Liviu Pop & Friends

One of Connecticut’s best-kept secrets is drummer Liviu Pop.  Born and raised in Romania during the communist regime, Liviu and his wife, Raluca, left their native country 15 years ago to make a new life for themselves in the USA. At the time of this decision, Liviu was holding the drum position in one of Romania’s top Pop/Rock bands. Liviu knew he had hit the ceiling of a musician’s career in Romania, and that fact, coupled with his deep devotion to American Blues Music prompted the move. With very little money in their pockets and only a basic grasp of English, the couple made their way west.

Liviu Pop is a versatile drummer who plays a wide variety of genres, including blues, soul, funk, jazz, electronic and experimental. He was inducted into the Connecticut Blues Hall of Fame in 2018. He has played all over the region, much of New England, the United States, and still returns to Europe three or four times a year. He has performed with a virtual who’s who of blues artists, including Hubert Sumlin, Sam Lay, Lucky Peterson, Debbie Davies, Lil’ Dave Thompson, and Toni Lynn Washington.



The Phantom Blues Band

The Phantom Blues Band Are An Internationally Renowned Two-Time Grammy Award Winning Group. Together and separately, these six men have contributed to Blues and Rock and Roll musical history as session players and sidemen with scores of artists including Taj Mahal, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Little Feat, Jimi Hendrix, John Fogerty, Elton John, Leon Russell, Gregg Allman, Ziggy Marley, The Rolling Stones and many more. The Phantom Blues Band explores everything from Texas Blues to Memphis Soul with an injection of Reggae for good measure.

Tony Braunagel – Drums and Percussion

Tony started playing in Houston, Texas in the mid-sixties eventually making his way to England where he worked as studio drummer for Island Records. In the early eighties Tony moved to Los Angeles where he found work touring and recording with the likes of Eric Burdon, Rickie Lee Jones, Bette Midler and Bonnie Raitt.

Larry Fulcher – Bass Guitar

Larry was born in Houston, Texas and soon began his musical career singing in church at the tender age of five. At age thirteen, Larry moved to Southern California and by fifteen, was playing in bands. Larry went on to record with Smokey Robinson and The Crusaders and during the eighties toured and recorded (keyboards and guitar)with many reggae artists, including The Wailers,Third World and Andrew Tosh.

Mike Finnigan – Keyboards / Organ / Vocals

Mike Finnigan has toured and has been a session musician for Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Sam Moore, Crosby Stills and Nash, Dave Mason, Buddy Guy, Manhattan Transfer, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald, Maria Muldaur, Peter Frampton, Cher, Ringo Starr, Leonard Cohen, Tower of Power, Rod Stewart, David Coverdale, Tracy Chapman, Los Lonely Boys, and Bonnie Raitt

Joe Sublett – Saxophone

Grammy and W.C. Handy Award winner, Joe Sublett started his career as part of the 1970s Austin blues scene playing tenor sax with Paul Ray and The Cobras alongside a twenty-one year old Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Cobras, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble played a big part in defining Austin, Texas as the music city it has become in the last several decades.

Johnny Lee Schell – Guitar / Vocals

Johnny Lee got his start in music working with Norman Petty, the famed producer who was responsible for Buddy Holly in Clovis, New Mexico, Johnny Lee left home in Farwell, Texas with his band “Baby” for a life adventure in music.




Kevin Powell and Company

Kevin Powell is a professional musician based out of the Hartford, Connecticut. Born into a family of musicians & singers, Kevin’s musical roots began in the church & since, has grown to become a highly respected musician who has performed with & produced for many artists in the music industry such as: (Kim Burrell, Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond etc.) Kevin has done various tours throughout the Country of Japan for over the last 14 years with his father & Legendary Gospel Jazz Musician “Hubert Powell” & The Heavenly Choir. Kevin is also a national musician with the Churches of God in Christ (COGIC) with over 7 million members world wide and he has traveled all over the world spreading God’s love through the joy and power of music.



Adam Hawley

Six #1 hits. 60+ dates per year. Adam’s first two albums stormed up the charts in unprecedented fashion setting the stage for his third release, “Escape.” The album features guest appearances by Najee, Rick Braun, Michael Lington, Marcus Anderson, Jeff Ryan and Kat Hawley.

