Live JAZZ Music & Dance Entertainment ReLoaded!

Production Team

Production Team 
 
Candice Michelle Franklin
(Conceiver/Choreographer/Executive Producer)

Candice Michelle Franklin, originally from  St. Louis, Missouri, is the founder of Dance Industrial Professionals, Inc. in NYC and the conceiver of the live concert production of JAZZ AIN'T DEAD®.  She produces and choreographs for concert, theatre, and casinos, as well as industrials for a multitude of corporate brands for events and trade shows.  Ms. Franklin has produced several professional dance projects for New York artists as well as a cultural arts series and several musical theatre styled productions. 

 

She first began training in St. Louis, later receiving her B.A. in Dance on 4-year scholarship as well as professional training from the  Alvin Ailey  American  Dance  Center and various other choreographers of the  New York area.  Since then, she has been seen in film, television, music videos, concerts, commercials, and on the off-Broadway stage.  She is a former member of Joan Peters Dance Company and has performed with Avodah Dance Ensemble (principal dancer), Total Entertainment/Total Extremes Dancers (principal dancer/rehearsal director), Vissi Dance Theatre (principal dancer) and Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance.   She continues to dance as a member of the Underground Dance Project (choreographer) and CEG Productions (Dance Captain/Choreographer), and with, Phoenix Rising (principal dancer/choreographer), and Nommo Contemporary Dance Theatre (principal dancer/choreographer).  Her choreography has been seen on the stages of the Theatre of Riverside Church, Aaron Davis Hall, the Kumble Theater, BAM Cafe, Dance New Amsterdam, the Joyce SoHo, the Players Club, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Sage Theater, Bernier Dance, 14 Street Y, American Theatre of Actors, Tribecca Performing Arts Center, Henry Du Jour Playhouse, Webster Hall, the Bowery Poetry Club, the Mariott Marquis, the Borgata Hotel, Trump Plaza Hotel Casino, Caesars Atlantic City Casino, Tropicana Casino, Jacob Javitz Convention Center, the Highline Ballroom, the Mohegan Sun, the Foxwoods Casino, the Syracuse Oncenter, Odeum Expo Center, Trump Taj Mahal Casino, and Turning Stone Casino.   In addition, her choreography was presented at the Winchester Theatre in the Toronto Dance Festival to warm reviews by the Toronto Globe & Mail as well as in the latest concert for Phoenix Rising Dance Creations where her work and photo of that performance was featured with critical acclaim in the New York Times.

 

In addition to Jazz Ain't Dead, Ms. Franklin is currently choreographing live stage shows for the band,Buffalo Stance, Grammy recording artists Macy Gray, top 5 Bollywood hip hop artist, Shakti, the rapper, BRASCO, and the rock band, BLACK TAXI,  and for the off Broadway play, Billie's Blues, directed by T. Bankole.  Most recently she can be seen in several appearances for the films Step Up 3D and A New York Thing, as well as reggae’s Matisyahu’s latest music video, “One Day” (SONY EPIC Records), a tv episode of Law and Order Criminal Intent (featured in a scene with Jeff Goldbloom), and the national commercial for the video game, “DJ Hero”  featuring Jay-Z and Eminem.  Miss Franklin is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is represented by DDO Artists Agency.

 



 
 

Lafayette Harris (Jazz Piano, Live Music Director) 


Known as the “go to” pianist by other musicians and band leaders, Mr. Harris has performed with the Duke Ellington Legacy Orchestra, toured for seven years with Max Roach, and has worked with Al Grey, John Gordon, Slide Hampton, Curtis Fuller, Roswell Rudd, Chico Freeman, and Cindy Blackman, Allan Harris and many others. Lafayette’s two most recent albums are “IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT,” a contemporary funk/fusion project, which was released in 2006 and most recently “TRIO TALK,” a jazz trio outing featuring Winard Harper and Dwayne Dolphin.  His breakthrough gig was as a conductor and keyboardist for the smash hit, Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk.  Harris has since been involved with more Broadway shows including The Full MontyRide Down Mt. MorganKat And The Kings, and The Color Purple. Mr. Harris currently tours Europe and the U.S. with four time Grammy nominee-Ernestine Anderson.


 


Chris Rob
 (Principle Music Arranger/Keys)  


Chris Rob hails from  Chicago, Illinois.  He performs with John Legend and while on “The Get Lifted” tour, he took position as Musical Director.  His stage credits as an opening act and supporting musician include Prince & the New Power Generation, Elton John, Snoop Dogg, John Mayer, Ashford & Simpson, Jill Scott, The Roots, The Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, Roberta Flack, Common,  Michelle N'degeocello, Cee-lo, Anthony Hamilton, Patti Austin , and Pevin Everett.  His television appearances include The Grammy Awards, "Oprah", "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno", "The Office", "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", "The Ellen Degeneres Show", "Jimmy Kimmel", The Soul Train Awards, "Entertainment Tonight", "Raaymond is Laat" (Amsterdam), and "Top of the Pops" (Amsterdam, London), and Jules Holland (London).  Chris Rob is currently on tour with Roberta Flack.


