Legendary bassist Fred Thomas held the the bass chair in Mr. James Brown’s band for more than 30 years, and be heard in many classic hits such as Hot Pants among many others. Fred continues to play till this day with JB's.
Sammy Figueroa and Sally's Tomato a Tribute to the Music of Cal Trader
“Sammy Figueroa Presents Sally’s Tomato: A Tribute to the Music of Cal Tjader.” This sensuous Latin Jazz will intoxicate your senses and move you to dance. Enjoy this exciting band led by the superb percussionist Sammy Figueroa.
In 1991, Michael toured as pianist for the Arturo Sandovalgroup as well as recording on Sandoval's American debut album on GRP, "Flight To Freedom." With this group Michael toured throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe. In 1993, Michael was chosen as one of five finalist in the prestigious Great American Jazz Piano Competition. He was selected out of a field of one hundred entrants from around the world. In 1994, Michael spent the year touring and recording with the Paquito D'Rivera group. He played concerts and clubs in Trinidad, Cura�ao, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Paris, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Greece, Holland, and Slovenia. Michael has performed and/or recorded with some of the major names in jazz: Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Conrad Herwig, Adam Nussbaum, Dave Weckl, Eddie Daniels, James Moody, Sonny, Fortune, Eddie Henderson, Ira Sullivan, Gary Campbell, Toots Thielmans, Ignacio Berroa, Rene Toledo, Bobby Thomas, Jr., Nestor Torres, Ed Calle, Larry Coryell, David Valentine, Rosanna Vitro, and the list goes on.
Sammy Figueroa has long been regarded as one of the world’s great musicians. As a much-admired percussionist he provided the rhythmical framework for hundreds of hits and countless recordings. Well-known for his versatility and professionalism, he is equally comfortable in a multitude of styles, from R & B to rock to pop to electronic to bebop to Latin to Brazilian to New Age.
But Sammy is much more than a mere accompanist: when Sammy plays percussion he takes the listener on a journey, amazing audiences with both his flamboyant technique and his subtle nuance and phrasing. Sammy Figueroa is now considered to be the most likely candidate to inherit the mantles of Mongo Santamaria and Ray Barretto as one of the world’s great congueros.
As unlikely as it may be for a successful professional musician such as Sammy to make the transition from sideman to leader in what some might term “the middle years”, in the new millennium Sammy has firmly established himself as a bandleader and artist in his own right and the role has fit him comfortably, as if that was always his destiny. Both of his first two albums have been honored with GrammyTM Nominations, his devoted following is rapidly growing, and Sammy’s famed sense of humor, ebullient personality and open-heartedness, long famous within the music industry, have further empowered him in his connection with musicians and audiences alike.
Sammy Figueroa was born in the Bronx, New York, the son of the well-known romantic singer Charlie Figueroa. His first professional experience came at the age of 18, while attending the University of Puerto Rico, with the band of bassist Bobby Valentin.
During this time he co-founded the innovative Brazilian/Latin group Raices, which broke ground for many of today’s fusion bands. Raices was signed to a contract with Atlantic Records and Sammy returned to New York, where he was discovered by the great flautist Herbie Mann. Sammy immediately became one of the music world’s hottest players and within a year he had appeared with John McLaughlin, the Brecker Brothers and many of the world’s most famous pop artists.
Since then, in a career spanning over thirty years, Sammy has played with a multitude of distinguished artists including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Dave Sanborn, Quincy Jones, the Brecker Brothers (for 12 years!), Dave Grusin, Michel Camilo (who wrote the tune ‘And Sammy Walked In’ in his honor), George Benson, Stanley Clarke, Grover Washington, Jr., Al Jarreau, Lena Horne, Joe Williams, Mark Murphy, Mike Mainieri, Nestor Torres, Chico O’Farrill, Mike Stern, Dave Valentin, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Ruben Blades, Eddie Palmieri, Tania Maria, Jorge Ben Jor, Daniela Mercury, Tom Jones, Mariah Carey (in her multi-million selling MTV Unplugged), James Taylor, Dr. John, Mick Jagger, Average White Band, David Bowie, Celine Dion, Natalie Merchant, Luther Vandross, Ashford & Simpson, Anita Baker, Roberta Flack, David Lee Roth, Hall & Oates, Joe Cocker, Rickie Lee Jones, Annie Lennox, Blues Traveller, Paul Winter and many, many more.
