Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Jeffrey Osborne was the youngest of 12 children and was surrounded by music as he was growing up. He had five brothers and six sisters, some of whom went on to have music careers. His father, Clarence “Legs” Osborne, was a popular trumpeter who sat in with the likes of Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington and turned down many top band offers during his career to be with his family, he passed away when Jeffrey was only 13. At the age of 15, Jeffrey sat in with the O’Jays when the drummer was unable to perform to their standards, and went on to play with them for two weeks. That was all the inspiration Osborne needed to pursue a musical career.
It was at another Providence nightclub that fate brought him together with the band Love Men Ltd..It was only after receiving his mother’s encouragement that Jeffrey left for Los Angeles to play with Love Men Ltd..who later changed their name to L.T.D.Osborne was originally brought on as the drummer and eventually became the lead vocalist. After more than ten years with the band, he decided to pursue a solo career, which produced such Top 40 hits as ” Really Don’t Need No Light”, Don’t You Get So Mad”, “Stay With Me Tonight”, “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)” and a duet with Dionne Warwick, “Love Power.”
Osborne’s solo career has brought him four grammy nominations, five gold and platinum albums, including his debut self entitled album ” Jeffrey Osborne”, “Stay with Me Tonight” and “Only Human”.He scored an international hit with “On the Wings of Love” in 1982. After his six albums released on A&M during the ’80s, he moved to Arista for Only Human (1990), then switched to a series of independent labels. His releases during the 2000s included ” That’s for Sure” (2000) and “Music Is Life” (2003), as well as cover albums ” From the Soul “(2005) and “A Time for Love” (2013). His latest project entitled “Worth It All” is being released in 2018 on Artistry Music. This project was written and produced by Jeffrey Osborne, with the exception of one song entitled ” Work It” which was co-written with his son Jeffrey Osborne Jr. who also performed on the track with him. This project, inspired by the late great George Duke has taken Osborne back to his deep R&B roots.
Currently Jeffrey Osborne is actively performing and touring around the world. In 2012 Osborne founded The Jeffrey Osborne Foundation and the Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity Classic. The primary mission is to benefit non-profit organizations who support a continued push for music and arts to children and their families, as well as those who provide a safe haven for families in need. In the past six years through his Celebrity Golf Tournament the Jeffrey Osborne Foundation has donated over $750,000 to various charities in Rhode Island.
AVERY*Sunshine is an American singer and actress.
Who is AVERY*Sunshine? “I am a self-proclaimed therapist! I want to start the conversation that will lead to individual healing which will in turn affect our collective healing. Let’s get people talking about their experiences so that we can learn from them, grow from them and more importantly, move on from them. ”
AVERY*Sunshine is a native of Chester, PA where she nurtured a natural talent by singing in church and leading and directing choirs. A former member of the renowned Wilmington/Chester Mass Choir, she honed her vocal instrument and sharpened her ability to play piano in her hometown, then headed south to Atlanta, GA where she attended Spelman College. Though far from home, she was never far from her one true love – music. She embodies it. She lives to express through it. But AVERY’s talent couldn’t be contained within the walls and stained glass of the church for very long. Making her mark on the Atlanta-soul music scene, she and her Spelman sister, Broadway talent Maia Wilson, teamed up to form the singing duo DaisyRew; and later AVERY lent her voice to the soundtrack for Paramount Pictures’ THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS. In 2005, she was hired as lead keyboardist for Tyler Perry’s stage play MEET THE BROWNS, and last year she was sought out by vocal great Jennifer Holiday to be choral director for the theatrical production of DREAMGIRLS during the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. AVERY*Sunshine recently made history with daily performances at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO and four private events during the 2009 Inauguration of President Barack Obama.
With vocals and lyrics that are thick and strong yet jazzy-smooth, coined ‘jazzgosoul’ by a personal friend, it’s easily recognized that AVERY*Sunshine has been singing all her life. However her sound and her music is perfected in collaboration with her musical partner Dana Johnson, a classically trained guitarist, gifted lyricist, producer and the man behind the tracks. What started in church at a young age has been refined by experience as she stands ready to proclaim her own story with her first CD project. “In the album I sing about my life – being a divorced mother of two, aging, being mean to the person I love. I sing about the possibility of being a single woman – indefinitely; as well as the feeling of being in love with my man before I even meet him. I also sing about the promise of God; the promise that He will never leave me or forsake me. The idea of never being left alone somehow makes things easier to deal with. Burdens seem lighter.”
