Tuesday, June 28 - Musician Bios 

Tuesday, June 28

Bria Skonberg (Swing) Check out our feature on Bria Skonberg.

Chick Corea Trilogy Trio (Hard bop jazz) Over the last five decades, few musicians have had the continuous impact of Chick Corea. While in Miles Davis's late 1960's band, Corea was among the trailblazers to take on the electric keyboard. Later, he helped define the fusion movement, leading groups such as Return to Forever and writing compositions, including "Spain," that crossed over far beyond the jazz world. Corea's Trilogy Trio is an all-star band featuring bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. (RN) chickcorea.com

Christine Tobin (Vocal, standards) Irish-born copper top Christine Tobin has some dusky pipes on her, boy. With influences running from Leonard Cohen to Bessie Smith, Tobin sings with a dark beauty and tone that truly haunts and taunts. It was band member and professor Simon Purcell who encouraged Tobin to write her own material. Tobin's effortless display is both earthy and honest. (FD) christine-tobin.com

Dan Brubeck Quartet (Jazz) It becomes crystal clear that Dan Brubeck is not getting by on his dad's name a few seconds after he starts drumming. Yes, he's Dave's son, but he's got great chops and a superb band of his own, with saxophonist Steve Kaldestad, pianist Tony Foster, and bassist-singer Adam Thomas. (RN) danbrubeck.com

Djabe (World music) The word djabe means freedom in the African Ashanti language and the group, Djabe, fits that definition. Filled with lush textures and appealing melodies and combining elements of world music, jazz and Hungarian folk tunes, it's not hard to understand why Djabe is the leading jazz-fusion band of Hungary. (RN) djabe.hu/index_eng.html

Gwyneth Herbert (Jazz vocalist) With a voice that runs from a sweet and plaintive contralto to stratospheric upper-register notes only a puppy can hear, British jazz vocalist Gwyneth Herbert finds musical interludes in everyday life. And once they’re harnessed and deciphered, she presents it in a laid back fascination and awe that is both classic and immediate. (FD) gwynethherbert.com

Igor Butman Quartet (Progressive jazz) He may have been raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the Cold War, but American jazz definitely won over Igor Butman. Butman is a superb saxophone player with a sensuous sound to rival Stan Getz. In fact, fellow sax-man and former president Bill Clinton named Butman as his favorite living saxophonist. (RN) igorbutman.com

Ikiz Cabin Crew (Jazz) Turkish-born percussionist Ikiz moved from Istanbul to Stockholm, Sweden, at the age of 4, but his early musical influence was Jimi Hendrix. After studying at the Stockholm Conservatory in the late 1990's, he won a scholarship to the Los Angeles Music Academy. His current band, Ikiz Cabin Crew, seamlessly merges electronics with jazz. (RN) ikizmusic.com

Jam sessions with Bob Sneider Trio (Jazz) Every night, XRIJF musicians come off the stage fired up. They let off steam when they get back to the Holiday Inn, where the Bob Sneider Trio is deep into the nightly jam session. Sneider is a world-class jazz guitarist with top-notch support from Mike Melito on drums and Phil Flanigan on bass. Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Chris Potter, and Eric Alexander are a tiny fraction of the stars who have sat in with the band. (RN) bobsneider.net

Joey Alexander (Hard bop jazz) While other kids are proud to be playing "Chopsticks" on the piano, Joey Alexander was getting into Monk at the age of 6. Last year, at the age of 11, he left audiences stunned at the XRIJF. He's capable of gorgeous sensitivity on songs like "Over the Rainbow" and furious intricacy on no less a tune than "Giant Steps." Originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, Alexander has been called a genius by Wynton Marsalis. (RN) joeyalexandermusic.com

Karl Stabnau (Jazz) When he's not honing his improvisational chops on the baritone, alto, and tenor sax, or flute, or clarinet,e or bass clarinet, Karl Stabnau imparts wisdom on the next generation as a director of jazz ensembles and music business at SUNY Brockport. (FD) karlstabnau.com

Major and The Monbacks (Rock) This is another "chocolate colliding with the peanut butter" moment in music. Major and The Monbacks are Norfolk, Virginia's answer to Elvis Costello-like smart pop mixed with neo-soul. It's brash as hell and downright spiritual. You can't avoid it, so don't, sluggo. (FD) majorandthemonbacks.com

Marc Silver (Folk, country) Not unlike John Prine, there's a weary edginess to Silver's voice as he intones insight and plaintive emotion by way of both folk and country idioms. Growing up playing just the black keys on the piano, he has since graduated to guitar strings to pull on your heartstrings. (FD) marcsilvermusic.com

Mike Murley (Jazz) Since 1990, three albums by Canadian saxophonist Mike Murley have won Juno Awards. That's not surprising considering Murley's bold tenor sound. At the XRIJF Murley will be joined by two of Toronto's finest musicians: Reg Schwager on guitar and bassist Steve Wallace. (RN) mikemurley.com

Nacka Forum (Avant-garde jazz) Saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar, trumpeter Goran Kajfes, bassist Johan Berthling, and drummer Kjell Nordeson are all well-known musician on the cutting edge of Scandinavian jazz. Their group, Nacka Forum, was founded in Sweden but you might hear strains of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Ornette Coleman. After playing Kilbourn Hall Tuesday, the group will hit the Lutheran Church on Wednesday. (RN) kullhammar.com

Pete McCann Quartet (Hard bop jazz) Over the last 25 years, Pete McCann has established himself as one of the most versatile guitarists on the New York scene. He's recorded more than 80 albums, enhancing the bands of Dave Liebman, Lee Konitz, and Kenny Wheeler, and lending his rock-fusion guitar style to the Mahavishnu Project. (RN) petemccann.com

Robert Rodriguez (Hard bop jazz) The last time Robert Rodriguez visited the XRIJF he dazzled the audience with his solos as a member of Joe Locke's band. The New York-born pianist spent his formative musical years in Florida. When he returned to New York he was quickly employed by David Sanchez, Richard Bona, Roy Haynes, Ray Barretto, and others. (RN) rodbrosmusic.com

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