Thursday, March 29, 2007


Al Green will perform the following concerts: April 29 at Jazz Fest in Tobago, May 19 at Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point CA, June 24 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs NY, June 28 at Royal Albert Hall in London UK, June 29 at Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester UK, July 1 at Malahide Castle in Dublin Ireland, July 2 at Edinburgh Playhouse in Edinburgh UK, July 4 at National Indoor Arena in Birmingham UK, July 6 at Carling Apollo Hammersmith in London UK, July 9 at Grand Rex in Paris France, July 11 at Via Jazz in Madrid Spain, July 13 at North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam Netherlands, July 21 at Memphis Botanic Garden in Memphis TN, July 24 at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood FL, July 26 at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta GA, July 29 at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston MI, August 3 at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel NJ, August 4 at Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City NJ, August 7 at Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York NY, August 11 at Cavalier Telephone Pavilion Pier Six in Baltimore MD, August 12 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport RI, August 26 at Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie TX, August 30 at Minnesota State Fair in Saint Paul MN, September 1 at Red Rocks in Morrison CO, September 7 at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto CA, September 8 at Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord CA, September 9 at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys CA, and October 19-20 at House of Blues in Chicago IL. All dates July 24 through September 9 are with the B.B. King Blues Festival.


Amy Winehouse will perform the following concerts: April 26 at Popscene in San Francisco CA, April 27 at Coachella in Indio CA, April 30 at Fox Theatre in Boulder CO, May 2 at Varsity Theater in Minneapolis MN, May 3 at Schubas in Chicago IL, May 6 at Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia PA, May 7 at Paradise Rock Club in Boston MA, May 8-9 at Highline Ballrom in New York NY, May 12-13 at Mod Club in Toronto ON, May 27 at Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf Netherlands, May 28-29 at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London UK, June 9 at Isle of Wight Festival in Isle of Wight UK, July 4 at Liverpool Summer Pops in Liverpool UK, July 7 at Oxegen Festival in Naas Ireland, July 8 at T in the Park in Kinross UK, and September 8 at V Festival in Toronto ON.


B.B. King, Al Green and Etta James will embark on a 14-city trek beginning July 24 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Miami, and wrapping Sept. 9 at the Kautz Ironstone Vineyards Theatre in Murphys, Calif. Since January, 81-year-old King has been performing gigs on his 60th Anniversary Tour, and will continue touring through the year¹s end, which includes a string of Canadian shows in May. Supporting King on select dates are Joan Osborne, Robert Randolph and James Hunter.

B.B. King will perform the following concerts: March 21 at DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids MI, March 22 at Virginia Theatre in Champaign IL, March 24 at Whitney Hall in Louisville KY, March 26 at Norton Center in Danville KY, March 27 at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville NC, March 30 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall in Springfield MO, March 31 at Ameristar Hotel & Casino in Kansas City MO, April 1 at Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha NE, April 3 at ArtsBlock: Grand Theatre in Wausau WI, April 5-6 at House of Blues in Chicago IL, April 7 at Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville IN, April 8 at Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee WI, April 26 at Save on Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria BC, April 27 at Orpheum in Vancouver BC, April 28 at Prospera Place in Kelowna BC, May 1 at CN Centre in Prince George BC, May 3 at Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton AB, May 4 at Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary AB, May 6 at Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts in Winnipeg MB, May 7 at Thunder Bay Community Auditorium in Thunder Bay ON, May 9 at Vegas Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie MI, May 11 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto ON, May 12 at Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls NY, May 13 at National Arts Centre in Ottawa ON, May 14 at Centre in the Square in Kitchener ON, May 16 at Grand Theatre in Quebec City QC, May 18 at St. Denis Theatre in Montreal QC, May 19 at Harbour Station in Saint John NB, May 20 at Augusta Civic Center in Augusta ME, June 12 at Saenger Theatre in Mobile AL, June 14-15 at L'auberge du Lac Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles LA, June 16 at Paragon Casino in Marksville LA, June 18 at Cowan Fine & Performing Arts Center in Tyler TX, June 19 at Lutcher Theatre in Orange TX, June 21-22 at Grand Opera House in Galveston TX, June 26 at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh NC, July 1 at Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake IA, July 24 at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood FL, July 26 at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta GA, July 29 at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston MI, August 3 at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel NJ, August 4 at Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City NJ, August 7 at Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York NY, August 11 at Cavalier Telephone Pavilion Pier Six in Baltimore MD, August 12 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport RI, August 26 at Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie TX, August 28-29 at Ravinia in Highland Park IL, August 30 at Minnesota State Fair in Saint Paul MN, September 1 at Red Rocks in Morrison CO, September 5 at Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles CA, September 7 at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto CA, September 8 at Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord CA, and September 9 at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys CA. All dates July 24 through September 9 are with the B.B. King Blues Festival.


Out this week are are new compilations on the Mosaic label, featuring the best of guitarist Earl Klugh and the late bassist Jaco Pastorius. The Ultimate Earl Klugh features highlights of his 28-year career, from his 1976 hit Angelina through his popular collaborations with Bob James and George Benson. The album also showcases the work of guests Dave Grusin, Eric Gale, Steve Gadd, Patti Austin, and Lee Ritenour. Guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. says that Klugh, who started his career as a solo artist in 1976 with the album Love Songs, is a widely respected artist among smooth jazz players: "If you ask Peter White and Marc Antoine and all the acoustic guitar players, who is the best acoustic guitar player, who's the best gut-string guitar player, everybody will tell you Earl Klugh. At least they should. If they're smart. And they really know music."

The Ultimate Jaco Pastorius collects highlights from the late bassist's recording career including trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's 1978 recording Super Blue, and flutist Hubert Laws' 1970 breakthrough set, Afro Classic. Pastorius was famous for his mastery of the fretless bass, and frequent collaborator Pat Metheny says that he thought of Pastorius whenever he played the fretless guitar: "Sitting on my shoulder at all times is the memory of my friend Jaco Pastorius, who was one of the most relentlessly critical musicians I can ever imagine existing when it came to demanding perfect intonation from fretless instruments.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Jim Brickman garnered a record 24th AC chart entry this week with the success of Never Alone, the new single from his SLG Records debut, ESCAPE, which features guest vocalist Hillary Scott and her group Lady Antebellum. Brickman officially holds the record for most AC chart appearances (over Elton John and Rod Stewart) since the AC list converted to Nielsen BDS data in July 1993. ESCAPE entered both the Billboard Top 200 Chart and New Age Chart when it was released in October 2006 and is on course to be one of his best selling recordings. Never Alone, the second single from ESCAPE, follows up the album's first AC single Hideaway - When it Snows which peaked at #2 on the chart in December. A new video for Never Alone is currently streaming at

Brickman's first collaboration with SLG Records is a fine return to form for the chart-topping, multi-platinum artist. ESCAPE is a lush, unabashed work of romanticism, both in the instrumental compositions and vocal ballads -- a niche that he almost single-handedly dominates. Like his numerous gold and platinum-selling projects, ESCAPE features an enchanting collection of gorgeous piano compositions, romantic piano and vocal ballads and rhythmic light jazz selections.

Jim Brickman's remarkable career includes six Gold and Platinum-selling albums, three #1 and thirteen Top 10 Adult Contemporary radio hits, consistent debuts at #1 on Billboard's New Age chart, a Grammy nomination in 2003, SESAC "Songwriter of the Year" award, a Canadian Country Music Award for "Best Vocal/Instrumental Collaboration," a Dove Award presented by the Gospel Music Association for "The Gift" and sold-out concert tours internationally.


Steely Dan will return to the road for a spring/summer run that begins May 5 in Memphis. The group, which also toured last summer, has dates on tap through June 10 at New York's Beacon Theatre, the last of a three-night stand at the venue. Other highlights of the itinerary include a May 6 appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. According to a spokesperson, the tour set list may include songs from group member Donald Fagen's 2006 solo album Morph the Cat and colleague Walter Becker's in-progress solo effort. In conjunction with the tour, Rhino will on May 22 release The Donald Fagen Trilogy Collection, compiling his three prior solo albums. A Steely Dan Millennium Collection will arrive Oct. 2 via Universal.

