“Lomax is the rare drummer who leaves you wanting more, leading his band mates through a strikingly terse, brilliantly counter-intuitive and ultimately joyous series of explorations.”- Lucid Culture
Drummer, Composer and Recording Artist Dr. Mark Lomax, II boasts impressive jazz credentials. He toured with the Delfeayo Marsalis Sextet in 2005, and has worked with Clark Terry, Marlon Jordan, Azar Lawrence, Bennie Maupin, Billy Harper, Ellis Marsalis, Victor Goines, and Wessel Anderson, among others. Jazz Times says Lomax’s “forceful drumming would have made Elvin Jones proud.” Dr. Lomax holds a Doctor of Music Arts degree in composition and his myriad experiences have allowed him to create a wonderful blend of styles in his music. Whether he’s interpreting the Negro Spiritual through jazz, arranging gospel music for a symphony orchestra, composing or performing original works, his music is relevant, probing, and inspiring. In one of the timeliest and unprecedented pieces of work of our history, Lomax released 400: An Afrikan Epic in January 2019. This composition ambitiously tells the story of the Afrikan diaspora over the course of a 12 album cycle. It is divided into thirds and explores thousands of years of the history that is pre-colonial Afrika, the Ma’afa (400 years between 1619 and 2019), and Afro-futurism expressing a vision of what Blacks in America will heal toward in the next 400 years. The Wexner Center for the Arts supported the project. Quoted in a Columbus Monthly profile of the project, Lane Czaplinski, Wexner performing arts director says, “Mark is an absolute experimentalist ... and this huge, deep project will look at the legacy of jazz from the past all the way to the future.” Lomax also calls 400: An Afrikan Epic, an opportunity to celebrate the resilience, brilliance, strength, genius, and creativity of a people who continue to endure while offering a transformative view of the future.
more information at www.marklomaxii.com
The son of a be-bop era trumpeter who played in Dizzy Gillespies’ jazz orchestra, Bayard was born into a musical legacy that has placed him in the lineage of the great tenor players: Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Eddie Harris to name but a few. Bayard brings pure ﬁre to the bandstand with every performance with his virtuosic style, and has learned to be both explosive and sensitive as the demands of his expression requires. This very gifted and exciting reedman began his professional career at the age of 16. He studied music performance at the Berklee school of music and the Ohio State University school of music.
As a side man Edwin has toured Europe with various jazz groups, and has shared the stage with the likes of Marlon Jordan, Gary Bartz and Donald Byrd. Edwin has also played with alto saxophonist Wes Anderson (Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra), the late great jazz vocalist Betty Carter, and saxophone legend Bennie Maupin among others. Bayard has recorded with the legendary Azar Lawrence (Clarion Jazz), Pharez Whitted (Delmark), Mike Wade (Shorty-Bop Records), King “Fruit Bowl” Reeves & Charlie “Bunns” Wilson (Blue Sapphire Records), and Rolando Matias (Lifeforce Jazz). As a leader Bayard has led quartet and trio recording sessions on the CFG Multimedia label. He is active in several projects including The Ogún Meji Duo, and a self-titled hip-hop recording.
Bayards' deep sense of self, history, and philosophical view of life permeates his music in away that touches all who hear. His name, and his talent will not only be counted as a part of the lineage of great tenor men, but will be considered one of the greatest saxophonists of his generation.
Dr. William Menefield is one of the most electrifying performing artists of our time. Since the age of 5, William has been singing and playing music, and acting on stage. Equally comfortable with classical, jazz, and pop styles, Menefield is an active as both composer working on a new opera and performer with his trio and various other ensembles.
Even though he grew up playing cello, at 8 years old William began writing songs and playing the piano to entertain himself, after his mom got rid of the television because it was a distraction. The rest is history. Being one that basically taught himself to play piano for fun, William was fortunate to study jazz technique with Erwin Stuckey for eight months during 1996. He later studied classical technique with Diana Belland. Most recently, he has worked with Elaine Leung-Wolf.
At the age of 12, William entered the national performance arena when he was featured at "It's Commonly Jazz" -- a series showcasing national and local jazz artists. He has since performed with Roy Ayers, Clark Terry, David “Fathead” Newman, Gary Bartz, John Blake, Don Braden, Steve Wilson, Javon Jackson, and a host of other outstanding musicians.
In the 11th grade, at the age of 16, William composed a string quartet that was performed at Cincinnati Music Hall during a gala honoring renowned patron of the arts, Patricia Corbett. The Corbett String Quartet, a group composed of members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, was the performing ensemble. The piece was lauded by the audience and critically acclaimed.
During his senior year of high school, William was signed as a J-Curve recording artist. He recorded his first jazz album, "Big Will Leaps In" later that year. The CD release took place during William's engagement as the Cincinnati Arts Association's first performer in its “Emerging Artist Concert Series” at the Aronoff Center for the Arts. He performed on April 10, 1999 to a packed house, and all available CDs sold out. His next album, “Will’s Revenge” (413 Records), was released May 2003. He plans to produce a new album in 2016.
Accolades include “Applause Magazine” Imagemaker Award, 1992; Fifty Most Influential Citizens in the City of Cincinnati Award, 1992; Taft Museum of the Arts Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, 2002; and Founding Director, "African-American Vocal Ensemble"- University of Texas at Austin, 2008-2011.
more information at www.williammenefield.com
Dean "Pop Pop" Hulett comes from a family of musicians ranging from voice to percussion. At the age of eight he started playing the double bass after being inspired by his sister who played violin. Orchestral music was his musical upbringing but, by the time he reached his teenage years, he had begun to explore other genres. Hulett began playing electric bass in high school due to his interest in popular music and his continued love for the double bass drew him toward jazz. In 2001, Dean began embedding himself in the Columbus, Ohio where he attended the Ohio State University. Hulett began playing with Mark Lomax, James Gaiters, Bobby Floyd, Edwin Bayard, Hamilton Hardin, Jerome Jennings, and many others at a very vibrant time. The sort of mini renaissance spawned a great number of performances and recordings with well-known musicians such as Delfeayo Marsalis, Derek Gardner, Wycliffe Gordon, Azar Lawrence and others.