Adrian Crutchfield is known around the world for his neo-soul sound - creating music in a variety of genres such as jazz, R&B, pop, funk, soul, hip hop, and fusion. Adrian Crutchfield is known around the world for his neo-soul sound - creating music in a variety of genres such as jazz, R&B, pop, funk, soul, hip hop, and fusion.
For over 10 years, Blue Chip has entertained the Carolina's with a great mix of jazz standards and light pop. Whether opening for the Charlotte Symphony, touring with Loonis McGlohon, or playing with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, their musicians are some of the best in the area! Their sound is elegant, lively, classy, never loud or overbearing. The sound of classic jazz standards.
Brad Bailey performs jazz standards such as ""What A Wonderful World,"" ""Sway,"" ""Georgia,"" ""Unforgettable,"" and ""Route 66"" in a rhythmic style that creates the sound and energy of a full band-but at a quarter of the price!
Featured in Charlotte Style Magazine (Spring '12) and Bass Player Magazine (May '12), Brad Bailey is the world premiere 8-string banjo player: combining smooth vocals with bass, banjo, and percussive grooves all live on one instrument. But this isn't hillbilly music-Brad's style is always sophisticated, professional, and the perfect compliment to any classy event.
Brad has performed hundreds of concerts for Corporate Events, Weddings, Government Dignitaries, Festivals, Universities, Night Clubs, Private Parties, and in Charlotte, NC's high-end restaurants such as Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Crave, Dressler's, and The Palm.
Named one of North Carolina's Top Charlotte Vocalists in 2012 by the Carolina Entertainment Network, singer/songwriter and actor Carrie Marshall has an amazing ability to wrap her heart and voice around a lyric, infusing each song she sings with a power and poignancy. Influenced by jazz, blues, gospel and pop, she has sung at a variety of venues along the east coast, from intimate wine bars to convention centers and sports arenas. She honed her songwriting skills while living in Nashville, where she recorded her album Redemption and worked as a session singer. But it was in North Carolina, where she moved in 2008, that she found her musical niche.
After landing in North Carolina in 2008, Carrie joined forces with several top musicians, performing a blend of her jazz, blues and original music in such notable places as the Democratic National Convention, Knight Theater with the Tosco Music Party, The Blumenthal theater with Jazz Arts Initiative and more.
An award winning songwriter and featured artist with the North Carolina Arts Council, Carrie's musical influences are intertwined in her original works to create a unique, signature sound that's sophisticated yet accessible. Carrie has been nominated twice for the musical score and theme song that she composed for the 11 time award winning feature film, "Changeover". She ended up taking home an award, not for the score, but for Best Supporting Actress at the Love International Film Festival in 2017! In 2014, Carrie was one of ten top finalists in the UK Songwriting Competition and in 2010, Carrie was named the Songwriter of the Year with NC Songwriter's Co-Op.
Originally from Montreal, Canada, vocalist Celine Berman stepped out onto the Charlotte, NC music scene with the launch of her band, Jazztrack in August 1996.
Celine studied with Patty Coker, a prominent improvisation educator in Knoxville, TN. As quoted in the media, Celine's jazz repertoire is sprinkled with "scat renditions that come from the soul". Her interpretation of internationally acclaimed jazz favorites attests to her musical versatility.
By including songs in various languages, namely French (her native tongue) and Portuguese, Celine provides her audiences with an unsurpassed world-class feel. Strongly influenced by jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme', her remarkable velvet voice is often reminiscent of the innocence and freshness displayed by such vocalists as Astrud Gilberto or Julie London.
Gabriel Bello is a jazz artist from Charlotte, NC. He has worked with Christian artists like Ron Kenoly, Gary Oliver, and shared the stage with Tasha Cobbs, and Kierra "Kiki" Sheard to name a few. He's a composer, singer, producer, and a talented jazz saxophonist. His band Natural Wonder (a Stevie Wonder tribute band) has performed all over the country, and was featured on AXS television's The World's Greatest Tribute Bands. He has released three albums, countless collaborations, and his self-titled debut LP reached number one on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Charts.
Ghost Trees are Seth Nanaa (drums) and Brent Bagwell (tenor saxophone). Nanaa (ex-Indian Summer) and Bagwell met in NYC in 2000. Along with bassist Jordon Schranz, they formed The Eastern Seaboard. That trio toured the US relentlessly, releasing two records with legendary Italian label Black Saint and a fistful of vinyl and CDs from Tigerasylum Records.