Steel Dan will perform the following concerts: May 5 at Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis TN, May 6 at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans LA, May 8 at Seminole Hard Rock Live in Hollywood FL, May 9 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Ft. Myers FL, May 11 at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta GA, May 12 at Hard Rock Live Orlando in Orlando FL, May 14-15 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater FL, May 17 at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville CT, May 18 at Chevrolet Theatre in Wallingford CT, May 21-22 at Beacon Theatre in New York NY, May 24-25 at Tower Theatre in Upper Darby PA, May 26 at Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City NJ, May 29-30 at Bank of America Pavilion in Boston MA, June 1 at Turning Stone Casino in Verona NY, June 2 at Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls NY, June 4 at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights MI, June 5 at Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre in Toledo OH, June 7 at Wolf Trap in Vienna VA, June 8 at Ntelos Pavilion in Portsmouth NH, June 10-11 at Beacon Theatre in New York NY, July 5 at National Indoor Arena in Birmingham UK, July 6 at Liverpool Summer Pops Festival in Liverpool UK, July 7 at Carling Apollo Hammersmith in London UK, July 10 at Grand Rex in Paris France, July 15 at Zitadelle in Berlin Germany, July 19 at Molde Jazz Festival in Molde Norway, July 24 at Stadtpark in Hamburg Germany, and July 25 at Museumplatz in Bonn Germany.


New CD’s out recently include: Patti Austin – Avant Gerswhin (Rendezvous); Ry Cooder – My Name Is Buddy (Nonesuch); Jeff Golub with guests Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Kirk Whalum, Philippe Saisse & Paul Brown – Grand Central (Blue Note); Wynton Marsalis – Everything Starts Where It Ends (Blue Note); Joey DeFrancesco – Joey DeFrancesco Live: The Authorized Bootleg (Concord); & Brad Mehldau – Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz Rebroadcast: Brad Mehldau (Jazz Alliance).

Columbia will release Duets: The Making of an American Classic by Tony Bennett on DVD with a street date of May 1.

Keiko Matsui’s new album, Moyo, will be released on April 24. Guests appearing on the CD include Paul Taylor and Hugh Masakela.

Nonesuch Records will release a various artists tribute to Joni Mitchell called A Tribute to Joni Mitchell. it is planned for April 24. Guests artists include Björk, Elvis Costello, Prince, Annie Lennox, and Sufjan Stevens, among others.

Veteran performer Natalie Cole provided the special entertainment at the 23rd Annual Communications Awards Dinner presented by the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) on March 23rd, at Marriott's Wardman Park Hotel, in Washington, D.C. The annual event honors those who have contributed to the black-owned broadcasting and communications industries.

Drummer Roy Haynes, jazz singer Mark Murphy, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis' "Congo Square" and singers Cesaria Evora and Seu Jorge will headline the 28th annual Montreal International Jazz Festival, running June 28 to July 8. Other major attractions will include Tortoise, the Dave Holland Quintet, Joshua Redman, Keith Jarrett, Branford Marsalis and the Spaghetti Western Orchestra in a tribute to film composer Ennio Morricone.

Robin Thicke, The Wailers, and the Jazz Attack starring Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Peter White & Richard Elliot have been added to the SunFest 2007 line-up to be held May 3-6 in West Palm Beach, Florida. SunFest 2007 will be held from May 3-6 along the Flagler Drive waterfront in West Palm Beach.

Chaka Khan is headlining America’s 400th Anniversay Concert saluting the founding of America’s beginnings in Jamestown, VA. The concert is set for May 12.

The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance (TPA), a non-profit organization started by legendary singer Teddy Pendergrass, will host a June 10 benefit at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center to benefit spinal cord injury survivors. "Teddy 25" will be hosted by comedienne Mo'Nique, and will boast performances by Patti La Belle, Ruben Studdard and Stephanie Mills, among others. Pendergrass, who was paralyzed from the waist down after a near-fatal 1982 car crash, will premiere a new song written specifically for the occasion. Pendergrass, who after 19 years away from the stage returned in May 2001 for a sold-out concert tour, was inducted in 2005 into the SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) Hall of Fame for his work with injured individuals.

Reprise Records will release the new Michael Bublé in both the standard CD issue and a Special Edition. The album will be called Call Me Irresponsible and is scheduled to be released on May 1.

Concord Records will release the new Jane Monheit disc called Surrender on May 1.

Saxophonist Kim Waters is preparing to release his 16th solo album, titled You Are My Lady after his soulful cover of the '80s Freddie Jackson hit. The follow-up to his 2004 set All For Love also includes covers of Natalie Cole's Inseparable, Marvin Gaye's Got To Give It Up, contemporary R&B star Ne-Yo's hit So Sick, and a version of Roberta Flack's The Closer I Get To You featuring Grammy winning singer Lisa Fischer. Waters also composed a number of original tracks for the CD, which he produced with Chris "Big Dog" Davis and Davy D. You Are My Lady will be release March 27th on Shanachie.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) has just announced the most diverse summer season line-up in its 17-year history, including such artists as Herbie Hancock, Steve Winwood, Angelique Kidjo, The Black Crowes, The Allman Brothers Band, Joss Stone and many more. The premiere music festival opens with the June Festival, presented by Calamos Investments, which runs from June 21st through the 24th. The season runs as follows:

JAS June Festival - Rio Grand Town Park in downtown Aspen
June 21 - Herbie Hancock w/special guests Terence Blanchard, Larry Coryell and others, with Madeleine Peyroux opening
June 22 - Earth Wind and Fire w/JAS Academy Band opening
June 23 - Steve Winwood w/Angelique Kidjo opening
June 24 - The Black Crowes w/Marcus Miller opening
June 26 - An Evening with Wynton Marsalis & Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (at the Benedict Music Tent).

JAS in July
July 19 - Christian McBride and Edger Meyer (at Harris Hall)
July 21 - JASummerNight Mambo (JAS' National Council education and performance benefit) (at ABO at Aspen Airport) featuring Arturo Sandoval and his Big Band. The event also features Carla Cook and Yerba Buena.

JAS Labor Day Weekend - At Snowmass Town Park
August 31st - Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals w/openers Nickel Creek
September 1st - Joss Stone w/headliner TBA
September 2nd - the Allman Brothers Band w/openers TBA
September 3rd - Government Mule, the Derek Trucks Band with Susan Tedeschi w/openers TBA

For series tickets, call 866-JAS-TIXX or go on-line at Tickets for the Wynton Marsalis performance and the Christian McBride/Edgar Meyer performance are available at the Aspen Music Festival Box Office, 970-925-9042 or Tickets for the JASummerNight Mambo w/Arturo Sandoval are available at 970-920-4996.


Stay, is scheduled for an April 24th release in both physical and digital formats. The first single from the album, So Not Over You, debuted as the #1 most added it the AC radio format. Simply Red's forthcoming smooth jazz album, The album, according to frontman Mick Hucknall, promises to deliver on his "fundamental need to make music." He told, "If my pleasure in the music comes across in the grooves -- I just hope that it relates to people. These are love songs, they are romantic and they reflect who I am right now, and what I want to express to people. I like the idea of people sharing the romance of the songs." The album leads off with an atypical track, The World And You Tonight. Hucknall notes, "Producer Andy Wright came to me with (it) -- and I listened to it and thought, 'Ooh, this is going to be lovely.' It's an unusual style for one of my songs, some friends of mine mentioned that it sounded like Roy Orbison or something from the '60s. With a track like that, it's hard to put anything before it, so we put it at the head of the album.” Stay was recorded almost simultaneously with Hucknall's previous effort, Simplified. Of how he maintained a balance between the two, he says, "I just had to sort of sift through how we were going to do it." Simply Red is currently on tour with the following confirmed dates: April 29 – Olympia Theatre (Montreal, Canada); April 30 – Hummingbird (Toronto, Canada); May 24 –31 – Royal Albert Hall (UK). The group is also planning a brief U.S. visit in mid-to-late April. It looks like there will be a couple of live TV appearances and possibly a couple of showcases too (New York/California. Specific dates have yet to be announced. For more information about Simply Red, visit the website at:


The Montreal Jazz Festival has just announced guest performers for its 28th edition of the popular summer fest. Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Ghanaian drum master Yacub Addy, the Roy Haynes Quartet and world music stars Manu Chao, Cesaria Evora and Seu Jorge will headline the fest, which runs from June 28th to July 8th. Other artists to perform at the festival, which is North America's largest such event, are rock guitarist Derek Trucks, vocalist Mark Murphy, drummer Billy Cobham, French violinist Didier Lockwood, and the North American premiere of the Spaghetti Western Orchestra, with its tribute to the film scores of Italian composer Ennio Morricone. These are in addition to previously announced performers, including the Dave Holland Quintet, Holly Cole, the Wayne Shorter Quartet, Joshua Redman, Keith Jarrett and Branford Marsalis.


Smooth jazz Saxophonists Kirk Whalum and Gerald Albright, and guitarists Tim Bowman and Jeff Golub will all take place in the 2007 Guitars and Saxes tour. Some dates have been announced so far, and more are coming. This year is the 12th Guitars and Saxes tour. Albright and Golub are the two returning veterans on this year's tour. Last year's tour also included saxophonist Richard Elliot and guitarist Peter White, as well as trumpeter Rick Braun.

