Look Who Was Part of The International Jazz Day 2022 All-Star Global Concert
Born in Bali, Indonesia, Joey Alexander has been performing professionally since 2013 when he was invited by Wynton Marsalis to perform at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala. Alexander subsequently moved to New York City and released his debut album, My Favorite Things, in 2015 on Motéma Music, followed by three more on the label and another on Verve. Alexander’s albums have netted three GRAMMY Award nominations – one for Best Jazz Instrumental Album and two for Best Improvised Jazz Solo. Over the course of his astonishing career, Alexander has performed with Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding for International Jazz Day 2016 at the White House for President Barack Obama, at the Arthur Ashe Learning Center for President Bill Clinton, and at the Grand Ole Opry, Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall and major jazz festivals and night clubs around the world. He has also been the subject of profiles on “60 Minutes” and in The New York Times. Origin is Alexander’s first album for Mack Avenue Records and will be released in May.
Pianist Helio Alves combines the rhythmic complexity of modern Brazilian music with the edgy energy of contemporary jazz. A native of São Paulo, Brazil, he has received high praise as an in-demand sideman with Joe Henderson, Yo-Yo Ma, Slide Hampton, Paquito D’Rivera, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim. Alves received a GRAMMY nomination for the album Forests with the Brazilian Trio, a group he co-leads with bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Duduka da Fonseca. He has released four albums under his own name, most recently Música, which features Antonio Sánchez, Reuben Rogers, Claudio Roditi and Romero Lubambo. Helio’s latest album, 2020’s At Play, sees the pianist collaborate with guitarist Lubambo, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Edu Ribeiro.
Kinan Azmeh is an acclaimed composer and clarinetist who has been hailed as “a virtuoso, intensely soulful” by The New York Times and “spellbinding” by The New Yorker. Syrian-born and based in Brooklyn, Azmeh is a graduate of The Juilliard School, the Damascus High Institute of Music, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering. He holds a doctorate in music from the City University of New York. Azmeh has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, John McLaughlin, Djivan Gasparian and Aynur, among others. He leads his own bands Hewar and the Kinan Azmeh CityBand. Azmeh is a Silk Road Ensemble artist, with which he shared a GRAMMY in 2016. His recent orchestral album, Uneven Sky with the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Berlin, won Germany’s prestigious OpusKlassik Award in 2019. Recent commissions include works for the Seattle Symphony, New York Philharmonic and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Azmeh is currently working on his first opera, Songs For Days To Come, which will premiere in June 2022 at the Osnabrück Theater in Germany.
John Beasley (Musical Director)
Pianist, composer and musical director John Beasley takes pride in being a musical chameleon and has an amazing track record to show for his versatility. His varied list of collaborators includes Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand, Queen Latifah, Chaka Khan and James Brown. Beasley has performed on film scores for Erin Brokovich, Finding Nemo and The Godfather III and composed for hit television series like “Cheers,” “Fame” and “Star Trek: Next Generation.” Beasley leads MONK’estra, a 15-piece band that celebrates Thelonious Monk’s classic compositions with a contemporary twist incorporating Afro-Cuban rhythms, modern jazz, hip-hop and traditional big band instrumentation. His 2020 release, MONK’estra Plays John Beasley, yielded Beasley a GRAMMY Award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella.
Brian Blade is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana who established himself as a versatile, accomplished drummer early in his career, appearing on albums by the likes of Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett and Bob Dylan. Blade released his first album, Brian Blade Fellowship, at the age of 27 in 1998 and followed two years later with Perceptual, both on Blue Note. Always an in-demand sideman and collaborator, he continued to find work with a varied bevy of artists, including Chick Corea, Bill Frisell, Herbie Hancock, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Daniel Lanois and Wayne Shorter. Ten years after releasing his first album, Blade returned with Season of Changes in 2008, this time on Verve. A year later he released the solo Americana, singer/songwriter effort Mama Rosa for the label. Blade is a member of the acclaimed Wayne Shorter Quartet alongside bassist John Patitucci and pianist Danilo Pérez. His latest release is 2017’s Body and Shadow, marking the fifth album in Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band’s 20-year history.
