The Working Artist Project

Darrian Douglas

The Working Artist project is our attempt to answer questions and confront challenges that artists face on a daily basis. We are taking the time to get to know artist from every field with the intent of debunking the myths, and shedding light on the realities of the artist at work. read less

Gina D'Soto: From Havana to the BIG APPLE
Oct 10 2022
Gina D'Soto: From Havana to the BIG APPLE
In this episode of The Working Artist Project, Darrian Douglas talks to up and coming artist Gina D'Soto about her career trajectory thus far. Always comfortable and very real, Gina D’Soto graces every stage with her energetic, soulful, and powerful vocals; being widely recognized as a very charming, playful, and passionate human being, unafraid of showing who she is, and fiercely open to connecting with her audience and those around her. Since moving to North America at a young age, 22-year-old singer-songwriter - composer and arranger Gina D’ Soto is one of the first prominent Cuban musicians to emerge out of the late 90’s generation, with a sound best described as the blending of jazz, soul, fusion and Cuban traditions. Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Gina D’Soto was only 15 years old when she began to develop an interest in singing, then she began to appear in the most important jazz-elated national events and venues of the island such as The International Jazz Plaza Festival and Jazz Clubs like La Zorra y El Cuervo, and started collaborating with acclaimed Cuban musicians such as Yassek Manzano and Dayme Arozena. In her formative years as a vocalist, Gina D’Soto moved to Montreal, Canada where she made a lasting impression on the music scene by performing at the Montreal Jazz Festival and Montreal Folk Festival; winning the Ranee Lee Jazz Voice Scholarship and was one of the finalists in the Slir D'Or Montreal World Music Competition. She also began appearing at venues around the area such as Upstairs Jazz Club, Club Balattou, and Maison de la Culture NDG, as a soloist and with her band The Inner Circle. Since moving to New York City, Gina has shared the stage with world-renowned musicians like Arturo O'Farrill, Antonio Sanchez, Roman Filiu, Ana Tijoux, and Jon Faddis. She also has performed at the Winter Jazz Festival and Exit Zero Jazz Festival while singing throughout the Tri-State area at many venues including Minton's PlayHouse, Shrine, Gin Fizz Harlem, and Zinc Bar. Gina has also participated in the "Fandango at the Wall" Cd release by six times Grammy Winning artist Arturo O'Farrill as well as the CD release of "Duele" by the Lady of Neo-Bolero Maria Bacardi at Joe's Pub. #Podcast #hiphop #theworkingartistproject #neworleans #musiceducation #newyork #marketing #branding #business #art
Evan Christopher: The Tradition is Eternally Modern
Sep 26 2022
Evan Christopher: The Tradition is Eternally Modern
In this weeks episode of the Working Artist Project, Darrian Douglas and Gregory Agid speak to clarinetist virtuoso, Evan ChristopherEvan Christopher combines virtuosity, immaculate taste, and enthusiasm with a commitment to exploring the full range of possibilities in the New Orleans clarinet tradition.His highly personal brand of “contemporary, early jazz” strives to extend the legacies of early Creole clarinet heroes such as Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard and Omer Simeon.Critics remarking on Christopher’s dynamic expressiveness have coined his style “close-encounter music” (NEW YORK TIMES) and have called his respect for the music traditions of New Orleans, “a triumph, joining the present seamlessly to a glorious past.” (THE OBSERVER, UK).His journey on Clarinet Road began in 1994, when he left his native California to join the New Orleans music community. Diverse freelance work included gigs with musicians such as Al Hirt and veterans of Preservation Hall to funk and brass bands including the Nightcrawlers and Galactic.But in 1996, he left for San Antonio, Texas to appear nightly for nearly three years with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band and record several of their public radio programs, Riverwalk: Live from the Landing.When Christopher returned to New Orleans in 2001, his published research on the New Orleans clarinet style initiated pursuit of a Master’s degree in Musicology at Tulane University. He began touring internationally and producing his “Clarinet Road” series of CDs (STR Digital).In August 2005, when Federal levees failed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina decimating the city, Christopher left again for Paris at the invitation of the French Embassy’s Cultural Services division, where he formed his group, Django à la Créole. This Europe-based quartet fused Gypsy Swing with Latin-tinged grooves of New Orleans and beyond and was distinguished for an acoustic intimacy paired with driving swing.Critics charmed by the group queried, “Is there a more graceful band at work at the moment?” (THE SUNDAY TIMES UK).Three CDs for Lejazzetal (London), in partnership with Frémeaux & Associés (Paris)—Django à la Créole (2007), Finesse (2010), and LIVE! (2014)—earned the group critical attention worldwide for its elegant character.As a composer, Christopher’s original songs are the high point of acclaimed recordings including Delta Bound (Arbors, 2007) featuring pianist Dick Hyman, The Remembering Song (Arbors, 2010) featuring guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, his clarinet feature on the Grammy-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s Book One (2012) and his latest Clarinet Road CD, Bayou Chant & Other Textures (STR Digital, 2016).In July 2010, he had the honor to debut his Treat It Gentle Suite with the Minnesota Orchestra, which was the first concerto written for clarinet with band in the New Orleans style.Evan Christopher began his musical training on clarinet at age 11. In high school, he received the Louis Armstrong National Jazz Award and was one of the first graduates of the prestigious Idyllwild Arts Academy.He continued studies at the University of Southern California and graduated with honors from California State University, Long Beach. A brief teaching stint at the University of New Orleans saw the creation of a New Orleans music ensemble that performed with guest mentors such as Lucien Barbarin and Marcus Roberts.Since 2008, having returned once again to New Orleans, Christopher actively advocates for the cultural workforce and music education.He frequently tours with and records as a guest with forward-looking artists, while performances under his own name are often complemented by workshops and educational and community outreach.Occasional columns about the music scene and New Orleans culture written for NolaVie.com, evidence Evan's passion for the city’s indigenous traditions.
