Rudy Royston 303

If there are better debut jazz discs to come in 2014, they will have to be exceptional ones indeed.
Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

a first-tier talent.
Nate Chinen, The New York Times

an ambitious and infectious debut.
Frank Alkyer, DownBeat Magazine

No single mood, idea or direction dominates on 303, and that’s what’s so refreshing. So many albums tend to be created with tunnel vision, but 303 is more of a panoramic construct.
Dan Bilawsky,

Mimi Sunrise,’ ... is the drummer-as-bandleader statement that shows Royston’s more nuanced touches, revealing his technique as not really a trick of showmanship or virtuosity, but one of limitless possibilities of texture.
Nate Patrin, Burning

surprisingly soulful". . . “303 is a solid debut.
Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

Rudy Royston steps out swinging with an auspicious debut.
Brent Black,

a terrifically energetic bandleading debut.
Nate Chinen, The New York Times

Royston's seven piece band manages to sound loose and atmospheric even at its most heated.
Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader


303 is the area code for Denver, Colorado that I grew up with. The music on this project is a tribute to the sites and people, the sounds and scenes, the music and amazing musicians I grew up appreciating and from whom I learned so much. It is eclectic, funky, swinging and vibey, energetic and engaging. I hope you enjoy.

!!SEE!! 303 @ the VIDS link above


Nadje Noordhuis - horns

Nadje Noordhuis’ journey has taken her from a youth spent studying classical music in her native Australia to a headlong dive into the world of jazz that has earned her acclaim in the music’s mecca, New York. She was one of ten semi-finalists in the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition and was selected as a Carnegie Hall Young Artist to undertake a residency with trumpet great Dave Douglas in 2010. Noordhuis is a member of several big bands, including Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and the Diva Jazz Orchestra. As a composer, Noordhuis has been commissioned by the Baroque ensemble ThoroughBass, the new music ensemble ExhAust, and by the 2009 Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT). Noordhuis’ self-titled debut album was released in 2012 on the Little Mystery Records label. A luxurious autobiography in music, she incorporates gorgeous melodies, lush romanticism, vibrant improvisation, and influences ranging from Irish folk songs to Spanish tango.

Jon Irabagon - saxes

Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, has been performing with many of New York City's forward-looking groups in recent years, including Mostly Other People do the Killing, the Mary Halvorson Quintet and Septet, Mike Pride's From Bacteria to Boys, the Rudy Royston 303 and the Dave Douglas Quintet in addition to his own group Outright! and his trio with Mark Helias and Barry Altschul. Irabagon has two releases on his own Irabbagast Records label, with plans for two more in 2014.

Sam Harris - piano

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Sam Harris’ life in music began at the age of two when his parents put him in early piano lessons.  He quickly excelled in his classical training and under the guidance of his endlessly dedicated teacher Janet Jones, was soon competing regularly on the local and statewide levels.  While attending Booker T. Washington High School for the Arts, he discovered jazz and was soon consumed with the dual pursuit of classical and improvisatory music.  He began studying with local piano legend Bill Lohr, who instilled in him a sense of dedication to melody and taught him the importance of listening.  In 2004, he made the move to New York to study at the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in only five years, studying privately with teachers like Jason Moran, Garry Dial, and John Riley.  He has since been touring extensively in bands led by forward-thinking musicians such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Logan Richardson, Gretchen Parlato, Ben Van Gelder, and has also had the opportunity to play with the likes of Greg Osby, Jeff Ballard, Dave Douglas, Nasheet Waits, Joel Frahm, among many others.  He has appeared at venues and festivals all over the world, including the Playboy Jazz Fest, Jazz a Vienne, Duc des Lombards (Paris, FR), Istanbul Jazz Festival, Skopje Jazz Festival, Espacio Cultural Cajacanaria (Canary Islands, ES), Umbria Jazz (Perugia, IT), Bimhuis (Amsterdam, NL), The Concertgebouw (Amsterdam, NL) , as well as New York venues like Carnegie Hall, Jazz Standard, Jazz Gallery, and Smalls.

Nir Felder - guitar

Possibly the most in demand guitarist in New York City, Nir Felder's is a new voice in jazz guitar.  Originally inspired by the blues and by rock icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Felder attended Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship before moving to New York City in the summer of 2005. Felder has since performedaround the world and in New York's finest venues, including Radio City Music Hall and the Village Vanguard, and with artists including Greg Osby, Meshell N'degeocello, Chuck Mangione, Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, Cindy Blackman, Terri Lyne Carrington, Mark Turner, Jason Moran, Dave Douglas, Marshall
Crenshaw, Stanley Clarke and George Duke. Other highlights include tours throughout Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East, television appearances on NBC and FOX, and work with Philip Seymour Hoffman's LABrynth Theater Company, New York Yankee Bernie Williams, pop star Matisyahu, hip-hop legends Black Sheep, and members of The Ramones and Bad Company. He can also be heard increasingly regularly as a leader, with his original projects the Nir Felder 4 and Big Heat.

Mimi Jones - bass

New York native Mimi Jones is a multi-talented bassist, vocalist, composer, producer and founder of the Hot Tone Music Label.
Jones’ elegant sound is a delicate fusion of traditional & contemporary jazz that incorporates elements of eclectic soul, funk, and rock. Her subtle use of texture, dynamics, simple yet unpredictable progressions supported over a heavy bounce no matter what the groove, is almost always crowned with a memorable melody. Recently, she released her sophomore album Balance, featuring Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), Marvin Sewell (guitar), Justin Faulkner (drums), Shirazette Tinnin (drums), Luis Perdomo (piano), Miki Hayama (piano), Enoch Smith Jr. (piano), and Camille Thurman (flute).

Jones is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music Conservatory. She has studied with Lisle Atkinson, Ron Carter, Milton Hinton, Barry Harris, Dr. Billy Taylor, Yusef Latif, and Guillermo Edgehill. As a “side man", she has performed with numerous artist such as Lionel Hampton, Kenny Barron, Kevin Mahogany, Liz Wright, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ravi Coltrane, Tia Fuller, Sean Jones and more.

Mimi Jones continues to lead her band, “the Mimi Jones Band" and has performed at venues including the Kennedy Center, Jazz Standard, Blue Note, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. She has toured extensively throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean Islands and is also recognized as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador in twelve countries.

Yasushi Nakamura - bass

Nakamura was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1982 and grew up in Seattle. His musical training began at age eleven with clarinet and tenor saxophone, and he switched to bass at age fourteen. After graduating Newport High School in 2000, Nakamura went on to study jazz at Berklee College of Music, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Performance in 2003. In 2004, he received a full scholarship to the Juilliard School, graduating with AD Program in Jazz Studies in 2006.  Yasushi has performed in many countries around the world with jazz greats such as Clarence Penn, Frank Kimbrough, Wynton Marsalis, Hank Jones, and more!