Larry Goldings was born August 28, 1968 in Boston, Massachusetts and studied classical piano until the age of twelve. While in high school at Concord Academy his primary influences were Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson, Dave McKenna, Red Garland and Bill Evans. As a young teenager, Larry studied privately with Ran Blake and Keith Jarrett.
Goldings moved to New York in 1986 to attend a newly formed jazz program under the leadership of Arnie Lawrence at The New School. During college he studied piano with Jaki Byard and Fred Hersch. While still a freshman, Sir Roland Hanna invited him to accompany him to a three-day private jazz party in Copenhagen. While there, he met Sarah Vaughan, Kenny Biurrell, Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones and had the opportunity to play in the band with Vaughan, Harry Sweets Edison and Al Cohn.
As a college student, Larry embarked on a worldwide tour with Jon Hendricks, working with him for a year. A collaboration lasting almost three years with guitarist Jim Hall followed. By 1988 he began developing his organ chops and secured a regular gig at Augie’s Jazz Bar, now Smoke on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He was featured with several bands, and his own trio with guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Bill Stewart got its start there.
His first release was Intimacy Of The Blues in 1991 followed by sixteen more albums as a leader and has appeared as a sideman on hundreds of recordings. Over the course of his career, Goldings distinctive keyboard sound has been sought out more and more by pop, R&B, Brazilian, and alternative artists, such as, Madeleine Peyroux, John Scofield, Carla Bley, Michael Brecker, De La Soul, India Arie, Tracy Chapman, Pat Metheny, Dave Grusin, Norah Jones, John Mayer, Sia, John Pizzarelli, Steve Gadd, Rickie Lee Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Luciana Souza, and the list goes on and on.
In 2007, Larry, DeJohnnette and Scofield captured a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Album Individual or Group for their live album, Trio Beyond – Saudades. He has been twice awarded Best Organist/Keyboardist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, and twice Best Jazz Album for Awareness and Big Stuff by the New Yorker Magazine.
As a composer his music has been used in the films Space Cowboys, Proof and Funny People. Brecker, Scofield, DeJohnette, Hall, Sia, Toots Thielemans, Curtis Stigers, James Taylor and Jane Monheit among others have recorded his compositions. Organist and keyboardist Larry Goldings continues to perform, record, tour and compose.
Anita Wardell, born August 23, 1961 is an English jazz singer born in Guildford, Surrey, England and from age 12 was raised in Australia. In due time she completed a four-year performance course in jazz and improvised music at Adelaide University. She began singing professionally and appeared at jazz festivals with Richie Cole, James Morrison and Don Burrows, with whom she later sang on tracks on two albums.
1989 saw Anita returning to the UK where she studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In the early 90s Wardell worked extensively in Europe and also visited the USA, singing at festivals in San José, Edinburgh and in Finland. She formed a close working relationship with John Stevens, performing drums/voice duos, and recording together in 1994.
Her debut album as a leader was a duet project titled Notes with pianist Liam Noble that allows her to exhibit her rich expressive and agile voice on standards but also her scat skills on bebop classics. Her sophomore project Kinda Blue came in 2008 and her third, The Road, was released in 2013 on the Specific Jazz label.
Wardell has won the BBC Best Jazz Award, and is noted for her vocalized rendition of Lee Morgan’s solo from Moanin’. An educator at heart, she teaches annual jazz course in Loire, France and continues to perform, record and tour.
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Leon Parker was born August 21, 1965 in White Plains, New York. He studied drums from age 11 and had classical training in his teens. He went on to study jazz under the tutelage of Barry Harris.
Leon made his recording debut with Harvie S and released his debut as a leader in 1994 with Above & Below on the Epicure label. Since then he has released three more projects and his 1998 album, Awakening, rose to #20 on the Billboard list of Top Jazz Albums.
