Host and Performer
A star among stars, Marcus Anderson has definitely become a name among names. A music man from birth, the saxophonist lives for the stage, making him one of the most sought-after musicians in the industry. Having graced the number one positions in both Billboard’s Smooth Jazz and Sirius XM’s Watercolors with the chart-topping track, “A Cup of Joe” from the album *And Coffee* listeners from far and wide search through Anderson’s collection of eight studio albums for their next favorite jam and to see him live and in
action. His work with Prince and the New Power Generation led him to join stages with the likes of Ceelo Green, where he’s become a key contributor to his touring band.
Brian Culbertson is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer known for his distinct brand of genre-crossing contemporary jazz, R&B and funk.
Mining the urban sounds of musically-rich Chicago, he began his musical studies on piano at age eight and quickly picked up several other instruments by the time he was twelve, including drums, trombone, bass and euphonium.
Inspired by the iconic R&B-jazz-pop artists of the 1970s like Earth, Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, Chicago, David Sanborn and others, Culbertson started composing original music for his seventh grade piano recital and hasn’t stopped since, amassing 30 Billboard No. 1 singles (and counting!) and a deep catalogue of 18 albums, most of which have topped the Billboard contemporary jazz charts.
Saxophonist Elan Trotman, has quickly become one of jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers as he continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist.
Trotman’s playing, though inspired by Grover Washington, Jr., Kirk Whalum and Najee, displays his own fresh ideas and distinctive tone. So much so that the New England Urban Music Awards, and The Barbados Music Awards both named him Jazz Artist of The Year on multiple occasions.
Jazmin Ghent is one of the hottest national smooth jazz and gospel recording artists today. She was voted “2017’s BEST NEW SMOOTH JAZZ ARTIST” and was awarded the prestigious “2019 NAACP IMAGE AWARD” for Outstanding Jazz Album “The Story of Jaz.” Jazmin has 3 Billboard topping singles: “Work Wit It,” “Heat” and “Compared to What.” Her most successful hit to date is “Heat” which remained on Billboard Smooth Jazz Airplay Charts for 20+ weeks and was played in rotation by most smooth jazz stations including Sirius XM Watercolors Channel for 7+ months. Jazmin has performed at various major festivals and venues throughout the country, in Europe and recently on the 2019 Dave Koz Cruise in Australia. In addition to performing, she teaches music in Polk County Florida to elementary students in grades K-5.
Seattle native, Jeff Kashiwa knew he was destined to be a musician following his junior high introduction to woodwinds. His instincts were correct. He became known as one of the most compelling young saxophonists in contemporary jazz during his first year with The Rippingtons. Kashiwa performed hundreds of shows all over the world and appeared on many of the band’s classic recordings.
Having established himself in the 1990’s as one of the most diverse saxmen in contemporary jazz during his decade long tenure with The Rippingtons, Kashiwa’s instincts led him to more dynamic endeavors through his solo career.
It surprised many when Jeff left the group to venture out on his own, but he had things to say through his own music. Kashiwa now has nine CDs released under his own name and has continued to record as a guest artist with many other artists as well. In 2004, Kashiwa founded The Sax Pack, a trio of saxophone headliners, featuring himself, Steve Cole and Kim Waters. The group released two CDs together and charmed audiences with their Rat Pack style reparte’ in tours across the U.S. and abroad.
While his reputation as a studio musician is already phenomenal, the insiders are waiting for the breakthrough as a live musician. His fame is likely to rise by his new album Night Sessions (2015). On the cover of the album Nicholas holds the album by Stevie Wonder Songs In The Key of Life in hand. But many combine Stevie with his super hit Superstition, the songthat really put the Hohner Clavinet on the map in funk and soul music.
This brings us to Nicolas’ starter Mary Ann, on which he extensively plays this instrument and also keeps faithful to the rhythm. Stomping beats propel Radiohead into a dynamic drive wheel well supported by Tyler Summers (tenor & baritone sax) and Phil Lassiter (trumpet) with staccato inserts.
The Kickback is performed tautly with the piano in the lead. Alex Bugnon and Brian Culbertson were the inspiration here. Let’s Take A Ride is a shining hypnotic groove with beatboxing as vocal percussion element. Brilliant!