MASTERCLASSES AND CLINICS


The Funkgurus artists listed below offer live masterclasses and clinics, both separately and in conjunction with their live shows.

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Hamish Stuart

Hamish Stuart

Hamish Stuart is a legendary figure in the global music business. He was an original member of the million-selling Atlantic Records group The Average White Band and is also known for his work with Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and David Sanborn to name but a few.  An award-winning songwriter, Hamish has written songs for Smokey Robinson, Jeffrey Osborne, George Benson & Diana Ross and was a key member of Paul McCartney’s 1989 comeback album, Flowers in the Dirt. He also appeared on several other albums and joined Sir Paul’s world tours of 1989 and 1993.   Additionally, in 2006, Hamish toured as the bass player with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band and joined Starr’s tours again in 2008, 2019 and 2022. In recognition of his unique contribution to music, in 2016, Hamish was awarded a BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors), Gold Badge award, - now known as the Ivor Novello Awards, founded to recognise exceptional people from across the industry who have made a unique contribution to British music.  In July 2015, Hamish reunited with two of his Average White Band bandmates to form The 360 Band.  This is, in essence, one-half of the original Average White Band and they released an album titled 'Three Sixty' in 2017. Hamish and his group have been performing live together with supporting musicians since then. More recently, he teamed up with Funkgurus artists OUTPUT / INPUT to record his latest song Soul Deep and appeared with Scottish based Funk and Soul band The Tomorrow Band at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. Funkgurus is delighted to offer Hamish for international festivals and club dates with the Hamish Stuart Band, which can feature original AWB band drummer Steve Ferrone on drums by arrangement or his larger 9-piece band with brass. Both options include a selection of his AWB hits such as Pick up the Pieces, Cut the Cake and Person to Person. Other hit songs written by Hamish, such as Chaka Khan's "What Cha Gonna Do for Me," appear in his live shows as well, making it an excellent, well-rounded show for festival and club audiences around the world. Additionally, Hamish can appear as a guest vocalist with OUTPUT / INPUT and can combine his live dates with personal appearances and media events/interviews if required.

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Yolanda Charles MBE

Yolanda Charles MBE

Yolanda Charles MBE is a British musician and teacher. Yolanda is well-known among music fans and industry professionals all over the world. She was awarded an MBE for her services to music in 2020, and she has spent her career performing live with Hans Zimmer, Squeeze, Robbie Williams, and Paul Weller, as well as recording with BB King, Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, and Queen, to name a few. In addition to her session work and private teaching, she has been invited to give masterclasses and workshops at a number of schools and colleges, including the Royal College of Music Manchester, Goldsmiths University, BIMM Manchester, Brighton, Bristol, Dublin, London, ICMP (The Institute), and the London College of Contemporary Music (LCCM). She also performs regularly for guitar bass and amps leader Fender and others at music conventions and tradeshows: winter NAMM in Anaheim USA, the UK Bass show and the Musikmesse in Frankfurt. For workshops, Yolanda's style is interactive: A performance demonstration often comes with an invitation for volunteers to join her. As a bassist, she usually holds the sessions with Project pH drummer Laurie Lowe, who will accompany her in a solid rhythm section duo. They demonstrate rhythmic development and placement, exercises to internalise 16th note divisions, utilising dynamics and various styles, including navigating odd time signatures and everything else BASS & DRUMS. Yolanda's Masterclass performance topics and discussion include: - • Introduction – history, background, career pathway and achievements • Demonstration • Rhythmic timing and feel • Performance examples and interaction • Musicianship • Industry advice with important anecdotal lessons • Running a band • Making an album • Booking gigs • Tools and Techniques – endorsements and self-sufficiency • Q&A/Discussion

