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All right now - it's HERE! Yours Truly turns 62 on 10/16 and is proud to have survived these years! Getting older is a luxury not afforded to everyone, so gratitude is overflowing. Believe it.
How will we celebrate on the next "Hybrid Jazz From Trish Hennessey?" By making sure that YOU get the gifts! Vel Lewis, our wonderful Hammond Master and Keyboard Wizard, is bringing autographed copies of his EP, "Colors of Soul!" That how we do in Philly, where Vel calls home. He lives in Texas now - but you cannot take "The City of Brotherly Love" outta the piano player ;) Vel will discuss the many fabulous changes in his life since his project dropped - and he'll get a chance to meet our other guest - which will delight BOTH of them!
Jere B has been a friend for a LONG time - since the WSMJ Sunday Brunches. His background is phenomenal. From Ohio, Jere is a superb drummer, bandleader of SounDoctrine (one of the original HYBRID groups!), and the CEO of his own company. OH - and he's also an ordained minister! It has been a while since B came to hang on "Hybrid Jazz" and we'd like to fix that on 10/16. Can't imagine having virtual cake and ice cream with anyone better!
We'll play some great songs and take some phone calls if the atmosphere calls for more company. HJ has always been an organic show that flows the way it's supposed to go. So, any cool surprises that should happen? WILL!
Some of the music, of course, will focus on the unbelievably breathtaking offerings of SounDoctrine - any album that you hear is a revelation - and we'll hear tunes from Vel, too. All of us in The Chat Room guarantee that you'll be UP and moving for at least part of our three-hour show!
Let's get this rolling! CELEBRATE good times!
September has already proven to be QUITE different than we've previously experienced on "Hybrid Jazz!" Multiple guests, time changes and even DAY changes. But we MUST to accommodate our guests - and it's exciting to ponder - because this truly means a surge of musical activity! New CDS, gigs to share and clubs popping with the sound of creative artists.
One of THOSE in the Uber Creative category is the fabulously charismatic violinist, Chelsey Green. Born in Houston, Chelsey was immersed in the Jazz and Funk of her family - lots of musicianship there. So how is it the similarly inclined music lover gravitated to violin at age FIVE?! And steered toward an education in Classical studies? Chelsey will answer that question when she joins us in the third hour of the show on 9/17. And SOON - we'll have to call her Doctor Green - since she is doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland in College Park :) We'll hear tracks from her forthcoming CD - you had best believe it! "The Green Room" drops on 9/23!
Gil Parris is a truly respected guitarist, based in New York, and known for his seamless transitions within his playing. He prides himself on the fusion of Jazz, Rock and Blues - sometimes Country - in his repertoire. He was attending Berklee in Boston many years ago - when he was tapped to tour in Europe with "Jesus Christ, Superstar." Gil has never looked back since then! Grammy nominated, Gil has recorded six solo albums and has worked with an extraordinary number of artists - Dr. John, Toni Braxton, and Blood, Sweat & Tears - to name a few. Paul Shaffer and Randy Brecker have raved about him, as most of The Big Apple does. And he'll play there on Thursday night at B.B. King's! Which is why we've airing "Hybrid Jazz" on Wednesday ;) Join us!
Gotta get that title out there for our Grammy Award-winning, Maryland Man! Indeed, Gregg Karukas is returning to "Hybrid Jazz" with yet ANOTHER feather in his cap: a luscious new musical project called "Soul Secrets."
Keyboardist, Composer and Producer and MORE. For over two decades, Gregg has been captivating our psyches with his psoulfulness :-D (HAD to go there!) There is so much that can be said about our guest! He truly is the pride of Bowie, Maryland - where he starred in the Starliners Big Band in high school. An early champion of the synthesizer, Gregg owned one of the first mini-moogs. He was in the top Washington, D.C., Jazz-Rock band, East Coast Offering. This region knew him WELL! Moving to Los Angeles in 1982, his reputation followed him. Five years later, he was one of the original members of the Rippingtons. And through the years, he found work with Larry Carlton, Melissa Manchester and Sergio Mendes. His collaborations with Brazilian composer, Dori Caymmi and his work with Omar Akram set him apart from almost anyone in the genre of Contemporary Jazz. Especially satisfying is the Grammy from last year's "Echoes of Love" with Omar. Gregg produced, engineered, arranged and co-wrote immensely ear-pleasing music for the project, which garnered "Best New Age Album" honors.
