Saturday, February 24, 2007


Toni Braxton’s The Essential Toni Braxton has been released on the LaFace/Legacy label. It’s a two-CD collection of her work……….Eagle Vision has released a DVD of Barry White entitled, Let The Music Play: The Barry White Story, which includes interviews with White, his ex-wife, his children, Smokey Robinson, Ray Parker Jr., Nathan East and the Black Eyes Peas’ Taboo……….Multi-Grammy award winner Bonnie Raitt will headline the New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival in Christchurch in April. Raitt has released 18 albums over a 30-year career and has won nine Grammy Awards, and her 1991 Luck Of The Draw album, featuring the hit single, Something To Talk About, went seven-times platinum. Raitt’s Christchurch concert on April 13 is part of her international Souls Alike tour……….The Neville Brothers will perform their legendary combination of rhythm and blues, soul and jazz as one of the headliners of this year’s MacDowell Mountain Music Festival in Scottsdale, Arizona. Other national acts will also appear at this event scheduled for April 27-28, 2007……….GMG Radio has recruited Magic FM’s Graham Dene to host the morning show on its soon to be relaunched London station Smooth. GMG has lined up Dene as part of Smooth’s change in format from a jazz and soul station to an easy listening station targeting an over 50 audience. The change is set for Monday, March 26, with the station’s name changing from 102.2 Smooth FM to Smooth Radio. On the same day as the London station’s rebranding, GMG’s 104.4 Smooth FM station in North West England and its three Saga Radio stations in the East and West Midlands and West Central Scotland will also become Smooth Radio stations………..Jazz legends Cleo Lane and John Dankworth are set for the Bexhill Festival (England) in July. The 10-day music festival is the first in what is hoped to he an annual event featuring top international and local talent……….Saxophonist Tim Cunningham’s new release is the soulful and sexy Machester Rd. The album kicks off with the grooving title-track that serves as a testament to the saxman’s ability to burn up the keys on the horn, while songs like Sadie and Heart, Mind & Soul show a level of emotional maturity that can only be gained by paying dues on the bandstand. All twelve songs on Manchester Rd. were written and arranged by Cunningham and produced by Daron Stewart……….Thanks to the recent broadcast of the Grammy Awards and to Valentine’s Day, CD sales are on the upswing stateside – especially on the chill grooves and smooth jazz formats. Here’s a peek of what happened according to the Nielsen SoundScan reports: Norah Jones’ Not Too Late (Blue Note) sold 405,000 copies when it debuted two weeks ago, and this past week, the album moved 211,000 in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan, sliding up 2-1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart despite an 11% sales drop. Late R&B singer Gerald Levert’s In My Songs (Atlantic) bows at No. 2 with 165,000, his highest charting album ever and his best sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. Like Jones, Levert’s sales were likely fueled in part by Valentine’s Day gift purchases. Also, Grammy performer and nominee Corinne Bailey Rae’s self-titled Capitol debut ascends 9-4 on the chart with 120,000 and a 132% increase; John Mayer’s Continuum (29-10, 80,000, 182% increase); John Legend’s Once Again (51-23, 138%), Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics (58-41, 66%), and Tony Bennett’s Duets: An American Classic (95-45, 147%). The new Van Morrison release, Van Morrison at the Movies (EMI), debuts at No. 35 with 29,000 copies sold. By the way if you missed the Grammy’s then you missed Christina Aguilera’s amazing tribute performance of James Brown’s It’s A Man’s World where she stole the entire show!.…….Introducing Joss Stone, the new album from Joss Stone, comes out March 20 on Virgin. Stone is currently on a European tour promoting the new album……….Paul Anka is completing work on a new album for Decca called My Way – Swings & Strings. The set is due May 1 and features a blend of new recordings of Anka’s own hits and pop/adult contemporary staples. Tracks include Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, Billy Joel’s I Go to Extremes and a duet with the late Sammy Davis Jr. on I Am Not Anyone, which Anka originally penned for Davis in 1973. Other guests on the collection include Andrea Bocelli and Michael Buble……….Al Green is at work on his next Blue Note studio album with the Roots’ Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson in the producer’s chair. The as-yet-untitled disc has been in the works for two years already and is set for completion in September. Thompson hopes to recapture the sound of a 1974 Al Green on this one……….George Duke performs at Yoshi’s Jazz Club at Jack London Square in Oakland, CA from February 22-25. He performed a live set (from Yoshi’s) on the afternoon of February 22 that was broadcast on San Francisco’s Smooth Jazz KKSF.……….Linda Ronstadt will perform the following concerts: April 21 at the Fox Theater in Hutchinson, Kansas and May 5 at the Peppermill Casino in West Wendover, Nevada……….Brazilian Girls and Kruder & Dorfmeister will headline the Ultra Music Festival, which is set for the weekend of March 23-24 in Miami……….Steely Dan are hitting the road and will perform the following concerts: May 6 at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans, LA; May 8 at the Seminole Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, FL; May 12 at the Hard Rock Live Orlando in Orlando, FL; May 17 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT; May 18 at the Chevrolet Theatre in Wallingford, CT; May 24 at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA; and June 2 at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, NY……….James Taylor has added a series of UK concerts to his 2007 tour schedule as follows: April 6 at Civic Hall in Wolverhampton UK, April 8-9 at Symphony Hall in Birmingham UK, April 12 at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, UK; April 14-15 at the Carling Apollo Manchester in Manchester, UK; April 18 at the Brighton Dome in Brighton, UK; April 19 at Colston Hall in Bristol, UK; April 21 at City Hall in Sheffield, UK; April 23-24 at Carling Apollo Hammersmith in London, UK; April 26 at the Opera House in Blackpool, UK; April 27 at De Montfort Hall in Leicester, UK; April 29 at Newcastle City Hall in Newcastle, UK; April 30 at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow UK; and then back in the states on August 24 at the Tanglewood in Lenox, MA……….Amy Winehouse will perform the following concerts: February 23 at Carling Liverpool Academy in Liverpool,UK; February 25 at Manchester Academy in Manchester, UK; February 26 at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK; February 27 at Carling Glasgow Academy in Glasgow, UK; March 1 at Ulster Hall in Belfast, UK; March 2 at the Ambassador Theatre in Dublin, Ireland; March 3 at Octagon Centre in Sheffield, UK; March 5 at Rock City in Nottingham, UK; March 6 at Cardiff University in Cardiff, UK; March 8-9 at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, UK; March 13 at Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY; March 15 at Universal Republic Showcase/Eternal/SxSW in Austin, TX; March 16 at Island UK BBQ/SxSW in Austin, TX; March 19 at the Roxy in Los Angeles, CA; March 20 at Spaceland in Los Angeles, CA; March 23 at Mod Club Theatre in Toronto, ON; April 27 at Coachella in Indio, CA; May 3 at Schubas in Chicago, IL; and July 8 at T in the Park in Kinross, UK.


The success of John Mayer's third studio album, the platinum-certified CONTINUUM, has prompted the announcement of a full summer tour, which will make stops at arenas and amphitheatres throughout the US beginning June 1st in Ridgefield, WA and continuing through August 8th in West Palm Beach, FL (see full itinerary following). Mayer, who appears on the cover of the February 22nd issue of Rolling Stone magazine as one of "The New Guitar Gods" of contemporary music, recently took a break from winter tour dates to accept this year's Best Pop Vocal Album Grammy for CONTINUUM as well as the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for his single, Waiting on the World to Change, at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony, where he performed his current single, the stunningly spare Gravity. Over the past week, sales of CONTINUUM have increased 180%, returning the album to the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 best-selling album chart. As his winter tour comes to a close with a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden (2/28), Mayer will perform on the "Late Show with David Letterman" (3/1) and pay a visit to NPR's "Morning Edition" for a "performance chat" with host Steve Inskeep (airdate to be announced).

