Multi-Grammy Nominated Drummer, Eric Harland is the most "In demand drummer" of his generation. He has already been on over 400 recordings and multiple film scores at his age of 42. Eric has been recognized in the Boston Globe, New York Times, JazzTimes, Modern Drummer, All About Jazz, The New Yorker, DownBeat, L'uomo Vogue and other prominent publications.
It has been his privilege to share the stage with masters such as Betty Carter, Joe Henderson, MyCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Terence Blanchard, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter, Savion Glover, SFJAZZ Collective and many others, as well as todays up and coming artist like Esperanza Spalding, Jane Monheit, Taylor Eigsti, Julian Lage, Stacie Orrico, Robert Glasper and so on. His current list of performing groups are "JAMES FARM" with Joshua Redman, "PRISM" with Dave Holland and Kevin Eubanks, "SANGAM" with Charles Lloyd and Zakir Hussain, "Charles Lloyd New Quartet", "OVERTONE" with Dave Holland, Jason Moran, Chris Potter and "VOYAGER" Eric's own widely recognized group. But Eric doesn't stop there, he also manages to fit in many collaborations with world renowned artist like Les Claypool "PRIMUS", "DISPATCH" the band, KRS1, John Mayer, Gigi Hadid, Spike Lee, Steve Miller, Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson from "AMERICAN IDOL" and etc.
Eric Harland was the Resident Artistic Director at the SFJAZZ Center for the 2014-2016 Season. Also was Artist in Resident at the Monterey Jazz Festival 2014 Season. Harland also had the supreme privilege of being invited and attending President Barack Obama's 2016 White House State Dinner in honor of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Through Harland's extensive travels, he has come to realize that "The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation." When Eric Harland contributes... his intention is therefore to create the highest musical experience so that every listener may have insight... into the musical moment.
Walter Smith III
The New York Times describes tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III's work as "fabulous... this is a band, not just an assembly".
From a young age, Walter began taking music very seriously. "My first gig was playing at a McDonalds in Houston with another saxophone player. I took a solo on "Blue Bossa." It was terrible. People clapped, and I figured if I could get away with that and get applause, how could I fail?"
Although it may appear Smith is a young gun on the scene at age 36, he is widely recognized as an adept performer, accomplished composer, and inspired educator. Smith will release his 5th album as a leader, "Twio" in February of 2018 with his longtime trio of Harish Raghavan and Eric Harland including guest appearances by Christian McBride and Joshua Redman.
In the Jazz tradition, Smith has developed under the wings of many of the music's greats. Walter is/has been a member of several legendary groups (recording and/or touring) including the Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Terence Blanchard Quintet, Eric Harland's "Voyager", Jason Moran's In My Mind:Monk at Town Hall, Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet, the Christian McBride "Situation", Christian Scott group and the Sean Jones Quintet. Smith has performed all over the world participating in numerous international festivals as well as famed venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. In addition, he has shared the stage and/or appeared on recordings with many Jazz notables including Mulgrew Miller, Eric Reed, Billy Childs, Joe Lovano, Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lynne Carrington, Bill Stewart, Ralph Peterson, and a host of others.
To date, Walter has appeared on over 100 recordings that are released worldwide. Originally from Houston, TX, where he attended Houston's HSPVA, Smith now resides in the Los Angeles, CA area and is an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Indiana University helping to prepare the next generation of Jazz students.