Randy Brecker is a jazz trumpeter and composer who has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than six decades. His trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament/Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa. Born in Philadelphia to a musical family, Brecker’s musical talent was nurtured from an early age. He attended Indiana University, studying with Bill Adam, David Baker and Jerry Coker, and later moved to New York where he landed gigs with such prominent bands as Clark Terry’s Big Bad Band, the Duke Pearson Big Band and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. He has since appeared with legendary acts such as Blood, Sweat and Tears, the Horace Silver Quintet, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Larry Coryell, Stevie Wonder, Billy Cobham, and the acclaimed Brecker Brothers group with the late tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker. A seven-time GRAMMY Award winner and in-demand Yamaha Artist and Clinician, he continues to influence and inspire young musicians around the world.
Senegalese composer and kora player Senny Camara believes that music is a matter of strings, referring to her chosen instrument, a djeli harp-lute traditionally reserved for men. She considers the kora her strongest ally, both as an artist and as a woman. Fiercely independent, Camara is self-taught. She has become well-known in her native Dakar performing American and Afro-Cuban jazz classics as well as pop music.
Edmar Castañeda has made a name for himself as the preeminent jazz harp virtuoso. He brings forth a brilliance that beautifully merges the jazz tradition with a diverse set of styles and genres while bringing unbridled attention to a somewhat unfamiliar instrument: the harp. The Colombian-born Castañeda has singlehandedly cemented the harp’s place in jazz with innovative technique and heartfelt creativity from a wealth of formidable collaborations with music titans such as Sting, Béla Fleck, John Scofield, Rickie Lee Jones, Hiromi, John Patitucci, Pedrito Martinez, Marcus Miller, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ivan Lins, The Yellowjackets, Paco De Lucia, and Paquito D’Rivera. His latest recording project, the Latin GRAMMY-nominated Family, features the artist in the trio format with Shlomi Cohen and Rodrigo Villalon with special guest vocalist Andrea Tierra. Castañeda can be heard on the soundtrack for Disney’s latest film, Encanto, for which he also served as music consultant.
Ravi Coltrane is a GRAMMY-nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer who has released six albums as a leader and worked with countless acclaimed artists across jazz. Born in Long Island and raised in Los Angeles, the second son of John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane was named after Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar. He has served as a featured artist on numerous albums, notably Seraphic Light with Joe Lovano and David Liebman, In Movement with Jack DeJohnette and Matthew Garrison, and Blue Note’s 70th Anniversary recording, Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note. Additional credits include performances and recordings with Elvin Jones, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Barron, Steve Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Geri Allen and Joanne Brackeen, among others. Coltrane lives in Brooklyn and maintains a fast-paced touring, recording, composing and performance schedule. He is leading the effort to restore the John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, Long Island and presides over important reissues of his parents’ recordings.
Shemekia Copeland is an award-winning vocalist who has grown to become one of the most talented and passionately candid artists on today’s roots music scene, with a recording career that began in 1998 at age 18. Born in Harlem, Copeland gave her first public performance at age 10 and has since performed thousands of gigs at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world, including the White House. She has appeared in films, on national television and on National Public Radio. Copeland has performed with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Dr. John, James Cotton and many others. She opened for The Rolling Stones and entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait. Famed Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich called Copeland “the greatest female blues vocalist working today.” Her riveting new album, Uncivil War, builds on the musically and lyrically adventurous territory she’s been exploring for over a decade, blending blues, R&B and Americana into a sound that is now hers alone.
Laurent de Wilde
Laurent de Wilde is a French-American musician, producer, writer and radio host who has made contributions to jazz, electronic and other musics across a host of formats, including numerous recordings as a leader, co-leader and producer, multiple performing groups, documentary screenplays and even an award-winning biography of legendary jazz artist Thelonious Monk. Born in the United States but raised and educated in France, de Wilde graduated from the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm in Paris and subsequently spent significant time in both New York and Paris, recording with the likes of Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, Dion Parson, Ira Coleman, Darryl Hall and many others. Over the course of nearly four decades on the international jazz scene, de Wilde has appeared on 19 albums and received recognition at the highest levels, including winning best new artist and musician of the year as part of France’s renowned Victoire du Jazz awards. He currently hosts the weekly radio show Portrait in jazz for TSF Jazz. His most recent release is the 2021 duet album Wheels with Congolese pianist Ray Lema.
