I Wrote a Kid's Book!
While the theater industry (my day job) was shut down during 2020, I gave myself a little side-project... a rock-themed book for my 5-year-old son. Some friends from Broadway and the West End helped out with music and an audiobook, we had a blast, and they even let me play keys!
Helping Artists! In recognition of the impact that COVID has had on live entertainment, we'll be donating $2 for every book sold through Bookbaby to The Actors Fund, to provide assistance to arts and theater workers who've lost jobs due to the industry-wide shutdowns. We're talking about stagehands, set-builders, hair and makeup techs, people who work in the trenches of the Arts & Culture industry.
Roger Joseph Manning Jr.
Our friend Roger Joseph Manning Jr. doing rock stuff with the Kurzweil Forte! We've been fans of all of Roger's work, from Jellyfish, Air, and Beck, to Moog Cookbook, Imperial Drag, and his recent work with Morrissey. Check out Roger's new power-pop project, with former Jellyfish members Tim Smith and Eric Dover, the Lickerish Quartet!
NEW: ENDORSING ARTISTS
We're thrilled to announce our first two Weisersound endorsing artists for Kurzweil products, Jim Alfredson and Frank Lucas! Jim and Frank will be releasing high quality demo videos for the flagship Forte and for the low-cost/lightweight SP6. Both guys will be making their units available for customer auditons as schedules permit. Jim is in Lansing, Frank is in Chicago. Anyone interested, shoot us a message and we'll set something up.
Jim Alfredson has performed and toured with major jazz artists like Bob James, Eric Marienthal, James Carter, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Fareed Haque, and drummer Harvey Mason. Other credits include high profile blues acts Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy and Grammy-nominated singer Janiva Magness, with whom he toured 2010 to 2014.
Known for his Hammond organ work across genres, Jim has recorded several albums with his own bands that have received popular and critical acclaim, including jazz soul trio Organissimo and keys-driven progressive rock band, THEO.
Based in his hometown of Lansing MI, Jim consults for several major keyboard manufacturers and has been a Hammond Organ USA Artist since 2007.
"Combine Alfredson's knack for choosing just the right color and tone in any given composition with his colleagues' ability to match his gestures, and you have one of the most promising organ trios in jazz." ~ Chicago Tribune
“Jim Alfredson is a remarkable organist who seamlessly synthesizes several generations of keyboard influences.” ~ James Hale, Downbeat Magazine
Frank Lucas is a Chicago-based keyboardist/composer whose background is in classical piano and voice. Frank has performed and recorded with the likes of Pat Metheny Group drummer Paul Wertico, bassist Andy West of the Dixie Dregs, guitarists Paul Chapman (U.F.O.), Neil Zaza and Michael Angelo, Journey's Steve Augeri, as well as acclaimed violinists Rachel Barton and Edgar Gabriel (Cirque Du Soleil).
Most recently, Frank has recorded with progressive rock power-quartet, The Cyberiam, featuring Keith Semple (NBC's The Voice, Season 9). Other recent credits include Fire Garden, Brandi, Malik Yusef, Jennifer Lopez, Haley Reinhart, Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child, Twista and legendary rockers, War and Dee Snider.
Frank has released two albums on the Tonepainter Music label, A Little Secret, a collection of solo piano pieces with a varitey of guest artists, and Christmas Is... featuring jazz trio interpretations of Christmas classics.
Blues and Jazz stalwart Bruce Bears is currently playing and recording with world renowned guitarist Duke Robillard and appears on his 2007 and 2010 Grammy Nominated CDs "Guitar Groove-a-Rama" (Stony Plain), and "Stomp the Blues Tonight"(Stony Plain) as well as the majority of his recordings and projects since 2007. Bruce has also played keyboards with a myriad of Blues, Soul and Jazz artists for the past 30+ years, including: Gospel Icon Mavis Staples, Raw Bluesman "Big Jack" Johnson, Soul Master Little Milton Campbell, Blues Master Joe Louis Walker, Uptown Blues and Soul Queen of Boston Ms. Toni Lynn Washington, Susan Tedeschi, masterful songwriter and soulful singer Martin Sexton, Jon Pousette-Dart, Sherman Robertson, Ronnie Earl, Sugar Ray Norcia, J. Geils, James Harman, singer-songwriter Mark Erelli, Nicole Nelson, Junior Watson, Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson, "Sax" Gordon Beadle, Amyl Justin and Kid Bangham, producer/percussionist Lorne Entress, Sonya Rae Taylor, Mike Tucker, Scott Hamilton and many others. Bruce's skills as a keyboardist and musician are as diverse as they are in demand.