Dena has accumulated an impressive list of performance credits. From the legendary clubs around the world like the Blue Note, Smoke and the Jazz Standard in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Pitt Inn and Body and Soul in Tokyo, The Jazz Showcase in Chicago, Marian's in Bern, The Jazz Center in Istanbul, and Alexander Platz in Rome, to major Jazz Festivals that include The Red Sea Jazz Festival in Israel, The Monterey Jazz Festival, The San Francisco Jazz FestivaL. Dena always delivers "...vivid and often exciting demonstrations of how innovative her musical concepts are..." (Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner). She has brought that vitality and innovation to performances alongside the likes of Ray Brown, Clark Terry, Marian McPartland, Benny Golson, John Scofield, Benny Green, Ray Drummond, Alex Riel, Deborah Brown, Jimmy Cobb, Ken Peplowski, Jay Leonhart, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Phil Woods, David âFathead' Newman, Rufus Reid, Jay Clayton, Mark Murphy, Marvin Stamm, and many, many others.
DeRose has been chosen by Downbeat's Critic's Poll as an "Artist Deserving Wider Recognition" in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2014, and 2015. All About Jazz anointed her as a "Jazz Artist of the Year" in 2003, and "Best Jazz Album" of 2007. Her CD's, A Walk in the Park, Live at Jazz Standard Vol. 1, Live at Jazz Standard Vol. 2, and "Travelin' Light", all garnered 4 stars in Downbeat, and considered for a Grammy. She has been featured on âMorning Edition' on National Public Radio, and three times on NPR's "Marian McPartlands' Piano Jazz" including the "30th Anniversary" show recorded live at Dizzy's Coca-Cola Jazz club in NYC with piano greats Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, Bill Charlap, Cedar Walton, Dick Hyman, and others. Dena also appears on the CD "NPR's Piano Jazz Christmas Compilation".
Astoundingly, Dena has also found time to hone her skills as a Jazz educator, and has been on the adjunct faculty at some prestigious jazz institutes, including Manhattan School of Music, NYU, The New School, Long Island University, Purchase College in New York, The Hartt School of Music in Connecticut, and was on the faculty for 10 years at "New York Comes To Groningen" Prince Claus Conservatoire of Music in Holland. Ms. DeRose is currently tenured as the Professor of Jazz Voice at the Jazz Institute of The University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. She frequently leads clinics and workshops at such prestigious schools and festivals at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, Centrum-Port Townsend Jazz, the Dave Brubeck Institute in Oakland, CA, The Jazz School in Berkeley, CA, Taller de Musics in Barcelona-Spain, NJPAC Jazz for Teen Program, The Litchfield Summer Jazz Camp, Jazz Camp West, JEN conferences, the Rotterdam Summer Jazz School, and The Royal Conservatory of Music in Den Haag, among others. She has served as a first round judge at the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition and served 6 years on the NJ Star Ledger Scholarship Awards committee.
Originally from London, Alto Saxophonist/Composer Will Vinson moved to New York City in 1999 and has remained there ever since. Since his arrival, he has appeared and/or recorded with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ari Hoenig, Marcus Gilmore, Chris Potter, Kurt Elling, Lage Lund, Aaron Parks, and many others.
Will is a member of a number of leading ensembles, including pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s Quartet (he appears on Charlie and the Grammy-nominated Caminos), Ari Hoenig’s Punk Bop and Nonet (Will appears on Inversations, Bert’s Playground and Live at Smalls), Miguel Zenon’s Identities Orchestra (Grammy-nominated for Identities are Changeable), and his own groups featuring, among others, Lage Lund, Jeff Ballard, Aaron Parks, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Shai Maestro and Mike Moreno.
In 2012, along with bassist Orlando le Fleming and guitarist Lage Lund, he formed the critically acclaimed OWL Trio, whose eponymous debut in 2013 was hailed by critics and listeners alike. Downbeat declared: “Everything about this album,which should contend for debut of the year honors,is a resounding success. The music swings effortlessly, every utterence is gorgeous and the recording is intimate and beautiful", while All About Jazz noted that "the chemistry, sensitivity and simpatico sensibilities exhibited by these three young men are evident at every turn....OWL Trio is one of those records that finds power in quiet expression, not raised volume or aggression. Lund, Vinson and le Fleming make for an absorbing combination"
Will has an international reputation as a leader and sideman. All About Jazz New York describes Will as playing “with a relentless force”. Thomas Michelsen of Denmark’s Politiken, hails this “very exciting saxophonist” with a “beautiful, softly modulating tone”, and John Fordham of The Guardian described a "superb solo of rugged leathery sounds turning into mellifluous high notes” with “secure control and storming energy". Time Out London calls will an "exciting young altoist with a lethal approach to writing and soloing”.
Will has released 6 CD’s as a leader/composer. It’s For You (Sirocco Jazz, 2004) was described as “combining a thoughtful originality of conception with energy and fluidity of execution in very satisfying proportions” (Jazzwise magazine)
Will’s second CD, Promises (NineteenEight Records), was described as “impressive” and “coolly restrained” by Nate Chinen of the New York Times.
2010 saw the release of two CD's: The World (Through My Shoes), a live recording was described as "marvelous" by Downbeat and "exhilarating, cascading... outstanding" by Jazz Times. Stockholm Syndrome (Criss Cross) came out in September 2010. 2013 saw the release of Live at Smalls, one of the most successful albums on the Smalls Live label. 2016 saw the release of Will’s debut recording for 5Passion, Perfectly Out of Place, featuring an all-star group: Mike Moreno on guitar, Gonzalo Rubalcaba on piano, Matt Penman on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums. The reviews have been ecstatic. All About Jazz calls it "a marvel of compositional design, textural beauty, and musicality"; Downbeat lauds the "incredibly original" compositions that "challenge the notion of how jazz is defined in this era", Jazzwise describes it as "heart-stopping", and Sterophile Magazine declares Will "one of the best alto saxophonists in Jazz".
Will has appeared with his own group and as a sideman in the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Australia and Japan. His musical experience has not been limited to Jazz. Will is a member of Rufus Wainwright’s band, which toured for 10 months in 2007/8. He has also performed, arranged and/ or recorded with Sufjan Stevens, Sean Lennon, Martha Wainwright, Beth Orton and Harper Simon.
Will's saxophone playing is executed with incredible power and dramatic sensitivity, and is characterized by his imposing sound and technique; influenced by saxophonists from Cannonball to Chris Potter, he nevertheless brings his own unique approach to every performance. Will's writing, and the playing of his colleagues, combines a great respect for the century-long jazz tradition with explorations into the rhythmic, harmonic and melodic realms of contemporary forms.
Hailed by Down Beat magazine for his “quick-witted harmonic reflexes, fluid command of line and cut-to-the- chase sense of narrative logic,” Aaron Goldberg has made his name as one of jazz’s most compelling pianists, both as a bandleader and frequent collaborator with Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Guillermo Klein and many more. On his new release The Now, Goldberg reunites with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, the virtuoso rhythm team going all the way back to his 1998 debut Turning Point. On their fifth outing together, the trio foregrounds a central truth about the art of playing jazz: that no two performances will be the same because the music is created, in Goldberg’s words, “in the dynamic plane of the present.”
Goldberg became a jazz devotee in Boston during high school. After spending a year in New York City at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, he enrolled at Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude in 1996 with a concentration in Mind, Brain and Behavior. A founding member of Betty Carter’s famed and indispensable Jazz Ahead program, he continued his ascent performing in bands led by Al Foster, Freddie Hubbard, Nicholas Payton, Stefon Harris and Mark Turner among others. By the late 1990s, he was garnering wider attention, and an incessant touring schedule found him both inspired by music from around the world yet appreciative of the zen creativity that only jazz demands.
Goldberg’s bread-and-butter jazz vocabulary, his mastery and sense of invention on blues and standards, is second to none. On The Now, he lends Charlie Parker’s “Perhaps” a twist: the melody is played one quarter note apart in the right and left hand. Warne Marsh’s “Background Music,” on the changes of “All of Me,” is jaw-dropping in its speed, precision and unrelenting swing: the trio at full blast. “One’s a Crowd,” in another twist, uses the chord changes to Joe Henderson’s “Serenity.” “On Worlds (2006), we recorded a tune called ‘Unstablemates,’ and this is a similarly respectful de-rangement,” says Goldberg. “‘Serenity’ has a 14-bar form, while ‘One’s a Crowd’ drops a bar to 13, which alone renders it less serene. Melodically and improvisationally it aims to capture that mood when you're alone but your inner voice won't stay quiet."
Jazz has a way of summoning that kind of spirit from musicians, and Goldberg knows exactly how to capture it, surrounding himself with kindred spirits in pursuit of the highest expression. He and the trio embody the best of what jazz can be today: the ability to speak from deep within the tradition while putting their own collaborative imprint upon it. Combined with his personal take on jazz’s intangible and viscerally uplifting heritage, this makes Goldberg just the player to share all he knows about The Now.
Stuart was exposed to jazz during his childhood through his parents' record collection and became enthusiastic about jazz in his early teens. When he wrote a paper on Rahsaan Roland Kirk, a teacher arranged for Kirk to perform for the class at the Village Vanguard and then discuss music. During the next year, pianist Jaki Byard made weekly visits to the school's music class. Stuart started buying albums by Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. With the help of his mother, he bought a guitar and for two years took classical lessons. He attended Stanford University, where he met guitarist Tuck Andress and studied music.
in Paris, then went on tour with organist Jack McDuff. In the early 1980s, he moved to New York City. He has played with Geri Allen, Joe Bonner, Cecil Bridgewater, Ronnie Burrage, Jeanie Bryson, Michael Cochrane, Steve Coleman, Larry Coryell, Bill Doggett, Charles Earland, George Garzone, Vinny Golia, Billy Harper Sheila Jordan, Graham Haynes, Sheila Jordan, Ernie Krivda, Steve Nelson, Errol Parker, Mike Richmond, Charlie Rouse, Bill Saxton, Lonnie Smith, Cassandra Wilson, and Reggie Workman.
