Luis Villegas is a Mexican American guitarist best known for his debut CD Cafe Olé, which mixed new-age music, flamenco, and jazz and garnered a spot on the Grammy ballot for Best New Age Album of the Year in 1999. He is known for using a technique of playing fast, intricate lines by using the fingernail of his right index finger in place of a guitar pick. He also had a small role, as a member of a band, in the film Collateral starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. Currently, he is a member of the group "Heavy Mellow" along with founder Benjamin Woods and percussionist Mike Bennett.
Ryan Cross, is a name that is synonymous with professionalism and musical excellence. Glee, Friends, ER, The West Wing, Studio 60, Cold Case, Along Came Polly and Poseidon are just a few of the television and film productions that have benefited from his expertise. Ryan Cross is a rare find in that his administrative skills strongly rival his musical talent. Ryan's passion for music was birthed at the tender age of 8 when he began to study classical cello. At the age of 16, he discovered the acoustic bass and seized the opportunity to study under Ray Brown, one of the most well-known and prolific bass players of our time. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Ryan moved to Los Angeles, California when he received a full scholarship to attend the University of Southern California where he studied under John Clayton. He graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and his career immediately took flight. He has appeared and recorded on over 35 TV shows and movies to date.
Due to his high level of proficiency in all styles of music, Ryan is able to readily adapt his live performance skills to the studio-recording environment on a moment's notice. His reputation has also afforded him the ability to consistently build and maintain a network of highly sought-after musicians who have respect for his leadership and talent. This has helped him become a polished film composer of award winning films. Ryan served as the contractor for Alicia Keys' CD release, "As I Am", on which he contracted twenty-five musicians and personally recorded bass and cello tracks. He has also graced the recording studio and stage with Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, John Legend, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Ciara, P-Diddy and Rihanna.
Ryan produces live shows weekly at the world renown Biltmore Hotel, Harvelle's and The Hotel Angeleno where he features the world's top jazz musicians and vocalists. This is an environment that allows him to continually keep his skills sharp and his eyes open for new talent as well as undiscovered seasoned professionals. Ryan plays a strong advocacy role in the preservation and implementation of music in school. For several years, he has maintained a strong relationship with the Pasadena Jazz Institute and has gone out to many schools in the Los Angeles' Unified School District to spark the interest of children to play classical instruments. Most recently, Ryan founded the Elevation Orchestra, a 17-piece multicultural string orchestra with piano, bass and drums. The orchestra's inaugural performance took place on February 1, 2009 at the California African American Museum. The Elevation Orchestra strives to work closely with children and parents in the urban community to elevate their knowledge of culture, history and art by playing concerts all over the country in schools, churches, museums and symphony halls. Ryan Cross is a well-rounded musician who has perfected the art of multi-tasking without compromising the quality of his work. He is consistent, reliable and committed to giving nothing less that the best. From the stage to the studio to the community-at-large, Ryan Cross is a gifted individual who leaves an unforgettable mark of musical notes daily.
Teresa James. Originally from Houston, Texas, Teresa is based in Los Angeles where she has assembled a group of some of the top LA based touring and session musicians in her band, The Rhythm Tramps. They have been working in the LA area and at blues festivals and clubs throughout the US and Europe for many years. For the last 12 years, the band has also been a favorite on Delbert McClinton's Sandy Beaches Blues Cruise. She has released 8 CDs - her most recent, COME ON HOME, was released in August, 2012 and has been getting regular airplay on stations around the world and charting for weeks at a time on the Roots Radio Charts (topping off at the #3 spot). It has been listed on many ‘best of’ lists for 2012 and has been receiving raves reviews from writers and DJs everywhere.
Her 2008 release, THE BOTTOM LINE, garnered her a nomination by the Blues Foundation for Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year and her 2010 CD, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT, was a finalist for an Independent Music Award (IMA).
