We’ve Got the Funk

25th Anniversary Celebration Brings Special Guests to Vail

Wycliffe Gordon is a soulful man by all accounts. Born in Waynesboro, Georgia, a young Wycliffe was inspired by the recordings of Louis Armstrong and picked up the trombone to eventually become the most influential player of the instrument since Glen Miller. An original member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wycliffe has a sound on the trombone that is equally at home in emotional ballads, church hymns, old school funk, dirty blues, and much much more.

An instructor of the Vail Jazz Workshop, Wycliffe is no stranger to Vail’s idyllic mountain setting. This July, a month before he would usually return, Wycliffe is presenting his now iconic funk show with a host of alumni of the Vail Jazz Workshop that are sure to have you tapping toes, clapping along, and shouting in approval.

Khris Royal- alto ’04

Khris Royal was born to be a musician. This young and exceptional New Orleans native began playing the saxophone at seven years old, and producing and writing music at fourteen. Royal’s musical talents were nurtured at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) High School, in classrooms once shared by jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Terrence Blanchard, and Donald Harrison.

Royal is currently working on promoting his second album with his group, Dark Matter. Check out the video below featuring fellow workshop alum, John Michael Bradford on trumpet.

Josh Shpak- trumpet ’10

A protégé of jazz legend Clark Terry, Josh Shpak is dually driven by a great respect for the past, and a drive to put his own mark on the future. “Every great musician in history has been completely present in his or her own time period, while using their knowledge of the tradition to drive their creative forces.” Josh is currently a member of Boston-based rock/funk/dance-pop band, Ripe, who is performing in Eagle for this year’s Bonfire Block Party. He also performs with his own group, the Josh Shpak Band, a cutting-edge modern jazz outfit that incorporates the sounds of rock, electronic, and film music with jazz.

At the age of 6, Keschia began studying classical piano at B.W.I Studio of the Arts in Inglewood, CA. At the age of 14, Keschia began playing the alto saxophone and joined the Washington Preparatory High School’s jazz ensemble where met her first jazz mentor, Lionel Hampton. While attending UCLA, Keschia performed with Lionel Hampton’s Big Band and studied with jazz legends Harold Land, Billy Higgins, Kenny Burrell. She has toured the U.S. and Internationally playing saxophone for Beyonce, Robin Thicke, and Jennifer Hudson.

Keschia Potter- alto ’96

For more information on the 25th Anniversary celebration and to buy tickets click the picture below!