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MUSICIAN Born:

Viktor Skokic

Composer, arranger and bass player based in Stockholm, Sweden, mainly focusing on contemporary jazz and improvised music, with a strong emphasis on rhythm and an exploratory approach to melody and harmony. Writing music for small as well as large ensembles, Viktor is always aiming at fully exploiting the potential of the format at hand. Apart from working in the field of contemporary jazz, Viktor regularly appears as an arranger and bass player in a wide range of contexts, all the way from experimental indie to children's music.

Fini Bearman

Fini Bearman is a London based singer, multi-instrumentalist & composer, who has a ‘rare sense of melody running through her eclectic compositions, full of catchy twists and turns’. Her music melds diverse influences from jazz, folk and contemporary music into an 'arresting and uniquely personal' sound. Sometimes dealing with settings of poetry and other times original lyrics, ‘her voice, effortlessly moves between a light precision and warm soulfulness is unmistakably her own’.  Fini released her latest album 'Burn the Boat' in October 2016 and it has already received much glowing reviews from peers and critics including ****'s from Jazzwise, allaboutjazz, the Guardian and the arts desk. '.

MUSICIAN Born:

Jean-Michel Pilc

Born in 1960 in Paris, now an American citizen, self-taught pianist and composer Jean-Michel Pilc has performed with numerous jazz giants: Roy Haynes, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Jean Toussaint, Rick Margitza, Martial Solal, Michel Portal, Daniel Humair, Marcus Miller, Kenny Garrett, Lenny White, Chris Potter, John Abercrombie, Mingus Dynasty & Big Band, Lew Soloff, Richard Bona etc. He has also worked with Harry Belafonte, as his musical director and pianist, and has performed a duet with the legendary opera singer Jessye Norman. Jean-Michel moved to New York City in 1995. There, he formed a trio with François Moutin (bass) and Ari Hoenig (drums)

MUSICIAN Born:

Jean-Michel Leblanc

Jean-Michel Leblanc is a multi-instrumentalist and composer active in in Quebec, Canada. As a sideman, he participated as an accompanist, arranger and co-composer for various artists such as "Mégane Cyr" and progressive rock band "Citizens", and is now an active member of experimental musical ensembles "The Plastic Waste Band" and "Le Jager". His work with these groups, coupled with his numerous activities as a freelance musician, led him to perform all around Quebec and Canada. ​ As a composer, he synthesizes his hard rock roots with his passion for cinematic music and his love of modern pop with his fascination of contemporary classical music

Nuno Trocado

Nuno Trocado is a composer and guitarist crossing various contemporary musical constellations. He is particularly interested in the combination between the spontaneity of improvisation and the rigor of algorithmic composition. His work also focus on the multiple meanings of noise, and frequently entails collaborations with other musicians and with artists of different disciplines. He holds a degree in jazz guitar and is active in several improviser groups, both as a leader and as a sideman. He also obtained a master's degree in composition and music theory from ESMAE (Porto, Portugal). In the context of a residence in the 2017 edition of the Guimarães Jazz festival, he created Cotovelo, a disciplinary crossing between music and theater, edited by the Carimbo Porta-Jazz label and awarded with a grant by the GDA Foundation

Oguz Buyukberber

Amsterdam based clarinetist Oğuz Büyükberber's style merges contemporary composition, jazz and influences from his Turkish background. He has performed at major festivals and venues all over the world, and collaborated with an incredibly wide range of master musicians and renown ensembles such as Butch Morris, Craig Harris, John Zorn, Gerry Hemingway, Simon Nabatov, Jim Black, Nils Wogram, Marc Sinan Company, Neue Vocalsolisten, Kairos String Quartet, Dresdner Sinfoniker, and Hüsnü Şenlendirici to name a few. His body of work includes over 50 CDs including releases on ECM and Blue Note, a detailed method book explaining his own improvisational systems titled “Spiral” which is published on Donemus and dozens of commissions he received to compose a wide ranging repertoire

MUSICIAN Born:

Chris Buono

Chris Buono makes music with a guitar and lots of pedals. As a leader Chris heads the genre-bending organ trio cB3 featuring Ben Stivers and Tobias Ralph. Chris is the founder and co-writer for the progressive math funk project RedRightReturn that includes Tippan Phasuk, Justin Stanton, Evan Marien and Alex Silvergold. Both cB3 and RedRightReturn are releasing debut albums in late 2019/early 2020. Chris also plays with cult legends, James Chance & The Contortions.

As a sideman and/or guest soloist Chris Buono has performed and/or recorded with Dweezil Zappa, Snarky Puppy, Bumblefoot, Karsh Kale, Graham Haynes, David Fiuczynski, Oz Noy, Keith Carlock, Rodney Holmes, Steve Jenkins, Tony Grey, Dave Martone, Sophia Ramos, Dopapod, Consider the Source, Kung Fu, Jazz if PHSH and many more. As an educator Chris has taught guitarists from all over the world through Berklee College of Music, TrueFire, Guitar Player, Guitar One, Just Jazz Guitar, Hal Leonard, Alfred, Course Technology & Guitarinstructor.com among others

MUSICIAN Born:

Brenda Hopkins Miranda

Brenda Hopkins Miranda was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is currently doing trio (piano, bass and drums), quartet (piano, guitar, bass and drums) and piano solo concerts. Having grown up with the sounds that encompass Puerto Rican and Caribbean music, she has continued to expand her essence by adding soul, blues, funk, jazz, classical, bluegrass, rock, flamenco and all sorts of multicultural influences. Her music is influenced and inspired by a diverse list of artists that includes Radiohead, Nina Simone, Robert Plant, GoGo Penguin, The Chemical Brothers, Melody Gardot, Avishai Cohen and Nik Bärtsch. As a bandleader Hopkins Miranda has released six recordings of original music on her BHM label: “Boricua on Board,” (1998) “Bohemia,” (1999), “Recuerdos de Granada/Memoirs of Granada.” (2009), "Simple" (2012), "Aeropiano" (2014) and "Puentes" (2017). Brenda is known for her expressive sensibilities, daring compositions, powerful grooves and fearless improvisations

MUSICIAN Born:

Thollem McDonas

Thollem McDonas is a composer, pianist, improviser, teacher and writer.  He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of Irish and Cherokee descent.  At the age of five, he began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval to the 20th century and studied with many notable teachers including Aiko Onishi and Lou Harrison.  After graduating with degrees in both piano performance and composition, he dedicated his 20s and 30s to grassroots political activism.  In 2005, he refocused his attention on a breadth of musics that incorporate his myriad experiences and curiosities.  In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout North America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers.  As leader or co-leader, he has released almost 50 albums in that span on 19 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim.  “Thollem is an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument” (Terry Riley) and who continues to delve into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of Post-Classical, Free Jazz, Noise, Punk, dance and film

MUSICIAN Born:

David Witham

David Witham studied piano with Jaki Byard at the New England Conservatory of Music, and Alan Broadbent in Los Angeles. He's had writing and performing associations with saxophonist Ernie Watts, bassist / composer Jay Anderson, the Jeff Gauthier Goatette, and percussionist Luis Conte. David was Musical Director for George Benson from 1990-2007, and has also served as a producer for Tom Scott and Grover Washington. Recording and performance credits include Barbra Streisand, Patti Austin, Lee Ritenour, Jose Feliciano, John Patitucci, Bluezeum, Joao Bosco, Larry Carlton, Randy and Michael Brecker


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