WHo We Are
Noel Sanborn - Guitar
Noel fell in love with the soulful sound of the Spanish guitar when he first picked up his great grandmothers antique Martin as a boy. He played blues in high school, studied jazz and classical on the side during college and then took a long hiatus for career and family. Working in Africa and the Middle East and later living in Asia, Noel was always interested in local music from African drums to Cantonese opera. After moving to the Bay Area he became active playing jazz, flamenco and a little bit of everything. Influenced early on by John McLaughlin, Al Dimeola and Strunz & Farah, Noel wanted to create a high energy nuevo flamenco-jazz band. In 2011 he found his long lost twin brother, Rudy Ramirez, creating “The Turbo Twins.” They later added percussion and bass and the Blue Flamingo Quartet was born.
Rudy "El Professor" Ramirez - Guitar
Hailing from beautiful Costa Rica, Rudy “El Professor” Ramirez has Spanish guitar in his blood. His grandfather was a professional guitarist who taught Rudy’s father how to play who, in turn, taught El Professor to play typical Latin music: boleros, guajiras, huapangos, guarachas, rancheras, etc. Moving to San Francisco in high school, Rudy gravitated towards classic rock, blues, R&B, Latin rock, jazz and salsa, gigging all over the Bay Area. “Music is the language of the world,” is his mantra and Rudy shares his love of music with his students at the College of San Mateo where he teaches Ethnic Studies (hence the moniker, “El Professor”). Pura Vida!
Dave Parkinson - Percussion
Born into a musical family with a father who played trombone in big bands and a grandmother who was a concert pianist, Dave tried piano before turning to drums. The music of Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Count Basie inspired Dave to get serious and his father advised him to listen with "big ears". He starting to gig regularly at 13 and has played all styles of music which helps him support the highly eclectic BFQ musical experience. Dave lives by the motto that music is for those who “live it, love it and make a living of it.” In his spare time, Dave travels the world collecting butterflies and, of course, listening to music.
John Higham - Bass
Raised in England in a classical-music-only family, John rebelled against piano lessons, built his first guitar and amplifier from scratch at age 16, and taught himself to play. That early initiative fed two of John’s passions. His passion for engineering lead to an entrepreneurial career in Silicon Valley. John’s passion for music wove through numerous bands, theatre billings, musical equipment designs, and a CD album to the present where he is designing healthcare computer systems by day, and gigging on bass with various jazz bands at night. BFQ is fortunate to have John’s musical depth as well as his prodigious video and audio recording talents.