NPG, The Family, Purple Rain, Paisley Park and The Time.
Like her older brother, music legend Prince, Tyka Nelson grew up surrounded by music. The Minneapolis based artist is the daughter of Jazz singer Mattie Shaw and accomplished musician John L. Nelson. Growing up Tyka listened to Mahalia Jackson records and began singing at the age of 2. She wrote her first song at the ripe old age of 10. Tyka has a 4 octave range and plays 4 different instruments, piano, guitar, bass and clarinet but admits;
"I don't consider myself a musician, I play, just well enough to put down my own musical ideas."
Tyka has had people tell her that she often sounds like her older Brother, her reply is simply, "It is not my intent to sound like anyone else and I have strived to be original in everything I do. Even though my brother is someone I greatly love and respect, there can and will be only, one Prince."
With 4 CD's under her belt Tyka wanted to honor the memory of the late musician with the release of a music video for her song “End of the Road” that takes fans on a journey through her and her brother’s early life together. “After Prince passed I wanted to give him one final birthday present and I decided to fulfill his wish, and record this song at Paisley Park,” she says, referring to his home and studio in Minnesota, where the singer died last year. "This song poses the question ‘is this the End of The Road?’ and my answer is I don’t think so! I will see all three of my beautiful family members someday again."
St Paul Peterson
St Paul PetersonBass/Vocals
Discovered at 17 by Prince, St Paul was hand picked to appear in the 1984 Grammy Award winning film Purple Rain as the new keyboard player in the acclaimed funk group The Time. He shortly thereafter contributed his keyboard and bass skills to the group’s platinum album Ice Cream Castle (#24 pop), the infectious singles Jungle Love (#6 R& B/#20 pop) and The Bird (#36 pop).
Prince then recruited him to front The Family, now known as fDeluxe, whose self-titled debut was released to critical acclaim in September 1985, generating the popular singles The Screams Of Passion (#9 R&B), High Fashion, (#34 R&B) and the original, and arguably, the finest version of the worldwide hit Nothing Compares 2 U, later popularised by Sinead O’Connor.
A mainstay of the Minneapolis music scene St. Paul has scored R&B and Pop hits as a solo artist, contributed to a number of albums for Paisley Park (Jevetta Steele, Mavis Staples, Nona Gaye, Rosie Gaines) and written for acts as varied as The Corrs, Paula Abdul, The Veronicas, George Benson and David Sanborn.
St Paul is renowned as a thrilling live performer comfortable in every musical genre – complementing an impressive and ever-growing list of artists which includes Stevie Wonder, Steve Miller, Boz Scaggs, Lionel Richie, Reba McIntire, Kenny Loggins, The Beach Boys, Little Richard, Boy George, Robert Palmer, Dolly Parton and Oleta Adams. He continues to be in high demand as a studio musician, working with many of the biggest names in the business.
Singer, Songwriter, Supernova, Shelby Johnson or as Prince dubbed her “Shelby J.” is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina. Shelby’s motto is to “Spread Light and Love Through Music”
Shelby has performed and collaborated with some of the greatest talent in recorded music history. She has toured and recorded globally with her band Blackgypsy and notable artists/groups:
Groove Theory, Mary J. Blige, Anthony Hamilton, D’Angelo & The Soultronics, Santana, Larry Graham, David Byrne, The Legendary Roots Crew and a little over a decade with her mentor….. Prince.
As a member of Prince’s All-Star Band the New Power Generation, Shelby J. performed with Prince at the now historic 2007 Super Bowl Halftime Show, the Sold-Out 21 Nights in London Concert series @ the O2 Arena in London, which was immortalized in the Randee St. Nicholas coffee table book by the same name accompanied by the Indigo Nights CD which features Shelby on 2 of Prince’s favorite songs to cover Misty Blue & Baby Luv (Indigo Nights/21 Nights book & CD).
