Charleston For You

Charleston For You by Lisa Kirchner Lisa Kirchner performs a broad repertoire in several languages, including jazz standards, French and Brazilian music, contemporary classical art songs, and her own music and lyrics in several genres. She has appeared at Foxwoods Casino, Ryles Jazz Club, Iridium, Birdland, Maxim’s, and numerous other clubs in New York City and beyond. The invited singer to Gracie Mansion, she has performed at the White House, Harvard University, and the Harvard Club. On NBC’s Another World, she sang her own songs on camera. She has appeared in lead and featured roles on Broadway, and in numerous off, and off-off Broadway and regional productions, on BRAVO Cable and on WNET. Kirchner’s four previous albums have garnered critical and professional praise airing internationally.

Galt MacDermot, composer and pianist, was inducted into the 2009 Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. He won two Grammy Awards for African Waltz, Best Score from an Original Cast Album for Hair, and the ASCAP R&B Award. He is composer of Hair, Isabel’s a Jezebel, Two Gentlemen of Verona (Tony and Drama Desk Awards,) Dude, Via Galactica, The Human Comedy, ballet scores, chamber and orchestral music, and music for plays, band repertory and opera. His film soundtracks include, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Rhinoceros, and Mistress, and his Coffee Cold may be heard in The Thomas Crown Affair. His music, sampled by Busta Rhymes, and other hip hop artists, is performed and recorded by his group, New Pulse Band.

Mark Berman has performed with Aretha Franklin, Blood Sweat & Tears, Carole King, Gladys Knight, Hugh Jackman, Illinois Jacquet, Jackie McLean, Buster Poindexter, Clark Terry, Helen Reddy, Jennifer Holliday, Phil Ramone, Chita Rivera, and Eartha Kitt, among others. He conducted Rent, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and Blood Brothers on Broadway, played piano in the revival of Hair, and as pianist and composer, can be heard on the HBO series Sex and the City. He has composed for Bravo, the Food Network, Nurse Jackie and other series’ and commercials, and records under his own name.

Adam Cruz, drummer and composer, is a member of the Danilo Perez Trio with Steve Wilson, David Sanchez and Edward Simon. His teachers have included his father, percussionist Ray Cruz, Kenny Washington, Louis Nash, and Victor Lewis. He has worked with the Mingus Big Band, Chick Corea, Charlie Hunter, Tom Harrell, Chris Potter, Pharaoh Sanders, John Patitucci, Paquito D’Rivera , Ray Baretto and Leon Parker among others. In 2010 he received a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music to record his debut album as a composer and leader, entitled Milestone.

Sue Evans, drummer, has played with among others, Gil Evans, Steve Kuhn, Art Farmer, Bobby Jones, George Benson, Don Sebesky, Urbie Green, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Suzanne Vega, Judy Collins, Sting, James Brown, Billy Cobham, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Sadao Watanabe, Hubert Laws, Randy Brecker, David Sanborn, Phillip Glass, Terence Blanchard, Michael Franks, Peter Paul and Mary, and Morgana King. She has appeared with The New York Pops, Brooklyn and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, and won the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Most Valuable Awards in 1984, ‘87 and ‘89.

Ron Jackson, guitarist and composer, has played jazz festivals and concerts worldwide, and New York’smost notable clubs. With five CD’s as leader, he has played with, among others, Taj Majal, Little Anthony and The Imperials, TK Blue, Jimmy McGriff, Cissy Houston, Russell Malone, Larry Coryell, Jack Wilkins, Benny Golson, Randy Weston, Ron Carter, Jaki Byard, Mulgrew Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jimmy Cobb, Rufus Reid, and Jeff “Tain” Watts. Ron performs in the band, Burning Gums, and appears on this album courtesy of Roni Music.

