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Snarky Puppy

After a decade of relentless touring and recording in all but complete obscurity, the Texas-bred/New York-based quasi-collective suddenly found itself held up by the press and public as one of the major figures in the jazz world. But as the category names for all three of the band’s Grammy® awards would indicate (Best R&B Performance in 2014, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016 and 2017), Snarky Puppy isn’t exactly a jazz band. It’s not a fusion band, and it’s definitely not a jam band. It’s probably best to take Nate Chinen of the New York Times’ advice, as stated in an online discussion about the group, to “take them for what they are, rather than judge them for what they’re not.” (website)

Snarky Puppy joins another Roaming the Arts favorite Mingo Fishtrap as a band formed out of the wonderful music program at the University of North Texas.

Postmodern Jukebox

Postmodern Jukebox, also widely known by the acronym PMJ, is a rotating musical collective founded by arranger and pianist Scott Bradlee in 2011. PMJ is known for reworking popular modern music into different vintage genres, especially early 20th century forms such as swing and jazz. Wikipedia

Breaking that down…PMJ takes songs you know, great singers and players, then performs them in an arrangement of an entirely different form than the original. Check out the PMJ YouTube channel for a wide range of illustrations.

Otto Penzler

Otto Penzler is the president and CEO of MysteriousPress.com.

He’s also the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and is regarded as the world’s foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction. 

Penzler founded The Mysterious Press in 1975, which he later sold to Warner Books (1989). He reacquired the imprint in 2010 and it now publishes original books as an imprint at Grove/Atlantic, and both original works and classic crime fiction through MysteriousPress.com, in partnership with Open Road Integrated Media.

Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection in 1977 and The Lineup in 2010. The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the prestigious Ellery Queen Award in 1994 and the Raven–the group’s highest non-writing award–in 2003.

Ben Folds

Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation.

He’s created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, and numerous collaborative records. His last album was a blend of pop songs and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.
For over a decade he’s performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, and currently serves as the first ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

In addition to solo rock and orchestral touring, Folds has recently written a critically-acclaimed memoir “A Dream About Lightning Bugs,” which debuted as a New York Times Best Seller, and is described as a collection of interrelated essays, anecdotes and lessons about art, life, and music.

See Ben perform at NPR Tiny Desk Concert

Ron McLarty

Ronald William “Ron” McLarty is an American actor, playwright, narrator and novelist. He is regarded as one of the country’s leading audiobook narrators, having done over 100 titles and received many Audie Awards. McLarty has appeared in numerous television series, films and stage productions. Wikipedia

McLarty is quoted as calling himself “a writer who acted” rather than an actor who wrote.

Thomas Perry

Thomas Perry is the author of 25 novels including the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood MoneyRunner, Poison Flower, and String of Beads), Death Benefits, and Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel.  

He won the Edgar for The Butcher’s Boy, and Metzger’s Dog was a New York Times Notable Book. The Independent Mystery Booksellers’ Association included Vanishing Act in its “100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century,” and Nightlife was a New York Times bestseller.

Metzger’s Dog was voted one of NPR’s 100 Killer Thrillers–Best Thrillers Ever. Strip was chosen as a  New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2010, and The Informant was a New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2011 and won the Barry Award for Best Thriller, 2011. Poison Flower was chosen among Booklist’s Best Crime Novels of 2013

His recent book, The Burglar, was first rate, and now his recent release , The Small Town is in bookstores.

Watch for “The Old Man” coming to FX as a series.

Graham Parker

Graham Parker is an English singer-songwriter, who is best known as the lead singer of the British band Graham Parker & the Rumour. Wikipedia

Charlie Faye & the Fayettes

“Musically, the group hearkens to Motown, Spector or the Brill Building: Charlie is emerging as a budding Carole King, and the songs are good enough to rate comparison to Goffin & King or Mann & Weil.” – Huffington Post 

“In a world of new soul singers who actually get what they’re talking about, enter the name of Charlie Faye and her unbeatable Fayettes to that list. They could go all the way.” – Bill Bentley, The Morton Report 

“The album stretches beyond the coy boundaries of ‘60s girl groups with the opener ‘Green Light,’ and though ‘Eastside’ could usher dancers down a Soul Train line, its Stax-styled groove and horn chart service a serious look at social gentrification.” – No Depression

“It’s impossible not to be enchanted by one of this year’s freshest, most delightful and all around grooviest releases.” – American Songwriter

Bobby Brooks Wilson

Plateau Music Artist, Bobby Brooks Wilson, is the son of Legendary R&B/Soul Singer, Jackie WilsonBobby has the same amazing traits and talents of his father, that many say Jackie Wilson’s legacy lives on through him.

Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett is an American author. She received the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction in the same year, for her novel Bel Canto. Patchett’s other novels include The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Run, State of Wonder, Commonwealth, and The Dutch House. Wikipedia

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