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Vahagn Stepanyan is a gifted Armenian-born keyboardist, songwriter, composer, arranger and producer. His debut cd, "Moonlight" infuses the musical styles of Smooth Jazz, R&B and Funk with the talents of artists from the USA, Brazil, Armenia, Thailand, Israel, Turkey, Slovenia and Germany. Moonlight features saxophonist Eric Marienthal, guitarist Adam Hawley, bassists Melvin Lee Davis and Anthony Crawford, drummer Cleverson Silva, and trumpeter Tony Guerrero. Moonlight is available May 5, 2015. Pre-order your copy today on Amazon.
Follow Vahagn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Simpson’s latest masterwork is the perfect amalgamation of music that is close to his heart – Jazz, R&B, Funk and Soul. Out Of A Dream (Released February 17, 2015) is Simpson’s sixth album as a leader and third recording for Shanachie Entertainment. “When I first embarked on making this album, I was at a point where I felt I had to take my music to a different place,” explains Simpson who enlists nine different co-composers on the album that keep the sound ever-evolving and fresh. “By collaborating with other composers I was able to explore different styles of writing while still maintaining my own vibe.” Out Of A Dream unites Brian Simpson with an all-star cast including saxophonists Najee, Dave Koz and Grace Kelly, guitarists Marc Antoine and Norman Brown, singer Maysa and trumpeter Maurice Brown, Jonathan Fritzen, among others.
Follow Brian on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
One of urban contemporary jazz’s most versatile and acclaimed artists over the past 25 years, keyboardist/composer Gregg Karukas is now a Grammy Award winner for producing, engineering, co-writing and arranging Omar Akram’s Echoes of Love, which won Best NewAge Album at the 55th Grammy Awards in February 2013.
jazz, funk, and soul
Swiss-American keyboardist Greg Manning has performed on stages throughout the U.S., Europe, United Kingdom, and Asia. Manning’s use of jazz, funk, and soul, to create simplistic yet, complex compositions, are blended with precise timbre and intricate instrumentation. They are rich in texture, and identifiably this recording artist’s distinctive imprint of Soul-Jazz.
While growing up in Zurich, Switzerland, Manning was mostly exposed to Jazz by his parents. Yet, he discovered his deep love for music only after hearing “Isn’t She Lovely” by the legendary Stevie Wonder.
He started playing the piano at age 12. Several years later, he moved to the U.S. to study piano and film scoring at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was during this time his break came. Manning was asked to compose the music for “Keep Cool”, the most successful and longest running German language musical. The musical led him back to Zurich, Switzerland, where he continued to compose and produce for records and television.
The Parrrrty in ON!! Boom Boom Room style today with Chance Howard and I.
Chance Howard....Singer, Keyboardist, Writer, Producer. Plays keys bass and sings for Candy Dulfer, Prince, Morris Day and The Time, and many others.
Chance will be sharing with us some fascinating facts about his musical endeavors, past and present.
Kevin Howard is a world class keyboardist,writer,composer,producer, and businessman.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Kevin is President and CEO of Key
Chapter Entertainment a company which includes full service recording and production.
Kevin has received several awards which include three “Best Jazz Performer Awards”
from renowned local urban radio station WAMO; the WQED Harry Schwab Excellence
in the arts award; Best Jazz Performer Champions Association; Pittsburgh City Paper “top three jazz performers”. Kevin, along with his band served as the Pittsburgh's WJJJ Smooth Jazz Band for more than two years, performing at various events sponsored by
the radio station.
Kevin recently toured with and was the musical director for jazz saxophone legend Ronnie Laws, also recorded and performed with saxophonist Marion Meadows, Norman Connors, Lonnie Liston Smith, Najee, and George Benson. In addition has shared the stage with Roy Ayers, Pieces of a dream, Joe McBride and John Legend.
Kevin also headlined concerts in Parkersburg, WV Jazz on the Green and Mid-Ohio
Valley Multi-culture Festival, Jazz under the Stars Harrisburg PA, International Festival Baltimore MD., National Urban League Convention, and several venues nationwide.
Kevin has three CD's “Random Groove”, “Collage”, and “Special Edition” which includes special guest saxophonist Marion Meadows and guitarist Rohn Lawrence. Kevin is currently in production with his fourth CD titled “Travels” due Spring 2014.
Kevin Howard's smooth dynamic sound, warm personality and infectious smile will have you yearning for more. Together with his band of world class musicians, the sounds you experience are tantalizing, smooth, dynamic , and mesmerizing. They project energy, passion and charisma in concert. Kevin is a true entertainer.
Welcome to a closer look at the dynamic duo... The JT Project !!!
The JT Project: a multi-talented force of sound that brings forth a unique musical conceptualization: “a new genre in music called JT”. Adventurous and bold, Jacob Webb (Keyboards/Bass) and Todd Schefflin (Saxophone), leaders of The JT Project, knew that it would take more than just a passing interest in music to become the creative force that they envisioned. Jacob commands each stroke on the keyboard to awaken the soul with a touch of fire, and Todd caresses the notes to life with every breath.
Todd hailing from Philadelphia, and Jacob from Kansas City, the two musician’s paths collided in 2007 at the prestigious William Paterson University music department in New Jersey. After an immediate musical connection, Jacob and Todd started writing music together, which eventually led to the formation of The JT Project in 2009.
The JT Project has exponentially expanded into a musical collective, incorporating the most talented Jazz and Soul musicians in New York City. The members of the group have toured and recorded with major label legends such as Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Jaheim, Ashford and Simpson, Kenny Garrett, Joe, and Mulgrew Miller among many others.
