– ARTIST NEWS –
Slim Man – Best Jazz Vocalist – Coachella Music Awards 2016, 2017…….
AND NOW, JUST ANNOUNCED….THE 2018 BEST JAZZ VOCALIST WINNER! CONGRATULATIONS TO SLIM!
– PROMOTED ARTISTS –
1) UniKuE – featuring Nick D’Virgillio – Classic and Progressive Rock – Ukuleles, drums, and vocalists who are all resident instrument experts at Sweetwater Sound Inc. and Studios – South Bend, Indiana
UniKuE is a “concept band” that was conceived of by NICK D’VIRGILIO and MARK HORNSBY, and is made up of Nick D’Virgillio, Don Carr, Dave Martin, Carolyn Martin, and Kat Bowser, with special appearance by Adrian Belew on their first CD production. Engineering and mastering was done by Mark Hornsby who also produced the album REWIRING GENESIS – A TRIBUTE TO THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY. With the enthusiasm and incredible vision, Nick will bring UniKuE to the Napali Music Festival 2018 in Hawaii, which is the native home of the ukulele. UniKuE will be enthusiastically welcomed by native Hawaiians throughout the island chain, and especially by the warm people of Kaua’i which is the “birthplace” of Hawaii. Having been formally introduced to live public performance at Morsefest 2017 in Nashville, TN, UniKuE will continue creating a path to certain greatness and recognition in the worldwide music community.
Na-Pali Productions USA is proud and to be part of UniKuE’s next major step towards establishing itself as a truly “unique” contemporary musical talent, not only through this initial introduction to the Hawaiian people and culture, but also by helping to expand its public exposure internationally. We intend to play a key role in UniKuE’s future evolution across multiple musical genres, as well as promoting its integration with well-established artists’ creations and performances.
2) Slim Man – Jazz, Lite Jazz, Funk, and R&B – Composer and Vocalist – La Quinta, California
After studying classical piano, composition, and harmony at Peabody Institute of Music in Baltimore, MD, Slim Man got signed as a songwriter to Motown Records. He’s had songs recorded by the Temptations, Angela Bofill, Carl Anderson, and other artists. Slim Man went on to form the band BootCamp, who had two of the first 100 videos ever played on MTV. Those videos catapulted BootCamp into a successful concert career, performing with The Tubes, The B-52s, Squeeze, Split Enz, Johnny Winter, and many others. Slim then started writing and producing songs for Brian Jack, a rock singer from a band called Child’s Play. Slim debut CD was “End of the Rainbow”. This CD made many Top Ten lists for the year and was acclaimed by JD Considine of Rolling Stone.
In the late 1990s, Slim Man started another band, Bona Fide, an instrumental group whose combination of funk and jazz brought forth the Number One single “X Ray Hip”. Bona Fide also received the Best New Artist Award at the Smooth Jazz Awards. They’ve released 4 CDs, the latest produced by Marc Antoine. Slim sang for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican on Christmas Day, 1999. In total, Slim Man has released a total of 15 CDs such as his epic Solstice. Slim and his band are regular performers at acclaimed venues like the Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD, where nearly every Christmas, they perform an uplifting holiday show that includes both traditional carols and songs, as well as much of his own material. Na-Pali Productions USA has recorded both video digital audio for Slim Man’s live shows at The Rams Head On Stage since 2010. He is currently based in southern California, where he performed lives nearly every weekend. Slim won Best Jazz Vocalist at the Coachella Music Awards in 2016 and 2017.
Slim continues to enjoy a passionate and loyal fan following and a strong fan base on both mainland coasts where he has resided. We expect that these will be a large contingent of the travelling guests at this event. His amazing song writing, producing, and performing talent will supplement the similar talents of the artists that will represent other music genres featured at The Napali Jazz & Rock Festival 2018, which has been created to promote the best of diverse music creation and performance in the years ahead
3) Neal Morse – Progressive and Christian Contemporary Rock – Composer, Vocalist and Keyboards
– Nashville, Tennessee
In the mid ‘90s Neal Morse formed the band Spock’s Beard, whose debut recording, The Light, was an unexpected success. Over the next 7 years, Spock’s Beard released 6 critically acclaimed studio recordings and multiple live recordings while establishing a passionate fan base in the “prog rock” community. In 2000, he formed the prog supergroup Transatlantic with drumming legend Mike Portnoy (formerly with Dream Theater), Marillion’s Pete Trewavas and The Flower Kings’ Roine Stolt. In a remarkably brief but productive few days together, they knocked out SMPTe, a richly received, massive work of vintage, long form prog.