Intent on shining by sharing her song with the world, AVERY wants you too to give yourself permission to “Get Your Shine On!” Whatever it may be. Are you getting your shine on? Are you using the gifts that God has given you? Are you walking in your calling? Let’s get started.
Saxophonist Elan Trotman, has quickly become one of jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers as he continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist. Trotman’s playing, though inspired by Grover Washington, Jr., Kirk Whalum and Najee, displays his own fresh ideas and distinctive tone. So much so that the New England Urban Music Awards, and The Barbados Music Awards both named himJazz Artist of The Year on multiple occasions.
Trotman is also the Executive Producer and host of the Barbados Jazz Excursion, a jazz and golf weekend getaway which brings over 300 music lovers to the island every Columbus Day Weekend. Past performers include Jeff Lorber, Javier Colon, Gerald Veasley, Brian Simpson, Althea Rene, Marcus Anderson, Peter White and Jeffrey Osborne. Elan is also the founder of the Never Lose Your Drive Foundation – a Non-Profit which directly funds the Headstart Music Program. Headstart Music provides FREE weekly instrument instruction to students ages 7-11 on saxophone, trumpet, flute, clarinet and percussion. Since it’s inception, the Foundation has raised over $100,000 BDS for Headstart during the Jazz Excursion Weekend and Golf Tournament. All proceeds go towards tutor salaries, instrument maintenance and supplies for the program.
Born and raised in Barbados, the native island of pop star Rihanna, and educated at the world-renowned Berklee College Of Music in Boston,Trotman approaches jazz in his own way. Blending Caribbean rhythms from his roots with skillful horn textures, his playing is full of surprises.
Trotman has recorded and performed with a number of world-class musicians, including Michael McDonald, Roberta Flack, Jonathan Butler, Keiko Matsui, Johnny Gill, Jeffrey Osborne, Sheila E, Marcus Miller, Will Downing, Earl Klugh, Jeff Lorber, Peter White, Peabo Bryson, Brian Simpson and many others. A huge sports fan, Trotman has performed the National Anthem on numerous occasions for such teams as the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers. As an avid sports fan, Elan has provided entertainment for numerous celebrities including The Bronson Arroyo Band, Cold Pizza on ESPN with Woody Page, Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity Golf Classic, Chris Tucker Charity Golf Tournament, Ray Allen Golf Tournament, Hot Stove Cool Music with Peter Gammons and Theo Epstein.
As a recording artist Elan has topped the Billboard Radio Charts over 10 times. As a solo artist charting songs include “Heaven In Your Eyes” feat. Brian Simpson, “Tradewinds” feat Peter White, “Master Blaster”, “As” feat. Lin Rountree, “Thoughts of Sumer” feat. Will Downing, and “Smooth N Saxy”. Collaborations that have topped the charts include “Magic Men” (Marion Meadows), “Groove Me” (Greg Manning), “Just What You Need” (Brian Simpson), “Smooth (Cal Harris) and “Ride Along” (Julian Vaughn).
The emergence of saxophonist Mike Phillips marks the beginning of a new, exciting chapter in the jazz music scene. A rare combination of youthful exuberance and seasoned craftsmanship, Mike is poised to take his position among the leaders in his field.
Mike began his musical odyssey at the age of five in his native Mt. Vernon, NY. After experimenting with an assortment of instruments including acoustic and electric bass, violin, piano, French horn and trumpet, he focused on the saxophone because it was the vehicle best suited to express his creative passion.
He diligently honed his talents throughout his formative years, painstakingly mastering the technical skills and self discipline required for the art form. More than that, Mike also developed a keen understanding of the unique and personal relationship between the musician and the audience. Says the young musician: “Music is more than riffs and tricks that you learn. For me, it’s emotional and I want people to feel my music rather than just listen to it.”
In the summer of 1993, Mike made his presence felt on the music scene with his now legendary debut performance at the well-known New York City jazz & R&B spot, Wilson’s. Invited there by a friend who was playing keyboards with the house band, Mike literally walked on stage and, much to the surprise of the band leader, began to blow before anyone asked him to sit in. The looks of bewilderment quickly turned to smiles and the rest, as they say, is history.
