ERINN ALEXIS was born into a musical family and introduced to the arts at an early age. Erinn started her career as a saxophonist at thirteen years old. As part of her developing career, she has played with artists Mahogany Jones, jessica Care moore, and Rodney Whittaker, as well as with The Gathering Orchestra. She is also commissioned annually for jessica Care moore’s BLACK WOMEN ROCK with whom she recently performed at the Pittsburgh Jazz Festival 2019. She currently attends Wayne State University where she will obtain her Bachelor of Music.
LAKECIA BENJAMIN is a saxophonist who grew up in the predominantly Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights where she listened to and played Merengue and Bachata music. At 14 years old, she gained her independence and moved out of her parents care, earning the little money she could from local gigs to support herself. She attended La Guardia High School for the Performing Arts and The New School University. She has performed, arranged for and completed studio sessions with artists including Rashied Ali, James “Blood” Ulmer, Santigold, Talib Kweli, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, and Kool & The Gang.
DARYNN DEAN is a vocalist and recent graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music where she received a BA in Jazz vocal performance. She grew up in Los Angeles, a member of a family filled with jazz performers including her grandfather, Donald Dean Sr., a renowned drummer for Les McCann, Carmen McCrae and Eddie Harris. Darynn participated in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency at the Kennedy Center this year where she was mentored by Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jason Moran. She has won the National Young Arts Foundation, Dolo Coker, and NAACP ACT-SO competitions.
SARAH HANAHAN is a saxophonist from Marlborough, MA and recent graduate of The Hartt School of Music. Sarah was given her first saxophone at age 8. In 2015, she was awarded a full scholarship to study jazz performance at the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz. Her Sarah Hanahan Quintet was awarded the 2019 state of Connecticut's “CT Now Best of” Jazz Band. Sarah also tours with the DIVA Orchestra. She has participated in residencies with the Ravinia Steans Jazz Program, The 2019 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center, The Boysie Lowery Jazz Residency, and the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Academy Big Band under the direction of Christian McBride.
KENNEDY is a vocalist and Michigan native who did her first singing in church. She headlines The Kennedy Administration, a jazz band that can be seen regularly at Groove nightclub in the Village. She has worked with Eric Benét, Lalah Hathaway, Kenny Lattimore, Monifah and Cheryl Pepsi-Riley, among others — her calling card a voice that combines great influences with character all its own.In 2018, with The Kennedy Administration, she played the annual Java Jazz festival in Jakarta — a three-day affair with attendance totaling 115,000. They also opened for Elton John at the Black Sea Arena.
AMINA SCOTT is an upright and electric bassist, composer, and arranger from Oakland, currently based in New Orleans. She graduated from Loyola University in 2016 and recently completed a Masters Degree in Music - Jazz Studies from Florida State University. Amina is a member of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, NOJO 7, and leads her band Noruz. She is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University New Orleans in the Popular and Commercial Music program.
SEQUOIA SNYDER is a pianist and current Jazz Studies major at Michigan State University. The native Washingtonian attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. She has performed with Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Bobby McFerrin, Terell Stafford, Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Internet, and Stefon Harris. In 2019, Sequoia has completed residencies in the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Academy, directed by Christian McBride, and the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center. She released her debut EP, “SEMPERVIRENS," in June on her 20th birthday.