Ty Curtis is a triple threat, since he is the band's lead singer, as well as the primary composer of their material, and thirdly he's a sonically incendiary, string-shredding electric guitar player. Ty Curtis has been winning awards for his vocals and musicianship for the last 10 years.
In 2009 his raw soulful version of 5 Long Years by Eddie Boyd captivated the audience and earned the band 2nd place in The International Blues Challenge and lead to performances at The Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada and the St John Blues Festival USVI.
His first live music experience was Silverchair at the LB Day Amphitheater in Salem Oregon where Curtis grew up. "It was their performance and musicianship that made me want to play guitar and sing" he recalls "I wanted to rock out like them" and with that inspiration ingrained, Ty asked his parents for a guitar which he never let go of. From the age of sixteen, Ty started showing up at local clubs and playing at any blues jam he could find. It wasn't long before Ty was winning over admirers and attracting a large fan base in the Northwest. With each subsequent album release Ty's reputation continued to grow establishing him as one of the torch bearers in a new generation of Blues. The band competed in the Journey to Memphis in Portland through the Cascade Blues Association and won giving him the chance to perform on the National stage. It was there in Memphis that Ty met David Z which led to him producing the third album 'Cross That Line'.
After a move to Austin Texas Ty decided to pursue a musical relationship with Steve Miller Band's guitarist Jacob Petersen. That pairing led to album releases "Ty Curtis" and "Water Under The Bridge" where both albums received high praise and rave reviews. "His ability to think outside the box, and blend his influences from other genres of music fit perfectly amongst the assortment of true blues rock style. Ty redefines intelligent songwriting stepping away from the rigid forms of technicalities, song structure, and instrumentation used by the majority of blues rock artists". - Bluesrockreview.com
With 5 albums under his belt Curtis decided to co produce his 6th album 'Blame Me' with the help of Austin producer and bassist Nick Jay (Ed Kowalzick, Alpha Rev & SXSW engineer). Packed with soul,blues and ripping guitar riffs, Ty's latest effort features some of the most heart-felt emotion tugging vocals to come out in several years reminiscent of Bad Company's Paul Rodgers.'Back Again' shows of Ty's killer guitar work and he shifts gears on a slower more soulful 'I Can Say,' but still has those electric guitar moments interspersed at times occurring like exclamation points at key moments in the song.
The album received some of the best reviews of his career and was selected as #9 Top Blues Rock Albums of 2016 by bluesrockreview.com placing with such names as Joe Bonamassa, Jeff Beck and Devon Allmond.
Ty's musicianship and voice at his live shows are electrifying, draw from the rich blues tradition and leave audiences stunned. "Finding an artist that is an originator like Ty has always been a rare thing" - David Z (Prince, Johnny Lang) and he is proving to be an artist that will be around for generations to come.
Every so often a new singer emerges who's able to assimilate multiple musical touchstones and still come off sounding remarkably fresh and unburdened by the past. Kandace Springs is one of those artists. The 27-year-old, Nashville-based singer, songwriter and pianist counts such stylists as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack and Norah Jones as her heroes, but as evidenced by her sparkling full- length Blue Note Records debut, Soul Eyes, Springs mimics none of them. Instead Springs allows her comely alto to become a conduit that touches upon soul, jazz and pop while transforming those aforementioned influences into a personalized sound that reveals itself effortlessly.
"The artists who have inspired me the most all sang so naturally," Springs says. "That helped me find my own sound." Springs' journey to discovering her uniqueness didn't happen overnight. In fact, her 2014 self -titled debut EP had a decidedly contemporary R&B/hip -hop bent with production by Pop & Oak (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Miguel) . The EP was incredibly well- received and led to TV performances on Late Show With David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, as well as appearances at the Afropunk and Bonnaroo festivals.
As amazing an experience as that was , as Springs got ready to record her album she couldn't shake the feeling that she wasn't yet singing her true self. Conversations with her longtime producers Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers led to soul searching and rethinking her music al direction. Eventually Springs returned to a more spacious, organic sound that channels her earlier jazz influences as well as her Nashville upbringing. Also during this period, Springs attracted the attention of Prince, who heard her makeover of Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" on the website Okayplayer. The music icon invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain . "He encouraged me a lot before I recorded this new record, especially during the time in which I was trying to figure out my sound," Springs says. "He told me that I needed to do what comes naturally to me. He was absolutely right." For Soul Eyes, Springs continued working closely with Rogers and Sturken, but they also recruited Grammy - winning producer Larry Klein (Lizz Wright, Melody Gardot, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock) to help the singer bring out her distinctive artistic traits."
