Pino Palladino (17 October 1957 in Cardiff, Wales, UK) is a Welsh bass guitarist of Italian ancestry. Palladino rose to public notice playing primarily rock and roll, blues rock, and rhythm and blues music, although he has been lauded for his ability to play most genres of popular music, including jazz, neo soul, and funk. Adding to his eclectic grasp and melodic approach on his instrument, he has become one of the most sought-after session players on the bass in the music industry. He has played on a large number of recordings by some of the world's most successful entertainers, in part, by mastering a variety of techniques on both his late 1970s fretless Music Man StingRay bass guitar and later in his career, adding fretted Fender Precision and Jaguar basses. His playing has earned him custom instruments bearing his name. As of late, Pino Palladino has released "Notes With Attachments ", the first album released under Palladino’s own name, co-headlining with producer and instrumentalist Blake Mills. "Notes With Attachments is an elusive instrumental album, subtle despite the pun in its title. The songs are based around repeating chord changes inspired by funk, West African, and Cuban music, but the continuously shifting arrangements mean that no one instrument carries the melody for long. It’s the sound of consummate collaborators imagining a world where there’s no such thing as a lead performer."( Pitchfork)
"Around a third of the music is vaguely reminiscent, in spirit if not in execution, of the 1949-1950 Birth Of The Cool sessions conducted by Miles Davis with arrangers Gil Evans, John Lewis, Gerry Mulligan and Johnny Carisi." (All About Jazz)
Rob Moose is a Grammy Award-winning arranger and string player based in New York and Los Angeles. He's written and recorded charts for over 400 albums, including work by Bon Iver, Paul Simon, Taylor Swift, John Legend, and yMusic. As an orchestrator, Moose has been repeatedly featured on the Declassified Series at the Kennedy Center alongside artists such as Regina Spektor, Emily King and Ben Folds. He recently served as music director for Sara Bareilles' "Amidst The Chaos" tour and is a regular contributor to the podcast Punch Up The Jam.
Makaya McCraven is a beat scientist. The cutting edge drummer, producer, and sonic collagist is a multi-talented force whose inventive process & intuitive style of performance defy categorization.
Called “a sound visionary” (jazzinchicago.org) who is “not your everyday jazz drummer” (thewordisbond.com), McCraven brilliantly moves between genres and pushes the boundaries of jazz and rhythm to create forms of his own.
“You are listening to one incredible musician. His style and sound is unique, a heady, skillful, sophisticated and boldly uncompromising mix of jazz and hip hop…” (UK Vibe)
His breakthrough album In the Moment was released with International Anthem Recording Co. (IARC) in January of 2015 and quickly named “Album of the Week” on BBC 6 Radio by influential DJ Gilles Peterson. By the end of the year it was a “Best of 2015” selection for Los Angeles Times, Pop Matters, NPR Music’s Jazz Critics Poll, and Apple Music. In 2016, In The Moment was hailed by Turntable Lab as “one of the most important recordings to date in the modern Jazz world.” In The Moment was a dramatic statement by McCraven, where he debuted a unique brand of “organic beat music” that quickly launched him into the vanguard of not only Internationally-known jazz artists, but also a niche genre of next-wave composer-producers blurring the boundaries of jazz & electronic music.
"The horns, guitar stabs, and rattling percussion of “ABC” gesture heavily toward Fela Kuti, while the driving rhythms of “Moody” recalls 1970s Afro-funk bands like the Funkees and Monomono. The brass instruments throughout Fly Moon Die Soon are often used to deploy catchy riffs, Kuroda’s trumpet frequently amalgamating with Corey King’s trombone. The title track shows a more experimental side, with programmed beats and a Moog bassline that swirls like a Thundercat jam. It’s the kind of dense and cosmic jazz hybrid that would blow minds over at Brainfeeder." (Pitchfork)
A highly-respected trumpeter born in Kobe, Japan, Takuya is a forward-thinking musician that has developed a unique hybrid sound, blending soulful jazz, funk, post-bop, fusion and hip hop music.
