Alexander Dovgopoly is the irreplaceable baritone saxophonist of the famous Igor Butman’s Jazz Orchestra.
As a member of the orchestra, he performed on stage together with the real stars, such as Eric Marienthal, George Benson, Gary Burton, Billy Cobham, “New York Voices” ensemble, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Joe Locke, Paul Bollenback, Toots Thielemans, Dee De Bridgewater, Kevin Mahogany, Dave Valentine (“Caribbean Jazz Project”). Alexander always takes part in recording of every album by Igor Butman’s Orchestra: “Eternal Triangle”, “Moscow @ 3 p.m.”, “Sheherazade’s Tales”, “Special Opinion'”, “Jazz Carnival” together with Larisa Dolina.
Besides, in autumn 2003 Alexander appeared on stage of the prestigious Alice Tully Hall in New York as a member of orchestras of Igor Butman and Wynton Marsalis, where he soloed in “Ready Go” blues together with the baritone saxophonist Joe Temperley. This performance was highly appraised by one of the New York Times reviewers.
An international dance artist, choreographer, performer, researcher and instructor of African-American dances, Specializing in swing dance, authentic jazz, blues, bebop, UK underground jazz styles, tap and Afro-latin, Alina has elaborated on her own dancing language to jazz and African-American music from its roots to nowadays, collaborating with top jazz dance festivals and contemporary jazz musicians.
is a jazz conductor, composer, pianist, arranger and the National Artist of the Russian Federation. Kroll gained international fame, being one of the youngest and most successful bandleaders in the Soviet Union. In the orchestras under his leadership such singers of the USSR and Russia as Valentina Ponomareva, Larisa Dolina, Marina Zhuravlyova, Yury Antonov, Natalia Kapustina, as well as many 1960s-1990s jazz stars of the USSR and Russia received their first recognition. The nominal star of Anatoly Kroll was laid at the “Square of Stars” in Moscow in 2003. Anatoly Kroll’s name has long been a brand, the best recommendation and a “quality mark” for any musician who has ever worked in orchestras under his direction. Now he is an art director and a conductor of the jazz orchestra “Academic Band” of the Russian Academy of Music named after Gnessins. Anatoly Kroll is an Honored Artist of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, National Artist of the Russian Federation. He is the owner of the Order of Honor (for many years of fruitful activity in the field of culture and art), the Order of Merit for the Fatherland of the IV degree (for his great contribution to the development of Russian musical art and many years of creative activity), the Silver Cross “in recognition of his services to the Republic of Poland”.
Antonio Faraò is a pianist of exceptional skill. Notes jazz icon Herbie Hancock, “I’m not often surprised by the recordings of musicians the way I was overwhelmed the first time I heard Antonio Faraò.” Born in Rome, Italy, Faraò began playing vibraphone at age six, later switching to piano and studying at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. Known for mixing diverse influences in his music, he has collaborated with musicians including Gary Bartz, Lee Konitz, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Liebman and Benny Golson. Faraò currently performs and conducts workshops in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and beyond. His newest release, Eklektik, features Marcus Miller, Snoop Dogg and Manu Katché along with an array of Italian jazz luminaries.
Ben Williams is a virtuoso performer and world-class composer who is setting a new standard for the bass. A native of Washington, D.C., he studied with Rodney Whitaker at Michigan State University and with Ben Wolfe at The Juilliard School. Williams won the 2009 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Bass Competition and has since performed with Jacky Terrasson, Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Benny Golson, Pat Metheny and Stefon Harris’ Blackout. Williams currently performs as part of the Pat Metheny Unity Band and with his own all-star group, Sound Effect. His latest release, Coming of Age, is a collection of original compositions reflecting his wide-ranging musical interests. Williams recently made his film debut, appearing alongside Don Cheadle in the Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead.
Branford Marsalis is one of the most significant saxophonists since the 1960s and a musical leader of his generation. An NEA Jazz Master and three-time GRAMMY Award winner, Marsalis grew up in New Orleans in one of the country’s most renowned musical families. He attended the Berklee College of Music and began touring with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1981 alongside his younger brother Wynton. In 1985, Marsalis joined Sting’s band, appearing on classic albums like The Dream of the Blue Turtles and Nothing Like the Sun. He later became the bandleader for the Tonight Show Band and formed the Marsalis Music label, which has introduced talented new stars like Miguel Zenon and unheralded older masters. His latest release as a leader, Upward Spiral, features vocalist Kurt Elling.
Shon Campbell is an aid worker and jazz vocalist based in Myanmar with the United Nations’ Myanmar Information Management Unit. She has organized events to celebrate International Jazz Day in Yangon since 2013, when she learned that Myanmar would not otherwise be represented among the countries involved globally. In addition to fundraising for the annual program, which includes a culminating family-friendly concert featuring numerous local artists, Campbell prioritizes the educational component of Jazz Day, organizing workshops with international musicians to serve Myanmar’s small but ardent community of jazz artists. The culminating concert attracted over 1,000 attendees in 2017, helping to draw more attention and exposure to jazz music.
