Nilson Matta • Klaus Mueller • Errol Ince • Sean Thomas • Theron Shaw • Tamara Castañeda
Blue Culture • Jonathan Scales • Vaughnette Bigford • Caroline Mair • Scrunters Pan Groove

Nilson MattaNilson Matta
Nilson Matta has long been considered one of Brazil's best bass players. Since his arrival in New York 1985 he has become the first call of many of the top US musicians. Nilson studied bass at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) with Sandrino Santoro, Brazil's premier classical bass player. While in Brazil he played with such top artists as João Gilberto, Hermeto Pascoal, Chico Buarque de Holanda, Nana Caymmi, João Bosco, Johnny Alf, Nivaldo Ornellas, MPB-4, Helio Delmiro, Luis Bonfa, and many others.

In 1983 Nilson was invited to Japan to perform with singer Lisa Ono. Together they spent a year promoting Brazilian music. While with drummer Pascoal Meirelles in 1984, Nilson founded the fusion band "Cama De Gato."

Nilson moved to New York City in 1985. Since that time he has performed and recorded with such renowned artists as Joe Henderson, Paquito D'Rivera, Slide Hampton, Herbie Mann, Mark Murphy, Oscar Castro Neves, Don Friedman, Paul Winter, Claudio Roditi, Gato Barbieri, Yo Yo Ma, Kenny Barron and many others.

Five years after his move to the States, he co-founded an extraordinary quintet, The African Brazilian Connection, with pianist Don Pullen. This group released three critically acclaimed CDs for Blue Note Records: Kele Mou Bana, Ode to Life and Live at Montreux Jazz Festival.

In 1993 Nilson returned to Brazil to record the CD, "The Magic" with the great composer and guitarist Luis Bonfa. Along with fellow Brazilians, Romero Lubambo and Duduka da Fonseca, Nilson founded Trio da Paz: one of the foremost Brazilian Jazz groups in the world. The trio has recorded five CDs; Brazil from the Inside, Black Orpheus, Partido Out, Café and Somewhere. Their third release, Partido Out, won the Jazz Journalists Association Award for The Best Brazilian Jazz Album of the Year in 2002.

From 1995 till 1998, Matta worked extensively with four time Grammy Award winning saxophonist Joe Henderson, recording on the Grammy award winning 1997 "Joe Henderson Big Band" (Verve Records). A few years later, he recorded his first record as a leader, "Encontros" (2000). Included on this CD was harmonica player Hendrik Murkens. With jazz pianist Kenny Barron he recorded a CD "Canta Brasil" and toured in Europe and USA.

In 2003 and 2004 he recorded 2 CDs with the virtuoso cellist Yo Yo Ma "Obrigado Brasil" Grammy award 2003 and "Live at Zankel Hall" (Carnegie Hall) also a Grammy award 2004. Recently performed on Nancy Wilson's CD "Turned to Blue" for MCG Jazz and with tenor sax player George Garzone for Venus Records in Japan. In September 2006, Nilson Matta released a CD for Blue Toucan Music, "Nilson Matta & Friends - Walking With My Bass" It's an autobiography project with a wide range of guests.

Recent Recordings: Walking With My Bass.
Music Sample: Bossa for Copacabana

Klaus MuellerKlaus Mueller
Klaus Mueller was born in Germany and raised in Japan, Chile and Brazil. Mueller returned to Germany in 1992 to study piano at the Academy of Music Stuttgart. In 1997 he finished his studies with honorary accomplishments in jazz and popular music. He later made his move to New York City in 1998 when he was offered a full scholarship to complete his studies at the New School and graduated in 2000. Mueller was rapidly distinguished with favorable attention as a pianist which led him to work with artists such as Nilson Matta, Kenny Garrett and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Portinho, Claudio Roditi, to name a few.

Mueller has not only been regarded as a notable pianist, but also arranger. In 2003 his talent as an arranger was recognized and he was asked to arrange for jazz piano legend Herbie Hancock. The orchestral arrangements were for the "Gershwin's World" tour in collaboration with Robert Sadin and performed by the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, and many other orchestras across the world., Klaus' broad range of musical talents have firmly established his presence and he continues to involve himself in challenging and exciting projects.

