NAPA JAZZ FESTIVAL 2022 Artist Lineup

Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper​ is the leader of a new sonic paradigm with a career that bridges musical and artistic genres.Evolution is his hallmark. Glasper’s breakout crossover album ​Black Radio​ changed the face of the genre and set a new expectation for what popular music could be. The album won him the Grammy for best R&B album and established him as the musician of choice for some of the world’s most iconic artists; notably playing keys throughout Kendrick Lamar’s ​To Pimp A Butterfly, ​ winning another Grammy for the elastic track “These Walls”. The ongoing Black Radio series has since become Glasper’s calling card, upholding a place at the heart of a trailblazing community: from long-time sonic brothers Mos Def and Bilal, to legends including Ledisi, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Jill Scott, and Erykah Badu.

Snoop Dogg

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khanis one of the worldsmost gifted and celebrated music icons. A singer, songwriter,actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and activist, Chaka has influenced generations ofmusic creators during her four decades as an artist. A ten-time GRAMMY®Award winner, shehas therare ability to sing in a number of musical genres, including R&B, pop, rock, gospel,country, world music, and classical. She is revered by millions of fans as well as her peers forher timeless, unmatched vocal style and image. The late, great Miles Davis noted that Chaka“sings like my horn.” And none other than the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has said thatChaka “is a one-of-a-kind, premier vocalist.”

Kamasi Washington

When Kamasi Washington released his tour de force LP, The Epic, in 2015, it instantly set him on a path as our generation’s torchbearer for progressive, improvisational music that would open the door for young audiences to experience music unlike anything they had heard before. The 172-minute odyssey featuring his 10-piece band, the next step, was littered with elements of hip-hop, classical and r&b music, all major influences on the young saxophonist and bandleader, who exceeds any notions of what “jazz” music is. released to critical acclaim, the epic won numerous “Best Of” awards, including the inaugural American music prize and the Gilles Peterson worldwide album of the year. Washington followed that work with collaborations with other influential artists such as Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Run The Jewels, Ibeyi and the creation of “harmony of difference,” a standalone multimedia installation during the prestigious 2017 biennial at the Whitney museum of American Art in New York City. His mass appeal continues to grow, drawing vibrant, multi-ethnic and multi-generational crowds with tour stops at the world’s most prominent festivals such as Coachella, Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, Bonnaroo and primavera.  Next up for Washington is his highly anticipated sophomore album, due for release in the summer of 2018.

Maxwell

Maxwell has artfully managed to transfix music lovers for more than two decades, releasing five studio albums, all in his own time and all duly anointed as classics. The soul singer redefined soul music in April of 1996 when he released his critically acclaimed debut on Columbia, ‘Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite.’ It earned Grammy nominations, double platinum status and RIAA gold for the single, “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder).” The platinum albums ‘Embrya’ (1998) and ‘Now’ (2001) followed. After eight years, 2009’s ‘BLACKsummers’night’ debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and won two Grammys, including Best R&B Album. To date, Maxwell has achieved 4 platinum album certifications from the RIAA. His last album ‘blackSUMMERS’night,’ the second installment of his musical trilogy, earned Maxwell his third Grammy (Best R&B Song for “Lake By The Ocean”) an NAACP Image Award (Outstanding Male Artist), and a Soul Train Award (Best R&B/Soul Male Artist). Recently honored with the “Legend” Award at the 2021 Soul Train Awards, Maxwell’s upcoming ‘blacksummers’NIGHT’ will cap off a journey he first embarked upon over a decade ago as one of the most-anticipated R&B events of 2022.

Talib Kweli

Black Star is an American Hip Hop duo, formed in 1997, from Brooklyn, New York. The duo is composed of artists, Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Black Star arose from the underground Hip Hop movement in the late 1990s, which was in large part due to Rawkus Records, an independent record label stationed in New York City. They released one album, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star on August 26, 1998. The record received critical acclaim, but only moderate commercial success. Black Star (and other members of the Native Tongues Posse) helped shape underground alternative rap, bringing it into the mainstream. Both Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s solo careers have continued with both commercial and critical success. Black Star’s content is deeply rooted in social consciousness and political issues. The project was released in the wake of the deaths of both The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, during which an adolescent Hip Hop culture suffered in the vacuum of iconic leadership provided by Smalls and Shakur. Black Star attempted to reconcile these tensions in their songs “Definition” and “Re: Definition” which share the same lyrics: “I said one, two, three / It’s kinda dangerous to be an emcee / They shot Tupac and Biggie / Too much violence in hip-hop, why-ooo”

