Brian Culbertson, the founder and artistic director of the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway began his musical journey at the age of 8 on piano, adding drums at 9, trombone at 10 then bass at 12. He grew up in Decatur, IL, loving genre-crossing jazz-pop artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, Tower of Power, The Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn, Yellowjackets and Chick Corea. So naturally gifted was Brian, his 7th grade piano recital consisted of all original tunes. Brian flourished in high school bands where his father, Jim Culbertson was the school’s internationally award-winning jazz band director, and moved to Chicago to complete his musical studies at DePaul University. He then went on to compose jingles for clients such as United Airlines, Gatorade, Sears and McDonald’s in the bustling city’s highly competitive advertising community. In 1994, at age 20, Brian self-produced his debut album, Long Night Out. Since then, Brian has released twelve more albums, toured around the world, seen his name at the top of Billboard and radio charts, worked and performed with industry all-stars like Maurice White, Larry Graham, Chris Botti, Musiq Soulchild, Ledisi, Chuck Brown, and “Bootsy” Collins to name a few, and received numerous awards including recently being nominated for a 2012 NAACP Image Award and a 2012 Soul Train Award. Regardless of his success, fans can be rest assured that with 13 albums and counting, Brian Culbertson always brings his very best – and brings the very best out of others – in all of his broad-ranging musical endeavors. Check out Brian's latest CD entitled DREAMS.
• Listen to "It's Time" from Brian Culbertson's album XII:
Performing Thursday, June 6th (6:30pm and 8:45pm shows) as part of BWB with Norman Brown & Rick Braun at the Napa Valley Opera House.
From his early days in Memphis where he played in his father's church choir, veteran saxophonist Kirk Whalum drew inspiration from the rich musical traditions of that city, including gospel, R&B, blues, and eventually jazz. He received a scholarship to attend music school at Texas Southern University, where he formed a band in 1979 and began playing shows on the local club circuit. When he opened for Bob James in Houston in 1984, the pianist was impressed with Whalum's expressive style, and invited him to play on his album 12. Whalum soon signed with Columbia Records and released his first solo album, Floppy Disk, in 1985. That album (as well as the next two, 1988's And You Know That! and 1989's The Promise) was produced by James, continuing the musicians' fruitful partnership. The early '90s saw Whalum issuing two more albums on the Columbia label -- Caché in 1993 and In This Life in 1995 -- each of them earning the saxophonist increased commercial attention and critical praise. Later, a duet with James titled "Joined at the Hip" took Whalum's career to a new level, as the song garnered Whalum his first Grammy nomination.
In 1997, Whalum jumped labels to sign with Warner Bros. His first solo album on Warner's tab, Colors, was released that same year, and perhaps more than any other album, showed Whalum's ability to synthesize music from a variety of sources to produce a fusion of pop, jazz, and R&B. The following year, Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter 1 exhibited his ability to return to the music of his childhood stylistically, while also pursuing the kind of spiritual depth that has a long history in jazz, echoing artists like John Coltrane in taking advantage of the saxophone's unique expressive qualities. The decade also brought Whalum an amazingly diverse series of session and touring jobs, working with artists like Whitney Houston, Babyface, Yolanda Adams, Take 6, Bebe & Cece Winans, Barbra Streisand, Edwin Hawkins, Quincy Jones, Kevin Mahogany, Al Green, and Luther Vandross. In addition to his solo albums, Whalum worked on a number of film scores, including those for The Prince of Tides, Boyz in the Hood, Grand Canyon, and Cousins. His sax solo was featured on Whitney Houston's wildly popular single "I Will Always Love You," on the soundtrack for The Bodyguard.
• Listen to "Ascension" from Kirk's album For You:
Performing Thursday, June 6th (6:30pm and 8:45pm shows) as part of BWB with Norman Brown & Kirk Whalum at the Napa Valley Opera House.
Nearly twenty years into his solo career, Rick Braun’s done just about everything, from backing the likes of Rod Stewart and Sade to stepping out into the spotlight as a vocalist and a master of the trumpet and flugelhorn.
The Allentown, Pennsylvania-born Braun began playing music in elementary school, ultimately winding up at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. There he hooked up with like-minded musicians to form a jazz-fusion combo, Auracle.