2007 Guitars and Saxes tour dates (more dates will be added soon)
March 24 - New York, NY - Nokia Theater
March 25 - Reading, PA - Scottish Rite Cathedral
April 13 - Jacksonville, FL - Ritz Theater
April 14 - Destin, FL - Seascape Golf & Beach Resort
April 28 - Rancho Mirage, CA - Ranch Las Palmas Resort
April 29 - Temecula, CA - Thornton Winery
May 18 - Sacramento, CA - Guzzetta Grand Ballroom at the Radisson Hotel
May 19 - Paso Robles, CA - Martin & Weyrich Winery
May 20 - Newport Beach, CA - Hyatt Newporter
Aug 10 - Long Beach, CA - Rainbow Lagoon Park
Aug 30 - Austin, TX - One World Theatre
Aug 31 - San Antonio, TX - San Antonio Convention Center (afternoon show)
Aug 31 - Houston, TX - Verizon Theater (evening show)


The 20th anniversary Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival line-up has just been announced, and it features some of the greatest stars of smooth jazz, including Mindi Abair, Ray Parker Jr., Lee Ritenour, Nick Colionne, Marion Meadows, Michael Lington and many more performing at the October event, on Catalina Island off the southern California coast. The event will take place on Catalina Island, California over the course of three weekends in October at Catalina Island's Wrigley Ranch in the seaport village of Avalon, the event can be reached by a one-hour boat ride or a 13 minute helicopter ride. For tickets, go to or call 866-trax-tix (866-872-9849). The line-up for the 2007 JazzTrax Festival is as follows (more performers to be announced):

October 5th, 6th and 7th
Ray Parker Jr.
Mindi Abair
Marion Meadows
Paul Brown
Nick Colionne
Oli Silk
Candy Dulfer
Jesse Jay
Four 80 East

October 12th, 13th and 14th
Mindi Abair
Lee Ritenour
Kyle Eastwood
Marion Meadows
Jesse Jay
Jackiem Joyner
Ray Parker Jr.
Michael Lington

October 19th, 20th and 21st
Peter White
Norman Brown's Summer Storm w/special guests Peabo Bryson & Marion Meadows
Pieces of a Dream
Wayman Tisdale
Gregg Karukas
Jackiem Joyner


The Hampton Jazz Festival is still going strong at 40 with a line-up that includes performers from the first concert in 1968. The June 22-24 festival features Patti Labelle, George Benson, David Sanborn, Tower of Power, Jill Scott , Norman Brown’s Summer Storm -a smooth jazz group featuring Peabo Bryson, Jeff Lorber, and Marion Meadows. Also appearing will be a 17-piece big band honoring Dizzy Gillespie, who played at the 1st festival in 1968. Members include Roy Hargrove, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, and Roberta Gamberini. Also appearing are festival favorites Frankie Beverly and Maze, Stephanie Mills, and Ramsey Lewis, who appeared in 1968. Promoters say more artists are coming and you can keep up with the list on the festival Website. Tickets for the June 22, 23, 24 festival at the Hampton Coliseum go on sale March 31 at 10:00 a.m. They run $52.50 per seat per performance plus fees.


Fourteen years after the release of their Best Of Fattburger album, smooth jazz band Fattburger is preparing to release a Greatest Hits album tomorrow (March 27th). The album's dozen tracks include such hits as Groovin' (On a Sunday Afternoon), Evil Ways, and set opener Oye Como Va. The group gets attention not only for its consistently high-energy grooves and smooth melodies, but for its unusual name. Bassist Mark Hunter says that the group was a nameless house band when the group's keyboardist dreamed up a musical tribute to his favorite Los Angeles institution: the Fatburger hamburger chain, known not only for its burgers, but for its late-night hours. Previous albums by Fattburger include 1993's On A Roll, 1995's Livin Large, 1996's All Natural Ingredients, 1998's Sugar, 2000's, 2001's T.G.I.Fattburger, 2003's Sizzlin and 2004's Work To Do.


The 16th annual St Lucia Jazz Festival, to be produced by the St Lucia Tourist Board, is set for May 4 to 13, 2007, says newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Senator Allen Chastanet. “St Lucia Jazz is shaping up just great,” said Minister Chastanet, whose team is finalizing arrangements for both the main stage at Pigeon Island and throughout local villages for the month of May. “The private sector has added more to the festival this year and we are very excited about the potential of this public-private collaboration,” said Chastanet, who added that the enthusiasm for the line-up of straight ahead and smooth jazz has exceeded expectations. Brazilian sensation Tania Maria will open the main stage performances on May 10 with Grammy award-winning John Legend to headline the May 11 performance. May 12 features a full roster of musical highlights, including performances by George Benson, Al Jarreau, Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Norman Brown, Boo Hinkson and Friends, and others. Performances by jazz superstars Natalie Cole and Isaac Hayes will close the festival on May 13.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


The City of Miami Gardens has added Bobby Caldwell to its "Jazz in the Gardens" line-up, replacing Will Downing, who was scheduled to perform. Earlier this week, the City was informed by Downing's management that he is ill due to an injury suffered earlier this year. Doctors have instructed Downing to postpone all tour engagements for an indefinite period of time. "Jazz in the Gardens" maintains their stellar lineup, adding songwriter, song stylist, jazz/soul singer Bobby Caldwell.

"Our prayers are with Will for a quick and complete recovery. I am a huge fan and am tremendously disappointed and very sad. However, it's a situation that is beyond our control and we know if he could, he would be here. We hope that he recovers soon and gets back to touring so that we may invite him back next year to the 3rd Annual "Jazz in the Gardens" event" says Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson.

The City of Miami Gardens announced its star studded musical line up in early January 2007, in anticipation of its popular "Jazz in the Gardens" festival. Back for its second consecutive year, the event has expanded to 2 days, Saturday March 24th and Sunday 25th, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens. No other artists have changed and the final and confirmed headliners include India.Arie, Sergio Mendes, Boney James, Paquito D' Rivera, Bobby Caldwell, Pieces of a Dream, Luciano with special guest Dean Fraser and the Jah Messenjah Band.

Anticipation is high for this year's line up which features neo soul icon, multi-platinum and multi Grammy Award winning artist India.Arie and the undisputed king of Brazilian jazz, Sergio Mendes, who shot to international stardom with his Brasil '66 album, and whose Mas Que Nada collaboration with pop stars The Black Eyed Peas helped earn him a Latin Grammy for Best Brazilian Pop Album in 2006. Joining them is two time Grammy nominated artist, Boney James, whose latest release, Shine has soared, claiming the spot for # 1 jazz album in the U.S. for seven consecutive weeks. Just added to the show is one of today's most revered vocalists and songwriters, soul man Bobby Caldwell, substituting Will Downing, who is recuperating and will be unable to perform. South Florida favorites, Pieces of a Dream will also bring their high-energy show. The international contingent will be duly represented as Cuban legend Paquito D'Rivera comes to South Florida for the first time in years and Jamaica's reggae superstar Luciano will bring "Roots Music" to "Jazz in the Gardens" along with special guest Dean Fraser and the Jah Messenjah Band. The incredible collection of talent continues with Trinidad's international star of the steel pans Othello Molineaux, "American Idol's" Paris Bennett, Haitian jazzman Bemol Telfort, South Florida's own jazz diva Ms. Ruby Baker, award winning vocalist and UM alumni Julie Silvera.

"Jazz in the Gardens" is the premiere event for The City of Miami Gardens, with the help of Dolphin Stadium, who not only provided its champion mega site for the festival, but has generously partnered with the City, sharing resources to ensure a successful event. Sponsors include Dolphin Stadium, Comcast, Solabella, National Constructors, Miami Dade-County District One, FPL, Shula's Hotel & Golf Club, delancyhill P.A., NBC-6, HOT 105, LOVE 94, Classica, Jazziz, In Focus Magazine, Miami New Times and WAVS.


Free Beta Service Unveiled at

Slacker, Inc. has announced the creation of "Personal Radio," which enables U.S. consumers to customize their own radio stations and listen to them wherever they happen to be. The Slacker Personal Radio experience is available today in beta for PC streaming at and later this year on Slacker Portable Radio Players via Wi-Fi and Slacker Satellite Car Kits. Slacker has acquired rights from content owners, including SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, Universal Music Group and hundreds of independent labels, that allow truly portable personalized radio for the first time. The service offers Wi-Fi and satellite music distribution, as well as DJ intelligence embedded in portable players. Slacker customers can now play highly personalized, continuously refreshed radio stations everywhere they go.

