Sheléa Frazier, a singer, songwriter, pianist, and producer, broke into the music industry as an associate of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. In 2005 alone, she was utilized as a background vocalist for recordings by the Avila Brothers, Tilly Key (for the Hotel Rwanda soundtrack), and Fantasia (on a version of “‘Til My Baby Comes Home,” a track on So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross). She composed two songs for Chanté Moore’s 2008 album Love the Woman The same year, she was featured as lead vocalist on a version of “Someone to Watch Over Me,” a song included on The Standard, an album by fellow Oakwood College albums Take 6. That performance won the adoration of Stevie Wonder, who had her perform with him at the White House. After working with the likes of Spensha Baker, Vanessa Williams, and Usher, Frazier signed to the Breath of Life label and recorded Love Fell On Me, her proper debut album, released in 2013. It featured appearances from Brian McKnight and Stevie Wonder, as well as assistance from Narada Michael Walden.
Guided by the forces of family, faith, and music, Sheila E. has made a name for herself as one of the most talented musical icons over the decades. With a fearless nature and a passion for sharing her gifts with others, Sheila truly follows the beat of her own drum. She touches the lives of so many, with her dynamic music career at the heart of everything. Sheila’s eagerness to share her music, openness as an author, and fire for her ministry make her such a relatable, inspirational figure for people of all ages.
Born into a musical family, Sheila Escovedo (Sheila E.) has been driven by an inner rhythm her entire life. As a young girl, she was immersed in the diverse music scenes of the Bay Area—influenced and inspired by her percussionist father Pete Escovedo; musical uncles Coke Escovedo, Alejandro Escovedo, Mario Escovedo, and Javier Escovedo; and godfather Tito Puente. Growing up in the Escovedo household, musical instruments were for everyone. “Nobody cared as long as you could keep time (or have a good time),” she writes in her memoir, The Beat Of My Own Drum.
Before Sheila had language, she had rhythm. When she was 3 years old, she developed a love for playing various musical instruments, feeling the most connected to the drums and other percussion instruments. Born into an environment filled with music, with music running through her veins, Sheila found an inner beat that fueled her every move. As a young child, she’d copy the hand movements of her father as he played the drums—planting the seed for what would quickly become her life’s passion.
At the age of 5, Sheila gave her first public performance for an audience of 3,000, appearing alongside her dad. It was while on that stage playing a drum solo that Sheila first realized she was going to be a percussionist. Five decades later, and the beat that has always driven her is showing no signs of slowing down. The famous drummer, singer, songwriter, author, humanitarian, and icon is following the beat of her own drum. She considers music to be the purest form of self-expression and the one true love of her life.
Contemporary saxophonist, author, and music producer Jackiem Joyner is set to release his 7th album, Touch, worldwide this fall, 2019.
After more than 12 years as a recording artist, Jackiem continues to stand out with electrifying live performances and brilliant music productions. As a performer, he has toured over 30 countries and performed with the likes of the late George Duke, Marcus Miller, Keiko Matsui, Donnie McClurkin, Angela Bofill, Najee, Kirk Whalum, Peter White, and many, many more. Joyner’s radio success is widely known within the industry.
Joyner has two number 1 hit songs, five top 10 billboard singles, and a number one debut album under his belt. In addition, he published the highly acclaimed science fiction novel Zarya, which received high praise and a five star rating on Amazon.
“This album is about romance,” Joyner explains of Touch. “I wanted to give everyone something hip, smooth, and sexy at the same time.” The record has an urban feel, laced with the hottest down tempo vibes. The album shares similar textures to the music of artists Tank and Trey Songz. Joyner’s soprano sax leads the charge through most of the album.
“My approach to performing on this record was to be melodic and dynamic with my horn”. Peter White joins Jackiem on the first single, “Last Dance”. The combination of soprano sax and nylon guitar pulls you in with its romantic and catchy melody.
Najee serves up the flute on a dreamy urban song called “Fairytales”. The unique mix of flute and soprano sax on this vibey tune form one of Joyner’s best performances and productions. The song was written together with Tim Bailey, aka Twizzboy.
Born to a Vietnam War vet father and dedicated mother in Norfolk, VA,, growing up wasn’t easy for Jackiem. He set his sights high from a young age; he always dreamed of being a performing artist, as unlikely as it was, given his humble upbringings. Even as a child, he loved the attention he received from family when he danced away to Michael Jackson songs.
Now, Jackiem is proud to stand front and center on the main stage most weekends around the country. A quick glance at Joyner’s track record makes it clear that he continues to beat the odds in a tough and competitive music industry. “I love what I do and I have passion”, Jackiem says. “I don’t care how hard things get, it’ll never stop me from doing what I love: playing the sax, writing music and stories, and performing live.” His love of writing novels came as a surprise to many of his fans. “I’m very excited to release my second novel soon after my album release,” Joyner says. “Writing stories is now a big part of my creative journey.”