Go to for on sale dates for John Mayer's CONTINUUM Summer Tour. CONTINUUM Summer Tour Dates:

June 1 - Ridgefield, WA @ The Amphitheatre at Clark County
June 2 - George, WA @ The Gorge
June 5 - San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion
June 6 - Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center
June 8 - Las Vegas, NV @ Mandalay Bay Event Center
June 9 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
June 12 - Chula Vista, CA @ Coors Amphitheatre
June 13 - Glendale, AZ @ Arena
June 15 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Usana Amphitheatre
June 16 - Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
June 17 - Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
June 19 - Bonner Springs, KS @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
June 20 - Maryland Heights, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
June 22 - Dallas, TX @ Smirnoff Music Centre
June 23 - Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
June 24 - San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
June 26 - Indianapolis, IN @ Verizon Wireless Music Center
June 28 - Chicago, IL @ Charter One Pavilion
June 30 - Cincinnati, OH @ US Bank Arena
July 1- Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center
July 5 - Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills
July 14 - Hartford, CT @ New England Dodge Music Center
July 15 - Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 17 - Boston, MA @ TD Banknorth Garden
July 20 - Camden, NJ @ Tweeter Waterfront
July 21 - Hershey, PA @ Hershey Park Pavilion
July 24 - Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
July 25 - Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
July 26 - Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
July 30 - Virginia Beach, VA @ Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater
July 31 - Raleigh, NC @ Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
August 1- Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
August 3 - Nashville, TN @ Gaylord Entertainment Center
August 4 - Pelham, AL @ Verizon Wireless Music Center
August 5 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
August 7 - Tampa, FL @ St. Pete Times Forum
August 8 - West Palm Beach, FL @ Sound Advice Amphitheatre

CONTINUUM is a pop/rock album showcasing Mayer's diverse influences, rich lyrics, the groove of the guitar-slinging bluesman, and the vocals of the soulful crooner. CONTINUUM earned four stars from Rolling Stone magazine. USA Today wrote that Mayer's "smartly crafted third album combines singer/songwriter pop and sinewy guitar blues," and The New York Times opined, "Mayer has been writing songs again, good ones, with all the leanness and directness that distinguish his strongest work." CONTINUUM was co-produced by John Mayer and Steve Jordan and includes the #1 hit Waiting On The World To Change, and its follow-up single, Gravity. The album features sultry grooves such as I Don't Trust Myself With Loving You, Slow Dancing In A Burning Room, and the Sam Cooke-flavored I'm Gonna Find Another You. Fans of the John Mayer Trio will recognize Vultures and Gravity reworked for the studio by John, Steve, and Pino, as well as a blazing display of fretwork on Jimi Hendrix's Bold As Love. Longtime fans will recognize Heart of Life and Stop This Train as keeping in-step with trademark Mayer material.

A musician and collaborator who exceeds genre boundaries, John Mayer famously toured and recorded with power players Pino Palladino and Steve Jordan as the John Mayer Trio, whose live album Try! was released in November '05. Mayer's other collaborations -- in genres ranging from Rock to Blues, Hip-Hop to Jazz to Country -- have included work with Eric Clapton, BB King, Buddy Guy, T Bone Burnett, Herbie Hancock, Dixie Chicks, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, and Ahmir ?uestlove. Over the course of his career, John Mayer, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter, has sold more than nine million albums including his 2001 breakout, the 4x platinum-selling Room For Squares, 2003's Heavier Things (which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 the week of its release and featured the Grammy- winning Song Of The Year, Daughters), his critically acclaimed work with the John Mayer Trio on Try!, and most recently, the best-selling Grammy-winning CONTINUUM. Room For Squares, Heavier Things, and CONTINUUM have each earned Grammy Awards for John, bringing his career Grammy total to five. Try!, his live recording with the John Mayer Trio, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album.

For more info, please visit


Netflix, Inc., in association with its Red Envelope Entertainment division, announced it has acquired worldwide rights to produce and distribute a new documentary exploring and celebrating the life and career of the legendary recording artist and concert performer, Tony Bennett. Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends will be directed by Bruce Ricker (The Last of the Blue Devils, Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows), with Clint Eastwood serving as executive producer.

Tony Bennett is beloved as one of the premiere interpreters of the Great American Songbook. The new documentary will follow Bennett's more than 50 years in the music and entertainment industries against the backdrop of a changing America. Weaving seldom seen archival footage with never before seen excerpts of Bennett's recent premier performance at the Monterey Jazz festival -- highlighted by an on-camera interview conducted by Eastwood that explores the essence of Bennett's artistry -- the film will present an exceptional man in a rare way: a living legend through his life, times and music.

This cinematic portrayal of Tony Bennett caps a year-long celebration of a singer who celebrated his 80th birthday last August. Bennett's most recent chart topping CD, Tony Bennett Duets: An American Classic, has also reached another milestone for the singer, becoming the biggest selling album of his career. Duets was awarded three Grammy Awards this February in the categories of "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album," "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals" and "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)."

The documentary project was brought to Netflix and Red Envelope Entertainment by Danny Bennett, president of RPM Productions, on behalf of Tony Bennett and Clint Eastwood. Netflix is committed to providing consumers with access to the widest variety of films available and, in association with Red Envelope Entertainment, will fully finance the production. An innovative release plan will include DVD rental and sale, online and TV distribution, as well as an event-driven premiere and theatrical release this summer. The film is currently in production at locations around the country, including Astoria, Queens in New York City, where Bennett was born, as well as Hollywood, California.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Jeff Golub’s upcoming new release, Grand Central , has a distinct New York City vibe and it's an album that captures the artist in his own unique element. Narada Jazz/Blue Note Label Group will release the disc nationally in record stores on March 6th. Through his six previous solo releases, Golub has forged an identity for his bluesy guitar melodies that have consistently risen to the top of the smooth jazz radio and album charts. His records are raw and honest renderings that incorporate blues, R&B, jazz, pop and rock. Golub has a gift for being able to play equally with fiery passion as well as with a relaxed restraint that allows his guitar to emote vocally.

Grand Central was recorded mostly with a live band in New York City studios with New York City musicians, many of whom Golub regularly jams and improvises with in local clubs when at home. Guest appearances and contributions to the record were made by Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Kirk Whalum, Philippe Saisse and Paul Brown. The disc was produced by Golub along with Steven Miller. Living in New York City requires being in a constant state of communication with people, whether Golub will again be co-headlining the perennial fan-favorite "Guitars & Saxes" tour with concert dates starting in the spring that will run through summer, where he'll be sharing the stage with fellow smooth jazz artists Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright and Tim Bowman.


Look out for a new album from Simply Red on March 12. It’s called Stay and it features the smooth jazz hit So Not Over You. Simply Red lead singer Mick Hucknall has just announced that he will soon become a father. Hucknalll, who is 46, and his partner Gabriella Wesberry, who speaks six languages and is in her 30’s are expecting a daughter in June……….Keiko Matsui releases her new album, Moyo, on April 24. The album was recorded in South Africa and the 12 songs on Moyo evoke a sense of freedom and independence. For this special project, Matsui invited other artists into the creative process, including legendary trumpeter Hugh Masakela, tenor sax player Gerald Albright, soprano sax player Paul Taylor, Richard Bona on bass and vocals Akira Jimbo on drums and Waldemar Bastos on vocals. Matsui is also scheduled for a series of concert appearances, with dates beginning in March in cities around the world, including stops in South Africa, the Ukraine, Los Angeles, and New York……….Grammy-nominated keyboardist and producer Jeff Lorber has just wrapped up production of a brand-new CD that is mixed by Paul Brown and produced by Blood, Sweat & Tears original member Bobby Columby, who produced the last two best-selling CDs by trumpeter Chris Botti. Guest artists on this project include Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Brian Bromberg, Randy Brecker, Paul Jackson Jr., the Blood Sweat and Tears horn section, Hubert Laws, and Tom Scott.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Grammy Award-winner writer/producer Robin Thicke's album has anchored at the #1 spot as the biggest selling R&B album for a second straight week. Bolstered by the success of the #1 hit Lost Without U, the album sits at #6 this week on the Top 200 Album chart and remains the #1 most played song ever at the Urban Adult Contemporary format. Lost Without U currently sits at #1 on the R&B Singles Chart, #25 on Billboard's Hot 100, and is the most requested video on both MTV and VH1. A self-taught musician, Robin's talents as a producer/songwriter can be heard on albums by Usher, Christina Aguilera and Mary J. Blige. He has recently toured with Keyshia Cole, India Arie and John Legend and he'll continue to tour throughout the summer. For dates and venues check out and The Evolution of Robin Thicke has been certified gold, and is nominated for a Soul Train Award for Best Soul/R&B Album. A limited edition version of the album is in stores now, and includes ringtones for every song, cell phone wallpaper, and an autographed poster. A special edition of the album with three previously unreleased songs is also available on iTunes.


