PATTI AUSTIN, VOCALIST
A consummate artist of the first order, Patti Austin celebrates an incredible sixth decade in the music industry with the release of “Ella: Now & Then,” her second recorded tribute to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald, following her 2002 Grammy-nominated best-selling album, “For Ella.” In the past decade, it’s in the world of jazz (a genre that is close to her heart) that Austin has been building a solid international audience: aside from a decade-and-a-half of performing live the songs from “For Ella” worldwide, Austin was justifiably awarded a 2008 Grammy Award for “Best Jazz Vocal Performance” for her best-selling Top 10 Jazz album, “Avant-Gershwin.”
The New York native is in constant demand globally for live performances, thanks to a legacy of recordings that started in 1955, continued through the ‘60s with success as a teenage R&B star before establishing herself as a mainstay among jazz and soul audiences through her ‘70s recordings. By the ‘80s, Austin became known to the wider international audience as a result of the Grammy-nominated “Baby Come To Me” and “How Do You Keep The Music Playing”, her early ‘80s classic duets with James Ingram, masterminded by musical godfather Quincy Jones.
SHELLY BERG, PIANIST
The All Music Guide says “Shelly Berg is one of the finest pianists around in the early 21st century playing modern mainstream jazz.” His CD, Blackbird, recorded with the Shelly Berg Trio on the Concord Records label, reached No. 1 in U.S. jazz radio and garnered Record of the Year and Artist of the Year nominations (Jazzweek, 2005). His subsequent solo CD, Shelly Berg: The Nearness of You, and a two-piano album with Dick Hyman Meeting of Minds were both critically acclaimed.
A Steinway piano artist, Berg recently performed live and recorded his own Jazz Variations on “Rhapsody in Blue” and other Gershwin selections with the Shelly Berg Trio and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. He performed and arranged for Arturo Sandoval’s Grammy Award winning Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You) and Latin Grammy winning A Time for Love (Concord) and has appeared on several NPR radio broadcasts for Jim Cullum’s Riverwalk Jazz series.
CARMEN BRADFORD, VOCALIST
Carmen Bradford is Jazz Royalty. Born in Austin, Texas and raised in Altadena, California, Bradford grew up with music in her home and in her heart. It was only natural that she would follow in the footsteps of her great family legacy, being the daughter of legendary trumpeter/composer Bobby Bradford and world renowned vocalist/composer Melba Joyce. Her grandfather Melvin Moore sang with Lucky Millender and Dizzy Gillespie’s Big Band in the 1940’s, and sang with the Ink Spots, making Carmen the third generation of incredible musicians.
She has carved out a place in music history for herself and is playing an integral role in this uniquely American art form called jazz. Carmen was discovered and hired by William “Count” Basie, and was the featured vocalist in the legendary Count Basie Orchestra for nine years.
THE COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA, INSTRUMENTALISTS
2015 marked the 80th Anniversary of The Count Basie Orchestra. William “Count Basie” (1904-1984) started his orchestra in Kansas City in 1935, and proceeded to develop and maintain one of the greatest jazz orchestras in music history. Count Basie was able to get many of the greatest instrumentalists and vocalists in jazz to be a part of his orchestra, including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Sweets Edison, Joe Jones, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Frank Wess, and Clark Terry amongst others.
The orchestra has played many times for Kings, Queens, and other members of Royalty around the world. Appeared in movies, television shows, tv and radio commercials, won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once, and has 18 Grammy Awards, the most for any orchestra.Today, under the leadership of it’s Director, Scotty Barnhart, The Count Basie Orchestra is traveling the world celebrating it’s 80th Anniversary and continuing the excellent standards in swinging and shouting the blues with precision, and continuing to be “The Most Explosive Force In Jazz”.
ANDRA DAY, VOCALIST
A San Diego native, Day received two Grammy nods for the single “Rise Up” and best R&B album for her debut studio project, Cheers to the Fall. Born Cassandra Monique Batie, Day studied singing at the School of Creative and Performing Arts. Cultivating soul, jazz, and R&B through her voice, she is able to tell her stories through captivating music and engaging performances. Her voice is best described by NPR’s Katie Presley as having “Eartha Kitt’s unflappable confidence, Amy Winehouse’s effortless grasp of classic jazz, Billie Holiday’s access to raw emotion, and Adele’s range and pop sensibility.”
