Will Calhoun, the widely acclaimed two time Grammy winner drummer from the Bronx, New York, graduated from the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he received the prestigious Buddy Rich Jazz Masters Award for outstanding performance by a drummer.
Special Kudos for Will's drumming virtuosity include:
- Best New Drummer by Modern Drummer Magazine's Readers Poll
- Number One Progressive Drummer by Modern Drummer Magazine's Readers Poll three times
- Best Drummer by Rolling Stone Magazine's Critics Poll
- Visionary music Award from Columbia University Teachers College (Black Graduate Expo-Leadership to young African American Scholars Foundation)
Will’s unique blend of improvisational and hard rock drumming can be found on each of Living Colour's four Epic releases. In addition to his work with Living Colour, Will has recorded and/or toured with diverse artists including B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Jaco Pastorious, Oumou Sangare, Harry Belafonte, Pharoah Sanders, Jack Dejohnette, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, The Allman Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Marcus Miller, Dr.John, Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood, Wayne Shorter (on the Grammy-winning CD "High Life"), Lauryn Hill, and recorded with rappers Run-DMC and Public Enemy, and Mos Def. As a producer, player, and songwriter, Will has worked on Herb Alpert's Grammy-nominated CD, Colors.
Will's first jazz CD as a bandleader is entitled The Will Calhoun Quintet: Live at the Blue Note. The disc is an adventurous journey through Will's approach to acoustic Jazz, World and Ambient music. The line-up features Bobby Watson-sax, Terrell Stafford-trumpet, John Benitez-bass and Orrin Evans-piano. Will's song writing, arrangements and drumming on this CD are ground breaking. Although this was Will's first attempt at fronting a jazz group, Down Beat Magazine, Jazz Times, and BillBoard Magazine have given the CD top ratings. Drum Magazine's readers poll voted Will's CD 1st runner up for Drummer/Band leader.
Will has also recently worked with rapper Mos Def, both as a producer and performer, contributing several tracks from his band, Black Jack Johnson.
One of Will's latest creations is his follow-up release on the Halfnote label:Native Lands. Native Lands can be described as Jazz meets World, meets trance-inducing Urban music. Among those contributing are Pharoah Sanders, Mos Def, Buster Williams, Stanley Jordan, Kevin Eubanks, Marcus Miller and Wallace Roney, as well as Nana Vasconcelos from Brazil and Cheick Tidiane Seck from Mali.
Not many artists have the vision and artistic energy to be Grammy winners and contribute to so many genres: jazz, rock, hip-hop, ambient, et al, while concurrently producing, touring, creating new projects, working on films, and continually pushing the envelope. Will Calhoun has this creative vision, and he is doing an extraordinary job keeping music a spiritual and motivating force in his life.
For additional information visit www.willcalhoun.com/.
Christian Sands is a rising star in the world of jazz. He takes a fresh look at the entire language of jazz: stride, swing, bebop, progressive, fusion, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban. He says, “My music is about teaching the way of jazz and keeping it alive.”
Christian began playing the piano at age 3, composing at age 5, and his meteoric rise in the jazz world already includes two appearances at the 48th and 49th GRAMMY Awards, including an outrageous, highly publicized duet with legendary pianist Oscar Peterson. He was also featured as a special guest of jazz adjudicator and pianist Dr. Billy Taylor for his return performance in Washington, DC for Jazz at the Kennedy Center. He received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Latin Solo for the work Kenya Revisited. As a pianist, Christian Sands possesses an extensive vocabulary of patterns, textures, and structures which allow him to play in almost any style. He has four CDs to his credit. Sands wrote, arranged, and produced several songs demonstrating his ability as a performer and composer. He has also played on stage with “Christian McBride and Inside Straight,” and at the 48th and 49th GRAMMY Awards and has performed at countless Jazz Festivals including National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, Great Barrington Jazz Festival, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, New Haven Jazz Festival, Jazz Mobile with Wycliffe Gordon and New Orleans Jazz Festival with Bill Summers and the New Headhunters.
It seems at times he channels the spirits of jazz masters from all eras. He exemplifies the rising musical and spiritual aspirations of a singularly gifted musical soul. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Christian Sands doesn’t disappoint and you can be sure this star will continue rising for years to come!
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christian-Sands/41125489674
Born and raised in Newark, Antoinette Montague was originally drawn to music by her parents and later learned well from her mentors, Carrie Smith, Etta Jones, Della Griffin, and Myrna Lake.
