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by Micaela

Camille Metoyer Moten

July 22, 2014 in Ozone by Micaela

Midwest Smooth Jazz is proud to present on Thursday, July 24th, at 6:30pm, Camille Metoyer Moten at the Ozone, in Omaha, for another Smooth Jazz Thursday.

photo (4)Camille Metoyer Moten has entertained Omaha audiences for the past 30 years. Her musical abilities have a range from classical to jazz, Broadway to contemporary Christian.

Upon graduation from Burke high school she ventured to New Orleans, Louisiana to further her education at Xavier University and to sharpen her singing skills in the jazz genre. While at the school she soloed with the Xavier Jazz band which gave her the opportunity to be accompanied by Ellis Marsalis (father of Wynton). Dividing her time between training as a classical singer and absorbing the jazzy notion of the New Orleans sound, she honed her skills.
After moving back to Omaha she began to embrace the musical theater scene while balancing her music ministry with the church. This began a long career of solo, choral, and studio singing.

Now often described as Omaha’s most versatile singer, performing in venues ranging from opera to musical theater, jazz and gospel, Camille has clearly made a lasting mark on the city’s musical scene. She has garnered prestigious awards for portrayals such as Eva Peron in Evita and Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and Sarah in Ragtime.

She has toured regionally with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra and Cabaret Theater and is a featured performer at many events throughout the city.
Her musical travels have carried her to Barcelona, Spain. In 2007, Camille released her first CD featuring original Christian music, titled “Go Forward”. Collaborating with Omaha composer David Murphy, she released a CD of Christmas song in 2010 called “A Simpler Christmas”. She was recently inducted into the Omaha Black Musician’s Hall of Fame.

David P. Murphy is a songwriter and producer of five CDs, “Shining in the Temporary Sun, and ”Henry Perry’s“ Effortless, ”Camille Metoyer Moten’s “A Simpler Christmas,” and Beth ASbjornson’s Gratitude.” His most recent solo album, “My Fraudulent Memoirs” is now available.

Murphy is also the author of five books. He can be held accountable for “Ace your Zombie Exam! The official Ph.Z Study Guide,” “Zombies for Zombies— “The Play &WerkBuk,” “The Doomsday Survival Handbook” and of course the one that started the whole mess. “Zombie for Zombies: Advice and Etiquette for the Living Dead.” 2013 saw the release of the first book of short stories, “Rapturella and Other Apocalyptic Tales.”
He has been playing piano since he was a kid and is still trying to get it right.

Mike De Luca began playing drums at the age of 12, assuming a drum set that his older sister used to play. His first teacher was Omaha Great Joey Gulizia who showed him the fundamentals of jazz and latin drumming. From there, Mike studied with Omaha local Luigi Waites and Charles Gamble. At 17, Mike formed the band “Broadway” with Tony Anzaldo. From that band, several players emerged like Tim Kobza and Randy Long. Mike started playing with Johnny Ray Gomez and continued on with several bands, getting the call to play jazz, rock and pop music.
In 1987, Mike moved to Los Angeles and began working for Remo Drum Company. During this time, Mike was meeting several iconic drum figures and learning more about playing drums professionally. Upon returning to Omaha, he began playing again with local musicians in several bands. Mike continues to perform with local artists which includes Neal Dave, Camille Metoyer Moten, Novak and Haar and David Murphy. Mike’s passion for drumming is strongly rooted in jazz. He is a member of the Omaha Musicians Union and continues to study the art form while following his passion for drumming
Ron Cooley - Ron is one of Omaha’s busiest musicians. Ron performs every Christmas season as a member of the nationally acclaimed group Mannheim Steamroller. In the last nine years he has toured throughout the USA and Germany and appeared on the NBC’s “TODAY” show as well as Jay Leno’s “TONIGHT SHOW” and ABC’s “GOOD MORNING AMERICA”.

