Musical Jazz Weekend in The Bahamas
Eleuthera…All That Jazz is very happy to welcome back Myra Maud, our highly popular lead act in 2015.
Myra’s intriguing personality and captivating artistry are as diverse as her origins. With roots in Madagascar and Martinique and being born in Paris, she’s a real citizen of the world.
Her unique musical style has been influenced by jazz as well as traditional creole and latin music. In addition to the abundant musicality in her home, Myra received in her early years, dance training and studied piano and saxophone at the conservatory in Paris. Singing has always been a part of her life whether at home or in the gospel choir of her Church.
In the late 90’s, after performing for several shows in Disneyland Paris, she traveled the world as a soloist with the Claude Bolling Jazz Big Band and sang for the Orchestre National Symphonique de France.
Throughout the years Myra has shared stages with supertars such as Mireille Matthieu, Johnny Hallyday, Céline Dion or Enrique Iglesias and performed for Quincy Jones in Davos with her own choir the Gospel Sans Frontières.
She starred as the great Josephine Baker in the French movie « Ballade De Printemps » with Michel Serrault and left Paris for Hamburg where she played one of the main role : « Nala », in the Lion King Broadway Musical : Der König Der Löwen, in Germany.
Furthermore Myra has been giving gospel workshops all over the world and is regularly investing her time in charity work.
In 2008, German Popstar Jan Delay recruited Myra as one of the Delaydies.
In 2010 Myra received a platinum record for the album Afri-Frans in South Africa, where she’s been touring for the last 3 years.
Since Myra’s breathtaking performance for the opening celebration of the Women’s Soccer World Cup 2011 in Frankfurt, her international popularity has grown tremendously.
In the autumn of 2015, Myra had a starring role in the musical “Gospel on the Hill”, opening at the famous Folies Bergeres in Paris and then touring throughout France and in May 2016 she sang with the Leipzig Philharmonic orchestra in a tribute to Whitney Houston series of concerts.
Bahamian Jazz vocalist, Anuschka Wright, has soul, class, style and a voice filled with depth of feeling. One can’t help but be drawn into the beauty of her artistry. Although her heart is focused on the craft of Jazz interpretation, her ability lends her to beautifully interpret styles such as Pop, R&B, Soul & Funk.
Anuschka Wright has always been a performer. And thus, like many others, she got her start early on by singing often in church and school choirs. As a child she was a member of The Bahamas National Children’s Choir and took advantage of the opportunity by travelling with the group to exciting cities like Moscow and New York while still in primary school. She considers herself blessed to have had so many varying experiences as a young girl.
After leaving the children’s choir in Junior High, she took a break from organized groups until after high school, spending a year with the Gospel ensemble, Christian Music Association (CMA) lead by Charles Drake. During her time with them, she and her group were privileged to win the Cacique Award for Best Gospel Song in 2009.
Incidentally 2009 became a pivotal year for Anuschka, and after leaving CMA she then made her professional debut as a soloist, joining the Bahamas’ top Jazz band, “Jazz Etc.” lead by upright bassist, Adrian D’Aguilar. She fell instantly in love with the new musical environment provided by the band. Also, having the chance to speak with and be mentored by seasoned professional musicians became another great blessing in her life. And from this environment, she found herself becoming more and more taken by the intimacy and intricacy that lay within the concept and construct of Jazz music.
So having chosen to fully pursue her love of music, jazz and singing, Anuschka continues to seek greater opportunities to learn and grow in her chosen profession. Currently she is focused on the continued production of her annual concert series “Jazz In Bloom” held each Father’s Day in her home town, Nassau, Bahamas. And as a recent graduate of Concordia University, gaining a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with Specialization in Jazz Studies, Anuschka is currently back in Montreal working her way to independence as a full time Jazz artist.
Born in 1975 in Milano, Italy Tommaso started playing the saxophone and studying music at the age of 18. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1994 where he graduated at Birmingham Conservatoire with a Bmus 1st class honours and later at the Guildhall School Of Music and Drama with a Postgraduate Degree in jazz studies in the year 2000.
He has performed with some of the most respected jazz musicians including Billy Cobham, David Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Stan Sulzmann, Jim Mullen, Jonathan Gee, Fabrizio Bosso, Paolo Fresu, Laurence Cottle. In the year 2004 he collaborated with award winning Oscar composer Dario Marianelli ( ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘ The Atonement’ ) recording music for ‘This Little Life’, a BBC drama for Channel Four.
‘Tommaso Starace plays the photos of Elliott Erwitt’, recorded in 2005 with his British Quintet, his second debut album to his name, is a project dedicated to the iconic images of Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt. The Quintet features some top British musicians such as Roger Beaujolais on vibraphone and Liam Noble on piano. This album allowed the young saxophonist to tour twice round the United Kingdom performing with his quintet in some of the most prestigious jazz clubs, festivals and concert halls.
