RDL+ is a group that has been in existence since 2009 in various formations, composing and performing regularly. This group is about creating original music that is nuanced, playful, grooving, and inspired. Drawing on all types of influences- jazz, latin, classical, pop, amongst others- the group is boundless, open and always searching.

Steve Weems

Steve Weems' application of the drumset has been called by some volcanic, by others melodic, and to other ears comes across as "someone falling down the stairs." His drumming both supports and challenges the musicians he plays with in a both carefully intentional and yet intuitive way.

From a background in classical percussion at University of Oregon, Steve also studied jazz, composition, and electronic music. These studies were in part made possible by a full tuition scholarship playing bass guitar. Steve grew up around a lot of instruments in a very musical household, he quickly became comfortable playing guitar and bass, and later piano. He played trumpet and baritone in the school band, but no instrument held as much interest to him as percussion. Perhaps this spectrum of talents adds to his ability to sympathetically calibrate to each musician he plays with.

Steve lives in the Bay Area where he teachers percussion to students from 4th to 12th grade. Active in the CMEA and NCBA music festival circuit, Steve has routinely sent his students and ensembles to adjudicated events where they have received top honors. Steve instills excellence in his students, much like he strives for it himself. Steve always considers himself a student first.

Luis Salcedo

Luis Salcedo was born in 1992 and began playing guitar at the age of 9.  Luis' first exposure to the guitar was through surf rock, then the music of the 90's, and by the time he had made it to high school, Luis had begun looking to the jazz scene, for a better understanding of how music functions.

As the recipient of the Jamey Aebersold Scholarship and graduate of the California Jazz Conservatory, he has been fortunate enough to study with Jeff Massanari, Randy Vincent, Bruce Forman, Steve Erquiaga, and Jeff Denson.  Taking with him what he learned from them, he has performed at Yoshi's Oakland, the Fillmore Jazz Festival and other venues from California to Colombia.

Today he is drawn to the guitar because of its cultural omnipresence and he continues to draw inspiration from a wide range of musicians and composers - Andres Segovia, Arnold Schoenberg, Charlie Parker, Kurt Rosenwinkel and the movements they represent, all of which have a huge influence on Luis' output as a composer and improviser.

With a firm grasp on the jazz idiom, Luis is a featured member of several ensembles, as well as the leader of his own groups, covering original material, jazz repertoire and beyond. No matter what the setting is, Luis always aims to tell a story.  His process includes writing songs with words, even when the words will never be heard by anyone. He allows the words to inform the content, phrasing and melodicism.  He is also known to vocalize as he improvises, singing along with himself as he solos.

Now based out the San Francisco Bay Area, Luis also is sure to make time for the outdoors, for the beach, the ocean, for travel, for coffee and friends.   

Ruthie Dineen

Pianist Ruthie Dineen was born in Fairfield, CA in 1982, and began playing piano at age 7.  She came from a creative family, yet none of her family members were professional musicians.  Ruthie explored her own creativity through music, studying and playing both jazz and classical music throughout her teens and into her 20’s.  “Music was always very personal for me, but also very social.  I always loved practicing and exploring on my own, and then playing and having fun with others too.” 

 Throughout her college years at UC Berkeley, studying abroad in Chile, and later living abroad in Costa Rica, music remained central in her life through both study and performance.  “Music became essential to me.  One of the most important ways for me to understand the world around me and myself.”

After completing her graduate studies (in Social Work), Dineen decided to focus professionally on music performance and community arts (she is currently the Deputy Director of Programs at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, CA).  In her music she incorporates her vast musical and personal influences, including her Latin-American heritage, classical and jazz musical background, and love for composition and improvisation.  In December 2012, Dineen graduated from the California Jazz Conservatory with a performance degree in Jazz Studies.  While composing and playing with RDL+, she is also working on other solo and group-based work.    

Doug Lee

Bassist Doug Lee was born in Everett, WA in 1984 and moved to Lancaster, CA at a young age.  He comes from a family of musicians who regularly encouraged him to take up an instrument.  At fourteen years, Doug recalls he chose electric bass because it was seemingly the easiest instrument to play with only four strings and only having to play one note at a time.  However, one of his early bass teachers quickly changed that perception when he introduced him to slap bass; Doug took on the challenge and never looked back, performing in many bands, church every Sunday, and the high school jazz band.

In his college years while studying Civil Engineering at Cal Poly, Doug decided to audition for the college jazz band after taking a jazz history course and got into the band.  This is the point where Doug fell in love with jazz, started a music-minor and took up the upright bass.  Doug laughs, “The key to being a great upright bass player is to have a proper vehicle for transport.”  Doug performed in many college ensembles including the college big band, jazz combos, and orchestra.  Doug was fortunate to tour Brazil with the college big band, introducing him to traditional Brazilian samba.  Upon graduation, Doug moved to the Bay Area to pursue a career and further develop in the local music scene.

Since moving to the Bay Area, Doug has taken up study with Grammy award winning Brazilian jazz master Marcos Silva, and performs in Marcos’ group Intersection.  He also performs regularly in the local jazz scene and in his funk band Mango Bus.  Doug has a passion for composition with an emphasis on incorporating modern styles into the world of improvisation.  “Improvisation puts you in the moment, the now; there’s no better place to be.”  For Doug, music is not about recreating an era, but rather to perform music that is current and honest to the time we live in.