"Personalized radio is a great way to listen to the music you love without having to work at it," said Dennis Mudd, CEO of Slacker. "The only problem is that until now, personalized radio has been stuck on the PC. Slacker solves that problem. Now you can just kick back and listen." "We are happy to be working with Slacker as they roll out innovative new services that meet consumer demand for both interactivity and portability, and help extend the reach of our artists," commented Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business & U.S. Sales, SONY BMG MUSIC

Slacker Personal Radio has millions of songs with the breadth and depth increasing continuously. The extensive Slacker music library is organized into numerous professionally programmed genre and sub-genre stations and over 10,000 stations that are built around specific artists. Personalization options include adjusting your stations to play more popular vs. more eclectic music, newer vs. older music, or even to play more tracks you tagged as your favorites. Other features include:

* Log in from any PC or Mac to hear personalized stations in CD quality
* Playback through web player, jukebox software and portable devices
* Create stations by combining favorite artists
* Select favorite tracks/artists to play more often and ban other
* Click through album cover art, band profiles, reviews and artist photos
* Easily share stations with friends

For the first time, Slacker Personal Radio Players will enable music lovers to play personalized radio everywhere they go. The new devices include integrated Wi-Fi and an on-board Slacker DJ. The Slacker DJ combined with the new Slacker caching system guarantees personalized CD quality radio stations to be played everywhere, even when not in Wi-Fi range. Slacker customers get deep, personalized radio stations with optimized radio programming sequences, continuously refreshed and updated to include personalized new music.

Additional Slacker device features include:

* 4" full screen display featuring album art /reviews, artist photos/bios
and visualizations
* Support for MP3, WMA and video as well as "saved" radio tracks
* Automatically save and refresh personalized stations via Wi-Fi,
Satellite or USB

Slacker is currently in discussions with selected partners to provide Slacker Personal Radio through a broader range of devices in the future. In the second half of 2007, Slacker device owners in the U.S. will have the option to purchase Slacker Satellite Car Kits that update the Personal Radio Player with new content through a breakthrough satellite broadcast system. Slacker car-top antennas receive high-speed music feeds from satellites throughout the continental United States, while the integrated Slacker DJ ensures favorite stations stay current. Slacker Basic Radio is advertising funded and will remain free to use on Slacker software and portable Slacker Personal Radio Players, whileSlacker Premium Radio will launch later in Q2 2007 at $7.50 per month.

Slacker premium service offers:
* No advertising
* Unlimited skipping
* Ability to save radio tracks to library

The free beta Slacker Personal Radio service is available now at Slacker Premium Radio will be available in Q2 2007 and Slacker portable devices in early summer. The Slacker Satellite Car Kit will be offered in the second half of 2007. Slacker is the world's first Personal Radio company, providing a new kind of radio that enables consumers to play highly personalized music everywhere. Visit for more information.


The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will honor Stevie Wonder with the inaugural ASCAP American Troubadour Award during its annual "Songwriter Night" to be held on Capitol Hill this evening. The prestigious award is being presented to Mr. Wonder in recognition of his music, activism and leadership, which have been a force for positive change. ASCAP President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman will host the invitation-only reception and dinner in The Cannon Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. The event will be attended by Members of Congress and Administration officials and will be highlighted by a musical tribute to Mr. Wonder featuring friends and admirers from the songwriting and performing world, including: India.Arie, Ashford & Simpson, Tony Bennett, Jon Faddis, Wyclef Jean, Wynonna Judd, Chaka Khan, Brian McKnight, Joan Osborne, Dianne Reeves and Smokey Robinson.

With 26 Grammy Awards to his credit, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and scores of chart-topping albums and singles, Stevie Wonder is inarguably one of the great forces in American music. A musical prodigy, he emerged as Little Stevie Wonder, one of the early Motown stars, in 1963. Since then he has contributed many songs which have become embedded in the nation's musical consciousness, including: I Was Made to Love Her, Uptight, My Cherie Amour, You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Superstition, Living for the City, Sir Duke and the Academy Award-winning I Just Called to Say I Love You, among many more.

Commenting on the award to Stevie Wonder, Marilyn Bergman said, "Stevie is a consummate songwriter and musician whose art and life reflect a generosity of spirit coupled with a desire for social justice and peace. He is a uniquely gifted music creator and human being and we are privileged to honor him and have so many distinguished performers on hand to celebrate him with their own versions of his timeless songs."

ASCAP is, and has always been, the pioneer in fighting for the rights of music creators in Congress and in the courts. The 93-year-old performing rights society leads efforts to protect its members' rights by vigorously opposing legislation that is harmful to creators, and by initiating changes to the Copyright Law that will benefit creators. ASCAP keeps its members informed of legislative matters that affect them and encourages their involvement in these efforts. One way ASCAP does this is with their grassroots efforts, which brings ASCAP members face to face with their representatives in Congress so that they can articulate the importance of copyright protection to their livelihood and lives.

"ASCAP's 'Songwriter Night' is held each year on Capitol Hill as a reminder to lawmakers about the importance and value of the rights of songwriters and composers. There is no better way to do that than by creating an emotional connection with the power of music," said Marilyn Bergman. Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 275,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with over 90 music rights organizations such that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American Performing Rights Organization owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.


VH1 takes Joss Stone's third album release, Introducing Joss Stone, apart -- cover to cover -- with the launch of its new made-for-broadband music series "Album Autopsy." Launching on VSPOT today, "Album Autopsy: Introducing Joss Stone," takes an in-depth look at the entire album process -- from creating her album cover art, to Joss' song writing process, no stone is left unturned in this revealing new series. VSPOT guides the viewer through every step of the process, providing a snapshot of each track with exclusive clips and new interviews of those that were involved first-hand in the album's production.

"Album Autopsy: Introducing Joss Stone" provides viewers with a fly-on-the-wall look at key moments in the recording process, which are brought to life with intriguing never-before-seen footage including Joss at her recording studio in the Bahamas, recording with Common, live performances of the new album and an inside look at how Joss unwinds while recording. Also included are new interviews with Joss and those who played integral roles in the album, including Raphael Saadiq, Common, and others.

While albums are a joy to listen to, the album-making process is anything but easy. It takes a team of skilled professionals, long hours to make the tough decisions it takes to get the right vision across at that moment in time. “Album Autopsy" traces an artist's journey from the earliest steps of the album making process to the final product, through the eyes of the artist and those who participated at each step of the way.

Joss Stone has sold more than 7.5 million albums worldwide; been nominated for four Grammy Awards; appeared onstage with James Brown, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Patti Labelle, Mavis Staples, Donna Summer, and Smokey Robinson -- all before reaching the ripe old age of 19. With the upcoming third album release, Introducing Joss Stone (Virgin) on March 20, Joss has shown that she is a force to be reckoned with. Only now, on her third album, Introducing Joss Stone, does the British soul singer and songwriter feel she is expressing her true musical vision. "This is the first album I've made that is truly me," she says. "That's why I'm calling it Introducing Joss Stone. These are my words, and this is who I am as an artist."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Mad Professor will perform the following concerts: April 19 at Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta, GA; April 21 at Martyrs in Chicago, IL; April 22 at Zoo Park in Chicago, IL; April 23 at House of Blues in New Orleans, LA; April 25 at Charleston Playhouse in Charleston, SC; April 26 at Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA; April 28 at Oberlin Music Festival in Oberlin, OH; April 29 at Orange Peel in Asheville; NC, May 1 at SOBs in New York, NY; May 2 at Middle East in Cambridge, MA; May 3 at Castaways in Ithaca, NY; and May 5 at Lee's Palace in Toronto, ON.