Braun’s first big break came when he composed “Here With Me,” a Top 20 hit for REO Speedwagon. He soon became a highly regarded pop sideman, touring and recording with the likes of Rod Stewart, War, Sade, Tina Turner, Natalie Cole, and Tom Petty.
The trumpeter became a NAC fixture with his debut, Intimate Secrets. His records have ranked in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart with Kisses in the Rain reigning at #1 for 11 weeks and his singles have held the #1 position on the R&R NAC/Smooth Jazz album charts.
The recipient of numerous National Contemporary Jazz Awards, he shared a Best Collaboration award with Boney James for their hit Shake It Up. He also teamed up with Richard Elliot in RnR and their duet project hit #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. A much-in-demand producer, he has delivered #1 radio hits with artists including David Benoit, Marc Antoine and Jeff Golub.
His most recent recordings continue to reflect his versatility with the instrumental album All It Takes and his vocal talents in Rick Braun Sings With Strings. This past year saw Braun getting into the swing of the holiday season with his first-ever Christmas album, Swingin’ In The Snow.
Braun says with a grin, “I am one of the luckiest guys in the world. I mean, when you really think about it, I make my living blowing into plumbing.”
• Listen to "Notorious" from Rick's album Body & Soul:
Performing Thursday, June 6th (6:30pm and 8:45pm shows) as part of BWB with Kirk Whalum & Rick Braun at the Napa Valley Opera House.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, Brown first picked up a guitar at the age of 8. Inspired by Jimi Hendrix‟s mind-bending rock sounds, Brown soon discovered his father's favorite artist, Wes Montgomery, and found his stylistic holy grail. After high school, Brown moved to Los Angeles to pursue his musical career, attending the Musicians Institute where he also taught for a time. While playing with his own group in local clubs, and drawing comparisons to George Benson, Brown was discovered and signed to the MoJazz label, a division of Motown. He delivered his 1992 debut, Just Between Us, and followed with the gold- certified After The Storm and 1996's Better Days Ahead.
With critical acclaim and sales behind him, the talented musician made the leap to Warner Bros. and released Celebration, which first teamed him with producer Paul Brown. The 2003 follow-up, Just Chillin', earned Brown much-deserved recognition with a GRAMMY® Award in the best pop instrumental category. That project was followed by his 2005 release West Coast Coolin', where Brown tested out his skills as a vocalist, a move that was welcomed by the urban AC radio market. In addition, his 2005 compilation The Very Best Of Norman Brown was one of the best- selling smooth jazz albums of that year.
Brown made the leap to the Peak Records label in 2007 for his smash CD Stay With Me, which yielded the R&B vocal hit “Stay With Me” and the smooth instrumental favorites “Let‟s Take A Ride” and “Pop‟s Cool Groove.” With the brand new Sending My Love, Brown is building on the musical foundation he laid with Stay With Me, which landed at Number One on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.
In addition to success as a musician and producer, Brown has launched a successful career as a broadcaster. In January of 2007, he brought his engaging personality to Broadcast Architecture‟s Smooth Jazz Network as an on-air personality, hosting this own weekend radio show.
But performing is his first love. For yet another year, Brown will share his onstage fire with the launch of the 2010 version of the annual Norman Brown's Summer Storm tour. With a string of dates stretching from May to September, Brown will share the magic of Sending My Love as well as his many beloved hits.
• Listen to "Out'a Nowhere" from Norman's album Celebration:
Performing Friday, June 7th (6:30pm and 8:45pm shows) opening the show for Larry Graham at the Napa Valley Opera House and also part of the "BC & Friends" show on Saturday, June 8th (7pm show) at the Lincoln Theater. Also jamming along with DW3 and his daughter, Paige Bryan, on the Outdoor Welcome Party on Thursday, June 6th (1:30-4:30pm).
Actor and Comedian Sinbad arrived on the comedy scene with a “ hit’em in the face” style of comedy that has kept audiences laughing in the aisles for over the past two decades. He freely admits that he doesn’t knows any jokes, except for the ones that his dad told him “back in the day”. Sinbad tells stories, and boy does he tell stories! The basis of his humor comes from everyone he’s meets, everything he’s seen, and everything he’s done.