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Ray Greene

Ray Greene

Carlos Santana, Tower of Power, Aretha Franklin and Rick James are just a few of the Soul/R&B legends that Ray Greene has lent his silky-smooth vocals to. Ray Greene is a singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist living in Boston, Massachusetts. He received a degree in Music Performance at the world-renowned Berklee College of Music. Being brought up in the shadows of the great Soul/R&B legends of our time, Ray is equally adept at the traditions of Gospel, Jazz and Blues. With his brand new album called "Stay", he effortlessly blends Soul, R&B and Jazz, making it obvious why these greats have wanted to work with him. Apart from being an outstanding singer, Ray is also an accomplished trombonist, as he's proven by appearing alongside the Tower of Power horn section on their last two releases, in addition to Santana's album entitled "Africa Speaks.” "Stay" is a Soul/R&B album that hearkens back to the days of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, who delivered such power and determination in their approach to singing their classic material. This project begs the question, “what would these gentlemen be doing if they were still with us today?” or, more specifically, “what type of music would Bobby Womack or Jackie Wilson be listening to?” The album features an exceptional array of talent, including Santana guitarist and vocalist Tommy Anthony, Tower of Power guitarist Jerry Cortez, along with bassist Ray McKinley, who performs and tours with Sheila E. Ray will tour Europe in 2023/24 with his new band, which features Francois Johnson on keyboards, legendary bassist Reggie Washington, Jonas Vogelsang on guitar and Alex Bernath on drums “Ray Greene in Tower of Power as lead vocalist and trombone player extraordinaire was a blessing and a delight. He’s a talent to be reckoned with, and his million-dollar smile and irresistible personality are winning people over worldwide!!! Ray will always be a member of the ToP Family, and I strongly urge you to check out this recording.” Emilio Castillo - Bandleader for Tower of Power “Having brother Ray Greene in the band brings us all to the spirit of church and the streets, ever so soulful and heartfelt. We love and cherish him” - Carlos Santana Additionally, Ray and bassist Reggie Washington are available for Masterclass bookings on tour. Funkgurus are delighted to offer Ray Greene for bookings, in association with The Alexander Agency.

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Janek Gwizdala

Janek Gwizdala

London-born, US-based bass player and record producer Janek Gwizdala is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after jazz bassists of our time. Janek has been on the international music scene for over twenty years, touring as a band leader and working as a musical director or sideman with some of the most respected names in the industry. These include Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, Carlos Santana, Hiram Bullock, John Mayer, Airto Moreira, Chuck Loeb, Peter Erskine, Flora Purim, Pat Metheny, Eric Marienthal, Billy Cobham, Chad Wackerman, Bob James, John Patitucci, Rick Margitza, Bob Mintzer, Bob Reynolds, Mitch Forman, Bob Sheppard, Mark Turner, Tosin Abasi, Aaron Parks, Marcus Miller, Jojo Mayer, Paul Shafer, Delta Goodrem, Adam Rogers, Gregoire Maret, Clarence Penn, Gretchen Parlato, Horacio El Negro Hernandez, Donny McCaslin, Lenny Castro, Kazumi Watanabe, Brandon Fields, Mark Guiliana, Ronny Jordan, Luis Conte, Dennis Chambers, Lionel Loueke, Kenny Werner, Eric Harland, Steve Smith, Vital Information, Benny Greb, Kenwood Dennard, and Wayne Krantz. As a recording artist, Janek has released twelve albums as a band leader; as an author, has published thirteen critically acclaimed books; and has toured the world extensively as both a musician and a lecturer & clinician at the world’s leading educational establishments. In addition to live appearances with The Janek Gwizdala Trio, which includes pianist Tom Cawley and drummer Nicolas Viccaro, Janek will be performing internationally in projects with Bob Reynolds and Steve Smith throughout the rest of 2022. Janek will undoubtedly have a stellar year in 2023, appearing at the world's leading festivals and clubs, both with his own projects and alongside other celebrated artists. Early booking is advised.

