Featured Louisiana Zydeco Artist
Louisiana native Curley Taylor has been around music all of his life. Born into a musical family, drums were Curley's first instrument. Curley began his professional career at age 16 by playing drums in his father's band, Jude Taylor and the Burning Flames, a band deep in Louisiana Blues, Soul and Zydeco.
By the age of 25, Curley had played drums with some of Louisiana's musical legends, including: CC Adcock, Steve Riley, John Hart, "L'il" Bob and the Lollipops, and his uncles, "L'il" Buck Senegal and Wayne "Blue" Burns. He toured with CJ Chenier, son of the "King of Zydec o" Clifton Chenier, and a Zydeco legend in his own right.
While traveling with CJ Chenier's band, he became interested in playing the accordion and found he really enjoyed it. Curley purchased his first accordion and, within six months, had learned to play. He was told that he "played the accordion and the drums with great emotion and natural feeling."
Curley's friends and fellow musicians Keith Clements (keyboards) and Eric Minx (drums) encouraged him to start his own band. Around this same time, he received a job offer to play drums for one of the most popular zydeco bands in Louisiana - Geno Delafose and French Rockin Boogie. Curley put his ambitions for his own band on hold to play and tour internationally with French Rockin Boogie for several years. During this time, he continued to practice the accordion and write music in preparation for his first CD.
In 2003 Curley was ready to make the move and launch his own band - Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble. His debut CD "Country Boy" was released to rave reviews. Artists familiar with Zydeco compared Curley's music to that of the late, great Beau Jocque. "It's a high compliment," Curley replied, "but Country Boy is only the start." Curley has been playing, touring and recording ever since.
Since his debut CD, Curley has released six more CDs of original music, making him one of the most prolific composers in Zydeco. His latest project "Rise Up" was released in 2018.
His bluesy, soulful vocals and the band's hard driving Zydeco beat blend to create high-energy dance music for all audiences. Curley's music is true to its roots in Zydeco and Blues, but contemporary enough to appeal to a broad range of music lovers. Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble tour extensively throughout the US, playing festivals and clubs from New York to San Diego and from Florida to Seattle. Often playing to audiences who have never heard Zydeco music before, they make fans wherever they go. They've played major festivals including Rhythm and Roots in Ninigret RI, the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland OR and Jazz Fest in New Orleans. When at home in Louisiana, you can find Curley in the studio working on his latest CD, or playing in one of the local clubs around the Lafayette/Opelousas area to the delight of his hometown fans.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Jazmin Ghent is one of the hottest national smooth jazz and gospel recording artists today. She was voted "2017's BEST NEW SMOOTH JAZZ ARTIST" and was awarded the prestigious "2019 NAACP IMAGE AWARD" for Outstanding Jazz Album "The Story of Jaz." Jazmin has 3 Billboard-topping singles: "Work Wit It," “Heat” and “Compared to What." Her most successful hit to date is “Heat” which remained on Billboard Smooth Jazz Airplay Charts for 20+ weeks and was played in rotation by most smooth jazz stations including Sirius XM. She obtained her Master's Degree in music from Tennessee State University.
Miriam Waks, based in New York City, Australian-born vocalist Miriam Waks made her performing debut at the tender age of 10 singing solo at the Sydney Opera House. The years since have seen her develop into a diverse and vibrant performer who sings in 16 languages. She has performed at venues and residencies across the globe including New York, London, Edinburgh, France, Cuba, India, Macau, & Hong Kong. She was a featured vocalist and host of the show "Itara" - presented by Cuban modern dance company Danza del Caribe, (2015 season at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the World's Largest Art Festival).
Jessy J was born Jessica Arellano on December 20, 1982 in Portland, Oregon and raised in Hemet, California of Mexican-American descent, her father is from Mexico and her mother is a native Texan. She began playing piano at the age of four. At the age of 15, at the Bela Bartok Festival, she won the Piano State Championship. She also played saxophone in state honored bands, such as the Grammy Band, and played internationally in festivals like the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Earning a scholarship to the University of California, she obtained a degree in jazz studies and was named the "Most Outstanding Jazz Student".
Bryan Thompson is a Pop, RnB Jazz Saxophonist, recording artist, and internet Icon with social media views totaling over 15 Million. Bryan has accumulated a following of over 300,000 people and has received international attention. He has been recognized by many credited artists in the industry such as Kirk Whalum, Najee, Chris Brown, Toni Braxton, Bootsy Collins, and many more.
SHELLY RUDOLPH of Portland, Oregon, is a maker of soul music in the broadest, genre-inclusive definition, a fine and sultry singer and songwriter with a sense of adventure and a desire for discovering and conveying emotional truth. As a “robust and captivating vocalist” (Jazz Times), she has dazzled audience around the globe, including New York, Los Angeles, Japan, Korea, the West Indies, and Portland, which she now calls home. Shelly’s most recent album, Water in My Hand, has garnered praise from regional and national publications: “Water in My Hands is a stunning album, intoxicating and stimulating, a mature work from an old soul artist" (Montecito Journal). www.shellyrudolph.com
Seattle native, Jeff Kashiwa knew he was destined to be a musician following his junior high introduction to woodwinds. His instincts were correct. He became known as one of the most compelling young saxophonists in contemporary jazz during his first year with The Rippingtons. Kashiwa performed hundreds of shows all over the world and appeared on many of the band’s classic recordings. Having established himself in the 1990’s as one of the most diverse saxmen in contemporary jazz during his decade long tenure with The Rippingtons, Kashiwa’s instincts led him to more dynamic endeavors through his solo career. It surprised many when Jeff left the group to venture out on his own, but he had things to say through his own music. Kashiwa now has nine CDs released under his own name and has continued to record as a guest artist with many other artists as well. In 2004, Kashiwa founded The Sax Pack, a trio of saxophone headliners, featuring himself, Steve Cole and Kim Waters. The group released two CDs together and charmed audiences with their Rat Pack style reparte’ in tours across the U.S. and abroad. www.jeffkashiwa.com
Lin Rountree aka The Soul-Trumpeter, is an accomplished recording artist, producer and live performer. With Six solo projects, Twelve Chart Topping Billboard singles (Including his Billboard #1 Hit "Pass The Groove") and numerous collaborations with some of the industry's top R&B/Contemporary Jazz artists to his credit he is poised to be one of the most renowned artists of his generation.
