Ragan Whiteside
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Ragan Whiteside

Marietta, Georgia, United States | INDIE

Marietta, Georgia, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz Soul




"Evolve - Album Review (All Music Guide)"

If versatile vocalist and urban jazz flutist Ragan Whiteside had emerged about two decades earlier, her soulful melodies, pocket grooves, and spirited improvisations would have been huge in the emerging smooth jazz format. But somewhere along the way, even during the time when the genre was at its peak, the flute fell out of flavor as a lead instrument and artists like Whiteside and Althea Rene could only find traction going the independent route. Timing aside, Whiteside -- who picked up steam as a solo artist after winning the New Artist Competition at the Capital Jazz Festival in the mid-2000s -- delivers a hot mix of infectious R&B-funk-jazz tunes on her sophomore disc. Though there's little doubt that her strong songwriting and colorful playing style (and her ability to weave in dreamy backing vocals) could have made this collection an artistic triumph on its own, it make sense to namedrop because a few of the genre's biggest names are vibing with her. The lighthearted, easy grooving "Feelin' Free" (featuring an inspiring lead vocal by Whiteside) features the snazzy retro-soul keys of Bob Baldwin. The crunch retro-funk piece "Off Kilter" has one of the flutist's brightest performances, backed by the electric guitar snap and a spirited solo by Chieli Minucci. She also pairs beautifully with the dreamy soprano sax harmonies of Marion Meadows on the lyrical ballad "Until Next Time." Those "all-star" assisted tracks are just the springboard for one of the most solid indie urban jazz sets of 2012. - Jonathan Widran for All Music Guide

"Review: Ragan Whiteside — Evolve"

I recall watching flautist/vocalist Ragan Whiteside perform for the very first time at the Capital Jazz Fest as part of the Capital Jazz Fest New Talent Competition a few years ago and, even before she was declared the winner, I felt deep in my bones that she would have that honor bestowed upon her. So fluid, assured, and comfortable with her instrument and within herself that you just knew she had claimed that honor long before it was given.

Here with her sophomore release Evolve, she continues her self-assured strut with an R&B/smooth jazz mix of tunes that beckons you to dance along with and follow her down the path she’s taking here.

Getting a little help from the likes of keyboardist Bob Baldwin, guitarist Chieli Minucci, saxman Marion Meadows, vocalist Porter Carroll Jr., and solid material, Whiteside comes prepared to convince – and convince she does.

As mentioned, the material is solid and becoming. Even her interpretation of the Ohio Players’ classic “Sweet Sticky Thing” takes the tune on a new revved up funky journey, and her “Sun Up in My Sky” with its Maysa-like feel is cool, sweet, and comforting.

The solid drive in her mid-to up-tempo material is infectious (e.g., “Mean to Me”), and her strong vocals only further accentuates her entire package.

Here is a talented young artist who has made it clear that she’s in this for the long haul. Judging from the material here, I’ve no doubt that there is so much more to come and that we may yet see yet another evolution as she explores the many facets of her creativity. – Ronald Jackson - Ronald Jackson for The Smooth Jazz Ride

""Evolve" Review"

"evolve" is an astounding album by ragan whiteside. the band is superb, but the real hero is ragan herself, when she gives the emotional punch using her angelic voice on every chorus and verse. like much of the album, it's ornate, idiosyncratic and bittersweet all at once. as bruce springsteen once sang "she's all that heaven will allow." - John Shelton Ivany - John Shelton Ivany

"Smooth Jazz Therapy Review: Ragan Whiteside - Evolve"

With a magical combination of neo soul and urban jazz, Smooth Jazz Therapy favorite and flautist extraordinaire Ragan Whiteside is back on the scene with her brand new project ‘Evolve’. It follows her 2007 recording ‘Class Axe’, which at the time I described as finding the sweet spot where contemporary jazz meets smooth R & B, and in common with this previous release benefits hugely from the input of Bob Baldwin and Dennis Johnson. Perfectly demonstrating the talents of Whiteside, not only as a sublime flute player, but also as a songwriter and vocalist, ‘Evolve’ is right up there with the best contemporary jazz albums of 2012.

Take for example the magically mellifluous [‘Livin' Lovin'] that was co-written by Whiteside, Johnson and Baldwin. It’s the sort of tune of which you will never tire and much the same can be said of the CD’s only cover, a real hip swinging version of the Ohio Players 1975 smash ‘Sweet Sticky Thing’ where Phil Hamilton on guitar and Baldwin on keys complement Whiteside’s contribution on both flute and vocals.

‘Sun Up In My Sky’ is another free flowing, soulful number and the first single to be offered to radio is the wonderfully zesty ‘Off Kilter’ which features Chieli Minucci on guitar and has all the attributes necessary to bring the flute back into mainstream focus. In fact ‘Evolve’ provides a delicious blend of vocals and instrumentals. In this latter category ‘Until Next Time’ revolves around a tuneful duet between Whiteside and sax-man Marion Meadows that really is something to savor while, right up there with the best of the vocal tracks, the hypnotic vibe of ‘Mean To Me’ offers another opportunity for Whiteside to show off her prowess as a bone fide soul singer.

Elsewhere, the title cut is jazzy, percussive and intense whilst in similar vein is ‘Eight Thirty Seven’ where Whiteside’s soaring flute dazzles like light on water. Much the same can be said of her performance with the languidly mellow ‘Memories Of You’ and a real standout in a collection crammed full of them is the superbly soulful ‘On The Dance Floor’. It finds Whiteside in a glorious duet with Porter Carroll Jr yet just as good is the easy grooving ‘Feelin’ Free’ where Bob Baldwin takes a featured spot on keys.

Check out ‘Evolve’ now. You wont be disappointed. - Smooth Jazz Therapy

"Ragan Whiteside’s collection ‘Evolve’ is a fun journey back in time"

Listening to the ‘Evolve’ collection by Ragan Whiteside, one conjures an image of a newly discovered vinyl album locked away in a time capsule, being listened to for the first time since the 1970’s. Ragan Whiteside’s newest collection, ‘Evolve’ is that breezy feel good, feel free 1970’s style of fusion, jazz and funk music that mixes it up with modern day style neo soul and adult contemporary. Several songs from Ragan Whiteside are reminiscent to the 1970’s musicians such as Bobbi Humphrey, and modern contemporary musicians such as Jane Bunnett.

