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  Gardena Jazz Festival 2014 Artists  

HEADLINING: Dave Koz | Summer Horns

Dave Koz

Nine-time GRAMMY® nominee Dave Koz remembers a time when the summers lasted forever, and the most popular rock, R&B, soul and funk bands of the day were propelled by high-octane, richly arranged home sections. Indeed, from the late 1960s through the '70s bands like Sly & the Family Stone, Tower of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears and other brassy juggernauts of the era ruled the airwaves and opened his young ears to the saxophone's limitless possibilities as a solo instrument as well as a collaborative voice with the trumpet and trombone.

Four decades later, Koz has assembled three of his most talented and trusted colleagues - Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot and Mindi Abair - to revisit this golden age with new arrangements of classic songs from this period in the history of popular music. Dave Koz and Friends, Summer Horns, produced by Paul Brown (Al Jarreau, George Benson, June Tabor, Boney James), is a collaborative effort that throws the spotlight on four high-profile saxophonists, and augments the team with several other equally talented musicians and vocalists. Summer Horns, set for release on June 11, 2013, on Concord Records, turns up the heat just in time for the summer tour season.

arrow Dave Koz

arrow Mindi Abair

arrow Gerald Albright

arrow Richard Elliot


Euge Groove

Steven Eugene Grove (born November 27, 1962), better known as Euge Groove, is an American smooth jazz saxophonist with a strong Top-40 background.

Born in Hagerstonw, Maryland, he graduated from the University of Miami School of Music in 1984. Grove did not record his first solo album until 2000. Prior to that, he had replaced Richard Elliot in the Tower of Power when Elliot decided to pursue a solo career, and he also did session work with various pop acts, most noticeably the Miami girl group Exposé. He has a sax solo on their No. 1 hit "Seasons Change", and another on their 1993 hit "I'll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me)."

Grove adopted the name Euge Groove, initially presumed to be coined by fans who saw him perform in Europe. Grove later indicated in an interview on XM Radio in 2006 that his mother-in-law conceived the idea for his stage name.

Euge Groove's best known solo hits include "Sneak a Peek," "Slam Dunk," "Rewind," "Don't let me be lonely tonight," "Livin' Large" and "XXL." His most recent hits include "Get 'Em Going", "Chillaxin', and "S7ven Large". Solid albums include; S7ven Large (2011), Born 2 Groove (2006), Livin' Large (2004) and Play Date (2002). He has recenlty released another album, titled "Sunday Morning." In 2008 he went on Tour with Tina Turner.

FOURTH: Brian Simpson

Brian Simpson

Celebrated keyboardist, composer and studio musician, Brian Simpson has been the 'go-to' man for everyone from Janet Jackson and Teena Marie to George Duke, Stanley Clarke and Dave Koz, for whom he has had the distinction of being musical director for the past 15 years. The chart-topping musical chameleon who wrote the #1 R&B hit "The First Time" for Surface in the 1990s confesses, "Ultimately, my listeners inspire me to make my music."

Known for his ability to sculpt timeless love songs, soulful party anthems and melodies that stay on your mind, Brian Simpson is truly a master at his craft. South Beach, his inaugural album for Shanachie Entertainment, delivers on every front. The album's title track, with a jubilant vibe reminiscent of the Ramsey Lewis smash hit "The In Crowd", is already top 20 on multiple jazz charts, two months prior to album release. "I'm very happy we chose 'South Beach' as the first single," confides Simpson, "because it's probably the song that's most indicative of my style. My travels take me to some pretty nice places, but my favorites are always the ones with beaches. In the last year I've been to Hawaii, Bali, Indonesia, and several beaches in Florida. The wind, sea, and sand really inspired the melodies you'll hear."

Hailing from Gurnee, Illinois, Brian always knew music would play center stage in his life. "Our house was filled with music. My older brother and sister both played instruments, and my brother's rock band rehearsed in our living room every weekend. I never really considered any other lifestyle," shares the keyboardist. Simpson's breakthrough as a solo artist began in 2005 with the #1 radio hit "It's All Good." The title track of It's All Good proved instantly and joyfully prophetic, as it hit #1 on the Radio & Records Smooth Jazz Airplay chart and remained in the Top 5 for four months.

After graduating from Northern Illinois University, Simpson relocated to Los Angeles where he quickly immersed himself in the local jazz scene. Late night jazz sessions found him playing alongside everyone from saxophonist Everette Harp and Boney James to guitarist Norman Brown. The free-spirited musician soon found himself taking a temporary leave of absence from the jazz scene, touring the world with pop divas Teena Marie, Sheena Easton and Janet Jackson. His foray into the pop world didn't end there; in January 1991 he co-wrote the #1 Pop hit "The First Time" by Surface, which conquered both the R&B and Adult Contemporary charts.

