W. C. Handy Jazz All-Stars
The W. C. Handy Jazz All-Stars (also known as the W. C. Handy Festival All-Stars) is a group of jazz musicians who collectively form the roster of musicians who play every year at the W. C. Handy Music Festival in Florence, Alabama. Every year, usually during the last week of July, these musicians, from all over the United States, gather in Florence and perform in various combinations. In addition to performing jazz, members of the W. C. Handy Jazz All-Stars also teach jazz through such programs as the W. C. Handy Jazz Camp and the "A B Cs of Jazz, Blues and Beyond" (See reference below, under External Links). Numerous Birmingham jazz musicians regularly participate in this festival.
The Roster of Musicians
Through the years, the W. C. Handy Music Festival has featured a large roster of top quality jazz musicians, many of which are listed below. (Birmingham musicians are in bold face.)
- Mundell Lowe – Film composer and guitarist with the Andre Previn Trio, residing in San Diego, California.
- Tom Wolfe – Guitarist, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Alabama, residing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
- Mel Deal - Guitarist, residing in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Lloyd Wells - Guitarist, residing in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Eric Essix - Guitarist, residing in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Jack Pearson - Guitarist, former member of the Allman Brothers Band, residing in Nashville, Tennessee.
Drummers and Percussionists:
- Chuck Redd - Vibraphonist & percussionist, residing in Takoma Park, Maryland.
- Bill Goodwin – Percussionist with Phil Woods, residing in New Jersey.
- Sonny Harris – Percussionist, residing in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Mike Shepherd – Percussionist, one of the founders of the Handy Festival, residing in Minnesota.
- Johnny O'Neal - Pianist & vocalist, residing in Detroit, Michigan.
- Robert Redd - Pianist, brother of Chuck Redd, residing in Takoma Park, Maryland.
- Ray Reach – Pianist & vocalist, Director of Student Jazz Programs for the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, residing in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Mike Wofford – Pianist, residing in Los Angeles, California.
- Laszlo Gardony – Pianist.
- Gary Motley - Pianist, residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Tim Goodwin – Bassist, Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Memphis.
- Ike Harris – Bassist, tours with Crystal Gayle, resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Cleveland Eaton - Bassist, residing in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Neal Starkey – Bassist, residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Gary Lamb – Trumpeter & vocalist.
- Holly Hofmann – Flutist, residing in Los Angeles, California.
- Howard Lamb – Trombonist & Director of the Memphis Jazz Orchestra.
- Ken Watters – Trumpeter, residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Rick Bell – Saxophonist / arranger / composer residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Kelley O'Neal - Saxophonist, residing in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Mundell Lowe website
- Chuck Redd website
- Bill Goodwin at Phil Woods' website
- Johnny O'Neal website
- Ray Reach - Official Website
- Ray Reach at All About Jazz
- Ray Reach at Wikipedia.com
- Ray Reach Music at Myspace.com
- Laszlo Gardony website
- Holly Hofmann website
- Ken Watters website
- The W. C. Handy Jazz All-Stars teach the "A B C's of Jazz" at the 2007 W. C. Handy Music Festival