Kenneth Green, Artistic Director / piano / gongs
In a time when most artists mirror others in both repertoire and style, Kenneth Green stands out as one of the most inspired and original pianist/composer on the contemporary music scene. With a career spanning more than 30 years, in his dedication to sonic improvisation and excellent karma, he has performed nationally and internationally with some of the stellar improvisational giants of the 21st century: Roscoe Mitchell, Leroy Jenkins, Dr. Salim Washington, Douglas Ewart, Dr. Morris Lawrence, James Carter, Rod Hicks, Malachi Favors, Donald Washington, Fred Anderson, Don Moye, Faruq Z. Bey, Allan Barnes, Rafael Garrett, Edward Wilkerson, Harrison Bankhead and many others. Nominated “Outstanding Jazz Pianist” in the Detroit Metro Music awards, Kenneth was a founding member of the Creative Arts Collective. He now serves as the principal composer for the visual and ethereal Vizitors. In addition, he continues as executive and artistic director for the Cosmic Music Community. A regional collective of Afro Futurist Jazz musicians, whose focus and directive moves past that of entertainment to a mission of nourishment. Presenting resonant frequencies and vibratory rates conducive for sustaining life, healing, well-being and respect for all species. “To musically provide an engagement in the principles of community restoration, self-worth, healthy living and unity, is the objective of The Cosmic Music Community. Utilizing this high gift of music for effective and excellent living” states Green.
Alex Harding, reeds
Baritone saxophonist Alex Harding was born in Detroit, where he attended Northwestern High School, studying music under the direction of famed Ernest Rogers and also learned from Herbie Williams (who played with Charlie Parker) and Motown’s premier baritone player Beans Bowls. After graduation he studied with Yusef Lateef at the University of Massachusetts, eventually moving to New York, where he joined the Julius Hemphill Saxophone Sextet and began working with people such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Craig Harris, Lester Bowie, Frank Lacy, Hamiet Bluiett, Oliver Lake, the David Murray big band, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. The critics have hailed him as “the new voice on baritone saxophone, the carrier of the great legacy of Harry Carney, Pepper Adams and Hamiet Bluiett.” Harding has released several albums as a leader, garnering glowing reviews, and appeared as guest on more than 20 albums. Since relocating back to his native Detroit, he has been appearing often in many venues with different groups, most recently with his Organ Nation.
Rafael Leafar, reeds
Rafael Leafar, 2020 Film & Music Kresge Artist Fellow, is a rare multi-instrumentalist who can combine great passion, intellectual discipline, and a spiritual fire that is evocative of great artistic creativity. He has established himself as a remarkable composer and musician not defined by any one particular genre or style. Hailing from Detroit, Rafael’s connection to music was fostered from a musical family at an early age. Since the start of Rafael’s professional music career in 2009, there has been major recording & performances with; Reggie Workman, Jeff Mills, Moodyman, Robert Hurst, Marcus Belgrave, Luis Resto, Vincent Chandler, Marion Hayden, Sterling Toles, Detroit Jazz Festival Band, Kamau Kenyatta, and Detroit Composers Collective.
Visit leafar.live/ for more.
Anthony Holland, reeds
Skeeter Shelton, reeds
Saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist and composer Skeeter Shelton has played with the 70th Division Army Reserve Band for over 25 years. He is currently a member of Speaking in Tongues and is one of the founding members of Griot Galaxy, playing alongside Farouk Z Bey in other groups and on recordings but also leading his own units. His father Ajaramu Shelton was played drums with Gene Ammons and Sun Ra and was associated with the AACM. A versatile musician, he can play in any context, as evidenced by his years on the road with soul singer Joe Tex, but his main associations have been with more experimental music, be it as a leader or in bands like the Vizitors (with Deshun Mosley and Kenny Green).
Akunda Hollis, percussion
Ali Allan Colding, percussion
Allan Colding is a seasoned professional jazz musician with national and international experiences, living and practicing in Detroit. He has performed at most of Detroit’s major music venues and has played with world class musicians and singers such as James “Blood” Ulmer, John Dana, Ron English, Ken Cox, Marcus Belgrave, Leon Henderson, Charles Moore, Ed Pickens, Sam Sanders, Harold and Ray McKinney, Wendell Harrison, Dorothy Ashby, Gloria Lynn, Kim Weston, Fred Anderson, Noah Howard, Faruq Z. Bey, Hakim Jami, and more. Colding received his musical education from drummers Rudy Tucich, Sr., Doug Hammond, Roy Brooks, J.C. Herd, Jimmy Allen, Ron Johnson, Danny Spencer, and George Davidson, as well as through conversations with Elvin Jones and private lessons with Robert Pangborn Sr., percussionists with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Jack Luddingham at the Teal School of Music.
Clifford Sykes, percussion
Djallo Djakate, percussion
Che Green, percussion
Jaribu Shahid, bass
Jaribu Shahid is a jazz composer and improviser. He grew up splitting time between Detroit and Remus, MI, spending summers on his grandfather’s farm. Shahid’s first record, “Positive Force with Ade Olatunji,” was released in 1977, at which time he also became part of the formation of Griot Galaxy. Shahid held the bass chair in Sun Ra’s Arkestra from 1978 to 1980, and later joined Roscoe Mitchell’s band, which led to his becoming bassist for the Art Ensemble of Chicago from 2004 to the present. Additionally, Shahid played bass in the James Carter trio from 1993 to 1998 and worked with David Murray from 1998 to 2019.
Belinda Reid, dancer