“…The promising Starace seems to be revealing his most personal voice in the full-on music.” – John Fordham, The Guardian
“Starace’s melodious originals offer good blowing potential for alto and soprano solos delivered in a cleanly articulate post-bop style reminiscent of Phill Woods.” – Jack Massarik, Jazzwise
“The rhythm section is dynamic and Starace is star material” – Ian Carr, jazz
In 2008 Tommaso was awarded with an Honorary Membership by Birmingham Conservatoire given to him
for his significant contributions made across the years within the various branches of the music profession.
‘Tommaso Starace Quartet – Don’t Forget’ recorded in the year 2009, also marked the beginning of an exciting musical collaboration with his Italian Quartet comprising Michele Di Toro on piano, Attilio Zanchi on bass (Paolo Fresu’s collaborator for many years) and the hard swinging drumming of Tommy Bradascio. Renowned jazz author and critic Vittorio Franchini says of Tommaso’s new recording : “The sax is filled with voices, it sings gaiety…….I like the way he follows joyful paths, I imagine him playing around with rhythms, playing with the other instruments, opening up to new feelings and inventing new ways…” The launch of the CD successfully took place at the Blue Note in Milano in front of a full house. The Italian quartet undertook a UK tour in April and an Italian Tour in May 2010.
In May 2010 Tommaso released ‘Blood & Champagne’. The CD was recorded with a new all star UK quartet
comprising: Frank Harrison on piano; Laurence Cottle on electric bass and Chris Nickolls on drums. The band recorded music by Michel Petrucciani, Billy Strayhorn, Ennio Morricone, Henry Mancini plus some new exciting original material by the band leader.
The Tommaso Starace Italian quartet records in August 2011 ‘Celebrating the Music of Michel Petrucciani’. The quartet performed ten of the most loved and well known compositions written by the great french pianist who thanks to his positive and exuberant character and virtuoso piano playing made his fame in America and around the world. Two fantastic guests are featured on the CD: Italian trumpet star Fabrizio Bosso, and Uk vibraphone virtuoso Roger Beaujolais. The CD is released on the Universal Label.
Tommaso Starace goes back to a new jazz/photograph project. His previous jazz/photographic album was dedicated to the iconic images of Elliott Erwitt. 2014 sees the saxophonist embarking on a project dedicated to his country Italy and to one of his most beloved photographers in Black and White: Gianni Berengo Gardin. The album ‘Italian Short Stories’ is a collection of 14 compositions dedicated to 14 images taken by Berengo across Italy from the 50’s to the year 2000. All compositions are original and recored with his Italian quartet. The special guest on the album is trumpet star Paolo Fresu. The CD is the second collaboration with the Universal label.
In the year 2015 Tommaso teams up with his long time musical companion Michele Di Toro to record an album in duo: ‘From a Distant Past’. All original compositions plus arrangements of tunes by Chick Corea and Randy Newman. This new recording as the previous one ‘Italian Short Stories’ continues to explore a melodic and cinematic approach to jazz this time bringing to life a world that belongs to a remote past made of fables and surreal stories. The recording marks the third collaboration with the Universal label.
Tommaso’s aim through composition and the production of his CD’s is to write tunes with a strong melodic component exploring traditional and more contemporary harmony and always maintaining the sense of swing and groove. Not surprisingly some of Tommaso’s influences are Cannonball Adderley, Clifford Brown, Joshua Redman, Brandford Marsalis, Ennio Morricone, Stevie Wonder, Maurice Ravel. But his passion for black and white photography, painting and cinema are also a continuous inspiration to his writing and music.
Tommaso is currently busy performing with his quartet all over Europe in jazz clubs and festivals.
Massimo Colombo, born in 1961 in Milan, is a composer, arranger, pianist who got a diploma in piano at “Conservatorio G. Verdi” of Milano.
He studied harmony, contrappunto and composition and took some lessons from the American pianist Sonny Taylor and undertook an intense activity as a pianist and writer in collaboration with other Italian jazz musicians.
He has taken part in concerts and music productions with a variety of Italian musicians including: Paolo Fresu, Enrico Rava, Attilio Zanchi, Tino Tracanna, Paolino Dalla Porta, Roberto Ottaviano, Gianluigi Trovesi, Tiziana Ghiglioni, Fabrizio Bosso, Franco D’Andrea and with international musicians including: Tony Scott, Tommy Campbell,Pierre Favre, Billy Cobham, Jeff Berlin, Greg Hutchinson, Peter Erskine, Darek Olesczkiewicz, Bob Mintzer.
He has recorded 24 cd’s as a writer for various musical groups using both acoustic and electric sounds.
