Live JAZZ Music & Dance Entertainment ReLoaded!

JAD Guest Artists

JAD Guest Artists


Mo Beasley
(Guest Artist, Writer/Poet/Actor)

Mo Beasley aka The HeadMaster is a poet/actor, author, and educator. Dubbed as The Head Coach of Erotika, he founded New York City’s longest running erotic performance series, UrbanErotika. This award-winning poet has been featured at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café, The Blue Note, Bowery Poetry Club, Joe’s Pub, erotic reading series: Rachel Kramer Bussel’s In the Flesh and Abiola Abrams’s Kiss & Tell Live. Mo made his debut as a playwright with his critically acclaimed play "No Good Nigga Bluez” (which premiered at the NY International Fringe Festival in 2003 to sold out audiences). The book version of the play, released by Scripted Linguistics (2004), is Beasley’s first published work. His second is “Be a Father to Your Child” (Soft Skull Press, 2008), a groundbreaking anthology on fatherhood and hip-hop. Mo’s one-man show, You A Man Now? premiered at Passage Theatre’s Solo Flights Festival (2009) in Trenton, NJ. Mo’s work has not escaped the attention of the media. He has been interviewed by Rev. Al Sharpton, hip hop legend Chuck D, and has been quoted, profiled, or featured in New York Newsday, Amsterdam News, rolling out UrbanStyle Weekly, NRG, KISS FM (NYC), XM Satellite Radio, New York 1 News and several other local and national media. In 2006, The New York Daily News selected Mo as one of "50 Unsung New York Heroes." When not at the mic, Beasley teaches poetry & spoken word, theatre, and sexuality education courses/workshops to youth and adults throughout New York City. His current and past clients include Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Children’s Aid Society, Medgar Evers College, NYC Department of Education, Berkeley College, Planned Parenthood, and more.


Maritri Garrett (Vocalist, Guest Artist)

Maritri studied jazz with Grady Tate and Geri Allen and classical with Raymond Jackson and Russell Baldwin. She received a B.S. degree in Biology from Fisk University in Nashville where she also was a world renowned Jubilee Singer. Maritri also holds a Bachelors in Composition and a Masters in Jazz Studies from Howard University, Washington, D.C.

In 2002, Maritri made her classical piano debut at Steinway Hall in New York.  She was subsequently commissioned, along with cellist Shana Tucker to compose music for two ballets at the Washington Ballet under the direction of Mary Day at the Kennedy Center and at the Witts Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Maritri has opened for Gladys Knight, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Stanley Jordan, Toshi Reagon, Hiram Bullock, Muzz Skillins, Vinx and the Indigo Girls with her band Hue; appeared on BET on Jazz as a musician and host, performed at Nina Simone's family memorial with Patti LaBelle, Nina Simone, Valerie Simpson, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.  Maritri was also chosen as one of the background singers for Barbara Streisand at the Clinton inaugural gala.

Maritiri's TV credits include BET on Jazz and BCAT's Straight Up! With Stella Winston. Her recent performances include Def Poetry Plugged In at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, hosted by Danny Simmons; the Apollo Theater with Sekou Sundiata and Ani Di Franco, the Cutting Room, Central Park's Summerstage. the Women's Jazz Festival at the Schomberg Center with Tamar Kali, Borders Books, Bar Sputnik, 4W Circle, New York City's Triad Theatre, the 92nd Street Y-Makor/Steinhart Center, the New School and Aaron Davis Hall and Sekou Sundiata as part of "The America Project," Rush Arts Gallery, The Knitting Factory, BRIC Studios, Riverbank State Park, Joe's Pub, Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar, and BAM Café. 


Marcus Bell (Music Arranger/Bellringer Productions)


Artist International Producer Motivator prodigy musical genius Innovator Trendsetter World Traveler creative leader Unstoppable This is a short list of words used to describe the multi-talented Marcus Lee Bell is best known as Bell Ringer is an appropriate name for one whose time is now a career that began at the tender age of three and mastering 10 instruments through adolescence Marcus has produced music for a variety of artists from around the world and many of his songs have been used as background music for television, film and advertising. Marcus Bell/Bellringer Productions has been credited on recordings from of many major labels including Def Jam, Interscope, Warner Brothers, MCA, Sony, Virgin Records, and Arista. He is now back to his roots as artist with the release of his new album project entitled "Unstoppable." 




