Marvin Sewell

Marvin Sewell is a highly professional, talented and accomplished musician, composer, and producer who has a truly dynamic and distinct sound that encompasses a “fantasy fusion” of jazz, blues, funk, alternative and world music. In 1990 Marvin moved to New York City where he began playing with bands of various music styles, ranging from acoustic to electric; and a few years later he became affiliated with Jack Dejohnette’s Special Edition. In 1995 Marvin began a long-time creative collaboration with multiple GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist Cassandra Wilson. In addition to leading the Marvin Sewell group, he is a member of the Jason Moran Bandwagon and travels the globe touring with a host of amazing performing artists. Sewell’s concept about being a world-class musical talent is to be everywhere at the same time. “It’s all about the music, the connection and the moment … no labels, no boundaries – just thinking outside the box and letting it flow.” 

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Gino Sitson

Gino Sitson

Award-winning New York-based vocal virtuoso Gino Sitson is from the Cameroon, Central Africa. He and his siblings were introduced to blues, jazz and African traditional music early in life. Mr. Sitson is a pioneer of a new generation of multi-culturally influenced African musicians; his daring musical projects combine in a most innovative way jazz, gospel, blues and traditional African polyphonies, polyrhythms and melodies. By freely combining his trademark vocal acrobatics with a breathtakingly creative command of oral and body percussions and miscellaneous effects. Mr. Sitson forges an eloquent vocabulary capable of communicating far beyond any limits of language or custom. Gino Sitson’s four octave vocal range plus his skills as a composer and arranger put him at high demand.


Melissa Slocum

Bassist Melissa Slocum has been performing worldwide since 1982, and worked with such legends as Art Blakey, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Clark Terry, Wynton Marsalis, Woody Shaw and Hank Jones. Comfortable in genres ranging from duo to big band, traditional to avant garde, she performed and recorded with Charli Persip and Superband, Ralph Peterson and the Fo'tet, Avery Brooks with Craig Harris, Howard Johnson and Gravity, Dakota Staton, Kevin Mahogany, the Firey String Sistas, and the all woman big band DIVA, among many others. Television appearances include Newport Jazz Festival 1999, Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary Gala, BET Interview, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN with the Kevin Mahogany Quintet and CBS News with Lionel Hampton.  Ms. Slocum holds a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the Manhattan School of Music.  

Ahmed Abdullah

Ahmed Abdullah

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Ahmed Abdullah was born and raised in Harlem, however this is only the first time he has performed in Harlem with his own band. Ahmed has been leading a band since 1972. Over the years he has worked with or recorded with bands led by Sam Rivers, Sun Ra, Rashied Ali, Ed Blackwell, Billy Bang, Arthur Blythe and Bluiett. Ahmed has been involved with notable collective ensembles like The Melodic Art-Tet, The Group and NAM. Abdullah has twelve recordings as a leader and is on at least other 25 recordings with Sun Ra and the Arkestra as well as recordings with the aforementioned artists. Besides playing trumpet, composing, singing, curating and educating, Ahmed is also a writer and has written a thesis that defines the art-form he is concerned with as Jazz: A Music of the Spirit. Ahmed currently teaches a Sun Ra Music and Philosophy course at the New School and is a NYC Department of Education Fellow teaching music to children.  


T.K. Blue


T.K. Blue began his life in music by playing trumpet from ages 8 to 10, then switching to drums for a year. After a hiatus, at age 17 he dedicated himself to music by learning flute. While attending New York University Blue threw himself headlong into music, concentrating on the saxophone. After performing and traveling extensively with Abdullah Ibrahim, T.K. moved to Paris where he recorded Egyptian Oasis, his first record as a leader, which sparked State Department tours to some 20 countries in Africa. Back in the USA since 1990, T.K. has worked constantly, in a wide range of styles and situations. Augmenting his long-term relationships as Musical Director with pianist Randy Weston and with the Spirit of Life Ensemble, for several years he was an adjunct professor at Suffolk Community College, and Montclair State University, as well as a full-time professor and director of jazz studies at Long Island University.                      



Graham Haynes


Graham Haynes is regarded as an innovator on cornet and flugelhorn, an extraordinary composer, and an emerging force in contemporary electronic music and world music. His two years at Queens College studying composition, harmony and theory spurred his interest in classical and electronic music. He formed the band Five Elements with alto saxophonist Steve Coleman, which launched the M-Base collective, an influential group of NY improvisers. During the late ‘80's Haynes immersed himself in a wide range of African, Arabic and South Asian music; since 2000 he has worked as a composer and music director on several multimedia projects. Graham has recorded fifteen critically acclaimed CD's as a leader and countless CD's as a side person. Since 2013 Haynes has been a member of the Vijay Iyer Sextet. Graham tours annually in Europe, Asia, and Africa and appeared several times on national television.  

Akua Dixon


Jazz string pioneer Akua Dixon's contributions to bowed jazz cannot be overstated. She rose to prominence during the early 1970's through her involvement in the String Reunion, a 30-piece orchestra founded by Noel Pointer. Concurrently, she launched her own quartet, Quartette Indigo, which made its big-league debut at the Village Gate with her sister Gayle Dixon, Maxine Roach, and John Blake Jr. Dixon collaborated, performed and/or recorded with jazz giants Max Roach, Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Carmen McRae, Dizzy Gillespie, Abbey Lincoln, Steve Turre, Buster Williams and Tom Harrell. Dedicated to educating young string players she has been on the roster of Carnegie Hall’s Educational series for more than eight years. Akua has received several awards from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. She has lectured at the Smithsonian and is the 1998 recipient of the African American Classical Music Award.

Darius Jones


Darius Jones is an extraordinarily gifted alto saxophonist and composer. He comes from a diverse musical background, which led to his unique and soulful approach to music. His repertoire includes compositions and performances in electro-acoustic music, chamber ensembles; contemporary and avant-garde jazz groups, modern dance performances, and multi-media events. Darius has collaborated with other artists including Gerald Cleaver's Black Host, Oliver Lake Big Band, William Parker's Essence of Ellington, Eric Revis Quartet, Trevor Dunn's Proof Readers, Nasheet Waits "Equality" Quartet, Bill McHenry, Elliott Sharp, James Carter, Jason Moran, Andrew Cyrille, Ryan Sawyer, Angelica Sanchez, Yo La Tengo, Beans, Brandford Marsalis, Chad Taylor, Sean Conly, Alex Harding, Sun Ra Arkestra, Shazhad Ismaily, Aruan Ortiz, Fay Victor, and many more. Darius' 2012 release, Book of Mæ'bul (Another Kind of Sunrise) was listed among NPR's Best Top 10 Jazz Albums of that year.

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