Two years later, the sophomore release, Bridge Across Forever, solidified Transatlantic’s global appeal. After leaving Spock’s Beard, he produced an inspired soundtrack of his Christian faith journey—a double disc musical retelling of his Testimony —featuring orchestral movements, gospel strains and signature progressive rock contributions from Portnoy on drums and Kerry Livgren (ex-Kansas) on guitar. As the Testimony Live DVD triumphantly documented, his solo tour was full of magical moments and was a deeply affirming experience. Britain’s Classic Rock Magazine included Morse in their “100 Greatest Frontmen of Rock” listing, while the Dutch Progressive website DPRP awarded it the “best rock tour” over such legendary artists as Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Rush and others. Neal returned to the studio with Mike Portnoy and touring bass player Randy George to record 2004’s One, a conceptual album that explored the biblical themes of separation and reunion with God. Featuring fiery fretwork by Phil Keaggy, One was a vast and rewarding work that harkened to the heights of Transatlantic.
In 2005, the trio returned to record another CD with guest contributions by Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Roine Stolt (Flower Kings, Transatlantic) and Steve Hackett (Genesis). Neal assembled a completely new band of Europeans players who brought youthful exuberance to his live show and the energy and excitement was captured on 2007’s Question Live CD. His Sola Scriptura turned the spotlight on some of the church’s historical shortcomings when man placed himself before God, striking out into more aggressive musical territory. The ensuing tour was captured on the majestic 2 DVD Sola Scriptura & Beyond (2008) which featured stunning guitar work from Paul Bielatowicz. Neal, Mike and Randy returned to the studio to record Lifeline in 2008. Soon to follow, So Many Roads chronicles the live performances with 29 tracks providing an overview of Neal’s vast and varied work. Soon after, the Transtlantic blimp flew again.
In 2009, their dream became reality as the four regrouped to morph Neal’s demo, “The Whirlwind” into a new team composition. It went on to be the group’s highest charting album to date, and in 2010, Transatlantic embarked on their biggest tour yet, with dates in 11 nations across Europe and North America. The impressive and successful tour was immortalized in both the double-live DVD, ‘Whirld’ Tour 2010 and massive 3CD/2DVD box set More Never Is Enough.
Neal, Mike and Randy soon returned to record the sequel to Neal’s first progressive, faith-based epic. In 2011, the double disc Testimony 2 was released to critical acclaim, this time including guest appearances by old Spock’s Beard band mates. Neal wrote and self-published an autobiography appropriately titled, Testimony. The fascinating account revealed the albums’ back story and fleshed out more personal details of his spiritual journey from frustration and despair to hope and joy. He then took the show on the road again, playing in the US and overseas to wildly enthusiastic crowds who were thrilled to see most of the original Testimony tour band playing together again. Released in 2011, the Testimony 2: Live in Los Angeles 3CD/2DVD box set reveals the joy and spirit of that tour. Morse also released Sing It High, a songbook featuring 15 songs written out with melody lines, lyrics and chords. News soon leaked out about Morse’s involvement in another supergroup, featuring Mike Portnoy, along with the legendary axe man Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple), Dave Larue and a relatively unknown singer/songwriter named Casey McPherson. Flying Colors’ self-title debut surfaced, garnering sweeping praise and supported by a brief tour in September 2012. He reconvened with Mike, Randy and friends to record 2012’s Momentum, featuring blistering guitar work by Paul Gilbert and contributions from his new touring band. Their Momentum tour was an undisputed success and was caught on video with the 2DVD/3CD box set, Live Momentum, soon after released in a Blu-Ray edition. The Neal Morse Band’s blockbuster double CD The Grand Experiment soon followed in 2015, with an ensuing world tour that was acclaimed by the progressive rock press.
The Neal Morse Band’s most recent blockbuster double CD Similitude of A Dream took them on a 50 stop worldwide tour that included a double pass across North America. They have been the “house band” on Cruise To The Edge featuring Yes in both 2016 and 2017. Neal recently completed his newest work and began his solo (“unplugged”) Neal Morse – Life And Times tour on the recent 2018 Cruise To The Edge where he combined the best of his past products with new songs not based solely on spiritual themes and presented in a light-hearted and often humorous style that is amazing the entire progressive rock community.
Neal knows all about the joys of real Hawaiian pineapples!
5) Lez Zeppelin – All Girl, all Led Zeppelin Rock – New York, New York
Founded in 2004 by New York guitarist, Steph Paynes, the all-girl quartet, LEZ ZEPPELIN, has since gained unanimous critical acclaim as one of the most exciting live acts around, becoming the first female rock act to pay homage to Led Zeppelin and to garner rave reviews across the board. LEZ ZEPPELIN stays true to the musically audacious spirit of the original, delivering the legendary rock band’s blistering arrangements and monstrous sound note-for-note at sold-out frenzied shows around the world.