Adam signed with Kalimba Music (founded by Maurice White of Earth, Wind, & Fire) in August 2015. His first offering on the Kalimba label features Brian Culbertson, Gerald Albright, Euge Groove, Eric Darius and Michael Lington. And in 2016, Adam was been named both Smooth Jazz News and JazzTrax Debut Artist of the Year.

Adam has also been a guitarist to the stars, appearing with a who’s who list of artists in a wide variety of genres. Credits include Dave Koz, Jennifer Lopez, Brian Culbertson, Natalie Cole, Brian McKnight, and American Idol to name just a few.

He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California and currently teaches at Musician’s Institute, Chaffey College, and Saddleback College.



Matt Marshak

One of the most unique guitar players/vocalists, whose style bridges virtually all genres, brings forth his new singer songwriter release “Simple Man.” His credits include two #1 songs as a jazz guitarist, his own line of Pulaski furniture called  “Rhythm and Home,” and tour credits that span the globe. With ten albums as a jazz and blues guitarist under his belt, the new album “Simple Man” adds his incredibly unique and soulful voice to the mix.

The new album “Simple Man” features eleven songs.  Four co-written with Nashville writers Cara Hogan and country music veteran Steve Dean. Dean’s writing includes #1 hits for Reba Mcentire, Rodney Atkins, Waylon Jennings, George Strait, Alabama, and many more. The album brings together soulful Americana, retro country twang, sweet melody, and from the heart emotion. Grammy award winning producers Ben Wisch (Marc Cohn) and Billy Hume (Infamous Stringdusters) bring their refined producing and mixing skills to this album. Eddie Gore (RCA Studio C, Nashville) and Ryan Youmans (Amber Sound) contributed mixing as well.

The Nashville and New York musicians also shine on this release. Michael Webb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlisle) brings the keyboards, Andy Ellison (Jon Pardi) adds the pedal steel guitar, Chris Marshak (Steve Winwood) lays down the groove, Alex Wright (Brett Eldridge), Pat Falco, Jon Preddice(Miles to Dayton), Sean Michael Ray, Benjie Porecki, Christian Dorn also showcase their talents on the new release.



Eric Darius

For Eric Darius there are no limitations when it comes to breaking new ground. Internationally known as an elite Jazz/R&B/Pop Saxophonist, Songwriter, Producer, and Performer, Darius recently dropped, “L.O.V.E Feat. Brian Culbertson” the third single from his seventh studio album, Breakin’ Thru, which debuted at #2 on the iTunes Top 40 Jazz Albums Chart.

This project is an extra special milestone for Darius as it is his first release via his own independent label, SagiDarius Music. The title track and debut single for Breakin’ Thru has been a staple on Contemporary Jazz radio reaching #1 on the Billboard Charts, as well as his second single Dare 2 Dream, which reached the Top 5 on the Billboard Charts.

Breakin’ Thru features 10 original songs with co-production by Darius, Rodney Jones, Jr. (Chris Brown, Mary Mary, Mary J. Blige) and Butta N’ Bizkit (John Legend, Ne-Yo, Miguel, Ledisi). Eric is currently on a worldwide tour promoting the Breakin’ Thru album, dazzling audiences globally with his dynamic show.

About his foray into independence, Darius says, “I’m was really excited to finally release an album on my own record label. The timing just felt right after 15 years in the music business. Seeing how the music industry has changed over the years, I thought it was time to take a leap of faith and take complete advantage of the new technology and social media that is now at my disposal – putting the music entirely back into my own hands, giving me creative freedom, and giving the audience and fans a direct experience exactly the way I hear and feel it with no restrictions.  Breakin’ Thru is about breaking down all of the walls, barriers and boundaries, and just making good, uplifting music. It’s not about genres. When you listen to this project, you’ll hear so many elements from Hip-Hop, to R&B, Pop, Rock, Gospel, Funk, and Reggae. I don’t want to be caged or boxed in musically. The project is a true and honest representation of myself as an artist and reflects my growth as a person, musician and songwriter.”



