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  Gardena Jazz Festival 2015 Artists  






Bassist/composer Marcus Miller has signed to Universal Jazz & Classics in France and will make his debut for Blue Note Records next month with the release of his new album Afrodeezia, which will be available March 16 in Europe and March 17 in the U.S. The album's lead single "Hylife" is available today across all digital retailers and streaming services. Miller has also announced select shows around the album's March release in Chicago, Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles, with further tour dates to be announced shortly.

Afrodeezia- which was inspired by Miller's role as a UNESCO Artist For Peach and spokesperson for the organization's Slave Route Project - was recorded in locations around the world including Morocco, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans and Los Angeles, and features a wide range of guests including rapper Chuck D., vocalist Lalah Hathaway, keyboardist Robert Glasper, trumpeters Etienne Charles and Ambrose Akinmusire, guitarists Keb' Mo' and Wah Wah Watson, bassist/composer Mocean Worker, organist Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy), and cellist Ben Hong, as well as musicians from Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Miller's core band includes saxophonist Alex Han, trumpeter Lee Hogans, pianist Brett Williams, guitarist Adam Agati, and drummer Louis Cato.

"It was after visiting the House of Slaves on Gorée Island that I composed "Gorée," explains Miller, referring to the powerful track featured on his previous album Renaissance. "Onstage I felt the need to say what I had been feeling in Senegal. I wanted people to understand that this tune spoke not only of the slave tragedy but, through the music especially, that these people who suddenly found themselves at the bottom of a ship's hold had discovered a way to survive, and were able in time to transform their distress into joy. Shortly after my trip to Gorée, UNESCO named me an Artist for Peach, and made me the spokesperson for the Slave Route Project. That was when I started thinking about Afrodeezia."

"The power of music has no limits," states Miller. "Through spirituals, jazz and soul we were able to preserve our history, because all the rest had been erased. What I wanted most was to go back to the source of the rhythms that make our musical heritage so rich, to follow them like footprints from their beginnings in Africa all the way to the United States. That journey took us from Mali to Paris, from New Orleans to Sao Paolo and across the Caribbean."

"For this project, I collaborated with musicians from West Africa, South America, the Caribbean, the southern U.S. and the large northern cities of the U.S. This is my way of paying tribute to the long journey of my African ancestors who became African-Americans. The melodies and rhythms they carried with them from Africa have EXPLODED into 'dizzying' array of musical styles and genres that have changed the world.

The tracking listing for Afrodeezia is as follows:

1. Hylife
2. B's River
3. Preacher's Kid (Song for William H)
4. We Were There
5. Papa Was A Rolling Stone
6. I Still Believe I Hear (Je Crois Entendre Encore) featuring Ben Hong
Son of Macbeth
8. Prism (Interlude)
9. Xtraordinary
10. Water Dancer
11. I Can't Breathe featuring Chuck D. and Mocean Worker

March 12 - Space - Evanston, IL
March 13 - MCG Jazz - Pittsburgh, PA
March 14 - Bears Den at Seneca Niagara Casino - Niagara Falls, NY
March 15 - Music Hall - Detroit, MI
March 17 - The Birchmere - Alexandria, VA
March 18 - B.B. King Blues Club - New York, NY
March 20-21 - Spaghettini's - Los Angeles, CA

Marcus Miller - a two-time GRAMMY Award winner and UNESCO Artist for Peace - is not only an exceptional musician - a multi-instrumentalist and world-renowned bassit - but also a highly-gifted composer and producer. The legendary Tutu album he wrote and produced for Miles Davis sealed his international fame when Miller was only twenty-five. Since then he has continued collaborating with artists as varied and talented as Eric Clapton, George Benson, Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Jay-Z, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Brian Ferry, and Herbie Hancock (to name only a few). At the same time, he has produced his own albums, amoung them The Sun Don't Lie, M2, Silver Rain, Free, A Night in Monte Carlo (with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra), and Renaissance, giving him occasion to tour internationally with young musicians whose talents he's recognized (as Miles did for him, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and others). You can hear Miller's radio show Miller Time every Sunday night on SiriusXM's RealJazz.

Afrodeezia is available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon.

