MEET MARY

Some Things About Mary..

'The Mother of Cool Smoke'

MARY CROSS

American Singer-Songwriter and Stylista from South Jersey.  Performs to SOLD OUT audiences and music venues throughout the tri-state region and beyond!  

Mary, dubbed 'The Mother of Cool Smoke' has immediately identifiable rich contralto vocal tonalities described as sultry, smooth and timeless in both presentation and delivery.  If you listen closely, her alluring vocal tonalities are reminiscent of the late Phyllis Hyman.  

 

Mary Cross 2NspireU Performances

Frontrunner wrote: “Mary is the kind of singer who takes hold of a song and enraptures her audience in the palm of her hands, as she delivers lyrics, phrases, melodies and harmonies in a way that only she can.  Mary’s candor, honesty, humor and purity as an artist make her a rarity in this business." 

In addition to her original releases, she covers the music of Phyllis Hyman, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, H.E.R., Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Lalah Hathaway, Lizz Wright, Burt Bacharach, Oleta Adams, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday,  Norah Jones, Deniece Williams, Melody Gardot, Etta James, Alita Moses, Dionne Warwick, Teena Marie, Phoebe Snow, Lynn Fiddmont, O'Jays, The Stylistics, Staple Singers, Gloria Gaynor, Cher, Trijnte Oosterhuis, Prince, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Al Wilson, Corrinne Bailey Rae, Betty Wright, Earth Wind and Fire, The Delphonics, Swing Out Sister, Captain and Tennielle, Karen Carpenter, Amy Winehouse and others! 

Local performances include: South Jazz Kitchen, Berks Jazz Fest Willingboro Jazz Fest, Illusions, Hilton, City Line Avenue, Wiggins Park, Hilton Garden Inn, and the IDEA Performing Arts Center, Kennedy Center and more. 

Mary has also performed with Danny Clay, Eban Brown (former lead vocal with The Stylistics), William Wardlaw (Luther Relives) and a host of other artists. 

Mary is the recipient of many awards for her work with nonprofit organizations including universities, healthcare facilities, mental health, youth and senior centers. 

Her last release, 'Promise' garnered a Soultracks nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year which featured Saxophonist Carl Cox.  (The release was also a 2021 Soultracks Top 100 Soul single.) 

Mary has released three collaborations with Grammy Nominated producer Donald Robinson (Vanessa Williams) and has upcoming projects with  Donald and other producers with releases scheduled to begin in Fall 2022. 

Social Media links can be accessed here:  https://linktr.ee/marycrossmusic

Musicians ....2NspireU Family!!

MUSICAL DIRECTION & GUITAR

Dane Clarke

Dane Clarke was born in Carenage, Trinidad and Tobago, in the West Indies. He grew up to the sound of steel drums, calypso, reggae and latin music played on the "Quatro" - a ukelele-like instrument - in a rich multicultural environment.  His father, James, passed on his love of  the guitar.   

Dane played and composed songs for the local church and several small groups. After migrating to the US in search of self-improvement and opportunity, he studied classical guitar for two years at Rutgers University in Camden NJ and studied jazz privately with guitarist Joseph Federico.  

He went on to play for Bethany Baptist Church (Lindenwold, NJ) and co-founded Rapture Jazz/Rapture Fusion with Terence Jones (b). The group, now defunct, evolved playing jazz, gospel, R&B and fusion on the local SJ and PA scene. He is currently the Musical Director of Mary Cross 2NspireU Band and is actively involved in composing and playing guitar for the group, as they work towards their first EP project release.  

KEYBOARDS / VOCALS

Daille Kettrell

Daille Kettrell (pianist, vocalist, songwriter, music educator), a Camden, NJ native, has been performing professionally for over two decades, including work as a keyboardist with vibist Lionel Hampton, flutist Bobbi Humphrey, and Vesta Williams. She worked in bands that have opened for Patti LaBelle, George Benson, and Alex Bugnon.    As a composer, she received an honorable mention for her composition, “The Next Plateau” in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. 

Daille is known for her versatility and has the ability to compose various styles of music equally as well. In addition to her first recorded album, “The Rite Time, The Rite Moment,” Daille's new indie release single, “For All” is available on various music platforms including Spotify and iTunes.  She was a core member of the band, Pristine Raeign from 2014 to 2020.  Kettrell is a recent retiree from Camden City School District.  Other directing credits include her performances with WBGO Jazz-FM 88 Newark Radio Children’s Concerts and Gallery Receptions in Newark, NJ.  Currently, she works with  Mary Cross 2NspireU in addition to leading her own band.  Her future projects include new original recording and film/TV music.  

DRUMS / PERCUSSION

Kerry Little

When seeking a driver of the beat to get the groove to the appointed destination...Kerry is the Key! 

Funk and R&B are his areas of expertise and he does not disappoint!  You will definitely get up out your seats once you hear him pick up the sticks and put down the rhythym...it's gonna get cha!  

Kerry shares his gifts with a number of band projects throughout the tristate region

BASSIST / VOCALS

Joe 'Scoodie' Fisher

Bassist with a colorful life having played alongside fellow great musicians!  

Scoodie has worked with a number of artists throughout his musical career including Larry Huggins  (R&B and Gospel Rock music).  The show subsequently left the televised airways.  The group went on tour in Canada and Entertained extensively throughout Delaware Valley.  Danny Montez Band,

Ann Byers Review (Gladys Knight Impersonator);

Mr. Melody Band;  Corban Family: (R&B and Casino Circuit style music); Urban Quadra Jazz Band: (Jazz and R&B music).  He entertained at private affairs such as; Doctor Conventions, Bah mitvahs and Jazz festivals.  He also performed with Lowdown, an R&B and Rock & Roll group.  Jazzmyn Ferrell & lasavant Image; Ajodah and the Marquee players; MD Concept Blues Band; Best of Friends (vocal group);  Wilson Lambert (Blue Magic Tribute);  James Lee former member of Fat larry’s Band and Mary Cross 2Nspire you Band (Phyllis Hyman/ Tribute/R&B/ Jazz and Classic Soul from  2018-to-Present.

 

The Original Blue Magic group from 2019 till present.

PERCUSSIONIST / VOCALS / DRUMS

Carey Muse a.k.a. Doktor Akono Bey

Akono is an amazing percussionist with experience that spans decades.  He has worked with many amazing artists including the world renowned doo wop crooners 'Pookie Hudson and the Spaniels', The Executive Suites and The Ebony's.

He was also the tour drummer for Sister Sledge and sang backing vocals on Kool and the Gang's Open Sesame album.

His Favorite quote: 

Success is hard work meeting up with opportunity."

-Reggie Jackson, Baseball Hall of Famer