Chester Thompson. From Jazz (Weather Report), to Rock (Frank Zappa and the Mothers), to Pop (Genesis/Phil Collins) to Gospel (Ron Kenoly, Rebecca St. James), Chester Thompson has surpassed the boundaries of musical genres. Chester’s performance and recording experiences have influenced over three decades of music and musicians. Whether he is playing drum kit or percussion, Chester’s masterful subtleties and unyielding time create the firm musical foundation for any musical genre. Every time Chester plays he gives 110% – there is no such thing as practice.
Alphonso Johnson. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Johnson started off as an upright bass player, but switched to the electric bass in his late teens. Beginning his career in the early 1970s, Johnson showed innovation and fluidity on the electric bass. He sessioned with a few jazz musicians before landing a job with Weather Report, taking over for co-founding member Miroslav Vitous. His playing was featured on the Weather Report album Mysterious Traveller (1974) on the songs “Cucumber Slumber” and “Scarlet Woman”. Johnson appeared on two more Weather Report albums Tale Spinnin’ (1975) and Black Market (1976) before he left the band to work with drummer Billy Cobham. During 1976-77 he recorded three solo albums as a band leader, for the Epic label, in a fusion-funk vein. Johnson was one of the first musicians to introduce the Chapman Stick to the public. In 1977 his knowledge of the instrument offered him a rehearsal with Genesis, who were looking for a replacement for guitarist Steve Hackett. Being more of a bassist than a guitarist, Johnson instead recommended his friend ex-Sweetbottom guitarist and fellow session musician Daryl Stuermer, who would go on to remain a member of Genesis’s touring band until the 2007 reunion tour.
Johnson was one of two bass players on Phil Collins’s first solo album, Face Value, in 1981.
Frank Ricci. Guitarist, composer, arranger, teacher and writer. The career of Francesco aka ‘ Frank ‘ Ricci began in October 2008, when he is in a mini-tour and in the studio with Kee Marcello, old guitarist of Europe, the Swedish band who came to worldwide success in the 80s with “The Final Countdown” . The guitarist of Europe likes the compositions of Frank so much so that he decides to record a guitar solo in one of his songs, ” Big Surprise “, which will be then part of his album. In December 2008 he worked live and in the recording studio with Andrea Braido, one of the most interesting Italian guitarists, ( Mina, Vasco Rossi, Celentano ) . Braido then will record bass and guitar in another song of Frank, entitled ” City on the lake “, which will be part of the same album due out in 2014 . During his career he has also with Robben Ford, Tony Esposito Paul Gilbert and Stuart Hamm.