Jazz and Beyond

  1. Cyrille Aimée

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    Cyrille Aimée was born in Fontainebleau, France, to a French father and Dominican mother.

    As a child, Aimée fell in love with gypsy music and the gypsy way of life. Every June, the French village of Samois-sur-Seine would welcome gypsies to set up caravans in nearby meadows for the Django Reinhardt Festival in honor of the legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt. While spending evenings at their camps, Aimée learned their language…

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  2. Karrin Allyson

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    Grammy-nominated singer and pianist Karrin Allyson moves with ease and authority from the Great American Songbook of Gershwin and Porter to the Great American Jazz Songbook of Duke and Thelonius and Miles and Dizzy, jet-setting to Rio and Paris and swinging back home to pick up Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell and Jimmy Webb.  Legendary jazz critic Gary Giddins said in The Village Voice: “Allyson coolly stakes her claim. She brings…

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  3. Martin Bejerano

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    Jazz pianist Martin Bejerano is a newly appointed assistant professor of music at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. A native of Miami, Florida, Bejerano is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts, Florida State University, and the University of Miami (M.M., Jazz Piano Performance). After winning third place in the prestigious 1999 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, he moved to New York City and joined the quartet…

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  4. George Benson

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    Ten-time Grammy winner and NEA Jazz Master George Benson is heralded as a jazz guitarist of unparalleled chops and a vocalist with great emotional range and sophistication. 

    Benson’s musical passion began early.  At age eight, he was singing and playing the ukulele in local nightclubs in Pittsburgh. By his teenage years, he had switched to guitar, and his musical sensibilities shifted toward jazz, and the music of Wes…

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  5. Dee Dee Bridgewater

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    Over the course of her multifaceted, 40-plus-year career, the Grammy and Tony Award-winning Dee Dee Bridgewater has risen to the top tier of today’s vocalists. She earned her first professional experience as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, and throughout the 1970s she performed with such jazz notables as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1974 she broke into Broadway and earned a 1975…

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  6. Freddy Cole

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    Lionel Frederick Cole plays piano and sings, and performs live with guitar and upright bass, just like his brother, Nat “King” Cole.  But with his raspier, smokier voice, he has distinguished himself from his older sibling.  His vocals - suave, elegant, formidable, and articulate - are among the most respected in jazz.  An Atlanta resident, Cole leads a trio including guitarist Randy Napoleon, drummer Curtis Boyd and bassist…

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  7. Andrew D’Angelo

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    Appearing in INSPIRED IMPROVISATION with Matt Wilson,Andrew D’Angelo’s charismatic presence and iconoclastic musical ambition have been well-established over the course of his career and his key roles in bands like Human Feel, the Matt Wilson Quartet, and Tyft. His dedication to pushing his limits and his willingness to delve into new musical areas has been a powerful inspiration to his peers and to a new generation of improvisers. His…

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  8. Dr. John

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    Multiple Grammy Award winner Dr. John, also known as Mac Rebennack, is the embodiment of the rich musical heritage of New Orleans.  After a half century, Dr. John writes, arranges, produces and interprets with a passion that hasn’t waned.

    His colorful career began in the 1950s working on recordings with Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Joe Tex and Frankie Ford.  In the 1960s, he went west, playing on records by Sonny and…

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  9. Susan Egan

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    Susan Egan, appearing in UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: FRANK LOESSER, has traversed all four corners of the entertainment industry, making powerful impressions in theatre, film, television and music. She headlined on Broadway as Thoroughly Modern Millie, won critical acclaim as Broadway’s (longest-running) “Sally Bowles” in Cabaret, starred in Triumph of Love and State Fair, and received Tony Award® and Drama Desk® nominations for “Best…

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  10. Michael Feinstein

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    Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace.

    Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project.…

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  11. Benny Golson

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    NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and was recently named a Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend. A tenor saxophonist known for his expressive playing, his career spans a remarkable six decades—from his early years with John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, to his continued success as a solo performer and composer, arranger, lyricist and producer—Benny Golson…

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  12. Wycliffe Gordon

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    Wycliffe Gordon enjoys an extraordinary career as a performer, conductor, composer, arranger, and educator, receiving high praise from audiences and critics alike. Gordon tours the world performing hard-swinging, straight-ahead jazz for audiences ranging from heads of state to elementary school students. Gordon received the Jazz Journalists Association 2008, 2007, 2006, 2002, and 2001 Award for Trombonist of the Year, and the Jazz Journalists…

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  13. Denyce Graves

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    USA Today identifies mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves as “an operatic superstar of the 21st Century.”  The combination of her rich, expressive vocalism, elegant stage presence, and exciting theatrical abilities allows her to pursue a wide breadth of operatic portrayals, as well as delight audiences in concert and recital appearances. She is particularly known for her performances in the title roles of Carmen and Samson et Dalila

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  14. Dave Grusin

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    Dave Grusin is a Grammy Award-winning pianist and Academy Award-winning composer with over 30 scores to his credit.  He began his career as music director and pianist with vocalist Andy Williams (1959-1966). He met drummer Larry Rosen in the band, and the two became business partners nearly two decades later when they launched the contemporary jazz label, GRP Records.

    Grusin’s early recordings as a leader were two jazz trio…

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  15. Nicole Henry

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    Jazz vocalist Nicole Henry’s expressive, soulful voice and uplifting energy has earned her three top 10 albums along with international accolades from Moscow to Madrid.

    Growing up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Henry pursued the arts early on, singing in school and church, and studying cello and ballet. After graduating from the University of Miami, Henry launched a successful acting career, appearing in commercial roles and voiceover…

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  16. Michael A. Kerker

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    Michael A. Kerker has been Director of Musical Theatre for ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) since 1990. In addition to coordinating ASCAP’s Musical Theatre Workshop in New York, he works with Disney Theatricals to produce the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, (both of which are led by composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz).  Together with Michael Feinstein, Michael Kerker produces a regular…

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  17. Kirk Knuffke

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    Appearing in INSPIRED IMPROVISATION with Matt Wilson, trumpeter Kirk Knuffke has studied improvisation with great jazz artists Ornette Coleman, Art Lande and Ron Miles. He currently leads his own groups, including the Kirk Knuffke Quartet and trio, with 3 recordings now available as a leader for the Cleanfeed and No Business labels.

    Knuffke stays very busy as a member of the celebrated Matt Wilson Quartet, touring the US, performing…

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  18. Julian Lage

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    When Julian Lage, appearing with Mark O’Connor in SIZZLING HOT SWING, emerged on the music scene 13 years ago, the young San Francisco Bay Area-based musician was not only deemed a guitar-playing prodigy, but he was also offered record deals on numerous occasions. Lage played a unique style that melded blues, classical, folk and jazz influences. He became a sideman with established instrumentalists like Gary Burton and to collaborate…

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  19. Larry Lapin

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    Larry Lapin is professor emeritus and former program director of Jazz Vocal Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He retired in May 2013 after 45 years of teaching at UM. A pianist, composer, arranger and educator, Larry Lapin’s career is vast, including performances with jazz greats such as Gerry Mulligan, Bobby Shew, Johnny Smith, George Duvivier and Sarah Vaughn. In addition, he has appeared with such show business…

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  20. Jeff Lederer

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    Jeff Lederer is a saxophonist, performer, teacher, and arranger/composer. Born in Los Angeles, he attended Oberlin College, studying comparative religion, and earned the Masters of Music degree from Western Michigan University. As a saxophonist, he currently tours internationally and records with Matt Wilson Quartet as well as with Salsa artist Jimmy Bosch. Lederer has also performed with the Mingus Big Band and Latin music legend Tito Puente.…

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  21. Dave Liebman

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    David Liebman’s four-decade career as a saxophonist/flautist began in the 1970s with the Elvin Jones and Miles Davis Groups.  Since then he has led his own groups including Lookout Farm, Quest, and The Dave Liebman Group, featuring John Scofield, Richie Beirach, Billy Hart, Adam Nussbaum, Al Foster, John Abercrombie and Vic Juris.

