Unless you've been living under a manhole cover for the past year, you know about the spectacular success of singer/pianist Norah Jones. Come Away With Me, her 2002 debut album, won eight GRAMMY awards and has sold more than nine million copies-an astonishing feat for any new artist, let alone one whose stylistic hallmark is quiet understatement. Jones' success proves that the world still hungers for strong, simple songs, performed with honesty and taste.
From his critically acclaimed 1998 debut album to his most recent Dreamworks release, Want One, Rufus Wainwright has revealed himself as a confident, articulate young singer/songwriter/pianist with roots in French chanson, romantic piano music, and the folk music of the past half-century.
After 25 years as a successful singer/songwriter, Brenda Russell is taking her career to a new stage-literally.
Once upon a time Bruce Somers was a drummer. "But now," he says, "my instrument is the studio." Somers is one-half of the industrial rock duo KidneyThieves. He and vocalist Free Dominguez have released three albums, including the recent Trickster Reprocess, and have placed songs in the films Queen of the Damned and Child's Play 4: The Bride of Chucky.
Over the past three-and-a-half decades, drummer Ndugu Chancler has played with such diverse musicians as Stanley Clarke, Miles Davis, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, John Lee Hooker, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Flora Purim, Kenny Rogers, Santana, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Weather Report, and Frank Zappa.
Jazz piano wunderkind Taylor Eigsti has accomplished more before the age of 20 than many musicians achieve in a lifetime. In addition to sharing the stage with David Benoit at age eight and recording his first CD at thirteen, Eigsti has opened for such artists as Diana Krall, Al Jarreau and Natalie Cole. With a new album, Resonance, out on Bop City and another due out in early 2004, this is one young pianist to watch.
Contemporary country artist Jamie O'Neal has followed an unusual route to success. Born in Australia to musician parents, Jamie spent her childhood roaming the United States, singing with her family’s variety act at state fairs, conventions, and opening for country stars. After a stint in Las Vegas, the family spent some time in Nashville, where they recorded three self-produced albums.
Bassist Chris Minh Doky is bilingual: he's equally fluent on upright and electric. The son of a Danish pop singer and a Vietnamese doctor, Doky grew up in Denmark and France, but moved to New York City as a young adult in hopes of tapping into the city's vibrant jazz scene. Those hopes came true-he's worked with such artists as Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and his brother, pianist Niels Lan Doky. He's also recorded several fine solo albums.
Composer David Schwartz has written music for many successful television shows, from Arrested Development to The Two Of Us. The theme for his first network production, the hit series Northern Exposure, earned him a GRAMMY nomination for Best Instrumental Composition, and he scored the show throughout its seven-year run.