ROSTER OF ARTISTS

JAZZ

Eddie Daniels Clearly a Renaissance musician---a virtuoso of both jazz and classical clarinet---Eddie Daniels demonstrates that in the hands of a master, Mozart is as accessible to jazz lovers as the music of Charlie Parker. His vision is to enlarge the audience for both jazz and classical music by tearing down the walls separating the two genres. "A thoroughly well-bred demon," as Leonard Bernstein once said.

Marlena Shaw Quartet The first female vocalist signed by Blue Note Records in 1972, has never strayed far from her jazz roots. A former singer with the Count Basie Orchestra, "she swings with ease and authority, has a mastery of space and timing . . .[and] every phrase she utters has a delightfully improvisatory feel,' notes critic Richard Chon. She has the ability to highlight the dramatic possibilities of the simplest lyric. Her sassy, humorous onstage presence is as entertaining as her singing

Brian Lynch Quartet “This is the end of the century, and a lot of music has gone down,” Brian Lynch said several years ago. “I think that to be a straight-ahead jazz musician now means drawing on a wider variety of things than 30 or 40 years ago. Not to play a little bit of this or a little bit of that, but to blend everything together into something that sounds good. It doesn’t sound like pastiche or shifting styles; it’s people with a lot of knowledge.” Few musicians embody this 21st century credo as profoundly as this trumpet master. A respected insider within both the hardcore bebop and Latin communities, he’s as comfortable negotiating the complexities of clave with Afro-Caribbean pioneer Eddie Palmieri as swinging through advanced harmony with bebop maestro Phil Woods.

Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio Toshiko Akiyoshi's unique contributions to the jazz world have evolved through a series of events that started with a piano-loving little Japanese girl in Manchuria.  She was discovered by pianist Oscar Peterson in 1952 playing jazz at a club in Tokyo.  Oscar brought her to the States to study at Berkelee in 1956 her talent brought her to prominence as an unparalleled pianist, composer and leader. Akiyoshi draws on Japanese musical traditions, adding hypnotic, Eastern atmosphere and swirling textures to traditional jazz figures Considered one of today’s top jazz pianists, she has received over 13 Grammy nominations for her compositions and arrangements.

Toshiko Akiyoshi awarded Jazz Master Award from the NEA.

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet The Brubeck Brothers are an exciting new jazz group that has been playing together all their lives. If there is such a thing as "born musicians," then the accomplished sons of famed jazz pianist Dave Brubeck definitely qualify. The talented brothers, Dan on drums, and Chris on trombone & bass, have brought audiences to their feet all over the world, creating dynamic music that gives a glimpse of the future of jazz, while honoring their background, so rich in the tradition of innovative jazz.

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers are considered one of the top swing and jump blues bands in the country. The sultry vocals of chanteuse Lavay Smith and her all star 8-piece band, perform a large repertoire of classics by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Dinah Washington, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Louis Jordan. They are an instant recipe for good times.

Lew Tabackin Flutist and tenor saxophonist, is an artist of astonishing vision. His electrifying flute playing is at once virtuosic, primordial, cross-cultural, and passionate. His distinctive tenor sax style includes the use of wide intervals, abrupt changes of mood and tempo, and purposeful fervor, all in the service of showing the full range of possibilities of his instrument – melodically, rhythmically, and dynamically. Without copying or emulating jazz greats of the past, Mr. Tabackin has absorbed elements into his style, ultimately creating his own sound and aura.

The Cookers A dream team of forward-leaning hard-bop all-stars, this ensemble features the trumpeters Eddie Henderson and David Weiss, the saxophonists Billy Harper and Craig Handy, pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart.

Drawing their inspiration from “The Night of the Cookers”, recorded at Club La Marchal for the Blue Note label in 1965. No single album captures the mystique of the hard-bop era better. The Cookers recreate the possibilities of such incendiary nights by combining some of the greatest musicians from that era, with some of this generation more fiery players. This is what jazz is all about…

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LATIN

Eddie Palmieri 9 time Grammy winner Eddie Palmieri is widely regarded as an  explosive, unpredictable lion of the keyboard. His gift for broken meters and chromatic passages led critics to dub him "The Latin [Thelonius] Monk." Since the 1960s he has refreshed Latin dance music by introducing rock licks, urban poetry and elements of tango, cumbia, waltz and the folkloric music of his beloved Puerto Rico. Whether working with his jazz octet or a full Latin dance band, Eddie's music gets audiences on their feet. According to the New York Times: "Mr. Palmieri. . .can make a piano roar."

Pete Escovedo Orchestra Timbalero Pete Escovedo played with Cal Tjader and formed his own Chicano-rock group, Azteca, before coming to prominence with Carlos Santana's band in the 1970s. Throughout a long career (and as patriarch of a talented musical family), Escovedo has focused on a vision of contemporary Latin jazz filtered through a pop-tinged prism. His eleven-member group produces a unique and powerful sound, a mixture of African, Brazilian, contemporary Latin, jazz, soul and pop styles. A true crowd-pleaser.

