School of The Getdown Youth Arts Camp
Faye Carol - Vocals, Co-Producer
The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is known as an icon in the Bay Area and beyond, highly regarded for her powerful voice, astonishing versatility, and gift of connecting with her audience. Equally at home in jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, funk, latin, and hip-hop, she has developed her own authentic sound and unique delivery, delighting audiences young and old across the globe. After beginning her career with gospel music, Faye Carol made her name singing with Oakland blues and funk legend Johnny Talbot & De Thangs before forming her own trio and gaining fame in San Francisco's jazz, blues, and cabaret clubs of the 1970s and 80s. Over a 60-year career in music, this living legend has developed her own unique acoustic sound and style in Black Music - drawing from funk, blues, gospel, and straight ahead swingin' - and cultivated an audience that remains as diverse as her uplifting music. She has maintained a high level of musicianship in her groups, mentoring some of the Bay Area's brightest young
talent including pianist Benny Green, bassist/composer Marcus Shelby, and her daughter, pianist/compser Kito Kamili. Her vocal proteges include international superstars Kehlani and Ledisi.
Miss Faye has shared the stage with Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Pharaoh Sanders, Joan Baez, Billy Higgins, Albert King, Bobby Hutcherson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Buster Williams, Azar Lawrence, Steve Turre, Dennis Chambers, Bernard Purdie, Lenny White, Roy McCurdy, Sun Ra, Robert Randolph, Mistah F.A.B., Henry Butler, Gary Bartz, Cedar Walton, Ledisi, Philly Joe Jones, Dorothy Donegan, Pete Escovedo, David Murray, Chester Thompson, Charles Brown, and Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson, among others. Miss Faye is also a dedicated educator and founder of School of the Getdown. She has been honored with the proclamation of a city-wide “Faye Carol Day” in the City of Berkeley and inducted into the Oakland Walk of Fame, the Meridian Mississippi Walk of Fame, and the Pittsburg Entertainment and Arts Hall of Fame, and has received countless awards including the 2014 Bay Area Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Hero Award, Jefferson Award for Public Service, four Cabaret Gold Awards, Top Star Awards Entertainer of the Year, and a prestigious 2021 Hewlett 50 Arts Commission.
Miss Faye has taught for over three decades at programs and schools including Jazz Camp West, Jam Camp West, East Bay Institute for Urban Arts, Berkeley Black Repertory Theater, Blues in the Schools, Oakland School for the Arts, and her own Music in the Community and School of The Getdown programs. Additionally, she has been a guest clinician at countless schools and educational programs including Young Musicians Choral Orchestra, Elevate Oakland, Jazzschool, College of Alameda, and Eastside Arts Alliance.
Kito Kamili - Live Band
Pianist, vocalist, composer, songwriter, producer, and music teacher with over 30 years of professional experience. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, performances include local, national, and international venues.
I am a teaching artist who enjoys teaching music to all age groups, specializing in improvisation and original music. I've successfully instructed students in private lessons, various schools, & group workshops in many different settings. I've developed a style of teaching that recognizes each student's individual way of learning while supporting the expression of their unique voice.
I'm from the school of jazz being handed down from generation to generation in the tradition of the innovators. My informal musical education began in the womb, as my mother Faye Carol was a professional vocalist. Her career continued after my birth, providing a special musical environment for me to grow up in. My formal musical education began at the age of 3, with my father James Gamble teaching me piano & music theory.
At age 16, I became the pianist & Musical Director for the Dynamic Miss Faye Carol, gaining invaluable experience that also included the business of music. I continued my studies at UC Berkeley in the Young Musician’s Program, Laney College, and the California Institute of the Arts.
Rico Pabon - Spoken Word
An emcee whose artistry and activism are one in the same, Rico Pabón has been delivering poetic lyrics bound by themes of struggle and resilience for more than 25 years in the Bay Area. Raised in a home torn apart by drug abuse, Rico grew up moving between various cities in the Bay and New York, with a few stops in Boston, and at an early age discovered that writing helped to ease the pain and anxiety that he experienced daily, so he began writing profusely. Writing made him ask questions and seek answers, and his notebook became a window to a world beyond his own personal woes, politicizing him. He began to see that not only his home, but whole communities were falling apart because of addiction and trauma, and that not only him, but children everywhere were sometimes more afraid of living, than they were of dying.
By age 15, Rico found his voice as an emcee, starting his first group, Prophets of Rage, which was politically charged and full of fire, and Pabón hasn't slowed down since. He later became singer and emcee for critically acclaimed Afro Latin Fusion bands O-Maya and
AguaLibre, whose blend of salsa, hip hop and reggae allowed them to share stages with international artists such as Damian and Stephen Marley, Ozomatli, Buju Banton, Femi Kuti, Zap Mama, Meshell N'degeocello, Maxi Priest, Sizzla, Run DMC, Wu Tang Clan, dead prez, Big Daddy Kane, and Kurtis Blow. Pabón has had his songs placed in nighttime television dramas "October Road" and "CSI: Miami" and he has appeared on numerous recordings and has shared the stage with an array of highly acclaimed artists, across many genres of music. He toured with Bay Area legend and Grammy nominated Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, where he rapped, sang, and also played minor percussion. He currently performs as an emcee, poet and singer with another Bay Area legend, and 5 time Grammy nominated latin jazz artist John Santos, and is currently finishing up an album produced entirely by Headnodic, of Crown City Rockers, which Rico says is his favorite album up to date.
