Please Welcome the Following Artists to Our Virtual Stage


Saturday


CEE Brown Project

CEE Brown, formerly spelled as C.Brown, was born Charles Brown Jr. January 5th, 1988 to Barbara Brown and Charles Brown Sr. His father passed away when he was only the age of 3 to Agent Orange. CEE Brown is also the grandson of legendary jazz musician Mary Alice Brown. As a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, he spent his childhood and adolescence making beats and writing poetry. He joined a rap group in his early teens as a producer for all members, but soon developed an interest in transforming his poems into rap songs. By 19, Brown started his own lyrical journey and went onto spending days and nights in studios recording solo tracks hoping to attain recognition. Though he was homeless at this age, he worked a seasonal job to cover studio time. In 2010, he was asked by respected rapper Hectic of Erie, PA to create and record a chorus for his single that became “Put In Work”. The song gave Brown more notoriety and showed his range as an artist.

By November of 2011, Brown released his first two mixtapes on the same day to display how much music he has recorded. The projects were well-received by locals and has lead him to become an active performer and collaborator within the community. Consisted of story-telling and introspection, Brown’s sound gained respect of not only people of the local hip hop scene, but those of other genres as well. Under the moniker C.Brown, he began working with multiple bands in various shows and open mics around town.

He is currently a free lance writer for two publications (the Erie Reader and the Erie Times) while still creating music. In 2018, CEE Brown landed a backing band now called The CEE Brown Experience that has received a warm reception throughout the Erie and Pittsburgh area. The band consists of local legends Eric Brewer (guitarist), Ralph Reitinger III (bassist), and Stix (drummer).

In 2017, CEE Brown was mentioned in the Atlantic magazine under his government for voice-over work on the viral short film This Is Our Erie; a response to CNN’s commentary on Erie, Pennsylvania. He is also one of the many co-writers of the visual.

In 2018,  local hit “Just Saw Their Face” written and performed by Jonny Evans and Tyler Smilo won a Rock Erie Award for Song of the Year. The track was produced by CEE Brown.

Before becoming a writer for the Erie Reader and the Erie Times, Brown has been mentioned in various columns and has been interviewed on numerous occasions under both publications.

Blue Elephant Ensemble

The Blue Elephant came to life from a conversation with friends about the Current State of the world, & how when Brightness, Knowledge & Compassion is needed the most, The Blue Elephant will appear. It’s from the current state of things both world wide & personal that led Stephen Trohoske to write a handful of New Music & Rework a couple of favorites. B.E.E combines multiple genres of music such as Jazz, Funk, Rock, Trance, World with a heavy emphasis on improvisation.
The Blue Elephant Ensemble consists of the following artists:

Roby “SuperSax” Edwards-Saxophone

Roby “Supersax” Edwards is one of small number of world-class Blues, R&B, Soul, Rock, Funk, Soul-Jazz and Balladeers of the Tenor Saxophone. In addition to playing all the mentioned genres with equal potency, Roby Supersax is atypical from many others in that he is as entertaining to watch as he is to hear. Roby Supersax harnesses the power, history and majestic legacy of the Tenor Saxophone as a musician along with the joy and necessity of entertaining and showmanship to enormous success.

Tony Grey-6 String Bass Guitar

Born March 25, 1975 in Newcastle, England. Tony is a multi-instrumentalist, master bassist, composer, producer, published author and award-winning music educator; he studied at the world-renowned Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2001, receiving the prestigious ‘Outstanding Performer’ award. Tony is known for his 6-string electric bass technique, his blend of jazz/world-fusion compositions, and his groundbreaking music education curriculum and teaching Philosophy.

Eric Brewer – Electric Guitar

Guitarist, Eric Brewer, began his musical adventure upon taking up drums at age 13. By 16 the allure of the electric guitar had pulled him into an obsession with players such as Hendrix, Clapton and Beck. After taking private lessons and jamming in various bands, he decided to pursue a music degree at Duquesne University where he studied jazz guitar and audio engineering. After graduating, he joined a band in Pittsburgh that gained some traction and soon found himself touring, recording and playing large venues opening for the likes of the Allman Brothers, Dave Matthews Band, and Motley Crue.

After moving on from that project, he moved back to his hometown of Erie, PA where he started teaching guitar full-time as well as playing in several bands.  Brewer has won 8 Rock Erie Music Awards and three Erie Reader Best of Erie Awards in the following categories: jam band, best guitarist and best musician, respectively. Currently he is playing in several popular groups.

Stephen Trohoske-Freted & Fretless Bass

Stephen Trohoske was born into a family who loved music, and grew up to the sounds of many different styles, evolving into a deep love and devotion to Jazz, World, Dub, Reggae, Avant Jazz, Black Rock, Funk, ECM, Brit Blues, Punk & Post Punk. Much of this music included melodic bass lines, walking lines, riffs, dub bass & deep ostenatos that would become part of Stephen’s trademark sound.

Ian Maciak- Drums

Maciak rounds out the ensemble with great drum skills. He finds a way to blend complicated hip-hop beats with rhythmic virtuosity, and regularly collaborates with Tony Grey in a group titled Galactic Duo. He has also performed alongside musicians, Zack Orr of SpaceLounge Productions, Adam Holquist, and Stephne Trohoske, forming the trio known as Human Flux.

Although still in his 20s, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting
audiences back to the 1920’s and making them wish they could stay there for good. Blind Boy
Paxton may be one of the greatest multi-instrumentalists that you have not heard of. Yet. And
time is getting short, fast.

