Tunes and Tones by Strings
Acoustic String Program
An Exciting Program of Diverse Music Genres by Accoustic String Players
Thursday, September 23, 2021
A Virtual Program
Thursday, September 23, 2021
A Virtual Program
Yihan Chen is an internationally renowned pipa virtuoso and educator. Yihan has performed at leading venues in Asia, North America and Europe, including the Lincoln Center Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, Spoleto Festival USA, the World Stage Series at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Festival de Création Musicale (Radio France), La Cité de la Musique, Le Festival Avignon, Le Festival Musique en Scène, Encontros Acarte Portugal, and Winnipeg Symphony’s New Music Festival. She was the resident pipa soloist with Huaxia Chamber Ensemble in Beijing and Music From China in New York City. She has collaborated with such award-winning composers as Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Chen Qigang and Bright Sheng. She has also recorded with PRISM Quartet, Chicago's Civitas Ensemble, Testament's Alex Skolnick, and Eric Moe. She was a prize winner of international accolades such as 1995 Freedom International Chinese Instrument Competition and the 1989 Art Cup. She graduated from China Conservatory of Music, Beijing in 1995.
He was the young musical director for the Sonny & Cher television series. From that point on, one job led to another. In 1970 he became the musical director for Gladys Kn,ight and the Pips. Soon Greg was working with many of the Motown acts, serving as musical director and guitarist for Diana Ross, Thelma Houston and Syreeta Wright, also working with Marvin Gaye, Smoky Robinson, the Four Tops, the Jackson 5 and other performers. It was a thrill to work with Stevie Wonder and challenging to work with Ray Charles. I also worked with Herbie Hancock when he was experimenting more with R&B and rock musicians.”
Greg Porée's credits are endless! He toured with, Aretha Franklin and Isaac Hayes. Others he worked with include Michael Jackson, James Brown, Joan Baez, the 5th Dimension, Al Green, Albert King, Phoebe Snow, Dusty Springfield, Donald Byrd, Randy Crawford, Benny Golson, Stanley Turrentine and Ahmad Jamal. After Greg came off the road he did not slow down, becoming a top L.A. studio guitarist, appearing on a countless number of sessions.
Greg wrote music for the Martin Lawrence Show, taught at the Henry Mancini Institute, and arranged for the National Symphony Orchestra,.
He recorded his debut album as a leader, The Night Before. The concise performances put the emphasis on Porée's acoustic classical guitar, strong melodies, and a relaxed and thoughtful atmosphere.
Next up was Vertical Motion which has Greg on acoustic guitar interpreting a variety of standards including Dizzy Gillespie's “A Night In Tunisia,” “Caravan,” “Autumn Leaves” and “Lullaby Of Birdland.” He interacts closely with his rhythm section, displays both a beautiful tone and impressive technique, and comes up with melodic variations.
Greg Porée is the guitarist on the BBC hit show Dancing With The Stars since its first season, I enjoy performing and I play out regularly. Now that he is at last in the public eye, Greg Porée's vast life experiences are resulting in a great deal of rewarding music. His future projects are eagerly anticipated.
Giovanna Moraga Clayton
As the daughter of professional musicians, Giovanna Moraga Clayton was destined to have a life in music. “She’s going to be a cellist!”, an exclamation made by her father within hours of her birth set the path for her future. Born in Toluca Mexico and raised in Southern California Giovanna earned a number of accolades as a young cellist. Making her orchestral solo debut at the age of 14, Giovanna has continued to solo with orchestras in the US as well as Central America as well as holding tenured positions with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Working in the Los Angeles studio scene for the last 14 years, Giovanna has played on countless movie soundtracks, records and television shows. In search of a more creatively challenging project Giovanna became a founding member of the Latin Grammy Nominated group Quattro. Touring with the group, now known as Quattrosound, has provided a new platform for her to expand her musical reach. An accomplished and respected musician in the classical world, Giovanna is quickly gaining acclaim in the Contemporary music world as a singer/songwriter. Giovanna has shared stages with many greats including Yo-Yo Ma, Pinkas Zuckerman, Daniel Hope, Bocelli, Prince, Beyonce, Adele and many more. Giovanna resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two children and a dog.
William Foster McDaniel
WILLIAM FOSTER McDaniel is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at Capital University, in Columbus, Ohio. He earned his Master of Music degree at Boston University where he studied piano with Bela Bosormenyi-Nagy and Lawrence LeightonSmith, and composition with Gardner Read. Post-graduate work includes studies with Jacques Fevrier in Paris, France as a Fulbright Scholar. As a pianist, he appears frequently in solo recitals and chamber concerts featuring his own compositions as well as works from the standard concert repertoire.
