2022 Artists

Andy William & Nebraska All Stars

Andy William & Nebraska All Stars celebrate the amazing sound of Latin Jazz! Get ready to dance, because it's nearly impossible not to when these amazingly talented humans begin to play. 

When virtuoso conguero Andy William Gomez arrived in Nebraska in 2018, he knew he wanted to bring the sounds of his hometown, Havana, Cuba, to the stages of the midwest. Andy had performed with many of the major timba artists of Havana, and his dream was to combine the modern sounds of those groups with the classic, timeless songs of Son Cubano, as made famous worldwide by the Buena Vista Social Club. Andy set about gathering a first-rate, 13-piece ensemble of Latino and American musicians, and the Nebraska All-Stars were born. The group is gathering buzz in Nebraska and beyond, and delivers a classic Cuban music experience with a modern edge.

The All-Stars are proud to feature legendary Havana vocalist Onelio Perez, who is known worldwide as the front man for such legendary groups as Orquesta Riverside, Conjunto Casino, Roberto Faz, and others. His dignified voice has graced many classic recordings from the 1960s to the present. Also featured is the dynamic Lester Hojas, who sings with a fluidity and joy that has led to his appearance with such legends of Latin music as Maraca Valle, La India, and many others. Get ready to dance, Lincoln! 

Darryl White Quartet

Darryl White with trumpet.

Dr. Darryl White is associate professor of trumpet at the Glenn Korff School of Music. White's performance experiences include a wide range of idioms. He has appeared as guest soloist with the Omaha Symphony, Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, Mesa Chamber Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony, Lake Forest Chamber Orchestra, Roaring Fork Jazz Festival, University of Nebraska Faculty Brass Quintet, the University Faculty Jazz Quartet and many other solo appearances and guest clinicians with college jazz bands and orchestras across the country.

A native of Warren, Ohio, White has been playing trumpet since the age of 9. Before his current position at the University of Nebraska, White's first college teaching experience was at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo., in 1993 where he taught for two years. White holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Youngstown State University, a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado. While in Denver, he was a member of the Aries Brass Quintet-in residence at University of Denver-Lamont School of Music and the Denver Brass. At Lamont he was Instructor of Trumpet and also participated with the Faculty Jazz Quintet.

SuperBlue: Kurt Elling featuring Charlie Hunter

Renowned for his singular combination of robust swing and poetic insight, two-time GRAMMY winner Kurt Elling has secured his place among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. The New York Times proclaimed Elling, “the standout male vocalist of our time”. Over a twenty-five year career of touring and recording, Elling has won three Prix du Jazz Vocal (France), two German Echo Awards, two Dutch Edison Awards, and has been nominated for a GRAMMY award fifteen times. He has had a 14-year run atop the DownBeat Critics and Readers polls, and has won twelve Jazz Journalists Awards for “Male Vocalist of the Year”.

Kurt Elling’s voice is instantly recognizable, embracing listeners with his warm, rich baritone and navigating the full span of his four-octave range as a virtuoso improvisor and a compelling storyteller. The Guardian (UK) has named Kurt Elling, “a kind of Sinatra with superpowers,” and, “one of jazz’s all-time great vocalists.”

Elling has recorded and toured with Branford Marsalis, Danilo Perez, Stefon Harris, Fred Hersch, James Morrison, and Charlie Hunter. He has performed extensively with larger ensembles like The Clayton/Hamilton Orchestra, The National Youth Orchestra (led by Sean Jones), The Bob Mintzer Big Band, The BBC Concert Symphony (led by Guy Barker) The Metropole Orchestra (Holland), The Irish Radio and Television Orchestra (led by Brian Byrne), The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, and The WDR Orchestra and Big Band (Germany).

The Wall Street Journal said, “Elling combines authenticity with stunning originality.” The Washington Post declared that, “since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling.”

Elling’s dynamism is enhanced exponentially by the fact that he consistently generates new vocal material by writing and recording signature and definitive lyrics to the compositions of foundational jazz composers like of John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul. Additionally, Kurt Elling has co-created multi-disciplinary performances for Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater and The City of Chicago. Jazz At Lincoln Center saw the world premier of The Big Blind, an entirely new jazz musical-in-progress Elling is co-writing with collaborator Phil Galdston (“Save The Best For Last”). National Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky declared that, “In Kurt Elling’s art, the voice of jazz gives new spiritual presence to the ancient, sweet and powerful bond between poetry and music.”

Elling has toured the world in a variety of contexts, including UNESCO-sponsored “International Jazz Day” performances in Havana, Cuba, in St. Petersburg, Russia, in Melbourne, Australia and in Washington DC. He has twice performed at the White House, including a performance in collaboration with the late Marvin Hamlisch and the National Symphony Orchestra for President Obama’s first State Dinner. He has served as Artist-In-Residence at the Monterey and Singapore Jazz Festivals. As a music industry leader, Elling spent six years serving as a Trustee and two years as Vice Chairman of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Kurt Elling will release “SuperBlue”, a new recording in collaboration with https:// charliehunter.com/ and members of the future groove band https://butcherbrown.com/ in the spring of 2021 on https://editionrecords.com/.


Davina and the Vagabonds

Davina & the Vagabonds keep the sounds of the '30s alive, playing old-fashioned New Orleans jazz and blues in the 21st century. Based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, the international touring group debuted with Live @ the Times in 2008 before releasing their first studio LP, Black Cloud, in 2011. They went on to appear on Billboard's jazz and blues charts.

With a wry wink in her vocal delivery, Pennsylvania native Davina Sowers may occasionally mirror the phrasing of Billie Holiday, but her group plays this music as retro good times. Sowers (vocals, piano), Matt Blake (bass), Dan Eikmeier (trumpet), Ben Link (trombone), and Connor McRae (drums) formed Davina & the Vagabonds in Minneapolis in 2006. Over the next few years, the group gigged regularly, building a reputation for their slyly updated nostalgia. Featuring the lineup of Sowers, Eikmeier, McRae, Michael Carvale (bass/cello), and Darren Sterud (trombone), their first studio album, Black Cloud, appeared on Roustabout Records in 2011. The follow-up, 2014's Sunshine, bolstered the group's reputation, charting at 13 on Billboard's blues chart. They welcomed back Link on trombone, with upright bassist Andrew Burns replacing Carvale. In 2016, they reached number 11 on the Billboard jazz chart with their third full-length, Nicollet and Tenth, which featured Greg Byers on bass.

Davina & the Vagabonds' first album to be recorded outside of the North Star State, the Garry West-produced Sugar Drops was tracked at Nashville's Compass Sound Studio with Sowers, her husband Zack Lozier (trumpet), Reese Wynans (keys), Doug Lancio (guitar), and Todd Phillips (bass). It arrived on Red House Records in 2019.


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