Lori Williams 02 Little Sunflower.mp3


Cécile McLorin Salvant




Karen Bryant


 Karen "The Voice" Bryant~


Born in Bronx, New York, Karen Bryant was the youngest of three girls. She grew up in a small town in North Carolina, where her love for music began. At any given time, she heard her father playing the music of Charlie Pride and Chuck Berry or her mother playing the sounds of Frankie Valli and Frank Sinatra. Her sisters, who are ten and twelve years her senior, filled her life with R&B. When her...
oldest sister took her to see the movie “Sparkle”, she knew she wanted to sing.
Like many artists, Karen began singing in church. While in school, she sang in the chorus. After graduating and signing up for a career in the military, she joined her first band. They performed at many events on and around Ft. Hood, Texas. Shortly after completing her term of service, Karen returned to the east coast where she continued singing. She has performed at political events and local venues in and around Washington, DC, several colleges and universities in the northeast and has performed at the famous Apollo Theatre.
After moving to the Atlanta area, Karen became a member of World Changers Church International, where she sang in choirs, ensembles, on praise teams and as a soloist. She has also traveled with the ministry to different events and has appeared on TBN. She sang background vocals for Saxophonist Jeff Sparks when he opened for Fred Hammond and also sang background with an opening act for CeCe Winans.
Karen has appeared as the featured artist/vocalist with the Henley Varner Band, which performs at various events and venues throughout the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. She and the Henley Varner Band recently performed at the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus’ tribute to Dr. Joseph E. Lowery as well as for the tribute to the Honorable Andrew J. Young. She currently performs with Hudson On Bass and the H.O.B. Band and is touring with the Southern Soul Artist Kenne' Wayne throughout the U.S.
This singer/songwriter recently began recording her very first solo project as well as a feature on the projects of other local artists and should have her own music for your listening pleasure in the near future.



Cindy Blackman



Cindy Blackman (born November 18, 1959), sometimes known as Cindy Blackman-Santana, is an American jazz and rock drummer. Blackman is best known for recording and touring with Lenny Kravitz. Blackman has recorded several straight-ahead jazz albums under her own name, and has performed with acclaimed jazz and rock artists, including Pharoah Sanders, Ron Carter, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bofill, Buckethead, Bill Laswell and Joe Henderson. Tony Williams is her main drumming influence. In 1997 she recorded Multiplicity as a drum teaching video. "To me, jazz is the highest form of music that you can play because of the creative requirements," says Blackman.Blackman is married to rock guitarist Carlos Santana.

Blackman is a rarity as a female jazz percussionist. "In the past, there were a lot of stigmas attached to women playing certain instruments," Blackman says. "I think a lot of women stick to particular instruments, like piano, that are acceptable, so that lessens the playing field in terms of how many women are out there. And let's face it, boys' clubs still exist. But I care nothing about that at all. I'm going to do what I'm going to do musically anyway." However Blackman draws on the role models of her mother who played violin in an orchestra and her grandmother who was a classical pianist and does not let stereotypes deter her. "God forbid I should be limited to only play my drums in my basement; but if that's all I had, that's what I would do," says Blackman. "Any woman, or anyone facing race prejudice, weight prejudice, hair prejudice ... if you let somebody stop you because of their opinions, then the only thing you're doing is hurting yourself. I don't want to give somebody that power over me."

Blackman is adamant that musicality has nothing to do with gender. "The gender question is not even worth bringing up because the drums have got nothing to do with gender," Blackman says. "I'm there because I love to play music. And I'm in support of anyone who wants to play the instrument. I wouldn't care if Art Blakely was pink with polka dots and wearing a tutu. I wouldn't care if Tony Williams was green." "There are people who have opinions about whatever and whoever, in terms of gender, in terms of race and weight, hairstyle, religion," says Blackman. "But to me, your personality influences what you play and what you do, but everything else is for you to develop and to nourish and to take further, and that's where I'm at. In terms of my goals, me being a female drummer has nothing to with anything except for the fact that I wear bras and panties and guys don't."[Wikipedia


JoAnna Johnson



JoAnna Johnson
"The Soul Stringer"

 JoAnna, was born and raised in Detroit Michigan to proud parents, Joe and Marian Johnson in the fall of 1972. The only daughter of seven children, JoAnna began her mus
ical career in the Detroit Public School System. Before playing the violin, JoAnna began her musical journey playing the song flute (recorder) where students developed basic music rhythms, and technique. Her natural ability was realized early on and her love for music was born.

