Ellis Hall, “The Ambassador of Soul” known for singing, songwriting and as a musician playing every instrument with a strong 5 octave vocal range and was the lead vocalist and keyboardist for the soul-funk band Tower of Power.
He performs with most elite symphony orchestras worldwide including: His first being the Hollywood Bowl under the direction of his mentor Ray Charles. Since then he has performed with prestigious 81-piece orchestras including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Marvin Hamlisch conducting to playing with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra and more.
Ellis is currently performing two orchestra concept shows “Ray, Motown and Beyond” features such hits as Motown’s Heard It Through the Grapevine and Tower of Power’s Some Days Were Meant for Rain. With the second half of the show paying tribute to Ray Charles featuring hit songs like, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Unchain My Heart, Hit the Road Jack, and Georgia on My Mind.
Ellis’ other show, “Soul Unlimited” (conducted by Jeff Tyzik) is where he “Ellis-izes” songs from David Bowie’s Let’s Dance to Something by George Harrison, Beatles along with Motown and other Soul hits.
Born in Savannah, Georgia and raised partly in Claxton, GA. Ellis has been blind since he was 18 years old, but that doesn’t stop him from is mission in life. In fact, it has been the driving force behind the creation of a 3,800 songs catalog full of Soul, Gospel, Blues and Pop compositions. Among these works is the official song for his hometown of Claxton Georgia. He has worked alongside other greats such as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Patti LaBelle, Toby Keith, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Bobby Womack, George Duke, Sheila E., Kenny G and many more. In addition, he was one of the lead vocalists of the California Raisins.
Ellis has also successfully had his hand at Hollywood, recording and performing songs for live action and animated films such as “The Lion King 2,” “Shrek 2,” “Chicken Run,” “Invincible” and “Bruce Almighty”. The Ambassador has even taken acting roles in “Big Momma’s House” (Martin Lawrence) and the crime drama “Catch Me If You Can” (Leonardo DiCaprio) and “Revival” (Harry Lennix). Along with these amazing films, Mr. Hall was nominated for an Ovation Theater Award as “Best Lead Actor in a Musical” for his first stage role in “The Gospel at Colonus” where he not only sang and acted but also walked the stage and stair props with nearly no assistance.
Shelly is a singer, songwriter, vocal coach and more, hailing from the bayous of the Northern Rivers in New South Wales, Australia. She was brought up jamming, fed on it from the womb- singing is her natural state of ease. She loves drinking coffee, then teaching people about singing, about harmony, about the musical release in letting go; fuelled by soul music, jazz improv and a folky calm.
The covid universe has redefined music for our culture, and so, musicians are finding new ways to create and be their prolific selves. Shelly created a songwriting circle, to build community and encourage inspiration; she creates a singing lesson podcast welcoming you to partake in your own personal singing lesson and jamming inspired music theory. Shelly loves to serenade at weddings, teach vocal groups, and was sinking her head and heart into teaching choirs as covid hit.
There are a few more projects in the pipeline; stay tuned for a musical adventure into the lives of outback pilots and light aircraft in Australia and a new Recording Studio adventure in late 2020.
She’s followed Radio Venice for a few years and is delighted to be part of projects produced by strong women. The transgression in local gigs to solo male performers and receding budgets is indeed a massive hit to the international musical community, and to represent as a strong female musician and singer alongside an incredible female producer is a duty and a cause worth raising ones voice for.
Shelly will deliver stories and song, in her heartfelt tone on Radio Venice’s 5th Birthday. Happy Birthday and Congratulations- RV Lady and Gents, have been showing us what we needed all along- worldwide jamboree. New Album – “Focus” by Shelly Brown available on Bandcamp direct to artist or via streaming platforms.
DARDEN is comprised of Clarah, the guitarist; Havi on mandolin, Tabbi, the bassist, and Josiah on drums.
The girls are vocalists in the group, focusing on harmonies and musical blends.
