Musicians – Bios & Videos



Johnny Lee Schell is an internationally acclaimed guitarist and songwriter. After working with Buddy Holly producer Norman Petty in nearby Clovis New Mexico, Johnny left his home in Farwell, Texas and headed out on the road with his band, Baby. He arrived in Los Angeles in the late seventies, and soon began touring with Bonnie Raitt and The Bump Band. He continued to work on many albums with Bonnie Raitt, including the Grammy award winning album, Nick of Time in 1989. Johnny has also toured with Taj Mahal, Ron Wood, and John Fogerty and has played with dozens of artists including Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett and BB King. Johnny currently spends his time running Ultra Tone Studios where he has scored several films and recorded the score for the ABC sitcom According To Jim. He is presently touring with The Phantom Blues Band,

Theo Saunders, a native of the island of Manhattan, has lived in Southern California since 1985 but his musical career has remained international in scope, having performed on four continents and more than twenty countries. He has performed and recorded with a number of musicians from the pantheon of jazz, including Freddie Hubbard, Carla Bley, Charles Lloyd, Bob Brookmeyer, and Bobby Hutcherson. He has recorded five jazz albums as a leader and over fifty as a sideman and some of his two hundred compositions are now currently featured on the records of Bassist Henry Franklin and percussionist Bobby Matos. In the Latin Music world, Theo has also performed and recorded with the likes of Willie Bobo, Ray Armando, Claudio Roditi, Azuquita, Rudolfo Pacheco, and many others. In addition, he has served as the musical director for the contemporary operas of composer Noa Ain ( Trio, The Outcast, Verse of Fortune ), the international organization Peace Child, and for singer/actress Lanie Kazan.
His biographical sketch appears in the volume “People in Jazz-Jazz keyboard improvisors of the 19th and 20th centuries” by William Lee.

Joe Sublett (saxophone)– Saxophonist Joe Sublett started his professional career as a part of the Austin blues scene playing with the legendary R&B band, Paul Ray and the Cobras, a band that featured a twenty one year old Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Joe, as part of the Antone’s house band backed up many blues greats including Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Hank Ballard, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Memphis Slim, David “Fathead’ Newman and many more.

After touring the U.S. with The Cobras and Delbert McClinton for several years, Sublett ended up in Los Angeles where he has remained an in-demand studio and touring musician.

Joe has recorded and performed with The Rolling Stones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, B.B.King, Joe Cocker, Macy Gray, The Band, The Black Crowes, Little Feat, Bono, Eric Clapton, Delaney Bramlett, John Mayall, Buddy Guy, Keb Mo, Dr. John, Otis Rush, Los Lonely Boys, Bette Midler, Mavis Staples, Etta James, Jimmy Buffett, Soloman Burke, Jimmy Smith, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Memphis Slim, Chris Cornell, Jack Johnson and Richard Thompson to name a few.

In 2000, Joe won a Grammy and a W.C Handy Award for his work with Taj Mahal and The Phantom Blues Band. Joe continues to record and tour with The Phantom Blues Band who have released two CDs on Delta Groove Records. Joe is also co-leader of The Texacali Horns with Darrell Leonard. They released their debut self titled CD on New Light Entertainment (Universal) in 2006.

On October 7th, 2008, Joe released his new solo CD, ‘Subtones’ which is available on and for download internationally on I-TUNES, Rhapsody, Napster, Amazon and Shockhound.

John B. Williams career spans over 40 years as a bassist/composer, and actor. He has played and recorded for some the world’s most respected jazz artists including: Nancy Wilson, Hugh Masakela, Horace Silver, Count Basie, Billy Cobham, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and the Manhattan Transfer. Williams’ television credits include a post in the house band of “The Tonight Show” starring Johnny Carson and “The Arsenio Hall Show.” He was featured in a recurring role on the critically acclaimed “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.” He acted in and performed on the soundtrack of Polly Draper’s award-winning jazz film, “The Tic Code” starring Gregory Hines. He can be seen acting in the upcoming feature film by Polly Draper, “The Naked Brothers.” John B. is currently dividing his time between working with Michael Wolff’s “Impure Thoughts” band and Bobby Mato’s Afro-Latin group, while also co-leading a band with long-time friend, Bennie Maupin in the “Maupin/Williams Project.”

