Etienne Bouyer was born on March 18, 1982 in Saint-Denis on the island of Reunion and took violin lessons from age four to 11, opting to play the saxophone. In 1995 he played tenor saxophone in the big band of the Conservatoire d’Antibes and joined the Nice CNR in 1997, where he studied classical saxophone and contemporary music.
1999 saw Etienne gaining admittance to the Baccalauréat Général in Paris, France to study in the American School of Modern Music. For the next five years he studied saxophone, harmony, arrangement and composition, writing for big band and string quartet. Leading an active professional life while studying, he plays in numerous bands and orchestras of all styles including big band, salsa, gypsy and co-founded La Brocante, recording and performing in concert in France and Morocco.
In 2004 he joined the Didier Lockwood Music Center and where he studied with a host of musicians like André Villéger, Pierrick Pedron and Stéphane Guillaume among others. During this period Bouyer met many other musicians with whom he works regularly, taking part in the electro-jazz project Blözar and forming his quartet, the Etienne Bouyer Group with Pierre Antoine, Martin Berauer and Alexis Sébileau.
Following graduation he began teaching, studying privately in New York City with Dave Liebman and Sam Newsome, taking a week-long master class with Charlie Haden and began working with the Belgian violinist Cécile Broché, that led to recordings. He returned to Europe to study in Paris and Brussels, taking master classes with Bob Mintzer, François Jeanneau and creating the Collective Of Active Composing. Etienne has been a member of the Yuval Amihai Ensemble that won the Jazz Festival Tremplin in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.He has performed with Avishai Cohen, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Bojan Z, Kyle Eastwood and Manu Katché.
Tenor and soprano saxophonist Etienne Bouyer teaches at the Conservatory of Music and Dance of Châtenay-Malabry and the Conservatoire with Regional Radiation of Amiens Métropole. He currently Is the coordinator of the Jazz & Current Music Department at the Amiens Metropole Regional Conservatory and continues to perform, record and compose.
More Posts: saxophone
Carmen Souza was born in Lisbon, Spain on May 20, 1981 of Cape Verdean heritage speaking Creole, the Cape Verde dialect and Portuguese. In her teens she sang professionally in a Lusophone Gospel Choir. Musicians like Luis Morais, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and Diana Krall were some of her inspirations. Theo Pas’cal, her producer and mentor and one of the best bass players in Portugal, discovered her talent and introduced her to jazz, fusion and other contemporary sounds that markedly influenced her musical development.
Working with Theo in 2003, two years later Carmen released to critical acclaim her debut album Ess ê nha Cabo Verde that combined Creole, African and Cape Verde rhythms like Batuke, Morna, and Cola djon with her jazz contemporary influences. The album led to her international breakthrough performance at the WOMAD at Reading Festival of the same year.
Her sophomore album Verdade she co-produced and is featured on Wurlitzer and guitar. She returned in 2010 with the impressive Protegid (Protected) that continued to push the limits of what constitutes the Cape Verdean music, world music and jazz. The expressive voice, versatile style of vocalist Carmen Souza continues to perform, record and tour.
More Posts: vocal
Christian Scott, also known as Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah was born March 31, 1983 in New Orleans, Louisiana. A twin to brother Kiel, at the age of 13 he was given the chance to play with his uncle, jazz alto saxophonist Donald Harrison. A year later he was accepted into the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts where he studied jazz under the guidance of program directors, Clyde Kerr, Jr. and Kent Jordan.
After graduating NOCCA, Christian received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, graduating in 2004. While matriculating his last year he was member of the Berklee Monterey Quartet and recorded as part of the Art:21 student cooperative quintet. He studied under the direction of Charlie Lewis, Dave Santoro, and Gary Burton. He majored in professional music with a concentration in film scoring.
Scott has worked across musical genres with Stefon Harris, David Sanchez, Donald Harrison, Karin Williams, Nnenna Freelon, Grace Kelly, Erin Boheme, X Clan, Prince, Mike Clark, David Benoit, Global Noize, Ledisi, Marcus Miller and Esperanza Spaulding, to name a few.
His debut album Rewind That on the Concord Record label garnered him a Grammy nomination and received the Edison Award in 2010 and 2012. Since 2002, he has released eight studio albums, and two live recordings. Trumpeter, composer and producer Christian Scott continues performing with his eight-piece ensemble his legacy in jazz.
More Posts: trumpet
Aaron Parks was born on October 7, 1983 in Seattle, Washington. He studied piano at the University of Washington at the age of 14 through the Transition School and Early Entrance Program as a double major in computer science and music. At 15 he was selected to participate in the GRAMMY High School Jazz Ensembles, which inspired him to move to New York City and transfer to the Manhattan School of Music.
During his final year in school Aaron began touring with Terence Blanchard’s band and recorded three albums with him for Blue Note Records, including the Grammy-winning A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina). He went on to tour with Kurt Rosenwinkel, and he has recorded for Blue Note as a leader. He is a member of James Farm, a quartet with saxophonist Joshua Redman, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland.
Parks has seven albums to his credit as a leader, and more the two-dozen as a sideman working with Daisuke Abe, Amanda Baisinger, Walter Smith III, Kendrick Scott, Christian Scott, Gretchen Parlato, Lage Lund and many others. He can be heard on the soundtracks to Their Eyes Were Watching God and Spike Lee films Inside Man, She Hate Me and When The Levees Broke.
He won first place as a Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association, and third place at the Jas Hennessy Piano Solo Competition at Montreux and in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. Pianist Aaron Parks continues to compose, record, perform and tour.
More Posts: piano
Grace Kelly was born Grace Chung on May 15, 1992 in Wellesley, Massachusetts of Korean ancestry. A move to Brookline, Massachusetts, mother remarried and a legal adoption and her name became Kelly. Growing up in an environment of music appreciation of American standards, Broadway and jazz.
Hearing Stan Getz during the ritual Sunday brunch she fell in love with the sound, however, too young to play saxophone she started taking classical piano lessons at age six. She hanged to jazz because she liked making up her own melodies. She wrote her first song On My Way Home at age seven, took up the clarinet in 4th grade the switched to saxophone later the same year and by 12 recorded her debut CD Dreaming. While in the recording stages Kelly met An Hampton Callaway who offered to write liner notes for her first CD.
At age 14, Kelly appeared as special guest artist for two nights with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, at 15 with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the following year for the Let Freedom Swing Celebration of America concert with Dave Brubeck as part of the inaugural festivities for President Obama. She left Brookline High at 16, got her GED, recorded her CD with Lee Konitz titled GRACEfulLEE, attended Berklee College of Music on full scholarship and graduated in 2011.
She has studied with Lee Konitz, Greg Osby, Jerry Bergonzi, James Merenda, George Garzone, Jeremy Udden and Allan Chase; played National Anthem for the Celtics preseason and playoff games, and has opened the Newport Jazz Festival in 2010.
Her list of collaborations is extensive but includes Harry Connick, Esperanza Spalding, Kenny Barron, Teri Lyne Carrington, Chris Potter, Dianne Reeves, Marian McPartland, Adam Rogers, Bob Dorough, Frank Morgan and Phil Woods among others. She has to date amassed more than two-dozen awards, recorded 10 sessions as a leader and continues to perform at some of the 600 concerts, clubs and festivals all over the world.