DRG Records proudly announces the CD debut of Judy Garland's legendary 1959 album, The Letter, in its entire stereo splendor. Judy Garland made the finest recordings of her career for Capitol Records, but one of her most unique albums, The Letter, has remained inside their vaults for almost 50 years. Now this album is finally making its digital debut in its entirety on this eagerly anticipated CD which will be released by DRG Records on March 13th, 2007.

Telling the story of a relationship throughout its first meeting, a breakup, then reconciliation, The Letter contains narration of a letter written to Garland by her beau, played by acclaimed Academy Award nominee John Ireland. As Judy reads his letter, her thoughts mend with his, and she answers him musically, through ten songs, crafted by Capitol's main musical master, Gordon Jenkins, a beloved musical arranger & conductor, who also worked with Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.

This new CD was digitally remixed and remastered in 24-bit, directly from the original multi-track stereo session tapes, by David McEowen at Capitol Mastering in Hollywood. The CD's producer Scott Schechter says this digital debut reveals "a warmer, cleaner, brighter sound with much more presence to Garland's great vocals. Wait until you hear her almost operatic sound on some lines, such as And You Were Mine. Your heart will break, with her sounding like she's right in the room with you. The Letter becomes a whole new listening experience." Along with the sparkling sound, The Letter features four BONUS tracks, rare single versions of songs meant for radio play in 1959, and a lavish booklet that includes rare artwork and detailed liner notes by Schechter, preeminent Garland-Minnelli authority and author of the book "Judy Garland: The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend." T

1) Beautiful Trouble
2) Love In The Village
3) Charley's Blues
4) The Worst Kind of Man
5) That's All There Is, There Isn't Any More
6) Love In Central Park
7) The Red Balloon
8) The Fight
9) At The Stroke of Midnight
10) Come Back

BONUS TRACKS (Single Versions):
11) Beautiful Trouble (alternate vocal take and musical ending)
12) That's All There Is, There Isn't Any More
13) The Worst Kind of Man (alternate musical ending)
14) The Red Balloon (alternate vocal take and musical ending)
Total Playing Time: 47:25

For over 25 years, DRG Records has been a leader in Broadway cast recordings, film soundtracks, jazz and legendary cabaret performers. Recently, DRG has taken on a large scale venture in releasing long-out-of-print & first-time-on-CD releases. The label has received numerous Grammy Awards and nominations for its cast recordings and vocalists. DRG is a division of KOCH Records and KOCH Entertainment, the fastest-growing music company and the market leader among independents in North America. For more information on the labels and roster of artists, please visit and

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Lorenna McKennitt is planning a North American tour with a series of 26 concert dates in April and May. Hard on the heels of 21 European dates, the North American leg of the tour begins with two nights at Toronto’s Massey Hall (April 15 and 16) and ends with two consecutive dates at Victoria’s Royal Theatre (May 18 and 19). Along the way, McKennitt and her nine-piece band will visit three provinces, 12 states and the District of Columbia, bringing both selections from her latest release and favorites from past albums.

April 15 – Toronto, Canada @ Massey Hall
April 16 – Toronto, Canada @ Massey Hall
April 17 – Montreal, Canada @ Place des Arts
April 19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Academy of Music
April 20 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
April 21 – Boston, MA @ Wang Centre
April 23 – Reading, PA @ Sovereign Performing Arts Center
April 24 – Washington, DC @ DAR Constitution Hall
April 26 – Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
April 27 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
April 29 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Michigan Theater
April 30 – Kalamazoo, MI @ State Theatre
May 1 – Chicago, IL @ Civic Opera House
May 2 – Madison, WI @ Overture Hall
May 3 – Minneapolis, MN @ State Theatre
May 5 – Boulder, CO @ Macky Auditorium & Concert Hall
May 7 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kingsbury Hall
May 9 – Scottsdale, AZ @ Symphony Hall
May 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
May 11 – San Diego, CA @ Humphrey’s
May 12 – Oakland, CA @ Paramount
May 13 – San Rafael, CA @ Marin Civic
May 15 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount
May 16 – Bellington, WA @ Mt. Baker Theater
May 18 – Victoria, BC @ Royal Theatre
May 19 – Victoria, BC @ Royal Theatre


Febuary 22 – Guadalahara, Mexico @ Teatro Diana
February 23 – Mexico City, Mexico @ Teatro de la Cuidad
February 24 – Mexico City, Mexico @ Teatro de la Cuidad
March 3 – Memphis, TN @ New Daisy Theatre
March 4 – Nashvlle, TN @ City Hall
March 6 – Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
March 7 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
March 8 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playouse
March 9 – Jacksonville, FL @ Freebird Live
March 10 – Sunrise, FL @ Langerado Music Festival
April 13 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
April 14 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
April 25 – Albany, NY @ The Egg
April 26 – Tarrytown, NY @ The Music Hall
April 27 – Princeton, NJ @ McCarter Theatre
April 28 – Willmington, DE @ The Grand Opera House
April 29 – Alexandra, VA @ Birchmere


Two songs from the Monster Music(R) SuperDisc(TM), High Definition Surround (HDS) release of George Benson and Al Jarreau's Givin' It Up were winners during the 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards, held on February 11, 2007, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. The songs and categories for which Givin' It Up won 2007 Grammy Awards are:

* Mornin' for Best Pop Instrumental Performance
* God Bless the Child (featuring Jill Scott) for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance

Benson and Jarreau were also nominated for Breezin’ in the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals category. "What an incredible night!" said Noel Lee, The Head Monster, who served as executive producer on Givin' It Up and has been a friend of Benson's for more than 20 years. "George [Benson] and Al [Jarreau] worked so incredibly hard on Givin' It Up and I could not think of anyone else more deserving of taking home Grammy awards. We wholeheartedly congratulate both of these R&B legends on these tremendous industry recognitions."

Lee added that he believes, sonically, that Givin' It Up is the best sounding album from either of these artists. Givin' It Up is Monster Music's first newly recorded studio project and extreme care was taken to preserve the impact and naturalness of the moment. Givin' It Up sets a benchmark in audio quality, delivering the highest fidelity stereo and surround experiences in Dolby Digital and DTS for both home theater systems and iPod/MP3 players. Givin' It Up is now available at most consumer electronics stores and at

In exclusive Monster High Definition Surround, the genius and artistry of George Benson and Al Jarreau -- and an incomparable group of special guests, including Herbie Hancock and Paul McCartney -- is more captivating than ever, providing an inner detail and nuance in their music like never before, as if the listener was there live in the studio. Whether it's Benson's unmistakable tasty guitar licks, or Jarreau's patented mouth percussion, the listener is virtually sitting in the all-star band's crossfire thanks to Monster's High Definition Surround technology. Other guest musicians include Jill Scott, Marcus Miller, Chris Botti, Patrice Rushen, and Stanley Clarke.

Monster Music SuperDiscs are the first music audio releases to be certified by THX for high quality sound, multiple surround experiences, and digital music files. Givin' It Up is the result of a joint venture between Monster Music, the newly created record division of high-end audio equipment supplier Monster Cable, and the Concord Music Group, which simultaneously released in the same day, a stereo CD version of the Benson/Jarreau collaboration. Givin' It Up was conceived as a state-of-the-art recording by John Burk, Concord Music Group Executive Vice President and Head of A&R. Burk, the album's producer, approached Monster Cable about partnering on the project to put its High Definition Surround SuperDisc touch on the proceedings.

Although they have occasionally cross paths at live gigs, Givin' It Up marks the first time Benson and Jarreau have worked in a recording studio together. In fact, Givin' It Up was borne out of a 2006 early summer, double- bill tour in which Benson and Jarreau took turns headlining.

Givin' It Up marks Monster Music's first release of newly recorded material, following several remixed and remastered reissues in High Definition Surround of albums, such as Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company, the classic Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi, and an updated version of the same songs by contemporary jazz artists, and the 20-something, pop singer/songwriter/pianist phenomenon Peter Cincotti.