M. Nahadr (Vocalist, Guest Artist)

Internationally known for her work with her own show, Madwoman A Contemporary Opera, M. has also had the pleasure of performing alongside some of the finest artists in the business including, Aretha Franklin, Maxwell, Eric Benet, Chaka Khan, Kenny Lattimore, El Debarge, Freddie Jackson, DJ Spooky, and Simply Red to name a few. From her very first venture into the world of creative arts, M - artist and person – has carved a bold and brilliantly unique path through the field of traditional and contemporary music as well as into new and uncharted artistic territ ories. With a powerful six octave range, a captivating and mesmerizing stage presence and a rich musical and lyrical palette, M has excited audiences across a broad and diverse demographic. One area of music that has been instrumental in providing a creatively charged space for M's compositional inspirations is ‘free-jazz'. An environment full of improvisation, the pushing of boundaries, the merging of styles, the bold and daring release of divergent energies, the free-jazz movement has enabled M to experiment with sounds and tones and textures in the development of her vocal skills. Jazz Ain't Dead is proud to have M. perform and record with us. For more information about Madwoman, visit www.madwoman2.com.


Maurice Chestnut (Tap Dance Artist, Special Guest Performer)


Newark, New Jersey native Maurice Chestnut began dancing at the age of five, under the direction of Mr. Alfred Gallman. He became a professional dancer at the age of nine as an original member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble under the direction of Ms. Deborah Mitchell. As one of taps’ brightest young stars, he was featured on The Sally Jesse Raphael Show in the “My Kid’s A Star” segment, where he proudly proclaimed that he loved to dance and would keep doing it “until I die”. He was a gold medalist in the NAACP Act-So competition and was crowned “Top Dog Performer” at The Apollo Theater. At the age of fourteen, the Newark Star-Ledger’s arts reviewers named Maurice, “one of the twenty New Jersey faces to watch for in the new millennium.”

In 2003, Maurice was recruited by tap master Savion Glover, to join the national touring company of the Tony Award winning Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. Maurice received critical favor in that role. He has continued to work with Savion as a member of his Improvography and Bare Soundz tours, as well as performing in productions such as Classical Savion, Tappin’ Into Monk, Invitation To The Dancer and on ABC-TV’s Dancing With The Stars. Off-Broadway credits include Shades of Harlem, The Wiz, Bubbling Brown Sugar directed by George Faison at Atlanta’s Fox Theater and Can I Hit That.

Maurice has developed an impressive list of credits. In addition to performing with his own band, he is often invited to perform or tour as a special guest with such prominent jazz musicians as Christian McBride, Cyrus Chestnut and Thelonius Monk III. His high profile engagements have included the JVC Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival, The Apollo Theater and Birdland, as well as appearances at Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe with the Geri Allen Trio. As a featured soloist and choreographer, Maurice skillfully uses these venues to further develop his signature style of “playing tap” as a “live instrument.” He seamlessly weaves complex dance steps to interplay with musical notes, creating a powerful and distinctive energy that resonates with his audiences.

Inspired by such hoofing greats as the Nicholas Brothers and Jimmy Slyde, yet equally influenced by and connected to urban culture, Maurice Chestnut dances with truth, soul and power. As his appearance on BET’s 106th and Park demonstrated, watching him dance is like walking through Harlem in the 1940’s…while bumping a hip-hop beat.



V. Jeffrey Smith
, (Guest Sit-In Musician,
Soprano and Tenor Saxophone, Guitar)


V. Jeffrey Smith, a creative master musician, producer, writer, and vocalist, has played saxophone and/or sang on more records than he can even remember. He has been a member of the bands Aftershock, The Family Stand, and the Smithcox Organization. He has performed as vocalist and/or or played instruments on an extensive list of recordings including songs by Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston, Chynna Phillips, Darryl Hall, and Des'ree as well as many sessions on Virgin Records, EMI, Jive, BMG, EastWest Records America, Tommy Boy Music, Epic/Sony, MCA, and Atlantic Records to name a few.




Baakari Wilder (Tap Dance Artist/Special Guest Performer)


Tap dancer Baakari Wilder has had an astounding career. A native Washingtonian, Baakari was Savion Glover's replacement in the Broadway production of "Bringin 'da Noise, Bringin 'da Funk" in New York City. At the age of twelve he opened the show at the Kennedy Center for legendary tappers Harold Nicholas, Sandman Simms, Brenda Buffalino and Savion Glover. Baakari studied tap under Glover, Gregory Hines, Yvonne Edwards and Renee Kreithen, and has delighted audiences in places such as Germany, Africa, Japan and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Baakari also has a list of television appearances to his credit, including the 1996 and 1997 Tony Awards. He is currently teaching in the Washington D.C. area and just finished choreographic a piece for D.C.'s own "Tappers With Attitude", the company in which he was the original dance captain. 




