Arturo-SandovalA protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval is recognized as one of the most brilliant, multifaceted and renowned musicians of our time.  Sandoval began studying classical trumpet at the age of twelve, but it didn’t take him long to catch the excitement of the jazz world. He has since evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist and composer.  He was the recipient of the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom presented by President Obama.   
 
Sandoval has been awarded 9 Grammy Awards, and nominated 19 times; he has also received 6 Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award. The latter for his composing work on the entire underscore of the HBO movie based on his life, “For Love or Country” that starred Andy Garcia as Arturo.   Soon to be released is a new book chronicling his relationship with Dizzy Gillespie entitled “The Man Who Saved Me”.  Sandoval’s latest release on the Concord label, “Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You) won a 2013 GRAMMY® Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.  This award-winning album pays tribute to Gillespie and features many of his best compositions.  

Michael-LongoMike Longo began his professional career at the age of fifteen in South Florida where he began working with his father’s band around the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area. His professional career took roots after winning a local talent contest at the age of twelve.

Cannonball Adderley, a band director at Dillard High School, heard Longo and became interested in the young pianist. Longo’s father hired Cannonball to work some gigs with his band. Later, Cannonball hired the young Longo for a gig with an R&B band.  Adderley began coaching the young Longo and the young pianist began playing up and down the east coast of Florida.  Adderley later hired Longo to play with his quartet at the famed Porky’s that was depicted in the movies of the same name in the 70′s.

Dr.-Lonnie-Smith-TrioDr. Lonnie Smith, B3 Organ
Jonathan Kreisberg, Guitar  
Johnathan Blake, Drums

Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist.  An authentic master of the Hammond B-3 organ for over five decades, Smith has been featured on over seventy albums and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the jazz world.  Jazz Times describes him as “a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban.”  Smith was named “Top Organist” by Downbeat Magazine and was recently inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and the Jazz Organ Fellowships Hall of Fame.

The-Michael-Kaeshammer-TrioMichael Kaeshammer has “piano technique to burn, and has an acrobatic way with a grand piano,” says John Terauds of the Toronto Star   “The hottest Canadian music export isn’t indie rockers, it’s jazz musicians. First there was Diana Krall, then Michael Bublé and Matt Dusk, and now Michael Kaeshammer has come along…The German-born pianist’s latest could easily be the next big jazz record” - NOW Magazine

After studying classical piano for seven years in his German homeland, a 13-year-old Kaeshammer discovered boogie-woogie and stride piano as played by Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson, Pinetop Smith, and Fats Waller. In three years, he was playing boogie-woogie piano in clubs, concerts, and festivals all over Germany. He attracted attention almost immediately after the family moved to the west coast of Canada, performing at blues and jazz festivals across the country during the summer of 1996.

Janis-SiegelOver the past three decades, the voice of Janis Siegel, a nine-time Grammy winner and a seventeen-time Grammy nominee, has been an undeniable force in The Manhattan Transfer’s diverse musical catalog. Alongside her career as a member of this 32-year musical institution, Siegel has also sustained a solo career that has spawned more than a half dozen finely-crafted solo albums and numerous collaborative projects, amassed a large international fan base and garnered consistently high critical praise.

Over the years, Janis’s unmistakable voice has become one of the Transfer’s most recognizable
trademarks. She sang lead on some of their biggest hits, such as “Operator,” “Chanson D’Amour,” “Twilight Zone,” “Birdland,” “Ray’s Rockhouse,” “Sassy,” “Spice of Life,” “Mystery,” and “The Boy from N.Y.C.” She also gained a reputation as a vocal arranger by writing five of the charts for the group’s acclaimed masterwork, Vocalese, seven charts for the group’s Grammy-winning album Brasil, and won a Grammy herself in 1980 for her arrangement of “Birdland.” In 1993, she and her Manhattan Transfer colleagues received their honorary doctorates from the Berklee School of Music, and in 1999 they were among the first class of inductees into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

Shelly-BergShelly Berg, Piano
Chuck Bergeron, Bass
John Yarling, Drums  
 
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.  

BillAllredClassicJazzBandBill Allred Leader/Trombone
Herb Bruce, Trombone
Charlie Bertini, Trumpet  
Don Johnson, Trumpet
Terry Myers, Reeds
Randy Morris, Piano
David Pruyn, Drums
Jay Mueller, Bass

This year marks the 25 anniversary of the Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band.  In 1990, the Band was born in Orlando from a group of ex-Rosie O’Grady and Disney musicians. They started essentially as a “kicks” band, collecting and playing the arrangements of Matty Matlock and Billy Maxted.  After performing at a few jazz festivals, they realized that there was a real market for their “little big band” type of sound. Over the years, the Classic Jazz Band has added an eclectic collection of written and improvised jazz to its library. After learning of the band’s desire to tour with a classic library, noted pianist and arranger Billy Maxted contributed quite a few of his great charts. Other contributors include Bob Haggart, legendary writer and performer Joe DeWeese, Dave Wolpe, Scott Whitfield, John Bambridge, Terry Waddell and Dave MacKenzie, as well as the band’s own John Allred and Bob Pickwood.

Bill-Charlap-TrioBill Charlap, Piano
Kenny Washington, Drums
Peter Washington, Bass  

Bill Charlap, one of the world’s premiere jazz pianists, has performed with many leading artists of our time, ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. He is known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin and others. Time magazine wrote, “Bill Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…no matter how imaginative or surprising his take on a song is, he invariably zeroes in on its essence.”

