Ellis Marsalis is regarded by many as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans. Born on November 14, 1934, his formal music studies began at age eleven at the Xavier University junior school of music. After high school, Marsalis enrolled in Dillard University (New Orleans, LA) as a clarinet major. He graduated in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. Marsalis spent the next year working as an assistant manager in his fathers motel business.
James Moody was an institution in jazz from the late '40s into the 21st century, whether on tenor, flute, occasional alto, or yodeling his way through his "Moody's Mood for Love." After serving in the Air Force (1943-1946), he joined Dizzy Gillespie's bebop orchestra and began a lifelong friendship with the trumpeter. Moody toured Europe with Gillespie and then stayed overseas for several years, working with Miles Davis, Max Roach, and top European players.
Kenny Barron has been lauded as “one of the top jazz pianists in the world” by The Los Angeles Times and “the most lyrical piano player of our time” by Jazz Weekly. His unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies, and infectious rhythms has earned him nine Grammy-Award nominations and countless honors. Barron joined jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie's celebrated quintet in 1962, during which time he developed an acute appreciation for Latin and Caribbean rhythms. In 1974, he recorded the first of more than 40 albums, Sunset To Dawn.
Virtuoso bassist, cellist, composer, educator, and author, Ron Carter’s reputation in the music world is peerless. He performs with stunning virtuosity and impeccable taste as both a leader of his own groups and a supportive collaborator. With more than 2,500 albums to his credit, the two-time Grammy Award-winner has recorded and performed with many of the greatest names in music, including Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Sonny Rollins, B.B. King, and Carlos Santana, among countless others.
Roy Hanes is the pulse of legendary jazz. For over 50 years Roy Haynes has influenced and innovated, shaping some of the greatest recordings in jazz while his joyous drumming with the legends of the genre altered the very fabric and direction of jazz improvisation. Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny. The list goes on and on as does Roy's unflagging energy and marvelous invention.
“Today that we talk so often about our contemporary Jazz masters, one of the names we must have in mind all the time is the ineffable Charlie Fishman. I’ve never met anybody more enthusiastic and devoted to this music than “El Pescao” Charlie Fishman. We love him!”
- Paquito D'Rivera
Born in Tochigi Prefecture in 1933. Moved to Tokyo after graduating high-school. In 1962, moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music after participating in many band sessions as a alto saxophone player. Representing as a top Japanese musician, also know as a talented photographer, publishes six picture books. As an Executive Producer of the Japanese Government Exhibition Project for the 2005 in Japan, advocates the message "World Peace" through music.
Chris Walter is the Commercial General Manager of Forest City Enterprises, overseeing all commercial operations at The Yards, a mixed-use development site in the Capitol Riverfront District of SE DC. With over 10 years' experience in the commercial real estate industry, Walter has worked in a variety of capacities with Forest City in Los Angeles, Denver and Miami.
Theo George is a DC-based digital strategist, community-based activist, and musician. As a digital strategist, Theo helps a variety of nonprofit organizations, arts festivals, and community-based grassroots organizations connect on a deeper level with their target audiences. Theo's music career highlights include being a percussionist for the Baltimore Ravens Band and DJ'ing an after party for 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Kyle Abraham. He is most passionate about promoting and preserving the artistic and cultural legacy of African American communities.
Maria Duplat is a development intern from American University where she is working towards her Bachelors degree in Sociology and Marketing. Maria is a part of and Head Chair of the fundraising committee for the AU Women’s Club Soccer. She was born in Bogota, Colombia and since has lived in various places including Puerto Rico and Florida. Growing up as international kid, Maria is no stranger to culturally driven music and the music festival scene. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and hopes to work in the entertainment business and with non-profit organizations after graduation.