Parker has collaborated on and recorded a du project with Charlie Hunter titled Duo, recorded with Dewey and Joshua Redman, Jesse Davis, MTB comprised of Brad Mehldau, Mark Turner and Per Bernstein, Jacky Terrasson, Don Braden, Franck Amsallem, Virgina Mathew, James Carter, Giovanni Mirabassi and Gianiuca Renzi,
Jazz percussionist and composer Leon Parker continues to perform, record and tour often playing with a minimalist drum kits, sometimes consisting of only one cymbal.
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Byron Stripling was born as Lloyd Byron Stripling on August 20, 1961, in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.
Following his studies, Stripling was featured as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra when Thad Jones and Frank Foster were directing. His touring and recording reads like a who’s who list with Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, Buck Clayton,, Gerry Mulligan,, J.J. Johnson, Jim Hall, Sonny Rollins, Paquito D’Rivera, Freddie Cole, Jack McDuff, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Joe Henderson Big Band and the GRP All-Star Big Band.
Byron debuted at Carnegie Hall with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops. He took on Broadway as the lead in the musicals Satchmo and From Second Avenue to Broadway, and has had a featured cameo in the television movie The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. He again portrayed Louis Armstrong in Dave Brubeck’s revival of his The Real Ambassadors.
He has been a featured soloist at the Newport Jazz Festival, Hollywood Bowl and the Vail Jazz Festival as well as with the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Baltimore Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, and the Seattle, Utah and Minnesota Symphonies, and The American Jazz Philharmonic.
In 2002 Stripling was selected to succeed Jazz Arts Group founder, Ray Eubanks, as the Artistic Director of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. He continues to serve in that role, while also performing throughout the world with symphony orchestras and his own small group.
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Mike Davis was born on August 9, 1972 in Rosenberg, Texas not far from Houston. Mike grew up in a small Texas town not far outside of Houston called Rosenberg. Though music was in his blood from a very early age, he didn’t begin seriously playing an instrument until around age 14. His began with the bass and soon was playing in his high school big band as well as in the Symphonic band. He borrowed other instruments from the school and began to practice and experiment with clarinet, trombone, trumpet, French horn, drums and piano. Ultimately the bass was his best fit as he discovered his first great jazz album – Chick Corea’s ‘Now He Sings-Now He Sobs’.
Davis studied bass, theory and jazz with Dave Foster, Eric Late, Shelly Berg and Bruce Dudley. He played gigs in Houston with his first influential peers – Todd Harrison, Mike Wheeler, Harry Shepard, Joe LoCascio, Tony Campisi, Woody Witt, Clark Erickson, Ted Wenglisnski. In 1993 Mike began studying jazz, classical bass, arranging, composition, improvisation, table and North Indian classical music. During this time Mike performed regularly with Dave Zoller, Pete Peterson and the Collection Jazz Orchestra, Allison Wedding, Pablo Mayor and many others. He was a regular member of the bands Little Jack Melody and his Young Turks, Sol Caribe and The Great Escape. Mike also formed his original avant-garde ensemble Sand with guitarist Niclas Höglind, saxophonist Jacob Duncan and drummer Chris Michael.
In 1998 Mike moved to New York City and focused on jazz performance playing with the likes of Lynne Arriale and Steve Davis, Cheryl Pyle, Tom Chang, Rez Abbasi, Dave Phelps, the SoHa Big Band, Jonathan Kreisberg, Dave Wood, Billy Eric and Mike Freeman. He moved into the pop rock and folk genres as a producer, editor and mixer but eventually returned to his own creative endeavors. Launching Tmpf Records he released three albums, I See Better With My Eyes Closed, It Won’t Get Dark and Fortunes and Hat-tricks, Vol. 1, as a leader of a quartet, duo and trio respectively.
Over the years bassist Mike Davis has perform and recorded with Airto Moreira, Norah Jones, Steve Gadd, Ed Thigpen, Doc Cheatham, Bobby Womack, Ellen Greene, Peter Erskine and Poncho Sanchez to name a few. He continues to compose, perform, collaborate and record.
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