From the White House, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall, to the Grammy Museum and the Emmy Awards, Bakersfield-born singer/songwriter/keyboardist, Sheléa, has transcended the boundaries of musical classification through a versatile and powerful voice that speaks to nations. In 2013, she released her debut CD, Love Fell On Me, the self-penned title track for the film Jumping the Broom and the lead single, “I’ll Never Let You Go,” peaking at #22 on the Billboard R&B chart. Yet, it was her video tribute to Whitney Houston, following the pop star’s tragic passing, in which she sang a self-arranged 10-song medley of her hits at the keyboard that became a viral sensation. After working with and wowing a who’s who of music icons including Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, David Foster, Sergio Mendes, Narada Michael Walden, Rickey Minor, and Dave Koz, Sheléa has earned international recognition and appeal. She is set to release her eagerly awaited third album, Pretty World: A Tribute to Alan and Marilyn Bergman, which will debut with a PBS television special.
Richard Bona’s seemingly effortless voice, fierce skills on the bass, unique songwriting/arranging expertise and ability to learn just about any instrument simply from watching, position him as a rare African artist to have established an inimitable reputation on an international platform. Originally from Cameroon, Bona began touring with Pat Metheny, appeared as a guest on two of Bobby McFerrin’s albums, and garnered recognition at the Victoires du Jazz Awards where he won the trophy for “Best International Artist of 2004”. In 2005, Bona guest appeared on Mario Canonge’s album Rhyzome and contributed to the soundtrack for Pascal Plisson’s film Massai, les guerriers de la pluie. Also known for his role in the group, Steps Ahead, Bona has performed on many stages such as the Adelaide International Guitar Festival and with many luminaries such as John Legend for Bona’s album, Tiki, which was also nominated for a Grammy in 2007 for “Best Contemporary World Music Album.” He also received the prestigious SACEM Jazz Award (Grand Prix Jazz SACEM) in 2012 for the Jazz Grand Prize. Additionally, his RIAA Certified Gold album, Bonafied, catapulted him to eventually redefine his sound and release his album, Heritage, with his Afro-Cuban collective, Mandekan Cubano.
Grammy nominated, 25 year old McClenney, boasts an impressive list of contributions to some of the most popular sounds of today. His previous work earned him a 2018 Grammy nomination for his contributions on Khalid’s “Location”, and he also played a role in H.E.R.’s Grammy winning, eponymous album. He has produced and is currently producing for an array of artists such as Smino, Marco McKinnis, Xavier Omar, Chika, and Boogie. In addition to the producing skills that has led him to his current success, he is also a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in his own right. His 2018 EP, I’m Not Here is an entirely self-produced work that channels a nostalgic, yet modern sentiment, which can be heard in his standout track, “SOS”. As a Maryland native, he is rooted with an honest, yet current homage to classic R&B. His most recent release, “Get Back”, is the first single from his upcoming EP and illustrates the unique blend of genres, eras, and influences present in his music. With over 15 million collective streams and over 336k monthly listeners, McClenney has carved a path of his own as a completely independent artist. His next single is set to be released in September, and will be followed by his EP release in November.
Having gained attention from the likes of Justin Timberlake, Jessie J, Tracy Chapman, Lennon Stella, and many other notable names worldwide, Portuguese multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, arranger, and composer, MARO, is undoubtedly one to watch. With over 3 million streams on Spotify, MARO has built an undeniable following completely on her own, in under 4 years. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2017, MARO made the impossible decision to permanently leave her home country of Portugal with barely any money in her pocket, to pursue music in Los Angeles. In 2018 alone, MARO released 6 self-written and produced artist projects, yet they only scratch the surface of the melodic canvas she has yet to paint. During this time, video clips she posted on Instagram put her on the radar of 2-time Grammy winning artist, Jacob Collier, managed by Quincy Jones. After a few correspondences, MARO was invited to join Collier’s debut touring band as a featured vocalist and instrumentalist, which she currently remains a member of. She was also asked to open for Fatai on tour, as well as ¿Teo? on his first headlining Americano Columbiano tour. Newly signed to the legendary Quincy Jones’s management roster, MARO has proven to be not only a true musician, but one who also understands that good music cannot be confined to a specific genre.