Recent Recordings: Vinho do Porto (with Portinho Trio) .
Music Sample: Nature of a Question

Errol InceErrol Ince
The iconic Errol Ince has been making music for well over 50 years: a life that has taken him across every continent, amassing a sterling record of achievement and the deserved status as elder statesman of Caribbean music. It is a journey that had its beginnings on Coffee Street, San Fernando, through his early teens spent at the Tacarigua Orphange and onto the musical world. At age 15, armed with a horn given to him by trumpeter Kenrick Gaskin (another Tacarigua Orphanage resident), Ince ventured into Port of Spain and quickly immersed himself into its musical life. In August 1955 he joined the Bob Wilson Big Band and moved on that very year to Cyril Ramdeo Orchestra. In 1956 he signed up with the hugely popular Fitz Vaughn Bryan.By 1958 he joined the Choy Aming Orchestra at the popular Penthouse night club where he spent a year, followed by a stint with the Johnny Gomez Orchestra (1958-59).

Leaving Gomez at the ripe age of 19, Ince formed his first band, Errol Ince Musicmakers. By the end of 1958, the band had gained a huge following at the popular dancehalls nationwide and Ince's popularity led the top Carnival bandleader of the period, Irwin McWilliams, to sign him up to provide road music for his mas' band for Carnival 1960 and 1961. By the end of Carnival 1961, London called. As Ince tells it: "A friend of mine named Bob Taylor and I had gone to Empire Theatre on Frederick Street. While at the cinema, we met up with another friend, George Brathwaite. And the way George spoke about England, I decided that's where I wanted to go."

Ince landed in Plymouth in 1961 without a trumpet and broke. Michael Quammie, a Trinidadian Londoner, who was there at the station to meet someone else, "bumped into me, and took me home to stay with him and his wife." Quammie also took the new arrival to hear the big bands around town, rented Ince's first horn in the UK and saw him to audition after audition and, through help wanted leads in the musical bible, Melody Makers.

One such ad sought musicians for The 1st Batallion Fuserliere, Britain's army band. Armed with his first album for Columbia Records which he had recorded a few years earlier (Dance Trinidad, and the popular, "Gaza Strip," written by Ince, but credited to Cecil Fitt), he signed up and spent exactly "one year, 363 days" with the British military. Out of the military, Ince continued to practice 18 hours a day and eventually landed a regular spot on London's Summer Concert series alongside the likes of Cliff Richards, The Tornadoes and Rolph Harris. It was 1963, and he also auditioned for popular UK bandleader Ken McIntosh. "He didn't need a trumpet player," Ince recalled, "but he never forgot me."

Appearing regularly on the London scene, by 1968 Ince did get a call from McIntosh to join his band as lead trumpet. It signaled the start of a long and illustrious period on the London scene voted Best Trumpet Player in Europe five consecutive years (1968 to 1972) and performing alongside the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Shirley Bassey and Maynard Ferguson. He visited New York in 1976 and joined the Tommy Dorsey and later Lionel Hampton orchestras. Ince formed the New York incarnation of Errol Ince Musicmakers and as bandleader/arranger collaborated with the likes of The Mighty Sparrow, Calypso Rose, Black Stalin, Baron, Melody, Swallow and just about every major calypso star. Along the way he penned the immortal "Sweet TnT" for young Natasha Wilson and "Sweet Soca Man" for Baron.

Ince has toured extensively as arranger/bandleader with The Mighty Sparrow and has been musical director at several calypso tents during the Trinidad Carnival season and continues to write, arrange and perform worldwide. At 70 he shows no signs of slowing down and Caribbean music is that much better for it.

Recent Recordings: No current published recordings .
Website: No Available website
Music Sample: Name inserted here

Sean ThomasSean Thomas

Musician and educator, Sean is the visionary behind the Jazz Artisits on the Greens series. A graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, he had the opportunity to study and perform with Jazz Masters—Tom Mc Intosh, Ron Carter, Thelonious Monk Jnr., Barry Harris, Max Roach, Lewis Nash and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. He toured India and Thailand with the Thelonious Monk Jazz Ensemble under the direction of distinguished Jazz Masters: Carl Atkins Thelonious Monk Jnr., Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter and performed both drums and steel pans at the Snowmass Jazz Festival in Aspen Colorado.

Thomas returned to his native Trinidad and began teaching in schools and also offered private tuition. In 1994 and 2002, he did the musical arrangement for his alma mater, St. Augustine Senior Comprehensive School, for the Schools National Panorama Competition (an island wide steelpan competition for schools). The school placed first and second respectively. He also did the musical arrangement for Moods Steel Orchestra for the National Conventional Steelpan (Small Band Category) Competition. Moods Steel Orchestra was declared the National Panorama Champions in their category for 1994.