yasiin bey

Black Star is an American Hip Hop duo, formed in 1997, from Brooklyn, New York. The duo is composed of artists, Mos Def and Talib Kweli. Black Star arose from the underground Hip Hop movement in the late 1990s, which was in large part due to Rawkus Records, an independent record label stationed in New York City. They released one album, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star on August 26, 1998. The record received critical acclaim, but only moderate commercial success. Black Star (and other members of the Native Tongues Posse) helped shape underground alternative rap, bringing it into the mainstream. Both Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s solo careers have continued with both commercial and critical success. Black Star’s content is deeply rooted in social consciousness and political issues. The project was released in the wake of the deaths of both The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, during which an adolescent Hip Hop culture suffered in the vacuum of iconic leadership provided by Smalls and Shakur. Black Star attempted to reconcile these tensions in their songs “Definition” and “Re: Definition” which share the same lyrics: “I said one, two, three / It’s kinda dangerous to be an emcee / They shot Tupac and Biggie / Too much violence in hip-hop, why-ooo”

Erykah Badu

Thundercat

Thundercat (Stephen Bruner) released his most recent album, It Is What It Is, in the spring of 2020. The record won Best Progressive R&B Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards and features musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole, Pedro Martins and Zack Fox. Outside of his solo work, Thundercat keeps busy across numerous genres. In 2021, his dreamy vocals and masterful bass playing feature on “Black Gold,” the theme song for the Netflix original anime Yasuke, soundtracked by Flying Lotus. In addition, Thundercat recently collaborated on releases from Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson Paak), HAIM, H.E.R., and Kaytranada, as well as contributing an original song for the final season and soundtrack from HBO’s ‘Insecure.’ Thundercat’s latest work has seen him branching outside of music, making his television debut with a recurring role as The Modifier in the Star Wars series ‘The Book of Boba Fett,’ and appearing as the face of recent fashion/brand campaigns for Kerwin Frost and Kenny Beats, as well as attending Paris Fashion Week as a guest of Spanish luxury designer LOEWE. The name Thundercat refers to the cartoon he’s loved since childhood and an extension of his wide-eyed, vibrant, often superhuman approach to his craft. In 2020 things came full circle when Bruner voiced a character (and penned a song) named “Grune the Destroyer” in Cartoon Network’s Thundercats Roar animated series.

MADLIB

Madlib, aka Beat Konducta (born Madlib the Bad Kid 1922-1993) was an American comedian best known for his starring role on the television sitcom Quasimoto and Son. He was 3/4 African-American and 1/4 Blazed. Beat Konducta was born in Oakland and raised in Oxnard. During World War II, Beat Konducta used illegal means to avoid the draft and engaged in various criminal activities. Moving to Los Angeles in the early 1940s, he was a well-known associate of Malcolm Little, later known as Malcolm X. According to Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Beat Konducta was dishwasher in the speakeasy where Malcolm worked as a waiter. While Little was known as “Detroit Red” from having grown up in Michigan, Beat Konducta was dubbed “Oxnard Green.” Beat Konducta gained notoriety with his raunchy nightclub act. His stand-up performances were later released as “party” albums and became very popular. Beat Konducta paved the way for later black comedians such as Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. He was one of the first black comics to play to white audiences on the Las Vegas Strip. Beat Konducta used his starring role on Quasimoto and Sonto help get jobs got his friends such as LaWanda Page, Slappy White and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita. Beat Konducta also battled with producers for higher paychecks and creative control of the show. In 1977, Quasimoto and Son was cancelled. Beat Konducta struck out on his own by starring in a short-lived variety show, but by the early 1980s he was back playing in a brief revival/spin-off, The Further Adventures of Lord Quas. Beat Konducta has numerous battles with the IRS that culminated in a 1989 raid in which agents seized his house and assets (including some of the jewelery right off his body). Beat Konducta appeared to be making a comeback with a 1991 series in which he co-starred with his long-time friend Della Reese when a fatal heart attack struck him on the set. Ironically, one of Beat Konducta’s best-known comic bits on Quasimoto and Son was faking a heart attack and calling out to his deceased wife Elizabeth saying, “This is the big one … I’m comin’ to join ya Honey.”

