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The Music


 the music

Listen now

The Music


 the music

Listen now

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The Experience


the experience

Live performances

The Experience


the experience

Live performances

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The Band


The Band

Booking

The Band


The Band

Booking

The Mission

The People’s Key is on a mission to cultivate a jazz environment accessible to the young people in St. Louis/the world. By creating events that cater towards the musical tastes of familiarity, they intend to inspire a new generation of jazz culture amongst younger generations. They achieve this through playing songs that remind listeners of their life and upbringings while staying true to the integrity of swing and idealism of jazz.

 
 
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Ryan Marquez

Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, music has always been Ryan's passion. Initiating his musical career at age 5 on piano, he has been performing, writing, recording, producing and inspiring others through his music ever since. Baptized in soul and gospel, indoctrinated by jazz and raised by hip- hop/American culture, his playing reflects the modern paradigm of artists focused on shifting music’s energy to a fluid melting pot of familiar albeit uniquely conscious sounds.

In addition to his piano/organ playing, Ryan is known for his key bass skills of holding down rock solid bass parts in his left hand and cushy chords or luscious melodies in his right. Ryan currently leads and performs key bass regularly with two bands, Fresh Heir (pop/soul/funk) and The People’s Key (jazz/funk) in addition to performing regularly in the Midwest community with many like-minded artists ranging in a variety of styles.

Shared Stages with: John Scofield, Dumpstafunk, Medeski Martin and Wood, Roy Ayers, The Dramatics, Fareed Haque, Jeff Coffin Mutet, The Nth Power, Ghost Note, Dam Funk, The Little River Band and more. Performed with: Fred Wesley, Ernie Isley, James Moody, Delfeayo Marsalis, Al "Tootie" Heath,  Kirk Whalum, Bobby Watson and Victor Goines.

 

 

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charlie cerpa

Charlie is a St. Louis based Saxophonist and Producer. He began playing music at 9 years old when he picked up the saxophone. Very active in bands through his school, Cerpa began to find a love for music and soon became a stand out player in his region. His funky style is a product of his love of St. Louis music history and culture. In his sound you can hear a dynamic range of influences spanning blues, jazz, gospel, and soul while fusing in modern hip-hop and electronic vibes articulated through his soulful warm saxophone sound. 

Cerpa went on to study saxophone and music education at Webster University under the direction of Willie Akins and Paul DeMarinis. Since then, Cerpa has become one of the most in demand saxophonists in the Midwest.

Cerpa is a core member of The People’s Key, Blank Generation, Fresh Heir, The Richie Kihlken Band, Kevin Bilchik Band, Transmatter Express, Southern Exposure, Sean Cannon and The Voodoo Players and Street Fighting Band. Spanning genres from Folk to Hip-Hop, Cerpa has been featured with Chance The Rapper, El Monstero, Probcause, The Funky Butt Brass Band and Mama’s Pride.

Furthermore, Cerpa has had the honor to open for many national touring artists such as the Jeff Coffin Mu’tet, Cory Henry, Ghost-Note, Tom Morello, Chali 2na, The Nth Power and Fareed Haque.

 

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mike murano

Mike is a St. Louis based drummer, percussionist and educator.  Growing up under the influence of his dad’s music collection and his brother’s guitar playing, he was exposed to a wide variety of music at a young age.  At age 9, he began playing the drums, relentlessly pounding away in his parents’ basement. Through music classes in high school along with music at home, he developed a special love for jazz, blues, rock, R&B, funk and soul. 

While attending Webster University, Mike performed in various jazz combos and had the privilege to study with great local musicians such as as Willie Akins, Kevin Gianino andPaul Demarinis. His continued experience behind the drum set has awarded him versatility in many styles .

He has since toured the country, opening up for artists such as Jeff Coffin, Cory Henry, Fareed Haque, Sam Bush, Ghost Note, The Nth Power and The California Honeydrops.

In addition to performing with The People's Key, Mike can be seen around the St. Louis area with other bands such as The Mighty Pines, Southern Exposure, Big Mike & The Blu City All-Stars and Sean Canan’s Voodoo Players.

 

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matt rowland

Genre-bending guitar virtuoso and St. Louis native Matt Rowland is one of the area's most sought-after guitarists. A courageous bandleader and empathic sideman, Matt juggles leading his own band, The Transmatter Express, with backing up a range of acts including The People’s Key, The Richie Kihlken Band, Carrie and the Catapults and Kevin Bilchik. He has mastered a wide variety of styles and is equally comfortable playing jazz or progressive rock as he is fingerpicking country/folk music. Matt’s 2016 self-titled release “Be Like Water” is available on Spotify,  iTunes and Google Play.

Born and raised in South St. Louis city, Matt grew up studying and playing mainly finger-style guitar after being influenced by greats such as Jerry Reed, Doc Watson and Leo Kottke. From there, he dove head-first into the realm of the electric blues and the slew of rock bands that developed from it - landing his first gig at age 13 and regularly performing with local blues/rock bands covering music from Jimi Hendrix to Johnny Taylor.  His discovery and investigation of jazz soon after has acted as the glue that holds together all of his many influences and defines his current style. 

Shared stages with: Nth power, Ghost Note, The Urge, and Bach to the Future.