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Musician

Erik Hempel

Born:

Erik Hempel is a force of nature, both in his music and character. Hempel’s dynamic and powerful performances have amazed hundreds of audiences from the main stage of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday Music Festival to the legendary stage of the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Influenced by a wide variety of musical styles (the blues, rock, jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop, you name it), Hempel is an incredibly versatile artist who is pioneering his own bold style of music in order to not only better reflect the times, but to tell his unique story. As a rapidly emerging artist, Hempel has already opened for major musical acts such as Chicago, Marcus Miller, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Blood Sweat and Tears, and more! Born and raised in St

Musician

Harold Land Jr

Harold Land, Jr. has toured Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America with Jazz and Funk greats such as Marvin Gaye, Gerald Wilson, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, Pharoah Saunders, Lee Morgan, Roy Ayers, Roland Kirk, Sweet Baby J'ai, Dwight Trible, and many others. The Crusaders' pianist Joe Sample introduced Harold to Wayne Henderson. The meeting led to Harold's first professional gig, and to his first two album appearances, including the cult favorite "People Get Ready". He credits bandleader Gerald Wilson with giving him his first traditional Jazz gig, which came shortly after his time with Henderson

Musician

Sam Allen

Born:

Sam Allen is a musician currently living in New York City. Originally from upstate New York he attended The Berklee College of Music in Boston. Graduating with a diploma in Music Performance Sam moved to NYC. He performs on the drum set mostly in the Tri-state area and is fluid in playing many different styles of music. Playing and writing music is a way of life for Sam. Drumming is his first love but playing piano/keyboards for composing and more recently the bass for fun takes up much of his time. Sam's approach to music is having a solid foundation in the history of the music but not getting lost in the past

Musician

Anton DeFade

Nashville born, Pittsburgh raised Anton DeFade has established himself as one of the most in demand bassists in the Pittsburgh area and beyond. He is a full time member of the soul/rock band, The Commonheart, and when he's not touring the country with them he splits his time writing, arranging, and freelancing in his hometown of Pittsburgh. As a child, Anton was introduced to many different styles of music by following his dad, Ray DeFade Jr., around to his gigs from loud rock concerts to intimate jazz performances. A decade later at the age of 14, he began working as a professional musician performing in various rock groups, jazz gigs, and local productions of musicals

Musician

Sharel Cassity

Born:

Saxophonist, Woodwindist, Composer & Educator Sharel Cassity (pron. Shah-Relle) is a musician on the New York, Chicago, and international jazz scenes. Listed as “Rising Star Alto Saxophone” in Downbeat Magazine for the past 11 consecutive years, Sharel has appeared on the Today Show, earned her MA from The Juilliard School under full scholarship, won the 2007 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award & has been inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Cassity has shared the stage with jazz luminaries including Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis & the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra; as well as mainstream artists Aretha Franklin, Natalie Merchant, Vanessa Williams & Trisha Yearwood

Musician

Beth Duncan

Born:

A treasure trove of melodic invention, distilled emotion, and vivacious wit, the American Songbook can also serve as a gilded cage, confining jazz vocalists to oft-interpreted material written during the first half of the 20th century. Sacramento jazz vocalist Beth Duncan has never been one to do things by the book, and her new album I’m All Yours exemplifies the ample creative rewards of grappling with the present moment. A collection of songs written by Oakland-based composer and lyricist Martine Tabilio, I’m All Yours is Duncan’s third release, and it’s a persuasively swinging project brimming with smart new songs that deliver many of the pleasures found in American Songbook standards

Musician

Hazel Mitchell-Bell

Vocalist Hazel Mitchell-Bell has become one of Washington, D.C.’s first ladies of jazz. With highly praised first album, Stronger than Ever, under her belt, and another album set for release in 2020, she appears on festival, concert and club stages, enjoying one sellout after another. Working closely with pianist and Music Director Vince Evans, she performs in a big band and smaller ensembles, stoking the fires of the D.C. jazz scene.

The two have worked together since being introduced in 2016. In 2018 they released the CD Stronger Than Ever, which includes standards from the Great American Songbook and R&B hits backed by an 11-piece orchestra

Musician

Alex Boneham

Born:

Bassist Alex Boneham is one of the most in demand musicians of his generation, known for his versatility and relentless creative drive. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Alex has worked extensively worldwide with a wide array of artists from across the musical spectrum. After graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium with a bachelor’s degree in music in 2009, Alex spent several years performing, recording and touring in Australia and New Zealand with a who’s who of Australian artists and international touring acts including James Morrison, Mike Nock, Bernie McGann, Dale Barlow, James Muller, Greg Osby, George Garzone, Mike Moreno, Joel Frahm, Will Vinson, Sarah McKenzie, Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra, and co-led group The Vampires. In 2014 Alex was accepted into the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Ensemble (now the Herbie Hancock Institute), a selective masters program where a group of musicians is hand-picked by a panel of living legends including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Burrell, James Newton and Herb Alpert

Musician

Portraits Jazz Project

Included in Karl Ackermann's Best Releases of 2019. Portraits featuring Adalia Tara was born in a coffeehouse in Sedona, Arizona, on a sultry summer evening in 2016. An impromptu coming together of local Sedona jazz talent behind the powerful vocals of Adalia Tara attracted a following that overwhelmed the capacity of the small venue by the second show. Performing thereafter at larger venues, resorts, and vineyards, the band was also featured in the the L’Auberge Summer Concert Series. Portraits has consistently filled rooms to over capacity. This album captures the spark and energy born of those early shows. Adalia is an extraordinary singer-songwriter talent, who began writing songs at an early age

Musician

Carl Bartlett, Jr.

Award-winning innovative artist, and native New Yorker, saxophonist Carl Bartlett, Jr. marked his arrival onto the Jazz scene with the 2011 release of his Critically Acclaimed debut CD, Hopeful. He has since emerged as one of the leading lights in the Post-bop/ Modern Jazz world, as both a player and composer. “A tone that only the greats have the ability to attain” raves All About Jazz, describing the profound sonic nature of Bartlett, Jr.’s rich alto sax sound, which uniquely blends alto and tenor sax timbres. Since achieving the high honor of becoming the 1st Place Winner in the USA (2nd in the world) in the prestigious 2015-2016 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Jazz Category, Carl Jr


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