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Bernard Kunz- Guitar, Oud

A modern-day master of guitars, oud, loops, compositions, Swiss born Kunz has a range of experiences, showcasing his style, skill and originality. He has played Keyboard with Afro-Cuban Combo in Grenoble, France, Jazz Guitar studies with George Barcos at Conservatoire Populaire de Musique, Geneva, Switzerland. French Teacher & Six String Circus guitar group advisor Hutch Tech HS Buffalo. Founding member of Jazz Group Straight Forward, 1994: opening act for Grover Washington Jr., B.B.King, Yellowjackets, Johnny Griffin, James Carter, Joey DeFrancesco, Artpark Jazz Festival. Seminar with Grammy Award winning ECM recording artist and master improviser David Darling. Performances with bassist William Parker, organ master Gene Ludwig, Pappy Martin Love Supreme. Influences: Miles Davis, David Murray, Jim Hall, John McLaughlin, Dhafer Youssef.


Jeff Miers in Gusto, Buffalo News, Feb. 3, 2012 writes: ". . . one of the most adventurous guitarists . . . and his 'chops' are of the 'to die for' variety."

Walter Kemp, III- Piano, Melodica

Blujazz Recording Artist Walter Kemp 3, lead composer and pianist for the Walter Kemp 3oh!, has won widespread critical acclaim for his classic and compelling musical compositions. His work has won numerous awards, including the 2015 awards for “Best Jazz Group.” The 3oh! features RiShon Odel (bassist for GRAMMY-Nominated Najee) and master percussionist David Hulett. The inventive trio’s debut release “Dark Continent” (BJ3440) is sparking interest both nationally and internationally, already having been featured on Toronto Jazz 91.1FM. George W. Harris, of LA Jazz Weekly noted that the album “swings with excitement…Kemp is richly expansive …the whole team is…anything but the expected piano trio.”  
The son of a Carnegie Hall classical and gospel composer, Kemp is classically-trained in piano. Also a drummer, he gravitated to jazz, and studied improvisation with B3 ace Bobby Jones, and GRAMMY-award winning pianist George Caldwell. Winning widespread critical acclaim for his own unique and compelling compositions that bravely delve within the realm of the unexpected, he is the winner of Night Life Magazine's 2012, 2013, and 2014 Music Award for "Best Original Keyboard Player,” and boasts collaborative and recording partners Joseph Wooten (Steve Miller Band), Sabu Adeyola of Ahmad Jamal Trio (and protégé to the late Charles Mingus), the legendary Juini Booth, Rey Scott of Sun-Ra's Arkestra, Scott Tixier and Bobby Militello of the Dave Brubeck Quartet.  
With his international touring and recording repertoire, Kemp has shared stages with Dave Stryker, The Hot Sardines, Otis Brown, III, Joel Frahm, Luques Curtis, and others, and has collaborated with various musical greats as a highly-sought professional in the progressive music scene. Kemp serves as Artistic Director for the CMC Jazz Fest, celebrating over 100 years of jazz presentation. . 

Ravi Padmanabha- Drums

Ravi is multi-instrumentalist who specializes in percussion. He also leads his own groups including ; My Nada Brahma , Bul-Bul Tarang Gang and Most recently " the Transindental Karmacist" .  Ravi has studied tabla with many great masters such as Pandit Sharda Sahai and Pandit Samar Saha.  Ravi has performed in duo with Steve Baczkowski for many years. The duo has performed with William Parker, Robert Dick, Paul Flarthey ,Butch Morris, Junni Booth, Cooper Moore, Wilbert de Joode, and Joode, and Jin Hi Kim. Currently Ravi studies with sarangi maestro Pankaj Misra.  He has played with Oud masters Tomchess and Brandon Terzic for many years and both Duo's have released several cds.

James Benders- Double Bass

James Benders has been studying double bass since the age of 9. Classically trained, Benders gravitated toward jazz, where he found his home. He attended Baldwin Wallace and is currently pursuing a degree in music at Buffalo State College. He has studied both double bass and electric bass, and has garnered much attention for his "fast fingers," and unique slide technique on the instrument. James has performed across the US and Europe, including New York City, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Kentucky, Ohio. He's studied with Paul Zapalowski, once  a member of the Dorsey Big Band, and Henry Peyerbrune, a member of the Cleveland  Orchestra. He plays jazz, funk, hip hop, R&B, and classical.


Syl DuBenion- Saxophone

Syl DuBenion is an alto saxophonist, singer, and composer born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Living on the city’s east side, he was raised by his mother and grew up with his two brothers. His older brother played trombone through junior high school while his younger brother is a trumpeter currently attending the New England Conservatory studying jazz performance as an undergraduate.

Syl was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, and earned a B.A. in Jazz Music. He is currently pursuing a master's degree at NYU Steinhardt in Jazz Studies. Syl has had the benefit of studying with Paul Wagner, Bill Pierce, Darren Barrett, Tia Fuller, Neal Smith, Billy Drews, Tony Moreno and Joe Lovano. He has also been fortunate enough to perform with Christian Scott, Asim Gorashi, Swiss Chris, Jason Moran, Donald Harrison, Kenwood Denard and Sabu Adeyola. Venues performed include the historic Colored Musician’s Club, Wally’s Jazz Club, The Bitter End, Ginny's Supper Club, Temple University, Sculler’s Jazz Club, DROM, Kleinhans Music Hall, The Red Room @ Cafe 939, Harvard University, the Tralf Music Hall, Sullivan Hall, Disney World, The Middle East and the Berklee Performance Center. He has also participated in various festivals and series, including the Queen City Jazz Festival, the Harlem Arts Festival the Berklee Summer in the City series.

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