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Laury Shelley and Russell Ferrante at the Jazz Showcase

The year was 2014 and I remember being so excited to be going to hear for the first time the incredible R&B jazz fusion group the "Yellow Jackets" at the Jazz Showcase. Well what can I say, the Yellow Jackets totally blew me away, wow!!! They were not just a jazz group but were much more. They way they crossed over and melded music like gospel, jazz, R&B was brilliant!!! Their original compositions were fantastic and each musician was excellent in their own right.

I met all the guys and they were equally as nice as they were talented. I especially enjoyed meeting and talking music with pianist/keyboardist Russell Ferrante, who was so warm and friendly and interested in what I was doing as a vocalist and songwriter. What I came to learn about Russell was that he toured with Joni Mitchel and also began working as a freelance writer, arranger and producer for numerous recordings including those by Bobby McFerrin and Al Jarreau. He was also one of the co-founders of the Yellow Jackets.

A great night of music and a wonderful memory!

Laury & Russell Ferrante

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