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Jazz Festival Performers

 Featured Performers' Bios
18th Annual
Chandler Jazz Festival

Friday, March 31 & Saturday, April 1, 2017
    Dr. A.J. Chandler Park - Stage Plaza
178 E. Commonwealth Ave

Free Admission

Featured Performers' Biographical Information

Bob Fahey and Nice n' Nasty
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Robert Kaleopu'uwai (Bob) Fahey, when not on the road, divides his time between O'ahu Hawai'i & the Black Hills of South Dakota.  He started playing guitar at the age of 12. Bob spent 15 years on the road with various touring rock bands before returning to the Black Hills in 1989 to raise a family. For the next twelve years Bob’s smoldering vocals and searing slide guitar were a driving force behind one of Rapid City’s most popular bands, “The Suspects.” Bob has opened up for various artists including Albert King, The Doobie Brothers, Tommy Bolin, The Allman Brothers, Alice Cooper, Roy Rogers and Little Feat. He has been featured on PBS backing up A.C. Reed. Performing in venues from coffee houses, Fine Arts Centers & Arenas to the World Famous Buffalo Chip Campgroud. He currently spends a great deal of time working with the 5 piece band Nice 'n' Nasty a Blues/Funk group.  He describes his music as “contemporary blues” and has been influenced by such artists as J.J. Cale, Keb Mo', Roy Rogers (Blues Guitarist).Robert Cray, and Robert Johnson. Bob is most notably known as a Blues/Americana Solo Artist. But, he is often working with other players from a duo format to a 9 piece band with horns. One of his favorite groups to perform with is Tres Guitarras. A trio that performs in the Phoenix Arizona area fusing three guitars styles together, Flamenco (Chris Burton Jacome'), Jazz (Stan Sorenson) & Blues (Bob Fahey).  You can also catch him with the always energetic Nice 'N Nast Band with some of what he considers to be the best players anywhere! Bob currently records out of Will Wallers Sanctuary Studio in the Black Hills.

Royce Murray Jazz Ensemble

Royce Murray has had the privilege of writing for the late great BARRY WHITE, sharing the stage with JIMMY SMITH, Jimmy McGriff, Tony Monaco and countless other great B3 Organ virtuosos.. He had the distinct pleasure of playing Amazing Grace at Friendship Baptist Church for Civil Rights leader Pastor MARTIN LUTHER KING when he was just a youngster learning to play the organ! He first learned of JIMMY SMITH when he was 12 and decided that that was the way he wanted to play the organ. He listened to all the great organists. Royce was fortunate in living nearby Jimmy Smith and shared a lot of time together where music ruled. Whether jazz, blues or gospel, it’s Royce’s goal to swing you, groove you, rock you to your core with some music and leave you with a feeling of being taken to a musical level somewhere close to heaven! Joining the Royce Murray ensemble are Tim Robinson on drums, Eric Bart on guitar, and Jermaine Lockhart on sax.

Sistahs Too 
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Lila Sherman (vocals), and Rochelle Raya (harmonica, vocals and Arizona Blues Hall of Fame member), have been providing deep rooted original blues with a soulful and energetic sound in the southwest region for the last two decades. Original members of the all female blues band “Sistah Blue” and 1996 Internal Blues Challenge 2nd place winners.  These two women continue to deliver outstanding original and soulful blues music. Their latest project, “Sistahs Too” features long time contributors, James Robertson, guitar, slide and steel and Mike Howard, (2016 Arizona Blues Hall of Fame inductee), rhythm and lead guitar. Rounding out the rhythm section is Rocky Heyer, bass and Ricky Lockhart, drums. This group, Sistahs Too are the proud winners of the 2016 Arizona Blues Showdown and will represent Arizona in the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis in February, 2017.  Sistahs Too have a dedicated fan base and continue to entertain audiences near and far.

