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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Raquel


Honeybee Jazz Sextet will be performing 2 shows on Friday, September 3rd at Monks Jazz Club in East Austin, downtown. Each show has 36 seats and will be approximately an hour long each. You can purchase tickets for one show or both shows. Collin Shook is the owner of this fantastic space and we are grateful that he has provided such a venue for us to come together and share music.

I am so blessed to work with so many amazing musicians and love sharing the bandstand with each of them. I wish I could have them ALL with me at once! For this concert, I will have some incredible musicians that I have been working with off and on here in Austin for the past 9 months along with one dear friend Todd Harrison originally from Houston, who I have known since I was 16 and worked with as well. I am so happy that he will be in town to join us.

My accompanists will be ...Art Carvajal on Guitar, Chris Jones on Double Bass, Todd Harrison on Drums, Russell Haight on Saxophone, and Andre Hayward on Trombone.

You will not want to miss the show, it truly is going to be a night of musical magic, with tunes to take you on a journey through timeless music.

I have attached the links below that you will need to purchase tickets or watch live online. We would love to have you there in the studio live with us! We appreciate any giving you have as you watch the show online as this will be a large portion of how the musicians are paid as well as the venue to keep everything rolling. Thank you so much for your love of music as we love sharing it with you.

PLUS be sure and SCROLL down and read a bit about each one of my friends and musicians that will be accompanying me.


Melissa Raquel





Art Carvajal - Guitarist

The San Antonio-born stringer began playing piano at the ripe age of two years old, alto saxophone at eleven, and guitar at sixteen. While attending Southwest Texas Junior College, he served as a teacher’s assistant for piano classes of all skill levels, and after moving on to Texas State University to pursue a jazz studies degree, also served as a rare undergraduate TA to a large roster of guitar courses. During his time at Texas State, in addition to performing in jazz combos on guitar and bass, and even studying upright bass under Grammy Award winner David Dawson. Art was chosen as bassist for a Texas delegation to travel to Xishuangbanna, China as part of a cultural outreach program spearheaded by Dr. Washington Garcia. Art became a sought-after accompanist for many of the town’s premier vocalists, performing alongside them on stage and on a variety of studio recordings, including Brazilian singer Paula Maya’s 2015 album Iluminar, with Kenny Williams on his 2019 EP Kenny Williams Sings, Lex Land on her 2018 EP A Valentine EP, and with his group Art and Candy on their 2016 debut EP, Preface.

Chris Jones - Double Bass

Chris Jones began playing upright and electric bass at age thirteen in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. By sixteen he was playing around town with locals on the Portland jazz scene and gigging with bands he put together with his peers. His musical studies then took him to Oberlin Conservatory and New School University, where some of his notable teachers included Richard Davis, Chuck Israels and Orin O’Brien of the New York Philharmonic. After completing a fine arts degree in music, Chris spent several years in New York City, where he worked primarily with jazz and pop/rock artists, including Robert Glasper, Jeremy Pelt, Mark Johnson and Joe Chambers. His next move was to Tokyo, where he spent eight years performing with mainstays in the Japanese jazz and avant-garde rock world such as Reebow, Kanaras, and Masahiko Osaka. Since 2008 Chris has made his home in Austin, where he has worked with Andre Hayward, Herlin Riley, Butch Miles, Pamela Hart and numerous other world-class musicians. In 2018, together with Andre Hayward, Chris co-led the release of the original album Way Back Home, featuring Chris’ compositions and arrangements. As of 2021, Chris continues to stay busy performing around Austin and Central Texas with his favorite musicians.

Todd Harrison - Drummer

Todd Harrison was born in Houston,TX and began playing drums when 10 yrs old. He began playing drums professionally at 14 yrs of age ( 1979) with various jazz,big band,latin and r&b groups. He studied Classical Percussion Performance ( Houston Baptist University)….and Jazz Theory and Composition with Shelly Berg and San Jacinto Jr. College in Houston.