Charlotte native Harvey Cummings II is an award winning saxophonist, pianist, songwriter, and producer. His unique sound blends jazz, hip-hop, and soul to create an incredible listening experience. His band, The Harvey Cummings Project is a driving force in today's modern jazz movement, performing for President Barack Obama, and other festivals and events.
Noel was named Best Jazz Musician by Charlotte Magazine in 2006 and in 2009 and was named "Best Musical Director" by the Metrolina Theatre Association of the Carolinas. A dilettante of pop culture, Noel has become a popular lecturer for theatres and museums, creating and presenting multi-media presentations on everything from Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons to Mel Brooks. In 2011 Freidline was chosen for the Blumenthal Performing Arts Association (Charlotte, NC) Center Stage Award in recognition of his excellence in service to the arts. In May, 2015 Freidline was inducted into the Jacksonville Jazz Hall of Fame.
Ocie is an internationally recognized musician, educator, and composer who has performed with some of the most influential figures in jazz including Ellis Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Christian Scott, Nicolas Payton, and Donald Harrison. Ocie currently is Artistic Director of Jazz Arts Initiative (of Charlotte) which he co-founded in 2009. The nonprofit organization focuses on jazz programming, jazz education and musician support.
Shan 'Shableek ' Richardson was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He started his musical career early at the age of 7 playing piano and later began playing the saxophone in school as well as in church.
He has now been playing for over 30 years. And after a decade of performing as the leader of the group he started in 2002, Unkommon Jazz, Shableek recently went solo.
A versatile musician, Troy has been playing professionally for thirteen years. He holds the B.M. from UNCC and has studied at Berklee College of Music. An active performer with numerous small groups at various venues and festivals, Troy has also performed with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in their Pops Concerts and in their rendition of the opera, The Barber of Seville. Troy's musical styles include jazz, classical, acoustic, rock, Celtic, folk, and blues. Troy teaches in the Extended Day Program Providence Day School and part-time at Pfeiffer University.
The XMen is a group of musicians/producers from right here in Charlotte, NC. Each member is a world class musician in their own right and after touring, recording and performing with artists like Anthony Hamilton, SWV, Tamia and Leela James, to name a few, they decided to come together and form this collective.
Petite powerhouse Maria Howell is a soulful, captivating talent that shines as a vocalist, actress, and voiceover artist. Howell's signature film performance as the choir soloist in the movie The Color Purple was quoted by one critic as being "one of the film's most stirring moments!" Her rendition of God Is Trying to Tell You Something was memorable for all who saw it, but the offerings of the all-grown-up Maria are truly unforgettable, eliciting more stirring moments, one after another. Some may be inspired to call her best kept secret, but anyone who leaves an imprint on every medium from radio, stage and television to the Hollywood screen is hardly incognito.
Dawn earned her degree in music from Queens University of Charlotte, but still pursues her love for learning, performing and teaching through cultural exchanges and musical collaborations beyond the stage and classroom. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but raised in Georgia, she considers herself a northerner with a southern heart! Dawn attributes her versatility and skill to sing other genres to her classical training. Singing everything from classical to jazz, and musical theater to gospel--she thrives on challenging herself to grow as a musician, and making connections with others beyond the words and notes on the page.
Aron Stornaiuolo is a talented young musician with an "old soul." His guitar playing is exceptional and he accompanies that with an amazing voice. His comfort level on stage is unprecedented for someone his age, at only fourteen years old, he holds the audience's attention and leaves them wanting more.
The Menastree is a group of Carolina natives that have come together recently to reinforce the Queen City music scene. Jesse Lamar Williams, Jeremy Maher, Zach Wheeler, Will Pinson and Braxton Bateman are the core of the Menastree, providing a sound that can best be described as "feel good music" with a blend of jazz, hip hop, soul funk and an eclectic blend of every genre combined.