Eric Roberson

GRAMMY Award-nominee, singer, songwriter, and producer Eric Roberson continues to break boundaries as an independent artist in an industry dominated by major labels, manufactured sounds and mainstream radio.  Described as the original pioneer of the independent movement in R&B/soul music, Eric has achieved major milestones in his career, from being a successful songwriter and producer for notable artist such as Jill ScottMusiq SoulchildDweleVivian Green and countless others, as well as headlining sold out tours across the country.
This Rahway, NJ and Howard University alum became the first independent artist to be nominated for a BET Award 2007 and was the recipient of the “Underground Artist of the Year” BETJ Virtual Award, with Rahsaan Patterson in 2008.  In addition, Eric was nominated in both 2010 and 2011 for a GRAMMY award in the “Best Urban/Alternative Performance” category and continues to blaze trails unheard of as an independent artist.  In 2011, his studio album, Mister Nice Guy, debuted in the top 5 on the iTunes R&B/Soul charts and his 10th studio album, The Box, was released in 2014.
Eric’s latest project, Wind, will be released on July 21st and digital pre-orders are available now on iTunes.  This album is the second part of a three album compilation Earth, Wind, and Fire, to be released throughout the year.  Wind features Urban Contemporary Veteran Will Downing on the single “Lyrics Of Pleasure”.
The inspiration behind the album titles definitely pays homage to the iconic group, but Eric also wanted to use music to voice some of today’s topical issues and in his special way, include personal influences into these albums.  “Earth is self-empowering, Wind is the love and Fire is the message,” says Roberson.



Odd C.Ty

Ginette Christie aka Gin “Siren” Christie was born in Hartford CT. She started dancing at the age of 6, taking tap classes at the Artist’s Collective in Hartford CT, with Mama Sheryl Smith. After a year of going to The Collective, Ginette took a break from dance. She later started attended the Artist’s Collective again at the age of 14 up until she was 18 years old. She danced had many great teachers such as Aka, Jolet Creary, Lovet, Mike Gamble, Tom etc. After Ginette left the Artist’s Collective she went on to choreograph shows, train and take classes at BDC, perform with different companies, travel around the new England area and down south to battle, as well as teaching classes in CT, and MA area. Ginette Started her brand Odd C.Ty this year, October 2019. Ginette loves to inspire and encourage people through the expression of art.

Mike ‘McKeyz’ Childs & the Music Movement Band

Mike “McKeys” Childs, born a Hartford native. Mike has travelled around the world uplifting spirits with his musical talents playing: Gospel, R&B, Jazz, Rock and Soul Music. He has dazzled and inspired many with his gift of music and his powerful performances in places such as: Japan, Korea, Portugal, Germany, Africa, Brazil, to name a few. Mike has also played for the United States Military Tours. Mike is an accomplished Musical Director and Minister of Music. God has also gifted Mike with the gift of singing. He currently is lead singer with the wall known show band, Soul Sound Revue in the New England area. Mike stays grounded because he realizes his gifts are from God. One of Mike’s biggest inspiration is, his love for his family. His beautiful wife Darlene, five Children, eight grandchildren, one brother and, to name a few mentors, Pastor Powell, Chris Big Dog Davis, Timmie Maia and a host of other musical legends who are an inspiration in his musical career. These are the ingredients that helps Mike transform into “McKeyz” when he hits the stage.




The Funky Dawgz Brass Band

The Funky Dawgz Brass Band are one of the premier touring acts on the live music scene today. Emerging from Connecticut, these young men have engulfed the spirit and traditions of New Orleans as well as earned the respect from local musicians who grew up and reside in the city. It is impossible not to enjoy yourself during a show as they play a contagious upbeat mix of traditional New Orleans R&B, original music, hip hop, funk, and today’s top hits with a brass twist.

They have toured nationally from coast to coast, as well as internationally and have been featured in all corners of the live music scene. From playing sold out shows at Madison Square Garden as the horn section for Dispatch, to Camp Bisco, to closing out The Peach Music Festival, their performances flow seamlessly from EDM festivals to jam band festivals to traditional New Orleans second line parades. They were also recently featured multiple times on national televised programming on ESPN (house band for March Madness Tournament Challenge, opening segment of First Take).

There is a reason they were featured as one of Live For Live Music’s Brass Bands You Need To Know. The Funky Dawgz are dropping jaws. These high energy horns have been featured on bills with Dispatch, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, We The Kings, Snarky Puppy, The Soul Rebels, Lettuce, The Motet, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Rebirth Brass Band, Twiddle, Turkuaz, Kung Fu, Bernard Purdie, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and the list continues.