The first single from Joyner’s last album, Main Street Beat (2017), was named for his daughter, Trinity. Joyner’s adoration for his little girl is clearly expressed through the live, pop-influenced song, driven by Steve Oliver’s guitar. The song was an instant hit. Reaching no. 2 on the billboard. We’re all dying to see if she follows in dad’s footsteps with her own stage career some day!
With the creation of his company, JOYNER MEDIA COMPANY L.L.C., Joyner hopes to inspire other creators to follow their dreams and realize their true potential in art and multimedia. When Jackiem is not touring the world, he spends time giving lectures to students across the country. He also enjoys talking to band classes, helping them with practice and offering insight on how to pursue a career in the performing arts.
Currently, Joyner is on a US tour in support of his new album, Touch.
He will be touring Los Angeles, CA – Washingto, DC – Hampton, VA – Melbourne, FL – Detroit, MI – Chicago, IL – Charleston, SC – Houston, TX – Rehoboth Beach, DE – Mazlatan, Mexico – Syracuse, NY – Tampa, FL – Atlanta, GA, and many more cities.
With a career spanning over 20 years in music, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer Steve Oliver is still being heard each day on contemporary jazz radio around the world. As a first-call producer and writer for many artists in the genre, his influence and impact continues to shine with his new, eleventh full-length album “Illuminate”. A follow up to 2016’s acclaimed all vocal project “Pictures & Frames” (recorded with the legendary Vinnie Colaiuta on drums and Leland Sklar on bass at the famed Capitol Studios in Hollywood), Illuminate is record deeply rooted in contemporary jazz guitar melodies and Steve’s trademark wordless vocalese. The album shines a light upon Steve’s highly successful career – one that has produced multiple #1 hits on the Billboard charts and countless radio staples over nearly two decades.
With Steve’s instantly recognizable guitar lines and a list of guest artists that includes bass virtuoso Jimmy Haslip, the incredible Joel Taylor on drums, and sax luminary Nelson Rangell, Illuminate puts the spotlight back on one of the genre’s most engaging performers and songwriters.
Having released eight studio albums, a live CD / DVD package and a “Best Of”, for Oliver, music is therapy and a welcomed diversion from the current world climate. With radio hits to his credit including “High Noon”, “Fun In The Sun”, and “Global Kiss”, today Oliver is just as comfortable being a creator, adviser, and mentor to others. A former touring member of veteran jazz group Acoustic Alchemy, Steve has also co-written and produced tracks with Grammy award winning pianist Omar Akram and many smooth jazz notables such as Brian Simpson, Paul Taylor and Tom Schuman. He’s also supported up-and-coming acts, co-writing and producing albums for Chase Huna, Billy Ray Sheppard, Vertice Williams, Wednesday Ball and Ray Anthony & Powerslyde.
“Chuck Loeb – we could not have continued this journey that you have helped us begin without the spirit that you left with us. Your memory, musicality, and Zen-like quality was imparted on both Jeff and I so much that all we need to ask is ‘What would Chuck do?’ We miss you dear friend. By continuing we will always honor your memory.” – Everette Harp
“Getting to know Chuck and working with him in JFS (Jazz Funk Soul) was really a blessing. I miss him very much but I’m so glad I had the chance to get to know him both personally and musically. He was a very sweet guy who was very funny and a pleasure to work with. He was incredibly musical and had superior chops, both as a songwriter, producer and as a jazz guitarist. We had a great relationship as co-writers and he would always inspire me to come up with my best ideas because his musicality was at such a high level.” – Jeff Lorber
“Chuck, you’re one of the best musicians and best people I’ve ever met. I speak in present
tense because you are not gone, you just are not here. I miss you and look forward to
making music with you in heaven. “- Paul Jackson Jr.
