JAZZ CONCERT SERIES

Nathan East

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 His genre-crossing groove has earned him both the recognition – a Congressional Record for his contributions to the worldwide music community, for one – and the boundary-busting respect of his peers, illustrated by his current appearances on two hit records as diverse as Andrea Bocelli’s Passione and Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories.


Suffice it to say, it’s been a busy four decades. “There are only so many hours in the day,” East concedes. “But for years, friends have encouraged me to record a solo album. Some for so long they’d given up. However the best music that I’ve made over the years has always been a collaboration with my friends, so I decided it was time to take the plunge.”


Communing with friends is a theme for East, so it was only natural that he team up with Yamaha Entertainment Group, with whom he has had a personal and professional relationship for over 30 years.

bob james

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The career of Bob James is long, varied and continues to evolve at every turn. From his first days in Marshall, Missouri, the music of Bob James has captivated audiences throughout the world.

Discovered by Quincy Jones at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in 1963, James recorded his first solo album, Bold Conceptions, that year for Mercury Records. 58 albums and innumerable awards would follow through five decades. He honed his skills working with Creed Taylor, working on albums for artists like Hank Crawford, Grover Washington, Jr, among others.  While with CTI, James found great popular success overseeing significant hits for Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, Maynard Ferguson, and Kenny Loggins.


 In 1974, James finally recorded his own album, One, which launched a lifelong career of recording and performing live. After three more albums, James began his own label, Tappan Zee Records.   This allowed James to spend more time in the studio, focusing on his own creative works.  It was during this time that he recorded his own gold seller, Touchdown, which included his composition, “Angela”, the instrumental theme from the sitcom Taxi, and possibly James’ best know work.  Bob composed all the original music used in that television series for its entire run. One On One, the first in three collaborations with Earl Klugh, was awarded a Grammy in 1980 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, and has sold over a million copies. During this time, James set the standard for the smooth jazz sound in the late 1970s. 

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HARVEY MASON

You will have only begun to scratch the surface by identifying the masterful Harvey Mason as just a drummer. Yes, his precision time keeping and versatility have placed him among THE most in-demand and most recorded session drummers of all-time. 


Yes, his tumbling tom-tom fills and the lickity slick synchronization between his hi-hat cymbals, snare and bass drums are instantly recognizable signatures. Yes, he’s been hired by everyone from Barbra Streisand to James Brown to Mary J to Herbie Hancock to Jennifer Hudson to Frank Sinatra to John Legend to the London Symphony Orchestra. 


Yes, he has won four 1st place plaques from Modern Drummer magazine’s annual studio poll and has been the first call drummer for the Academy Awards ceremonies on 25 occasions. 

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LAND RICHARDS

Growing up in Muscle Shoals, Alabama during the 1960s gave drummer Land Richards the opportunity to witness the birth of the soul music movement. He was born into a musical family—his father being co-writer of the famous hit “When A Man Loves A Woman”—and started performing on drums at age seven, moving on to the local club circuit by age twelve.


Over his long career in the music industry, Richards has performed with some of the best-known acts in the world—including George Benson, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks and Earth, Wind and Fire. In his own words, “Everyday I strive to grow more in both music and technology, because they have become one in today’s music industry.