Raised on the California Coast in a family of musicians, the band grew up surrounded by musical influences from almost every genre. In the early 2000’s, their parents piled them into an RV, and together they embarked on several singing tours around the U.S., traveling as far east as Ohio. Originally their vocals were backed by their Grandpa Joe Tatar on honky-tonk style piano, but eventually, each decided on an instrument, and when the Darden family came off the road in 2008, the sisters began to hone in on forming their own musical entity. It was only natural that their brother Josiah join the group, and he now backs the girls on drums.
Everyone is a songwriter in the group, now playing several instruments each. Since coming off the road, they have developed a sound which is their own unique spin on all the music they grew up on. Leaning towards an Alternative, Modern Americana feel, DARDEN presents an experience of crystal clear harmonies, angelic melodies, and modern versions of classic songs and styles.
The band currently resides in Orange County and they can be seen frequently performing around Fullerton and Southern California.
“Music has always been our first love, and our goal is to share that love with as many people as possible!”
Lizz Vega is a self-taught singer/songwriter from Los Angeles. A late bloomer when it comes to being a musician for she has only been creating music for five years. But her blues/RnB/soul fusion style of music will take you on a dive into what it means to connect to yourself and to others with the power of music.
Suzy Williams, deemed by LA Weekly as “LA’s Diva Deluxe”, has played venues from Carnegie Hall to the Canary Islands with Van Dyke Parks, Buster Poindexter, Marc Shaiman, Nicholas Ray, and the Pilobolus dance troupe, among others.
Bette Midler, Horace Silver, Roosevelt Sykes, Ann Magnuson, Eubie Blake, Odetta, and Hadda Brooks have praised her passionate singing and vibrant energy. Her original songs will leave you laughing, sobbing, or both.
Let’s Pull Together and Stand Apart by Suzy Williams and Brad Kay
Let’s pull together and stand apart
Let’s sanitize our own shopping cart
Let’s do our huggin’ just from the heart
Let’s pull together and stand – – – – Apart.
We’ve gotta flatten this doggone curve
Six feet of distance takes some reserve
Call up your buddy, now THAT will serve –
We’ve gotta flatten the dog – – – – gone curve.
[spoken] Virtual virtue … is the
order of the [sung] DAY…
Let’s do our face time here on face-book –
Instagram, Marco Polo, Skype – OK?
[Brad:] OHHH – KAAYYY!!
[Suzy]: Show solidarity to Hospital Staff,
Knockin’ themselves out on our behalf – THEN
When this is over, we’ll live to laugh!
Let’s pull together and stand —
Then we’ll resume what we planned –
THAT will be so frickin’ GRAND! [triplets]
Let’s pull together and STAND – – – Apart!
Winter Grain is at its core Kate and Secily Anderson. Their eponymous debut was produced by Ryan Hadlock (Brandi Carlile, Allen Stone). Their music is influenced by Kate’s experience as an Army helicopter pilot, Secily’s upbringing studying piano at The Cleveland Institute of Music and guitar at BYU, and their shared life as a married couple.
They are recent transplants to Los Angeles via Salt Lake City. On stage they are joined by Elliott Klein (guitar), Ryan Gleason (bass), and Morris Carrillo (drums).
What is a Pocho? One who lacks proficiency in Spanish but is of Mexican descent. So with that out of the way who are Los Pochos?
Los Pochos is a three Spanish guitar and vocal collaboration born in Venice Beach, CA. Band members Isaac Irvin (from El Paso, Texas), Michael Jost (from Frankfurt, Germany) and Rick Boston (from Alberta, Canada) started playing together in Venice for fun, but soon were being asked to play at parties and art shows.
Isaac Irvin sings in Spanish and English and this combination makes for a great blend of Tex Mex and south of the border vocals. Michael Jost is an accomplished flamenco and rock guitarist and is also a record producer with his own eclectic Radio Venice weekly internet broadcast. Rick Boston is a multi instrumentalist, musician, film composer and record producer, now enamored with his Spanish gut string guitar.
With Mexican rock songs such as Negra Tomasa and Cuban traditional El Quarta de Tula the three pochos dig into these Latin sounds with the fun of a Manu Chao but the instrumental skill of a Gypsy King. Well, almost!