In 2001 Sammy relocated to South Florida where he discovered an exciting alternative to New York’s jazz scene: a vibrant and creative diaspora of Latin jazz virtuosos from Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, many of whom were members of the University of Miami’s extraordinary music department. With producer Rachel Faro he put together a band with some of the greatest players in town and in September 2002 Sammy Figueroa and his Latin Jazz Explosion made their debut at the Hollywood Jazz Festival. Since that time Sammy and his band have been unstoppable.
Michael has also been an active clinician, sharing his musical knowledge and philosophies with music students in the U.S., Europe, Africa, and throughout South America.
Michael is an Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Performance at Florida International University teaching jazz piano, jazz improvisation, and directing both jazz and Latin jazz ensembles. Michael has released his debut album, FREEDOM TOWER on the Fantasy/Contemporary label. This CD features Paquito D'Rivera, Nicky Orta, Gary Campbell and others. He will soon be releasing a live recording which will feature Gary Campbell, Adam Nussbaum, and Don Wilner.
Pablo "Chino" Nuñez
Pablo “Chino” Nunez – Established Professional Percussionist, Multi-Instrumentalist, Producer, Arranger, Composer, Recording Artist, Band Leader, and Educator, multiple
GRAMMY, LATIN GRAMMY and BILLBOARD winner/nominee –- hundreds of productions to his credit and he has performed/toured with a verifiable Who's Who, as well as
with the critically acclaimed ensemble CHINO NUNEZ ORCHESTRA.
Mr. Nunez's impressive verifiable recording and performing experience includes work with legendary Who's Who figures such as Tito Puente, Hector Lavoe, Celia Cruz,
Johnny Pacheco, Marc Anthony, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Ray Barretto, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Larry Harlow, Tito Nieves, Spanish Harlem
Orchestra and a host of others. Chino has performed in venues all over the world including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, North Sea Jazz Festival, Madison Square Garden,
Montreal Jazz Festival, the Tito Puente Amphitheatre and Bellas Arte Performing Arts Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Newport Jazz Festival, Trump Plaza Casino, Playboy
Jazz Festival, and Major League Baseball events.
Open Stage Club, Coral Gables, Miami
Sammy Figueroa and Sally's Tomato a Tribute to the Music of Cal Tjader.
John is a Grammy Nominated saxophone player who has recorded/performed around the world with Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Carlos Santana, Engelbert Humperdinck, Gloria Estefan, Patti Labelle, Jon Secada, KC and The Sunshine Band, David Lee Roth and many more.
As a solo act, John performs all types of music, Latin Jazz, Flamenco, Chill/World, Smooth Jazz, R&B, Classic Jazz, and more. John's World Music trio Urban Gypsy, plays an elegant and exciting blend of Flamenco, Latin Jazz and World Music.
Born in El Paso, Texas in 1969 and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Gabriel Vivas began his career as a bass player at the age of 17.
In 1990 he moved to Florida and attended The University of Miami where he received his B.A. in Studio Music and Jazz Performance. Since then he has worked with many artists including legendary Tito Puente, Claudio Roditi, Dave Valentin, Pancho Cespedes, Sammy Figueroa, Patato Valdez, Shakira, Chayanne, Othello Molineux, Nestor Torres, Ilan Chester, Antonio Adolfo, and is currently on a 2014-2015 world tour with Yanni.
In 2007 Gabriel Vivas was grammy nominated in the Latin Jazz category for his collaboration as a writer and producer for Sammy Figueroa's album entitled "The Magician."
Based in South Florida, Gabriel Vivas records and performs both the acoustic and electric basses and has written and produced two solo albums: "Low registers" (2006)
By 1966, he was performing with Maynard Ferguson and soon became a regular in the Joe Henderson / Kenny Dorham Big Band. That year he also joined the Gil Evans Group, an affiliation he considers his most influential. “I first met Gil Evans when I was 22 and he became my musical Godfather,” remembers Soloff.
It was a creative relationship that lasted until Evans’ death in 1988. In the large bands of the 1960s, Soloff received his continuing education, joining groups led by Clark Terry, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri including the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Band. But it was in the popular groundbreaking group Blood, Sweat And Tears that Soloff’s trumpet solos became an indelible part of American culture. He was an integral part of the band from 1968 to 1973, racking up 9 Gold records, a Grammy for “Record of The Year” (1969) and creating those searing horn lines in “Spinning Wheel.”