For more information contact Cem Kurosman at Blue Note Records
(p) 212.786.8634 (e)

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Norman BrownPicking up a guitar at age 8, Norman Brown was initially inspired by Jimi Hendrix but it was his father's preference for Wes Montgomery that set Norman on his stylistic journey. After high school, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue music, attending the Musicians Institute where he also taught for a time. Playing with his own group in local clubs and drawing comparisons to George Benson, he was discovered and signed to the fledgling MoJazz label, a division of Motown. His debut, "Just Between Us" was followed by the gold-certified "After the Storm" and "Better Days Ahead." Moving to Warner Bros., he released "Celebration," which first teamed him with producer Paul Brown. The follow-up, "Just Chillin", earned him Grammy® recognition in the best pop instrumental category. Next, on "West Coast Coolin'," Norman tested his skills as a vocalist, a move embraced by the urban Adult Contemporary radio market and found him topping the charts, with a fan base that's been expanding over the years. His compilation "The Very Best Of Norman Brown" was one of the best-selling smooth jazz albums of 2005 and 2006. His 2010 release "Sending My Love" with its seamless blend of pop, R&B and jazz marked his 8th solo album. 2012 saw the release of "24/7", in collaboration with saxophonist Gerald Albright.


Marion Meadows Marion Meadows began playing clarinet and studying classical music at age 8. He gravitated to the soprano sax in high school, and his passion for various types of music led him to appreciate numerous jazz musicians, including Stanley Turrentine, Sidney Bichet, Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington, and Coleman Hawkins. After studying jazz with Anthony Truglia, he attended Berkeley College of Music, majoring in arranging and composition and later attended SUNY Purchase School for the Arts. "I got a lot of sideman jobs in college, and I have always said I got a graduate degree playing clubs," says Meadows, who perfected his craft studying with Joe Henderson, Dave Liebman and Eddie Daniels. Shortly after he finished school, drummer Norman Connors recorded his song "Invitation" and then asked Marion to join his band. Meadows first hit the airwaves in 1991 with For Lovers Only, but his career really began one day in the late '80s at NYC's Grand Central Station. He'd been a sideman with Connors for 3 years, with only vague notions of eventually going solo. While waiting for a train, he pulled out his horn and began playing under Grand Central's huge dome. He caught the attention of fellow commuter TV composer Jay Chattaway, who was so impressed that he hooked Meadows up with legendary keyboardist Bob James. James signed Meadows to his label, and though Meadows' first recording went unreleased, the experience put him on the road to his eventual success. Marion became a well-known sideman in his own right, recording or performing over the years with Brook Benton, Eartha Kitt, Phyllis Hyman, Jean Carne, The Temptations, Michael Bolton, Angela Bofill, and Will Downing among others. In the late '80s he stretched his usual pop/jazz boundaries as a member of a New York avant-garde band called the Aboriginal Music Society. The '90s marked the beginning of his solo career and he became a staple of the smooth jazz format with his subsequent recordings in the 1990s and 2000's through today.

Jonathan Fritzen Take one of the hottest composers and keyboard players in instrumental pop, add in featured performances from the likes of Gerald Albright, Paul Taylor and Nils Landgren, hook them up with ten wonderful new tunes and what do you have? The answer is 'Fritzenized', the latest album from the Billboard chart-topping, artist Jonathan Fritzén.

It is the Swedish American's fifth solo CD and follows the critically acclaimed 'Magical' from which the title cut blasted a path to #1 on every smooth jazz airplay chart on the planet.

The fact that even before its release date, 'Fritzenized' has already become a chart topper says much for a collection that, two years in the making, is Fritzén's most personal to date. Writing, producing and (for the first time) mixing every track, he comes closer to his true magical vision than with any other project he has created so far.

A case in point is the aptly titled 'A Funky Night' that finds him reuniting with vocalist Laila Adele. As Jonathan explains, "Laila is not only a long term collaborator of mine but also one of my favorite singers. The groove for the song was inspired by one of the most sampled drum loops in rap music, 'Juicy Fruit' that I thought would fuse nicely with my own musical spices."

There is no doubt it worked out just fine and much the same can be said of 'Guacamole', which has a vibe of the kind Fritzén first heard when touring in Nicaragua many years ago. "After the shows", Jonathan recalls, "we would go out to the local clubs to party. The songs that the DJ's were spinning would often have this beat they called "reggaeton" and this is my own take on it. Guacamole is probably my favorite thing to eat so I thought it would be a good title for the tune." It features Swedish trombone player Nils Landgren, one of Europe's most famous jazz musicians, and another guest performer that Fritzén was eager to have on board is Gerald Albright whom Fritzén describes as being one of the greatest sax players on earth.

As Jonathan tells it, "We were figuring out who was going to play sax on the track 'Celebration' and, for me, Albright was the perfect choice. A number of years ago we played in Germany at the same festival, just when I was coming onto the scene, and we had breakfast together. I remember what a nice person he was and, having seen him at various festivals in the States where we've both played, it felt natural to ask him. I wanted a very 'jammy' ending to the number, where we could play off each other, so his versatility and master of improvisation was just what I needed." The title reflects the festive feeling that the song has and is helped in this respect by Alex Al on bass and Randy Jacobs on guitar, guys who Fritzén considers to be two of the hottest cats on the scene today.

