Ken Watters was born July 6, 1964 in Huntsville, Alabama. He attended the University of North Texas and became a part of the Lab Band program. He studied trumpet with internationally renowned teacher Leonard Candelaria prior to studying in New York City with Lew Soloff and Wynton Marsalis.
Ken is a member of several noted performing groups, including Tabou Combo, Natalie Cole Band, the Magic City Jazz Orchestra, Ray Reach and Friends and the W.C. Handy Jazz All-Stars. He recorded his debut release with his Haitian-Caribbean jazz septet RIYEL and has recorded a total of six projects as a leader.
He has recorded and released three CDs titled “Brothers” with his trombonist brother Harry. His latest musical project is an ongoing venture co-led alongside vocalist Ingrid Felts, called the Watters-Felts Project. The jazz-oriented sextet included pianist Keith Taylor, bassist Abe Becker, percussionist Darrell Tibbs and drummer Marcus Pope.
Trumpeter Ken Watters is also an educator currently sitting as an adjunct professor at University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he directs the UAH Jazz Ensemble I. He continues to perform, record and tour.
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Mike Mainieri was born Michael T. Mainieri, Jr. on July 4, 1938 in Bronx, New York. He is a pioneer in introducing the electronic vibraphone, known as a “synth-vibe”.
Mike has recorded with such jazz musicians as Buddy Rich, Wes Montgomery, Jeremy Steig, Bob James, Lauro Nyro, Dire Straits, Michael Franks, David Sanborn, Neil Larsen, Robben Ford, Manny Albam, Kenny Burrell, Paul Desmond, Art Farmer, Jim Hall, Urbie Green, Joe Henderson, Pat Martino, Michael Brecker and Sonny Stitt.
Mainieri has released seven albums as a leader, 11 with Steps Ahead and another dozen as a sideman as well as videos for a variety of labels. As a producer, he produced three albums for Carly Simon. Jazz-fusion vibraphonist Mike Mainieri continues to perform, record, tour and produce.
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Tim Warfield, Jr. was born in York, Pennsylvania, began studying the alto saxophone at age nine. He switched to tenor saxophone during his first year at William Penn Sr. High School and participated in various musical ensembles. He won many jazz soloist awards including coming in second out of forty competitors at the Montreal Festival of Music in Canada. After high school, Warfield attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. After two years of matriculation he left to lead and co-lead several groups in the Central Pennsylvania, Baltimore and Washington area.
In 1990 he was chosen to be a member of trumpeter Marlon Jordan in his quintet. The following year he was selected to record Tough Young Tenors on the Island/Antilles label, joined George Wein’s Jazz Futures, Also in 1991, Warfield placed third at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. From 1994 to 1999, he was a member of bassist Christian McBride’s group, and then began a six-year collaboration with Nicholas Payton
Warfield has recorded eight albums on the Criss Cross label as a beginning with his debut release of A Cool Blue, selected as one of the top ten recordings of the year in a 1995New York Times critic’s poll. as was his 1998 recording Gentle Warrior (featuring Cyrus Chestnut, Tarus Mateen, Clarence Penn, Terell Stafford, and Nicholas Payton.
Tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield is currently serving as a board member and Chair of the Music Committee for the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz as well as an artist-in-residence at Messiah College. He continues to record, tour and perform in the hard bop, Neo-Bop,, post bop and straight-ahead jazz genres.
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Karl Latham, born on June 9, 1961 is currently based in New York. He received a B.S.S. from Ohio University and studied music performance at Rutgers University, Ohio University and Berklee College of Music, including private studies with drumming greats Gary Chester and Joe Morello.
Latham is known for his exceptional ability to dig into a variety of musical styles, playing straight-ahead jazz, avant-garde, funk, rock, Latin, and more. As a freelance performer he has performed with wide spectrum of notable artists such as Bernie Worrell, Dave Valentine, Dave Samuels, Chuck Loeb, Ali Ryerson, Claudio Roditi, Clark Terry, John Lee, Andy Snitzer, The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, Slide Hampton; Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter, Yotam Silberstein, Charlie Elgart, Michal Urbaniak, The Real Deal Big Band and for the Broadway hit musical “Bring it On” just to name a few of his drumming exploits.
Karl is widely recognized as a veteran of the modern European Jazz scene since 1993, has released 7 CDs with Atilla Zoller, Randy Brecker, Cameron Barnes, Seamus Blake, Joel Frahm, Joe Lovano and others. He is a member of the electric jazz jam group, Unit1, with Mark Egan and John Hart, was ranked 7th drums, in the 2013 35th Annual Jazz Station Poll. He is also a member of “Constellations” with Ryan Carniaux and Mark Egan and is co-leader of Big Fun(K) with saxophonist/composer Don Braden and has released two CD’s as a leader. In addition to performing, recording and touring he is a long-standing adjunct professor at several New Jersey colleges and teaches workshops, master classes and clinics in the USA and abroad.
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Royce Campbell was born on June 7, 1952 in Seymour, Indiana the son of a career navy man. Growing up in several U.S. cities and abroad including Asia, Europe and the West Indies he was exposed to different music genres as a child. These added to his musical style and approach in jazz composition and playing. Though mainly associated with mainstream jazz, his first love was rock and roll that connected him at age nine to the guitar and Chuck Berry, followed by Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton..
By the time Royce finished high school in the early 1970s, he was certain he wanted to pursue a professional career in music. His uncle, Carroll DeCamp, an arranger/pianist who arranged for Stan Kenton and Les Elgart invited the young guitarist to live with him and study in Indiana, providing most of his musical education in theory and composition. By age 21, he had begun touring with R&B artist Marvin Gaye and developing his talents for stage performance. In 1975 he was hired by a local music contractor to do three concerts with award-winning film composer Henry Mancini in Indianapolis. Soon after Royce became the touring guitarist with Mancini’s orchestra, holding that positing until Mancini’s death in 1994.
Though appearing on recordings as a sideman, and a couple as leader, during the early years of his career, Campbell started recording and touring more on his own during the 1990s, focusing at first on mainstream or straight-ahead jazz. Although he cites Wes Montgomery as his main influence, the horn of Dexter Gordon, and Chet Baker also had a great impact.
In 1993, he produced Project G-5: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery which also featured guitarists Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Herb Ellis and Cal Collins. His 1994 album 6×6 featured guitarists Pat Martino, John Abercrombie, Larry Coryell, Dave Stryker and Bucky Pizzarelli. A follow-up Project G-5: A Tribute to Joe Pass, in 1999, Royce brought together the talents of Charlie Byrd, Gene Bertoncini, Mundell Lowe and John Pisano.
During his career guitarist Royce Campbell has released more than 30 CDs as leader or co-leader among various sideman projects. Fifteen of these CDs have made it onto the US national jazz radio charts. His soloing is documented among other jazz guitarists of the era, in Mel Bay’s Anthology of Jazz Guitar Solos: Featuring Solos by the World’s Finest Jazz Guitarists! He has been inducted into the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation Hall of Fame and continues to record, perform and tour.
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