Side Personnel

About the Side Personnel Teams

Two teams of side personnel will support the finalist for the "Live" competition. The two teams will perform with all of the contestants, and switch finalist on the second night of competition so as not to give any contestants an undue advantage in performance opportunity.

Team One

Team 1 features Dezron Douglas (Acoustic Bass) from Hartford, CT and Dayeon Seouk (Drums) from South Korea. We have nicknamed this team "Da Army" 'cause they put in more work in two hours on the band stand then most people put in all day.

Dezron DouglasDezron Douglas (Acoustic Bass)

Known for his musical versatility, bassist Dezron Douglas is one of the most in demand young bassists in jazz today. Composer, bandleader, sideman and educator, Dezron has established himself as a musician’s musician, respected not only for his talent but also for his dedication to the authenticity of the music.

Born and raised in Hartford, CT, Dezron grew up surrounded by music. His first musical influences weren't actually jazz, even though he is the nephew of the legendary drummer and composer, Walter Bolden (Nancy Wilson). With the encouragement of his mentor, the late saxophonist, composer, and educator Jackie Mclean, he enrolled in the Jackie McLean Institute of African American Music at the Hartt School of Music.

Dezron began recording in 2005, “Marsalis Music Honors Michael Carvin”, produced by Branford Marsalis, the CD featured Master drummer Michael Carvin. This experience opened up a flood gate of other opportunities. Over the years, he has continued to perform and record with Michael Carvin, Pharoah Sanders, Cyrus Chestnut, Louis Hayes, George Cables, Abraham Burton/Eric McPherson, Rene McLean, Al Foster, Ravi Coltrane, Billy Drummond, Steve Davis, Victor Lewis, Winard Harper, Mulgrew Miller, Lewis Nash, Kevin Mahogany, Carla Cook, Kenny Garrett, Steve Coleman, and Willie Jones III.

Da Yeon SeoukDa Yeon Seouk (Drums)

Dayeon Seok is a New York based Korean female drummer who plays a variety of musical styles in various settings from jazz to contemporary music. Discovered by Ellis Marsalis in 2017 her musical virtuosity was such that he immediately commented on her skills of study in the jazz idiom.

Dayeon earned a Bachelor's degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2012 and a Master's degree at New York University in 2014. During the school years in NYU, she did an internship twice at the program, School for Improvisational Music running by Ralph Alessi (2013, 2014). Upon graduating from NYU, Seok joined Russ Lossing's group, King Vulture, and has been performing as a sideman with many other great artists such as Adam Kolker, Matt Pavolka, Kyoko Kitamura, Frank Kimbrough, Ken Filliano, Kenny Wessel and so on.

She currently tours internationally and abroad and his working on her as yet untitled second album as a leader.

Team Two

Team 2 features Mimi Jones (Acoustic Bass) from New York, NY and Jerome Jennings (Drums) from Cleveland, OH. We call this team "Da Beasts" 'cause… well just wait 'til you hear them on the band stand. They are what they are.

Mimi JonesMimi Jones (Acoustic Bass)

For the more than two decades she’s been on the scene, bassist/vocalist/producer/label owner and now filmmaker Mimi Jones has reigned supreme, as a side woman to an impressive coterie of musicians and as a leader with three CDs on her own label, (Hot Tone Music) featuring the Mimi Jones Band.

Born in New York City of parents from Barbados, and raised in the Bronx,Jones is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music Conservatory and she has studied with Lisle Atkinson, Ron Carter, Linda McKnight, Milton Hinton and others.

She has toured extensively throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean Islands and is recognized as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador. Her vast work as a side woman includes gigs with Kenny Barron, Frank Ocean, Dianne Reeves, Tia Fuller, Ingrid Jensen, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Marc Cary, Toshi Reagon, Rachel Z, Sean Jones, Ravi Coltrane, and Terri Lyne Carrington’sGrammy Award winning Mosaic Project.

Jones also serves as co-director with ArcoIris Sandoval of The D.O.M.E. Experience, a multimedia project created to inspire its audience to become aware of environmental and social issues, within the community and globally through choreography, composition and cinematography.

Jerome JenningsJerome Jennings (Drums)

Ask anyone who has ever experienced him play, he owns his music. There are no wasted beats, or breaks. Every sound, every moment of silence, has a purpose. You cannot hear him and not feel the intensity behind his playing. The rhythm talks to you and the conversation between sound and emotion has always been the best recipe for good music, with Jennings you get both.

Jerome has always valued education and the pursuit of excellence. In 2004 he graduated from Rutgers University Mason Gross School for the performing arts. Later, the summer of 2007 Jerome earned a Masters Degree from the prestigious Juilliard School in Manhattan NY. Beginning fall 2017, Jerome has accepted the position as Resident Director of The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra.

Currently, Jerome is keeping extremely busy teaching, conducting clinics, educational youth out reach in conjunction with Jazz At Lincoln Center's Jazz for Young People (JFYP) program. As always, Jerome has remained a pertinent performer. His debut recording ‘The Beast’ was named one of the top 3 Jazz releases by NPR, received a 4 star rating in DownBeat Magazine, and nominated for the prestigious French ‘Grand Prix du disque’ award for Album Of The Year 2016.

To date Jerome has/is performing/recording/touring with; Sonny Rollins, Hank Jones, The Count Basie Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Wynton Marsalis (J@LC), Christian McBride, Paula West, Ernestine Anderson, The Mingus Big Band, Catherine Russell, Craig Handy, Davell Crawford, Henry Butler, Houston Person, Mike "Philly" Phillips, Slide Hampton, Benny Golson, Gerald Wilson, Tim Reis, Bernard Fowler, Benny Powell, Ronnie Mathews, Curtis Fuller, Valery Ponomarev, and many more.

Special Guest

Camille ThurmanCamiller Thurman (Saxopones/Vocalist)

Acclaimed by Downbeat Magazine as a "rising star" singer with "soulful inflection and remarkable, Fitzgerald-esque scat prowess” and hailed by All About Jazz as a “first class saxophonist that blows the proverbial roof of the place", Camille Thurman has been amazing audiences throughout the world with her impeccable sound, remarkable vocal virtuosity and captivating artistry.

Many have praised her vocal abilities to the likeness of Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter. Her lush, rich & warm sound on the tenor saxophone has led others to compare her to tenor greats Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon. An accomplished performer and composer, Camille has worked with notableJazz and R&B icons such as George Coleman, Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves,Wynton Marsalis & the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jon Hendricks, Pattie LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Louis Hayes, Russell Malone, Nicholas Payton, Jacky Terrasson, Alicia Keys, Lalah Hathaway, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu among others.

Camille has performed with her band at the Kennedy Center, Rose Theater, Alice Tully Hall, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, The Library of Congress, the Sydney International Women in Jazz Festival, the Tomsk International Jazz Festival, the International Fano Jazz Festival and many other prominent jazz venues and festivals around the world. A 2017 season highlight includes performing as a feature artist alongside Harry Connick Jr., Audra MacDonald, Diana Krall, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Renee Fleming, Marilyn Maye and Kenny Washington along with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra for the "Ella at 100: Forever The First Lady of Song" Gala concert in tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.