Percussionist Debra Dobkin is a native Chicagoan who has been heard banging on things behind Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson, Was (not Was), Perla Batalla, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin, Jennifer Warnes, Orchestra SuperString and many others as well as on a wide array of recordings and soundtracks. She currently resides in the greenish pastures of the San Fernando Valley and paints in her spare time.


Thunderbird Poetry Orkestra with JB Bryan, alto saxophone, balafon, rattles;  Mark Weber, hubcapaphone & glockenspiel; Leif Rustebakke, koto & handmade instruments; Daisy Kates, percussion; Jon Baldwin, cornet; Mark LeClaire, cello; Peter Callen, little instruments & percussion; Jim Burbank, djembe, didgeridoo, wooden flutes; John Tritica, rain stick, cowhorn rattle, percussion.


Blodie and Members of The Dirty Dozen Brass Band– including Gregory Davis (trumpet), Roger Lewis (bari sax), Jarmal Watson (drums), Julius McKee (sousaphone), Jacob Eckert (guitar)

New Orleans music ushered in the 20th century with the wail of a joyful noise: collective improvisation, syncopated rhythms, eclectic stylization’s, and an infectious joie de vivre that was exhilarating. Indeed, thanks to New Orleans musicians such as King Oliver, Jellyroll Morton, the ODJB, and, above all, Louis Armstrong, the 1920s became known as the “jazz age.”

Just like early jazz was an amalgamation of the music of its era, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band‘s musical revolution was actually a reintroduction of the basic eclecticism that made jazz the most dynamic music of the 20th century. With the release of their new Mammoth Records recording Buck Jump, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is poised to extend New Orleans music into the 21st century.

Founded in April of 1977, the formation of the Dirty Dozen created a musical revolution in New Orleans. For over seventy-five years, the brass band tradition existed largely unchanged until this forward looking, bebop influenced ensemble completely changed both the style and the repertoire of brass band music.

Trumpeter and bandleader Gregory Davis points out, “The concept of the Dirty Dozen is to play and experiment with all types of music. We will take a song – and not worry about if it is a jazz song or any particular type of song – we’ll just take a song and see what we can do with it as The Dirty Dozen.”

This time around the band has called on the services of John Medeski of Medeski, Martin & Wood to produce their new recording. “It’s the first time we worked with a producer who actually plays an instrument on the record and is making a living as a musician. The company went for the first take concept. For them funky meant if it had a mistake in it, so what. And that was cool because it was like doing it live on a gig,” commented Gregory Davis.

The results are impressive, Buck Jump offers a broad range of Dirty Dozen stylizations. From to a rollicking interpretation of “Run Joe,” a song associated with jump blues master Louis Jordan all the way to a sax-heavy, hard blowing interpretation of Marvin Gay’s anthem “Inner City Blues.” Other tracks like “Unclean Waters” and “Pet the Kat” pack the same punch that the band is legendary for delivering in concert. There is no question that John Medeski’s influence has helped The Dirty Dozen finally record an album that sounds like it catapults you into the middle of one of their live performances.

This spirit of experimentation has led to the Dirty Dozen playing songs as diverse as the jump blues war horse “Night Train,” Thelonious Monk’s modern jazz classic “Blue Monk” (which is now part of the standard New Orleans brass band repertoire), folk music such as “Little Liza Jane” and even television cartoon music such as the “Flintstones” theme. “We not only do jazz shows, we do rhythm and blues festivals, rock and roll gigs, blues festivals. Because we play a variety of music, it allows us to get into different venues that we probably would not have been invited to otherwise.”

For over two decades the Dirty Dozen has literally been barnstorming the world (more than thirty countries on five continents) – they once knocked out 72 gigs in 90 days. They’ve played all the major festivals – Newport, New York, New Orleans Jazzfest, Playboy, Montreaux – and they have played one-nighters in no name venues in small towns you need a local map to find. If they didn’t love the music, they couldn’t keep up the pace, but, as their signature song exclaims, they roll on, confident that their “Feet Can’t Fail Me Now.”

Davis believes, “being a New Orleans band has marquee value. The other side of that coin is that people expect you to do a good job. The audience expects something special. So our challenge is, every night, to make sure that you are not only playing some good music, you have to also put on a good show.”