Anita Baker, George Benson & Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, Dave Koz, the original Blackbyrds, Isaac Hayes and many more will be performing at this year's Capital Jazz Fest, set for May 30th through June 3rd at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. The event kicks off Thursday, May 30th with a show by Benson & Jarreau and saxophonist Gerald Albright. Also performing during the weekend are contemporary jazz and pop acts, including: The Jazz Attack! featuring Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Peter White, & Jonathan Butler; The Jazzmasters featuring Gregg Karukas, Shilts, & Chris Standring; Bob James, Eric Darius; Ray Parker Jr., Brenda Russell; Ramsey Lewis; Najee; Nick Colionne; Victor Fields, Take 6; and many others. Other R&B acts set for the festival are Raul Midon, Kindred the Family Soul, and Vivian Green, War, Amel Larrieux, Musiq Soulchild, the Brand New Heavies featuring N'Dea Davenport.The complete lineup and information about ticketing is available at the website,


Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer will kick off a brief U.S. tour later this month. The popular artist will be performing with Thomas Bank on keyboards, Ulco Bed on guitar, Dedre Twiss on vocals, and two former Prince band members: Chance Howard on bass and Kirk Johnson on drums. Dulfer's last studio album was 2003's Right In My Soul. She released the concert CD/DVD Live At Montreux, 2002 in 2005. The saxophonist has a brief tour schedule for the spring, and will return to the U.S. in October for a second leg that will include the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival and the Rehoboth Jazz Festival. Upcoming dates include:
March 27 - New York, NY - B.B. King Blues Club
March 28 - Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head
March 29 - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere Music Hall
March 30 - Las Vegas, NV - Santa Fe Station Casino
March 31 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre
April 1 - Indian Wells, CA - Jazztrax Festival


Best-selling keyboardist Keiko Matsui steps out in a new direction with the upcoming album Moyo. The set is her first recording for the Shout!Factory label, her first that she produced entirely on her own, and the first to have been composed and partially recorded in South Africa. In fact, the title Moyo is Swahili for "heart and soul". Featured on the new set are trumpeter Hugh Masekela, saxophonists Paul Taylor and Gerald Albright, vocalist Waldemar Bastos, and bassist Richard Bona. The first single from the set is Black River featuring Taylor. Matsui says that she decided to go to South Africa to create the music for the album, and was enchanted by the experience. "I met legendary trombone player Jonas Gwangwa and he introduced me to the manager of a piano factory so I could use their pianos to compose," she writes in the notes for the album. "I commuted there every day ... I concentrated on composing new material, surrounded by many pianos. I will not forget their pianos and the smell of the ground there. It was a different but incredible experience." Many of the songs on Moyo were inspired by her time in South Africa. The new album will arrive on April 24th.


Hot on the heels of their Soul Train Music Awards performances, the Isley Brothers featuring Ronald Isley aka 'Mr. Biggs' are about to give back the love to their fans, as they announce their headlining winter-spring 2007 U.S. performance dates. The tour will opens March 14th at Prince's 3121 Club (the Hotel Rio) in Las Vegas, and will wrap up at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia on April 28th. (See complete itinerary below.)

BABY MAKIN' MUSIC (released May 2006) took its title from the impending birth of Ronald O'Kelly Isley, Jr. in December 2006, to Mr. and Mrs. Ron & Kandy Isley - who shared background vocals on the album's opening cut You're My Star. (Written and produced by Tim Kelley and Bob Robinson, the track features brother Ernie Isley on acoustic guitar, and contains samples from Gladys Knight & The Pips' Makings Of You, a Curtis Mayfield tune). The new album also contains Ron and Kandy's wedding song, You Help Me Write This Song, written (with Ron) and produced by Troy Taylor and Ezekiel "Zeke" Lewis.

BABY MAKIN' MUSIC marked the long-awaited return to center-stage for Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees the Isley Brothers featuring Ron Isley aka 'Mr. Biggs.' The album followed up the May 2003 release of the Isley Brothers' Body Kiss (Dreamworks), an RIAA gold No 1 Pop/ No 1 R&B collaboration with younger brother Ernie. Produced (and mostly written) by R. Kelly, the album featured Ron's alter ego 'Mr. Biggs' on the pop/R&B crossover hit, What Would You Do? Mr. Biggs was first introduced on the Isley Brothers' album Eternal (Dreamworks, 2001) featuring the pop/R&B crossover hit, Contagious, also written and produced by R. Kelly.

Isley Meets Bacharach (Dreamworks, November 2003) featured Ron in a full program of the songwriter's hits, produced, arranged and conducted by Burt Bacharach. At the 2003 American Music Awards, the Isley Brothers won for Favorite Band, Duo or Group. The following year, the Isley Brothers, who were formed in Cincinnati in 1955, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual BET Awards gala. To date (since Shout in 1959), the Isley Brothers have seven No 1 R&B hits to their credit, and five top 10 pop hits.

1996 brought the Isleys to Island Records for the first time, on Mission To Please. Contributing as producers and (co-)writers were Babyface, R. Kelly and Keith Sweat, three of the many artists whose lives and music were inspired by the Isley Brothers. The group now comprises Ronald and Ernie, an accomplished songwriter, guitarist and vocalist in his own right. From Mission To Please to Eternal to Body Kiss to Isley Meets Bacharach - the saga continues, as BABY MAKIN' MUSIC celebrated the return of the Isley Brothers to the Island Def Jam Music Group.

Mar. 14 Las Vegas, NV Prince's 3121 Club
15 Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre
16 San Diego, CA 4th & B's- TBA
17 Fresno, CA Warner Theater
18 Long Beach, CA The Vault
20 Denver, CO Paramount Theater- TBA
21 Oklahoma City, OK City Beach- TBA
22 Tulsa, OK The Brady Theatre- TBA
23 Dallas, TX The Nokia
24 Houston, TX The Verizon
25 Shreveport, LA Municipal Auditorium
28 New Orleans, LA House Of Blues
29 Jacksonville, FL Convention Center- TBA 30 Tampa, FL Convention Center- TBA
31 Orlando, FL House Of Blues

Apr. 1 Myrtle Beach House Of Blues
5 Minneapolis, MN Municipal Auditorium- TBA
6 Merryville, IN Star Plaza
7 Milwaukee, WI Riverside Theater - TBA
8 Detroit, MI The Fox Theater
12 Red Bank, NJ Count Basie Theater- TBA
13 New York, NY TBA
14 Hartford, CT Civic Center - TBA
15 Newark, NJ PAC
20 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
21 Cincinnati, OH The Music Hall
26 Pittsburgh, PA Benedum Center- TBA
27 Atlantic City, NJ The Borgata
28 Philadelphia, PA The Tower Theater


March 24, 2007
Saturdday, 20.00, Tonhalle Zurich

March 26, 2007
Monday, 20.30, Theater Basel, Foyer

March 29, 2007
Thursday, 20.00, KKL Luzern, Luzerner Saal

March 30, 2007
Friday, 20.00, Grand Casino Geneva

March 31, 2007
Saturday, 20.00, Kaufleuten Zurich

March 31, 2007
Saturday, 20.30, Victoria Hall Geneva

April 2, 2007
Monday, 20.00, Tonhalle Zurich

April 3, 2007
Tuesday, 20.00, Kaufleuten Zurich

March 13, 2007
Friday, 19.45, Stadhaus Winterthur

March 14, 2007
Satruday, 19.45, Stadhaus Winterthur

April 20, 2007
Friday, 20.00, Kaufleuten Zurich

April 22, 2007
Sunday, 20.00, Kongresshaus Zurich

April 27, 2007
Friday, 20.30, Victoria Hall Geneva

April 28, 2007
Saturday, 19.30, KKL Luzern, Konzertsaal

May 2, 2007
Wednesday, 20.00, Kaufleuten Zurich

May 3, 2007
Thursday, 20.00, Kaufleuten Zurich

May 5, 2007
Saturday, 20.00, Kaufleuten Zurich

May 7, 2007
Monday, 20.30, Victoria Hall Geneva

May 8, 2007
Tuesday, 20.00, Kaufleuten Zurich

May 15, 2007
Tuesday, 20.00, Kaufleuten Zurich

May 22, 2007
Tuesday, 20.00, Volkshaus Zurich

June 5, 2007
Tuesday, 20.30, Volkshaus Zurich

June 6, 2007
Wednesday, 20,00, Volkshaus Zurich

June 26, 2007
Tuesday, 20.00, Kongresshaus Zurich


Joss Stone will perform the following concerts: April 3 at Enmore Theatre in Sydney, Australia; April 27 at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, CT; April 30 at Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA; May 6 at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans, LA; May 9 at House of Blues in Dallas, TX; May 12 at Viejas Concerts in the Park in Alpine, CA; May 15 at Warfield Theatre in San Francisco,CA; May 18 at Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR; May 21 at Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC; May 24 at Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA; May 27 at Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO; May 30 at House of Blues in Chicago, IL; June 2 at Kool Haus in Toronto, ON; June 5 at Metropolis in Montreal, QC; June 8 at Central Park SummerStage in New York, NY; June 11 at Avalon in Boston, MA; June 13 at Filene Center in Vienna, VA; and July 1 at Concert for Diana in London, UK.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


In a career which spans over a decade and includes eight collaborative albums and solo albums, Azam Ali has confirmed her place as one of the most prolific, versatile, and gifted singers on the world music stage today. Known for her vocal work with Niyaz and Vas, Azam's second solo album, Elysium for the Brave signaled a new turn in her musical evolution bringing together musicians from varied musical backgrounds performing in diverse permutations.

On the Elysium Remixes EP 1 & 2 Azam's haunting music is re-transformed by an incredible cast of producers which includes Bauhaus and Love & Rockets founder, David J (in collaboration with DJ K),Banco de Gaia, Transglobal Underground, Bombay Dub Orchestra, ZAMAN 8, Jef Stott, Bentley & Smitty, Holmes Ives, 310 and Luxurious.


