Noel Lorica was born on January 29, 1968 in Manila, Philippines and played in a rock band as a teenager. His mother urged him to take piano lessons but his love was always the acoustic guitar. Musically at that time he got exposed to the music of George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Paul Desmond, and the modern jazz instrumentalists. Leaving home he first migrated to San Francisco then went east and worked in New York and around Philadelphia.
He later moved to South Florida where he found Latin Beats and jazz influences were all around. Finding his perfect musical fit he started to concentrate on perfecting his craft through tireless practice and soulful dedication. His music today is an expression of his musical and personal journey.
Noel has received critical acclaim for his skill & artistry, has had two PBS specials, and with his band Treebo has played major festivals around the world. He has opened for Marcus Miller, has won Jazz Song of the Year and Best Jazz Instrumental solo, Best Instrumental Arrangement, and has been featured in Billboard and Italian Jazz magazines.The guitarist has released four albums and currently continues to perform jazz and Latin music.
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José James was born January 20, 1978 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has been referenced as a jazz singer for the hip-hop generation. Blending modern jazz and hip-hop, his influences come from John Coltrane, Marvin Gaye and his “musical mother” Billie Holiday.
José attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and in 2008 he released his debut album, The Dreamer, on the Brownswood label. Blackmagic followed in 2010 and the same year For All We Know came out on the Impulse label, winning both the Edison Award and L’Académie du Jazz Grand Prix for best Vocal Jazz Album of 2010. His styling on his early singles and in live performances borrowed from the soul jazz of Terry Callier and the crossover of Gil Scott-Heron to make his sound distinct.
2012 was the year James signed to Blue Note Records issuing Trouble, his first single for the label. His fourth album, No Beginning, No End, followed and he began composing while on the road, reflecting the music of Nirvana and Radiohead that he grew up with as well as newer artists like Frank Ocean and James Blake. This led him to a recording session for While You Were Sleeping, blending rock, R&B and jazz.
In commemoration of Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday, he recorded nine songs written or associated with Billie Holiday, titled Yesterday I Had The Blues and utilizing the talents of Jason Moran, John Patitucci and Eric Harland. To date he has six albums as a leader and seven collaborations with Junior Mance, Jef Neves, J.A.M., Kris Bowers and the Soil & Pimp Sessions. Vocalist José James continues to compose and perform, record and tour.
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Bobby Broom was born Robert Broom Jr. on January 18, 1961 in New York City and began studying the guitar at age 12, taking lessons in the American Folk music style. A year later, he studied with jazz guitarist Jimmy Carter in Harlem where he took weekly lessons for the next two years.
His interest in jazz began in earnest at age 15 and as a result he began his research, study and practice of the jazz art. Broom attended the Laguardia High School of Performing Arts where he played in the jazz ensemble. He received an award for Outstanding Jazz Improvisation during his senior year.
Broom began his career while still in high school, performing at New York clubs with Charlie Parker’s pianists, Al Haig and Walter Bishop Jr. By 1977 he was playing with Sonny Rollins and Donald Byrd at Carnegie Hall. He went to Berklee School of Music in 1978, then returned to New York the next year in order to pursue his career while attending Long Island University.
At this time he began working in New York as guitarist for Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Dave Grusin, Hugh Masekela and Tom Browne and landed his own recording contract with GRP Records. He earned three DownBeat Critics Poll nods from 2012 to 2014 as one of the world’s foremost jazz guitarists.
He has performed with Max Roach, Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Garrett, Miles Davis, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Charles Earland, Dr. ohn, Ron Carter, Dianne Reeves, Eon Blake, Eric Alexander, Ron Carter and Ramsey Lewis among others. He has recorded as a leader with The Deep Blue Organ Trio, The Bobby Broom Organi-Sation and his trio with Kobie Watkins and Makaya McCraven..
In the mid 1980s Broom relocated and as an educator, Broom began his work in 1982 for Jackie McLean, Director of African American Music at Studies for the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. Over the years he has also been a lecturer/instructor at the American Conservatory of Music, Chicago Musical Colege-Roosevelt University, DePaul University and North Park University. He currently instructs and coaches Chicago area high school students for the Ravinia Festival Organization’s community outreach — Jazz Scholar Program, as well as the Thelonious Monk Institute.
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Irvin Mayfield, Jr. was born on born December 23, 1977 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the youngest of five brothers, three half-brothers and a half-sister. He received his first trumpet when he was in the fourth grade, asking his father for one after seeing the success a friend of his was having with girls by playing the instrument. Early in his public school education, he befriended fellow schoolmate Jason Marsalis. As a young man he attended and graduated from New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, declined a scholarship to Juilliard School of Music to attend the University of New Orleans, then dropped out during his first semester.
Mayfield began his musical career during the latter half of the 1980s, playing with the Algiers Brass Band, shared a New York City apartment with Wynton Marsalis for a brief period and helped found Los Hombres Calientes with Bill Summers, Jason Marsalis, Victor Atkins III, David Pulphus, and Yvette-Bostic Summers. Signing with Basin Street Records, the groups debut album garnerd much success and Irvin received national recognition.
As an educator Mayfield would go on to be an artist-in-residence and establish the Institute of Jazz Culture at Dillard University, found the sixteen-piece New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, accept a one-year appointment as Artistic Director of Jazz at Orchestra Hall, the five-concert jazz series of the Minnesota Orchestra, received The Chancellor’s Award from the University of New Orleans, and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Dillard University,
Over the course of his still vibrant career, Mayfield has been a part of the Higher GroundHurricane Relief Benefit Concert in the aftermath of Katrina, and was nominated to the National Council on the Arts by President George W. Bush and was subsequently appointed to the post by President Obama in 2010, serving through 2014. He has performed at the White House and festivals around the country, was made a Cultural Ambassador of the City of New Orleans, has a club named after him in the Royal Sonesta Hotel and has recorded to date, twenty-five albums.
Grammy and Billboard Award-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield currently serves as Jazz Artist in Residence for the Apollo Theater, is Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and continues to perform, record and tour with his small groups and occasionally with Los Hombres Calientes.
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Jacques Lesure was born on December 19, 1962 in Detroit, Michigan. He began playing guitar when he was ten years old, attended Renaissance High School and Interlochen Arts Academy every summer. Started playing in church, he played with the Clark Sisters for many years. He went on to attend Wayne State University.
Signed to WJ# Records, owned by Willie Jones III, he is label mates with Eric Reed and Warren Wolf. He has performed with Kenny Burrell, Oscar Brown Jr., Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, Freddy Cole, Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Jack McDuff, Les McCann, Carmen Lundy, Oliver Lake, Paula West and the list goes on and on.
In a career that has spanned 30 years to date, he has collaborated in the creation of and performed in stage plays, movie scores and special projects for television. Active in the Los Angeles, California community where he resides, as an educator he mentors many up and coming musicians. He is the Musical Director for the Living Legends Foundation, President of the African-American Jazz Caucus, is an Artist Teacher for the Monk Institute, Music LA and The Dolo Coker Jazz Foundation, and a national adjudicator, judging student competitions nationwide. Guitarist Jacques Lesure continues to perform and tour with his group and as a sideman.
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