Please click on the links below to read about our past projects.

1. Icons Among Us
2. Around The Fire
3. The Kenya Mission
4. Observations From Rio
5. Past Music Projects

Icons Among Us:
Jazz in the present tense

A Four Part Series for Television & Feature Length Film
Directed by Michael Rivoira, Lars Larson & Peter J. Vogt

Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense, a documentary series, looks at the Jazz music scene today. Through interviews, performance footage, and the voices of the musicians themselves, we will explore this music and the divergent influences that are shaping the world of Jazz at the beginning of the 21st Century.

Not a historical look at what has been called America's Music but a timely, vibrant trip through the clubs, festivals, and lives of this new generation of jazz musicians. Never before has jazz music been so many different things to so many different people, from hip hop to bebop from jam band to free form, the music continues to grow and shape itself in ways as varied as the musicians who play it. "Icons ..." is a look at all of this and more.

The Four Episodes

Episode 1 - A Quiet Revolution

The inaugural movement of the series directly challenging perceptions of what jazz is and what it is becoming by examining its innovative new voices as well as their influential forebears. We discover the primary questions associated with the jazz artists' quest to define themselves and their art form. They bravely communicate their allegiance to the present time in the face of jazz legacies that are monumental. The new voices as well as the powerful journeymen weigh in on their search for mentorship and its powerful effect on success. Our dialogue unfolds with Nicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, Jason Moran, Russell Gunn, Matthew Shipp, Avishai Cohen, Bill Frisell, Greg Osby, Robert Glasper, Bugge Wesseltoft, Aaron Parks, Lionel Loueke, Frank Lacy and David King, featuring interview appearances with Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Joe Lavano and George Wein.

Episode 2 - 12 Notes In Real Time

12 notes is all you have in western music. Inside that tiny box one finds expressions of love, friendship, glory, pain, joy and humor. 12 notes. The difficult part is to spin and space those notes in real time, in front of a live audience. This is where everyday life is distilled in the fire of the ³deep ritual² of improvised music. This is where the true art of the jazz musician comes to life in the moment of connecting his and her inner universe to that of a larger world. This episode features Skerik, Marco Benevento, Gretchen Parlato, Ravi Coltrane, Dafnis Prieto, Esperanza Spalding, Chris Potter, Dave Holland, Danilo Perez, Anat Cohen and Dianne Reeves as they engage the world in a dialogue that could happen in no other time.

Episode 3 - "In the Spirit of Family"

In this episode Icons Among Us goes inside with a deeper look into the process, the lifestyle and the friendships that create a unique bond only a "band" can posses. If jazz could offer us a model for a society in which everyone contributes to a greater good rather than focusing on personal gain, it would be reflected in the exploration of the collaborative process. During the seven plus years of production, Icons has been able to capture the natural progression of select bands such as The Bad Plus, Soulive, Medeski Martin and Wood, E.S.T., Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra and Jason Moran and the Bandwagon who offer up new languages and a unique glimpse into an often ideal world.

Episode 4 - Everything Everywhere

The origins of jazz are mysterious; its journey less so. African rhythms finding western instruments. Folk musics of the Caribbean drifting north into the brackish waters of New Orleans, mingling with the blues, Native American spirit, and the individualistic impulse of restless democracy. The transmission of this enigmatic but eminently humane art form to the world and to the youth who live in the epicenters of its origins and lifeblood are the focus of our final episode. Courtney Pine and Richard Bona weigh in with incredible stories evoking the penetration of jazz DNA into the body of world music. Terence Blanchard, Stanton Moore, Roy Hargrove, Charlie Hunter, Donald Harrison and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band bring us home to New Orleans, a damaged but luminous vessel that still embodies a musical culture unique to the world.

