Beautiful, simply does not describe the incomparable force known to the world as Patti LaBelle. As time continues to evolve, the soulful songbird’s name has become synonymous with grace, style, elegance and class. Belting out classic rhythm and blues renditions, pop standards and spiritual sonnets have created the unique platform of versatility that she is known and revered for. It’s a small wonder that Patti has time for anything else in between recording and touring, but she makes time and the world is oh so happy that she does! She has written six books, Don’t Block the Blessings, LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About, Patti’s Pearls, Patti LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine, Recipes for the Good Life and her most recent, Desserts LaBelle. Several years ago, she introduced Patti’s Good Life, a successful food line that includes a variety of pies, cobblers and cakes, and is available at Walmart stores. Also, she has starred in a highly rated cooking show, Patti LaBelle's Place, on the Cooking Channel. In 2017, Patti released her first jazz album ,Bel Hommage, and a holiday album, Patti LaBelle and Friends-Home for the Holidays, on her own record label, GPE Records. And most recently, Patti expanded the Patti’s Good Lifeline to include frozen comfort foods such as macaroni &cheese, greens, beef brisket and corn bread. World renowned for her dynamic career as an entertainer and entrepreneurial success, Patti’s work as a humanitarian is just as legendary. She remains an advocate for adoption, diabetes, cancer, HIV / AIDS and many other causes and non-profit initiatives. While she has reached the heights of success throughout her 50-plus year career, Patti has also endured and survived personal strife. Within a ten-year period, she lost her mother, three sisters and best friend to diabetes and cancer. In 1994, she was diagnosed with diabetes and shortly thereafter became a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association. The same motivation that had Patricia Louise Holte blossom from a choir member to lead vocalist for Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles and later Labelle, to a solo artist is the same energy that keeps her fire burning at seventy-five years young. “Each year I grow, and that’s a blessing from God. I do what I can do. I do what I feel God has given me the energy to do, so I just go out there and I do it...It’s not about making money because I don’t need money, but I need to sing. With a voice or without, I’ve got to get on that stage.” And the world is thankful that Patti’s voice sounds so good to our ears
“Chick Corea has never been more productive than in the 21st century, whether playing acoustic piano or electric keyboards, leading multiple bands, performing solo or collaborating with a who’s who of music. Underscoring this, he has been named Artist of the Year three times this decade in the DownBeat Readers Poll. Born in 1941. Chick remains a tireless creative spirit, continually reinventing himself through his art. As The New York Times has said, he is “a luminary, ebullient and eternally youthful."
‘From the White House, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall to the Grammy Museum and the Emmy Awards, Bakersfield-born singer, songwriter, keyboardist, Shelea has transcended the boundaries of musical classification through a versatile and powerful voice that speaks to nations. After working with and wowing a who’s who of music icons including Quincy Jones, Jones has called Shelea one of the greatest artists of her generation.”
Theon Cross is an award-winning tuba player and composer. He is a key component of London’s thriving jazz scene and his unique style of playing has been described as ‘innovative’ and ‘reinventing the tuba’. His debut EP ‘Aspirations’ brought him international attention and garnered him a Jazz FM nomination for best Jazz Newcomer 2016. In 2019 he released his debut album ‘Fyah’ which was met with critical acclaim worldwide charting at no. 1 on the UK official Jazz & Blues charts, no.23 on the US Jazz Billboard and gained high praise from major global publications including Rolling Stone Magazine, Pitchfork, The New York Times, The Guardian and NPR leading him to tour extensively throughout Europe, North America and South America. Cross is born and raised in London.
Ruben Fox is fast becoming one of the UK’s most outstanding Saxophonists. Steeped in the lineage of Swing and the Blues, Ruben’s husky tone & exciting double time figures define his sound. Hailing from Brixton, South London, he started playing for his Fathers carnival troupe aged 10. Through Kinetika Bloco he was introduced to the music of Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, Fela Kuti and many more, with peers from Kinetika he then joined the Tomorrow’s Warriors program where he started to practice and concentrate on Jazz. At 16, he began to cut his teeth at the Ronnie Scotts Late night sessions. Now 21, he is studying at Trinity College of music, runs his own Quartet and Quintet. As well as this he appears as a sideman in many other ensembles and continues to be actively involved in London’s Jam sessions. He has performed with: Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Arkestra, Kinetika Bloco, Jay Phelps, Abram Wilson, Tomorrows Warriors Youth Big Band, Cecila Stalin and Reuben James Trio
“a high energy immersive jazz experience. Two-time Grammy nominated trumpeter Alphonso Horne has put together a band that weaves the sound of New Orleans into a rich musical fabric that demonstrates the history of the trumpet and the story of jazz. Gotham Kings uses the virtuosity of the young Louis Armstrong and innovative genius of King Oliver to take you on a journey of sound that encompasses rags, stomps, shouts and funk. The band has played in venues around New York City and other major American cities. Individually, members of the Gotham Kings have compiled a diverse resume of collaborations with top artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and more.”
One of jazz’s most sought-after drummers, Willie Jones III leads an all-star ensemble to celebrate the music of the late great Roy Hargrove. Jones, who for nearly 10 years performed in Hargrove’s best-known quintets and the powerhouse RH Factor, honors the trumpeter whose groundbreaking work influenced musicians across genres. The sets, featuring alumni from Hargrove’s groups will include RH Factor’s soulfully driven, uptempo songs, as well as Hargrove’s favorite jazz tunes and standards.”
“Maher Beauroy lives in La Martinique where he was born. At the age of five, his love of the piano opened the doors to the “Académie de Musique de Martinique” and later to the SERMAC – the art school founded by Aimé Césaire – where he discovered jazz. In 2006, he left La Martinique and headed to Paris where he ticked all the boxes of the aspiring musician. He went to the DEM (Conservatoire Maurice Ravel), obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Musicology and a Master’s degree in Music Business (Paris-Sorbonne). But it is in 2014 that he took the big leap across the "Pond" to Boston where he went to strengthen his skills alongside Eddy Gomez, Joanne Brackeenm, Jacques Schwarz-Bart, Laszlo Gardony and even Billy Kilson amongst others. His time at Berklee College of Music paid off in 2017 with a Performance Division Piano award. Maher confesses: “The human and musical experience at Berklee unlocked many things and studying at this prestigious school had always been a dream”.
His debut album Washa! crystallizes the moment of his departure and emancipation. In Creole "Washa" is a word that describes the actual moment, the very instant. It is the swish of a blade opening a path through long grass, it is the crash of waves on all horizons. In the last two years Maher Beauroy has played his music all around the world (Florida, Indonesia, Russia, The United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Algeria, Paris…). Washa! is the first album under his own name. Renowned musician Jacques Schwarz-Bart commenting on the new project “This journey through his universe reveals someone who appreciates beauty and who has a sensibility and wisdom that surpass the number of years he has been on this planet. Having been his teacher at Berklee College of Music, I am fascinated by his music and will follow with passion the evolution of his work in the years to come!”