|Vocalist Vanessa Rubin was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, to parents from Trinidad and Louisiana, and grew up in a musical household. She achieved her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ohio State University. She received a standing ovation for her performance of "God Bless the Child" while competing in the Miss Black Central Ohio Contest, which convinced her that her true calling was to sing in the jazz tradition. This Billie Holiday masterpiece has since become her "official" theme song.
Rubin returned to Cleveland, where she began singing in many of the city's clubs and hotels and performing with the best of the city's musicians. She also formed and managed her first group, consisting of organ, guitar, vibes and drums. Soon after she moved to New York City in 1982, she performed at Sweet Basil and the Village Vanguard with the Pharoah Sanders Quartet. She then began to study with pianist Barry Harris at his Jazz Cultural Theatre.
Since that time she has worked with Kenny Barron, Lionel Hampton, the Mercer Ellington Orchestra, Cecil Bridgewater, Etta Jones, Toots Thielemans, Steve Turre, Cedar Walton, and Grover Washington, Jr. More recently she has completed international tours with Herbie Hancock, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and the Jazz Crusaders.
Matoaka Little Eagle
Native singer, dancer, storyteller, and educator
Matoaka Little Eagle (Tewa-Pueblo, Apache, and Chickahominy) has spent a lifetime bringing Native cultures to thousands of people here and abroad. Weaving music, dance, and storytelling, she opens minds to bring experiences that show the richness, beauty, and truth of our diverse Native cultures to educational and cultural institutions which include: The American Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Lincoln Center’s Meet-the-Artist Programs, Symphony Space, the Town Hall and numerous colleges, public and private schools, community centers, and festivals. She has performed with Pura Fe and Ulali, Pete Seeger, David Amram, Joan Henry, Dennis Yerry, Gus Mancini, Jim Pepper, Forces of Nature, John Sebastian, Liam O’Moanlai, The Swift Eagle Dance Troupe, Spiderwoman Theater Ensemble, and many others. In 1992, she and brother, Powhatan, were vocalists in John Cage’s “Renga. Apartment House 1776,” in Dresden and Frankfurt, Germany. She is a member of the renowned Thunderbird American Indian Dancers in New York City– 2017 recipients of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Dance Guild. The Thunderbirds raise scholarship funds for Native students and are a hub of Native culture and events in the Metropolitan area. www.thunderbirdamericanindiandancers.org. Matoaka has worked in several Native cultural arts programs, community and human service organizations, in the public and private sector, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. She currently resides in New Paltz and may be reached at email@example.com. (845) 977-6146.
Annette A. Aguilar (born June 28, 1957) is an American percussionist, bandleader, and music educator. She is best known as the leader of the Latin and Brazilian jazz band Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans, which has toured extensively in the United States and Africa. Aguilar is a former percussionist with The Grateful Dead. She is the founder of the annual Women in Latin Jazz Festival in New York, and is also a Latin Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department.
Bertha Hope-Booker is an American jazz pianist and jazz educator. She is the widow of fellow pianist Elmo Hope, with whom she collaborated. She has toured Europe and Japan and played with a diverse group of artists. Her albums:
1990* In Search of Hope SteepleChase
1991 Elmo's Fire SteepleChase Sextet, with Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Junior Cook and Dave Riekenberg (tenor sax), Walter Booker (bass), Leroy Williams (drums)
1992 Between Two Kings Minor Trio, with Walter Booker (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)
1999 Nothin' But Love Reservoir Trio, with Walter Booker (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)
Trumpeter Edwina Thorne is an international recording artist and entertainer with 5 albums, Edwina has a degree in composition and trumpet performance. Edwina then obtained an MBA in New York where she lived for 5 years, performing extensively in Europe and the Caribbean. A trained teacher, Edwina has led many successful jazz bands and combos, and has been HOD of music of two schools.
Carol_Sudhalter was a nominee for Best International Jazz Flutist in Down Beat Magazine’s 77th Annual Jazz Readers’ Poll 2012, and was voted within the top 10: 9th place.She moved to New York from Boston in 1978 to join the first all-female Latin band, Latin Fever, which played the 1978 Salsa Festival at Madison Square Garden alongside Tito Puente. [Another of Carol’s ‘firsts’: she was first graduate of Smith College to become a jazz musician.] In 1986 she founded the Astoria Big Band, in which she plays baritone sax. In its present 13-piece formation, the band plays original arrangements by Charlie Camilleri, Stan Bielski, Mickey Tucker, Ray Loring, Keith Gurland, and Chris Rinaman. The band has received more than 20 Development and Performance Grants from Queens Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Vocalist Lucy Blanco’s family roots began in a small fisherman’s village in Santa Rosa de Aguan, Honduras Central America. Her parents migrated to the Bronx, New York in 1964 where she was born. She is a proud descendant of the Garifuna people who settled in Central America from the Caribbean Island of St. Vincent. She has relocated back to her hometown of New York City from Los Angeles where she had been living for the last 20 years.Her musical influences are varied and include Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Hector Lavoe, Gloria Estefan and Celia Cruz Her life was forever changed when she got a chance to attend an Artist in Residence program @ The Conservatory of Music in Den Hague with Dr. Barry Harris as a member of The Radiant Voices. She credits The World Stage, The late Billy Higgins, the late Dahl Scott, pianist/composer/arranger the late Michael Andrews and many other artists and friends who graciously opened the door and provided wonderful opportunities to learn about the art of jazz.