In 2012, Shelby collaborated with Prince & they co-wrote and ode to her home state entitled “North Carolina” featuring fellow North Carolinian Anthony Hamilton. The single, also produced by Prince was skyrocketed to #1 on Amazon’s Neo-Soul/R&B charts.
Now in 2017, Shelby J. is ready to share her new music! The first single is “Good 2 Know”. The new CD released in April 2017 is simply titled “10”. It honors the 10 years she spent with Prince, the date of her birth, and that of her late Father. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to share most of it with Prince in advance.
In June 2017 she was selected by iHeartRadio as their Artist Of The Month and selected again in August 2017! There have been more than one artist in a month but not one selected TWICE in a one month period. And her Social Media following continues to soar with current engagement of 50K-600K weekly. The Sky is the limit for this bright, rising star. Performing is Shelby’s life mission! She is using her platform and voice to encourage people to shine & reach their full God-given potential.
Best known as former keyboard player for Prince and the New Power Generation Cassandra O’Neal has an impressive resume of work with major industry artists such as Pink, 98 Degrees, Avant, Chante Moore, Mary J. Blige and Macy Gray.
O’Neal was named Musical Director for both Macy Gray and Mary J. Blige joining Jay Z the “heart of the City Tour” in 2008. She was also a member of all female band COED (Chronicles of Every Diva).
In 2009 Cassndra joined Prince in his highly acclaimed band The New Power Generation. Her first NPG performance was at the Grand Palais and La Cigale Concerts in France October of the same year. She played Prince’s 20Ten Tour, Welcome 2 America, the 2011 Montreal Jazz Festival special performance and the Welcome 2 America Euro 2011 tour. She stayed in the New Power Generation until 2014 and was an additional band member of the shows given by Prince with the 3rdEyeGirl until February 15.
Cora C. Coleman, (03 September 1980) better known as “Queen Cora”, is an author, producer, business owner, and international drummer. Her showmanship is recognized as inspiring, passionate and explosive. Throughout her music career, she has performed in over 40 countries, before hundreds of thousands of attendees and millions of viewers. In addition to her 5-year tenure with Prince and 3-year tenure with Beyoncé, she is the only musician to play in 2 of the United States NFL’s Top 10 Best
Super Bowl Half-Time Shows with both artists. Queen Cora graduated valedictorian of Kashmere High School (Houston, Texas, USA) and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Music Performance at Howard University in Washington, D.C., USA.
Her resume reads like a Who’s Who List across multiple genres including, but not limited to, P!nk, Richard Smallwood, Tom Schuman (Spyro Gyra), Yusef Lateef, Frank McComb, Zac Harmon, Joe Sample, Goapele, Jill Scott, Fantasia,Ledisi, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Meyers, Kathy Sledge, Ciara, Estelle, Faith Evans, Lalah Hathaway, Sheila E., SWV, Coko, Kelly Price, Keyshia Cole, Marsha, Ambrosius, Keri Hilson, Ciara, Missy Elliott, Maceo Parker, Sabrina Ferilli, Andrea Bocelli, Elisa, Francesco De Gregori, 2Cellos, Paul Young, Nino Frassica, Gigi Buffon, Tomoyasu Hoteiand many others. She is the house drummer for BET’s annual Black Girls Rock Awards TV Show.
In addition to her own signature line of drumsticks with Vater Percussion, Inc., she holds endorsement partnerships with the world’s finest instrument companies such as REMO, Inc., DW Drums, Vater, Inc., Sabian Cymbals, LP Percussion, Yamaha, Audio Technica, Sensaphonics, QSC Audio, Universal Audio, SKB Cases, and Arturia.