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Snake Davis

Snake Davis

Snake Davis is one of the most in-demand rock jazz and soul sax players in the world, widely known for his solos on tracks such as Lisa Stansfield’s ‘Change’, M-People’s ‘Search For A Hero’ and ‘Moving On Up’ and Take That’s ‘Million Love Songs’. He has played and recorded with artists ranging from James Brown, Tina Turner and Paul McCartney to The Eurythmics and Amy Winehouse. He is a saxophonist of almost unparalleled gifts who has played with the best in the business through a career spanning three decades. To date, Snake Davis has recorded on more than 400 tracks for over 60 artists and the list keeps growing. That’s not even counting all of the live performances! More recently Snake featured on Klingande's Number 1 dance chart hit 'Jubel' - a huge dance tune across the world. Snake also performs with Japan's biggest rock star Eikichi Yazawa and recently played Tokyo Dome and 5 sold out nights at the famous Budokan arena. The hugely popular Snake Davis Classic Sax Solos touring band is now in its third year and see’s Snake Davis step into a 5 piece band performing a myriad of classics, including Baker Street, Careless Whisper, Still Crazy after all these Years, Respect, Yakety Yak, and his own solos from Million Love Songs, Moving on Up, Search for the Hero, and Lisa Stansfields "Change". What’s more, he also tells you a bit more about them, fascinating facts and insights into the music we already love. Imagine a room full of the saxophone greats; Junior Walker, King Curtis, Clarence Clemmons, Charlie Parker, Michael Brecker and more. Snake can deliver them all; challenging – yes, but he completely nails it. Sultry sax, searing sax, screaming sax, sexy sax, soulful sax, this show has it all. Snake is also available with:- The Snake Davis Band - Snake's 4-piece band, which includes some of the Classic Sax Solos show material along with classic, soul funk and ambient music. The Snake Davis Trio - teaming up with long time cohort , best buddy and session trumpeter extraordinaire Johnny Thirkell and their mutual friend, guitarist Mark Creswell, for an evening of gorgeous mellow music infused with jazz soul and pop. The Snake Davis & Gareth Moulton Duo - Snake teams up with long-time cohort and best buddy Gareth Moulton from Cutting Crew & Wang Chung for an evening of gorgeous mellow music infused with pop, rock, jazz and soul.

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Andrew McCormack

Andrew McCormack

Exceptional pianist/composer and long-term Kyle Eastwood Band member Andrew McCormack has built a diverse international career with many appearances at major festivals and concert halls all over the globe. McCormack has toured as a solo pianist giving concerts at various venues across the UK most notably at a sold-out Hall One Kings Place in London opening for Michael Wollny in 2017. The release of his latest trio album, 'Terra Firma,' is scheduled for October 2022, with a UK release tour in October and a follow-up UK/Europe tour in spring 2023. The first single has already received a positive response, with over 150k streams in the first month alone, and Jazz FM's Dinner Jazz show naming 'Fragile' their track of the week. As an invaluable sideman to many major international artists, Andrew's long-term collaborations with the Kyle Eastwood Band and with ex-Jazz Messenger, Jean Toussaint, have established him as a well-known performer in the jazz world. As a leader, his debut album Telescope in 2005 received universal acclaim and earned him a BBC jazz award for rising star the following year, with the pianist later returning to the trio format with a series of critically acclaimed albums including Live In London in 2012 and First Light in 2014. The latter includes a New York rhythm section as evidence of his three-year stay in the city. The pianist teamed up with composer/saxophonist Jason Yarde to form the McCormack & Yarde Duo with their first album release together, MY DUO in 2009. The duo has since gone on to firmly establish itself with international tours and further album releases that have garnered widespread critical recognition for their developments in the genre. Places And Other Spaces was released in 2011 and they followed up in 2013 to feature the Elysian String Quartet on the eclectic, Juntos. McCormack also has a keen interest in classical composition. Having studied with British composer, Mark-Anthony Turnage, he has gone on to receive commissions from various ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra. Andrew’s eight-minute overture, Incentive was premiered by the orchestra at the Barbican in London and included on their Panufnik Legacies CD in 2013. In 2017, Andrew launched a new band project, Graviton which saw him in a more groove-based setting including vocals and a wider sound world closer to what might be described as Prog-Jazz. The latest album in 2019, Graviton: The Calling is a fully conceived work that follows the classic hero’s journey. In 2020, he released SOLO to across-the-board 4/5 star reviews, adding yet another strength to his already diverse portfolio. Using a mixture of originals, standard and not-so-standard repertoire, the pianist demonstrates his compelling ideas, composing, and thrilling performances in the stripped-down intimate setting of solo piano. Andrew McCormack has managed to consistently demonstrate a compelling setting for his musical ideas, a platform for virtuosic improvisation and a constant revivifying and adaptive embodiment of the jazz tradition. *STOP PRESS* Award-winning UK saxophonist Denys Baptiste will join Andrew's trio as a special guest for a series of live shows in 2023, recapturing some of the magic of Denys' epic "Let Freedom Ring" project and his ‘Be where you are’ album, which won two of the UK music industry's most prestigious awards in 1999: a Mercury Music Prize Award for An Album Of The Year plus the MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act.

