CHOP & QUENCH – SAHR NGAUJAH’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Date(s) - 09/07/2016
Doors at 7pm
Website / Facebook
CHOP AND QUENCH, “The Fela! Band”, is comprised of members of the cast and band of FELA! the musical. Individually, the musicians are some of the finest in New York, having performed with The Roots, India Arie, Elvis Costello, and many others. Lead singer Sahr Ngaujah was nominated for a TONY Award for his performance in the Broadway show and has been featured on film and television. As a unit, the band has gotten to accompany performers such as Beyonce, Femi Kuti, and Angelique Kidjo. Known for their straightforward performances of classic Fela Kuti compositions, they have branched out, bringing their own original music to the stage. After performing around the world, they recently performed at the Sundance Film Festival in conjunction with the premier of Alex Gibney’s film “Finding Fela”. They are now back home in New York preparing new material to take into the studio for their first recording since the Fela! Broadway cast recording, and looking forward to starting a weekly Monday night residency at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn.
GREG GONZALEZ (Drummer) Beauty, sensitivity and force radiate through the drumming of Greg Gonzalez. For nearly twenty years Greg has been one of New York City’s most versatile and sought after musicians. His resume includes performance and recording credits with top artists in virtually every genre of music including: Beyonce, Patti LaBelle, Teddy Geiger, Jazz Mandolin Project, Cecil Taylor, Sonya Kitchell, Danielia Cotton, Antibalas, Femi Kuti, Bernie Worell, Don Braden.
RICARDO QUINONES (Guitar) Ricardo Quiñones began playing guitar at the age of ten on a three-string Brooklyn garage sale find, thus beginning a lifelong love affair with the instrument and it’s possibilities. This fascination with the guitar eventually found him playing, writing and collaborating with a wide range of musically kindred spirits including Alicia Keys, India Arie, Sade, Luther Vandross, Brooklyn-based Afro-beat band Antibalas, and others. Ricky has been playing with the production of the musical FELA! since it opened on Broadway, November 2009.
BRYAN VARGAS (Guitar) Guitarist Bryan Vargas has recorded and performed on stages around the world with music legends as well as underground indie phenoms. Vargaswas the original guitarist for both the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra & Tato Torres’ Yerbabuena. Currently he is the musical director/guitarist for Raquel Z. Rivera & Ojos de Sofia, and the guitarist for 80s mavens Mayteana Morales & The Stereophytes, and bolero revivalists Miramar. Other performance highlights include Patti Labelle, Bruno Mars, Yomo Toro, Arturo O’Farrill, William Cepeda, Mario Rivera, Pistolera and many more.Vargas’ debut CD “Afro Latino Soul,” was produced by Latin Jazz great Arturo O’Farrill. He has led his own band on international tours and performed at some the largest music festivals in the United States. Vargas is currently the “tenor” guitar player in Chop & Quench – The Fela Band, after having worked with Fela the musical since 2008.
TIM ALLEN (Bass) Timothy J Allen was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He spent his formative years obsessed with the guitar. He moved to New York City in early 2005 with his bandmates in Thought, a rock and roll band started in 2000. Some of Tim’s career highlights have included writing and recording music for multimedia theater piece “Degeneration X”, producing the concert-documentary film “I Can Hear You Calling” and playing hundreds of gigs throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Japan. Over the years he has frequently performed/toured/recorded with other groups such as Antibalas, The Sway Machinery, Miwi La Lupa, Thought, Beyondo, El Imperio, Hailu Mergia, Low Mentality, The Genkin Philharmonic, Superhuman Happiness, Bright Moments, Hi/Lo Fi, Ida Hawk, Ikebe Shakedown, Michael Leonhart & Avramina 7, and with the smash hit Broadway musical Fela!
MICHAEL KAMMERS (Saxophone) Bandleader, composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Kammers has been a creative force in the Brooklyn underground music scene since his arrival there in 2001. Active as a leader and sideman in a wide variety of contexts, Kammers has worked with groups as diverse as freak folkers Akron/Family, dub reggae heavyweights The Easy Star Allstars, Fela devotees Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, film legend Melvin Van Peebles, perennially touring jammers The Heavy Pets, The Funk Ark, and Bobby Previte’s Voodoo Orchestra North, to name but a few. He channels his wide ranging musical experience into his own project, 15 piece Space Funk Big Band, The MK Groove Orchestra, which performs regularly throughout NYC and signed recently to the Ropeadope Records. More info at: www.mkmkmk.com.
