Bata Ire celebrates the contribution of African slaves who, through ingenuity and determination, preserved their rich spiritual and cultural traditions. Through the centuries these musics evolved with Latin musical idioms to form the roots of several styles of popular music, such as Salsa, Samba, Jazz, Reggae, Rock & Roll, and Hip Hop, influencing not only the Americas but the entire world.
Bata Ire's Discography with Invincible Music
Music Director, Repenique, Congas, Bata, Percussion, Vocals
Emilio is a graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Music in Applied Arts and Sciences. Since moving to Arizona, he has been awarded a 2000 Artist Project Grant from the National Endowment For The Arts through the Arizona Commission On The Arts, for independent study of Afro-Cuban/Brazilian folkloric musical forms and continued research of the similarities of language, rhythm, song and dance of those musical idioms. He has also been awarded a Glendale Performance Arts Grant for a series of concerts and lectures on Afro-Cuban/Brazilian musics and culture.
Lauren Winston-McPherson has had a life infused with music and musical performance. She has been singing consistently for over 18 years. She completed her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Arizona State University in 2008, studying classical Western music. She specialized in French Art Song and experimental music of late-20th century American composers. Along with her study of Western Classical repertoire, she has been singing contemporary folk, rhythm & blues, and funk music for most of her life. As a vocalist she has performed a wide range of musical styles in numerous languages. In addition to performing with the Bata Ire, she also is currently working with a funk group called, Hot Birds and the Chili Sauce, which specializes in rare groove American funk.
Jesse Joaquin Parker
Vibraphone, Congas, Bata, Percussion
Mr. Parker has extensive experience in both percussion performance and education. Having studied under the likes of Fred Bugbee, Michael Burrit, Blake Tyson, Emilio Caruso, J.B. Smith. Mark Sunkett, Bill Wanser, Dom Moio, Michael Kocour, Taumbu, Dick Sisto, Rufus Reed, Ernie Chavarilla, and Louis Daniel Rivera, Jesse Parker has acquired a vast array of styles, techniques, and musical experiences. At the Percussive Arts Society International Marimba Competition, Mr. Parker placed fourth in a field of hundreds from all over the world. On the concert stage, Mr. Parker has been a member of the Las Cruces Symphony, El Paso Symphony, El Paso Wind Symphony, Star City Percussion Ensemble, Mesa Symphony, Salt River Brass Band, Arizona State Symphony Orchestra and the Contemporary music ensemble, Crossing 32nd Street.
Drumset, Percussion, Bata
Erik, a Phoenix native, has been involved in music since a young age. Starting on clarinet and then switching to percussion in high school, he went on to study clarinet and percussion at Northern Arizona University briefly, but decided to pursue a degree in jazz performance on drumset at Arizona State University. Erik has studied jazz drumset and percussion with Dom Moio, J.B. Smith, Mark Sunkett, Emilio Caruso and Joel Spencer. He currently plays in genres spanning from jazz to indie-rock. Erik has performed with Mike Kocour, Chris Vidala, Chris Champion, Justin Brottman, Jeff Libman, Ionnis Goudalis, Andrew Gross and has toured and recorded with the acclaimed indie-pop band, The Yellow Minute.
Rich "The Factor" Kniss
Electric Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
Mr. Kniss, originally from Chicago, has emerged as one of the most exciting and unique jazz guitar voices in the Phoenix Valley. Rich completed a degree in jazz performance from Arizona State University, having studied extensively with Chris Champion and Mike Kocour. Mr. Kniss has a deep love of bebop in combination with a passion for the newer styles of jazz guitar. Rich currently runs a private lesson studio.
Marcus Weeden is a bassist/multi-instrumentalist who originally hails from the "The Last Frontier"of Anchorage, Alaska, also known as the "Land of the Midnight Sun". His classical pianist/church organist mother and R&B/jazz guitarist father encouraged him to explore all genres of music early on. His diverse musical background it has enabled him to be a chameleonic backdrop sideman in live/studio sessions ranging from rock, jazz, funk, folk, alternative rock and even country! Some of his accomplishments include: Composing and conducting a 3- part symphonic suite for high school orchestra, brass, and percussion; showcasing for Columbia Records with alternative rock band Twig; having album compositions receive rave reviews from overseas in Europe via internet radio with the funk and soul group Calumet; having the chance to play and share the stage with the GREAT George Benson!