l to r: Kipper Jones, James Cobb (R2R engineer), Nadirah Shakoor, John Patti, Will MCPhaul (R2R engineer)

l to r: Kipper Jones, James Cobb (R2R engineer), Nadirah Shakoor, John Patti, Will MCPhaul (R2R engineer)

We’ve had several people ask for more information about the people in the recording session mentioned in our last post. So here goes:

John Patti A rising star in the steel drum community. In 1998 John was asked to make a special guest appearance at the Meeting of the Minds convention in Key West, Florida. There he had an opportunity to perform with members of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer band, including his primary influence Robert Greenidge. That event inspired John to pursue his musical passion and he lobbied to incorporate steel drums into the music programs at his local high school and into college. Since graduating from college in ’05, John has been busy combining his knowledge of business with his passion for music to pursue a successful career in the music industry. Not every school is able to have access to music programs, that is why visibility on how important they are is needed so that schools can help get the funding to bring this into education, and help students find a passion and outlet. Websites such as Save the Music can be beneficial in this area and provide a better chance for kids to be educated and hopefully go the same way as John has.

He released his first solo album in July of 2006 titled ABOVE THE FOLD which blends the warm sounds of the islands with the cool sound of jazz to find a great “island jazz” sound.

Soon after his CD release, John joined Holland America Line and their fleet of luxurious cruise ships to travel and perform around the world. John has shared stages with various recording artists over the years, including Grammy nominated Nadirah Shakoor, CMA finalist for “instrumentalist of the year” Doyle Grisham, Nashville based Michael Utley and world renowned pannist Robert Greenidge, as well as musical legend and inventor Les Paul in New York City.

Nadirah ShakoorGrammy nominated artist. At the tender age of five Nadirah told her parents she wanted to” be a singer like Diana Ross”. Her family migrated from Texas to California where she studied commercial voice and went on to become one of the premiere session singers in Los Angeles and a much sought after back up singer for major tours.

In 1992 she joined the Grammy Award winning Hip Hop group Arrested Development as the featured female vocalist. The group changed the face and sound of Hip Hop and received numerous awards including a Grammy, A Soul Train Award and an MTV Video award and was nominated for another Grammy with the success of their 2nd album “Zingalamaduni”. When Arrested Development disbanded Nadirah continued to tour with the groups leader, Speech, in support of his solo career. Speech then produced her solo CD “Soul Power” EMI, Japan.

In 1995 Nadirah joined Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band as a back up singer in. Her latest musical offering, “Nod to the Storyteller” is a tribute to Mr. Buffett who for the last 13 years has featured her as a part of his sold out mega concerts. Buffett fans (affectionately known as Parrotheads) have come to know and love Nadirah and claim her as their own. “Nod to the Storyteller includes Nadirah’s interpretations of popular Buffett songs like “Margaritaville”, and “Volcano”. Also notable are two duets she sings with him including “Son of a Son of a Sailor” and Eric Clapton’s “When the War is Over”.

Kipper Jones – Motown trained as a session singer at 15, during the last of the Berry Gordy era. Lead singer and founding member of the venerable Los Angeles R&B/Funk outfit, TEASE, recorded for CBS/Epic Records, under legendary record executive, Larkin Arnold; Tutored and directed by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, and celebrated R&B icon, Luther Vandross; Performed and recorded with a multi-generational mix of industry lore; Johnny Mathis, The Winans, Anita Baker, Teddy Pendergrass, Brian McKnight, Teena Marie, Eric Clapton, Charlie Wilson, Lauryn Hill, and even Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s, Sly Stone, and Brian Wilson!

But it’s been as a songwriter where the legend of Kipper Jones is most associated. From crafting the platinum initial offering of superstar singer/actress, Vanessa Williams, The Right Stuff, as well as the double platinum follow-up, The Comfort Zone, to the landmark 5 million selling Atlantic Records debut, brandy, which yielded the #1 platinum Kipper Jones compositions, “I Wanna Be Down”, “Brokenhearted”, and the record setting, “Baby”. Along the way, the debut and sophomore releases of Kenny Lattimore, (featuring the initial smash single, “Never Too Busy”), the Warner Bros. greatest hits collection, Epiphany release by R&B icon, Chaka Khan, (including the Funk/Soul classic, “Somethin’ Deep”), “In The Middle” from the iconic motion picture, The Five Heartbeats, as well as original music for the Wesley Snipes produced, Sundance Film Festival Award nominated documentary on noted Black scholar John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk.