Jazz vocalist Monika Ryan, started singing professionally at the age of 15 and had management by 16, working around New York City and under mentorship of musicians like Houston Person. With his recommendation, she applied and entered the world renowned New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan, where she further honed her craft studying with Jackie Paris, Sheila Jordan, Buster Williams, Reggie Workman, Chico Hamilton, Charli Persip, Junior Mance, Arnie Lawrence, and many other jazz luminaries.

At 18 years old Monika started singing with Charli Persip’s big band, “Precipitation,” and working at nightclubs and concert halls around New York. Through these concerts, she met and started working at premier clubs and venues in New York City with other greats, such as Al Grey, Gene Bertoncini, and Larry Ham. At 23 Monika was hired by Carnegie Hall to perform for 2 seasons of its “Neighborhood Concert Series.” During that time she recorded in Carnegie Hall’s studio with legendary guitar player Gene Bertoncini and Carnegie Hall studio engineer, Leszek Wojcik.

In 2000, she produced her first solo recording of all original material, “Love”. The album met with critical acclaim and brought her to the Montreal Jazz Festival. A year later, she followed up with her second album, “Duo,” a collection of standards and original material with guitarist Satoshi Inoue, and then toured Japan with Jon Faddis, David Hazeltine, Satoshi Inoue, Akira Tana and Kiyoshi Kitagawa as part of The Big Apple In Nonoichi Jazz Festival. A year she later, returned to Japan to tour with James Williams, John Lockwood, Bill Pierce, Satoshi Inoue, and Tony Reedus. In 2014, Monika released her third recording, “Involution." An eclectic and original collection of songs across a variety of genres, "Involution" is a meditation on the cycle of expansion and contraction in all things.

Earlier in 2016, Monika completed a largely improvised jazz album with pianist Chris White, titled "Sketches." Her latest recording, "Fly,” was just released this month—a modern pop/jazz concept piece that aims to take listeners on an intelligent journey, while remaining fun and accessible listening.

THE BAND

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Alvester Garnett is an American jazz drummer who, among many other productions, has appeared on Great Performances on PBS in a tribute to Kurt Weill. Garnett has played with Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter, Regina Carter, Clark Terry, Pharoah Saunders, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Teddy Edwards, James Carter, Cyrus Chestnut, Charenee Wade, Lou Donaldson, Benny Golson, Al Grey, Rodney Jones, and Sherman Irby, among others.
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Clark Gayton is a composer, trombone and tuba player, band leader and also actor, based in New York City. He is founder of the Ritual, Ltd. label and Lautir Publishing. Has worked with various artists in contemporary music such as Sting, Queen Latifa, Maxwell, Prince, The Skatalites, Scarface and Wyclef Jean. Film credits include Malcolm X, Money Train, Sweet and Low Down, and Kansas City.
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Nick Rolfe is a highly versatile pianist, currently playing with various jazz, gospel, funk and alternative groups in and around New York. Nick has worked/or performed with numerous musicians including Frank Foster, Charlie Persip, Eddie Gomez, Arnie Lawrence, Jimmy Owens, Billy Harper, Buster Williams, t Reggie Workman, and has toured and recorded with drummer Winard Harper, and saxophonist Benny Golson.
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Rene Hart is a unique bassist who draws from a wide range of influences. He has toured the world extensively, performing at major Jazz and multi-genre music festivals. Rene's television appearances include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Rene incorporates modern electronics with the traditional sound of the acoustic bass. He has recorded and performed with artists David Amram, Don Braden, and Mayra Melford and Pete Seeger.
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David O’Rourke is a guitarist who was introduced to the US jazz scene in 1982 via Bucky Pizzarelli and Les Paul. Influenced by Pat Martino , David has performed with jazz legends Tommy Flanagan, Cedar Walton, Jackie McLean, Billy Higgins, Curtis Fuller, Kenny Davern, Jack McDuff and many more. His arrangements have been recorded and performed by many jazz legends. David leads his own 20 piece Big Band (The O’Rourkestra), co-founded and directs NYC’s Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra.
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Keith Loftis is a saxophonist who has traveled extensively around the globe performing regularly throughout Europe, Asia and parts of the Mid-East. He currently performs with legendary South African Jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim. Keith has also performed at VH-1’s “Fashion Rocks” with Mary J. Blige and Usher, and VH-1’s “Storyteller” again with Mary J. Blige. Keith also performs regularly at New York’s renowned hotel the Carlyle. In addition to performing live, Keith also works on film projects to broaden his film-scoring portfolio, such as “Three Can Play That Game” and “Black Out".
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Brad Goode is a trumpeter who is quiteunique and instantly recognizable virtuoso. Whether working as a soloist, bandleader, lead trumpet man or sideman, for 25 years he has consistently been one of the busiest performers in the United States. Brad's jazz pedigree was established through his apprenticeship with many legends of the music. As a youngster, he toured and recorded with Von Freeman, Red Rodney, Al Cohn, Eddie Harris, Ira Sullivan, Frank Morgan, Don Lanphere, Curtis Fuller, Jack DeJohnette, Ernie Krivda, Richie Cole, Rosemary Clooney, Barrett Deems and many others.