Giant Steps, formed by Barry Bays, is a an ever-changing line up of friends and local musicians dating back to the 1990s.
Mighty Souls Brass Band, a rotating collective of composer-players versed in a multitude of musical traditions, isn’t a soul band, nor is it a funk band, a marching band, or a swing band. And yet, depending on where you catch them live, you’ll hear all of those influences, as well as more from around the globe, in the group’s music. “We’re not interested in just being a bunch of Memphis musicians playing New Orleans-style brass band music,” says Murphy. “We love that music, and we honor it. But we love Memphis music too, and world music, and we want to pay tribute to that history. And it’s a deep one.”
Betzenzo is an instrumental trio, self described as rocking, modern jazz. Betzenzo - Ryan Betz, Jeff Laurenzo, and Pete Horne - create an energetic and dynamic sound. Betz writes the songs and plays keyboards for Betzenzo. Laurenzo plays drums and arranges beats for the band. And Pete plays guitar and adds pizzazz for Betzenzo. The band has played in such venues as the MS Grammy Museum, the BB King Museum, and most recently the MS Museum of Art. Betzenzo also won the 2016 Jackson Battle of the Bands, and won a spot at the 2017 Jackson, MS Indie Music Week Festival. To learn more about the band, and watch videos, listen to music, and connect with the group's social media, please visit www.betzenzo.com.
After winning Miss Mississippi 2005 and competing in the Miss America Pageant, Kristian Dambrino completed a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and traveled around the world singing and dancing as a Production Vocalist for Celebrity Cruises. Dambrino has performed at benefits all over the nation to help raise more than $15 million in hurricane relief aid and sang in the MSNBC hurricane relief benefit concert, Mississippi Rising. She also appeared on CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. Kristian has performed with Morgan Freeman, Sela Ward, Faith Hill, Pam Tillis, Samuel L. Jackson, Delta Burke, Jean Smart, Mary Ann Mobley, Rita Cosby, Macy Gray, Ray Romano, Jason Alexander, Kathy Ireland, Brian McKnight, Gary Morris, and many more. In addition to this, Dambrino opened for Oprah Winfrey at her Boy’s and Girl’s Club in Kosciusko, MS. Kristian’s song, Pearlington’s Prayer, was recorded and produced on a DVD, The Pearlington’s Prayer Project, which is still being sold to raise more money for Katrina victims. A finalist in the Willie Morris Writing Competition and published author (Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember), she has written and copyrighted hundreds of original songs as well as two original plays.
Jim “Fish” Michie hails from Merigold, Mississippi, in the heart of the Delta. He joined his first band in 1966 and has continued playing ever since that first gig at Morrison’s Skating Rink in Cleveland, MS. After playing with various bands and artists in the Delta through the 60's and 70's and earning his M.Ed. in counseling from Delta State, he then continued his studies at the University of Southern Mississippi, focusing primarily on music. After a career in the Tangents, affectionately known as the House Band of Mississippi, Michie moved to Nashville, TN. He toured with Larry Stewart of Restless Heart and has appeared with Lee Roy Parnell, T. Graham Brown, Charmaine Neville, Gary Rossington, Ace Cannon, Vince Gill, Bo Diddley, and many others. He has appeared with the Yalobushwhackers on the Thacker Mountain/DMI radio show and has recorded with Buddy Miles, Bob Babbitt, Big Mike Griffin, Duff Dorrough, to name a few.
Jazz Persuasion is composed of some outstanding musicians from the Mississippi Delta. They perform at many local restaurants and company events and festivals in Mississippi. Jazz Persuasion is known for its vast song list that includes timeless Jazz standards and pop songs.