He is in demand as a conductor in musical theater and has served as musical director for many popular on- and offBroadway shows: Ainʼt Misbehavinʼ, Bubblinʼ Brown Sugar, The Fantasticks, to name but a few. Mr. McDanielʼs compositions have been performed by The New York Housing Authority Orchestra, the Yonkers Civic Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Symphony of New York, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Philharmonia of Greensboro, the Bergen Philharmonic, the Antara Ensemble, the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, the Mozart Society Orchestra at Harvard University and the BBC Concert Orchestra (London).
Trailblazing cellist and award-winning composer Stephen Katz has charted new territory for the rhythmic potential of the cello with the groundbreaking approach he calls Flying Pizzicato. The results are compositions and improvisations that juggle two or more voices at a time, making music that lays grooves, weaves tunes, and lifts spirits.
Stephen has performed his compositions at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and toured internationally as a soloist, and with the Paul Winter Consort, Rachael Sage, Susan Werner, and the Essex String Quartet. He has been featured on American Public Media national broadcasts of Performance Today, and is a NEA grant recipient through the SUNY/Buffalo Arts in Healthcare Initiative.
As a film composer Stephen’s score won the Jury Prize Gold Medal for Best Impact of Music in a Documentary at the Park City Film Music Festival. His other film scores include Two Square Miles, a film about Hudson, NY, which has been broadcast nationally on PBS/Independent Lens.
Stephen is also an improviser and composer in the Dance world. He plays regularly at New England dance jams, has collaborated and performed with Andrew Harwood, Chris Aiken, members of Pilobolus and Beverly Blossom dance companies, and has been a Visiting Artist at Amherst College. As a co-founder of the movement/theater company Seen & Heard with the late dancer and monologist BJ Goodwin, he literally danced with the cello while accompanying the dramas they played out on stage.
As a teacher, Stephen has been a regular workshop presenter at the New Directions Cello Festival since it’s inception in 1994, and has the distinction of being the most frequent guest performer at the Fest.
A native of San Francisco, Stephen received a Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He and his family live in Haydenville, Massachusetts.
Marisa McLeod, violinist
a native of Newark, New Jersey, began her studies of the violin at the age of three. She received her Bachelor of Music degree at Montclair State University, and her Master of Music degree from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. She studied the Suzuki method and received her Suzuki certification from the Eastman School under Anastasia Jempelis. She has continued her Suzuki studies with Cathryn Lee, Edmund Sprunger, Sherry Cadow, Martha Shackford and Mark Bjork.
She was a member of the Anderson String Quartet for ten years. She has studied the art of string quartet playing with the Cleveland Quartet with Peter Salaff as her private teacher, Juilliard String Quartet, American String Quartet, and William Fitzpatrick of Le Quatuor de Deux Monde, in Fontaineblau, France.
The Andersons were artists in residence and members of the music faculty at California State University, Los Angeles. Their travels took them all over the country where they performed numerous recitals and children’s concerts.
As a freelance violinist, she has also performed and recorded for artists like Snoop Dog, Smokey Robinson, En Vogue, Moesha, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, and many others.
She presently performs with California Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Symphony, and various orchestras in Southern California. She has taught strings for the Arts Council of Conejo Valley and as adjunct violin professor at Westmont College in Montecito. She has taught Suzuki Strings at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. She is presently a Suzuki and Strings instructor at the Viewpoint School in Calabasas. She also conducts the Camerata and Philharmonia Orchestras for the Education Division of the Santa Barbara Symphony. She also maintains a private violin and viola studio in her home and on Zoom.
For Marisa, performance is sustenance. She relishes the interdependence between art , the artist and the audience. And as a teacher and coach, she finds herself in the enviable position of being able to pass on to others the how-to of creating this loving relationship.
One Note to Blues and Jazz, and 2 Steps to Country!
A Delicious Gumbo Mix of Music
March 26, 2021, 7:00 pm
March 26, 2021, 7:00 pm
Join us for a lively evening filled with music and delight! Since this event will be virtual we encourage you to fill a bowl up with something delicious, sit back in the comfort of your home with a glass of wine or a cold beer, and let us bring the entertainment to you.