Mike has been a regular there ever since, performing with such artists as Babyface, Rachelle Farrell, Brian McKnight, Boyz II Men, and the artist formerly known as Prince. He has also showcased his extraordinary talent via performances throughout the US and abroad, touring with such notables as Teddy Riley & Blackstreet, Jonathan Butler, Simply Red, Wayman Tisdale, Kenny Lattimore and the incomparable Stevie Wonder.
In 1996, Mike was invited to perform at President Clinton’s Inaugural Gala held at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Other milestone events include the 80th Birthday Celebration for President Nelson Mandela in South Africa, a Superbowl appearance with Wonder, and the Billboard Music Awards. Mike’s television credits include Saturday Night Live, The David Letterman Show, BET On Jazz, BET Sound Stage, and The Tonight Show.
Mike’s artistry exceeds category, as shown by his recording sessions with an assortment of diverse performers including the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., mega movie star and recording artist Will Smith, vocalist Mariah Carey, and the gospel ensemble Anointed. And his collaboration with Teddy Riley on the Rugrats The Movie soundtrack added yet another dimension to the phenomenal sound and career of Mike Phillips.
Driven to be the very best, Mike has resolved to follow in the path of his mentors, the legendary saxmen Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker, and take his genre to another level. This determination to develop his craft has helped him reconfigure the jazz landscape by infusing blues, gospel and hip-hop elements into a refreshingly unique style. Mike’s Hidden Beach project, his first solo offering, is due later in 2001.
It’s hard to keep a straight face when talking to Chris Spencer. Extremely talented and hilarious, this quick-witted funnyman began his stint in the entertainment industry at the age of six, as a star in a national television commercial for Mattel’s Tuff Stuff Toys. Today, his resume ranges across several sectors of the industry, with more than 30 television commercials, nine feature films, several television show appearances, a published book, and numerous nationwide comedy tours.
If Spencer looks familiar, it’s probably because you may have seen his work. Television credits include America’s Next Top Model, ER, Soul Food, and The Jamie Foxx Show. His film credits include Black Dynamite, Sin, The Sixth Man, and Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. Spencer has 18 years of experience as a stand up comic. He has two comedy specials on Showtime. One, he executive produced and hosted entitled, Chris Spencer’s Minority Report, and the other is his one-man show entitled, Chris Spencer…the Other Chris. He has also performed on Lopez Tonight, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Def Comedy Jam to name a few.
Additionally, Spencer is currently one of the hottest comedic writers and producers in Hollywood. VH1, Comedy Central, and HBO have all used his talents to springboard many of their latest projects. Comic talents such as Will Smith, P. Diddy, Damon Wayans, and Cedric the Entertainer all call on his comedic talents when it’s time to rewrite their act, special, or television/film script. Spencer was also the head writer of MTV’s Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out and is currently one of the head writers on Jamie Foxx’s new sketch comedy show on Fox, titled The Afterparty. He also published the best seller, 150 Ways to Tell If You’re Ghetto. Notable writer/producer projects also include the ESPY Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards, Soul Train Awards, and all comedy specials for Jamie Foxx.
He also hosts the hottest night in comedy called Trippin’ on Tuesdays at the Comedy Store. On any given night, expect to see Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Martin Lawrence, or Chris Tucker on this incredible stage. Hollywood’s elite come here to not only look for new talent, but to enjoy a fun-filled night. Regulars include Spike Lee, Eddie Murphy, and Russell Simmons.
Jhonson brings all of her many talents to bear as soul-lifting spiritualist, next-gen feminist inspiration, big-picture band leader and, Philly street-corner rhythmist; building on a foundation of straight-ahead jazz, R&B, Funk and Gospel.
Let’s learn a little about HerStory… born and raised in the city of Philadelphia, Gail’s fascination with the endless possibilities of the piano began at the young age of 10. By 14, Gail had played her first professional gig, starting her on a journey that has seen her travel the world, touching lives through her gift of music.
From her humble beginnings on the streets of Philly to the height of her success on the stage and in the studio, Gail Jhonson has lived a life fully committed to music. The next chapter in HerStory saw Gail graduate from the Berklee College of Music, with a B.A. in Composition. Gail made the move west, to Los Angeles, where she established herself in the vibrant heart of the music industry.
Gail’s impressive resume as a recording artist and touring musician includes appearances with such notables as Norman Brown, Mindi Abair, Bobby Womack, Ray Parker jr, Pink, Milli Vanilli, Morris Day (Time) & Rain Pryor. TV apearances on The Jay Leno Show, BET, several videos, Gospel Theatre, Jazz Festivals with Cindy Bradley, Peabo Bryson, Jeff Lorber, Patti Austin, Marion Meadows and so many others!
