Dylan Meek, a graduate of The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music is simply a wizard on keys, an exceptional soul and R&B vocalist and killer composer. Meek born in Wimberley, Texas was a 13 year old prodigy. It was at this age when Jimmy Neely, the former pianist of Chuck Berry took Meek under his wing and wow, did that pay off! Before recently moving to Los Angeles, Meek was known as one of the top pianists in New York City.
Meek has an impressive sessions resume, recording with Questlove and for labels such as Warner Bros. and Atlantic Records. During his time in New York City he became a protege of one of the great Jazz Pianists, Jonny O'Neal. His blossoming career consists of performing with heavy weights such as, Ray Angry of The Roots, Grace Vanderwaal (direct supprt for Imagine Dragons), Cynthia Robinson of Sly and the Family Stone, Bernie Worrell of Parliament Funkadelic and Jon Batiste. To add to his superb line of work, he has played alongside English superstar Tom Odell and Pop Star Stanaj on numerous television shows, such as The Tonight show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and The Today Show.
Introducing PHILTHY. Former member of Prince and the New Power Generation, Philip Lassiter is a household name in the music industry and 7 time Grammy award winning arranger. To attempt to truly define the bombastic brilliance of this jazz trumpeter turned singer-songwriter would be like trying to catch a bear with a mousetrap.
A multi-faceted, multi-instrumentalist, Philthy's piano is his pulpit as he commands the stage with the bravado of a revolutionary. With the best backing band in Los Angeles as his army, it’s an invasion of the senses that leaves your body aching for more and your feet tapping the beat for days to come. As an arranger with multi-platinum artists including Kirk Franklin, Ariana Grande, Fantasia, Kelly Rowland, Jill Scott, Fred Hammond, Al Jarreau, Anthony Hamilton, Ledisi, Regina Belle and Timbaland, Philthy scooped 7 Grammy Awards and gained due respect as one of the premier horn section arrangers in the business.
Philthy is a 14 piece soul/funk band that features a 4 piece horn section, as well as American Idol superstar Elliott Yamin and Dutch-Caribbean sensation, Josephiine Rojer. Philthy has been imbued with the soul of a musical saviour and the manic energy of a deliciously decadent devil. With the humor and lyrical flow of Slim Shady before the music biz ate him up, Philthy could be the lovechild of Andre 3000 and Aretha Franklin, with James Brown laying down the blessing. He gives his life to bring music to yours. He’s been given a gift and wants you to share in it. This party’s just getting started…
J. Hoard, is a new stitch to the essential fabric of the city- its music scene. In one performance you are given the core of the Black church and allure of The Great White Way. His original compositions easily shift in genre to communicate his unlimited imagination in songwriting. His credits include Chance the Rapper, Brasstracks, and hip-hop royalty Jean Grae & Quelle Chris and a host of jazz/experimental artists such as Sonnymoon, Javier Santiago, and Meshell Ndgeocello.
J. Hoard – Follow Me (Now)
PITCHFORK Approved https://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/one-night/
Wussy Magazine interview.
New York Times review of "Root" by Sonnymoon
TheLessonGK Zildjian video
Full list of awards and press quotes
There are singers and then there are Vocal Architects. Maxayn Lewis is the latter - not only a coveted session and touring vocalist but a passionate and conscientious instructor and coach for people in all walks of life to use their voices to their maximum capacity.
The resume of Maxayn Lewis is an impressive one that includes recording with artists ranging from Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross and Celine Dion to Michael Jackson and Madonna. She has toured with Quiet Storm greats Brenda Russell and Gino Vannelli, jazz legend Les McCann and renowned blues man Bobby "Blue" Bland, as well as many superstars in the Japanese pop world such as Omega Tribe, Toshinobu Kubota, Anri, Akina Nakamori, Sanno Motoharu and Namie Amuro.
Her big break arrived when the legendary Tina Turner blew into town and recruited her for a world tour. On this tour, Maxayn wowed critics and musicians alike including English rock royalty David Bowie and Mick Jagger, who referred her for gigs. Working with Tina required Maxayn to move to Los Angeles where her career truly took flight in the realm of recording sessions for not just pop music but also film scores and commercials for radio and television.
Beyond supporting the music of others, she recorded three albums as the leader of a funk-rock fusion quartet called – what else – Maxayn.
Most recently, Maxayn was featured on rock n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis' critically acclaimed 2007 CD, Last Man Standing, gracing The Killer's take on the Jimmy Reed classic "Bright Lights, Big City."
Summing up her enviable career as a vocal entrepreneur, Maxayn concludes, "It's been a wild ride…but I still feel as though I'm just getting started - building a world of song… one voice at a time!"
Michael Blume is a outright sensation who blends pop, soul, hip-hop, and R&B to create his unique, genre-defying sound. Openly queer and persistently conscious, NYC-based Blume asks questions about love, life, and identity. After his 2015 debut single "Manufactured Love" hit the Viral Charts on Spotify and iTunes, Blume gained industry attention and signed to S-Curve Records/BMG.
Coming from a live performance and bandleader background, Blume took his 11-piece band to Governor's Ball, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, LA Pride, and Firefly supporting his 2016 release "When I Get It Right" and his 2018 EP "cynicism & sincerity." National press highlights include Time, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Nylon, Huffington Post, Pigeons & Planes. Blume is now writing and recording his next project.
James Yoshizawa is a versatile drummer, percussionist, and educator based in Los Angeles, CA. He received his B.M. In Percussion Performance from California State University, Long Beach.
