Marvin Smith was born in Waukegan, Illinois, where his father, Marvin Sr., was a drummer. "Smitty" was exposed to music at a young age, receiving formal musical training at the age of three. After graduating from Waukegan East High School, Smith attended College of Lake County from 1983 to 1985 as a member of their Jazz Ensemble after graduating class of 1981 Berklee, has recorded 200 albums with various artists, as well as two solo albums. He also has toured with Sting, Dave Holland, Sonny Rollins, Willie Nelson and with Steve Coleman. He is a former member of The New York Jazz Quartet, and drummer under fellow Berklee alum and Musical Director Kevin Eubanks, for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from January 30, 1995 to the show's end on May 29, 2009 and the start of the second incarnation, The Jay Leno Show, March 1, 2010.
Astrud Gilberto - vocalist, recording artist, composerAstrud Gilberto, known as “The Girl from Ipanema” and often referred to as “The Queen of Bossa-Nova,” is an artist with roots firmly planted in Brazilian music. Her music has become an interesting combination of the sensual rhythms of Brazil and American Pop and Jazz.Born in the Northeast of Brazil, in the state of Bahia, one of three sisters of a German father and a Brazilian mother, Astrud grew up in Rio de Janeiro. She immigrated to the United States in the early 1960s, where she resides since then.Astrud was first introduced to the World at large in 1964 through “The Girl From Ipanema,” the Grammy-winning recording with Stan Getz and her then-husband João Gilberto (the father of Bossa Nova). The fact that Astrud seldom grants interviews made it possible for many untruthful versions on how her guest appearance in the Getz & Gilberto album came about to be printed here and there, such as that she was “discovered” by Creed Taylor, or by Stan Getz, or yet, by Jobim, when the only truth is that she was invited to participate in the album by João Gilberto, who has great admiration for her singing talents.
Andy Narell has spent more than a quarter century exploring the subtleties and complexities of steel pan and grafting them to the jazz idiom. He's one of only a small handful of steel pan players in the world who are playing jazz, and perhaps the only one among that coterie to commit an entire career—live and in the studio—to creating new music for the pan in that context.
In recent years, Narell has also explored the potential of the steel pan on an orchestral level. He enlisted the services of Calypsociation, a thirty-piece steel pan orchestra based in Paris, to record The Passage, his 2004 recording on the Heads Up label. That exploration continues with the release of Tatoom: Music for Steel Orchestra in February 2007. In addition to Narell playing all 22 pans in meticulously layered and carefully mixed orchestral arrangements, Tatoom also features three brilliant soloists: guitarist and labelmate Mike Stern, tenor saxophonist David Sanchez and percussionist Luis Conte. With drummers Mark Walker and Jean Philippe Fanfant driving the rhythm section Narell’s steelband sound has an unmistakable jazz groove.