The JT Project has independently released four critically acclaimed albums: Love Passion Correspondence Vol. 1 (2009), Love Passion Correspondence Vol. 2 (2012), Love Passion Correspondence Vol. 3 (2013), and now their latest release Under The Covers featuring the single “Jetsetter.”
The “Secret” is out! 2013 Grammy winner Gregg Karukas is back with a new collection featuring his signature piano touch, pristine production, and melodies that are both soulful and sophisticated. Organic, funky, and melodic is how the original Rippingtons keyboardist describes his latest, long awaited 12th solo project, "Soul Secrets". Gregg's elegant grand piano melodies and infectious grooves are everywhere; this time around he digs into his roots, featuring the classic Fender Rhodes, Wurlie, Minimoog and B3 keyboards quite a bit.
At a generous and expansive 14 tracks and no covers, "Soul Secrets" reveals Karukas as an artist who has refined his sound to be instantly recognizable while constantly exploring a wide range of styles and grooves – from old school soul-jazz, with hints of gospel, R&B and funk to the world/samba grooves he immersed himself in while touring with Brazilian legends Sergio Mendes and Dori Caymmi. The album’s debut single, “Elegant Nights” is classic Karukas; it was the #1 Most Added Track in its first week on radio. The live interplay sizzles as Gregg surrounds himself with an all-star guest list that includes his friends Rick Braun, Euge Groove, guitarists Ricardo Silveira, Michael O’Neill, Adam Hawley and James Harrah; violinist Charlie Bisharat, Luis Conte, Eric Valentine, Nate Phillips; vocalists Shelby Flint and Ron Boustead and 21 year old rising sax star and occasional touring partner Vincent Ingala.
Marla Mase is a writer/performer/producer/singer/songwriter from New York City. She writes songs, plays, monologues, short stories, erotica, blogs, and poems. She is known for her gutsy, sexy, raw performance style and her intelligent lyrics and is regarded by her peers as a true musical pioneer. Her songs, a mix of world beat, spoken word, funk, r&b, punk, soul, and classic rock-n-roll are infused with GLOBAL SOUL, the signature sound of Tomás Doncker, her guitarist, co-writer and producer . She is backed by his band, the Tomás Doncker Band. Marla is also SVP of Marketing/A&R with True Groove Records, a label she runs with Tomás Doncker.
Tomás Doncker As a prime mover on New York’s downtown “No Wave” scene in the early 1980s, Tomás Doncker cut his teeth as a guitarist with such genre-busting groups as James Chance & The Contortions, Defunkt, J. Walter Negro & The Loose Jointz and many more. Eventually he went international, touring and recording in Japan with jazz pianist Masabumi Kikuchi, and producing studio and songwriting sessions with Boosty Collins, Yoko Ono, Reggae vocal group The Itals, and producer Prince Charles Alexander, to name just a few. Since then, Doncker has continued to work with an A-list of iconic artists including Ivan Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Meshell Ndegeocello, Living Colour lead singer Corey Glover, former P-Funk keyboardist Amp Fiddler,Shamekia Copeland,and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa. He also frequently collaborates with legendary Producer/Bassist Bill Laswell, and his ongoing "Power Of The Trinity" project was featured on CNN on November 27,2012 (Jimi Hendrix' birthday).His most recent project is "Big Apple Blues",his 2nd collaboration with Pulitzer Prize winning Poet Yusef Komunyakaa.
Denny Tedesco joins us for the opening of his documentary film, The Wrecking Crew, about a group of studio musicians in Los Angeles in the 60s and 70's who played on hits for the "Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, The Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Mamas and Papas, Tijuana Brass, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Rivers and were Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. They were led by Tommy Tedesco, Denny's father, and became the sound of rock and roll in its birth years, playing on literally thousands of recordings, regardless of whose name was on the cover.
Doña Oxford is an extraordinary, soulful and passionate singer, songwriter and keyboardist who’s old school soul vocals and high octane keyboard piano infuses create music crowds off all ages go wild for. Doña has played with legends including Keith Richards, Bob Weir, Levon Helm, Albert Lee, Buddy Guy, Son Seals, Shemekia Copeland and her idol, former Chuck Berry sideman and Father of Rock & Roll Piano, Johnnie Johnson! She has played keyboard forf Van Morrison in his latest studio recording. Doña is on tour with Albert Lee in the UK. This is a classic recording from June.
Detroit Brooks A.K.A. (504 Detroit) is a young smooth R&B/Hip Hop vocalist whom is definitely making his presence known in the music industry today. Detroit is also a songwriter who is seasoned and ready to take his place in the spotlight. Paving his own path while growing up in the 9th ward section of New Orleans, Detroit began showcasing his talent as a member of his church choir and performing in local talent shows. Detroit's unique style can be best described as smooth, with a dance appeal, but also street friendly. His sound definitely appeals to the masses. Working with artists such as C-Murder, Anthony Hamilton, Carl Thomas, Bobby Valentino, Pleasure P, The Dream, Monica, Slim of 112, and Lil Wayne's Young Money Camp. Detroit has performed around the world, and has an enormous fan base in New Orleans and throughout the southern region. Detroit plans to take his singing and songwriting talents to the next level.
Detroit’s motto is, “to never stop grinding…” and grinding he does!
Beth Griffith, the daughter of legendary Multi-Grammy Award winning Motown Funk Brother Keyboardist Johnny Griffith. He was one of the original Funk Brothers who played on such hits as "Stop in the Name of Love", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "I Heard it Through the Grapevine", "What's Going On", "Shot Gun" and "Dancin' in the Streets". Beth was born with drive, stamina, determination, beauty and brains (she holds a B.S in Business and Information Systems) and music is in her blood; it's in her DNA, and it's very clear that she's making her mark !
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