Moreover, it’s not just been dancers and the general public who have embraced the Dirty Dozen. The band is received broad critical acclaim including a “Jazz Album of the Year” award from CMJ, five star ratings from Downbeat and Jazz Times. Additionally, they have performed and/or recorded with an assortment of established musical giants: jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie, Danny Barker and Brandford Marsalis; New Orleans legends Dr. John, The Neville Brothers and Dave Bartholomew; pop stars Elvis Costello, The Black Crowes, and the Cajun two-stepping of Buckwheat Zydeco.

With Buck Jump the Dirty Dozen have added another stellar chapter to their growing legend. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band are the quintessential New Orleans band and Buck Jump is their testament. — from Mammoth Records


The New Columbia Orchestra. The ROCKPILE Quintet includes vocalist Nicki Gonzalez, flautist Joseph Cunliffe, guitarist Richard Miller, bassist Don West, and yours truly Burnett Thompson at the piano.

The New Columbia Orchestra includes Tango, Flamenco, Traditional Chinese and the original Big Band repertoire  among its many influences.  Eclecticism and a desire for musical adventure mark the NCO’s partnerships with artists from Brazil, Spain, China, Argentina, and Peru.  Pianist/composer  Burnett Thompson leads the ensemble.

Burnett Thompson, pianist, composer, educator, lives near Washington, DC. He has been performing regularly with Chinese erhu soloist Ma Xiaohui in China, Canada and the U.S. Their most recent recital was at Carnegie Hall in June, 2008. Further performances with Shanghai-based jazz vocalistCoco Zhao and Flamenco guitarist Abraham Carmona, and the New Columbia Swing Orchestra have made for a lively and varied performance schedule.

He has been instrumental in bringing noteworthy performers to the U.S. from China, and has brought them to the attention of the international media, including NPR, Voice of America, the Washington Post, Sing Tao Daily, WPFW radio and the World Journal. Mr. Thompson’s activities include performing, arranging, media relations and concert management.

From 2002 to the present, Burnett Thompson has enjoyed a productive relationship with the Goethe Cultural Institute in Washington, DC. He has performed his own scores for numerous silent films of Lubitsch, Murnau, Eisenstein, D.W. Griffith, and numerous other silent films of Japan, Portugal, and Brazil. The Freer Gallery, National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress have all participated in these screenings.

In 2000, he was commissioned to write an orchestral work for the National Chamber Orchestra, for which he composed his Concerto for Orchestra and Improvised Piano. The work was trashed by the press, but remains much adored by the composer. During the same time period, he hosted performance tours of the Smithsonian’s Piano 300 collection.

In the late 90’s, he began a unique collaboration with Lorin Maazel. Mr. Thompson assisted Mr. Maazel in an educational enterprise, working with school children of all ages in a novel general music program. He also played chamber music with Mr. Maazel, arranged, produced and performed in several recording projects of Mr. Maazel’s own compositions, in addition to production of an orchestral concert with tenor Jose Carreras.

Burnett Thompson was educated at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Vienna, Austria, and the New England Conservatory of Music as a student of the German pianist and educator Veronica Jochum. Further studies included work with pianist William Masselos, and Jazz and Western theory with Steven Strunk.

In 1981 he founded the Foggy Bottom Chamber Music Society. Comprised of himself as pianist with members of the National Symphony Orchestra, the group was regularly coached by Mstislav Rostropovich and performed in a documentary about the eminent cellist.

At the same time, for 17 years, he hosted a well-known Washington, D.C. night club as the house pianist. Guest artists included Chris Vadala, Keter Betts, Louis Bellson, Pete Barenbregge, among countless others, and it was during this time that he developed his voice as a jazz performer and composer. In the mid 90’s, he produced 4 recordings in the jazz and improvisational genre which were met with critical acclaim. He produced the Phillips Collections Musicales in 1994 and 1995 at the renowned Phillips Collection Museum in Washington, D.C. The Musicales featured dozens of the fine musicians for which Washington is known, jazz and classical alike.

Over the years he has performed as soloist with several orchestras, including the Washington Chamber Symphony, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, National Chamber Orchestra, Arlington Symphony, Greenville Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, and the American Youth Philharmonic. Concert collaborations have included recitals with cellist Han Na Chang, Chinese erhu virtuoso Ma Xiao Hui, Arturo Sandoval, violinist/conductor Luis Haza, oboist Rudy Vrbsky, and the Manchester String Quartet. Additionally, he has performed as orchestral pianist with numerous orchestras.

