The 2017-2018 Jazz Brew Line-up

    Marion Meadows

Born in West Virginia, saxophonist Marion Meadows — whose ethnic mix is Native American, African American and Caucasian — grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, where he began playing clarinet and studying classical music at eight years old. His passion for different types of music led him to appreciate numerous jazz musicians, including Stanley Turrentine, Sidney Bichet, Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington and Coleman Hawkins, and he naturally gravitated to the soprano sax in his high school years. Fortunately for the smooth jazz fans who have embraced his sweet and funky soprano sound over the last decade, Meadows decided to take a few very important trips to Europe during his junior and senior years. He had dreamed of being either a veterinarian or zoologist, and assumed he would enroll in college as a pre-med major. Playing the sax was just a hobby until he saw the way audiences reacted to him and his student cohorts in Holland, Italy and Austria.

“The first trip was with my high school band and the second was a graduation gift to me and a few other guys playing over there in a big band setting,” he says. “It was exciting seeing positive newspaper articles about my playing in Italy, receiving all sorts of accolades and feeling the excitement of interaction with the crowd. It was a tremendous rush, and lit the fire.”

After studying jazz with Anthony Truglia, Meadows attended Berklee College of Music, where he majored in arranging and composition. He later went to the SUNY Purchase School for the Arts, where he studied under Ron Herder. “I got a lot of sideman jobs in college, and I have always said I got a graduate degree playing clubs,” adds Meadows, who perfected his craft studying with Joe Henderson, Dave Liebman and Eddie Daniels. “Not long after I finished school, (well-known jazz drummer) Norman Connors recorded my song ‘Invitation’ and then asked me to join his band. I later produced his Passion album with him. Things just fell into place.”

Meadows first hit the airwaves in 1991 with For Lovers Only, but his career really began one day in the late ‘80s at New York’s Grand Central Station. He had been a sideman with Connors for three years with only vague notions of eventually going solo. Then one day, as the oft-told story goes, he was waiting for a train, pulled out his horn and began playing under the huge dome. His sweet sound caught the attention of fellow traveler, TV composer Jay Chattaway, who was so impressed that he hooked Meadows up with legendary keyboardist Bob James. James signed Meadows to a deal with his TappanZee label, and though Meadows’ first recording went unreleased, the experience put him on the road to his eventual success.

Meadows hooked up with numerous artists and musicians and became a well known sideman in his own right, recording or performing over the years with Brook Benton, Eartha Kitt, Phyllis Hyman, Jean Carne, The Temptations, Michael Bolton, Angela Bofill, Will Downing and Native American flute player Douglas Spotted Eagle, among many others. In the late ‘80s, Meadows stretched his usual pop/jazz boundaries as a member of a New York avant-garde band called the Aboriginal Music Society. He was performing in Japan when he got the call that RCA Records was interested in signing him to a solo deal, based on his first album which he had recorded and financed himself. Meadows became a staple of the smooth jazz format with his subsequent recordings, which include Keep It Right Here (1993), Forbidden Fruit (1994) and Body Rhythm (1996).

After moving from his home in Connecticut to Phoenix, Arizona, Meadows signed with Heads Up International and released Another Side of Midnight (1999). A contemporary tribute to city life, his label debut was considered by critics to be his strongest work to date. His follow-up, Next To You (2000), featured a mix of R&B-influenced jazz coupled with sensual Latin rhythms, and In Deep (2002), a neo-soul blend of jazz, R&B and hip-hop, brimmed with sophisticated arrangements and impressive tenor/soprano playing. All three discs have been well received by his ever-growing, always loyal fans. Player’s Club, his fourth recording for the label, is slated for April 27, 2004.

Meadows says, “I’ve been involved in a lot of projects, both my own and group efforts, and my main objective is to keep growing as an artist and engage the fans who have invested so much emotion in my music and my career. Aside from that wonderful sense of live communication, the real magic for me happens in the studio when I put on those headphones and begin to play. That’s where the ideas just start to flow. Everything else in my musical life comes out of that moment.” 


