Eric Benet

Eric Benet is a 4x GRAMMY nominated singer/songwriter, 5x Essence festival performer. You’ve heard most of his hits including “Spend My Life With You” featuring Tamia, and “Georgy Porgy”, featuring Faith Evans. Don’t miss Eric as he brings a little soul to the festival this year!

Marcus Miller

Multi GRAMMY Award winning bassist, composer/producer Marcus Miller leads the lineup for the 5th Annual 2022 Vanport Jazz Festival. Marcus has composed for over 20 films, including “Da Butt” for Spike Lee and the Eddie Murphy/Halle Berry classic “Boomerrang”. He’s also produced for the likes of George Benson, Dave Koz, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and many more!

Musiq Soulchild

Musiq Soulchild is a hip-hop soul artist that was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He built a reputation for being musically gifted, beat boxing for MC’s, free styling on the open mic circuit or just performing acappella for strangers on the streets.

Deeply inspired by the R&B/Soul sound of the 70’s he uses the name “Soulchild” as a way to show respect and admiration to his biggest musical influences such as Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and many others. In April 2016 he released his 7th studio album entitled “Life On Earth” leading with the new hit single “I Do”. The album peaked at #2 on Billboard R&B album charts and # 3 on the Top Hip-Hop R&B album charts. He has received awards from Billboard, BET, ASCAP, BMI, and Soul Train. He has also earned award nominations from MTV, the American Music Awards, the NAACP, and 12 Grammy nominations.

Kandace Springs

World renowned Blue Note / Capitol recording artist Kandace Springs’ latest album,  The Women Who Raised Me (released in March 2020), is her most personal work yet. The album is her loving tribute to the great female singers who inspired her to become one of the premier jazz/soul vocalists of our time. The album features her unique interpretations of songs that she first heard growing up in Tennessee, and ranges from such classic icons as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Carmen McRae, through 60’s legends Nina Simone and Dusty Springfield, and up to modern masters such as Sade and Lauryn Hill. The album reunited Kandace with Larry Klein, Grammy legend and producer of her brilliant debut LP, Soul Eyes. In addition, a stellar cast of guest artists joined Kandace to make the album a truly special experience. Most notably, Norah Jones sings a duet with her on the classic ballad “Angel Eyes”. But at the center, as always, is Kandace’s unique piano style and soul-drenched vocals, and never has the Nashville native sounded so at home in the studio.

Brian Simpson Vanport Jazz Festival
Brian Simpson

After graduating from Northern Illinois University, keyboardist and composer Brian Simpson relocated to Los Angeles where he was soon playing alongside musicians Gerald Albright and Norman Brown and eventually on a world tour with Janet Jackson.

The popularity of his music world wide has kept Mr. Simpson on a seemingly endless world tour which in 2019 included Japan, Australia, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Spain, United Kingdom, Portugal, and South Africa. With writing and performing credits on R&B chart-topping albums and Smooth Jazz Airplay charts, it’s clear why Brian is the veteran Music Director of so many jazz events. Brian is a recording artist with Shanachie Entertainment, which released his tenth CD entitled All That Matters in 2021.

Jackiem Joyner

Contemporary saxophonist, author, and music producer Jackiem Joyner released his 7th album, Touch, worldwide in the fall of 2019. After more than 15 years as a recording artist, Jackiem continues to stand out with electrifying live performances and brilliant music productions. As a performer, he has toured over 30 countries and performed with the likes of the late George Duke, Marcus Miller, Keiko Matsui, Donnie McClurkin, Angela Bofill, Najee, Kirk Whalum, Peter White, and many, many more. Joyner’s radio success is widely known within the industry.

Joyner has two number 1 hit songs, five top 10 billboard singles, and a number one debut album under his belt. In addition, he published the highly acclaimed science fiction novel Zarya, which received high praise and a five star rating on Amazon.
“This album is about romance,” Joyner explains of Touch. “I wanted to give everyone something hip, smooth, and sexy at the same time.” The record has an urban feel, laced with the hottest down tempo vibes. The album shares similar textures to the music of artists Tank and Trey Songz. Joyner’s soprano sax leads the charge through most of the album.

Special EFX All-Stars

Keyboardist/organist Roger Smith was born to play the Hammond organ. He is best known for being a longtime  member of the the iconic, Tower of Power.  In addition Roger has worked with such top artists as Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Gladys Knight, Jeff Beck, and Jan Hammer. Smith refers to himself as a utility player, working in many different situations as a keyboard artist.  Roger’s latest solo project is “Just Another Day”.