    His eclectic repertoire ranges from original adaptations of standards to 20th century inspired…

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  22. Chris Lightcap

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    Appearing in INSPIRED IMPROVISATION with Matt Wilson, bassist and composer Chris Lightcap simultaneously played violin in a local youth symphony and took gigs on bass guitar with local rock bands as well as his school’s jazz and concert bands. Upon graduating from Williams College, he moved to his current home, New York City.

    Lightcap has performed and recorded within the New York’s jazz and contemporary music scenes. With two…

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  23. Frank Loesser

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    1910 - 1969

    Frank Loesser has been called the most versatile of all Broadway composers. His five Broadway musicals, each a unique contribution to the art of the American musical theatre, were as different from each other as they were from the theatre of their day: Where’s Charley?, Guys And Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Greenwillow, and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. …

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  24. Jo Sullivan Loesser

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    Jo Sullivan Loesser, appearing in UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: FRANK LOESSER, became a musical theatre star with her legendary performances in Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella. At the pinnacle of her career, she married composer Frank Loesser and left the stage, devoting herself to raising their two daughters, Hannah and Emily. After Loesser’s untimely death, she returned to performing, honoring her husband with an acclaimed salute…

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  25. Dante T. Luciani

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    Dante T. Luciani is a lecturer in jazz trombone in the Department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where is coordinator of the Jazz Brass program, and conducts the award-winning Frost Concert Jazz Band (CJB). Dante Luciani earned B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Miami. Formerly the lead trombonist and soloist with the Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson Orchestras, Luciani has performed…

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  26. Brian Lynch

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    Grammy Award winner Brian Lynch is associate professor of music at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he teaches jazz trumpet. A highly esteemed musician within both the hardcore straight ahead and Latin Jazz communities, Lynch is as comfortable negotiating the complexities of clave with Afro-Caribbean pioneer Eddie Palmieri as he is swinging through advanced harmony with bebop maestro Phil Woods. A honored graduate of Art…

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  27. Monica Mancini

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    Concord Records recording artist and 2005 double-Grammy nominee Monica Mancini, has carved out an impressive career as a concert performer, appearing with major symphony orchestras worldwide, including the Chicago Symphony, New York Pops, Boston Pops, Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony and the London Metropolitan Orchestra. She is the daughter of famed film composer Henry Mancini and the notable studio singer Ginny O’Conner Mancini.

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  28. Gary Mazzaroppi

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    Appearing in SIZZLING HOT SWING with Mark O’Connor, Gary Mazzaroppi attended Berklee School of Music, where he earned his Bachelor of Music in music education. After graduating, Mazzaroppi toured extensively with the Lionel Hampton Big Band for five years. Since then, he has accompanied many jazz artists including Red Norvo, Herb Ellis, Stan Getz, Joe Morello, Buddy Rich, Jim Hall, Barney Kessel, Clark Terry, Charlie Byrd, and Mark…

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  29. Christian McBride

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    Not yet 40, jazz bassist Christian McBride has already collaborated with an impressive list of top performers, including Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, and more.  In the classical world, McBride has worked with Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer, and the Sonus Quartet, and in the R&B, hip-hop, neo-soul and pop worlds, he has worked with Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, the Roots, Queen Latifah, Sting, Carly…

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  30. Vince Mendoza

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    Composer, arranger, and conductor Vince Mendoza has written for a wide variety of top artists, including Joni Mitchell, Sting, Al Di Meola, and Randy Brecker.  His compositions include big band, chamber, orchestra, and jazz compositions for Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, and John Abercrombie.  Mendoza won his sixth Grammy for John Scofield’s 54 album.