Mr. Thompson is the director of the New Columbia Swing Orchestra, which performs the Big Band repertoire for Washington Gala’s and other functions.

As a music educator, Mr. Thompson works with all ages of school children and prepares them to deal with any music that they may happen to prefer.

The New Columbia Quintet includes vocalist Nicki Gonzalez, flautist Joseph Cunliff, guitarist Richard Miller, bassist Don West, and Burnett Thompson at the piano.

POETS IN THE THINK TANK hosted by IPS and Split This Rock with moderator Sarah Browning and guest panelist Fred Joiner

Sarah Browning is co-director of Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness and DC Poets Against the War. Author of Whiskey in the Garden of Eden (The Word Works, 2007) and co-editor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology (Argonne House Press, 2004), she has received fellowships and prizes from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the Creative Communities Initiative, and the People Before Profits Poetry Prize. She co-hosts the Sunday Kind of Love reading series at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC, where she lives with her husband and son.


Marty Ehrlich, associate professor of jazz and contemporary music, is one of the most celebrated artists of his generation, critically acclaimed as a composer and player.

Since moving to New York in 1978, Ehrlich has performed his compositions throughout America, Europe, and Canada with three ongoing ensembles: The Marty Ehrlich Quartet and Sextet, The Traveler’s Tales Group, and The Dark Woods Ensemble. He has worked with many top musicians, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Julius Hemphill, John Zorn and Bobby Bradford (where he fills in for the late John Carter).

As a composer, he has been commissioned by the New York Composer’s Orchestra; the Boston Jazz Composer’s Alliance; The Lydian String Quartet; The Rova Saxophone Quartet; The Kitchen House Blend Orchestra; the New York String Trio; and pianist Ursula Oppens. As a sideman he has performed with a who’s who of jazz artists, appearing on over 100 CDs. Ehrlich is also musical director of the Julius Hemphill Saxophone Sextet, which has been active performing that composer’s music throughout the world.

In the classical field, Ehrlich has performed with the New York City Opera; the New York City Ballet; the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; the St. Luke’s Orchestra; the Birmingham (England) Contemporary Music Ensemble; and Chamber Music Northwest. He has been an artist in residence at the Gardner Museum in Boston and the Peter Ivers Visiting Artist at Harvard. Marty Ehrlich received his B.A. in music from New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston.

Bassist Lindsey Horner is one of the more versatile musicians in jazz and modern music. He has most often been heard with musicians on the cutting edge recording and performing with artists such as Greg Osby, Bill Frisell, Bobby Previte, Dave Douglas and Muhal Richard Abrams, to name but a few.

As a leader, he has recently completed the initial stage of a recording project called UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY through the innovative company ArtistShare whereby listeners and fans of the music can participate directly in its realization. He has also produced four previous recordings, NEVER NO MORE, MERCY ANGEL, BELIEVERS and DON’T COUNT ON GLORY.

He was a member of the co-operative group JEWELS AND BINOCULARS which focused on improvised takes on the music of Bob Dylan. Their final recording, SHIPS WITH TATTOOED SAILS, found its way onto many critics’ “best of the year” lists.

Through the ‘90’s he performed as a member of the Myra Melford trio, an association which yielded four highly acclaimed discs.

He also has deep roots in Irish music having toured and recorded extensively with singer/songwriter Susan McKeown, Scottish fiddle master Johnny Cunningham and traditional Irish music legend Andy Irvine.

