SMIBF 2017 Artist Lineup

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Big in China’s” ALLMAN BROTHERS TRIBUTE f/JR MACK

BLUE TROPIC SOUL

THE SOUL PROJECT (from NOLA)

HOWLIN WOLF TRIBUTE f/Dean Shot & Vinn Mott

THE REGINA BONELLI EXPERIENCE f/Michael Hill, Tomas Doncker & Mike Griot

TY STEPHENS and SOULJAZZ

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Big in China’s” ALLMAN BROTHERS TRIBUTE f/JR MACK

Big in Chinas ALLMAN BROTHERS TRIBUTE

 

The Big in China band, fronted by Allman Brothers’ biographer Alan Paul will pay tribute to the  ALLMAN BROTHERS band  with this special event.  The Big in China band is excited to announce this show with a very special guest – Mr. Junior Mack. Junior is the singer and guitarist in the wonderful Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band featuring founding Allman Brothers Band member Jaimoe. He is also in the excellent Heritage Blues Orchestra, has been a longtime NYC fixture and was a very regular Allman Brothers guest.  Big in China is comprised of four longtime Maplewood residents:  Alan Paul, Rick Wagner, Jonathan Kampner and David Gomberg.

BLUE TROPIC SOUL

BLUE TROPIC SOUL

Brothers in every sense of the word.  Recent Berklee College graduate and guitar prodigy PJ Brutzman and his older brother Brian have been making music together since they were children.  In the last several years they have forged a family and musical collective with drummer Sheldon Goode Jr., Tevin Palarche (bass), Jaxon Gruber (keyboards) and Darian Bravo (saxophone and bass).  Though its members have opened for and worked with some of the biggest names in the music business, Blue Tropic Soul is what they keep coming back to.  Fun, friendship and love for the project continue to be at its core allows its members to pick up and come back whenever the time is right.   Though other bands with such virtuosity have proven esoteric at best and unpalatable at worst, Blue Tropic Soul penetrates the noise with fresh, original songwriting and a cohesion unheard in even the hippest corners of New York City.  Always soulful and dripping with bluesy swag, Blue Tropic Soul has musical history on its back and doesn’t hesitate to move forward.

THE SOUL PROJECT (from NOLA)

THE SOUL PROJECT

Digging deep into the soulful grooves dug by O.V. Wright and Wilson Pickett, the funky moves of James Brown and Maceo Parker, the old school cool of the Meters and The Neville Brothers, and the feel-good fuel of the Crescent City itself, the Soul Project brings New Orleans soul with them wherever they go. Displaced by Hurricane Katrina, this group described as a “…hip group with horns…” spent 7 months building a following on the Jersey Shore and Tri-State area before returning to New Orleans to help and be part of the rebuilding process. They are planning to split their time between the two places and keep playing to as many people as they can while spreading the New Orleans culture and music wherever they can.  Currently, the band is deeply rooted in the local New Orleans music scene. From Tipitina’s to Frenchmen Street, crowds amass for serious dancing and grooving. It’s always a party when the deep bass and drum pocket and bright horn, organ and guitar melodies shimmer on top.

Dean Shot’s tribute to The Howlin’ Wolf w/ Vin Mott

HOWLIN WOLF

Dean Shot:  
  
  Having spent almost 6 years playing guitar next to Hubert Sumlin, Dean Shot has a direct lineage to Howlin’ Wolf’s music.  Sumlin was Wolf’s right hand man and guitarist for over 27 years and recorded most of the great singers hit songs with him.  His guitar stylings were an integral part of the Wolf sound and the two are almost inseparable.  Hubert took Dean under his wing, mentoring the young guitarist from NJ during his formative years.  Those priceless lessons and information he received directly from the source has had a profound affect on Dean as a musician and a human being.  Dean serves as the bandleader, guitarist and arranger for the project.  Dean has been studying this music for over 20 years.  The goal is to honor Wolf, Hubert and all the other musicians that contributed to the sound and feel of the music of the One and Only Chester Burnett, aka The Howlin’ Wolf.    
 