DYLAN FUSILLO (Percussion) Percussionist Dylan Fusillo cut his teeth performing in Atlanta with artists like Michelle Malone and the Atlanta Rhythm Section. While studying classical music during college, he performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Gloria Estefan. He briefly moved to Nashville, where he worked as a staff musician at Opryland, backing up dozens of established and up and coming artists, from George Jones to Boots Randolph. In 1996, he moved to New York City to study jazz. He soon found himself sharing the stage with the likes of Joe Lovano and Al Jarreau. Developing his interest in world music, Fusillo went on to become a founding member of the seminal afrobeat band Antibalas. He backed Femi and Seun Kuti, as well as Baaba Maal. Recent years have found him broadening his horizons further, working with pop artists such as Beyoncé, Patti Labelle, and Babyface. He continues to perform and record with artists such as Meshell N’Degeocello, The Roots, Roy Hargrove, Art Neville, Taj Mahal, Charlie Hunter, Sharon Jones, The Stills, Michael Franti, Prozaak, and Bill T Jones.
MORGAN PRICE (Saxophone, Keyboards) Morgan Price hails from Rockville, Maryland. He attended Indiana University, where he studied under NEA Jazz Master David Baker and saxophone professor Tom Walsh, and received his Bachelor of Music diploma in 2007, along with being awarded a Performers Certificate. Moving to New York City shortly thereafter, Morgan began his big city career by playing in the subway with NYC tourist band favorite, The Drumadics. Morgan is also the baritone saxophonist for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He has performed all around the world with them, including concerts with the Utah and Pacific Symphony Orchestras, for the King of Thailand, for the bicentennial celebration of Mexican independence, a tour of China, and many other engagements worldwide. He’s also performed or recorded with Beyonce Knowles, Jean Grae, James “12″ Andrews, Seun and Femi Kuti, Brian McKnight, Mulgrew Miller, and many others. He also co-leads Ikebe Shakedown.
JEFF PIERCE (Trumpet) Jeff Pierce is a New York freelance trumpet player. Recent performances include Lee Fields and the Expressions, Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band, Julian Velard, Chin Chin, Afroskull, Akoya Afrobeat, FELA! Broadway, FELA! Nigeria, FELA! US Tour.
MALAIYKA REID (Ensemble) graduated from Brooklyn College (B.S in Finance and Business Mgmt). Theatre: Twist, dir/choreo by Debbie Allen, Aida (China tour). TB: Madonna’s “Gimme All Your Luvin” (Nicki Minaj’s body double). Training: The Ailey School, Creative Outlet. Peace and Blessings to my friends and family. Honored to be part of the Fela! Family!
SHAKIRA MARSHALL (Ensemble), a.k.a. “Kira” happily returns to the cast of FELA! Shakira received her BA in Media, Society and the Arts from SUNY Purchase College. Training: Edge School of the Arts, Yolette Rousseau, Kerri Edge, Roger Jeffrey, Obediah Wright, Stephanie Brown, Kevin “Iega” Jeff. Credits: MTV MADE, Questlove’s Afro-Picks (Paris), FELA! on Broadway, Scandalous People (My Church prod.), Sophisticated Ladies (Irving St. Rep), Apollo Circus of Soul. Choreographed Jill Scott/Maxwell tour, Alison Hinds’ world tour. Performed on stage and in music videos with artists Beyoncé, N*E*R*D*, Sean Paul, Elephant Man, Tami Chynn, Eve, Remy Ma, Thunderkatz and the Editors.
ONEIKA PHILLIPS (Sandra u/s, Ensemble) Of Grenada, West Indies (BFA, BBM). FELA!, Dir. Bill T. Jones (u/s Sandra, Funmilayo; Broadway, Lagos, Euro & 1st. National Tours); Olivier Nominated West Side Story, Dir. Joey McKneely (Anita; Best Musical Revival); Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. Brooklyn Council Outstanding Citizen Recipient, Astaire Award Best Broadway Female Ensemble.