Michael Stephans leads three distinct but interrelated lives. As a college professor, he holds a Ph.D. in education, and two Master’s degrees, in English and education respectively. He has taught at three prominent universities and is currently in residence at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches writing. Michael has also been active as an award-winning poet, writer, and jazz journalist, often writing liner notes and promotional material for such luminaries as Bennie Maupin, Bob Brookmeyer, Darek Oles, and the late Bob Florence. His work has been published in many literary journals, and he has authored three books of poetry and fiction, with a fourth on the way. A prominent jazz musician, Michael has performed and recorded with a wide array of jazz artists, including Bob Brookmeyer, Bennie Maupin, Dave Liebman, Pharoah Sanders, the late Charlie Byrd, Don Menza, Bobby Bradford, Phil Ranelin, Buddy Colette, Alan Broadbent, Bob Florence, Mike Melvoin, Lynn Arriale, Bud Shank, John Patitucci, Karl Berger, Vinne Golia, and many others. He has also played with personalities as wildly diverse as The Rolling Stones, Cher, David Bowie, Shirley MacLaine, and Natalie Cole, to name a few. In addition to his performance activities, Michael was awarded composition grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Percussive Arts Society. The former afforded him the opportunity to write a large ensemble piece called “Shapes and Visions” for the vibraphonist Karl Berger, which was performed at the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.; and the latter gave him the opportunity to compose a solo work for drum set called “Downside-Up,” which has been performed frequently at regional and national competitions, recitals, and festivals. Michael is currently a member of the Bennie Maupin Ensemble, the Dave Liebman Standardz Band, ”Trio Frio,” which features the great guitarist Vic Juris and equally astounding bassist Francois Moutin. and “Spatial Edition,” an exciting quartet featuring violin wunderkind, Zach Brock, the brilliant pianist/composer Jim Ridl, and one of NY’s finest bassists, Steve Varner.– from Michael Stephans website at

Bill Zavatsky played accordion and piano as a child. Beginning at fifteen he gigged for a decade in Southern Connecticut, where he studied jazz with Tony Guzzi. In New York he studied with Hall Overton and Jon Raney. After writing “Elegy” for the Bill Evans release, You Must Believe in Spring, he has written poems for ten CDs by pianist Marc Copland, most recently Voices, with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian. “Elegy” was set to music by Norwegian pianist/composer Egil Kapstad and recorded by Sheila Jordan. Bill has published books of poetry and translation, including Where X Marks the Spot and Earthlight: Poems by André Breton. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry for 2008-2009.


This is a Poetry & Music Fest so involves musicians and poet guests:


Spider Trio: Earle Brown, tenor saxophone; Joe Williams, drums; Dan McNaughton, bass and leader. Dan formed Spider Trio in 1997 in New Orleans, in order to perform his jazz compositions which express his love for a wide range of music, from funk to modern classical. The band is now based in Chicago, and the current lineup consists of Dan, Bryan Pardo on reeds, and Tim Keenan on drums. Another recent project of Dan’s is the modern klezmer band Into The Freylakh, led by Bryan, whose self-titled first cd is also available through CD Baby. Into The Freylakh’s repertoire ranges from traditional songs to original compositions, among them Dan’s “Lenox Road.” The second SPIDER TRIO cd, Presences, with Bryan and Tim, is out and for sale at CD Baby .

Los Angeles based Bob Malone plays over 100 shows a year all over the world, and he has opened for and/or played with Rickie Lee Jones, The Neville Brothers, Rev. Al Green, Boz Scaggs, Vonda Shepard, Arlo Guthrie, and many others. He has recorded eight records: The Darkest Part of the Night (1996), Bob Malone (1998), They All Laughed (1999), Like It Or Not (2001), Malone Alone (2003), Christmas Single (a Christmas single, 2004), Born Too Late (2006), and in 2007 a special Halloween release of three seasonally spooky tracks called Halloween He was featured as a “One to Watch” artist on NPR’s Acoustic Cafe, as well as being on a Performing Songwriter Magazine Best of DIYs compilation CD. His music has been featured on Car Talk, and TV shows Dr. Phil, The Rachel Ray Show, Jag, and All My Children. His latest CD, “Born Too Late,” is being played on over 300 NPR and Adult Album Alternative radio stations, including steady rotation at XM Satellite Radio’s Bluesville and The Village. Bob is a three-time recipient of the ASCAP Plus Award for independent musicians.


Born in Chicago in 1952, Art Lange is the author of hundreds of essays, reviews, articles, and interviews on music and poetry. His work has been published in publications as diverse as the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and the Village Voice, New American Writing and the Partisan Review, and he has written program notes for over 200 jazz and classical recordings. He also published and edited Brilliant Corners: a magazine of the arts, from 1975-77. He is the co-editor (with Nathaniel Mackey) of Moment’s Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose (1993: Coffee House Press), and is the author of five books of poetry, including Needles at Midnight (Z Press), Evidence (Yellow Press), and The Monk Poems (Frontward Books). Lange was editor of Down Beat magazine from 1984-88 and currently he teaches at Columbia College, Chicago.

