Artists

IAF ROSTER OF ARTISTS

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Sam Hankins
As a trumpet player Sam has performed and recorded with many bands: such as Glenn Miller big band, Clark Terry, circus bands, funk bands, on cruise ships, combos, and commercial recording sessions. He has performed with pop artist groups such as The O’Jays, Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, The Temptations, The Impressions, and The Dells.

Armed with this impressive array of degrees, experience, and credentials, Sam accepted the position of Band Director at Edison Middle School in September 1995.

Sam led a struggling band program with limited participation into one of the premier middle school instrumental music programs in the United States. During his first year as Band Director, Sam led two bands to place first in division ratings in the State Music Competitions.

Since that time the Edison Band Program has earned extensive recognition as one of the premier middle school band programs in Illinois and nationwide by winning numerous Division I ratings, State and National awards and recognitions. During this time, Sam was invited to be a Guest Conductor for Jazz and Concert bands as well as a guest soloist.

He also founded, organized and directed The East Central Illinois Jazz Institute, a summer jazz camp of approximately 20 students from throughout east-central Illinois. In 1998, Sam received The White House Letter recognizing the Edison Middle School Band Program signed by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Sam’s achievements are just too numerous to all mention here.

Sam left Edison Middle School in 2006 to pursue an international teaching career in the country of Bermuda. He then returned to the US in 2008 to teach at McKay High School in Salem, Oregon, again leading their Jazz Band & Marching Band to place within the top three in state competitions.

Sam returned to Chicago in the fall of 2010 and was hired as Band Director at Christ Our Savior Catholic School in a temporary position.

When this band program was terminated due to a lack of funding, Sam concentrated on pursuing his other passion in music, arranging and composing. This led to the release of 2 CD’s; Dream Catcher in July 2011 and his smooth jazz CD, “Nothing Between Us” in May 2012. Both CD’s have received lots of radio play around the world and in the US.

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Terry Tuck
Hailing from the most enviable and historic musical city in the world dubbed “Hitsville USA,” this self-taught musician began his musical career on the trumpet. As his love of music began to develop, Terry added piano, and rhythm guitar to his skill set. The last instrument learned was bass guitar, but quickly became his instrument of choice. In his early career Terry was bass player for various R&B groups down at Detroit’s “Hitsville” USA in the early Motown years. It was there that he met former Motown engineer John Lewis who later trained him to become a recording engineer and songwriter.

After Mr. Lewis opened “The Sound Suite” recording studio Terry began as engineer for some of the Detroit’s most memorable artists in Gospel and Secular music. Terry’s experiences as a bass player for contemporary Christian, gospel, and R&B artists are all uniquely interwoven into his distinctive sound which he calls “breaking the rules jazz

.” In 2003, Terry was introduced to Wayman Tisdale. Wayman mentored, encouraged, and evaluated his music becoming the catalyst, which convinced him to release his first CD. “Eternal Life” is dedicated to him. “Desert Wind” features Terry on five, six string, a modified piccolo bass and piano. For more on Terry’s discography please join us at http://www.terrytuckmusic.com/discography/

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Gino Goss
Over the past four decades, Gino has honed his skills as a trumpet and flugelhorn artist adding Latin jazz percussions to his repertoire. A master artist and performer, Gino decided in 2008 it was time to break away and embark on his own, forming Gino Goss and Jammajazz. In 2009, he released is debut CD ALMOST FAMOUS to glowing reviews and formed Jammajazz Records.

Various cuts from this freshman CD can be heard globally. Gino is currently in the studio working on his sophomore CD, having released six singles from that CD, Funk It Up, award winning Kalimba Dreaming and award winning Night In Rio, Voodoo Magic, award winning Egyptian Drifter and Somewhere In The Hills to glowing reviews.

Through Gino’s close work with some of the world’s greatest musicians, as well as drawing from a wide-ranging repertoire of pop, jazz, contemporary, and R&B music he has been led to create aesthetically rewarding performances which capture and accentuates the warmth, excitement, chemistry, and spontaneity of his shows.