Todd continued playing all over Texas and NewOrleans, Louisiana, Memphis,Nashville until 1996 when he became the drummer / percussionist / clinician / arranger for The US Army Jazz Ambassadors.( The Official Touring Jazz Band for The United States Army)

He spent 20 years in the Jazz Ambassadors performing with multitude of artists and other organizations including many of the major symphonies in the United States.( Detroit,Cincinnati,New York,Philadelphia,San Diego,Curtis and Pittsburgh) to name a few. Some of the artists Todd has performed / recorded with: US Army Jazz Ambassadors (1996-2016), Marvin Hamlisch, Conrad Herwig,

George Garzone, Kirk Whalum, Dick Oats, Rich Perry, Chris Vidala, The US Army Blues ( guest artist )Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, The Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra

Matt Niess and The Capitol Bones, Chris Potter, Wynona Judd, University of Miami Jazz Ensemble ( guest artist), Kevin Mahogany, Shelly Berg, Ingrid James, Bill Watrous …., Geri Allen, Andy Bey

Sammy Nestico, National Symphony Orchestra ( Kennedy Center ), Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cincinatti Pops ( Eric Kunzel), New York Philharmonic

L. A. Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony.

Todd is currently retired from The Jazz Ambassadors after 20 years and is a freelance performer/clinician/ arranger in the Washington DC / Baltimore area.

Andre Hayward - Trombonist

Andre Hayward is an extremely gifted trombonist with the sound and clarity reminiscent of the late J.J.

Johnson. His gospel-tinged approach is refreshing and will warm the hearts of anyone he comes in

contact with. Born in Houston, Texas in 1973, Hayward's first exposure to the world of music was through his parents,

Melvin and Barbara Hayward where musical talent exists on both sides. Hayward began playing trombone and tuba at the age of 11 under the tutelage of Leon Schreiber and 2 years later with Bob Odneal who was lead trumpeter for Maynard Ferguson. Hayward continued playing through high school where he attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts under the direction of notable jazz educator,Robert "Doc" Morgan. He continued to hone his skills with Houston's legendary educator,Conrad O. Johnson. It was Conrad's instruction, and the opportunity to work in his big band,"The Big Blue Sound", where he really started to gain experience working in an ensemble. He landed his first engagement with trumpeter Roy Hargrove for a European tour after being heard at a jam session during a festival while playing with the Texas Southern University Jazz Ensemble. After Hargrove, Hayward performed and recorded with singer/bandleader Betty Carter for five years in her

acclaimed "Jazz Ahead"program. Other acclaimed performers include Joe Williams, Slide Hampton, John Lewis, Mingus Dynasty Big Band, Gerald Wilson, Kirk Whalum,Jimmy Heath, The Duke Ellington Orchestra and Illinois Jacquet's Big Band. His most recent performance credits are The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The San Francisco Jazz Collective, and The Clayton - Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. In 2003, he received first place and a $20,000 scholarship at the International Thelonious Monk Trombone Competition in Washington,DC. Hayward is also an educator who has conducted numerous clinics and workshops in various parts of the US and overseas. Hayward has served as jazz trombone professor at New School of Jazz & Contemporary Music, New York University, New England Conservatory, Michigan State University, University of Texas - Butler School of

Music, and University of North Texas.

Russell Haight

Dr. Russell Haight is an Associate Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Texas State University. He maintains a busy schedule across Texas, and has played throughout the U.S., Canada, South America, and China. In the jazz idiom, he has performed with luminaries such as Bobby Shew, Bill Watrous, and George Duke; in the commercial idiom, he has performed and arranged for multi-Grammy winner Christopher Cross and with blues artist Ruthie Foster on her Live at the Paramount album (nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award). In 2017, Haight released Destination, his first album as a leader, which won a Silver Medal in the Global Music Awards. In 2019, he released his book, Odd-Meter Etudes for Saxophone with Mel Bay Publishers. As a researcher and educator, he has presented or performed at the International Saxophone Symposium, the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference, the Jazz Education Network conference, Texas Music Educators Association conference, the ProJazz Institute in Chile, and at universities throughout the southwestern region.Haight earned his Doctorate degree in Jazz Performance from The University of Texas. Skilled at both performance and research, he earned the Eleanor Stribling Award for Excellence in Jazz Performance and the prestigious Butler School of Music Outstanding Dissertation award while at UT.

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