Kenny grew up singing and performing gospel in church in his native New Orleans and studied jazz, classical, rhythm and blues and pop at Xavier University. He performed and toured throughout the U.S., Asia, Russia, and Australia as a member of the honorary U.S. Navy Band, before locating to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he performed in various jazz clubs with other well-known artists. Kenny appeared in Roy Nathanson's off-Broadway production Fire at Keaton's Bar and Grill with Elvis Costello and Deborah Harry in London and NYC, and was the featured vocalist at San Francisco's world famous “Top of the Mark” for eight years. Kenny is the featured vocalist on saxman Michael O'Neill's CDs The Long and the Short of It and Still Dancin, recorded on Jazzmo records. Kenny is also one of the featured vocalists on the Slammin' All Body Band CD, with Keith Terry. Most recently, he has performed alongside the Joe Locke Quintet and Wynton Marsallis at Jazz at Lincoln Center. kennywashingtonvocalist.com
A native of Oakland, Terrie Odabi is an award-winning blues singer who has performed at the Monterey Blues Festival, Concord Pavilion and Fillmore Jazz Festival to name a few, and opened for Average White Band or Lenny Williams. She won both the 2014 and 2015 Bay Area Regional Finals International Blues Challenge and the 2015 Black Music Award for Best Female Blues Artist. She was also a Semi Finalist of the Memphis International Blues Challenge in both 2015 and 2014. She performs original stirring blues straight from the soul and her arrangements create a contemporary sound that set off her witty lyrics and powerful voice. artistecard.com/Terrie
Will Russ, Jr.
Born, bred and raised in Detroit, Will Russ, Jr. is known for his smooth, soulful interpretations and brilliant vocal arrangements. Will has performed with or opened for Mavis Staples, Ray Charles, Brian McKnight, Mariah Carey, Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Huey Lewis, The Temptations, Darius Rucker, Clay Walker, Overtone (a cappella/vocal band originating in Johannesburg, South Africa), Sista Monica Parker, Jody Watley and Dale Ockerman of the Doobie Brothers and many more. He has toured around the world and throughout the US and performed for luminaries, including San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Clint Eastwood. williamrussjr.com
Destani Wolf is a singer-songwriter who was raised next door to Oakland in Berkeley, California. Her emotionally powerful and melodic vocals are nuanced with an exploration of Blues. Blues guitarist/composer Johnny Tolbert (Sam Cooke, Etta James, T. Bone Walker, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland) is her mentor, influencing her organic, retro and nu soul sound. She has performed with UK’s Alice Russell on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ and at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, Yoshi’s, Bimbos, and the UCLA Jazz Reggae Fest and has recordings on two Grammy-nominated Latin Jazz LPs (John Santos ‘S.F. BAY’ and Jose Rizo’s ‘MONGORAMA’). She has lent her voice to projects with Seu Jorge, Zap Mama, Quantic, the Bobby McFerrin offshoot SoVosó. Her solo debut LP ‘AGAIN and AGAIN’ is an underground classic of edgy soul. destaniwolf.com
Luq Frank (Luqman)
One half of the Oakland based songwriting team “Franc Wyte,” Luq is a singer- songwriter steeped in the traditions of Hip Hop, Jazz and Rock. His work references both current and classic music, counting Donny Hathaway, Al Jarreau, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder and Prince as his top influences. A member of Faye Carol’s “Gliteratti,” Luq was featured on Santana trumpeter Bill Ortiz’s album “Winter in America.” He was recently featured on Victoria Theodore’s debut album “Grateful” in the duet “Beautiful.” He shared the stage and/or contributed to projects with Pete Escovedo, Mike Blankenship, Kevin Choice, Howard Wiley, Paisley Hinton, The Hogan Brothers, Pep Love, Mykal Rose, Earl Zero, Destani Wolf, Zoe Ellis, Martin Luther, Omega, Dynamic, Quincy Griffin, Dub Nation and many others. Frank currently performs locally with the Oakland group Soul Mechanix, blending groove-based Soul improv and progressive Funk.
Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir
Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir was originally founded by Living Jazz in 1986. In 1990, OIGC splintered off to form an independent corporation and has been, since that time, performing, touring and recording. The 70-voice Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir is a six-time winner of the Gospel Academy Award for Best Community Choir of the Year, and recipient of the Gold Award at the International Music Festival in Sydney, Australia, a California Music Award of Special Recognition for Excellence, and a City of Oakland Key to Creativity. Directed by Terrance Kelly, OIGC has performed with Pharaoh Sanders, Stan Getz, Joan Baez, and Blind Boys of Alabama. The Choir recently returned from its debut performances at Montreux Jazz Festival and Molde International Jazz Festival, where all of its performances were sold out. oigc.org
Living Jazz Children’s Project
The Living Jazz Children’s Project is a music education program provided free of charge by Living Jazz to 3 Title One Oakland elementary schools with little or no access to the arts. This season, we are proud to serve over 300
1st-4th graders from Glenview, Lafayette and Cleveland elementary schools. Schools are selected because of the diversity of the population and the lack of funding for cultural programming. The MLK Tribute event will showcase the culmination of the children’s work under the musical direction of Amikaeyla Gaston and accompanist Ben Heveroh. LJCP provides a number of important services for underserved children: access to a high quality music fundamental program, exposure to the teachings of Dr. King, and an exciting opportunity to showcase their accomplishments by performing at a high profile public event alongside professional artists. livingjazz.org/oakland-childrens-community-project/