|Award-winning jazz guitarist Paul Bollenback developed a taste for the exotic over the course of a three-year period when his family lived in India. He was 11 years old when the family traveled to New Delhi, and years later the sounds and experiences of that early journey found their way into his first album from Challenge Records, Original Visions. His next release, Double Gemini, continued to stir up a buzz among critics, and it drew honors as CD of the Month from both WBGO, a Newark jazz station, and 20th Century Jazz Magazine. Bollenback remained with Challenge for his next project, Soul Grooves.
In 2011 Paul garnered a Grammy nomination for co-production on Joey DeFrancesco’s Never Can Say Goodbye (Hi Note). His international and national touring schedule currently include appearances with Joey DeFrancesco, Mike LeDonne, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Gary Bartz, and Shunzo Ohno, as well as many appearances with his own trio.
Bassist Essiet Okon Essiet first received critical acclaim more than a decade ago as a member of saxophonist Bobby Watson’s post hard bop group Horizon He has long since established himself as one of New York’s premier bassists.
He has performed and recorded with such notables as Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, James Moody, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Cedar Walton, Sam Rivers, George Adams, Pat Martino, Kenny Burrell, Jackie McLean, Frank Morgan, Kenny Barron, Louis Hayes, Ben Riley, Jimmy Cobb, Billy Higgins, Billy Hart, Art Farmer, Abby Lincoln, Victor Lewis, Kenny Garrett, Kenny Kirkland, Mulgrew Miller, Jeff “Tain ” Watts, Mike Stern, Geri Allen, and Ralph Peterson to highlight only a partial list.
Sylvia Cuenca is an active drummer on the international scene who is contributing outstanding performances in a variety of situations. She has had the honor of sharing the bandstand with saxophone legend Joe Henderson for 4 years and trumpet legend Clark Terry for 17 years.
Sylvia has also performed with such jazz luminaries as Billy Taylor, Frank Foster’s Loud Minority Big Band, Houston Person, Etta Jones, John Hicks, Kenny Barron, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, George Cables, Hilton Ruiz, Jon Faddis, Eddie Henderson and Dianne Reeves, to name just a few.
Saxophonist Greg Wall, dubbed the “Jazz Rabbi” by the New York Times, has performed his music around the world, including performances at major international festivals like the North Sea, Pori, Vienne and Montreal Jazz festivals, as well as top New York venues like Carnegie Hall, the Village Vanguard, and the Stone. He currently records for John Zorn’s Tzadik label, and serves as the Artistic Director of JazzFC.