Nick Ballarini @ the Zula B Wylie Library

As part of a new program by the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) called “Music Fest” we were given several fully funded solo performance spots to arrange.  Partnering with the City of Cedar Hill Parks and Recreation, we programmed a few performances at the Zula B Wylie Library and some for special events at the Civic Center.  Nick Ballarini delighted those in attendance at the book signing event, even engaging a young want to be musician in a duet.

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Damon K. Clark

Very few artists successfully cross back and forth from jazz to classical and back again: Wynton Marsalis, Arturo Sandoval, and Duke Ellington come to mind. But now add to the list Dallas vocalist Damon K. Clark. Already acclaimed for his unusual sensitivity, versatility and virtuosity, Damon is as much at home with Thelonius Monk’s “’Round Midnight” as he is with Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma.” The mellifluous tenor minimizes the aesthetic distance between the classical and jazz worlds. While Damon’s tessitura and timbre could be described as Bobby McFerrin-esque, his approach to the material is unique. Damon’s scatting in particular exhibits a classical precision, while hinting at his affection for Ella Fitzgerald’s and Mel Tormé’s improvisational skills.  Damon’s take on songs like Gershwins’ “They All Laughed” is a highlight, showcasing his astonishing range, playful scatting, melismatic mastery and elastic phrasing. Damon has shared the stage with seven time nominee and Grammy winner Paula Cole. He has also frequently performed with Grammy and Stellar Award winner Andrea Wallace. As far as collaborations go, Damon has also made music with some of the greatest musicians in Dallas like Myles Tate III, Tom Braxton, Bernard Wright, Eric Willis, and producer of Beyonce’s “The Best Thing

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Dempsey Crenshaw

Dempsey Crenshaw- Vocals, Guitar & Harmonica Texas Music News say this about Dempsey Crenshaw: Dempsey’s voice is warm and pleasing as fresh baked bread and his harp playing leaves listeners amazed at the range of emotion coming from such a small instrument. Southwest Blues Magazine says: Dempsey Crenshaw is a skilled Harp man and wails on Harmonica & Vocals on the CD “All Night Long” – DC & The Capitols Living Blues Magazine August 2014, Says: Dempsey Crenshaw’s technique evokes Jimmy Reed and Little Walter- Melanie Young –Living Blues Magazine Dempsey Crenshaw was born in Alabama and moved to Dallas in 1961. He began Playing Harmonica at an early age and doesn’t remember being without one. He played bass and guitar with Bad Boy Gene and The Blue Aces, a band that Dempsey started as a teenager. He went on to play with a list of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers,  Blues and R & B greats that includes: Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Etta James, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas, The Drifters, T-Bone Walker, Marvin Gaye, Albert King, Freddie King, Big Joe Turner and Jimmy Reed, just to name a few. Dempsey’s harp style is reminiscent of Little Walter

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Candy Williams

Candy Williams is a phoenix rising, reborn in the music through the fires of her own life’s lessons. She wrote her first song at age three, sang her first public solo at age eight, and has been performing ever since. In her hometown of Oklahoma City she sang in her teen years with established jazz groups, master gospel and concert choirs, and serenaded gubernatorial inaugurates. As a voice major at the University of Oklahoma, Candy’s performance in “Hello, Dolly!” earned her first review as The Daily Oklahoman wrote, “Keep your eye on Candy Williams.” The rebel in her made her choose funk music over the classical stage, and with the bands Jokers Y-ilde and Prelude, Candy proved to be a powerhouse entertainer. Oklahoma City got too small for the Prelude band, and so together they headed south to Dallas, TX. Prelude quickly gained notoriety on the club scene as a force to be respected. And Candy not only survived, she thrived, adding radio, movie, TV and songwriting credits to her name. These performances have been written about as “amazing”, “strong”, “true”. She stretched even further as lead singer with The Panhandlers, adding Latin and Caribbean sounds to her skills. In

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Denton Meet and Greet + Jam Session

Our meet and greet back in September was attended by long time members as well as new faces and students.  It was a real pleasure to meet and hear the new faces.  We really appreciate the Denton Arts Council partnering with us and providing use of their Patterson-Appleton Center for our event.  We are continuously trying to build new community partnerships to foster more awareness of our organization but also to open new doors for our musician community to grow. The next Meet & Greet + Jam Session event is in the planning stages at this time but we are excited about new location possibilities for our next one in the Dallas area.  For information on our next event you can visit our website, make sure you get our newsletters or join our FaceBook group here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/235616120446970/

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