Dan Godston teaches poetry and other art forms to young people and adults in the Chicago area. His poetry and fiction have appeared in Chase Park, Versal, 580 Split, Kyoto Journal, California Quarterly, after hours, Edgz, Kyunghyang Shinmun, and other publications, while his articles have appeared in Teaching Artist Journal, among other publications. Godston also co-curates the interdisciplinary arts series, Chicago Calling.

Larry Sawyer curates the Myopic Books Poetry Series in Wicker Park, Chicago. His chapbook Tyrannosaurus Ant (mother’s milk press) was recently included in the Yale Collection of American Literature. His blog is Me tronome. His work was also recently included in A Writers’ Congress: Chicago Poets on Barack Obama’s Inauguration (anthology, DePaul Humanities Center Press, 2009). Larry also edits (since 1998). His publications include the Chicago Tribune, Babel Fruit, Vanitas, Jacket, MiPoesias, The Prague Literary Review, Coconut, 88, Hunger, Skanky Possum, Exquisite Corpse, Court Green, Shampoo, Van Gogh’s Ear, and elsewhere.

Poet, translator, and new media artist Francesco Levato is the executive director of The Poetry Center of Chicago and the author of Marginal State (Fractal Edge Press, 2006) and is a contributor to Witness: Anthology of Poetry (Serengeti Press, 2004). His poetry has been published internationally in journals and anthologies, both in print and online, including The Progressive, XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics, Versal, and many others. His awards include two consecutive poetry fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center. His poetry-based video artwork has been exhibited in galleries and featured at film festivals in Berlin, Chicago, New York, and elsewhere.


In the Southwest, Zimbabwe Nkenya (bass and kalimba), was known as one of New Mexico’s foremost creative musicians. His ensembles Black Jazz Culture, ZIYA, Contrabass Quartet and African Space Project were regularly featured in venues throughout the state including the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, the Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque and the Historic Taos Inn in Taos,New Mexico.

Since moving back to St. Louis in 2007 Zimbabwe has performed at the Kranzberg Arts Center with Tom Hamilton,Ivory Perry Park Festival, St. Louis African Arts Festival, the Art Outside Festival at Shlafly Bottleworks, at the Gramaphone, Legacy Books, Open Lot, Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, the St. Louis County Library (Black History Month Opening Event and Series, multiple branches), Better Family Life Foundation events, Leclaire Elementary School in Edwardsville, IL, St. Louis Art Museum, Jazz at the Holmes Series, Kemper Art Museum (Birth of the Cool Tribute to Miles Davis and a spring 2008 solo Mbira performance), at the Third Degree Glass Factory, with original member of The Last Poets Dahveed Nelson at Central Reform Congregation, at KDHX’s Midwest Mayhem Festival, Performance/Workshop with Tatsuya Nakatani & a BAG II Workshop Series , with Douglas Ewart at the Velvet Lounge in Chicago and with Cooper-Moore at Joe’s Cafe.

In addition to his active playing career, Nkenya has also been a visual artist working in collage, pastels, ink & mixed media, an educator, playing concerts,workshops and residencies for school children. For some 20 years, he hosted one of New Mexico’s most respected radio shows, KUNM’s Sunday night special, “The House that Jazz Built.”

Zimbabwe has performed with some of the finest internationally known musicians on the creative music scene including Cooper-Moore, Ajule Sonny Rutlin, Warren Smith,Tom Hamilton, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Jerome ‘Scrooge’ Harris, Julius Hemphill, Rob Brown, Douglas Ewart, Abdul Wadud, William Parker, Fred Ho’s Afro-Asian Music Ensemble, Anthony Braxton, Oliver Lake, Daniel Carter, Frank Morgan, Eddie Gale, J A Deane, Floyd LeFlore, Chris Jonas, Mary Redhouse, Bill Cole’s Yoruba Proverbs, Jim Marshall and Maurice ‘Malik’ King. He has played with African singers, dancers & musicians Thuli Dumakude, Linda Tshabalala, Chipo Wakatanda, Duma Ndlovu, Lorraine Mahlangu, Abraham Adzenya, Welcome Msomi, Mohamed Kamara, Nhlanhla Brian Thusi and many others. Zimbabwe has also collaborated with poets Quincy Troupe, Eugene B. Redmond, Linda Piper, Mike’360′ Ipiotes, Joy Harjo, Virginia Hampton, Michael Castro, Shirley LeFlore, K. Curtis Lyle and Arthur Brown.