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Dennis Chambers & Gary Grainger

Dennis Chambers & Gary Grainger

Funkgurus proudly presents a rare masterclass with drum legend Dennis Chambers and bass icon Gary Grainger. Dennis Chambers & Gary Grainger from The John Scofield Group present the rhythm master class! They will perform and demonstrate how the iconic bass and drum grooves from the two albums, Blue Matter and Loud Jazz, were created. They will also go over the creation of the Pick Hits Live and In The Pocket Video/DVD. Following the demonstration, there will be time for questions and answers in the clinic. Dennis joined Parliament/Funkadelic at 18 and stayed with them until until 1986 when he joined the John Scofield band. Since then he has played with most of the major figures in jazz fusion music. He has recorded and performed with Tom Coster, John Scofield, George Duke, Victor Wooten, Brecker Brothers, Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, Niacin, Mike Stern, CAB, Greg Howe, and many others. He has toured extensively with Carlos Santana and makes appearances with his band Niacin. In December 2004, Chambers was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. Gary Grainger began playing bass with his older brother, drummer Gregory Grainger. In the late 70s the pair joined Pockets, recording for Columbia Records, and toured extensively with a package headlined by Earth, Wind And Fire. He first attracted wide attention in the late 80s, playing electric bass with John Scofield on tour and on several recording sessions, including two late 80s Gramavision albums, Blue Matter and Loud Jazz. After leaving Scofield he teamed up with the band’s drummer, Dennis Chambers, forming the funk band, Graffiti. He has also recorded with Carl Filipiak and Haakon Graf. More recently he's been on tour with Acoustic Alchemy, Mike Stern, Robben Ford and Bill Evans.

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Denys Baptiste

Denys Baptiste

MOBO and Mercury award-winning UK saxophonist Denys Baptiste has a colossal talent - based on a powerful technique and an ability to improvise fluently and effortlessly across a wide range of musical styles. From the moment he joined the London jazz circuit, Denys displayed extraordinary talent, energy and commitment. Spotted by veteran Jazz Warriors double bassist, Gary Crosby at the bassist’s regular Tomorrow’s Warriors jam sessions, Denys was immediately invited to join Crosby’s new band, Nu Troop. Since then, Denys has soared in his development as a soloist and bandleader, earning enormous respect from his peers. Over the years, Denys has evolved into what the Time Magazine describes as “the icon of British jazz”, with a most distinctive and immediately recognisable sound. A much sought after soloist, Denys has played/recorded with some of the biggest names in jazz and other genres including McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Ernest Ranglin, Bheki Mseleku, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Michael Bowie, Courtney Pine, Manu Dibango, Gary Crosby, Steve Williamson, Julian Joseph, Jason Rebello, Martin Taylor, Lonnie Plaxico, Ralph Moore, Billy Higgins, Jerry Dammers, Sean Oliver, Jean Carne, Marlena Shaw, Noel McCoy, Juliet Roberts, Incognito, Jazz Jamaica, and others of distinction. Denys is an amazingly versatile musician and, although his roots are steeped in the jazz tradition, he incorporates ideas from other musical forms and popular culture, producing a repertoire which is contemporary, multi-layered and highly accessible. He is also an enormously talented composer/arranger, whose brilliant compositions have already earned him immense critical acclaim. Be Where You Are – his 1999 debut album on independent jazz label, Dune Records – earned him a Mercury Music Prize for An Album Of The Year and a MOBO award for Best Jazz Act. He followed this in 2001 with his second album, Alternating Currents (Dune Records DUNECD05) also receiving great critical acclaim. 2003 saw the release of his third, and perhaps most ambitious, recording/touring project to date: Let Freedom Ring! (Dune Records DUNECD010), an inspirational, uplifting suite combining contemporary jazz, gospel, blues, and Afro-Cuban music with extracts of the epic poem, Mental Fight by Booker Prize winning author, Ben Okri who narrates on this piece. Commissioned by the Cheltenham Jazz Festival/Jerwood Foundation, Let Freedom Ring! Commemorated the 40th anniversary of the historic ‘I Have A Dream’ oration by American black civil rights activist, Dr Martin Luther King and was nominated for Best Album and Best New Work in the BBC Jazz Awards, for Best Jazz Act in the MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Awards, and Best Album in the UK Parliamentary Jazz Awards. 2023 will see Denys join The Andrew McCormack Trio as a special guest for a series of live shows in 2023, recapturing some of the magic of Denys' epic "Let Freedom Ring" project and his ‘Be where you are’ albums.

