Manhattan Transfer

Between them, the two groups boast a remarkable 20 Grammy Awards, and a range of styles that covers nearly every genre of popular music; from jazz to swing, from gospel to R&B. As The Manhattan Transfer mark the 45th Anniversary of their debut recording on Atlantic Records ~ Janis Siegel, Alan Paul, and Cheryl Bentyne will honor founding member, Tim Hauser, as they continue to tour with their newest member, Trist Curless.

Each of these legendary acts has 10 Grammy Awards to their credit amongst a host of other recognitions. The two groups are known for their ability to move effortlessly among a wide range of styles from jazz to swing, pop and gospel to R&B. The Manhattan Transfer marks the 45th anniversary of their debut recording this year while Take 6 recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. The Manhattan Transfer remains a cornerstone for great jazz and pop hits that earned them induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Their first hit, “Operator,” was followed by the history making “The Boy From New York City” making them the first group to win Grammy Awards in both Pop and Jazz categories in the same year. The 12 Grammy nominations they received for their album Vocalese in 1985 made it the second only to Michael Jackson’s Thriller as most nominated album in one year, and cemented the group’s status as one of the most important and innovative vocal groups in the history of popular music. “Route 66” and their rendition of “Birdland” are yet more memorable classics of their 19 singles and 29 albums over their stellar career. With worldwide record sales in the millions, their melodic and jazz infused vocals continue to bring audiences back year after year spanning generations.

Take 6 has been recognized as the quintessential a capella group in virtually every genre. They were inducted last year into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame, from whom they have received 10 Dove Awards in addition to their Soul Train Music Award, BRE (Black Radio Exclusive) Vocal Group of the Year and more. Heralded by Quincy Jones as the “Baddest vocal cats on the planet!” Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley), captivates the audience wherever they perform. They earned performances on Saturday Night Live, the Oscars, the Grammys, and have had the honor of performing for four sitting U.S. Presidents, and at the Democratic National Convention. “Believe,” their sixteenth album, is Take 6’s most recent recording. Upon release, the album took high positions on 6 different Billboard charts.

 

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South Florida Jazz Orchestra

“The band swings with pulsating energy propelled by exemplary charts and arrangements that showcase brassy instrumentals, divine solos and elegant vocals –more than sixty-five minutes of scintillating big band jazz by a world-class orchestra you’ve not heard until now. Listen and enjoy!” Edward Blanco, All About Jazz/ WDNA FM

Shelly Berg

An accomplished pianist in both classical and jazz styles, Shelly Berg is a recording artist for Concord Music Group, and a Steinway piano artist. He has arranged and recorded with many award-winning artists. In 2007, Berg was appointed as Dean of the University of Miami’s Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music where he teaches both privately, in the Frost Experiential Music Curriculum, and administers the academic, musical and research pursuits of over 700 music students and 100 faculty. He was formerly the McCoy/Sample endowed music professor at USC Thornton School of Music where he taught for 16 years.

Lavay Smith

Sultry chanteuse Lavay Smith evokes a sensuous era of glamorous Jazz divas and sexy pinups adding a modern, feminist twist. Whether singing her own compositions or drawing on a large repertoire of classics, Lavay and her all-star 8-piece band bake up an instant recipe for good times.

diego figueiredo ken peplowski 1 credit carol loricco
Diego Figueiredo and Ken Peplowski - photo credit Carol Loricco

"Ken Peplowski is one of those fine young Americans who are currently setting so much of the pace in all that's good in jazz.” Jazz Journal International
“Ken Peplowski is arguably the greatest living jazz clarinetist” Russell Davies, BBC2

Karrin Allyson

"If there's a choir in heaven, someday the exquisite vocalist Karrin Allyson will lead it. She's such an otherworldly talent that the creator probably already has her on heavy rotation." The Houston Press

"Allyson coolly stakes her claim. She brings a timbre that is part ice and part grain — incisive, original, and emotionally convincing." Gary Giddons, The Village Voice

Heart, intelligence, warmth — an emotional range from bittersweet to sassy —you hear it every time you listen. Make no mistake — Karrin Allyson is singing to you.  The New York Times

Karrin lives in New York City, following a childhood in the Midwest, schooling in the Bay Area, a degree in classical piano performance and important stints in Minneapolis and Kansas City, where she began her recording career with Concord Jazz. Karrin currently spends two days out of three on tour, playing the major jazz festivals, concert venues and clubs of the U.S. and making repeated tours overseas — to Brazil, Japan, Australia and the great cities of Europe. Throughout 2014 Allyson was featured as solo vocalist in the 'Newport —Now 60' Tour which played in thirty cities across the US and Canada before concluding the 2014 Newport Festival.

Jon Faddis

Jon Faddis is considered to be the complete and consummate musician, with the skills of conductor, composer, and educator. He had earned accolades from his close friend and mentor John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie, who declared of Faddis, “He's the best ever, including me!” Faddis possesses an unparalleled range with a full command of his instrument. Time Out New York (2003) has praised Faddis as “the world's greatest trumpeter … brash soloistic logic and breathtaking technical acuity.” According to the The Wall Street Journal, Faddis is “a trumpet player of prodigious lyrical force”.

Johnny Rodgers was born and raised in Miami, FL.  A graduate of the New World School of the Arts in Miami, he went on to study at Florida State, the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and graduated from Western Michigan University.

A fortuitous meeting with Liza Minelli led to his participation on her world tours and later as a featured singer, dancer, pianist and songwriter in the Tony Award-winning Liza’s at The Palace on Broadway in 2009 and 2010. Johnny co-wrote the featured song “I Would Never Leave You” which is included on the show’s DVD release as well as the Grammy-nominated CD.

Houston PersonHe’s one of the best . . . He’s got bull chops!” – Dizzy Gillespie

Dubbed “the natural heir to the Boss Tenor crown worn so long and so well by Gene Ammons” (Bob Porter), global performer Houston Person knows the music business inside out, from booking his own tours to producing his own albums. As eclectic as he is talented, Person has recorded everything from disco and gospel to pop and R&B, in addition to his trademark, soulful hard bop. After years as producer and house tenor for HighNote Records and touring with the late Etta Jones, Person is now known as a master of popular songs played in a relaxed, highly accessible style reminiscent of the great Ben Webster.

diego figueiredo ken peplowski 1 credit carol loricco
Diego Figueiredo and Ken Peplowski - photo credit Carol Loricco

“Diego Figueiredo is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve seen in my whole life. The world needs to listen to his music."  George Benson

"Diego Figueiredo is one of the most amazing and exciting artists in jazz today.  His astounding virtuosity fuses Brazilian, jazz, and classical elements into a style all his own.  The audience is swept up into Diego’s joy of music!" Shelly Berg / Dean of Music - Frost School of Music at University of Miami

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