After making their debut with the highly acclaimed Brass, Bows, & Beats, the Jazz Mafia Symphony return with symphony #2, The Emperor Norton Suite. In 2011, the Jazz Mafia Symphony took The Emperor Norton Suite on the road for the first time including a performance in front of 10,000 people at Summer Stage in Central Park with Roy Ayers, and a hometown show at the Stern Grove festival. The Jazz Mafia Symphony are currently gearing up to release their first studio album with The Emperor Norton Suite in 2013, the follow up to 2010′s live Brass Bows & Beats album.
Though it is rumored that she is the product of a night of unrestrained indulgence between Peggy Lee, Mel Brooks, Nina Simone, Dean Martin and Janis Joplin the truth is Lady Rizo was raised by theatrical gypsies with the highest show business ethics. When she almost looked of age she rebelled against the comforting, unscrubbed, rustic life and set out for a world of harsh metropolitan sophisticates.
From the mind and ears of producer/multi-instrumentalist, Joe Bagale, comes a sound that is fresh but tangibly rooted in nostalgia. When taking a listen, one may recall the soul of the 60s or the funk of the 70s. Or perhaps it’s pop radio from the 80s or the boom bap beats of the early/mid 90s. What ever it may be, Otis McDonald is the sound of an artist who manifests a lesson in versatility and growing perspective.
Lanita Smith is a native of Fayetteville, NC. Lanita’s love of music began while sitting next to the piano player at church. From taking private lessons to learning “by ear”, she has worked hard through the years to perfect her skills as a pianist. In 2015, Lanita was hand picked by Don Was as the winner for Guitar Center’s Singer Songwriter 4. Since then she has worked with artists such as, Jessica Sanchez, German American Idol judge Mandy Capistro, Colbie Caillat, Teddy Riley, Don Was, and more.
Making Movies makes music that matters: Built upon a heavy foundation of Afro-Latino rhythms, they have created a bilingual, psychedelic re-envisioning of the Latin American “son.” The band’s strong lyricism, persistent percussive waves, and deft ways of straddling two cultures flowed easily into becoming a bilingual recording.
“Since I was six years old my life has been in both English and Spanish so I find it natural to make music the same way,” – Enrique Chi, singer/guitarist
Jeremy Kittel is an American fiddler, violinist, and composer. Fluent in multiple musical genres, his original music draws from traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, Classical, electronic, and more. Kittel performs with his own band or trio, as a duo, and as a soloist with orchestras. In addition to his own projects, he has composed and arranged for such artists as Abigail Washburn, Aoife O’Donovan, My Morning Jacket, Camera Obscura, Jars of Clay, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Laura Veirs, and the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet (of which he was a member for five years). He has also recorded with artists such as Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Mark O’Connor and Mike Marshall.
Sussex is the brainchild of Michael Emenau and Rob Lutes. The two renowned musicians were childhood friends and high school bandmates in New Brunswick. Reunited in 2012, the pair began to write together for the first time in 20 years. Encouraged by the results, they went into the legendary Studio Frisson in Montreal in Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 and recorded their debut album Parade Day.
Napoleon, Joseph, Moses, Isaac, Francis, and JJ Sabbah, all brothers, are the African Showboyz. The boyz were born and raised in Binaba, a small village in the north east region of Ghana, West Africa. As a group, they have performed with Stevie Wonder, Karl Denson, Babatunde Oluntunji, Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, Steel Pulse, Arrested Development, and most recently in the U.S. with the Mickey Hart Band in 2012.
Crystal Monee Hall is one of the most extraordinary vocal talents to emerge in recent years. Her voice, an intoxicating synthesis of effortless clarity and raw, soul-bearing grit, is an instrument capable of tremendous power and sensitivity. Matched with a down-home songwriting style marked by poetic lyrics and simple, elegant arrangements, Crystal’s music smoothly combines the sounds of folk, gospel, jazz and blues. Crystal has performed at major festivals such as the Montreal Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, and Gathering of the Vibes, to name a few.
San Francisco has a storied background of organized crime. From the Mob ridden speakeasies of the prohibition era to the Nortenos y Suerenos that currently tug at the seams of the Mission District, the Bay Area underground has been home to every imaginable form of nefarious business over the course of the past century. It’s appropriate, then, that the ten year old Jazz Mafia collective formed as a product of the same environment.
A British singer-songwriter with “a golden voice“ (Rolling Stone) and sounding like “a strange mix of something between Jeff Buckley and Oasis“ (Vanity Fair). James has critics scrambling around for comparisons to such distinguished musicians as Tom Waits, Violent Femmes, Tim Buckley and Damian Rice, to name but a few. Already a platinum selling artist, James Harries releases his album Days Like These (Dekkor Records) in the UK.
New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York are bona fide jazz capitals. You can add Minneapolis to that illustrious list, thanks to groups like Madhouse, The Bad Plus, and Happy Apple – that town’s non-traditional trio consisting of bassist Erik Fratzke, soprano-alto-tenor saxophonist/keyboardist Michael Lewis, and drummer David King – with Happy Apple Back on Top, the long-awaited follow up to their 2005 Sunnyside release, Peace Between Our Companies. On this eleven-track recording, their genre busting, take-no-prisoners approach to the “tradition” continues to change the shape of jazz in the twenty first century.
Boasting an industry resume as long as your arm, singer/songwriter Shayna Steele has acquired many labels over the course of her 12 year career, from “Broadway crooner” to “disco screamer”, “Chaka Khaner” to “r&b belter”, and “jazz chanteuse” to “electro diva.” But, while each denotes a unique facet, no one term is able to capture the whole. With her latest album, Steele delivers her most confident and cohesively eclectic set to date, answering the question “Who is Shayna Steele?” with a definitive (and defiant) I’ll Be Anything.