Artists subject to change
Sep 24, 7 pm – On YouTube
The Analogue Republic
Richmond-based band described as “a soul-jazz project stretching musical boundaries”. Merging blues, Jazz, funk and rock to create popular music with a groove. The band is led by Gary Titi on guitar with Kevin Gaines on drums and guest, Jonah West of Charlottesville on organ. Gary Titi is originally from Ohio. He recorded and performed with Florida-based “Jadestone”.
Sep 17, 2020
this virtual Dominion Energy Jazz Café presents jazz standards and originals with Larri Branch on piano, Andrew Randazzo on bass, and C. J. Wolfe on drums. Larri Branch is a Richmond native, graduate of VCU and one of the area’s most popular pianists!
Sep 10, 2020
Jazz Classics with Stephen Norfleet on tenor sax; Pete Anderson-trombone; Rusty Farmer-bass; Nate Griffith-guitar. Stephen is a graduate of VCU and The Manhattan School of Music in NYC. He plays tenor, alto, soprano and baritone sax. Founded the popular Devil’s Workshop Big Band. Offers master classes and workshops. Owner of Skyhook Studios RVA.
Sep 3, 2020
Special Guest: Desiree Roots
The final installment in the series of virtual live-streamed events focuses on the life, music, and impact of the incomparable Nina Simone—singer, songwriter, musician, and activist. VMFA’s Robert Phanord hosts an exciting evening of music and conversation with Richmond’s own Desiree Roots. This concert event walks us through some of Simone’s most remembered songs including the one that started it all for Nina, “I Loves You, Porgy.”
Aug 27, 2020
Special Guest: Julie McKnight
The series continues with a discussion of protest music. The songs of that powerful genre, known for expressing difficult themes and imagery, have moved people, inspired people, given voice to people, and angered people. In a virtual live-streaming event, Robert Phanord, VMFA’s Performing Arts Coordinator, welcomes singer/songwriter and activist Julie McKnight. Phanord and McKnight will engage with the history of these songs including examples of music from the American Revolution, the era of Stranger Fruit, and today. McKnight will share personal stories from her past and the history of music in America. The evening concludes with a performance of “Four Women.”
Aug 20, 2020
Special Guest: James “Plunky” Branch
Special BONUS episode with Richmond legend James “Plunky” Branch. This conversation with Robert digs deep into the soul of the first American music and its influence on the art. Plunky graces us with an improvisation to wrap up the discussion.
Aug 13, 2020
Special Guest: Victor Brooks Sr. and Sandra Brooks
In this virtual live-streamed event, Robert Phanord, VMFA’s Performing Arts Coordinator, welcomes Victor Brooks Sr. and Sandra Brooks for another engaging evening of discussion and performance. It is well known that the record industry exploited the talents and skills of musicians, Black musicians in particular. This series continues with an important discussion about that exploitation. Phanord will lead the talk, which will consider the firsthand personal stories collected by Mr. Brooks as he describes the experiences of artists such as Duke Ellington, Norris Turney (Sandra’s step-father), and Little Richard. Sandra Brooks will close the conversation with a song.
Aug 6, 2020
Special Guest: Victor Brooks III
In this virtual live-streamed event, Robert Phanord, VMFA’s Performing Arts Coordinator, welcomes Victor Brooks III for a discussion of the term “race records” and its impact on the music industry. The two will consider examples of the earliest Black recording artists and their influences. Musicians such as former slave George W. Johnson and pianist/composer Perry Bradford will be discussed for their contributions to early Black music in America. Phanord and Brooks will take a closer look at Louis Armstrong and the early music he recorded with white-owned labels. They will also consider the lasting impact on what is now called R&B and conclude the evening with a performance of “I Ain’t Got Nobody.”
July 23, 2020
Special Guest: Jeremy Winston and guest musicians
In this virtual event, Robert Phanord, VMFA’s Performing Arts Coordinator, will be joined via Zoom by Jeremy Winston, founder of the Jeremy Winston Chorale. Presenting a deeper discussion on the origins of jazz, they will discuss the blending of blues and ragtime that ushered in the Jazz Age of the 1920s, tracing the inception of jazz in New Orleans to its global appeal and influence. The talk will also consider HBCU’s and the relationship between music and the development of youth.