Zimbabwe has performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center, Knitting Factory, NYU, Hunter College, PS 122, and Riverside Church as well as The BRIDE in Philadelphia and One World Festival, Detroit. In New York he was featured in the two-year run of Izulu Dance Theater’s Off-Broadway musical production HALALA, at the Douglas Fairbanks Theater.

Zimbabwe Nkenya has performed with some of the finest internationally known musicians on the creative music scene, including Warren Smith, William Parker, Charles Gayle, Douglas Ewart, Julius Hemphill, Abdul Wadud, Frank Lacy, Rob Brown, Chris Jonas and more. He has performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center, Hunter College, the Painted Bride, the Knitting Factory, Detroit’s One World Festival and more. He toured with the off-Broadway production of HALALA following a year at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre. He has been commissioned to write music for “For Black Boys Who Have Considered Homicide” as well as for the St Louis Children’s Theater. He has been a recipient of a Western States Arts Federation grant and has worked extensively with Very Special Arts New Mexico. In St. Louis, where Zimbabwe was active with the Black Artists’ Group (BAG), he served, along with Shirley Bradley LeFlore, as co-director of the music program at the Creative Arts and Expression Lab. Zimbabwe’s interest in African music runs deep and he has collaborated with many African performers including Chipo Wakatama, Thuli Dumakude, Mohamed Camara, Welcome Msomi, Abraham Adzenyah and more.”

Dave Black has worked with many artists from wide range of musical genres that includes Jazz, Blues, Rock, Country, Bluegrass and Folk. He has worked with various notables including Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes, Bucky Pizzerelli, David Liebman, Fareed Haque, Little Anthony & The Imperials and The Drifters. Plus, Dave keeps himself busy working as a freelancer in the St. Louisarea, performing and recording with many local artists.

In 1997 St. Louis’ all-original jazz quartet, Brilliant Corners released their CD ‘Two Road’ (MaxJazz) featuring compositions by Dave and other fellow band members including Paul DeMarinis, Dan Eubanks and Kevin Gianino. Then, in 2000 Dave released his own CD ‘Alone & Together’ (Wildstone Audio) which mainly showcases his skill as a solo guitarist.

Dave’s latest release ‘Departures’ (Wildstone Audio) released in 2006 features his own group that includes bassist Marc Torlina and drummer Matt Kimmick. It contains all original material with styles ranging from Jazz, Funk, Fusion to Samba, Tango and even Celtic.

Dave is an adjunct professor at Webster University where he teaches Jazz Guitar, Jazz Ensemble and various music history courses.

Los Angeles based Bob Malone plays over 100 shows a year all over the world, and he has opened for and/or played with Rickie Lee Jones, The Neville Brothers, Rev. Al Green, Boz Scaggs, Vonda Shepard, Arlo Guthrie, and many others. He has recorded eight records: The Darkest Part of the Night (1996), Bob Malone (1998), They All Laughed (1999), Like It Or Not (2001), Malone Alone (2003), Christmas Single (a Christmas single, 2004), Born Too Late (2006), and in 2007 a special Halloween release of three seasonally spooky tracks called Halloween He was featured as a “One to Watch” artist on NPR’s Acoustic Cafe, as well as being on a Performing Songwriter Magazine Best of DIYs compilation CD. His music has been featured on Car Talk, and TV shows Dr. Phil, The Rachel Ray Show, Jag, and All My Children. His latest CD, “Ain’t What You Know” is being played on over 300 NPR and Adult Album Alternative radio stations, including steady rotation at XM Satellite Radio’s Bluesville and The Village. Bob is a three-time recipient of the ASCAP Plus Award for independent musicians.