She was performing in local nightclubs when Stevie Wonder discovered her. He put her in touch with Adrian Gurvitz, who signed her to the production company Buskin. Andra then filmed a series of popular YouTube covers such as Muse’s “Uprising,” Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best” and a mashup of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and Amy Winehouse’s “He Can Only Hold Her.” Those clips lead to a contract with Warner Bros. Records’ for her debut album Cheers to the Fall.
GREGG FIELD, PRODUCER
Eight time Grammy winner, and “Producer of the Year”, Gregg Field is one of the most musically diverse and highly sought-after producers, musicians and educators in music. At age 24, Gregg toured with Count Basie as his drummer from 1980 through 1982, Ella Fitzgerald from 1985 through 1986 and Frank Sinatra from 1991 through 1995.
Gregg appeared on 67 Grammy-nominated recordings, 13 of which have been awarded the coveted Grammy. He can be heard on Sinatra’s historic, multi-platinum Duets and Duets II recordings. Gregg has performed with major symphonies worldwide including London, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Nashville, Pittsburgh and the National Symphony in Washington D.C. and has been invited by Presidents Obama and Bush to perform at the White House.
CLINT HOLMES, VOCALIST
Backed by a powerful 15 pieces Big Band, Clint Holmes— a consummate entertainer, performer, and recording artist —returns to his bluesy and swinging roots in this brassy celebration of two American icons: Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles. Whether he is singing selections from the Great American Songbook, standards by Sinatra with a full orchestra, contemporary classics, or stirring original pieces, every performance is a one-of-a-kind mesmerizing and unforgettable experience.>
Whether headlining New York’s finest cabarets or Las Vegas’ storied showrooms, Clint is known for his magnetic presence, original performances, and warm comedic touch. Having spent more than 20 years performing, Holmes has served as Joan Rivers’ sidekick and announcer on “The Late Show”, as the musical feature and event correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight”, and as the host of his own Emmy award-winning talk/variety show. Although Clint does feel his talent comes naturally since his father is an African-American jazz musician and mother is a classically trained opera singer from Great Britain.
BRIAN NOVA, GUITAR AND VOCALS
Concord Recording Artist Brian Nova is considered one of the top Jazz Guitarists/Vocalists in the nation, according to a recent poll in Jazz Improv Magazine. Joe Pass said of Nova: ‘I feel Brian is one of the finest Jazz Guitarists on the scene!’ He has the distinction of being the only guitarist who was mentored by, and toured with, the two titans of Jazz guitar: Herb Ellis and Joe Pass. Nova has toured and performed with many of the Jazz elite. He performs, and records, as a solo artist, with his Trio, Quartet, and his 12-piece Big Band. Brian is on Arturo Sandoval’s Grammy Award-winning album Dear Diz, which garnered a Grammy and three Latin Grammys in 2013.
In addition to performing, Nova also encourages young Jazz musicians to further their own musical education and stage presence. From 1990 to 1996, he was the Director of Jazz and Guitar Studies for the Music Program at Seattle University. He continues to mentor the next- generation of professional musicians through his master classes and the clinics he conducts around the world. Nova began his Jazz career in Seattle. He has lived in New York, Denmark, and now makes his home in California.
LIZZ WRIGHT, VOCALIST
Lizz Wright has been charming music fans worldwide ever since she appeared on the late pianist and composer Joe Sample’s 2002 disc, The Pecan Tree. The following year, she gained even wider recognition for her critically acclaimed debut record, Salt. Produced by the legendary Tommy LiPuma – best known for his award-winning work with George Benson, Diana Krall, and Natalie Cole – the album helped introduce one of the most captivating female vocalists of her generation as it raced to number two on Billboard’s “Top Contemporary Jazz” chart.
Wright was born in the small town of Hahira, Georgia. A preacher’s kid, she sang during most services, and it is there, deep in the joy of ministry, that one can find the roots of the voice and spirit that so captivates listeners. With peculiar focus, she seamlessly weaves through the genres of gospel, jazz, folk, pop, and blues, handling them like colors on a palette. Ultimately, it is the voice, the stories told and the call to connect that transcend categorization and stir her audiences.