Since relocating to New York City in August ’09, she has worked with some of the best musicians the East Coast has to offer such as Benito Gonzalez, Mala Waldron, Mimi Jones and Danny Mixon. She recently collaborated with Garifuna musician and educator James Lovell and formed The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble. Ms. Blanco is currently producing her debut album with International Pianist Warren Byrd. “My goal is to make music that speaks to the love I have for Jazz and Latin music and reflects the Garifuna/Afro/Latina heritage I am proud to have.”
Composer singer pianist Regina Bonelli
Inspired by early Blues and R&B legends of the 60's and 70's, Regina began singing and playing piano at the tender age of five. Ten years later, after picking up a guitar, she was performing. As the years went by, she had two children and raised them on her own. Life and love gave Regina more than enough inspiration to sing the blues. Her new album, "Love Letter" has two songs spinning on SiriusXm BB King's Bluesville station's Top 15 Rack Of Blues, charting in the Top 10 in heavy rotation. The original song, "Don't You Put Your Hands On Me" produced by Tomas Doncker and James Dellatacoma for True Groove Records, tackles the issues of domestic violence and sexual harrassment. Love Letter, which features Doncker, Michael Hill and some of the county's premier musicians is filled with songs of empowerment. She also wrote the songs, both music & lyrics, on her stunning debut recording "Open Up the Door." This collection of tunes represents modern blues with a ton of soul and storytelling at it's finest. The album was a #1 Pick To Click and is still receiving airplay around the globe. Regina's scorching vocals, songwriting and keyboard playing are garnering worldwide attention.
BLU JAZZ Recording artist Whitney Marchelle Jackson is an international award winning exceptional vocal performer. New York Based originally from Newton Iowa. Headiner and opening act artist. A BMI songwriter who also plays piano & guitar. Studio session singer demanded by many. Whitney Marchelle's eclectic style encompasses many aspects of the American Music Art form to Contemporary,Straight-Ahead Jazz ,Taditional, Bebop, BAM, Pop, Classical Jazz with a 4 octave vocal range ,reads, sings leads and all female harmonies. If you heard her once, you have not heard all of her numerous approaches and vocal textures. Tour de force performance shows! You will swing, laugh, dance, become knowledgeable, and leave with an unexplainable great spiritual feeling taking you on a musical journey. Receives Air play on Wbgo, Sirus-XM,National and International radio stations. Jazz Times quotes" She is a formidable singer with praiseworthy scat and vocalese skills, impressive range and an appealingly scorched soul-jazz sound, a fearless scat artist !" Other reviews! Prolific Pop and Jazz artist! Awesome! LA Jazz Weekly Swinging Voices Blog- Dig Dis cd " her delivery of “Hope” along with a harp support is a jaw dropper ! She sings like she means it, and she means a lot! She knows how to bop!" Works with Top Grammy Players at renowned venues internationally, including: New York Blue Note, Dusit Thani Dubai, Rutgers Clements Jazz Series, Apollo, Lewiston Jazz Festival , Art Deco Festival, The Velvet Note, Copacabana, Eastman, Carnegie Hall, World Cup Polo Televised ,Tonight Show (Don Rickles -host). Rochester Memorial Art Gallery. Drake University Big Band .Women In Jazz Festivals. Lady Got Chops Festival,Several Alpha Phi Alpha Events! Sold Out Shows! Tribute shows!
Goussy Celestin dancer,pianist,vocalist
Goussy Célestin's personal mission is to stir up all her musical influences into a moving experience, incorporating Jazz elements, and dance influences. She has studied/performed music and dance for the last two decades with such esteemed names as Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, C. Scoby Stroman, Max Roach, Donald Byrd, Barry Harris, and Sheila Jordan as a jazz pianist-vocalist, while studying with Pat Hall, Jean Leon Destiné, and Camille Yarbrough, as a dancer.
