Kansas City Jazz and Heritage Festival > Performers
The multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning R&B/pop singer, songwriter, and actress, Brandy, has come roaring back with a fearless and inspired attitude. Born in to a musical family, the Mississippi-born daughter of Willie and Sonja Norwood, became one of the most successful multi-media stars of the ’90s, thanks to her constant presence on both the pop and R&B charts, her popular hit sitcom Moesha and the classic made-for-TV movie phenomenon Cinderella, which attracted more than 60 million viewers and broke new ground with its multi-cultural cast.
Ask her to describe her voice and she might say it feels like, sounds like, soul. But when it comes to defining the essence of music, itself, Lalah Hathaway can go on and on...
"Music is so textured and layered," she says, "and it is an absolute entity in my life. It's three-dimensional, it's tangible, and when I die, I'll say goodbye to it, just as I will to everyone standing around my bed."
In between album projects, Hathaway - who's recorded collaborations with Marcus Miller, Meshell Ndegéocello and Mary J. Blige, among them - keeps her creativity nourished by taking to the global stage and contributing her voice to Daughters of Soul, a musical mélange founded by comrade, Sandra St. Victor, and featuring Nona Hendryx, Joyce Kennedy as well as Indira and Simone, daughters of Chaka Khan and Nina Simone, respectively.
A DownBeat Hall of Famer and NEA Jazz Master, 22-time Grammy winner, and keyboard virtuoso, Chick Corea has attained living legend status after five decades of unparalleled creativity and an artistic output that is simply staggering. From straight ahead to avant-garde, bebop to fusion, children's songs to chamber music, along with some far-reaching forays into symphonic works, Chick has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his illustrious career while maintaining a standard of excellence that is awe-inspiring. A tirelessly creative spirit, Chick continues to forge ahead, continually reinventing himself in the process.
In the talented hands of New York-based ensemble The Hot Sardines, music first made famous decades ago comes alive through their brassy horn arrangements, rollicking piano melodies, and vocals from a chanteuse who transports listeners to a different era with the mere lilt of her voice. On French Fries & Champagne, The Hot Sardines’ new album for Universal Music Classics, the jazz collective broadens its already impressive palette, combining covers and originals as they effortlessly channel New York speakeasies, Parisian cabarets and New Orleans jazz halls.
Possessor of a very distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, John Scofield is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk edged jazz, and R & B. The Grammy-winning guitarist, composer and bandleader has allowed his musical eclecticism to be his guiding compass to explore a spectrum of idioms of genres, ranging from electric fusion to modern bop, from greasy R&B to drum-n-bass, and from rock to blues and gospel. So it comes as no surprise that Scofield would follow his 2015 Grammy-winning album, Past Present, by shifting gears with something like Country for Old Men.
Since the runaway success of her 1990 debut album Circle of One (which went Platinum), and the impassioned hit single “Get Here” (the Brenda Russell composition that became an unofficial anthem of the 1991 Gulf War) Oleta Adams has inspired a growing legion of fans in the U.S. and Europe with journeys of the heart via songs that draw deeply from her roots in gospel, while crossing effortlessly into the realms of soul, R&B, urban, and popular music. Her success, nurtured by worldwide tours with Tears for Fears, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, and Luther Vandross, has been solidified by four Grammy nominations and a seemingly bottomless well of creative energy.
Born and, raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Logan Richardson was mentored by some of the finest figures in the history of improvised music, including Jay McShann, Claude "Fiddler" Williams, and Queen Bey. Logan has recently recorded his highly anticipated third album, SHIFT, with an elegantly matched band of artists, innovators, and including 20 time grammy winning guitarist, Pat Metheny; MacArthur genius grant recipient, and Artistic Director of Jazz at Kennedy Center, pianist, Jason Moran; the greatest living drummer, and son of master Freddie Waits, drummer Nasheet Waits; bassist of Ambrose Akinmusire's band, and innovator of the double bass, bassist Harish Raghavan.
