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Kenne Thomas

Drummer, composer, and author, Kenne Thomas is the son of Chicago bebop saxophonist, Jimmy “Bouncy” Whitehead. Influenced by family friends, Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt he began his musical career in his hometown of Chicago performing with notable musicians, Jodie Christian, Ari Brown, Adam Rudolph the Charles Walton Big Band, and the Black Artists Group. In the early 70’s Kenne moved to Minnesota where he performed with pianist, Jimmy Bowman Trio. Attending Moorhead State University, he played around the region with the R & B horn band, AIRTIGHT. After graduating with a degree in Music Education, he joined the Jerry Lakes Memories of Elvis Supershow which toured throughout the US and in Europe. Kenne went to Japan, in 1979 to perform, with the Pullman-West Band, out of Detroit


Chris Lomheim - Michael OBrien - Jay Epstein

Chris Lomheim is an award-winning jazz pianist and composer who has been active in the Twin Cities jazz scene for more than 30 years. As leader of the Chris Lomheim Trio, he has produced three CDs: “And You’ve Been Waiting?” (1994), featuring all original compositions; “The Bridge” (2002), featuring a mix of originals and standards; and “Timeline” (2014), featuring original compositions. Chris is a member of the all-original jazz group The Illicit Sextet, which has also produced three CDs, “Chapter One” (1993), “Chapter 11” (2013), and “Addendum” (2016). He received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist’s Initiative grant in 2014


Rebecca Hass

Rebecca Hass is not your average Minnesotan pianist and composer - with an addiction to Brazilian rhythms and bringing joy to others through music, her compositions span a variety of topics, from samba grooves to crime-fighting manatees, some of which you can hear on her brand-new debut album of original compositions and arrangements in Brazilian styles, Florescer (Bloom). She also supports other musicians and artists in their creative habits through wellness and mindset, through coaching, and by writing about these topics at Rebecca appears locally in Minneapolis/St

Bobby Commodore

Long time Twin Cities resident Bobby Commodore has secured the drum throne for many local ensembles covering many genres of music. He began his career with the Grammy Award winning group The Sounds of Blackness with whom he toured the United States and recorded several albums. He met his wife, vocalist Ginger Commodore while completing a 20-year tenure with the group. Bobby first made his mark in the world of Gospel playing and recording with the Steele Family, Sam Davis Gospel Ensemble, Rance Majestic Choir, Sabathani (Macedonia) Baptist amongst others. Then, taking the plunge into the world of Jazz, Bobby was offered a job drumming with the local jazz ensemble Moore By Four (MB4), which lead to a 12-year affiliation as drummer and business manager



Prince Rogers Nelson, known by his mononym Prince, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor, and has been a major figure in popular music for over three decades. Prince is renowned as an innovator and is widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He is widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music combines rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop. Prince was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and developed an interest in music at an early age, writing his first song at age seven. After recording songs with his cousin's band 94 East, 19-year-old Prince recorded several unsuccessful demo tapes before releasing his debut album For You in 1978, under the guidance of manager Owen Husney

Doug Snapp

Dr. Douglas R. Snapp founded the JazzMN arts organization in 1998 with a mission to "promote, preserve and perpetuate America's indigenous art music, jazz." Under Snapp's guidance, the JazzMN Orchestra has established itself as one of the premier jazz orchestras of the Midwest, featuring world-class guest artists and enriching the community through eduational outreach programs. In addition to his role as Executive Director and Artistic Director of JazzMN, Dr. Snapp is the Director of Jazz Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has served as president of the Minnesota chapter of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE), and more recently, served on the steering committee that formed the Jazz Education Network (JEN). Dr


Katia Cardenas

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Katia grew up in a musical family. Her mother, Janis Kelly, is an accomplished vocalist, who sang with Maurice White and the Emotions, and opened for Rufus & Chaka Khan, Tower of Power and Carole King. Her father, Mark Cardenas, is a professional keyboardist, and a Platinum and Gold recording artist, whose credits include Prince, Morris Day and the Time, Janet Jackson, and The Song Catchers (featuring Charles Neville). From an early age, she was raised on a strict diet of funk, soul, and r&b. She received a Waldorf education, which taught her a deep appreciation for the arts, and a passion for singing


Rick Nair

Rick Nair is a versatile drummer, bandleader and writer based in Minneapolis. A native of Manhattan, Rick has played with hundreds of artists, including several internationally recognized musicians. Performance credits include cross-genre innovator Moby, rapper Speech (of Arrested Development), Jamaican rock and pop legend Phil Chen, and the great bassist Ron Carter. Rick's current projects include jazz-funk quintet President Flow, classic reggae outfit The Skruffians, dub-jazz trio Prince Leia, the gypsy-style Carluster Crumplebee Orchestra, Kairos Alive, the Sarah Streitz band, the Chris Hagedorn Quartet, Emoji Virtuosi, the John Seymour Trio, and a number of other groups

Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra

The Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra is a project sponsored by the Nova Jazz Corporation, a Twin-Cities non-profit dedicated to promoting and developing modern big band jazz. Fortunately for us, many of the compositions the NCJO performs regularly come from the band members themselves. Current members who’ve provided great music for the band to play are John Ahern (lead trumpet), Bob Byers, Kari Musil, and Paul Peterson (saxophones), but another of the band’s assets is a long list of distinguished alumni who have added to the band’s library over the years. If that weren’t enough, the band also plays specially commissioned (or freely offered) works by composers with a connection to our region and the world, including Dan Cavanaugh, Steve Devich, John Guari, and Greg Stinson. Nova wishes to thank all its members, both past and present, who have contributed their time and talents to make the band a success


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