The name James Gilyard is attached to many things related to jazz — bassist, composer, producer and lecturer. His early music career included three years in the Army Field Artillery Band. Sought after for his solid and sensitive accompaniment, he has performed with artists such as Kenny Burrell, James Clay, Red Garland, Carla Cook, David “Fathead” Newman, Roy Hargrove, Melvin Sparks, Melba Moore, and Roseanne Vitro to name a few. Voted Sammons Jazz Artist of the Year in 1998, the Oklahoma native would serve as the artistic director of Sammons Jazz from 1999 to 2011, creating many innovative programs such as the Sammons Jazz Youth Program. Sharing his talent in other ways, he formed the Generativity cooperative to produce recordings and channel proceeds into projects for other artists, benefiting more than 20 artists to date.
Primarily a bassist, arranger and producer Jerome Allen has worked on many of sessions-crossing gospel, jazz and R&B. He was a fixture as a performer in the Dallas church and jazz scene before he was old enough to drive. His father, who played guitar in a quartet group, had a profound impact upon his musical upbringing. Once he broke in with John P Kee, and the late Rev James Moore, he gained steady work with the likes of DFW Mass Choir and Rev Gerald Thompson. During 1991 and 1992 the in-demand musician went on the road with longtime personal friend Kirk Franklin and would end up working on several albums – including The Reason Why I Sing and What You’re Looking For and Kirk Franklin and The Family Christmas.
Throughout the ‘90s and 2000s Jerome toured with CeCe Winans, Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Wayman Tisdale and Sammons Artistic Director Arlington Jones. Allen has worked and recorded with The Arlington Jones Trio for several years.
John Adams is an acoustic and electric bassist, and is one of the Southwest’s most versatile and in-demand musicians. He holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of North Texas, including membership in the 1 O’clock Lab Band. He was also UNT’s jazz bass instructor for ten years. Adams is active as a studio musician, producer, arranger, composer, music contractor, and workshop clinician. He has backed and/or recorded for a wide array of artists including Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Phil Driscoll, Wayne Watson, Woody Herman, Randy Brecker, Marvin Stamm, Joe McBride, Bobby Lyle, Carl Fontana, Chet Baker, Clark Terry, Dave Liebman, and others. His broad musical background has also included symphonic and pit/show work.
A multi-talented musical artist, producer, educator, arranger, composer, radio broadcaster, and author, Roger Boykin began his musical career in 1955, playing guitar in a blues band while still in high school. He has worked in just about every area of music including: blues, jazz, gospel, and rhythm & blues. He started his own record label, Soultex Records, in 1967 and has produced numerous singles and albums. He currently works as an educator and radio DJ. He is a sought after jazz musician and plays multiple instruments including Piano, Saxophone and Guitar. He served as the Artistic Director of the Sammons Jazz series from 1997 to 1999. He has been a driving force behind the jazz music industry in Dallas going back to the Woodman Auditorium and The Recovery Room and was part of the circle of musicians who popularized the “Texas Tenor” style made famous by players such as David “Fathead” Newman and Marchel Ivery.