Smokestack Lighting

Smokestack Lightning is a band beyond the powers of one person. It takes all four of these men of action to bring out the gut wrenching blues and restless rock ‘n’ roll to the masses of music lovers everywhere. Since they banded together in late 2009, they’ve taken cues from their blues and rock forebears to form an unmistakable sound of pain, triumph, loneliness and joy.  In 2011 Smokestack Lightning released their self-produced debut smash CD, “Soul Left Blind.” With 12 original tunes, “Soul Left Blind” cooks like hot grease from start to finish and the CD comes alive with each member’s talent and charisma. “Soul Left Blind” was nominated for a 2012 Native American Music Award for “Best Blues Recording.” Based in Arizona on the Gila River Indian Community, Smokestack Lightning has traveled beyond the reaches of their reservation and performed before a wide array of audiences at a variety of venues and events.   In 2015 they came in first place in the Arizona Blues Showdown in the band category and second place in 2016.

Keith McKelley Project  
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Keith McKelley has had a wide and varied career as a saxophonist and EWI (electronic wind instrument) musician but also produces and writes his own material with the occasional collaboration with other writers and producers to create music.


Eric Ramsey 
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Eric is a two time winner of the AZ Blues Showdown, a two time performer at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tennessee, featured performer at the Dripping Springs (TX) Songwriters Festival, and has been featured in the Tempe Center for the Arts Songwriters’ Showcase. He performs regularly at Blues and Folk festivals throughout the region and the midwest. He has released two CDs of original music and is currently writing material for a third record.

Alex Price Quintet 
Alex Price is a nineteen-year-old musician and student currently living in Tempe, Arizona. He has played jazz trumpet for most of his musical career, and is currently focusing on improvisation, composition, and arrangement for jazz. Alex has performed with numerous artists as a trumpet player, including Michelle Coltrane, Mario Abney, Lewis Nash, Michael Kocour, Gordon Goodwin, Wayne Bergeron, Conrad Herwig, Joel Frahm, and Andy Martin. He is currently a student at the Barrett Honors College in Arizona State University, majoring in both Jazz Performance and English. Alex performs in the Arizona State University Concert Jazz Band under the direction of Michael Kocour, as well as ASU’s Latin Jazz Band, directed by Dom Moio, and ASU's Jazz Combo program. In the past, he has performed with the Young Sounds of Arizona 7:00 Big Band as the solo trumpet chair and been a member of Arizona's All State Jazz Band for four years. Alex is influenced by artists such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane, and more modern groups such as, Christian Scott, Radiohead, Taylor Eigsti, and the SF Jazz Collective. Alex Price is joined on stage by an array of up-and-coming talented student musicians from the Phoenix area: Marcus Leatham on drums, Charles Smith on piano and keyboard, Tyler Bauer on tenor saxophone, and Eric Nakamoto on bass.

Denny Monce Quintet

Denny Monce is currently a free-lance trumpet player in the Phoenix Valley. Having traveled much of the Western Hemisphere playing on cruise ships, he also spent several years studying and playing on the Los Angeles music scene. Over the years, Denny has performed with numerous headlining acts such as Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, and The Temptations. Additionally, he has played for countless off-Broadway musicals.  His passion is jazz music, and given the opportunity, that's where you'll find him, as a leader or a side-man, playing the music he loves. Denny also teaches trumpet, privately, and is on the jazz studies faculty at Arizona State University.