The music from ‘Evolve’ showcases masterfully Ragan Whiteside on flute and vocals. Several well known artists make the collection ‘Evolve’ an instant must have album. Bob Baldwin contributes to the song ‘Feelin Free.’ Chieli Minucci lends his talents in the song and first song release from ‘Evolve’ collection, ‘Off Kilter.’ ‘On the Dance Floor’ features Porter Carroll Jr., and ‘Until Next Time,’ has contributions from Marion Meadows.
Ragan Whiteside’s collection ‘Evolve’ is a fun journey back in time
Video: Ragan Whiteside’s collection ‘Evolve’ is a fun journey back in time

Enjoy the video ‘Feelin Free’ on Ragan Whiteside’s video jukebox page at NewporterJazz. Enjoy great songs from Ragan Whiteside’s newest collection ‘Evolve’ on great jazz stations such as NewporterJazz. When searching for epoch timeless fusion jazz and funk music and new modern neo soul, ‘Evolve’ presents the best of all worlds. ‘Evolve’ is destined to be an instant ageless classic and a must have compilation. - NEWPORTER JAZZ / EXAMINER.COM

"R&R Going for Adds"

Week of: October 1, 2007

A First-Magnitude Star;
Up-And-Coming Act

Balance is said to be the secret of happiness and well-being. Smooth jazz programmers strive for a certain on-air equilibrium, in which the music, with elements between the records, fit together sonically to create their unique brand: classic tracks; other gold; currents; vocals; instrumentals, many by core artists; new music; and the occasional new artist who emerges to freshen the musical gene pool.

Superstar saxophonist Boney James' "Let It Go" (Concord) continues to rise. His sultry follow up, "Gonna Get It," is ripe for plucking by premature add-ulators who have room on their playlists for a star like James ... A rare flute offering from Ragan Whiteside, "Meu Amigo, Meu Amante" (Randis), could just open the way for contemporary jazz flute textures in smooth jazz. Incidentally, the title means "my friend, my lover" in Portuguese ... On the CD front, after eight years Joni Mitchell releases "Shine" (Concord/Starbucks/Hear), a collection that reflects her deepening as an artist, human being and spiritual seeker. She has a lot to say musically, and The New Yorker magazine thought so highly of the lyrics to Mitchell's song "Bad Dreams Are Good in the Great Plan," it published them as a poem ... What I've heard so far of Queen Latifah's "Trav'lin' Light" (Verve) is, to my ear, a tour de force. She's a star, and I'm a fan. But nothing prepared me for her recent performance at the Hollywood Bowl. She tore the place up and blew me away with great pop material and jazz vocal chops that are now legitimately within range of such great singers as Dinah Washington and Carmen McRae.

~Carol Archer
- RadioandRecords.com

"CLASS AXE - CD Review"

Sweet funky flute from Ragan Whiteside -- an up and coming player who may well be the 21st Century heir to the 70s grooves of Bobbi Humphrey! The style here has a slightly smooth feel -- a bit like Bobbi's work for the Epic label, instead of Blue Note -- but the grooves are all right on the money, and flow along beautifully with Ragan's sweet leads and solos on flute -- all recorded with enough warm tones and classic elements to remind us of mainstream 70s fusion! There's a bit of vocals in the mix -- again like some of Bobbi's later work -- and the overall approach is perfectly balanced, with less of the smooth jazz elements than you might think -- and much more of a real soul groove overall. Titles include "Options", "Call Me", "Funktuation", "Gonna Fly", "So Glad", "3AM", "Meu Amigo Meu Amante", and "How Do You Know". - Dusty Groove America

"Between Sets with Ragan Whiteside"

Between Sets with Ragan Whiteside

Class Axe with a Funktuation Point!

Artist Interview by: Karl Stober

Venue: USA

Jazz Photo April 2008 -

In my exploration for a new artist-entrepreneur, my friend Kari (who is a pundit of independent performer’s) set my course to a unique and vibrant siren that swings with a pioneering eloquence. Adorning a smile that would light up the Broadway skyline and a revolutionary instinct that is tenacious by nature, flutist Ragan Whiteside entered unplugged, into my compilation of uncut diamonds. With ease and assured conviction, I can state Ragan has fashioned a masterful unveiling spin, branded Class Axe. Ragan by all definition is funks bequest to jazz!

Ragan has such a unique free-spirit to her performances while she kneads the flutes seductive tones. The individuality of her music emulates her attitude in her writing which mutually complies with the audience’s passion for a new jazz feel. With an intently sensitive ear, one can decipher each note as they interact with her fellow artist’s roles in their performances. “Class Axe’ has a definite affect on the one who spins its virtuosity!

Aristotle stated once "The flute is not an instrument which has a good moral effect. It is too exciting." To the recipient of her talents this quote is alarmingly true, as Ragan Whiteside conducts her craft with a revivalist fervor.

Accept her stimulating vocal performance and focus in on her movements instrumentally. The sensual ease and exhilarating attitude that ignite from her flute is masterfully intensive. You will never look at the flutes underestimated capabilities the same again. The meltdown of funk mixed with the classic jazz tones makes Ragan a musical trailblazer!

So who is Ragan Whiteside, where does she reign from, and most important how does the mystical music form its beauty and work within the funk/jazz world? You, the reader will explore her world through our conversation …then you may be introduced to her energy and passionate love affair with sounds of an extra dimension.

Along with Ragan’s insight I have solicited the opinions of broadcaster and charismatic jazz performer Bob Baldwin who will offer his views of this exciting flutiest extraordinaire.

As the spin starts and the funk transforms, lets now go between sets with one of jazz’s new treasures, Ragan Whiteside…

JazzReview: Let’s get right into it by exploring first who Ragan is! What makes her spin as a person and as a musician?

Ragan Whiteside: I love all things creative, so creative energy is what keeps me going. I thrive on meeting new people, exchanging ideas, traveling, and enjoying everything life has to offer. Above all, I love to laugh!

JazzReview: In jazz there is a certain “Feel” to the vibes and sounds of the beast. How do you describe the “Feel” of the Ragan experience?

Ragan Whiteside: Hmmm… I guess funky, yet smooth... “Feel good” music

JazzReview: You have a “Flutetatiousness” about your performance… A very seductive yet stylishly flirty temperament, so talk to the progression of your style and how it got to this point.

Ragan Whiteside: Growing up, I wasn’t exposed to many flute players, so I listened to a lot of other instruments like guitar, trumpet, and sax, as well as a wide variety of bands and vocalists. Believe it or not, if you took a cross-section of the music played in my house growing up, you would find Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, New Birth, Johnny Mathis, Kathleen Battle, Rick James, Earl Klugh, Ella Fitzgerald, and The Doobie Bros, to name a few. Weird, huh? (Smile) So I guess if you take all of that, combine it with my classical training, and throw my December 7th personality in there…

JazzReview: There is no question you have rejuvenated the flutes place in jazz. You’re manipulation of the instrument along with the arrangements brings life to a new vibrant sound. Where did this sound come from? When did you realize you found that sound or have you yet?