His musical expressions have taken different shapes over the years, but no matter which musical configuration Rico Pabón finds himself in, his message has remained clear. He has has released 6 full length albums and has appeared on numerous compilations and collaborations garnering him much critical acclaim. A natural performer, Rico's vocal stamina, clarity and rhythm, combined with a passionate delivery and poetic lyrics make his energy on stage explosive and captivating.
Musician and historian John Santos says, "Rico is exceptional in many ways, highly creative and motivated, and deeply dedicated to social change through the arts. I've also observed him extensively, performing and teaching folks of all ages. His enthusiasm is both remarkable and contagious as he engages his audiences and students with his obvious passion and abilities to communicate on multi-levels. He has truly earned the respect of his peers and has inspired countless observers and participants through his commitment to the development of art and self-expression in our neighborhoods. To those of us of Puerto Rican descent, he is especially an unsung hero and treasure whom we proudly hold up as the face and voice of our community. In addition to the above-mentioned facts and observations, Rico's most impressive trait is his demeanor and dignity. One of the finest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing."
John Adams - Drum Corps
John "OMAYGA" Adams, is an MC/musician from Richmond, CA. His musical interests started at age 3 when he started playing drums, he started rhyming at age 10. Throughout high school OMAYGA competed in, and won, various drum competitions and rap battles in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received a drum scholarship to Berklee College of Music his junior year of high school where he studied music business. He has shared the stage with world famous acts such as Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Terri Lynn Carrington, Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello, local legends such as Kev Choice, Pete Escovedo, Sheila E.,Dwayne Wiggins, Too Short, E-40, The Jacka, Zion I and The Oakland Symphony. OMAYGA is also a talented musical director who's worked on projects with multi platinum selling, multi grammy award winning producers G Koop (Drake, Future, Migos) Bobby Ozuna (Raphael Saadiq, Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce), Phil Greene (New Kids On The Block, New Edition, Steely Dan) and Jeff Dorenfeld (Head Of Berklee College Of Music Business Dept). As a solo artist he's been featured on various mixtapes and albums and has performed in venues from across the country. He has thousands of downloads of his projects and continues to steadily create buzz by releasing music under his P360 Entertainment imprint.
Ahkeel Mestayer - Latin Percussion
The dynamic Bay Area percussionist Ahkeel Mestayer creates music steeped in the Bay Area's history as a hotbed of musical innovation and political ferment. Inspired by Latin jazz and Latin rock visionaries like Jerry González, Andy González, John Santos and Malo, he’s founded a series of sonically expansive bands that creatively combine various Afro-Caribbean rhythmic idioms. Highly regarded for his skills on congas and diverse Latin percussion traditions, he was a member of the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars and Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco and has led his own ensemble at Yerba Buena Gardens Festival.
Charles Simon - Hip-Hop Dance
Charles Simon has been professionally dancing since the age of 13 for the Golden State Warriors, H&M, Oakland Raiders, and the San Francisco 49ers. He is also a multi-instrumentalist, playing five different instruments including guitar, bass, drums, piano, and voice. Rap also began at an early age while in school using rhymes to express himself. He began to freestyle and perform professionally in high school at age sixteen. While studying music at Santa Fe University of Art and Design Charles joined a rap group named Spacemob Space Cadets. This helped to gain focus on what he wanted to say as an artist and taught him how to work in a musical group as a vocalist. A large part of his rap experience has come from freestyling. Charles has performed with musicians like Zeal Levin as a special guest in the Art and Soul Festival in 2016.
Joe Warner - Accompanist, Co-Producer
Pianist Joe Warner is one of the Bay Area's brightest young talents, quickly gaining recognition for his compelling style and exceptional performances. He has performed as Pianist and Musical Director for The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol for over ten years, leads the Joe Warner Trio, and has also performed or recorded with Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Buster Williams, Gary Bartz, Azar Lawrence, Mistah F.A.B., Mary Stallings, Steve Turre, Robert Randolph, Kenny Washington, Marcus Shelby Orchestra, Johnny Talbot, Stephanie Crawford, Elena Pinderhughes, Roy McCurdy, Marvin 'Smitty' Smith, Lenny White, Casey Benjamin, Dennis Chambers, Bernard Purdie, The California Honeydrops, Willie Jones III, Jules Broussard, Freddie Hughes, Derick Hughes, Martin Luther, John Santos, Oakland Symphony, Rickey Woodard, John Handy, Valerie Troutt, and Denise Perrier, among others.