Thomas continued to teach and perform until in 1999 he decided to challenge himself by producing and performing a jazz concert, "In the Realm of Masters" featuring The Ruiz Brothers. This was indeed a challenging and exciting year for Thomas as during that very year he won the Best Instrumental Category at 'BET Jazz Discovery'. To quote reporter Angela Pidduck, Trinidad Newsday, Sunday 28 July 2002, "Thomas sent a recorded copy of his music to 'BET - Jazz Discovery'. They liked one of the pieces on that tape and showcased that recording with a group selected from another part of the world, before a panel of judges who were shown a television video clip around Christmas 1999, That was my Christmas gift. I was the 'BET - Jazz Discovery' winner for that week".

Annually, he conducts a 'Jazz Artist Workshop' for musicians that has featured local Jazz Fusion pianist Clive "Zanda" Alexander. Patterned after a workshop conducted in Holland by past tutor and mentor Dr. Barry Harris, Thomas introduced the steelpan to the workshop for the very first time.

When Thomas is not teaching he entertains audiences both locally and abroad having performed at the Barbados Jazz Festival with one of Trinidad's Jazz Fusion guitarists Michael Boothman and at the St. Lucia and Grenada Jazz Festivals with St. Lucia's Ronald "Boo" Hinkson in 2000. The Sean Thomas Quartet featuring Grant Langford on Tenor Saxophone (U.S.A.) performed in 2003 at the Grenada Spice Jazz Festival and at Trinidad's "Jazz Artists on the Greens".

His passion and drive to spread the music has forced him to form a company S.T. Jazz Incorporated, based in Trinidad to promote and educate both current and upcoming musicians about Jazz Music. As musical director, Thomas believes that the company will help to strengthen and broaden the musicians' knowledge via its workshops, nightly performances and jam sessions.

Recent Recordings: No current published recordings .
Website: S.T. Jazz
Music Sample: Misty


Theron ShawTheron Shaw
Guitarist composer and arranger Theron "Terry" Shaw consistently creates his music through persistent hard work and dedication. He has tapped into his own unique method of mastery, and through his stylistic adaptability, can play several genres of music.

Shaw's career as a guitarist began at an early age. At eleven years old, he began the study of the instrument that has become his lifelong dedication, only to be rivaled by his passion for the fine arts, of which acrylic, watercolour and pastels are his favourites. Upon completion of his early studies, he went on to attend Howard University, where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Therapy Cum Laude in 1994. Additionally, he also completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from The University of The West Indies, St Augustine.

Today, Terry is one of the more accomplished and in demand players on the local music scene. His credits include performances and recordings with Lord Pretender, and The Roaring Lion throughout England in the summer of 1991, to arranging and performing with the Kaiso Jazz Workshop with Michael Tobas throughout the Caribbean. Recording credits include French vocalist Philippe Lavil, and pannist Liam Teague. Theron Shaw as an accompanist has shared the stage with The Mighty Sparrow, Cubans Bobby Carcasses and Ernan Lopez Nussa, Jeff Haynes, Tony Mason, Arturo Tappin, David Rudder, Andy Narell, Andre Tanker, Len Boogsie Sharpe, Ella Andel, Mavis John, The Noble Douglas Dance Company, and The Trinidad Theatre Workshop.

On his debut CD release "The Sojourn", Terry used the death of his sister to cancer as a catalyst for the compositions and arrangements. With local compositions by Lord Shorty (Garfield Blackman), and David Rudder, Theron's arrangements reinterpreted and redefined boundaries of local compositions. Reviewing for The Trinidad Express on April 14th 2003, columnist Terry Joseph enthuses that "for 'Adrenalin City', Shaw relieves the piece of all its inherent hyperactive suggestion, bringing a punch a crème black cake sweetness to the work."