Raise your hand if you know Gregg's OWN tunes when you've heard them on the radio. Many of us do and are grateful for the velvet passion that soaks through the airwaves like bliss - if that had notes :) This is a true student of music who dabbled with drums and guitar and trumpet as a child - but chose the keys to the highway ultimately. And never looked back. The artistry from "Soul Secrets" seals that deal for GOOD. Join us on 10/1 with Mr. Sublime ;)
Whew! Told you it was going to be busy in September and October! With multiple guests and time changes :) Case in point: our show for 9/25/2014! First at bat: the respected Saxophonist/Teacher and Champion of the Baltimore Jazz Music Education Project, Greg Thompkins! The annual fundraiser for BJMEP is coming up on October 4th - at Towson State University. On the roster: Bari Sax Great, Claire Daly! And Claire will join Greg on "Hybrid Jazz!" That will be in the first hour of the show. And we'll learn how to help this great cause - with ways for you to consider having your own organization where YOU are :) In these days of pulling music out of our schools, we have to re-prioritize! When you hear Greg talk about this, you'll know how important that is. And Claire's career would be enough to discuss for THREE hours! If you remember, she was a guest on the show over a year ago. It will be great to welcome her back.
Mycah Chevalier is no stranger to us, either. Whenever she visits, our songstress/writer always has something exciting to share. THIS time, it's her much-anticipated event at Blues Alley - on October 8th! She will have some of the best musicians with her - in this region or any other . And those in attendance will get to hear the songs that we have played MANY times since 2011. Including "Back N' Forth", Mycah & Dawoud Said's take on "In a Sentimental Mood" and her duet with Kenny Wesley - the Michael Franks' song, "When I Give My Love To You." The time always FLYS by with our Creole Gurl! And, if she wants, we'll have fans call and say hello. Whatever Mycah wants, Mycah gets. LOL!
Join us for a special Noon to Three Show on 9/25!
If you are not acquainted with the genius and the greatness of Mary Lou Williams, please let us introduce you to one of the most amazing figures in Jazz history. Pianist, Arranger and Composer, Mary Lou was beloved by MANY - including Duke Ellington. He couldn't say enough about her style and the person behind it. Ms. Williams wrote hundreds of compositions, arranged for the prestigious male bandleaders of her day (remember those times - a WOMAN arranging? A WOMAN having that kind of influence?!) and was both friend and mentor to Monk, Miles, Parker and Gillespie.
Known as "The Little Piano Girl of East Liberty" (Pittsburgh), Mary Lou was self-taught and performed in public for the first time at age six. Her confidence never wavered through the years and she came to the attention of those who appreciated her strong skills and positive personality. One that landed on WNEW in New York City - as a broadcaster with a popular show.
So MUCH to say about Mary Lou - and no one can say it better than CAROL BASH. She is the director and producer of "Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings The Band." This noble endeavor is an IndieGoGo project that is looking to fulfill its mission by October 28th! There are important movers and shakers involved in this film who LOVE Jazz and LOVE the subject of this labor of love. You'd recognize the names - and we'll drop them when Carol visits on 10/21 at one p.m. Eastern time.
You'll hear about the musican and spiritual evolution of Mary Lou - she converted to Roman Catholicism later in life - and it colored her world in a way that surprised even herself. Maybe inspired by that journey, she said: "Jazz is love - you have to lay into it and let it flow." Join us in The Chat Room on 10/21!
When Willie Bradley decides to give us The Full Package, he gives it full throttle. And it's funny that yours truly just said that, because one of the many bands that Willie's talent graced was called "The Package Band." :)
Seriously, this man has street cred as few have. A graduate of South Carolina State with Music Education and Performance mastery, Willie then made his way through a myriad of groups and genres. That trumpet gained access to the "inner circles" of Jazz - and he spent time with Betty Carter, Clark Terry, Frank Foster, Max Roach, and Dizzy Gillespie. On the other end of the music rainbow, Willie also opened for or played with Fourplay, Joey Sommerville, Bobby Blue Bland and more. So you see where this is going - our guest has a resume that's all encompassing. Okay, he's hip to Hybrid - that's what we need to say!
On our guest's CD, he utilizes all of what he has learned through these years of playing the straight ahead, the contemporary, the Funk, the Soul, the Gospel - and he ties it together with the help of a special believer: Nicholas Cole. Bradley and Cole have co-written most of the songs on the album - which are pretty incredible! Then, they enlisted the services of other artists that bring a certain pop and flow to a wholly organic endeavor. You're familiar with Lin Rountree, Marcus Anderson, and Jeff Kashiwa, I take it. Yeah, like THAT!
The last time some of us saw Willie was when he was with the All-Stars in Virginia - delivering a delicious stew of tasty trumpet that ebbed and flowed with the band in a most scintillating way. Christian de Mesones can back me up on that - because he was adamant about having Willie THERE :) It was some kind of night.
And there are MORE events coming - that's why Willie is visiting! Join us on 8/28 and discover Willie Bradley!
