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Some people have a calling that is undeniable and Avery*Sunshine is no exception. Yet the former church pianist/musical director, who scored a #1 Billboard chart hit, was at once a reluctant warrior. “I had no idea that my work in the church would prepare me to do what I do.” Bringing people together through her riveting stage performances, candid and often humorous stage banter and optimistic anthems about love and life is what Avery*Sunshine does best. In fact she does it so well, that she has garnered praise from iconic musical figures like The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who raved, “I love Avery*Sunshine!” The Atlanta based singer’s no holds barred signature soul/R&B sound has also made believers of such luminaries as Patti LaBelle, Berry Gordy and Boy George who proclaimed on twitter “@averysunshine love this woman’s voice.”
Avery Sunshine and her musical partner (now husband) and guitarist Dana “Big Dane” Johnson, have collectively either collaborated and/or toured with everyone from Anthony Hamilton, KEM, Will Downing, Gregory Porter, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Babyface and Roy Ayers to B.B. King, Michael Buble and Jennifer Holliday.
Avery*Sunshine’s #1 hit single “Call My Name” from her critically heralded sophomore project The Sunroom, was awarded ASCAP’s Rhythm and Soul song of the year 2016 award. There have been numerous sold out shows and career milestones that have included opening for Babyface at Madison Square Garden, performing for Smokey Robinson at his Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame tribute to being invited to perform by and for the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, twice in one year. In the same year Avery was nominated for a SoulTrain award and a BET Centric Award.
While she continues to tour the world: everywhere from many countries in Europe to Asia, the UK and Australia , she and Dana never stop creating and recording . Twenty SixtyFour, Avery *Sunshine's 3rd release , which released in the UK and Europe earlier this year , features organic soulful in-the -pocket grooves, sublime ballads, exquisite arrangements / orchestrations and exuberant life affirming tracks . The vocals shine throughout , the production is tight and the songwriting hits home .
Avery*Sunshine describes herself as a cross between Oprah Winfrey and Bette Midler. To experience her live is to understand this notion. In a genre that is inundated with singers, Avery*Sunshine has forged a way for herself by staying true to her musical vision. “My greatest wish is for our music to empower and encourage, in some way, everyone who hears it. That is why Dana and I do this”, shares the radiant singer. Avery*Sunshine concludes, “I am always striving to fill the space that I was created to fill. And I pray that the small space that I occupy in this world reminds everyone to SHINE no matter what.”
Saxophonist Elan Trotman, has quickly become one of jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers as he continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist. Trotman’s playing, though inspired by Grover Washington, Jr., Kirk Whalum and Najee, displays his own fresh ideas and distinctive tone. So much so that the New England Urban Music Awards, and The Barbados Music Awards both named him Jazz Artist of The Year on multiple occasions.
Born and raised in Barbados, the native island of pop star Rihanna, and educated at the world-renowned Berklee College Of Music in Boston, Trotman approaches jazz in his own way. Blending Caribbean rhythms from his roots with skillful horn textures, his playing is full of surprises.
Trotman has recorded and performed with a number of world-class musicians, including Michael McDonald, Roberta Flack, Jonathan Butler, Keiko Matsui, Johnny Gill, Jeffrey Osborne, Sheila E, Marcus Miller, Will Downing, Earl Klugh, Jeff Lorber, Peter White, Peabo Bryson, Brian Simpson and many others.
As a recording artist Elan has topped the Billboard Radio Charts over 10 times. As a solo artist charting songs include “Heaven In Your Eyes” feat. Brian Simpson, “Tradewinds” feat Peter White, “Master Blaster”, “As” feat. Lin Rountree, “Thoughts of Sumer” feat. Will Downing, and “Smooth N Saxy”. Collaborations that have topped the charts include “Magic Men” (Marion Meadows), “Groove Me” (Greg Manning), “Just What You Need” (Brian Simpson), “Smooth (Cal Harris) and “Ride Along” (Julian Vaughn).