Tito Puente Jr. Orchestra Tito Puente Jr. has begun leaving a mark as an artist of distinction. With one record album and three videos to his credit, plus a slew of concert tours under his belt, Tito has become a force to be reckoned with in Latin music. Determined to reach people of all generations, Tito's music is a fusion of POP Latin Jazz and Dance, laced with influences of Mambo, Cha Cha and Merengue. Tito calls it "Latin Dance a new explosion of authentic music created from the streets"...

Orquesta La Moderna Tradición One of the few ensembles in the United States that is dedicated to the performance is classic Cuban dance music. Danzon, a legendary ballroom style that developed for the synchronization of African and European music in Cuba. This eleven piece group performs classics of the genre along with original compositions designed to keep the tradiction alive and the music swinging.

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BLUES

Quinn DeVeaux Quinn DeVeaux and The Blue Beat Review is the dance floor between the sweet old times and new hard times. It’s New Orleans soul and early blues with the depth of cracked hands combined with the contagious dance rhythm you’ve been looking for all night. You hear the upright bass and drums lock into a rolled drop beat, then the piano licks up and around the groove, then a drip dried guitar jumps in followed by three lovely voices making harmonies round the rhythm, and then on top comes Quinn, with his sugarbush tones of joy.

Hills To Hollers featuring Linda Tillery, Barbara Higbie and Laurie Lewis From the hills of Bluegrass to the hollers of the African-American musical experience, nascent super group, Hills to Hollers, delves deep into the rich history of both white and black musical traditions from the American South. With a new CD and a recent performance at the Edmonton Folk Festival, this powerhouse trio is enthralling audiences with soaring three-part harmonies, unmatched musicianship and soulful performances of both classic and original southern music.

The Persuasions You want powerful, powerful vocals, pushed to what must be their limits? You want thrilling harmonies that are nothing less than made for each other? Look no further. The Persuasions are the undisputed heavyweight champions of a cappella. They are to singing what Muhammad Ali was to boxing–invincible, innovative, original, beautiful. Together since the mid-'60s, the Persuasions continue to sing as if that's what they do instead of breathing.

Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir The Cultural Heritage Choir is a Grammy nominated, percussion driven, vocal ensemble whose mission is to help preserve and share the rich musical traditions of African-American roots music. Their music is rooted in the Deep South and strongly connected to their West African and Caribbean origins. Or as we like to say it’s, “American Roots Music that Rocks!"

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers are considered one of the top swing and jump blues bands in the country. The sultry vocals of chanteuse Lavay Smith and her all star 8-piece band, perform a large repertoire of classics by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Dinah Washington, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Louis Jordan. They are an instant recipe for good times.

Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums Drawing from the likes of such legends as Big Joe Turner, Louis Jordan, T-Bone Walker and Ruth Brown, Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums have a true respect for the original roots of Jazz and Blues.

"Both Lucky's and Getit's lead vocals nail their decidedly "little big band” sound just perfectly...their delightful interplay will have you thinking you're eavesdropping on an intimate but juicy lover's spat...they'll have you jumping and jiving in no time" 4 stars, Joseph Jordan, Blues Access Magazine

The Gospel Hummingbirds Any show by the Gospel Hummingbirds is exhilarating and, in the end, exhausting. They sing straight, pure gospel. This group is rock-solid in their faith and in their approach to gospel music. James Gibson, spokesman for the group states, "We are taking gospel and its music to people who wouldn't otherwise be exposed."

Marlena Shaw Quartet The first female vocalist signed by Blue Note Records in 1972, has never strayed far from her jazz roots. A former singer with the Count Basie Orchestra, "she swings with ease and authority, has a mastery of space and timing . . .[and] every phrase she utters has a delightfully improvisatory feel,' notes critic Richard Chon. She has the ability to highlight the dramatic possibilities of the simplest lyric. Her sassy, humorous onstage presence is as entertaining as her singing

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WORLD

Brazil: Claudia Villela "Claudia Villella’s haunting improvisations, and her surprising five-octave range, have earned her a consistent following at such venues as the Monterey Jazz Festival, Spoleto Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, U.C. Davis, Yoshi's, and others clubs, concerts and festival dates across the United States, Japan, and Brazil. Audiences are drawn to the magical dimensions of her singing. Creative and soulfully expressive Villella’s music is heavily rooted in the traditional and contemporary sounds of Brazil's rich creative cultural heritage. "This phenomenal Rio-born singer leads her group through performances that range from sensuous to sizzling." -Bud Spangler

Tex Mex: Little Joe Y La Familia Little Joe Y La Familia is one of the most popular and enduring Tex-Mex bands in the music industry. Thousands know him in the United States and abroad simply as Little Joe. He is considered a pioneer of the "Tejano" sound, a unique blend of traditional "Norteno" music and German polkas, incorporating elements of contemporary jazz, country, blues and rock styles. He is acknowledged as the reigning king of Tejano music.