Ragan Whiteside: I think my sound is always a work in progress. No matter how far you get, there is always room for improvement. I have been blessed to work with two amazing producers/mentors, Bob Baldwin and Dennis Johnson. Bob helped me make the difficult transition from classical to jazz, while Dennis taught me the “ins and outs” of the studio, from equipment to recording techniques. Our birthdays are all within a week of each other, so when we get together in the studio there’s a lot of crazy Sagittarian energy bouncing around. (It’s amazing we manage to get anything done!) I always look forward to seeing where that energy will take us next.

JazzReview: Let’s go back a bit in your past and you first, like many artists started, in the classical genre. What made you turn to jazz and at what moment did you realize it was the right move to make?

Ragan Whiteside: Actually, I always wanted to go into jazz, but when I began taking private flute lessons at age 11, it was “strongly recommended” that I develop a classical foundation first. So, against my will I started studying classical music. As I learned more about it and understood the nuances that made it great, I really enjoyed playing classical pieces. I enjoyed it so much I entered and won competitions, and later went to a music conservatory for college. However, about 6 weeks before I graduated, I realized that my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. There were things I wanted to do with the flute that just weren’t allowed. So, lost and heavy-hearted I graduated and went back home to NY. Shortly after I got back, I saw Bob Baldwin & Marion Meadows at a show in Westchester (NY) and I was instantly hooked. After the show I had a chance to speak with Bob… long story short, he became my mentor, and the rest is history.

JazzReview: Songwriting and arranging is a craft unto itself. You seem to embrace this part of your life so the question is why?

Ragan Whiteside: Songwriting is a wonderful creative outlet. I can explore and expand more than I can with flute alone.

JazzReview: Take us through your creative process from the birth of the idea to execution of sound.

Ragan Whiteside: For some reason, musical ideas come to me in the shower (which sometimes works against me if I’m in a rush to go somewhere). Sometimes it starts with a melody; other times a bass line… or even just a rhythm. Then I sing it to myself over and over until I sit down at the keyboard and work it out. Once I have a solid framework, I’ll take it to Bob and Dennis, who will then fill it out and put the “shine” on it. Other times, Dennis will come up with a killer track and I will write a melody for it.

JazzReview: Class Axe is an sharp piece of jazz innovation. From the Funk of the beat to the angelic vocals it is by far one of the best debut spins jazz has been exposed to for a long time. When did you first start on the concept for it? How did you go through the selection of cuts for it?

Ragan Whiteside: This album originally started out as a 3 song demo, but it just kept growing. Dennis, Bob and I were caught up in a good creative wave, so we just kept riding it.

JazzReview: Did Class Axe meet your expectations thus far both in response from the public and in personal accomplishment?

Ragan Whiteside: I am extremely happy that this album has been released. It is something I have wanted to do since I was a child, and a lot of blood, sweat, & tears went into it. There were plenty of times when I was so discouraged I wanted to quit, but seeing and hearing the finished product made everything worth while. As far as my audience is concerned, I’m happy as long as one person’s mood is elevated after listening to Class Axe.

JazzReview: “Funktuation” is in a class all its own. The Whiteside flute is in funk overdrive on this spin along with an arrangement that kicks! Walk us through the sound and creation of this hit!

Ragan Whiteside: This was definitely a “shower song”. It wasn’t even going to be for the CD… I just wanted to sit down and write something. After this quirky little tune was finished, I thought it was too weird so I almost trashed it… until I played it for Dennis, who threatened bodily harm if I deleted it (LOL!). Then Bob put the “shine” on it, Dennis engineered and mixed it, and here it is!

JazzReview: Keyboardist Bob Baldwin helps influence the warm and sweet sounds of “So Glad.” In this piece he walks the ivory with a solo. That solo along with the flute sound just ignites that romantic flavor from the spin. Talk about this cut plus touch on the part played by Bob Baldwin in this project.

Ragan Whiteside: Dennis and I wrote “So Glad” because it was a direct parallel to what was happening in our own lives (and that’s all I’ll say about that aspect… *smile*). As far as Bob is concerned… wow… doing this project with him was like going to grad school. He taught me how to break every rule I learned in conservatory. He also taught me about the business side of the music business, which is equally important, especially now that it’s the age of the independent artist.

JazzReview: Break down “Break Me Down” from the funk injection to writing.

Ragan Whiteside: Dennis was responsible for the funk injection on “Break Me Down”. When I heard that track, I just HAD to write to it… it was just too funky.

JazzReview: Let’s talk about those gifted sounds that joined you in studio on Class Axe from the producer to the artists.

Ragan Whiteside: Let’s see… on “Meu Amigo, Meu Amante” (My Friend, My Lover) we were able to get Buddy Williams to record the drums. Buddy has been coined “drummer for the stars” – Luther Vandross, George Benson, David Sanborn, Bob James, Tom Browne, Earl Klugh, and most recently, a 3 year stint on the Broadway Play “Color Purple”. If you wrote out his discography on paper, you would probably take out an entire rain forest! “How Do You Know” was graced by a wicked guitarist by the name of Eddie Zack. He was just noodling around with the tune and came up with some very slick riffs. On the interlude “I’ve been Thinking”, we have the phenomenal bassist Billy Grant, who also has a resume 8 miles long and is my live bassist. “Options” showcases the creative talents of Zoiea, who not only sang, but also co-wrote the song. He is currently working on his solo album.

JazzReview: How has life changed for you after the release and sudden exposure?

Ragan Whiteside: The pace of my life has definitely picked up. I have to make a concerted effort to manage my time carefully so that I can handle the business aspects efficiently and still have time to practice. I’m dealing with the education of distribution and marketing, perfect timing with radio airplay and dates (over 60 stations are playing the record). There are no complaints though… J

JazzReview: Now that your debut is over what can jazz expect from you next…

Ragan Whiteside: We are busy putting together a tour, and we are working on the 2nd album, which will be released early 2009.

JazzReview: The music industry has had a rough time of late. What can you see that would help it get back on course?

Ragan Whiteside: I think the only way to get it back on course is to change the course all together. With technology advancing at a break-neck speed, the industry can’t continue to do things the way they did in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Like everything else, the music industry needs to re-invent itself… starting from scratch. There needs to be more synergy between the music side and the business side. If they could just find some kind of yin-yang balance between the music and the business, I believe everything will work itself out.

JazzReview: Where do you see jazz going in the next five years? What changes do you foresee occurring?

Ragan Whiteside: I think we’re going to start to see more urban elements in contemporary jazz, also a strong return of fusion. I’m hoping that smooth jazz radio will embrace the change and expand their playlists…

JazzReview: Now let’s fall off course… Since you are also a web designer tell us in your opinion your top five websites that you feel are most creative and enjoy.

