When you bring together a multi-talented rapper,
a muti-platinum producer, legendary Percussionist, and amazing musicians. This is what makes up the Food 4 Thought Project. This is truly a great experience in music. It’s food for your heart, mind, and Soul. If you love Hip Hop, Jazz, R&B and Soul you will love this project.
Airick Arqese/Lead Vocals
As one of the members of the hit Christian Rap Group Christside Souljahz Arqese has been changing the game in Hip Hop for a long time. Bringing Healing & Hope to the Hip Hop generation he has saved many lost soul struggling to find there way. He also is a well respected music producer in La currently producing several albums as well as producing music for America's Next Top Model and other T.V. Shows.
Jonathan "JR" Rotem/Keys
J.R.'s first big break came when a CD of him beating landed in the hands of veteran Bay Area producers who planned on using J.R.'s talents for an upcoming En Vogue album. Eventually though, the CD ended up with producer Dwayne Wiggins of Tony, Toni, Tone fame who thought the beating better suited Beyonce and eventually, Destiny's Child. The song "Fancy" made it on to the Survivor CD and a second track, "My Song", eventually ended up on a special issue Destiny's Child CD entitled Love Destiny. J.R.'s second break came when Dr. Dre heard one of the songs J.R. had produced.
In the year that followed, J.R. produced cuts on over 2 records for A-listers such as 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Rihanna, Britney Spears,Christina Milian, Mobb Deep, Lil' Kim, M˘a, Young Buck, Busta Rhymes, Trick Daddy, Talib Kweli, Lil' Flip, Ashley Tisdale, Jesse McCartney, Paula DeAnda to name a few.
He is currently working on Lindsay Lohan's third studio album to be released in mid 2008. JR has been seen a couple of times with Lindsay out and about in a Los Angeles recording studio in December 2007.
Luke Westbrook is a guitar player,multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser dedicated to finding his musical voice within an expanding cultural andsonic landscape.
Early exposure to jazz through educational programs allowed Luke to participate in the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Grammy in the Schools programs as part of the San Francisco Jazz Festival, where he worked with artists like Joshua Redman and Roy Hargrove.
In pursuit of his musical vision, he has also studied privately with some of the Bay Area's most respected teachers in the field of Jazz and modern music: W.A. Mathieu (composer/ theoretician), Dusan Bodagnovich (guitar instructor at the S.F. Conservatory), Jackie King, Bruce Forman, Mel Martin, Randy Vincent, Raz Kennedy (tenor vocalist in Bobby McFerrin's all vocal ensemble), Polly Anna Bush, Rita Sahai (prize student of Ali Akbar Khan), Jim Sage, Neil Harris, and John Mulvey (protégé of Rock virtuoso Joe Satriani).
For the past ten years, Luke has been exploring diverse musical settings and groupings, from improvising solo guitar to live dub and instrumental funk bands. He has played various venues in the Bay Area; The Rose Pistola, Cafe Claude, Jupiter, as well spending a year in New York playing some rock and avant-garde groups at venues such as CBGB's, The Lions Den, and The Sidewalk Cafe. Now back in the Bay Area, he works with a talented core of musicians he has helped to connect over the years to bring creative music forward.
Thomas McCree finds himself to be Oakland’s and East Bay area’s most sought after and renowned drummer and music director. Mr. McCree has been a professional drummer for over 10 years and finds his inspiration from such legendary drummers as, Dennis Chambers, Dave Weckl, and Billy Cobham, which makes his playing style and technique to be one of diversity and fluidity to include but not limited to funk, gospel, jazz, reggae, hip-hop, soul, and R&B.
Thomas McCree is not only skilled in his craft but is also an accomplished musician. He currently plays various groups such as, Wisdom Creations (hip-hop, reggae band), The Walter Earl Group (soul jazz), Serendipity Project (hip-hop, funk band), Fiji (Hawaiian Artist), and also ministers with Every Word Ministries (Seventh – Day Adventist Ministries) as primary drummer, and Greater St. Paul Baptist Church, where he is the Music Director.