James Genus is one of the top bass players on the jazz scene and one of the rare few who can apply his masterful artistry to both the upright and the electric bass. Born in Hampton, Virginia, Genus began playing guitar at age 6 and switched to bass at age 13. His first professional experience was with the Blue Note band, Out of the Blue. Since then, Genus has performed and recorded with dozens of major jazz artists including Anita Baker, Chick Corea, Horace Silver, Branford Marsalis, Greg Osby and Vanessa Williams. Genus presents bass clinics around the world and is a longtime member of the Saturday Night Live Band. His playing can be heard on the GRAMMY Award-winning Daft Punk album Random Access Memories as well as feature films including 2021’s Respect. Genus performs regularly with Herbie Hancock as part of the iconic pianist’s touring band.
Herbie Hancock, a 14-time GRAMMY Award winner and Academy Award winner, is an internationally renowned pianist and composer who has been an integral part of every jazz movement since the 1960s. His Blue Note debut, Takin’ Off, included “Watermelon Man,” the first of many Top 10 hits. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, Hancock became one of the pioneers of modern jazz improvisation. His recordings in the ’70s combined electric jazz with funk and rock, influencing decades of music. In 2007, he won the GRAMMY for Album of the Year, becoming the first jazz musician to receive this honor in 44 years. His upcoming studio album includes collaborators as diverse as Flying Lotus, Terrace Martin, Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Snoop Dogg, Lionel Loueke and Wayne Shorter. Hancock serves as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue.
Hiromi is a pianist and composer whose passionate and incendiary keyboard work has been a shining light on the jazz landscape since her 2003 debut. She is known for her virtuosic technique, energetic live performances and blend of musical genres such as post-bop, progressive rock, classical and fusion in her compositions. Born in Hamamatsu, Japan, Hiromi started playing classical piano at age 6 and was introduced to jazz at age 8. When she was 17, she met jazz piano master Chick Corea by chance in Tokyo, and was invited to play with him at his concert the next day. After writing jingles for Japanese companies, Hiromi enrolled at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where she was mentored by Ahmad Jamal. Before she graduated, she was signed to the Telarc jazz label. Hiromi has since performed around the world, recorded a live album with Corea at the Tokyo Blue Note, and toured with legendary jazz fusion bassist Stanley Clarke. Her latest album, the vivid solo piano outing Spectrum, offers a dazzling evocation of the vibrant array of colors that imbue her music.
Zakir Hussain is a classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order and a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement. His exciting performances and masterful improvisational dexterity have established him as a national treasure in his native India, and gained him worldwide fame. A child prodigy, Hussain was touring by age 12. He came to the United States in 1970, performing his first concert at the Fillmore East in New York City with Ravi Shankar. Hussain’s contributions have been unique, with historic collaborations including Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, Remember Shakti, the Diga Rhythm Band, Planet Drum with Mickey Hart, Tabla Beat Science, and Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland. Additionally, Hussain has recorded and performed with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Yo-Yo Ma, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Airto Moreira, Béla Fleck, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, Mark Morris, Rennie Harris and the Kodo drummers. Hussain has composed music for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Jazz Festival and 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and has scored for many films. He comprises one third of international jazz supergroup the Crosscurrents Trio, with saxophonist Chris Potter and bassist Dave Holland, which released its debut album, Good Hope, in 2019.
José James is a jazz vocalist for the hip-hop generation. Raised in Duluth and Minneapolis, Minnesota, he first attracted notice as a semifinalist in the 2004 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Vocals Competition. James later moved to New York to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. His debut album, the critically-acclaimed, Gilles Peterson-produced Dreamer, displayed what The Guardian called “a highly personal mix of Bobby McFerrin’s tonal delicacy and the R&B and soul feel of D’Angelo,” and propelled him to appearances on major stages worldwide. James has since released nine albums, including 2020’s No Beginning No End 2, which features the vocalist sharing tracks with the likes of Ledisi, Aloe Blacc, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Laura Mvula and Kris Bowers. His most recent release is José James: New York 2020 (Live), recorded at the height of New York’s COVID-19 lockdown.
