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Cetrella Live Jazz Dinner with Tiffany Austin

Cetrella

Cetrella Cetrella Live Jazz Dinner with Tiffany Austin

Tiffany Austin vocal | Adam Shulman piano | Marcus Shelby bass | Michael O'Neill saxophone and bandleader

Born and raised in South Los Angeles, TIFFANY AUSTIN grew up in a house filled with music. Her parents listened to soul and pop masters like Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, while her Louisiana Creole grandmother introduced her to jazz.

Her older brother John Austin IV was also a profound influence. A celebrated emcee and rapper, he’s best known as Ras Kass. “He got signed to a record label at 17,” she recalls. “I watched him pursue his music, for better or worse, He never had a day job, and sustained himself from music. I’d sneak in his room and riffle through his records. He sampled lots of great music, and he’s responsible for my obsession with Ella scatting over the break in ‘A Night in Tunisia.’”

Austin took a very different path. She graduated from the vaunted Los Angeles High School of the Arts. At Cal State Northridge, she majored in creative writing, while studying classical voice. During the year she spent studying in the U.K., she started sitting in at jazz sessions around London. After graduating in 2004, Austin set out for Tokyo with the plan that she’d look for work as a singer and spend a year in Japan. After finding regular work as an R&B chanteuse Austin ended up staying in Tokyo through 2009 and only returned because UC Berkeley’s School of Law made her a scholarship offer she couldn’t refuse.

Austin submerged herself in law school and left music behind. After the first year, she realized that she desperately needed a musical outlet. She began performing with bassist, composer, and bandleader Marcus Shelby on numerous projects, including a title role in Harriet’s Spirit, an opera about Harriet Tubman. “There was such a stark contrast between what I was doing in law school and what I wanted to do. I don’t regret going through the program—it made me understand what is truly important to me.”

With a series of prestigious gigs and residencies, Austin quickly gained attention as the most exciting new voice in the region. Performing a program of songs associated with Hoagy Carmichael led to her 2015 debut Nothing But Soul, the album that catapulted her into national prominence. With the album, Unbroken, Austin makes it clear that she’s far more than a beautiful voice. Claiming her cultural birthright, she’s an artist drawing nourishment from all of jazz’s roots.

ADAM SHULMAN has been a staple of the San Francisco Jazz scene since he moved to the city in 2002. Before the move, Adam was a student at UC Santa Cruz where he received a degree in classical performance. While at UCSC he studied jazz piano with Smith Dobson.

Adam can also be seen as a sideman with countless bay area musicians and vocalists such as, Marcus Shelby, Anton Schwartz, Andrew Speight, Erik Jekabson, Ed Reed, Mike Olmos, Gary Brown, Patrick Wolff, John Wiitala, Vince Lateano, Faye Carol, Kellye Gray, Ian Carey, and Mike Zilber among many others.

Adam has played as a sideman with internationally renowned artists Stefon Harris, Willie Jones III, Dayna Stephens, Miguel Zenon, Mark Murphy, Alan Harris, Luciana Souza, Paula West, Larry Coryell, Sean Jones, Grant Stewart, John Clayton, Bobby Hutcherson, Bria Skonberg and with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

In addition to his sideman work, Adam is a composer and arranger. He has released 4 albums of original music under his name. He has also done much of the arranging work for the jazz and cabaret singer Paula West.

MARCUS SHELBY is a composer, arranger, band leader, bassist, and educator who currently lives in San Francisco, California. His work focuses on the history, present, and future of African American lives, social movements, and music education. In 1990, Marcus Shelby received the Charles Mingus Scholarship to attend Cal Arts and study composition with James Newton and bass with Charlie Haden. Currently, Shelby is an artist in residence with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival and a new resident artist director for the San Francisco Jazz Festival 2019-2020. Shelby is also an artist in residence at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival where he is the music director of the 100 member Freedom Jazz Choir, youth choir, and youth music ensemble. Shelby has composed several oratorios and suites including “Harriet Tubman”, “Beyond the Blues: A Prison Oratorio”, “Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”, “Black Ball: The Negro Leagues and the Blues”, “Green and Blues”, and a children’s opera “Harriet’s Spirit” produced by Opera Parallel 2018. Shelby also composed the score and performed in Anna Deveare’s off Broadway Play and HBO feature film “Notes from the Field” and has also worked on a range of productions, such as Joanna Haigood’s “Dying While Black and Brown” (2014), Margo Hall’s “Bebop Baby” (2013) and “Sonny’s Blues” (2008), the Oakland Ballet’s “Ella” The SF Girls Choir (2013), The Oakland Youth Chorus (2014), and many other productions over the past 21 years. Shelby has served on the San Francisco Arts Commission since 2013.

MICHAEL O'NEILL, a San Diego native, began studying clarinet at an early age. His first mentor was his neighbor, the great jazz and studio drummer, John Guerin. After the usual involvement with school bands and orchestras, Michael did a stint in the Air Force Band. In college, while majoring in Biology, he minored in music studying composition and arranging as well as jazz performance. After a brief career in science, Michael returned to music full time, studying saxophone with the great Joe Henderson while playing in dance bands, salsa bands and doing local jazz gigs. During this time Michael became interested in composition and formed groups to perform his original material, a trend that is ongoing today. Besides jazz composition, Michael’s interests have taken him into orchestral and ethnic musical forms. In the 1980's he began writing music for documentaries and television for which he now has a long list of credits. Jazz performance residencies as leader include 13 years at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon bay, 7 years at Cetrella Half Moon Bay and 6 years at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood Shores. Michael has performed and/or recorded with Idris Muhammad, Joe Locke, Michael Wolff, Giacomo Gates, Geoffrey Keezer, Maria Muldaur, Eddie Fisher, Rodney Jones, Kim Nalley, Jackie Ryan, Tony Lindsay, Margie Baker, Faye Carol, Brenda Boykin, Jeff Chambers, Rob Schneiderman, Mark Levine, Frank Jackson, and many others.The Michael O'Neill Quintet featuring the great vocalist, Kenny Washington, has headlined the Monterey Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, SF Jazz, the Blue Note in Napa, Jazz at Pearl’s, Oakland and San Francisco Yoshi’s, Anna’s Jazz Island, the Jazz on the Hill Festival, the Oakland Art and Soul Festival, the San Jose Jazz Society Concert Series and many others.

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Performers

Michael O'Neill

Saxophonist and Bandleader