May 7 – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s 365 Club
May 8 – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s 365 Club
May 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
May 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
May 14 – Chicago, Il @ Black Orchid Showroom
May 15 – Chicago, IL @ Black Orchid Showroom
May 17 – Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
May 19 – Miami, FL @ Carnival Center
May 22 – New York, NY @ The Gramercy Theatre
May 23 – New York, NY @ The Gramercy Theatre


Amy Winehouse made her US debut at New York's famed Joe's Pub in January, where she received a standing ovation from a crowd that included Jay-Z, Mos Def, Dr. John, Citizen Cope, Alice Smith and Mark Ronson. With her confessional, humorous lyrics and a sound reminiscent of famed soul girl groups, the 23-year old took over her native England, while drawing lauded comparisons ranging from Billie Holiday to Lauryn Hill. Her jazz-infected debut release, Frank, was nominated for the 2004 Mercury Music Prize and went platinum in the UK. But that is just half the story as Amy Winehouse pours her heart out over a cocktail drenched soundtrack on her breakthrough album, Back To Black.

The soulstress, who took home a 2007 Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist, continues to distill her experiences on this sophomore release, a record heavily influenced by 50s and 60s rock & roll, soul, rhythm and blues and girl-groups from that era. Produced by Salaam Remi and man-of-the-moment Mark Ronson (who is known for his work with Lily Allen, Robbie Williams and Christina Aguilera, among others) the songs are built around classic three-minute pop songs without over-the-top production. Her single Rehab opens with the words "try to make me go to rehab/I say no, no, no," before morphing into a fresh new cut with classic Motown motifs: sweet horns, a driving beat with hand claps, and an infectious melody. Other highlights include the first single You Know I'm No Good, a stunning personal epiphany that she wrote after being messed around and stamped all over (featured on the album with a rap by Ghostface Killah) and the amusing Me & Mr Jones, where she criticizes a boyfriend for making her "miss the Slick Rick gig." With her increasingly creative body art, aggressive eye make-up and great swoop of black hair that cascades across her face and down her back, Amy Winehouse has deftly charted her progress from girlhood to womanhood on Back To Black.


The masterminds behind the Portland, OR-based Soulphonic Soundsystem project are the duo of producer DJ Santo (Transistor Lounge founder and host of syndicated radio show "Something Different") and multi-instrumentalist Chauncey Canfield, who was named SPIN magazine's "Best Unsigned Band" of 1998 and co-founded DC-based jazztronic trio, Aubergine 3. The fruit of their first collaboration, Sonido, a track featuring vocals from Geri Soriano-Lightwood of Supreme Beings of Leisure, was on a 12-inch that was embraced by truly global tastemakers such as Richard Dorfmeister and Rainer Truby. On the strength of this single - a favorite at LA's Transistor Lounge parties - the duo toured the West Coast behind Mark Farina, Diplo and Bugz in the Attic.

Now comes their debut album, Soulphonic Soundsystem: Volume One, that incorporates broken beats and jazz breaks with Latin flavor over live instrumentation with horns and a Rhodes piano. Choice cuts include the indigenous sounds of Eastern Market, the sultry lounge vibe of The One and Foggy Bottom, which was recently placed in an episode of CSI:NY. With its warm keys and soothing sax line, the break out single Sonido is also included here - word is that Sonido and The One will be featured in upcoming episodes of HBO's Entourage. Listen with an open mind because Soulphonic Soundsystem's sensual sounds and forward-thinking production on Volume One will lighten up any dark winter day.


March 9-11- Langerado (Sunrise, CA)
March 9-18 - South x Southwest Music Festival (Austin, TX)
March 10 - Shamrock Festival 2007 (Washington, DC - RFK Stadium)
March 15 - April 1 Savannah Music Festival
March 23-24 - Ultra Music Festival (Montreal, Canada)
April 20-21 - Dewey Beach Pop Festival(Rehoboth,DE)
April 27-29 - Coachella (Indio, CA)
April 27-29 - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans, LA)
May 4-6 - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans, LA)
June 1-3 - Rock am Ring (Germany)
June 1-2 - Rock im Ring (Nuremberg, Germany)
June 7-10 - Chicago Blues Festival
June 8-10 - The Download Festival (Donnington Park, Leceistershire, UK
June 22-24 - Glastonbury Festival (U.K.)
June 22-24 - Sierra Nevada World Music Festival (Booneville, CA)
July 5-7 - Essence Music Festival (New Orleans, LA)
July 5-8 - Roskilde Festival (Roskilde, Denmark)
July 6-8 - Vancouver Island Music Festival.
July 7 - Live Earth/Earth Aid (Washington,DC)
July 7 - Ozzfest begins
Mid-July Heineken Jammin' Festival (Italy)
July 14-15 - Pitchfork Music Festival (Chicago)(lineup TBA 3/16)
July 18-21 - 10,000 Lakes Festival (Detroit Lakes, Minnesota)
July 19-21 - Goodstock (West Virginia)
July 19-22 - Festival Internacional de Benicassim (near Valencia, Spain)
July 27-30 – Eclpise Outdoor Electronic Music Festival (Montreal, Candada)
August 3-5 - Lollapallooza (Chicago, IL)
August 8-13 - Shambhala (Canada)
August 24-26 - Reading and Leeds Festival (U.K.)
August 30 - - September 2 Chicago Jazz Festival


Here's a letter from Rusty Hodge of SomaFM; one of the best Internet radio stations that is out there. I urge you to sign the petition and to support SomaFM in any way that you can. Give them a listen.

SomaFM, An Open Letter From SomaFM General Manager & Program Director Rusty Hodge

You may have heard, but once again Internet radio is facing huge additional royalties for broadcasting music. These royalties are in addition to the ones that we pay to ASCAP and BMI, and are a  royalty that is only paid by internet broadcasters. Over-the-air  (AM/FM) broadcasters are explicitly exempt from this royalty; it only applies to Internet broadcasters and subscription music services.

In the past, we paid royalties based on a percentage of our revenues, in our case 10% of our revenue. But the new royalties don't allow that percentage of revenue factor, and instead charge  us for each song we play times the number of people listening.  This works out to about $8 per average concurrent listener per month.  In 2006, we averaged over 6000 average concurrent listeners  per month, and the royalties we will have to pay for 2006 is about  $628,000, over 4 times the amount of money we brought in.

And these rates go up drastically each year, until 2010, where they  are 2.5 times their initial rate: by then we will have to pay over  $1 million dollars a year in royalties if we want to stay on the air. So you can see that this puts us in an impossible position. And to make it even worse, the rates are retroactive to 2006. It doesn't seem fair that a small radio service like SomaFM has to pay all these additional royalties, when over-the-air stations who reach much larger audiences are exempted from paying them.

If you are in the USA, we would appreciate it if you could sign this online petition which will be presented to members of Congress. It's important for us to let Congress know that independent internet radio is about to be forced out of business. We need to keep our existing "percentage of revenue" royalty rate structure, or better yet, have Congress extend the exemption to Internet radio stations as well as terrestrial (over-the-air)  stations.

Thanks for all of your support for SomaFM in the past. We will do what we need to do to keep SomaFM on the air and broadcasting.  We love you!

Rusty Hodge,
General Manager and Program Director


KOCH Records is has announced the release of Angels of Shanghai, the new album by legendary recording artist Bob James, on April 10th, 2007. This unique East meets West musical exploration features contemporary jazz artists (including James himself, Fourplay's Nathan East and Harvey Mason, Jack Lee, Lewis Pragasam) interacting with young musicians from Shanghai who perform on traditional Chinese instruments, including include the er-hu (a two string violin), the pipa (similar to a lute), guzheng (a cross between a harp & a zither) and dizi (different sized bamboo flutes). Ancient sounds blend with modern technology and creativity to produce an experience with no boundaries.

This project has been a very personal journey for James, literally in the thousands of miles traveled and creatively in his connection to this young, talented and outstanding group of musicians. His collaboration with these remarkable young musicians began with a visit by Bob to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music where he was so impressed with their creativity and enthusiasm that two more trips to Shanghai followed -- for recording sessions at the Shanghai People's Radio Station Studios. The project came full circle with completion of this full CD -- which has already been released in Japan and in Korea.

Although a unique project in many ways, at its heart Angels of Shanghai is still a Bob James recording. This cross-cultural collaboration will garner many new fans, but its blend of contemporary jazz with strong melodies and exotic textures will also satisfy Bob's many longtime and faithful followers. The CD features nine original Bob James compositions, including Celebration, Dream With Me, and Angels Theme: The Invention of Love. Endless Time is co-written by fellow Fourplay member, Nathan East, who also sings lead vocals. A special treat is a new Angels of Shanghai version of Bob's signature composition: the classic theme from "Taxi," here titled Angela With Purple Bamboo.