Recent Recordings: The Sojourn, Right Here, Right Now.
Music Sample: Mauvais Langue

Jon ScalesJonathan Scales
"...joyously inventive..." is how Jazz Times describes the work of Asheville-based steel drummer Jonathan Scales. Mixing a traditional Caribbean instrument with a contemporary jazz attitude, Jonathan Scales' music pushes the steel pan into the realms of funk, rock, and even bluegrass while still digging into the roots of traditional world sounds such as reggae and latin. His intricate, instrumental writing combines with metric complexities to weave seamlessly between musical styles. The music was introduced to Jonathan with his 2007 release, One-Track Mind, which brought him acclaim from steady regional press, consistent radio airplay, and a jammed schedule of live performances ranging from small clubs to packed theaters. This year ushered in Jonathan Scales' 2nd studio release Plot/Scheme, featuring drum guru Jeff Sipe & Grammy award winning sax man Jeff Coffin.
Recent Recordings: One-Track Mind, Plot/Scheme.
Music Sample: Do Not Panic

Tamara CastenedaTamara Castañeda
A graduate in piano and percussion instruments from the prestigious Amadeo Roldan Music Conservatory in Havana, popular Cuban musician, 27 year-old Tamara Castañeda is now considered Cuba's first-lady of the Vibraphone and a virtuoso of the instrument.

After many years of research and self-teaching, Tamara emerged as a talented female musician, who had chosen as her instrument of choice - the vibraphone. This is an instrument that is considered totally non-traditional on the Cuban Jazz scene.

Tamara's Jazz career began in 1997, when she performed as percussionist with american pianist Bob Chilson and trumpeter, Roy Hargrove at the Jazz Plaza festival. By December 1998, playing the vibraphone, she had established the Tamara Castaneda group, and after performances at a series of concerts and events, including 'The International New Festival of Latin American Cinema" and The International Jazz Plaza Festival", she was in June 2001 listed as a member of the professional Catalogue of the Cuban National Center of Concert Music. In December 2001 she appeared at the "Jojazz Contest", and won the Grand Prize in an event adjudicated by a prestigious panel, headed by the master, Chucho Valdés.

In 2002, she first appeared at "La Zorra y El Cuervo Club", traditional seat of jazz music in Havana, where she began her work in traditional Jazz, with the group 'Jazz Generation'. That same year she had her first foreign experience, when she was invited by Chucho Valdes to accompany him at the St. Marteen Jazz Festival. There, she shared the playbill with jazz musicians like Hernan Lopez Nuza, Mayra Caridad Valdes, Sexto Sentido and Changuito, among others. Following her St. Marteen exposure, she opened next to Chucho Valdés at the International Jazz Plaza Festival 2002 in Havana, where she performed the world premiere of the "Chorinho" theme with north-american guitarist, Larry Coryell - this performance was deemed by the critics to be "the most amazing moment on the inaugural day of the festival.

Since then she has shared the Cuban Jazz scene with such greats as Chucho Valdés, Julio Barreto, Carlos Emilio, Jorge Kings, Jorge Luis Chicoy and the north-american Steve Coleman. In 2008, Tamara Castañeda completed her first record, the CD "Saboreando", a theme by Joaquin Betancourt with Sello Colibrí. This recording, which is performed by her group includes pieces that feature several famous Cuban musicians including Chucho Valdes and Alexis Bosh (piano), Jorge Luis Chicoy (electrical guitar), Oliver Valdes (drums) and Julio Register (trumpet) and demonstrates the recognition by each and all of these great celebrities of the work of this novel musician.

Recent Recordings: Saboreando.
Music Sample: Caribe

Blue CultureBlue Culture
Blue Culture delivers dynamic blends of Jazz, Calypso, Funk, and other contemporary music genres. Since 2002, Blue Culture, led by the band's drummer, Karl Doyle, has been aligning itself with other local and regional, musical talents in an effort to establish itself not only as a performing group, but as the main operating entity of the Blue Culture Arts Organization (Co. Ltd.) which has been dedicated to the development of the region's youth in the performing and visual arts.

Focusing on the creation of an original sound, and securing a spot in the Caribbean Contemporary Jazz fraternity has been the band's chief focus. By commanding the stage at events such as the Taste T&T Culinary Festival 2008, the United Nations' Freedom Rain concert for Human Rights, and various other performance spots found in Woodbrook, perhaps Trinidad's premiere district for premium night-life, the band has managed to make the 'Trinbagonian' jazz community aware of its collective offerings.

For 2009, Blue Culture is gearing toward the 6th edition of its annual artistic production, and the release of an album featuring original compositions and vivid arragements to various jazz standards and contemporary favourites.

