Jazz is one of the few genres of music that has withstood the test of time, both with listeners and music critics. Colombian-born multi-instrumentalist, Jay Rodriguez, has been composing and performing music consistently for over 40 years. The musician also known as Hernan Ramiro Rodriguez-Sierra, began playing the clarinet at the age of 7 after moving to New York City. He later picked up the alto saxophone and the flute. The musician furthered his instrumental studies with Tito D. Rivera, a famous Cuban saxophonist and clarinetist. He also studied with musicians like Joe Henderson, Phil Woods, and Joe Allard.

By age 15, he was playing lead alto saxophone with Tito Puente, a famed musician, songwriter, and producer.  “I’d be coming home at 6 o’clock in the morning, then going to school. That was my childhood and I don’t regret it,” said Rodriguez on his official website jayrodriguez.com. After spending his high school years in performing arts schools, Rodriguez began making music professionally.

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JayDon “JD” McCrary was sharing  his vocal chords with the world long before he was dubbed the “New King of Pop” on Steve Harvey’s Little Big Shots back in May 2017. In fact, the 10-year-old-triple-threat entertainer was the high pitched voice featured on Childish Gambino’s “Terrified.” But even before that, he was singing his favorite Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder songs. “I’ve been singing since I was about two-years-old and dancing since I was three,” McCrary told Justin Davis of Complex Magazine. Today, he’s not only singing and dancing, but he is known for his acting skills as well. Regardless of whether McCrary is dancing across a stage, reciting lines behind a camera or bellowing notes from behind a microphone, it’s clear to see he represents a new generation of talent.

Born and raised in Granada Hills, a Los Angeles California suburb known as “The Valley’s Most Neighborly Town,” to a family full of singers (including Josh McCrary, his young brother who also sings). It’s almost as if McCrary was destined to entertain. He’s talented, friendly, loves to socialize and is not afraid to shine. In fact, despite only being 10-years old, he’s quick to admit that he’s not shy about being in the spotlight. “I don’t think I ever get nervous,” he explained to J’Na Jefferson of Vibe. “…I always feel like I’m just performing for people,” he continued, admitting that “we’re all [just] human.” He’s just as easy-going when it comes to his acting as well. Whether he’s being featured in a commercial or working alongside Zendaya in KC Undercover, McCrary is smiling big all while remaining cool, calm and collected. In fact, he was filming a scene as Kenny on Tyler Perry’sThe Paynes,” when his mother informed him of what would become his biggest gig yet – young Simba in Disney’s The Lion King Live Action remake. 

ryan4“We were created to be creators,” the  Atlanta  saxophonist informed me before the release party for his debut album began. Despite having just arrived home from touring with the legendary Stevie Wonder, fourth generation saxophonist Ryan Kilgore was full of energy and eager to talk. His stylish dark brown suit, paired with a crisp collared white shirt, and playful polka dot bowtie, hinted at his ability to create a well put together outfit. The musical note design cut into his hair marked him as a musician while further validating his playful style. But his fashion sense is no match for his God-given musical talent. “Just Walk,” his latest project, illustrated the very essence of his story: walking into destiny.

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