Kevin Gullage: American Idol
Aug 9 2022
Kevin Gullage: American Idol
At 23-years old, fast-rising star Kevin Gullage leads his band of veteran players, The Blues Groovers, with the poise of a seasoned performer. His impressive blend of soulful singing and dazzling blues piano infused with the experience of his bandmates is leaving audiences in awe. The Blues Groovers consist of bassist Tony Gullage (Henry Butler, Dr. John), Hammond B3 Player Brandon Adams (Kenny Neal), Guitarist Carlton Ross (Glenn David Andrews), Saxophonist Roderick Jackson (Kenny Neal), and Drummer Mac Carter (Jon Cleary).Born into a musical family in New Orleans, LA, Kevin Gullage showed prodigious signs of musical talent and followed in his father’s footsteps, embracing his passion for music as an instrumentalist, singer, and writer. Growing up interacting with artists such as Henry Butler, Gary Brown, Carol Fran and others in the New Orleans music scene influenced the development of Kevin’s musicianship and style from a young age. Kevin began his career as a multi-instrumentalist, but eventually turned his musical focus to piano. His passion for piano would lead him to study music at the prestigious New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, The Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp (whose alumni include Jon Batiste, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and “Big Sam” Williams) and later Loyola University New Orleans.At age 18, Kevin was selected as the pianist for the 2017 Thelonious Monk All-Star Sextet performing alongside jazz legend, Bobby Watson. The same year, he was invited to perform with the multi-Grammy winning band Blues Traveler at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Kevin has appeared in several movies including The Last Laugh starring Chevy Chase and Burning Cane starring Wendell Pierce. His voice was also featured in the 2019 release of Disney’s Lady & The Tramp.In 2019, Kevin & the Blues Groovers became a resident artist at B.B. King’s Blues Club, New Orleans. With a resounding demand from their growing fan-base, Kevin recorded his first EP entitled Blues for the City.Kevin Gullage signed with the Grammy-winning record label Basin Street Records in early 2022. The New Orleans-based powerhouse label is slated to release Kevin & The Blues Groovers first full-length LP, Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed Blues, in the Spring of 2022.Kevin Gullage appeared in the 2022 season of ABC’s American Idol where he was one of the select few invited to Hollywood. Lionel Richie’s review of his performance included, “You got so much flavor!” Gullage advanced to the top 60 contestants on the show. While the Covid-19 pandemic has halted Kevin & The Blues Groovers tenure at B.B. King’s Blues Club, Kevin Gullage has forged ahead with his performing career, and spent much of 2022 as a featured performer for Disney Cruise Lines.With an all-star band behind him and bountiful talent of his own, Kevin Gullage is set to soar, as Kevin & The Blues Groovers look ahead to the many opportunities in the future.