Talking of hot, Paul Taylor's contribution on 'Euphoria' is top notch yet, in the final analysis, 'Fritzenized' is all about the magic that the music of Jonathan Fritzén invariably brings. Take for example the first single to be serviced to radio, 'A New Beginning' of the dreamy 'Sailing Away' on which Fritzén utilizes his under-used singing voice for the first time since 2008 and the release of his debut album 'Love Birds'. Both these masterpieces of rhythm and melody find him at his excellent best and seem set to accelerate his already meteoric rise to fame at a rate rarely seen since the mid-seventies when those other Swedish superstars, Abba, took the USA by storm.

As Jonathan puts it, "I feel so fortunate that my dreams of touring the world, sharing my music with so many people and playing with childhood idols has beome a reality. Now, I feel more strongly that I want to focus on different types of goals and for my music to affect people's lives in a very positive way. Music can be a powerful force and all I want is for everybody who hears this record to come out a little bit different on the other side. That's my dream for Fritzenized."


Vincent Ingala Back in January of 2011, Smooth Jazz Journalist of The Year nominee, Denis Poole commented that 'North End Soul' from multi-instrumentalist, writer, and producer Vincent Ingala was, by any standards, an outstanding piece of work. In fact, it proved to be a spectacular debut and set the scene for what evolved into a truly remarkable year, In San Diego, at what became known as 'The Lemonade Weekend,' Ingala owned the stage at Anthology and later that night played with Peter White at the Hard Rock Hotel. Twelve months later, his ever growing fan-base would be rewarded with Vincent's follow up album 'Can't Stop Now', earning him two Billboard top five singles, one of them topping at #1 for four weeks. With seven original compositions, two spellbinding covers and guest performances from Gregg Karukas & Jonathan Fritzen, 'Can't Stop Now' is a measure of just how far Ingala has come and a tribute to the focus and dedication he has for his music.

Indeed, 'Can't Stop Now' bears testimony to the way Vincent pursues his musical goals with determination and zeal. Not only did he write and co-write seven of the tracks, he also played every instrument and, if that wasn't enough, produced and programmed the album throughout. This all seems a far cry from the time his parents bought him his first drum set at the age of four. Later, he was given his first guitar and after only nine months of lessons in third grade, was strumming Elvis tunes that he had perfected by ear. Both friends and family quickly sensed that there was something special going on and this was confirmed when in fifth grade he mastered the keyboard before trading it in for the saxophone. Finally, Vincent had found the sound for which he had been searching. He was hooked and the rest, as they say, is history.

Since May 2011, Vincent has become an ever-increasing presence on the Smooth Jazz Circuit, performing as a solo artist at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Jazz Festival, Cataling Island Jazz Trax Festival, The Seabreeze Jazz Festival and was a featured artist on the Dave Koz & Friends 2011 Alaskan Cruise. He will also be on board for Koz's 2016 Caribbean Cruise this fall. Vincent will be releasing his third album, "Coast to Coast" on May 1st, 2015.

A Yamaha Performing Artist, Vincent cites Elvis Presley, Sam Butera, Wilton Felder and Richard Elliot as being among some of his major influences in music. Family is also a core value for Vincent. He enjoys nothing more than spending time with his parents and their large, extended Italian family. With more dates in support of 'Can't Stop Now' already planned for this year, there has never been a better time to experience the magic of Vincent Ingala. Vincent plays Yamaha saxophones exclusively.


Braxton CookAs a young emerging saxophonist, Braxton Cook has already garnered several honors and accolades. While in high school, he had been honored to be one of 30 other high school musicians selected from a nationwide competition to participate in the 2009 Grammy Jazz ensemble, held during the same week as the Grammy Awards. Braxton had also been accepted into the Vail Jazz Workshop, a select group of musicians nationwide, where he studied with Jeff Clayton, John Clayton, Bill Cunliffe, T errell Stafford and Lewis Nash. Shortly thereafter, he won a Gold medal in the 2009 National ACT-SO competition sponsored by the NAACP. During his freshmen year at Georgetown University, Braxton was selected as NFAA's 2010 YoungARTS Finalist and participated in a fully-paid expense week in Miami, Florida with 150 other Finalists. While there, he received the Silver Medal and was selected to participate in another YoungARTS week in New York with other Silver and Gold Medalists.

In the Fall of 2010, Braxton transferred from Georgetown University, where he studied English, to the prestigious Julliard School on the Illinois Jacquet Scholarship to hone his skills as a jazz saxophonist. Since his transition, he was fortunate to share the sta ge with Wynton Marsalis, Jon Batiste and Christian Scott. Most recently, Braxton became the newest member of trumpeter Christian Scott's band. He toured nationally with his group and in the Fal of 2012 went on 3 week international tour with the Christian Scott Sextet as well. This allowed him to see the world for the first time and gave him an invaluable learning experience. He was also selected as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, the most prestigious and competitive jazz competition in the world.