Doc Stewart Quartet

Dr. Chris Stewart now known as “Doc Stewart” once stood at the crossroads of life and opted for a career in medicine over his alto sax. The emergency room is still a happening scene for him at the Mayo Clinic, but his fans are glad he never cut out of the gig. Doc Stewart has kept his chops in shape jamming and recording with big bands and artists like Louis Bellson, Tom Kubis, Matt Catingub, Toni Tennille, Bill Watrous, Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabakin, Woody Herman, Phil Woods, Eric Marienthal, John Patitucci, and others. Jazz critic Leonard Feather writes in the LA Times: “The lead alto saxophonist, Dr. Chris Stewart, practices emergency medicine for a living, but [leads] the reed team flawlessly.”
His roots sink deep into Hard Bop having listened to the alto greats Charlie Parker, Phil Woods, and Jullian “Cannonball” Adderley. He possesses nearly every known recording of Cannonball and Bird. He has transcribed over five hundred of Cannonball’s solos and over a hundred of Bird’s solos and has published with Hal Leonard Music.  This, he says, is where he learns most of what he knows. He recorded “Supersax” arrangements of several Cannonball solos while actually playing Cannonball’s very own alto saxophone heard on Matt Catingub’s Your Friendly Neighborhood Big Band album.  This love affair with Cannonball’s recordings exudes from his playing but clearly he has developed his own contemporary style without ever losing sight of his Be-Bop roots.
A regular at the Studio Café in Newport Beach, you could catch the smokin’ Chris Stewart Quartet in the 1970’s & 80’s. Now playing regularly again, Doc Stewart is sounding better than ever. Most recently, he reunited with his Los Angeles childhood musical protégés for a big bad session which produced the CD Code Blue - Grammy nominated in 2015 for best jazz ensemble. The session showcases breath-taking saxophone solis based on Cannonball Adderley solos. He has come a long way since winning the Disneyland High School Talent Showcase.

The Lou Vig Band
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Lou Vig of Old Bridge, New Jersey, has played for such well-known musical acts as Frank Dell & The New York Connection,The Pazant Brothers The Manhattans, Chuck Jackson and Melba Moore. The Brooklyn New York native has toured the United States and Canada and has appeared on the popular 1970's musical television show, The Midnight Special. He has also been a regular at the famous Manhattan night spot, The Cotton Club lending his talents to many artist and most recently performed at the famous Iridium Jazz Club in NYC with Nat Aderley Jr. and the legendary Melba Moore.

Antonio Jackson

As a graduate from the University of Minnesota, Morris and the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston, Antonio has strived to create his own style and his own voice. In a world where so many want to sound like everybody else, Antonio strives to sound like no other saxophone player but himself; yet stemming from the influences of artists like Grover Washington Jr., Najee, Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, George Howard, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Kenny Garrett, Stevie Wonder, Prince and Michael Jackson (just to name a few). Coming up as a young musician, Antonio bounced around the smoke-filled jazz clubs of Minneapolis, Boston and Los Angeles as well as the performance stages of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and Carnegie Hall in New York. He has been blessed through his various ensembles to have opened up for and/or shared the stage with some of the best, including Chaka Khan, Nathan East, Mark Whitfield, The Average White Band, The Roots, RUN DMC, The Pharcyde, The Count Basie Orchestra, the late Red Rodney, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Najee, Regina Belle and others.
With the release of his seventh and eighth self-produced studio recordings; ‘Steppin Out’ and his new Soundtrack CD, ‘Chill In The Deep‘, Antonio brings the listener into his current musical journey. While Antonio Jackson has a profound respect and skill for traditional jazz, he takes great pride exploring new musical styles and putting no limitations on the saxophone. It is through that diversity that Antonio has managed to find his voice, which he respectively and simply calls… “antoniojazz”.
This rich blend of creativity is heard in all his original music, including his smooth jazz songs like “Sunny Day”, “Santa Monica Drive” and the dance track “Don’t Give Up”. As a result, Antonio’s sound and showmanship touches all walks of life. By relying upon his faith as his source, Antonio has already marked himself with success, and it is with that same dedication that many have come to rely upon Antonio to deliver a consistent flow of spirit-filled dynamic energy at each one of his performances. A feat he takes no credit for. As best said in his own words… “Music is for the Soul, if you hear it, its there. If you listen to it, it touches you; but if you play it… It embraces you”.

With a musical career that has spanned over 25 years, Antonio Jackson’s journey as not just a musician but also as a single father has been one of fortitude, perseverance, passion and promise. With the ability to always re-invent himself, Antonio’s diversity and charisma are giving him a distinctive new voice on the saxophone by combining jazz musicality with a high-energy and soulful stage performance. From Teens to Baby-Boomers in every culture imaginable, they’re all asking “where is he next?” Antonio and his saxophone have set out on a mission to ‘share the love’ by putting smiles on faces and providing a joy and inspiration through music that cannot be overlooked.