    Mendoza studied classical guitar, piano and trumpet,…

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  31. Jason Moran

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    2010 Macarthur Foundation Recipient Jason Moran has established himself as a risk-taking pianist and innovator of new directions for jazz.  His awards include Jazz Artist, Jazz Album & Pianist of the Year in the 59th Annual Downbeat Critics Poll; Rising Star Jazz Artist, Rising Star Pianist, Rising Star Composer in the 2003-04 Downbeat Critics Polls; and the first Playboy Jazz Artist of the Year award.
     
    Moran’s…

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  32. New York Voices

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    Celebrating their 24th anniversary this year, New York Voices is the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble renowned for their excellence in jazz and the art of group singing. Their interests are rooted in jazz, but often Brazilian, R & B, classical, and pop influences are infused with equal creativity and authenticity. The group consists of Darmon Meader, Peter Eldridge, Kim Nazarian, and Lauren Kinhan.

    NYV has made many guest…

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  33. Don Pippin

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    Appearing in UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: FRANK LOESSER,Don Pippin’s distinguished career on Broadway includes A Chorus Line (for which he received the Gold Record Award), Oliver! (which won the Tony Award®), Applause, Woman Of The Year, Mame, Dear World, Cabaret, Seesaw, Jerry’s Girls, Mack and Mabel, and La Cage Aux Folles. Pippin has been the musical director…

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  34. Noah Racey

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    Appearing in UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: FRANK LOESSER,Noah Racey is a Boston Conservatory graduate who is known for his starring role as Lucky Garnett in the Broadway production, Never Gonna Dance. Racey starred internationally in such shows as Crazy For You and On The Town. He also starred in regional theatres, including the La Jolla Playhouse production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. He recently won rave reviews for his portrayal of Bobby Child...

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  35. Ron Raines

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    Ron Raines, appearing in UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: FRANK LOESSER, is well known to theater audiences in New York and around the country as one of America’s leading musical theater performers most recently starring on Broadway as Billy Flynn in Chicago. He also starred on Broadway as Gaylord Ravenal in the 1983 revival of Jerome Kern’s Showboat co-starring Donald O’Connor. He originated the role of Teddy Roosevelt’s…

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  36. Frank Vignola

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    Born and raised in New York, composer and improviser Frank Vignola, appearing in SIZZLING HOT SWING with Mark O’Connor, started playing the guitar at the age of five. He grew up admiring a variety of guitarists, which range from Django and George Barnes to rock icons like Frank Zappa and Eddie Van Halen.

    As a young adult, Vignola studied at the Cultural Arts Center of Long Island and went on to enjoy an enormous amount of sideman…

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  37. Roseanna Vitro

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    Singer Roseanna Vitro has toured the world as a performer, clinician, recording artist, vocal instructor and official Jazz Ambassador, sponsored in 2009 by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. State Department, and in 2004 by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the U.S. State Department. 

    In 2011, Vitro earned a Vocal Jazz Grammy Nomination for The Music of Randy Newman on Motéma Music, featuring pianist Mark…

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  38. Sunny Wilkinson

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    Sunny Wilkinson has taken her place in that elite group of jazz vocalists who have stretched the boundaries and found themselves “one of a kind.”  Her performance credits are impressive, having sung with The Count Basie Band, Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Clark Terry, Mark Murphy, Milt Hinton, Curtis Fuller, and Edgar Winter, among others.  Sunny’s latest CD release is a duo project featuring Los Angeles based…

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  39. Matt Wilson

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    Matt Wilson was born in the prairie town of Knoxville, Illinois. He became interested in playing the drums in the third grade after seeing Buddy Rich on the Lucy Show.  He was judging a local drum contest featuring drummer Ricky Jr. Inspired, Wilson purchased some Ludwig 9a sticks at a local Byerly Music store. With sticks in hand, Wilson used a range of cookware and five gallon buckets as sound sources. His parents soon bought him…

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Jazz and Beyond