Chris Dave & The Drumhedz

Kenny Garrett

With his illustrious career that includes hallmark stints with Miles Davis, Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, as well as a heralded career as a solo artist that began more than 30 years ago, Kenny Garrett is easily recognized as one of modern jazz’s brightest and most influential living masters. And with the marvelous Sounds From The Ancestors, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Garrett shows no signs of resting on his laurels. Kenny Garrett’s latest release, Sounds From The Ancestors, is a multi-faceted album. Indeed, Sounds From The Ancestors reflects the rich jazz, R&B, and gospel history of his hometown of Detroit. More important though, it also reverberates with a modern cosmopolitan vibrancy – notably the inclusion of music coming out of France, Cuba, Nigeria and Guadeloupe.

Flying Lotus

It’s impossible to examine the music of the 2010s without considering Steven Ellison, aka Flying Lotus. A creative of many mediums, Ellison is just as likely to appear at Sundance with an experimental film as he is to headline a music festival. His run of six studio albums, featuring collaborators like Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu, David Lynch, and longtime friend Thundercat, solidified him as one of the decade’s driving musical forces. So renowned is his aptitude that everyone from Kendrick Lamar, who recruited Ellison for the landmark To Pimp A Butterfly, to Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim turns to him for inspiration. Pitchfork designated the LA-based artist an icon of the past 25 years, while the Recording Academy nominated him as Producer of the Year at the 63rd Grammy Awards.

Growing up in LA, Ellison found himself surrounded by artistic inspiration. His lineage includes relations to musical legends, Marilyn McLeod and Alice Coltrane, and his interests spanned everything from beat-making to anime. By the late 2000s, his ability to incorporate jazz, hip-hop, and nebulous, futuristic elements had established him within LA’s famed Low End Theory and beyond. While he himself signed to the famous Warp label, Ellison began a label of his own, Brainfeeder, putting out music by Grammy-recognized artists such as Thundercat, George Clinton, Kamasi Washington, and Hiatus Kaiyote.

Thanks to his passion for animation, experimental films, and the future, Ellion’s visual output has been equally as expansive, provocative, and as avant-garde. His live sets draw acclaim for their immersive visuals that engulf him and his machinery, from behind which he’ll emerge as his rap alter ego, Captain Murphy. This attention to the visual details of his compositions translates over to the silver screen as well. His music is strongly associated with Adult Swim, one of Ellison’s longtime champions and creative partners. More recently, Ellison has delved deeper into the art of visual storytelling. He directed Kuso (2016), a body horror film that premiered at Sundance, and served as an executive producer as well as composer for Netflix’s Yasuke, starring Lakeith Stanfield as the titular samurai. In tandem with his musical talents, Ellison’s visual artwork solidifies him as one of the foremost creatives of his time.

Terrace Martin

A three-time GRAMMY-nominated artist/producer/multi-instrumentalist from the Crenshaw District, Terrace Martin is renowned as being one of the top jazz musicians in the world and has become a creative engine at the epicenter of LA’s progressive hip-hop scene. His noteworthy production has included major collaborations with Kendrick Lamar (good kid, M.A.A.D. city & the GRAMMY-winning To Pimp a Butterfly), Travis Scott, Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, and many other influential artists. Among the most versatile musicians and producers of his generation, Terrace’s path is leading him in parallel with the greats including Quincy Jones and Dr. Dre, while also launching his vibrant, progressive, genre-crossing record label, Sounds of Crenshaw.

Ledisi

2021 Grammy winner, Ledisi is a twelve time Grammy nominated powerhouse vocalist with a career spanning almost two decades. She has truly earned a place in the pantheon of the greatest singers of her generation. Ledisi is a favorite of The Obamas and a long list of icons including the late-Prince, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and so many more.  She has headlined two nationally sold-out tours, performed alongside Dave Matthews, Kelly Clarkson, Vince Gill and Maxwell as well as jazz greats Herbie Hancock and Patti Austin. Utilizing and developing her versatile skills as a singer/ songwriter, music producer, author, playwright, film producer and now CEO of her record label Listen Back Entertainment/BMG.Ledisi is excited about launching several exciting projects in the near future. When you speak of women in entertainment Ledisi is on her way to becoming a crucial part of that conversation. “I am finally realizing my limitless potential as a creative and also now as a businesswoman.”

