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Grand Times: Bio

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Tena Wilson
, a Birmingham native, has shared
her love of music
and the joy of making a difference in the world through her active career.  She performs frequently around town, in theaters, churches, and entertainment venues, drawing from her experience as a songstress from Off-Broadway in NYC to international tours throughout Europe, Israel, and Japan. 


Of her outstanding achievements was her One Woman Cabaret, performed in the Persian Gulf for over 70,000 troups during Operation Desert Storm.  She has appeared on the television series, "Made in New York" (WNYW), in "Spotlight on Theater,"
and Morgen Magazine (Berlin).

Her vocal talent was featured on the Birmingham radio drama,
"Body Love," and she was a leading actress in the historic musical "Rhythm & Roots" produced by Birmingham's Aldridge Theater.
Tena not only is a fabulous jazz artist, with a warm balladic style,
but she also sings classical music in German, Italian and English.
She has a vast repertoire of show tunes, art songs, gospel music and Spirituals.  
Music is a great healer of the heart and spirit, and Tena shares her heart and genuine love of all people through her singing.

  

  LaDonna Smith   LaDonna Smith

is a well known improviser. A pianist since childhood, she spends hours late at night with the grand, bringing an undefinable joy to her already rich musical life.  With her duo collaboration as Tena's accompanist, and as a soloist, she creates expressive sound textures and improvisations on the piano, a new direction in her already distinguished musical career as a violinist and violist.


Together, they create an intimate musical experience, for sharing the joys and special occasions of life.  From a private setting, a quiet chapel, to entertainment for festive occasions and special events, Grand Times transforms into the The Tena Wilson Experience. While the acoustic grand sound is our true specialty, we are prepared to provide a state of the art electronic grand, and full blown band when requested.


For a violin trio, Tena and LaDonna are joined by young violinist
Tory Malavet. Tory is himself a gifted musician, with a warm tone that never fails to please. His love of music is evident when he plays, and he has said," If I did not have music, I don’t think I could survive.”  
He frequently joins the two, adding his rich violin sound and melodies to their musical palette. 


Rich Sarris
is our handsome regular drummer who kicks in his suave jazz styling and rhythmic pop beats when a party or reception band is needed. His tasteful stylings create just the right pulse for swing or smooth jazz, rock, or popular music.     
   

 

And as for Tena, from classical, pop to jazz is an easy switch.

             "She is singer, and therefore capable of anything." 

                                                                     -Bellini

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