There are certain musicians for whom music is a calling and necessity. The evidence is heard in their inspired creations and witnessed in the gravitational force of their performances. Contemporary Jazz pioneers, Grammy winning pianist/keyboardist Jeff Lorber, Grammy nominated saxophonist Everette Harp and the late guitarist and multiple Grammy nominated Chuck Loeb, are three artists who exemplify this notion. JazzTimes Magazine describes the threesome as “..A hefty, and very tasty helping of jazz, funk and soul…with the ability to blend their styles seamlessly” while AllMusic touts “…Creatively vibrant unit with a shared vision.” In 2014, after logging many miles on the road with one another, Lorber, Harp and Loeb formed Jazz Funk Soul with the mission of recreating on record the spontaneity and explosive chemistry of their live shows. Revered as three of the primary architects of Contemporary Jazz, the threesome’s credits collectively include millions of records sold, a Grammy win and multiple nominations and performance credits with some of the biggest names in music including U2, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, The Isley Brothers, Billy Joel and Chaka Khan. Jazz Funk Soul’s eponymously titled debut came in 2014 and was followed by More Serious Business in 2016. The world mourned the loss of guitarist, producer and composer Chuck Loeb, affectionately dubbed as “The Clark Kent of Jazz Guitar,” on July 31, 2017. Loved not only for his superb musicianship by musicians and fans alike worldwide, Loeb was equally adored for his gentle and beautiful spirit. Life And Times, to be released on Shanachie Entertainment on January 25, 2019, celebrates the eternal inspiration and legacy that Chuck Loeb left behind and unites Lorber and Harp with guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. Jackson’s credits include work with everyone from Quincy Jones and Patti LaBelle to Michael Jackson and Daft Punk.
Life And Times is an impassioned and celebratory set that swings from the opening note to the album’s final chorus. Each a dazzling virtuoso, accomplished bandleader, composer, arranger and producer in his own right, Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp and Paul Jackson, Jr. unite in the name of Jazz Funk and Soul to offer ten memorable originals that defy category. Their irresistible recipe is simple – gorgeous melodies, unforgettable grooves, exhilarating solos and charged interplay. Life And Times assures us that the journey continues and reaffirms the precious gift of all of our Life And Times. Jazz Funk Soul’s newest adventure opens with Jeff Lorber’s jet-fueled and jubilant “Exotic.” “Blacksmith,” which Lorber penned with Everette Harp, is a soul-drenched composition that is graced by the addition of a robust and rock-steady horn section arranged with fellow saxophonist David Mann. The duo also co-wrote the breezy and delightful “Room W Vu.” Everette Harp composed the beautiful impassioned and upbeat excursion “Walkin’ With You” while the album’s first single, Lorber’s “Windfall,” is a blues-infused swinger and gospel tinged romp that elevates us higher. The album’s title track is a sweet ditty perfect for the soundtrack of our Life And Times at any given moment.
Paul Jackson Jr.’s “Fifth Ward” is a lush R&B ballad while his shared compositional credits on “Sunset Rock” offer a smooth sailing escapade that shows off Lorber’s agile chops. Jackson and Lorber also co-wrote the ultra funky “Where You’re At” and the soul-struttin “Cadiwampus.”
Pianist, composer and producer Jeff Lorber has been a major innovator on the creative music scene for over three decades. Along with maestros Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample and Bob James, Lorber is a groundbreaking Fender Rhodes pioneer. Having produced for everyone from Dave Koz to Kenny G, the Grammy nominated pianist’s long running acclaimed ensemble, Jeff Lorber Fusion, was a major force in Contemporary Jazz’s early beginnings. The Berklee College of Music alum’s 2014 CD Prototype with his Jeff Lorber Fusion scored a Grammy for ‘Best Contemporary Instrumental’ album.
Everette Harp’s soulful and trademark blend of Jazz, R&B, Funk and Pop have made him a favorite among fans, fellow musicians and critics alike. Harp’s impressive career that has allowed him to collaborate with everyone from Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross and Patti Labelle to George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel and Kenny Loggins. Harp has left an indelible imprint on the scene with his own unique, muscular and soulful approach. His work on TV has brought his saxophone into the homes of millions who have heard him playing the theme songs for such popular TV shows as Entertainment Tonight and Soul Train. He also holds the distinction of being a former member of the posse on the first Arsenio Hall Show. A graduate of North Texas State University, Harp also hosted the radio program Smooth Jazz Odyssey with Everette Harp for a stint on WLOQ in Orlando, FL. His most recent solo release is First Love.
Los Angeles native Paul Jackson, Jr. launched his own solo career in the late 80s. His distinctive musical style and technical prowess have made him a favorite among live audiences. First call for numerous musicians, Jackson has recorded with an impressive roster of musicians including Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, Michael Jackson and Bob James, among many others. He has also lent his guitar work to several film scores including “Get On Up,” “Zootopia” and “The Color Purple.” The guitarist is also featured on Daft Punk’s CD Random Access Memories, which scored five Grammys in 2014. Paul Jackson Jr.’s latest solo CD is Stories From Stompin Willie and pays tribute to his dear friend and music icon George Duke.
Proclaimed a “national treasure” by the Los Angeles Times, GRAMMY® Award winning singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Anthony Hamilton has achieved global sales of over 50 million albums. The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame inductee notably performed for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle, cementing his place in the history books as the “narrator of love.” His raw, awe-inspiringperformances garnered the attention of NPRwhere he starred in their Noteworthydocumentary series. He appeared in American Gangster and lent his voice to “Freedom” from the Academy® Award-nominated Django Unchained. Additionally, he became the “first R&B artist to sell an album at Cracker Barrel.” Next up, Hamilton will unveil his ninth full-length studio album in 2019.