In 2012, Gino became a six time nominee and four time winner of Indie Music Channel Awards, including Producer of the Year. And in 2013, Gino became a ten time nominee and four time winner of Indie Music Channel Awards, including Best Jazz Song, Recording and Video for Kalimba Dreaming and Best Male World Artist for Egyptian Drifter. Gino’s unique sound and style leaves you with a silky, sexy, smooth and
mystical feeling.

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Maurice Johnson
Jazz Musician/Composer/Entrepreneur/Author/Producer – Milwaukee born guitar veteran, Maurice Johnson first gained notice in 1985 shortly after forming the Oklahoma City based, “After Five” band. Considered the young lions of jazz, “After Five” gained a great deal of popularity, sharing the stage with major acts including, George Benson, George Howard, Norman Brown, Nancy Wilson, Al Green, Alex Bungon, Stanley Turrentine, Little Melton, Mary Wright, Ronny Laws, Jennifer Holiday, Freddy Jackson, Larry Coryell, Barney Kessel and many others.

In 1991 the group signed with New York label, Warlock Records and released the EXPRESSIONS CD. After a nearly ten-year stint, “After Five” would ultimately disband. As the early 90’s unfolded, Maurice found himself at the helm of a unique industry as co-founder of D’Leco Acoustic Instruments with luthier / partner James W. Dale. The two built and marketed handcrafted archtop guitars. Working closely with the family of legendary Jazz great, Charlie Christian they designed and licensed two exclusive lines of Charlie Christian guitar models to American manufacturer, Gibson Guitars and Samick Musical Instruments in Korea.

Between 1996 and 2003 Maurice authored three nationally published music related books with Mel Bay Publishing, Mix Books and Artist Pro Press. Titles include, The New Working Musician’s One Year Organizer; Build and Manage Your Music Career and Gigorama. During this time he would develop the popular windows based, Gigorama software. In 2010 Maurice reemerged with his debut independent release, TONIGHT album under the indie label, Jazz Drops Records.

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Rod Williams
Rodney Williams (Rod for short) was born in Newark, NJ. He developed a love for music at an early age while growing up in the Newark Public School System. He started out with the violin and moved on to the clarinet. Rod later became interested in the saxophone after hearing Grover Washington Jr.’s “Mr. Magic” which he used as his audition piece to get into Arts High School in Newark, NJ. Rod is a talented musician whose diverse style includes a blend of R&B, Smooth Jazz, Classic Soul, Old School and New. Rod not only is a musician but producer and arranger too. He arranged, recorded and produced all of his music in his own home studio. Rod has been making a name for himself while playing at various local venues such as “Chico’s House of Jazz”, events throughout the state of NJ and local Jazz Festivals.

He has performed as a guest at the Red Cat Jazz Cafe precelebration party jazz fest along with such artists as saxophonists Dean James, Kyle Turner, Marion Meadows, keyboardists Darrell Lavigne, Bobby Lyle, trumpet player Joey Sommerville and Ronnie Laws in Houston, Texas in October of 2011 . December 2011, Rod took to the stage with Bob Baldwin at “Chico’s House of Jazz along side of Darrell Lavigne and Kyle Turner. On June of 2012, Rod headlined at the Asbury Park, New Jersey jazz festival.

Here is a one of the latest reviews of Rod’s latest release, HANDS DOWN.
Ronald Jackson The Smooth Jazz Ride The Smooth Jazz Ride “Tossing in a few more of the slow romantic, smooth, and sweet leanings of smooth jazz on his latest release, Hands Down, saxophonist Rod Williams chose to shed more light on this mood than was shown on his debut album, The Journey.

At the outset, the current release takes a suave stroll along the avenues and night kissed beaches of smooth jazz, though the call of the catchy uptempo groove is also loud and clear. Williams’ chilled tone is immediately showcased with the tender lead track ‘A Song For Karen’. That’s followed by the equally touching and satisfying ‘Footsteps’.

