Drums virtuoso Mike Clark gained worldwide recognition as one of America’s foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters in the early seventies. His incisive playing on Hancock’s “Actual Proof” garnered him an international cult following and influenced generations of drummers. He now co-leads a new incarnation of The Headhunters with original founding member Bill Summers. Besides Hancock, Clark has recorded with jazz greats Christian McBride, Chet Baker, John Scofield, Nicholas Payton, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Vince Guaraldi, Woody Shaw, Donald Harrison, Albert King, Larry Coryell, Mike Wolff, Wallace Roney, Billy Childs, Jack Walrath, Jack Wilkins, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Chris Potter, Bobby McFerrin, Nat Adderly, Oscar Brown Jr., and the Gil Evans Orchestra.
Grammy nominated saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. has combined a whirlwind career with establishing cultural and educational traditions in his native New Orleans. Known for creating nouveau swing, a jazz style that combines R&B, funk, hip-hop, and African dance, Harrison has worked with multiple top names in jazz and other genres of music, including Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Lena Horne, The Notorious B.I.G., and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. and has many albums and honors to his name. He has nurtured a number of young musicians including the young Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott (Harrison's nephew), as well as Mark Whitfield, Cyrus Chestnut, Christian McBride, and The Notorious B.I.G.
The legendary Dr. Lonnie Smith has called Wil Blades “the future,” anointing him the heir apparent to “carry on the legend [and] the legacy of the organ, of the B-3.”
Over the past fifteen years, Blades has grown to be one of the most in-demand organ players on the Bay Area scene. In addition to leading his own trio with guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Joey DeFrancesco, Joshua Redman) and drummer Simon Lott (Charlie Hunter, Will Bernard) - both musicians who share Blades’ grounding in tradition and urge to push it forward - he works regularly in duo situations with drummers Billy Martin (Medeski Martin and Wood) and Scott Amendola (Nels Cline Singers); and in trios led by guitarist Will Bernard and drummer Stanton Moore. He’s performed and recorded with a host of jazz and blues greats including Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Joe Louis Walker, Don Braden, Donald Harrison, Nicholas Payton, Karl Denson, Charlie Hunter, Jason Marsalis, Herlin Riley, and many others.