Born in Los Angeles in 1968, guitarist and composer Anthony Wilson is known for a body of work that moves fluidly across genres. The son of legendary jazz trumpeter and bandleader Gerald Wilson, his musical lineage has deeply influenced his creative trajectory, compositional choices, instrumental groupings, and the wide-ranging twelve album discography that blooms out of them. Along with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, Anthony makes up the touring rhythm section for Diana Krall. Anthony is a longtime friend of the Nashville Jazz Workshop, appearing in the Jazz Cave first in a weekend residency with a quartet and nonet, and more recently in a concert with the Beegie Adair Trio.
The Time Jumpers
The Time Jumpers are a GRAMMY award-winning Western Swing band composed of some of Nashville’s elite studio aces. The band first got together to jam, which evolved into a 10-year Monday night residency at Nashville’s Station Inn, moving to 3rd & Lindsley for the next 10 years! The band is one-of-a-kind, with tight arrangements, virtuoso musicianship, and an easy camaraderie that’s infectious. The current lineup includes NJW faculty member Andy Reiss on guitar along with “Ranger Doug” Green on rhythm guitar, Kenny Sears, Joe Spivey, and Larry Franklin (fiddles), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), Jeff Taylor (accordian), Brad Albin (bass), Billy Thomas (drums), and Wendy Moten (vocals). Among the illustrious past band members are Vince Gill and the late Dawn Sears, and guest artists on any given Monday can include a Who’s Who of Nashville music royalty.
Kevin Whalum grew up in Memphis in the shadow of Olivet Baptist Church, where his father served as pastor. The church, known as a magnet for great singers and musicians became a centerpiece of Kevin’s life as a youngster, creating both a religious and a musical foundation for him. A popular live and session vocalist in Nashville, Kevin appeared on several of his brother Kirk’s albums and has released two solo albums, “Timetable” and “One Life To Love.” Before moving back to Memphis with his family, Kevin was active in teaching and performing at the Nashville Jazz Workshop. His rich tone and impeccable vocal technique have wowed Nashville audiences as part of NJW’s “Jazz On The Move” series, where he has presented performances of the life and music of Nat King Cole and Billy Strayhorn.
Jeff Hamilton is one of the premier drummers of our time. A founding member of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Jeff has also been a member of the Oscar Peterson, Monty Alexander, and Gene Harris Trios and now leads his own acclaimed trio with pianist Tamir Hendelman and bassist Jon Hamar. The Trio has been a frequent visitor to the Nashville Jazz Workshop, playing to sold-out audiences and appearing at the Jazzmania gala in 2018. Jeff has also appeared at NJW with organist Akiko Tsuruga and guitarist Graham Dechter, and returns to NJW with that group on September 17th. Most recently Jeff taught an online Master Class on the art of brushwork, of which he is a master. For last year’s Jazzmania Jeff performed a stunning solo rendition of “A Night In Tunisia.” This year he returns to Jazzmania with The Jeff Hamilton Trio!
Chester Thompson has been a driving force in Nashville’s jazz scene in Nashville for over 25 years. He and his family moved to Nashville from Los Angeles, where he had a distinguished performing and recording career with artists such as Weather Report, Frank Zappa, Genesis, Phil Collins, and many others. Since coming to Nashville Chester has served on the faculty at Belmont University as well as the Nashville Jazz Workshop, where he also served on the Board. In between, he has managed to find time to tour and record with his trio and most recently, a project with former Weather Report Bandmate Alphonso Johnson. Chester’s appearances in the Jazz Cave as a leader or sideman are too numerous to count, but every performance delights!
Vocalist and music educator Donna McElroy is Professor Emeritus of Voice at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music. Before joining the Berklee faculty she was a longtime Nashville favorite, working as an arranger and background vocalist and appearing on gold and platinum releases by Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, BeBe and CeCe Winans, and Amy Grant. Donna has also made TV appearances on the Arsenio Hall Show, the Tonight Show, and the Grammy Awards. Donna is a graduate of Fisk University and was a Jubilee Singer during her time there. Donna has performed many times at the Nashville Jazz Workshop for weekend residencies, master classes, and a previous Jazzmania appearance. She was a frequent collaborator with NJW founder Lori Mechem during her time in Nashville, and more recently she co-composed and recorded the CD Fly to Forever with Lori.