She has performed live with such legendary artists as Levon Helm, Delbert McClinton, Eric Burdon, Marcia Ball, Tommy Castro, Big Al Anderson, Kirk Whalum, and many others. Her voice is featured on albums by Randy Newman, Eric Burdon, Tommy Castro, Bill Medley, and Walter Trout, among others. She has also sung for television and movie soundtracks; She and her band were featured in the Disney movie and soundtrack for "HOLES". Teresa's band is an eclectic mix of Los Angeles based musicians who have worked with a wide range of artists including: Jimmy Reed, Eric Burdon, Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Warnes, Was Not Was, Johnny Nash and many, many others.
Lynette Williams - Piano
Born in Berkeley, Ca, Lynette Williams knew at an early age that music would be part of her life. At age 18 she won a scholarship to Berklee College of Music through a worldwide audition. While attending the prestigious school in Boston her background was mainly Gospel but her musical knowledge expanded and she learned various Genres of music including Jazz, Latin, R&B*, Country, Pop, and more, while majoring in Music Composition/Songwriting. In 2006 she toured with Will.i.am of the *Black Eyed Peas for two years as part of his All Girl Band during his solo act promoting his album “Songs About Girls”..
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He also used her in many sessions including Mariah Carey and Lynette can be heard on his Ode to Barak Obama on his song ‘It’s A New Day”. In 2009 Lynette was selected as one of 10 keyboardists out of thousands to be on P Diddy’s MTV show “Making His Band” she was one in 3 of the final keyboardists to be selected in his band. In 2011 She joined David E. Talbert’s play “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” as the main keyboardist. During the second half of the tour she became the Musical Director, arranging underscores organically that added more to the play. From there she co-scored 2 DVDs of David’s plays “What Goes Around Comes Around” and “A Fool and His Money” and solely scored his DVD play “Suddenly Single”. Lynette has always had a passion for scoring and David mentored her and helped her expand that passion. She then went on to tour and play for several artist such as Childish Gambino, Cee-lo, 98 Degrees, Kenny Lattimore, Goapele, PJ Morton, Chaka Khan, BBD, and more. Lynette hopes to complete and “Organ Trio” EP to share not only her Hammond talents but her vocals as well.
Jud Friedman, composer/songwriter
Jud Friedman, composer/songwriter grew up in New York and Connecticut and went to Yale and Harvard Law School (long story…), all the while playing in various bands, performing in musical theater, and writing songs. After headlining a show in New York City I had an epiphany – I loved performing, but I didn’t crave it or the limelight the way I think you need to if you want to be a star. What I really craved was….to make music. And I realized I could do it for other people.
So I moved to Los Angeles and started honing my writing and producing craft. After several years, I had my first Number One hit as a writer and arranger: “I Don’t Have The Heart” by James Ingram. And the ball was rolling. Next, Whitney Houston recorded “Run To You” for her film “The Bodyguard”. I made the record with David Foster, worked on producing Whitney’s vocals and even sang backgrounds with her. “Run To You” was nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy. Then I wrote “For The First Time” for the film “One Fine Day” with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. Kenny Loggins performed it and the song garnered another Oscar and Grammy and also a Golden Globe nomination. Along the way, there were lots more hits and nominations, with amazing artists such as Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Leann Rimes, Chaka Khan, Kristine W., Oleta Adams, Gladys Knight, and Dave Koz. And recently, big records with Charice (“The Truth Is”), Toni Braxton (“If I Have To Wait”) and Kimberley Locke of American Idol fame, number-one singles on the number one CDs of Italian divas Giorgia and Elisa, and songs recorded by massive pop/classical group The Tenors on their Juno-winning CD, Right Said Fred and many more. Also a couple of things for television: the theme song from the Michael Jackson show “Man In The Mirror” (“Believe In Me”) and the score for the TV the film “The Prince and The Pizza Boy”, starring Joey Lawrence. (One of my biggest TV successes; I still get mobbed by little kids on the street. Haha.) 65 million records sold worldwide. At last count. Nominations for 2 Academy Awards, 2 Grammys, 2 