PRESTON SMITH, Bluesman
Preston Smith is a singing, guitar, and harmonica playing virtuoso of blues and jazz, which makes him a great fit. His stuff is upbeat, intelligent, and classy, He's known for his widespread appeal to a variety of audiences and some say his music knows no boundaries. While Smith's songwriting skills have received a big thumbs up from critics all over the map, his live gigs are legendary" says John Sollenberger July 28th, 2006, The Pasadena Weekly"
An How does one categorize an artist, who during the sn of his career has sung for Barbra Streisand's wedding, performed at countless functions for people such as Steven Spielberg, Bruce Willis,Aaron Spellings,Brad Grey ,The Cast of The Soprano's and the late Sonny Bono, played harmonica and scat rapped alongside Salt n’ Pepa on Quincy Jones’ TV show “Vibe”, and has had the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Van Halen and Jerry Lee Lewis, among countless others, join him on-stage for impromptu jam sessions.
Preston appeared on “The Tonight Show” along with the late Jimmy Stewart and released an album on Curb Records entitled “Preston Smith.” He was featured on the hit movie soundtrack “Cocktail” starring Tom Cruise with the title song “Oh I Love You So,” which he composed, produced and performed. The soundtrack went on to sell over six million units foreign and domestically. He And His Band Performed on The Hit TV show "StarSearch" .... Roseanne Cash then recorded his song “Black and White,” which released as a single, andwas a hit on the country radio charts and was included in her greatest hits CD which went on to sell gold. Preston’s latest CD's “That Real Feel,” "RomancingTheBlues" and "A Night Blooming Jazzman" and "Christmas Blues " and his latest release "Blue Skies For A Rainy Day" all which he produced and released on his own label many of which he played all the instruments himself or recorded live with his band in the studio, they are all a mix of his own Orginals and a combination of many genres of the past ...........................................................
Preston has performed on many live radio and cable TV shows on both the east and west coasts, and has performed live on club circuits in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville. His multifaceted talent has enabled him, both with his band and solo acoustic, to share stages with a diverse crowd of performers ranging from KROQ alternative rock favorites Blues and Soul Legends Robert Cray,Albert Collins Foreigner,Salt N Pepa,The Red Hot Chili Peppers,..James Brown, .haka Khan,George Duke..Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Bonnie Raitt ,Spencer Davis,Ellis Hall ,Bill Chaplin,Bobby Kimball,The Robert Cray Band, Fine Young Cannibals, Fishbone,Social Distortion, Wall of Voodoo, Concrete Blonde,,Savoy Brown, Charlie Sexton, The Mighty Lemon Drops, and The Bonedaddy’s, to rock, R&B, and blues legends such as k.d. Lang, John Mayhall, Tower of Power, Joe Satriani, The Ventures, Dick Dale & the Deltones, Eric Burden & the Animals, Delbert McClinton, Paul Butterfield, Poco, Santana,Charlie Musselwhite, Joe Louis Walker, Booker T. & the MG’s, The Ink Spots, The Coasters, Savoy Brown, Spencer Davis, Al Kooper, Marshall Tucker Band, Bachman Turner Overdrive, The Youngbloods, Donovan, Commander Cody, Asleep at the Wheel, N.R.B.Q., Buster Poindexter, Mink DeVille, The Tubes, The Busboys, David Lindley & El Rayo X, John Stewart, Al Stewart, The James Harmon Blues Band, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Billy Vera & The Beaters, The Palladins, The King Bee’s, and Jack Mack & the Heart Attack
"An exceptional, gutsy singer, songwriter, and guitarist…a phenomenal artist, who appeals to all types of music lovers, Preston always "delivers!" Whether he's wailing on the harmonica, or singing through a megaphone, the audiences love him!" UNIVERSITY REPORTER ...........
"Indeed, Preston is a man of melody. Talent oozes from him. As a vocalist, his delivery possesses a subtle growl charismatic of the great bluesmen of past decades. His snarlin' guitar sound blends with his screamin' harmonica work to produce a raw, soulful treat for any music lover. He has been known to break into a guitar solo using his tongue." SANTA CLARITA SIGNAL "…originals that could easily sound good on the airwaves of your local triple A stations…" ENTERTAINMENT TODAY
"Smith writes memorable songs. Tunes that you hum in the shower for weeks after seeing the band."
Santa Barbara NEWS AND REVIEW
Lauren Braddock Havey
Lauren Braddock, Country
Nashville songwriter and actress, Lauren Braddock (Havey) grew up in Music City the only child of Hall of Fame songwriter Bobby Braddock. Lauren graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan and worked there and in Los Angeles before returning to her hometown for a music publishing deal with Sony/ATV Tree.