Ragan Whiteside:

1. ebay.com – ahh… the thrill of the hunt!

2. youtube.com – need I say more?

3. marieclaire.com – they have this feature where you can upload your picture and see what you look like with different hair styles, different clothes, etc (yeah, I know… I’m such a chick… LOL!)

4. todayshow.com – interesting topics and relatively easy to navigate

5. secondlife.com – not your typical networking site. You just have to see it for yourself…

JazzReview: Now to get to know one you need to have fun so let’s do! Answer if you will these probing questions and be blatantly honest…

1. What is your favorite hang out spot? The studio, the kitchen table, or the back porch!

2. Favorite website when just surfing? Yahoo

3. What is your favorite blog? Don’t really do the blog thing that often…

4. Your favorite non-jazz vocalist? Jill Scott, Luther Vandross, and most recently Chrisette Michele

5. If you needed to get away where do you hide? In the car, on a long drive to nowhere. If that’s not possible, then I’ll hide in the shower.

6. What gets you high? Having a great stage performance or listening to a jammin’ live band

Ragan’s Final Thought: …

Recently, the NY Metro area lost it’s only commercial Smooth Jazz station (CD101.9), leaving the NY smooth jazz audience angry and bewildered. Don’t let this happen to you! If you’re local radio station is not playing what you want to hear, send them emails and let them know. Let’s work together and breathe some new life into this genre…

After Sets with Bob Baldwin on the subject of Ragan Whiteside….

Jazztrenzz: When did you first meet Ragan Whiteside and your thoughts….?

Bob Baldwin: The day I met Ragan was at this event sometime in 1999...In this gig was Tony Cintron (great percussion who played with Tito Puente), James Robinson (who replaced Luther Vandross in the group Change) - a lot of Westchester folklore....the county also had residents such as Joey Calderazzo, John Pattitucci, Bob James, Michael Brecker, Bill Evans, Bob Mintzer..Just a little Westchester history...

Westchester County has always been an area that's been very quiet...about 30 miles north of the city. I had a friend of mine (Wali Ali) that would do gigs every once in a while and his wife was Ossie Davis's daughter...so doing gigs was always interesting because you never know who was going to pop up. I've met Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier, good friends of Ossie. I always saw these guys....anyway, my friend's wife had a girlfriend who had a daughter named Ragan Whiteside...she was in college for music and had this gleam in her eye...we were jammin at a club called August Blue Light in the very upscale Scarsdale, NY...Marion Meadows was also on the date.

I was living in Atlanta, visiting NY, and she was about 20, home from school during a break in Florida. After the gig, she introduces herself and wanted to make a record, but before that, she wanted to step outside of her classical roots and learn how to play jazz. I basically had to teach her how to hear music and hear it harmonically, without reading and without looking at a piece of music.

There's a great discipline in her about her musicianship. All I had to do is give her a tutorial on scales and musical paths, so we did crash courses on things like that. One day, it just snapped in and she was soloing over chord changes and grooves and her writing began to open up and it was a great thing to watch evolve.

In 2002, she played on her first official sessions...on the "Bob Baldwin Presents the American Spirit"/she wrote one tune, and played on my jingle for NYC's CD101.9 (now defunct ... www.cd1019.com)

About 6 or so years later, I thought she was ready to make a record because she had enough mechanics to make it happen. I thought there were people out here that were making records that shouldn't be based on a lot of reasons and I felt she was more than qualified to get in the game, so we made "class axe"....she's got skills, tenacity, determination and she's a great visionary! - JazzReview.com


COLUMBIA, MARYLAND- Ragan Whiteside, of Mt. Vernon, New York, believes her big win at the Capital Jazz Festival Jazz Challenge is a dream come true. The Flutist who rocked the third annual competition on Saturday, June 3rd, 2006 held at the Merriweather Post Pavillion, also hopes her victory will open new doors for her promising career.

Winning the festival was an unbelievable experience, said Whiteside. When they announced me as the winner, it took a minute for it to register… it’s just now starting to sink in! This was the first national jazz competition I have competed in since I switched from classical music, so I am very proud of this accomplishment, she added.

For Whiteside, the competition was an opportunity to gain national exposure and showcase some of her original works at the largest Contemporary Jazz Festival on the entire East Coast. During the Capital Jazz Festival Challenge, she performed 3 songs from her new CD: Gonna Fly, Meu Amigo Meu Amante, and Funktuation. The Flutist, who has an eclectic, neo-jazz sound, said she first attended the jazz festival three years ago with her mentor, smooth jazz artist Bob Baldwin, and never expected to return so soon following in his footsteps on the big stage.

Baldwin, the nationally known Keyboardist and Arranger, who co-produced (along with Dennis Johnson) Whiteside’s soon to be released CD, Funktuation, praised his progs latest accomplishments and credited her success to hard work, natural talent and persistence. “When I met Ragan at a jazz club when she was still in college, she expressed her desire to become a recording artist, he said.

Her skill-set was solid; 15+ years of classical training and a college degree in music under her belt gave her the foundation, said Baldwin, who featured Whiteside on his latest CD, All In a Days Work. She began to do work for me on 2002’s The American Spirit, where she co-wrote Let’s Roll, then we began to work towards a demo, but the output was so solid, we found ourselves working on her actual record… she is a great unsigned artist looking for the right deal.

Of her victory at the Capital Jazz festival, Baldwin said, when she competed at one of the greatest stages for instrumental music, I felt confident that she was going to compete and win, and win she did!! She’s well deserving of the accolades. I am very glad to be a part of her development and subsequent successes,” he added.

Whiteside, 28, won a $5,000 prize after competing in what she described as a competition. Delivering her unique brand of smooth and funky contemporary jazz, she stole the showcase, beating out five other finalists from across the country. As the top winner, she also performed on the festival main stage on Sunday, June 4th.

It provided more opportunities that I had anticipated, said the energetic flutist. Of course, the obvious one is to play in front of a very large crowd that is interested in hearing you. You really can’t beat that kind of exposure. In addition, you also get to have your live show critiqued by professionals in the industry (like Kirk Whalum) and get feedback, she added.

Finally, you get to network with other artists and bands, both “newbies” and “veterans,” said Whiteside, above all else, you have the opportunity to expose yourself to a new region, hopefully winning fans outside of your hometown. She also hopes her victory results in a record deal in the near future.

