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Guitarist, composer, producer, and arranger Chieli Minucci is longtime leader of the Grammy-nominated jazz-fusion group Special EFX, which released its 40th anniversary record, Twenty Twenty 2, in 2022. In addition to writing and performing his own music, Minucci has recorded and performed with top artists such as Celine Dion, Lou Reed, Lionel Richie, and Jennifer Lopez as well as jazz artists Kirk Whalum, Bernie Williams, Marion Meadows, and Mindi Abair. He has also won three Emmys for his work composing for television and film.
Vocalist Elliott Yamin vaulted to stardom after a third-place finish on the fifth season of American Idol. Yamin’s style is perfect for smooth jazz: soulful, with a jazz and R&B verve. His debut album topped the Billboard 200.
Seattle native Jeff Kashiwa became known as one of the most compelling young saxophonists in contemporary jazz during his first year with the Rippingtons in 1989. In 2004, he founded the Sax Pack, a saxophone trio featuring Steve Cole and Kim Waters.
Keyboardist Lao Tizer is a rising star of the world fusion genre. His original music puts a modern twist on the 1970s and early 1980s heyday of jazz fusion. His multigenre, multinational group the Lao Tizer Band has toured the world and placed near the top of Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart.
Drummer extraordinaire Gary Novak has played with Alanis Morissette, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Lorber, and the Manhattan Transfer. Bassist Anthony Crawford is best known for working with Justin Timberlake and Peabo Bryson, and he played bass for former president Bill Clinton during the Democratic National Convention in 2000.
Producer’s Circle member Tom G.