Guitar virtuoso, Stanley Jordan, has consistently displayed a chameleonic musical persona of openness, imagination, versatility and maverick daring. Be it bold reinventions of classical masterpieces or soulful explorations through pop-rock hits, to blazing straight ahead jazz forays and ultramodern improvisational works—solo or with a group—Jordan can always be counted on to take listeners on breathless journeys into the unexpected.
Key to Jordan’s fast-track acclaim was his mastery of a special technique on the guitar’s fretboard. Instead of conventional strumming and picking, Jordan's innovative "touch technique" is an advanced form of two-handed tapping.
Guitarist Vernon Reid is probably best known for founding the groundbreaking rock group, Living Colour and piloting the band through a remarkable career. Not only a rock musician, Reid has extended virtually every musical genre- playing with artists ranging from Mariah Carey to Public Enemy, Mic Jagger to jazz guitarist, Bill Frisell. His musical journeys and eclectic musical vision make him one of the most innovative songwriters, composers, and band leaders of all time.
George Porter, Jr.
Few bass players in the history of modern New Orleans music are as storied as George Porter Jr. During the course of a career spanning more then four decades, Porter has not only made a deep impression with his work in the Meters, but he's notched session work with artists as diverse as Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett, David Byrne, Patti LaBelle, Robbie Robertson, Tori Amos, Taj Mahal, Ryan Montbleau and live performances with Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Warren Haynes, John Scofield, Steve Kimock, Eric Krasno (and including recent studio releases with Warren Haynes and Bill Kreutzmann) just to name a few. Early in his career, Porter worked with seminal New Orleans artists like Allen Toussaint, Earl King, Lee Dorsey, and Johnny Adams, Irma Thomas, The Lastie Brothers again to only name a few.
As a long time member and integral part of the Jerry Garcia Band, Melvin Seals is a true master of improvisation and the art of combining musical genres on stage. Melvin started his musical journey in the gospel world before eventually bringing his Hammond B-3 and keyboard skills to the world of rock and roll when he teamed up with the Garcia in 1980. Over the years, Melvin has diversified his resume by having performed with the likes of Chuck Berry, Steve Kimock, Charlie Daniels, and others. Today, Melvin continues the legacy of Jerry Garcia Band out on the road with JGB and will be bringing his wealth of musical knowledge and industry wisdom to the Masters Camp at Sea program
Johnny Vidacovich epitomizes the New Orleans musician's sensibility: relaxed, unpretentious, and great. It is in improvisation that his abilities show to greatest advantage. Always sensitive to the shifting sands of jazz, the drum maestro may mix it up with reggae, bebop, street beat, and blues rhythms in the course of one tune, as he follows the lead of one of his collaborators. He is the quintessential New Orleans jazz drummer, with all the exuberance and skill befitting one who grew up in the birthplace of jazz.
Originally from Los Angeles Daniel started playing at age 10. Coming from a large family of musicians, he was given a trumpet but then switch to trombone because his brothers arms were too short. This set the stage for a long career as a performer, composer and recording artist and has appeared on over 200 recordings. As an original member of MarchFourth he keeps the fun factor high and brings a wealth of experience to the younger members. He has been described as "Timeless" and on a prehistoric journey!
Ashish "Hash" Vyas“KEEPING THE HISTORY OF MUSIC alive is the most important aspect of playing,” says Ashish “Hash” Vyas. Like a lot of self-taught rock kids, he discovered blues and jazz by tracing the roots of Led Zeppelin. “I wanted to be Jimmy Page on bass,” he admits. As a teenager, Vyas was into the punk aesthetics of Sonic Youth and Nirvana. Serving as a DJ at San Diego State University opened his ears to everything. In 1995, he started the experimental outfit Gogogo Airheart. The band released five albums on Gold Standard Labs records, which was co-owned by Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez. Since 2004, Vyas has applied his deep and varied music appreciation to the world-oriented, DJ-driven livetronica outfit Thievery Corporation, and he works with several artists on the band’s ESL label.
Jeffrey "Congo" FrancaCongo Sanchez, a sound manifested through the musical experiences of producer/multi-instrumentalist, Jeff Franca, takes you on a sonic journey through a unique brand of psychedelic, outernational funk. The Washington, DC based artist has adopted a melting pot of sounds, from Africa, Latin America and Jamaica that are indicative of the diverse cultures and musical traditions of the nations capital.
After spending time in the orbits of DC’s finest bands like Thievery Corporation and See-I , and producing for world music sensations The Funk Ark and Empresarios, Congo is now stepping into the spotlight on his own. In partnership with Thievery Corporation’s boutique record label ESL Music, Congo Sanchez will be infiltrating your playlists with a unique canvas of roots rhythms and global sounds.
Karl Denson - Guest Master
Karl has been a road warrior since the late 80s when he was a member of Lenny Kravitz's band, and has since gone on to form his own bands, Greyboy Allstars, and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. His masterful saxophone skills, multi-instrumentalist capabilities, and unmatched showmanship has opened the door for him to perform and tour with acts such as The Rolling Stones and Slightly Stoopid in recent years.
Stanton Moore - Guest Master
Perhaps nobody defines contemporary New Orleans drumming and the art of improvisation more than Stanton Moore, a founding member of Galactic. But his skills and experiences are not just limited to performing within the jazz, funk and jam worlds, as he has diversified his resume by collaborating with Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine and regularly devotes time to charitable and educational outlets such as Tipitina's Foundation to give New Orleans youth the chance to perform with and learn music from professional musicians.
Eric Krasno - Guest Master
"Kraz" is another master of improvisation and has performed thousands of live shows over the years with Lettuce, Soulive, and more. Eric's feel for the funk has also led him to performing as part of Pretty Lights Live Band as well a "friend" in the ever rotating cast of the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh & Friends. As a former student of Berklee College of Music, his expertise dips into music theory as well as live performance.
Eddie Roberts - Guest Master
As one of the driving forces behind the colorful sound of The New Mastersounds, Eddie has been performing music since his days studying jazz at Leeds College of Music in the UK. It was in 2007 that The New Mastersounds made their first trip to New Orleans and Eddie was introduced onstage to the likes of Galactic, Papa Mali, The Greyboy Allstars and more. A true pioneer of British-born funk!
Nigel Hall - Guest Master
Nigel Hall is a musician capable of bringing a whole new energy to a show any time he steps up on stage. Whether he's holding down the keyboards or singing his heart out as a front man with Lettuce, The Nth Power, or any other past or current project of his, his stage presence is unmistakable. Idolizing soul and funk musicians of years past, Nigel harnesses a similar vibe onstage to his some of his favorite musicians such as Herbie Hancock, George Duke, and Lonnie Liston Smith.