Summing up his passion and enthusiasm for Angels of Shanghai, Bob James says, "I love seeing the universal power of music work its magic to cross borders even when political solutions seem impossible. I invite you to come along on this adventure."

The Angels group has performed live at the Bangkok Jazz Festival, the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, at the Seongnam Arts Center in Seoul and, finally, at the Blue Note Nite Clubs in Japan. A U.S. tour is planned for April 2007. Cities include Traverse City and Monroe, Michigan, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Pa, New York City and Huntington, Long Island.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Joe Coughlin's new CD Things Turn Out That Way is a treasure chest of jazz delights with seven brand new songs that sound like standards and the same number of standards that sound brand new again. His latest collection is set for a March 2007 release and you can sample it now at Things Turn Out That Way features Tony George on piano, Ken Lister on bass, Buff Allen on drums, Pat Coleman on guitar, Bill Runge on sax and flute and Mike Herriott on trumpet and flugel horn. "An acute sensitivity to nuance and a viscerally emotional identification with each narrative, Joe knows how to tell a story," says Colin Lazzerini who co-wrote seven of the fourteen songs. "He knows how to write one too and I remain professionally envious of how effectively the words interpret the personal significance of Mike Herriott's Sweet Little Angel while lending its message a universal meaning." Twenty five years in the business have taken Joe around North America's finest clubs and on tour with legends like Dizzy Gillespie and Woody Herman. Joe remains a supreme standards singer with the ability to remind the audience that performing the classic jazz songs is a genuine art form. He uses the authority of his deep baritone with spine tingling precision and heart gripping timbre with power, desire and heartbreak.


The Blue Note Tokyo is presenting an impressive lineup of artists in the coming – here’s a preview of who’s appearing when: Take 6 (March 6-7); Terry Callier (March 8); Marcus Miller (March 9-14); Tower Of Power (March 16-21); Incognito (March 22-25); Mike Stern Band featuring Makoto Ozone, Dave Weckl & Chris Minh Doky (March 26-31); The Blues Brothers Band (April 2-8); Diana King (April 9-15); Roberta Flack (April 16-22); Jim Hall & Ron Carter (April 23-26); Milton Nascimento (April 27-May 1); Nigel Kennedy Quintet (May 2-6); Vanessa Williams (May 8-13); Enrico Rava-Stefano Bollani Duo, Enrico Rava Quintet & Stefano Bollano Trio (May 14-19); Mike Mainieri & Steps Ahead (May 21-26); Roy Haynes Quartet (May 28-June 1); & Satoru Shionoya Trio (June 2-3).


The Bird And The Bee, the L.A. duo made up of singer Inara George and keyboardist/producer Greg Kurstin, have announced that they will be the opening act for British singer Lily Allen on 22 upcoming concert dates throughout the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. Kurstin, a prolific producer and multi-instrumentalist who has worked with Beck and The Flaming Lips, also produced and co-wrote three tracks (Everything's Just Wonderful, Not Big, and Alfie) on Allen’s debut Alright, Still, which was just released by Capitol Records in the U.S. The Bird And The Bee’s self-titled debut was released January 23 to rave reviews. The New Yorker called the album "a sure delight" and Amazon posted a particularly apt description: "As intoxicating as a Brazilian breeze and ironic as a David Lynch night in L.A., the bird and the bee make a soothingly hip, deliriously cool blend of pop."


WJZI-FM (93.3) in Milwaukee is switching formats. While smooth jazz standbys like Kenny G, George Benson and David Sanborn will remain on the WJZI playlist, listeners also will hear Chicago, Gloria Estefan, Elton John and Billy Joel. The very word "jazz" will disappear from the station that will now be known as "Smooth 93.3." Acodring to General manager Bill Hurwitz, he says there will be more vocalists added to what was a heavily instrumental playlist. But the biggest change is probably symbolic. "The word 'jazz' is truly a barrier," he says. "Really, we're evolving the radio station. We're trying to make it a little more upbeat." The change will turn WJZI into what the radio business labels "adult contemporary," with a focus on a slightly older female demographic than "hot" adult contemporary stations WMYX-FM (99.1) and WKTI-FM (94.5). The goal behind the tweak, however, is to attract slightly younger female listeners group than had been tuning in for smooth jazz, with Hurwitz hoping for 45% male listeners to the new lineup. WJZI's tweak isn't leading to any personnel changes, Hurwitz says. But there will be a change in the look of the station, along with the sound. "The logo of the saxophone is going to go away," he says.


Following the massive success of George Michael's sell-out '25 Live' European tour in 2006, Michael announces the dates for a follow-up stadium tour across Europe reaching France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Holland, Greece and Hungary to name but a few. Having sold-out in mere minutes, '25 Live' entertained over 650,000 fans over the course of a 49 date tour, in 11 different countries, receiving unprecedented praise from fans and press alike.

Tour Dates include (more dates to be announced):
Friday 18 May - NRGI Park (Athletic Stadium), Aarhus, Denmark
Wednesday 23 May - Nepstadion, Budapest, Hungary
Friday 25 May - Inter Football Stadium, Bratislava, Slovakia
Monday 28 May - LTU Arena, Dusseldorf
Saturday 2 June - Strahov Football Stadium, Prague, Czech Republic
Friday 22 June - Stade de France, Paris, France
Saturday 23 June - Werchter Open Air Park Belgium
Friday 29 June - Stockholm Stadium, Sweden
Tuesday 17 July - Stadio Euganeo, Padova, Italy
Thursday 19 July - Stadio, Lucca, Italy
Saturday 21 July - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy

For further information on George Michael, the tour or how to purchase tickets, click to


Smooth Jazz Guitarist Larry Carlton was recently nominated for two Grammys, one for his solo album, 2005's Firewire, and the other for the most recent album by Fourplay, titled X. Carlton is a veteran musician whose versatility and skill has landed him on recordings by Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, The Crusaders, Herb Alpert, Quincy Jones, and many others. In 1968, he launched his solo career with the album With A Little Help From My Friends. Three years later, he joined the Crusaders and remained with the group until 1976. In 1978 came Carlton's self-titled album for Warner Brothers. He released a series of well-received albums throughout the 1980s and earned two Grammy Awards: one, in 1981, with composer Mike Post for the theme from the television show Hill Street Blues, and the other in 1987 for his tune Minute By Minute.

A member of Fourplay since 1998, Carlton replaced original member Lee Ritenour on the 4 album. He earned a 2001 Grammy Award for No Substitutions: Live In Osaka, with guitarist Steve Lukather, and explored the blues on his 2004 album Sapphire Blue. More recently, Carlton produced a Christmas album for his wife, Christian singer and songwriter Michele Pillar. The set was released for the holidays late last year. And in January, Carlton performed a special concert commemorating the 60th anniversary of the King of Thailand's ascension to the throne. The King himself, who is known as The Jazz King, also penned a number of songs that Carlton performed at the show in Bangkok.

Carlton says he doesn't feel pressured to play or compose every day; in fact, as he explains, spending time away from music helps his creativity: "There are times when I won't touch the guitar for two months during the year. If the tour ends and I don't have a project to start, I don't just sit around and play the guitar. I live my life and then, when it's time to make music again -- either compose or play the guitar -- I find that I'm fresh and I'm excited and I'm not resentful that I've had to play every day. I don't practice, which I should -- everybody should -- but I get away from it and live my life." For more on Larry Carlton, including projects and tour dates, click to


Bassist and composer Brian Bromberg has just released a brand-new CD titled Downright Upright that is a return to the acoustic upright bass Bromberg used for his 2006 release Wood II. For this recording he called on collaborators, including keyboardists George Duke and Jeff Lorber; trumpeter Rick Braun; saxophonists Boney James and Kirk Whalum; guitarist Lee Ritenour; and drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl.  The new set includes Bromberg's unique arrangements of Herbie Hancock's Cantaloupe Island and Chameleon, and Eddie Harris' Cold Duck Time, in addition to his own compositions. Bromberg will tour to promote Downright Upright this month with a special all-star band that includes trumpeter Randy Brecker on East Coast dates, Rick Braun on a West Coast date, and saxophonist Gary Meek, Jeff Lorber on keys, and Dave Weckl on drums.