Source: Bob Baldwin

- contemporaryjazz.com

"Multi-Talented Mt Vernon Native Making Her Mark In The Music World"

By Christina Tapper
She closed her eyes, placed her lips upon the flute and began her performance of Gonna Fly at the dimly lit Lazy Lounge in White Plains. Her fingers gently moved over the keys of the instrument, while the velvet sound of the flute infused the evening air.
On this brisk March night Ragan Whiteside was in her musical zone.
Dressed in a simple black tube top and black pants with a long gold beaded necklace, she went on to perform the title track on her forthcoming album Funktuation. She unleashed the vocalist in her by singing Jill Scott’s A Long Walk and Call Me, which she co-wrote with producer/boyfriend Dennis Johnson.
While some musicians rely on certain strategies to help them stay the course during a performance, Whiteside sticks to a basic game plan. There is no detailed method needed for this curly-haired, multi-talented 28-year-old when she’s on stage. As Whiteside simply puts it, “You just get into the groove and remember your notes.” A modest way to describe her smooth delivery of contemporary jazz, neo-soul and funk fusion.
Whiteside’s seemingly laid-back approach is a pillar of her persona and is present not only in her performances, but also appears while creating quality sounds. When composing the music for Funktuation, Whiteside sums up her technique in three words—groove, chords, and melody—signifying the format for her musical stylings.
Just like her public performances, Whiteside’s lyrical process doesn’t involve intense schematics either. “I wrote what came to me,” she says of making Funktuation. “Whatever came out, came out.”
What emerges from the flutist/vocalist/songwriter is a sexy, crisp, and tantalizing sound that sashays its way into the music lover’s mind, making it hard to stop crooning the chorus of Options or whistling the melody of 3 AM.
“Her writings are wonderful and her layerings between flute and vocals are very tasty and warm,” says Mt. Vernon native Bob Baldwin, a jazz musician and mentor to Whiteside.
Inspired by legendary performers Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, and Fire, and Ella Fitzgerald, Whiteside began her musical journey when she was a tot, took a detour as a college senior, and is moving forward with an album release in July.
At the tender age of five, Whiteside was immersed in the Summer Creative Arts program held in Mt. Vernon. The yearly four-week program offered lessons in drama, singing, and dancing, among other activities, to school-aged children. “Through the program I probably played about every instrument,” she says.
The music enthusiast in Whiteside grew. By the age of eight she latched onto the flute after giving up the violin. Subsequently, Whiteside found herself in a number of programs and performances.
“Anything performance related, I took it,” says Whiteside, who won a silver medal in the NAACP’s national ACT-SO competition for a classical flute duet she wrote in high school. “Since I was five there has not been one year where I have not performed in front of an audience.”
Engrossed in the works of Classical musicians, Whiteside spent her college years studying at Cleveland Institute of Music and the Harid Conservatory. During her senior year, however, Whiteside realized the classical genre wasn’t her musical niche.
“My senior year of college I auditioned for semi-professional orchestra in Florida. Just before I was about to go on, a little light bulb went on. I thought ‘This is not what I want to do,’” says Whiteside, who has performed alongside Grammy Award winning opera singer Esther Hinds, Buddy Williams, and Chuck Loeb. “My heart wasn’t into classical music anymore.”
Whiteside finished the audition, but found herself at a crossroads. That is until she met Baldwin—a jazz composer, keyboardist and producer—three weeks after graduation.
The classically trained flutist had a front row seat at a concert featuring Baldwin when she realized the path she would embark on. Whiteside says she was blown away by Baldwin’s energy and contemporary jazz tunes.
“I was sitting there with my jaw on the floor,” Whiteside says, dramatically motioning how her jaw dropped while attending the concert.
“This is what I want to do,” Whiteside remembers thinking. And with those seven lucky words, she cemented her jazz career. It was at that concert Whiteside redirected her musical talents and gained a mentor.
Whiteside credits Baldwin for her successful transition from the classical works of Rachmaninoff to the jazz musings of Herbie Hancock. “I spoke to Baldwin after the show and he took me under his wing,” she says.
Baldwin continues to offer Whiteside guidance and helped produce Funktuation.
“Her transition from one to the other is quite impressive,” Baldwin says. “Her work ethic is solid. She practices regularly and is evolving to be quite the performer.”
Before Whiteside pursued her music full-time, the self-described “computer nerd” (she designed her own Web site) dabbled in web design for about four years. But the humdrum workweek dragged for Whiteside, who has also held posts as music teacher, lifeguard, and administrative assistant. She grew weary of her routine that included a one-hour commute to and from her New York City cubicle, only to return home exhausted after a day’s work.
“I would wake up and instantly be depressed,” Whiteside admits.
“Everything was blah. I was miserable,” she adds. “Then I’d get home and I was too tired for my music.”
Surviving three years of layoffs at the web design company, Whiteside shocked her boss when she volunteered herself as the next employee to get the axe. It was a decision she had to make to ensure her burgeoning musical career wouldn’t be slowed down. Whiteside left her cubicle for the music studio two and a half years ago with no regrets.
As a full-time musician, Whiteside splits her time between the pre-production studio in her Mt. Vernon home and the Uppa Room studio in Yonkers, which is managed by Johnson, who calls her a “trooper.”
“My studio can get very hot, especially during the summer,” says Johnson, who met Whiteside through Baldwin. “Ragan will be sweating bullets while she’s working, but she never complains. She won’t stop until she gets it right.”
Her current focus isn’t on landing a major recording contract. Whiteside says she’s content with sharing her talents without a big name record label, but confesses if a deal was offered, she may consider it. “Right now, I just want my music to be heard,” says Whiteside who plans on releasing three albums in the next five years.
In addition to her solo performances, Whiteside also jams with the all female jazz ensemble Sage every month. Sage has performed at various functions, including Clinton Young’s 13th Legislative District 2006 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration and a star-studded 2004 national Boys & Girls Club event honoring Denzel Washington.
“I don’t get star struck but I was like, ‘Wow, there’s Star Jones,’” recalls Whiteside, who also rubbed elbows with Angela Bassett and Donald Trump that night.
Whiteside recently taped a cameo appearance for Unforgiven Sins, an independent film by writer and director Perla Humphrey. She plays the featured performer in the film and has five songs on the movie’s soundtrack. The movie will be released this summer.
By showcasing her musical talents in front of a celebrity crowd and having a role in an independent film, Whiteside is reaching broader audiences. Johnson believes it’s not only Whiteside’s talent that draws people toward the musical starlet, but also her charm.
“She’s very warm, very magnetic,” Johnson says. “She has that thing that you can’t describe but you just gravitate toward.”
Even with her relaxed persona, Whiteside manages to reel any music lover in. She needs no formal strategy to pull you close to her sounds. Her musical creations are simply resounding—just as they were at the Lazy Lounge that Wednesday evening.
Call her a captivating performer, but Whiteside, with her easy-going demeanor, simply says, “This is me.”
For more information on Ragan Whiteside’s upcoming album and performances log onto www.raganwhiteside.com.
- Mt. Vernon Inquirer, April/May 2006

"CLASS AXE - SmoothJazz.com CD Review"

