Our Interview with Director of Philadelphia Jazz Project Homer Jackson

Philadelphia Jazz Project (PJP) is a special initiative which works to inspire a network to support, promote, archive and celebrate the diverse elements within the Philadelphia jazz community, with the larger goal of connecting to the global community.


Bill Jolly

 Bill Jolly is a three-time Emmy Award-winning producer, arranger and keyboardist. Former music director for Grover Washington, Jr. ​ 


Mark Wade

 Voted one of the top bassists of 2016 and 2018 by the prestigious 
Downbeat Magazine Reader's Poll, Mark Wade has been an active bassist in the New York City area for over 20 years. 


Cecily Alexa

 As a Washington, DC native, growing up immersed in a city synonymous with politics, it seemed like an obvious choice to pursue a career in public service. But at the age of 21, Cecily walked out of her International Relations classroom feeling disillusioned. She called her mother and told her that after 10 years of voice lessons and singing as a hobby, she wanted to dedicate her life to music. With her degree in Political Science and Black Studies, Cecily began her career as a vocalist and songwriter, with the mission to bring purpose and power to her music and life. 



 Defining her style as a “funky creation”, influenced by rock, soul and funk, you can find Ideeyah zoning out to a plethora of genres from Alice Coltrane to Zap Mama. Her on-stage presence captures attention and easily turns spectators into believers as she exudes an aura of love from her microphone into the amplifiers. Ideeyah’s craft has garnered her mass appeal from her peers in the music world- summoned upon to open up for/ perform alongside the likes of Jessica Care Moore, Monica Blaire, Joi, Erykah Badu, Norma Jean Bell (Prince’s saxophonist), Divinity Roxx (Beyonce’s bassist), Christopher Williams, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Dwele,  and Amp Fiddler-to name a few 

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Project Grand Slam

 The brainchild of acclaimed bassist/composer Robert Miller, Project Grand Slam is a Jazz Rock Fusion band with a twist of Classic Rock and Latin, which has earned over one million video views while defying genres, languages and geographic boundaries. Gashouse Radio says: “Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam deserves mentioning as among the best musical acts produced by American culture in the last quarter century!” 

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Animus Rexx

 Animus Rexx is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist James Casey whose talents may be attributed to his upbringing in a musical family, education from peers at Berklee College of Music, and experience with an eclectic array of bands including Trey Anastasio Band, 6Figures, and Lettuce 

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Jeff Bradshaw


Born in North Philadelphia, Jeff Bradshaw is known as a soul-jazz and hip-hop/funk innovator, so it was only right that this trombone virtuoso found a home at Hidden Beach Recordings. Coming up in and out of the Philadelphia Soul Movement, he had performed along some of the music industry’s greats – Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Pattie LaBelle, to name a few. 

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 Tweet (born January 21, 1972) is the stage name of American R&B and Neo-Soul singer Charlene Keys, hailing from Rochester, New York, U.S. 


The Last Poet Abiodun Oyewole

 Abiodun Oyewole grew up Charles Davis in Queens, NY. Listening to his parents' jazz and gospel records and studying Langston Hughes and other great poets in school helped nurture Oyewole's love of poetry. His mother taught him to "throw [his] voice" by making him recite the Lord's Prayer in their basement so that she could hear him in the kitchen. 

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Nickel & Dimes OPS

When a Cuban-American conscious rapper and some of New York City’s most exciting young jazz musicians decided to unite their talents the boundaries of creativity, both musically and lyrically are pushed to the highest level. Formed in 2010. this prolific ensemble carries on an eight year weekly residency at SMOKE Jazz Club in New York City.  With somewhere close 500 performances, Nickel and Dime OPS continues to inspire spectators with their unique musical fusion and incomparable energy. Music lovers and hip hop purists have enjoyed watching the nine piece band bring down the house at such famed venues such as Blue Note NYC, The Cutting Room, Joe’s Pub, SOB’s, as well as other cities in the U.S. and Europe. 

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Paris Toon


Nathan Parker Smith

 A native of Northern California, Nathan Parker Smith is an active performer and composer currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. In 2009, he formed the "Nathan Parker Smith Large Ensemble," an eighteen-member ensemble regularly performing original music throughout New York, including recent performances shows at Fat Cat, Spike Hill, Cameo, the Tea Lounge, Shapeshifter Lab, and the Greene Space at WNYC.  

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Dessy di Lauro

 Los Angeles-based award-winning singer Dessy Di Lauro delivers a unique flavor of original music she labels as Neo-Ragtime, with a live show incorporating elements from the ”Speak Easy Era”. Miss Di Lauro is backed by her stellar band and horn section led by her musical director/pianist Ric’key Pageot who has been on two world tours with Madonna since 2008.