Golden Globes, and, for artists singing my songs, nominations for two more Grammys and a Soul Train Award. In March 2016 The Grammy Museum did a special night celebrating the more than 25-year career of my long term songwriting partner Allan Rich and me. Check out the opening video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSGzTu6NOcA. In recent years I have been teaching songwriting and music business and law in various capacities, from the global Intensive Songwriting Workshops and 1-On-1 Writing and Studio Mentoring Sessions which I co-founded with Debbie James and have so far run in Los Angeles (several times), Edmonton, London and (in 9/19) Florence, Italy – as well as over the internet – to my work as a Professor at the Los Angeles College of Music. I help aspiring writers and artists with their writing, producing, performing and understanding of “how to make it in the music business,” based on what I have learned over my many years of working with some of the greatest recording artists and writers in the world. And of course, I continue to write songs for and with both established and new, aspiring artists and for film, television, commercial and corporate usages, in all genres. Jud also produces and arranges music. " I think you need to if you want to be a star. What I really craved was….to make music. And I realized I could do it for other people." His first Number One hit as a writer and arranger: “I Don’t Have The Heart” by James Ingram. And the ball was rolling. Next, Whitney Houston recorded “Run To You” for her film “The Bodyguard”. I made the record with David Foster, worked on producing Whitney’s vocals, and even sang backgrounds with her. “Run To You” was nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy. Then I wrote “For The First Time” for the film “One Fine Day” with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. Kenny Loggins performed it and the song garnered another Oscar and Grammy and also a Golden Globe nomination.
Allan Rich is a two time “Oscar”, “Grammy”, and “Golden Globe” nominated songwriter. He has co written hit songs for Natalie Cole, “I Live For Your Love”, James Ingram’s #1 pop hit “I Don’t Have The Heart”, Whitney Houston’s “Run To You” from the 45 million selling “Bodyguard” sound track, Kenny Loggin’s #1 adult contemporary hit “For The First Time” from the Michelle Pfeiffer/George Clooney movie “One Fine Day”, “I Drive Myself Crazy” from N’Sync’s 10 million plus selling CD, “Before I Fall In Love” from the “Runaway Bride” movie and soundtrack, as well as two #1 dance singles “Stronger” and “Walk Away” by Kristine W.
Allan has had other songs recorded by everyone from Barbra Streisand, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Barry Manilow,Oleta Adams, Toni Braxton, George Benson, BeBe and CeCe Winans, and many others. He scored his first #1 song in Italy with Italian superstar Giorgia , and had another #1 with Italian singing star Elisa with “No Hero”.
His song “Run To You” is performed every night in the smash hit musical of “The Bodyguard”still touring Europe after spending three years touring the United States.
He’s been very fortunate to have had the same writing collaborator Jud Friedman for over 25 years. His songs have sold over 65 million copies……. And there’s more to come.
Tiffany Owens, host is a Professional Development Trainer, Facilitator and Curriculum Specialist. She is a classically trained actor, veteran educator, event producer, and arts advocate.
Tiffany has served as the chair and mayoral representative for two mayors of the City of Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission. She has worked as a teaching artist in Drama, and as a credentialed teacher for schools in LA County including as chair of the English Department at the highly-acclaimed and nationally renown Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
She designs and delivers custom, targeted training in interpersonal communication, the arts, and education. Tiffany has served as both a grant writer for arts education grants and as a grant panelist-evaluator for school districts, for the LA County Arts Commission, and for the National Endowment for the Arts. As a public speaker she has presented on arts education to Innovate Pasadena, Leadership Pasadena at the Pasadena Playhouse, Clazzical Notes, as Honorary Event Chair of the ASID of Pasadena, and at The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens. Tiffany’s ongoing professional practice in theater includes appearances in productions with Parson’s Nose Theater Company, Lineage Dance, Machine Project, and Downtown Repertory Theater Company.