Ranked by Comedy Central as one of the top 100 standup comedians of all time, Sinbad has built a loyal following by taking audiences’ painful trials or embarassing tribulations of day-by-day life, throwing them back in their faces, and causing an uproar of comedic hysteria. He can also make it sound profound without being profane. Not that he’s any kind of choirboy, but by being the son of a preacher man he decided to keep his comedy clean after his father attended one of his early performances. Up to that time he had been what he describes himself as ”semi-dirty”. Sinbad says that he learned that night that “funny is funny”, and that masters of dirty comedy such as Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce could all work clean without losing a step.
Sinbad is internationally known for his starring appearances in hit movies like “Jingle All the Way,” playing opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger; “Houseguest” co-starring the late Phil Hartman, and let’s not forget his film debut “Necessary Roughness”, where he did none of his own stunts! He has starred in the television sitcom “A Different World” as well as his own series, “The Sinbad Show”. Entertainment mogul Quincy Jones sought out Sinbad to host UPN’s first late night talk show, “Vibe”. He also recently appeared as a recurring guest star on the Showtime Original Series “Resurrection Blvd.” Sinbad has even written a self-help book entitled “Sinbad’s Guide to Life: (Because I Know Everything)”. Sinbad has drawn legions of fans from his HBO highly-rated comedy specials; “Brain Damaged” (1991), “Afros & Bellbottoms” (1993), “Son of a Preacher Man” (1996), and “Nuthin But The Funk” (1998). His annual HBO music concert series (Oh! You didn’t know he was musical?) “Sinbad’s 70’s Soul Music Festival” received the prestigious NAACP Image Award consecutively for two years as the “Most Outstanding Variety Series/Special”.
A one-time basketball standout for the University of Denver, Sinbad agrees that everything he needed to know for comedy, he learned from playing basketball. There are a number of things comedy and basketball have in common. One of the most important to Sinbad is “the competitive aspect that teaches you to never give up”. Now there is one part of Sinbad’s life that has been a well kept secret…he is a closet nerd. This comes in handy as a Master of Technology during private corporate engagements for clients such as: Intel Corporation, Breakaway Technologies, Apple and Microsoft as well as many others. As an intermediary to community focused technology solutions, Sinbad believes no one should be left behind in training and education. He has served as a spokesperson for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) encouraging minorities to pursue studies in science, math and engineering. In honor of his parents Donald & Louise Adkins, Sinbad has established an academic scholarship in their name at the esteemed Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Showing his appreciation for our armed servicemen, the comedian/actor has participated on USO tours and performed at the USO of Hampton Roads 2006 Patriotic Festival.
Sinbad has appeared on the FX Television series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Also, his long awaited stand-up special aired on Comedy Central this past February. Most recently, Sinbad was seen in the third season of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.
• Watch some vintage Sinbad from his 1990 HBO Special:
Performing Sunday, June 9th (7pm) as part of the "BC & Friends" show at the Lincoln Theater.
The most awarded vocal group in history (10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award, and more) celebrates their 25th Anniversary!
Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley), heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet!", is the quintessential a cappela group and model for vocal genius. Six virtuosic voices united in crystal clear harmony, against a backdrop of syncopated rhythms, innovative arrangements, and funky grooves that bubble into an intoxicating brew of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop. With praise from such luminaries as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston, the multi-platinum selling sextet has toured across the globe, collaborated across genres, and is recognized as the pre-eminent a capella group in the world.
Take 6 has come a long way from their days at Huntsville, Alabama’s Oakwood College where McKnight formed the group as The Gentleman’s Estate Quartet in 1980. The group eventually became known as Alliance but when they signed to Reprise Records in 1987 they found that there was another group with the same name, so they became Take 6. Their self-titled debut CD won over jazz and pop critics and they’ve never slowed down.
• Listen to "Spread Love" from their self-titled debut album:
Larry Graham & Graham Central Station
Performing Friday, June 7th (6:30pm and 8:45pm shows) at the Napa Valley Opera House.
Larry Graham, Jr. is an American baritone singer, musician, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known as both the bass guitar player in the popular and influential psychedelic soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone, and as the founder and front man of Graham Central Station. He is credited with the invention of the slapping technique, which radically expanded the tonal palette of the bass, although he himself refers to the technique as "Thumpin' and Pluckin'."