Artists Participating in Icons Among Us

The Bad Plus, Paul de Barros (Journalist), Marco Benevento, Will Bernard
Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Terence Blanchard, Richard Bona
Matt Chamberlain, Anat Cohen, Avishai Cohen (bass), Avishai Cohen (trumpet)
Ravi Coltrane, Jamie Cullum, DJ Logic, daKAH, Amy Denio, Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Dave Douglas and Brass Ecstasy, e.s.t., Bill Frisell, Garage a Trois
Robert Glasper, Russell Gunn, John Gilbreath (Director - Earshot Jazz Festival)
Brian Haas, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Donald Harrison, Jr., Dave Holland
Charlie Hunter, Vijay Iyer, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Ashley Kahn (Journalist)
Robin Kelly (Historian), Frank Lacy, Brady Lahr, Joe Lovano, Lionel Loueke
Jessica Lurie, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Reed Mathis, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Stanton Moore, Jason Moran
Idris Muhammad, Greg Osby, Aaron Parks, Gretchen Parlato, Nicholas Payton
Danilo Perez, Courtney Pine, Tineke Postma, Chris Potter, Dafnis Prieto
Dianne Reeves, Damion Reid, Eric Revis , Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joe Russo
John Scofield, Matthew Shipp, Wayne Shorter, Skerik, Jason Smart
Soulive, Esperanza Spalding, Christopher Thomas, Robert Walter
George Wein, Bugge Wesseltoft, Miguel Zenon

Icons Among Us: Jazz in the present tense: Credits

A four-part film series sponsored by Don Q Premium Rum
in association with Rums of Puerto Rico
presented by The Documentary Channel

Production Co.: Paradigm Studio

Executive Producer: John W. Comerford

Co-Producer: Theo Ianuly

Associate Producer: B Dahlia

Co-Directed by Michael Rivoira, Lars Larson & Peter J. Vogt

Story by Peter J. Vogt, Kristian R. Hill, & Michael Rivoira

Director of Photography: Lars Larson

Editor: Kristian R. Hill

Title design by David Llama

Post Production Sound: David Pellicciaro, Lucky Devil Sound

Music Supervisor: Charles Raggio

Production Manager: B Dahlia

Associate Editor: David Llama

Editorial Assistant: Kyle Richardson

Theatrical Mix Re-Recording Mixer: Gary Rizzo

Theatrical Mix Post Production Sound Facility: Skywalker Sound

Additional Camera Operators: Jonathan Houser, Pete Vogt, Bill Cote,
John Comerford, Jeff Feller, Trevor Wierson, Doug Hostetter,
James K. Henley, Kyle Carver, Ryan Purcell, Mike Prevette

Audio Recording Engineers: B Dahlia, John Comerford, Michael Rivoira,
Chris Chappell, Trevor Wierson, Thomas Bell, Bob Marts, Bruce Foster

Camera Assistants/Grip/Electric: David La Carubba, Randy DeLeo,
Xavier Henselmann, Peter Ferren, Ian Holden

Art Director for Filmed Still Photography: Jason Puccinelli
Graphic Designers: Harold Mullen/Hapnin Design, Laurel Huggins, Shannon Karnofski
Transcriber: Andrea Valesko
Cameras Supplied by Optimistic Camera Co.
Film Lab: AlphaCine, Seattle
Post Production Services: Modern Digital, Seattle
Archival footage & photography: Getty Images
Public Relations: Sacks & Co.
Additional Public Relations: SWPR Group
Cyber Publicity: Ariel Hyatt Publicity
Concert Tour Producer: Charles Raggio

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Paradigm Studio is the executive producer of the feature film Around The Fire, which was released commercially in the United States, as well as numerous foreign territories, in the year 2000. John Comerford co-wrote and co-produced the film with long-time friend and associate Tommy Rosen.

AROUND THE FIRE is the deeply resonant story of a boy named Simon (Devon Sawa), who despite being raised in an upper-class Manhattan household with all its privileges--and restrictions--is haunted by the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of his mother. In Simon's eyes, his high-powered businessman father Matt (Bill Smitrovich) wasted no time in remarrying his stepmother Lauren (Lisa Burgett), a woman with a perfect facade whom he suspects of having an affair with Matt long before his mother's demise.