SHAKTI
(Vocalist/Global Soul Entertainment)


Born to parents of East Indian and Malaysian/Singaporean descent, Detroit “Motown” Michigan would not only be her physical birthplace but also the backdrop to the evolution of her musical style. Shakti’s mother hails from a prominent performing arts family and her father, from a mystical gypsy family with an entrepreneurial spirit. Like many, they immigrated to the US to pursue the “American Dream.” Shakti was privileged to experience the best of both worlds. At home it was a traditional Indian upbringing while outside she was surrounded by the urban culture of Hip-Hop, R&B and Jazz. Encompassing her home life with street surroundings, she coined a style all of her own and the birth of 'East meets West' began. Shakti, at an early age realized her goal to bridge cultures through the Music. Through her experiences, Shakti evolved into an ambassador of global style and culture. She will mesmerize you with an exotic beauty, self-possessed sensuality and humility. As a humanitarian, she conveys a powerful message that “Music is avehicle to change lives."

Shakti's extensive education plays a great part in her musical development. She attended Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan prior to relocating to California to advance her acting and modeling career. She attended the esteemed Berklee College of Music and earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz studies. Receiving a scholarship, she went on to obtain her Masters in Music specializing in Classical/Opera Voice studies from The Chicago Musical College. Implementing her knowledge, Shakti garnered production and engineering credits at recording studios such as Chicago Recording Company and Chicago Trax Studios (R. Kelly’s Chocolate Factory).

Shakti’s International Hit Single “Do The Thang Thang” received tremendous airplay from BBC Radio 1, to American Stations such as New York's Hot 97 and Power 105 Los Angeles. Shakti charted #5 in India. As a catalyst for bridging cultural gaps, she continues to display her efforts with her debut Feminenergy which features recording artistHeather Hunter and other guest appearances. This innovative project is produced by "Bellringer" and an internationally acclaimed team of producers such as Bollywood's Karthik Raaja, Lounge Lizzards, Aaron "Freedom" Lyles (Michael Jackson, Erykah Badu, Angie Stone) and The Jettsonz (Nina Sky, Tarkan). Shakti's music has been featured in the film Paul Blart Mall Cop, Tyra Banks' America's Next Top Model and on the IFC original series Bollywood Hero, just to name a few.

Her music is a fusion of her gypsy life experiences and reflects the diversity of her life's journey. Audiences flock to Shakti's performances to catch the songstress throwing down hypnotic sounds, giving everyone a real taste of cultural fusion through music and dance. New York based Shakti, states “Music is simply a mind, body, and spiritual experience.” Shakti, simply put, is authentic!

She is currently promoting her album Femeninenergy internationally and will release a new single and video for "8Ball" in 2011 from the upcoming EP, Butterfly which showcases more of her impressive musical versatility. 




Diandra Camille Patrick (Vocalist)


Diandra Camille Patrick, born in Brooklyn, NY to aTrinidadian mother and Jamaican father, is a descendant of Reggae and Calypsonian Royalty. Her Grandfather, Lord Creator’s music is still very relevant in today’s grooves. You can hear his music samples in newer artists music like Paris Hilton’s debut album as well as the group UB40. Lord Creator was one of the artists responsible for the high success and visibility of Roots, Reggae, and Dance Hall Mega Distributor VP Records. Diandra has followed in the path of her grandfather’s legacy, yet she continues to carve her own road.

Diandra is a classically trained singer and accomplished business woman. At 12 years old she started her musical career at the Harlem School of the Arts working under the cream of the crop performing at such places as the Rainbow Room and the Waldorf Astoria for the Canadian Ambassador. She went on to NY’s famed LaGuardia Performing Arts H.S. Diandra also holds a Bachelor in Marketing from Virginia Union University.

You can currently see her starring and performing in a variety of venues and plays such as Dream girls for the New York’s Parks and Recreation in conjunction with Nia Theatrical Productions or sitting in with her favorite bands at the Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC. Her professional roster goes beyond singing to television commercials and on the business end- Marketing for TV Networks such as Fox 5/My9 and BET/Viacom.