Following his time with Blood, Sweat And Tears, Soloff demonstrated his distinguished abilities in the studio. The depth of recordings that include his work illustrate why he is consistently in demand. Some of those projects include releases by; Roy Ayers, Bob Belden, George Benson, Benny Carter, Stanley Clarke, Paquito D’Rivera, Miles Davis/Quincy Jones (Live At Montreux), Mercer Ellington, Grant Green, Lionel Hampton, Bob James, Herbie Mann, Tania Maria, Carmen McRae, Laura Nyro, Jaco Pastorius, Mongo Santamaria, Little Jimmy Scott, Wayne Shorter and Stanley Turrentine.
Brothers Luques (bass) and Zaccai (piano) Curtis follow in the rich family tradition of jazz. The music has often been the beneficiary of sibling bonds. Look no further than the Adderley brothers (Cannonball & Nat), the Heath Brothers (Percy, Jimmy, and Albert (Tootie), the Brecker Brothers, or more recently the Roney brothers (Wallace & Antoine), the Parrott sisters (Nicki and Lisa), and the Jensen sisters (Christine & Ingrid). Jazz music has frequently been the family tie that binds. And as with the Curtis Brothers those are also siblings that recorded and performed together. Based on the brilliance of Completion of Proof, clearly Luques and Zaccai Curtis have joined that auspicious tradition.
For Completion of Proof, the Curtis Brothers have enlisted a powerhouse crew of musicians - many of whom serve as mentors to the Curtis Brothers - including drummer Ralph Peterson, Jr.,Brian Lynch on trumpet, and their Artist Collective mentor, Jimmy Greene on saxophones. The date also includes alto saxophonist, "Big Chief" Donald Harrison. It was Harrison who gave the Brothers their first touring band experience. "He really showed us how to act, play, and what not to do on the road," says Zaccai. The underrated fire-breathing saxophonist Joe Ford "has always been an influence from a very early age." The brothers play in Lynch's band and alongside Ford with Jerry González Fort Apache Band as occasional subs for Andy González and Larry Willis. PercussionistsRogerio Boccato, Pedro Martinez, and Reinaldo De Jesus help bring further folkloric Pan African flavor to the date.
The brothers have recorded with a notable discography of cohorts, including Gary Burton, Orrin Evans, Donald Harrison, Sean Jones, Brian Lynch & Eddie Palmieri, and John Santos among others. They dubbed their 2010 debut brother act Blood - Spirit - Land - Water - Freedom (Truth Revolution).Completion of Proof is another title whose definition is omni-directional. Quizzed on how the titleCompletion of Proof compliments the sumptuous music they serve up, Zaccai informed: "The title has a lot to do with how this project turned out. We had our hypothesis, completed the experiment which was a success in many ways... Q.E.D. or Completion of Proof." The disc crackles with a vigor rooted squarely in the hard bop tradition, though most assuredly with diverse 21st century generational twists and turns.
Hailing from the remote location of Perth, West Australia, saxophonist and composer Troy Roberts has received numerous awards including 3 consecutive DownBeat Jazz Soloist Awards and 2 consecutive West Australian Music Industry Awards, a Grammy Nomination medal (for Sammy Figueroa’s “The Magician”), and was the only Australian semi-finalist in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Music at the young age of 19, he has performed around Europe and the US extensively with artists such as James Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Sammy Figueroa, Dave Douglas, Orrin Evans and Kurt Elling to name a few, and also completed a Masters Degree at The University of Miami.
In 2012, he shared the stage in an international septet comprised of jazz greats Wayne Shorter, Richard Bona, Vinnie Colaiuta and Zakir Hussein for Herbie Hancock’s launch of the first ever International Jazz Day at The UN General Assembly Hall. More recently he was also part of Hancock’s 2014 International Jazz Day held at Osaka Castle Park, Japan, sharing the stage with jazz luminaries such as Gregory Porter, Marcus Miller, Roy Hargrove, Esperanza Spaulding, Sheila E, John Scofield and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Troy is based in New York City & continues to maintain a busy performance and recording schedule around the globe, and is currently celebrating his 6th record as a leader, Secret Rhymes (Inner Circle Music).
Brazil is rich with musical heroes, past as well as present, and Daniela Mercury is one of them, for she was the premier axé performer of the 1990s, with a goddess-like standing in Salvador da Bahia.
This is because that northeastern capital city is ground zero for axé, a uniquely Bahian style that is generally described as a fusion of samba, reggae, and rock, with some Caribbean rhythms thrown in for good measure.
It's a relentlessly upbeat, highly percussive style of music that is the open-air soundtrack of Carnaval da Bahia and that came to be in the mid-'80s, with Luiz Caldas' "Fricote" cited as its dawning moment.