Antoinette Montague’s love of humanity and music bring joy to many people. Jimmy Heath says, “Antoinette has the instrument, delivery and enunciation, when performing, that touches my soul.”
Antoinette’s electrifying impact on audiences is apparent in, Larry Luttenger, of the Central New York Jazz Arts Foundation’s review: “Packed houses, standing ovation, multiple encores — after a night like that it’s the law — your guest has to return for more. We had no alternative but to invite our cabaret artist — the pride of Newark NJ, the incomparable, bluesy, swinging Antoinette Montague — back once again to present an all-new show for us.”
After meeting up with her mentor, the renowned Etta Jones, Montague released her first CD, “Pretty Blues,” in 2006. She has appeared on the cover of Jazz Improv NY Magazine and on two book covers of Who’s Who in Jazz, Cabaret and Music. Antoinette has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Kitano Jazz, Jazzmobile’s Summer Breeze Concert Series and as curator and Mistress of Ceremonies for the tribute to Dr. Billy Taylor. She has also appeared at renowned performance venues like The Zebra Room in Harlem’s famous Lenox Lounge and the Blue Note, Jazz Standard, and more.
Antoinette’s album, “Behind The Smile” features a diverse repertoire of standards and originals. Today, Antoinette is happy to have the great Tommy James as her accompanist.
Antoinette has been a part of several Boards (Stamford CT Boys and Girls Club, Board of Better Business Bureau CT, VP International Women In Jazz), and acted as advisor to varied careers both inside and outside of the arts.
For more info: www.antoinettemontague.com/
Nat Adderley Jr. is best known for his work with Luther Vandross. Nat wrote (and arranged) Luther’s first top 20 pop hit, “Stop to Love”, and some other important Luther songs, including “Wait for Love” and the Grammy-nominated “Give me the Reason”.& Nat also arranged many of Luther’s most popular records, including “Superstar”, “Here and Now”, “If Only for One Night”, and “Creepin. More recently, Nat produced tracks on the last seven Vandross studio albums. These include “My Favorite Things”, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “Going Out of My Head”, “Knocks Me Off My Feet”, and “The Closer I Get To You”, a duet with Beyonce Knowles. That track also appears on Beyonce’s album Dangerously in Love, and it won the Grammy in 2004 for best R&B performance by a duo or group. In 2003, Nat produced Luther’s Live 2003 at Radio City Music Hall. Nat was Luther’s musical director from 1981 until his death.
Many other artists have had major successes with help from Nat Adderley Jr. Nat wrote “The Wave” for Kirk Whalum, arranged Natalie Cole’s 1987 hit recording of “When I Fall In Love”, produced “Just Another Lonely Night” for Johnny Gill, arranged most of Aretha Franklin’s album Jump To It, produced Gloria Lynne’s album No Detour Ahead, and did the string arrangement for Doc Powell’s Grammy-nominated version of “What’s Going On”.
Nat, of course, played piano (and/or keyboards) on all the above mentioned recordings, and many many more. Also, all the piano heard in the Broadway production of August Wilson’s Piano Lesson was on tape and was played by Nat Adderley Jr.
Recently Nat produced two tracks for the last Ruben Studdard CD, arranged for and played on half of the just-released (spring ’12) CD by Tom Scott featuring Paulette McWilliams, and provided the piano for the CD “Defining Me” by drummer Longineu Parsons of “Yellowcard”.
Nat has recently performed in jazz clubs and festivals in Asia, Europe and California with Tom Scott, toured Europe with clarinetist Don Byron, and played California, Florida, and the New York area with his own group.
Nat received his BA from Yale University in 1978.
Jazz House Kids is a community-based arts organization that provides year-round musical, educational and cultural programs to students k-12, teachers, adults and families from diverse backgrounds.
Internationally renowned jazz performers teach alongside our professional staff, offering students a wide range of creative programming that develops musical potential, leadership, and strengthens academic performance.
The "Jazz House" provides the framework inside which all students can learn the skills and principles required to play, sing, and appreciate America's homegrown music. Through music, mentoring and education we cultivate tomorrow’s global citizens so they may build vibrant communities where they live.
For more info: www.jazzhousekids.org
Festival produced and hosted by Sheila E. Anderson, author and on-air personality of WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM. (www.wbgo.org)