Our Story

ABand’s debut CD, HEART BEATS, is a jazz-fusion compilation with mainstream standard jazz covering the broad canvas, highlighted with subtle hues of soul, blues, funk, pop and even some hip hop. The end result is a decidedly jazz with a fresh contemporary feel-a product of creative writing and arranging, solid musicianship, and diverse musical backgrounds. Collectively, the musicians bring over 125 years of professional musical experience to this project.

Annette, a professionally trained vocalist, has performed and recorded in the New York Tri-State area for over 25 years and done 3 tours in the Middle East.  She directed the music ministry at her church for 20 years. 
  
Working solo and in various groups, she has written or arranged, and recorded dozens of songs for her own albums, Indie artists, and commercials.  Managing her own projects, she has created several professionally produced albums ranging from new wave, gospel rock, pop, funk, and jazz.  For each project, she has provided primary creative oversight from initial vision through song arrangement/writing, recording, mixing, and final mastering.

Rob graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Music degree from William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, in 1993. 
  
Since the early 90’s, Rob has been a fixture on the NYC jazz club and radio scene.  He has performed at legendary NYC clubs like Smalls and Smoke with top players such as Warren Vache, Eliot Zigmund, Rufus Reid, Cameron Brown, Matt Wilson, Ben Perowsky, James Genus, Peter Bernstein, and Vic Juris.  A mainstay on NYC’s popular 98.7 Kiss FM, his guitar is featured in dance remixes by DJ Darryl James for R&B artists Jaheim and Musique Soulchild.  Recent gigs include backing up legendary R&B artists Ashford and Simpson, Freddie Jackson, and Stephanie Mills with the house band at the acclaimed Manhattan nightclub, Sugar Bar. 
  
Rob has also toured with pianist/singer Peter Cincotti, opened for Michael McDonald at the Sundance Film Festival, and appeared at the London Jazz Festival.  He played guitar and keyboards with the Earth Wind & Fire tribute band, Shining Star, in a dance piece by renowned choreographer David Parsons at the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  His guitar work can be heard on TV in the preview music for The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and other HBO Original Series programming. 
  
Rob has just finished his debut CD Homeward and is finishing a second CD entitled Gems.

Jim, the son of the late great saxophonist, Alvy West, has performed with multi-generational jazz and pop icons such as Buddy Rich, Mel Torme, Anita Ellis, Carly Simon, Gerry Niewood, Ruby Braff, and Steve Allen.  He has toured internationally including a 2007-tour in Shanghai with his own jazz trio.  Recently, Jim has performed at Feinstein’s, The Metropolitan Room, and The Iridium Jazz Club in NYC.

Brian has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in Jazz Performance and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching Music from City University of NY.  Since 2003, he has been the Instructor of Jazz Bass at Princeton University. 
  
As an Ambassador of Music for the U.S. Department of State, Brian has toured for the last 3 years in 12 countries throughout Asia, Russia, and the Middle East. 
  
Brian is a versatile musician in almost any genre of music, but he is best known for his work in jazz, cabaret, and world music styles such as Klezmer.  He has performed, toured, and recorded with: 
  
              Jazz Greats:  Paquito d’Rivera, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Lionel Hampton, Sahib Shahab, Kenny Burrell, Benny Golson, Harold Mabern, Randy Brecker,   Ken Peplowski, Gene Bertoncini, Billy Cobham. 
  
              Legendary Interpreters of the Popular American Song Book:  Margaret Whiting, Michael Feinstein, Karen Akers, Liza Minnelli, Anne Calloway. 
  
              Klezmer/Yiddish and Jewish Music Stars:  Andy Statman, Frank London, Zalmon Mlotek, AliciaSvigals, Michael Alpert, Greg Wall, Adrienne Cooper, Neshama Carlebach. 
  
Some recent recordings on which Brian is featured include new releases from Neshama Carlebach, Adrianne Greenbaum, Woody Mann, Carol Hall, Andy Statman, Klezmerfest, Patty Croheim, Liza Minnelli, and the Johnny Rodgers Band.

Bernard, born in NYC got his first real gig in 1982 with Johny Kemp and later played with such greats as Evelyn “Champagne”King, Na Jee and Freddie Jackson. His album credits include Anita Baker, Johnathan Butler, Phyliss Hyman, Daryl Hall (Philly Mood), Mariah Carey (Christmas CD), Angela Bofill, and Whitney Houston-to name a few.  He is currently on tour with Valerie Simpson and Roy Ayers. 

Deke Strauss, multi-percussionist, comes from a family of three generations of musicians. His famous father, Luis Miranda, played congas for Latin Jazz bands like the Machita Orch., Cal Tjader and many others. And His son, Joshua Adam, accomplished singer/songwriter. Deke has been in the music business for over 40 years. As a singer and percussionist he has recorded and performed many genres of music from Rock to Jazz funk. He was band leader for 20 years for a very successful band “ Premoniton”.
He has performed with the Ray Charles tribute band “Forever Ray” and the jazz funk band “33 1/3”.

Allan Namery plays saxophone and flute as a full-time professional. He has received 8 National Endowment Awards in performance. He has studied with several of the finest musicians in the jazz world and attended Berklee and Rutgers with a masters in jazz.