Ricky Williams on bass. Bassist Ricky Williams hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and has performed with various local and national artists and currently performing with the Confidentials. Rick has also performed with clarinetist Alvin Baptiste, pianist Larry Sieberth, platinum selling R&B vocal group Silk, saxophonist Mike Phillips, jazz guitarist Russell Malone, vocalist Lalah Hathaway, Canadian vocalist Suzie Vinnick, xylophone great Ian Finkel, the late r&b legend Jr. Walker , the Coasters, and bassist for two Louisiana legends: bluesman Rockin’ Tabby Thomas and the late legendary jazz/bluesman Johnny Adams. He has recorded as a side musician for many local artists since coming to Omaha and has released one solo CD, “Sun Songs”(2002) to date.

In the 70’s Ricky was fortunate enough to study with renowned euphonium player and trombonist Dr. Larry Campbell and bassist Randy Jackson (better known as a judge on the television show ‘American Idol’). In 1993 Ricky moved to Omaha and has performed with many of the artist and bands in the area including: Confidentials, Ed Archibald, Boss Philly, Susie Thorn, Michael “Gooch” Gurciullo, Chad Stoner, Luigi Waites, Steve Raybine, Professor Charles ‘Chuck’ Miller, Preston Love, Christine Hitt, Carol Rogers, Matt Amandus, Dan Cerveny, Jorge Nila, Lalomi Washburn, George Walker, Matt Wallace, Darryl White, Steve Shininger’s Shinsing Orchestra and others. He has also traveled the world several times over (over 50 countries) as bassist for several cruise lines.

by Micaela

In The Gruv

July 21, 2014 in Ozone by Micaela

In The Gruv

Midwest Smooth Jazz is proud to present on Thursday, July 31st, at 6:30pm, In the Gruv at the Ozone, in Omaha, for another Smooth Jazz Thursday.

Churning out exciting and sassy Smooth Jazz, few bands do it better than In the Gruv. Their stylized versions of Maze, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, and Lenny White tunes, as well as R&B and smooth jazz classics have been pleasing audiences for nearly three years.

In the Gruv is anchored by bass player Richard Payne. Richard grew up in a musical Omaha family and got involved early in the local music scene. After a 15-year absence from the Omaha area, Richard returned to get involved in several successful bands and recording projects. Now with his own band he is dedicated to bringing the music he loves to the local scene.

Linnetta Jones, the dynamic and sparkling lead vocalist for In the Gruv, has been with the band since its inception. Linnetta honed her vocal skills at Simpson College and has since lent her vocal talents to churches, local organizations, and special events. Always a joy to watch and to listen to, Linnetta loves to engage the crowd.

Keeping us “In the Gruv”, drummer and vocalist Robert Bennett has played professionally for 34 years. After moving to Denver, he attended the University of Colorado and studied for two years with Bill Roberts. In 1983 Robert moved to Las Vegas where he worked with top acts such as KC and the Sunshine Band, Cameo, The Coasters, The Imperials, and jazz great Jimmy Smith.

Multi-keyboardist Randy Long, our newest member, has been involved in music most of his life. A prolific composer, Randy has a degree in music composition and sound engineering and has been a long time contributor to the Omaha music scene. His other band project, Tossup, plays a mix of fusion jazz, has one CD to its credit and is working on a second.

Guitarist and vocalist Rod Griffith is a veteran of several local bands, including opening acts for national acts such as Marvin Gaye and Chicago. With Higher Pursuit, Rod was an early contributor to the Midwest Smooth Jazz Society and “Ozone Smooth Jazz Thursdays”. Always engaged with the music, Rod gives an entertaining and passionate performance every time.

That’s In the Gruv – a culmination of experienced and talented performers guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a healthy dose of groove in your day!

In the Gruv - Composite - Nov 2013 - B-W

by Micaela

4 the Occastion at the Ozone

July 8, 2014 in Ozone by Micaela

Midwest Smooth Jazz is proud to present on Thursday, July 10th, at 6:30pm, 4 the Occasion at the Ozone, in Omaha, for another Smooth Jazz Thursday.


by Micaela

4 the Occasion

July 3, 2014 in Ozone by Micaela