He has taken part in important festivals in: Milano, Bergamo, Latina, Parma, Bologna, Berchidda, Bolzano, Trento, Nuoro, Ginevra; and in different radio and RAI tv programs (Invenzioni a due voci, Jazz Club -La stanza della musica-). He teaches piano at Conservatorio “N. Piccinni of Bari and Jazz arranging at the “Conservatorio G. Verdi” of Como. He writes for music magazines and has published a series of didactic scores (for Carish and Da Vinci).
Steve Koven Trio
Steve Koven – Piano
Rob Clutton – Bass
Anthony Michelli – Drums
The Steve Koven Trio is a Canadian, Toronto-based jazz group. Pianist Koven is joined by long time members, Anthony Michelli on drums and Rob Clutton on bass.
Formed in 1993, the trio has performed world-wide, and has established themselves as one of Canada’s cultural ambassadors.
The band has released ten critically-acclaimed albums since their debut, Live at the Senator, in 1997. Many of their compositions have been used for national and international film and TV productions.
Steve Koven – Piano
Steve Koven is a composer, performer, producer and educator. In 1993 Steve established the Steve Koven Trio. Touring the world for more then two decades, they have become known as ‘Canadian Cultural Ambassadors’. Aside from performing world wide with his trio, Steve also performs solo piano concerts throughout North America, Europe and the Caribbean. Dozens of Koven’s compositions have been licensed for national and international film and television productions.
As an educator, Steve has been teaching in the Faculty of Music at Toronto’ s York University since 2003, teaching Contemporary Improvisation and Jazz Piano. In addition, Steve teaches Musical Entrepreneurship at Centennial College in Toronto, He holds a Masters in Music Composition and has presented master classes and clinics throughout Canada, China, Japan, Colombia, Barbados, Bahamas, USA and Mexico.
Rob Clutton – Bass
Rob Clutton is a composer/performer with two solo bass recordings, Dubious Pleasures and Suchness Monster, on the Rat-Drifting label. In 2015 the Cluttertones released Ordinary Joy, a recording of original compositions, on the Healing Power label. Earlier independent releases of original compositions include Holstein Dream Pageant and Tender Buttons. Rob has participated in collaborative projects including Handslang, This Moment, Drumheller, Clutton/Michelli/West, Kavli, and Sweet Session.
As a side person, other long- term projects have included the Steve Koven Trio, NOJO, John Millard and Happy Day, Lina Allemano’s Titanium Riot, the Ryan Driver Sextet, Pete Johnston’s See Through 2, Tim Posgate’s Jazzstory, Nick Fraser Quartet featuring Tony Malaby, Ronda Rindone’s Quorum, the David Mott Quintet, Bill Grove Quartet, Mark Segger Sextet, AimToronto Orchestra, Shurum Burum Jazz Circus, Faint Praise, and the Winged Marsupials. Touring with these and other projects has included Europe, Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Ecuador, The Caribbean, and Japan.
Anthony Michelli – Drums
Anthony Michelli, drummer, sustains a very active international performance, recording, production and teaching career in collaboration with a variety of distinguished composers and performers.
He leads his own group, and has recorded in collaboration with several artists, performing on recordings in the contemporary jazz, original composition, popular and creative music genres spanning from 1995 to the today.
“Anthony Michelli, a drummer who plays with great sensitivity and an ability to listen with incredible patience. Mr. Michelli eschews flash and unnecessary virtuosity, playing instead well within himself…” Raul Da Gama – Latin Jazz Network
“Anthony Michelli elevates “in the pocket” to another dimension.” Brent Black – Jazz Time
Frank “Johnny” Schüetten studied classical piano, composing and Orchestra conducting at the Music Academy in Vienna, Austria. After his studies and engagements in classical music, he studied in New York to broaden his knowledge and experience in jazz-piano.
He performs solo or in different formations in Festivals throughout Europe, and for the last 17 Years has organized with fellow musicians the annual “Shake The Lake” Festival in Austria, which has become one of the biggest Piano-Jazz Festivals in Europe. Furthermore, he launched a classical/jazz festival, “Autumn Leaves”, that also takes place in Austria and features well known artists from all over the world.
Besides being devoted to various piano styles from the Jazz era, Johnny also composes and has written in various instrumental arrangements between orchestra setting and solo piano, as well as appearing on stage with classical chamber music formations.
His newest recording (“Fingers Unlimited”) is a vinyl record with Christoph “Stoffi” Steinbach, where they perform their own arrangements of Jazz Standards from the last century on two Grand Pianos.
For this year’s festival, Johnny has invited his good friend and colleague Christoph Steinbach (see his profile below) to be part of the line up. Johnny and ‘Stoffi’ regularly play together at festivals around Europe, often in a double piano performance. Click on the below link for an amazing performance by the two of them playing together !