Detroit area drummer, songwriter, and producer Drew Schultz entered the music industry at the age of 19, performing with legendary Motown group, the Four Tops, and appearing on stage with countless iconic soul artists, including The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Martha Reeves, The Dramatics, The Miracles, The Contours, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes, and more. In 2012 he released his debut album, "Back To Class." The record consists of 16 songs written by Schultz, featuring performances by the Four Tops, Dennis Coffey, James Jamerson Jr, Melvin Davis, Spyder Turner, Pat Lewis, Lenny Pickett, and many more. 50% of the profits go towards the music programs of the Detroit Public School System. As a continuation of the project last year, a series of Back To Class singles was launched with "Take It Slow" featuring Eddie Willis of Motown's legendary studio recording band, The Funk Brothers, and the follow-up single "So Long" featuring Detroit legends Buddy Smith and Thornetta Davis.
"Please (Don't Give Up On Your Dreams)" b/w "Waiting Game" is a new A-and-B-side single branching the Back To Class project out to the nation, with 50% of profits benefiting the Chicago Public Schools. The single is a tribute to one of Schultz's all time musical heroes, Curtis Mayfield, featuring the soaring falsettos of Reginald Torian of The Impressions and Cecil Jones of the Chicago Black Ensemble Theater's production of "The Story of Curtis Mayfield," as well as the master drumming of Mayfield's last drummer, Lee Goodness.
Reginald Torian, Sr. has been a heavyweight on the soul music scene since the early seventies, when he was chosen to step into Curtis Mayfield's shoes as the lead falsetto singer of The Impressions. After decades of touring and recording, Torian remains the lead singer of the group, which has recently recorded with the iconic Daptone record label in Brooklyn. His voice can be heard ringing through Impressions hits including "Finally Got Myself Together (I'm A Changed Man)," "Sooner Or Later," "Same Thing It Took," "Loving Power," "Something's Mighty Mighty Wrong," "First Impressions," and many more.
Lee Goodness is the virtuosic timekeeper who served as Curtis Mayfield's last drummer, touring with him until the iconic soul singer/songwriter was paralyzed by an accident on stage. Goodness can be heard on many live Mayfield recordings including videos from the Montreux Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scotts, and the Ohne Filter Live television show. Lee was featured on many world tours with Curtis, and continues to be a staple in the busy Atlanta music scene, releasing his own solo album entitled "All In," and performing with countless artists on stage and in the studio.
Cecil Jones is an up and coming singer/actor in Chicago, whose versatile voice was the perfect choice to represent a young Curtis Mayfield in the Chicago Black Ensemble Theater's production of "It's Alright To Have A Good Time - The Story Of Curtis Mayfield." Jones was the co-lead actor of the production alongside Reginald Torian himself, with the duo gaining critical acclaim for their portrayals of Curtis as a younger and older man.
"Please (Don't Give Up On Your Dreams)" and "Waiting Game" expand Drew's Back To Class project, with 50% of profits donated to the music programs of the Chicago Public Schools. Until this new release, the project had solely focused on the music programs of the Detroit Public Schools. Schultz and his band, The Funk Machine, performed in Detroit last July to showcase the project at Don Was' All Star Review for the Concert of Colors, and December 2012 saw the first donation to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation of $1,000. The project was featured in international press including Modern Drummer Magazine, SoulTracks.com
, and Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine, and prompted Susan Whitall of the Detroit News to dub Schultz "Kid Motown."
Schultz is the proud product of a public school music program in Shaker Heights, which groomed him for all of his following success in the industry. "Shaker's music program was incredible," he says. "The public schools there had it all - four concert wind ensembles, three jazz bands, small combos, orchestra, musical theater, and a several-hundred member strong marching band. That band program became a way of life, and studying music growing up taught me how to be diligent in practicing. It taught me how to succeed at something I cared about, and it taught me how to handle the failures that come with it. It taught me how to work in a team, and how to be comfortable out on my own in front of others. Hopefully the Back To Class project can do some good for students and artists alike, and spark others to take notice of the good that music can provide for both a child and a city. The music that Curtis Mayfield created continues to motivate, inspire, and encourage me every day. Hopefully this new single can help to carry on his positivity, and give a boost to the musical education of the Chicago's children."