. (National Endowment For The Arts 1992 Annual Report p. 151) Stuart has performed with musicians in the Czech Republic (with Jaromir Honzak), Switzerland (with Colin Vallon's Trio), India (with John Stubblefield, Stuart performed and recorded with an expanded version of his quartet, adding Glenn Wilson, Dannie Moore, and National Endowment for the Arts and Mark Shin. He worked in a duo with Glenn Wilson. With the help of a grant from the John Ellis, and Calvin Hill and has led quartets with Armen Donelian, Keith CopelandIn 1982 he led a quartet that comprised Louiz Banks), and in Iceland. He wrote a program of music for a concert performed by former students Robert Glasper, Matt Penman, John Ellis, Jean Rohe, and Becca Stevens with guest Dafnis Prieto.
Since 1992, Stuart has led and developed the curriculum in rhythm for New School's Department of Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York. He has given private lessons, clinics, and workshops in Indian (2009 Express India, Radio and Music, Kazakhstan (U.S. Embassy News, Kazakhstan,(2008, Israel (2009–2010), Italy (Veneto Jazz in Bassano 2005-2008; also Udine and Vercelli with John Riley's Trio (2006), Austria (2003), Denmark (2008), Switzerland (2003, Brazil (2009, via Skype), Spain (2008), and across the US. (including IAJE in 2001 and 2007). He led and taught at a jazz workshop in Incheon, South Korea (2007–2008). In 2006, he was awarded the New School University Teaching Excellence Award.
Luques Curtis was born 1983 in Hartford, CT. After having formal training on piano and percussion, he found himself wanting to play the bass. Luques studied at the Greater Hartford Academy of Performing Arts, Artist Collective, and Guakia with Dave Santoro, Volcan Orham, Nat Reeves, Paul Brown, and others. While attending high school, he was also very fortunate to study the Afro-Caribbean genre with bass greats Andy Gonzalez and Joe Santiago. With his talent and hard work he earned a full scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in Boston. There he studied with John Lockwood and Ron Mahdi. While in Boston he was also able to work with great musicians such as Gary Burton, Ralph Peterson, Donald Harrison, Christian Scott, and Francisco Mela.
Now living in the New York area, Mr. Curtis has been performing worldwide with Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Ralph Peterson, Christian Scott, Sean Jones, Orrin Evans, Albert Rivera, and others. He is the recent recipient of the 2016 Down Beat Rising Star Bassist on the Critics Poll. He also co-owns a record label called Truth Revolution Records. Along side his brother, they have four releases under "Curtis Brothers", the most recent being "Syzygy". Luques was also part of Brian Lynch's Grammy winning CD "Simpatico" and his Grammy nominated "Madera Latino" as well as Christian Scott's Grammy nominated CD "Rewind That". He also produced Grammy nominated "Entre Colegas" by Andy Gonzalez. You can hear him on Eddie Palmieri's "Sabiduria"; Gary Burton "Next Generations"; Dave Valentin "Come Fly With Me"; Sean Jones "Roots","Kaleidoscope",and "The Search Within"; Albert Rivera's CD "Re-Introduction"; Etienne Charles' CD "Folklore"; Orrin Evans' CD "Faith In Action". As a sideman, Luques Curtis has participated in over 75 recordings.
For more then 30 years, Ralph Peterson has been one of the distinctive and recognizable drummers in jazz. Besides his incomparable talent behind the drum kit, which has led to collaborations with the likes of Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, David Murray, Roy Hargrove, Michael Brecker, Regina Belle, Betty Carter and The Roots in a career that spans almost 35 years – not to mention being hand-picked by Art Blakey as the second drummer in the legendary bandleader’s Jazz Messenger Big Band until Blakey’s 1990 death.
In a varied and prodigious career whose span now encompasses three decades, percussionist-composer Ralph Peterson Jr. has never stopped expanding horizons for the hard-bop idiom he helped revive. Nor has he shirked from intensifying his formidable artistic resources to connect, urgently and emotionally, with the energies of the present day. He takes yet another bold step with his Onyx Productions Music Label.
He is now preparing to release a Big Band Cd dedicated to his mentor Art Blakey, a live follow up with Aggregate Prime, , and record a with 5 other Messenger alumni in a group called The Messenger Legacy, all in the next 12-18 months!
Ralph Peterson is now at the intersection where his influence on modern jazz is undeniable and constant. He has been on more then 150 other CD’s as a sideman. He is at the apex of his power as a drummer, bandleader, teacher and mentor. His list of students constitute a who’s who of today’s amazing up and coming drummers like Ari Honig, E.J Strickland, Tyshawn Sorey, Mark Whitfield Jr., Kush Abadey and Justin Faulkner and many more.
He is Full Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music.
Mr. Peterson also remains in high demand as an educator does workshops and clinics with the support of his endorsers Mapex Drums, Meinl Cymbals, Evans Drumheads and Vic Firth Stick and Brushes.