Jerron performed to a sold out audience at the Lead Belly Tribute at Carnegie Hall on February 4, 2016 along with Buddy Guy, Eric Burdon, Edgar Winter, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and other stars. It is no exaggeration to say that Paxton made a huge impression. In the two years since his incredible performance at that star-studded show in one of the world’s great concert houses, Paxton’s own star has been rising fast. He opened for Buddy Guy at
B.B. Kings in NYC; for Robert Cray at the Reading PA Blues Festival, and performed
at numerous other festivals including: Woodford Folk Festival & Byron Bay Blues Festival in
Australia; Calgary Folk Festival in Canada; Jewel City Jam in Huntington WV; Freihofers Jazz
Festival in Saratoga Springs FL; Clearwater Festival in Croton-on-The Hudson NY; Fayetteville
Roots Festival in Fayetteville AR: Cambridge Folk Festival in the UK., Harvest Time Rhythm &
Blues Festival in Ireland; and headlined the 2017 Brooklyn Folk Festival.

Jerron Paxton is a two-time participant in the Keeping The Blues Alive Cruise and is the
new Artistic Director of the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival & Workshop at Centrum in Port Townsend, WA.  Paxton was featured on CNN’s Great Big Story and appeared in the multi award winning music documentary AMERICAN EPIC produced by Robert Redford, Jack White & T-Bone Burnett. In October and November 2018 Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton will be touring the U.S. with the musicians from this groundbreaking AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS music documentary.

This young musician sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun
accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional
jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. He’s a world-class talent and a uniquely colorful character that has been on the cover of Living Blues Magazine and the Village Voice, and has been interviewed on FOX News. Paxton’s sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and “Blind” Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is, “virtually the only music-maker of his generation—playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s.”

Sunday


David Kambowa

David Kambowa is a vocalist, composer, arranger, and keyboard player specializing in African
Gospel Music. He grew up in the Pentecostal Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His father preached and both parents and his eight siblings all were musicians. At the age of twelve he led his congregation’s Sunday School choir. Kambowa is also a preacher and says, “You cannot have a proper African Pentecostal service without music. It motivates and inspires, and helps people and brings them to God. Everyone participates in the music. Our music is based on African call and response. No one is shy to express themselves musically.” His Pentecostal tradition is Pan-African and he sings in English, Swahili, Portuguese, French, and various languages spoken in Congo, Uganda, and Namibia. His music includes soaring
harmonies and complex and infectious rhythms.

He left Congo due to the civil war and lived in exile Namibia for several years. He came to Erie
as a refugee in 2013. He has traveled widely to preach and sing at African Pentecostal
congregations in Montreal, Pittsburgh, Ohio, and Arizona. He will release an album in
September 2020. He will perform with his wife, Aimerance Kambowa (vocals), and others.

Tasana Camara

A native of Guinea, Tasana Camara comes from a long line of well-known West African musicians known as jaliba, or griots. More than a performer, the jaliba uses music to heal relationships and build community. He sings and plays an African harp called the kora, a wooden xylophone called the balanyi, and various hand drums of the Mandinka people. All the instruments he plays he has also built himself. Tasana has performed professionally throughout the world including appearing with the Ballet Senegal and the National Ballet of Guinea and a Carnegie Hall performance with the Chicago Arts Orchestra. In 1990 to 2003 he toured Europe with the 10-member Guinean supergroup Fatala.  In 2005 he came to America at the invitation of the University of Florida. He now lives in Erie. Tasana’s music is powerful. He plays ancient songs from his people, but also composes new pieces. Every song uses rhythm to communicate. Every song has a purpose. Whether it is about It energizes, focuses, and helps people remember the importance of community, and cooperation.

He will play at least three songs. He will play them all on the kora and the xylophone.

His songs will include:

Alalake (pronounced ah-la-LA-kay)

This song reminds us that everything comes from God, whether it is three feet of snow, a drought, or the corona virus. It is pointless to complain, we must embrace these things even if we do not like them.

Kera (prounounced KAY-rah)

This is a song of hope. It lets people know that blessings are coming. Good things will come in the future.

Tunka Malebelon (pronounced TOON-kah ma-LEY-bey-lon)

In West Africa greetings are very important. It is their culture to take the time to properly greet everyone and, if you don’t know someone, to properly introduce yourself. This song reminds people that if you do not introduce yourself when you go to a new place, no one will know who you are.

Charles Ventrello Quartet

The Charles Ventrello Quartet hits the Blues & Jazz stage with a number of local recognizable musicians. Listen to music recorded by the individual artists here for a taste of what’s to come from this great musical team.

Charles Ventrello – Saxophone

Sheldon Peterson – Guitar

David Blaetz – Bass

Carl Alanakian – Drums

George Burton

There is no doubt that young pianist, composer and bandleader GEORGE BURTON is a rising star: His sophomore release, Reciprocity, a New York Times Playlist Editor’s Pick, was dubbed “multidimensional” by Philadelphia Inquirer critic Shaun Brady. Since his arrival in New York over a decade ago, George Burton has been on the radar of innovator cognoscenti stretching from the jazz scene to the art world. His appreciation for the visual can be seen in the music video for the single, “Finding,” directed by Sigmund Washington, whose stunning stop-motion animation mastery gives the tune new life.
 
Described as “formidable” (NPR) and “charismatic” (THE NEW YORK TIMES), Burton’s breathtaking virtuosity and approach to music reflect his eclectic experiences, landing across the entire spectrum of jazz. His rigorous classical violin background, paired with a fervid embrace of the Philadelphia jazz scene, earned Burton a place on the world stage alongside some of music’s most significant practitioners of bop, post-bop and beyond, including Jack Walrath, Terell Stafford, J.D. Allen, Sean Jones, James Carter, and the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra. Hailed by JAZZTIMES as “straight-but-not-straight,” George Burton continues to blend, deconstruct, and rearrange his melange of influences, creating bona fide art — as Mike West of THE WASHINGTON POST puts it, George Burton is “a different beast.”