Larry is continuously writing, and maintains his volunteer work as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses which he has done since 1975. Larry has also performed at international venues both as a solo performer as well as with Graham Central Station and Prince and enjoyed a very successful world tour in 2010. Once again Larry and GCS are again sharing the joy of funk with their 2011 “Funk Around The World” Tour. Larry is currently working on his newest CD that is due out soon.
• Listen to Larry Graham's funk classic "The Jam":
Ray Parker Jr.
Performing Saturday, June 8th (7pm) as part of the "BC & Friends" show at the Lincoln Theater in addition to two solo acoustic shows at Chimney Rock Winery on Sunday, June 9th at 12pm and 2:30pm.
While he is perhaps best known for the #1 smash hit “Ghostbusters”, Ray Parker Jr. has enjoyed quite a versatile career, not only as a much sought-after guitarist, but with a number of other hits to his credit, as a performer, songwriter and producer.
Born May 1, 1954, in Detroit, MI, Ray started out as a session guitarist, while still in high school, playing on sessions recorded for the legendary Holland Dozier Holland labels, Hot Wax and Invictus. He would also play behind the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Spinners, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and other Motown luminaries when they appeared at the Twenty Grand Club. In 1972, Stevie Wonder called 18 year old Ray Parker to ask him to play behind him on a tour he was doing with The Rolling Stones. During the next 2 years, Ray played on Stevie Wonder’s albums, Talking Book and Innervisions.
Moving from Detroit to Los Angeles, Parker got into session work playing on sides by Leon Haywood, Barry White, arranger Gene Page, and working with Motown producer Clarence Paul on Ronnie McNeir’s 1976 Motown debut, Love’s Comin’ Down.
Deciding to become a recording artist, Parker got a deal with Arista Records in 1977. Not yet totally confident on his singing ability, Ray put together a band that included Arnell Carmichael, Jerry Knight, Charles Fearing, Larry Tolbert, and Darren Carmichael. However, on the record, Parker played most, if not all of the instruments himself. Their first LP, Raydio, went gold peaking at #8 R&B in the spring of 1978 and included the hit single ”Jack and Jill”. The hits kept coming and in 1981, ”A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)”, which was the first song Parker sung all the way through without trading vocals, went #1 R&B, going to #4 on the pop charts.
The ”Ghostbusters” music video is one of the funniest and star-studded videos ever made (breakdancing Bill Murray style). “Ghostbusters” held the #1 R&B spot for 2 weeks and was #1 for 3 weeks on Billboard’s pop charts in Summer 1984.
Parker also wrote and produced hits for New Edition, Randy Hall, Cheryl Lynn, Denice Williams, and Diana Ross in addition to co-writing and performing on the instrumental hit "That's Life" feat. Earl Klugh from Brian Culbertson's XII CD.
• Listen to Ray's international #1 hit "Ghostbusters":
Performing on both Saturday & Sunday, June 8th & 9th (7pm) as part of the two "BC & Friends" shows at the Lincoln Theater. Eric will also be jamming with DW3 on Thursday, June 6th as part of the Outdoor Welcome Party.
Every now and then an artist bursts onto the scene, changing the rules and challenging the status quo. Eric Darius is one of those artists fearlessly pushing all musical boundaries. He is one of the most exciting musicians to enter the Contemporary Jazz scene in the last decade. His explosive arrival as a recording artist at the age of 17 caused a frenzy! Now, with four critically acclaimed albums under his belt, a Number One hit single and Five Top 10 radio hits on Nielsen’s R&R/Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts, 29-year-old Shanachie recording artist, Eric Darius, is on a mission. Prophetically hailed Debut Artist of the Year by Smooth Jazz News in 2004, Eric has shared the stage with innumerable renown artists, such as Prince, Brian McKnight, Jamie Foxx, Carlos Santana, Wynton Marsalis, Babyface, and George Benson, just to name a few. His music innovatively crosses over all music boundaries from Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, to Pop, creating a very distinctive, fresh sound and approach that is uniquely his own. Eric Darius continues to be a force that is unequalled in today’s musical landscape.
• Listen to "If I Ain't Got You" from Eric's album Just Getting Started:
Performing Sunday, June 9th (7pm) as part of the "BC & Friends" show at the Lincoln Theater.
