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Special EFX All Stars

October 12      8:00 pm

Chieli Minucci’s seminal contemporary jazz super group Special EFX marks their 35th year of recording and touring in 2019 with the release of Deep As The Night, his 29th studio recording. The group has maintained a distinctive new and original sound that incorporates world elements fused with energetic and memorable guitar lines. Chieli has recorded and performed with some of pop music’s biggest: Celine Dion, Lou Reed, Lionel Richie, and many others. Honored with a Grammy nomination for EFX’s “Modern Manners,” Chieli won 3 Emmys, including 10 nominations for his television composing – Guiding Light, American Idol, Good Morning America, and soundtracks contributions for No Country For Old Men, Bowfinger, others.

Karen Briggs, also known as the “Lady in Red,” is an American violinist. Born in Manhattan to a family of musicians, Briggs took up the violin at age 12 and committed to playing professionally at age 15. Briggs joined the Virginia Symphony Orchestra while still in college, but grew discontented with performing classical music and left the orchestra after four years. Since then, she has performed predominantly in the jazz and contemporary instrumental genres. Best known for spending thirteen years on tour with contemporary instrumental musician Yanni, Briggs received the “Lady in Red” moniker while featuring as a soloist on Yanni’s Live at the Acropolis tour. After parting with Yanni in 2004, she toured with other groups including the short-lived jazz fusion group Vertú. Briggs has performed at such locations as Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and has performed or collaborated with Dave Grusin, Diana Ross, the Wu Tang Clan, En Vogue, and Chaka Khan.

Keyboardist Lao Tizer is one of today’s rising stars of the world-fusion genre. Tizer’s original music has spurred comparisons of a modern twist to the 1970s and early 1980s heyday of jazz fusion, when trailblazing ensembles like Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report set the aesthetic standard. Lao’s music has a multi-genre, multi-national appeal and his group, The Lao Tizer Band, has toured the USA and the world while being nominated “Jazz Group of the Year”!  Their new 2018 CD/DVD combo release Songs From The Swinghouse has received acclaim across the industry while debuting near the top of the Billboard Jazz Album Chart!

Saxophonist Eric Marienthal started his professional career in 1980 with famed New Orleans trumpeter Al Hirt. After returning to Los Angeles, Eric became a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band. He recorded six albums with that band and two of them won Grammy Awards. Six of the songs that Marienthal has recorded have made it to the top 10 of the National Contemporary Jazz Radio Charts and two have made it to No. 1. His Oasis album hit the top 5 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. Shortly after that, he was voted one of the year’s “Favorite Alto Sax Players” in Jazziz Magazine‘s Readers’ Poll. Marienthal has also written instructional books, including Comprehensive Jazz Studies & Exercises, The Ultimate Jazz Play Along, and The Music of Eric Marienthal and instructional videos, including Play Sax From Day One, Modern Sax and Tricks of the Trade.

Gerald Veasley – Musician. Educator. Curator. Gerald Veasley’s life as a creative professional is clearly multifaceted. Indeed, he wears various “hats” yet he is motivated by a singular purpose: to translate his joy of music to the world, music without boundaries… Gerald Veasley’s musical odyssey has taken him to the top of the contemporary music world as a bassist, bandleader, composer, producer, educator, and curator. His performance as a six-string bassist has been top shelf, as his extensive body of work attests. Veasley has recorded or performed with many of the world’s top artists in Jazz, R&B and Gospel: Kirk Whalum, Will Downing, Chuck Loeb, Maysa, Nnenna Freelon, Special EFX, Pieces of a Dream, McCoy Tyner, The Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Gerald Levert, Teddy Pendergrass, Philip Bailey, the Dixie Hummingbirds, John Blake, Odean Pope and Pat Martino.