Cyril Moshkow studied journalism at Moscow State University. His career in music journalism started in early 1990s, he broadcasted as DJ and special shows on-air host on several radio stations in Moscow, wrote about music for magazines and newspapers, provided copy and voice-over for TV shows about music, and edited jazz news for a news agency. In 1998, he was invited to Russia’s newborn Jazz Web outlet, Jazz.Ru, as managing editor; since 2006, he is also the publisher at Jazz.Ru Magazine.
Cyril’s music journalist duties led him to cover jazz festivals, interview jazz artists and music industry people, speak to radio broadcasters, explore the jazz research institutions, record labels, jazz magazines editorial rooms, and jazz schools in 22 countries. Moshkow’s connections are especially strong with the U.S. jazz community; he gave talks at several American universities (including Princeton) and at the Library of the Congress, attended jazz conferences, jazz festivals, jazz schools, and jazz research centers in 12 states plus District of Columbia.
He contributed for several jazz magazines in the U.S. and in Europe (DownBeat, AllAboutJazz.Com, Jazz Forum, Jazz.Pt, Jazzthetik etc.) Since 2014, he is a board member at the Russian Jazz research center in Yaroslavl, and teaches Jazz history at Russian State University for Humanities in Moscow. He also serves as coordinator of Europe Jazz Media, the ring of European jazz magazines.
Moshkow wrote several books in Russian on jazz and African American music, most notably Jazz Industry in America and The Blues, Introduction to the History. He also authored chapters on the history of jazz in Russia for Pearson’s Discover Jazz (2011) and for The History of European Jazz The Music (2017).
Cyrille Aimée is a vocalist dubbed a “rising star in the galaxy of jazz singers” by The New York Times. Born in Samois-sur-Seine, France to a French father and a Dominican mother, Aimée gained a love of diverse music at an early age and eventually found her way to New York, where she began performing regularly at famed clubs like Birdland and Smalls in Greenwich Village. Aimée has been recognized the world over for her vocal ability, winning the Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition and placing second in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Vocal Competition. She has performed with acclaimed artists as diverse as Roy Hargrove, Joel Frahm and Bernadette Peters. Aimée released her eighth album, Let’s Get Lost, in 2016 on Mack Avenue.
Danilo Pérez is a pianist, composer, educator and social activist who ranks among the most influential and dynamic jazz musicians of our time. Born in Panama, Pérez started his musical studies at age three with his father, a bandleader and singer. While still a student at the Berklee College of Music, he performed with Terence Blanchard, Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi and Paquito D’Rivera. Since then, Pérez has worked with artists from Dizzy Gillespie to Tito Puente, most famously serving alongside drummer Brian Blade and bassist John Patitucci in Wayne Shorter’s renowned quartet. Pérez, who serves as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, is a vocal exponent of music as a force for building understanding and tolerance. His latest album, Children Of The Light, was released on Mack Avenue.
is a jazz multi-instrumentalist, composer and the National Artist of the Russian Federation. He founded the State Philharmonic of Jazz in Leningrad in 1989. He also established the St. Petersburg jazz festival “The White Night Swing” in 1994. David is the undisputed leader of the Moscow–St. Petersburg jazz ensemble “Four”, which also includes the pianist Alexei Podymkin, the drummer Victor Epaneshnikov and the bass player Sergei Vasilyev. He is the owner of the Order of Friendship for the development of culture and art, and long-term fruitful activity, as well as the owner of the breastplate “In recognition of his services to the Polish culture”.
A five-time GRAMMY Award winner, Dianne Reeves is one of the premier vocalists on the worldwide music scene. She began her career as a studio vocalist working with Lenny White, Stanley Turrentine and Billy Childs, and later toured with Sergio Mendes and Harry Belafonte. Reeves’ Blue Note releases in the ’90s established her place as an exceptional vocalist, and she was invited to perform at the closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Her album Beautiful Life features an all-star cast and won the 2015 GRAMMY for Best Jazz Vocal Album. In April 2018, Reeves was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, the highest honor for jazz artists in the United States.
Dr. JB Dyas has been a leader in jazz education for the past two decades. Formerly the Executive Director of the Brubeck Institute, Dyas currently serves as Vice President for Education and Curriculum Development at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. He oversees the Institute’s education and outreach programs including Jazz in America: The National Jazz Curriculum, one of the most significant and wide-reaching jazz education initiatives in the world. He has served on the Smithsonian Institution’s Task Force for Jazz Education in America and presented numerous jazz education events worldwide with artists including Dave Brubeck and Herbie Hancock. Dyas received his master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami and PhD in Music Education from Indiana University, and is a recipient of the DownBeat Achievement Award for Jazz Education. His How to Teach Jazz to High School and College Students video series is available free of charge at www.artistshousemusic.org.
