Pianist Jamaal Baptiste grew up on the island of Aruba, a nexus for the music of the Americas and Europe. His instinctive feel and musicianship delight listeners and dancers alike. Jamaal is comfortable performing in a wide range of musical settings, with experience in Jazz, Blues, R&B, Gospel, Latin, Brazilian, and Caribbean music. His island roots are infused into the trio's unique sound, and his versatility glues the band together. In addition to the trio, Jamaal is an original member of Ritmos Unidos, the latest collaboration from seven-time Grammy nominee and percussionist, Michael Spiro. In 2016, Jamaal graduated with a master's degree in jazz at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he is now pursing a PhD in ethnomusicology and leading the IU Soul Revue rhythm section.
Natalie Boeyink is an accomplished bassist, violinist, pianist, composer and educator who has worked primarily in jazz and Latin idioms. Equally influenced by bassists Ray Brown and Cachao, Natalie’s upright bass has traveled literally and figuratively through Brazil and Cuba, assimilating samba, son and rumba just as easily as she steadily walks through American jazz. In 2014 she was awarded a Tinker Foundation grant to study the performance and pedagogy of popular bass styles in Brazil, traveling to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Natal, Brasilia, and Campinas, Brazil. Natalie is a respected adjudicator and clinician, and performs regularly throughout the Midwest. She is currently on the jazz faculty at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and holds a DME from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and master's and bachelor's degrees in jazz performance.
Musician, Educator, and Composer, Andy Smith is recognized internationally, having enjoyed a diverse career for over two decades. Andy's dynamic drumming style has been honed in Ghana, West Africa, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and in nearly every state in the continental U.S. Andy recently completed a Doctor of Music degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His career has taken him from the recording studios of Nashville, TN to Tanglewood, Ravinia and the Hollywood Bowl. He has traveled to Ghana West Africa and the Caribbean to be immersed in African diasporic rhythm. In 2012, Andy was awarded a Tinker Foundation grant to study contemporary Brazilian Jazz drumming in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2016, Andy was appointed Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Texas El Paso.