A co-founder of Jazz Gallery, trumpeter Roy Hargrove has firmly established himself as among the premier players in jazz and beyond. Hargrove has won Grammy Awards with his Cuban-based band Crisol in 1997, and with Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker for their three-way collaboration Directions in Music in 2002. Mr. Hargrove has worked with an array of talents, from jazz legends Sonny Rollins and Jackie McLean; song stylists Natalie Cole, Diana Krall and Abbey Lincoln; pop stars Diana Ross, Steve Tyrell, Kenny Rankin and John Mayer; and the crème de la crème of jazz divas: Carmen McRae and the late, great Shirley Horn. His groups include the straight-ahead, hard-bop Roy Hargrove Quintet along with his Afro-Cuban ensemble, Crisol, his Big Band, and the funk-oriented RH Factor.
Chilean singer/songwriter/arranger Claudia Acuña possesses one of the most beautiful and compelling voices in jazz and creative music. Ms. Acuña has also recorded and toured with a host of performers including George Benson, Joey Calderazzo, Billy Childs, Roy Hargrove, Tom Harrell, Christian McBride, Danilo Perez and Pablo Ziegler. Her appointment as spokesperson for the child-focused relief agency World Vision Chile underscores her commitments beyond music.
Ambrose Akinmusire has performed with such famed musicians as Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Joshua Redman, Steve Coleman, Billy Higgins, Lonnie Plaxico, Stefon Harris, Josh Roseman, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Persip, the Mingus Big Band, and the San Francisco Jazz Collective, to name only a few. Most recently Mr. Akinmusire won both the 2007 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition and 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.
Gerald Clayton has received numerous awards such as being the winner of the Music Center Spotlight Awards, the “level 1” award by the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA), Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a scholarship award from the Music for Youth Foundation, and the Shelley Manne Award for emerging young artists. Gerald has already performed extensively with numerous outstanding musicians that include pianists Benny Green, Mulgrew Miller and Kenny Barron, trumpeter Clark Terry, drummer Lewis Nash and trumpeter Roy Hargrove.
Guitarist Lage Lund has had the opportunity to work with Wynton Marsalis, Ron Carter, Mulgrew Miller, Seamus Blake, Carmen Lundy, Aaron Parks, Marcus Strickland, the Mingus Band and others. Lage won the Thelonious Monk international jazz competition in 2005 and is currently a member of the David Sanchez Quartet, along with performing and writing his own compositions.
Pedro Martínez has performed with Juan Carlos Formell, Yosvany Terry, Brian Lynch, Michele Rosewoman, Orlando Ríos, Steve Turre, Kip Hanrahan and his Deep Rumba project, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Robby Ameen, Elio Villafranca, Donato Poveda. Meshell Ndegeocello, Bilal, Bill Summers and Los Hombres Calientes, Jerry and Andy González, Chie Ayado, Mark Weinstein, John Santos, Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill, Ana Torroja, Alfredo de la Fe, Johnny Rivero and the LP All-Stars, Stefon Harris, Little Louie Vega, Milton Cardona, Eddie Palmieri, Antonia Bennett, Bobby Sanabria, Paquito d’Rivera, Bebo Valdés, Nelson González, Dave Samuel, Jorge Moreno, Steve Coleman, the Conga Kings (Candido Camero, Patato Valdés, and Giovanni Hidalgo), and Raíces Habaneras, to name only a handful! Mr. Martínez has been both a featured artist and a major player on no less than three Grammy Award-nominated recordings.
Kendrick Scott has been featured in Terence Blanchard’s band for the last six years and has appeared on the Grammy Award-winning and nominated recordings, A Tale of God’s Will, and Flow, on which he contributed original compositions and orchestrations. Mr. Scott has appeared on more than 30 records as a sideman, and on the soundtracks to seven feature films, and has toured the world and recorded with the likes of Mr. Blanchard, as well as Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, Maria Schneider, Wayne Shorter, Musiq Soulchild, Christian McBride, David Sanborn, Dianne Reeves, John Patitucci, The Crusaders, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Robert Glasper, Stefon Harris, Kenny Garrett, Pat Metheny, Nicholas Payton, Patti Austin, Angelique Kidjo, Lionel Loueke, Roy Hargrove, Raul Midon and Gretchen Parlato. Additionally, he has played on numerous film soundtracks by Spike Lee and other filmmakers.
Benjamin Williams has won several competitions and scholarship awards such the Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship competition at the East Coast Jazz Festival, the Duke Ellington Society Annual Scholarship Award, and won the International Society of Bassists (ISB) competition in the category of jazz. Mr. Williams has performed both nationally and internationally with such artists as Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, Mulgrew Miller, Cyrus Chestnut, Ron Blake, Stefon Harris, Karreim Riggins, Hamiett Bluiette, James Williams, Bobby Watson, Winard Harper, Buster Williams, John Hicks, Anthony Wonsey, Me’Shelle N’degeocello, Gene Lake, Wycliffe Gordon, and Delfeayo Marsalis to name a few.