July 16, 2020
Special Guest: Valerie Cassel Oliver and guest musicians
Talk and Performance: Strange Fruit
This inaugural episode will focus on the origins of jazz in Black America. The rise of “race records,” the theft of art and music from Black people, and protest music. Robert Phanord, VMFA’s Performing Arts Coordinator, will begin with a general discussion of the first topics to be unpacked in future episodes. Next he will talk about the song “Strange Fruit,” comparing Billie Holiday’s performance to Nina Simone’s and looking at the ways history changed in the time between each artist’s recording of the song. Phanord will perform the song and also take a look at the time between Nina Simone’s recording and today. Special guest Valerie Cassel Oliver, VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, will join the discussion.
DEXTER MOSES QUARTET
The Dexter Moses Quartet is led by the 20 year old saxophonist and Richmond native who is currently a junior at North Carolina Central University. A former student of James “Saxsmo” Gates, he has already performed alongside Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Delfeayo Marsalis, Corey Fonville, and others. The band strives to bring joy to its audiences while staying true to the Jazz tradition.
Charlottesville saxophonist Charles Owens is an integral part of the vibrant RVA music scene. He has devoted his life to pursuing excellence in music and bringing peace and happiness to his fellow humans with his soulful playing and composing. The trio features Andrew Randazzo on bass and Devonne Harris on drums.
An evening of swing, blues and Jazz standards with Claudia Carawan, an award-winning songwriter whose voice has been described as “Positively Soulful”. Lucy Kilpatrick on keyboard, Carter Blough on bass and Donald Faye on woodwinds
JUSTIN SMITH TRIO
Classic and modern Jazz mixed with Bossa Nova and contemporary styles featuring Justin Smith on guitar; Brian Cruse on bass; Brendan Schnabel on tenor saxophone and C.J. Wolfe on drums
MARSHA MEEKINS & COMPANY
Jazz standards and popular favorites featuring Marsha Meekins on flute and vocals with Dr. W. Weldon Hill on piano, Matthew Steele on bass, Lester Kenney on drums and vocalist Victor Nelson
CAROL COVELL TRIO
Jazz standards and selections from the Great American Songbook with vocalist Carol Covell, Lee Covington on keyboard and Matt Hall on bass
JAZZ AROUND THE MUSEUM – MARBLE HALL
Back by popular demand!! Who says a Jazz band can’t party, get down, and get funky? Led by saxophonist Robert “Bo” Bohannon, Klaxton Brown combines the old with the new, and will rock you steady all night long. Prepare to get Klaxtonized!
TWO BIRDS, ONE STONE
This classic Jazz trio will thrill you with their renditions of the American Songbook.
Featuring Ken Kellner on bass, Lucy Kilpatrick on keyboard and Todd Woodson on drums.
GLENNROY AND COMPANY
These entertaining music specialists will play a variety of Jazz, R&B and mild top forty tunes. Led by Glennroy Bailey on flute and featuring Debo Dabney on keyboard, Brian Johnson on drums and Everard Thomson on bass. Get ready to swing and sway!!
BOB BLAGG TRIO
Jazz standards and selections from the Great American Songbook with Bob Blagg on guitar, Charlie Kilpatrick on keyboard and Matt Hall on bass
Drummer/percussionist Mike Hoggard leads this eclectic ensemble playing all styles of Jazz from Thelonious Monk to George Duke with Fredericksburg’s Harry Wilson on vibes.
One of Virginia’s premier bassists, Mike Hawkins is back by popular demand with Dr. Weldon Hill on keyboard, Devonne Harris on drums and James Gates on sax
Vocalist, songwriter and guitarist Barbara Martin (Staunton VA) sings Jazz standards and original songs of wit and truth with Lucy Kilpatrick on piano and Karl Kimmel on bass.
Instrumental Jazz standards and popular music featuring Stephen Norfleet on saxophone, Ayinde Williams on keyboard, Rusty Farmer on bass and Keith Willingham on drums
KEN KELLNER & COOL PORTER
Music reminiscent of Cole Porter and the Great American Songbook with Ken Kellner on bass, Todd Woodson on drums, Anthony Dowd on keyboard and Jonathan Greenberg on trumpet
Feel-good and grooving Jazz featuring original works and funky covers with John Creger on bass and vocals, Jeanette Creger on keyboards and vocals, Jon Saure on guitar and vocals, John Mitchell on keyboard, B3 and vocals, and Curvey “Curv Ali” Reid on drums and percussion.
