Music and Arts Education as an Alternative Form of Therapy

The 1st Annual "Family Jamm!" - Participating Artists

December 13, 2003

LEARN MORE >> Participating Artists

READ >> What the Fans Are Saying



Patti Labelle

Patti LaBelle is one of the most recognized names in popular music. With nearly 30 albums she's recorded in various incarnations (in the '60s as leader of Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles, in the '70s with Labelle and since 1977, as a soloist), she's had 30 charted singles including "Lady Marmalade", "If Only You Knew", "New Attitude", "On My Own", (a duet with Michael McDonald), and more recent hits like "Somebody Loves You Baby", "When You've Been Blessed", and "When You Talk About Love". Among the artists she's worked with throughout her amazing career was Prince, who wrote several songs for her including "Yo Mister", which dealt with teen pregnancy. Among her accolades, she's received 2 Grammy Awards, seven NAACP Image Awards (including the coveted Entertainer of the Year Award, 1996), three Emmy nominations, two American Music Awards, a Cable Ace Award and the Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award. The author of two best-selling books - autobiography Don't Block The Blessings and the 1999 cookbook, LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About - she has starred in her own prime-time television specials and weekly television series, "Out All Night".


In addition to her amazing career, Patti's work as a humanitarian is legendary. A diabetic herself, Patti has served as a spokesperson for the American Diabetic Association. Her "Patti LaBelle Medical Education Scholarship Fund" is administered through the National Medical Association, and she's served as the spokesperson for the National Minority AIDS Council' s "Live Long Sugar" campaign; and the National Cancer Institute.

VIEW >> Patti Labelle's Official Website



Chaka Khan

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Chaka Khan - award-winning singer, songwriter, and community advocate - first burst on the music scene as the lead singer for Rufus, one of the first multi-racial bands of its time. The band earned one platinum album, five gold albums, five gold singles, five No. 1 hits and two Grammy awards with hits including "Sweet Thing", "Tell Me Something Good", and "Ain't Nobody". Chaka's solo successes included mega-hits "I'm Every Woman", "I Feel For You", written by Prince, and "Through the Fire". Chaka has recorded nine albums and been honored with five Grammy Awards. She's worked with the who's who of the music world, including her dear friend Joni Mitchell, world-class producer Quincy Jones, Prince, Gladys Knight, Manhattan Transfer, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Lionel Hampton, Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, Stanley Clarke, Ry Cooder, Bruce Hornsby, Brandy, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Miles Davis, and countless others. Her latest album, "Come 2 My House", was released in 1999, and her autobiography, Chaka: Through the Fire was released in 2003. Her Chaka Khan Foundation is dedicated to helping at-risk women and children by educating society's future leaders, children, and their first teachers, mothers. VIEW >> Chaka Khan's Official Website



Nicole Parker

Star of the successful Showtime series "Soul Food", Nicole Parker is also known for roles in movies such as "Brown Sugar", "Remember the Titans", "Blue Streak", "Boogie Nights", and her breakthrough performance in "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love." She was a presenter at the Family Jamm!



Sheila E.

With her hits "The Glamorous Life" and "A Love Bizarre", Sheila E. made a name for herself on the pop charts. Playing with many of the "who's who" in music throughout her career, including Stevie Wonder, George Duke, Tito Puente, Marvin Gaye, Pete Escovedo and Prince, Sheila is one of the most respected drummers and percussionists in music today. In 1998, Sheila became the first female late-night bandleader in television history. Along with her manager, Lynn Mabry, Sheila launched the Elevate Hope Foundation, which provides abused, abandoned and severely emotionally disturbed children with exceptional care by promoting a healthy self-awareness through music, the arts and human compassion.

VIEW >> Sheila E.'s Official Website



Carmen Electra

The always charming and delightful actress and singer, star of "MTV" and "Baywatch", starred in the movie "Starsky and Hutch". Carmen served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.



Wendy and Lisa

Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, the "Girl Bros." from Prince's backing band, The Revolution, played with the band on some of Prince's biggest hit songs, including "Purple Rain", "Kiss", "Let's Go Crazy", "Raspberry Beret" and more. Lisa joined the Revolution in 1980, while Wendy joined in 1983, and both stayed in the band until 1986. Wendy and Lisa also have a successful solo career, releasing 4 albums, and are busy scoring movies and television shows.

VIEW >> Wendy and Lisa's Official Website



Jill Jones

The Ohio native started her professional career at age 15 singing backup for Teena Marie (then managed by Jill's Mom). By the age of 18 she shared vocals with Prince on such hits as "1999", "Lady Cab Driver" and "Automatic", as well as roles in his movies "Purple Rain" and "Graffiti Bridge". A recording contract with Prince's Paisley Park Records followed, and her debut self-titled album was released in 1987. Jill has also backed Sinead O' Connor (on her "Faith & Courage" publicity tour) and Chic (Live at the Budokan), and has collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Nellie Hooper, Tim Simenon and John Reynolds. Her latest album "Two", released in 2001, was written, produced, and performed with Seal co-writer Chris Bruce.