Ms. Célestin currently performs throughout the NYC-Tri state area as a musician and dancer. She is an alum of ASE Dance Theater Collective, a neo-folklore ensemble dedicated to the traditional/contemporary arts of the African Diaspora filtered through Haitian music and dance. She is also a member of ¡Retumba!, an all-female multi-ethnic music-dance ensemble dedicated to the traditions of the Caribbean and Latin-America, in addition to serving as lead vocalist for Charanga Soleil. Ms. Célestin's wide range of interests and versatility, has led her to study classical piano, Jazz and Latin music. While in Cuba, she had the honor of performing with members of the Buena Vista Social Club, as well as performing/mentoring with members of Grupo AfroCuba de Matanzas, Yoruba Andabo and Clave Y Guaguanco. She has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Del Terzo Studio at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, SOB's, the Knitting Factory, NJPAC, Tilles Center, Newark Symphony Space, Joe's Pub, as well as various jazz clubs in NYC. A highlight of Ms. Célestin's jazz career is a duo piano performance with renowned jazz pianist John Hicks. Her musical travels include Cuba, England, Wales, Japan, Haiti, as well as touring parts of the US.
Guitarist Deborah Knapper is a native of Kanawa West Virginia.She grew up in Brooklyn NY, a self taught Musician,she has performed extensively in Europe, New Zealand and Japan, has her own band, Knappertime, and has recorded with Mtume, toured with Kelis , Kit McClure,the Manhattans, Cuba Gooding and many others in the R&B world.
Yayoi Ikawa is a jazz pianist living and working in New York City. After moving there from Japan to attend the Jazz and Contemporary Music program at The New School, she formed both her own trio and big band. Recent projects include a tour of Japan and her first album as a leader.She performs with the Harlem Renaissance Jazz orchestra,Reggie Workman,Lenny Pickett and Haitian vocalist Emeline.
Erena Terakubo is a brilliant young alto saxophonist from Japan who has recorded with legendary musicians like Ron Carter,Jimmy Cobb and others. She had the honor of having the number one Jazz album in Japan.
Lucianna Padmore, is the youngest member of the group and a second generation drummer, bandleader and composer of unparalleled rhythmic skill. Enjoy this exciting performance of music from the African-American Diaspora, the American songbook of Blues, Gospel, R&B and some of today’s dance music.
LADY GOT CHOPS Women’s History Month Music and Arts Festival Inc, organizer ,bassist Kim Clarke is a composer/bandleader and was the recipient of 3 National Endowment Study Grants in the early 1980s.She also studied with Dr.Barry Harris the keeper of the Bebop Flame.
Originally self-taught she has formed bands since the first year she picked up the bass. Kim has toured Europe extensively,as well as Pakistan,Japan and most recently China. The majority of these travels were as a member of Joseph Bowie and Defunkt.She has also toured with Joe Henderson,Bertha Hope,Teri Thornton,Michael Urbaniak, Ursula Dudziak,George Gruntz Concert Jazz band, locally with Art Blakey,Dr Billy Taylor and Jimmy Heath .Kim has been featured on 28 albums.
She formed the LADY GOT CHOPS Women’s Jazz FESTIVAL with a mother and daughter café owner team in 2003 and created their website to draw attention to their business. When it closed she continued the festival in various venues and various idioms. It stands today as a platform of encouragement of women in the arts to foster fellowship as well as enhance the community at large. http://Ladygotchops.com
Kim Weston-Moran (Producer). Ms. Weston-Moran's first passion is acting; she is a veteran Actress known for her character work. Her most recent acting credit are Negro Ensemble Company's Workshop Production of SWING at La MaMa Theatre and Crossroads Theatre Company's' premiere of AUTUMN by Richard Wesley. Kim produces, directs, coaches and is an Acting Teacher with a focus on Basics for new and returning actors. In the 90's Kim was Founding Artistic Director for OUTTA CONTROL – Raw Comedy Cabaret, an multi-cultural sketch comedy troupe for which she began flexing her directing and writing muscles and discovered a new passion: Producing. Over the years, between acting gigs, she presented several projects and supported several playwrights, including PJ Gibson, OWA, PhD and Sabura Rashid. Projects include: The Second Black Theatre In America Conference (Medgar Evers College); Eclectic Tuesday Nites (Perk's Supper Club), for which she Hosted and presented over 200 comedians, singers, actors, Jazz and R&B groups; WE IN HARLEM, BABY! a performance and visual arts salon; ANOTHER SIDE OF A KING – Films and Literature of Woodie King, Jr. (received ART NY Award). Currently, Kim is the Founder/Producing Artistic Director for POTPOURRI! World Women Works Series – New Works in Development by Global Women Playwrights and Screenwriters, in its' 7th year.
For more information: http://www.rhythmcolorassociates.weebly.com