Songwriter/bassist Melanie Athena has brought together a group of World class musicians in one band for the first time exclusively for The Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival!
Saxophone player/guitarist/singer V. Jeffrey Smith is a musical phenomenon whose career spans more than 4 decades. He’s a master musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer and producer who has played on countless gold and platinum records, and a record producer with credits that include Daryl Hall, Corey Glover, Paula Abdul, Heather Headley and Tamia among many others. V. Jeff is also a co-founder of The Family Stand, known for their hit “Ghetto Heaven”, and a current member of the Burnt Sugar Arkestra, founded by the late great Greg Tate. V. Jeff’s vast credits include his iconic and instantly recognizable sax solo on Billie Ocean’s “Caribbean Queen”, and his equally notable sax solo on “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car”; his trademark sound can be heard on hundreds more memorable albums, with more than 27,000 musical pieces available on the marketplace.
Guitarist Marcus Machado was named “Next Young Gun” by Rolling Stone Magazine and has since become one of the most in demand young guitar players in the world, both in the studio and on the road. Marcus has collaborated with Multiple Grammy Award Winning producer/keyboard player Robert Glasper on the music score for the Emmy Award winning SHO documentary “Apollo” and the NAACP Award winning documentary “Mr. Soul”, which made it to the Oscars shortlist. Marcus collaborated with Lalah Hathaway and Robert Glasper on the film’s track title “Show Me Your Soul” and also produced the film score for the critically acclaimed documentary "Contact High". Marcus’ collaborative project with supergroup Th1rt3en feat. Pharoahe Monch, Daru Jones and Marcus Machado, a classic rock / hip hop album called “A Magnificent Day For An Exorcism”, charted at #5 on the charts on its first week release. Since then the group has continued to soar with hard hitting movie-like videos from leading singles “Fight” & “Cult 45.”
Keyboard player Chris Paultre is a Grammy-nominated producer, composer, and musician based out of New York, who specializes in film music, Pop, R&B, HipHop, and Jazz compositions. Chris comes from an extensive musical background whose family includes the late great Duke Ellington. He has produced under the camp of Pharell Williams and the Neptunes, Swizz Beats, Rich Harrison and Lupe Fiasco earning him a Grammy nomination, all the while lending his musical ingenuity and flair for jazz and classical piano to chart-topping records. In addition, Chris wrote and produced 4 singles for legendary singer Brian Mcknight’s final album Exodus in 2020. Chris has scored music for the Netflix movies “Brotherly Love”, “Deuces”, “True to the Game”, and “The Trap” with Queen Latifa, and has scored for the Nickelodeon film “Little Ballers”. Chris’ music has been featured on countless television shows as both score and theme songs for networks including Lifetime, MTV and BET.
Drummer James “Biscuit” Rouse. What do Lauryn Hill, Bilal, Pharell, Vivian Green and Stevie Wonder have in common aside from being successful artists? They've all tapped the talents of drummer James “Biscuit” Rouse. Chosen to lead the rhythm section for a countless number of luminaries, James “Biscuit” Rouse has provided the pace for Nile Rogers & Chic, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Usher and Pharrell Williams. For five years he served as the drummer, programmer and musical director for the Miss Lauryn Hill Band, and most recently backed Mobb Deep's Prodigy during his residency at the legendary Blue Note Club in New York. In addition to holding the beat down and being Musical Director for some of the industry's best, he is also a producer, vocalist and artist in his own right; look out for his new EP, Biscuit Street and more!
Singer Sara Devine brings her searing vocals to the front as the lead singer for The Paradigm Shift. From an early age it was apparent that Sara Devine was placed on this earth to sing. There are singers for whom singing is their very reason for being, a force that drives them, a guiding passion of their lives. You can hear that passion and the unbridled joy at The Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival where she’ll perform songs from her uplifting self titled debut, including 'Special', which she wrote to honor her girlfriends. Another song that draws its inspiration from matters of the heart is the lilting title track. Cowritten by Sara and Ciro (producer and guitarist for Corey Glover, Mariah Carey, Notorious B.I.G., Luther Vandross), “Beautiful” celebrates love and commitment as Sara's emotional performance captures the feeling of finally finding someone you can fully trust and love.