This piece spells souldeep as it draws one into its embrace slowly,
deliberately, like a pair of sincere eyes gazing into yours. Not quite done with the seduction, ‘Only Time Will Tell,’ pours it on with similar richness. From the beginning of this project, Williams–with his Marion Meadows like sax charm–shows that he knows melody, especially romantic melody. He picks up the tempo just a small tad on ‘As Smooth As It Gets’, which bears a very nice resemblance to the Rufus/Chaka Khan classic ‘Sweet Thing’. In that same vein with a little more emphasis on the midtempo and percussion, ‘Amari’s Groove’ does an effective job of getting to the headboppin’ element.

With ‘Looking Good’, Williams is back in the rhythmic, reserved dance groove he displayed in his debut, with the sassiness of a passionate melody and cool timing. He returns to silk and sweet with the track that immediately follows, ‘Like Butter’. a truly charming track. Before long, you’re bouncing to the coolly funky title track, floating along on the exotic ‘Jiordyn’s Groove’, and outright jammin’ to the uptempo ‘Grover Style’. Obviously, you needn’t

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Joyce Spencer
Joyce was reared in a small town with limited resources to study music; however, it did not discourage her passion. She started playing clarinet in middle school, but grew very fond of the tenor saxophone in the 12th grade. Later, she added the alto sax and flute in college where she majored in instrumental music education. After an approximate 20-year hiatus, Joyce returned to her love and passion for music and released her first CD, “Sweet Dreams”, in 2010.

The CD is a collection of instrumental (alto/soprano sax and flute) and vocal music created to calm, soothe, and bring healing to your soul. Her music has been labeled Inspirational Jazz, Smooth Jazz, and Smooth/Contemporary Gospel, but she plays all styles. She was nominated Best Female Artist by the South Florida Gospel Music Awards in 2010, and received The Heart and Soul Inspiration Award from Coffee Talk Jazz in 2011. Joyce was also awarded by the ASCAPLUS Awards panel for original work on the CD and other compositions, including an original musical score entitled, “Glory to God” for two consecutive years.

In August 2012, she was honored to become the music director at Faith Missionary Baptist Church aka “The House of Faith” in Rowlett, TX, and in November 2012, an endorsing artist for Conn-Selmer/Yanagisawa. And, in February 2013, Joyce received the Garland NAACP Music award for contribution to music in the church and the community at large.

Joyce has been featured in several radio and television shows such as Joshua’s House for Christian Artists, Jazzy100.com streaming music and commentary around the world, GHP Radio Network, Bethlehem Baptist Church Television Program, The Ester Davis Talk Show, The Dallas Spot Light – “The Grind” Talk Show, Dallas Late Night Gospel Show, LA Jazz, Wendy Williams’ WNUR 89.3 FM Inspirational Jazz hour, Smooth Jazz Radio Channel internet radio, Tehillah Praise TPBN Radio, Coffee Talk Jazz Radio, Jazzin’ ‘Em Up with Cres O’Neal, KJAZZ radio,

The Groove Internet Radio, KKEI Radio, and more. Joyce was recently honored for her accomplishments in a published article by “ All About Jazz “, a leading jazz music website for industry professionals and enthusiasts,” entitled “Take Five with Joyce Spencer”. She was also honored to make the front cover the Spirit Alive Magazine’s October 2011 issue, and the front cover of her hometown newspaper, “Basile Weekly”, among many other online newspapers, blogs, etc.

Joyce is a solo artist and she plays in several venues with her band, Expressions, which includes H. Tyrone Walls (keys/band leader), Tony Key (drums/vocals),Robert Green (bass), and Bin Lee (lead guitar). She is also a member of Tony Key and The Faith Band.

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Yvonne J. Yvonne was born and raised in Dundee, Scotland in a household where music was ever present and it was only natural that, exposed to this environment, the girl was singing from an early age. There is an earthy grittiness in the Scots which spawns great, soulful voices. Annie Ross, widely regarded as the greatest female jazz singer ever, Maggie Bell, Frankie Miller, Rod Stewart, the list is endless and Yvonne J is certainly no exception to that list.