LARRI BRANCH TRIO
Popular Jazz standards with original arrangements of such notables as Ellis Marsalis, Hank Jones and the great Duke Ellington featuring Larri Branch on keyboard, Brian Cruse on bass and C. J. Wolfe on drums
CHARLES OWENS TRIO
Charlottesville resident Charles Owens is an integral part of the vibrant music scene in Richmond and the region. Charles will perform with “The Roots” at the Concert for Charlottesville for a live audience of 55,000. He has devoted his life to pursuing excellence in music and bringing peace and happiness to his fellow humans. His trio features Andrew Randazzo on bass and Devonne Harris on drums with Owens on tenor sax.
CARL LESTER EL & “THE FAM”
“The Fam” features some of Richmond’s FINEST musicians who have performed throughout the US and, in beautiful concert halls and churches in Austria and Germany. They have shared the stage with such Jazz and Gospel notables as Gerald Albright, Tasha Cobbs, Daniel Weatherspoon and the late Ronnie Jordon. “The Fam” includes Alvin Spratley on bass, Lance Dickerson on keys, Phillip Foster on drums, Carl Lester El on guitar and vocalist Corey El.
MIKE HAWKINS EXPERIENCE
One of Virginia’s most versatile bassists, Mike Hawkins has shared his soulful sounds as leader of his own groups, and with renowned pianist Cyrus Chestnut, in venues throughout the US and abroad. Joining Mike on contemporary Jazz and popular hits are Dr. Weldon Hill on piano, Billy Williams on drums and James “Saxsmo” Gates on alto.
LES AMIS featuring PAIGE MELTON
“Les Amis featuring Paige Melton” is a group of musicians who love the freedom of expression afforded by Jazz via The Great American Songbook. Paige Melton’s vocals are the center of the group with accompaniment by Bob Blagg on guitar, Ken Kellner on bass, Randall Mailand on piano and Todd Woodson on drums.
ELANA LISA & THE HOT MESS
This fun loving group has audiences dancing and grooving to Jazz standards and Neo-Swing featuring Elana Lisa, lead vocalist with Eric Oritt on electric guitar and vocals; John Dacey on acoustic bass and vocals; Ken Bowie on drums and vocals and Allen Burris on tenor/soprano saxes and flute.
“A CUP OF JAZZ” Featuring MARJORIE JONES
Vocalist Marjorie Jones is a favorite on the RVA music scene. Her debut at the VMFA Dominion Energy Jazz Café will serve up some classic Jazz favorites mixed with a little R&B and some Neo Soul accompanied by Debo Dabney on keyboard, Juan Nelson on bass and Brian Johnson on drums.
LATIN JAZZ MESSENGERS
Led by the renowned trumpeter Dr. Michael Davison, the six members of the Latin Jazz Messengers continue to thrill audiences with high-energy arrangements and an eclectic blend of Cuban, Brazilian, and American Jazz. From the wall-of-sound horns to the swinging rhythm section, this group guarantees a “muy caliente” experience!
PETE ANDERSON SEXTET
The Pete Anderson Sextet is a hard-hitting, New York Jazz club style band, playing the music called “Hard Bop” – a soulful blend of R&B, Blues and Gospel with Bebop. The six-piece group, specializing in the music of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, features Tim Lett on trumpet, Steve Norfleet on tenor sax, Pete Anderson on trombone, Lee Covington on piano, Rusty Farmer on bass, and Keith Willingham on drums.
RICHARD D’ABREU & JAZZ IN THE SPIRIT
Jazz with a touch of Gospel. Bring your best Jazzy shout to accompany this week’s music because this group will have you tapping your feet AND waving your hands. It’s a family affair with Richard D’Abreu, Jr. on saxophone, Ayinde Williams on piano, John Walters on drums and Richard D’Abreu III on bass.
JAY BROWN’S “GRACE STREET SEVEN”
Vintage-style music from the “Jazz Age” in the tradition of early American dance bands from the 1920s & 1930s! Get ready to Swing with Jay Brown on vocals & tenor banjo, Stephen Moser on trumpet, Nate Clark on alto & soprano saxes, Chet Frierson on clarinet & sax, Ben Kelly on bass, Nick Davidson on drums and featured guest Ayinde Williams on piano.
