Music arranger and pianist Nat Adderley, Jr. was born on May 23, 1955 to Nat Adderley, Sr. and Ann James in Quincy, Florida. Adderley attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan, New York. In high school, he performed and wrote music for his father’s group, the Cannonball Adderley Quintet. Adderley also worked as a keyboardist for R&B singer Valerie Simpson. Adderley earned his B.A. degree in African American studies from Yale University in 1977.
In 1981, Adderley became the music director for Luther Vandross. Adderley arranged the music for Vandross’ 1981 album, Never Too Much on the songs “Never Too Much” and “Sugar and Spice (I Found Me a Girl).” He then co-wrote the song “Better Love” for Vandross’ 1982 album, Forever, for Always, for Love. In 1984, Adderley arranged “Superstar,” as well as “If Only for One Night” and “Creepin’” for Vandross’ album, The Night I Fell In Love. He co-wrote Vandross’ first top twenty hit, “Stop to Love” and arranged the songs “So Amazing” and “Give Me The Reason” from the album, Give Me The Reason. In 1988, Adderley arranged the songs “I Wonder” and “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” for Vandross’ album, Any Love. The album was nominated for a 1989 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Adderley also played keyboard for Vandross’ 1991 Grammy award winning album, Power of Love. He produced Vandross’ albums Your Secret Love, Luther Vandross, and the Grammy award winning album, Dance with My Father. Adderley arranged Vandross’ 2003 Grammy award-winning duet with Beyonce Knowles, “The Closer I Get to You,” which won for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. He then produced the live album, Luther’s Live 2003 at Radio City Music Hall.
In addition to his work with Vandross, Adderley has worked with several other musicians. He arranged the songs for Aretha Franklin’s 1983 album, Jump To It, the string section for Doc Powell’s Grammy nominated song “What’s Going On” and Natalie Cole’s song “When I Fall in Love.” Recordings of Adderley playing piano were used by playwright August Wilson for his play The Piano Lesson in 1990. Adderley later formed the Nat Adderley, Jr. Trio.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, saxophonist Mike Lee has established himself in the New York City/Northern New Jersey area for many years. He balances a thriving performing career with a distinguished teaching resume. He performs regularly in New York City as a member of a wide array of jazz ensembles. His recent associations include The Jimmy Heath Orchestra, The Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra, Wallace Roney’s Universe Orchestra, The Oliver Lake Big Band, The Loston Harris Trio, The Nat Adderley Jr. Quartet, Josh Evans Big Band, Dave Stryker, Frank Lacy, TS Monk, and The Roy Hargrove Big Band. He performs regularly at venues such as The Bluenote, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Smalls, The Jazz Gallery, Fat Cat, and Bemelman’s Bar at the Carlyle Hotel. Recent tours have taken him up and down the East Coast, to Italy, France, California and Beijing, China. Mike Lee is Professor of Jazz Saxophone at The John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. In 2009, Lee helped found and develop Jazz House Kid’s in-house jazz education program. As the instructor of the first class (2009) at the Jazz House and Director of the JHK Summer Workshop (2010-2012) he oversaw the growth of the program from one class to a thriving jazz school. Mike’s private students have also excelled winning national awards from the Grammy Band, Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, Downbeat Magazine, and Young Arts. He has had several students go on to attend The Juilliard School, Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, William Paterson, Rutgers, Miami University, and Northwestern University. Lee has presented clinics and workshops throughout the country.
Sir G Earl Grice
Drums/Actor. Crown Heights Affair, Ronny Jordan, Sonny Rollins, Rhoda Scott. 50+ movies & TV shows. Sir G. Earl Grice Drummer/Actor (New York, NY) Email: Sir.G.Earl@Gmail.com
Started playing drums at the age of 3 years old. Began performing with many gospel choirs and groups in the New York area for over 30 years. Has performed with many artists and genres including jazz, gospel, funk, rock, R&B, latin, reggae, pop, and marching. Has shared the stage with artists such as Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Gary Bartz, and many others. Was entered in the “Who’s Who in Newark Jazz” section of the book, “America’s Music, Jazz in Newark”, and also “The Encyclopedia of Newark Jazz”. Both books authored by Barbara Kukla. Has performed with his quintet to a sold-out crowd at “Thelonious Jazz Club” in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Has performed abroad at the “Coronet” in London, GB; the “Blue Note” in Milan, IT; and also in the country of Kazakhstan (former Soviet Union). Has performed with recording artists Crown Heights Affair, Ronny Jordan, and Roy Meriwether.
Has appeared in 50+ movies and television shows as an actor.
One of the most sought-after jazz bassists in New York City, Chris Berger started playing electric bass at the age of eleven. At the age of sixteen he discovered the acoustic bass and jazz. He played his first gigs in his native Dayton, Ohio. One year later enrolled in Bowling Green State University, where he studied both jazz and classical music. He received his most valuable musical training by working with the jazz musicians from the Toledo, Ohio area. After his formal studies Chris spent one year in Cleveland working with the highly regarded local tenor saxophonist Ernie Krivda and backing such visiting jazz artists as Joe Lovano, Jimmy Ponder, and Joe Williams. In 1993 he toured the United States, Europe, and Asia with legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and His Big Bop Nouveau. He also recorded with Ferguson for the Concord Jazz Label. In 1994 Chris moved to New York City, where currently resides. Since then he has performed, toured, and recorded with such jazz luminaries as John Abercrombie, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Jimmy Cobb, Richie Cole, Herb Ellis, David Hazeltine, Joe Lovano, Mundell Lowe, Junior Mance, Dado Moroni, Mickey Roker, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Loston Harris, James Williams, Russell Malone, Eric Alexander, and Maria Schneider Big Band. Currently Chris is appearing with the Loston Harris Trio at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City.
“I never heard of a Jazz musician who retired. You love what you do, so what are you going to do . . . play for the walls?”Nat Adderley Jr
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