Donald Hayes
 
(Music Arranger/Saxaphone, Keys, Bass, Drums)


Over the past 15 years Donald Hayes has become one of the most sought-after musicians and arrangers with credits extending to almost every genre of music.  Hayes has played or recorded with artists including; Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, Usher, Maya, Brandy, Philip Bailey, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Simpson, James Brown, Jamie Foxx, Black Eye Peas, Dave Hollister, Tank, Chaka Kahn, Wayman Tisdale, Andre Crouch, Deborah Cox, and Queen Latifah.  He is also the first call saxophonist for most gospel artist including Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, John P. Kee and the late Rev. James Moore.  Moreover, Hayes has scored two feature films as well as arranged for Detrick Haddon, West Angeles COGIC Mass Choir, BeBe Winans, and Beverly Crawford.  Mr. Hayes has been nominated for both a Stellar Award and a Dove Award.  He was also nominated this year for a Stellar Award for his arrangement of Beverly Crawford's "He's Done Enough" for Song of the Year. Hayes’ repertoire of mastered instruments includes the woodwind family, piano, bass and drums.

 

Mansa Gory (Trombone/Horn Arrangements) 


Born in New York City and raised in Cheraw, South Carolina, Mr. Gory studied music at the  University of South Carolina and later received his Masters in Music Education at  Lehman  College.  He has also had the wonderful opportunity of studying with such greats as Wycliffe G ordon, Ronald Davis, and Wayne Downey.  Mr. Gory has had the prestigious honor of marching in the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corp in addition to receiving several awards including his induction into the Concorde Drum and Bugle Corps Hall of Fame.  Mr. Gory currently is the Director of bands of both  Mount Vernon  High School and the award winning Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band.  He continues to perform as a member of the metal band, IKILLYA and the hip hop/reggae/rock band, A Broken Code.

 

Teodross Avery (Music Associate/Lead Tenor Saxaphone)

Saxophonist, Teodross Avery, hailing from  Northern California, received his Bachelor's degree from Berklee College of Music and a Master's Degree from NYU.  He has released 5 albums, two of which were critically acclaimed and released on GRP/Impulse Records.  In addition to playing with countless Jazz musicians such as Betty Carter and Dee Dee Bridgewater, he has played and/or recorded with Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, Mos Def, The Roots, Shakira, and The Brand New Heavies and was featured in the motion picture, Love Jones.  Mr. Avery's musical stylings can be heard on the official JAZZ AIN'T DEAD™CD recordings and MP3s.

 

Lenny Underwood (Music Associate/Jazz Piano)

Lenny Underwood has played keys with some of the best musicians and music groups in the world.  His work has been recorded on numerous albums for some of the most sought after stars including Whitney Houston, Madonna, Common, Lalah Hathaway, Da Mob, Beatnuts, France Joli, Jeffrey Osbourne, Jazzy Jay, Mica Paris, Unlimited Touch, Willie Colon, and Faith Evans.  In addition, Mr. Underwood's key playing talents can found in movies including Beat Street, Volume 2.  Mr. Underwood's work can also be found on the official JAZZ AIN"T DEAD CD recordings and MP3s.

 

Albert Wilking (Art and Visual Designer)


Born in Anaheim, CA, Albert Wilking's father, a painter and photographer, was determined to have young Albert become an artist; thus, he started Albert sketching on a daily basis, laying the foundation for a lifelong discipline.  He gave Albert the basic rules of composition, and helped him learn how to distinguish which of the sketches were the best ones to develop into a painting. His father also pursued galleries and newspapers on Albert's behalf, so that by the time Albert was 12, he was exhibiting and selling paintings regularly and getting lots of press!  Since then, Albert has exhibited paintings and installations extensively in art galleries and public spaces nationwide.

 

 

 

Jon Rivera Cortes (Lighting Designer)


Jon Rivera Cortes, born and raised in the Bronx, NY creates lighting design for stage productions, film productions, and events.  He design credits range from dance to musical theater to Shakespeare.  His designs have been seen at such venues as Lincoln Center, Joyce SoHo, Lehman College, Chernuchin Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Theatre for the New City, Sage Theatre, and Manhattan School of Music to name a few.

 

 

 

NYCK Henry (Music Marketing and Events Promoter-Rhythm Lounge Entertainment)

NYCK Henry, a native New Yorker, has been in the music industry for more than 25 years.   Born in Harlem Hospital, Mr. Henry started studying classical piano as a young boy and by the tender age of 7 years old, performed at New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall.  Later, he moved to the West coast to study at Santa Monica College.   While in LA, he discovered his love for being a DJ and took the LA club scene by storm.  In 1982, he landed his first studio session with Lamont Dozier, a music writer for Motown.  He then joined, KACE Radio in Los Angeles, was voted the Number One DJ in LA and was later credited as being THE FIRST person to ever do remixes on the radio.  In 1996, heopened his own production company called Rhythm Lounge Entertainment for theatrical and club events fusing music, dance, and the arts.  Since then, his company has worked with such notables as Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Chaka Kahn and has produced theatrical productions performed at Theater for the New City, the Producer's Club, Theatre of the Riverside Church, and the Tribecca Performing Arts Center in addition to international club venues in London, Paris, the Virgin Islands, and Cyprus, Greece.