When the band is not playing shows they are giving back to the community. The Funky Dawgz aim to connect, engage, inspire and rejuvenate music education in inner city schools across the country. The band frequently gives performances and master classes to young musicians in elementary, middle, and high schools across the region. Come see what all the hype is about.

Ain’t no party like a Funky Dawgz party, ‘cus a Funky Dawgz party don’t stop!



Jovan Alexandre

Jovan Alexandre is a New York City based saxophonist born and raised in Connecticut. He started playing music in the 7th grade in school practicing Tenor Sax each day. In 2007 he auditioned and was selected to play, debuting nationally at the GRAMMYS reception party with the Jazz Honors Ensemble. Jovan has since been touring and play with world-class musicians legend such as Kahlil BellFranklin KiermyerFrank Wess; Ralph Peterson Dezron DouglasWinard HarperCurtis Fuller and so.

Jovan has embraced many cultural and musical variation he was born into .  Jovan’s grandfather is the memorable singer Fred Parris. The single “In The Still Of The Night (I’ll Remember)” with The Five Satins was the only song to chart the BILLBOARD HOT 100  three separate times.

It is kindred parentage that Jovan shares progeny to Haiti and Japan. In his music, it created a persistance to honor them.



Jazz & Strings “Charlie Parker with Strings”

Jazz and Strings initial concert, sponsored by a grant from Lincoln Financial, was conceived and directed by Gene Bozzi. Owen McNally describes Gene in the Hartford Courant as “a professional musician who has dual citizenship in both the jazz and classical worlds”. The concert was held At Immanuel Church in Hartford in March of 2009. The performance was a celebration of the landmark Charlie Parker album from 1959, “Charlie Parker with Strings”. The audience response was so positive that it led to research of hundreds of other jazz with strings albums recorded by major jazz artists over the next 30 years. The soloists for Jazz and Strings concerts are well known contemporary vocal and instrumental jazz artists.

The mission of Jazz and Strings is to perform jazz music originally recorded by major jazz artists incorporating string instruments usually associated with classical music. The goal is to present jazz styles from swing to third stream music, in order to break down the barriers between classical music and jazz.



Brubeck Brothers

Chris and Dan Brubeck have been making music together practically all their lives. Drummer Dan and bassist, trombonist, and composer Chris cut their first record together in 1966—nearly a half century ago. They’ve subsequently played a variety of styles in a number of different groups, as well as with their father, jazz giant Dave Brubeck, and with their own Brubeck Brothers Quartet. With Dan and Chris as the foundation, guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb, complete this dynamic quartet. They perform at concert series, colleges, and jazz festivals across North America and Europe including the Newport, Detroit, Montreal, Playboy/Hollywood Bowl, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. The Quartet’s last cd, LifeTimes was a hit on the Jazz Week radio chart where it made the Top Ten list as one of the most played jazz recordings of the year. 

These versatile musicians also collaborate with or­chestras all across the U.S. as well as internationally, including  performing with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra.   With Chris Brubeck’s compositions as a vehicle, the BBQ has joined with chamber groups to collaborate with musicians from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Russian National Symphony Orchestra.

Although the Quartet’s style is rooted in “straight-ahead” jazz, their concerts reveal an inherent ability to explore and play odd time signatures while naturally integrating the influences of funk, blues and world music. The group’s creativity, technique and improvisation can be heard in their uncompromising music, which reflects their dedication to melody, rhythm, culture and the spontaneous spirit of jazz.



Jazz Mass

Returns on July 19. Mark your calendars now!

The incredible Jazz Mass featuring Ross Tucker and the Hot Cat Jazz Band will be held on Sunday, July 19, at 10:30 a.m. Note the service time change. If you’ve been at the Cathedral for a previous Jazz Mass, that’s all you need to know: you’ll want to be there. If this will be your first time, take our word for it: you won’t be sorry! Come early and be prepared to have a joyous and uplifting experience!

The preacher that Sunday will be the Rev. Susan Pinkerton, Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, West Hartford. The Celebrant will be the Rev. Tracy Johnson Russell, Rector of St. Monica’s Episcopal Church, Hartford. Other area churches will be participating. The Cathedral’s Jazz Mass is part of the famous Hartford Jazz Festival that this year takes place Friday-Saturday, July 17-19, in Bushnell Park. Thousands of persons attend the free event.