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MUSICIAN Born:

Danny Green

Over the past decade, jazz pianist and Origin Records recording artist Danny Green has earned recognition as a bandleader and as a composer with a gift for spinning supple, absorbing narratives. Green’s growing portfolio of vibrant sounds – an enchanting mix of jazz, classical, and Brazilian rhythms – has captured the attention of critics around the world, including DownBeat Magazine, Jazziz, San Diego Union Tribune, the Boston Globe, and Public Radio International. It’s no small wonder that Green has earned two San Diego Music awards for Best Jazz Album and an additional award for Best Jazz Artist

MUSICIAN Born:

James Weidman

Pianist James Weidman is indisputably an essential addition to whatever bandstand he graces. A partial list of Weidman’s affiliations is staggering in depth & breadth: Max Roach, Woody Herman, Archie Shepp, James Moody, Greg Osby, Bobby Hutcherson, Slide Hampton, Jay Hoggard, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Gloria Lynne, Dakota Staton, MBase Collective, Cassandra Wilson, TK Blue (co-leader of Taja), Abbey Lincoln, Ruth Naomi Floyd (Producer), Kevin Mahogany (Music Director), Joe Lovano, Marty Ehrlich and Ray Anderson. That list includes several NEA Jazz Masters, musical trailblazers, and great singers; relationships requiring both the skilled touch of an adept soloist as well as superior accompaniment expertise

MUSICIAN Born:

Manuel Rocheman

Manuel Rocheman comes from a family of musicians. On his mother’s side, his grandmother is a piano teacher, his grandfather a flautist, his mother plays cello and viola and his aunt the violin. His father, Lionel Rocheman (guitarist and actor), created the “Hootenanny” at the American Center in Paris, where performers came from around the world. As a 10 year old his brother gave him a wonderful record of Oscar Peterson playing solo (it was ‘Tracks’); Manuel already had his own track-record of four years of piano. Listening to the Canadian virtuoso gave him a great feeling of freedom and made him want to go down the same road

James Austin, Jr

Jazz Pianist James Austin Jr. Debuts Plunging Heart First into the Bedrock Book of Wonder - Stevie Wonder Blissful Songs in the Key of Wonder Brilliantly Covers Motown Legend’s Prolific Mid-`60s to Mid-`80s Heyday in Straight Ahead and Latin Veins Pianist James Austin Jr. traveled from his hometown of Chicago to New York City to tackle Jazz on its highest level after surprising himself as a semifinalist in the 2006 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C

Peter Hostage

New Hampshire-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Peter Hostagehas a wealth of talent, among the rare artists who can croon as coolly as Frank Sinatra while dropping a funk riff that could smoke the dance floor. His latest album, Uptown, is an homage to his undying affection for jazz and blues icons like Ray Charles and Nina Simone.

MUSICIAN Born:

Evan Blair Whitfield

Evan Whitfield is a pianist, keyboardist and composer of styles ranging from jazz to experimental new-age to contemporary improvisation. Evan began his musical education at the age of seven, studying classical piano and brass. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Evan was raised in a musical family from the very beginning and remembers listening to Vivaldi’s The Seasons, The Beatles‘ album Sergeant Pepper‘s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Glen Gould playing Bach, and attending Kenny Rogers concerts. As soon as he was proficient at the early stages of classical piano, he chose to study another instrument, the tuba

MUSICIAN Born:

George Freeman

As a musical director, George Freeman is well versed in selecting players, communicating concepts and orchestrating powerful shows. His solo full-length debut, Make It Happen, reveals a musical crossroads of jazz, pop, R&B, gospel and neo-soul. Slow burning grooves underscore supple melodies, articulate arpeggios and dynamic keyboard dexterity as the keyboardist, producer and bandleader who plays behind a celebrated roster of musical luminaries steps into the spotlight to showcase his own artistry. Songs from Make It Happen, like "Tengo Un Amor", "Two Step" and others currently play on both national and international jazz radio and internet stations

MUSICIAN Born:

Wendy Kirkland

Wendy’s musical career began at age 10, when she started taking piano lessons. She won a scholarship to have all her lessons paid for by Derbyshire Music, and continued to take her ABRSM piano grades.

Switching to jazz in her late teens, Wendy continued her playing career as a dance class pianist, accompanist to singers and as a keyboardist in club bands.

After being persuaded to sing by a great friend and guitarist, Bill McCreath, Wendy learned to reach people who are perhaps turned off by instrumental jazz, as she learnt to communicate with the audience through the songs. Wendy’s voice has been likened to Blossom Dearie with hints of Diana Krall.

Her influences range from Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald through Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly to Chick Corea, Eliane Elias and Michel Petrucciani.

Current projects include Piano Divas, a tribute to the female pianist singers of jazz; hammond organ jazz outfit Organik Fource featuring Pat Sprakes on guitar and guest saxophonist; Organik Trio Goes To The Movies and The Organik Cookbook celebrating the early soul-jazz albums of George Benson.

Wendy is married to jazz guitarist and bass player Pat Sprakes

MUSICIAN Born:

Fred Haas

Fred Haas, a Dartmouth graduate ('73), teaches Saxophone, Jazz Piano, Improvisation, Jazz History and Music Theory at Dartmouth College. He lives in Hartland, Vermont, and travels throughout New England and beyond performing and recording with a variety of musicians. Fred brings to each of his performances and workshops a depth of experience and knowledge from over thirty-five years as a jazz musician and educator. His goal is to communicate a broad range of emotions through music as well as share information about the history of jazz and the art of jazz improvisation. In 1997 Fred founded Interplay Jazz Camp, which provides an opportunity for musicians of all ages to participate in a relaxed and supportive learning environment with an experienced faculty that focuses on key aspects of the improvisational art of jazz

MUSICIAN Born:

Johanna Pitkänen

Johanna Pitkänen is a pianist and composer from Helsinki. She has explored the musical globe from Scandinavia to Cuba and from different parts of Africa to Spain. Pitkänen writes music by commission and performs on solo piano and with duos and trios. Her oldest ongoing group is Kokko Quartet, a Finnish jazz group using world music influences in their music. The group has released two albums, their latest release is Orient Express from 2016. Pitkänen also writes music for film. In 2019 she released electronic music together with producer Satu Nieminen Pitkänen graduated from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences with a Bachelor’s degree in Pop and Jazz Music