The Making of the Band of Friends
In 2015, a backing band was formed by the record label San_Ton Entertainment, in support of their recording artist, J London. The immediate re-release of his CD, “Stop On By” propelled J London’s backing track performances to be more in demand. By July of that year, the first concert date was presented in rehearsal, thus, J London and The Band of Friends was in full swing.
Although the performances are centered on Commercial Soulful Jazz, it’s tailored for radio (Smooth Jazz). Club and festival promoters like to refer to this band as a Soul Jazz Experience where the mind meets the heart, due to the mixture of original and cover vocal songs (R&B/Smooth Jazz) sung and played by the band. A combination of Al Jarreau meets Will Downing, the Columbus, Ohio band consists of the following members:
- J London – Lead Vocals: the Columbus, Ohio native is a graduate of Marion Franklin High School (1973), Fairmont State University West Virginia (1977), The Recording Workshop Chillicothe, Ohio (1978), MBA in Entertainment Business (1985). His continued entertainment education came in the form of private instruction plus internships in Los Angeles and Hollywood, California at the World Stage Vocal Workshop in South Central Los Angeles, there professional Jazz vocalist Phyllis Battle (The 5th Dimensions) stressed stage presents training and Gloria Hendri of (20th Century Pictures Studios) stage delivery, Stevie Wonder’s Black Bull Music Publishing Burbank, Ca. J London is a music producer, songwriter, and a continuing educator in the art of record production. Vocal Range: Baritone to Tenor.
- Cynthia P Carr is a native of Columbus, Ohio – a singer with her music roots found firmly in the Gospel training grounds of the African American Church community. Being around her father who is a well-known Gospel quartet singer. Cynthia found her own voice and took her art & craft plus vocal talents from high school in Columbus to the Washington, DC club circuit to sharpen her entertainment skills along with self-taught Visual Art and Crafts. Her completion of the Lincoln Theatre professional mentoring program for stage and theatre on Columbus’ Eastside. Cynthia provides lead/backing vocals. Vocal range: Alto.
- Freda Abbott Ayodele – born in Toledo, Ohio and a long time Columbus, Ohio resident, Freda is a Columbus Public Schools Art Teacher, Dancer (African Folk Tradition) and Clothing Designer, her artist skills lends itself to the lead/backing vocals is brings the Band of Friends. Vocal range: Soprano.
- Dwight Cartier is a long time resident of Columbus, Ohio, and started his music training learning saxophone through elementary and junior high schools. By high school he studied upright bass and continued to make his way as a sought after Electric Bass player in various styles (Rock, Jazz, Gospel, R&B etc.). Dwight provides a solid foundation of grooves for the Band of Friends on stage. Instrument: Electric Bass.
- T. Miller is a native of Columbus, Ohio, growing up in the South Linden community. T Miller is a self-taught guitarist. A musician with perfect pitch, his skill was put on display as he joined the band two days before a club date and learned 22 songs for the show. A contract finance auditor by day, T. Miller is a well-rounded guitarist in several styles of music. Instrument: Electric and Acoustic Guitars.
- Robert “Rasa” Holman was born in Toledo, Ohio, and is a long time resident of Columbus. He is the Director of Media at the downtown historic African American Mount Olivet Baptist Church. A long standing member of the eastside of Columbus, he traveled extensively to perfect his drum and percussion skills in traditional African drums, as well as Latin, Eastern Indian, and various cultures worldwide landing him in New Orleans, LA to play in traditional street ensembles in the French Quarters and the famed 9th Ward. Instrument: Multi Drums and Percussion.
- Rick Soriano was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from The Ohio State University with a Computer Science degree. While at OSU, he was also involved in the many university bands and was an award-winning drummer in the jazz ensemble. Rick left the IT world to become a freelance Web Designer and multi-instrumentalist on drums, percussion and piano. Rick is adept at multiple styles of music and is sought after for those special skills. Instruments: Keyboards, Drums, Percussion.
- John Carson is a Central Ohio resident residing in Granville, Ohio. An independent established I.T. and data restoration company owner, John is a well-traveled musician across the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Just as many musicians start out, John picks up the saxophone at an early age and continues to build his skill after high school. Playing in bands throughout Las Vegas casinos, he masters alto, soprano, baritone saxophones, and the flute. With a natural gift for improvisation, he is a constant fixture in horn sections and when needed at recording sessions. Instruments: Alto sax, Soprano sax, Baritone sax, Flute.
- Leon Robinson was born in Dayton, Ohio, and grew up in the world-reknown African American neighborhoods of the Funk Music bands raised and played on weekly shows in the area of Dayton (Ohio Players, Sun, Lakeside, Steve Aaronington). Leon is a self-taught drummer leaving home upon entering Broadcasting school in Phoenix, AZ, moved to Las Vegas to intern at a small radio station but landing a dream job as an on-air disc jockey at the world renowned hit making and breaking station for R&B, WDAO radio in Dayton, Ohio. Leon moved to Columbus, Ohio landing radio air time jobs at Columbus’ WVKO, WCKX, and CTNT cable radio in the historic Mt Vernon Plaza. Furthermore, Leon has been the standard drummer for such greats as the late Buckwheat Zydeco, R&B band Sun, Blues recording artists as, the late Johnny Taylor, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Benny Latimore, Albert King, and the Columbus band, The Inner City Blues Band. Instrument: Drum Kit/Backing Vocals.
FOR CONCERT OR CLUB BOOKING AND AN UPLIFTING SOULFUL SMOOTH VOCAL JAZZY SHOW, WHERE THE MIND MEETS THE HEART, CALL (614) 253-5994 OR EMAIL JLONDON101054@GMAIL.COM
SOULFUL SMOOTH JAZZ VOCALS WHERE THE HEART MEETS THE MIND.