She has released two CD's produced by Grammy-winner Don Henry, including the folk-rock opera, A Journey to the Son, written to accompany Lauren's parenting memoir by the same name. Among her song cuts, Blake Shelton recorded Lauren and Don Henry’s cowrite If I Was Your Man on his platinum-selling debut CD. A self-proclaimed Daddy’s girl, she is honored to have accompanied her dad in concert venues around the country from the renowned Bluebird Cafe to the Bottom Line in New York to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, singing his classic country hits like D-I-V-O-R-C-E by Tammy Wynette and Unwed Fathers are co-written with folk legend John Prine.
Lauren has starred/appeared in numerous theater, film, television, and music video productions. She first got into the Screen Actor’s Guild playing Lindsay Wagnor’s teenage sister in the Made for Television movie “Shattered Dreams.”
Last year, Lauren released a new EP, Witch Hairs Don’t Care, and a book, Homebound Healing in Troubled Times, that offers tips and tricks for anxiety reduction during COVID and beyond through peaceful modalities including arts/music therapies.
"If you ever wanted to know what happened to that kid born at Woodstock, Lauren Braddock is your answer"
Don Henry, Blues & Country
Grammy Award winner Don Henry's songs have been recorded by legends like:
Ray Charles, Patti Page and Conway Twitty
By country crooners like:
Gene Watson, John Conlee and B.J. Thomas
By young hit makers of today like:
Blake Shelton, Lonestar and Miranda Lambert ….
.....and the list goes on.
And he’s shared the stage with performers as diverse as
Joey Ramone to Keith Urban.
The wit and wisdom of Don's songs are widely renowned whether it's campfire favorites, the hilarious "B.F.D." and biker lullaby "Harley", to the wonderfully poignant tribute to Martin Luther King "Beautiful Fool", and of course his Grammy Award winning country classic "Where've You Been".
In addition to a Grammy, Kathy Mattea's version of "Where've You Been" won Don (and co-writer Jon Vezner) song of the year honors from ACM (Academy of Country Music), CMA (Country Music Association) and NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International).
"Where've You Been" was the first song in country music history to be awarded all four honors in the same year!
Gary Matsumoto, Jazz Pianist
Gary Matsumoto Pianist and educator Gary Matsumoto has been a mainstay in the Southern California music scene for over two decades. As a regular touring musician, he has shared the stage with such notable names as George Benson, Haley Reinhart, Gordon Goodwin, and Macy Gray. Currently, he can be seen nationally with Grammy Award winning vocalist Steve Tyrell. As an educator, Matsumoto has taught nationally recognized and award-winning students in programs including Young Arts, Grammy Band, and Los Angeles’ Music Center Spotlight. He is on faculty at UC Riverside, El Camino College, and Los Angeles College of Music.
Matsumoto started playing piano at the age of 6, but his interest in music began to peak while attending the University of California, Irvine. There, in addition to classical lessons with Dr. Lorna Griffith and Keiko Halop, he studied jazz piano with Kei Akagi. In 1999, he graduated with a B.M. in music performance and in 2002 received his master's degree in jazz studies from the California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with David Roitstein. Much of his early musical development can also be attributed to the variety of great teachers he was exposed to Charlie Haden, Joe LaBabera, Larry Koonse, Darek Oles, Wadada Leo Smith, and James Newton.
Over the course of his career, Matsumoto has strived to keep a well-rounded portfolio of work. His first multi-state tour was with famed MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, opening for Cheap Trick. He also worked with film composer Nathan Wang on a variety of projects, including performing in concerts with international pop recording artists Coco Lee, JJ Lin, Vivian Hsu, and Jenny Tseng. Some of his earliest jobs were in musical theatre, where he worked as a pianist and musical director.
However, Matsumoto is most well known for his work as a jazz pianist. In 2008, SP records released The Matsumoto Trio - Days Ahead, his first as a leader. It featured Henry “Skipper” Franklin on bass and Tony Austin on drums. As a sideman, he has been featured on over two dozen recordings, most recently with Haley Reinhart, Crystal Lewis, and Dave Damiani. Other recording credits include Bruce Forman, Dave Koz, Renee Olstead, Spencer Day, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., Aubrey Logan, Maiya Sykes, Erin Boheme, and Kate Flannery (from NBC’s the Office). Other live performance credits include Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Jeff Clayton, James Carter, Herman Riley, Tierney Sutton, Jane Monheit, Sara Gazarek, Roy McCurdy, Sam Most, Azar Lawrence, James Tormé, Bobby Rodriguez, Grant Geissman, Keith David, Joe Piscopo, Don Most, Robert Davi, Sal “the Voice” Valentinetti, and Billy Vera. In 2020 he worked alongside Steve Tyrell as co-arranger and accompanist for Ben Platt in Father of the Bride Part 3(ish).