Bluegrass: Hills to Hollers From the hills of Bluegrass to the hollers of the African-American musical experience, nascent super group, Hills to Hollers, delves deep into the rich history of both white and black musical traditions from the American South. With a new CD and a recent performance at the Edmonton Folk Festival, this powerhouse trio is audiences with soaring three-part harmonies, unmatched musicianship and soulful performances of both classic and original southern music.

Americana: The Mills Brothers Featuring John Mills and Elmer Hopper, who spent 22 years with the Platters, perform the repertoire in the original key’s and with the original scores. “How do you explain the long-lasting career of the Mills Brothers?  It has to be their sound, that uniquely mellow blend of harmonizing.  That and their infallible knack for choosing songs that touch in the common experience and become classics” - Sarasota Herald 

This vocal duo can perform in a number of different formats from Quartet to Symphony.

Cuban: Orquesta La Moderna Tradición One of the few ensembles in the United States that is dedicated to the performance is classic Cuban dance music. Danzon, a legendary ballroom style that developed for the synchronization of African and European music in Cuba. This eleven piece group performs classics of the genre along with original compositions designed to keep the tradiction alive and the music swinging.

Brazil: Tania Maria Internationally renowned for her exhilarating vocals and keyboard artistry Tania Maria's music is a unique combination of jazz, funk and the popular music of her native Brazil. She has created an eclectic fusion that is more exciting than pure jazz. Tania Maria's vibrant voice, brilliant piano work and outstanding performances have made an artist of increasing international popularity. Without doubt, the true essence of Tania Maria is best experienced in her "live" performances. "I think music more than everything is a choice. I think it was like a mission. I chose music, and music chose me to spread this around." Tania Maria

Brazil: Flora Purim & Airto The music of Flora Purim and Airto has crossed the paths of anyone with an interest in Latin and American Jazz music. Instrumental in the creation of a unique fusion of world music and jazz, Flora's beautifully expressive voice enables her to cover a wide range of styles. She can handle a ballad as well wordlessly evoking the sound of birds. Airto Moreira is among the most famous percussionist around today. He helped make percussion an essential part of many modern jazz groups; his tambourine solos border on the amazing!

Roots: Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir The Cultural Heritage Choir is a Grammy nominated, percussion driven, vocal ensemble whose mission is to help preserve and share the rich musical traditions of African-American roots music. Their music is rooted in the Deep South and strongly connected to their West African and Caribbean origins. Or as we like to say it’s, “American Roots Music that Rocks!"

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SYMPHONY

The Brubeck Brothers The Boston Globe wrote "The Brubeck Brothers Quartet brings a new spirit to straight-ahead jazz." Dan Brubeck jaw-dropping solos on Take Five have brought audiences all over the world to their feet. Chris Brubeck is an affable front man and his versatility as a much-in-demand composer, arranger, and performer on bass and trombone makes him a unique talent in the music world. Mike DeMicco's technical prowess on the guitar always impresses, and Chuck Lamb is a superb and soulful pianist with an endlessly creative musical imagination. Chris Brubeck has written many orchestral pieces.. enough to gain a reputation as a gifted classical composer – albeit with strong jazz influences. That’s why the Chicago Tribune called him a “21st Century Lenny Bernstein.”

Eddie Daniels "...Eddie Daniels combines elegance and virtuosity in a way that makes me remember Artur Rubenstein: he is a thoroughly well bred demon." Leonard Bernstein

Eddie Daniels is that rarest of rare musicians who is not only equally at home in both jazz and classical music, but excels at both with breathtaking virtuosity.

Clearly a renaissance musician, a virtuoso in both jazz and classical music, his overriding ambition is to reach as many people as possible with his music, to enlarge the audience for both jazz and classical music and at the same time to tear down the walls separating them. In Eddie’s hands the music of Mozart can be as engaging as that of Charlie Parker and a concert featuring both can be a uniquely rewarding experience for the audience.

Eddie Daniels was the featured soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra with Kristjan Jaarvi conducting, performing the Copland Concerto for clarinet and the Bernstein"Fugues and Riffs" at the Barbican. He will perform again this year in Leipzig with Kristjan Jaarvi .

Marlena Shaw A true original, Marlena Shaw masterfully blurs the lines between jazz, rock, swing, and R&B. She first performed at the Apollo Theater at age 10, but got her big break when she was invited to sing with the Count Basie Orchestra in the late '60s. Her smoky, soulful voice and extroverted stage presence have wowed audiences the world over, offering "a lifetime's experience [that] adds up to something worth celebrating" (The New York Times). Shaw brings the flash of the disco era to the symphony stage with her funky California Soul material.

The Mills Brothers With their impeccable musicology and the priceless charts of The Mills Brothers’ discography of smash recordings, John Mills and Elmer Hopper present a singular recreation of music that has been universally embraced by audiences since 1922 including the classics Glow Worm, Up A Lazy River, Opus 1

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