VIEW >> Jill Jones' Official Website



Eric Leeds

Saxophonist Eric Leeds has played with Prince for nearly 20 years, touring with Prince on many of his tours including his "Sign o' the Times" and "Lovesexy" tours in the 1980s and his recent "One Night Alone" tour in 2002. Eric has accompanied other well known artists such as George Benson, Carmen Electra, Chaka Khan, Jimmy McGriff, The Family, Sheila E., and Madhouse, just to name a few. An accomplished musician on the saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute and horn, Leeds joined several of his old bandmates in The Family and Madhouse at the Family Jamm! for the first time since 1987.



Jerome Benton

"Hey Jesse, now Jerome, yes...oweeoweeoh!" is a familiar line to one of The Time's biggest hits, "Jungle Love". Best known for his work with Morris Day and The Time, with whom Jerome still tours, Jerome Benton has also had prominent roles in the movies Purple Rain, Under The Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge. Benton is the younger brother of former Time guitarist (and mega-producer) Terry Lewis. With The Time, Jerome plays Morris Day's "valet" on stage, as well as percussion and sings backing vocals. In addition to his music and acting, Jerome has written a play. He has also performed with the band The Family.




Apollonia starred opposite Prince in the movie "Purple Rain." She and her band, Apollonia 6, recorded a self-titled album which included the hit song "Sex Shooter." Prince and Apollonia also sang with Prince on the song "Take Me With U" from the Purple Rain soundtrack. She's currently an actress, having starred in movies and television shows.




BrownMark, bass player for The Revolution, joined the band during the Controversy tour in 1981, where he played until 1986. Mark also appeared in the movie Purple Rain. In 1988, BrownMark landed a solo recording contract with Motown. This career move was fueled by a track record of proven successes with the rock group, Mazarati (one of BrownMark's creations), Chico DeBarge, Troop, Georgio, Stacy Latisaw, Teen Dream, Sheila E., and LakeSide, to name a few. BrownMark debuted his solo album "Just Like That" on Motown in the late 80's with the single "Next Time". His second CD release on Motown was titled "Bang Bang". Collaborating with his former boss, Prince, BrownMark attempted to reintroduce himself as the funky bassist he was known to be. Mark plays with the Minnesota-based rock band Cryptic.



Bobby Z.

Drummer from The Revolution, Bobby Z. played with the band from 1979-1986. Also a successful producer and songwriter, Bobby Z. worked with influential artists such as Boy George, Aswad, Manhattan Transfer, Alexander O'Neal, Peter Blakeley, Eric Leeds, Colin Hay (Men at Work), Jonny Lang, George Thorogood, Wendy and Lisa, and others. He also wrote the song "River Run Dry" on The Family's eponymous album. He released a solo cd, called Bobby Z., in 1989.



Matt "Dr." Fink

Matt "Doctor" Fink was the surgical scrub-wearing keyboard player in several of Prince's bands, from his earliest touring band in 1978 with the band that would become known as "The Revolution" through the "Sign o' the Times" band and finally the New Power Generation. Classically trained, Fink collaborated with Prince on many of his albums, including Dirty Mind, Controversy, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Parade and Sign O' the Times. Since leaving the band in 1991, "The Doctor" has been spending his time in his Minneapolis recording studio, StarVu, producing artists, music for video games, and soundtrack music.

VIEW >> Matt "Dr." Fink's Official Website



St. Paul Peterson

Lead singer of "The Family" and former "The Time" member "St. Paul" Peterson, whose band "The Family" recorded the original version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" and also had a hit with their song "The Screams of Passion". He also appeared in the movie "Purple Rain". St. Paul performed with "The Family" at the Family Jamm!

VIEW >> St. Paul Peterson's Official Website



Susannah Melvoin

For Susannah Melvoin, it's obvious that music runs in the family. Her father is legendary jazz keyboard player Michael Melvoin, and Susannah has been a long-standing member of her twin sister's band, Wendy & Lisa. She was also a member of The Family. Susannah has written for and performed with influential artists and producers such as Quincy Jones, Trevor Horn, Don Smith, Don Was, William Orbit, Tchad Blake, Mitchell Froome, Prince, Seal, Madonna, Mike Oldfield, Eric Clapton and B. B. King, The Grid, Neil Finn of Crowded House, and her husband Doyle Bramhall II.



Miko Weaver

Former guitarist for Prince on both his Sign O' the Times and Lovesexy tours, Miko Weaver also played guitar with Sheila E. in her original band from the Purple Rain tour. Among the bands he's played with since leaving Prince's band, Miko has his own band called Miko and the Boombox.



Jellybean Johnson

Drummer for The Time and also The Family, Jellybean Johnson performed on all of The Time's albums, playing on classics such as "777-9311", "Jungle Love" and "The Bird". Among Jellybean's other talents, he also plays the guitar, produced Ronnie Baker Brooks and has written and produced songs for Janet Jackson, New Edition, Alexander O'Neal, Karyn White, Nona Hendryx, and many more. He also appeared in the movies "Purple Rain", "Graffiti Bridge", and "Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back", and recorded with Patti LaBelle, George Michael and Human League.