With a jazz style that is both urban and contemporary, Nick Colionne has blazed a trail to the top of the ranks of today's stars. Combining all of the various influences of his music career from jazz to R&B to blues to rock, he has created an unmistakable sound and vibe that is instantly recognizable. With lightening fast speed and a distinctively silky sound, Nick takes the guitar to unexpected places every time he performs. His rich baritone vocals delight audiences unaccustomed to hearing such a skilled instrumentalist singing as well, and his showmanship....well, you have to see a Nick Colionne show and experience it for yourself. With energy to spare, unparalleled musicianship and a natural comedic flair, he is one of a kind.
• Listen to "High Flyin" from Nick's album Keepin' It Cool:
Performing on both Saturday & Sunday, June 8th & 9th (7pm) as part of the two "BC & Friends" shows at the Lincoln Theater. Michael will also be jamming with Cecil Ramirez on Wednesday, June 5th as part of the Welcome Dinner and with DW3 on Thursday, June 6th as part of the Outdoor Welcome Party. Michael will also be hosting several cigar events throughout the festival.
Michael Lington has performed for royalty and sold-out crowds around the world. He’s one of the most popular and charismatic saxophonists on the contemporary jazz scene and the first single from his latest CD Pure, “Roadtrip” co-written with Culbertson, zoomed to No. 1 on the instrumental radio charts. For the past three years he has been on a worldwide tour with legendary vocalist Michael Bolton as his special guest and performed more than 300 shows in 48 countries. In 2012, Lington celebrates 15 years since his first CD release. Since then, he’s piled up the accolades, as in 2009 he was Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards nominee and his 2008 CD Heat (featuring the No. 1 radio single “You and I”) was chosen as the influential Jazz Trax’s Best Album Of The Year. He’s now had more than a dozen hit singles, in addition to performing with other high-profile artists like Aaron Neville, Barry Manilow, Bobby Caldwell and jazz/R&B legend Randy Crawford.
A native of Denmark, Lington moved to Los Angeles to pursue a music career and became a United States citizen in 2008. He’s was a part of the famed Tivoli Boys Guard at early age, later thrilling Queen of Denmark for her 50th birthday celebration. In 2012, Lington once again performed for the Danish royal family, marking the fifth time he’s held center stage. When not recording music or performing, he manages his own cigar company, Michael Lington Cigars, and also served as a cigar columnist for Wine and Jazz magazine.
• Listen to "Roadtrip" from Michael's new album Pure:
Performing on both Saturday & Sunday, June 8th & 9th (7pm) as part of the two "BC & Friends" shows at the Lincoln Theater.
Selina Albright is an R&B vocalist and songwriter with versatility that comes from years of listening to many genres and languages of music. Her soulfulness and angelic tone add character and emotion to any ballad, yet her powerful wailing and stage presence commands attention.
Selina began singing at age two, but her professional music career began at age 14 when she performed on an educational project released in Japan by Sony. She was also the featured background vocalist on Gerald Albright’s “Live To Love” CD in 1997, his Sax For Stax CD in 2009, "Pushing The Envelope in 2010, and his collaboration with Norman Brown "24/7." She has graced the stage the world over with many artists, such as pianists Jeff Lorber, George Duke, and David Benoit, guitarists Peter White, Jonathon Butler, and Jeff Golub; bassist Marcus Miller; saxophonists David Sanborn, Kirk Whalum, Richard Elliott, and Candy Dulfer; trumpet players Hugh Masakela and Rick Braun and vocalists Chaka Khan, Will Downing, Eric Roberson, and The Temptations, to name a few.
Selina Albright has learned her onstage charisma and vocal technique from being exposed to legendary artists, such as Whitney Houston, Take 6, Anita Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Lalah Hathaway, Tina Turner, Bebe and Cece Winans, and Earth Wind & Fire. She is currently on tour this year with Brian Culbertson's touring band in support of her debut CD, Brighter.
Performing on Thursday, June 6th (1:30-4:30pm) for the Outdoor Welcome Party on the grounds of the Lincoln Theater.
If you are a music buff from way, way, way back in the day, then you would definitely remember the Latin/R&B band Tierra from the 70's. You might even recall their biggest 1980's hit "Together" which reached #18 on the U.S. Pop charts and #9 on the R&B Chart. Passing great talent down to a new generation, the relatives of the members of the group Tierra is now a catchy name. DW3 is one of the most enthusiastic, smooth, new sounding bands in the Los Angeles area. Eric, William and Damon are the three harmonious voices that bring this high energy R&B Jazz and Latin Soul band to life. DW3 is comprised of outstanding musicians which consist of Keyboards, Percussions, Drums, Bass and Guitar.