There is a special class of musician, the kind that other musicians listen to and are inspired by. That's Ziad Rabie. The saxophonist, writer, and composer has a long list of collaborations with some of the most notable names in music. Since 2010, Rabie has played the first Friday of every month at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art with his quartet that includes Noel Freidline (or Chad Lawson) on piano, Rick Dior and/or Al Sergel on drums, and Ron Brendle on acoustic bass. The collaboration with the Bechtler, called "Jazz at the Bechtler," is intended to regularly showcase jazz music in a space where it can be truly respected and appreciated by an audience for the artistry that it is.
"Ron Brendle Quartet, Bunky Moon, Al Sergle IVtet, Troy Conn Trio, Viva Klezmer plus freelancing. Ron Brendle, a freelance bassist in the Charlotte area has performed and recorded with many notable jazz artists of international stature, including John Abercrombie, Chris Potter, Clark Terry, Hank Crawford, Andrew Hill, Charlie Byrd, Lee Konitz, Russel Malone, Charlie Rouse, Mose Allison, Dom Flemons and Frank Kimbrough. Ron is also the recipient of two North Carolina Arts Council Jazz Composer Fellowship Grants. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor Degree in music and studied bass with jazz icon, Charlie Haden, at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.
""Brendle is a monster bassist, whether using the bow or playing with his fingers.""
""Brendle's choice to remain in Charlotte has limited his exposure to wider audiences, which no
doubt would find him to be a bassist of note were he to live in New York. Nonetheless, Here is
the work of a progressive bassist with much imagination to share with appreciative listeners.""
Jazz Improv Magazine"
"I'm a full-time professional musician and have been so for more than 40 years - 30 of those years in Charlotte NC - averaging 150-200 performances per year. I have a Music Performance Degree in Classical Guitar and Voice and I've been voted "Best Local Acoustic" musician by Charlotte's Best magazine. Although I play a traditional classical guitar and use classical technique, my repertoire is weighted by Jazz standards, classic mellow Pop (James Taylor, Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Chet Atkins...), Bossa Nova and Classical music. I can perform all instrumental pieces or a combination of vocal and instrumental selections. Although my repertoire is diverse, my sound is mellow and best-suited for easy-listening venues and events. I also send out a monthly e-newsletter which lists the venues and events at which I perform.
I have received accolades from:
The Charlotte Observer; Creative Loafing Weekly; Charlotte Taste Magazine; Charlotte Monthly Magazine; City of Charlotte NC; Vineyard Gazette, Martha's Vineyard MA; WCNC TV; WBT & WFAE Radio; Mint Museum Uptown; Charlotte's Arts & Science Council; Sound Amazing Studio, Charlotte NC; Southern Shows; Hensley Fontana Public Relations & Marketing, Charlotte NC; King & Spalding (International Law Firm); Stonebridge Church Community...I also have received 5-star ratings from Gigmasters.com (and their Rapid Responder Badge) and WeddingWire.com (online booking agencies).
Amongst my performances of note, I performed with former musical director and arranger of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis at a Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend event, hosted by former Duke and NBA basketball player, Mike Gminski; at another Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend wine dinner hosted by renowned author John Grisham (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker...); at a private event for Fortune 500 company Sonic Automotive and CEO Bruton Smith, and at a gala wine dinner at the home of former Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers, John Fox. I've appeared on NBC affiliate station WCNC TV's Charlotte Today show, WBT TV's Morning Show and John Hancock Show, WFAE-FM's Charlotte Talks with host Mike Collins, and I've performed as prelude act for The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra more than twenty times for Summer Pops concerts. In 2012, I performed in concert on Martha's Vineyard, MA with Arnold McCuller, a world-renowned vocalist who has performed and recorded with James Taylor for the past thirty years, and has also worked with Phil Collins, Lyle Lovett, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Bette Midler, Lionel Ritchie..."
Dapper Street Jazz Orchestra is a Charlotte, NC based, 3 - 12 piece band/orchestra made up of some of the Charlotte region's finest musicians and vocalists. DSJO is dedicated to performing the world's finest big band music, from early compositions in the genre to brand new, modern works. Dapper Street's desire is to provide the Queen City and surrounding area with the opportunity to hear great jazz played by local talent and aiming to educate and entertain. A variety of composers' works are presented at performances under the musical direction of Letron "L Train" Brantley. With a vintage feel from the 1920's - 1940's, the DSJO would be a welcoming additions for your special occasion.