Juan Escovedo

Keeping with the "family element" in the Family Jamm!, percussionist Juan Escovedo, younger brother of Sheila E., has played with Prince, Patti LaBelle, Barry White, M.C. Hammer, El DeBarge, Lou Bega, En Vogue, the Pete Escovedo Orchestra and Sheila E.'s original band from the Purple Rain tour. He has been featured in several movies and videos, including "Krush Groove", "Jack", "Ford Fairlane", "Chasing Papi" and the "Romance 1600 Live" and "Purple Rain" tour videos. Juan is working on his own CD.



Karl Perazzo

Karl Perazzo, percussionist whose credits read like a "who's who" of music, played with Sheila E. in her "Romance 1600" band in 1986. Aside from playing in her band, Perazzo has performed and recorded with Santana, Mariah Carey, Dizzy Gillespie, Malo, Prince, Phish, The United Nations Orchestra and John Lee Hooker. Currently he is in Carlos Santana's touring band playing timbales. He's also released a CD, titled "Just Another Day in the Park".

VIEW >> Karl Perazzo's Official Website



Benny Rietveld

Benny Rietveld has played with some of the biggest names in popular music today, playing bass, writing, producing and touring with Santana since 1990. He has collaborated with Dave Matthews, Rob Thomas (of Matchbox 20), and Michelle Branch, to name a few artists. Benny won 8 Grammy Awards for his appearance on Santana's 1999 blockbuster hit album "Supernatural". He toured with Sheila E., whom he joined in 1984, and opened for Prince as a member of her band on his acclaimed "Purple Rain" tour. He also appeared with Sheila E. in several videos and in the seminal rap film "Krush Groove". Among his other career highlights, Benny has played with legends and diverse acts such as Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker, Booker T. Jones, Pete Escovedo and Ray Obiedo. Benny‘s first solo album, "Mystery Of Faith", was released in 2001. Picture: Jean Morrison.

VIEW >> Official Benny Rietveld Website



Susie Davis

The daughter of a disc jockey, Susie Davis joined Sheila E.'s band in 1984, as part of the opening act for Prince's Purple Rain tour, performing nightly with Prince and the Revolution on keyboards and backing vocals and guitar. She has worked with many artists over the years since leaving Sheila's band in 1986, including Van Morrison, Billy Idol, Belinda Carlisle, Mick Jagger, Deborah Harry, Sinead O'Connor, Melissa Etheridge, Go West, Patty Smythe, Daryl Hall and Pat Benatar, and has also played on many albums and appeared in over 25 music videos with the same artists, as well as with Michael Jackson, Tracy Chapman, Hall and Oates, Jill Sobule, and Greg Kihn. She joined Sheila E.'s "Romance 1600" band at the Family Jamm!



Stef Burns

Guitarist Stef Burns started playing his dad's guitar around age 6. He joined Sheila E.'s band in 1984, playing in her touring band, and on two of her albums: "Romance 1600" and "Sheila E.". Stef has also recorded and toured with Berlin, Michael Bolton, and many more. He appeared in the movie "Wayne's World" with Alice Cooper's band, with which Stef played from 1991 to 1995. In addition, Stef has done solo albums, TV and radio commercials, film score work and live shows for various artists and producers including Narada Michael Walden and Quincy Jones. Since 1989, Stef has had his own band "Stef Burns Group", and plays a lot of gigs around the San Francisco Bay Area. He has an album out called "Swamp Tea". Stef is currently touring the U.S. with Huey Lewis and the News.

VIEW >> Stef Burns Official Website



Kat Dyson

Performing with the "house band" at the Family Jamm!, guitarist-vocalist, composer and artist Kat Dyson was a featured guitarist/vocalist with Prince as a member of the New Power Generation. Aside from being in her band Colour Kommentary, she has performed with dozens of music superstars, including Cyndi Lauper, Tony Rich, D'Angelo, BB King, Chaka Khan, Carlos Santana, Sheila E., Stevie Wonder, Deborah Cox, Ivan Neville, Bruce Willis, Donny Osmond, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, Smokey Robinson, UB40, Ben E. King, Bo Diddley, Odetta, Celine Dion and Etta James. Kat is also a soloist for the world renowned Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir and is featured on many of their albums.

VIEW >> Kat Dyson's Official Website



Raymond McKinley

Raymond McKinley is an accomplished bassist, producer, studio engineer and tour and production manager. He has worked with some of the most recognized names in music today, including Destiny‘s Child, Faith Evans, Sheila E., Philip Bailey, Patti LaBelle, Toni Braxton, Pete Escovedo, Tony Toni Tone, Rachelle Ferrell, Eric Benet, George Duke and Al Jarreau. He has also appeared on numerous television shows, including the Arsenio Hall Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Soul Train. Raymond was musical director for as well as played with the "house band" during the Family Jamm! concert.


READ >> What the fans are saying about Family Jamm!

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