The internationally recognized saxophonist-composer-bandleader, Eli Degibri, possesses many gifts as a musician. He boasts a seemingly bottomless fount of artistry as a composer and a band leader, and is a recipient of the honorary Israeli “Prime Minister Award for Jazz Composition”, recognizing his great talent as a melodic composer, and the “Landau Award for Jazz Performance”, recognizing his achievement as a remarkable band leader.
Known for his charismatic performances, Degibri has recorded and performed extensively since the mid 1990s. He has been called, “an exceptionally melodic improviser with a big, bold tenor tone” (Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes), and “a bewitching fellow who shows impressive chops, as both a player and a composer.” (Karl Stark, The Philadelphia Inquirer). Jazz icon Herbie Hancock added that Degibri is, “a very talented composer, arranger, and performer”, one who’s music, “treads uncharted waters”, and that the saxophonist-composer, “has the potential to be a formidable force in the evolution of jazz.”
Degibri’s gifts, his immense talents, were earned, molded and burnished from sharing stages as an integral member of legendary pianist Herbie Hancock’s sextet (1999-2002) and legendary drummer Al Foster’s band (2002-2011), and leading bands consisting of musicians Aaron Goldberg, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Street, Jeff Ballard, Kevin Hays, Gary Versace, and Obed Calvaire, resulting in seven critically-acclaimed recordings under his name.
Substantiating these accolades, in April of 2012, Degibri was invited to be a part of UNESCO’s first International Jazz Day at the UN General Assembly in New York, alongside many of the finest jazz musicians in the world.
Degibri is presently focusing exclusively on leading his own band and playing his original compositions. He is now engaged in the long-standing tradition of mentorship in the jazz world; his current quartet consists of three young, promising and swinging musicians, the pianist Tom Oren, drummer Eviatar Slivnik and bassist Tamir Shmerling.
Degibri’s latest recording, Cliff Hangin’, was released in late 2015 and received a rare 5-star review from the prestigious DownBeat magazine. He is currently in production on his next project: A tribute to legendary saxophonist and one of Degibri’s biggest inspirations, Hank Mobley, and specifically to Mobley’s masterpiece record, Soul Station.
Band Leader of LRK Trio, Billboard award winner and laureate of numerous jazz contests, including prestigious Montreux piano competition, Evgeny Lebedev quickly established himself as one of the most promising young pianists on today’s jazz scene. Evgeny performed and recorded with luminaries like Jack De Johnette, Marcus Miller, Terri Lyne Carrington, Lenny White, Randy Brecker, David Sanchez, David Fiuczynski and participated in prestigious festivals, including North Sea Jazz Festival, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Jazz a Juan, Tanglewood Jazz Festival and more. Evgeny appears on more than 10 CD’s and released four albums under his own name, that were highly marked by critics in Japan, USA and Russia.In September 2010, Evgeny Lebedev received special prize as a Best Soloist and took 1st place with his band “World Trio” at 32nd edition of Jazz Hoeilaart Competition in Belgium.
Evgeny Ponomarev Quartet
Andrey Polovko, Evgeny Ponomarev, Grigory Voskoboynik and Piotr Mikheev have been actively performing together since 2011. While paying tribute to such jazz greats as Stan Getz and Charles Mingus, the musicians have always been keen on playing their own original music. The band’s performance history also includes numerous collaborations with various vocalists (Johnny Kelvin, Sharlene Hector, Olga Abdullina, Kristina Kovaleva, etc.). In 2017 Evgeny Ponomarev completed his work on Quartet’s brand new program consisting entirely of original compositions. The premiere performance took place at the Alexandrinsky Theater New Stage in St. Petersburg. In November, 2017 the Quartet presented their music at the International Jazz Forum-Fest “Jazz Across Borders”.
Fatoumata Diawara, also known as Fatou, is a vocalist, guitarist and actress who has been hailed as one of the most vital standard-bearers of modern African music. Born in Côte d’Ivoire to Malian parents, Diawara began her artistic career as a dancer and actress on stage and in films. Defying her family’s wishes, she traveled to France at age 20 and began singing in clubs and cafés, where she was soon discovered by Malian musician and producer Cheikh Tidiane Seck. Since then, she has made her mark performing and recording with a litany of international artists, including Oumou Sangaré, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock, as well as with her own groups. Diawara’s newest album, Fenfo, is set to be released in May 2018.
Gaoyang Li is China’s premier jazz saxophonist. Born in Beijing, Li began his musical studies at the age of four, with his first foray into jazz at age eight. He founded his own trio and quartet as a teenager, and went on to study and perform with jazz masters like Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Dave Liebman and Adam Nussbaum. A member of the Chinese Musicians’ Association’s Jazz Music Council, Li was the first musician to be awarded “Outstanding Chinese Instrumentalist” at the Chinese Music Awards. Building on his expertise in the hard bop, post-bop and fusion styles, he is currently exploring the use of traditional Chinese instruments in the jazz context, with a new album, China Jazz, due out soon.
