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Jamkultur Special

The Wayne Escoffery Quintet (UK)

Rachel Z (US)

Manhattan-born and raised Rachel Nicolazzo (aka Rachel Z) had music practically ingrained in her genetic code. Groomed to follow in her mother's operatic footsteps, she began voice lessons at two, started classical piano lessons at seven and attended the opera by age nine. "My first dollhouse was a Metropolitan Opera House complete with the stage and dolls which were the performers," she recalls. "Then I heard Miles Smiles when I was 15, started rebelling against the classical by improvising, and played with a band that covered Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan songs."

Listening to Herbie Hancock's harmonies over Wayne Shorter’s compositions helped her bridge the gap from her classical training to jazz."The way my jazz chops develo...

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Danny Grissett (US)

Originally from Los Angeles, California, pianist/composer Danny Grissett is a relatively new addition to the New York jazz scene. He started playing the piano at age five, and began studying classically when he turned six. Danny continued his classical training through high school and college, earning his B.A. in Music Education in 1998, while developing a love for jazz along the way. He further explored his love for jazz in graduate school, earning his M.F.A in Jazz Performance from Cal Arts in 2000, and completing studies at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute in 2001. There he studied with jazz masters such as Barry Harris, Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Barron, Bobby Watson, Jimmy Heath and Carl Allen.

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