2015 Artists

The Greatest Jazz Show on Earth Annenberg Theater Palm Springs, CA

2015

Diane Schuur

Diane Schuur

Nona Hendryx

Nona Hendryx

 

Jessy J

Jessy J

2015 All-Star Musicians

Each year we are honored to feature some of the great jazz musicians of the day. Many have their own albums and performed at jazz festivals around the world. We also feature newer artists to bring together working greats and soon to be greats. The 2015 festival highlighted the talent of 30 female artists.

Ann PattersonAnn Patterson and the Maiden Voyage All-Stars hit the stage Opening Night on October 9, 2015. They performed along with festival music director Sweet Baby J’ai, dancer and choreographer Dawn Robinson and the Friday night headline artist Diane “Deedles” Schuur.

Remarkable musicians including pianist Karen Hammack, bassist Nedra Wheeler, Drummer Sylvia Cuenca, trumpeter Anne King and guitarist Kimberly Allison and leader/saxophonist Ann Patterson, provide an impressive musical landscape for the night. The band is a derivative of the 17-piece Maiden Voyage, described by Leonard Feather as “…not just the best orchestra of its sex, but one of the most rewarding bands on the present scene.” They have appeared at the Playboy, Monterey and Concord Jazz Festivals, and the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center to name a few.

Sunnie PaxsonSunnie Paxson’s Latin Jazz Explosion

Performing Saturday, October 10, at the Latin Jazz Poolside Party, the Sunnie Paxson Latin Jazz Explosion is a group of women who burst onto the scene in a male dominated genre that has traditionally been resistant to female instrumentalists. Paxson is known for her driving performances and memorable melodies. She leads this group of fiery women in an afternoon of contemporary Latin jazz with a touch of funk thrown in to fuel the flames. Featuring heavyweights from the Latin Jazz World, the group included Nikki Campbell on congas, Sarah Bauza on trumpet, in-the-pocket-bassist Robin Bramlett, and hard-driving drummer Suzanne Morisette-Cruz. The dynamic ensemble mixed the key ingredients; Afro Cuban, salsa and funk for a day of joyfulness.

Gail JohnsonHitting the stage Saturday, October 10 at the Annenberg Theater, the Women in Jazz All-Stars is a group of musicians crafted by music director Sweet Baby J’ai. The 2015 group was a collection of extraordinary musicians merging jazz, blues and funk for a compelling musical tapestry. This gifted group of All-Stars was led by acclaimed keyboardist/musical director Gail Johnson (Jazz in P!nk). The band also featured multi-layered guitarist Kat Dyson (Prince, Cyndi Lauper), veteran bassist Lynn Keller (American Idol, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill), ubiquitous drummer Dee Simone, and vocalists Aankha Neal and Naja Smith providing their infectious harmonies. During the evening they performed with Jessy J and headliner Nona Hendryx.

Sascha DupontThe Sascha Dupont Trio
Opening the Saturday night show, The Sascha Dupont Trio ranged from bop to blues. These formidable musicians have been credited with marketing the hearts of audiences across the nation. Denmark native, award-winning songwriter/pianist/vocalist Sascha Dupont achieved crossover success by releasing several gold-selling albums. Dupont, classically trained bassist Sherry Luchette, and accomplished drummer/vocalist Nicole Falzone have shared the stage with many musical legends over the years including Ray Charles, George Benson, Oletta Adams and Clark Terry.

On Sunday, the trio was joined by Grammy(r) nominated saxophonist Carol Chaikin to create the mood for the annual Tribute to the Divas. the 2015 show included tributes to Etta James, Anita O’Day, Chaka Khan and Amy Winehouse.

All-Star Vocalists

Elaine Gibbs
Elaine Gibbs
Elaine Gibbs appearance on Season One of X Factor as one of the ‘Over 30’s’ finalists, where she wowed judges with her interpretation of Stop Crying Your Heart Out by Oasis. LA Reid, Simon, Nicole and Paula raved that she is one of the best singers they have ever encountered.

Elaine’s her heartfelt and emotional voice was part of a music video for TV1’s Black History Month called ‘Martin Can You Hear Us’, designed to reconnect Americans to the importance of Dr. King’s teachings.

She has performed in over 25 countries, with some of the biggest names in the world of Gospel and R&B music such as the late Rev. James Cleveland, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Tramaine Hawkins and Shirley Ceasar. She has worked with Bobby Womack, Cherrelle, Miki Howard and the Gap Band. She has sung for Rod Stewart and performed at recent galas honoring individuals such as Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Angela Bassett, Stephanie Mills and Chaka Kahn.

Sascha Dupont
Sascha Dupont
Award-winning songwriter and pianist/vocalist Sascha Dupont has four successful albums to her name, and did more than 80 shows on prime time TV in her native Denmark.

Being a well acclaimed pianist, her playing has taken her around the world and already as a teenager she had the honor to play with Duke Ellington’s Big Band when they were visiting Denmark.

These days Sascha is working on several new and exciting projects, one of those is the project “Love Therapy” with her husband, songwriter Bryan Conner.

Gennine Jackson
Gennine Jackson
One of California’s most sought after vocalists, Gennine is a returning favorite of the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival. From the Great American Songbook to today, she effortlessly crosses genres bringing her fresh take on classics and modern hits alike.

Gennine also renders a stunning performance in her “Essence of Whitney” Tribute Concert where she performs with musicians who actually worked/toured with the legendary Whitney Houston. She’ll be featured Saturday, September 3 at the Cool Jams event with Pamela Williams.

Kellye Gray
Kellye Gray
Kellye Gray is one of the most accomplished jazz vocalists on the national scene. Gray’s profile continues to grow by leaps and bounds, recording over half-dozen albums as a leader and logging performances nationally and internationally at world-class venues and festivals including Lincoln Center, the Spoleto Festival, Yoshi’s, SFJAZZ. Kellye has been honored to share the stage with legends Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Etta James, to name a few.

Her debut release, Standards In Gray (Justice Records) broke her onto mainstream radio in 1990 landing the fledgling, indie release into the top twenty. Her sound, crafted over years of live performance, comes from her belief that the voice is an instrument.