record; G-Unit All Stars (Shady/Aftermath Records) 2004 3X Platinum; Joss Stone – Mind, Body, & Soul (EMI) 2004 2X Platinum; Talib Kweli – Quality (Rawkus Records) 2002 Gold Record; Talib Kweli – Reflection Eternal (Rawkus Records) 2000 Gold Record; Dee Dee Bridgewater – Dear Ella (Verve Records) 2X Grammy Winner 1997.

Teodross received a Doctorate in Jazz Studies (DMA) from the University of Southern California (2016), he holds a Masters degree in Music from the prestigious Steinhardt School of Education at New York University (2006). He is also the recipient of multiple awards, including The Sony Innovator Award (1992), The National Foundation for The Advancement in The Arts’ Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship (1992), and The NAACP ACT-SO Award (1991).

Since 2017, Dr. Teodross Avery has been the head of Jazz Studies and Commercial Music at the California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH).

Richard Grant, Trumpet

RICHARD GRANT has always been considered one of the top ten #trumpet players of his generation and without a doubt the least known. Richard grew up in the artists community of Leimert Park, a thriving neighborhood in Los Angeles. Within Leimert Park is a venue called The World Stage, which is in my opinion the most important venue for jazz in the world. The World Stage sits in the heart of the African American community and was owned and operated by the legendary drummer Billy Higgins.

An original member of the critically acclaimed Los Angeles-based jazz band ‘Black Note’, Richard went his own way just after the release of the groups debut recording “43rd & Degnan”.

There is a reason why few people outside of jazz musicians have heard about Richard Grant. It is because he felt more comfortable playing at The World Stage and dedicating himself to using his talents to up lift his own community, as he follows in the footsteps of drummer Higgins and pianist Horace Tapscott.

The World Stage was made for musicians like Richard Grant who at the early age of fifteen had his own concept of success. Richard Grant brings independence and rebellion back to Jazz.”Here’s To The Revolution”. Truly an artist deserving wider recognition and your support!



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