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Musician

Ryan Berg

Born:

Ryan Berg was born into a musical family. His parents were musicians. His grandparents were musicians. He has made himself a staple on the New York jazz scene and has traveled throughout the world. Some of the musicians Ryan has played and/or recorded with include: Gregory Porter, Mark Whitfield, JD Allen, Stacy Dillard, George Burton, Tim Warfield, Josh Evans, Lenny White, Rashid Ali, Anthony Wonsey, Gerald Clayton, Sullivan Fortner, Lindsey Webster, Bruce Williams, Marquis Hill, Roy Hargrove, and many others... In addition to this, he has played on many albums, been a band member for a television show produced by Kelsey Grammer, and played as a member of the broadway shows “Jersey Boys”, “Hadestown”, and “Summer.” He is currently a member of The Brianna Thomas Band, Frank Lacy Sextet, and leads his own group along side members Stacy Dillard, Jeremy “Bean” Clemons, and Craig Magnano

Musician

Mary Louise Knutson

Born:

Minneapolis-based pianist and composer, Mary Louise Knutson, has been called "one of the most exciting and innovative artists to happen to jazz piano in quite some time." Her warm, inviting tone, broad range of emotional expression, and distinctive compositions have brought her much recognition on the national music scene. Knutson's long-awaited new jazz trio CD, In the Bubble, ranked in JazzWeek's Top 10 and remained on the chart for 19 weeks straight. Six standards and four originals - which range from a swinging Oscar Peterson Trio-style "It Could Happen to You” to a smooth jazz version of “You Don’t Know What Love Is” to a Keith Jarrett style "You Are My Sunshine" - complete this highly accessible mainstream-to-modern collection. Knutson tours regularly with former Tonight Show bandleader trumpeter Doc Severinsen and his big band (featuring two-time Grammy Award winner tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts), has toured the U.S

Musician

Michael B. Nelson

Born:

Trombonist Michael Nelson is the leader of the 5-piece a cappella jazz horn group, The Hornheads, who toured and recorded with Prince from 1991-2016. Michael has appeared on over 100 CDs, including producer, composer, arranger, and performer credits on three Hornheads solo releases and 10 Compass Records CDs for the Target retail chain. Nelson has also performed and/or recorded with Chaka Khan, Doc Severinsen, Lenny Kravitz, The Jonas Brothers, Sammy Davis Jr., Mandy Moore, Jimmy Jam, Johnny Mathis, Honor Society, Larry Graham, Ben Sidran, Maceo Parker, and many others. Currently, you can hear his horn arranging and playing on various recordings by rising guitar star, Cory Wong, including the variety show, Cory and the Wongnotes.

Musician

Kenne Thomas

Born:

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

Musician

Chris Lomheim - Michael OBrien - Jay Epstein

Born:

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

Musician

Rebecca Hass

Born:

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 rebeccahass.com. Rebecca appears locally in Minneapolis/St

Musician

Chrisette B

Musician

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

Musician

Prince

Born:

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

Musician

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


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