Jazz Festival Band Bios




I Wanna Be Evil – With Love to Eartha Kitt

It’s wonderful that such a talented artist like René Marie has recorded the first tribute album to my mother, helping to keep her memory and spirit alive.  These classic songs deserve to be heard and loved by all generations.” — Kitt Shapiro, Eartha Kitt’s daughter

An award winning wide-range vocal ability paired with an emotional resonance is just one of many ways René Marie has propelled to the top among today’s most successful jazz divas. With a mastery of entertaining and risk-taking, Marie has found her voice and boldness akin to the legendary Eartha Kitt. Her daring makes her one of America’s most interesting and compelling artists. So do her influences. Her style incorporates a distinctly American mélange of jazz, soul, blues, folk and gospel and an innate theatrical ability to interpret a song deeply and live its truth. Virginia native René Marie will show Duck Jazz Festival goers why she has won over critics in the jazz world, and will be performing her latest project I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt).


Louis Hayes

The Legendary Louis Hayes & The Jazz Communicators

For Louis Hayes, there is no resting on his laurels.  Hayes has played with John Coltrane, Kenny Burrell, and Freddie Hubbard just to name a few. Associated acts include Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver, and Cannonball Adderley where he formed a “dynamic duo” with bassist Sam Jones. With an inexhaustible list of sideman contributions and as the leader of projects in a 60-plus year career, Hayes continues his leadership endeavors. Louis heads up The Jazz Communicators—his desire to continue bringing exciting musical alternatives to audiences around the world. Concert-goers wouldn’t want to miss witnessing half of “the most powerful rhythm duo in jazz.”


John Brown

John Brown Quartet

Also presenting “in”formance on the Amphitheater Stage

 For the last ten years, John Brown has served as the Director of the Jazz Program at Duke University. Bassist, composer, educator,  and actor, Brown has performed at a myriad of notable venues, and played with the likes of former Duck Jazz Festival headliner Delfeayo Marsalis. and Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Rosemary Clooney,  Elvin Jones, Nnenna Freelon, and many more. Brown not only leads or is a sideman in performances. A larger part of his career is centered around jazz performance education. While hearing him play, bop your feet to the beat from his full and resounding bass tones, and you’ll understand why Jazz Times said he plays with a “soulful authority.” 




Lipbone Redding

Lawrence “Lipbone” Redding is many things: songwriter, guitarist, singer, composer, performance artist, world traveler, tale teller. His ability to accurately imitate a trombone using his mouth and use of other exotic percussive vocals will leave you moving to the full, funky sounds coming from his chops. Combine this unique talent with some original guitar playing and grooves booming from the rhythm section of his trio, and you’ll experience why they have been pegged as a “Franti-meets-Gillespie type jam jazz” (Hartford Courant).