Joe Budden (born August 31, 1980 in Spanish Harlem, New York) is a rapper from Jersey City, New Jersey. In recent years he has come to prominence as one of the most skilled and sought-for rappers in the game, despite his best work being on the internet mixtape circuit. His music initially gained popularity on New York City's famous mixtape circuit in 2002. Although his biggest mainstream hit to-date is 2003's up-tempo "Pump It Up," Budden is known for his reflective and often insecure lyrics.
Simone Dinnerstein is an American classical pianist, born in New York City, USA. Her father, Simon Dinnerstein, is a painter. She studied in the precollege program at the Manhattan School of Music with Solomon Mikowsky. She later attended The Juilliard School of Music and was a student of Peter Serkin. She also studied in London with Maria Curcio. In addition to her solo recital work, she has been a featured guest artist at the Bard Music Festival, as well as appearing as a chamber musician in performances of contemporary music, including works of Yehudi Wyner and Ned Rorem.
Aimee Mann was born in Richmond, Virginia, and attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but dropped out to sing with her first punk rock band, the young snakes; the band released the EP Bark Along with the Young Snakes in 1982, and a compilation album was issued in 2004. In 1983, seeking a return to "sweetness and melody", she co-founded with Berklee classmate and boyfriend Michael Hausman the new wave band 'Til Tuesday, which achieved minor success in 1985 with its first album, Voices Carry.
Anonymous 4 is a female a cappella quartet, based in New York City. Their main performance genre is medieval music, although they have also premiered works by living composers such as John Tavener and Steve Reich. Anonymous 4 has performed in cities throughout North America, and have been regulars at major international festivals. They decided to make the 2003-2004 season their last as a full-time recording and touring ensemble, although special projects (such as their Gloryland CD and their "Long Time Traveling" Tour) continue to bring them together on occasion.
Blu is definitely a leader in the new school of Los Angeles emcees. His presence is undeniable, while his music captivates audiences regardless of race, class, and gender. His delivery flows flawlessly, while his content reflects the joy and pain of working class youth everywhere. Exile is a producer, DJ and occasional emcee previously known for being a member of the duo Emanon, along with Aloe Blacc. His style of production is known for its "laid back soulful vibes" and is influenced by such producers as J Dilla and Madlib.
Steve Thompson is an independent singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist currently based in western Pennsylvania. In late 2004, he released his debut - The Enigmatic Standard (EP). Thompson has since released three full albums - Allusions To A God, Score, and NoVA. Each release by Thompson has showcased a different sound in the music ranging from folk rock to electronica. His live band features Stephen Peck (ex-Zao) on drums, Dave Trinh (ex-States of Melba) on saxophone, and Tony Regola on bass.
Barzin is a Canadian singer-songwriter named Barzin Hosseini. Slow and melancholic, introspective and confessional: These words in some ways describe the sound of Barzin. A project that began sometime in 1995, Barzin was a solo endeavor at its inception. But somewhere along the way it shed its solitary skin allowing a wide array of characters into it’s sound. From amongst a rotating cast of musicians, who occasionally made appearances on recordings and at performances, three individuals slowly became a fixture of this project.