The 2019 May 18th Jazz Brew Line-up

 The Performers      About The Artists

Featuring An All Star Band

Eddie Baccus Sr

Ken Baccus

Roger Baccus
Keyboard & Vocals

Crescendo Baccus
Drums & Keyboard

Melody Baccus

Tony Davis-Baccus

Shirley Cook

Ed Robinson

James "Smooth" Elliott

Melvin Stewart
Hall Of Fame
Bass Player & Vocalist

Priscilla Woodson
Gospel Jazz & R&B Vocalist

The Baccus Brothers were born in North Carolina to sharecroppers Sunnie Oscar and Carrie Belle Baccus, who had 11 children. Five were born blind and all exceled in music to a greater or lesser degree. All five of the blind siblings attended both the North Carolina School for the Blind (NCSB) in Raleigh, NC and the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB) in Columbus, OH. They participated in the various music offerings of both schools. They are all graduates of OSSB.

The three brothers, Eddie, Roger and Kenneth, all became professional performers and composers.  There is a wonderful sense of sharing among the siblings.  Eddie and sister Vernell taught each other the music they learned; Eddie and Vernell taught Roger and sister Carolyn; Roger taught Kenneth and there was reciprocal sharing among all!  There have been several Baccus Family concerts, the first of which took place around 1995 with approximately eight since that time.

We all started out playing the piano. “Dad always managed to get an old piano for our home.  When we moved to Dayton, Ohio in 1957, Eddie bought a piano which we had at home.  He started playing the Hammond organ at school.  Eddie began playing the piano with Rahsaan Roland Kirk in 1959.  He was dismayed with the condition of local pianos, so he bought a Hammond B-3 organ.  He has continued playing the organ, but, also began playing electronic keyboards, especially because of the mammoth weight of the organ!  Kenneth was the first to switch to an electronic keyboard and Roger followed some years later.  Eddie was the last to do so.  All three brothers can play bass parts with their left hand while playing piano and other parts with the right hand.

Additionally, Eddie played the trombone in school.  Kenneth played trombone, tuba, piano and organ. Roger started playing the piano, then trumpet and trombone.  The band teacher wanted him to play the tuba.  That tuba was a really old, smelly thing and he asked if he could play the string bass and was allowed to do so.  Also, he played a little guitar, flute and harmonica.

Eddie, who currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio and Kenneth who resides in Dayton, Ohio, have been full-time musicians since adulthood.  Ken is also a master piano technician.  Roger, a resident of Columbus, Ohio, is the only one of the brothers who claims to be a vocalist.  He also engineered and produced his first CD, Stepping Out Of The Box, re-released as, OverRuled!

During their individual journeys as professional musicians, they have had the opportunity to perform with a variety of internationally renowned Jazz, Gospel and R&B artists; such as Stevie Wonder, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Wilton Felder, Kenny Berrell, Bobby Watson, Stanley Turrentine, Dottie Peoples, Sam & Dave, Richard Berry and more!

Melvin “Mel” Stewart is a 2015 Inductee of the R&B Hall of Fame, along side of Joe “Pep” Harris, and the other members of the Grammy Award nominated group, “The Undisputed Truth”.

Mel is a native of Columbus, Ohio, where he began his journey as a bass guitarist and vocalist, focusing mainly on becoming an outstanding soul and jazz artist.  He mastered his bass techniques by playing within the local venues, yet gracing the stage with Millie Jackson, The Dells and others.

He landed an audition and signed his first major label contract with the legendary Norman Whitfield of Whitfield Records/Warner Brothers Records, as a member of the Motown recording group “The Undisputed Truth”, which launched his professional career.

Through collaboration with Norman Whitfield, Mel wrote “Shake Down”, “The Bomb”, and “Simple Love Song”, which was featured by the group “Dream Machine”, of which he was a member.  His talents were highlighted when he recorded “Sail Away” with the Temptations and “High on the Boogie” from the Star Guard album “Back to Back”.  His reign with Dream Machine ended when he signed as a solo artist with Bill Haywood, Vice President of the Mercury/Polygram Records.

Aka Mel Strong, his venue widened when he recorded overseas “Uptown Lady”.  While developing his unique sound as a jazz bassist, he shared the stage with such greats as George Benson, Spyro Gyra, Ken Waters, Everett Harp, and many more.

Mel still shines as a celebrated producer, song writer, and artist, crossing all boundaries of music.  His daily life is inspired by the quote, “Music is my passion and the world is my stage”.

For more than 20 years, Priscilla Woodson has proven she is an entertainer of immeasurable and diverse abilities.  From singer and songwriter to musician and actress, she is the embodiment of talent.  Characterized by class and a commanding presence, Woodson graces her audiences with vocal prowess in jazz, soul, classics, and gospel genres.  Her chords penetrate beyond the ears and touch the very soul of her listeners, creating a personal experience for anyone who truly hears.

Woodson began her music career at the tender age of 10, mesmerizing churchgoers with her strong soprano voice.  Recognized as a vocal prodigy, she received formal training from Dr. Roscoe Speed, a renowned vocal coach and mentor in Miami, Florida.  She went on to be named Outstanding Music Student for two consecutive years at American High School in Miami.  True to her never-quit essence, Priscilla continued her education at Miami-Dade Community College and, subsequently, enlisted in the United States Armed Forces.  This service to her country afforded her the opportunity to travel globally and consume the rhythms and sounds of other cultures.

Priscilla Woodson is co-founder and lead singer of TP Project, a Gospel-Jazz recording group.  With this band, Woodson has released three CDs: “The Message” (2003); “Trevitt & 169th” (2006); and “Juneteenth LIVE” (2009).  Woodson has also released two solo compilations, “Christmas Expressions” (2011) to set the holiday mood, and most recently, “Songbird” (2011), a set of 20th Century Classics which showcase not only her voice, but her moxie as well.  In the works are additional solo projects featuring traditional hymns and Christmas favorites.


May 18, 2019

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