Guitarist Nelida Karr is known as “Equatorial Guinea’s Diva.” She began playing and performing at age 15 and soon added the piano and percussion to her repertoire. Karr’s music is a fusion of several influences including jazz and Afro-Cuban music. In 2007, Karr was awarded first prize by the Centre of Malabo in the Spanish Song Contest. In 2012, she was chosen to perform the official anthem of the African Cup of Nations held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Lady Maah Keita
Lady Maah Keita is a renowned Senegalese bassist who has appeared on seven European tours as well as numerous national tours in her native country. Keita performed with her family band, Takeifa, from 2006 to 2018 and has released three albums as a leader. She currently serves as a spokesperson for people with albinism in Senegal, and co-founded and managed for six years the Care Albinos association, which provides medical assistance to albinos with skin cancer.
Ray Lema is a pianist, composer and arranger who is both endlessly curious of all types of music and an energetic defender of an “African” concept of jazz. Born in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lema gained his first musical training playing piano and organ at a Catholic seminary near Kinshasa. After an eclectic start playing everything from orchestral music to rock and serving as musical director to the newly formed National Ballet of Zaire, Lema departed his home country to escape the oppressive regime of Mobutu Sese Seko. He subsequently lived in Washington, D.C. and Brussels before settling in Paris, absorbing and adapting the diverse musical influences he encountered in each location. Lema has performed and recorded with a wide variety of influential musicians across genres, including Manu Dibango, Stewart Copeland, Angelique Kidjo, Jackson Browne, Tony Allen and Papa Wemba, among many others. He also frequently appears with symphony orchestras, performing in that context in Brazil, France, Cuba, China and elsewhere. He has over 20 albums and original soundtracks for film and theater to his credit. His most recent release is Wheels, a duet album with French-American pianist Laurent De Wilde.
Grégoire Maret is one of the most sought-after harmonica players in the world. Born in Geneva, Switzerland, the son of a Harlem-born, African-American mother and a Swiss father, Maret grew up surrounded by diverse musical influences. Upon graduating from the prestigious Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève, he moved to New York City to pursue jazz studies at New School University. Maret soon developed a remarkably versatile sound that led him to perform with such artists as Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller, Prince, Sting, Elton John, Jimmy Scott, Dianne Reeves, Toots Thielemans, Raul Midón, Richard Bona, Terri Lyne Carrington, Tito Puente, Kurt Elling, Mike Stern and many others. He also collaborated with Pat Metheny, with whom he shared a GRAMMY win in 2005 for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Maret was asked to assist in the design of a signature line of Suzuki harmonicas, leading to the creation of the Grégoire Maret G-48 and G-48W Signature Chromatic Harmonica series. His latest album is Americana with Romain Collin, Bill Frisell and Clarence Penn.
Pedrito Martinez is one of the top Latin percussionists on the scene today and a brilliant performer who has thrilled audiences across the globe. Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba and began performing with some of the legends of Cuban music at age 11. At 25, he moved to Canada and soon after won the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Hand Drums Competition. He later relocated to New York, where he began playing with Paquito D’Rivera, Steve Turre, Stefon Harris, Joe Lovano and Sting. Martinez also became a member of the Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band Yerba Buena, which toured the world opening for Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles. Martinez has appeared on the GRAMMY Award-winning Simpático by Brian Lynch and Eddie Palmieri and on six GRAMMY nominated albums. He currently performs with his band, the Pedrito Martinez Group, playing a mix of Afro-Cuban rumba, bata rhythms, and the music of Yoruba and Santería traditions. His newest release is 2021’s Acertijos, which features a litany of great artists from across the musical spectrum, including Eric Clapton, Alexander Abreu, Jon Faddis, Kenny Garrett, Terrace Martin, Miguel Zenón, Dávid Sánchez, Etienne Charles, Sean Jones and many more.
