2017 ARTISTS

Jazzmeia Horn
2017

One of the most talked about jazz singers to emerge in recent years, 26 year old, Dallas native, Jazzmeia Horn is the talk of the New York Jazz scene. While most singers her age have opted for smooth jazz Ms. Horn’s music is clearly influenced by the likes of Sarah Vaughn and Betty Carter.

“…the most talked-about jazz vocalist to emerge since Cécile McLorin Salvant and Gregory Porter both became stars about five years ago.” in New York Times

“Horn has a thrilling presence, with a musical sensibility that strikes a deft balance between mid-century jazz and contemporary neo-soul” – DownBeat Editors’ Picks
Here she sings that old standard, “I Remember You.”

Miki Howard
2017

Miki Howard Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum recording artist Miki Howard has moved from being one of the biggest artists on the R&B charts to one of the coolest smooth jazz singers on the scene today. Miki has had two #1 singles (“Ain’t Nobody Like You” and “Ain’t Nothin’ In The World”), five Top 10 singles. Her musical artistry continues to amaze audiences as she moves comfortably from one genre to another. Howard recorded an entire album of Holiday songs, “Miki Sings Billie”, including her favorite Holiday tune, “Don’t Explain.”

Here she sings an old Dinah Washington song, “This Bitter Earth.”

Melissa Aldana
2017

Still in her 20’s, Melissa Aldana had already received more major award for her music than most musicians acquire in a lifetime. The Washington Post described her music as ” a new sense of possibility and direction in jazz.” She is the only woman to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. She is part of a new generation of young female jazz artists that are being called “the new face of jazz music.” has received raves from the likes of the New York Times saying, “…she’s coolly formidable….”, and JazzTimes wrote, “Jazz’s Next Tenor Sax Great. In focus, in control, deeply determined yet accessible.”

Her latest album is called Back Home. Here she appears with her trio Crash.

Kandace Springs
2017

A jazz/neo-soul singer from Nashville, 27 year old Kandace Springs is definitely on track to become a household name in jazz music. She transforms jazz and soul into a personalized sound you will not soon forget.

“On a more serious note, the potent and focused singer-keyboardist Kandace Springs gave her chilling take on the haunting racial disparity lament ‘Strange Fruit,’ blending the influences of Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.” — DownBeat

Here’s “Thought It Would be Easier” from her album Soul Eyes.

Claudia Acuna
2017

At every Festival we recognize and praise the contributions of women musicians from Latin America. Chilean vocalist Claudia Acuña appeared on the New York jazz scene in the late 90’s and has been a leading voice in Latin jazz ever since.

“…strength and grace…”- Ben Ratliff, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“…she has mastered the essential elements of jazz with startling effectiveness.” – Don Heckman, THE LA TIMES

“Claudia has great instincts, and is one singer who is actually a musician – one of us.” – Branford Marsalis

Enjoy the beautiful ballad “Tu, Mi Delrio”.

Karen Hammack
2017

A highly in-demand pianist who has toured all over the world as musical director with the likes of pop legend Melissa Manchester, Jazz and Gospel great Niki Haris, and currently with Grammy-nominated world music artist Perla Batalla. Karen Hammack has joined these artists at Royce Hall to the Kennedy Center. Because of her mastery of different styles she has performed and recorded with Michael McDonald, Don Was, Jackson Brown, jazz greats Chuck Berghofer, Bill Frisell, Eric Marienthal and Larry Koonse, vocalists Tierney Sutton, Gretchen Parlato, and Kate McGarry. Karen studied jazz at Orange Coast College and studied privately with famed jazz pianist Terry Trotter. For the past fifteen years she has been part of trumpeter Bobby Rodriguez’s Jazz Adventure which brings the wonderful history of jazz to young students all over Southern California. Karen is also an accomplished singer-songwriter and jazz composer.

Linda Taylor
2017

Guitarist, composer for over 17 years on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” with Drew Carey and new host, Aisha Tyler. Has toured, recorded and/or performed with Art Garfunkel, Maia Sharp, Terri Lyne Carrington, Tracy Chapman, Sheila E., Christopher Cross, Carlos Rios, Edwin McCain, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Edward Roth, Richard Perry, Kirk Whalum, Namie Amuro, Chante Moore, Wayne Brady, Vesta Williams, Thelma Houston, Marilyn McCoo, Louis Price, and more.
Film scoring includes “Through The Cracks” directed by Mark Ryan, and “Anatomy Of A Breakup” directed by Judy Minor.

Sunnie Paxson
2017

Voted on of Los Angeles’ Best Jazz Performers in Los Angeles Magazine and listed in Jazz Week’s as one of the Top 100 Artists for radio spins, contemporary jazz pianist, songwriter, producer, and performer Sunnie Paxson is known for her driving grooves and memorable melodies. She worked extensively with Stanley Clarke, Harvey Mason, Michael Paulo, Everette Harp, Sekou Bunch, Michael Sembello, and many more.

All Star Musicians
2017

2017 brings together an amazing group of artists! Each year we are honored to feature some of the great jazz musicians of the day. Many have their own albums and performed at jazz festivals around the world. We also feature newer artists to bring together working greats and soon to be greats.

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