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May 14 @ 9:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Pete Whitman – Saxophones
Kavyesh Kaviraj – Piano
Jefff Bailey – Bass
Kevin Washington – Drums
The music of Mississippi may be described as an intense blend of colors and eclectic traditions that include modern jazz, festejo, hip hop and African influences. Wild and burnin’ one moment, soft and sweet the next…, this group has an emotional and creative range that is not to be missed! Mississippi is made up of four all-star Minneapolis/St. Paul based musicians: Pete Whitman-saxophones, Kavyesh Kaviraj-piano, Jeff Bailey-bass and Kevin Washington-drums.
The name refers to the river that runs through Minneapolis/St. Paul. The river has long facilitated connections between people, cultures, past and future. It inspires awe and introspection. It is representative of the kind of connections and resonances this group aspires to reflect!
….Mississippi flows with beauty and power, blending folkloric and modern jazz elements….-Andrea Canter, jazzpolice.com
Pete Whitman is a saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, composer, arranger and educator based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. As a freelance musician, Whitman performs in a wide range of musical styles and contexts that include Jazz, Classical, Pop, dance bands, etc. He has performed with such distinguished groups as the Minnesota Orchestra, Jack McDuff, Curtis Fuller, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Jazz MN Big Band, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Andres Prado, Dave Stryker, The Temptations and The Midtown Men. Whitman frequently performs in Broadway shows in the Twin Cities area. He has performed in the pit orchestra with such shows as Legally Blonde, The Pirates of Penzance, Christmas Story, The Wizard of Oz, White Christmas, Chorus Line, Singing in the Rain, West Side Story and Chicago.
Whitman has recorded extensively as a sideman and has three CD’s under his name: Departure Point (Igmod Records), The Sound of Water (Artegra), and Where’s When (Artegra). Where’s When features the Pete Whitman X-tet, a ten-piece ensemble, which received a four-star rating by DownBeat Magazine (Feb.04). Two of his most recent recording projects include Mississippi (Shifting Paradigm Records) and Changes We Can Believe In by the Pete Whitman/Chris Olson Quintet (Bandcamp).
Pete Whitman’s experience as an educator includes eighteen years at McNally Smith College of Music teaching saxophone, improvisation, arranging and directing the McNally Smith Jazz Orchestra. He frequently serves as a clinician for high school and college jazz festivals all over the US. In 2016, Whitman was a featured clinician/artist at the Jinbao International Saxophone Festival in Tianjin, China.
Kavyesh Kaviraj is a pianist, composer and arranger from India. Kavyesh was introduced to music at a very young age- born into a musical family, he started playing the piano at the age of two, and has been fortunate to live and work professionally in different countries and musical environments. Kavyesh is a prominent musician in India & Oman, and has found great acclaim in the US as well, every since he moved to the Twin Cities in 2016. Thanks to his background and experience in different musical climates, he is known for his versatility as a musician, and has found work in many genres and styles. Primarily a jazz pianist, Kavyesh has been associated with acts like Jay Young and the Lyric Factory, Color Me Kindly, Debbie Duncan, Bruce Henry, Nooky Jones, the Kevin Washington Quintet, Yolande Bruce, Maryam Yusafzade, Desdamona, Toki Wright and several others. Recently Kavyesh’s project KAYE Music, where he is the bandleader and composer, has garnered a lot of attention in the Twin Cities.
Jeff Bailey has performed in a wide variety of musical settings as a musician, composer, and producer. He has performed with world-renowned jazz artists Captain McDuff, Craig Taborn, James Carter, Nachito Herrera, Eric Gravat, Rodney Jones, Dave King, Brian Lynch, Wessel Anderson, Peruvian guitar master Andrés Prado, and James Moody. Never one to be pigeonholed into one style, Jeff has also toured and performed with Keri Noble, Joey McIntyre (NKOTB), Tommy Barbarella (Prince), Charles Lazarus (Minnesota Orchestra), Reverend Billy Steele, Jennifer Kimball, Heather Headley, and Charley Drayton. Jeff has also logged time on the road touring and giving clinics in the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, South America, and Japan. Jeff has served as musical director for Keith Antar Mason and the Hittite Empire and the Black Fathers and Sons project at the B.A.M. Next Wave Festival in New York, with photographer Albert Chong and writer Quincy Troupe. Jeff has also received accolades for producing a Minnesota Music Award-winning CD for Alicia Wiley, receiving a Best of the Twin Cities Award as a founding member of Moveable Feast, and a Minnesota Music Award nomination for best Bass Player of the Year.
Kevin Washington’s stellar skills have been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine, however his dedication to drumming began as soon as he could hold the sticks. And with teachers of such excellent caliber like Max Roach and Roy Brooks, it was almost impossible for him to go wrong.
In 1996 Washington moved to New York City to study jazz at the New School for Social Research. He performed all over New York with different musical groups such as The Chico Freeman Quartet, Arnie Lawrence, Antonio Hart and James Carter to name a few. During his stay in New York he was also a Rhythm Instructor at the Harlem School of the Arts.
Since leaving New York, Washington has been traversing the Twin Cities area with his highly sought after drum performance skills. Washington has accompanied various visiting musicians, such as Brian Lynch, Steve Slagle and Dave Stryker, David ‘Fat Head’ Newman, Rodney Jones and James Carter.
He is the lead drummer with The Kevin Washington trio and Moveable Feast; who released their second CD in 2002 and are in the process of recording their third. He can also be found playing with other great musicians such as Cuban pianist Nachito Herrera, the incomparable members of Jazz is NOW! and vocalist Bruce Henry.
In July 2003, Kevin, along with the Doug Little Quartet, embarked upon a month-long European tour that covered locations including Germany, France, and Italy. In April 2006, Kevin accompanied Afro-Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado to Lima, Peru and performed at various music venues during a 10-day tour.