Some people have a calling that is undeniable and Avery*Sunshine is no exception. Yet the former church pianist/musical director, who scored a #1 Billboard chart hit, was at once a reluctant warrior. “I had no idea that my work in the church would prepare me to do what I do.” Bringing people together through her riveting stage performances, candid and often humorous stage banter and optimistic anthems about love and life is what Avery*Sunshine does best. In fact she does it so well, that she has garnered praise from iconic musical figures like The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who raves, “I love Avery*Sunshine!” The Atlanta based singer’s no holds barred signature soul/R&B sound has also made believers of such luminaries as Patti LaBelle, Berry Gordy and Boy George who proclaimed on twitter “@averysunshine love this woman’s voice”.
Avery*Sunshine and her musical partner (now husband) and guitarist Dana “Big Dane” Johnson, have collectively either collaborated and/or toured with everyone from Anthony Hamilton, KEM, Will Downing, Gregory Porter, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Babyface and Roy Ayers to B.B. King, Michael Buble and Jennifer Holliday.
Avery*Sunshine’s #1 hit single “Call My Name” from her critically heralded sophomore project THE SUNROOM, was awarded ASCAP’s Rhythm and Soul song of the year 2016 award. There have been numerous sold out shows and career milestones that have included opening for Babyface at Madison Square Garden, performing for Smokey Robinson at his Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame tribute to being invited to perform by and for the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, twice in one year. In the same year Avery was nominated for a SoulTrain award and a BET Centric Award.
While she continues to tour the world: everywhere from many countries in Europe to Asia, Africa, the UK and Australia, she and Dana never stop creating and recording. Twenty Sixty Four, Avery*Sunshine’s 3rd release, which is scheduled for release in the UK and Europe later this year, features organic soulful in-the- pocket grooves, sublime ballads, exquisite arrangements/orchestrations and exuberant life affirming tracks. The vocals shine throughout, the production is tight and the songwriting hits home.
Avery*Sunshine describes herself as a cross between Oprah Winfrey and Bette Midler. To experience her live is to understand this notion. In a genre that is inundated with singers, Avery*Sunshine has forged a way for herself by staying true to her musical vision. “My greatest wish is for our music to empower and encourage, in some way, everyone who hears it. That is why Dana and I do this”, shares the radiant singer. With the upcoming release of Twenty Sixty Four, Avery*Sunshine concludes, “I am always striving to fill the space that I was created to fill. And I pray that the small space that I occupy in this world reminds everyone to SHINE no matter what.”
ASCAP award-winning vocalist Kathy Kosins has won the hearts of critics and fans around the globe with her eclectic musical palette that expands the rich history of Jazz and Soul.
Born and bred during the Motown era of Detroit, she began singing and arranging background vocals for producer Don Was (now president of Blue Note Records) in the early eighties, which led to her becoming one of the most sought after session singers. As a lead vocalist she recorded for both Carrere (Sony) and Quality Records and later toured with Was/Not Was.
In 2012, she released “To The Ladies Of Cool”, a dedication to the West Coast Cool school of artists like June Christy, Chris Connor, Julie London, and Anita O’Day. Kathy’s arrangements of those classic pieces stay true to the tradition of lyricism and understatement, yet sound so fresh and innovative that it is sometimes hard to believe those songs have been recorded some 50 plus years ago.
“The Space Between” from 2013 finds her in the studio with some of LA’s best musicians like Tamir Hendelman (piano), Robert Hurst (bass), Eric Harland (drums), and Larry Koonse on guitar on several obscure tracks that had been recorded by Shirley Horn or Nat King Cole. Her Jazz repertoire is always enhanced by her soulful vocal performance and it is no wonder, that she decided to include a Chill Mix of one of the tunes from the album (“Night Bird”) which puts her in another direction leading to her most recent album which is slated for a spring, 2018 release.
With the working title “Uncovered Soul”, Kathy has recorded this ultra soulful set with Grammy Award-winning producer Kamau Kenyatta (Gregory Porter) and a stellar cast of musicians: Greg Moore (guitar), Mitch Foreman (piano,keys), Kevin Axt (bass), Eric Harland (drums), and Munyungo (percussion). On the album, she explores rarely heard Soul and R&B tunes by famous songwriters like Curtis Mayfield, Eugene McDaniels, or Aaron Neville and also more contemporary tunesmiths like Amos Lee. It’s a well- balanced set catering to both Jazz fans and Soul aficionados alike and destined to become a future classic as it creates a sultry mood and features her most intense and intimate singing yet.
She has shared the stage and performed with numerous names in the jazz and R&B world. A few notables are: Cyrus Chestnut, Terell Stafford, Randy Brecker, Javon Jackson, Larry Goldings, James Moody, Kevin Mahogany, Bernard Purdie, Greg Hutchinson, Eric Harland, Red Holloway, Grant Green Jr., Reuben Rogers, Reuben Wilson, Aaron Goldberg, Tamir Hendelman, Jesse Davis, Eric Marienthal, Matt Wilson, Mitch Ryder, Was/Not Was and Michael Henderson.