meet the cast

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BENNY BENACK

Trumpeter/Vocalist

"Male Jazz Vocalist of the Year" Finalist

— 2020 Downbeat Readers Poll

"He may be young... but he seriously has his act together in every way, shape and form..."

— All About Jazz

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OLIVIA CHINDAMO

Vocalist

"...a new singer on the NYC jazz scene and she’s really going places"

— Randy Brecker

 

2021 graduate of the inaugural Jazz Voice Graduate Program at The Julliard School

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FRANCO FINN

Auctioneer for the evening

Golden State Warriors "Hype Man"

Franco "has worked with some of the most recognized nonprofit organizations, including American Red Cross, March of Dimes, The Ronald McDonald House, the Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and corporations, including Walt Disney Company, Coca-Cola, and Verizon."

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HILARY GARDNER

Vocalist

"...an uninhibited answer to the young Doris Day."

— New York Times

 
"A voice worth seeking out."

New York Magazine

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RYAN SHAW

Drummer

Performs and/or records with Michael Bublé, Seth MacFarlane, Bill Holman, Gilbert Castellanos, Richard Shelton, Graham Dechter, Melissa Morgan and many more   

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JERRY WELDON

Tenor Saxophonist

Harry Connick Jr. band member since 1990 and Lionel Hampton Orchestra member in 1980s

Internationally renowned musician on the jazz scene for 40 years and "one of the most sought-after tenor sax [players] in modern jazz times"

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CARMEN BRADFORD

Vocalist

"A nuanced and nearly flawless vocalist"

CapitalBop

 

2019 Grammy nominee and featured vocalist in the Count Basie Orchestra for over nine years

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GRAHAM DECHTER

Guitarist

“I love Graham Dechter’s warm guitar sounds… serious swinging, clean arrangements, a high level of intensity and a dose of beautiful lines.” 

– John Clayton

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ALEX FRANK

Bassist

The youngest member of Jeff Goldblum's Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

 “I have two words for you—Ray Brown.”

— Quincy Jones

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KONRAD PASZKUDZKI

Pianist

"... a pearly touch, a sense of history, a sense of drama, a love of the blues, and an elegance which is borne of high-minded dedication"                                                      

— Wynton Marsalis

"... an ace pianist"                                  

  — Rex Reed, Observer

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BYRON STRIPLING

Trumpeter/Vocalist

Byron "... earned his stripes as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra"

"... a powerhouse trumpeter gifted with a soulful voice and a charismatic onstage swagger"

— The Philly Pops