Mercury, more than anyone, popularized axé internationally. Her breakthrough hit, "Swing da Cor," from her self-titled debut album, was one of the most popular songs in Brazil during 1991, and her follow-up effort, O Canto da Cidade (1993), was a national phenomenon.
The first Brazilian album to top a million in sales, O Canto da Cidade continues to sell today, regardless of its outdated production standards.
Following massive hits such as "Swing da Cor," "O Canto da Cidade," and "Musica de Rua," which established her as perhaps the most popular Brazilian performer of the early '90s -- and certainly the most popular Bahian, rivaling only Marisa Monte nationally -- Mercury eschewed the synthesizers and other such commercial glitz from her early albums, and she proceeded to record what is generally agreed upon as her masterpiece, Feijão com Arroz (1996).
The album is a touchstone achievement for axé, featuring hits penned by renowned songwriters such as Carlinhos Brown ("Rapunzel"), Márcio Mello ("Nobre Vagabundo"), and Chico César ("À Primeira Vista"). In subsequent years, Mercury began experimenting with various inflections of axé, drifting for a while deep into electronica, and her fan base dwindled accordingly -- except in Bahia, that is, where she remained infallible. After some years in the commercial hinterlands, Mercury staged a grand comeback with Balé Mulato (2005), a remarkable return to form that echoed the greatness of Feijão com Arroz.
Born Daniela Mercuri de Almeida Póvoas on July 28, 1965, in Salvador, Bahia, she grew up in a middle-class family in the Brotas neighborhood. Her father, Antônio Fernando de Abreu Ferreira de Almeida, is of Portuguese descent and immigrated to Brazil as a child, whereas her mother, Liliana Mercuri, is of Italian descent. She has four siblings: Tom, Cristiana, Vania (also a successful singer, billed as Vania Abreu), and Marcos. Daniela began to study dance at age eight. Inspired by Elis Regina, she decided to take up singing, too. Her repertoire consisted of bossa nova as well as the music of Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Chico Buarque.
To the unease of her parents, she began singing in local bars, beginning in 1980. She made her trio elétrico debut soon afterward, during Carnaval da Bahia 1981. Mercury's zeal for dance eventually led her to the Federal University of Bahia, where she enrolled in the school's dance program in 1984.
A year later she became a mother, giving birth to Gabriel Almeida Póvoas, and a year after that, she welcomed into the world another child, Giovana Almeida Póvoas. Mercury continued to pursue a career in music nevertheless, and at one point during the late '80s, she sang backup vocals for Gilberto Gil. In 1989, she formed a pop band, Companhia Clic. Besides Mercury, the bandmembers included Rudnei Monteiro (guitar), Raul Carlos Gomes (drums), Jonga Cunha (percussion), Marcus Sampaio (bass), and Sérgio Henrique (keyboards). Companhia Clic recorded two self-titled albums for Eldorado Records before Mercury went solo, recording Daniela (1991) for the same label and attaining her first taste of success.
Fusing together primarily samba, reggae, and pop/rock, Daniela is a logical extension of the Companhia Clic recordings. It's a relatively bland album, marred by outdated synthesizers, yet it does boast "Swing da Cor," her first bona fide national hit. Other noteworthy songs on Daniela are "Todo Canto Alegre," written by Carlinhos Brown, himself a future superstar, and also "Geléia Geral," written and originally performed by Gilberto Gil during his formative years.
The success of "Swing da Cor," which was among the most popular Brazilian songs of 1991, opened many doors for Mercury, among them those of Sony, which promptly signed her to a major-label recording contract.
Her debut for Sony, O Canto da Cidade (1992), produced by Liminha, was an impressive leap forward artistically from her previous album. A celebration of Salvador, O Canto da Cidade became a sensation, propelled by its chart-topping title track. Not only was O Canto da Cidade the first Brazilian album to top a million in sales, but it remains her best-selling album to date, with millions of copies sold -- and it continues to sell today.
Alex Pope Norris
Norris has worked with many noted jazz musicians such as Slide Hampton, Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter, Carl Allen, John Patitucci, Mulgrew Miller, and Brian Blade. Norris is very active in Afro-Cuban jazz, as well, having worked with Andy and Jerry González, Manny Oquendo, Paquito D’Rivera, and Chico O’Farril.
In 1995, Norris received a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He has served on the music faculties at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, Towson University, and the City College of New York. In 2007, Norris received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami Frost School of Music. From 2005-2008, Norris was also a teacher at the University of Miami.