In 2016, Queen Cora designed her own 360 degree “Cosmic Electroacoustic” drum set with DW Drums, Inc. along with her first edition of The Queen Cora Magazine. She joined International Italian artist, Zucchero Sugar Fornaciari, for his Black Cat World Tour from Sept 2016 to October 2017. In the midst of the 2016 leg of the tour, Queen Cora partnered with European film company, Immersive VR, to produce her own Virtual Reality piece displaying an epic performance and behind the scenes on her 360 Degree Cosmic Electoracoustic Drum set at the historic Royal Albert Hall in London, England. She was a featured special guest of Zucchero for the 67th annual Sanremo Music Festival, a television show held at the Teatro Ariston in Sanremo, Liguria, Italy. It is organized and broadcast to an estimated 12 million viewers by RAI Uno, Italy’s national public service broadcaster, and second most watched television channel in the country.
Queen Cora has always been a leader, avid International Mentor and Master Clinician. She has authored GAGUGathering a Greater Understanding, The Ultimate Life Guide for Youth (Available in English & Spanish), as well as,Who Am I? For Preteens & Teens (Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese). She is the Founder and CEO of The VIVO Club, Inc., a U.S. based company that is a media & music conglomerate and umbrella for VIVO Publishing, VIVO Productions, and VIVO Entertainment. Her photography expressions are exclusively featured on India Arie’s Christmas with Friends album with Joe Sample. She is also the Founder and CEO of Building Simple, Inc., a U.S. based cutting-edge construction company that repurposes solid-steel shipping containers for residential, commercial, and recreational use.
In 2018, she will launch her custom royal apparel line that features her distinguished crowned Q, a virtual reality production entitled “Queen Cora presents The Royal Albert Hall from the Queen’s Throne”, her coffee table book, Memoirs from the Queen’s Throne with Zucchero Sugar Fornaciari on The Black Cat World Tour & The Wanted Tour.
Queen Cora Coleman currently resides in Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas.
Emerging in a pouf of dazzling stardust, Liv Warfield has solidified herself as a legend of her own time. Born in Peoria, Illinois the former Notre Dame Track star and gymnast began her singing career in Portland, Oregon where she had relocated to attend college. Influenced by musical heroines such as Nina Simone, Etta James, Sade, Tina Turner and Mary J. Blige, Liv has brought her own unique and soulful sound to the ranks of the indisputably talented.
In the beginning of her career, Liv collaborated with a myriad of local musicians in Portland which provided the platform to demonstrate her vocals across genres. As Liv began performing within Portland’s vibrant music scene, she established herself as an icon. She was ultimately hailed as “Portland’s most soulful singer” (Portland Monthly). Eventually, the fervent support she received locally became the catalyst that catapulted Liv’s career to the next level.
Liv Warfield’s talent defies definition. She sits comfortably outside the box and can croon her way into the top talent of any mix. However, if a definition is insisted upon – the singer herself describes her style as “alternative R&B Soul with a little bit of Rock ‘n’ Roll” – a style which she has spent years cultivating. In 2006, Liv’s self-released debut album Embrace Me, was well received and offered the world a glimpse into her distinguished sound. However, it was 2009 which brought the pivotal change of her career. The legendary performer Prince watched a video on YouTube of Liv singing “Gimme Shelter” and three months later, he called her to invite her to audition for his vocal backing group, the New Power Generation (NPG). For several years, Liv toured and blazed many stages with Prince and the NPG. Liv also sang on Prince’s 2010 album Lotusflow3r and since then, the rest is history – in the making.
Prince had become one of Liv’s greatest celebrity supporters. In a short but powerful appearance, he even sat with Liv’s band, BlackBird, during her top billed show at a 2014 Essence Fest afterparty at the House of Blues. Liv credits Prince as an ultimate music mentor who has taught her how to be great on the stage and in the studio; a gift she took back with her to Portland where she recorded her sophomore album, The Unexpected (released early 2014), with Prince as the Executive Producer.
Despite his involvement, Prince encouraged Liv to take full control of the album’s production. Wanting to preserve the spontaneity and excitement that comes with live music, Liv’s first music video for the album’s first single “Why Do You Lie” showcases Liv sharing the spotlight with her band, a full horn section and a minimalist white backdrop. After a long hiatus, Vh1 Soul reintroduced its popular “You Oughta Know” promo campaign with Liv as their first featured artist of 2014. Her second single is the title-track “The Unexpected,” written by Prince.