 
The Solid Senders: 
  
   The Solid Senders are one of the tri-state area’s most authentic, entertaining, high-energy and crowd-pleasing blues and roots bands.  They are highly sought after by venues and festivals who want to give their audiences the best in roots music.  Music that is of the highest quality, informed and creative.   With the addition of the horn section, piano and organ, The Solid Senders are quickly becoming one of the premiere roots band in the The United States.
 
Chuck Riggs:
 
  Chuck Riggs from Providence, RI has been playing drums professionally for almost 50 years.  He has played and recorded with Benny Goodman, Tiny Grimes, Cleanhead Vinson,  Duke Robillard, Scott Hamilton, Greg Piccolo and many more blues and jazz greats.  Chuck has been a member of The Solid Senders for close to four years and his swinging feel and driving beat are a the back bone of the Solid Senders sound.
 
Eric “Little Brother” Baker:
 
  Eric Little Brother Baker from Queens, NY has been playing Chicago blues for over 40 years.  He is an accomplished harmonica player and bassist.  Eric spent over 6 years playing bass and harp behind the great Hubert Sumlin.  He has a close relationship with the music and you can hear it in every note he plays.  Eric’s contribution to the tribute adds another dimension to the music, as only a player with his experience could.
Vin Mott:   
 
 Pequannock, NJ born vocalist & harmonica player is the new face on the NJ blues scene and has already become a local favorite.  His debut cd has been well received and he is also an in demand blues drummer on the scene.   As a big fan of Howlin’ Wolf’s music, Vin says, “ When Dean asked me to join his tribute to Wolf, I felt like one of my dreams was coming true!”  Vin’s fine vocals and harp playing, his great energy and close attention to details all help bring to life the songs and vibe of The Wolf.

THE REGINA BONELLI EXPERIENCE f/Michael Hill, Tomas Doncker & Mike Griot

THE REGINA BONELLI EXPERIENCE

Regina Bonelli – Inspired by early Blues and R&B legends of the 60’s and 70’s, Regina began singing and playing piano at the tender age of five. Ten years later, after picking up a guitar, she was performing. Life and love gave Regina more than enough inspiration to sing the blues. She has written the songs, both music & lyrics, on her stunning debut recording “Open Up the Door.”  World-acclaimed bluesman Michael Hill produced and plays on the record, along with some of the country’s premier musicians. Regina’s scorching vocals, songwriting and keyboard playing are garnering worldwide attention.

Mike Griot – Raised in Orange, NJ MIKE GRIOT (pronounced “gree-oh”) grew up musically bombarded by many influences. A snap decision at age 8 started him on classical cello; this turned quickly into regular recitals and concerts by age 9 throughout NJ. As a teenager, he listened intently to records by the Isleys, Chicago, Parliament and Earth Wind & Fire. A 7th chair All-New Jersey cellist by age 13, Griot formed a neighborhood funk band, and began what would become a career-long vocation as a musical director. By high school graduation, he was playing tuba in the concert band, trombone and electric bass in the stage band, and sousaphone in the marching band. Griot’s professional career as a working musician began in college at Howard University, and he quickly found himself an “in-demand” live & session musician in the DC area. Now a full-time “bassist-student”, Griot began performing and touring while completing his undergraduate studies. After graduation, Griot returned to Jersey and expanded even further…eventually signing a publishing deal with MOTOWN RECORDS, and beginning his production company – PWI ENTERTAINMENT. The work did not slow down, however; his performance credits include a who’s who of extraordinary artists: COMMON/CARTER BEAUFORD (Dave Mathews Band)/russell gunn/guru of gangstarr/harold melvin/omar (lyefooke)/lauryn hill/michael hill/ mt hubert sumlin/stacy lattisaw/sue foley/n’dea davenport/bobbi humphrey/angie stone/