Residing in New York City, Norris performs all over the world with his own jazz group and with the Ron Carter’s Great Big Band, the Mingus Big Band, Alan Ferber’s Big Band, Kyle Eastwood, Helen Sung, Miguel Zenon, Amina Figarova, and many other jazz and Latin jazz artists. He performs regularly at top New York Jazz Clubs such as the Jazz Standard, Smalls, Smoke, Birdland, and the Blue Note. He is also a member of the Jazz Studies Faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.
Alex Norris has one CD released on the Fresh Sounds/New Talent Label entitled “Alex Norris Quintet- A New Beginning”. His most recent recording, “Alex Norris Organ Quartet- Extension Deadline’, has been released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records. As a sideman, Alex has recorded on over 80 CD’s; several of them for labels such as Blue Note, Verve, Impulse, Steeplechase, and Sunnyside.
Videos by Alex Pope Norris:
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 Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Horace Silver Quintet, he has been a valued collaborator with jazz artists such as Benny Golson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Charles McPherson; Latin music icons as diverse as Hector LaVoe and Lila Downs; and pop luminaries such as Prince. As a bandleader and recording artist he has released a series of critically acclaimed CDs featuring his distinctive composing and arranging, and tours with various ensembles reflecting the wide sweep of his music.
He was formerly on the faculty of New York University and conducts clinics and workshops the world over. His talents have been recognized by top placings in the Downbeat Critics and Readers Polls; highly rated reviews for his work in Downbeat, Jazziz and Jazz Times; three Grammy award nominations as well as a 2006 Grammy Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and Meet The Composer.
Brian Lynch’s most recent CD releases as a leader include Bolero Nights For Billie Holiday (Venus); his Grammy Award winning collaborative recording project with Eddie Palmieri, Simpático (ArtistShare); Spheres Of Influence
Pianist-composer Silvano Monasterios was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He spent his formative years of training at the Jose Angel Lamas Conservatory while he alternately encountered the great American jazz tradition in all its diversity. He promptly began his professional career at the age of 18, combining these influences by performing and recording with some of the most prominent Venezuelan artists of the time.
In 1989, Silvano traveled to Miami, Florida, to participate in the Miami Jazz Festival, where he received a “Best Soloist Award.” By 1990, he had immigrated to the United States to make use of a scholarship from Miami-Dade College. More recognition followed with another “Outstanding Soloist Award” at the University of Colorado in 1991 and then a music scholarship from the University of Miami, from which he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in 1995. In 1998, Silvano was voted “New Artist of the Year” at the Hennessey Cognac Jazz Search in New York City, which led to a slot at the Playboy Jazz Festival where he engendered many new friends and fans. This year also marked the release of his first CD, Roads Not Taken, prompting more critical interest in the U.S. and Latin America.
Silvano has continued to write and evolve while performing and recording with an impressive mix of artists including Randy Brecker, Donald Byrd, Larry Coryell, Paquito D’Rivera, Mark Egan, Sammy Figueroa, Terumasa Hino & the World Jazz All-Stars, Marc Johnson, Dave Liebman, Othello Molineaux, Melton Mustafa, Nathen Page, Claudio Roditi, David Lee Roth, Arturo Sandoval, Shakira, Ira Sullivan, Nestor Torres, Dave Valentin, and Paul Wertico.
Never satisfied or stationary, Silvano next returned to the University of Miami in 2002 where he earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Piano and Pedagogy. DownBeat magazine honors followed in 2005 with the “Best Jazz Instrumental Soloist” award for the 28th Annual “Student Music Awards.” An equally gifted composer, he also won in the category of “Original Song, Outstanding Performance” for his composition, “Avila”. This song was included in the follow up CD entitled Fostered. In 2007, indie label Dogleg Music, released a live recording of the Wertico/Egan/Monasterios Trio including more original songs. A successive release, The Magician (Savant Records) by Latin Jazz Grammy Nominee Sammy Figueroa features performances, arrangements, production, and two Monasterios compositions including the title track. This album was nominated for the 2008 Grammy Awards as "Best Latin Jazz Album" and subsequently Miami New Times named Silvano as "Best Jazz Musician" in their Best of Miami issue. Ever prolific, the next Figueroa CD is set to be released in 2011 and features new Monasterios manuscripts.