Gilad Hekselman has been developing a reputation as one of the most promising guitarists in New York over the last decade. A native of Israel, he studied classical piano from age six and began studying guitar at the age of nine. Hekselman received a scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation to attend The New School in New York, where he completed his degree in performing arts in 2008. He is a winner of the Gibson Montreux International Guitar Competition, and has performed with the likes of Mark Turner, John Scofield, Anat Cohen, Esperanza Spalding and Gretchen Parlato, to name a few. His most recent album, Homes, was released in 2015 on Jazz Village.
Hassan Hakmoun is one of the most versatile and revered artists in contemporary Moroccan music. Schooled in the traditional sounds of the Gnawa people in his native Marrakesh, Hakmoun began playing the three-stringed sintir at an early age. Known for readily absorbing elements from jazz, world music, neo-classical and cerebral pop, among other styles, his ability to blend diverse traditions, cultures and genres has made him a prominent figure among musicians from North Africa and around the world. Hakmoun has collaborated with a wide range of leading artists and groups, including David Sanborn, Don Cherry, the Kronos Quartet, and Peter Gabriel’s World of Music, Art, and Dance (WOMAD), to name a few. His albums The Fire Within, Gift of the Gnawa and Trance have topped world music and new world charts across the globe.
Herbie Hancock, a 14-time GRAMMY Award winner and Academy Award winner, is an internationally renowned pianist and composer who has been an integral part of every jazz movement since the 1960s. His Blue Note debut, Takin’ Off, included “Watermelon Man,” the first of many Top 10 hits. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, Hancock became one of the pioneers of modern jazz improvisation. His recordings in the ’70s combined electric jazz with funk and rock, influencing decades of music. In 2007, he won the GRAMMY for Album of the Year, becoming the first jazz musician to receive this honor in 44 years. Hancock serves as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue.
Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez has been a driving force behind the premier Latin and Latin-infused music of the past three decades. His drumming has supported GRAMMY Award winners Michel Camilo, Roy Hargrove, Chucho Valdés, Carlos Santana and Paquito D’Rivera, among others. Hernandez first gained international recognition as the drummer for pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s group Proyecto. He has recorded on numerous award-winning releases, including Alejandro Sanz’ No Es Lo Mismo, Eddie Palmieri’s Listen Here! and Gary Burton’s For Hamp, Red, Bags, and Cal. He has received two GRAMMY Awards, one for Best Latin Jazz Performance on Roy Hargrove’s 1997 album Habana, and another for Best Latin Jazz Album, awarded to Michel Camilo’s 2003 release Live at the Blue Note.
Saxophonist and bandleader Igor Butman is Russia’s premier jazz artist. Born in St. Petersburg, Butman studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory and later at Berklee College of Music. In 1983, he joined the Oleg Lundstrem Big Band and was soon invited to play with the acclaimed Russian jazz group Allegro. The young Butman also performed with touring jazz icons including Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, Louis Bellson and Grover Washington Jr., who took Butman under his wing and featured him in live performances and recordings. In 2011, Butman was named a People’s Artist of the Russian Federation. His newest release, Winter Tale, features pianist-vocalist Oleg Akkuratov, vocalist Victoria Kaunova and the Moscow Jazz Orchestra performing classic holiday tunes.
James Genus is one of the top bass players on the jazz scene and one of the rare few who can apply his masterful artistry to both the upright and the electric bass. Born in Hampton, Virginia, Genus began playing guitar at age six and switched to bass at age 13. His first professional experience was with the Blue Note band, Out of the Blue. Since then, Genus has performed and recorded with dozens of major jazz artists including Herbie Hancock, Anita Baker, Chick Corea, Horace Silver, Branford Marsalis, Greg Osby, Vanessa Williams and others. Genus presents bass clinics around the world and is a member of the Saturday Night Live Band. He can be heard on the GRAMMY Award-winning Daft Punk album Random Access Memories.
James Morrison is a virtuoso trumpeter, composer and multi-instrumentalist who is one of Australia’s most renowned musicians. At 16, he made his debut at the Monterey Jazz Festival and was soon performing at major jazz festivals with Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Cab Calloway, George Benson, Ray Charles, B.B. King and Wynton Marsalis. In 2000, Morrison was selected to compose and perform the opening fanfare for the Olympic Games in Sydney. He established the acclaimed James Morrison Academy of Music, which recently partnered with The Juilliard School to offer an exclusive Honors Program in jazz. Morrison was awarded the Order of Australia for his service to music and sponsorship of young musicians, and holds honorary doctorates from Edith Cowan University and Griffith University.
Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra
A professional big band directed by Kirill Bubyakin comprises 16 best jazz musicians of St. Petersburg. The band first appeared on stage in January 2009, as part of the concert dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Jazz Philharmonic Hall, where they performed together with the renowned Russian jazz stars, Honored Artists of the Russian Federation — David Goloschekin and Igor Butman.
Joey DeFrancesco is the first name in jazz organ. Accompanying his father, also an organist, to gigs in his native Philadelphia, the young prodigy sat in with legendary players like Hank Mobley and Philly Joe Jones, who quickly recognized his prodigious talent. At the age of 15, DeFrancesco gained international notice as a finalist in the inaugural Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Piano Competition. His subsequent debut record, All of Me, was widely credited with stimulating a resurgence in interest in the organ as a jazz instrument. A touring stint and recording date with Miles Davis followed, inspiring DeFrancesco to pick up the trumpet. Today, DeFrancesco is a four-time GRAMMY Award nominee with more than 30 recordings as a leader under his belt. His most recent release is Project Freedom on Mack Avenue.
Pianist, composer and musical director John Beasley takes pride in being a musical chameleon and has an amazing track record to show for his versatility. His long and varied list of collaborators includes Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand, Queen Latifah, Chaka Khan and James Brown. Beasley has performed on film scores for Erin Brokovich, Finding Nemo and The Godfather III and composed for hit television series like “Cheers,” “Fame” and “Star Trek: Next Generation.” Beasley leads MONK’estra, a 15-piece band that celebrates Thelonious Monk’s classic compositions with a contemporary twist incorporating Afro-Cuban rhythms, modern jazz, hip-hop and traditional big band instrumentation. The group’s latest release, MONK’estra Vol. 2, was nominated for two GRAMMY Awards.
Kurt Elling combines his extraordinary vocal talents with his bandleading, composing and arranging to produce a sound that has been thrilling audiences for more than two decades. Elling developed his idiosyncratic scat style in the clubs of Chicago, sharing the stage with legends Von Freeman and Ed Peterson. He signed with Blue Note in 1995 and went on to release six Blue Note albums, all of which have been GRAMMY nominated and critically acclaimed. He won the 2010 GRAMMY Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album for his Concord release Dedicated to You. Elling was named top male vocalist in the DownBeat Critics Poll for 13 consecutive years. His most recent effort, The Questions, was released on OKeh/Sony in March 2018 to critical acclaim.
GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist Lee Ritenour has appeared on more than 3,000 sessions in virtually all styles of music. Ritenour played one of his first sessions at age 16 for The Mamas and the Papas. His albums in the ’70s, spanning jazz, pop and Brazilian music, were met with chart-topping success. In the ’90s, Ritenour was a founding member of the jazz group Fourplay, whose first album spent an unprecedented 22 weeks at number one on the Billboard contemporary jazz charts. Ritenour has appeared on albums by Dizzy Gillespie and Pink Floyd and received the top spot in numerous guitar polls. His most recent record is A Twist of Rit and includes John Beasley, Dave Grusin, Patrice Rushen, Makoto Ozone, Bob Sheppard and Rashawn Ross, among others.
is one of the jazz world’s leading vocalists and interpreters. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, she began her recording career at age three and had recorded 200 jingles and soundtracks by age 16. Souza received her bachelor’s degree in jazz composition from the Berklee College of Music, where she later served on the faculty, and earned her master’s degree in jazz studies from the New England Conservatory of Music. She has released a string of acclaimed recordings, including three GRAMMY-nominated albums of Brazilian duos. Souza has performed and recorded with Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bobby McFerrin and many others. Her latest release, Speaking in Tongues, is a brilliant collaboration with Lionel Loueke, Grégoire Maret, Massimo Biolcati and Kendrick Scott.
One of Japan’s premier pianists, Makoto Ozone was born in Kobe, Japan and began playing the organ at age two. He switched to the piano at age 12 after hearing the music of Oscar Peterson. Ozone came to the United States to study at the Berklee College of Music. Three years later, he signed with CBS and released his debut, self-titled album featuring his own compositions. He toured the world as a member of the Gary Burton Quartet, and had his debut solo piano concert at Carnegie Hall. Ozone’s album The Trio, with bassist Kiyoshi Katagawa and drummer Clarence Penn, won the 1997 Best Jazz of Japan Award. His latest album, Chick & Makoto, a duo project with pianist Chick Corea, was released in 2016.
