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Cecily Bumbray

Cecily is a vocalist and songwriter whose sweet soprano and honest lyrics have garnered attention and loyal fans not only in her native Washington DC, but also up and down the East Coast. Unmoved by passing trends, Cecily’s sound is rooted in a deep appreciation for mid-century soul and jazz, 90’s R&B, and re-imagined folk music. She has drawn comparisons to artists as distinct as Deniece Williams, Brandy, and Corinne Bailey-Rae Cecily has graced many stages and performed in front of audiences as large as 30,000. She has opened for Grammy Award winning jazz and soul artist Gregory Porter, R&B stars Johnny Gill, Kenny Lattimore, and Elle Varner, and alternative soul pioneer Bilal

Big Band Tradition

The Big Band Tradition has its roots in a small band founded by Christ Congregational Church members in the early 1970’s. That band performed at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. for the National Convention of the Congregational Church in the US. It was reestablished as a big band in 1994 to perform at Martin’s Crosswinds for CCC’s 50th anniversary. Size: Under the leadership of the late Chuck O’Connor, it grew into a full-sized band with 18 members. It includes five saxophones, four or five trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass, guitar, drums, and vocalist. Members: Band members are varied in age, live throughout the metropolitan area, and are from all walks of life

MUSICIAN Born:

Harry Appelman

Jazz pianist and educator Harry Appelman has performed on concert stages on five continents. He has been chosen three times to participate in U.S. State Department music tours overseas — to South and Central America, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus, and South Asia. He performed in Egypt in February 2008 with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and has performed at the Festival Gnaouas et Musiques du Monde in Essaouira, Morocco and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Mr. Appelman is a member of Afro Bop Alliance, winners of a 2008 Latin Grammy, and has contributed several arrangements to the group's recordings

MUSICIAN Born:

Grant Izmirlian

Grant Izmirlian was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the third child of a 1st generation Armenian American pianist and her physician husband. He started out on piano at age 5, and was introduced to jazz during a High School combo lab, playing first clarinet and then Tenor Saxophone. Grant continued to study tenor saxophone under Webster University Jazz Studies chair, Paul Demarinis for 7 years. He continued his jazz education while in school in Madison Wisconsin with Richard Davis and Joan Wildman. After moving to the DC metro area, he studied with Jim Carroll and Butch Warren here in DC

Cres O'Neal

"The greatest gifts that I've ever received from God are my family, and my ability to communicate through music." Cres O'Neal Cres is definitely a woman of many hats. She started her political career as a LBJ Fellow on Capitol Hill. A few of Cres' accomplishments are her service as Executive Director of two non-profits; and, a co-founder of the Buffalo Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and The Benedict House - one of the first HIV/AIDS transitional homes in the country. She was, for several years, Western Regional Director for the New York Civil Liberties Union. She has served on numerous national and international boards, including the United Nations Association for the National Capitol area

Chuck Redd

Chuck Redd is an internationally well-known performer on both drums and vibraphone. He began his career when he joined the Charlie Byrd Trio at the age of 21. He also became a member of the Great Guitars (Barney Kessel, Byrd, and Herb Ellis.) To his credit are 25 European tours and six tours of Japan, with the Barney Kessel Trio, Ken Peplowski and the Benny Goodman Tribute Orchestra, Terry Gibbs and Conte Candoli. Redd was featured vibraphonist with the Mel Torme All-Star Jazz Quintet from 1991 until 1996. While appearing in New York with Torme, Ira Gitler of Jazz Times said: "Redd's vibes were equally notable for vigor and melodiousness." He served as Artist-In-Residence at The Smithsonian Jazz Café in Washington, DC from 2004-2008

MUSICIAN Born:

Bill Heid

Bill Heid came of age in the crucible that was Pittsburgh in its jazz heyday, hanging out at legendary Hill District clubs like the Hurricane Bar and the Crawford Grill. All the jazz greats regularly played in town back in the sixties and young Bill took every opportunity to sit in and learn from these masters. In addition to the many musicians passing through town during that period, Pittsburgh had produced some of the greatest names in jazz "Ahmad Jamal, Art Blakey, Errol Garner, George Benson, Eddie Jefferson, Mary Lou Williams, Stanley Turrentine, to name a few, all called Pittsburgh their hometown. Bill took these lessons and experiences and headed West to Detroit and Chicago, where he built a solid blues resume, touring and recording as a pianist with Jimmy Witherspoon, Koko Taylor, Alberta Adams, Fenton Robinson, and many others

MUSICIAN Born:

Mark Merella

Mark Merella is a musician whose versatility on both drum set and hand percussion has made him an in demand player for live, studio and educational settings. He began his professional career while still in high school playing summers at Wildworld theme park. He then attended Musicians Institute in Los Angeles and graduated in 1984. During his career Mark has worked with a wide variety of artists in the jazz and Latin music fields including Randy Brecker, Steve Turre, Ray Vega, Rene McLean, Hilton Ruiz, Steve Berrios, Paul Carr, Joe Ford, Eva Cassidy and percussion legend Candido Camero


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