Francisco Mela was born in 1968 in Bayamo, Cuba. He moved to Boston in 2000 to pursue a degree at the acclaimed Berklee College of Music and, quickly thereafter, the faculty recognized that Mela had much to offer students and promptly hired him to teach at the school. Mela rapidly made a name for himself on the Boston scene, becoming the house drummer at the legendary Wally’s Café Jazz Club. It was at Wally’s that Mela began developing a concept for his own band, one that would feature the sounds of modern jazz with the traditional music he grew up with in Cuba. Francisco Mela is a favorite amongst jazz's elite instrumentalists, among them, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, JoAnne Brackeen, Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz, Bobby Watson and McCoy Tyner, all of whom cite his charisma, sophistication, and life-affirming spirit as an extension of his incredible talents as a composer and drummer.
In 2009, he was tapped by jazz legend McCoy Tyner to join his trio. Said Tyner of his new young drummer, “Mela is just a fantastic player. He has his own style and his own sound, which is what I look for in a drummer.”
Songs in Order 1, "Mela/Kenny Barron" 2, "Fe" 3, "Ancestros" 4, "Lovano Mood" 5, "Reflection" 6, "Drum Solo" For more information Mela and his music, go to his web www.franciscomela.com
Born Eugene McDuffy in Champaign, Illinois, McDuff began playing bass, appearing in Joe Farrell's group. Encouraged by Willis Jackson in whose band he also played bass in the late 50s, McDuff moved to the organ and began to attract the attention of Prestige Records while still with Jackson's group. McDuff soon became a bandleader, leading groups featuring a young George Benson, Red Holloway on saxophone and Joe Dukes on drums.McDuff recorded many classic albums on Prestige including his debut solo Brother Jack in 1960, The Honeydripper (1961), with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest and guitarist Grant Green, and Brother Jack Meets The Boss (1962), featuring Gene Ammons, and Screamin’ (1962). After his tenure at Prestige, McDuff joined the Atlantic Records label for a brief period and then in the 70s recorded for Blue Note. To Seek a New Home (1970) was recorded in England with a line-up featuring blues shouter Jimmy Witherspoon and some of Britain's top jazz musicians of the day, including Terry Smith on guitar and Dick Morrissey on tenor sax.The decreasing interest in jazz and blues during the late 70s and 1980s meant that many jazz musicians went through a lean time and it wasn't until the late 1980s, with The Re-Entry, recorded for the Muse label in 1988, that McDuff once again began a successful period of recordings, initially for Muse, then on the Concord Jazz labefrom 1991. George Benson appeared on his mentor’s 1992 Colour Me Blue album. Despite health problems, McDuff continued working and recording throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and toured Japan with Atsuko Hashimoto in 2000. "Captain" Jack McDuff, as he later became known, died of heart failure at the age of 74 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This interview was recorded in 1995 in Harlem, NY. at the Famous Sylvia's Restaurant
Songs in Order 1, The Live People "Silkin Soul" 2, Vas Dis "Brotherly Love" 3, It's A Wonderful World "Crash" 4, Monhah Joe Dukes "Bringin it Home" 5, Fly Away "The Heatin System" 6, Silk 'N' Soul "Silkin Soul"
Mitchell Butler is a native of Raleigh, NC and currently calls Columbia, SC home. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Performance from East Carolina University. Mitch is also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Doctor of Music Arts degree in Music Performance with an emphasis in Jazz Studies.
Mitch has been the trombonist and leader of a number of musical groups including the Nebulous Jazztet from 2001 to 2006, Modus Bone from 2010 to 2012, the CSU East Bay Faculty Jazztet, and currently the Mitch Butler Quartet. These groups have served as entertainment and educational ensembles for the southeastern United States and the West Coast of the US. These groups perform in venues ranging from night clubs to jazz festivals to music seminars.