Manhattan Transfer is one of the most influential jazz vocal groups of all time. Founded in 1972, the group signed with Atlantic Records three years later and released its self-titled debut album, co-produced by legendary label head Ahmet Ertegun. The album’s remake of the Friendly Brothers gospel classic “Operator” rose to the Billboard Top 20 and brought national recognition. Manhattan Transfer has recorded and performed with titans from jazz and beyond, including Tony Bennett, Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, Phil Collins, B.B. Collins, Chaka Khan, James Taylor and Frankie Valli, and was the first group ever to win GRAMMY Awards in both the Pop and Jazz categories in the same year. Celebrating more than 45 years together, the group with its current lineup of Trist Curless, Cheryl Bentyne, Alan Paul and Janis Siegel performs worldwide, and recently released its 29th album, The Junction, on BMG.
Marcus Miller is a modern pioneer of electric bass. He has influenced musicians around the globe as both a performer and a recording artist who has appeared on more than 500 albums. Miller has recorded with an amazing array of artists including Elton John, Grover Washington, Jr., Chaka Khan, LL Cool J and Frank Sinatra. As a member of Miles Davis’ band, his contributions as a bass player, composer and producer defined Davis’ style throughout the ’80s. Over the course of his career, Miller has received two GRAMMY Awards and countless other honors. Inspired by his role as a UNESCO Artist for Peace and spokesperson for the Slave Route Project, his latest release Afrodeezia was recorded around the world in France, Morocco, New Orleans and Los Angeles.
Michel El-Malem is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and music educator based in Paris, France. El-Malem started playing guitar when he was 15 years old, mainly studying with Thierry Garcia, Pierre Jean Gaucher and Pierre Cullaz and later taking up saxophone and piano. El-Malem writes and arranges music for numerous contexts including theater and television. He is known for his participation in the original band of the successful 2010 film “Tout ce qui brille,” starring Géraldine Nakache. He has collaborated with artists including Herbie Hancock, Marc Copland, Terri Lyne Carrington, Michael Rodriguez, Ben Williams and Nguyen Le, to name a few. In 2011, his quintet received the award for Best Album of the Year from the Academy of Jazz.
is a jazz pianist and a singer. He suffers from amaurosis – complete blindness – from birth. Oleg is a laureate of various musical competitions, including international ones. As a participant in The International UNESCO Choir, he took part in the world premiere of the international charity event “Thousands of World Cities” and performed at the residence of the Pope. Lyudmila Gurchenko dedicated her first directorial work to Oleg, namely the 2009 film called “Dusk Twilight”. With her assistance, Oleg also continued his studies in America. He attended a school for musically gifted blind people, but soon returned to Russia. Oleg was invited by Wynton Marsalis to perform at the Rose Hall of the New York Lincoln Center together with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in April 2015.
Russian jazz star and a clearly «ring-a-bell» name in the enormous jazz world of New York – is a positively-energized drummer, composer and a band leader. Born in St.Petersburg (Russia), Oleg Butman started playing the drums at the age of 8. After successfully graduating from Musorgsky College of Music in St.Petersburg, Oleg moved to Moscow to perform not only with Russian musicians, but also with such outstanding visiting U.S. stars as Ritchie Cole, Jon Faddis, Billy Taylor, Grover Washington, Jr., and Pat Metheny. At the age of 23, Oleg was already known as the U.S.S.R.’s best drummer, topping the Soviet Critics’ Poll and having recorded several albums with famous Russian jazz artists.
In 2007, Oleg Butman started composing original contemporary jazz music in a tandem with a talented jazz piano player Natalia Smirnova and performing this music at jazz concerts and clubs all over Russia, USA and in Europe. Their project released the debut album, «Passion», on Butman Music Records in 2009, and their subsequent tours featured American guest soloists such as Mark Gross, Wayne Escoffery and Essiet Essiet (bass). The duo celebrated the spring of 2012 with the sophomore release, «Runway», which was recorded in August 2011 in New York at Systems Two studios.
Oleg and Natalia’s fourth albom on Butman Music Records, «Moment of Happiness», featuring guitarist Mark Whitfield, bassist Darrell Hall, and saxophonist Mark Gross, is was release in 2017.
GRAMMY Award-winning pianist and composer Robert Glasper is defining the cutting edge of modern music. Albums with his acoustic trio and his electric Robert Glasper Experiment showcase his original blend of hip-hop and modern jazz, rhythmic experiments, and radical re-workings of classic jazz and rock material. Glasper’s 2012 release Black Radio entered the Billboard charts at number one and received a GRAMMY in 2013 for Best R&B Album. His latest release, ArtScience, finds Glasper and his group delving into collective composition, demonstrating their mastery of post-bop and contemporary styles on 12 original, self-produced tracks. Glasper’s touch can also be heard on the recent Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead, for which he penned original music and curated the soundtrack.
Alto saxophonist, composer and educator Rudresh Mahanthappa is widely known as one of the most innovative voices in 21st century jazz. Born in Trieste, Italy to Indian émigrés in 1971, Mahanthappa was raised in Boulder, Colorado and gained proficiency playing everything from pop to Dixieland. Today, he has more than a dozen albums to his credit, including 2017’s Agrima, and is considered one of the foremost interpreters of the Carnatic musical tradition in jazz. Mahanthappa is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, among other top honors, and currently serves as the Anthony H. P. Lee ’79 Director of Jazz at Princeton University.