What way to start our reign of LIBRA! On September 23rd, 2014, we welcome the marvelous guitarist/composer/producer, U-Nam! Whew, are you EVER gonna feel some ENERGY!
Whenever U pays a visit to "Hybrid Jazz", he always has something wonderful cooking - guess it's not hard to make that kind of analogy because he's from Paris - one of the true oases for GREAT food! And what we have in "C'est Le Funk" is a fantabulous HYBRID stew of the flavors that U-Nam has in his soul. Those flavors spill out in the most effervescent way! Rock, R & B, Funk, Pop and JAZZ that is presented to you in a way that most certainly AIN'T your Daddy's!
Bacground on our guest: U-Nam picked up the guitar at age 12, studied at CIM (first European school for Jazz!), and by 19 was a pro - a fixture at studio sessions all across the City of Light. Emmanuel Abiteboul moved to the USA in 2007, after having achieved MUCH success in his native France. He has recorded, produced or performed with some of the most beloved names in music. And counts one of his inspirations, George Benson, as a FAN!
U is no stranger to recognition for his work. He has won Gold and Platinum Records for his input as Producer. You will certainly know his take on "Street Life" - the Crusaders classic - which went Number 1 and STAYED on as such for WEEKS! He made the late, great Joe Sample VERY happy. Royalties :)
Our friend is always busy - whether it's championing a guitar via endorsement, sharing wth stage with super saxophonist wife, Shannon Kennedy or the all-star group, Grafitti. AND writing or producing - but busy makes him BRILLIANT - and here he is with his new "C'est Le Funk" - making MAJOR strides on THREE differerent charts!
Let's celebrate - are you ready?!
Honestly, I may not be able to be objective about our next guest. Tim Green has a special place in this radio host's heart. Here is why: though raised in the Church, Tim didn't get the vibe of the entire experience until much later - when Mo'Horns tapped him to play their from-the-heart Gospel. This is after an education immersed in Jazz studies at both the Manhattan School of Music and the Monk Institute at the University of Southern California.
So, in gravitatitng to the foundation of spiritual music later in life, Tim became an on-fire musical disciple. All that Jazz swimming in his saxophonist's fingers, combined with the truth of his childhood, came roaring back. What resulted was a staggering display of Swing meets Bop and Jesus. ONE listen to "Songs From This Season" seals THAT deal. "Psalm 1" and "Siloam" and "Philippians 4:13" and "Hope" - some of the titles on his 2012 release - does this say anything to you?
This extraordinary musician and composer/arranger/teacher was raised in Baltimore, a city known for its Jazz LEGENDS. Dad and an Uncle were singers - and an older brother, a trumpeter. In the the respected School of the Arts in town, Tim was selected to join the 25 member Grammy All-Star Band - which performed at the annual telecast. Eyes were on him then and ears are on him NOW - in ways that can only be described as (here's that word) an anointing. Terence Blanchard cannot say enough about him. The late Mulgrew Miller (a true mentor to Tim), said that his grateful student "had a song in his heart."
Having played with some of the BEST in both Gospel and Jazz, that praise from Mulgrew is haunting. Ask Michael Buble, who employs Tim Green as his sax man. For that matter, ask this phenomenal artist himself. Go ahead :)
Listen, for a guy who didn't pick up the saxophone until he was 28, Dee Lucas is catching UP! WHOA! Dee is now an internationally known artist with a now fifth album under his belt. We're so looking forward to his visit because this is his second go-round on "Hybrid Jazz" - and there seems to be so much that has changed - all positive.
And DATES - this man has a slew of live events coming up - each one will be discussed. One of those brings him to our region. In the shadow of Washington, D.C. There is no doubt that Dee will have a sold-out crowd at Firestation 1 in Silver Spring, Maryland - that's September 20th. But he also has big shows happening in his home base, Georgia, and in Los Angeles, too.
If you've been keeping up with the career of Dee Lucas, then you're already impressed. 2004 marked his debut with "Remembrance" - a tribute to one of his musical inspirations, George Howard. In 2007, we heard "Something To Ride 2" - followed by "Standing Room Only" in 2010. The next year, it was "Rebirth of the Smooth." That's when Dee first stopped by - and we had a blast!
Earlier this year, "The Smooth Factor" was released - and audiences from all over the globe are, once again, smitten. When we hear three tracks from the CD you'll hear why :) You don't get to work with Hugh Masekela, Ronnie Laws, Nneena Freelon and Michael Franks unless you're something SPECIAL. Dee has consistently shown us how much.
Matter-of-fact, our mutual friend, Jonathan Widran, said it best at Dee's website. Jonathan calls what Dee does "soulful mastery." We, his fans, couldn't agree more!