He has been a guest artist at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival since 2013, where he is a performer and educator in the Celtic, World Music and Dance, Orchestra, and Jazz departments. He served as the bodrán player and percussionist for the Broadway musical, "Come From Away" during its run at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC in the Fall of 2016. He has been invited to compete in the All-Ireland Bones Championships in Limerick in May 2019.
Some of his current projects include the Jonathan Rowden Group, the Nick Mancini Collective, the Kim Richmond and Kimberley Ford Ensemble, and the Golden Lion Trio.
He teaches percussion at Arcadia High School, Oxford Academy, and Musical Miracles, a non-profit organization that provides music instruction to children who would otherwise have no access to it.
Saxophonist and composer, Hailey Niswanger (pronounced “NICE–wonger”), graduated in December of 2011 with a B.A. in Jazz Performance from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, on a full scholarship. Born February 12, 1990 in Houston, Hailey grew up in Portland, Oregon, and now currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. Hailey has shared the stage with Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Mike Clark, Michael Wolff, Ralph Peterson Jr., and other jazz greats. Hailey leads her own bands and has performed at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest (2018), Portland Jazz Festival (2015), Cathedral Park Jazz Festival (2015), Northampton Jazz Festival (2013), Saratoga Jazz Festival (2012, 2010), Red Clay Jazz Festival (2011), Salem Jazz Festival (2011), Beaches International Jazz Festival (2010), Elkhart Jazz Festival (2010), Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival (2009), Tri-C Jazz Festival (2009), The Blue Note Jazz Club in New York, Smalls Jazz Club, National Sawdust, among others. Hailey was part of Esperanza Spalding's Radio Music Society, touring the United States, Europe, Asia, Curaçao, and Cape Verde. Hailey has also appeared with the Ralph Peterson fo'tet and sextet. Hailey has been a reoccurring guest soloist with The Soul Rebels Brass Band, and has performed with Demi Lovato on Saturday Night Live, and noise pop duo Sleigh Bells on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and the Late Show with David Letterman.
Hailey has been listed among the DownBeat critics poll for rising star on alto and soprano saxophone for six consecutive years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). Her self-produced and self-released recording debut as a leader, Confeddie, (June 2009) established her throughout North America. Promoted to U.S. and Canadian press and radio, the CD received stellar reviews in JazzTimes, Jazziz and Downbeat, and inspired veteran jazz critic Nat Hentoff to pen a profile of Hailey in The Wall Street Journal in November, 2009, which he included in his book At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene (the day after this article was published, Confeddie was the #2 downloaded jazz album at Amazon.com where it remained in the Jazz Top-100 for over a week and debuted the following week at #13 on the Billboard Jazz Album Chart). Programmed on over 100 radio stations, it was on the CMJ Jazz Top-40 chart for 11 consecutive weeks including four in the top-10, three in the top-5 and two at its peak position of #4. Confeddie also spent three weeks on the JazzWeek Top-50 chart, was among the top 100 jazz CDs in the U.S. for two months and was cited by NPR on its annual year-end lists as one of the top-10 jazz CDs of 2009. Hailey also recorded flute on Terri Lyne Carrington's GRAMMY award winning album, The Mosaic Project.
Chris Lawrence is a trumpet player and composer based in Los Angeles. He was a finalist in the 2011 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition. He has performed with The Temptations, Aaran Neville, Linda Ronstadt, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Cab Calloway Orchestra and Mondo Cozmo. Most recently Lawrence performed on Josh Nelson's "The Sky Remains" Origin Records 2017. Each time Lawrence performs, bask in a sea of Oohh's and Aahh's from a spellbound audience, Lost in effortless melody and musical conviction.
Kyle Crane performed as the drum double during the "Caravan scene" for the critically acclaimed Sundance and Academy Award-winning film Whiplash.
Crane was nominated in the Best Up and Coming Drummer category in the 2016 Modern Drummer Reader’s Poll and was the subject of a feature in the magazine’s June 2015 issue.
Crane has recorded or performed with Brad Mehldau, Bill Frisell, Conor Oberst, Neko Case, Daniel Lanois, Kurt Vile, M. Ward, Luke Steele, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Elle King, Glen Ballard, Everest, Sam Barsh, Judith Hill, Blake Mills, Bridgit Mendler, Peter Morén, Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes), Pablo Alborán, Red Elvises, Alexi Murdoch, American Authors, Jesse & Joy, Pomplamoose, Ben Bridwell, Kandace Springs, John Mayer, Sabina Sciubba (Brazilian Girls), Crystal Bowersox, Cold War Kids and Rocco Deluca.
RUNSON WILLIS III
He never misses a note. With over 10 years of experience with the guitar combined with his extensive performing and touring record, Runson Willis III is an absolute mega talent. The Los Angeles based artist, calls on his idles, Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin, Willie Guthrie and Willie Nelson as constant reminder of the level of greatness he is working toward. With roots in the deep south, you can hear the soul in every lyric he sings and note he plays.
Runson is geared up and ready to bring his music to the world! From his own words:
“This guitar is noisy, beat up and it may have a lot of scratches on it. But it’s true, it's lasted a long time and it hasn’t gone anywhere. And I think it’s like me.”
- Rob LaFond KCRW
Allie Kaster launched her singing career in her hometown of Santa Barbara, CA. She received her Bachelor's in Music in 2015 and and her Masters in Music in 2017, both from California State University Northridge. During her time at CSUN she performed in operas and oratorios with a full Orchestra. Allie’s diverse stylistic range includes jazz and alternative folk music in addition to singing classical music.
Allie has sung the national anthem for the LA Galaxy, Santa Barbara City College, The Special Olympics, and California State University Northridge. Allie currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, where she performs in operas and choirs, teaches yoga, leads sound bath experiences, and teaches both group and private voice lessons.