Grammy Award Winner Luciana Souza is a singer and songwriter who defies category. Her recordings have garnered fans all over the globe. Souza's two latest albums are both nominated for a Grammy - The Book of Chet as Best Jazz Vocal Record, and Duos III as Best Latin Jazz Record. This past June, she was awarded Best Jazz Female Vocalist by the Jazz Journalists Association Award (2013). This is Luciana's second award by the JJA. She won in 2005 as well.
Ms. Souza has performed and recorded with greats including Herbie Hancock (on his Grammy winning record, River – The Joni Letters), Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez and many others. Her longstanding duo work with Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo has earned her accolades across the globe, and her complete discography contains more than 50 records as a side singer. Luciana Souza's singing has been called "transcendental, "perfect, " and of "unparalleled beauty. " Entertainment Weekly writes, "Her voice traces a landscape of emotion that knows no boundaries."
Founded by Michael Kammers in 2002 and comprised of some of New York City’s finest musical talents, the MK Groove Orchestra catapults big band tradition into the 21st Century.
Drawing on diverse influences, including Jimmy McGriff, Tito Puente, and Sun Ra, MK Groove Orchestra erupts with adventurous original compositions and energetic covers of tunes ranging from Kung Fu movie themes to classic funk, rock, and jazz.
MK Groove Orchestra features Kammers (tenor saxophone, compositions and direction), John Beaty (alto saxophone), Joe Beaty (trombone), Thomas Cummings (guitar), Tatum Greenblatt (trumpet), Tomoaki Kanno (drums), Jonathan Powell (trumpet), Dan Reitz (bass trombone), Abe Seiferth (guitar), Aaron Shafer-Haiss (percussion), Kevin Smith (bass guitar), and Christopher Tordini (bass guitar).
Grammy winner Luciana Souza is one of Jazz's leading singers and interpreters. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, in the late sixties, she grew up in a family of Bossa Nova innovators - her father, a singer and songwriter, her mother, a poet and lyricist. Luciana's work as a performer transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles, offering solid roots in jazz, sophisticated lineage in world music, and an enlightened approach to classical repertoire and new music.
Ms. Souza began her recording career at age three with a radio commercial, and recorded more than 200 jingles and soundtracks, becoming a first-call studio veteran at age sixteen. She spent four years on faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she received a Bachelor's in Jazz Composition. Ms. Souza earned a Master's degree in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory of Music and taught for four years at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, in New York City. From 2005 to 2010, Luciana was the Jazz Artist in Residence with the prestigious San Francisco Performances.
Ms. Souza's latest recordings on Sunnyside Records (released simultaneously in August of 2012) offer Luciana's personal and masterful reading of songs - on The Book of Chet, Luciana pays homage to Chet Baker's singing, performing gems from the Great American Songbook. On Duos III, Luciana closes her Brazilian Duos trilogy, singing traditional songs from the Brazilian repertoire with three master guitarists - Romero Lubambo, Marco Pereira, and Toninho Horta.
Billboard magazine has said of Luciana: "she continues her captivating journey as a uniquely talented vocalist who organically crosses genre borders. Her music soulfully reflects, wistfully regrets, romantically woos, joyfully celebrates..."
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Michael Kammers has been a creative force in the Brooklyn underground music scene since he moved to New York City in 2001 to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. While earning his BFA, Kammers studied with George Garzone, Jane Ira Bloom, Kirk Nurock, Robert Sadin, Bobby Sanabria, and Reggie Workman. His experiences studying at the New School and performing regularly in New York have given him the opportunity to perform and engage with a wide variety of musics that inform his creative voice, including traditional and free jazz, Afro-Cuban, funk, rock, Afrobeat, R+B, Reggae and more.
Active as an educator as well as a bandleader, Kammers developed the MKGO Clinic in 2008. Designed to supplement the traditional jazz curriculum, the clinics introduce students to concepts pioneered by Steve Coleman, Ornette Coleman, Henry Threadgill, and Sun Ra. He teaches privately as well as in large groups.
On top of leading his own projects and teaching Kammers has managed to perform, record and arrange horns for a wide range of artists, recent highlights include performances, tours and/or albums with: Akron/Family (Love Is Sax 2009, Set Em’ Wild, Set ‘Em Free 2010), The Heavy Pets (Self-Titled, 2010 arranger/saxophone.), Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, The Easy Star All Stars and Reverend Vince and his Love Choir.
Sponsored by Natrona County School District #1