Robert Turner is an inspired modern pianist who gained his first musical “chops” playing at the local Baptist churches in California before studying music at LA City College and Sacramento State University. He is greatly influenced by piano greats such as Gene Harris and Erroll Garner and has performed with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Dr. Dre. After spending 5 years in Japan partly studying music at the Yamaha school of music in Nagoya he relocated to Shanghai and has been a steady member of the band PGP and has also been a featured and award-winning artist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He has scored music for films such as Contradictions of the Heart and produced several CDs including China Piano, Silent Night, Blues for Gene (Harris) and Softly Come Here.
Kharon is currently living in the Las Vegas and drums up a storm weekly on show ‘Sherry Gordy Presents’. Sherry Gordy is the daughter of Motown founder Berry Gordy and each week on the show, Kharon is backing the biggest names in the business. George Duke, Jackie McLean, Sheila E.,Gerald Wilson, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Handcock, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg just to name a few!!
Henry “Skipper” Franklin
Franklin played on Hugh Masekela’s 1968 number one single, “Grazing in the Grass,” as well as with Masekela’s band at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June 1967. In addition, Franklin has played and recorded with Gene Harris & the Three Sounds, Hampton Hawes, Freddie Hubbard, Bobbi Humphrey, Willie Bobo, Archie Shepp, O.C. Smith, Count Basie, Stevie Wonder and Al Jarreau. Franklin’s recording—composed by Sanifu Al Hall, Jr.– “Soft Spirit” was featured on the breakbeat compilation Tribe Vibes as it had been sampled by the musical group A Tribe Called Quest. Encourage by his father, Sammy Franklin, a jazz trumpeter and bandleader, he studied with Al McKibbon and George Morrow and listening to Paul Chambers and Doug Watkins.
While attending the Manual Arts High School he played with his first professional band – the Roy Ayers Latin Jazz Quintet. Around that time, Franklin worked with Harold Land and Hampton Hawes. Years later he would tour Europe with Hawes and record five albums with him. In Los Angeles, Franklin also played with Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Billy Higgins and Scott LaFaro.