Before Anthony Hamilton laid down the gospel as an R&B singer, the Charlotte, North Carolina native found his calling as a member of the church choir. “It’s like that feeling you get hearing somebody else lead that made me start to really pay attention to music, not just sonically but what it did to people,” says Hamilton, who began singing at six or seven years old. An introvert raised with his brother and sister by a single mother (his father left when he was nine years old), Hamilton found comfort in a foam-covered speaker while dreaming of stardom. “I was a child who had a very wide imagination and I would become the song. I used to listen to “Ben” by Michael Jackson a lot and I would dream like one day I’m gonna become a famous singer. I said that over and over again for years and I always believed it.”
Over two decades worth of label changes later (past deals included Uptown, MCA, Atlantic Records, Soulife Records, Andre Harrell’s Harrell Entertainment and Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def Recordings), Hamilton has found his happy place on RCA Records. Following up 2011’s Grammy-nominated effort Back To Love and his 2014 Christmas offering Home For The Holidays, the R&B cantor maintains his Southern sensibility and poignant songwriting on his fifth studio effort What I’m Feelin.’ Its lead single “Amen” — a melodic love note produced by Salaam Remi and James Poyser, praises a special lady’s efforts. “’Amen’ is just celebrating the beauty that a woman makes you feel, not just physical attributes, but the fact that she works, she goes to church, prays for you, cooks, cleans, just all those things that a woman brings to the table,” Hamilton explains.
The 12-track offering is also an emotional cleanse for the musician, who announced his divorce from his wife of nearly 10 years in 2015. “Anytime you spend that much time with someone, there’s a long connection that you have and even though it seems like you’re moving on, you’re still tied to the person,” he says who dedicates the reflective track “Walk In My Shoes” to his ex-wife. “I’m tellin my wife like you gotta be me, my past and all the things that shape me, all my fears, and whatever it is I’ve been through that made me the man that I was and hindered me from being the man that I wanted to be.” On other standouts like the melodic “What I’m Feelin’,” Hamilton opens up about the struggles of letting go. “We get into these relationships and sabotage them because of a fear of creating the unknown, the beautiful, the peace and a place where you can let go,” he says. “Being able to totally let go is something I look forward to doing.”
Recording majority of the What I’m Feelin’ in Nashville, TN at the iconic Blackbird and House of Blues studios, Hamilton reunited with longtime collaborator, Mark Batson, who produced some of his biggest hits including 2003 Platinum smash, “Charlene” along with his close engineer Bruce Irvine. The celebratory set showcases life’s highs more than the lows. In addition, Hamilton recruited guitar heroes Vince Gill for the country-leaning “Never Letting Go” and Grammy Award winner Gary Clark Jr. on the worldly “Ain’t No Shame.” On the latter, Hamilton belts, “Time waits for no one/ Ain’t no shame in playing hard,” as a PSA to never settle. “There are people that never experience anything outside their front porches,” he says. “Get off the front porch, walk in the yard and I’m sure you’ll find something that’s beautiful.”
Hamilton is known for flipping heartbreak into a blessing as heard on his biggest ballad “Charlene.” After a significant relationship had ended, he left his one-bedroom brownstone apartment in Harlem on 146th Street and Convent Avenue and took the train to 33rd Street to meet with producer Batson at a Manhattan recording studio. “My record deal [at the time], I was pretty much trying to get off. I remember I didn’t have a lot of money. At that time, I was heartbroken,” he reflects. “I just poured my heart out and [“Charlene”] was one of the songs that came out of it.” He notes that his soulful formula stays consistent with What I’m Feelin’, even on a personal level. “I’m fully capable of taking from a broken place and truly turning it into something amazing,” says Hamilton confidently. “I’m truly capable of loving in spite of my situation. I think I still have a fear of letting go to a degree and I think there’s preparations I need to do to get there. I’m not done yet.”
Hamilton’s decorated catalog includes his 2003 debut, Comin’ From Where I’m From (which carried the hit title track), 2005’s Ain’t Nobody Worryin’ among other efforts. He has earned several Grammy nominations, like “Po’ Folks,” the 2002 Nappy Roots collaboration that earned a nod for best rap/sung collaboration, and won his first trophy in 2009 for best traditional R&B vocal performance for his duet with Al Green on “You’ve Got The Love I Need.” He has also lent his vocals to a variety of talent includingNas, Rick Ross, Carlos Santana, Jill Scott, Tupac, and Al Green to name a few. His album What I’m Feelin’ released in 2016 received Grammy nomination for the title song.