Spring overview: Marquis Hill, John Thulin and Christian Howes groups

Marquis Hill 5 croppedMarquis Hill (trumpet) CHRIS McBRIDE (alto sax)JUSTIN THOMAS (vibes)JOSHUA RAMOS (bass)MAKAYA McCRAVEN (drums)
These young men are so energetic, bright and generous with their musical gifts. This group was pure pleasure to work with. They shared things about their music which was so basic yet profound. They did GREAT job of showing musical examples that the audience at every level of understanding was hanging with them. The fluidity and connection of Chris and Marquis was remarkably intuitive. During the session we spoke about that and they modeled several examples and then asked audience members to give it a try. The whole band was smart.. from the way they dressed to their posture, from using solid technique to pushing the limits.
john thulin
John Thulin (piano), JEFF HAMANN (bass), BRIAN RITTER (drums)
This trio was grooving, conversational and delightfully harmonic. The essence of this trio was all about longtime musical relationships and listening. These talented and experineced musicians are generous and downright unassuming. We talked about what makes their ensemble special and John really could not articulate it because it was so much an extension of his own playing he could not seperate it out. John is an amazing accompanist to the other musicians solos, which is very rare in a piano lead trio. great session with lots of audience interaction.
Christianhowesmadison
Christian Howes (violin)Vijay Tellis-Nayak (keyboard) Rich Stitzel (drums) Christian could be a 1 man show and sometime in the future i would love to hear him do a solo show, few artists are able to pull that off but he could. Christian has mastered the use of his looper and creates some compositions that balance on the loop he creates. Christian performed with Vijay Tellis-Nayak on keyboard and Rich Stitzel on drums who are high level great musicians but the group needed more rehearsal. They played together very well and would have been much more cohesive toward the end of a month tour together. Rich and Christian spoke intelligently about the ensemble and what it takes to make Howes music special. Rich a very colorful and melodic drummer has some gems he shared and showed us. The high point of the workshop was when there were 5 violinists on stage and Christian lead them in a song building the groove and accompaniment together with each violinist taking a solo. It was clear that Christian is an amazing educator by the way he lead that piece making sure everyone on stage was comfortable, confident and successful.

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