Peter and Will Anderson
Peter and Will Anderson are one of the most extraordinary set of brothers performing music today. Known for their unique renditions of classic jazz songs and innovative original music, they attended Juilliard and have performed at festivals, with big bands, and with a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed jazz artists, the likes of Jimmy Cobb, Kenny Barron, Albert “Tootie” Heath, and Cecile McLorin Salvant. They have performed in 35 U.S. States, toured Japan, recorded 10 CD’s, and have been featured in Vanity Fair and The Washington Post. In 2017 they added the Jazz Cave to their tour schedule and have delighted audiences there ever since!
Jovan Quallo is an accomplished, in-demand saxophonist in Nashville’s diverse music scene. His performing career has taken him all over the world, performing with a who’s who of nationally acclaimed artists in virtually all genres. Jovan is active on the city’s jazz scene is a member of several big bands, and is in-demand as a sideman. He maintains an active teaching schedule of middle and high school woodwind students in the Nashville area. Jovan has been actively involved with the Nashville Jazz Workshop in recent years, leading a group in concert at the Jazz Cave and producing and leading a Jazz on the Move program on the life and music of Hank Mobley.
Tyler Bullock is a phenomenal pianist whose relationship with the Nashville Jazz Workshop began with Summer Jazz Camp in 2016 when he was in the eighth grade! Four years of Jazz Camp, lessons, and NJW classes later, he was leading bands and playing solo piano gigs around Nashville. Tyler led the Young Artist Ensemble at Jazzmania for two years running, performed twice in NJW’s “Jazz From Home” series during the pandemic lockdown, and has made regular appearances at Rudy’s Jazz Room. A graduate of Hume Fogg High School, Tyler begins music studies at The Julliard School this Fall.
Giovanni Rodriguez is a Nashville based Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist, born in Italy to Dominican parents. He is most often heard playing percussion or bass, and is a favorite on the Salsa and jazz scene.Giovanni is a composer, producer, arranger, educator, and works as a s ession musician. He is also bandleader of the Music City Latin Orchestra, Giovanni Rodriguez & 12 Manos and Music City Soul Breakers. Giovanni was a founding member of the Latin Jazz group El Movimiento, along with Rahsaan Barber and Imer Santiago. In 2018, Giovanni received a Grammy for his percussion work on CeCe Winans’ “Let Them Fall In Love,” which reached #1 on Billboard’s Gospel Music Chart. He has also recorded percussion on Victor Wooten’s double album titled “Swords & Stones/Words & Tones.” Giovanni has appeared in concert in the Jazz Cave and has taught an online master class at NJW.
Your Host: Kirk Whalum
Kirk Whalum is a Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist and songwriter. He toured with Whitney Houston for more than seven years and soloed on her single I Will Always Love You, the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. Kirk has recorded a series of well received solo albums and film soundtracks, with music ranging from pop to gospel, R&B, and smooth jazz. His musical accomplishments have brought him a total of 12 Grammy nominations. and a Grammy award in 2011 for Best Gospel Song (It’s What I Do, featuring Lalah Hathaway).
Though best known in the Smooth Jazz and Gospel worlds, Kirk is fluent in bebop, having began his musical studies in the jazz program at Texas Southern University with the great “Texas Tenor” Arnett Cobb as his mentor.
Kirk amoved from os Angeles to Nashville, where he lived for a number of years before returning to his native Memphis. During his time in Nashville he was very involved with the Nashville Jazz Workshop, serving on the Board of Directors, teaching master classes, and performing in the Jazz Cave.
Since returning to Memphis Kirk has been very involved with the Stax Academy and maintains an active recording and touring schedule, including an annual Christmas tour for his long term project, “The Gospel According to Jazz.” Most recently he taught an online master class for the Nashville Jazz Workshop, “Soul Workout.”
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