Benson, Jarreau and Burk shared ideas of what should go on Givin' It Up, whose 13 songs include well chosen covers representing recent decades of popular music ranging from Billie Holiday's God Bless the Child (1940s), Sam Cooke's Bring It on Home (1960s), Seals & Croft's Summer Breeze (1970s), Daryl Hall's Everytime You Go Away (1980s). It was purely studio serendipity that landed McCartney, who was working in the studio next door, for Bring It On Home. Givin' It Up also features sizzlin' jazz jams courtesy of Benson, Jarreau & company on two Miles Davis staples (Tutu and Four).


Gerald Levert’s last album recorded just before his death back in November 2006 has been released. It’s entitled, In My Songs, and it’s on the Atlantic label.

Other releases out this week include: Thomas Quasthoff – HappeThe Jazz Album: Watch What Happens; Ella FitzgeraldThe Very Best Of The Cole Porter Songbook & The Very Best Of The Rodgers & Hart Songbook; Van MorrisonVan Morrison At The Movies: Soundtrack Hits; Robin ThickeThe Evolution Of Robin Thicke; and Jaco PastoriusLive And Outrageous (DVD).

New York’s CD101.9 Smooth Jazz is presenting Guitars and Saxes with Kirk Whalum, Jeff Golub, Gerald Albright, and Tim Bowman. The concert is set for March 24 at the Nokia Theatre in New York City.

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood’s Out Louder will be released by Universal Music Group in Europe on April 16. A bonus disc will accompany the album, featuring live MSMW recording from their November 2006 performance at The Bowery Ballrooom in New York City. MSMW will tour Europe this summer. Tour dates will be announced shortly.

Michael Dorf, founder of the original Knitting Factory on East Houston St. in New York City, is producing a benefit concert concert to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "The Old Knit" at New York’s Town Hall on March 1. Featured artists will include John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Medeski Martin & Wood, Mike Doughty, Joe Lovano, Marc Ribot, Lee Ranaldo, Don Byron, Lou Reed and others. The concert will benefit "The Stone," a non-profit performance space in The Lower East Side founded by John Zorn to support the avant-garde musical community. 100% of the box office receipts collected at The Stone go to the performing musicians, and each month the venue is curated by a different artist.

Diana Ross and Michael Buble will perform for Muhammad Ali at Celebrity Fight Night XIII in Las Vegas on March 24. Diana Ross will lead the magical evening's entertainment. Ross, a Grammy-nominated, Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated R&B performer and actress, first gained fame from her prominence in the 1960's girl group, The Supremes. Along with Ross, the 2007 Grammy-nominated, Jazz singing sensation who has had the No. 1 Jazz album on the Billboard charts for a record-smashing 78 weeks, Michael Buble, will perform under the direction of 14-time Grammy Award-winning producer David Foster as the Musical Director. Celebrity Fight Night is one of the nation’s elite charity events. The Celebrity Fight Night Foundation established The Muhammad Ali Awards as a way to acknowledge leaders in the sports, entertainment and business communities who best represent the qualities associated with the Champ and his fight to find a cure for Parkinson's disease.

Monday, February 12, 2007


SIRIUS Satellite Radio has announced a partnership with Frank Sinatra Enterprises to create a new, exclusive radio channel dedicated to the music, time and spirit of Frank Sinatra. Siriusly Sinatra, the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, commercial-free channel, will air recordings spanning the entire spectrum of Sinatra's career, as well as other artists from the big band, swing and traditional pop genres. In addition to featuring regular blocks of Sinatra's music, Siriusly Sinatra will also feature a weekly show hosted by Nancy Sinatra, rare live concert performances, and special programs of archived material. SIRIUS and the Sinatra family will create The Chairman's Hour, hosted by Frank himself, based on archival material both spoken word and music.

Siriusly Sinatra, scheduled to launch soon on SIRIUS, will be the only channel available on radio that is produced by the Sinatra family. The channel will be unveiled officially at SIRIUS' studios in Rockefeller Center more than twenty years to the date after Sinatra gave New York its signature song (Feb. 7, 1985 New York, New York became the official anthem of New York City). Nancy Sinatra said, "America discovered my father on the radio. Now his earliest audience and his newest audience can hear his music, live performances, and exclusive interviews everywhere in North America. My family's arrangement with SIRIUS gives us the opportunity to create unique and broad programming never heard before on radio. Siriusly Sinatra brings my dad's voice into the future of audio entertainment."

"We've seen SIRIUS become the programming leader in satellite radio with a name and reputation that represents the best there is in radio content. We want to take advantage of the promise of satellite radio that allows you to create in-depth, focused and exclusive programming, and so we've made a SIRIUS choice," said Ms. Sinatra. "We look forward to Siriusly Sinatra on SIRIUS. It's a wonderful outlet for people to hear my father's musical legacy and other Sinatra surprises, many of which you have never heard," said Frank Sinatra Jr. "As a young child I remember the first time I heard my father's voice on the radio; Dad was driving and said, "That's what I do for a living." How thrilling to now launch Siriusly Sinatra where I can hear his voice anytime," said Tina Sinatra.

Scott Greenstein, SIRIUS President, Entertainment and Sports, said, "This is a unique and unparalleled musical collaboration with the Sinatra family that makes SIRIUS the radio home of Frank Sinatra. Frank's music is a vibrant and living treasure, and with the help of the Sinatra family, SIRIUS will create programming that millions of SIRIUS subscribers will not want to miss." Greenstein added, "Sinatra was the first to create concept albums and amassed a tremendous body of recorded work that our unique format and partnership with the family allows us to fully explore."

Frank Sinatra's career is unmatched in American popular music. A recipient of 13 GRAMMY® awards, Sinatra holds the distinction of singing on the first Billboard No. 1 single, I'll Never Smile Again (1940), which sold 900,000 copies. From his first released single in 1940, as the singer with Tommy Dorsey's band, to the 1980 release of Theme From New York, New York, Frank Sinatra had more than 200 hits on Billboard's pop singles chart. Reprise, the record company founded by Sinatra, recently released Sinatra: Vegas, the critically-acclaimed and best-selling box set of previously- unreleased, legendary Sinatra Las Vegas performances. Sinatra, a multi-media production, concluded a five-month engagement at the Palladium in London last year, and is scheduled to tour Europe and parts of Asia in the coming year.


Thievery Corporation will DJ a benefit for the Callum Robbins Family Fund @ The Black Cat in Washington, DC on Sunday, March 11. Thievery Corporation also guest on Satellite Party, the long-awaited new project from Jane Addictions’ Perry Farrell.

ESL Music has announced the release of Federico Aubele’s follow up to his debut, Gran Hotel Buenos Aires. His 2nd album, Panamericana will be released worldwide on May 8th. This time out, Aubele delves deeper into the rich, Latin sounds of his native Argentina with virtuoso guitar playing, hypnotic rhythms, smoky, dub atmospherics, and the sensual vocals of Amparo Sanchez of Amparanoia, newcomer Natalia Clavier, and a collaboration with Calexico. Look for several singles to precipitate the release and North American and European tour dates throughout the spring and summer.

Randy Crawford, Tortured Soul, Joe Sample, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jerome Harris, and Danilo Perez have been added to the lineup for the upcoming Capetown International Jazz Festival 2007.

Stuart Wade, producer, writer and mastermind behind UK outfit Down To The Bone are releasing their seventh album, Supercharged, due for release in May 2007.

Kruder & Dorfmeister, Jazzanova, and Gilles Peterson perform at the Winter Music Conference Sunset Soiree’s in Miami Beach on March 22, 23, and 24.

Pianist Robert Glasper has a March 20 release date for In My Element on the Blue Note label. The CD features his trio with bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid. In My Element includes seven new Glasper originals, as well as a tribute to the late, great hip-hop producer J Dilla, and a mash-up of Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage with Radiohead's Everything In It's Right Place.

Hopes Too High is the debut album from Marcell & The Truth. Their sound is an attractive blend of jazz and bluesy soul that has brought them comparisons to Frankie Beverly and Maze, and has resulted in a string of songs that are being picked up by radio stations around the world. is offering a free download of their single Maybe I’m Not The Man for all to enjoy.

Grammy winning mixer/producer/DJ Frankie Knuckles has been on the scene since the ‘70’s and he has been dubbed the "Godfather of House" by his legions of fans. His unique blend of sounds has graced recordings by everyone from Chaka Khan to Diana Ross to Toni Braxton. Along with remixing other artists, Frankie has made a few classic house tracks on his own. One of those is The Whistle Song. First released in 1991, this song was a number one smash in its original incarnation fifteen years ago. It has now been updated by Knuckles himself along with assistance from Eric Kupper.


