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TNava (of Free Nationals) with Refi, J.Mo, Joel Whitley & Blaque Dynamite!
Saturday, October 8
Seatings at 6:30-7pm, 8:30pm & 10:15pm
Black Cat JAZZ@theEDGE!! Presents: TNava (of Free Nationals) with Refi, J.Mo, Joel Whitley & Blaque Dynamite!
NOTE for tonight’s 7:00pm seating:
This show will feature the incredible Mike “Blaque Dynamite” Mitchell and JAIRUS, with the rest of the band (excluding Tnava).
T Nava- Keyboards
Joel Whitley- Bass
Blaque Dynamite!- Drums
Innovate. Captivating. Powerful: three words that describe musician and music producer, Ron Jerome Avant, best known professionally as T.Nava. As a proficient keyboardist and ¼ of Anderson .Paak’s Grammy-nominated R&B/Soul band The Free Nationals, he lends his talents to synthesizers and backing vocals. The band’s effective and authoritative, yet innovative, ability to transform high-energy performances into soulful, cinematic experiences is evident by countless YouTube followers and millions of views.
Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, T.Nava always finds a way to submerge himself into the music scene. His symphonic contributions and uniquely prolific vibes ascribe to his vehement musical foundation and upbringing. His roots of soul music stemmed from growing up in a family of singers and musicians. Music from iconic artists like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, and Oscar Peterson were always filling his home’s airways. During his humble beginnings, he taught himself how to play the family piano by ear. Shortly thereafter, he began to develop an interest in playing percussion and became a Jazz Studies student at the prestigious School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio. During his high school tenure, he became a member of NuSoul, an award-winning Jazz/Neo-Soul trio, affording him the opportunity to travel all over the United States.
After graduating in 2005, T.Nava chose to attend the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, California. There, he began performing live at various churches and school concerts. Establishing notoriety as a professional musician, he built rapport and became a touring musician for Snoop Dogg, Willow and Jaden Smith, Nas, Dr. Dre, Brother Ali, The Pharcyde, and Mayer Hawthorne. Furthermore, he began to earn credits as a writer for Macy Gray, Carmit Bachar (Pussycat dolls), Bobby Brown, Jason Derulo, Chris Brown, Fergie, and Jhené Aiko. In 2012, through his collaborative efforts, he officially joined forces with multi-instrumentalist, rapper, producer, and songwriter Anderson .Paak. As a result, soul-slapping albums LoveJoy (2012), Venice (2014), Yes, Lawd! (2016), Malibu (2016), Oxnard (2018), and Ventura (2019) were released – leading to tours internationally across Australia and Europe. Showing no signs of slowing down, T.Nava landed features on both the “Gidget” and “Oslo” tracks on the band’s funky, eclectic self-titled album. The buzzworthy album led to guest appearances on major platforms such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Sway in the Morning, Complex, The Guardian, Forbes, Hot New Hip Hop and more.
“I feel I’ve been put on this earth to create unique, feel-good music for the masses. T.Nava always finds ways to give back to the community through participating in charity concerts, such as Anderson .Paak’s annual Paak House Party, creating arts opportunities for inner-city communities. “Seeing kids and other musicians learn from my music is my motivation.” T.Nava’s meticulous and keen ability to arrange and perform music allows him to transcend across musical boundaries to become one of the most sought-after musicians in the entertainment industry.
Born in South Africa and raised in Los Angeles, Refi Sings is a Vocalist, Songwriter and Vocal Producer. Refi’s influences are various, including Lauryn Hill, Celine Dion, Seal, Sade, Brandy, Rihanna, and many of her peers. As a songwriter Refi’s ability to incorporate her gift of melody with her unique way of bringing stories to life has opened the doors to collaborations with various international artists such as Anderson Paak, Andra Day, Focus, Darkchild, Ron (T.Nava) Avant, Inglewood Sir, Dave Chappelle, and many more, including her father Lebo M, co-composer of the score for The Lion King, with whom she was selected as a lead vocalist for The HANS ZIMMER LIVE tour ’17, one of the tour’s many international destinations being Coachella ’17 where she made history as the youngest South African to ever perform at Coachella. She joined Hans on tour again in Febuary of 2022 again as a lead vocalist. She aspires to continue to push boundaries and leave her musical mark.