Marcus Miller is one of the most influential artists of our time, appearing on more than 500 albums during his decades on the scene as a performer, composer, producer, arranger and humanitarian. A virtuoso on multiple instruments including the bass clarinet, Miller is best known for his unmistakable style on the electric bass, and has brought his distinctive sound to collaborations with Herbie Hancock, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, LL Cool J and Frank Sinatra, among many others. As a member of the Miles Davis group following the jazz legend’s return from retirement, Miller’s contributions as a bassist, composer and producer defined Davis’ style throughout the 1980s. Miller’s prodigious output as a film and television composer includes the scores for Boomerang, Above the Rim, This Christmas and About Last Night, to name a few. A two-time GRAMMY Award winner, he is the recipient of countless honors for his contributions to music and mankind. Miller currently serves as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, working tirelessly to raise awareness of the global impacts of the transatlantic slave trade. His latest release, Laid Black, features special guest performances by Trombone Shorty, Kirk Whalum, Patches Stewart, Take 6, Jonathan Butler and guest vocalist Selah Sue, and received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.
Malian guitarist and percussionist Mounaissa was first influenced by American and modern African music, particularly modern orchestras from Mali. One of the first professional guitarists from her native country, she adopted the drums after realizing the challenges of thriving professionally on her first instrument. She is a member of the Kaladjoula Band, a group of women instrumentalists from Mali.
Youn Sun Nah
Korean vocalist Youn Sun Nah has been described as “a discreet, diminutive vocal giant” recognized for her technical mastery and distinctive synthesis of jazz, Asian folk and Western avant-garde pop traditions. Born in Seoul, Republic of Korea, she was raised by musical parents and made her professional debut at age 23 with the Korean Symphony Orchestra. After moving to Paris in 1995, Nah began studies at the CIM Jazz School and the Conservatoire Municipal Nadia et Lili Boulanger. She formed her first Parisian quintet, which won a special jury prize at the national competition of the La Défense Jazz Festival. Beyond her sizable following in both France and her native country, Nah has performed on prestigious stages the world over, including the Blue Note Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz in Marciac, Jazz à Vienne, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Java Jazz Festival, and Jarasum International Jazz Festival. In 2019, she was appointed Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, one of France’s highest honors for contributions to the arts. Nah’s latest release is 2022’s Waking World.
Linda May Han Oh
Linda May Han Oh is a critically acclaimed bassist, composer and bandleader who ranks among the most influential players of her generation. Born in Malaysia and raised in Perth, Western Australia, Oh graduated from the Manhattan School of Music and then began a trajectory that would see her perform and record with acclaimed artists including Pat Metheny, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano, Terri Lyne Carrington and Geri Allen, among others. Oh has received numerous awards for her playing and composing, including an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award and recognition as a “Rising Star” in the 2012 DownBeat Critics Poll. She was voted the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Bassist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, as well as 2019 Up-and-coming Artist of the Year. Oh is the recent recipient of a Jerome Foundation Fellowship, a Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant, and the 2020 Margaret Whitton Award. Her latest release is Walk Against Wind on Biophilia Records. Oh is also an accomplished educator who serves as Ensemble Director for the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.
Jeremy Pelt is one of the preeminent young trumpeters within the world of jazz. Appearing as a standout performer with the Mingus Big Band early in his career, he went on to collaborate with some of the greatest masters in jazz, including Cliff Barbaro, Keter Betts, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Ravi Coltrane, Frank Foster, Winard Harper, Jimmy Heath, Vincent Herring, John Hicks, Charli Persip, Ralph Peterson, Lonnie Plaxico, Bobby Short, Cedar Walton, Frank Wess, Nancy Wilson and The Skatalites, to name a few. Pelt frequently performs alongside such notable ensembles as the Roy Hargrove Big Band, Village Vanguard Orchestra and Duke Ellington Big Band, and is a member of the Lewis Nash Septet and the Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band featuring Louis Hayes. As a leader, Pelt has recorded 10 albums and has toured globally with his various ensembles, appearing at major jazz festivals and concert venues. His recordings and performances have earned him critical acclaim, and he was voted Rising Star on the trumpet, five years in a row by DownBeat Magazine and the Jazz Journalists Association. Pelt is currently touring across the United States and Europe in support of his latest release, Soundtrack.