John Legend with special guest Corinne Bailey Rae will perform the following concerts: April 3 at Bren Events Center in Irvine CA, April 4 at Bayside Amphitheatre in San Diego CA, April 6 at Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City CA, April 7 at Greek Theater in Berkeley CA, April 10 at Wells Fargo Theatre in Denver CO, April 12 at Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis MN, April 13 at Chicago Theatre in Chicago IL, April 14 at Fox Theater in Detroit MI, April 16 at Akron Civic Auditorium in Akron OH, April 17 at Hummingbird Center for Performing Arts in Toronto ON, April 19 at Orpheum Theatre in Boston MA, April 20 at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville PA, April 22 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark NJ, April 23 at MSG Theater in New York NY, April 25 at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville CT, April 26 at Tower Theatre in Upper Darby PA, April 28 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia MD, April 29 at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk VA, May 1 at Hard Rock Live in Orlando FL, May 2 at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood CA, May 4 at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta GA, and May 5 at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans LA.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


The North East Florida Jazz Association (NEFJA) and the City of Palm Coast are pleased to announce that the Dave Valentin Quintet will head the lineup for the 2nd Annual NEFJA Jazz Festival, which is set for March 23 - 25 in Palm Coast, Florida. The venue for the multi-stage event will be Matanzas High School. "For two decades, the NEFJA's goal has been to bring first-class, live jazz to northeast Florida," says NEFJA President Muriel McCoy. "There's nothing like listening to live jazz. We bring in good music at a price that is reasonable for the people in this area. Our primary purpose is to ensure the perpetuation of this unique form of American art by giving scholarships to promising young musicians."

NEFJA has been successful in their quest. For years, they have presented a series of well- attended concerts featuring local and world-class performers. Last summer, NEFJA took a huge step forward. They organized and presented their 1st Annual North East Florida Jazz Festival. It was a huge success with more than 800 people attending the event. The proceeds from the Festivals go towards providing scholarships to talented young musicians attending Florida colleges and universities.

The 2nd Annual Festival will open on Friday, March 23rd at 7:00 PM with a "Gala Under the Stars" featuring performances by NEFJA scholarship recipients. On Saturday, March 24, the Matanzas High School Steel Band will join a star-studded lineup of the Vincent Herring Quartet, the "Trombone Summit", Alex Nguyen Quartet, vocalist Queen Aaminah, and the NEFJA All Star Band. Highly acclaimed Latin jazz flutist and recording artist Dave Valentin and his Quintet will wrap up the evening's performances. Concurrently throughout the day, there will be open jam sessions in the courtyard. On Sunday, there will be a Jazz Brunch featuring the Doug Carn Big Band with vocalist Mary Louise. They will provide a variety of standards, blues and original compositions.

Widely recognized Hammond B3 Master, keyboardist, and recording artist Doug Carn also serves as NEFJA's Vice-President. "We are really excited about this year's lineup," he comments. "Years ago, you could only hear live jazz of this caliber at some of the finest venues in the country - and the world. Our goal has been to bring this level of performers home to northeast Florida. It's always been my hope and dream that we could have real good jazz right here without having to go to the big cities of the world."

In addition to performing at the Jazz Festival, Doug and other performers will conduct special workshops for music students attending Matanzas High School in Palm Coast. "As with our scholarship program," Carn continues, "we feel it's important to expose today's music students to jazz and to do everything we can to support them. They are the ones who will be taking jazz into the future".

Festival headliner Dave Valentin started playing Latin percussion at the age of five and performed professionally at the age of eleven. He switched to flute at the age of sixteen and studied under Hubert Laws, one of the best jazz flutists in the world. Since then, Valentin has become known throughout the world for his unique brand of crossover jazz, which combines the influence of pop, R & B, and Brazilian music with Latin jazz. A 1985 Grammy nominee, Valentin was the first artist to sign with the popular GRP label and has subsequently recorded with other well-known jazz labels. Also performing at the Jazz Festival will be such jazz notables as the Vincent Herring Quartet and the Trombone Summit. Alto saxophonist, Herring, is a veteran of the Nat Adderly Quintet and carries on the tradition of Cannonball Adderly. He has released several best-selling recordings in the past decade. The Trombone Summit will feature well-known Teddy Adams, along with Fred Wesley, a veteran of the James Brown Band, and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra's master trombonist, Stan Wilkerson.

Other outstanding jazz artists being featured at the Jazz Fest will be the Doug Carn Big Band; the University of North Florida's international trumpet competition winner, Alex Nguyen, who will co-lead his exciting group with veteran drummer Von Barlow who has performed and recorded with Roy Ayers, Jack Wilson and Ray Charles; New York vocalist Queen Aaminah; and the NEFJA All Star Band comprised of NEFJA scholarship recipients.


Attorneys for Toni Braxton, the singer and Grammy Award winner, have announced that they are moving Ms. Braxton's lawsuit to New York State Court against Barry Hankerson, her former manager, and Blackground Records, LLC, for fraud and breach of contract. Peter L. Haviland, trial counsel for Ms. Braxton, said he had decided that New York State court was the most appropriate and expeditious venue for the lawsuit, which was originally filed in federal district court on January 12. Mr. Haviland said that today's filing in New York State Court could supercede the federal filing, which would be withdrawn. "We think this is the fastest route to getting Toni Braxton free and clear of Barry Hankerson," said Haviland, "since we avoid wasting time on any possible dispute over federal jurisdiction of her claims." The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Hankerson, her former manager, was guilty of a conflict of interest and fraud when he caused Ms. Braxton to leave Arista Records and join Hankerson's own label, Blackground. The lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages and a voiding of the Recording Agreement between Ms. Braxton and Blackground Records.


On the heels of the announcement of celebrated vocalist Jill Scott's 10th GRAMMY nomination for her collaboration with legends George Benson and Al Jarreau, God Bless The Child, Hidden Beach/Universal Records releases an album of all Jill Scott's top collaborations, in stores Tuesday, January 30, 2007. Acclaimed for her ability to smoothly weave pop, R&B, jazz, and even operatic styles, Jill Scott: Collaborations is a tour de force of cool. Included on the album is the GRAMMY-nominated partnership with jazz greats Benson and Jarreau, as well as two other tracks honored this year -- her duet with famed jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, Good Morning Heartache (Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists) and the sensual Daydreamin’, off of Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor (Best Rap Album), which the two recently performed on The Late Show with David Letterman. The album features guest spots from these collaborators and hip-hop heavyweights: Common, Mos Def,, and Will Smith, as well as legendary performers such as Kirk Franklin, The Isley Brothers, and Sergio Mendes. The genre-hopping album is Jill Scott and her signature stylings at their best.

Next up Jill Scott heads to the studio for work on her third studio album, due out in Summer 2007. She recently made the scene at Sundance in support of her role in the Dakota Fanning movie "Hounddog," in which she plays Big Momma Thornton, the artist who originally sang the Elvis Presley hit. Acting has become a new joy for Scott, who will begin production on two Tyler Perry movies this year.

In 2005, Jill Scott won her first GRAMMY for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for Cross My Mind, from her sophomore album, Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds Vol. 2, nominated for Best R&B Album that same year. It was the follow-up to 2001's critically acclaimed Who Is Jill Scott?: Words & Sounds Vol. 1, which earned Jill four GRAMMY nominations, including a Best New Artist nomination.


February 16 – Dallas, TX @ Concord Baptist Church
March 4 – Honolulu, HI @ Waikiki Shell
March 16 – Memphis, TN @ Buckman Performing Arts Center
March 18 – Reading, PA @ Berks Jazz Festival
March 23 – Atlanta, GA @ Hyatt Regency Atlanta
March 24 – New York, NY @ Nokia Theater
March 25 – Reading, PA @ Berks Jazz Fest
April 6 – Baltimore, MD @ Mount Pleasant Church
April 13 – Jacksonville, FL @ Ritz Theatre
April 14 – Destin, FL @ Seascape Golf and Beach Resort


Columbia Records has released Oh, My NOLA, the new album of New Orleans-inspired music from Harry Connick, Jr., In addition, Marsalis Music/Rounder Records also released a companion album of instrumentals by Connick's big band, Chanson du Vieux Carre. New Orleans is a city of paradox. sin, salvation, sex, sanctification, so intertwined yet so separate. The blurred lines from the dark blue of Mardi Gras night to the periwinkle of Ash Wednesday morning," is the way Connick summarizes the gritty and grandiose, soulful and magical Crescent City, where the musical culture is second to none. "Jazz, gospel, brass band, rhythm and blues, country, funk aren't all the styles played in New Orleans," he emphasizes. "But they're the ones I wanted to play around with." And "play around with" them he does, to brilliant effect, on Oh, My NOLA.