Takuya Kuroda is already incredibly prolific, releasing five albums in the past decade and fortifying a solid reputation in the global jazz scene. 2011 saw the release of Takuya’s independently-produced debut album, ‘Edge’, followed by ‘Bitter and High’ the following year and ‘Six Aces’ on P-Vine in 2013. Takuya was signed to the legendary Blue Note Records in 2014 for his album ‘Rising Son’, as well as appearing on their 2019 cover versions project, ‘Blue Note Voyage’. He released his 5th album ‘Zigzagger’ on Concord in 2016, which also featured Antibalas on a reimagining of the Donald Byrd classic ‘Think Twice’.
In 2020, Takuya Kuroda returned with his sixth album ‘Fly Moon Die Soon’. In his words, “this album is about the irony between the greatness of nature and the beautiful obsceneness of humanity. Melodies and grooves fly back and forth from being spiritual to being vulgar.”
It took two years to make this album."In 2018, I decided I just couldn’t make albums the same way I had been in the past anymore. As a birthday treat to myself, I booked a studio in Brooklyn for two days, with only myself and an engineer, Todd Carder. I brought along some tracks I’d been building at home to see if we could complete them within that time. We began replacing sounds and adding texture, sampling noises from all over the studio; me sipping coffee, hitting a 26” kick drum, speeding up snares. At the end of the two days we were like “wow, I didn’t know we could make tracks this good in this way”. This is how the process of the full album started. Everything was based on my beats I made at home, inviting musicians in one by one, adding or replacing parts. I was very careful when developing these tracks; just note by note, part by part. I wanted to make the music effectively from a blend of two different recording methods; one very slickly produced part and one very organic part played by live musicians. I remember mixtapes from when I was kid, and wanted to make an album that wasn’t just a bunch of flashy singles, trying to catch people’s attention in the first 30 seconds, or full of guest features. Instead, I’m essentially just trying to let the grooves breath.”
The album consists of nine tracks of excellence. The uptempo jazz-funk of ‘ABC’ and ‘Moody’ sit alongside soulful jazz cuts like ‘Fade’ and ‘Change’, also featuring Corey King on vocals. The title track is a downtempo groove lead by a heavy Moog bassline, whilst ‘Do No Why’ contains an infectious piano riff throughout. Aside from Takuya’s original compositions, he revisits two classics from Ohio Players (’Sweet Sticky Thing’ featuring Alina Engibaryan on vocals) and Herbie Hancock (‘Tell Me A Bedtime Story’) whilst the album closes with the epic ‘TKBK’.
Takuya Kuroda is a truly unique talent, and this album is a realisation of the evolution of his sound.
Grammy winner, Swiss born harmonica player and composer, Gregoire Maret moved to New York City at 18 years old to study at the New School University.
Over the course of the past decade, Gregoire has emerged as a unique and compelling new voice across a wide spectrum of the modern jazz world. That his chosen instrument - the harmonica - is a relative rarity in the genre is one element in his singular sound, but far from the whole explanation. After all, the extensive list of heavy- hitters who have enlisted him for their own projects is unparalleled: Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson, and Marcus Miller are some of his most prominent employers, none of whom have the patience to employ novelty for novelty's sake.
His guest appearances on recording sessions and concert stages expand that list to even more jaw-dropping proportions: Prince, Sting, Elton John, Jimmy Scott, Dianne Reeves, Toots Thielemans, Raul Midón, Richard Bona, Terri Lyne Carrington, Tito Puente, Kurt Elling, Mike Stern, Jeff “Tain” Watts and Charlie Hunter have all made use of Maret's unmatched palette of color.
Along the way, Maret has redefined the role of the harmonica, finding fresh pathways through a remarkable variety of styles. Herbie Hancock has called Maret "one of the most creative musicians around," while Marcus Miller has declared that he is "carrying the instrument into the 21st century with prowess, passion, and creativity."
In 2020, Gregoire in collaboration with French pianist Romain Collin and guitar visionary Bill Frisell have created "Americana". The music on Americana comes from the perspective of two immigrants to the U.S.; the Swiss-native Maret, and Frenchman Collin. "From their peaceful opener, a bucolic take on Mark Knopfler’s “Brothers in Arms,” to Frisell’s engaging, folksy “Small Town,” to Romain’s heartland anthem “San Luis Obispo,” with Maret doubling Frisell’s twangy electric guitar lines, this is all warm, comforting material. A heart-rending interpretation of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman,” Maret’s sweet lullaby “Back Home,” and the hymn-like “Still,” underscored by Frisell’s swirling, entrancing guitar loops, also weave a subtle spell on listeners." (Absolute Sound). Americana was nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album on the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards (2020).