Soulful vocalist Gregory Porter exploded onto the international music scene in 2010 and has received a continuing stream of awards and accolades. The youngest in a family of six, Porter grew up in Bakersfield, California, where his mother was a minister. As a child, he fell under the spell of his mother’s Nat King Cole records. Porter began singing in the jazz clubs of San Diego while attending San Diego State University on a football scholarship. His first studio experience was singing on Hubert Laws’ tribute album to Nat King Cole. Porter went on to appear in a new musical, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, which opened in San Diego and eventually enjoyed a run on Broadway. In 2009, Porter signed with Motéma Music and the following year released his debut CD, Water, which received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Jazz Vocal. Porter is a two-time GRAMMY Award winner for Best Jazz Vocal Album for his 2013 Blue Note Records debut, Liquid Spirit, and 2016’s Take Me to the Alley. His latest effort, Still Rising, is a 34-track double album featuring performances alongside Moby, Jamie Cullum, Jeff Goldblum, Renée Fleming, Dianne Reeves, Lalah Hathaway, Laura Mvula, Lizz Wright and others.
Laura Prince is a performer, author, composer and interpreter from Togo who aspires to remain in harmony with herself and the world surrounding her. She promotes a purified kind of music to express her childhood fears, her mixed roots, and her heartaches. Her career is atypical, like those that forge and inspire.
David Sanborn is a true jazz legend. An inspiration to countless musicians, for more than 40 years Sanborn has worked across numerous genres and blurred the lines between instrumental pop, R&B and traditional jazz. He has released 24 albums, won six GRAMMY Awards, and been recognized with eight Gold albums and one Platinum. Born in St. Louis, Sanborn was introduced to the saxophone as part of his treatment therapy after contracting polio at age 3. By the age of 14, he was playing with legends like Albert King and Little Milton. He went on to study music at Northwestern University before transferring to the University of Iowa where he played and studied with the great saxophonist J. R. Monterose. He released his first solo album, Taking Off, in 1975, and has since appeared with an extraordinary array of master musicians, including Marcus Miller, Luther Vandross, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Charlie Hayden, Wallace Roney, Kenny Barron, Christian McBride and Eric Clapton. He has also made regular appearances on network television and other media, hosting the show Night Music on NBC from 1988 to 1990 and, more recently, the popular online series Sanborn Sessions, which has featured guest artists including Sting, Michael McDonald, Terrace Martin, Bob James and Cyrille Aimée.
Mariaa Siga is a young artist, composer and performer from Senegal who is steeped in the traditional rhythms of her hometown Casamance. Her curiosity led her to pursue new musical genres such as reggae, blues and jazz, which she mixes with African sounds.
Erena Terakubo is an award-winning saxophonist who has been making waves on the international jazz scene from an early age. Born in Sapporo, Japan, she began playing the alto saxophone at age 9, influenced by artists including Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley and Sonny Stitt. She released her first album, North Bird, with Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, Lee Pearson, and Peter Bernstein through Japanese label King Records. The record hit No. 1 on the Japanese jazz charts and was awarded a Swing Journal Gold Disc. Later that year, she performed with Ron Carter, Omar Hakim, and Will Boulware at the Tokyo Jazz Festival. In 2011, Terakubo recorded her second album, New York Attitude with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Lee Pearson, and Dominick Farinacci. That same year, she received a presidential scholarship from Berklee College of Music. Currently based in New York, Terakubo has performed with Jimmy Cobb, Louis Hayes, Vincent Herring, John Beasley’s MONK’estra, Lewis Nash, and Lenny White. She has toured across the globe and released six albums as a leader.
Terri Lyne Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington is a three-time GRAMMY Award-winning drummer, producer and recording artist. Born in Medford, Massachusetts, Carrington received her first set of drums at age 3. At 10, she had her first major performance with trumpet legend Clark Terry and as a teenager, Carrington performed and recorded with Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, Stan Getz and James Moody. She later moved to Los Angeles to become the drummer for “The Arsenio Hall Show.” Throughout the ’90s, she performed with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, and played alongside Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder on Hancock’s GRAMMY Award-winning Gershwin’s World. Carrington teaches at the Berklee College of Music and serves as Artistic Director of the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival. Her 2013 Concord release Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue was a much-anticipated homage to Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach that coincided with the 50th anniversary of their iconic 1963 Money Jungle album. Carrington made history with this album when she became the first woman to win a GRAMMY Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Her latest effort is a follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2011 album The Mosaic Project, titled The Mosaic Project: Love and Soul. Like its predecessor, the album presents Carrington leading a rotating cast of superb female instrumentalists and vocalists.