For more than three decades now Watson has contributed consistently intelligent, sensitive and well-thought out music to the modern-day jazz lexicon. All told, Watson, the immensely talented and now-seasoned veteran, has issued some 30 recordings as a leader and appeared on 100-plus other recordings, performing as either co-leader or in support of other like-minded musicians. Not simply a performer, the saxophonist has recorded more than 100 original compositions including the music for the soundtrack of A Bronx Tale, which marked Robert DeNiro's 1993 directorial debut.
Violinist Regina Carter is considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation – a designation which doesn’t quite paint the picture. As a result of her curiosity, passion, and quest for beauty brought to every stop taken on her full musical journey, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (a “genius grant”). Southern Comfort (2014) thematically connects Carter’s earlier albums I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey (2006), which features her mother’s favorite early jazz standards; and Reverse Thread (2010) which celebrates the tradition of African music re-imagined for violin, accordion, bass, drums and kora.
With over ten recordings as a leader, vocalist, businessman and educator Kevin Mahogany has been the standard setter for jazz vocalists for three decades.
His broad baritone was forged in his hometown: the legendary jazz metropolis known as Kansas City; where he learned to swing like Charlie Parker, shout the blues like Big Joe Turner, and cry a ballad like Lester Young; while, extending, elaborating and refining the jazz vocal legacies of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Eddie Jefferson and Al Jarreau into the myriad, interwoven dimensions of music – from gutbucket, the Great American Songbook, and gospel, to Mingus to Motown.
The McFadden Brothers are world-class entertainers whose career spans across many countries and venues. Exhibiting a wide range of steps from soft-shoe to street-corner moon-walking. Their voices complement each other, making their singing style very smooth and enjoyable. Topped off by their effortless-looking, but extremely difficult instrument playing. They intermix their singing, dancing, and musical abilities with their own brand of comedy that creates a true entertainment experience. The McFadden Brothers have proved time and time again to possess an on-stage charisma that enables them to command and please audiences of all ages.
Bryshere Y. Gray aka rapper Yazz plays the role of Hakeem Lyon in the hit FBC Series Empire opposite Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, from Executive Producer Lee Daniels. In Empire, Bryshere plays Hakeem the youngest and favorite son who is a charming, charismatic, and up and coming rap star. FBC’s Empire, written by Danny Strong, and directed by Lee Daniels, and is being produced by Brian Grazer and Imagine Entertainment. The Series has had a record-breaking launch in the Ratings and shows no signs of slowing down.
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. The band has settled on an eight-piece lineup and have built a career around an eclectic live show that harnesses the power of horns and drums in the party-like atmosphere of a dance club. When not touring, The Soul Rebels’ weekly show at New Orleans’ Le Bon Temps Roulé is known to erupt with the kind of contagious, shout-along musical mayhem that The Rebels bring with them wherever they perform.
Queen's wide repertoire of jazz and blues standards and innovative and often unknown songs are drawn from her first-hand experiences working with the legends of jazz and blues. Queen's style, "a natural and understated approach to the material make for a solid crowd pleaser" according to Variety magazine. Queen has performed with B.B. King, The Platters, and the late jazz pianist Earl Garner. She is officially recognized as Kansas City's Ambassador of Jazz and each year travels internationally promoting jazz and blues music on behalf of the United States and jazz organizations.
Angela's sultry contralto voice moves easily between musical genres and excels in her interpretations of Jazz Standards and Latin Jazz. Widely known as a masterful interpreter of great songs written by everyone from Duke Ellington to Antonio Carlos Jobim, Hagenbach is an accomplished songwriter in her own right. Two of her compositions are featured in Last Will, a film starring Tatum O'Neil, James Brolin and Tom Berenger and she was cast as the Wedding Singer. She works as a print model and voice artist, performing commercials and jingles for radio and television, in addition to regular club date appearances.
When you speak to Eddie Moore you find an ocean of calm, and when you listen to Eddie Moore & The Outer Circle you find the depth of that ocean. Eddie reaches from the soul with every note, in a deep way, with a tension just below the surface. His yearning for exploration and curiosity in music contribute to an ebb and flow freedom of expression, that in result gives to new discovery.
Moore’s music celebrates the human experience while honoring the legacy of the American Idiom through his commitment to artistic inclusiveness and innovation.