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Artists

Maceo ParkerMaceo Parker

One of the key sonic architects of funk, Maceo Parker first became a legend for his work with James Brown, whose impassioned shouts for a sax solo ("Maceo! Blow your horn!") would make Parker the Godfather of Soul's most famous sideman, though Parker would continue to enjoy a successful career long after leaving Brown's employ.

Macy GrayMacy Gray

Macy Gray parlayed an utterly unique voice and an outlandish sense of style into R&B stardom at the turn of the millennium, appealing to audiences of all colors in search of a fresh alternative to mainstream soul. Gray was actually born Natalie McIntyre in Canton, Ohio, and grew up a shy, awkward youngster who was frequently teased about her odd-sounding voice. 

Marcus MillerMarcus Miller

Primarily a bassist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, Marcus Miller has worked on hundreds of sessions — crossing jazz, R&B, and rock — and has released several solo recordings since his late-'70s beginnings with Bobbi Humphrey and Lonnie Liston Smith. Despite the many hats he has worn — improviser, interpreter, arranger, songwriter, film-music composer, bassist, clarinetist, saxophonist — none of them have been put on for the sake of a whim.

Marvin GayeMarvin Gaye

Gaye's legacy resonated over the decades — he was a touchstone for soul and pop music that was either sensual or political — but his early death leaves hanging the question of what he could've achieved if he were alive. During his two decades as a recording artist, he already accomplished more than most artists do in a lifetime.

Massive AttackMassive Attack

The pioneering force behind the rise of trip-hop, Massive Attack were among the most innovative and influential groups of their generation; their hypnotic sound — a darkly sensual and cinematic fusion of hip-hop rhythms, soulful melodies, dub grooves, and choice samples — set the pace for much of the dance music to emerge throughout the 1990s, paving the way for such acclaimed artists as Portishead, Sneaker Pimps, Beth Orton, and Tricky, himself a Massive Attack alumnus.

Maysa LeakMaysa Leak

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, jazz-soul singer/songwriter Maysa Leak embarked on a singing career at an early age. By the age of six, she had already determined that she was going to be a singer, and she spent her elementary and high school days performing in choir and musical theater productions.

Medeski, Martin & WoodMedeski, Martin & Wood

The trio’s amalgam of jazz, funk, “avant-noise” and a million other musical currents and impulses is nearly impossible to classify, which is just how they like it. Medeski’s keyboard excursions, Chris Wood’s hard-charging bass lines and Billy Martin’s supple, danceable beats have come to resemble a single organism, moving gracefully between genre-defying compositions and expansive improvisation atop a relentless groove.

MezzoforteMezzoforte

Until the arrival of the Sugarcubes, jazz fusion band Mezzoforte was Iceland’s best-known musical export. The group was formed in 1977 at a Reykjavik high school by Fridrik Karlsson (b. 24 April 1960; guitar), Eythór Gunnarsson (b. 9 September 1961; keyboards), Jóhann Ásmundsson (b. 30 March 1961; bass), and Gunnlaugur Briem (b. 8 September 1962; drums). 

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