Prince isn’t the only big name star in Liv’s corner. She has performed alongside numerous legendary artist including Al Green, B.B. King, Dave Matthews Band, The Roots and more. Liv has performed from her album The Unexpected on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,”, “Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Arsenio Hall Show.” Liv has been interviewed on NPR (National Public Radio), and she has been nominated for three 2014 Soul Train Music Awards, where she is also scheduled to perform along with Chris Brown, Jodeci and more. With the dedication and tremendous talent evidenced in her journey so far, it is realistic to speculate that a future Liv Warfield Grammy nomination would not be unexpected.
"When Purple Rain came out, I wasn't even born! I got a message that Prince wanted me to come to Minneapolis and jam. I said WHEN? They said 'How soon can you come?'… I said 'I have a TV show to film next week so I can come anytime before that…so NOW!'"
She sports a colorful mohawk shaped like a bass clef. Explosive stage presence isn't enough to describe the way Nik West moves, wows, and shocks crowds everywhere. "She is a real life gumby on stage, all while singing, dancing, and slapping the hell out of her bass guitar!" With credits that include work with Quincy Jones Productions, Prince, Glee, American Idol, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame, and more, bassist, singer, and songwriter Nik West is anything more than just another pretty face.
Noted music journalist Alex Henderson (Billboard) sums West’s incredible talent up saying “Nik West is one 21st Century artist who isn’t lacking in the chops department. She is a young electric bassist who clearly knows her way around her instrument and plays like she has been inspired by the funky likes of Larry Graham, Louis Johnson (of Brothers Johnson fame) and Marcus Miller." She is also a highly expressive singer. Known for impressively recording a cover of "Back In Black" by AC/DC, Nik shocked many rock fanatics and became a new favorite of Steven Tyler and Lenny Kravitz.
She has also shared stages with John Mayer, Sugarland, Macy Gray, Bootsy Collins, George Clinton/Parliament Funkadelic, and Orianthi. In June 2016 Nik joined Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Slash as a cover girl for American Musical Magazine. She has appeared on the covers of virtually every bass magazine and has been featured in numerous publications for People Magazine, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Rollingstone, Ok! Magazine, Billboard, Afropunk and more. “Nik West is definitely bringing back the funk groovement and I love everything about what she stands for!” - Bootsy Collins
Jellybean Johnson is lauded as one of the primary architects of The Minneapolis Sound, the fusion of rock, funk, blues, R&B and hip-hop, that made Prince one of the top-selling pop artists for over 30 years.
In 1980 Jellybean’s high school friend Prince, who had started to make a name for himself on Warner Bros Records, united members of Jellybean’s band Flyte Tyme and his own Grand Central to form The Time. The group would go on to score four gold and/or platinum selling albums: The Time (1981), What Time Is It (1982), Ice Cream Castle (1984) and Pandemonium (1990). The band was featured prominently in Prince’s Grammy & Oscar winning film ‘Purple Rain’. Jellybean was also recruited to play drums for The Family, whose 1985 self-titled debut album featured ‘The Screams Of Passion’ (#9 R&B), ‘High Fashion’, (#34 R&B) and the original version of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ (later popularized by Sinead O'Connor).
Drummer, guitarist, writer, engineer, producer for a number of platinum selling acts, Jellybean’s track record spans recording studios, work on movie soundtracks and delivering dynamite live performances.
Guitarist/composer/arranger/producer/performer, Tori Ruffin has a twenty-five-year professional career in the music industry. For the past 23 years he has been the lead guitarist for Morris Day & The Time, appearing with the band on tour, TV (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Arsenio Hall Show and more) and in the studio.