Melissa Morgan, Jazz Singer
Melissa Morgan, You have to check out this voice. It is interesting. It is sassy. It is sexy.", says producer John Clayton. Brought up in the jazz clubs of New York City, Melissa Morgan has a voice that is unexpected. From the exterior, you would assume a sultry lounge singer, which does make an appearance once in a while, but from inside she contains a powerful instrument. "Prepare to fall in love" (Bay Area Reporter), and fall in love you do. On stage, she bares everything and makes you laugh while doing it. While belting a blues or tenderly massaging a ballad, she has come a long way from her appearance at the 2004 Thelonious Monk Competition. While you will always hear definitive influences from Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington, and Billie Holliday, "Melissa isn't copying anybody" (London Evening Standard) and most certainly has a definitive sound all her own.
“Give your Norah Jones collection a break and pop in this 27-year-old’s debut CD of classic and obscure jazz tunes. Her sultry voice shines on Nancy Wilson’s ‘Save Your Love for Me’ and ‘I Wonder,’ in which she asks a past love, ‘Will your heart come running back to me?’”
“Morgan is a consistent joy, and unlike some singers, she commands the band, not the other way around. Given the spicy edge in her sexy voice, her dry allure, and the way she pops the words like a whip on a gospel choir, Morgan’s time has come.”
- DownBeat Magazine
“Every once in a while, a jazz singer appears with a voice so filled with soul and deeper meaning that you wonder how you could have possibly survived so long without her. That singer is Melissa Morgan…Morgan’s voice speaks with knowing sophistication; her mastery of innuendo is supreme. Backed by an excellent rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass drums) and horns, she has an uncanny ability to bring a contemporary outlook to the classic jazz sound of the 1950s and ’60s…As Morgan grooves through 11 selections that range from ballads to blues, prepare to fall in love.”
- Bay Area Reporter
Maiya Sykes, Jazz Singer
Maiya Sykes is a classically trained vocalist, producer, vocal arranger and entrepreneur. She studied independently with Nina Simone and Betty Carter. A Yale graduate, Maiya starred in a reality show, VH1’s “Bands On The Run” immediately after graduation. She was also featured nationally in both television and radio commercials for “Green Light Financial”.
Maiya was highlighted on the commercial trailers for the “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” & “The Return of the King”, chosen personally by the films director, Peter Jackson. Maiya has provided back-up vocals on recordings for The Black Eyed Peas, Macy Gray, Fantasia, Joss Stone, and Allen Stone. She was a featured backup singer for Macy Gray in her live show for more than three years.
As a recording artist, Maiya released a dance single with DJ Manny Lehman, “Body Rock”, recorded under the pseudonym Oceana. The single reached the number one position on the Billboard Charts in July 2009.
Currently, Maiya has been busy as the lead singer of The Endangered. The band’s second release, produced by legendary producer Steven Miller (Dave Mathews Band, Chaka Kahn), was released in early May 2012 to excellent reviews. Though she currently touring and performing with her band, Maiya is grateful for every opportunity to make good music.
JUNE 19, 2021
A Celebration Deferred
Litza may be considered a phenom in the world of today's music culture. Her musical experience began during her childhood years as she and her five sisters sang as “The Cadet Sisters”. She was blessed as a child prodigy with the ability to not only sing, but also, she played piano by ear before receiving formal training. After nurturing her God given skills, She catapulted herself, through sheer desire and love for music, to attain a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Oakwood University in Boston; she also received a Master's degree in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory.
She made her imprint on the music world in 2016 by releasing her solo debut album entitled My Journey. The album showcased her rich vocal range with an influence of jazz, pop, and r&b song selections. Most recently she has written and released several singles that can be found on Google and other streaming services. Those projects have involved Natalie with her skilled writing, singing, producing and her ability to do song arrangements.
Her talents and versatility have garnered the attention from other’s prominent in the world of music such as Carl Gustafson, a Grammy nominated producer with whom Litza demonstrated her range of skills in music written for over 50 songs involving nearly 500 singers and musicians, including many Grammy nominees. Yet there are other distinguished accolades of which she can boast, is that she has gained the experience to do musical works associated with 7 different languages. Natalie has recently applied to the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music as a candidate for a Master of Music in Screen Scoring in the Spring semester of 2021.