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Junius Bervine

Junius Bervine

Junius Bervine is a platinum-selling producer - currently MD for Pharrell and COMMON and a born and bred Philly artist who has traveled the world with some of the industry’s biggest artists spreading his talent and love for music along the way. June has worked with Prince, P Diddy, Snoop Dog, Lauryn Hill, Gerald Levert, Common, Pharrell Williams, Kendrick Lamar, Jill Scott, D’Angelo, to name a few, and remains one of the most sought after producer/performers in the industry. Kicking off 2022 with his amazing new band and solo projects, June is truly a world class musician in every sense. As a solo performer at the grand piano, he will take you on a journey through the best, Jazz, Soul and RnB music ever produced – some of which he did! Funky classic RnB loops and grooves sit comfortably underneath his tasteful piano playing. 2021 saw the release of June’s album Logical Concepts, with the track Fire in the Streets featuring both US rap stars @common and @robynhoodmusic. His new band features tasteful female vocals over cool grooves, slick sounds and mixes all MOBO styles together in one delicious package, perfect for jazz clubs and festivals across the globe. Altogether, outstanding performances from a true giant of the US RnB scene. It really doesn’t get any better than this.

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G-FUNK

G-FUNK

Firmly established as one of the best Soul, Blues, Rock and Funk bands on the circuit, G-FUNK presents an unmissable chance to see world-class musicians cut loose and play a selection of classic tunes. G-FUNK is a truly amazing band and features Acoustic Alchemy star, Gibson Guitarist of the Year and Grammy Nominee Miles Gilderdale, the brilliant Jay Rowe on keys, and amazing US session stars, brothers Gary and Greg Grainger on bass & drums. The Grainger Brothers’ talent and prowess in the world of music and rhythm is unparalleled. Between the two of them, Gary Grainger on bass and Greg on drums have recorded or performed with the likes of Whitney Houston, and John Scofield and together opened up for Earth Wind And Fire while on tour with their band, Pockets, all while keeping their musical roots and strong brotherhood bond at the forefront of their work. Jay Rowe is a pianist and keyboard player with more than 20 years of experience working with artists such as Nelson Rangell, Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, Marion Meadows, Angela Bofill, Ken Navarro, Phil Perry, the late Wayman Tisdale and Dotsero among many others G-FUNK combines the skills of these amazing musicians into sell out show at every venue – including their annual Christmas residency at London Soho’s exclusive Pizza Express Jazz Club, which often sees them feature special guests such as sax stars Snake Davis, Jessy J and Jeff Kashiwa to name but a few. Over the years G-FUNK band members have worked with Acoustic Alchemy, Ben E. King, Ronnie Wood, Jools Holland, Whitney Houston, Earth Wind & Fire, Lonnie Liston Smith, John Schofield, Maysa, Pure Soul, Mike Stern, Bill Evans, Robben Ford, Nancy Wilson, Dennis Chambers, George Duke, Eric Marienthal, Slim Man, and Nelson Rangell to name but a few, which in part explains why they are so damn good! Funkgurus are proud to represent G-FUNK to international festival bookers and event organisers looking for a quality act with absolute credibility.

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