As a virtuoso bassist, versatile composer, and acclaimed bandleader, Marc Johnson has been a major innovator on the jazz scene for the past two decades. Born in Nebraska in 1953, Johnson took up bass at the age of 16, having already studied piano and cello. While completing his formal education in the celebrated music program at the University of North Texas, at age 19, Johnson began performing professionally with the Fort Worth Symphony. In 1977, he was on the road with the Woody Herman Band.
Don Byron (b.1958) is a U.S. composer and clarinettist. While he is considered a jazz musician, he is stylistically very adventurous, having recorded klezmer music, German lieder, and cartoon music. Byron was born on 8th November 1958 in the Bronx, New York City and was raised by his parents who were themselves musicians, his mother a pianist; his father a bass player for calypso bands. His parents raised him listening to all kinds of music, taking him on trips to the ballet and the symphony, and also exposing him to jazz such as Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis records.
Charles Lloyd (b. March 15, 1938) is an American jazz musician, playing mostly tenor saxophone along with flute and tarogato.
He started his career by playing together with Chico Hamilton and Cannonball Adderley.
In the latter half of the 60s, his own quartet with Keith Jarrett, Cecil McBee and Jack DeJohnette was one of the most popular jazz bands of the time. Their album Forest Flower is one of the best-selling jazz albums ever.
In the 70s Lloyd was mostly retired from music, but came back in the 80s after being persuaded doing so by French pianist Michel Petrucciani.
Peter Erskine (born June 5, 1954) is a jazz drummer. He was born in Somers Point, New Jersey, USA. He began playing the drums at the age of four. His professional career started in 1972 when he joined the Stan Kenton Orchestra. After three years with Kenton he joined Maynard Ferguson for two years. In 1978 he joined Weather Report, joining the legendary Jaco Pastorius to form a formidable rhythm section. After fours years and five albums with Weather Report he joined Steps Ahead.
Billy Cobham, born May 16, 1944 in Panama, is one of the world's most influential drummers, best known for his jazz fusion in the 1970s, with John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, where he pioneered a powerful style of drumming with jazz, rock and funk influences. He is the first drummer to unseat Buddy Rich in the Down Beat music polls. Cobham has played and recorded with hundreds of top musicians, including Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Larry Coryell, and Horace Silver; and is famous for his explosive, fast, spectacular playing.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, January 8th, 1960, to a mother who loved music and a father who played the piano as a hobby, Dave started playing drums around the age of 8. During his high school years he received many awards from the NAJE (National Association of Jazz Educators) for his outstanding performances in his high school's competition winning jazz band, and was involved with numerous local groups from a very early age while studying with St.
Joseph Salvatore Lovano was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 29, 1952 and grew up in a very musical household. His dad, Tony, aka Big T, was a barber by day and a big-toned tenor player at night. "Big T," along with his brothers Nick and Joe, other tenor players, and Carl, a bebop trumpeter, made sure Joe's exposure to Jazz and the saxophone were early and constant. Joe's mom, Josephine, and her sister Rose were serious listeners, as well.
Kenny Garrett is a jazz saxophonist. He was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1960. His father was a tenor saxophonist. Kenny's career took off when he joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1978, then led by Duke's son, Mercer Ellington. Three years later he played in the Mel Lewis Orchestra (playing the music of Thad Jones) and also the Dannie Richmond Quartet (focusing on Charles Mingus's music). In 1984 he earned a shot at his first album as a band leader, "Introducing Kenny Garrett". From there, his career has exploded into 11 albums (as a leader) and numerous grammy nominations.
Born 27 May 1948, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, Copland was a part of the vibrant music scene in Philadelphia as a saxophonist before going to New York where he met John Abercrombie and also played with Chico Hamilton, and others. He experimented with the electric alto but gradually became dissatisfied with the direction his music was taking and, leaving New York, quit playing the sax in order to study piano.