Five Ten Music


Artists Bio

Master Keyboardist/Composer Steve Carter, Bassist/Composer/Producer Dennis Smith, Multi-Percussionist/Composer Marqhinho Brasil, Grammy-nominated steel panist Jeff Narell, together with Santana and Frankie Beverly and Maze Alumnus, Drummer Billy “Shoes” Johnson are the international players who comprise Five Ten, a San Francisco Bay area-based World Jazz Group. The group’s latest, recently released CD entitled “New World,” is a compilation full of, original, compositions infused with Brazilian and Caribbean flavors laced with hints of rhythmic sounds from around the world. Featuring eleven tracks, “New World” has received very note-worthy reviews.

Steve Carter

Steve Carter starting playing piano at age seven. He has toured all over the world both as a sideman with some of the most important artists of his generation and with his own bands. Steve is a prolific composer with over 50 compositions that have been released on his own and other artists’ CD’s including a co-write that went gold on a Huey Lewis and the News CD as well as songs in numerous movies and TV shows
Steve has performed or recorded with Sheila E., Bobby Womack, Michael Franti, Jay Lane, Tom Scott, Samba Ngo, Taj Mahal, Pete Escovedo, The Headhunters, Love and Rockets, Bill Summers, Ray Obiedo, Don Cherry, Benny Rietveld, Will Kennedy, George Benson, Mickey Hart, Malo, Sapo, Billy Cobham, Charo, John Faddis, Los Mocosos, and many more. Steve is a versatile multi-keyboardist who is at home in a wide variety of styles.

Dennis Smith

Bassist, composer and producer, Dennis Smith is from Oakland, California. His career highlights include: recording session work with Motown producers Harvey Fuqua and Norman Whitfield, and Leon Sylvers (various labels). Dennis recorded with artists Sylvester, Jeannie Tracy, Cynthia Robinson and others. He also performed with Jazz Sax Titan Pharoah Sanders, Art Lande, Bill Bell and Ed Kelley.
Dennis has recorded and toured extensively with Melvin Seals and JGB and Melvin Seals’ Melting Pot. Recorded and toured with international artists Samba Ngo (Congolese), Ze Manel (Guinea-Bissau/Portugal) and Henri-Pierre Koubaka (Senegal). He has per formed with The Avalon All-Stars featuring Napoleon Murphy-Brock and Ike Willis (Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention), Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band), Tal Morris and Wil Bernard.Performed and toured with The Latin Legends featuring Jorge Santana and Richard Bean (Malo), Freddie Sanchez and Bobby Espinosa (El Chicano) and Steve Salas (Tierra). Dennis has recorded, performed and/or toured with Jazz Sax Titan David Murry and trumpeter Forrest Buchtel as well as recorded and performed with the crème de la crème of Bay Area drummers and percussionists Will Kennedy, Joel Smith, Kenneth Nash, Billy Johnson, Marquinho Brasil, Richie Aguon, Tommy Bradford, Thomas Pridgen, Brian Collier, Charles Moffett, Sr.(NYC), Cody Moffett (NYC) and Arsene Kounde (Sierra Leone).
Additionally, Dennis has also produced several projects for other artists and has composed and produced soundtracks and theme music for documentaries, marketing films and advertisements. Dennis’ diverse, musical journey has taken him across the United States, and includes Europe, Japan, Mexico and Central America.

Jeff Narell

Jeff Narell is an internationally known steel panist, Afro-Caribbean percussionist and educator-clinician who has dedicated his life to promoting the artform and expanding the musical range of the steel pan.
He studied in the 1960’s with Ellie Mannette, the principle inventor of the modern steel drum. 

Jeff’s original composition “Ellie Man” was a top tune played by steel orchestras island-wide for Trinidad Carnival 2003. A tribute to his mentor, it was sung and recorded in collaboration with Trinidad calypso star “Crazy” and performed by Ellie’s original steel orchestra,” Invaders”, at Panorama. Selected by steel orchestras in five countries as their tune of choice. “Ellie Man” captured the crown in Toronto’s Caribana festival.
Jeff has recorded and performed with a diverse array of artists including George Benson, the Grateful Dead, Bobby McFerrin, and Olatunji and on four Hollywood big box office films, including 48 Hours and Commando.Jeff was a guest artist on the Grammy nominated CD in the Latin Jazz Category, Rhythm at the Crossroads, featuring Cuban master percussionists, Patato, Changuito, and Orestes Vilato. Additionally, Jeff has composed two theatrical scores, one of which, commissioned for the California Shakespeare Company’s production of The Tempest, won the Hollywood Dramalogue award for “Best Original Theatrical Score”. Performing live with Five Ten and producing 5 original CD’s, Jeff continues to forge a unique musical vision with pan.

Billy Johnson

Billy Johnson, drummer with the band Five Ten was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began playing drums at the age of six. While living in Philly, he worked with Patti Labelle, Noel Pointer, and producer Dexter Wansel.
Working with Dexter Wansel provided the opportunity to record with Donny Hathaway playing drums on Donny’s song “You Were Meant for Me”.

Billy moved to the Bay Area in 1980 joining Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly, recording the albums “Joy and Pain”, Live in New Orleans” and “We are One” with the band.
From there, Billy went on to work with Santana, MC Hammer, George Howard, and Joyce Cooling. His musical journey now brings him to the World Music of Five Ten, a collaboration of five inspired musicians bringing their collective experiences together to create beautiful music. This can be heard on Five Ten’s new project, “New World”.

Marquinho Brasil, Percussionist

Marquinho Brasil, Percussionist was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was raised in Brazil’s climate of samba and Afro-Brazilian rhythms, Marquinho spent his early childhood parading and performing with samba schools, Portela & Imperio Serrano.
His talent led him to perform with such Brazilian stars as Martinho da Vila and Joao Nogueira. He moved to the U.S. in 1982 to join an acclaimed Brazilian dance troupe, Batucaje. The group toured the U.S., Europe and Canada and performed for several years at the annual Monterey Jazz Festival. In 1984 Batucaje won the “Jammies” Music Award for Best Brazilian Group. During 1984-86 the group performed with artists such as Ray Charles, Santana, Miles Davis and The Grateful Dead.
In 1986 Marquinho went on to perform and record with Taj Mahl, worked jazz festivals coast to coast and was heard on numerous TV jingles (Shell, Chevron & Levi’s Jeans). Marquinho again toured with Batucaje in 1988 throughout Europe and the Caribbean. In 1990 he began working with Narada Michael Walden and performed with Narada’s group, The Brotherhood. This led to recording sessions on such CD’s as Al Jarreau’s Heaven and Earth, and Regina Bell’s grammy award winner Passion. In 1993 he performed with Angela Bofill and recorded with Booker T.
In 1994, Marquinho began touring the U.S. and Europe with the Neto Band with special guest artist Steve Winwood. They have since produced several CD’s prominent throughout Europe. Marquinho also worked with Ray Charles and Daniela Mercury for the 1994 World Cup promotions.
Marquinho began touring with Mariah Carey during her1998 Butterfly World Tour. His work with The Mariah Carey Band has included performances such as The World Music Awards in Monaco, MTV Spring Brake, The Blockbuster Video Awards and VH1 Divas Live with Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain and Mariah Carey.
Marquinho began the year 2000 with Mariah Carey’s Rainbow Tour. Since then, along with Mariah’s work he has been touring with guitarist Craig Chaquico and rising European instrumentalist, Praful. Marquinho currently endorses the following: LP Latin Percussion, Remo World Percussion, Paiste Cymbols, Rhythms ,Audix Microphones, and Zendrum.