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ArTIST SPOTLIGHT

We are pleased to announce the final musician in the 2022 Charles River Jazz Fest lineup! An artist who seeks to push the boundaries of the perception of the human voice.

Debo Ray is a leading vocalist in Boston and New York’s elite Jazz and World Music circles. Debo is a spirited and cooperative collaborator, having shared stages with multiple Grammy award winners such as Bobby McFerrin, Esperanza Spalding, Antonio Sanchez, and Terri Lyne Carrington.

She is featured in Carrington’s latest Grammy-winning project, Social Science. Debo is also well known as a featured vocalist and music director of the award-winning, critically acclaimed group, Women of the World, who regularly tours internationally and has performed on such stages as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Newport Jazz Festival.

Learn more about Debo Ray at iamdeboray.com

Next in the lineup for the 2022 Charles River Jazz Fest is Boston-based band New Legaxy.

New Legaxy is a Boston-based band led by New Orleans drummer Brian Richburg, that blends jazz sensibility, sampled beats and breezy vocals. Richburg is often joined by Josh Porter, Arlo Sims, Daniel Abraham, and Evenson Vincent, among many more. The group has partnered with Lululemon to curate and host a monthly jam session, all of which have sold out. The band's debut EP, Summer Songs, came out in late 2020, and its follow-up is due this summer.

Brian Richburg Jr. was born and raised in New Orleans, and began playing in his father's church at an early age. While growing up, he was exposed to the diverse sounds and cultures that define the uniqueness of that city. Richburg's drumming incorporates the African and Caribbean inspired rhythms of the New Orleans street bands. He has appeared with Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison Jr., Ellis Marsalis, Christian Scott, Delfeayo Marsalis, Amina Figarova, and many others.

 

Learn more about New Legaxy at instagram.com/newlegaxy_

Next up in the lineup for the Charles River Jazz Fest is Seba Molnar.

Seba Molnar is a saxophonist, composer, and educator, based out of Boston, Massachusetts. Originally from Canton New York Seba began performing at the age of 12. Seba moved to Boston in 2012 to attend the Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, Seba had the opportunity to study with world-renowned saxophonists George Garzone, Bill Pierce, and Tia Fuller. 

 

Seba has made a name for himself as an in demand saxophonist both as a side man and leading his own groups. Seba has played and recorded with Grammy nominated artist Debo Ray, jazz legend George Garzone, as well as Mighty Mystic, Java Jukebox, Kat Wright, The Collective and many more.

Seba frequently plays in Boston and around the greater New England area. Seba has also played a number of festivals like BAM’S Fest, Newton Festival of the Arts, Burlington Discover Jazz Fest and in August 2021 headlined and helped organize the first annual Charles River Jazz Festival in Boston, MA. Seba’s talents have led him to be featured on national TV and radio. 

Though his music is heavily rooted in jazz, Seba’s curiosity for new sounds and innovation has enabled him to create a wide array of music that transcends genre.  In March 2020, Seba released his debut album “Level Up”, featuring mentor George Garzone, with Jens Sweeting, Soso Gelovani, and Clemens Grassman.

Learn more about Seba Molnar at sebamolnar.com

Next in the lineup for the 2022 Charles River Jazz Fest is guitarist, composer and educator Caio Afiune.

Caio Afiune has spent the last ten years making a lasting impression on the US's East Coast Jazz Scene. Caio has performed extensively as a sideman accompanying jazz giants such as Jerry Bergonzi and Christian Sands, Brazilian legends Jacques and Paula Morelenbaum, leading his own project, the Caio Afiune Quintet, and collaborating with the international collective Imagine 5.

Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Afiune’s compositions uniquely blend together the essence of Brazil, and his deep knowledge of the North American Jazz tradition. His debut album, “Caio Afiune,” received widespread acclaim. The title track, "Prebenda," was awarded an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award, and the closing track “Dido,” was not only an official finalist in the 2015 Hollywood songwriting competition, but won the 2016 Downbeat Award for best small ensemble composition.

​Since leaving his home country, Caio has been seen performing in Canada, Australia, Panama, Sweden, and touring throughout the United States. He also dedicates part of his time to share his experience, and has taught at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Boston College, as well as private lessons and workshops.

Currently, Caio is preparing to release his second album, featuring some of the greatest up and coming young jazz musicians in the Boston and New York Scene, Jessica Curran (voice), Henrique Eisenmann (piano), James Heazlewood-Dale (bass), Avery Logan (drums), Nathan Reising (alto saxophone), and Max Ridley (bass).

Learn more about Caio Afiune at caioafiune.com

This year pianist, composer, bandleader, arranger, and educator Zahili Gonzalez Zamora will be joining us.

Born in Manzanillo, Cuba, Zamora started playing piano at the age of 6 and graduated from the National School of Music with a performance degree. She feels most defined by her Cuban heritage and her status as an immigrant. Her passion for music has taken her to Canada, to South East Asia and, now, to the United States – a land of immigrants. She is always moving forward, guided and driven by her music and the need to grow as an artist and a person, to share her music and her love of life with others. She aspires to inspire; to be a messenger for a journey that is not only her own, but one that deeply resonates with others. She’s an artist who’s out of her comfort zone – her home – for the sake of her work. Her rich musical background, career experience and extraordinary improvisation skills render her a leader in the modern Latin jazz idiom and an influential, emulated musician.

In the winter of 2021, she participated in a seminar for Jazz Boston magazine: “How We Thrive – Jazz in Isolation.” The purpose was to give jazz artist ideas for staying creative in the time of pandemic. She was joined on the panel by bassist Bruce Gertz, saxophonist Gerry Bergonzi and trumpeter/composer Geoff Adams.

In 2018, with funding from The Boston Foundation, her Afro Cuban Jazz Trio, MIXCLA, released its self-titled album, which features her original tunes and arrangements. It has received critical acclaim and earned the attention of major agents locally and internationally. The album has thus far advanced in the world of jazz, adding to her accolades two nominations from the Boston Music Awards (2018 & 2019).

Learn more about Zahili Gonzalez Zamora at zahilizamora.com