Recent Recordings: The Band The Launch The Event.
Music Sample: My Wakeup Call

Vaughnette BigfordVaughnette Bigford
Since her debut in 2004, Vaughnette's rich, earthy jazz vocals have been making audiences sit up and take notice; and she's been developing quite a fan club, too! She is recognised for her haunting delivery of some of the most timeless jazz standards and confesses that when she discovered jazz, she knew she had found a "home".

Hailing from South Trinidad, Vaughnette's professional entry onto the jazz circuit came at the 2004 Steelpan & Jazz Festival (formerly Pan Royale) as guest vocalist with Len "Boogsie" Sharpe and Phase II Pan Groove. For three consecutive years she graced the stage at the San Fernando Jazz Festival, appearing with Carlton Alexander's Coalpot Band. Also at that Festival, audiences would have been treated to her leading the chorus line for world-renowned Botswanan flugel horn player, Socca Moruakgomo.

Vaughnette has trained and continues to perfect her craft with some of the finest local and foreign vocal coaches and musicians. The list includes Cristiana Balbosa and Jessel Murray (Trinidad), Howard Rees (Toronto), jazz legend Dr. Barry Harris, Vinx De John Parrette (Georgia) Hank Jones and vocalist Sheila Jordan. Closer to home, Vaughnette has worked with some of Trinidad and Tobago's most celebrated jazz musicians: Carlton Zanda, Theron Shaw, Raf Robertson and Ray Holman. Topping her list of most noteworthy performances to date is her smoldering centre-stage solo act at the YWCA's "Sisters in Song" - a Caribbean jazz concert featuring local greats like Mavis John and Chantal Esdelle.

Vaughnette remains an active member of the US-based International Women in Jazz. She is also a student of Berkleemusic online and was one of the few Caribbean nationals to be awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music Summer Performance Program in 2008 where she was one of five finalists in the Berklee Summer Program Singers Showcase.

Recent Recordings: No recent commercial recordings.
Music Sample: Darn that Dream

Caroline MairCaroline Mair
Caroline Mair started singing opera as a student at University of Pennsylvania, where she performed frequently around campus and at Victor's (Opera) Café in Philadelphia. But when she stepped on stage for an open mic performance for the first time at Zanzibar Blue jazz club in Philadelphia (which sadly closed its doors in 2007), she knew she was in love with something entirely different.

In February 2008, Caroline made her debut on the jazz scene in Trinidad at Satchmo's, a popular jazz bar and restaurant on the booming Ariapita Avenue scene shortly after the joint opened. Her first song was "At Last," which has always been her favourite. Since then, Caroline has performed with a host of highly respected jazz musicians and performers, including Michael Boothman, Errol Ince, Ralph Davies, Gerald "Slam" Charles, Clive "Zanda" Alexander, Mervin de Gannes, and Felix Roach, and Toby Armostrong. She has sung in Trinidad, mostly in Satchmo's, Corner Bar, Coco Lounge and the Hyatt; in Philadelphia at Zanzibar Blue, and in London at Ronnie Scott's, and at the Bequai Music and Blues Festival 2009.

She's doing more than performing jazz classics though. As a new school of sound grows in Trinidad, Caroline is adding her own style, sound and intuition, integrating local and urban forms of expression and performing with fresh young faces including Blue Culture, Anthony Woodroffe Jr, Anton Blackman, and Simon Mendoza, even working on her own compositions from time to time.

Recent Recordings: No recent commercial recordings.
Website: No Website Available
Music Sample: Lover Man

Scrunter's Pan grooveScrunters Pan groove
Scrunters Pan Groove is a Traditional Steel Orchestra founded in 1974 and located in Jeffers street St James. This organization is geared towards providing a positive outlet for youth in the community through the national instrument ,the steel pan. Scrunters Steel Orchestra, since 1981 has participated in all major steel pan activities and has proved its excellence through the year and has become symbol of cultural excellence a for our community and seek to further enhance the value of the community.

This band has toured in countries like Antigua ,Grenada and St. Vincent just to name a few and has seen a wide verity of arrangers like Tommy Crichlow, Noel Skair, Len "Boogsie" Sharp, Michelle Huggins Watts, Brian bean Griffith, Steve Nevs, Duvon Stewart, Anthony G Joseph, Sceon Gomez and Ken "Professor" Philmore.

Recent Recordings: No recent commercial recordings.
Website: No Website Available
Music Sample: Labour Day Jam in Brooklyn