Placing his success in pop aside, Brian Simpson has always been a working jazz musician. He has toured with some of the greats of recent jazz history, including George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Larry Carlton, Kirk Whalum, and Jonathan Butler. Brian has been the musical director for jazz saxophonist Dave Koz for the past 15 years, and for the last 8 years the Musical Director, of the highly popular "Smooth Jazz Cruise" featuring Marcus Miller and David Sanborn.

THIRD: Karina Pasian

Karina Pasian

Hailing from Washington Heights, New York, Karina Pasian is one of the industry's most impressive and accomplished emerging young artists on the rise. She is a proud Dominican, who is a classically trained vocalist and pianist and speaks 3 languages fluently - Spanish, Russian, and English. In 2008, she released her first album "First Love" on Island Def Jam garnering a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary R&B and the attention of industry heavyweights. By the time she'd matured to her mid-teens, Karina won the national talent search competition Star Search, performed at The Whie House for President George W. Bush in celebration of Black Music Month, and performed with Andrea Bocelli at Quincy Jones' We Are the Future concert in Rome. Now a young woman, Karina reveals a sultry sound combining the precision and complexity of jazz, with her appreciation for contemporary urban music. You can also expect to hear the melodies and sweetness of R&B, while she keeps her Latin roots in the mix. Keep your eyes and ears open for Karina Pasian, the best is yet to come.

Quick Facts:
Arrow 22-year old Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, musician
Arrow Classically trained vocalist and pianist AND speaks three languages fluently
Arrow At 13 she gained the attention of several music executives causing a bidding war between several major labels including Def Jam, Interscope and Bad Boy Records

Recent Highlights:
Arrow On June 28th, Karina participated in America's largest FREE Fan festival celebrating BET music, entertainment and culture as one of the performers for BET Music Matters sponsored by Nissan alongside fellow singer/songwriters: Sevyn Streeter, Mack Wilds, Rico Love, and Eric Bellinger

Arrow Working on new music with super producers including Da Internz (Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Big Sean, John Legend, Mayer Hawthorne, Nas) and Harmony Samuels (Chris Brown, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Kelly Rowland, etc).

Arrow Performing at various venues in LA most recently selected to perform as part of Next2shine series at Social House.

Arrow Attended the 2014 ASCAP Awards honoring Jermaine Dupri & Ne-yo. Other attendants included Usher, Miguel, Jennifer Hudson and more.

Social Media IG/Twitter: @KARINAPASIAN
Management: PHASE TOO INC.

SECOND: Raffia


Raffia is a professional Vocalist/Recording R&B, Jazz & Soul Artist who is originally from New York, currently based in the Los Angeles area. Raffia's style of music can be defined as a fusion of Jazz, R&B, and Soul. Since the release of Raffia's EP "Let it Go", (Spring of 2013) Raffia's music has been featured on numerous radio stations worldwide both FM stereo and online syndicated stations. The original song "Into my Life" was featured on the UK compilation CD "Soul Togetherness 2013" along with top recording artist such as, Charlie Wilson, Eric Roberson, and The Chi-Lites, to name a few. Her voice could be best described as soulful, sultry, and passionate. Raffia has performed background vocals for, numerous artists including Aretha Franklin, Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton, Chante Moore, Anita Baker, Ledisi, Gloria Estefan, Patrice Rushen, Melissa Etheridge, and Donnie McClurkin to name a few.

In 2009, Raffia competed to be part of P Diddy's, Making His Band Reality Television Show. Her voice and persona awed the judges as she was chosen as one of five finalists out of thousands of musicians who had auditioned from across the state of New York. Her vocal ability carried her throughout the entire competition and into the televised final round of eliminations.

The success continued with more television exposure performing background vocals on various nationwide televised shows such as, "The Jacksons - A Family Dynasty" that debuted on the A&E network. Rhythm and Blues legend, Toni Braxton's show "Braxton Family Values" of the WE network. The Ellen Degeneres show "12 days of giveaways" during the Holiday season. Raffia appeared on the Ellen Degeneres performing background vocals for the Star Vocal Coaches of "The Voice" Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton. Raffia will also be featured on the Oxygen T.V. network's "Fix My Choir" as the Choir Director for the Hermosa Beach Gospel Choir, November of 2014.

It was evident early on that Raffia was destined for stardom, and that she was merely scratching the surface of what was yet to come.

FIRST: Long Beach Poly High School Jazz Ensemble

Long Beach Poly Jazz Combo I is the premier chamber jazz ensemble at Long Beach Polytechnic High School. The Grammy Foundation has recognized Long Beach Poly High several times in recent years as one of the most outstanding high school music programs in the nation.

The Poly Jazz program, directed by Chris Stevens, currently is comprised of 130 students of traditional as well as non-traditional jazz instruments who participate in 4 jazz classes throughout the school day. They receive instruction in solo and small-group jazz performance as well as big band ensemble playing. Poly students and ensembles have won many awards at regional and international jazz festivals in additional to performing at numerous civic and community events. Combo I is very grateful for the opportunity to perfrom at the 2014 Gardena Jazz Festival!

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