In 2010 and 2011 The American Black Music Association awarded Gail a Spotlight Award at the red carpet event in Los Angeles; for which she won “Best Jazz Musician.” Her daughter Tamina performed & also won “Best Jazz Vocalist.”
To give you some more background to Her Story, in 2009, Gail’s CD Pearls garnered the nod in the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, a featured artist on the SummerStorm Tour, hosted by Norman Brown, for whom she has been music director for many years.
Gail leads the all female ensemble “Jazz in P!nk”, featuring such artists as Karen Briggs, Althea Rene & Mariea Antoinette. She has her own band “3 Piece Suit” in Los Angeles. She is an educator and author of 3 music method books; also composer for the musical Overcome, Overjoyed-showing at The El Portal Theatre/North Hollywood. On 2012 tours with 3 Piece Suit, Jazz in Pink and Norman Brown-Gerald Albright Summer Jam. 2013 looking good, her daughter is attending Berklee College of Music. Jazz in Pink released a Christmas single in 2012 and new CD released, entitled “1st Collection” Feb 2014!!
Marcus Johnson: “The Man Who Does Things that Make People Say He’s Crazy!”
Whether on the stage, in the classroom, in the community, or as a father, Marcus Johnson leaves a mark on those he encounters. Musician, Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Author, he is the consummate dreamer-doer. He believes that investing in the community and in one’s self is the best way to solve some of life’s most pressing questions: Why are we here? What is our purpose? In answering these questions for himself, Marcus has successfully navigated the realms of music, business, education, and entrepreneurship.
Marcus spent his undergraduate years at Howard University and went on to earn his law degree and an MBA from Georgetown University. As a graduate student, he partnered with Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder Robert L. Johnson to start Marimelj Entertainment Group. This entity later became Three Keys Music, an independent record label that produced over 25 studio and live CDs from Marcus and several internationally acclaimed artists. He received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Jazz Album of the Year, and industry recognitions for several Top 10 placements on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart.
Marcus is the CEO and Founder of FLO (For the Love Of…) Brands and FLO Wine, a lifestyle company that combines his passion for music with his love of good wine. FLO Wine was named to the USA Today list of “10 Best Celebrity Wine Lines.” Marcus received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and is an Entrepreneur in Residence with the Greater Washington Urban League.
He teaches entrepreneurship at Howard University, and has taught business-related topics at Georgetown University’s Center for Professional Development, Bowie State University, and Elmira College. His successes and failures have made him an insightful and dynamic motivational speaker and lecturer that engages audiences around the country at venues, including the Microsoft Small Business Weekly Conference, the AARP Life Reimagined Conference, U.S. Environment Protection Agency, American University, Black MBA Association, and Harvard Law School.
His motivational and inspirational life-lessons caught the attention of the TED Talks series committee – and to date – Marcus has presented his tools to success at TEDxNYU and TEDxECUAD.
Marcus first book titled For the Love Of… was published nationally in March 2017 and dives deeper into these life lessons he learned while working to make his dreams a reality. The book quickly made the Amazon’s Best Seller’s List, making Marcus the “Top of his Game” in yet another market.
Jazmin Deborah Ghent is a national jazz and gospel recording artist born in Heidelberg, Germany and currently residing in Central Florida. She was recently voted Best New Artist of 2017 by the Smooth Jazz Network.
She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education/Jazz Studies and Tennesssee State University with a Master’s Degree in Music Education. She currently teaches elementary music in the POLK COUNTY School System in Florida.
Jazmin’s debut CD, “Boss” was released in June, 2015 and her current CD, “Chocolate Sunshine” was released on September 1, 2016. The hit single, “Compared to What” gained national recognition and was #5 on Smooth Jazz Charts. It received over 400 spins per week including airplay on Sirius XM radio as well as Music Choice, Pandora and Spotify. Her second hit from the Boss Cwas the title song, Boss. Both tunes were in the top 100 songs for 2015. She currently has 3 hit singles from her current CD, “Chocolate Sunshine” – Chocolate Sunshine, Games and her current release “Hello”.
Jazmin has performed at the Newport Beach Jazz Festival in California; Steele City Jazz Festival in Birmingham, AL; Orlando Jazz Festival in Orlando, Fl; Low Country Jazz Festival in Charleston, South Carolina; Rehoboth Jazz Festival in Delaware; the Smooth Jazz Weekend in Melbourne, Florida; Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama City, Florida; Red Cat Jazz Festival in Galveston, Texas and the Atlanta Jazz Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.
