Gwen Matthews Band ft. Tony Axtell

Gwen Matthews

From Stevie Wonder, Kenny Rogers, members of Earth Wind and Fire and numerous others, Gwen has recorded with the best. She has performed at the famed “Montreal Jazz Festival” in Canada and the “Fleur de France Festival” in Paris, and, was featured in festivals and concerts throughout Europe with The Denis Colin Trio. She also toured Russia with “Women Who Cook” and traveled internationally with the Rupert’s Orchestra.

Her career started by singing jingles in Minneapolis, later, in Los Angeles and New York. You can hear her golden voice on many National and local spots for Northwest Airlines, General Mills, Whirlpool and many others. Gwen recorded songs with the Emmy Award winning group “The Music Workshop For Kids” and traveled world-wide for such corporate clients as: Bandag, All-State Insurance, Johnson and Johnson, and the Radisson Hotel Chain.

Her move to Los Angeles lasted eleven years where she worked for many musical giants from nationally acclaimed producers to hit-making songwriters, who sought her for studio background and stage performances. Gwen has recorded with Stevie Wonder, the late Skip Scarborough, Frank Wilson, Phillip Bailey of EWF and Larry Dunn, also of EWF, Lamont Dozier, Susanne DePasse of Motown and Ronnie Laws & Norman Connors. Periodically, she would be asked to arrange and sing background parts for their recording projects. At times, singing sessions with the noted group “Silk”.

While in L.A., Gwen studied four years under world-renowned vocal technician Seth Riggs, a gift to her from her friend Stevie Wonder. Another highlight in the late 90's was when she appeared on the Oprah Show.
Although born in Chicago and living in Los Angeles for eleven years, Gwen claims Minneapolis as home. Upon returning from L.A. in 1987, she recorded her European hit “Keep On Pushing”. She also joined the famed “Rupert's Orchestra” and began her production career. Her first projects were produced for Mattel's GI Joe, General Mills and Black Inc. Some of Gwen’s CD productions included a gospel CD called “Celebrate Faith”. But, her proudest production was “Uniting For You” which included over 40 of Minnesota’s finest artists as they performed to raise money for AIDS in Africa. Along with, the amazing title song "For You” which was co-written with Jarrod Anderson and the late Skip Scarborough.

Gwen has received numerous awards and recognition. She was nominated numerous times for the Minnesota Music Awards as “Best Female R&B, Gospel and Jazz Vocalist”. She also shared the coveted award as “Best Cover Band” with the Rupert’s Orchestra for several years. Gwen also won the Minnesota Black Music Awards twice. And, in 2007 she was inducted into the Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame with ‘Passage’; in 2009 for the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame with Crow.

Currently, she offers vocal mastery classes and workshops Nationally; also, teaches and coaches privately. With her rich, velvet, funky voice she continues to excite audiences leaving them standing and screaming for more. She also performs locally and nationally with the Pop Orchestra, “Synergy” and for fun, Gwen enjoys singing blues with the band “The Walking Wounded”.

Tony Axtell

American bassist, keyboardist, composer and arranger

Brian Ziemniak

Brian Ziemniak is the Twin Cities’ most versatile pianist, consistently crossing musical boundaries while being true to the style and himself. In the jazz world he has performed recently with Kneebody saxophonist Ben Wendel, pyrotechnic violinist Christian Howes, and noted avant garde clarinetist Jean-Brice Godet. Brian has toured recently with star-studded funk group FDeluxe and with popular Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer. He also appeared on soul legend Alexander O’Neal’s ‘Live in Minneapolis’ 2011 DVD. He appears on two recent jazz recordings: Peter Vircks’ “What You Believe is True” (Nov 2013), and Yohannes Tona’s “13” (slated for late 2014 release). He performs locally with numerous bands and a wide range of artists, including acclaimed R&B vocalist Fred Steele, Bruce Henry, rock group Vintage Raggs, and the Kevin Washington Quartet, in addition to fronting his own organ trio, BZ3.

$12.00 - $37.00

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