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JAZZ meets R&B

Saturday, January 25 @ 8:00PM

Event Info


Saunders comes from a musical family. His world famous keyboardist father, Merl Saunders, got him started at an early age. He began singing at the age of five, and played piano from age eight. Herbie Hancock and Sly Stone were among Saunders’ early teachers, and Sly gave Saunders an organ at the age of ten. At age fourteen he began playing the bass. In 1969, Tony’s Dad, Merl Saunders, was the Musical Director for the Joseph Dolan Tuotti musical Big Time Buck White (which featured Muhammad Ali and Donald Sutherland among others), with music and lyrics by Oscar Brown Jr.. During that time, Tony was the lead singer for The Man Child Singers. The Man Child Singers performed and recorded the songs Right On and Mighty Whitey from that play on a 45 produced by his father’s label Summertone Records. This single was included in the compilation CD Home Schooled: The ABCs Of Kid Soul in 2007. Saunders has scored movies, corporate videos, TV shows and commercials, and produced many CDs, primarily out of his own studio, Studio 1281. He wrote the music to the stage play Zetta, performed in San Francisco by the American Conservatory Theatre, and also assumed the role of musical director for the show. He was the musical director of Rock Justice, written by Bob Heyman and Marty Balin of Jefferson Starship. Artists collaborating with him on recent projects have included Mavis Staples, John Lee Hooker and Austin “Auggie” Brown, the nephew of Michael Jackson. (Auggie’s project was sold to Midas Records.) Tony has also been a staff producer for San Francisco Records, bringing Ashling Cole to the label and producing her project. Tony has produced over 400 tracks with his core musicians Dante Taz Roberson on Drums, Bill Hampton on Guitar, and Sylvester Burks on Keyboards. Tony’s first solo CD “Bigger than Outside” was released in October 2011. It remained on the charts for 70 weeks. His new CD “Appaloosa” was released January 22, 2014. Awards and honors: Saunders has received two Emmy awards. He also won the New York Film Festival’s Grand and Silver Award for educational compositions.


Guitarist and vocalist, Vernon Black spent most of the past 20 years touring, recording and film tracking with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Lionel Richie. More recently, he’s performed and recorded with artists including Ashanti, Mariah Carey, India.Arie, Busta Rhymes and Celine Dion. His work can be heard in films like “The Bodyguard,” “License to Kill,” and “Beverly Hills Cop II;” in advertising jingles for Jaguar, Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan, Mattel and Levi’s; and in songs and sound effects on video games for Sony Play Station, Nintendo, Sega and EA Sports (Electronic Arts). And at the Jimi Hendrix Festival at Bumbershoot Stadium in Seattle Washington he was the co-music director and opened the show with Jimi Hendrix’s original Experience band – Mitch Mitchell (drums) and Noel Redding (bass). Vernon is also a producer, composer and music director. Credits include; Spice Girls (music director), Regina Belle (composer), Philip Bailey (composer), Lenny Williams (composer, producer) and his 1st solo record “Sneak Previews” (composer, producer) with guest artists, including Herbie Hancock, Steve Smith, Tom Coster and Phillip Bailey, and for multiple artists on his “Ice Black Productions” production company / independent record label. Vernon also designs his own electric guitars. He is the co-designer of the MP2 digital guitar preamp and co-desiged the DVD on CD (multi layered enhanced cd) in 2000. In the year 2004, Vernon took a break from the “guitarist for hire” market to create a situation that would allow him to pursue and develop his own producing and writing career as well as being a solo artist. Equally so, he was motivated to create a place that gave artists a more fair and friendly (artist based business) environment. This led to the creation of his production company / independent record label “Ice Black Productions”.


Singer, Songwriter, Musician, and Composer was influenced by music icons such as Pop & Mavis Staples, Amy Winehouse, Al Green, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Prince, Paul McCartney, Bonnie Rait, Rick James, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, and many many more. In November 2015, soon after his EP was released, he publish and released his 11 song CD entitled “SCUZE ME!” . He also performed a blues set at the “Amsterdam Bourbon Street Music Hall ” on his scheduled trip to Holland. Music is his life and you’ll know it immediately by his great stage presence, impressive vocal range, and his love for inspirational songs, Jazz, funk, and most of all R&B music. DW EDWARDS is like hiring a dynamic “tour de force”. Audiences respond in an immeasurable force of appreciation. Darrell has shared the stage with, Carlos Reyes, the Fenix Band featuring musician veteran guitarist Fernando Aragon; drummer, Larry Vann; BB King’s bassist, Michael Warren; the master of keys Phillip “Rosco” Gallo; and soulful Kyle Hixon on sax to name only a few. DW Edwards & “Lighting Up The Soul” has performed at various venues such as Vino Godfather Winery, Vallejo; Seven Artisans Winery, Fairfield; Empress Theatre, Vallejo; Fuso’s Vacaville, DownTown Theatre, Fairfield; Nicks By The Sea, Pacifica; the Gold Rush Lounge, San Francisco; Silo’s, Napa; Magnolia Terrace Concert, San Rafael; Pink Festival 1&3, Fairfield; Green Valley Country Club, Fairfiled; Solano County Fair; Pittsburg Seafood Festival, Pittsburg Ca.; Vallejo Yacht Club, Winter Hawk Winery, Fairfield; numerous annual “Wounded Warrior” fundraisers held at Wooden Valley Winery Fairfield, to name a few. Armed with an extensive playlist of recognizable songs for everyone, DW Edwards comes to the stage as a well polished actor, musician, consummate entertainer, dancer and performer. Of course he always adds several songs of his original works to round out his shows. Frankly speaking DW EDWARDS stacks up with the finest entertainers around the Bay Area and offers cutting edge full stage enjoyment. To hire Darrell Edwards is to hire world class entertainment coupled this with his fire and passion, outstanding performance technique and an unstoppable, fun personality and you have a sure-fire winner each and every time your at his show.


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Empress Theatre

330 Virginia St, Vallejo CA 94590

Box Office

Tue – Sat, 11AM – 4PM