Club Nouveau is an R&B-pop music group formed by record producer/performer Jay King in 1986 in Sacramento, California subsequent to the breakup of the Timex Social Club. The group's name (French for "New Club") was changed from its original incarnation, Jet Set, to capitalize on the breakup. The group was signed by Warner Bros. Records, on which Club Nouveau released its first three albums. The group's original lineup consisted of Jay King, Valerie Watson, Samuelle Prater, Denzil Foster, and Thomas McElroy. Foster and McElroy soon left to form their own production team and focus on working with other acts. Prater, who had performed lead vocals on "Lean on Me," eventually left as well to pursue a solo career, but reunited with the group in 2009.
In 2013, the group independently released their newest single, "That Ain't Love," and is currently set for an independent release of their newest album, Consciousness, in 2014. Their current roster consists of original vocalists Jay King, Valerie Watson English, and Samuelle Prater, along with band members Dave Stone (guitar), Fred White (bass), Juan Blair (keyboards), Pierre Parker (drums), and Angelo Dominguez (keyboards).
Leela James speaks the truth. Never mind hype or spectacle. The acclaimed recording artist appreciates the eternal qualities of an undeniable star — raw talent, musical substance and an authentic voice that’s timeless.
What sets Ms. James apart is her fearless approach to making music. She travels the gamut of emotions from self-doubt to self-confidence, and reminds her audience of what it is to be human – to love, to regret and to dream. “The best artists stay true to who they are, no matter the scale,” says James. “I think you can be relevant and still have substance, so I try to never stay in a box. My sound today may be different than where I was five years ago, but my core is always the same. My soul is intact.”
For Leela, it’s always been about the soul. So much so that she was nicknamed Baby Etta as a little girl growing up in Los Angeles. Along with Chaka Khan and Al Green, she counts Etta James among her vocal heroes and paid homage in 2012 by recording her album Loving You More…In the Spirit of Etta James. James is on a slow, steady burn towards musical success. As an artist who is devoted to her craft, she’s taken the past several years to cultivate her home life too. “I’ve become a mommy. I love being a mother. You think you know love, but you don’t understand true love until you have a child. I’m in a happy place personally.” On her new album she channels that happiness and new sense of self, giving her audience the sound of an artist who is in a truly good, profound space.
The original band membership consisted of saxophonist Walter Parazaider, guitarist Terry Kath, drummer Danny Seraphine, trombonist James Pankow, trumpet player Lee Loughnane, and keyboardist/singer Robert Lamm. Parazaider, Kath, Seraphine, Pankow and Loughnane met in 1967 while students at DePaul University. Lamm was recruited from Roosevelt University. The group of six called themselves "The Big Thing", and continued playing top 40 hits. Realizing the need for a tenor to complement baritone Lamm and Kath, they added local tenor and bassist Peter Cetera.
Jimi Hendrix once told Parazaider, "Jeez, your horn players are like one set of lungs and your guitar player is better than me."
While gaining some success as a cover band, the group began working on original songs. In June 1968, they moved to Los Angeles, California under the guidance of their manager James William Guercio, and signed with Columbia Records. After signing with Guercio, The Big Thing changed their name to "Chicago Transit Authority".
Their first record (April 1969), the eponymous Chicago Transit Authority, is a double album, which is rare for a band's first release. It sold over one million copies by 1970, and was awarded a platinum disc. The album included a number of pop-rock songs – "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?", "Beginnings", "Questions 67 and 68", and "I'm a Man" – which were later released as singles.
When the actual Chicago Transit Authority threatened legal action soon after the album's release, the band's name was shortened to Chicago.
Chris Jasper is a classically trained musician and composer. The youngest of 7 siblings, Jasper started studying classical music at the age of 7. After graduating from high school in Cincinnati,
he moved to New York to study music composition at the esteemed Juilliard School of Music in New York City. He continued his studies at C.W. Post,
Long Island University, New York, where he studied with noted jazz pianist and composer, Billy Taylor and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in music composition. He subsequently earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Concord University School of Law. The Jasper and Isley families lived in the same apartment complex in Cincinnati. While still living in Cincinnati, Jasper's older sister, Elaine, married Rudolph Isley and the vocal trio
formed by the three older brothers, Rudolph, Ronald and O'Kelly, subsequently relocated to Teaneck, New Jersey. While living temporarily in New Jersey with his sister as a young teenager, Jasper and the two younger Isleys, Marvin and Ernie, formed a band, "The Jazzman Trio" with Jasper on keyboards, Ernie on drums, and Marvin on bass. The band played local gigs in the New Jersey area. Along with Jasper, Marvin and Ernie also attended C.W. Post College in New York. While still in college, Jasper, Ernie and Marvin toured with the older Isley Brothers and played on the earlier recordings, including "It's Your Thing." Jasper's first of many songs written for the Isley Brothers was "Love Put Me On a Corner" released on the Isleys' "Brother, Brother, Brother" album in 1972. Jasper's last release in January 2013 entitled "Inspired: By Love, By Life, By The Spirit" was a compilation of love songs as well as socially conscious and spiritual tracks. His recent release, "The One" is a love song that is receiving international acclaim, and is the title track from his upcoming summer 2014 release.
Beatrice Melba Hill (born October 29, 1945), best known by her stage name, Melba Moore is an American disco, R&B singer and actress. She is the daughter of saxophonist Teddy Hill and R&B singer Bonnie Davis.
Moore began her performing career in 1967 as Dionne in the original cast of the musical Hair along with Ronnie Dyson and Diane Keaton. Moore replaced Keaton in the role of Sheila. In 1970, she won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Lutiebelle in Purlie.
Moore returned to Broadway in 1995 landing a part in Les Misérables. A year later, she started her long-running one-woman show, Sweet Songs of the
Soul, later renamed I'm Still Standing. In 2003,
Moore was featured in the film, The Fighting
Temptations, which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles. In 2007, she landed a role in the Broadway revival of Ain't Misbehavin'. In 2009 independent label Breaking Records released the EP Book of Dreams, in which Moore was featured. That same year Moore told her life
story on TV-One's Unsung and later that year released her first R&B album in nearly 20 years,
a duet release with Phil Perry called The Gift of Love. Moore is currently working on a new album
The album is being produced by Rahni Song and Dominic McFadden, son of the late Gene McFadden of McFadden & Whitehead. Her song called "Love Is"
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