Oh, My NOLA was recorded in June, days after Connick had completed his historic run in "The Pajama Game," which is documented in the original cast recording comprising half of the two-disc set Connick on Broadway, Volume 1. With the assistance of his great Big Band, plus the added input of a few special guests, Connick has created an unprecedented musical cornucopia of songs inspired by and associated with the Crescent City for his new album.

Several of the songs will bring New Orleans instantly to mind, although Connick and his associates have inevitably found ways to provide a new perspective on these old favorites. "I put a New Orleans groove on Jambalaya, instead of a traditional Cajun or Zydeco feeling," he says of the old Hank Williams hit, "then we move into an entirely new tempo for an entirely new groove -- big-band swing." Careless Love, an even older warhorse, was arranged and performed spontaneously, at the end of the album's final session, with a trio of Connick on vocals and piano, Jonathan Dubose on acoustic guitar and Arthur Latin playing only bass drum and tambourine; while Working in the Coal Mine gained new life through Latin's imaginative overdubbing. "Arthur worked his magic with all of his percussion toys," Connick reports, "and each part he played told a different story of each different worker in that mine." For Something You Got, Connick allowed several of the horn players in his band to take a breather and came up with what he calls "a traditional, old-school arrangement for four horns and rhythm section."

Personal tributes also add to the heartfelt aura of Oh, My NOLA. These include Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey, the favorite song of Connick's Uncle Ray (whose photo graces the cover of Connick's album She), and Lazy Bones, one of the songs that Connick's mother would sing to him when he was a child. Several of Connick's musical idols also receive their props: Let Them Talk is a nod to the great James Booker; Hello Dolly, identified worldwide with Louis Armstrong; and Elijah Rock, one of Connick's favorite recordings by the New Orleans gospel giant, the late Raymond Myles.

Oh, My NOLA also features four new originals reflecting the paradoxical nature of the city Connick celebrates. We Make a Lot of Love is all about romance, and a song that Connick began work on while recording his popular collection of love ballads, Only You. The title track, "a brand new song about a very old city," makes room for one of New Orleans' master musicians, banjo player Bill Huntington, as well as three of its young lions -- trumpeter Leon "Kid Chocolate" Brown, trombonist Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and pianist Jonathan Batiste. Connick's other two original compositions are among the most moving of his career. Do Dat Thing is both a celebration of New Orleans culture ("The title means whatever you want it to mean," Connick insists; "You've just got to know how to do it") and a tribute to the city's late musical greats, many of whom are mentioned specifically by name. More powerful still is All These People, inspired by the suffering Connick witnessed when he visited New Orleans in the days immediately following Hurricane Katrina. "The song is all about the people who were left stranded at the Convention Center, with the verses describing what I saw as I was taken through by a kind fellow I had met on the street earlier that day named Darryl." The track features Connick in duet with the great Sony Urban Music/Epic Records gospel singer Kim Burrell.

The companion album, Chanson du Vieux Carre, was recorded for Marsalis Music/Rounder Records in 2003. The disc features Connick's longstanding big band in a similar mix of New Orleans classics, including compositions by New Orleans legends Armstrong (Someday You'll Be Sorry), Sidney Bechet (Petite Fleur), Paul Barbarin (Bourbon Street Parade) and Professor Longhair (Mardi Gras in New Orleans) as well as three Connick originals. While Connick does not sing on this album, there are vocal spots for trumpeter Leroy Jones and trombonist Lucien Barbarin.

All These People was the first single to be released from Oh, My NOLA, and 100% of Connick's royalties from its sale, as well as a portion of his royalties from the sales of both albums will benefit the New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village. This project, conceived by Connick and his longtime friend and colleague Branford Marsalis, will consist of single-family homes and elder-friendly duplexes as well as the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, named for the modern jazz pioneer and patriarch of the Marsalis clan who counts Connick among his legion of successful music students. New Orleans Habitat for Humanity began dedicating completed houses and delivered keys in the Musicians' Village to needy families shortly before Oh, My NOLA was recorded.

For all of the work that remains to be done, there is a basic spirit of optimism and celebration that permeates both discs and that is best captured in Connick's version of Yes We Can Can on Oh, My NOLA. "Allen Toussaint was prophetic on this one," he says of the song's legendary composer. Yes We Can Can perfectly fits the bill of a post-Katrina New Orleans. This should be the theme song of our great city." It also summarizes the manner in which Connick views life -- with positive spirit, a focus on solutions rather than casting blame, and a humanity that knows no boundaries. It is this same spirit that makes Oh, My NOLA and Chanson du Vieux Carre such honest and affirmative experiences.

SonyBMG Music Entertainment, Marsalis Music and Rounder Records are proud supporters of the New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village and will contribute a portion of the proceeds of these records to the Village. For more information, visit and click on Musicians' Village or

Harry Connick, Jr. & His Big Band: My New Orleans Tour 2007 Confirmed dates:
February 23rd: Mizner Park, Boca Raton, FL
February 24th: Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL
February 25th: Carnival Center, Miami, FL
February 26th: Bob Carr Performing Arts Center, Orlando, FL
February 27th: Mercer Theater, Savannah, GA
March 1st: Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville, NC
March 2nd: North Charleston Performing Arts Center, Charleston, SC
March 3rd: Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC
March 4th: Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, NC
March 7th: Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA
March 9th: BJCC Concert Hall, Birmingham, AL
March 10th: Knoxville Auditorium, Knoxville, TN
March 11th: Palace Theater, Louisville, KY
March 13th: Tennessee PAC, Andrew Jackson Hall, Nashville, TN
March 14th: Murat Theatre, Indianapolis, IN
March 15th: Chicago Theater, Chicago, IL
March 17th: Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO
Additional tour dates to be added.

For more information:


R&B's reigning queen Mary J. Blige and chart-topping R&B veteran Lionel Richie will each join the 2007 Essence Music Festival for headlining performances on Saturday, July 7, 2007, it was announced recently by Essence Communications Inc. As the nation's largest annual African-American event celebrating Black music and culture, the 2007 Essence Music Festival will welcome these two talented and world-renown artists back to New Orleans to take center stage at the Louisiana Superdome.

"It is tremendously exciting to announce that Mary J. Blige and Lionel Richie will be 'Coming Home' with the Essence Music Festival in 2007," said Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications Inc. "The Essence Music Festival genuinely appreciates both of these gifted performers. Mary J. Blige is a phenomenal artist celebrating a banner year and Lionel Richie is a legendary talent enjoying extraordinary success back at the top of the charts making these two performances not to be missed!"

Continuing to dominate the charts with her album The Breakthrough, Mary J. Blige is recognized as one of today's brightest R&B stars. Blige was the winner of nine Billboard Music Awards and two American Music Awards in 2006, and has been nominated for eight Grammy awards in 2007. Blige's 2007 performance marks her seventh appearance at the Essence Music Festival over the past 12 years.

Legendary singer, songwriter and Grammy award winner, Lionel Richie delivered his latest album Coming Home in 2006 to both critical acclaim and great commercial success. Nominated for two Grammy awards in 2007, including "Best R&B Album" and "Best Male R&B Song", Coming Home represents Richie's return to his R&B roots and coincidently serves as the theme of the 2007 Essence Music Festival in honor of the homecoming of the "biggest party of the year" to New Orleans.