Tomás Doncker is an American musician, and the CEO of True Groove Records. In 2011 CNN credited him with creating a new genre, Global Soul. He is best known as the lead guitarist in James Chance and the Contortions. Wikipedia

Michael Hill – Raised in the South Bronx, hearing Jimi Hendrix changed his life, inspiring his love of the electric guitar. During his years at Stuyvesant High School in the East Village, Michael and his friends spent virtually every weekend either inside or listening from the street outside the Filmore East and other New York concert venues. Michael began playing guitar at age 18 and started the band Wild Honey (briefly Brown Sugar). Michael continued playing with his siblings while also working as a sideman with various singers and doing the odd recording session, primarily playing cover material. In 1985 he was invited to join the band of poet/performer Sekou Sundiata and keyboardist Doug Booth; Sekou was to become a major influence and inspiration. Over the years Michael has been privileged to perform or record with Little Richard, Carla Thomas, Harry Belafonte, Archie Bell and B.B. King, and has jammed with numerous blues heroes, friends and colleagues, including B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Luther Allison. Now with four highly acclaimed albums, Michael Hill and his Blues Mob ignite stages all around the world in a unique, high energy expression of New York- style blues. Michael is a 2011 inductee into the New York Blues Hall of Fame as a Master Blues Artist. Michael Hill’s Blues Mob’s album “Goddesses & Gold Redux” will be released on JSP Records in autumn 2012.

TY STEPHENS and SOULJAZZ

TY STEPHENS and SOULJAZZ

Ty Stephens & (the) SoulJaazz have gained international recognition and fan support through live performances, media interviews, and radio airplay.

Ty Stephens  – Born and raised in Philadelphia, Ty Stephens is an award-winning singer/songwriter, entertainer and recording artist (Grand Prize Winner Jazzmobile/Anheuser-Busch Solo Jazz Vocalist Competition, NYC, 2006, and First Place Winner R&B/Blues Category of the International Songwriting Competition 2002 for “Somethin’ Strange”), co-writer and original cast of “From My Hometown,” co-writer/production, choreographer and star of the long-running “Shades Of Harlem” revue show, and co-writer/production, choreographer and currently starring in the new off-Broadway hit “On Kentucky Avenue” (Songbirds Unlimited Productions/StepForward Entertainment).

He has appeared on Broadway in the original productions of “Sophisticated Ladies” and “Marilyn, An American Fable”. He has recorded with industry legends Harry Belafonte, Peggi Lee, dance music icon Dan Hartmann, disco pioneer Nile Rogers (“Beevis & Butthead”), master drummer Baba Olatunji, renowned trumpeter Chuck Mangione, singer Gwen McCrae, Def Jam premier artist Alyson Williams, among others.

Richard Cummings, Jr. – Composer/Arranger/Conductor Richard Cummings, Jr., on piano, was musical director for the legendary Harry Belafonte for nearly two decades, and has performed and recorded with Mr. Belafonte, as well as Diane Reeves, Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masakela, Wayne Shorter, Zubin Meta, Georges C. Wolfe, Sherry Winston, Iyanla Vanzant and the great Jon Lucien, among others. Mr. Cummings is co-Producer of Ty’s pending jazz CD project “Sentimental”.

Ron “Rondew” Monroe – Fellow Aquarian and bassist Ron “Rondew” Monroe  performed and recorded with, among others, Pharoah Sanders, Chico Hamilton, George Benson, Tito Puente, Jimmy Witherspoon, Amel Larieux, Dave Koz, Vanessa Rubin, Cece Winans and Roy Ayers.

Tony Lewis – Drummer Tony Lewis’ credits include live performance and recording with B.B. King, Little Richard, Sting, Vernon Reid, Nancy Wilson, Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave), and Richard Street’s Temptations.

Robert “R.T.” Taylor adds funky guitar to the mix. His credits include Beyonce, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, LL Cool J, Juels Santana, Robert Palmer, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Billy Preston, Eddie Kendricks (Temptations) and McPhadden & Whitehead, among others.

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