She has performed with Norman Brown, Nick Colionne, Ronnie Laws, Kirk Whalum, Brian Simpson, Julian Vaughn, Nicolas Cole, Lin Roundtree and Jazz in Pink, Mindi Abair, Peter White, David Sanborn, Marion Meadows and country artist Keith Urban. Jazmin was the winner of the “Show Your Talent” contest on the Smooth Jazz Cruise 2014 where she opened for the Sirius XM Hall of Fame Ceremony hosted by Marcus Miller. Her true passion is music!
Nicholas Brancker, the Grammy Award Nominee, is on the threshold of new beginnings as he focuses his multiple talents on a wider spectrum of music lovers and turns his focus back to the stage.
He has deservingly gained the respect of music enthusiasts regionally and internationally receiving numerous prestigious music awards including a “Grammy Award nomination for best contemporary jazz song“ for “Love is” by Sherri Winston which was also nominated for best contemporary jazz performance .
He has also collaborated on behalf of Atlantic Records with international producer Salaam Remi. With more that 2000 recordings to his name he continues to produce the Caribbean’s biggest stars including Arrow, Edwin Yearwood, Allison Hinds, Rupee, TC, RPB and Glen Washington to name a few.
Brancker, an accomplished piano, bass and keyboard player has collaborated with the “elite” in the international music industry including but not limited to Roberta Flack, with whom he continues to actively tour; Fritz McIntyre of “Simply Red” and Cindy Lauper.
With her unusual name, her signature look, and a voice like the rustle of a velvet skirt, Vaughnette Bigford is hard to forget. This Trini performer is on a mission to remind us that local music does not begin and end with calypso and soca. “I want to delve into the music of Trinidad and Tobago, and bring to life the kind of music people aren’t hearing now. I want to bring back music from people like Kalyan, Carol Addison and Mavis John. That’s our music, too!”
And the fans have been responding. Her full-length concerts, Shades of Vaughnette, have been held before appreciative crowds for the past four years, and her new CD, Born to Shine, is poised to skyrocket her among the stars. She has nothing but love for those who love her. “My fans are amazing; they like what I do, so they follow me all over the place. I’ve had such good responses from them!”
This dynamic and ambitious lady from La Brea is never content to bask in the glow of her successes; she constantly seeks to upgrade her skills and expand her repertoire, studying with some of the greatest mentors in pop and jazz. These days, Vaughnette is eagerly looking for opportunities to take her performances abroad, so she can share our music with the world.
Recognising her talent as a gift from God, she is determined to fulfil the destiny He has ordained for her, by constantly fine-tuning her craft, and embracing every opportunity to share that liquid, golden voice with others. Shine on, Vaughnette!
The perfect blend of Caribbean Reggae, spouge, son montuno and soca with jazz, is the only way one can describe G-Syndicate.
G-Syndicate is a Caribbean pop jazz vocal group, and Barbados’ premier a Capella group; inspired by leading vocal groups ranging from Take 6 and Naturally 7 to Boyz II Men and Committed. It is no surprise therefore, that G-Syndicate is able to take almost any song and transform it into the a Capella styling they love,using a process they call “SYNDICATION”.
G-Syndicate’s foundation in choral singing enables them to rapidly grasp and reproduce the jazzy harmonies in their arrangements,while their collective Caribbean heritage allows them to infuse different indigenous Caribbean rhythms into their musical presentations. They frequently delve into the genres of calypso, reggae and Barbadian spouge, giving standards and pop songs alike, a simultaneously indigenous and contemporary feel.
Over the years, members have come and gone, but G-Syndicate has always found the right blend of voices and personalities to produce professional, quality performances. They have evolved into a group of musicians capable of producing unique arrangements of popular tracks and original compositions.
The group performs at various concerts, churches, hotels and special events throughout the island, thrilling audiences with their smooth, lush harmonies and infectious rhythms, creating a sound guaranteed to make anyone appreciate the versatility of the human voice.
Petra Welch is currently a Music tutor at the Barbados Community College. She also provides percussion instruction at various , Pre-School, Primary and Secondary schools across the island including The Notes of Praise Music School.
At just 28 years of age, Petra has become a first call session drummer on the island, as she continues to share her gifts with the Barbadian communities at Jazz Clubs and festivals.