"The Essence Music Festival is like a family reunion for me," commented Lionel Richie. "My last performance there was phenomenal. The energy and warmth of such an enormous, yet familiar, crowd is absolutely overwhelming and I am so excited to be 'Coming Home'." Mary J. Blige and Lionel Richie will join a stellar line-up, which includes Beyonce, who was previously announced as headlining talent for Friday, July 6, 2007. More exciting and talented performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the evening concerts are on sale immediately at, (800) 488-5252. For updates on performers, hotel accommodations, ticket prices and weekly promotions log on to


The nation's newest major jazz festival, PAETEC Jazz, ( is coming to Baltimore, promising to heat up the music scene this summer for three music-packed days August 9- 11. Festival officials announced the new event at a news conference this morning at Baltimore's City Hall hosted by Mayor Sheila Dixon. "Considering the enduring history that jazz has in Baltimore, this is indeed a great day for the City," said Mayor Sheila Dixon. "I'm proud to partner with PAETEC Jazz Festival's producers, John Nugent and Marc Iacona, and commend Arunas Chesonis of PAETEC, Inc. for helping showcase Baltimore through this great new event. We're inviting jazz lovers from around the globe to experience a musical encounter unlike anything that's ever happened in Baltimore. From Billie Holliday to Cab Calloway, jazz has set the musical tone for Baltimore for decades and the PAETEC Jazz Festival gives us yet another opportunity to highlight the offerings of our world class city."

PAETEC Jazz Festival Baltimore, will be held in multiple indoor venues and outdoor stages set against the impressive backdrop of Baltimore's Inner Harbor and downtown. A diverse program of more than 40 concerts will embrace all genres of creative improvised music and feature Grammy-winning headliners as well as some of the world's finest emerging artists. Venues confirmed to date include Pier 6 and Power Plant Live! The artist lineup, schedule, and ticket sale information will be announced in May.


Madeleine Peyroux will perform the following concerts: February 16 at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa CA, February 18 at Pepperdine University in Malibu CA, February 20 at Mesa Arts Center in Mesa AZ, February 21 at Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe NM, February 22 at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth TX, February 24 at Paramount Theatre in Austin TX, February 25 at Verizon Wireless Theatre in Houston TX, February 27 at House of Blues in New Orleans LA, March 1 at Mobile Civic Center in Mobile AL, March 3 at Atlanta Symphony Hall in Atlanta GA, March 4 at James K. Polk Theatre in Nashville TN, March 6 at Tampa Theatre in Nashville TN, March 7 at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale FL, March 9 at Carolina Theatre in Durham NC, March 10 at Orange Peel in Asheville NC, March 11 at Historic Charleston Music Hall in Charleston SC, and March 13 at McGlohon Theatre in Charlotte NC.


Shanachie releases vocalist Vesta new CD, Distant Lover, a collection of timeless R&B classics originally made famous by Marvin Gaye, The Spinners, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Deniece Williams, Sly Stone and others.

The 28th Annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland features a host of all-star performers from April 19-29 including Tony Bennett, Dianne Reeves, George Duke, Chris Botti, Steve Tyrell, Marty Ehrlich Quartet, Charles Mingus' Epitaph Orchestra, Frank Morgan, Winard Harper Sextet, Joe Lovano, Hank Jones, Lewis Nash, George Mraz, Kenny Barron, Helen Sung Trio, The Barber Brothers, Eddie Baccus, Sr. and others.
Recognized both nationally and internationally as a premiere educational jazz festival, Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland continues its tradition of grooming the next generation of jazz enthusiasts through its extensive offering of performances, clinics, workshops, and educational programs.

Guitarist Chuck Loeb is at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, MA on February 15. Loeb will also be taping an appearance for the tv show Sunday With Liz Walker on WBZ-TV on February 14.

This year’s upcoming Berks Jazz Fest will feature an All-Star Jam featuring Rick Braun, Gerald Veasley, Richard Elliot, Chuck Loeb, Nick Colionne, Warren Hill, Joe McBride, Steve Oliver, and Rayford Griffin, among others. It’s set for March 22.

On March 25, WJJZ Smooth Jazz 97.5 will present a fan appreciation concert in celebration of WJJZ’s return to the airwaves. The concert lineup will feature Chuck Loeb featuring the Berks Jazz Fest Horns plus the WJJZ All-Stars featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, Steve Cole, Gerald Veasley and other guests.

Linda Ronstadt will perform at the Fox Theater in Hutchinson, KS on April 21.

A new remix collection is slated for Billie Holiday and is due for release sometime in April.

Till Bronner (trumpet), Alan Broadbent (piana), Dieter Ilg (bass), Chuck Loeb (guitar), and Thomas Quasthoff (bass-baritone) have grouped as the Thomas Quasthoff Band for a series of concerts in March. The concerts will be in support of Thomas Quasthoff’s new jazz CD Watch What Happens. The group is slated for the following concerts: March 7 at Carnegie Hall in New York City; March 12 at Musikverein in Vienna, Austria; March 17 at Kolner Philharmonie in Cologne, Germany; and on March 19 at Admiralspalast in Berlin, Germany.

Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau have expanded into a quartet for their second album together, apply dubbed Quartet. Due March 13 via Nonesuch, the 11-track project finds them joined by bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard from Mehldau's trio. Those musicians played on two tracks from last year's Metheny/Mehldau album. The quartet will tour in support of the upcoming album beginning March 21 in Mesa, Ariz. Dates are on tap through April 15 in Red Bank, N.J.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Legendary soul diva Chaka Khan and former front man for The Gap Band Charlie Wilson will perform during a special dinner and concert at the 2nd annual Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit hosted by State Farm®. Sponsored by Verizon, the concert will take place on Friday, Feb. 9, 2007 and conclude the four-day leadership event designed for women executives of color. Comedian Steve Harvey, host of "The Steve Harvey Morning Show," will introduce the evening's entertainment. He will also broadcast his popular radio show live from the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa on Thursday, Feb. 8 and Friday, Feb. 9 from 4:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m. MST (6:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. EST). The two-day broadcast will take listeners inside the career-empowering Summit and feature special guest experts who will offer tips for women's success in business.

"We're delighted to have Chaka, Charlie, and Steve at our second annual Women of Power Summit," says Allison Jones Maitlandt, vice president, marketing and events. "At Black Enterprise, we always strive to make our events both enlightening as well as entertaining; and having such celebrated talents is a treat we know our attendees will enjoy."

Khan, an eight-time Grammy Award winner whose distinct vocal style has inspired Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Whitney Houston, and Kanye West, among others, is known for hits such as Tell Me Something Good, Sweet Thing, and I'm Every Woman.

Wilson, lead singer of the pioneering 70s trio The Gap Band (You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Burn Rubber, Why You Wanna Hurt Me, and Yearning for Your Love), debuted a solo album, Charlie, Last Name Wilson, in 2005. It featured collaborations with artists Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, and Black Eyed Peas writer/producer


With her new Blue Note album, Not Too Late, poised to debut next week at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, Norah Jones has announced the dates for her spring North American tour. The outing begins April 13 in Wallingford, Conn., and will wrap May 12 in Montreal. Jones will also play April 28 at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Norah Jones has earned the most pre-orders ever recorded by according to a report released on January 30. The album, Not Too Late, also scored number one rankings on iTunes in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. In early December, EMI positioned the Norah Jones track, Thinking About You, as an open mp3 on Yahoo Music, though sales results have not been disclosed.

Jones is set to perform the following concerts: April 13 at Chevy Theatre in Wallingford CT, April 14 at Orpheum Theatre in Boston MA, April 15 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland ME, April 17 at Performing Arts Center in Providence RI, April 18 at Madison Square Garden in New York NY, April 20 at Tower Theatre in Philadelphia PA, April 21 at Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City NJ, April 23 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington DC, April 24 at War Memorial Auditorium in Greensboro NC, April 26 at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville TN, April 27 at Tabernacle in Atlanta GA, April 28 at Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans LA, April 30 at BJCC in Birmingham AL, May 1 at Murat Theatre in Indianapolis IN, May 2 at Fox Theatre in St. Louis MO, May 4 at Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor MI, May 6 at Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis MN, May 8 at Chicago Theatre in Chicago IL, May 9 at State Theatre in Cleveland OH, May 11 at Massey Hall in Toronto ON, and May 12 at St. Denis Theatre in Montreal QC.


According to radio station CFMI in Vancouver, BC, The Police have rented Lions Gate Studios for a rehearsal space in anticipation of a summer tour. It would be the band's first excursion in more than 20 years, and the details will be announced in February. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Roxanne, and a number of product-oriented offerings are in the works, including a boxed set and several DVDs. In addition, there has been an official announcement that The Police will perform during the opening segment of the 49th Annual Grammy Awards program.