From her clever introduction (a quick sojourn into a Felix Mendelssohn opus, interrupted by her chuckle and the word “Psyche”) to the first bars of “Funktuation” (Need I define that for you?), you know CLASS AXE is going to be something special. And it is. Mt. Vernon, NY’s Ragan Whiteside is someone special. You can just tell. She’s totally connected to the hip, sexy side of the jazz flute (she switched from Classical some time back) for this awesome collection of Smooth Jazz, Urban, Neo-Soul songs that will totally convince you this woman has a huge future ahead of her. It’s hard to believe this is her debut album. The performances… and I’m talking her playing, her singing, her writing… are mature and confident. She’s got the masterful Bob Baldwin and Dennis Johnson producing this disc, which certainly adds a magnitude of strength to the project, but they’ll be the first to tell you that Ragan rises to the occasion beautifully with both her playing and her singing. This is an album that, as Bob Baldwin puts it, clearly shows that “her breakthrough on this instrument can be historical for the genre. She’s smooth, sexy, and radio-friendly.” You’ve really got to hear this one. From the aforementioned “Funktuation” to the delicious Bob Baldwin-penned Latin Samba “Meu Amigo, Meu Amante,” this is an album that gets my highest recommendation. I promise you, this is only the beginning of the Ragan Whiteside story! She is totally a class act with her CLASS AXE!
~SCOTT O'BRIEN - Scott O'Brien

"Interview: Take the Ragan Whiteside of Life!"

Take the Ragan Whiteside of Life!
February 7, 2008 - Ragan Whiteside has not only one musical side, but numerous ones, as she is an accomplished flutist, singer, songwriter and even a web designer, as she designed her own web site.

This multi-talented artist started music at the age of 5, studied classical music and focused on flute. However, instead of becoming a classical music flute soloist, she turned to contemporary jazz, R&B and funk. And that was definitely a good move, as she came up with a class act, her debut album "Class Axe", a breathtaking piece of work, entailing 11 soulful tracks with a neo-soul flavor. So let us have a look at the Ragan Whiteside of life!
Akbar Nour : Hi Ragan, great to have you on www.smoothjazznow.com . I had the pleasure to interview both great flutists David Crawford and Dwayne Kerr. When talking of the difficulty of playing flute, David Crawford told me: "The flute is light and sweet in sound and is very difficult to project as a lead or dominating instrument". What do you think of it?

Ragan Whiteside : I agree. It can be difficult. It took me a few years to develop ways to overcome those difficulties. Every player is different, but I've found that the right type of material, the right microphone, and the right combination of musicians, helps the flute jump right out in front.

Akbar : If I scratch my head, the main name of a smooth jazz female flute player that comes to my mind is Shannon Kennedy. And even Shannon is not representative of this trend, as she mainly plays saxophone. On one side, playing a difficult instrument and being a female player may be a challenge. On the other side, it may be easier for you, because you do not have too many contenders on the market (laughs!).

Ragan : (laughs also!) It's funny…you would think it would be easier because there isn't a lot of flute in "smooth jazz", but I find it to be a challenge. Instead of being on an even playing field like guitar players and sax players experience, flute players are going up against an entire genre which historically, hasn't embraced the flute. But I intend on changing that… (smile)

As for being a female player, I definitely enjoy the challenge. When I walk on to an all-male gig, guys usually say "aww, that's cute…she has a little flute with her". However, by the end of the gig, I have earned their respect as a musician, regardless of gender. I guess you could say that I thrive on being the "under-dog"!

Akbar : As many flute players, you have a classical music training that started when you were 5 years old (!). Even your debut album "Class Axe" starts with a short introduction from the German classical composer Felix Mendelssohn. When and how did you switch to contemporary jazz and R&B?

Ragan : About 3 weeks before I graduated from college (as a classical performance major) I realized that my heart just wasn't in it anymore. I felt like I wanted to stretch out more (creatively) than I was being allowed to in conservatory. So, after graduation I went back home to NY, where I attended a show featuring Bob Baldwin and Marion Meadows. I sat in the first row and I was hooked! The energy on that stage took me to another place, and I knew right then what I wanted to do with my music. After the show, I introduced myself to Bob Baldwin and we got into a long conversation about jazz and classical music. He mentioned that he was going into the studio to record some radio jingles and I asked if I could tag along. Next thing I knew, I was in the studio for the first time, playing flute on one of the jingles, and Bob has been my mentor and producer ever since. I have always had a love for jazz & R&B, so it was a natural transition for me.

Akbar : Furthermore to playing flute, your voice resonates on most of the tracks you also composed. You also designed your own web. So what is your next challenge?

Ragan : My next challenge is to become a marketing guru for independent jazz artists! Being an indie artist, I have found that you have to be somewhat unconventional in your approach to getting your music out there. I want to learn the most creative and cost effective ways to market independent music, and share that knowledge with others in the struggle.

Akbar : OK now, let us come to your debut album "Class Axe". In my opinion, this album is quite representative of you, not only of the musician, but also of the person. It is classy with its cool and well-crafted flute sound and graceful musical and vocal arrangements. Furthermore, this album looks like a personal diary featuring your impressions and thoughts on life. I think of the various musical punctuations or "funktuation" (your smash hit) as you call them, you first start by quoting the word "psyche", then appears your baby voice with your parents. You carry on with your mature and deep thoughts in the track "I have been thinking". How and why did you decide to integrate these various sequences in the album?

Ragan : When creating a studio album, it is important to connect with the listener, the same way it is important to connect with the audience when performing live. I wanted to add a personal touch, something that would make people laugh, love, and think.

Akbar : You are still new to the smooth jazz stage. Do you still sometimes think that you could have been a celebrated classical music flute soloist? Do you perform sometimes classical music concerts?

Ragan : That's an interesting question… I guess I would have to say, if my heart had been in it, it could have been a possibility. But since my passion has led me down another path, I guess I will never know. I still practice classical music to keep my chops up, but I rarely perform it publicly (maybe once a year).

Akbar : Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Ragan : In 5 years, I would like to be on an international tour promoting my third album. I would also like to have an artist or two on my label roster.

Akbar : After a successful debut album, what's next in your musical projects?

Ragan : We are in the early stages of composing songs for the next album, which will be released early 2009. Also, I was a guest artist on the "NewUrbanJazz.com" album, featuring Bob Baldwin, Marion Meadows, Freddie Jackson, Phil Perry, and many others. It is scheduled to be released in February 2008.

Akbar : Dear Ragan, thanks so much for your time and I wish you a great 2008.