Lin began playing the trumpet in Alexandria VA., when he was just 11 yrs. old and frequently attended music development programs at The Duke Ellington School for performing arts in Washington DC. Upon his graduation from High School Lin was recruited into the Music program at Florida A&M University where he performed with the famed Marching 100’ under the direction of William P. Foster and Dr. Julian White. Shortly thereafter Lin entered into the lifelong Brotherhood of the OMEGA PSI PHI Fraternity Inc.. (Lin credits his abilities to practice, prepare and perform to the training that he received at FAMU) www.linrountreemusic.com
"With You Tonight"
Selina Albright is a soulful singer-songwriter with versatility that comes from years of listening to many origins and languages of music. Her angelic tone adds character and emotion to any ballad, yet her powerful wailing and energetic stage presence commands attention. Albright developed her onstage charisma and vocal technique from being exposed to legendary artists, such as Whitney Houston, Take Six, Ella Fitzgerald, Tina Turner, Dinah Washington, Beyonce, Lalah Hathaway, and Tina Turner. Her intimate, connective writing style comes from experiences and aspirations from her own life, so that when you listen to her music, you are introduced to a private piece of who Albright is, has been, or is becoming.
Nick Colionne was honored with the prestigious 2007 International Instrumental Artist of the Year Award at the Wave Jazz Awards, succeeding 2006 winner Chris Botti. He was nominated for the award again in 2009. He was nominated as Guitarist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year by the American Smooth Jazz Awards in 2010 and received the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award for his ongoing commitment to mentoring children and his work in the community and nationally in support of breast cancer causes. Other honors include Alumus of the Year at Malcolm X College in Chicago, Artist of the Year at the 2011 Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival and Performer of the Year for JazzTrax Jazz Festivals in 2010 and 2011. Nick is frequently referred to as "the best dressed man in jazz", and he enjoys an on-going endorsement from the men's designer line Stacy Adams, as well as longtime endorsements with Epiphone Guitars, Gibson Strings and Accessories, and AKG Electronics.
Elise Madeline LeGrow (born June 4, 1987) is a Canadian recording artist and songwriter. Elise was offered a publishing deal from Sony/ATV/ Music Publishing following a live performance at the 2009 NXNE music festival in Toronto.
Elise’s first release, "No Good Woman," was the most added single on adult contemporary radio in Canada the week of April 7, 2012. The single peaked at number six on the Nielsen BDS Adult Contemporary chart, and remained in the top 10 for 13 weeks. In 2016, Elise signed with Awesome Music in Canada, which brought on S-Curve/BMG as her label in the US. Later in 2016, she recorded a full length concept album of Chess Records covers entitled Playing Chess.
For Eric Darius there are no limitations when it comes to breaking new ground. Internationally known as an elite Jazz/R&B/Pop Saxophonist, Songwriter, Producer, and Performer, Darius recently dropped, “L.O.V.E Feat. Brian Culbertson” the third single from his seventh studio album, Breakin’ Thru, which debuted at #2 on the iTunes Top 40 Jazz Albums Chart. This project is an extra special milestone for Darius as it is his first release via his own independent label, SagiDarius Music. The title track and debut single for Breakin’ Thru has been a staple on Contemporary Jazz radio reaching #1 on the Billboard Charts, as well as his second single Dare 2 Dream, which reached the Top 5 on the Billboard Charts. Breakin’ Thru features 10 original songs with co-production by Darius, Rodney Jones, Jr. (Chris Brown, Mary Mary, Mary J. Blige) and Butta N’ Bizkit (John Legend, Ne-Yo, Miguel, Ledisi). Eric is currently on a worldwide tour promoting the Breakin’ Thru album, dazzling audiences globally with his dynamic show.
STELLA ROSSI better known as DESEO CARMIN, is a professional dancer, singer/songwriter, guitarist and percussionist. Originally from Asuncion, Paraguay, she started her artistic career at the young age of 3. She studied at one of the most prestigious Art and Dance Schools in Paraguay were she graduated with a Teaching Degree.
At the age of 15 she was chosen to join the National Ballet Folklorico Municipal of Asuncion, Paraguay and became principal dancer. With this Ballet Company she represented her country as an ambassador of the Paraguayan culture in several International Festivals around the world. She initiated her professional singing career as a soprano with the choral group “ Marandu” in Asuncion, developing then through the years as a singer and guitarist with several bands throughout the US as well as in Europe.
She currently performs with her band DESEO CARMIN and several other musical emsembles around the Pacific Northwest including the renowned guitarist "Andre Feriante" and Northwest's favorite latin jazz band "Coco Loco". Stella Rossi is a recipient of several musical and dance awards and nominations, not only from her native country but also the U.S.
Stella is a strong advocate of social issues related to woman's rights. This is predominate in the songs she sings and composes. She continues to promote her culture and love of Paraguayan arts throughout her performances.