Armen Boyajian is a jazz violinist and pianist who has been in the Charlotte, NC area since 2008. His jazz quartet Air Apparent was formed in Washington, DC and included Frank Kimbrough, Ed Howard, and Steve Williams. They played Blues Alley, Carter-Barron Amphitheatre and other DC and Baltimore venues. Geoff Himes of the Washington compared "a performance by Air Apparent as the next best thing to the Hot Club of France" when reviewing a concert at Carter-Barron.
Charlotte was also the site of a reunion of Armen and guitarist Joshua Marks, who initially met in Augusta, GA. They had a three year residency at Cafe Monte, and also played at Whole Foods, Basilico's, Charlotte Jazz and other venues. Repertoire ranges from Hot Club of France to Wayne Shorter to originals by Armen. Josh has his BA in Music from Berklee and is a sensitive, informed player who also arranged much of their material.
Armen has written a number of original jazz compositions: Waltz for Bill Evans (originally named Sweet & Sour) was named Best Jazz composition by the Washington Area Music Association.
Vocal stylist Kenya Templeton brings to the stage a soul-revealing, conversational and interactive experience slipping
effortlessly among music genres and influences while retaining her own distinct style of body percussion, scatting, and singing. If Ella Fitzgerald, Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin, and Rachelle Farrell had a niece, she would probably sing like Kenya Templeton.
Over recent years Kenya has graced small and large stages. Most recently she performed a traditional jazz tribute to Ella Fitzgerald at Middle C Jazz Club, Charlotte, NC, and a Sarah Vaughan tribute as part of the Black American Music Series at the Hayti Cultural Center in Durham, NC. Audience member, Annice, was so moved to remark. "One of my favorite Sarah Vaughan's albums are Sarah Sings Soulfully and when Kenya sang Send in the Clowns, it gave me the chills History: Singing Through Time, at the Long Live Arts Festival at the Levine Center for the Arts and Gantt After Dark at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture. As the vocalist for Mo' Betta, a modern cabaret of jazz, stand-up comedy and improv poetry, Kenya sang jazz standards to the delight of the Boom Fringe Festival attendees. Creative Loafing raved, "Templeton floated beyond strict 4/4 time, sounding more like Betty Carter in an exemplary rendition of Afro Blue." She has been a regular performer for Dapper Street Productions' Color of Jazz concert series, sponsored by Arts and Science Council's Culture Blocks, including a tribute concert to Al Jarreau.
Just as dynamic as her performances are her workshops. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Arts and Science Council
recognized such by awarding Ms. Templeton a 2021 $5000 Emerging Creator Fellowship, which supports creatives with evolving practices that are at a pivotal moment in launching sustainable careers in the creative sector. With her
fellowship, Kenya will combine her love for cycling with her passion for teaching the arts, history, and natural health
through The Velo Griot. The Velo Griot will be a mobile classroom on a bright orange electric cargo bicycle teaching
children and adults in low-come and communities of color.
Kenya has been an ensemble actor and principal singer with OnQ Performing Arts for the past eight years at Duke
Energy Theatre at Spirit Square in Charlotte, NC. She is most recognized for filling the stage of McGlohon Theatre each December with OnQ's Soulful Noel presenting her jazz, soulful house, classical, and blues renditions of classic Christmas tunes. Kenya was a featured soloist on an abbreviated version of the show on New York Times' Facebook Live for over a quarter-million viewers. Her most notable stage performance is as "Calli of the Valley" in the stage-adapted version of Russell Goin's epic griot poem, The Children of Children Keep Coming, covering field songs and negro spirituals in the voicings of Marian Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan. "Kenya Templeton was even more impressive in the more central role of Calli of the Valley, and she sang purely and sweetly as Marian Anderson. Most memorable was how Templeton's scat singing Ella-vated the bebop segment and made it a celebratory highlight," according to Classical Voice of North Carolina.
On the recording of OnQ Presents a Soulful Noel, Kenya performs a solo on the title track, lead vocal on an ensemble track, and a downhome blues rendition of Good Morning Blues. World renown DJ and music producer Stan Courtois of Chopsa Records (France) recorded her first songwriting publishing credit, Spicy Disco (Gotta Keep On), which was one of the standout soulful house hits that year and remixed by numerous music producers in Europe and Australia.
She is writing a play, Jazz: A Sound Protest, and an acapella recorded project coming out in 2021.
YouTube: Kenya Templeton Performs