Having lived in Australia for a decade, Irish born singer-songwriter Áine Tyrrell rewrites what is imaginable every step of the way. Whether she is captaining her infamous 1966 Bedford Tour Bus or whether she is carving a unique musical path melding her own Irish roots from the ancient limestone rocks of Country Clare with her respect of the red dirt roads of 60,000 years of Indigenous culture in Australia, she is doing it all to her very own beat. It is no surprise then that The Australian warned early on that “Tyrrell’s incredible journey is one you’d be well advised to follow.”
As Áine’s music appeal grows internationally, her first recognition of her talents in America have been represented by being selected as an official showcase artist for the International Folk Alliance.
Her fresh and innovative rewriting of the rule book in song structure and composition has not gone unrecognised Internationally either. Following the release of the single “In This House” in 2019 with over 18,000 entries Tom Waits voted her not only as a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition, but she received the much-coveted honourable mention in the Singer-Songwriter Category. Her exceptional musicianship and an equally deft touch with a killer hook or a heartrending lament has also garnered critical acclaim from national radio outlets in both Ireland and Australia with multiple radio appearances on ABC Radio, RTE Radio, Double J Radio, and BBC NI Music.
Brad Kay, pianist, cornetist, composer and musicologist, has played in and led bands in Los Angeles since 1965, when he began performing at SHAKEY’S PIZZA PARLORS.
Music has been his consuming passion since childhood, starting with ragtime, developing into a love for all great American music, especially the hot jazz of the 1920s. He was a sideman in the MYSTIC KNIGHTS OF THE OINGO BOINGO (1974-77); led his own band, THE MAJESTIC DANCE ORCHESTRA (1975-79, 1991-94), which recreated orchestral music of the 20s and 30s. In his septet, THE UPTOWN CURMUDGEONS OF SWING (1995-97), he evoked some of the great pianists of the era such as Fats , Duke Ellington and George Gershwin (among many), but was essentially himself in his heatedly optimistic solos.
Classic ragtime was Brad’s first inspiration, and his entree into composing. A folio and of some of Brad’s original ragtime compositions, “SEVEN RAGS” appeared in 1994.
One of his more curious composing projects was providing background music for celebrated writer HARLAN ELLISON’S reading of his famous short story, JEFFTY IS FIVE.
Brad has arranged and performed for film soundtracks, including Martin Brest’s “HOT ,” (1976); Richard Elfman’s “THE FORBIDDEN ZONE” (1982); Tim Burton’s “NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS” (1994); and Jon Zeiderman’s “ARTIFACTS” (2001).
As a music researcher, Brad has made several important discoveries, including new and previously overlooked 78 rpm records by BIX BEIDERBECKE and LOUIS ARMSTRONG, as well as the phenomenon of “ACCIDENTAL STEREO,” which resulted in true stereo realizations of music by DUKE ELLINGTON and SIR EDWARD ELGAR, among others, recorded in the early 30s! He has produced LP and CD reissues of great and overlooked artists such as vaudevillian JANE GREEN and pioneering bandleader JAMES REESE EUROPE. He has contributed to many reissue CDs out of his vast collection of original 78s.
Since 1997, he has led a piano trio, plays cornet and piano and records with JANET KLEIN AND HER PARLOR BOYS. His major passion these days has been composing, racking up over 1,000 pieces since November, 1998. Some of the best of these are heard on his debut album of piano music, “WE GOTTA START MEETING LIKE THIS” (2000).
Currently, Brad is developing his solo entertaining ability, performing Sunday afternoons at the UNURBAN CAFE in Santa Monica. He plays and sings from a vast repertoire of the century’s popular music, veering from vaudeville routines to romantic ballads to hot instrumentals, lacing them together with wit and a powerful yen to delight his audience.
Brad collaborated with the late beloved singer SUSANNAH McCORKLE on an album of meditation/healing piano music. The album is dedicated to her memory.
Brad has also conducted seminars on jazz and early pop music for ELDER HOSTEL and has done volunteer gigs for community programs such as ANGEL’S FLIGHT.