Susan Frances

Susan Frances

29.01.2011

Cynthia Layne

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

Maybe something that you have often asked yourself is "What is neo-soul and nu-jazz," buzz words that seem to come up often now-a-days? These are terms that music writers like myself use to describe a new generation of soul and jazz artists, similarly to the way writers back in the mid-’80s called Bobby Brown the voice of new-jack FM radio. Singer/songwriter Cynthia Layne is an R&B/soul artist who believes that artists are not separated by generation gaps, because whether they s …

29.01.2011

Chris Geith

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

Chris Geith (pronounced "guy-t") is one of the lucky few who actually knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life from the moment he was able to climb up on a piano stool and sit beside his father. He would watch his father move his nimble fingers across the black and white keys of the piano with agility and total awareness of where those fingers needed to be to make beautiful sounds. Knowing how to make beautiful sounds with the piano gave meaning to life in young Geith‘s eyes.

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Keyboardist Jayson Tipp is absolutely elated to be playing with his bandmates from Under The Lake, when last they played was for their sophomore album Up For Air in 1996. Though the band members have changed since Under The Lake was originally formed in the early ‘90s with the release of their debut album Dive In from 1994, the current line-up have a chemistry that works like magic: Tipp on keyboards, Nathan Brown on bass, Quintin Gerard W. on saxophone and flute, D …

29.01.2011

Dee Lucas

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

Atlanta, Georgia might be known for being the home of the major league baseball team, The Braves, but bravery does not only run in the veins of the city’s sports teams. It is also found in Atlanta's denizen, Dee Lucas, who began playing the saxophone at the ripe age of 28 and bravely took steps to be active in contemporary smooth jazz music. He highlights, "I am considered a self-taught musician. Once I purchased my first sax at the age 28, I began to see …

29.01.2011

Ray Chew

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

A bandleader, versatile keyboardist, judicial negotiator, and devoted family man all describe Ray Chew equally. As the Music Director for NBC’s TV show The Singing Bee, Chew balances these duties with his numerous other projects that include being the Music Director for NBC’s TV series Showtime At the Apollo and managing Chew Entertainment Production alongside with his wife Vivian.

"My wife and partner Vivian Scott Chew are veterans of the business with the understa …

Woodwind instrumentalist, Mark Hollingsworth has one of the most outrageous and thrilling journeys that you may ever read about as narrated by him. Hollingsworth goes into depth about how he came into his own musicality after being a studio musician for a litany of recording artists from rock ‘n’ roll’s Alice Cooper and U2 to smooth crooners like Tom Jones and Luther Vandross. Hollingsworth latest solo album Chasing The Sun is the follow up to his debut album On Th …

The name "Shilts" is synonymous in jazz circles with saxophonist Paul Weimar, whose work as a member of the British jazz-funk ensemble, Down To The Bone is still associated with him today. And maybe that is for a good reason since on some of the Spirit Cruises in 2008, Shilts reunited with his band mates from Down To The Bone to play a handful of shows. One of those shows gave Shilts the opportunity to indulge the audience in one of his own compositions which he titled, "Back on the Hudson." The …
29.01.2011

Darren Rahn

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

One would think that saxophonist Darren Rahn would need a rolodex just to keep account of all of the hats that he has worn playing the roles of solo artist, composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, music programmer, and his latest addition, a member of Nu Groove Records smooth R&B/soul group, De’Nate’, fronted by keyboardist/programmer Nate Harasim and the beautiful siren Deborah Connors on lead vocals. Rahn stepped forward as a solo artist in 2007 with the release of his debut record, …

Free jazz saxophonist Frank Gratkowski portrays himself as an improvisational musician whose best material comes out when he is most vulnerable, performing live and being on the spot searching inside himself and feeling his way around the chords on his saxophone.

"Actually most of my recordings are live recordings," he remarks, "and I think I'm more open in a live situation than in the studio. Solo music, for example, I can’t do in the studio at all. I need an audience to focus and tr …

29.01.2011

Airborne

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

The six-man and one-woman contemporary jazz/world music ensemble Airborne, who call the heart of New Haven, Connecticut their home, are setting course for a tour in support of their latest release Turbulence from Tilt Records. Formed in 1988, Airborne is comprised of seven musicians who respect each others individuality and musical diversity which ranges from Latin, African, and Caribbean influences to R&B, soul, Gospel, and smooth jazz palates.

Core members Thomas Borino o …