For more information: www.raganwhiteside.com

- SmoothJazzNow.com

"R&R Going for Adds: Music Matters, Especially Hits"

I hope you caught Dave Koz, stylin' and playing his ass off with Kid Rock and Keely Smith, on the Grammys. Talk about talented and telegenic! Dollface -- sorry, I meant to say "Dave" -- and Vanessa Williams cover the classic title theme from "The Way We Were" (Capitol) from his "At the Movies," one of a handful of CDs on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart to have sold upwards of 60,000 copies ... Perhaps Ragan Whiteside's "Funktuation" (Randis) is the track that will break through smooth jazz perception that flute-based tracks don't appeal to smooth jazz listeners ... I have to agree with Shannon West, who calls Steve Oliver "not only a great guitarist but an innovator," and add that his fresh approach has made Oliver a great live performance favorite too. He receives strong support from Warren Hill's assertive sax figures on "On the Upside" (SOM Entertainment) ... When I realized that the Sax Pack is Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa and Kim Waters, I resisted the temptation to call them "three tenors," since that wouldn't be too original, but I confess that I succumbed to the urge to say, "Threeplay." It's probably a good idea to listen to the single "Fallin' for You" (Shanachie) before you add it.
- Radio & Records (Carol Archer)

"CLASS AXE CD Review - SmoothJazz Therapy.com"

The infrequency with which the flute is heard only adds to its magic as a contemporary jazz instrument. Now, in the skilled hands of the wonderfully soulful Ragan Whiteside, its potential knows no bounds. Her 2007 CD ‘Class Axe’ is an absolute revelation and, given the album features production from both Bob Baldwin and Dennis Johnson, it has all the credentials necessary to provide Whiteside with the mainstream breakthrough that, on the strength of this collection, she so richly deserves.

Even before she had won the 2006 Capital Jazz Challenge, Mount Vernon, NY based flautist, vocalist, and songwriter Ragan Whiteside had already caught the attention of keyboard maestro Bob Baldwin. She played flute on his 2004 project ‘Brazil Chill’ and a year later Baldwin included her on his follow up, ‘All In A Day’s Work’. In fact, for ‘Class Axe’ Baldwin writes (or co-writes) six of the fourteen tracks and plays keys throughout. Included within this mix are a number of intro’s, interludes and reprises that serve to fuse the entire work together and whereas Whiteside’s collaborations with Baldwin tend to be strictly instrumental, her pairings with Johnson allow for further exploration of her vocal prowess.

The sumptuous Johnson – Whiteside composition ‘So Glad’ is a shimmering example of her combined talents and there is more of the delightful same with ‘How Do You Know’. This soulful chiller features a keyboard solo from Baldwin and has a turned town yet edgy vibe that Whiteside carries over to ‘Options’. Written by Johnson and Baldwin this is but one of several examples of top notch smooth R & B and when ‘Call Me’ draws Whiteside to the urban side of the tracks she calls upon rapper Short Fuze to invoke a streetwise edge.

Baldwin’s interactions invariably illuminate Whiteside’s instrumental abilities and this is particularly so with the mellow ‘Gonna Fly’. It finds Whiteside in outstanding form and with Baldwin contributing on keyboards, drums and strings they together deliver a complete gem. In similar vein is the excellent ‘In Love’ and with ‘3 AM’ they again unite for a tune that, as its title suggests, is a superb example of late night mood music. The Latin infused ‘Meu Amigo, Meu Amante’ really permits Whiteside’s flute to dance and when she switches back to vocals for ‘Break Me Down’ the result is an earthy smoker of the highest order.

In many ways ‘Funktuation’ is at the heart of the album. It’s hypnotic yet zesty neo soul vibe provides Whiteside with the opportunity to demonstrate her stellar playing which here, expertly coupled with understated backing vocals, really stands out from the crowd. Later in the album the song is joyously reprised then pops up yet again as a hidden bonus track. Far from being overkill, it is simply three times the charm.

‘Class Axe’ is predominately mellow, always soulful and a great example of Whiteside’s art. It finds the sweet spot where contemporary jazz meets smooth R & B and comes highly recommended.

For more go to www.raganwhiteside.com
- Denis Poole

"The Cool Side of Ragan Whiteside"

(by Elizabeth Oguss - March 26, 2009)

There’s only one time when Ragan Whiteside doesn’t listen to music: on her way home from a gig.

Otherwise, something’s always playing.

A self-described "weird kid," Whiteside said that when Biggie Smalls was on everyone else’s music player, she was singing along with Ella Fitzgerald.

A flutist who began taking lessons at age 5, she studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Harid Conservatory in Florida. While she loved the music of Beethoven and Rachmaninov, she also listened to — and loved — Earth, Wind and Fire.

"I loved opera, and listened to a lot of Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman. But I listened to Stevie Wonder, too."

All these loves and influences — which also include Johnny Mathis, who was in constant rotation on her mother’s stereo — eventually led to a joyous career making what Whiteside calls "fun, feel-good music."

She’s bringing it to Trumpets Jazz Club tomorrow night.

Whiteside, who also sings, has performed at Trumpets several times before; her ensemble tomorrow includes Billy Grant on bass, Devone Allison on keyboards, and Rich Harrison on drums, with two shows, at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.

With her classical training, Whiteside’s career goal might logically have been a seat in an orchestra, but as she got closer to graduation from Harid, she felt more and more uncomfortable.

"Senior year I just wasn’t feeling it, my heart wasn’t in it," she said. "I graduated, but I knew I didn’t want to be in an orchestra."

Soon after she returned to her hometown, Mt. Vernon, N.Y., where she still lives, she attended a concert by the keyboard player Bob Baldwin.

"It was in this little jazz club in Scarsdale," Whiteside said. "I’m sitting right up front and I’m blown away. I knew right then that’s what I wanted to do."

That very night, she approached Baldwin and explained her story. She asked if he could help her get into jazz.

"He took me under his wing," Whiteside said. "He was getting ready to do a jingle for CD 101 [a now-defunct smooth jazz station], and two days later I was in the studio doing the jingle. It played every day for two years."

Baldwin co-produced Whiteside’s soon-to-be-released-but-still-under-wraps second album, "Bottoms Up," with Dennis Johnson. Her first album was "Class Axe," in 2007.

She didn’t have her set list ready when she spoke to The Times last week, but she promised "something for everybody."

She’ll be performing a mixture of her own tunes and covers.

"The whole point is to make sure you are entertained and having a good time, [so] when the night is over, you feel great," she said. "It’s a feel-good, high-energy kind of thing."

By day, Ragan Whiteside is a Web designer. To see — and hear — her work, go to www.raganwhiteside.com

Ragan Whiteside will be at Trumpets Jazz Club, 6 Depot Square, on Friday, March 27, with shows at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Admission is $15.

