STORY WRITTEN BY FERN BRODKIN
For Digital First Media
This story is a companion to Fern Brodkin’s “Monnette Sudler’s Philadelphia Guitar Summit Presents ‘Bass Off’ concert.”
Monnette Sudler started out performing folk music, yet her style has evolved into performing traditional and contemporary jazz. She is also a poet, singer, prolific songwriter, teacher, author and now filmmaker. She founded the Philadelphia Guitar Summit in 2009. She is always open to taking on new projects and expressions of her creativity. This year she is working on a musical collaboration with the Anna Crusis Choir, who will be performing one of her songs. She is also working on a project with Trapeta Mason and a project with Beth Brandt, both poets. Besides writing and performing music, Sudler teaches privately and she recently began teaching at the Philadelphia Clef Club. She just published the book “Motif Mojo,” which is an instructional book or work aide/study aide for advanced music students and educators, and she is in the process of completing a documentary about her Guitar Summit. For more information visit www.monnettesudlermusic.com.
Steve Green is a bassist from Philadelphia. He is an original member of the R&B/soul/funk band Breakwater, which formed in 1971. The band released two albums – the eponymous “Breakwater” in 1978 and “Splashdown” in 1980. Steve is also the host of “The Steve Green Show.” For more information visit www.stevegreenshow.com.
Philadelphia bassist Cedric Napoleon is a founding member of the band Pieces of a Dream. He performed and recorded with the band from 1975 through 1990. The band’s first three albums were produced by Grover Washington, Jr. and that led to the opportunity for him to tour with Washington’s band. Napoleon teaches bass, vocals and the history of jazz at the Philadelphia Clef Club. He currently performs with his band Cedric A. Napoleon and Friends and he looks forward to releasing his own CD soon. For more information visit www.facebook.com/cedricnapoleonbassist.
Gerald Veasley was born and raised in Philadelphia. He began his musical career playing bass in R&B groups as a teenager. He then began to appreciate jazz/fusion bands such as Weather Report and Return to Forever. He was delighted to have the opportunity to join Joe Zawinul’s band in 1988 and he played with Zawinul until 1995. Veasley was signed to Heads Up International and released his first album for the label, “Look Ahead,” in 1992. He went on to record 6 more albums for the label including “Your Move,” which reached number 12 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. In 2002 Veasley founded Gerald Veasley’s Bass BootCamp, his annual weekend instructional and performance event for all bass players, from novice to professional. This year’s boot camp will be from March 18–20 in Philadelphia. For more information visit www.geraldveasley.com or www.bassbootcamp.com.
Bassist Bakithi Kumalo, a native of Soweto, Africa, is probably best known as having performed on Paul Simon’s landmark “Graceland” album (Warner Bros., 1986). He creates a singular electric fretless bass sound teeming with double stops that sound like human voices and the African grooves of his homeland. His notoriety from performing with Simon led to numerous other opportunities as a sideman. He has performed and/or toured with artists including Randy Brecker, Grover Washington Jr., Herbie Hancock, Gloria Estefan, Harry Belafonte, Laurie Anderson, Cyndi Lauper and Chris Botti. Kumalo is also a solo artist and he has several albums to his credit.