Candice Hoyes: Rain
Jul 4 2022
Candice Hoyes: Rain
In this episode of The Working Artist Project, Darrian Douglas and Gregory Agid talk to artist-cum-activist Gerald Watkins Candice Hoyes about new music and her unique career path. Candice Hoyes is poised to “shape the artist-cum-activist role." (NPR) In 2020, she released “Zora’s Moon,” the first single of her mostly self-penned upcoming EP. This jaunty retro-soul escapade is her response to this moment: an ode to Black girlhood. Candice brings otherworldly vocalism to her new single, "Waiting for the World (Tired)," which features the 1930 poem "Tired" by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes set in a lyrical Afro Futuristic soundscape. Candice is a 2020 winner of the inaugural NYC Women’s Fund for Film, Music, and Media. She has performed with, opened for, and recorded with artists ranging from Lin Manuel Miranda to Chaka Khan to Wynton Marsalis. Candice was commissioned by the National Black Theater and Michelle Obama's When We All Vote to co-create a new work to empower Black voters leading into the 2020 US Presidential election. ​Candice returns to Carnegie Hall, Caramoor, and more this summer. Recent performances include 2021 We Out Here Fest (UK), NYC JazzFest, Nublu JazzFest, the Public Theater, and the Blue Note. As an activist, she collaborates with the Feminist Press, Well-Read Black Girl, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in Law, Harlem Arts Alliance, Women in Music, and numerous grassroots organizations. She has produced her feminist performance-lecture series for Jazz at Lincoln Center and CUNY for three consecutive seasons. Candice has written for Shondaland, Blavity, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and spoken and performed at TED HQ.​​Her brand new project is co-written with GRAMMY-award-winning pianist, Sullivan Fortner (Paul Simon, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Dianne Reeves). The project is produced by GRAMMY-award-winning multi-instrumentalist Casey Benjamin (Anderson . Paak, Robert Glasper, Q-Tip) and features performances by vibraphonist Joel Ross (Marquis Hill, Makaya McCraven), trumpeter Keyon Harrold (Nas), Chiara Fasi (Solange). Candice's family hails from Jamaica, and she is an honors graduate of Harvard University, where she studied Sociology and African American Studies and Columbia Law School.#Podcast #hiphop #theworkingartistproject #neworleans #musiceducation #newyork #marketing #branding #business #art
Curtis Nowosad - Immigration, art and Will Smith
Apr 4 2022
Curtis Nowosad - Immigration, art and Will Smith
In this episode of The Working Artist Project, Darrian Douglas and Gregory Agid talk to Curtis Nowosad about his career, "jazz fame" and immigration. 100 years after the Harlem Renaissance shook the world, there’s a whole new cultural and spiritual awakening in that corner of the jazz world. A key player in galvanizing this fresh and dynamic sense of cultural awareness, drummer/composer Curtis Nowosad has been a major force in The Harlem Sessions, organized by renowned pianist Marc Cary. Having made his home in Harlem since 2013, the Canadian native emerges as a powerful musical force for social justice on a groundbreaking self-titled jazz and blues-driven collection that illuminates past and present history while creating some profound history of its own. Co-produced with Cary, it is his first collection to feature the explosive and intuitive chemistry of his NY-based ensemble that has held court in NYC everywhere from Smalls to The Jazz Standard to The Blue Note and full week residencies at Dizzy’s Club at JALC.Curtis laid the foundation for this current release with two previous critically acclaimed collections, his debut The Skeptic & the Cynic and the WCMA-winning and JUNO-nominated Dialectics, which made DownBeat Magazine’s “Best of 2015” list. A remix project, titled CNRMXD, will be released in late 2022.Curtis has played in the bands of trumpeter Philip Harper, trombonist Craig Harris, saxophonist and vocalist Braxton Cook and Cary (who both make major contributions to the album) while headlining major jazz festivals in the U.S., Canada and Europe. He has also played with five NEA Jazz Masters: Candido Camero, Dave Liebman, Jimmy Owens, Ron Carter and Kenny Barron. He is an endorser of Canopus Drums.
Joshua Gouzy: New Beginning
Mar 15 2022
Joshua Gouzy: New Beginning
In this episode of The Working Artist Project, Darrian Douglas and Gregory Agid talk to Joshua Gouzy about his booking agency Magnolia Music and growing as a musician, producer, and writer. A New Orleans native, Joshua Gouzy was raised in a family with four generations of musical heritage. He has played a variety of instruments throughout his life and cultivated his early musical skills while playing "by ear" in his church band. Joshua is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans with a Bachelor’s in Music Education and a minor in Jazz Studies. He also has a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of New Orleans. In his sixteen years of performing professionally, he was the regular bassist with more than fourteen New Orleans-based bands and has been featured on over 30 albums. He also established his own music booking agency, Magnolia Entertainment, offering authentic New Orleans music for corporate and social events. For most people, that would have been enough achievement to last a lifetime, but Joshua knew that there was more to his evolution as a musical artist, producer, and composer. A global pandemic, a chance connection in the Bay Area, and a deep dive into the Sound for Picture and Games program at the Pyramind Music and Audio Production Institute opened the doors to his passion for composition and sound design. Lauded by his professors for coming to the program with such extensive musical experience and skill, Joshua is clearly on his way to becoming one of the most in-demand production talents in the industry. #Podcast #theworkingartistproject #neworleans #musiceducation #newyork #marketing #branding #business #art