In 2004 he toured with the band as opening act for Prince’s Musicology Tour and appeared on Prince’s DVD ‘Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic’. In 2016 he performed with the band at the ‘Official Prince Tribute - A Celebration of Life and Music” and in April 2017 as part of the official Paisley Park Celebration.
He was lead guitarist with Fishbone from 2000-2011 and for Michael Franti & Spearhead in 2002/3, touring Australia on a number of occasions. Tori has performed with acclaimed names such as Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz, American Idol’s Randy Jackson and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis of Flyte Tyme Productions as well as contributing to soundtracks for films such as Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, Sugar Hill and Coming to America. In the studio he has performed with, written with/for the likes of Mariah Carey, Smokey Robinson, Me’Shell NdegeOcello and Dru Hill amongst others.
A life long Minnesotan whose sound has always focused on a characteristically “Minneapolis” sound, Ricky Peterson is known for having produced, written and played keyboards for Prince on and off since his early days on the Twin Cities scene, perhaps most notably producing and arranging the song “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” and working on “Gold”, “Emancipation”, and “Crystal Ball”.
Playing with David Sanborn since the mid 80’s, he collaborated on “Songs from the Night Before” and played a big part in writing and producing George Benson’s “That’s Right” CD.
Ricky’s musical associations read like a pop and jazz encyclopaedia: Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Joel, Anita Baker, James Taylor, Mavis Staples, Joe Sample, Sting, Sergio Mendes, Brian Wilson, Ben Sidran, Rodger Waters, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Phil Upchurch, Jimmy Buffet, Fine Young Cannibals, Steve Miller Band, GoGos, Paula Abdul, Boz Scaggs, Dave Koz, Lalah Hathaway, Sheryl Crow, Jonathon Butler, Bruce Willis, The Jets, Jermaine Jackson, Rhythm Syndicate, Chaka Khan, Robben Ford, Howard Hewett, Larry Graham, Tuck & Patti and John Mayer.
Bernard “BK” Jackson is an international-performing saxophonist, electrifying audiences across the globe with his unique playing style, energetic stage presence and unparalleled passion for music that touches the soul.
A native of Tampa, Florida, he goes by the stage name “BK Jackson” and has crossed musical paths with industry giants such as B.B King, Bruno Mars, Brian McKnight, Hunter Hayes, Chaka Khan, Fantasia, Zac Brown Band and more. Most notably, BK spent three years touring domestically and abroad with musical icon Prince, performing timeless hits for sold out arenas night after night as a member of his 11-piece horn section, known as New Power Generation (NPG) Hornz.
As a child, BK first picked up the saxophone at the age of 11 and quickly began making a name for himself as a young performer to watch. Snagging numerous awards and recognitions for his undeniable talent and skillset, BK was voted as the Tampa Bay Entertainer of the Year (First Annual Black Diamond Award) and was the NAACP ACT-SO (Afro Academic Technological Scientific Olympics) Gold Medal Winner in the Music Instrumental/Contemporary Category. BK was also selected as a finalist in the Fifth Annual Capital Jazz Festival Challenge in Columbia, Maryland. He later went on to win that competition, becoming the youngest person to ever do so.
Adrian Crutchfield has taken the world by storm in recent years, not only as the last sax player to perform and record with Prince, touring the world and being featured on Prince’s last three albums, but also touring domestically and internationally with acts such as Lionel Ritchie, Bette Midler, and Cee Lo Green — all the while writing and building his 2017 release titled ‘Leap’.
A formally educated professional musician, Lynn J. Grissett Jr. is a truly dedicated artist.
A member of the New Power Generation Hornz, the horn section of the band New Power Generation (NPG) once led by the late great musical genius Prince, Lynn has performed around the world as both a solo artist and as part of elite level ensembles. His trumpet can be heard on the following recordings: Prince: Hit N Run Phase One & Two (2015) Liv Warfield: The Unexpected (2014) Judith Hill: Back In Time (2015) Grammy Nominated: (Mint Condition: Healing Season (2015).