Litza is simply a beautiful musical talent with a kind and wonderful spirit that is so very powerful. Litza is ready to make new inroads by challenging herself to continue creating new music that bridges the gap among all music lovers.
Brittany Daniels began dancing ballet at the age of eight and later studied hip-hop, jazz, modern, and ballroom at the age of 14. She completed Cecchetti examinations 1-5 and earned international honors for her last examination. Some summer dance intensives she attended are Cecchetti USA (nominated for an award in her division), American Ballet Theater, Ballet Magnificat! (full scholarship), and LINES Ballet (scholarship). Brittany, an audience favorite makes her third appearance in a Clazzical Notes program.
Carmen Dreher Jordan
Lyric Soprano Carmen Dreher Jordan is a native of Columbia, South Carolina where she received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina. It was there where her love for the performing arts has stayed a passion in her life.
Carmen‘s roles range from playing iconic singer Darlene Love in the musical “Leader of the Pack”, a standout performance that was greatly enjoyed by Darlene Love who was in the audience. She has toured internationally and in Europe, she had the opportunity of a lifetime to perform solo at St. Peters Basilica in Rome. This experience confirmed that music is that piece of her soul that makes her unique in her own right.
The art of vocal performance continues to be her concentration with her vocal mentor, Dr. Angela S. Blalock.
As a solo artist, Carmen’s repertoire includes many well-known arias, art songs, and spirituals.
Carmen is happy to make her vocal debut in the Clazzical Notes program.
Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Zac Harmon is an award-winning guitarist, singer, and songwriter whose distinctive style continues the lineage of American Blues music. America’s classical music.
Blues Revue called Harmon “a masterful musician and performer of the blues.” Blues journalist Don Wilcock referred to his “Bobby Blue Bland uptown sophistication with a touch of Freddie King guitar.” And JazzReview said, “With his big blues sound from Mississippi, Harmon can go toe to toe with some of the best blues men in the business. Please don’t be shy, go ahead and mention Harmon’s name in the same sentence with Bobby “Blue” Bland, Albert King and Bobby Rush—just to name a few
Del Atkins earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology from Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Del and his Master of Arts degree in Music Industry Administration from Cal State University Northridge. He is a bass player and producer who comes to us with deep roots in Jazz and R&B. Del performs with Yuko Mabuchi Trio among other ensembles, including performances with Patti Labelle, Hank Crawford, Les McCann and the late Lou Rawls.
Del attended took healthy advantage of the rich music programs available at the time of growing up, including studies in harmony, arranging and jazz concert performance. This began his musical journey. His foundation became stronger under the guidance of Reggie Andrews, Don Harris and Frank Harris. Del attended Los Angeles Community College and collaborated with upcoming artists like Gerald Albright and ultimately began performing with Latin artist Willie Bobo at the Playboy Jazz Music Festival.
Seasoned percussionist Munyungo Jackson possesses an ever-increasing collection of instruments with which to execute his craft. In his over 45 years of playing, he has performed with Greats such as Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Karen Briggs, Kenny Loggins, the Zawinal Syndicate, George Howard, Ronnie Laws, The Temptations, Four Tops, The Supremes, and dozens of others, including numerous ethnic music and dance troupes. Munyungo was born in Los Angeles, California and is the nephew of the legendary jazz, pop, and blues singer, Capital Records Nellie Lutcher. In addition to his concerts, tours and recording work, Munyungo is one of the Co-Producers of the Watts Towers Day Of The Drum Festival, which brings together master drummers from all over the world to present their expertise, and the Watts Towers Jazz Festival, which presents Great Jazz musicians performing music from many different musical genres.
Munyungo is currently working with Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis Bitches Brew Remix, Lao Tizer, and Harold Johnson.
D. Eric Pogue
Host, Rick Pogue is a human resources executive, executive coach and consultant with over 35 years of experience in industries including, chemicals, consumer packaged goods, non-profits and most recently healthcare. Most recently he served in an interim executive capacity as the VPHR for New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Prior to that he served as Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for The Institute for Family Health, and as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Continuum Health Partners (now Mount Sinai Health System). His other non-profit experience includes serving as the Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Diversity for the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. He serves as board member of the William Appling Singers and Orchestra and in the capacity of Board President for over seven years. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in psychology from Heidelberg University and a Masters of Arts degree in personnel administration from Bowling Green State University. Mr. Pogue resides in New York City.