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Vocalist ~ Recording Artist ~ Music Educator - Philanthopist Recognized by NPR as one of the "50 Greatest Jazz Vocalists" (Fall 2010)
Barbara Morrison has been pleasing audiences and garnering rave reviews for more than three decades. In addition to a long list of her own recordings, she has worked with an A-List of "Who's Who" in the jazz world.
Barbara was born and raised a short drive from Detroit, Michigan. The young starry-eyed 10-year old launched her professional career with her first recording for a radio station in Detroit. She moved to Los Angeles in 1973 and began to blaze a trail around the globe delivering performances that keep audiences asking for more.
One of the hardest working and busiest jazz and blues entertainers in the business, Barbara Morrison has an impressive discography of recordings that include 3 Grammy nominations. It is safe to say that she is among the most recorded jazz and blues artists of her generation.
Saxophonist, composer, producer, and vocalist Eric Darius likes to play by his own rules.
He’s a visionary who has learned to listen to his own inner voice. Steeped in tradition and grounded in the lessons learned from his mentors, Darius is not afraid to push himself and his art forward. The Renaissance man reaffirms this credo on his sixth album as a leader and second recording for Shanachie Entertainment. "Retro Forward" represents my musical statement as an artist who’s not confined by any boundaries, genres, or rules. As a younger person with roots in the Contemporary Jazz genre, I feel it’s my responsibility to pay homage to the greats that founded this music, but also push it forward to a new, exciting direction that will keep the music alive and relevant for the younger generation," Eric says.
Eric Darius' infinite vision has allowed the musical chameleon to collaborate with such diverse superstars as Prince, Jamie Foxx, David Foster, George Benson, Mary J. Blige, and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. He has even appeared on the popular Simon Cowell TV series, The X Factor and TNT’s hit TV drama series, Mob City. For Retro Forward, the Billboard chart-topping saxophonist aligns himself with a new crew of producers and writers and the result is a new found energy and sound. “My goal is to really help bridge the generational gap and make music that has infinite possibilities,” concludes Eric Darius. With the release of Retro Forward, Eric Darius is building bridges, forging new paths and ensuring that his heartfelt, organic and honest approach to the music will stand the test of time.
Just a few years ago, after seeing Ray Goren play at the Golden State Theater in Monterey, California, reviewer Jason Debord wrote on Rocksubculture.com: "Ray is a real phenomenon, and you sit there not believing what you are seeing and hearing…It was really one of the most unbelievable moments I’ve experienced at any concert. Amazing." Dazzled by his raw, intense live performances, Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich once wrote, "No one rattles the place like Ray Goren."
The NYC born, SoCal raised singer, songwriter and trailblazing electric guitarist has been getting that kind of jaw-dropping attention since he first picked up the guitar at age eight.
While performing all across the country and throughout Los Angeles and Southern California, the singer has been breaking through on the national charts. A purely indie release, Save My Soul was on the Roots Music Report charts for six months, peaking at #13. Showcasing its multi-genre reach, the title single off the EP also recently hit the Top 40 on the BDS (Billboard/Nielsen) Triple AAA radio chart.
Vocalist, saxophonist and songwriter/arranger, Bobby Hurricane Spencer lifts the spirits and moves the body with his deep soulful and funky blues, deserving mention with King Curtis and Hank Crawford according to Dave Rubin, KBA recipient. Like a powerful musical storm, he will blow you away. Recently named by Elmore Magazine as one of the top six killer artists you need to hear right now, bluesman Spencer started his musical career in Oakland but now calls Los Angeles home.
He cut his teeth in the Chitlin’ Circuit of the Bay Area, anchored dead center in the horn section of the funk bands of Johnny Tolbert and De Thangs and Marvin Holmes and the Uptights. Spencer played in such historic soul pumping clubs as Al's House of Smiles, the Showcase, the Sportsman, Ester's Orbit Room and the Continental Club. Later came the Shalamar, Troyce Key's famous Eli's Mile High Club and the legendary Babe's & Ricky's Inn, also known as Mama Laura's.
One night on the bandstand, after a particularly hot sax solo, J.J. Bad Boy Jones turned to the tenor man and said, "Bob, you the Hurricane!". It stuck and that’s what he’s been called ever since.
With the release of their highly anticipated Woodward Avenue Records project, Southern California’s premiere R&B, funk and contemporary powerhouse band DW3 lets the world in on a cool CD titled, “Vintage Truth.”
Driven by the ever-evolving musical vision of core members – Brothers Eric and Billy Mondragon and close family friend Damon Reel – their deepening artistry continues to transcend a well-earned reputation as a high energy, fun and freewheeling party band. Eric, Billy and Damon all contribute lead and harmony vocals, while Eric plays keys (including synth horns and strings) and Billy adds percussion.
Building on the success of their single, “I Got You” featuring Gerald Albright, (#16 on the Billboard charts) and the “On The Floor” album that went #1 on the UK soul charts, DW3 – now expanded to nine a piece ensemble. The addition of a horn section really sets the tone for their live shows. The truth is in the twelve tracks of their “Vintage Truth” CD. Delivering original vocal tracks along with freshly re-imagined covers of classics like The Eagles’ “I Can’t Tell You Why,” Luther Vandross’ “So Amazing” and Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed.” The project also includes DW3’s soulful take on The Mamas & the Papas gem “California Dreamin’,” which won the California Lottery Powerball song contest and spawned a popular YouTube video.