Jairus “J.Mo” Mozee:
For some, music is taught. For others, melodies pulse through their veins. Producer/Multi-instrumentalist Jairus Mozee embodies natural born talent never once forgoing the importance of nurturing his exceptional gift. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana to two musical parents, Jairus grew up in church and experienced his father’s guitar-playing skills throughout his life–inspiring his love for the instrument. At the age of 10, the prodigy seized the opportunity to play guitar at his grandmother’s church. While that may sound standard for a budding musician, he didn’t perform as part of a youth group. Instead, he stunned right alongside seasoned, adult musicians performing every Sunday and Friday. Later that year (1998), his family moved to Los Angeles, a leap that would propel the musician’s talent into an international spotlight.
At the tender age of 15 after studying jazz guitar and bass in school, Jairus led recording sessions for RNB group “b2k” who released a certified Gold album. Two years later, one of the most gifted musicians and icons of our time tapped Jairus’ talent. This young teenager would share the stage with Prince, a testament to his captivating love affair with the guitar. After an unbelievable five-month journey playing under the Purple One’s magic and guidance, Jairus toured and Produced songs for artists including Kendrick Lamar, Janet Jackson, Anderson Paak, Bj The Chicago Kid, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Anthony Hamilton, Cee Lo, Fantasia, Robin Thicke, and Boney James To name a few. His songwriter/producer credits also include Eric Benet, Jill Scott, Redman, BJ the Chicago Kid, Deitrick Haddon, The Truth Band, Faith Evans And many Others
Further demonstrating his respect throughout the industry, he earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Song as co-writer of Best of Me with Anthony Hamilton, 2 Grammy wins as a producer/songwriter for Anderson Paak, 1 win with Ledisi and, another Grammy win with Jazmine Sullivan. Jairus Is also an artist with 4 albums available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube etc. Thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit, Jairus also founded Swag Sample–an innovative company that provides royalty-free live music samples allowing producers to affordably create big sounds. Jairus remains grounded in his beliefs: Real music, the kind saturated in passion and smothered in emotion, never dies.
Young Dynamite gained his early development and exposure to music in a church setting. At an early age, he began to create his own music which evolved into a relentless passion and respect for the drum instrument. Inevitably, he had become very adamant in the pursuit of expanding his knowledge of music and honing his craft. At twelve, he embarked upon the study of drum music theory. At fourteen, he found himself in the hallways of the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas in 2009. The school also fostered the amazing talents of Norah Jones, Erykah Badu and the late great, Roy Hargrove. Simultaneously, Dynamite took full advantage of attending workshops, master classes and clinics at colleges and universities all over the country during the summer breaks and amid tours.
“…a Jazz Drumming Prodigy…he is a powerhouse behind the kit!” – The Dallas Observer
Being gifted to play all genres, Dynamite has been the recipient of a host of accolades and prestigious awards. He has received 14 DownBeat Music Awards and his impressive performance credits include Grammy award-winning artists Chick Corea, Christian McBride, Erykah Badu, Thundercat, Michael McDonald, Bob Mintzer, Chrisette Michele, Terell Stafford, and the “Legendary” Clark Sisters.
In 2012, he was selected to perform on a global stage at the inaugural International Jazz Day Celebration with one of the most influential jazz artist of all time, the “Iconic” Herbie Hancock. Shortly after, Dynamite was reigning the drum throne for the living legend, virtuoso bassist, composer and producer, Stanley Clarke. Then, he graduated high school! (Class of 2013)
Fast forwarding, the Grammy nominated artist Blaque Dynamite has toured five of the seven continents of the world. In 2015, he released his debut album entitled “WiFi” with Dallas-bred band, Rache’. His collaboration with the artistry of Christian Scott, Derrick Hodge, Kamasi Washington, Doobie Powell, Kierra Sheard, Willow Smith, Ruth B., Maurice Brown, and MonoNeon has been the catalyst in the making of the new bandleader.