D Smoke

Smoke gained global notoriety in 2019 as champion and undisputed breakout star of Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow. Smoke showcased himself as a raw lyricist, classically trained musician, and cultural activist with “something to say”. Hailing from Inglewood, California, two-time GRAMMY-nominated artist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, D Smoke, released his unapologetic sophomore offering War & Wonders on September 24, 2021.D Smoke received a NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding New Artist. As a Black, Bilingual Rapper, Musician, and CEO, Smoke utilizes his lived experiences to create music and opportunities that bridge the cultural gaps seemingly present between Black and Brown communities, and the have and have-nots.

BJ The Chicago Kid

It’s been a long time coming for BJ the Chicago Kid, and not just because, after four mixtapes and one indie classic, he’s now dropping his major-label debut on Motown, the modern yet deeply soulful In My Mind. You’ve been hearing his voice everywhere though, on the songs by some of the greatest artists of our era (punctuating tracks by Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Kehlani and ScHoolboy Q’s Grammy Award-nominated smash “Studio.”). Notable Collaborations include Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper, Dom Kennedy, Freddie Gibbs, Ty Dolla $ign, Xzibit and, most recently, OG Maco, Joey Bada$$ and Hannibal Burress.

The Soul Rebels

Eight men pick up shiny brass and drum instruments, lock into an unspoken groove and
rotate genres like your favorite playlist shifting from funk, jazz and R&B to hip-hop, pop
and beyond with fire, focus and fluidity. New Orleans-bred staple THE SOUL
REBELS expand musical boundaries with an unwavering commitment to originality and
innovation through genre-bending songs and performance collaborations with the likes
of Katy Perry, Nas, Metallica, Big Freedia and G-Eazy. Brass sensation. The Soul Rebels started with an idea – to expand upon the pop music they loved on the radio and the New Orleans brass tradition they grew up on. They took that tradition and blended funk and soul with elements of hip hop, jazz and rock all within a brass band context. The band has built a career around an eclectic live show that harnesses the power of horns and drums in a deep pocket funk party-like atmosphere. The Soul Rebels continue to chart new territory as they feature in major films, tour globally, and combine topnotch musicianship with songs that celebrate dancing, life, funk and soul.

GZA

Considered one of the founding fathers of hip-hop, GZA is one of the most recognizable music artists in the world. Gary Grice, better known by his stage name GZA a.k.a. The Genius, is an American hip-hop artist and founding member of the seminal hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan. Within the group, he is known as the “spiritual head,” being both the oldest and the first to receive a record deal. Steve Huey of Allmusic has called him “one of the best lyricists of the 1990’s,” while the editors of About.com ranked him #17 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987-2007), making him the highest-ranking Wu-Tang Clan member on the list. As a co-founder of the Science Genius program, GZA educates students about science through hip-hop, one of today’s most dominant cultural forces. He enters classrooms as an artist and provides a model for students to communicate what they learn in science class. As a child, GZA’s interest in science far outmatched his interest in school. His enthusiasm for the sciences heavily influenced his music, however, GZA doesn’t just rap about science. He educates listeners about fundamental scientific principles in a new and exciting way, helping audiences understand how we are all connected to the natural world and the universe around us.

Corinne Bailey Rae

From Leeds, England, singer/songwriter/musician Corinne Bailey Rae shot to stardom with her self-titled #1 UK debut album in 2006, featuring the global hits “Put Your Records On” and “Like A Star.” Bailey Rae has received two GRAMMY AWARDS, two MOBOS, alongside multiple nominations including BRIT and BET Awards. Bailey Rae returned in 2016 with “boundary-defying, epic music” (NPR) for her third studio album, The Heart Speaks In Whispers, also declared “the best R&B of 2016” (The Guardian). The album featured the stunning “Green Aphrodisiac” named “10 best R&B songs of 2016” (Billboard) and selected by President Obama for his summer playlist. The new songs soared in her live performances as Bailey Rae embarked on a Worldwide tour, including festivals and a special guest appearance for Stevie Wonder’s BST Hyde Park London concert. Touring highlights from 2017 include: New Orleans Jazz Fest, Playboy Jazz Fest (Hollywood Bowl), Singapore Jazz Fest, and Glastonbury. Bailey Rae continues to collaborate and perform with artists across musical genres, including Mary J Blige, Al Green, Herbie Hancock, KING, Paul McCartney, Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Questlove, Salaam Rami, RZA, Tyler The Creator, Paul Weller, Stevie Wonder, Tracey Thorn, Logic, Mick Jenkins, and many more!