“For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver”, a recording by the Christian Mcbride Big Band featuring Mark Whitfield and Joey Defrancesco has received the 2022 Grammy nomination for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble”! This is the most recent collaboration between Whitfield and McBride, a musical relationship that began over 30 years ago when they were both featured members of the “Jazz Futures”, an All-Star Jazz Band that also launched the career of the late Roy Hargrove.
Mark Whitfield graduated from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, the world’s foremost institution for the study of Jazz and modern American music in the spring of 1987. Shortly thereafter, he returned to his to his native New York to embark on a career as a Jazz Guitarist that has afforded him the opportunity to collaborate with such legendary artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, Carmen McRae, Gladys Knight, Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Smith, Clark Terry, Shirley Horn, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Joe Williams, Stanley Turrentine and his mentor, the great George Benson.
In 1990 the New York Times dubbed Whitfield “The Best Young Guitarist in the Business”. Later that year, Warner Bros. released his debut album “The Marksman”. The success of his debut release led to a recording career that has produced a total of 16 solo recordings and a myriad of collaborative efforts with some of the most important artists in recent years; Sting, Steven Tyler, D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, John Mayer, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Diana Krall, Chris Botti, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Robert Glasper and the aforementioned Christian Mcbride.
Mark Whitfield remains extremely active as a performer, recording artist and sideman and as a highly sought after instructor and master clinician. Along with this most recent Grammy nomination, 2022 will see the release of several new projects that feature Whitfield talents as a guitarist, composer and producer.
"It was nearly 25 years ago when I joined David Passick’s artist roster. His advice and guidance were invaluable to me as I navigated through some of the most challenging times of my life and career. Even though circumstances eventually drew us in different directions, I remained confident that David would be my greatest ally when it was time to re-embark on my solo recording career.
I am truly honored and humbled to be reunited with David Passick and I am excited for all that we will accomplish together!"
Dojah was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He stormed the event world as a DJ in the late nineties and has been a perennial favorite ever since. For the past several years, Dojah has been the go-to party rocker for Silicon Valley’s cooler-than-thou party scene. With each set, he takes you on a musical journey. The California native’s unrivaled ability to keep dance floors packed has caught the eye of entertainment industry bigwigs like Jennifer Lopez, Mick Jagger, Danielle Steel, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Lady Gaga, and Mark Zuckerberg, all of whom have hired DJ Dojah for their exclusive parties and events. In addition to advising several early stage startups, he plays regularly in Hollywood at Warwick and he is also a resident at the Chateau Marmont. Dojah has performed in the Hamptons, NYC, Miami, Las Vegas, Paris, and Milan, as well as for clients such as Cartier, Bulgari, Google, Facebook, American Express, Red Bull, Travel + Leisure, Playboy, and countless other VIP events. DJ Dojah was the first non-athlete signed to GoPro as their official DJ and music ambassador and he recently joined forces with YouTube as their mix master for internal events.
"DJ Dojah is a San Francisco original. Born and raised in the Bay, he was once a young graffiti artist bombing cross-town buses and putting up murals. As the beats and rhymes of hip hop further hijacked his mind, he began dropping in on local cyphers, and made loops of his own on his MPC 2000. Possessed by the music, he turned his attention to DJ’ing, and was soon rocking parties wherever he went. He knew how to make people move, and did it so well that DJ’ing became his passport. Dojah has traveled to LA, NYC, Las Vegas, Miami, Paris, Milan, and London thanks to his skill on the decks. Blessed with a winning smile and an open heart, Dojah has always been a social networker, with friends of all colors and creeds. It’s no accident that when San Francisco became the nexus of tech and culture, Dojah fit right in. Today he serves as a brand ambassador for GoPro and the house DJ at YouTube. He’s also equally at home keeping the beautiful people swaying at his monthly residency at Hollywood’s famed Warwick. DJ Dojah is where soul meets style."
- Anthony Bozza