Hannibal Saad is a Syrian music manager, festival artistic director and freelance artistic curator who serves as Artistic Director and General Manager at the Music and Beyond Foundation. He is also an independent musician and experienced cultural event producer with a vast network in the Middle East, Europe and the United States. In 2007 and 2008, Saad served as the Oriental Music programmer for the Damascus Arab Capital of Culture festival, coordinating events with artists representing countries from North Africa to India. Prior to the crisis in Syria, he conceived, developed and presented two major international music festivals and conferences: Oriental Landscapes and Jazz Lives in Syria. Saad currently directs diverse international crossover projects connecting the Arab world with international artists and audiences.
Sarah McKenzie is an Australian jazz pianist, composer, vocalist, and bandleaderwhose breezy technical style, songwriting acumen, and pronounced lyrical sense ofswing have drawn comparisons to Blossom Dearie and Diana Krall.
McKenzie grew up in Perth and began playing piano at the age of nine. She attendedhigh school at West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, the same institution thatgave rise to such talents as Hugh Jackman, Marcus Graham, and Lisa McCune. Upon graduation, she attended college and completed a Bachelor of Jazz degree incomposition, won the Jack Bendat Scholarship, the Hawaiian Award for “MostOutstanding Jazz Graduate.” She also won a spot as a backing vocalist on MichaelBublé‘s Call Me Irresponsible tour.
After relocating to Melbourne, she studied with James Morrison for six years and wona scholarship through her involvement with his Generations in Jazz developmentprogram. She signed with ABC Records and cut her first recording for the label in2011. Entitled Don’t Tempt Me, it was comprised of classic pop, blues, and jazz tunesas well as originals. The attention it garnered won her an opening slot for Chris Botti‘stour that year.
In 2012, McKenzie released her sophomore effort, Close Your Eyes, to nearlyuniversal acclaim and spread her reputation beyond Australia’s shores. It won the BestJazz Album ARIA award (Australia’s Grammy), and earned her touring slots with EnricoRava and John Patitucci. That same year she won a scholarship to the BerkleeCollege of Music in Boston, where she studied with Joanne Brackeen and earned anArtist’s Diploma in Jazz Performance. Also while at Berklee, she had the opportunity toperform her own work at Boston Symphony Hall, Umbria Jazz’s Winter and Summerfestivals, Jazz Ahead in Bremen, Germany, and the Riccione and Lucca Donna JazzFestivals in Italy.
Upon graduating from Berklee, she remained in the United States. Her third album, WeCould Be Lovers, was produced by Brian Bacchus and issued in Australia in late2014. Given its universally positive critical reception and her growing profile on NorthAmerican stages, the album was picked up by Impulse! Records for internationaldistribution and re-released on September 25, 2015.
Sergey Dolzhenkov is the Russian trombonist, composer, harmonist, multiple award winner of various Russian and international festivals.
He is the soloist of the Moscow jazz orchestra directed by Igor Butman.
Today, Sergey is well known both in the professional community and among the general public. He demonstrates a unique musical technique that he developed himself. The core of this technique is a simultaneous performance of melody, bass part and rhythmic pattern.
In his performance Sergei artfully leverages various modern musical technologies which helps reveal the new dimension of playing trombone.
Khouloud Soula is a Tunis-based cultural manager who currently serves as President of the Jazz Club de Tunis. A graduate of the École Normale Supérieure de Tunis, Soula holds a master’s degree in British, American and Post-Colonial Studies from the Sorbonne-Nouvelle University, and another in English Studies from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Her expertise lies in the development and management of cultural and educational projects for both Tunisian and international NGOs, a field she ventured into after a stint in higher education. Soula has been a part of the Jazz Club de Tunis since 2012, and managed several projects for the organization before taking on the role of President in 2016. Her work with the music community in Tunis is driven by a dedication to supporting artistic creation and developing cultural programming that is at once engaging, forward thinking and done with care and attention to detail.
Taku Hirano is one of the top percussionists on the international scene today. Born in Osaka, Japan and raised in California, Hirano attended the Berklee College of Music, graduating as the institution’s first hand percussion major with studies in Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, West African, Middle Eastern and Indian percussion disciplines. He has studied with an array of masters including conga virtuoso Giovanni Hidalgo, jazz drumming legend Alan Dawson, and Cuban percussionist Changuito. Hirano’s command of varied instruments and musical styles has made him a highly versatile, in-demand performer with Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, Annie Lennox, Chaka Khan, Dave Liebman and Cirque du Soleil. He has appeared in major arenas and stadiums in 30 countries across five continents, and performed twice for former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Terri Lyne Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington is a three-time GRAMMY Award-winning drummer, producer and recording artist. At age 10, she had her first major performance with trumpet legend Clark Terry, and as a teenager she performed and recorded with Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, Stan Getz and James Moody. Carrington currently serves as the Zildjian Chair in Performance at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute and is the first female artist to win a GRAMMY for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Her latest effort is a follow-up to her critically acclaimed album The Mosaic Project, titled The Mosaic Project: Love and Soul. Like its predecessor, the album presents Carrington leading a rotating cast of superb female collaborators, including Tia Fuller, Lalah Hathaway, Ingrid Jensen, Chaka Khan and Nancy Wilson, among others.
