Since his formative years, Randell K. Wakefield realized that he and music would make a perfect fit. Finding it challenging to recognize life’s vitures when they were present, he was drawn to music and the imnediate pleasure it was able to generate. Though he didn’t understand the degree of his passion when he first started piano lessons as a child, his intuitive gifts flourished as he learned to play almost exclusively by ear.
Randell attended the Los Angeles High School For the Arts where he performed at various in-demand ensembles, including the renowned Vocal Jazz group. As one of the Star members of the Jazz ensemble, the group won top honors in the Monterey Jazz Festival’s high schyool competition, among countless other achievements. By the time he was eighteeen, Randell was practically a veteran performer, playing such high-profile venues as the Vine Street Bar & Grill and sharing the stage with performers as celebrated as the Manhattan Transfer.
Music has been an area in which Randell has been able to chart a definite growth, a clear learnhing curve. Songwriting has been his attempt to combine his refined musical chops with his ever-broadening, idiosyncratic point of view. Beyond this stated goal, though, it’s often trick for him to classify his own music. The piano immediately invites comparisons to piano-based, singer-songwriters pop circa-1970’s; but jazz, R&B, and just about every other form of post-20th Century music informs what Randell plays as well. He simply sees his music as an extension of what pop music has always been: a distinctive hybrid of pre-existing forms existing beneath a broad range of influences.
Simple categorization often seems fultile; but this diversification has enabled him to collaborate with an array of musical talents. In conceiving his CD Randell was priveleged to be produced by people with different but very extensive musical backgrounds. Keg Johnson and William Zimmerman are both pioneering producers who’ve collectively worked with the likes of Will Smith, Levert, LL Cool J, The Spinners, The Whispers, and Gladys Knight, Kevin Toney, one of the original Blackbirds, has gone on to become an internationally celebrated jazz pianist. All three have put their distinctive marks on Randell K’s tracks.
Always one for refining himselfr, Randell has collborated with other acts to stretch his musicianship in addition to playingt solo gigs in support of his own work. He’s been gigging at venues exclusively in and around L.A. including The Gardenia, The V-20 (piano room), The Vermont, D’Anotonio’s, and The Catalina Bar & Grill. Randell was alos a featured performer at the Los Angeles Annual African American Market Place Festival in addition to other outdoor concerts. In December 2010 it was announced that Randell is a Nominee in the “Jazz Artist of the Year” category for the 2011 (21st Annual) Los Angeles Music Awards.