Emily King

Emily King, born and raised in New York City, began her career with the release of her first album East Side Story. Her magical lyricism and the dynamic delivery earned Emily her first Grammy nomination in the Best R&B Album category and she never looked back. Hits like “Georgia” from her Seven Ep, “Distance” from her album Switch, and “Remind Me” from her album Scenery have made Emily King one of R&B’s most beloved recording artists. Looking at 2019, the success continued with back to back Grammy nominations for “Look At Me Now” in the Best R&B Song category (2019) and for “See Me” in the Best R&B Performance category (2020). Throughout 2021, King has been playing to sold out crowds from New York City to Los Angeles as she celebrates the 10-year anniversary of The Seven EP. Playing songs from the critically acclaimed release including “Georgia”, “No More Room”, and “Sides”, King will continue the run into 2022.

Keyon Harrold

Keyon Harrold was born and raised in Ferguson, MO, the St. Louis suburb that tore into America’s national consciousness in 2014 with the police shooting of Michael Brown and the bitter protests and riots that followed. While Ferguson looms large in Harrold’s album The Mugician, it examines our troubled times through a far wider lens than any one tragedy. Sweeping and cinematic, the music draws on elements of jazz, classical, rock, blues, and hip hop to create something uniquely modern, unmistakably American. Guests including Pharoahe Monch, Gary Clark, Jr., Big K.R.I.T., Guy Torry, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Robert Glasper add to the record’s eclectic nature, but it ultimately triumphs as a unified, cohesive whole both because of Harrold’s virtuosic skill as a trumpeter and songwriter and because of his relentlessly optimistic belief in brighter days to come. It’s a monumental task, one that calls for tremendous empathy and sensitivity. To give voice to the silenced requires more than just talent and ambition, it requires faith, imagination, strength, and determination. Above all, it requires perspective. Fortunately, that is what Keyon Harrold brings most of all.

Derrick Hodge

Derrick Hodge is one of our moment’s most complete and complex musicians. A prolific composer, conductor, musical director, bandleader, producer bassist and advocate, Hodge has played on some of music’s most iconic albums, written & performed breakthrough orchestral arrangements and compositions, scored an impressive catalog of film and television work and created evocative sonic installations for prestigious cultural institutions, all alongside his work as an activist in the field of emerging young musicians. Hodge’s body of work speaks to a sense of social responsibility that he carries as keenly as his creativity. Whether collaborating with giants, writing for the big screen, forging new paths for orchestral composition, or creating outreach projects like providing access to his symphonic scores and original arrangements to HBCUs & inner-city Music Programs, his work has the telltale trademark of always provoking social commentary, awareness or insight. Here we find the fundamental character of Hodge; an incurably hopeful and humble man, who, through his work and his art, has made the world a definitively more beautiful place.

Chief Adjuah

Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah [formally Christian Scott] is a two-time Edison Award-Winning, six-time Grammy-Nominated sonic architect, trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, designer of innovative technologies and musical instruments (Adjuah Trumpet, Siren, Sirenette, and Chief Adjuah Bow), founder and CEO of the Stretch Music app company and record label, and crowned Chieftain of the Xodokan Nation of the maroon tribes of New Orleans. He is the grandson of legendary Big Chief, Donald Harrison Sr., and the nephew of jazz innovator and legendary saxophonist-composer, Dr. Big Chief Donald Harrison, Jr. Since 2001, Adjuah has released thirteen critically acclaimed studio recordings, four live albums, and one greatest hits collection. He is known for developing the harmonic convention
known as the “forecasting cell” for his use of an unvoiced tone in his playing, emphasizing breath over vibration at the mouthpiece known as the whisper technique, and is widely regarded as the progenitor of the Stretch Music sound.