When Simon is sent away to boarding school in preparation to attend Princeton, he meets Andrew (Eric Mabius), who introduces him to marijuana and LSD, and immerses him into a whole new world populated by dreamers, artists, utopians, flower children and partiers who spend the better part of their lives "on tour" at musical festivals. Simon is deeply moved by the beauty and freedom of these people, and feels they are the family he has always sought.

At his very first concert Simon meets Jennifer (Tara Reid), a beautiful young hippie to whom he is immediately attracted, Trace (Colman Domingo), a hipster on the road less traveled who immediately bonds with him, and Kevin (Henry Lubatti), a champion of the "seize the day" ethic who is dying of AIDS. As Simon delves deeper into this new-found free-spirited lifestyle, he must face an inevitable conflict not only with the life his father has planned for him, but also with the self-destructive emotional turmoil deep within.

Struggling to come to terms with these conflicts, Simon makes a series of bad decisions which land him in a strict drug rehab program run by a street-smart, yet caring woman named Kate (Charlayne Woodard). It is here that Simon is made to take a look at himself in an honest light and to learn that until he finds out what is right for him, his chances for happiness will be fleeting at best.

In the end, Simon faces the truth about his mother's death, confronts his father, and decides that his path is to be with Jennifer and his friends on tour. He returns to them with newfound maturity and strength, and we are left with the feeling of hope for Simon's future.

More information about Around The Fire can be found at

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The Kenya Mission:
A Frontier of the Church of Christ

This video follows Ted and Martha Ogle, Berkley Hackett, and other Missionaries of the Church of Christ as they bring guidance to a growing populations of Kenyans. Traveling from the coastal city of Mombassa to the town of Nyeri in the highlands southeast of Mount Kenya to Nairobi, one of the fastest growing cities in the world, see the work and progress brought about through the efforts of the Church of Christ. Changes in education, economics, culture, and the Africans' relationship to the land are continual -- and since 1965 the Church has been committed to assisting Kenyans to achieve autonomy.

For those who have supported the creation and development of the Church's work in Kenya, this is a rare opportunity to see what your involvement has facilitated. For others, unfamiliar with the frontiers of the Church of Christ, this video empowers you to aid in sowing the seeds for a better Africa.

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Observations From Rio
A Documentary of the 1992 Earth Summit
Produced by R.A.I.N.

An historic event of unparalleled dimensions took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June of 1992. The Earth Summit, a meeting of the heads of state from almost every nation on this planet, and the Global Forum, a gathering of scientists, developers, environmentalists, religious leaders, indigenous people, and children from all corners of the globe, will convene. The purpose was to define plans of action for achieving a future that is environmentally sound and equitable between nations and peoples, as well as generations. An Earth Charter was drawn up for all nations to sign that defined environmentally sound economic development of the planet for the next century. Also an agenda was set forth by the United Nations (Agenda 21) for implementing the Earth Agenda.

The Rainforest Alliance Information Network (R.A.I.N.), a non-profit environmental education organization from Washington State, led by Paradigm Studio's founder, felt that it was imperative that this event be documented in a way that was simple, direct, and disarming. The state of the earth needed to be communicated to every human being on this planet and the agreed upon strategies for developing an economically sustainable future be known and understood by people of all ages. With assistance from Paradigm Studio, R.A.I.N. endeavored to create a tool for the dissemination of this information. Observations From Rio is a documentary created with that in mind.

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John Comerford and Paradigm Studio have worked with LiquidCity Records as Executive Producer on a number of album projects. Jovino Santos Neto, Living Daylights, Zony Mash and Scott Law have all benefited from Paradigm Studio's involvement. For more information on these releases visit, and check out the bands' sites listed below.

Living Daylights:
Scott Law Band:
Zony Mash:
Jovino Santos Neto:
Around The Fire's soundtrack:

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