MIKE CLARK a seasoned and versatile musician, began playing in Oakland, CA where he was instrumental in creating the East Bay Funk" sound. His groundbreaking work with Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters album “Thrust” drew attention to his innovative style, elevating him to international cult status. Clark has performed and recorded with a diverse range of artists including Wayne Shorter, Charlie Hunter, Chet Baker, Gil Evans, Joe Henderson, Tony Bennett, and Mose Allison. Clarke released ‘Carnival of the Soul in 2010 and most recently in 2011 a new Headhunters album ‘Platinum’ with guest artists: Snoop Dogg, Killah Priest & George Clinton
BILL SUMMERS a highly accomplished musician, percussionist, and ethnomusicologist, Bill Summers has performed and recorded with Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana, Michael Jackson, Dianne Reeves, Anita Baker, Stevie Wonder, George Benson and many more, in addition to his various solo projects. He maintains a deep commitment to world music through his personal study with ethnic masters, as demonstrated through his deft ability on a variety of instruments. Summers' awareness of African heritage is evident in his work with Quincy Jones on the musical score for Roots and the soundtrack for The Color Purple. He formed the fantastic Latin/jazz hybrid Los Hombres Calientes in 1998 in New Orleans who have recorded five albums, toured the World They won Billboards “Latin Jazz Album of the Year Award” and were Grammy Nominated.
DONALD HARRISON A talented post-bop alto saxophonist with a definitive style, Donald Harrison, Jr. came to fame with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1982-1984 after attending the Berklee College of Music. Harrison landed a deal with Impulse recording his critically acclaimed Nouveau Swing in 1997 and Free to Be in 1998, fusing modern jazz with elements of funk and reggae. His most recent release, Spirits of Congo Square, furthers his exploration and innovation of his father's Mardi Gras Indian legacy. (Donald performs on shows May 10-15)
CHRIS SEVERIN has been playing Bass in New Orleans for over 30 years. He has recorded & toured with some of the best including: Diane Reeves, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Ellis Marsalis, Terrence Blanchard, Allen Toussaint, Lou Rawls, Bonnie Rae, Nicholas Payton, and the Neville Brothers. Chris worked on the movie soundtracks of “Barbershop” and “The Next Friday”. He also serves on the faculty of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
STEPHEN GORDON At the age of 17, was selected as finalist for The Brubeck Institute quintet. He attended Shenendoah Conservatory for Jazz & Classical Piano. He then went on to play with some of the biggest names in jazz including: Ellis Marsalis, Jason & Delfeayo Marsalis, Christian Scott, Steve Turre, Shannon Powell, Irvin Mayfield Jr., Cyrus Chestnut, Fred Wesley (James Brown), Ivan Hampton (Janet Jackson), Oteil Burbage (The Allman Brothers). Recently he was the Music director for the off-broadway production of Miles and Coltrane: The Blue Sessions"
On Sweetwater Music Hall show in Mill Valley CA – May 9th CHARLES MCNEAL (Alto, Tenor, Soprano Saxophones) Studied extensively in Denver Co. privately and at the college level with teachers that include: WaltFowler, Willie Hill, Rich Charluce, Keith Oxman, Ron Miles, Javon Jackson, Nelson Rangell, Brad Leali, Walter Barr. Has been a featured performer at many national and international festivals including: Monterey JazzFestival (CA), San Jose Jazz Festival (CA), San Francisco Jazz Festival (CA), Playboy Jazz Festival(CA), Telluride Jazz Festival (CO), Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy), Porretta Soul Festival (Italy). Performed, recorded and/or toured with: Jimmy Scott, Charlie Mussellwhite, Keb Mo, John Faddis,Wynton Marsalis, Leslie Drayton, McCoy Tyner, Ray Obiedo, Dave Garabaldi, RAD, Brenda Boykin, Claire Dee, Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Barbara Morrison, Barbara Dennerlein, Jr. Mance, Bruce Forman, Mark Elf, Roberta Flack, The Temptations, Ollie Woodson, Norman Conners, Jean Carne, Curtis Olson, Peter Horvath, Jaz Sawyer, Boz Scaggs, Nicolas Bearde.