TH1RT3EN (Paraoahe Monch, Daru Jones, Marcus Machado)

th1rt3en is what you would get if Led Zeppelin and Kendrick Lamar had a baby and raised it in Jamaica, Queens. The gritty production coupled with live instrumentation and exquisite lyricism creates a unique yet familiar sound that has been tried before but hasn’t ever reached this level of artistry. The brainchild of legendary emcee Pharoahe Monch, who is joined by Jack White drummer Daru Jones and guitarist Marcus Machado, th1rt3en is aggressive, abrasive, often irreverent and fearless with their examination of the world today. Regarding the band name Pharoahe says, “I think consciousness is spreading and we are becoming inherently more aware of the evil that has kept the world in darkness. 13 is the number of the alpha and the omega. Death of an age and birth of a new enlightenment.”

DOMi & JD Beck

To date, if you wanted to learn about DOMi & JD BECK—the internet’s most hyped jazz duo—you had to visit their website, click a rat playing saxophone, and read a story about a 12-year-old physicist (DOMi Louna) and a 6-year-old sheep investigator (JD Beck). Let’s fix that. “My philosophy of life is don’t take shit too seriously,” saysDOMi Louna, born Domitille Degalle. And that’s fair. But the vibrant world she and her collaborator have given us demands exploration. Their long-awaited debut album—which will be released by Anderson .Paak’s new label APESHIT in partnership with the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records—is an attempt to bottle their goofy, very virtuosic magic. Their music finds both humor and greatness in harmonic complexity and rhythmic shiftiness, abruptly adopting and ditching tempos, toying with time signatures, and sneaking extra beats into bridges. The collaboration began under silly circumstances. DOMi Louna was a teen protegé at Berklee by way of the Paris Conservatory; JD, three years her junior, had gigged since grade school around his hometown, Dallas—first in producer Jah-Born’s band where he duetted with MPC beatmakers and DJs spinning Dilla. In 2018, they were both invited to join an ensemble performing at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show and played in a room full of blaring instrumental demos, surrounded by a chaotic din. They bonded over gauche keyboard effects and mom jokes, and a more audible jam that night sparked interest in working more. Along the ride, DOMi & JD BECK have sat in with Herbie Hancock and backed Thundercat, Ariana Grande, Mac DeMarco,Eric André, and more. They also co-wrote “Skate” on .Paak’s GRAMMY-winning album with Bruno Mars as Silk Sonic. 

Phony Ppl

Liberation is both the modus operandi and main ingredient of the fearless five-man band Phony Ppl. Comprised of the cream of Brooklyn’s young musician crop, each member is a product of musical parents who gifted their children exposure to the greatest, from Mandrill to Bossa Nova, and, most importantly, wings for exploration and self-discovery. The result is a collective that is as limitless as its music. The warmth of lyrics are mainly credited to lead vocalist Elbee Thrie, a former Manhattan School of Music student whose vocals possess a disarming charm and lyrics glowed by advanced perspective and retrospection (“I broke out of my shell just to find that I’m living by myself”). Elbee also made an appearance on the new Snakehips EP “iii’m Not Sorry.” Co-writing, keys and arrangements are handled by trained composer, Aja Grant, who also produces for artists like Mac Miller. The two-man string section is original School of Rock alum Elijah Rawk (also a member of Princess Nokia’s band) and Bari Bass, Phony Ppl’s visual artist and bass player. The crew’s heartbeat is percussionist and former Music Conservatory study Matthew Byas (his father is DJ Jazzy Jay of the legendary Zulu Nation). You can catch Matthew in the studio with Domo Genesis of Odd Future.