All Girls….All Led ZeppelinIn June, 2013, Jimmy Page attended their show in London and said of the group, “They played the Led Zeppelin music with an extraordinary sensuality and an energy and passion that highlighted their superb musicianship.”
What also sets LEZ ZEPPELIN apart is the brilliance and charisma of the band, itself. They have been featured on major television and radio including the BBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, MTV, VH-1, FOX, NPR and Sirius XM. The group’s first studio album, Lez Zeppelin, was produced by legendary producer/engineer, Eddie Kramer (Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix) and continues to sell widely. The group’s second LP, Lez Zeppelin I, is an authentic re-make of Led Zeppelin’s first album, using the very same vintage equipment employed by Led in 1968. She Rocks. Vol. 1, a compilation released on Steve Vai’s Favored Nation label, features Lez Zeppelin’s track “The Lemon Song” (with a guest appearance by Lita Ford) as well as an original track from guitarist, Steph Paynes. The group is soon to release a third full length album, which pairs the power of the band with a string section and is planning an accompanying tour, “Lez Zeppelin and a Whole Lotta Strings.” All releases are distributed in the U.S, Japan and Europe.
SPIN Magazine called them “the most powerful all-female band in rock history” while the New York Times raved that “Strapping on the double-necked Gibson with attitude to burn, this all-girl quartet pays tribute to its swaggering namesake Led Zeppelin, ripping through the catalog with blazing accuracy.” Bob Stanley of The Times of London hailed, “they are the best band I’ve seen all year, no question,” and CNN.com ran a front page feature that called the group so “electrifying” they are “driving club audiences to a frenzy.” Reuters reported “Lez Zeppelin transforms itself into pure feminine sexual energy while accurately honoring the boys’ wonderful art. And yes, they can play!”
In April 2007, after extensive touring in the US and Europe the band released its first album, Lez Zeppelin, which was produced by Eddie Kramer, renowned for his work as recording engineer on several of Led’s albums – most notably, Led Zeppelin II, Physical Graffiti and The Song Remains the Same. In the wake of this release, the band was invited as the first “tribute band” to ever appear at a series of major rock festivals including the Download Festival (formerly Donnington Park) in the UK; Rock-Am-Ring and Rock-Im-Park in Germany; and at the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans. However, it was an announcement in February of 2008, that Lez Zeppelin would take the stage at the Bonnaroo Festival that sparked a worldwide media storm. Several major press organizations, including the Associated Press, Billboard, NME, the Chicago Sun Times and more, reported mistakenly that LED Zeppelin – in the wake of their historic reunion at the O2 in London — would headline the festival, an embarrassing gaff that had to then be corrected, turning the announcement of Lez Zeppelin’s appearance into headline news across the world. Lez Zeppelin became a much-anticipated highlight of the festival, headlining opening night with a blistering set for an audience of 20,000 people.
Throughout 2008, the group continued to tour heavily in the U.S. and in the late fall made its first visit to Japan to promote the release of the debut record, which had sold nearly 7,000 copies the first few months after release. In March 2009, Lez Zeppelin was invited to India by a major network media task force to headline The Concert for Mumbai, a benefit organized to buy ambulances, which were sorely lacking in the aftermath of the terrorist bombings in Mumbai. Again, Lez Zeppelin held the unique distinction of being the first American group of its kind to take part in an event of this magnitude.
Following a three-month tour of the US, the band headed back into the studio to start on a second album, which would take the group back to where it all began – Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut. The band solicited the help of producers Perry Margouleff and William Wittman, who approached the project with two main musical intentions: to remain true to the sounds and textures of the “vinyl” version of the record and capture that ‘tight-but-loose’ intensity in the moment. Recording at Margouleff’s Pie Studio’s, a world class analog facility, the band employed all of the same vintage equipment used by Led in 1968 – from the ’50s era Les Paul and Telecaster, to the Supro amp, 60’s era compressor, Hammond organ and Fuzzbender stomp box — working fastidiously to recreate the incredibly complex layers of the album with a dedication that has never before been demonstrated by any band of this type in the history of the rock world.
We welcome the Zez Zepellin girls: Steph Paynes (Lead Guitar & Vocals), Leesa Harrington-Squyres (Drums & Percussion), Joan Chew (Bass & Keyboards), and Marlain Angelides (Lead Vocals) to Kaua’i. They are guaranteed to “ROCK THE ISLAND!!”
Lez Zeppelin Promo Video (Click Player ‘arrow’ to play video)