KANYA is the project of Indonesian-born musician, artist, and director, Kanya Iwana. Her genre-weaving sound draws inspiration from jazz and blues classics like the late and legendary Amy Winehouse and Billie Holiday, the soulful twang of Erykah Badu and Duffy, with homage to her Indonesian roots.
After completely losing his sight at age 11, due to a rare disorder called exudative retinopathy, Kauflin adjusted by learning braille/cane mobility, and after a decade of studying classical violin/piano, he switched to jazz piano in high school. In 2004, he graduated at the top of his class and received a Presidential scholarship to attend William Paterson University in NJ where he was taken under the wing of the legendary trumpeter, Clark Terry. Their relationship as mentor and student was chronicled in the documentary, Keep On Keepin’ On (KOKO), and after five years of filming, KOKO won top honors at many of the country’s most prestigious film festivals (i.e. Tribeca, Palm Springs, Seattle & more), was sold to Radius-TWC, and released in theaters nationwide. Furthermore, the film was selected for the Oscar ⓒ Documentary Feature Shortlist, and simultaneously, Kauflin’s 2015 album Dedication went to #1 on the Jazzweek charts. His latest release, Coming Home (2018), is produced by Quincy Jones and Derrick Hodge.
Jonah Nilsson, lead singer and keyboardist of the internationally
acclaimed band, Dirty Loops, is a Swedish artist, composer, &
producer, who also plays the voice of Dancing Machine on the Netflix
series Motown Magic. Jonah’s debut single, “Coffee Break”, featuring
Richard Bona, was released 2018 in two separate languages, including a
popular K-pop record with LUCAS from NCT. Fans refer to Jonah’s new
music as: “Michael Jackson vibes with reloaded talent and a dash of
Stevie Wonder.” His fanatic followers are now highly-anticipating his
self-produced solo debut EP that will be released in 2019. The music
will continue to have the flirtatious and cheeky sound that Dirty
Loops was notorious for, but with more R&B and pop elements.
Jacob Collier is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, arranger, composer and producer, based in London, England. Hailed the world over as one of the most prodigious and innovative creative forces of his generation, Collier’s self-made viral YouTube videos are what first introduced him to the world, and caught the attention of Quincy Jones. Collier’s debut album, 2016’s In My Room, won 2 GRAMMYs, and features Collier singing, playing, arranging and producing everything on his own, in his childhood music room in London. The success of this album led to a One-Man-Show World Tour; collaborations with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Hans Zimmer to Snarky Puppy; performances with the likes of Pharrell Williams; a TED Talk; headlining the BBC Proms, and much more besides. On January 1 2018, Collier began the creation of Djesse, a hugely ambitious four-volume album cycle. It has been described as a journey through every musical genre under the sun, featuring a stellar global cast of over two-dozen of his musical inspirations, with orchestras, folk legends, choirs, rock guitar wizards, soul singers, pop stars and rappers joining the fray. Collier stands bravely at the center of it all, the writer, producer, arranger, and singer putting himself in conversation with the musical world at large. It is one of the most audacious recording projects to emerge this decade from someone who has already established himself as one of music’s most brazen and electrifying new minds.
Eli Teplin is a classically-trained pianist, guitarist, songwriter, &
pop artist, who in the words of Quincy Jones, “sings from the soul &
writes from the heart.” Since making the move to Los Angeles, Eli has
already landed himself a spot on BMG’s roster of chart-topping
songwriters, as well as signed with Tobias Jesso Jr. as a songwriter.
Eli’s first single release, “Could It Be Over”, has garnered over 4
million Spotify streams, & his music continues to receive love from
fans & top influencers, such as Lele Pons.
Alfredo Rodríguez is a GRAMMY-nominated pianist, composer, arranger, & producer. After meeting Quincy Jones at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006 & receiving an offer to work together, Alfredo emigrated to the U.S. to pursue his dream of being an internationally acclaimed musician. Over the past decade, Alfredo has gone from a local Cuban artist to a globally recognized GRAMMY-nominee with five critically acclaimed releases on tastemaker imprint Mack Avenue Records: Sounds of Space (2011), The Invasion Parade (2014), Tocororo (2016), The Little Dream (2018), & Duologue (2019)