THE CHILDREN’S CHOIR OF TV AND RADIO OF SAINT PETERSBURG
Laureate of international competitions and festivals, THE CHILDREN’S CHOIR OF TV AND RADIO OF SAINT PETERSBURG, was founded in 1955, and became the first children’s choir of radio and television in the Soviet Union. At that moment, it was necessary to bring children together into a group of constant members specifically intended for recording music for TV and radio shows.
Over the many years of its existence, the Children’s choir has become one of the symbols of Saint Petersburg being a regular performer in the choral and symphonic concerts, opera and drama performances, formal events. The choir even performs as a full-fledged church choir, participating in the Services of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Children’s Choir of TV and Radio successfully toured across numerous countries worldwide and was always received enthusiastic response from the audience. Top class performance skills in different musical styles and genres – from spiritual music of Russian composers to Russian rock music, from West European classical to contemporary pop music, from classic opera to avant-garde plays by modern authors – are the distinctive marks of this choir.
The Children’s Choir of TV and Radio is a regular participant in theatrical productions of Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky theaters, involved both in their classical repertoire and in concert projects, such as “Singing Maslenitsa” and “Mariinsky Theatre for Children” festivals.
Most important concert performances of the recent years include outstanding “War Requiem” and “A Ceremony of Carols” by Benjamin Britten, Symphony N3 and N8 by Gustav Mahler, “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff, “The Peacemakers” and “The Armed Man” masses by Karl Jenkins, Drei Motetten, oratory 39 by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy for choir and organ – monumental works requiring brilliant and filigree technical mastery.
Modern popular music also holds a prominent place in the choir’s repertoire. Igor Gribkov, the Chief Choirmaster of The Children’s Choir of TV and Radio of Saint Petersburg, is the author of the major part of the choral arrangements performed by the choir.
Among most recent projects, the most significant and outstanding were the following: collaboration with Vyacheslav Butusov (“Awakened Joy” program, performances in Moscow and St. Petersburg as part of anniversary tour of Nautilus Pompilius band), participation in the shows of Ken Hensley (“Uriah Heep”), performance of Latin jazz music in the Big Hall of the Philharmonia named after Dmitry Shostakovich, participation in the “Dreamers” project by Sergey Danilian (Mariinsky Theatre) where the choir performed the songs of Daft Punk band, playing music for the closing ceremony of the “Message to Mankind” film festival, participation in recording of the last album of “The Biggest Prime Number” band, participation in Sergey Kuryokhin Award ceremony.
Thomas R. Carter, President , Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz
Tom Carter co-founded the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in 1986. After an extraordinary launch of the Institute, the following year he co-founded the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Competition, which has become recognized as the world’s most prestigious jazz competition. Carter was the driving force behind the creation of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. For more than 20 years, this full-scholarship master’s level college program has been recognized as the model training ground for young, aspiring jazz artists. In 2011, Carter was instrumental in establishing International Jazz Day, a worldwide annual celebration of jazz designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and presented in partnership with the United Nations. A native of Fairburn, Georgia, Carter received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Georgetown University.
One of the most renowned German jazz musicians of his generation, Till Brönner is a GRAMMY-nominated trumpeter, vocalist, composer and arranger whose work spans straight-ahead jazz, electronica, hip-hop, rock and pop. He made his debut as a leader in 1994 with the award-winning Generations of Jazz, featuring bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jeff Hamilton. Since then, he has performed and recorded with leading jazz figures including Monty Alexander, Tony Bennett, Al Foster, Johnny Griffin, Chaka Khan, Madeleine Peyroux and Ernie Watts. His 2012 self-titled album is a stunning homage to his longtime inspiration Freddie Hubbard. Brönner’s latest release, Nightfall, finds him interpreting an eclectic mix of original compositions, jazz standards and even pop and classical tunes alongside renowned German bassist Dieter Ilg.
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is an outstanding Russian musician and trumpet virtuoso. Laureate of several international competitions. Head of the Department of Jazz Music at the Faculty of World Musical Culture at the State Classical Academy named after Maimonides. In 2013 he became the host of the TV project “Big Jazz” at the “Culture” TV channel. In 2016 he became a co-host and the head of the orchestra in the jubilee season of the show “Dancing with the Stars” at the “Russia 1” TV channel.