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W.C. Handy Music Festival Headliners


 

 

 

 

 

2012
The Blind Boys
of Alabama

2011
The Drive By
Truckers

2011
The Decoys

 

2011
Spooner Oldham

 

2011
Donnie Fritts

 

Walt Aldridge
John Amos
Harlem Blues and Jazz Band
Roy Ayers
Take 6

2010
Walt Aldridge

 

2009
John Amos

 

2008
Harlem Blues
& Jazz band


2008
Roy Ayers

 

2007
Take 6

 

Bonnie Bramlett
The Capricorn Rhythm Section
Henry Butler
Ellis Marsalis

2006
Bonnie Bramlett

 

2006
The Capricorn
Rhythm Section


2006
Henry Butler

 

2005
Ellis Marsalis

 



*2004
The Legends of
Jazz with
Handy Allstars

 

Clarence Carter
Roy Ayers
Bobby Blue Bland
Percy Sledge
Little Milton

2003
Clarence Carter

 


**2002
Roy Ayers &the
Legends of Jazz
with Handy Allstars

 

2001
Bobby "Blue"
Bland

 

2000
Percy Sledge

 

1999
Little Milton

 

Freddy Cole
Hank Crawford & Jimmy Mcgriff
Charlie Byrd
Herb Ellis
Mundell Lowe


1998
Freddy Cole

 


1997
Hank Crawford
& Jimmy Mcgriff

 

***1996
Charlie Byrd

 

***1996
Herb Ellis

 

***1996
Mundell Lowe

 

Phil Woods Quintet
Diane Reeves
Billy Taylor Trio
Diane Shuur
Ramsey Lewis Trio


1995
Phil Woods
Quintet

 


1994
Diane Reeves

 


1993
Billy Taylor Trio

 


1992
Diane Shuur

 


1991
Ramsey Lewis
Trio

 

Jimmy Smith
Anne Hampton
Nancy Wilson
Mike Sheppard
Cleveland-Eaton Trio

1990
Jimmy Smith

 



1989
Anne Hampton
Callaway

 


1988
Nancy Wilson

 


1987
Mike Shepherd

 



1986
Cleveland-Eaton
Trio

 

Carrie Smith
Roberta Flack
Manhattan Transfer
Dizzy Gillespie


1984-1985
Carrie Smith

 


1983
Roberta Flack

 


1983
Manhattan Transfer

 


1982
Dizzy Gillespie

 

*2004 The Legends of Jazz with Handy Allstars; Photo not available.

**Note: The Handy Allstars are made up nationally and internationally known artists with a wealth of talent
and musical experience who come home to Handy each year from all over the United States to play
together in the Shoals area throughout Festival week. When they get together, it is difficult to
believe that the only time these artists really have an opportunity to play together is during Festival
Week, a wonderful testament to their abilities. Many have played with internationally known stars,
and are very well respected in the music arena, both by other artists, and the listeners who enjoy
and purchase their music. MPS is honored to present to the Shoals some of the best musicians in
the world. We refer to them as our crème de la crème musicians. They vary from year to year, but
have included Rick Bell, John Blount, James Fowler, Donnie Fritts, Laszlo Gardony, Bill Goodwin,
Tim Goodwin, Ike Harris, Sonny Harris, Holly Hofmann, Hilary Jones, Gary Lamb, Howard Lamb,
Mundell Lowe, Gary Motley, Johnny O’Neal, Jack Pearson, Chuck Redd, Robert Redd, Mike
Shepherd, Denise Thimes, Neal Starkey, Ken Watters, Lloyd Wells, Tom Wolfe.

*** The Great Guitars 1996


While this list does not include all of our Allstars, Handy Allstar Bio Briefs give an idea as to the caliber of
musicians presented by the W.C. Handy Music Festival.

>> Rick Bell (Saxophone) has had a career as a film animator and jazz musician, beginning his career
as a member of the Auburn Knights Orchestra and is a charter member of Rod Henley’s Hotlanta
Jazz Singers.

>> Donnie Fritts (Keyboard, Songwriter) was the keyboard player for two decades for Kris
Kristofferson, appeared in three Sam Peckinpah movies and will appear in a special tribute to Ray
Charles featuring one of the many songs he has written, “We Had It All:”

>> Bill Goodwin (Drums) has worked with Stan Getz, George Shearing, Gerry Mulligan, Manhattan
Transfer, June Christy as well as being a charter member of the Phil Woods Quintet.

>> Tim Goodwin (Bass), a member of the faculty of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of
Memphis (TN), has performed with the Department of Defense Goodwill Ambassador Program.

>> Ike Harris (Bass) has performed professionally with Boots Randolph, Floyd Cramer, Danny Davis
and on the General Jackson Riverboat.

>> Sonny Harris (Drums) attended Auburn University (AL) and has been playing professionally since
he was 15 and began with the Joe Keracher Band in Alabama.

>> Holly Hofmann (Flute) is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of
North Colorado and has worked with Mundell Lowe, James Moody, Slide Hampton and others.

>> Gary Lamb (Vocal, Trumpet, Flute) has performed as a trumpeter with Johnny Mathis, Four Tops
and others, as a vocalist with the US Naval Academy Band, and at the Piccolo Spoletto Festival.

>> Howard Lamb (Trombone) was lead trombone for the US Navy’s Commodores and has performed
with Nancy Wilson, Herb Ellis, and is the leader of the Memphis Jazz Orchestra.

>> Mundell Lowe (Guitar, Composer, Arranger) has worked with Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker,
Charles Mingus, extensively in film and television and has been inducted into the Mississippi
Music Hall of Fame.

>> Gary Motley (Keyboard) teaches Jazz Improvisation at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and has
been a featured artist on Marian McPartland’s NPR series “Piano Jazz”.

>> Johnny O’Neal (Keyboard) has worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Sara Vaughn, Wynton
Marsalis, Art Blakey and others

>> Jack Pearson (Guitar) has worked with Delbert McClinton, Gregg Allman, Jimmy Hall, Lee Roy
Parnell and others, and has worked extensively as a studio musician

>> Chuck Redd (Vibraphone) has toured with Dr. Billy Taylor, Marian McPartland, Ray Brown, Mel
Torme and others, and works regularly with his brother, pianist Robert Redd.

>> Robert Redd (Keyboard) a familiar face amongst artists performing at the White House, performs
often with his brother, percussionist Chuck Redd, in the Washington DC area , is on faculty at
Montgomery College in Rockville MD and has been a member of the Keter Betts Quartet and the
Charlie Byrd Trio.

>> Mike Shepherd (Drums, Composer) , retired as instructor at the Armed Forces School of Music,
Norfolk VA, has performed with the Navy Commodores, Maynard Ferguson, Clark Terry, etc.

>> Denise Thimes (Vocal) Actress and vocalist is a regular part of the St. Louis, MO music and
theatre scene and has appeared in film and television.

>> Neal Starkey (Bass) has recorded with Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, the CBS Allstars,
performed with Barney Kessel, Kenny Barron, and the Georgia State University Faculty Jazztet.

>> Ken Watters (Trumpet) studied at the University of North Texas, the Manhattan School of Music,
was first place winner of the International Trumpet Guilds Jazz Improvisation Competition, and
has performed with Herbie Mann, Frank Sinatra, Clark Terry and others.

>> Lloyd Wells (Guitar, Composer, Arranger) was creative director for Opryland USA and was
guitarist for Sesame Street, Electric Company, Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson shows and has
been inducted into the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame.

>> Tom Wolfe (Guitar) is Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Alabama. He is a teacher and
clinician as well as performer throughout the region.


 

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