Monday, January 3, 2011




Thursday, April 22, 2010

May 2010 Guests

May 5 - Tammy Hall, Pianist/Composer
May 12 - Elizabeth Geyer, Singer/Songwriter
May 19 - Denise Johnson, Drummer/Composer
May 26 - Frank Gaskin (Franky The Genius) - Bass, Guitar, Composer

April 2010 Guests

3-31-10 Ava Lemert has a passionate sound, overflowing with sensuous soul. Ava is many artists in one: a supple singer, prolific lyricist/songwriter, saxophonist and she plays other instruments as well. Ava's singing voice possesses a range and style that defies comparison or definition, it can be broad and powerful at times, palpably delicate and vulnerable at others. Some have drawn likenesses to Teena Marie, Gladys Knight, Mary J Blige and Alicia Keys. Ava's saxophone sings, moans and wails, like Candy Dulfer, Stan Getz, Jr. Walker and Gato Barbieri. From My Soul is Ava Lemert's debut CD. Website:

4-7-10 DJ Kirkland - Denise José (Yo-say) Kirkland was born on December 21, in Washington, D.C. She attended high school in Florence, S.C., where she performed in plays and musical theatre. She was a cheerleader and sang in school and church choirs. She took ballet, jazz and modern dance classes and studied piano. Her favorite character to play is Jackie “Moms” Mabley. She is creating a role for Ma Rainey Vinvent Kee’s musical “Sonny’s Place”. Denise began singing, professionally at 30. Her influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Abbey Lincoln, Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and other great jazz legends. In 2006, she moved from Philadelphia to Atlanta, where she sings in jazz and blues clubs, restaurants and with an R&B band. She is a songwriter and wrote lyrics and music for nine songs on her debut CD “Progressive Groove”, now in production. She writes jazz, blues, R&B, Southern soul, gospel and country songs for other artists! DJ say, “No matter what your obstacles, you have the will or can learn the skills necessary to create your own beautiful quality of life.” Website:

4-14-10 Terri Lyne Carrington was born in 1965 in Medford, MA. She is a drummer, composer, producer and clinician. After studying under full scholarship at Berklee, with the encouragement of her mentor, Jack DeJohnette, Terri Lyne moved to New York, in 1983. For 5 years, she was a much in-demand musician, working with James Moody, Lester Bowie, Pharaoh Sanders, and others. In the late 80's she relocated to Los Angeles, where she gained recognition on late night TV as the house drummer for the "Arsenio Hall Show," then again in the late 90's as the drummer on the Quincy Jones late night TV show, "VIBE," hosted by Sinbad.

In 1989, Ms. Carrington released a Grammy nominated debut CD entitled "Real Life Story," which featured Carlos Santana, Grover Washington Jr., Dianne Reeves, Wayne Shorter, Patrice Rushen, Gerald Albright, John Scofield, Robert Irving III, Greg Osby, Don Alias and Hiram Bullock. Other solo CDs include 2002’s "Jazz is a Spirit," which features Herbie Hancock, Gary Thomas, Wallace Roney, Terence Blanchard, Kevin Eubanks, and Bob Hurst, and 2004's "Structure," a cooperative group which features Adam Rogers, Jimmy Haslip and Greg Osby. Both CDs were released on the Europe-based ACT Music label, and enjoyed considerable media attention and critical acclaim in the European and Japanese markets.

After an extensive touring and recording career of over 20 years with luminaries like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, David Sanborn, Joe Sample, Cassandra Wilson and others, Terri Lyne Carrington returned to Boston to join the faculty at Berklee College of Music, where she received an honorary doctorate in 2003. Terri Lyne was nominated for a Grammy award in 1990, for Best Contemporary Jazz album and in 2009, she returned with "More To Say,” on the KOCH Entertainment label. Joining her on the meticulously produced project is an impressive all-star cast, including George Duke, Everette Harp, Kirk Whalum, Jimmy Haslip, Christian McBride, Danilo Perez, Patrice Rushen, and legendary vocalists Nancy Wilson and Les McCann.

4-21-10 KJ Denhert is a unique artist, singer, guitarist and songwriter who calls her music Urban Folk and Jazz. Her voice is powerful, her lyrics full of intelligent insight, and her musicianship is impeccable. Her eclectic yet unified performances reach out to many different types of audiences without compromising her music and beliefs. She is heard at her best on her most recent recording, Lucky 7 and is known to be especially good live. She performs the unusual feat of being both highly individual and quite accessible.

In the 1980s, KJ Denhert toured as the lead guitarist and occasional vocalist with an all-female band called Fire, playing rock and top-40 music throughout the US, Canada and Europe. After the group ran its course, she worked at a day job while continuing to write and play music. While working in Cleveland as a financial analyst, she started the Mother Cyclone label and made her first recording. Moving home to New York in 1997, she formed the NY Unit, a group that she still performs with. “I look for players who have an ability to groove and have lots of drama in their playing. Lucky 7 (2007) was KJ Denhert’s seventh recording. It has acoustic guitar, r&b and her style of groove, reflecting her greatest influences, Sergio Mendes, Steely Dan and James Taylor. Besides running her own band and label, KJ has performed at Umbria Jazz and other festivals and clubs around the world. She has a residency at The 55 Bar in NYC. She's won several songwriting contests including Kerrville New Folk Song Contest in 2006 for "Private Angel" and the Mountain Stage Newsong Contest in 2005 for "Little Mary". Other recordings are Another Year Gone By and Live that won the 2006 Independent Music Award for Best Live Performance. Website:

Gloria DeNard

4-28-10 Gloria DeNard, Founder of Manna House was born October 11, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, NY. She began her musical studies with her mother at age 3. She is an alumna of the Julliard School, where she majored in voice and piano minor. Though she concentrated on European Classical Music, her love of Jazz evolved, when she understood that Jazz is the classical voice of America.

During her vast career, Gloria sang commercial jingles; wrote and performed for radio and television; and traveled to Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and throughout the U.S.A., including Alaska and Hawaii. She performed at popular clubs in New York and on Broadway. Currently, she continues to perform in church and in concert as a soloist. She presents jazz and classical concerts and musical theatre in New York and New Jersey. Her poetry is published by Random House and Prentice-Hall in compilations. She continues to perform and has recorded 3 CDs: All Mine for You includes all of her own compositions, Soul Cool and "Elegantly Ellington". Two volumes of poetry written by members of a Manna House Poetry Workshops were published by Random House and Prentice Hall.

DeNard is a member of United Service Organization for the Arts, ASCAP, Council on the Economic Development and Empowerment of Black People, Concerned Citizens for the Arts, National Jazz Service Organization, International Women of Jazz, Neighborhood Based Alliance and Coalition of Community Schools of the Arts. Manna House Jazz