Mark Shim was born on November 21, 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica but raised in Canada from the age of eight months to five years. Then his family moved to Richmond, Virginia. He started playing tenor saxophonist in the seventh grade through high school. Graduating in 1991 he attended Virginia Commonwealth University and William Patterson College.
1994 saw Shim moving to Brooklyn, New York where he played and recorded with Hamiet Bluiett in Harlem. He then played with Elvin Jones, Mose Allison, Betty Carter, Greg Osby and the Mingus Big Band.
He recorded his debut album Mind Over Matter for Blue Note Records in 1998, with his sophomore project New Directions with Stefon Harris, Jason Moran and Greg Osby and Turbulent Flow released in 2000. Tenor saxophonist Mark Shim continues to perform, record and tour.
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Jay Rosen was born November 20, 1961 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At age 10, he became interested in jazz drumming after seeing Tony Williams perform with Sonny Rollins. He took drum lessons from Tracy Alexander, son of Mousey who would occasionally mentor the young musician. He would also briefly study with Barry Altschul.
Around age 18, Rosen became a professional musician, and played in a variety of settings that included studio sessions, weddings and cocktail lounges. In addition to playing jazz he is also adept at playing rock and roll, rhythm and blues, country and Brazilian music.
His recording career in improvised music began in the mid-1990s, when he recorded Split Personality with Mark Whitecage and Dominic Duval for GM Records. Jay has appeared on at least fifty CIMP albums and seven albums for Cadence Jazz Records.
Drummer Jay Rosen, associated with free improvisation, has performed with Joe McPhee and Dominic Duval in Trio X and joined Cosmosomatics, a quartet with saxophonists Sonny Simmons and Michael Marcus and bassist William Parker.
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Vincent Herring was born November 19, 1964 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. His formal musical education began at age 11, when he started playing saxophone in school bands and studying privately at Dean Frederick’s School Of Music in Vallejo, California. At age 16, he entered California State University at Chico on a music scholarship.
A year later, Vincent auditioned for a spot in the United States Military Academy Band Jazz Knights playing lead alto saxophone. He made the move to West Point, served one enlisted tour, which turned out to be a steppingstone to the New York jazz scene.
He first began touring Europe and the United States with Lionel Hampton’s big band. Since that turning point in his career Herring has recorded and performed over 200 sessions as a sideman working with Nat Adderley, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, the Horace Silver Quintet, Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition, Larry Coryell, Cedar Walton, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, the Mingus Big Band, Nancy Wilson, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, Arthur Taylor, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carla Bley and the Phil Woods Sax Machine.
Vincent has been a special guest soloist with Wynton Marsalis and Lincoln Center as well as with Jon Faddis and the Carnegie Hall Big Band. As a leader he has recorded fifteen albums and taken bands to Japan and Europe, has appeared in nearly every major jazz festival in the world. Wearing his educator hat he gives clinics throughout Europe and the United States. He is currently performing with the Cannonball Legacy Band, which plays in jazz festivals, jazz clubs and occasionally small towns for benefit concerts.
Claude Berkeley Williamson was born November 18, 1926 Brattleboro, Vermont. He studied piano at the New England Conservatory of Music before moving to jazz, influenced mainly by Teddy Wilson, then by Al Haig and Bud Powell.
Moving to California in 1947 he first worked with Teddy Edwards, then with Red Norvo in San Francisco followed by Charlie Barnet in 1949 and June Christy two years later. He would go on to work with Max Roach, Art Pepper, Chet Baker, Maynard Ferguson, Barney Kessel, Dizzy Reece, Ted Curson and others.
Williamson was a longtime member of the Lighthouse All-Stars, often substituting for Russ Freeman, and performing with Bud Shank, Stan Levey, Bob Cooper, Conte Candoli and Howard Rumsey. By 1956 he was the piano player in the Bud Shank Quartet and a little over a decade later he was the pianist for NBC on The Andy Williams Show and then for Sonny and Cher.
In 1978 he went back to the jazz world and released many albums, mainly for Japanese labels, often accompanied by Sam Jones and Roy Haynes. In 1995 he made a trio recording for Fresh Sound Records at the Jazz Bakery and at the age of 88, pianist Claude Williamson currently plays clubs in Los Angeles.
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Ben Allison was born November 17, 1966 in New Haven, Connecticut and began guitar lessons at age nine at the Neighborhood Music School and privately with guitarist George Raccio. In the mid-Eighties he studied West African, Haitian and Cuban drumming traditions with Richard Hill and attended the ACES Educational Center for the Arts and Wilbur Cross High School. His senior high school year saw him studying with bassist Steve Swallow and too classes in 20th Century Music and Early Childhood Development at Yale University. In 1985 he attended New York University as a University scholar and pursued a degree in jazz performance and bass studies. During this period he studied with Joe Lovano, Dennis Irwin, Jim McNeely and Steve LaSpina.
By 1992, Allison and several colleagues formed the Jazz Composers Collective, a musician-run, non-profit organization dedicated to fostering the creation and performance of new music and building audiences for jazz. The Collective ran for 12 seasons, featured works of 50 composers, participation of more than 250 musicians and premiered more than 300 new works.
1996 saw the release of Ben’s debut album Seven Arrows as a leader, followed two years later with Medicine Wheel, Third Eye in 1999 and the rest is history as he has accumulated 11 albums under his name. Recording with the Collective members Frank Kimbrough, Ron Horton, Michael Blake, and Ted Nash, he would also record another dozen as co-leader or sideman with Lee Konitz, Jeremy Pelt, Larry Goldings, Mamadou Diabate, Curtis Stigers and Steve Bernstein.
As an educator, Allison began working as an adjunct professor and bass instructor at the New School University in 1996, has taught instrumental lessons and ensembles at the Third Street Music School, was a guest instructor at the Siena Jazz Foundation in Italy, the Souza Lima Ensino de Musica in Sao Paulo, Brazil and is a member of the Teaching Artists Collaborative at the Weill Music Center at Carnegie Hall, teaching music fundamentals to Harlem public school children..
Bassist, composer, bandleader, educator and activist Ben Allison is a three time Down Beat Critics Poll Rising Star, received the Bird Award, and serves on the board of the New York chapter of NARAS as VP and chairs Advocacy while continuing to perform and tour.
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