Happy Orchestra, produced by drummer Tarik Abouzied, is an award-winning band that puts smiles on faces and lights fires under feet. Its members are drawn from some of the Northwest's most highly regarded funk, jazz, and soul bands including McTuff, Skerik's Bandalabra, Richie Aldente, and more. The band, voted 2016 Alternative Jazz Group of the Year by readers of Earshot Jazz, combines instrumental and compositional firepower with a determined effort at crafting an intensely happy musical experience.
"Smoking-hot music from top-notch talent." - CityArts Magazine
Abouzied was awarded the 2015 4Culture Arts Project Grant in order to develop, record and perform with Happy Orchestra. The band was conceived from his gratitude and experiences as an established musical force in Seattle: "The level of talent in this city is astounding, the community that supports this music scene is as strong as I've ever seen, and contributing to that has been incredibly life affirming. ... I want more, and so Happy Orchestra is born."
"Rocking soulful horn-powered grooves..." - Abe Beeson, KNKX 88.5FM Seattle
The genre-mixing sound of Happy Orchestra can best be described as "American groove," an amalgam of the jazz, rock, funk, fusion, and soul birthed by American artists from the 60s through today. Listeners will recognize the refined groove of D'Angelo, the raw power and energy of Soundgarden, the synth-driven fusion of Weather Report, the syncopated tightness of Tower of Power, and other cues rooted in music that's deeply imbedded in the subconscious of Happy's founder and the American music-lover.
"The music gets intricate, but never loses sight of the gritty, soulful truth inherent in a deep groove." - Earshot Jazz
Earshot Golden Ear Award collector Thomas Marriott and tenor saxophonist Stuart MacDonald join as the horn section, bringing decades-refined improvisational might and intensity. Richie Aldente front man Tim Kennedy and guitarist RL Heyer fuse effortlessly with renowned bassist Damian Erskine and McTuff drummer Tarik Abouzied to create an unshakeable foundation built from years of camaraderie and virtuosic musicianship. Frequent guests include Skerik, Andy Coe, Dan Balmer, and more. This combination of stellar human beings, instrumental mastery, and a grin-inducing compositional palette is what makes Happy Orchestra an unmissable act.
Founded by Village Voice icon Greg Tate and co-led with monster bassist Jared Michael Nickerson since 1999, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber is a sprawling band of musicians whose prodigious personnel allows them to freely juggle a wide swath of the experimental soul-jazz-hip hop spectrum. Burnt Sugar was conceived as a forum for New York area improvisational musicians to compose, record and perform material which reflects the breadth and depth of American diasparan music in the 21st century. Burnt Sugar freely moves between many styles, eras and genres to devise its own exciting hybrids. In this sense the group mission honors its deepest inspirations, the first post-modernists of American music - Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, Parliament/Funkadelic and The Art Ensemble of Chicago. This very accomplished crew has playing credits that range from Melvin Van Peebles, Toshi Reagon, DJ Logic, Gary Lucas, TV On The Radio, Phish, Liz Wright, David Murray and many others. Burnt Sugar has been known to include Irish fiddlers, AACM refugees, Afro-punk rejects, unrepentant be-boppers, feminist rappers, jitterbugging doowoppers, loud funk-a-teers and rodeo stars of the digital divide.
This seated, early show performance will pay tribute to the incomparable duo of Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln and the songs they made famous with fresh, visionary interpretations that only Burnt Sugar is capable of.
"Burnt Sugar may be a collective, and it's a jam band for sure, but Tate and Nickerson's production guarantees each player full power, and the group's purpose is unmistakable: to shake things up, your booty included." - JazzTimes
Marti Mendenhall is a magnetic, engaging performer, whose live shows are hip, entertaining and original. Mendenhall's Jazz-Pop appeal and stellar vocal improvisations captivate audiences with the passion of Jazz and the singability of Pop. Compared to Michael Bublé, Sophie Milman and Jamie Cullum, she sings both jazz standards and a catalog of original songs at her high-energy shows. Mendenhall is quickly gaining regional momentum as producer, songwriter, Jazz teacher and performer. "Marti is not only a talented singer and writer, but she understands the audience is there to be entertained." - Tony Starlight
1939 ENSEMBLE is an instrumental quartet from Portland, Oregon.
The band is José Medeles…David Coniglio…Josh Thomas…Knate Carter
DRUMS. VIBRAPHONE. TRUMPET. GUITAR. NOISE
At the crossroads where Tortoise meets Merzbow and Milt Jackson meets Slint -This is
where you will find 1939 Ensemble. The band doesn’t just cross genres, they both
embrace and exploit them, inviting each listener in through the familiar, and then
leaving them with something new to explore.