Please join us for a musical reunion - when Dee Lucas joins us on 8/26 at two p.m. Eastern.
What an exciting show is in store for you! Al DeGregoris is back with a new CD and Lisa Engelken is making the trek from West Coast to East! Music from BOTH amazing artists? You better believe it!
Al's background is both wondrous and serene. He gravitated to piano at 4, sax at 6, and had songs and his first band under his belt at 7! By 12, he was a paid pro, insatiable for more learning and playing. A source of pride in his native New York, Al received his Bachelor's in Music Merchandising - AND excelled in law at Hofstra University! Straddling the legal and the musical highways, Al was determined to get involved in EVERY way. So, he found the means to design his own production studio that made a splash. Composing, recording, honing his skills on keys, and producing - well, let's just say that his multiple talents have paid off! Al's third project, "All in Good Time", is based on something poignant that his beloved parents used to say. Help in delivering the message: Nils, Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, Chuck Loeb, and the late Ricky Lawson.
Like Al, this is Lisa's second visit - and she's ready to spread the news! Not only about her big events on the East Coast, but also what ELSE she has up her sleeve. This consummate artist is at full throttle ALWAYS; singing in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian - the culture and music of which she has swallowed WHOLE for years - even earning a fellowship to Italy to pursue studies. Her operatic and theatrical training, the sextet and quintet that she co-founded in Washington, D.C., her award-winning performance in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" in San Francisco - did I mention how fascinating Lisa is? The youngest of 13 children from Big Skies, Kansas has made a SPLASH internationally - to RAVE reviews! "Little Warrior" tracks are on tap - join us!
Such a FABULOUS October already! Gregg Karukas and Kiki Ebsen last week - and two more guests on 10/7 that are absolutely FUN! Jonathan Widran joins us in the second hour of the show - and it's going to be a ball to have him return. Jonathan has thrilled us for years, writing about, reviewing or interviewing Jazz legends. And Pop and Rock artists, too. He's a Chicago native who found his way to Los Angeles and got his degree in English at U.C.L.A. Within two years after graduation, he was introduced to what would be his amazing life via the Catalina Jazz gathering - right around this time - in 1988. Friend Dan Margules had lit a fire in Jonathan concerning Contemporary Jazz - and that fire has blazed uncontrollably (blissfully!) via columns and articles from local publications to national and international magazines and newspapers. He has also managed to write FIVE books on varying topics! Jonathan is considered a "first-call" freelance public relations writer. And does he love to DISH about those in the business :) What a joy to have him with us!
North Carolina born, Geoff McBride, is probably no stranger to your ears. He lit UP "The Voice" a few seasons ago with his blind audition of "Higher Ground!" Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green about lost their minds - and so did WE. The Church foundation of his youth, coupled with the inspiration of Seal, Luther and James Taylor, propelled Geoff into the spotlight that he so richly deserves. If you can blow away his mentor on the show, Lionel Richie, THAT says everything! Geoff's sparkling story is told by way of CD, "Journey to the Soul." He says, "My foundation is in Soul Music - but I am not just a Soul Singer." THAT is because everything he does generates FROM there! Once you hear a few tracks from this Powerhouse, you'll KNOW!
There are those who have chuckled at yours truly since being introduced to Kiki Ebsen. Because they know how much that VOICE can affect you! It takes a seasoned, assured, and peace-oriented artist to sing THESE kinds of songs. The ones that Kiki's Dad, Buddy, loved so much.
Yes, THAT Buddy Ebsen. The gentleman who sang, danced and performed his way through decades of joy. We loved him in our house. Many is the day and night we'd share the antics and poetry of Buddy's characters. Movies and Television. He was glue that held good times together. Imagine how he affected his daughter! They had routines together, shared special times that Kiki recalls with utter reverence now. Dad passed away in 2003 - and he left us with a dream for Kiki that wasn't fulfilled until 11 years after his death. That was this: he wanted his little girl to sing the songs that meant so much to HIM. Jazz standards.
Whew, that was a long-time coming for Kiki! She begged off her Dad's pleas for years - choosing instead to follow her solo pursuits or to play keyboard for A-Listers (Al Jarreau, Boz Scaggs, Chicago to name a few). She had to be ready to present the kind of material that singers had covered for decades - with respect for the song and the history. In 2014, Kiki Ebsen is more than ready. And has the RIGHT to sing these masterpieces - most of which affected her Dad in some way throughout his career. "Scarecrow Sessions" is named so for a very significant reason. Much of what you'll hear in this interview will surprise you. What WON'T surprise you, hopefully, is the elegance and utter power of Kiki's voice. It can't be stressed enough - this authenticity. Let's celebrate this milestone with Kiki - join us in The Chat Room on 10/2 for conversation - and superb music!