MAY 9 JAZZ AROUND THE MUSEUM – In the Marble Hall
REGINALD CYNTJE GROUP
Trombonist Reginald Cyntje is one of the DC area’s most highly respected bandleaders and a Jazz Café favorite. His group blends Jazz, calypso, reggae and other African-influenced genres to create a unique cultural experience.
Bebop, standards and swing led by Charlottesville-based vocalist Stephanie Nakasian, “The Renaissance Woman of Jazz”! Enjoy classic favorites from the Great American Songbook.
SCOTT WICHMANN’S “WITCHCRAFT”
Scott Wichmann transforms into “Ole Blue Eyes” whenever he hits the stage. Get ready to swing, sway and reminisce as Scott and his ensemble take you back through time with Dr. Weldon Hill on keyboards, Billy Williams on drums and Mike Hawkins on bass.
MATTHEW STEELE & THE REVOLUTION JAZZ QUARTET
“Sophisticated Fun”- Jazz mixed with Soul! Featuring vocalist Victor Nelson with Matthew Steele on bass, Dr. Weldon Will on piano and Lester Kenney on drums
MARSHA MEEKINS AND COMPANY
Jazz standards and popular favorites featuring Marsha Meekins on flute and vocals with Dr. W. Weldon Hill on piano, Matthew Steele on bass, Carl Lester El on drums and Victor Nelson on vocals
Internationally acclaimed guitarist Randy Johnston brings the bluesy and funky sounds of the classic guitar/organ/drums trio with Jonah Kayne-West on organ and Kelli Strawbridge on drums
Jazz and R&B with William Prentiss on flute and tenor saxophone, Chris Mosley on trumpet and flugelhorn, Sam Craddock on Bass, Hannon Lane on guitar, Eron Gray on drums, Keith Wallace on keyboard and featuring Carlita Whitehead on vocals
DEBRA DEAN & THE KEY WEST QUARTET
Back by popular demand! Jazz, Blues and popular favorites with vocalist Debra Dean, award-winning guitarist Patrick Lawler, and Special Guests
THE JAZZ WARRIORS
Trumpeter Jon Greenberg’s Jazz Warriors play all styles of Jazz from the early 1900’s to the present with Eric Lytle on piano, Gary Shaver on alto sax and clarinet, Todd Woodson on drums and Jonathan Wheelock on acoustic bass. The band will pay special tribute to Louis Armstrong, who celebrated his birthday on July 4th.
Fabian Lance is an innovative keyboardist, teacher, producer, composer and arranger from Danville VA. He has traveled abroad, near and far sharing his Jazz flare. Performing hits from his latest CD, Reminisce, and jazz classics. Featuring Fabian Lance on keyboards, Carl Lester El on bass, Chris Beasley on guitar and Philip Foster on drums.
M-LAW & THE PROPHETS OF JAZZ
Mary Lawrence aka M-Law is a trumpet and flugelhorn player, vocalist, and rapper originally from Virginia. She graduated from VCU’s Jazz Studies program and is making a name for herself in Washington DC and throughout the East Coast! M-Law & the Prophets of Jazz will feature Scott Chambers on bass, Ronnie Thomas on drums, and Drew Miles on keyboards.
LARRI BRANCH TRIO
The Larri Branch Trio will perform a variety of Jazz standards with original arrangements, compositions by the great Duke Ellington, Hank Jones, Ellis Marsalis, C. J. Wolfe and Branch. Larri Branch on piano, Brian Cruse on bass and C. J. Wolfe on drums.
Vocalist/instrumentalist Jay Brown leads this classic Jazz combo specializing in the familiar Standards of the 1920s-1960s with tenor sax, bass, piano, and a swinging vocalist. Let’s dance!
AUGUST 8 – JAZZ AROUND THE MUSEUM – In The Atrium
Phenomenal guitarist Chris Beasley leads this eight-piece, uniquely configured concept band, offering modern Jazz that will leave you wanting more.
JARON LAMAR DAVIS TRIO
Midwest native Jaron Lamar Davis returns to Richmond with a genre-bending trio that delivers a true 21st century improvisational sound with Davis on drums accompanied by Udobi on keyboards and Donte Speaks, Jr. on bass.
The Analogue Republic merges blues, Jazz, funk, and rock to form a unique voice that pays tribute to its influences – groove-oriented Soul-Jazz! Featuring Gary Titi on guitar, Eric Franzen on keyboard and Forrest Young on drums
SWEET POTATOES MUSIC
Bandleader and guitarist Johnny Hargrove, lead singer and violinist Reyna Pannell, bassist Joey Anderson and drummer Stephon LaRue put their own spin on classic Jazz. Soulful licks and lots of “Yammin”!
Vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist Barbara Martin (Staunton VA) sings Jazz standards and original songs of wit and truth accompanied by Lucy Kilpatrick on piano and Mike Hawkins on bass.
BLUE ORCHID JAZZ
Jazz standards and original compositions that explore the edges of Swing, Bop, Blues, Funk, and Latin featuring Kyffin Salter on bass, Jo Santos on keyboards, Patrick Zampetti on drums and percussion, and special guest, Myrick Crampton on sax and flute.
The WWAY is a stylistically diverse group featuring the talents of Chris Whiteman of guitar, Jonah Kane West on keys, Dane Alderson on bass and Forrest Young on drums. Their original compositions range from the soulfully poetic, to blazing up-tempo acrobatics that set in a groove to keep you moving.
NEAL BOWENS PROJECT
Contemporary smooth jazz at its finest. This high energy band is lead by saxophonist Neal Bowens with Lamont Menefield on guitar, Wilbert Anderson on bass, Alfred Walker on keyboards and Ray Grady on drums.
AFRO ZEN ALLSTARS
RVA’s multi-generational World Jazz “little big band,” featuring John Lilley (alto & tenor), Chris Sclafani (alto & baritone), Myrick Crampton (tenor), Chris Vasi (guitar), Brian Cruse (bass), Scott Milstead (drums) and George M Lowe (Leader & guitar). Don’t even think about not dancing!
Vibraphonist Curvey Reid, influenced by legends like Lionel Hampton, plays straight-ahead Jazz with a funky, contemporary flair. This band is back by popular demand!
LATIN JAZZ MESSENGERS
Led by trumpeter Dr. Michael Davison, the Latin Jazz Messengers thrill audiences with their high-energy arrangements and eclectic blend of Cuban, Brazilian, and American Jazz. Muy Caliente! Hot, Hot, Hot!
STEVE KESSLER TRIO
Jazz Classics with Steve Kessler on piano, Robert Jospe on drums and Paul Langosch on bass
VICTOR HASKINS’ SKEIN
Original music and grooving rhythms from Victor Haskins on trumpet and EWI; Matt Hall on bass, Tony Martucci drums
MODERN MUSE TRIO
Modern Muse Trio makes their Jazz Café debut with an evening full of your favorite standards and beyond with sultry, soulful, swingin’ sounds featuring Elizabeth Joy Terrell on vocals, Chris Brydge on bass and Chris Whiteman on guitar.
Jazz/Funk band playing funky covers and original works to get you moving and grooving. John Creger on bass and vocals, Jeanette Creger on keys, synths and vocals, Jon Saure on guitar and vocals, John Mitchell on keys, B3 and vocals, and Curvey “Curv Ali” Reid on drums and percussion.
JAZZ AROUND THE MUSEUM/In The Atrium
RaJazz is one of Hampton Roads’ most requested smooth jazz and R&B bands by festivals throughout the area! Founder Rogers Brown on keyboard, Stephanie Sanders on saxophone, Jason Cales on guitar, Tracy Spence on bass, Chris Jernigan on drums, Rick Micau on percussion and Ahisa Johnson on vocals.
Come kick off your Thanksgiving Day Weekend with Blue Prototype featuring one of Richmond’s favorite guitarists, Connor Thompson. The band combines traditional jazz elements with modern heavy metal energy with Larri Branch on piano, Brian Cruse on bass and CJ Wolfe on drums. Their debut album is available at www.blueprototype.bandcamp.com
MARY HERMANN GARCIA
Swing, ballads, blues, and Bossa Novas featuring Mary Hermann García on vocals with Antonio García on trombone, vocals and percussion; John Conley on guitar and Brian Sulser on bass.
Instrumental standards and “jazzified” pop with Eric Oritt on guitar, Chris Ludwig on bass, Ross Riddell on drums and Dave Triplett on trumpet and flugelhorn
DEBRA DEAN & THE KEY WEST QUARTET
Back by popular demand! Jazz, Blues and Pop favorites with vocalist Debra Dean, award winning guitarist Patrick Lawler, and Special Guests.
GLENNROY & COMPANY
Flutist Glennroy Bailey is a Jazz Café favorite playing Jazz, R&B and cool top forty tunes.