When I was eight growing up in Los Angeles, I remember the first rock n’ roll radio station, KFWB—Channel 98. The jingle sticks in my mind. There was this song about a race car driver whose car crashed during a race. As he lay there on the track dying, he said, “Tell Laura I Love Her.” This song had such an impact on me as a young girl. Ever since then I have wanted to compose and sing to express my feelings. I began singing in choir from elementary school onward. The first band I sang with was the Funktionaries in 1980. Then, in 1984, I formed Wanda and The Way It Is and started composing songs for the band, singing lead. We played our first gig at the Homestead and our second gig at the Canoe Place Inn in East Hampton one 4th of July weekend, opening for Martha Reeves. Three years later, after performing all over Manhattan, Bobby Gossin signed us to Island Record’s, 4th & Broadway label in l987. As a band leader, I strive for a rhythm section like James Brown’s, and a horn section that speaks for itself. Vocal influences for me are Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and the Pointer Sisters.
Dionne McClain-Freeney is a pianist, composer, singer, choral director, and teaching artist. She has
appeared on numerous national and international stages, played in some of New York City’s most
beloved churches, and accompanied a variety of artists from Broadway, television, and the recording industry. Her award-winning musical theater compositions and arrangements have been featured on television and radio, and praised in several online and print publications. Dionne was also one of the keyboardists that set the Guinness World Record for World’s Largest Electronic Keyboard Ensemble in 2013. You can find Dionne on Facebook at facebook.com/dionnemcclainfreeney or on Twitter
Sherryl Marshall is a New York singer who has worn many musical hats in her career. She has recorded or performed live with everyone from Gloria Gaynor, Leslie Gore, Darlene Love, Chubby Checker to Peter Wolf, Southside Johnny, Johnny Rivers, Lou Gramm of Foreigner to Black 47, RuPaul, Al Kooper, Albert Collins to Joni Mitchell, Jane Siberry, Vallerie Simpson, Ashford & Simpson, The Klezmatics and a host of others. She was a regular member of the Buster Poindexter show for ten years.. She has been heard and seen on national telelvision in jingles and live broadcasts such as Conan O'Brien, Saturday Night Live and the Today Show. She has done film voiceovers (looping) on major motion pictures, including "Bonfire of the Vanities"and "Mambo Kings". She has sung her original compositons with many different New York bands over the years and her show "The Life and Times of Sherita Marshone the Argentine Bombshelter" was performed at the famous Bottom Line and the fabulous BAM cafe.
Deborah Berg is a performing song writer, who first cut her teeth in the music industry in 1983 on a record deal with Warner Brothers Records. Her duo, Eye to Eye has recorded three albums, two of which were produced by Gary Katz (Steely Dan) and the third produced by Rhett Davies (Roxy Music). She has worked with noted musical artists, Donald Fagan, Walter Becker, Jeff Porcaro, Timothy B. Schmidt and Larry Carlton. As a solo artist, Deborah has recorded 2 albums and is proud to be an endorsed artist for Sennheiser microphones and Martin Guitars.
Bernice Brooks is without doubt one of the most versatile female drummers. She is known locally, nationally and internationally, and has been playing drums for the past 40 years. Bernice has achieved her longevity through her ability to play all styles of music. After studying at the Conservatory of Music in Chicago and with various teachers, she went on to hone her skills at various venues with different bands and groups all over the world. Bernice is currently a teaching artist at various public schools around the Tri-State area. She brings her love, passion and creativity to share with others, inspiring them to create their own styles. She has been the producer of her own television show for the past 16 years, “The Bernice Brooks Show,” on BRIC | ARTS | MEDIA.
NYC trumpet player and composer Pam Fleming is the leader of original world jazz group Fearless Dreamer. This group has released 2 CD's, "Fearless Dreamer" and "Climb". A unique recording of Pam's original Halloween music, "Rise and Dance" will be released in 2014.
In addition to many years touring and recording with Hazmat Modine, Pam is also known for her work with jam band Gov't Mule, Lilith Fair artists Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls; Reggae stars Burning Spear, Dennis Brown and Maxi Priest; Klezmer groups Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos; Frank London's Shekhina Big Band, and Bill Lee's Natural Spiritual Orchestra.
Pam can be heard on the recordings of many Indie Artists in the Jazz, Rock, Pop and Reggae genres. http://fearlessdreamer.com
Jenny Hill, saxophonist and flautist, has a diverse resume that includes jazz, reggae, and global music. A composer, arranger, and performer, she is currently working with the Easy Star All Stars, Denis Leary and the Enablers, and leads her own jazz group Liquid Horn. She has produced 3 CDs under her own name, The Chill Factor, Liquid Horn, and Planet Sax. Bill Milkowski of Jazz Times calls her “an accomplished composer-arranger and first-rate soloist, with some bold playing on tenor, soprano and flute. Highly recommended.” Jenny recently was in the show "Tappin' Thru Life" with Maurice Hines, appeared in the Denis Leary special for Comedy Central, and played bari sax on Broadway in the musical Hair. Jenny’s world music credits include performing with Burning Spear, Maxi Priest, Toots and the Maytals, Govt Mule, and her jazz credits include Nancy Wilson, Dianne Schuur, Clark Terry, Dave Brubeck, and Joe Williams while a member of the DIVA jazz orchestra. She has been the recipient of many honors including the National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Studies grant with Joe Lovano, winner in the JAZZIZ Woodwinds On Fire competition, and the Lennie Johnson Outstanding Musician scholarship from Berklee College. www.JennyHillJazz.com
Lily White is a jazz saxophonist and composer living in New York City. She has played as a "sideman" on many recordings and has several CDs out under her own name. She is currently working on a novel about the music business. www.lilywhitemusic.com
Sean Dixon has been a free-lance musician in New York City for eighteen years working as a percussionist, bassist, composer, arranger and producer with various singer/songwriters, jazz, blues, rock, R and B, and African artists. Coupled with his diverse roster at home in NYC, his travels to Guinea, West Africa and Bahia, Brazil have played a significant role in his development. Sean is currently co-leading his own project called SLV and when not in New York, he is touring the US with the band Zammuto and many others.
Mark Unthank is a composer and record producer. He earned a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in Music from Emory University and has honed his skills for combining musical genres to make unique creations. Being well versed in many styles of popular music has enabled Mark to compose music for television, film, theater and popular recording artists.
Mark Unthank’s composition “accompanied the most telling piece of the evening,… simply wonderful!” – NY Daily News article “Hip Hop comes to Lincoln Center”.