Walter Kuehr, bandleader and accordionist, started The Last of the International Playboys with jazz and Latin musicians Memmo Accevedo (percussion), Michael Arenella (trombone), Steve Bloom (guitar), Mark Giammario (drums), Steve Gluzband (trumpet), Craig Rivers (tenor sax, soprano sax, flute), and Jennifer Vincent (bass). Kuehr performs with his group at local clubs, and is also the founder of the Main Squeeze Orchestra, an 18-piece all-female accordion orchestra that plays a diverse repertory from German folk songs and the Beatles, to Eurythmics and Madonna.

Tommy Mandel, pianist and composer, whose, Joe’s Opera, and, Sea of Simile, were staged at La Mama and the Stuart Ostrow Musical Theater Lab, has toured with, among others, Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson, Buster Pointdexter, Dire Straits, Todd Rundgren, Mike Shrieve, Peter Wolf, Little Steven, Bryan Adams, and his own International All-Star Blues Band. He has played with Bo Diddley, Lou Christie, Paul Butterfield, and Otis Rush. Composer of music for numerous jingles, he scored soundtracks for Deadly Hero, Up Up and Away and Wunderkind. He records under his own name.

John Miller, bassist, has appeared with, among others, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Harry Connick Jr., Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Elvis Costello, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, Jose Feliciano, Aerosmith, Ray Charles, Luther Vandross, the Neville Brothers, Tommy Flanigan, Gil Evans, Nancy Wilson, Mose Allison, Tony Bennett, Woody Herman, Ornette Coleman, Paquito D’Rivera, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Tom Paxton, John Denver, Janis Ian, the New York Philharmonic, James Galway, Marilyn Horn, and Dawn Upshaw.

Phillip Namanworth has appeared with The Rondells, Dave Von Ronk, Roberta Flack, Kenny Vance, The Planotones, Peter Yarrow, Tom Chapin, and Marilyn Sokol, among others. Composer of Louis Falco’s rock ballet, Caviar, Sesame Street, Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, and Saturday Night Live, pianist for Superstar, and, The Rocky Horror Show, on Broadway, Philip scored music cues with Kenny Vance, for Hairspray, and wrote the scores for Heart of Dixie, Long Gone, Looking For an Echo and The Caroline Warmus Story. He performs currently with his band, Always Somethin.’

Paul Ostermayer has played with the Dick Goodwin Jazz Quintet, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Robben Ford, Christopher Cross, Leonard Cohen, Jennifer Warnes, the New York and Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestras, Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, the NYC Ballet Orchestra, Bob Hope, Danny Thomas, Rodney Dangerfield, Bette Midler, Patti Page, Rich Little, Joel Grey, The Temptations, Lou Rawls, Ben Vereen, Cab Calloway, Doc Severinsen, Savion Glover, Nancy Wilson, Rita Moreno, Marilyn McCoo, and Queen Latifah among others. He also leads the Paul Ostermayer Quintet.

Lonnie Plaxico, bassist, and composer, was in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers for eleven years. He is musical director and featured bassist for Cassandra Wilson, and has played with Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon Wynton Marsalis, Sonny Stitt, David Murray, Stanley Turrentine, Abbey Lincoln, Slide Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Branford Marsalis, Mulgrew Miller, Clark Terry, David “Fat Head” Newman, Greg Osby, Cyndi Lauper, Dianne Reeves, Bill Cosby, and Ravi Coltrane among others. He performed on the soundtracks for School Daze, and Love Jones, and records under his own name.

James Weidman, pianist and composer has appeared with Abbey Lincoln, Kevin Mahogany, Joe Lovano, Woody Herman, Max Roach, Archie Schepp, Jay Hoggard, Cecil Payne, Sonny Stitt, Bobby Watson, Gloria Lynn, Dakota Stayton, Cassandra Wilson, Kevin Mahogany and with Steve Coleman’s Spirit Of Life Ensemble. He co-led the Afro-Caribbean jazz quartet Taja with saxophonist TK Blue. Weidman teaches at William Paterson University, and is arranging a project called, The Black Spirituals, for the UMO Jazz Orchestra in Finland. He records under his own name as leader.