WANDA HOUSTON and her Jazz Ensemble
Vocals, Drums, Keyboard, Trumpet
Wanda Houston is not only the lead vocalist for Heth, Bradley & Houston, the Wanda Houston Band and Big & Bigger, she also lends her talent to regional projects including the Convergence Progect, Mothership Trio, The VT Jazz Center Big Band and the NOLA inspired Rejuvenators.
For years, Houston sustained a bi-coastal career performing on stages with the likes of Barbara Streisand, Patti Austin, Joe Cocker, Celine Dion, Rick Astley and Sam Harris. A private scholarship in opera temporarily took her to USC where she prepared for the Met auditions. It was at this juncture she realized musical theater was her future.
Meanwhile, she toured with Motown legends Mary Wells, Martha and the Vandellas, and The Platters while performing with tribute band, The Marvelous Marvelettes. Later, she joined the cast of Michael Jackson's production of Larry Harts "Sisterella!" and toured through Germany, Austria and Australia.
After the tours, she made the move to New York City in the cast of "A Good Swift Kick." and was later cast in the New York company of "Menopause the Musical". She was "Negro Woman" on Broadway in the Roundabout Theater production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" staring John C. Reilly and Natasha Richardson and was a soloist with the Broadway Inspirational Voices who received a Grammy nomination for its Christmas album, "Great Joy."
Other NYC credits include the John Tuturro film "Romance and Cigarettes" and featured soloist in RCA's recording of William Finn's, "Infinite Joy".
Locally, since arriving in New England, she has been on the stages of...
The Bushnell, in Hartford, CT.
The Stamford Performing Arts Center
Goodspeed at Chester
The Colonial Theater, Pittsfield, MA
Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT
The Mahaiwi, Great Barrington, MA.
..and in smaller club venues such as the...
Castle Street Cafe, Great Barrington, MA
NAPA, Great Barrington, MA
Lion's Den, Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA
Point Restaurant, Thornewood Inn, Great Barrington, MA
Robert Kelly began studying ragtime, jazz and classical repertoire at the age of five. Early influences include Oscar Peterson, Teddy Wilson and Dave Brubeck. He attended Berklee College of Music and traveled to many parts of the globe as the pianist with the United States Coast Guard Band. He has performed with Roberta Flack, Cheryl Bentyne of Manhattan Transfer, Dick Hyman, Dave McKenna, and Larry Coryell to name a few. For more about Rob: www.robertkellymusic.net
Jeff Stevens is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music and holds a Masters degree from California State University. For 32 years, he has taught music in private and public schools and has taught at the Empire Brass seminar at Tanglewood. He is the director of the Monument Mountain Regional High School Band and Jazz Ensemble as well as the Monument Valley Regional Middle School Band and Jazz Ensemble. In 1986, he was given the “Outstanding Arts Educator Award” by the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education. Jeff is currently director of Music for the Berkshire Hills Regional School District.
Jeff has appeared throughout the Northeast as a member of the Berkshire Brass Quintet, the Amherst Jazz Orchestra, the Bluestars and the Advanced Phunk Band. He has performed with the Barrington Stage Company, Tri-Arts Theater Company, Berkshire Opera, the Berkshire Bach Society, and the Empire Brass. He has also performed with John Williams, Peter Serkin, Rolf Smedvig, Allan Dean, Kenny Rogers, Arlo Guthrie, David Bromberg, Natalie Cole, Cladio Roditi, Lew Soloff, Roger Voison, Bob Mintzer, The Yellowjackets, Peter Erskine, Yosef Lateef, John Abercrombie and Ernie Watts.
Jay Bradley has been "covering all the bases" from R&B, Small and Big Band Jazz and Musical Theater in the Berkshire, Litchfield and Dutchess County area for 20-plus years. Have drum kit will travel. Speaking of which, Jay plays Premier and Modern Drum Shop Drums as well as Istanbul Cymbals.