"In my opinion jazz is the back-bone of modern music's evolutions.It is a music of multi-potentialities, of mystery and mood, it is a magic medicine and the perfect antidote for a world ridden with greed, superficiality and absurdities"
Miranda Sprague is vocalist with an unprecedented fearlessness. When she writes, she writes the truth. When she composes she composes the vivid subtlties of the world. When she sings she sings from depth of her soul but with a thoughtfulness and authenticity that moves room. She sees each performance as an opportunity for conversation, exploration and ingenuity. Ms. Sprague discovered her gift by 6 and since then has chipping away at her craft. She has played with numerous acts around Chicago venues from the Elbo Room to the House of Blues. She has been featured as back-up vocalist for Songwriter/Singer Zoie Moser. After receiving her bachelors in music performance she wanted to create her own group but wanted to include as many different musicians as possible in fluid, flexible way. She was recently awarded a Jazz Fellowship with the Luminarts Cultural Foundation and wanted use her gift to make social change. Thus she created Coffee Jazz. Miranda actively composes for Coffee Jazz Collective. It is her aim, with the collective, to make a comfortable place for jazz and the peace it has to offer the world. She believes that "music has more healing power than we understand".
The Mystic Vocalist/Composer
Cesar Martinez is a guitarist born in Leon GTO, Mexico and raised in Chicago, IL. His music and guitar playing has been described as authentic and energetic. Cesar was a student at Chicago High School for the Arts where his love of music grew. During his time at Chiarts he was offered many opportunities such as studying with jazz greats, performing on 98.7 WFMT, Chicago's classical radio station, with his classical guitar trio, and sharing the stage with world famous guitarist Earl Klugh.
After graduating Chiarts, Cesar decided to stay in Chicago and study jazz and contemporary music at Roosevelt University. During this time, he was given the opportunities to play in legendary venues such as the Jazz Showcase, Room 43, Andy's Jazz Club, and the famous Auditorium Theatre. His time at Roosevelt opened his ears to music outside of jazz and classical, where he played in Afro-Cuban, Fusion, Brazilian, R&B and even Avant-Garde groups. All of which has contributed to Cesar's eclectic style playing and great listening.
The Gifted Guitarist
The Piano Prodigy
Hana Fujisaki is a Chicago-based jazz pianist, R&B keyboardist, composer, arranger, and artist. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, she learned organ and contemporary music at Yamaha music school, where she studied under Kimie Takano, Eri Uenoyama and Yasuyuki Kasori. While she attended there, she has been awarded several times by Yamaha for her talent in organ performance and for her composition works. She had grown her interests in variety of genres of music by the time she formally started her study in jazz music at Senzoku Gakuen High School in Kanagawa, Japan, where she studied jazz piano and ensemble under Yuki Arimasa, Yasuhiko Sato and Tomonao Hara.
After attending Middle Tennessee State University to study jazz and classical music under Pat Coil, Arunesh Nadgir and Jamey Simmons, she moved to Chicago to attend Chicago College of Performing Arts, where she got her BM. While studing jazz and Latin music in the environment surrounded by jazz greats, including Jim Trompeter, Scott Mason, Paul Wertico, Henry Johnson, Paulinho Garcia, Tom Garling, Fred Simon and Ruben Alvarez, she has been introduced to the music scene to play a variety of gigs at some of the major venues including the Jazz Showcase, Andy’s Jazz Club, House of Blues, Reggies Rock Club, the Cubby Bear and Hard Rock Cafe.
While working on her BM, she was one of eight finalists in the Luminarts 2015 jazz competition and was given the opportunity to perform at Buddy Guy's Legends. She is currently working on her master's degree at Northwestern University in Evanston for further exploration in music performance and composition.
"I play jazz so I can be expressive and feel connected to the world"
"I play jazz for the feeling of connection you get while creating something beautiful and spontaneous with everyone around you. Whether you're in a big band or a duo, jazz has a special way of giving everyone their own voice within this sound that is so much larger than anything one individual could ever create. Jazz creates a community, and a sense of community is something that is desperately needed in these times."
The Innovative Guitarist/Arranger/Composer
Ariel Glassman is a Chicago based guitarist, composer, and arranger. She has played in various venues all across the city both as a leader and sideman. Ariel has also taken a special interest in arranging and writing for large ensemble and has finds interesting ways to tie jazz with hip hop that hopes to find paths to building a stronger Chicago community.
Versatile Guitarist/ Arranger/Composer
Aaron Day is a Chicago-based guitarist, composer, arranger and bandleader. He has a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies with a Minor in Music Composition from Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. Since moving to Chicago in 2012, Aaron has performed in a variety of musical settings around the city in clubs such as the Green Mill, The Jazz Showcase, Double Door, the Promontory and House of Blues. His current groups include the Aaron Day Jazz Quartet, which performs in clubs and restaurants throughout the greater Chicago Area, and an original neo-soul/jazz group with fellow CCPA alumni called Astro Samurai (www.astrosamurai.bandcamp.com). He plays lead guitar in the praise and worship team at Living Gospel Church of God in Christ in Elgin, IL, as well as in working bands throughout the Midwest that perform for corporate and private events.
"As a working guitarist, I enjoy the many opportunities and challenges that arise and I'm always looking to create new dialogue through music."