Shirley LeFlore is a St. Louis poet, performance artist, activist and educator. During the late 1960s, she was a member of the Black Artists’ Group, meanwhile working on civil-rights and housing issues in the local community. LeFlore founded the Messenger Singers, a female vocal ensemble, in the early 1970s, and along with that group performed with musicians such as the trumpeter Baikida Carroll, and the percussionist Famoudou Don Moye of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Since her years in BAG, LeFlore has continued her involvement in projects pairing poetry with other artistic mediums, including the Free N’ Concert ensemble, which combined spoken-word performance with dance and music, and the New York-based group Spirit Stage, a five-piece jazz and spoken-word ensemble that released its first album in 2002. During the mid-1980s, LeFlore founded the Creative Arts & Expression Laboratory, an institution built from the BAG blueprint and intended to foster young poetic voices in the St. Louis area. In 1996, LeFlore appeared in the documentary film “Underground Voices,” produced by the Tony-Award-winning poet Reg E. Gaines. She has taught at a number of educational institutions, and was associate professor of African American Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her work has been published in numerous collections and periodicals over the past several decades, and in December 2005 she received the Warrior Poet award from the nonprofit arts organization Word in Motion.

Michael Castro is the co-founder of the literary organization and magazine River Styx which have been in continuous operation since 1975. He has published seven books of poetry, most recently Human Rites, which David Meltzer called a “terrifically joyous book. Lovely & deeply one of a kind.” He has also co-translated modern Hungarian poets, including the book, A Transparent Lion: Selected Poems of Attila Jozsef. Castro has collaborated with many jazz artists over the years, and his work can be found on CD’s with the Fred Tompkins Poetry & Music Ensemble, J.D. Parran, and Joe Catalano. He has received the Guardian Angel of St. Louis Poetry Award from River Styx, and the Warrior Poet award from Word in Motion.

K. Curtis Lyle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He was a founding member of the Watts Writers Workshop, joining it in 1966 and becoming a prominent member of the Los Angeles renaissance the group represented. He has taught, lectured, read and sung his poetry in the major intellectual and urban centers of North America. He currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where he is an award-winning cultural critic for the St. Louis American, a weekly African American newspaper. His essays, reviews, cultural criticism, prose and poetry can be read on the internet at DowntownAtlantis.Blogspot.Com.

Philip John Gounis (born February 1, 1948, Richmond Heights, Missouri) is an American poet, literary journalist, archivist, filmmaker, publisher, concert, and book reviewer.

Gounis first came into public awareness in the early 1970s when he and several colleagues filmed and presented a series of experimental films. These films were the product of the informal largess of the University of Missouri – St. Louis. During this period Gounis also began to publish his poetry in several alternative press outlets and read on KDNA FM radio. Some of the participants in these readings later formed the nucleus of River Styx Magazine.

In March 1976, he initiated a weekly blues program on KCLC radio at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri. “Crackerbox” featured recorded blues music spanning five decades and sometimes hosted guests such as Grammy winner Corky Siegel, Linda LaFlamme (It’s a Beautiful Day), boogie- woogie virtuoso Rudy “Silver Cloud” Coleman, blues master Bob Case, and others. In June of 1976 he began to host and produce “Verbatim”, a monthly showcase of poetry and music. Poets Donald Finkel, Jan Garden Castro, Carter Revard and Michael Castro were some of the poets featured.

In the early 1980s Gounis contributed to the work of the Soulard Culture Squad. This group of poets and musicians performed throughout the historic Soulard area and published several poetry collections.

In 1988, he co-founded a magazine of politics and popular culture, Steamshovel Press with the impetus of publishing an interview with Ram Dass. At the end of the decade and into the ’90s he took part in radio programs such as Off The Beaten Path, Poetry Beat and Literature for the Halibut on KDHX FM in St. Louis, Missouri. Some of the transcripts of his interviews done in conjunction with these programs are available at the Washington University Department of Special Collections Olin Library. In summer 2005 Intangible Studios released the CD, Form Matters on which Gounis collaborated with musician Rich Kruse. Some Of These Have Appeared, a chapbook of poetry was published spring 2007.

One single comment

  1. David Gitin says:

    Nice to see the eclectic mix above, from Richard Thompson (whom I recently heard in Santa Cruz) to Ed Roberson (whom I remember from my brief time as a grad student in Pittsburgh….we were introduced by Ron Caplan), and the great Marty Ehrlich!