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Stanley Clarke

Four-time Grammy Award Winner Stanley Clarke has attained “living legend” status during his over 40-year career as a bass virtuoso. He is the first bassist in history who doubles on acoustic and electric bass with equal ferocity and the first bassist ever to headline tours, selling out shows worldwide to this day. A veteran of over 40 albums, he most recently won the 2011 Best Contemporary Jazz Album Grammy Award for The Stanley Clarke Band. Clarke co-founded the seminal fusion group Return to Forever with Chick Corea and Lenny White. In 2012 Return to Forever won a Grammy Award and Latin Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Forever.

Clarke’s creativity has been recognized and rewarded in every way imaginable: gold and platinum records, Grammy Awards, Emmy nominations, virtually every readers and critics poll in existence, and more. He was Rolling Stone’s very first Jazzman of the Year and bassist winner of Playboy’s Music Award for ten straight years. Clarke was honored with Bass Player Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award and is a member of Guitar Player Magazine’s “Gallery of Greats.” In 2004 he was featured in Los Angeles Magazine as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People. He was honored with the key to the city of Philadelphia and put his hands in cement as a 1999 inductee into Hollywood’s “Rock Walk” on Sunset Boulevard. In 2011 he was honored with the highly prestigious Miles Davis Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival for his entire body of work. Most recently Clarke won Downbeat Magazine’s Reader’s and Critic’s Poll for Best Electric Bass Player.

An accomplished film and TV composer of over 65 projects, his credits include Boyz N The Hood,the Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It, Romeo Must Die and The Transporter. He has garnered three Emmy Nominations and a BMI Award for his scoring.

Born in Philadelphia, Clarke has been a constant force of nature in American music since the early 1970s with the success of the jazz-fusion group Return To Forever. That accomplishment gave way to a number of extremely successful solo albums for Clarke. Along the way, he has collaborated with Quincy Jones, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, The Police, Herbie Hancock and many more, and has shared the stage with Bob Marley and Miles Davis.

Clarke heads his own record label, Roxboro Entertainment Group. Five artists were chosen for its first releases; Lloyd Gregory, Sunnie Paxson, Ruslan Sirota, Kennard Ramsey and 16-year-old jazz piano prodigy Beka Gochiashvili from Tbilisi, Georgia (formerly a part of Russia).

Clarke believes in giving back to help young musicians hone their skills. He and his wife Sofia established The Stanley Clarke Foundation thirteen years ago as a charitable organization, which offers scholarships to talented young musicians each year.

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Bettye LaVette

Two time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette is no mere singer. Bettye is an interpreter of the highest order. Whether the song originated as country, rock, pop, jazz or blues, when she gets through with it, it is pure R&B. She gets inside a song and shapes and twists it to convey all of the emotion that can be wrought from the lyric.

She was born Betty Jo Haskins on January 29,1946, in Muskegon, Michigan. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Bettye did not get her start in the church, but was weaned on the C&W and R&B records of the time that were playing on the juke box in her parents' living room.

In 1962, at the age of 16, she became Bettye LaVette. Her first single was "My Man--He's a Loving Man" on Atlantic Records. The record charted #7 R&B and put her on her first national tour, with Ben E. King, Clyde McPhatter, and other Atlantic stars of the time. She continued recording throughout the 60's, 70's and 80's including stints on Atco, Epic, and Motown.

She worked alongside Charles "Honi" Coles, and Cab Calloway in the Toni Award-winning Broadway musical, "Bubbling Brown Sugar" in the role of Sweet Georgia Brown.

Her "resurgence" in the 21st Century is an amazing tale of perseverance:

• 2004 - Her CD, A Woman Like Me won the W.C. Handy Award for "Comeback Blues Album of the Year". • 2005 - She signed with ANTI- Records and released the critically acclaimed CD, I've Got MY Own Hell To Raise, consisting of songs that were written by women.

• 2006 - She won the prestigious Pioneer Award from The Rhythm & Blues Foundation.

• 2007  - she got together with alt-rock group Drive-By Truckers for the Grammy nominated CD, The Scene of The Crime. • 2008 - She received the Blues Music Award for "Best Contemporary Female Blues Singer". She also performed an unforgettable  "Love Reign O'er Me" at The Kennedy Center Honors in a tribute to The Who.

• 2009 - She performed  "A Change Is Gonna Come" with Jon Bon Jovi on HBO's telecast of President Barack Obama's kick-off Inaugural  concert, "We Are One". • 2010 - Her CD, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook garnered her a second Grammy nomination.

2012 - Marked her 50th year in show business. It also saw the release of both a new album, Thankful N' Thoughtful (ANTI- Records), and her autobiography, A Woman Like Me (Penguin), written with David Ritz. The book is currently being developed as a feature film by producing partners John Wells ("The West Wing", "ER", etc) and Alicia Keys' company AKW. At President Obama's personal request she also performed at the prestigious annual Fords Theater Gala in Washongton DC.

Bettye is one of very few of her contemporaries who were recording during the birth of soul music in the 60s and is still creating vital recordings today, as opposed to resting on her laurels and recreating sounds of the past.

To quote LaVette: "And still I rise!"

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