His expertise is also featured in a Master Class and Shedding session that can both be found on the website, gospelchops.com, a website that provides a platform where some of Northern California’s best musicians are able to share ideas, teach lessons and introduce and highlight their craft and skills to the World. And to top off his list of successes, he is the newest addition to the world renowned Drummerworld.com website, dubbed as “The great gospel drummer” and one of America’s newest rising stars in the world of drumming.
Experienced, gifted, and a ”HIGH ACHEIVER” Mr. McCree has received various awards and accolades including “Drummer of the Year” award at the Gospel Academy Awards in 1997, “1st place drummer” in the Guitar Center annual drum off store finals in 1999, and was also awarded a scholarship to Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and the Berklee School of Music Camp in Los Angeles.
Thomas McCree’s Discography is well rounded. He has recorded with “Strictly Roots”, album titled The Next Generation (Touring with the same group in Hawaii in 2000), he is an active member of “The Gospel Music Workshop of America” (GMWA) and recorded with the GMWA in 2002, (Behind the Curtains). He has also completed projects with “Variable Unit” (VU): The Handbook for the Apocalypse (2002), Mayhem Mystics (2003), and Disciples of Peace (2004).
In being well rounded, diversified, and accomplished Thomas does many local tours in both Northern and Southern California. He has performed at the “Reggae on the River” concert in August 2004, opened for The Roots at Cal Palace in San Francisco, CA, Bennie Man at the Phoenix theater, with Split 50, Fred Hammond, Dorinda Clark – Cole, Hezekiah Walker, and Kurt Carr in Oakland, CA, also performed at the annual Earth Dance Festival with Steve Kimmock, the Trinity Tribal Stomp Festival with the Wisdom Creations Band, and periodically plays with the house band for the Warriors of Oakland, CA..
Pete Escovedo has been a major force in Latin music since the late 1960's, and his versatility has resulted in success in several areas of music, from Latin jazz and salsa to rock and Latin pop. Growing up in Oakland, Escovedo was surrounded by music throughout his childhood. His father sang with some Latin big bands. Pete played the saxophone in high school and soon switched to vibes. When pianist Ed Kelly needed a percussionist, Escovedo found his calling. He and his younger brother, the late Coke Escovedo, both developed quickly as percussionists and became greatly in demand for gigs in Northern California. With their youngest brother Phil Escovedo playing bass, the Escovedo Bros Latin Jazz Sextet was formed. The group broke up in 1967 when Carlos Santana hired both Pete and Coke for his Latin rock group. After touring with Santana for the next three years (he has rejoined him a few times since), Pete and Coke founded the 14-piece Latin big band Azteca, recording two albums for Columbia. When the band grew to 24 members, it became too expensive to keep together although the music was quite impressive. Since that time, Pete has performed in a countless number of settings including with such notables as Herbie Hancock, Woody Herman, Cal Tjader, Tito Puente among many others. He started using his daughter, Sheila E. in the mid 1970's when she was still a teenager; they first recorded together in 1976 with Billy Cobham and have worked together many times since. Since Azteca, Escovedo has also frequently led his own Latin jazz band, sometimes also including his other children Juan, Peter Michael and Zina.
uan Escovedo began playing percussion at the age of ten. When he was fourteen, he began performing with his father, Pete Escovedo, his sister Sheila E, and his brother Peter Michael. Juan has continued to perform with this father for over twenty-five years and has recorded six albums with him. He also toured with Sheila E. for ten years and recorded four gold albums with her.
Juan has also played and recorded with noted artists such as Prince, Tony, Toni, Tone, Patti Labelle, Lou Bega, MC Hammer, En Vogue, El DeBarge, Freddie Hubbard, Barry White, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Tito Puente, Cheryl Lynn and many more.
Juan has also made featured appearances in several films and videos; among them, JACK starring Robin Williams, FORD FAIRLANE, starring Andrew Dice Clay, KRUSH GROVE, starring Run DMC, LL Cool J, and his sister, Sheila E. He also appeared in a video starring Bobby Womack, and he was featured in CHASING PAPI, starring Roselyn Sanchez and Jaci Velazquez.
Juan’s versatility is evident in the wide variety of music and musicians he has performed with, including leading his own band, the Juan Escovedo Orchestra, for six years. Juan traveled with his orchestra to Japan, where they performed for 3 months.