For the last 3 years DW3 has had the pleasure of performing on the Warren Hill, Wayman Tisdale and Dave Koz Jazz Cruises. They performed on shows like City of Lights Jazz Fest, Newport Jazz Festival, Long Beach Jazz Fest, BB Kings, Vault 30 and recently on the Annual Taste of Soul Festival in Los Angeles to name a few. Every year to show their appreciation, DW3 performs for our US troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Asia, and throughout Canada. Currently the group just finished its third album “On the Floor” produced by Two Time Grammy Award Winner Paul Brown and Marcus Miller.
DW3’s new album “On the Floor” released January 25th of 2012 with two chart topping singles “I Got You” featuring Gerald Albright and “On the Floor” for urban format. The album is available everywhere online and some stores in selected markets.
Performing on Wednesday, June 5th (7pm) on his own show with his band at the Welcome Dinner.
Keyboardist Cecil Ramirez started as a music editor for PianoDisc, a company that records music that plays on high-tech player piano systems. While there he worked with many jazz artists on their projects, from a roster that included Steve Allen, Marian McPartland, Dick Hyman, Tom Grant, Freddie Ravel and David Benoit. Cecil also performed and recorded several best-selling compilation albums for PianoDisc. Upon assuming a new role in 1997 with PianoDisc's sister company, Mason & Hamlin, Cecil became more involved with pianos at the manufacturing level. His new position also brought him closer to working with artists, including a new major talent from Chicago named Brian Culbertson. "I had bought and studied all of Brian's albums before I had ever met him in person; his sense of groove and phrasing was incredible" says Cecil. "After Brian came onboard as a PianoDisc/Mason & Hamlin artist, I really looked forward to meeting him but I never thought I'd be performing with him someday!" As the current national sales manager for Mason & Hamlin, Cecil has worked supporting Brian on several projects and tours, including the Live From The Inside DVD at Capitol Records Studio A, Brian's "piano2piano” tour with David Benoit in addition to the 1st Jazz Getaway last June.
Cecil made his debut appearance at last year's Napa Valley Jazz Getaway with his band and is excited to be back again this year. In 2012, he also performed with several other major and independent jazz artists including Kim Waters, Paul Brown, Darren Rahn, Tom Braxton, Dean James and Steve Oliver. An avid wine and food enthusiast, Cecil had the honor of introducing Brian to fine Napa wine during a dinner in Chicago. As Brian recalls, "we went out to Maggiano's one night and he ordered a Silver Oak. I was hooked!" Cecil adds, "It was a great night, hanging with a great friend, a great pianist and composer, and a great musical mentor."
Performing Thursday, June 6th (1:30-4:30pm) on the Outdoor Welcome Party with DW3.
Her spirited, expressive vocals and old school-vibed contemporary music call to mind the Los Angeles native’s major influences growing up: Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Mariah Carey, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Stevie Wonder. As a young girl, she got the chance to watch many of these acts perform when her father, comedian/actor Sinbad, launched and hosted a series of soul music festivals in the Caribbean in the mid-’90s.
Bryan began honing her skills as a member of the Christian rock/pop/urban group Press Play. The act hit both the Billboard 200 (No. 45) and the magazine’s Top Christian Albums chart (No. 2) in 2009 with the album “Life Is Beautiful.” Following performances on the “Today Show,” “Fox & Friends” and other major outlets plus a year of touring, Bryan opted to pursue a solo career. She has since opened for Erykah Badu, Sean Kingston, Macy Gray, and Jennifer Hudson and completed a summer tour of military bases in Europe sharing the stage her dad.
Bryan recently completed her second project with the release of her new R&B EP entitled, Pieces of Me, written by Bryan and produced by Swoop Brown. She is currently working on a new mix tape scheduled for release later this year.
BRIAN CULBERTSON BAND MEMBERS:
Chris Miskel - drums
Eddie Miller - keys/vocals
Adam Hawley - guitar/vocals
Maurice Ellis - bass/vocals
Jason Morales - vocals
BWB BAND MEMBERS:
John Stoddart - keys/vocals
Braylon Lacy - bass
Khari Parker - drums