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Pino Palladino

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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.

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"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)

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Rob Moose

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.

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Makaya McCraven 

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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.

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Takuya Kuroda

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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.

 

After following the footsteps of his trombonist brother playing in big bands, he relocated to New York to study jazz & contemporary music at The New School in Union Square; a course he graduated from in the mid-noughties. It was here that Takuya met vocalist José James, with whom he worked on the ‘Blackmagic’ and ‘No Beginning No End’ projects.

 

Following graduation, Takuya established himself further in the NYC jazz scene, performing with the likes of Akoya Afrobeat and in recent years with DJ Premier’s BADDER band (also including acclaimed bass player, Brady Watt). Premier said “The BADDER Band project was put together by my manager, and an agent I’ve known since the beginning of my Gang Starr career. He said, ‘What if you put a band together that revolved around a trumpet player from Japan named Takuya Kuroda? He’s got a hip-hop perspective and respect in the jazz field…”

 

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’.

 

Late Summer 2020, Takuya Kuroda returns 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.”

Gregoire Maret

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."

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Nir Felder

  

Nir Felder (born 1982) is an American jazz guitarist, composer, and songwriter. He grew up in Katonah, New York, and attended the Berklee College of Music. Before leading his own band, he played with Greg Osby, Esperanza Spalding, Jack DeJohnette, and Meshell Ndegeocello. He has also collaborated with Australian jazz pianist Barney McAll and singer Gian Slater in the experimental jazz ensemble Sylent Running.

In 2013, Felder performed a tribute to saxophonist Dexter Gordon at the Montreal International Jazz Festival with Terri Lyne Carrington, Greg Osby, and Orlando le Fleming. The quartet recreated and played two albums of material by Gordon, Go (1962) and Our Man in Paris (1963).

Felder's first album, Golden Age (2014), was released by Okeh and recorded with Aaron Parks on piano, Matt Penman on bass, and Nate Smith on drums.

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Jason Lindner

Jason Lindner (born February 1, 1973) is an American pianist, keyboardist, synthesist, sound designer, composer, arranger and producer. Lindner was brought up in Brooklyn, New York City. His father played the piano and sang, and Jason began playing the piano at the age of 2. As a child, he liked heavy metal, then bebop and blues as a teenager. He attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

Lindner "made his mark during the 1990s", in part as leader of a big band that played at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City. He was also the club's house pianist around the time it opened in 1994. This band recorded the album Premonition in 1998 and it was released in 2000, by which time Lindner had changed to leading a quintet. He performed and arranged for vocalist Claudia Acuña's first album, Wind from the South.

By 2004, Lindner was leading an electric group that consisted of Jacques Schwarz-Bart (sax), Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Reggie Washington (bass), and Gene Jackson (drums). His Now Vs. Now band began in 2006 as a quintet, with Cohen, Baba (beatbox, rap), Panagiotis Andreou (bass), and Mark Guiliana (drums). Lindner commented that "I wasn't playing jazz quartet gigs anymore. I was playing in a place where we could really experiment sonically, using electric bass, the drummer playing more groove-oriented beats and less straight ahead swing. [...] I wanted to appeal to ordinary people and not just a jazz audience." In the first three months of 2015 he participated in recordings sessions for David Bowie's Blackstar. For this recording, he used nine keyboards and a grand piano. Lindner reported that his subsequent production work was influenced by the presence of Tony Visconti for the Bowie sessions.

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