On January 23, 2014 Cook released his innovative EP entitled Sketch. This EP is five tracks of soulful, contemporary jazz, with an R&B twist. The product of an academic household, intellectual curiosity has always impacted the way Cook approaches life and music. With southern family roots, blues, gospel, and sould have played a large role in his upbringing, and this is reflected in his new EP that merges prophetic thought, personal spirituality, and an emotion-filled music assessable to all. "I want people to feel something, when they hear my music," Cook says. I want people to understand the elasticity of jazz and how it incorporates elements of other musical styles, while still maintaining its inherent qualities."

In his remaining years at The Julliard School, Braxton will continue to study music privately with his private teachers Ron Blake and Steve Wilson. In addition, he hopes to continue performing regularly with the Christian Scott Sextet as well as tour nationally and internationally with his own quartet.

J Mosley The extraordinarily talented Contemporary Blues/Latin/Jazz guitarist J Mosley is on intimate terms with his instrument. A native of Los Angeles, this musician was formally educated and impressively earned his BFA degree from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. However it's his experiences sharing the stage with musical legends like Peter White, Everett Harp and Paul Jackson, Jr. that has garnered him the industry respect he so well deserves and distribution through Top Notch / InGrooves / Universal Music groups.

Born to an African American father and Latin mother, Javier first picked up a guitar at the tender age of 11. Inspired by greats like Nat "King" Cole, Wes Montgomery and Jimi Hendrix, he began the mash up of these sounds which has always influenced and shaped his personal style/brand. By 17, he was the guitarist for the Rap/Rock group Proper Grounds, a pioneer of that 90's genre which influenced bands like Limp Bizkit and ICP; they were first signed to Madonna's Maverick Records.

Surprisingly enough, J Mosley temporarily stepped away from music professionally as an adult and sought to establish a career as a first responder by being hired on as an Emergency Medical Technician, a LAFD Fireman before promoting to Sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department where he served for six years. However, it was his passion for music which was being under serviced that compelled him to resign and pursue his musical talents full time.

J Mosley's versatility lends to him participating on projects of all genres Rock, Pop, R&B, Hip Hop, Jazz and Latin sounds. In 2013 The J Moseley Experience was conceived, forming a band the JME All Stars who started touring and playing jazz festivals in California, Arizona and establishing residency with Arts Brookfield. What began as a Contemporary Jazz ensemble quickly earned the moniker of Fusion Group.

Among his most recent accomplishments he has become notable performer at th NAMM convention in Los Angeles and most recently Nashville as a solo artist. The honed skills of this multitalented guitarist, producer and songwriter are displayed on his first JME EP Under the Sun released in early 2015. He's currently working on the follow up untitled EP due to be released by year's end. However, expect the first single More Than You Know featuring Shaun Brazell to drop on Itunes and other outlets in September, 2015.

J Mosley delivers an array of explosive sultry sounds and authentic elements of musicianship. He considers himself a "Technician of emotion, an artist with tons of expression both in studio and LIVE!" J Mosley is the embodiment the genre he's coined BLUES LATIN SOUL JAZZ!

The Music Department at Long Beach Polytechnic High School is a 2004 recipient of the Grammy Signature Schools Gold Award, recognizing our status as one of the top seven high school music departments in the United States. With over 500 students in sixteen different performance ensembles, our Music Department celebrates a proud tradition of musical excellence in many genres and styles of music, from bands to vocal jazz choirs to symphonic orchestra.

The Poly Choral Music Department is comprised of over 200 Poly students from the diverse Long Beach community, celebrating many backgrounds and heritages. We support seven different vocal ensembles, offering performance opportunities in chamber music, contemporary gospel, concert chorus, handbell choir, and vocal jazz.

Our students have performed across the globe, including performances at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, the North Sea Jazz Festival in Amsterdam, Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York City, as well as performance tours to Italy, the British Isles, Greece, France, Spain, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Our alum have gone on to become musicians both professionally and in higher education institutions such as NYU, Berklee School of Music, and our local Bob Cole Conservatory for Music at California State University at Long Beach. Additionally, as a testament of their academic excellence, our singers have also gone on to become professionals in all fields-business, medicine, law, education, and military service, just to name a few.

The achievements of our singers are a demonstration of not just what we do at Poly High School, but in our great Long Beach Community. We're proud of all our students, past and present, and hope to continue honoring those before us who are proud and priveleged to call themselves "Jackrabbits".

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