Over the years, Peter White has maintained a reputation as one of the most versatile and prolific acoustic guitarists on the contemporary jazz landscape. Armed with an unparalleled combination of lyricism and energy, he combines elements of jazz, pop and classical guitar to create a sound that is singular and at the same time accessible to a broad audience. Born in 1954 in Luton, a small town north of London, White and his family moved to nearby Letchworth shortly after he was born. As a child, he learned to play several musical instruments, including the clarinet, trombone, violin and piano. And of course, like so many youngsters growing up during the heyday of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, he gravitated to the guitar. He learned his first chords on an acoustic guitar, then bought his first electric guitar in his early teens and studied the recordings of the reigning guitar gods of the day - Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. But his musical aspirations ultimately veered back in an acoustic direction following an accident that doomed his beloved electric guitar. The axe was destroyed in a fire, one that White's younger brother Danny - an aspiring pianist - accidentally started.
If you've ever seen Rick Braun perform, you know what a high-energy entertainer he is. But ask him to talk about his career and the gregarious, charismatic musician-songwriter-producer becomes visibly uncomfortable and awkwardly quiet. "The collective moments are one big unfolding story that's still not done. I just sit back and be grateful to still be making music with friends," says the humble trumpeter-flugelhorn player-vocalist Braun, a consistent chart-topper who has amassed a catalogue of No. 1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and radio hits throughout his solo career that began in earnest in 1992. One of those memorable moments for Braun occurred twenty years ago at influential Los Angeles radio station 94.7 The Wave with friend and fellow contemporary jazz star Peter White. The two had a hit from Braun's 1994 breakthrough release Beat Street entitled "Club Harlem," a horn and nylon string guitar duet. It was a track that came at a time when both artists were being propelled from being first-call sidemen to solo recording artists.
Jeff Lorber Fusion with guests Eric Marienthal & Jimmy Haslip - www.lorber.com
More than three decades after his earliest recordings, Lorber has come full circle. His new recording, Hacienda, revisits a sound he helped pioneer. The album takes the experiment that he started with his GRAMMY®-nominated CD, Now is the Time, and his 2012 album, Galaxy, up a notch with 11 exciting and energetic new compositions performed by some of the biggest names in jazz today. Co-produced by Lorber and bassist/composer Jimmy Haslip, Hacienda also features saxophonist Eric Marienthal, a longtime collaborator with Lorber and his collective.
"The Elders have developed a reputation for bristling live shows and, even better, for exceeding their lofty reputation." Timothy Finn - Kansas City Star
A dynamic lead bass player from Kansas City, bassist Julian Vaughn is rapidly becoming a major player in the contemporary jazz genre. As an artist, he debut on the scene in 2010 with his CD titled "The Purpose Project" an album that would later pave the way to his 2012 album "Breakthrough". Vaughn has had 2 top 10 singles on the Bilboards. Vaughn's much anticipated new album to be released in the spring of 2015 is expected to make another splash. Vaughn stays current on industry trends but doesn't try to write every song to fit the radio format. " I know what flavor works in the music industry but I don't write all my material based on that. I write from my heart. Whatever is moving me at the moment is what dictates the end. I want to make music for the people not format, said Vaughn. "Music is my everything that's why I love doing what I do," he said.
Taking their name from a small mountain town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, DOTSERO means "Something Unique" according to Ute Native American legend to some. It means DOT-ZERO on the earliest geographical railroad maps to others, but to jazz fans worldwide DOTSERO means Smooth Jazz at its best, full of life energy and spontaneity that few artists in the genre have been able to match. A no nonsense sax and guitar driven thrill ride of energy and excitement. As much fun to watch as they are to listen to.
Two-time Grammy nominated saxophonist and flautist, Najee has made a career following his heart and keen musical intuition by pushing musical boundaries, all of which have made him an international pioneer in the music industry. Having collaborated with everyone in the music business from Prince, Quincy Jones to Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Herbie Hancock, Najee's technical agility, grace, compositional prowess, unbridled passion and fearless genre bending have made him one of the most sought after musicians of his generation. With two Platinum and four Gold albums under his belt, Najee is an icon whose musical vision spawned an entire new genre by fusing the music close to his heart (R&B and jazz).
Well into his third decade of making the strings sing with his very own sweet Chicago soul, it's no surprise Nick Colionne has sustained chart-topping radio history. His incredible live performances, infused with his unique and souful styling of jazz, funk, R&B, and blues, along with his rich vocals and engaging stage personality, have made him a force to be reckoned with.
Celebrated keyboardist, composer and studio musician, Brian Simpson has been the 'go-to' man for everyone from Janet Jackson and Teena Marie to George Duke, Stanley Clarke and Dave Koz, for whom he has had the distinction of being musical director for the past 15 years. The chart-topping musical chameleon who wrote the #1 R&B hit "The First Time" for Surface in the 1990s confesses, "Ultimately, my listeners inspire me to make my music."
The wait is over, as Samantha Fish unleashes a major storm of her trademark guitar work and soulful vocals on Black Wind Howlin'. "It has a rebellious streak," says the bandleader of her game-changing new album. No "sophomore slump" here, as Black Wind Howlin' leaps from the speakers with 12 smoking tracks that chart Samantha's evolution as songwriter, gunslinger and lyricist. "Since completing Runaway back in 2011, I've been on tour pretty much non-stop," she proclaims. "I've spent a lot of time writing, playing and listening to music. I feel like the themes and the sound of my music have matured. To me, it's about the human experience from my perspective, as well as people I've come into contact with over the last few years."
JOSH HOYER and The Shadowboxers is a project formed in late 2012 in famed blues town Lincoln, Nebraska. For the last 15 years, Hoyer has been very in demand as a performer in his previous bands, as a solo artist behind the piano and as a session musician and arranger. Spending much of his time booking and promoting in Lincoln at the legendary Zoo Bar and beyond, Hoyer is an influential part of the funk, soul and blues youth movement. His current 9-piece Soul band includes some of the areas most revered and accomplished musicians, many of whom have toured nationally and internationally, teach music and are asked to back up bands live and in the studio. The band's sound and passion come from their deep respect, knowledge of and passion for blues, Americana, soul, funk, and many other styles of music.
Molly is a native of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, currently residing in Kansas City. She has extensive experience with bands and on the musical theatre stage. Diagnosed in 2008, Molly is a breastcancer survivor. Molly has a wide and varied musical background. She grew up singing folk music with her large family around the fire on camping trips. In high school and college, that love of singing found its way into musical theatre, where it grew and flourished for more than a decade