True to his personality and insatiable appetite for challenge, Silvano has formed a new quintet which has just completed a recording of his latest exploration in the form of eight new compositions, entitled Unconditional. While this latest work is likely destined to be classified as “Latin Jazz” with its assortment of indigenous percussion instruments and rhythms, it is entirely devoid of Latin cliche'. More precisely it showcases an artist with a complex understanding of his Venezuelan roots while steeped in the great American jazz tradition.
Relaxing back stage during Jazz concert, President of KCC Productions, Kimbery Chmura.
Fred Thomas occupies a very special niche in the history of R&B. As James Brown’s principal bassist since 1971, he participated in one the most prolific periods in the Godfather of Soul’s incredible career as a member of Brown’s band, the J.B.'s.
Fred can be heard on hits such as: “Hot Pants”, “Papa Don’t Take No Mess,” “Make it Funky,” "Get on the Good Foot," "Doing it to Death," "I'm a Greedy Man," "I Got Ants in My Pants," "There it Is," "Stoned to the Bone," and instrumental classics like “Pass the Peas” and “Gimme Some More.”
He's on the seminal "Live at the Apollo Vol. 3 Revolution of the Mind" and can be seen in "Soul Power" (2008) documentary of James Brown's 1974 concert in Zaire, and in the many James Brown "Soul Train" appearances.
In his band, Fred Thomas is front and center singing, playing bass and tearing into a mix of blues and soul classics and the JB hits he recorded on. An album of original material is on the way, so stay tuned!
From left to right, Silvano Monasteries, Sammy Figueroa and the late Lou Soloff who played with The Great band, Blood Sweat and Tears, he was a Masterful Trumpet player, he'll be remembered amongst his many recordings for his solo on the hit song, "Spinning wheels".
Jessie Jones Jr
Jazz is alive in South Florida and Jesse Jones jr. is here to prove it. The Miami native is a saxophonist extraordinaire and continues to be on the forefront of a burgeoning jazz renaissance in South Florida. Jesse and his brother, Melton Mustafa, who is one of the great trumpet players of our time has been a running force in music for many years.
Jesse Jones jr. is one of those hidden treasures that you can’t help but to share with the world. Jesse overwhelms you with his infectious positive attitude and dynamic stage presence.
Jesse Jones Jr. attended Mississippi Valley State University where he excelled in music, but his journey actually started in Miami where as a young kid he would listen to a neighbor practice his sax while playing along with Cannonball Adderley albums. “I loved that sound and knew right then I was going to be a musician for the rest of my life”.
After college Jones joined the military and became a member of the US Navy Show Band. He traveled throughout North and South America where he was given the opportunity to develop his showmanship skills. Besides playing the sax, clarinet and flute, Jesse sang, tap dance and did comedy skits, and found that he had a natural gift for getting the crowd to become part of him. “I just love to perform and make people feel good and satisfied with what they’re hearing and seeing”.
After serving out his four year term in the military, Jesse lived in Boston for a while, then back to his home town Miami, where he signed with Fantasy Records in 1996 and produced his first CD titled “Soul Serenade”. Most recently promoting his latest CD, released May 1st , 2009, “ The SO THEN Collection”. With this CD, you not only hear great music, but you can also taste the many sweet flavors coming from this wonderful musician/entertainer.
Through the many years of performing, music has treated me well. I have performed with Donald Byrd, Blue Mitchell, Dexter Gordon, Joe Williams, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Clark Terry, Allan Harris, Ira Sullivan, Melton Mustafa, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Monty Alexander, to name a few. Jesse's Quartet or whether forming a quintet with his brother Melton, brings brilliant ensemble work and always top quality music. The arrangements are intricate... an indication of the many years these musicians have been together as a unit.
They know each other well and it shows. A phenomenal reed player, Jesse is technically superior on the alto, soprano and baritone saxophone, as well as flute.
He combines the hard-bop influence of Cannonball Adderley, the funk of Hank Crawford, and the sweetness of Paul Desmond. Their influences may be detected within Jesse's riffs. Add to that some of the most unusual "scat" jazz singing when Jesse sings "straight" or through his horns, and the jazz audiences go wild. The humor is international in scope since these are not words but rather sounds that move and groove with the music. The Jesse Jones Jr. Quartet puts on a show audiences remember for a long time.
In addition to working with his own quartet, Jesse gigs with other performers and other bands as a free-lancer. His ability to captivate the audience with the classics, and adapt them to his own swinging interpretations, is legendary. “I can only thank God for His blessings. And with the love and encouragement of my wife Thelma, family, friends and incredible fans, my heart will continue to pour out the music that we love so well. Love, Peace and Jazz.
Bachata Band, South Beach Miami Florida.