Born in New York City, Charlap began playing the piano at age three. His father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap, whose credits include Peter Pan, and his mother is singer Sandy Stewart, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows and earned a Grammy nomination for her recording of My Coloring Book. In 2005, Charlap and Stewart released the acclaimed CD, Love Is Here to Stay (Blue Note). Charlap is married to renowned jazz pianist Renee Rosnes. The two artists often collaborate in a duo piano setting. In 2010 Charlap and Rosnes released Double Portrait (Blue Note).

Allan Harris QuintetAllan Harris is a world-class singer, guitarist and songwriter.  Perhaps best known for his interpretations of jazz standards, Allan’s smooth vocals and guitar-styling easily cross genres, from jazz to rock to blues. He is unquestionably one of the most versatile talents in contemporary jazz and blues music.  “Harris is a velvet-voiced jazz singer, with a savvy manner and music in his veins.” (Variety)  Very few vocalists in the industry have his charismatic combination of soulful yet elegant phrasing, exciting musicianship, and dynamic stage presence. 

Tony Bennett has called Allan "my favorite singer" and The New York Times' Stephen Holden raves about "the protean talent that is Allan Harris."  Allan has cultivated a global following, playing for packed audiences and receiving outstanding reviews throughout the United States, Europe, Russia and the Far East.  A three-time winner of the New York Nightlife Award for "Outstanding Jazz Vocalist,” Allan is regularly featured at the world’s great music festivals.  The Miami Herald wrote that Harris’ voice and demeanor “project the warmth of Tony Bennett, the bite and rhythmic sense of Sinatra, and the sly elegance of Nat ‘King' Cole.”

Growing up in Brooklyn, Harris was meant to be a musician.  His mother was a classical pianist, and his Aunt was an opera singer, who turned to the blues.  Because Aunt Theodosia attracted the attention of famed music producer Clarence Williams, he became a regular dinner guest and often brought along other performers such as Louis Armstrong.  Once Armstrong even baby-sat and terrified young Allan with his "frog like voice." Sunday afternoons were spent at the Apollo matinees, which was across the street from his Aunt Kate’s Soul Food restaurant, where he got to meet many of the artists who played the Apollo during his formative years. 

As a teenager, Harris moved to Pittsburgh where he learned from some of the masters like Harold Betters and Roger Humphries.  He worked with bands around the area and learned to play many different styles of guitar from country to soul music, and ultimately found his niche in jazz.  Early on in his career he was known as a guitar player who sang, but as audiences began hearing his voice he became more focused on singing.  While his guitar style was influenced by rock musicians of the day, his voice always was most comfortable singing the American Songbook.  Harris moved to Atlanta and then to Miami where he continued developing his voice and stage presence.  It was in Miami that he first met Tony Bennett who encouraged him to return to New York in 1991.

Since then Harris has been a featured soloist and producer of a three-year jazz series at Sotheby’s where he first teamed up with Tommy Flanagan.  He has paid tribute to Nat “King” Cole at the Kennedy Center where he recorded, Long Live the King (Love Productions Records, 2007) and continues to tour around the world.  In 2007, Mr. Harris was awarded the Chamber Music of America Residency Grant for his “Cross That River” project which toured 12 schools in Harlem.  “Cross That River,” is now a full-scale musical celebrating the Old West as told through the words and music of a black cowboy, and played to rave reviews during the 2009 New York Musical Theater Festival.
As a Gibson Guitar featured artist, Allan and Ruby (his constant 6 lb. canine companion and the first dog music critic) can frequently be found rehearsing at the Gibson Hit Factory, and along with The Allan Harris Band, enjoy playing the top music clubs in his hometown of New York City.

Website: www.allanharris.com

 

Bria Skonberg QuartetThe Bria Skonberg Quartet is a powerhouse combination of emerging talent in the New York jazz scene and includes Bria Skonberg on trumpet and vocals, Sean Cronin on bass, Darrian Douglas on drums and Dalton Ridenhour on piano. Leader Bria Skonberg is "poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation." – Wall Street Journal. This year she earned a Jazz Journalists’ Association nomination for “Up and Coming Jazz Artist of The Year”, is included in Downbeat Magazine’s Rising Star Critics‘ Poll, and was honored with a NY Bistro Award for "Outstanding Jazz Artist." Best known for her knowledge of classic jazz and instigative nature, she is creating a style rooted in hot jazz, world percussion, soul and modern effects. For this venture she has assembled a group of unique individuals from the US and Canada that are proficient in the roots of jazz with 21st century sensibilities. Bassist Sean Cronin, a free spirited musical mastermind, has been a part of all of Bria's original projects since 2007.

He leads his own psychedelic jazz/fusion experience named "Very Good" on both coasts. Pianist Dalton Ridenhour, a native of St. James, Missouri, has been a featured artist at ragtime festivals since his early teens. He gained his Masters' degree at the prestigious Berklee College of Music and the Eastman School of Music, recorded his first solo album on Rivermont Records and is a first call pianist in New York with the likes of Dan Levinson. Rounding out the group on drums is Darrian Douglas, originally from Jackson, Mississippi. Darrian moved to New Orleans in 2008 where he took over the drum chair in the Ellis Marsalis' Quartet for the next four years. During that time he also played with Irvin Mayfield, Germain Bazzle, Topsy Chapman, and recorded with his own group "The Session."

Bria first met Darrian at the Ascona Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Since his 2012 arrival in New York he has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Victor Goines, Joe Temperley and more. This group has recently recorded Bria's second album for Random Act Records, a follow-up to "So Is the Day" (2012) which peaked at #7 on the US National Jazz Charts. The recording, released in 2014, features world percussionist Mino Cinelu.

Website: www.briaskonberg.com

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