DAHI DIVINE - SAXOPHONE
There’s always more than one side to every story. Dahi Divine (born July 10, 1992), better known for his work as an dynamic tenor saxophonist, prolific composer and jazz bandleader, is exploding onto the contemporary music scene expanding the boundaries of jazz for his generation. Now, he’s emerging as a writer, vocalist, and producer. His sound is rooted in his jazz studies, the Philadelphia music scene, and is heavily influenced by the contemporary music of his time. His latest projects are a compilation of his original jazz and original beats.
Divine’s jazz studies included instruction with, among others, Larry McKenna, Terell Stafford, Jaleel Shaw, Joel Frahm, Bobby Sanabria, Reggie Workman, Myron Walden and Yosvany Terry. In addition to leading his own quartet Divine shared the stage with James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Charles Fambrough, Monnette Sudler, Arturo O’Farrill, Kenny Burrell, and many other world renowned musicians.
JAVIER SANTIAGO - PIANO
Javi Santiago -- a virtuosi pianist, as well as producer, composer, arranger and educator.
Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, Javi (as he is affectionately called) grew up surrounded by strong artistic support from his parents who were jazz musicians. Javi began playing piano at age five. He was classically trained until middle school when he started playing jazz. In high school he gigged on the Twin Cities Music scene and started his production career making tracks for hip hop artists. He won the Schubert Club Jazz Piano Scholarship Competition two years in a row (‘06, ‘07). He held the piano chair in the Minnesota Youth Jazz Band (‘05, ‘07) and the Dakota Combo (‘07 with Bobby Watson).
In 2007 Javi was seleced to be a part of the prestigious Brubeck Institute Fellowship program in California. Since then he performed at venues all across the nation and studied with some of the world’s best instrumentalists. The Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet (‘08, ‘09), he won Best College Group of the Year in Down Beat Magazine two years in a row (2009 and 2010).
Javi has Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC.
ZWELAKHE-DUMA F. BELL LE PERE - BASS
Zwelakhe-Duma F. Bell le Pere’s early jazz education began on double bass at New Haven's Educational Center for the Arts (ECA) and at the Litchfield Jazz Camp under the direction of Jeff Fuller. Shortly after, Zwelakhe-Duma was accepted to The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. He completed his Bachelor’s in 2011 and his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies in 2013.
He studied acoustic bass with Cecil McBee & Don Palma and studied with non-bassists Jason Moran, John McNeil, & Jerry Bergonzi. Zwelakhe-Duma performed and recorded with Christian Scott, Dave Holland, Randy Weston, Dave Liebman and Jason Moran. He performed at the Monterey, Charlie Parker, Panama, Lagos & Osaka Jazz Festivals. He is the 2011 recipient of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Fellowship and works as a teaching artist for the Litchfield Jazz Camp & New England Conservatory Jazz Lab. He resides in New York City and continues his private study with legendary bassist Ron Carter.
KHARY SHAHEED - DRUMS
Khary Shaheed of Philadelphia received his first musical training from his mother, vocalist and pianist Nadira Barba. His percussion instruction came from his father, drummer and percussionist, Kazem Shaheed. West African dance rhythms and each rhythm’s respective song, dance, and purpose were taught to Khary. These drum rhythms were used for very important forms of communication and interaction amongst the villages & communities of the traditional Mali Empire: childbirth, rites of passage, marriage, harvest and agriculture. Khary introduces his mastery of these rhythms in his playing, making his playing rich and full and making him very much in demand. When he’s not performing, Khary shares his talent, knowledge and drumming wisdom at Harambee Institute with The World African Drum & Cultural Ensemble, teaching percussion, beginning with how to make the instrument. Khary has shared the stage with several renowned musicians internationally and throughout the Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York areas, most notably pianist Cyrus Chestnut, Orrin Evans, Peter Beets and Stevie Wonder at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.