PLAY A SAMPLE OF THEIR MUSIC BELOW:
Don’t Stay Away:
I Don’t Want To Wait In Vain:
Jazz with a West Indian Accent
Bronx-based guitarist Andy Bassford’s Jazz Conspiracy brings improvised music to the community. Before it was enshrined as an art form, jazz was originally dance music for working people, and the Jazz Conspiracy hasn’t forgotten. Beginning in 2015, the group has made a name for itself in the Caribbean neighborhoods of Brooklyn and the Bronx by improvising on songs and rhythms popular with West Indians as well as the traditional jazz repertoire.
Guitar and leader
A Hartford native, Andy has performed and recorded with a who’s who of reggae since his recording debut on Horace Andy’s classic “In The Light” in 1977. He has been a first call reggae session player in Kingston and New York for decades, most recently appearing on the new Sting-Shaggy album “44/876.” Andy’s enormous discography includes eight Grammy-nominated albums (and two Grammy winners). He’s on both a platinum album with Bajan superstar Rihanna and a Billboard #1 folk album with Natalie Merchant. Andy has also toured extensively with Dennis Brown, Yellowman, Toots and the Maytals, Gregory Isaacs, Marcia Griffiths, and Super Cat. He currently appears with Jamaican jazz icon Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express and reggae bass legend Derrick Barnett’s Statement Band. Andy’s first solo album, “The Harder They Strum,” was released in April 2018. www.andybassford.com
Mitch has been a fixture in the NYC music scene since his debut with R&B singer Evelyn Champagne King. A student of bebop master Tony Aless, Mitch has recorded and toured with R&B legends Cornell Dupree and Stuff featuring Gordon Edwards. He’s worked with reggae icons Toots and the Maytals and master drummer Winston Grennan. Mitch has also played with rockers Graham Parker and Popa Chubby and blues legends Otis Rush and Hubert Sumlin. Equally adept at piano and organ, Mitch is currently the music director at a Harlem church and teaches privately. He performs regularly for the Jazz Foundation of America’s New York City concert series. Mitch also appears with popular jazz trumpeter/vocalist Joey Morant.
Camille Gainer Jones
The self-described “Girl From Queens” is one of the busiest and most versatile drummers in New York City. An Army veteran, Camille has played jazz with Tom Browne, Roy Ayers, Lonnie Liston Smith, Jean Carn, Noel Pointer, and Steve Coleman. She’s played R&B with JT Taylor, Roberta Flack, and Angela Bofill and reggae with Tanya Stephens, Sugar Minott, and Capleton. Camille has played hip hop with MC Shan and Heavy D, and even rocked out with Cyndi Lauper and Joan Jett. Currently she freelances, leads her own groups, and teaches at the Drummers’ Collective. www.camillegainerjones.com
Denzil (DJ) Simpson
DJ grew up in Jamaica, England, and Connecticut. His interest in music was triggered by his father and his uncle, selectors for a popular UK sound system. DJ took up bass as a teenager and made his professional performing debut shortly afterwards with Hartford’s Rhythm Force, backing reggae great Horace Andy. After helping Rhythm Force become a top regional attraction, DJ relocated to Florida. There he worked extensively with Damian Marley, Kymani Marley, Benaiah, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, and John Holt, as well as many local artists. Recently DJ returned to the Hartford area and currently appears with Rhythm Force.
Tia was singing before she could talk and hasn’t stopped since. Beginning her reggae career along with Andy Bassford in Hartford’s Mighty Venturians, Andy and Tia made their recording debut together on Horace Andy’s “In The Light.” Tia then joined DJ Simpson in Rhythm Force, one of New England’s top reggae bands. A captivating performer who is equally adept at singing lead or harmonizing, Tia has worked in Florida as well as New York City for extended periods. She’s also performed or recorded with Marcia Griffiths, Glen Washington, Dennis Brown, John Holt, Steel Pulse, Sister Carol, Apple, and many others. Tia has recently rejoined DJ Simpson in a revived Rhythm Force.
James K. Smith
James is one of the busiest freelance trumpeters in New York City. A great soloist with a burnished tone and serious reading skills, he is seemingly everywhere. Originally from Salisbury, Virginia, James began his trumpet studies at an early age and honed his craft in the US Army and Air Force bands, as well as at North Texas State. James toured extensively with R&B legends Johnny Taylor and Billy Paul. He also recorded and toured with Burning Spear for twelve years. Additional credits include Aswad, Steel Pulse, and the Skatalites. James was also the trumpeter in the Tony-nominated Broadway show “The Full Monty.”