Contact Elizabeth Oguss at Oguss@montclairtimes.com. - Elizabeth Oguss, Montclair Times March '09


August 2012 - "Evolve"
November 2007 - "Class Axe"

April 2012 - "Betcha By Golly Wow: The Songs Of Thom Bell" (Bob Baldwin)
July 2011 - "Newurbanjazz.Com 2 / Re-Vibe" (Bob Baldwin)
June 2010 - "Never Can Say Goodbye: Tribute to Michael Jackson" (Bob Baldwin)
March 2008 - "NewUrbanJazz.Com" (Bob Baldwin)


Billboard airplay:
WNWV/Cleveland, OH

KJLU/Jefferson City, MO

WQTQ/Hartford, CT

KORL/Honolulu, HI (“Feelin’ Free”)

WGRV/Melbourne, FL

WEIB/Springfield, MA

WVSU/Birmingham, AL

KUNV/Las Vegas, NV

WFSK/Nashville, TN

WHOV/Norfolk, VA

KUAP/ Little Rock , AR

WVAS/Montgomery, AL

DMX Cable Radio/”Jazz Vocal Blend” channel http://www.dmx.com/about/our-clients

DMX Cable Radio/”Smooth Jazz” channel

KQXT/San Antonio, TX (Jazz show on A/C station)

WDLT/Mobile, AL (Jazz show on UAC station)

KRBB/Wichita, KS (Jazz show on A/C station)

KPRI/ San Diego , CA (Jazz show on Triple A station)

WBGO/ New York , NY (Sunday night Music Mix show) http://www.wbgo.org/playlist/2012-08-19

KXPT/ Las Vegas , NV (Jazz show on Classic Hits station)

WRRM/Cincinnati, OH (Jazz show on A/C station)

Smooth Jazz airplay:

Jazz Radio Berlin/Germany and Internet (www.jazzradio.net)


WCLK/Atlanta, GA

iHeartRadio/Smooth Jazz Channel

WOWE/Flint, MI

JazzNet247.com/Internet (Featured album of the week)

SoundtraxxWithMarkStanley.com/Internet show (“Mean To Me”)

WBCP/Champaign-Urbana, IL




WSGE/Charlotte, NC

KOKY/ Little Rock , AR

KQXT/ San Antonio , TX (Jazz show on A/C station)





WEAA/Baltimore, MD

WCNI/New London , CT

WCHG/Hot Springs, VA



SmoothJazz905.com/Internet based in Australia

KHIGH.net/Internet based in Denver , CO

WFSS/Fayetteville, NC

WVOD/Manteo, NC

WRTC/Hartford, CT

KCCK/Cedar Rapids, IA



Hot-fm.co.uk/Internet based in U.K.

Jazz – The Radio Show/Nassau, Bahamas



RadioWinchcombe.co.uk/Internet based in U.K.

KZCT/Vallejo, CA

WBWH/Bluffton, OH



WHCR/ New York , NY

KECG/Oakland, CA

WVOF/Bridgeport, CT

Smooth Jazz Australia/Sydney, AUS

WVST/Richmond, VA

WSNC/Winston-Salem, NC

WCWA/Toledo, OH and Internet (“The Mike Scott Jazz Show”)

Smooth Grooves Radio/U.K.



TM Studios/Music sampler used for retail in store airplay, armed forces radio.

KIHT/St. Louis, MO (HD-3)

WDAF/Kansas City, MO (HD-2)



KPVU/Houston, TX

KTSU/Houston, TX

WJAB/Huntsville, AL

WTCC/Springfield, MA

WMWM/Salem, MA

KUR/Reading, PA






"Ragan Whiteside is one of the most talented and gifted musicians in our industry today. There is no doubt in my mind that her inner soul is expressed through instrument and voice. When I first heard Ragan's music she reminded of one of my favorite artist Patrice Rushen. The vibe is Funky, Jazzin, Smooth and Groovin, Honest Soul from the Heart. Something that is truly missing from today's music. I highly recommend adding Ragan Whiteside to your collection, her music is guaranteed to stand the test of time and is the new standard for others to model. Ragan is not a follower, she is an Innovator. "
- Hank Howe, KJZZ Digital Radio Inet Jazz 365 (Oct 05, 2012)

Flutist, vocalist, and songwriter, Ragan Whiteside is taking the Contemporary Jazz world by storm. With her unique style and soulful vibe, this triple threat is bringing the flute back into mainstream focus.

Ragan began her musical journey at the very early age of 5. She played the piano, drums, and the violin, but found her true love in playing the flute. From there she went on to study classical music.

Ragans passion for music lead her to realize another new love: Songwriting and Arranging. After winning numerous competitions in both performance and music composition she decided to further her music studies and attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Harid Conservatory, where she earned a Bachelor of Music-Performance degree.

After graduating, Ragan returned to New York to begin her career as a professional musician and immersed her composition abilities within the genres of Jazz, Funk, and R&B. After winning the Capital Jazz New Artist Competition, she released her debut album, Class Axe in 2007. Since her debut album, this award winning artist has developed a heightened focus in the writing, producing, and editing process of her sophomore release, Evolve. Evolve showcases not only her melodious musicianship as a flutist, but her sultry vocals and soulful compositions. Under the direction of her highly acclaimed producers/arrangers, Dennis Johnson and Bob Baldwin, Ragan showcases her high energy and expansive musical abilities. Her versatility is heard throughout the CD on such sultry songs as Livin Lovin and Mean to Me which she co-wrote. In her up-tempo R&B duet, On the Dance Floor, she teams up with legendary vocalist Porter Carroll Jr. (original member of Atlantic Starr) and continues to craft her own unique style.

Taking her refreshing and vibrant flute sounds to newer heights, Ragan has collaborated with an array of veteran contemporary jazz artists, including Chieli Minucci, Marion Meadows, Bob Baldwin, the afore mentioned Carroll and Chembo Corniel (Latin Jazz Grammy nominee). The featured guests add brilliance and extraordinary vibes to Evolves organic listening experience. Her remake of the Ohio Players 1975 hit, Sweet Sticky Thing, merges old-school funk with the flutists signature brand of boom bap.

With this widely anticipated recording, this soulfully carefree artist surfaces clearly, rising to the top of her generation of musicians. Fusing traditions, styles, and unafraid of pushing the envelope, Ragans crafty arrangements and edgy music transcends genre boundaries and marks a new era of contemporary jazz, neo soul and funk.

Bob Baldwin describes Ragan by saying, She not only has THE silkiest and sweetest flute tone in the business, but her tenacity and desire to be recognized in Urban, New-Soul AND smooth jazz genres makes her a musical force to be reckoned with!! Mark my words!

Evolve is an example of what makes Ragan a triple threat to watch for on the music scene as she constantly evolves. Her new disc, Evolve, will be available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and major retail outlets.

Band Members