W.I.T.C.H., aka We Intend To Cause Havoc, was the biggest rock band in Zambia in the 1970s, spearheading a new genre dubbed “Zamrock” that fused influences ranging from the Rolling Stones to Black Sabbath and James Brown, mixing them with traditional African rhythms and bush village songs.
The Bad Plus are the ultimate originals. For the past two decades they have played with spirit and adventure, making their own rules with a bold sense of creativity and a refusal to conform to convention. The Bad Plus has won critical acclaim and a legion of fans worldwide with their unique sound and flair for live performance.
Brass sensation The Soul Rebels started with the idea of expanding on the pop music they loved on the radio and the New Orleans brass tradition they grew up on. The eight-member collective serves up an eclectic live show that blends funk, soul, hip-hop, jazz and rock, rolled up in a party atmosphere.
Living Legend — few within hip hop ever earn such a moniker, but with nearly 40 solo and collaborative releases, Los Angeles’ MURS has truly run the gamut of independent success.
Big Daddy Kane is one of hip-hop’s most lyrical, diverse, innovative, trendsetting MCs, and the first to bring the “playa” element to the game.
Cimafunk is a Grammy Award-nominated Afro-Cuban rockstar. His name refers to his heritage as a “cimarrón,” a Cuban of African descent who resisted and escaped slavery, as well as to the essence of his music that subverts classical Cuban rhythms with innovative mixes of funk, Afrobeat and hip-hop.
With dozens of movie scores and over 500 recording credits to his name across jazz, R&B and opera, Grammy Award-winning Marcus Miller’s resume speaks for itself. Marcus sets the standard for slap bass as a leading instrument with a sound that’s distinctly funky, melodic and multifaceted.
Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, producer and actor Anthony Hamilton has achieved global sales of over 50 million albums. The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame inductee notably performed for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle, cementing his place in the history books as the “Narrator of Love.”
An unequivocal musical prodigy, singer/saxophonist/songwriter and bandleader Grace Kelly has rocked the jazz world with sold-out concerts, 14 acclaimed albums, a performance at the Hollywood Bowl and a stint in the house band for Late Show with Stephen Colbert—all before reaching her mid-twenties.
A self-described folk/punk singer/songwriter, Sunny War enlivens traditional Americana and blues with a fresh musical attack and biting lyrics that reflect our current day. Her first album, Worthless, arrived in 2014, and she continued to build buzz with four other albums including 2023’s Anarchist Gospel.
Composer, bassist and educator Marcus Shelby formed his namesake orchestra in 1999 to give proper voice to his compositions that modernized the big band idiom. For this set the latest incarnation of the band performs with longtime collaborator Tiffany Austin, of whom DownBeat said: “West Coast vocal jazz simply gets no better than Tiffany Austin.”
Veronica Swift took the jazz world by storm following her debut album, 2019’s Confessions. Having made her mark as one of the star jazz vocalists of her era, she has now expanded her style, bringing to Summer Fest material from her upcoming album TransGenre, mixing bebop with classical, rock and soul, and showcasing the dynamic power of her performances.
Hailed by Variety Magazine as “one of contemporary jazz’s most talented and inventive musicians” and DownBeat Magazine as “The Jazz Warrior-Goddess,” Steinway artist and pianist Connie Han performs with a fiery contemporary style, “combining the precision of her training as a classical pianist with the improvisation, and irrepressible emotion, of her heroes Freddie Hubbard and Kenny Kirkland.” (Variety)
Patrice Rushen is one of the most sought after R&B artists in the music industry–a three-time Grammy Award nominee who has composed scores for movies and television. Her song “Forget Me Nots” was famously sampled by Will Smith and earned her a nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1983.
Shayna Steele’s new album Gold Dust was created in the wake of the pandemic, a breakthrough 20 years in the making. In 10 tracks, she absorbs the darkness of isolation and illuminates the air with her brilliant voice and emotion–setting a new gold standard for jazz and soul.
Two-time Grammy winner Gregory Porter’s bone-deep baritone has no equal. Porter, who grew up singing in the church of his poor Bakersfield neighborhood and then in New York’s jazz clubs as he worked as a chef during the day, now performs his spellbinding discography in front of audiences who gasp with disbelief.
Telmary is one of Cuba’s leading, cutting edge hip-hop and urban music artists. Her study of English, theater, and writing informed her work in the Havana music scene during the late ’90s and early 2000s. She has four solo albums, including the Latin Grammy-nominated Fuerza Arará, and Libre, awarded the 2014 Cubadisco Prize for Best Hip-Hop Recording.