July 14

    Urban Jazz Coalition

Urban Jazz Coalition is one of the hottest funk,R&B, jazz groups  to come onto the scene in some time, and they have created a major buzz  on the festival circuit  the past few years.

“UJC” has electrified audiences  across North America performing their unique blend of urban jazz at many  of the nation’s top smooth jazz festivals, including The Seabreeze Jazz  Festival, The “V98.7” Detroit Smooth Jazz Fest, Jazz Fest West, The Las  Vegas City of Lights Jazz and R&B Festival, The Jacksonville Jazz  Festival, The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, “WJZZ” Atlanta’s Smooth  Jazz Under The Stars Series, and at a variety of concert venues around  the country.

The UJC sound has been described by Jazz Time Magazine’s award  winning smooth jazz columnist, Brian Soergel, as being “flush with  rhythmic grooves, funky bass lines, and beautifully written melodies.”

Urban Jazz Coalition has made a strong impression with radio as well,  as their last three releases, “Contempo”, “Long Street”, and “Down To  Get Up”, have all achieved “Top 50” status on the national smooth jazz  airplay charts. The band’s music has been featured on the NBC Daytime  Reality Series, “Starting Over”, as well as in the 2007 hit French film,  “Le Verite Ou Presque, while another UJC album track has recently been licensed by Capitol/EMI Records as part of a Gospel/Jazz compilation  project.

You won’t want to miss an opportunity to hear the band that everyone in smooth jazz is talking about … Urban Jazz Coalition ... and Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX and Central Ohio is proud to call them our own!


    Greg Bandy & The Jazz Alliance

Drummer Greg Bandy was discovered by Charles Mingus at the age of 20. He has played with a plethora of prominent jazz artists over the last thirty-plus years including, Joe Henderson, Betty Carter, Pharoah Sanders, Olu Dara, Curtis Fuller, Jack McDuff, Leon Thomas, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, George Benson, Yusef Lateef and many others.

These associations have secured his status as a living legend. Of Greg Bandy, the New Yorker, wrote, " of those rare old-school drummers who remind you what the art of jazz percussion is all about, adds class as well as rhythmic friction to Bartz's band." His playing is described as "progressive, not nostalgic, employing music from all over the globe." Bandy is a staple of jazz festivals the world over.

Mr. Bandy's 1997 debut CD "Lightning in a Bottle" garnered two Grammy nominations. After returning to his hometown of Cleveland, he headed his own trio and was the co-leader of the Eddie Henderson/Greg Bandy Quartet. He produced "Bandy Does Blakey," and with this ensemble, he made a tribute to one of his mentors, the late Art Blakey, and often reunites former members of Blakey's Jazz Messengers.

Josh Hindmarsh is a dynamic and original musical artist, composer and educator. Regarded in jazz and blues circles as a virtuoso guitar guru, he has been featured on many albums and has shared the stage with a virtual "Who's Who" of the greatest jazz and blues giants in the industry including, Ronnie Cuber, Roy Hargrove, Joey Defrancesco, Bobby Floyd, Gene Walker, Willie Pooch and Mike Clark.

Jon Eshelman rounds out the group with his recognizable style on piano and/or Hammond B3 organ.

July 14

    Mark Hampton

Mark Hampton hails from a musical family and is a distant cousin of jazz great Lionel Hampton, the famed Hampton family orchestra of the 1940's, 50's and 60's. Hampton's older brother David Hampton played bass for Rick James and his brother Chuck played guitar for Kenny Loggins.  Mark'Hampton's aunt, Martha Abbott, played piano for the late great Wes Montgomery. 

Hampton has been playing bass for 42 years and has recorded multiple CD's, both in jazz and gospel. Hampton is also an assistant Pastor, but has never lost his pastoring for music. His latest projects, ROOTS is some of his best work and established him as a major bass guitarist, producer and writer.

Hampton's music is a powerful blend of urban jazz and smooth jazz. His bass grooves are earthy, his rhythms are rich and his melodies bring it all together for an experience audiences will love.

July 14

Now you can
take us
wherever you go

Watch Our
On Bounce 23 TV

Music Provided Online By Jazz 98.5 FM, WSAX-LP

Thank you for visiting our website