Urban Blu
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Urban Blu

Band Jazz R&B

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Discography

CD Release (Tower Records)
Out of the Blue

Radio: Incision!, Echoes, Paradise, Lady Strange, Arbor Way, Trinada, Ray of Sun, The Way It Is
After the Rain

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Bio

Overview

Urban Blu consists of 8 members, 3 very talented and gifted female vocalist and 5 professionally seasoned players. Urban Blu is one of the newest and hottest jazz / funk bands around the Atlanta area as well as nationally. With heart throbbing bass rhythms, foot tapping drumbeats, melodic keyboard riffs, guitar strumming licks, sax-o-matic notes and vocals that will surely touch the soul, Urban Blu is now an emerging musical force to be reckoned with.

The sound of the band is the signature sound envisioned by their founder and leader, Dez' Billingslea. Urban Blu combines funk with a neo-smooth jazz flavor that will not only get you attention, but will put you in a hypnotic trance that will captivate your soul.

The Musicians

DEZ BILLINGSLEA
Producer/Jazz Drummer

URBAN BLU INC. is the brainchild of Jazz Drummer/Producer Fernandez Billingslea, commonly known by most of his musical associates as "Dez". Dez' is a native Georgian and comes from one of the most music rich southern cities, Macon Georgia. From the early to mid 1950's to the current day, Macon, Georgia has produced several known musical artist. Macon can boast the likes of James Brown, The Allman Brothers Band, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Sea Level, and Wet Willie to name a few.

Dez' is the second oldest son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Frank Billingslea. From the early age of 3 years old Dez' began to demonstrate his musical spirit and God given talent. As early as the third grade Dez's mother began to notice his musical interest and insisted that he join the elementary school band to take lessons. Not by his choice, his first instrument was the Clarinet. Then from the 4th grade to the 6th, Dez' was taught to play the Saxophone. The Saxophone proved to be more of a challenge and his improvisation skills began to develop. Even though the Sax allowed him more creativity, it still did not quench his musical thirst to grow and expand to the next level. It was only when he discovered the Drums that he finally accepted his fate of becoming a Drummer. Dez' quickly learn to play not only the High School Marching Band drums but also self taught himself to play a full trap set. By the time Dez' entered the 12th grade he turned professional. This quickly catapulted Dez' to play with several local bands and with older more experienced musicians where he learned valuable knowledge and experience.

After graduating High School, Dez' chose not to attend college like his older brother, instead he decided to get a job which allowed him to pursue his dream of becoming a full time professional musician and being discovered. In later years Dez finally did attend college and obtained a BSCS in Computer Science as a backup profession.

Today Dez' is the President / CEO of Urban Blu Recordings Inc. and is the leader and founder of the Jazz / Funk Band "Urban Blu". His innovative production skills, combined with a funk R&B'ish jazz feel, separate him from most musicians, and demonstrate a refreshing uniqueness. His arsenal of instruments now includes Drums, Alto & Tenor Sax, Congas / bongos, Bass Guitar, Flute and a never ending list of percussion extras.

Dez's drumming technique was shaped by such personal teachers and known artist like Jaimo, drummer for the "Allman Brothers Band", Joe English former drummer for "Jam Factory" and Paul McCartney, Tyrone former drummer for the "SOS R&B Band." However his most beloved teacher was John Morgan, former drummer for the God Father of Soul, James Brown. Keeping this type of musical company vaulted Dez' again to another level of his musical ability. Networking and interacting with other musicians, Dez' was introduced to Zelma Redding, the wife of the late Otis Redding. They met at a Record Shop she owned called "Big O Records". This was around the late 70's and early 80's, thus introducing him to her sons Dexter and Otis Redding Jr. This band later became known as "Father Pride" and then eventually "The Redding's". They performed locally and nation wide.

After the Redding's, a much known Jazz/Funk Band called "Shabazz" recruited Dez'. This experience provided Dez' with the jazz music theory knowledge he hungered for. Now, with over 27 years of musical experience, Dez is living his dream and satisfying his passion for music by owning and managing his own recording company and leading his own Jazz Band.

VIVA SNOWDEN
Lead Vocalist / Lyricists

This dynamic lead vocalist is originally from Savannah, Georgia bringing 25 years of musical experience. Viva began singing at local talent shows, church choirs and weddings. Viva also brings extensive Recording Studio experience as well as style and grace. Viva's sultry sexy vocal deliverance singing style really anchors the group "Urban Blu" and puts the group in the forefront of Jazz performances.

JOSHUA KNIGHT
Bass Guitarist / Writer
Joshua is originally from Pensacola, Florida and began playing, writing and