At the age of 16 she turned professional under the stage name Susan Childe and fronted her own band called the Flamingoes and began a residency at, what at the time was Dundee’s premier nightspot. Almost instantly, the diminutive teenager with the huge, soul drenched voice and dynamic stage act was packing the nightclub. Her followers were of both sexes. When she was bathed in stagelights, the audience in the darkness of the nightclub. From the springboard of the residency Yvonne began performing throughout the U.K., Europe and USA, all the time fine tuning her craft both vocally and performance. Radio and TV appearances quickly followed appearing with major Scottish celebrities on regional TV stations, moving to the major national stations and eventually worldwide appearances. She did “The Best Disco in Town” produced by Harry Rabonowitz (Chariots of Fire) for a major national network. She has also appeared on Grampion TV. STV. Ulster T.V. and Canal Sur, Spain.

Sharing the same stage as Billy Ocean, Eddie Kendricks, Bill Fredricks and Rose Royce, Yvonne has developed into the consummate artiste, who through her range and depth of experience knows how to relate to and command attention from her audience. Great stagecraft is not a gift from God it is a painstakingly, sweating, sometimes disappointing journey, some bad gigs and double deals, some great gigs and much deserved acclaim.

“I was pushed hard to hone my craft by some great musicians” says Yvonne. “I have had a wonderful career and hope to continue to do so”.
On meeting and marrying Tony Jenkins, who was serving in the U.S. Navy, Yvonne’s career took a new direction with new destinations and gave her opportunities to focus on other aspects of entertainment. “For 7 years I lived in Spain and worked as the Entertainment Specialist/Coordinator for the entire Med.

For USO/DOD, providing entertainment for all Military and Families stationed overseas”. She has even hosted a live feed radio show from Puerto Rico.

When Navy days were over Yvonne and Tony settled in Tucson Az and after some years recently moved near Dallas, Texas and Yvonne has immersed herself in writing songs and recording them at home teaching herself recording & engineering using Pro Tools.

Yet the best has still to come. In the last year or so she has been working with other musicians to augment the sound of her tracks notably with David Clay, Rod Williams, Norm Peterson, Larry Talbot, Sam Hankins, Gino Goss and Gary Fuston to name a few.

These musical collaborations have led to live appearances as a core member of IAF ( Independant Music Festival ) and the release of Yvonne’s CD ‘It’s All About Love’ which has already made rising appearances in soul charts in U.S.A. and the U.K.The music is sometimes, staggering, witness the sax solo in “Sunrise to Sunset” over a spacious electric piano and fantabulous chords changes. Yvonne wrote the lyrics to the song working with DC Jazz (David Clay). “Dreams” is a beautiful song of loss and reflection exhibiting Yvonne voice quality at the very best. “After the Sun Goes Down” is a lovely song with Yvonne caressing the listener’s ears.

Not on the CD, but also check out “Dark Blue” (Lyrics by Dave Wilson) where Yvonne sings notes which come from a dark place somewhere inside.

She is a prolific songwriter, writing and arranging all her own backing tracks and possesses a voice which wrenches emotion from your heart. We hear a soul which, is drenched in emotion, love, pain, joy, loss, anger and commitment. A commitment to deliver nothing less than 100%.

This is a voice which has been honed by experience not copied note for note from a favourite singer. We hear a voice, a sultry voice, which solidly and soulfully delivers some great songs.

There’s a great “feelgood” affect in much of her work. Listening to her sing, it’s not difficult to imagine yourself on a sun-soaked beach in Brazil or at other times sipping cocktails with a beautiful partner and gazing into the blazing sunset. If you like your soul, smooth, sultry and sexy a copy of this CD is a must for your collection.
As Yvonne says “I Love this Musical Journey I am on. Long may it last, God willing

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Gary Fuston
Music composer producer, internet radio dj host and music promoter.
Gary Fuston has been involved with music practically most of his life from the time he laid hands on the piano keys as a child growing up until the time he joined the school band playing drums and percussion through graduating from high school. During the last years of high school Gary was also playing guitar with a group that was formed by friends that was called the T.O.C. Band.

