‘Azzaam Hameed was initially inspired to play music by his late sister Barbara who died an untimely death just prior to her 23rd birthday. Barbara was very talented. She played the piano, the clarinet, and she also sang in various church choirs. Barbara had a signifigant influence on Azzaam’s early musical development.
His musical roots were derived from gospel, having grown up in a Pentecostal church environment; however, he did receive some formal training as a teenager, which included some classical music and theory when he enrolled as a student at Union College in Schenectady, NY. ‘Azzaam Hameed was born in Columbus Ohio on August 16th, 1952. He was the 2nd youngest of 6 children, with 5 sisters. His sister Barbara was the 2nd oldest and the two of them had a particularly close relationship in which music played a special part.
‘Azzaam pursued music on a full-time basis for several years, performing throughout the Northeast in several locally based top 40 groups. He ultimately decided to abandon the “road circuit” for a more predictable lifestyle and, in doing so, to develop a more versatile style as both a pianist and a vocalist.
Musical influences: Ahmad Jamal (pianist), McCoy Tyner(pianist), Ramsey Lewis (pianist), Joe Sample (pianist), George Duke(pianist/vocalist), Lonnie Liston Smith (pianist)…just to mention a few.
Vocal influences: Johnny Hartman, Lou Rawls, Joe Williams, & many more.
Stylistic Description: ‘Azzaam Hameed’s musical style on the piano incorporates a tasteful blend of Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, and Gospel; with colorful accents of Latin and Brazilian overtones. Vocally, his singing style has frequently been compared with the rich baritone voice of Lou Rawls.
Musical Experience: Organist/Pianist at Friendship Baptist Church,Schenectady, NY (20 + yrs. ) Artist Instructor w/youth vocal ensemble for the Youth Advancement through Music & Arts Program at Parsons Children’s Center in Albany, NY Pianist/Vocalist w/ Sha’ron & The Fellas musical group. Featuring Sha’ron as Lead Vocalist & Ron Mayfield,Guitarist/Vocalist. The group is based out of Albany, NY
Singer/songwriter and pianist extraordinaire, Satauna Howery has been inspiring audiences with her musical talents since the tender age of 2. A Southern California native, Satauna began playing by ear after her parents purchased a baby grand “with real ivory keys!”, she recalls. Singing and composition soon followed. Satauna spent her childhood making TV appearances and raising money for organizations such as Children’s Hospital and Special Olympics.
She studied classical piano, playing duets with Dudley Moore and winning the regional Bach Festival competition at age 9. The classical lessons couldn’t keep her from listening to and absorbing 80’s pop, 70’s Disco and Motown. She put her skills to use in her own recording studio, where she mixed, arranged and produced music for herself and others. Upon moving to Seattle in 1993, Satauna found herself mesmerized by jazz and blues. She has mentored with Seattle pianist Randy Halberstadt, Albany legend Lee Shaw and renowned New York vocalist Jay Clayton.
Currently Satauna lives in upstate New York, where she plays and sings at restaurants, weddings, parties and local clubs. Sometimes she’s flying solo. Sometimes she’s part of a jazz trio, and sometimes she’s gettin’ funky playing keys and/or singing with various local bands. She considers herself a “Jill of all genres”, able to quickly learn whatever anyone throws at her. Her musical repertoire includes jazz standards, show tunes and pop music from the ‘20’s through today.
Accomplished violinist Craig Thaler diversifies himself with his string trio, playing the music of the 1930′s and 1940′s swing jazz era and beyond. Craig’s influences draw from 1930′s hot club music of France — Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhart — to a mix of modern jazz standards and originals. The unique string trio consists of violin, guitar and bass, however, any combination from a duo to a quintet can be designed to suit your needs.
Craig is also available to join with other musicians on their projects. Music is offered for wedding ceremonies and receptions, bar and bat mitzvahs, special events, private parties, restaurants and clubs. Craig recorded with world-renowned bass player Jaco Pastorius on his final album, and has played with musicians including: John Hall and Orleans, Rick Danko and The Band, Commander Cody, Rick Derringer, David Johansen, Hot Tuna, jazz pianist T. Akioshi, jazz vibraphonist Karl Berger, and many regional artists.
Craig provides private violin instruction to students of all ages, and can customize lesson plans for beginner to advanced instruction. Methods include Suzuki and Traditional. Craig also offers comprehensive music theory, including twentieth century harmony and improvisation, Genres of music instruction include classical, jazz, Irish and traditional fiddle.
Craig attended Berklee College of Music, studying composing and arranging with Michael Gibbs. He graduated from State University of New York at New Paltz with a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Performance.
Craig is also a Violinmaker with the unique advantage of a keen ear for sound, as he has also been a professional violinist for 30 years. He learned to handcraft violins in the Italian tradition from world-renowned violinmaker John L. Rossi, and also acquired extensive experience in violin restorations and repairs.
Craig’s violins are suited for professional violinists or serious students looking for an upgrade that will serve them well as they pursue a professional career. Craig welcomes inquiries on a violin he currently has for sale.
Vincent M. Bonafede
Piano, Organ and Electronic Instruments
Conductor and Music Director
Vince holds a Bachelor of Music degree from SUC at Fredonia and a Masters in Music Composition from SUC at Potsdam. He taught public school music for 33 years in the Capitol District. He is organist and choir director at Blooming Grove Reformed Church in East Greenbush, NY. At present he will be starting his 6th season as senior conductor of the Delmar Community Orchestra and his first season as co-conductor of the Albany Area Senior Orchestra.
He has been music director and or piano accompanist for over 90 community and school Broadway musical productions and has composed music for school children, secular and sacred choirs, small groups of instruments and large works for orchestra.
He is available for wedding ceremonies ( civil or church), cocktail hours, wedding receptions, parties of any type, accompanist for vocal and instrumentalists, and as music director of Broadway type productions. He also teaches keyboard lessons.
Some of his most recent work includes playing for Leslie Uggams’
“Uptown Downtown” at Capital Rep in Albany, “Beguiled Again” for SLOC, “Spitfire Grill” for Not So Common Players, and “The Producers” and “Parade” for Spotlite Players.
Vince can usually be heard playing piano at the Century House in Latham.