About us/Bios


George Mamalakis grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he was 8 he began 11 years of classical piano studies. After attending UCSB, his primary musical focus was Jazz and Jazz/Fusion. His continuing musical education included 6 years of study with his mentor Terry Trotter, renowned LA Jazz Pianist.

During the late 80s and early 90s, George was the keyboard player for the popular Jazz/Fusion band Mirage, which performed weekly at Joseppi’s Jazz bar on State Street in Santa Barbara.

Besides Terry Trotter, George’s influences include Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, and Eliane Elias. In addition to George’s Trio involvement, he is currently the keyboard player for the Jazz/Fusion quartet Transfusion.

The George Mamalakis Trio played at Stella Mare’s Bistro every Wednesday night for over 22 years.


Drummer Shaun Oster’s playing is versed in whatever style can be performed on a drumset. With a main focus on Bebop and Funk, he attended Calarts for jazz drumset performance. Having studied with Mark Craney and Joe Labarbara, his playing is an eclectic mix of senstitive brushwork ranging to hard-hit funk and bebop. Shaun is also a singer, having studied with Ron Anderson. His vocal compositions were used to create the world’s first Virtual Reality Record/album experience on Oculus rift. www.doubleheadmusic.com –  You can catch him playing around town weekly, and he teaches drumset privately.


Bassist Tom Etchart has Big-Band roots dating back to his years spent in the Cal State Northridge “A” Jazz Ensemble.  With 35 years of experience, he is equally adept on the acoustic, and electric bass.  Tom is well versed in many musical styles, including Straight Ahead Jazz, Latin, Funk, Rock, Gospel, Reggae, Soul, Ska, Blues, and Classical.  Credited with performances with Jim Messina, Peter Noone, Phyllis Diller, Diane Reeves, “The Pontiax”, and “The Blues Bombers”; Tom also directs his own Jazz-Fusion group.


Born in Brussels Belgium, Sam McKinney began playing classical guitar at 12 and then switched to bass.  He attended Berklee College of Music in 1981 returning to Brussels to play and record in a variety of bands and styles.  He later moved to Santa Barbara to study at University of California, Santa Barbara.  For the past three decades, Sam has played in a number of settings in Santa Barbara mainly with jazz and latin ensembles.  He has played with George Mamalakis on many occasions in a number of settings.  He also plays with the M.O.B quintet, a local Santa Barbara ensemble focused on progressive contemporary jazz and Brazilian genres.