JoAnna asked to play the violin from the time anyone can remember her talking. No one knows why she chose that instrument. She began playing the violin at the age of 8 and quickly became a star pupil. Although things started off pretty rocky, from the first day she brought the violin home, she was hooked. She did not put it down all day and was asked repeatedly by her parents to give their ears a rest, put it away, and try it again the next day. By the next day, either her skills had improved, or her parents had grown more tolerant of the noise. Whatever the case, her determination to achieve worked and she continued to shine. Pretty soon her parents were begging her NOT to stop playing.

It was suggested to her parents that they seek outside studies for her to grow in her technique and skill. She blossomed as a student of the Detroit Community Music School where she furthered her training using the Suzuki Method.

Known from a very early age as the girl who heard everything, JoAnna loved to listen to music and try to imitate what she heard. She used her ability to play by ear to help write and compose the 80's hit Sweet November for both the band and orchestra to perform at her 8th grade graduation. During this time she also competed in many MSBOA (Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association) competitions where she received numerous 1st place ribbons. She auditioned for the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra in 1984 where she continued to play through both Junior High and all of High School. Upon graduation she received a number of school offers including a full scholarship to Jackson State University. Although she did not attend this university, JoAnna continued to submerge herself into music and became a member of the Detroit Metropolitan Orchestra.

JoAnna has always felt like music heals people and can touch the very depths of one’s soul. Finding healing in music for herself, JoAnna's goal is to touch the souls of many and allow music to speak and heal. JoAnna brings a sensuous, sultry, elegant, sassy yet classy vibe to the art of strings. Her very presence and her sincerity is felt long before you see her or even hear her first note. She has already done many studio recordings for various artists and a number of live performances throughout the area. Look out for her as she continues on her journey to fill many hearts with the joys of music.



 Kimberlye' McKinney



Kimberlye' McKinney is a woman of strength, power and unlimited energy whose music is defined as edgy, classy and fun. The female saxophonist, songwriter, and producer; has a fresh sound, fresh face, and steps over ordinary into extraordinary.

The native Georgian was raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Her musical influence began at an early age by her father who noticed her artistic musical expressions at the tender age of two. She was also introduced to playing several instruments. At age eleven, Kimberlye switched her interest to alto and tenor saxophone and embarked on a path to become a novice songwriter. She began to fall more in love with music, sitting in front of her record player and transcribing songs like El Debarge’s, “I like It” and Patty LaBelle’s, “If Only You Knew”. Kimberlye grew up influenced by musical greats like John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Ronnie Laws, Sonny Rollins, Bob Marley, Steel Pulse, Al Green, Chick Corea, Cannonball Adderley, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Gospel, County, Classical, and others. Gravitating to all genres of music, Kimberlye combines a plethora of influences that is embraced and felt in her music.

She attended and graduated from Shaw University located in Raleigh, North Carolina on a music scholarship and degree in English Studies and Philosophy and began working on her solo career at age twenty-one. Kimberlye became recognized as a female jazz soloist with her first “Untitled” single produced by bass player Bernard Harris, which caught the attention of radio station WSHA 88.9FM, receiving great responses from local as well as national listeners and was invited to the radio station to appear as a guest artist. Kim’s relationship with Chella, a radio personality from WSHA 88.9FM, grew when she was invited backstage where she met and played with saxophonist Donald Harrison.

In her pursuit to musical greatness, Kimberlye has shared the stage with many greats and many nationally known artist. Kimberlye has decided to take her career further not only as an artist but incorporating professionalism as a businesswoman where she now attends Full Sail University’s Entertainment Business Master’s Program. Currently you can see Kimberlye performing with her band Music Kimistry and other bands in cities across the United States and expanding across the world.