Jazz Vocalist extraordinaire, artist and teacher Betty Shirley is blessed with all the range and tonal control one might expect from a first–class Jazz singer. Ms. Shirley can scat, propel, coax and hang on to a note. She improvises with unerring instincts and delivers exactly what a song needs, spinning notes like silk.
Her extensive repertoire ranges from original compositions, Jazz (modern and traditional) and Blues to R&B, and Bossa Nova. She has sung with some of the best Jazz musicians in the world: Ellis Marsalis, Art Blakey Jr., Benny Green and Bross Townsend, to name a few and her tours have included Europe and Brazil. Her credits include the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Pensacola Jazz Festival, Essence Fest and the Women in Jazz Series.
As a recording artist, Shirley has 3 critically acclaimed CDs to her credit as a leader. Unveiled (1995), Betty Shirley Sings (with the Chuck Chaplin Trio, 2002), and Close Your Eyes (released March 2007). Her latest work, Close Your Eyes, was completed just at the time Hurricane Katrina was rolling in.
THE MAKANDA PROJECT
The Makanda Project is an ensemble dedicated to performing the previously unrecorded compositions of Makanda Ken McIntyre. The group is based in Boston, Massachusetts, (Makanda’s hometown) and was formed in 2005. Since then The Makanda Project has been giving regular free concerts in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood and also performing outside of Boston – sharing what they believe is something unique and special about Makanda’s music, and adding their own individual and collective voices to his compositions. Learn more
DR. MAMBO and the EXPERIENCE ENSEMBLE
Dr. Mambo and the Experience Ensemble weaves a polyrhythm paradise not often heard in the western Hemisphere, covering the bases from Caribbean sounds, Reggae, Salsa, Latin Jazz to Soukous and High Life as the rhythmic engines that drive the Experience Jazz extravaganza.
Learn more at tropicalcaribbeanjazz.com
Emme Kemp is all music. Broadway composer-actress ("Bubbling Brown Sugar"), Chicago born, Emme Kemp is at home with blues and gospel and the broad based culturally inclusive music that prepared her as a teenager for coaching with the emminent pianist Egon Petri on the West Coast. Some time after moving to New York, rag time master Eubie Blake included the young Emme Kemp in his 92nd birthday concert at Harvard.
Eubie Blake chose her to record his music on his EBM label. She performed her original songs on THE GUIDING LIGHT and CAPTAIN KANGAROO, appeared on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and OH BOY, BABIES! on NBC. In Woody Allen's film SWEET AND LOWDOWN Emme is shown in jam session scenes with Sean Penn. She has appeared in Dick Hyman's Jazz in July series at the 92nd Street Y, the Schomberg Center's Women in Jazz Festival and received an Audelco Pioneer Award for her theatre contributions.
This former piano prodigy, three year military woman and international artist was commissioned through the Chicago Defender to create her Echoes Out of Time theatre piece, received an National Endowment for the Arts award as well as awards from IWJ and the NAB&P Women.
An American music researcher, Ms. Kemp studied at Northwestern University, Berklee College of Music and New York University. She played at Carnegie Hall with the NYU Jazz Ensemble under Jimmy Giuffre and has appeared on numerous college campuses and at festivals. Emme's lectures and writings form a significant overview on popular culture.
Born and raised in Baton Rouge / New Orleans La. JaRon attended Southern Univ. for one year then moved to NYC in 1972. After traveling the world he decided to quit and devote his life to his music. He formed JKE Productions Enterprises Inc. with the goal to bring what is termed "saloon singing" or "entertainer" back in style and to keep Jazz and Blues alive.
Mr. Eames has worked with extraordinary pianists such as Harold Mayburn, Lloyd Mayers,Benny Green and Barry Harris. When Mr. Harris founded and headed a Jazz workshop in 1981, he also worked with leading bassists such as Earl May, Reggie Workman,Bob Cummingham, and Jamil Nassar. He was also a member of Universal Jazz Coalition, headed by Cobi Narita, Executive Director. He performed many times in Jazz Jam sessions with the legendary trumpeter, Doc. Cheatham. Other highlights were when he performed with the great pianist Ms. Dorothy P.Donnegan, at Tavern On the Green... she was very pleased with the performance. Quote-"you really can swing a room". Or when he dined with the great Mable Mercer at the Playboy club in London.
JaRon has performed at several Jazz Clubs in New York, including the legendary and world famous Apollo Theatre, Small's Paradise, Sweetwaters, Rodney Dangerfield's, Rupperts, Sheraton Russell Hotel, Cajun's. In 1994 Eames ventured produced and hosted his own cable T.V. show, "The JaRon Eames Show", a swinging Jazz and Blues talk show format with various guest artist each week.
David Jones has been playing piano almost every day for the last 30 years in his home in St. George, that overlooks Curtis High School and, beyond that, New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. He comes from the avant garde wing of the great experiment, known as American Jazz. David played on the West Coast with bass clarinetist Patrick Wallace and the late drummer Joe Kelly in the group New Bay Ensemble, and on the east cast with Philadelphia-based group, Image. In his travels, from east coast to west and back again, David has enjoyed playing all kinds of music in every setting.