Mitch was a member of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra headed by world renowned trumpeter Irvin Mayfield from 2008 to 2010. In February of 2010 the N.O.J.O. won the Grammy Award for large jazz ensemble with the release of the recording "Book One" - a recording that Mitch is featured on. He is also the a soloist on the critically acclaimed Nnenna Freelon and John Brown Big Band album, "Christmas". Mitch has also been a trombonist for the international award winning jazz group JazzBonez, which features six trombones and rhythm section and recorded the critically acclaimed album "Watch It!". Contributions to The New Five Jazz Project based in Austin, Texas, the aforementioned John Brown Big Band based in Durham, NC, the North Carolina Jazz Repertoire Orchestra in Chapel Hill, NC and the Tiffany Austin Quintet based in San Francisco Bay Area, CA have also proven to be important to his musical development as a performer, composer, and/or arranger for those groups. Butler has also performed and/or recorded with musical greats such as Curtis Fuller, Tia Fuller, Derrick Gardner, Aaron Graves, Benny Green, Tim Hagans, Slide Hampton, Tom Harrell, Andre Hayward, Conrad Herwig, Brad Leali, Branford Marsalis, Jason Marshall, Bob Mintzer, Melton Mustafa, Dick Oates, Rufus Reid, Herlin Riley, Stephen Riley, Adonis Rose, Darius Rucker, Grady Tate, Billy Taylor, Gregory Tardy, The Temptations, Ray Vega, Fred Wesley, and many others.
Much time has also been invested as an educator in jazz studies. Mitch was the Director of Jazz Studies and Assistant Professor of Music at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, CA from 2013 to 2016. Before that, he was Director of Jazz Studies at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC from 2009 to 2013. He has also invested time in music throughout the community, having provided private lessons in trombone and jazz studies as well as participating in clinics/workshops throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, the Southeast, Central Texas, and California. Butler has also held faculty and teaching positions at several institutions including Durham School of the Arts, East Carolina University, North Carolina Central University, Elon University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the University of Texas at Austin. Mitch is now a full time performing musician, clinician, composer, and arranger.
Mitch Butler is an exclusive Michael Rath Trombones artist and clinician.
For more information on Mitch www.mitchbutlertrombone.com
Songs in Order all live performances 1,The Preacher 2,Clean, 3,Straight No Chaser 4, Sentimental Mood
Greg Abate (born May 31, 1947 in Fall River, Massachusetts) is a jazzsaxophonist, flautist, composer, and arranger. He grew up in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. In the fifth grade he began to play clarinet.
After high school, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, and, after spending some years gigging in California, returned to Berklee in 1972 to finish his education. Later, a second trip to Los Angeles landed him an audition – and the lead alto chair – in the Ray Charles Band from 1973 through 1974.
Soon afterwards, Abate formed a sextet called Channel One. The group's only album, Without Boundaries, was released in 1980. Living in northern Rhode Island, Abate settled in the horn section with Tony Giorgianni's Sax Odyssey and Duke Bellair's Jazz Orchestra. In 1986 Abate was hired by Dick Johnson to be the tenor in the Artie Shaw Band. Abate has also appeared with Jerome Richardson and Red Rodney
Songs in Order 1, Take The Crowell Train 2, Steeplechase " Kindred Spirit " 3, Road to Forever 4, Mr. Parker 5, Whaling City Sound All songs except 2 are from his latist CD "ROAD TO FOREVER" www.gregabate.com
Jazz singer, composer and arranger Carmen Lundy hails from Miami, Florida and received her B.M. degree from the University of Miami. In 1978, Lundy moved to NYC, where she worked with numerous Jazz veterans. In 1985, she released her first solo album entitled Good Morning Kiss, which topped the Billboard chart for 23 weeks. Subsequent records include Night and Day, Self Portrait, This Is Carmen Lundy, Jazz and the New Songbook: Live at the Madrid, Come Home, Solamente, Changes, and Soul To Soul, among others. She will release her 15th album in February 2017, titled Code Noir. As a composer, Lundy has published over 100 songs, one of the few jazz vocalists in history to accomplish such a distinction. In April 2016, Carmen Lundy was honored with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Award by Black Women In Jazz and The Arts, based in Atlanta, GA. Her compositions have been recorded by such artists as Kenny Barron, Ernie Watts, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Regina Carter. Carmen Lundy’s work as a vocalist and composer has been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, Variety, The Washington Post, Jazz Times, Jazziz, Downbeat and Vanity Fair among others, as well as numerous foreign publications. Lundy and producer Elisabeth Oei launched the Afrasia Productions music label in 2005, her current record label. Lundy has also acted on stage and is a mixed media artist and painter. It was great talking with Carmen as alway. She is a delightful women a joy to talk to. Her new CD Code Noir is a must have for your library. Go to her website www.carmenlundy.com purchase the the CD and she will autograph it for you. Tell her you heard her on NJR podcast
Songs in Order From the CD "CODE NOIR" 1.Have a Little Faith 2, Black and Blue 3, You Come into My Life 4, The Island, The Sea and You 5, I Got Your Number
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