Guessworks, a management firm, represents three great jazz artists: Darin Atwater, Sean Jones, and Christian Mcbride. The president and CEO, Andre Kimo Stone Guess, previously worked as Vice President and Producer for Jazz at Lincoln Center, and as the President and CEO of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.
Darin Atwater is the founder, artistic director and conductor for Soulful Symphony, an orchestra that incorporates jazz, blues, and gospel sounds. Soulful Symphony was founded in 2000 and in 2004 began collaborating with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to organize and promote shows throughout Maryland.
Sean Jones is one of the top trumpeters today. He played lead trumpet for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has played with Joe Lovano, Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Dianne Reeves, Gerald Wilson, and Marcus Miller. He now serves as artistic directors as BOTH the Pittsburgh and Cleveland Jazz Orchestras. Recently he has hired by Berklee college of music as Chair of the Brass Department. It is unclear whether or not he has left his teaching positions at Oberlin (woop woop!) and Duquesne. An article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that he was leaving Duquesne, but it also erroneously stated that he played lead trumpet at the JLCO for 6 years (instead of six months). Meanwhile the Oberlin Jazz Faculty website seems to have replaced him with Eddie Henderson – who can also play a note or two 🙂
Finally Christian McBride is Christian McBride. I can’t think of a much better compliment than that. I have seen him play numerous times at the Newport Jazz Festival, and once when he came to Oberlin. Each time he is amazing, both technically and artistically. He is always bluesy and soulful, but can play any style of music. My favorite group of his – a trio with Chick Corea and Brian Blade. For those who don’t know, he has appeared on more than 300 recordings and won 3 Grammys.