Sting, in the meantime, has already committed to perform the following concerts in advance of a Police tour: February 18 at Salle Pleyel in Paris France, February 19 at Stadt-Casino Grosser Musiksaal in Basel Switzerland, February 22 at Teatre del Maggio in Florence Italy, February 23 at Teatro Arcimboldi in Milan Italy, February 25 at Herkulessaal in Munich Germany, February 27 at Jahrhunderthalle Hoechst in Frankfurt Germany, February 28 at Musikhalle Saal 1 in Hamburg Germany, March 1 at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam Netherlands, March 3 at Queen Elizabeth Hall in Antwerp Belgium, March 5 at Philharmonie in Berlin Germany, March 7 at Tonhalle in Dusseldorf Germany, March 8 at Festpielhalle in Baden-Baden Germany, March 10 at Konzerthaus in Vienna Austria, and March 12 at Beethovensaal in Stuttgart Germany.


February 10 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ CB Smith Park, Pembroke Pines
March 4 – Honolulu, HI @ Waikiki Shell
April 14 – Palm Desert, CA @ McCallum Theatre
April 15 – Cerritos, CA @ Cerritos Center for the Arts
April 18 – Cerritos, CA @ Cerritos Center for the Arts
April 21 – Winston Salem, NC @ Reynolds Auditorium
May 11 – Charlotte, NC @ Belk Theatre
May 12 – Charlotte, NC @ Belk Theatre


Canadian singing sensation Michael Bublé was recently quoted in an interview criticizing the upcoming Grammy Awards telecast. The Vancouver native, who has had the No. 1 traditional Jazz album on the Billboard charts for a record-smashing 78 weeks, released the following statement through his recording label Reprise Records: "I'm extremely honored to have been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Traditional Pop category. I did indeed make my feelings known that the category should be broadcast live during the award ceremony. This category honors the interpreters of some of the greatest songs ever written. There are millions of people like me who love and respect this music. I jokingly said that Tony Bennett is going to win anyway so why should I go? This is not sour grapes. I worship, love and respect Tony Bennett. He is my idol. I voted for him and he deserves to win. I mean no offense to the Grammy Awards, the Grammy nominees or the NARAS organization."


Alan & Marilyn Bergman will celebrate their 50-year collaboration with a sold-out Lincoln Center concert in New York City on Friday, February 2. The Bergmans are among the most prolific and highly acclaimed popular songwriter teams in American history, having penned some of the most cherished songs of the last 50 years, many of which have been covered by a variety of jazz musicians, including The Way We Were, The Windmills of Your Mind, How Do You Keep the Music Playing, and What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life. The concert will feature a roster of artists that includes the ever-so-busy (and special guest) Tony Bennett, plus Lucie Arnaz, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Capathia Jenkins, Sandy Stewart, Lari White, Lillias White, Nicki Richards, and Melissa Errico.

Grammy Award-winning record producer, singer and songwriter Steve Tyrell performs legendary standards and hits from his Great American Songbook on February 2 at the Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Brazilian guitarist, singer and composer Jose Augusto appears at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium in Miami on February 4.

Rendezvous recording artist Jessica Callahan performs at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles, CA on February 5; at the Dublin Heritage Center in Dublin, CA on February 11; at the Triple Door in Seattle, WA on February 16 and 17; and at Room 5 in Los Angeles, CA on March 13.

Chicago will perform the following concerts: February 8 at the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater FL, February 9 at Hard Rock Live in Orlando FO, and April 11 at the Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks CA.

French-born pianist Jean Michel-Pilc will add his own jazzy style to interpretations of works by Schubert, Ellington, Gershwin and Monk, at his February 8 concert at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, FL.

Ivan Lins is at the Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club on Miami Beach on February 8 and 9.

In My Songs, the studio album that Gerald Levert wrapped just prior to his death of a heart attack last Nov. 10, arrives Feb. 13 from Atlantic Records. Describing In My Songs as a classic R&B album with a perfect mixture of heartfelt feeling and emotion, Levert’s manager, Leonard Brooks, says it underscores the singer’s his creative and energetic force.

Gladys Knight appears at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in New Jersey on Valentine’s Day, February 14.

Michael Lington performs at the Annenberg Theatre in Palm Springs, CA on February 23, and at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, AZ on March 2. Lington, by the way, has also just launched his own line of fine Dominican-blend cigars known as Michael Lington Classic. For more information click to

Celebrated Italian film composer Ennio Morricone will receive an Honorary Academy Award at the 70th Academy Awards ceremony on February 25 for his "magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music." Morricone has been nominated for five Academy Awards during his career. Morricone is slated to tour the US for a series of concerts and is releasing a new album.

The Bird And The Bee’s self-titled debut album is available in stores now from Blue Note Records. Made up of vocalist Inara George, daughter of Little Feat front man Lowell George, who has been aptly referred to as "a modern day Audrey Hepburn with the voice of an angel," and keyboardist/producer Greg Kurstin, who after studying jazz piano with Charles Mingus’ pianist Jaki Byard returned to pop music, lending his talents to recording and touring with the likes of Beck, The Flaming Lips, Lily Allen, Peaches, and many more, the bird and the bee take elements of everything from the Beach Boys to 60's Brazil to electronica, spinning them into an irrepressible collection of ten sunshine-drenched, semi-psychedelic ditties.

Elisabeth Withers’ debut album, It Can Happen To Anyone, has been released on the Blue Note Records label.

Guitarist Pat Metheny will release a new quartet CD in March along with pianist Brad Mehldau. Metheny and Mehldau are also about to commence a nationwide tour together in March.

Toots & The Maytals will perform the following upcoming concerts: March 9 at Jannus Landing in St. Petersburg FL, March 10 at Freebird Live in Jacksonville Beach FL, March 11 at Langerado Music Festival in Sunrise FL, March 16 at The Rave in Milwaukee WI, and March 18 at House of Blues in Chicago IL.

Philippe Saisse is at the Buckman Performing Arts Center in Memphis, TN on March 16.

WKCR has gained a new dj -- Mathieu Schreyer, now in his second week -- hosts On The Corner, every Friday night from midnight to 3am. Mathieu comes from his Sunday night residency at L.A.’s Zanzibar, where he is better known as Mr. French. Join him on a global rhythm trip of passion and soul.

Rendezvous Entertainment artist Brian Simpson is at the Seascape Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, FL on April 13.

Jonathan Butler is set to appear at the following venues: April 15 at Gulf Place Amphitheater in Santa Rosa Beach, Fl; April 19 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, AZ; April 21 at Hills Park at Summerlin in Las Vegas, NV; May 12 at the Thornton Winery in Temecula, CA; May 31 at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, MD; June 2 at Keswick Theater in Glendale, PA; and on August 11 at the Long Beach Jazz Fest in Long Beach, CA.

Kyle Eastwood will be performing at the San Juan Oaks Golf Club in Hollister, CA on June 15; at the Marriot Star Pass Resort on Tucson, AZ on June 15; and get this - - - at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA on February 23, 2008. Talk about planning ahead!

Sony BMG Music Entertainment has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated federal law when it sold CDs without telling consumers that they contained digital rights management software. According to the FTC, which announced the tentative settlement with Sony BMG, the anti-piracy software limited the devices on which the music could be played to those made by Sony Corp. or Microsoft Corp. The agreement requires that Sony BMG let consumers exchange the CDs containing the concealed software purchased before Dec. 31, 2006, for new CDs that are not content-protected through June 31, 2007, as well as reimburse consumers up to $150 to repair damage that resulted directly from consumers' attempts to remove the software installed without their consent. The settlement in no doubt will cost Sony BMG in the millions.

The Recording Academy(R) teamed up with Sony BMG Music Entertainment to release the 2007 GRAMMY(R) Nominees CD, which celebrates many of the year's GRAMMY-nominated artists and songs Scanning at more than 77,000 units this week (via Soundscan) -- this year's compilation has started off very strong with a #1 debut on the Billboard Top Compilation Albums and a #4 debut on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart. The disc contains many of the most widely recognized GRAMMY categories. The 23 tracks from the 2007 GRAMMY Nominees CD represent nominees from the Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Best New Artist, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals categories. The CD is made possible by a special arrangement with all of the major music distribution companies and rotates distributors from year to year. The 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on Feb. 11, 2007, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).


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