Alex Isley

KIEFER & AMBER (OF MOONCHILD)

Marcus Strickland Twi-Life

Born in Gainesville and raised in Miami, FL (1979), Grammy-Award nominated tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland has been active on the New York jazz scene since the 1990s. He developed his chops alongside twin brother, drummer E.J. Strickland, with a uniquely rhythmic sensibility. Marcus’ band and concept project, Twi-Life, thrives at the intersection of jazz and Hip Hop, and here Strickland becomes beat maker, composer, as well as saxophonist. Playing with the meaning of ‘twilight’ emphasizing the dichotomy as well as connection between day and night, this project stresses the necessity to stretch out artistically, beyond the limits of category or genre. His 2020 music video On My Mind remix featuring Bilal and emcee Pharoahe Monch with street dancer Storyboard P, premiered with Afropunk and won Best Music Video at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and Best Body at the London Music Video Festival, among other accolades. Strickland has performed with McCoy Tyner, Tom Harrell, Nicholas Payton, Wynton Marsalis, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Big Band, Dave Douglas, Keyon Harrold, and Mos Def, among others. Marcus’ forthcoming independent album, The Universe’s Wildest Dream, urges for a raising of consciousness about the random and delicate miracle of life on Planet Earth. He spends his time between New York and Miami, where he serves as Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Studio Music at the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

Butcher Brown

Pulsing from the nerve center of Jellowstone Studios in Richmond VA, Butcher Brown takes careful note of the history and legacy of jazz and throws caution to the wind. Their musical vibe blends jazz with hip hop, funk, rap, rock and soul. The group honors each musical genre and, at the same time, challenges traditional musical boundaries. The result is their most exciting collection of tracks to date. Butcher Brown features Tennishu, Morgan Burrs, Corey Fonville, Andrew Randazzo, and DJ Harrison.

Isaiah Sharkey

Guitar virtuoso, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, educator and activist are just a few titles used to describe the musical powerhouse known as Isaiah Sharkey. Hailing from a musical family in Chicago, he picked up his first guitar when he was just 3 years old. Creating music came naturally to him and it wasn’t long before his family realized he had an irrefutable gift. By the age of 14, Sharkey was performing in clubs in Chicago and a few short years later he had piqued the interest of music industry giants like The Isley Brothers, D’Angelo, for whom he won his first Grammy Award, John Mayer, Patti LaBelle and many others. Blending his background in rock, gospel, jazz, R&B, blues, and funk, Sharkey has created his own original sound with an unmistakable dose of soul. His highly anticipated debut album Love.Life.Live. was released in September of 2017 and earned him the iHeart Radio Artist of the Month Award in November for his single “It’s a Shame” featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff. His sophomore album Love is the Key: The Cancerian Theme was released in June of 2019. During the Covid 19 pandemic, Sharkey wrote and recorded with a few of his colleagues including Cory Henry and Common. Sharkey is also recording new music for his latest release and gearing up for his U.S. and European tour this summer.

Frédéric Yonnet

French-born, urban jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet crushes every preconceived notion you’ve ever had about the harmonica. With each performance, stereotypical walls come tumbling down as Yonnet presents the harmonica in a refreshing and modern context that is boldly stylish, enchantingly cool and absorbingly brilliant. Just listen to his sound. It funks. It rocks. It hips and hops. It grooves. It sways. It testifies. It prays. It has a reverence for gospel, blues and jazz while appealing to a generation bred on pop, rock and hip-hop. Yonnet’s musical skill and technique and impressive stage presence has landed him on tour with the late Prince and he can frequently be seen dueling on-stage with music legend Stevie Wonder. His collaboration with Dave Chappelle, aptly called Dave Chappelle’s Juke Joint featuring Frederic Yonnet and the Band with No Name, showcases his harmonica chops, improvisational skills, and music-directing prowess. While Yonnet enjoys the excitement of performing with some of the world’s greatest music legends, he knows that it’s the technical mastery of his instrument — along with innovative collaborations and solo projects — that will earn him recognition as one of the greatest harmonica players of all time.

DJ Jazzy Jeff

Since 1985, DJ Jazzy Jeff has wowed us with his flawless turntable skills, innovative production, and musical versatility. With the success of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, his acclaimed production company A Touch of Jazz, a DMC Championship, and multiple GRAMMY and American Music Awards wins and nominations, DJ Jazzy Jeff proves time and again that he’ll always be a force to be reckoned with. His love of music shines through in everything he does. And he continues to represent with his solo projects, collaborations, mixtapes, and live shows. His love of music shines through in everything he does. Over the course of his career, DJ Jazzy Jeff has achieved many accomplishments, including a DMC Championship and multiple GRAMMY Award and American Music Award wins. But he is a humble man who is still doing it as his 2002 hit said: “For Da Love of Da Game.

Comming Soon