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Musician

Steven Feifke

Born:

Heralded a “masterful pianist” by JAZZIZ Magazine, award-winning Yamaha Performing Artist, bandleader and composer Steven Feifke is one of the most in-demand artists of his generation. A two-time semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Piano Competition, Feifke has been featured on stages around the world alongside premiere artists including Steve Tyrell, Randy Brecker, Chad LB and Veronica Swift, with an impressive performance history at recognized venues like the Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Times Square and Rockefeller Center. International tours across Europe, Africa and Asia along with an extensive discography of over 30 albums all before turning 30 have established Feifke’s name as a global presence in jazz. Feifke is an internationally recognized arranger and orchestrator, and has written commissioned works for notables like the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra featuring Sean Jones and John Faddis, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra with Ken Peplowski, the Malmo Big Band with Katie Thiroux, and the New Generation Festival with Orchestra Senzaspine and Dominick Farinacci

Musician

Marilyn Chadwick

Born:

Musician

Jihye Lee

Jihye Lee is a jazz composer and bandleader based in New York, highly regarded for her personal and adventurous storytelling approach to large-ensemble jazz. “Her music is imaginative and creative” says Jim McNeely, one of Lee’s great mentors. “And she’s not afraid to take some exciting chances in her writing.” Lee describes composition as a form of record-keeping for herself, as the documentation of her life, the process of finding musical equivalents to the images, thoughts and emotions in her mind. She writes first and foremost for herself, to release her feelings, which makes her music deeply personal

Musician

Roberto Spadoni

Born:

I feel lucky. I fell in love with music and she took me by hand and guides me on the paths of life, the difficult one and the easy ones. Lights and shadows, joys and sorrows: there is no day that music does not resonate within me. Thanks to her I have been able to work with many musicians and many orchestras in precious collaborations and to play in many festivals, I have been able to carry out ambitious projects and I could perform teaching in conservatories and private institutions seeing many young people grow day by day. Thanks to her, I recorded CDs, wrote books and translated others in Italian. Quoting Duke Ellington, I can say that "Music is my Mistress". Between 2007 and 2012 I graduated in I and II level in Jazz at the Conservatorio di Musica di Benevento, where I am now a professor in Jazz Composition. My training initially was mainly self-taught, working on the records and the few scores that could be found in the years of my youth

Musician

Ira B. Liss

Ever since the early 1970's, Ira was destined in life to be a band leader. A drum major/saxophonist at Patrick Henry High School in San Diego, California, he was voted most valuable band member his senior year. In the local, regional and national scenes, Ira acquired extensive experiences in all phases of the music and entertainment industry. From music management, retail/wholesale products, talent acquisition, concert production & promotion, to jazz education and recording production. Ira B. Liss, at 6 feet 7 inches tall, is Southern California's most imminently watchable bandleader of San Diego’s favorite Big Band: The Ira B

Musician

Robyn Spangler

Musician

Todd Gordon

Born:

Aged 44, Todd Gordon was a late arrival to the jazz scene but quickly established himself as “one of Britain’s most popular singers and entertainers” (Scottish Television). An avid Beatles fan until the age of 11, his musical horizons broadened when he heard Frank Sinatra's "Songs for Swingin' Lovers!" album. From that moment, he collected almost every recording by Ol' Blue Eyes whilst expanding his interest in jazz and swing, encompassing numerous other renowned singers and instrumentalists.

Further inspiration came in 1975 when he met Ella Fitzgerald prior to one of her shows. During her concert, she invited him on stage and sang "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" specially to him. Since then, Gordon has been fortunate enough to meet many more of his idols - including Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Count Basie, Woody Herman, George Shearing and Tony Bennett.

Musician

Chris Walden

Seven-time Grammy nominated German-born composer/arranger/conductor CHRIS WALDEN has scored more than 40 feature and TV films, and has written more than 1,500 orchestral and big band arrangements for artists including Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney, SEAL, Stevie Wonder, Rihanna, Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, and orchestras like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops. He has worked closely with producers David Foster, Tommy LiPuma, and Phil Ramone. He most recently served as lead arranger for the Academy Awards (Oscars®), he arranged for and conducted the Kennedy Center Honors and arranged the National Anthem for Jennifer Hudson's performance at the SUPER BOWL XLIII

Musician

Sam Merrick

Born:

"Sam Merrick is a British singer of ever-growing repute. Having had the privilege of sharing the stage & performing with some of the top names in Jazz, he now performs across the UK, pleasing audiences far and wide with the likes of The Nick Ross Orchestra, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra & other projects on the London & UK Circuits."

Musician

Joel Baer

Joel Baer is an active performing and recording drummer in the Chicago area. Joel gained an interest in drums at an early age after watching his father Jeff play at church on a weekly basis. At the age of 11, he began formal instruction from drum educator Jack Brand in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois. Under Brand’s guidance, Joel developed his love for Jazz. This led to a B.M. in Jazz Studies from Elmhurst College and M.M. from DePaul University where he studied with Bob Rummage and Dana Hall. Joel co-leads the Blueshift Big Band in Chicago with guitarist Chris Parsons. With that ensemble, they’ve explored music in the tradition of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, as well as diverse influences like Chicago Blues and music from video games


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