Flutist, vocalist, and songwriter, Ragan Whiteside is taking the Contemporary Jazz world by storm. With her unique style and soulful vibe, this triple threat is bringing the flute back into mainstream focus.
Ragan began her musical journey at the very early age of 5. She played the piano, drums, and the violin, but found her true love in playing the flute. From there she went on to study classical music.
Ragan’s passion for music lead her to realize another new love: Songwriting and Arranging. After winning numerous competitions in both performance and music composition she decided to further her music studies and attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Harid Conservatory, where she earned a Bachelor of Music-Performance degree.
After graduating, Ragan returned to New York to begin her career as a professional musician and immersed her composition abilities within the genres of Jazz, Funk, and R&B. After winning the Capital Jazz New Artist Competition, she released her debut album, Class Axe in 2007. Since her debut album, this award winning artist has developed a heightened focus in the writing, producing, and editing process of her sophomore release, Evolve. Evolve showcases not only her melodious musicianship as a flutist, but her sultry vocals and soulful compositions. Under the direction of her highly acclaimed producers/arrangers, Dennis Johnson and Bob Baldwin, Ragan showcases her high energy and expansive musical abilities. Her versatility is heard throughout the CD on such sultry songs as Livin’ Lovin’ and Mean to Me which she co-wrote. In her up-tempo R&B duet, On the Dance Floor, she teams up with legendary vocalist Porter Carroll Jr. (original member of Atlantic Starr) and continues to craft her own unique style.
Taking her refreshing and vibrant flute sounds to newer heights, Ragan has collaborated with an array of veteran contemporary jazz artists, including Chieli Minucci, Marion Meadows, Bob Baldwin, the afore mentioned Carroll and Chembo Corniel (Latin Jazz Grammy nominee). The featured guests add brilliance and extraordinary vibes to Evolve’s organic listening experience. Her remake of the Ohio Players’ 1975 hit, Sweet Sticky Thing, merges old-school funk with the flutist’s signature brand of “boom bap.”
With this widely anticipated recording, this soulfully carefree artist surfaces clearly, rising to the top of her generation of musicians. Fusing traditions, styles, and unafraid of pushing the envelope, Ragan’s crafty arrangements and edgy music transcends genre boundaries and marks a new era of contemporary jazz, neo soul and funk.
Bob Baldwin describes Ragan by saying, “She not only has THE silkiest and sweetest flute tone in the business, but her tenacity and desire to be recognized in Urban, New-Soul AND smooth jazz genres makes her a musical force to be reckoned with!! Mark my words!”
Evolve is an example of what makes Ragan a triple threat to watch for on the music scene as she constantly evolves. Her new disc, Evolve, will be available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and major retail outlets.