The Brakes are a genuine rock and roll band at first glance, but given a closer look, elements of folk, jazz and even post-rock reveal themselves, making their sound a distinct intertwining of American music held together by insightful lyrics and memorable songs. Carney is a 4-piece Los Angeles musical phenomenon, who despite their young age (all 4 members are in their early 20's), have years of musical experience behind them. George Stanford's EP shows a songwriter following in the tradition of such greats as Paul Simon to Chris Martin. It also displays his immense range of talent--Stanford plays all instruments except drums on the EP. Purchase tickets at: http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/9002
Lizz Wright's first two Verve releases, Salt and Dreaming Wide Awake, established her as one of the jazz world's most celebrated rising stars, both an accomplished songwriter and a versatile, deeply expressive singer. On her third and most recent album, The Orchard, the Georgia-bred, New York-based artist takes a substantial leap forward, transcending genre distinctions to deliver a vibrant, intensely creative milestone. Wright is an effortlessly magnetic performer, delivering subtly persuasive vocal performances in jazz/r&b settings.
The legendary pianist, who celebrated his 87th birthday last December, came to national attention in the 1950s with his adventurous use of uncommon time signatures and his incorporation of classical approaches in jazz. Observers wonder why he continues to perform at such a brisk pace, when he could be taking in the view from his studio window in Connecticut. His son, Darius Brubeck, explains, "In jazz, if you don't have a working group, you can't improvise. So that's a stark choice for him. Not going on the road means you don't play jazz, and he doesn't want to give that up." Brubeck continues to opt for a smaller venue in Boston, instead of the larger ones he could play, because he enjoys the intimacy, and he thinks his audience does, too. Reedman Bobby Militello, bassist Michael Moore, and drummer Randy Jones round out the group.
Regarding the band's debut CD Jazziz magazine wrote "Daryl Lowery and Instant!Groove specialize in the funky soul-jazz grooves commonly referred to as 'acid-jazz.' The rhythm section is elastic, mid-tempo patterns aid excellent solos...resulting in a sound akin to John Scofield's A Go Go CD."
Faculty member Gail McArthur leads Connections, featuring Vital Information's Baron Browne on bass, faculty member Leo Blanco on keyboards, and a special guest on drums. The group will perform original material with a jazz/fusion/ECM twist.
Manami Morita, a native of Saitama, Japan, started playing classical piano at 4. At the time, she hated piano lessons because she wasn't attracted to classical piano. She loved to play but wanted more musical freedom. At 13, Morita discovered jazz and became addicted, even learning improvisation on her own. In 2004, Morita put aside thoughts of becoming a flight attendant or English teacher to follow her dream of playing jazz when she received a scholarship to study at Berklee. She was recently awarded the Mary Jane Earnhart Endowed Scholarship. Morita appears on the latest Jazz Revelation Records CD release, Common Ground, with the track “Going Home.”
Pat Carroll, a saxophonist from Pleasanton, California, has been focused on music since age 12, when he began studying with noted San Francisco musician Dann Zinn. In his junior year of high school, Carroll was awarded the Jimmy Lyons scholarship at the 2004 Monterey Jazz Festival. In 2005, he was commissioned to write and perform original music as a member of the SFJAZZ Young Composers Project, a group that rehearsed with Ravi Coltrane, Miguel Zenon, Vijay Iyer, and Maria Schneider. At Berklee, Carroll has studied with Hal Crook, Joe Lovano, and Ralph Peterson. His composition, “Mighty Aphrodite,” appears on the new Jazz Revelation Records release, Common Ground.
Cole DeGenova is a pianist, vocalist, songwriter, percussionist, and poet from Chicago. He began studying music at 4, and was working as a professional musician by 15. He studied classical, jazz, blues, Cuban, and Brazilian percussion, but was also influenced by neo-soul and hip-hop. He has performed with or opened for some of Chicago's top artists, including Kurt Elling, Patricia Barber, Jon Faddis, and Corey Wilkes. DeGenova was chosen by the Jazz Institute of Chicago to perform at the world-famous Auditorium Theatre, and, in 2005, performed with the Illinois Music Educators' Association’s All-State Honors Jazz Band. Now attending Berklee, DeGenova is spreading his music to a wider audience. He toured the Midwest with Hal Reed and the Mob, and in Switzerland with his original funk/r&b band Apollo Jones. His latest project is a funk, neo-soul, blues, and jazz group called the People's Republic. The group plans to release its debut EP this summer.