During the time Gary was a member of the T.O.C. Band group (1979-1982) he was presented with an art scholarship to attend the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma as a art major and also became a member of the USAO jazz band playing guitar.

Over the years Gary continued being involved with music production and has established his self as a music writer, artist, producer and composer and now currently DJ host a internet radio show on GHP RADIO. Gary Fuston has released CD’s “The Best Of G. Fuston”2003, “Unwind”2004, “Octave Motives”2011, and CD single’s “Cake & Cream”2012, Rhythm Breeze, Get Me Started, & Gruv Zone Club-Mix,2013.

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Walter Taylor
Walter Taylor III: BIOGRAPHY
Oklahoma City born, Kansas City reared… a self-taught street player. Walter Taylor III, AKA, “The Doctor” is a producer, arranger, drummer and vocalist with many noteworthy beginnings dating back to the early 70’s.

Young, talented and ambitious, Taylor first emerged on the blues scene, and migrates into funk and soul bands, The Uptown Syndicate and Jokers Y-ild, gaining him the essential elements need to form his own trademark sound.

In 1985 Taylor joined forces with Maurice Johnson, David Carter Jr., and Tre’ Balfour, and would become the After Five Jazz Band. Considered the young lions of jazz, After Five was on the forefront of contemporary jazz and highly respected. Taylor would produce the band’s only release ‘Expressions, eventually leading to a distribution deal with Warlock Records, NYC. Having opened for several major world-class recording artists, After Five soon became the talk around the touring circuit, featured on BET’s Jazz Central, The Weather Channel, Art Good’s JazzTrax, Jazz Times Magazine, and more. The group would disband in 1993.

Taylor would debut his solo offering in 2004, Down on Deuce’ with The Bisquithead All-Stars, moving on with several successes, having directed, recorded, backed up, and produced several productions, Introducing his R&B Funk Band, Soul Skhool and TaylorMadeJazz in 2009. A recipient of the prestigious 2010 Charlie Christian Music award, and percussionist for the 2012 award winning musical, ‘Soul on Fire’ starring, Shirley Murdock and playwright Tyrone Stanley.

Taylor can be heard on several recordings including Jazz guitarist Maurice Johnson’s debut CD ‘Tonight, 2010, and 2013 Peace, Love & Jazz, Carl V. Moore’, Mercy and Garrett ‘Big G’ Jacobson’s 2011 release “In Person” Currently, Walter Taylor is in the studio working on his long overdue release, ”What’s Happening”

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Carl V. Moore
Born into a musical family, Carl began as a page-turner for Mary McDonald-Moore. My mother! A house filled with music, there was always something playing, along with singing and the radio all at once. This was the basis for a lifetime of varied musical curiosity and experience. Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz led to a turning point study with Dr. B. Reagon at the Smithsonian Institute.

Eager to learn more by experience, Carl toured the US & Canada and opened for a long list of headliners. Just a few: Cool & the Gang, WAR, Confunkshun.

At the same time there was the opportunity to record with Rev. James Cleveland on the Grammy nominated “No ways Tired” album.

Five years in Japan proved to be very fruitful as Carl shared the stage with Phyllis Hyman, Janet Jackson, Chuck Berry, and Paul Jackson Sr. and was mentored by Bobby Watson.

The fusion of Jazz & Gospel has always been dream in the back of my mind…until now! My formative years were spent in a time when it was a struggle to get drums in the church without being thought ‘sinful’.

All that has changed now and the dream is within reach! Not just ‘smooth-jazz’ but bebop and swing with lyrics from the heart of conviction. Carl resides in Okc now and reaches out to the world through the internet.