Guy Davis is eager to give it his all whether he's performing in traditional settings, like on the Main Stage in front of 15,000 people at a folk, jazz, or blues festival somewhere around the globe, or on nationally syndicated TV programs like "Late Show With David Letterman" or "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," or radio programs like "A Prairie Home Companion" or the BBC program with Paul Jones, or performing an assembly program at a school in the Basque region of northern Spain, or at an integrated school in South Carolina. Guy's influences are as broad and varied as his travels, from Blind Willie McTell and Fats Waller, to Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal, from Zora Neale Hurston, Garrison Keillor, to Ossie (his father) and Laura (his grandmother) Davis. He's a musician, composer, actor, director, and writer who blends all of his experiences to convey his love of the music.
Scott Robinson, one of today’s most wide-ranging instrumentalists, has been heard on tenor sax with Buck Clayton’s band, on trumpet with Lionel Hampton’s quintet, on alto clarinet with Paquito D’Rivera’s clarinet quartet, and on bass sax with the New York City Opera. On these and other instruments, he has been heard with a cross-section of jazz greats representing nearly every imaginable style of the music, from Braff to Braxton. His discography now includes more than 190 recordings. Scott has performed in some thirty nations, in such diverse venues as Carnegie Hall, the Village Vanguard, the Library of Congress, and the Vienna Opera House. Scott’s group was selected to be the closing act at the Knitting Factory’s Sun Ra Festival in New York City. Scott has also written magazine articles and liner notes, and was an invited speaker at the Congressional Black Caucus Jazz Forum in Washington, D.C.
Martin Wind, bassist and composer, has become a regular at all major jazz clubs in New York and is also in demand as a session player. His credits include movies such as The Alamo, Intolerable Cruelty, Mona Lisa Smiles, and Fur. He has recorded and/or performed with the following artists, among many others: Gidon Kremer, Clark Terry, Mark Murphy, Slide Hampton, Toots Thielemans, Jim McNeely, Buddy DeFranco, The Metropole Orchestra, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Eddie Daniels, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Bud Shank, Johnny Griffin, Bucky Pizzarelli, Mike Stern, Terell Stafford, Larry Goldings, and the Village Vanguard Orchestra.
Antonio Hart, an excellent altoist who gained recognition for his work with Roy Hargrove, studied classical saxophone at the Baltimore School for the Arts for four years. He sat in with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, toured with Hargrove for a few years, and in the mid-'90s formed his own group. Hart, who is most influenced by Cannonball Adderley and Gary Bartz, has recorded for Novus with Hargrove, and as a leader on a number of his own CDs.
Hilary Gardner grew up in Wasilla, Alaska, infatuated with New York City. Her stunning Anzic Records debut, The Great City, is part love letter, part lament to New York and the big dreams it represents. The Great City can be heard on radio stations across the country, and the album has garnered effusive praise from the jazz community, including DownBeat magazine, which named Hilary "an artist to watch in 2015" and a Rising Star Female Vocalist. Hilary is a founding member of Duchess, a Boswell Sisters-inspired vocal trio with Anzic Records label-mates Amy Cervini and Melissa Stylianou. The group's 2015 calendar included performances at the Ottawa Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Saratoga Jazz Festival, and the Monterey Jazz Festival, as well as appearances at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Rubin Museum. Hilary performs as a leader throughout New York City and is a frequent soloist with symphonies throughout the United States.
Amy Cervini studied classical piano as a teenager in an advanced program at Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music. While attending the Etobicoke School of the Arts, she focused on the saxophone and performed with the Toronto All-Star Big Band. Although she sang solos in choirs and was called upon for vocals as one of the few women in big bands, singing was peripheral to her studies until she auditioned to attend the New England Conservatory in Boston. She was auditioning on her principal instrument, the alto saxophone, when the instructor asked her if she sang. She ventured “Bye Bye Blackbird,” and the audition board was knocked out. “It’s ironic, but if I hadn’t have sung for them, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into NEC,” Cervini recalls. “I was a double-major in saxophone and voice there until about half-way through, when I dropped the sax. I was self-conscious, and still am, about my improvising skills on the horn, whereas singing felt natural for me, everything about it. But being a saxophone player was crucial to me as singer in that it really helped my feel. I started out as a jazz player, not in musical theater; as a teenager, I was listening to Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, and Paul Desmond, not show tunes. So, I learned what it was to be in a band, inside a band. Now I can make my own charts, really lead a group and swing in a natural way; singers sometimes have a bad reputation in those areas, but being a player was invaluable for helping me really develop that feel, as well as the confidence to front a band.”
Melissa Stylianou has been turning heads and capturing hearts since the turn of this century, from her native Toronto to her adopted home of New York City, from intimate club residencies to top festival stages. She has won fans far and wide with her recording projects, along with praise from DownBeat to The New Yorker. Stylianou’s newest album, No Regrets, her fifth disc and second for the New York-based Anzic Records, is about the joy of spontaneity and making the most of the moment. She recorded a set of jazz standards and other favorites in a live-to-two-track, noon-to-night studio session backed by a simpatico trio of New York all-stars: pianist Bruce Barth, double-bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Matt Wilson, with stylish guest spots by clarinetist Anat Cohen and alto saxophonist Billy Drewes. As ever, Stylianou’s singing is a delight, reinforcing the description by Grammy-nominated pianist Fred Hersch, who says: “Melissa has it all – a gorgeous instrument, superb musicianship and great taste.”
Helen Sung is a pianist/composer who hails from Houston, Texas, where she attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. An aspiring classical pianist before jazz intervened during undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Sung went on to graduate from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (at the New England Conservatory) and win the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition. Now based in New York City, Sung has worked with such luminaries as the late Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Steve Turre, Wayne Shorter, and MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter. With five albums as leader, Sung's sixth release, Anthem For A New Day (2014), is her major label debut on Concord Records. With appearances at major festivals/venues including Newport, Monterey, Detroit, SFJAZZ, and Carnegie Hall, Sung is also stepping onto the international stage: her "NuGenerations" Project toured southern Africa as a US State Department Jazz Ambassador. Other engagements include a European CD Release Tour for Anthem, the London Jazz Festival, and Shanghai's "JZ Festival." Sung also currently performs with fine ensembles including the Mingus Big Band and Dynasty Band, T.S. Monk Band, and Terri Lyne Carrington's Mosaic Project.
Ed Palermo is not a “business as usual” musician. After all, when most people think of “big bands” they think of Duke and Dorsey. But go to see Ed Palermo’s Big Band and you might hear Zappa, Hendrix, the blues of Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield, or one of Ed’s own compositions, loaded with lush turns and unexpected twists. Ed’s interpretation of the music of iconoclastic composer Frank Zappa has brought him wide recognition. His first CD of this material, The Ed Palermo Big Band Plays the Music of Frank Zappa, garnered rave reviews. DownBeat magazine gave the CD a 4-star review. Palermo’s second CD of Zappa material, entitled Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance has been received with equal enthusiasm from publications all over the world, including another rave review from DownBeat.
Rob Paparozzi is a New Jersey-based frontman, singer, and harmonica player who has been a blues performer since 1967. But Rob is far from being strictly a blues musician. In fact, he's at home playing a wide range of music, from rock to blues to jazz to pop. This versatility is reflected in the long and remarkably diverse list of major artists Rob has worked with, including B.B. King, Dr. John, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Carole King, Roberta Flack, Culture Club, Cyndi Lauper, Randy Newman, Jimmy McGriff, and James Galway.