Abigail Narkie Teye
Abigail Narkie Teye is a percussionist, instrumentalist and dancer from Ghana. She plays the Agbadja, Kpanlogo, Fontomfrom, Obonu and Gome drums. Since 2010, she has taught drumming and dancing in schools and churches throughout her native country. She was awarded best female instrumentalist in 2015 at the Festival des meilleurs instrumentistes d’Afrique in Benin.
Alune Wade is an in-demand bassist and vocalist whose versatile and deep-rooted touch on his instrument is steadily establishing him as a key ingredient in bringing new vigor to the African jazz scene. Born in Dakar, Senegal, Wade grew up surrounded by music. His father was the leader of a local symphonic orchestra, and Wade ultimately developed a natural talent for music at the age of 6. At age 18, he auditioned and was chosen to perform with the great Senegalese musician Ismael Lo, touring all across the globe. Wade has since collaborated with a range of artists including Marcus Miller, Salif Keita, Oumou Sangaré, Béla Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Archie Shepp and late the Joe Zawinul, among others. His upcoming album, Sultan, slated for release in May, combines rhythms and sounds from Africa and the Middle East and features Christian Sands, Mustapha Sahbi, Cédric Duchemann, Hugues Mayot, Carlos Sarduy, Cyril Atef and Bobby Spark.
Mark Whitfield is a guitarist whom The New York Times in 1990 dubbed “The Best Young Guitarist in the Business.” A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, he has performed with a who’s who of legendary artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, Carmen McRae, Gladys Knight, Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Smith, Clark Terry, Shirley Horn, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Joe Williams, Stanley Turrentine, and his greatest teacher and mentor, George Benson. Whitfield has 14 solo recordings to his credit as well as a slew of collaborative efforts with some of the most important artists in recent years, such as Sting, Steven Tyler, D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, John Mayer, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Diana Krall, Christian McBride, Chris Botti and Nicholas Payton. He performs regularly with his sons, Mark Whitfield, Jr. and Davis Whitfield, as part of the Whitfield Family Band. Whitfield appears on For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver, the 2022 GRAMMY Award-winning album by the Christian McBride Big Band, and has several forthcoming projects that will showcase his talents as a guitarist, composer and producer.
Acclaimed vocalist Lizz Wright is a steward of American music who brings brilliant color and vibrancy to her original works and compositions by some of the greatest songwriters of our time. At age 22, Wright gained national recognition for her show-stopping performance in a touring concert tribute to Billie Holiday. The following year, she signed with Verve Records and released Salt, which topped the Billboard contemporary jazz charts. Her subsequent releases have received rave reviews, and her Freedom & Surrender recording appeared on NPR’s Favorite Albums of 2015 list. Wright’s most recent album Grace offers singular arrangements of music by Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Allen Toussaint and other musical greats whose songs bind together traditions of the American South. Her upcoming album is Holding Space, recorded during a 2018 live performance in Berlin and slated to be released on Wright’s own label, Blues & Greens Records.
Beirut-born Tarek Yamani is a Lebanese-American, New York-based pianist, composer and educator who taught himself jazz at age 19. Recipient of the grand prize at the 2010 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Composers Competition, among other honors, Yamani has performed in venues around the world including the Smithsonian Institution, National Sawdust, Lincoln Center, Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, and the United Nations General Assembly Hall. Yamani dedicates his artistry to exploring the relationships between African-American jazz and classical Arabic music, most evident in his second album Lisan Al Tarab: Jazz Conceptions in Classical Arabic and in his latest release, Peninsular, which fuses jazz with quarter-tones and rhythms of the Arabian Peninsula. Yamani’s work combining, adapting and transforming jazz and Khaleeji musics has been dubbed “trailblazing” by CNN, with TSF Jazz describing his output as “a world-jazz heard nowhere else.”