Brian Bromberg tour dates include:
March 10 - Fresno, CA - Tower Theatre
March 12 - New York, NY The Jazz Standard
March 13 - Washington, D.C. - Blues Alley
March 14 - Annapolis, MD - Rams Head on Stage
March 15 - Boston, MA - Sculler's Jazz Club
March 16 - Reading, PA - Berks Jazz Festival


New York-based Mosaic Records, which has been a noted label in the jazz catalog, has just announced the launch of Mosaic Contemporary, a new imprint dedicated to compiling contemporary jazz releases. The label is being headed by Matt Pierson, former jazz VP/GM for Warner Bros. Among the first releases from Mosaic Contemporary on March 20th will be a collection of music from favorite guitarist Earl Klugh. The single disc CD, Ultimate Earl Klugh, will feature highlights of his 28-year career, from his 1976 hit Angelina through his popular collaborations with Bob James and George Benson. The album also showcases the work of guests Dave Grusin, Eric Gale, Steve Gadd, Patti Austin, and Lee Ritenour. Also being released on March 20th are: Ultimate Jaco Pastorius, a compilation of highlights from the late bassist's recording career; trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's 1978 recording Super Blue, and flutist Hubert Laws' 1970 breakthrough set, Afro Classic


Patti Austin is scheduled for for a special appearance and CD signing to celebrate the release of her new album Avant Gershwin. Austin will appear at Circuit City @5560 Sepulveda Blvd, in Culver City, CA, on Tuesday, March 6 at 7:00pm. She’s also set for some tour dates as follows:
April 14 – Palm Desert, CA @ McCallum Theatre
April 15 – Cerritos, CA @ Cerritos Center For The Arts
April 18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Boyard Auditorium
April 21 – Winston Salem, NC @ Reynolds Auditorium
May 11 – Charlotte, NC @ Belk Theatre
May 12 – Charlotte, NC @ Belk Theatre
May 19 – Wichita, KS @ Wichita Symphony
Nov 9 – Grand Rapids, MI @ DeVos Performance Hall
Nov 10 – Grand Rapids, MI @ DeVos Performance Hall
Nov 11 – Grand Rapids, MI @ DeVos Performance Hall

Thursday, March 01, 2007


From straight ahead to contemporary jazz, scorching blues to swinging big band, fiery salsa and world music, the 29th annual Playboy Jazz Festival will present a stellar lineup of talent, representing the entire spectrum of jazz on Saturday and Sunday, June 16th and 17th, at the world famous Hollywood Bowl.  Featuring renowned jazz giants, international superstars, and emerging newcomers, the two day event will present a variety of highly anticipated debuts by veteran artists and today's most acclaimed young talents, as well as the return of popular Festival favorites. 

The high priestess of the blues, three time Grammy winner Etta James performs with the heartfelt passion of someone who has lived what she sings.  With over a dozen top ten R& B smashes and more than 25 chart toppers to her credit, she is the recipient of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award, is in the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame and has her own star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. Returning to the Festival for her seventh appearance, the incomparable James will perform with her well known Roots Band, showing off the extraordinary vocal prowess and sassy blues style that has become her trademark, and made her a Festival favorite who never fails to rock the house.  

Making a long anticipated Festival debut is the legendary alto sax-master Phil Woods and his Quintet, featuring Bill Charlap, Brian Lynch, Steve Gilmore, and Bill Goodwin. A multiple Grammy winner and recent recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Master Award, Woods originally came onto the music scene when bebop was being heralded as the new direction of jazz.  A protégé of Dizzy Gillespie, Woods has worked with such luminaries as Quincy Jones, Thelonious Monk, Buddy Rich, Benny Goodman, Paul Simon, Steely Dan and many more.  Woods and his distinguished Quintet will share their gifted interpretations of jazz standards, recalling a bit of the era of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie in the best bebop tradition. 

In her first Hollywood Bowl appearance since completing her successful tenure as the Creative Chair for Jazz at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, vocalist extraordinaire Dianne Reeves returns to the Festival stage for the seventh time.  One of the pre-eminent female jazz vocalists in the world, Reeves won the Grammy for "Best Jazz Vocal Performance" for three consecutive recordings, a 'first' in any Grammy category.  Known for her virtuosity and masterful styling, she was the first singer to ever perform at the new Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Last year she won a fourth Grammy for her recording of the title soundtrack from George Clooney's Oscar nominated film, Good Night and Good Luck.  A Festival favorite, fans are eagerly awaiting her return performance and the release of her first album in five years due later this fall.

One of the greatest living guitarists and a current day icon, Buddy Guy will again dazzle the crowd with his trademark wild and frenzied guitar playing.  An internationally acclaimed, multi-Grammy winner and Rock 'N Roll Hall of Famer, Guy has influenced such rock titans as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan among others. Known for his stinging electric blues and impassioned vocals, Guy's most recent CD Bring Em In, featured collaborations with famed musicians Carlos Santana and John Mayer.

A virtual genre-of-one in contemporary jazz, Grammy winning trumpeter Chris Botti has earned both critical acclaim and mainstream success.  A gifted instrumentalist, talented composer, and charismatic performer, Botti is known for his lyrical melodies and the virtuosity of his playing.  His last two CDs were certified Gold, and his noted PBS television special, Chris Botti Live: With Orchestra and Special Guests is one of PBS' most popular shows.  Fans will no doubt be seduced again by his smooth, atmospheric style. 

Just emigrated from Cuba, world renowned Salsa singer Issac Delgado will make his Festival debut in one of the first live performances of his new world tour.  Described by The New York Times as "One of the greatest singers in the world regardless of genre," Delgado is considered the father of 'Timba' music, the fusion of jazz, salsa and funk.  A two-time Latin Grammy nominee, his innovative mix of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, pop, jazz and avant-garde electronic sounds are sure to move fans to their feet.

Latin jazz enthusiasts will no doubt be excited by the return of Arturo Sandoval, whose Mambo Mania Big Band will make its world premiere during Sunday's show.  In a revival of the worldwide '50s Mambo dance craze, Sandoval and his band will pay tribute to original Mambo creators Perez Prado and Tito Puente, complete with a full orchestra and a whole repertoire of singers and dancers.  Several of Sandoval's original compositions from the movie The Mambo Kings will also be included.  Expect a burning performance unlike any other you've ever seen by Sandoval. 

Adding to the multi-cultural mix is young African singer Angelique Kidjo, a four-time Grammy nominee who is making her Festival debut.  Kidjo broadens the boundaries of world music with her innovative arrangements of West African musical traditions, mixed with elements of R& B, funk, jazz, Caribbean rhythms and Congolese Rumba.  Performing in English, French, and the African languages Yorba and Fon, her scintillating sound and alluring vocals combine to captivate the audience.

Always a favorite, The Count Basie Orchestra (under the direction of longtime veteran Bill Hughes) is an American institution.  Dedicated to advancing the traditions of the big band sound, much of the music still 'swings' from musicians originally hand picked by the "Count" himself. Continuously in demand, the group has 18 Grammys to their credit, and continues to rack up numerous awards and accolades.  Returning for their eighth appearance, the band continues to evolve to the delight of both fans and critics.

A special highlight of Saturday's show, the esteemed Randy Brecker-Bill Evans Soulbop Band with noted musicians Hiram Bullock, Dave Kikoski, Victor Bailey, and Rodney Holms will make their debut appearance as a group.  Each an established Grammy winning artist, trumpeter Randy Brecker and saxophonist Bill Evans have been at the forefront of jazz for over 20 years.  Brecker, who with his late brother Michael helped shape the sounds of jazz, R&B and rock, just won two Grammys for their latest collaboration, Some Skunk Funk, at the recent 2007 Grammy ceremony.  Evans, known not only as a virtuoso saxophonist, but a prolific keyboardist, producer and writer, was one of the first to blend hip-hop and jazz and was instrumental in putting together Miles Davis' infamous comeback band in the 80s.  In 2003, Brecker and Evans joined forces to form a new group, The Randy Brecker-Bill Evans Soulbop Band, a unique mixture of soul, bop, and contemporary jazz.  This will be their first performance together at the Festival.

Also making his debut as a leader is one of the most talked about figures in jazz, saxophone virtuoso James Carter and his Organ Trio.  Heralded as a powerful new force in jazz when he first came on the scene, Carter recently topped Downbeat magazine's annual critic's poll three years in a row in the baritone sax category.  Highly regarded for his advanced technique and intensity, Carter and his Trio will showcase the instrumental prowess that has brought them all to prominence.  Carter will also be performing with the Cos of Good Music.

Returning as Master of Ceremonies for his 27th season, jazz aficionado extraordinaire Bill Cosby will again bring together his own group of acclaimed musicians for the Cos of Good Music XI.  They include: accomplished bassist Dwayne Burno; sax virtuoso James Carter; world class drummer and percussionist Ndugu Chancler; saxophonist Vincent Herring; trumpeter Jeremy Pelt; pianist and keyboardist Larry Willis; bass player Ron Johnson and Grammy winning vocalist, guitarist Ray Parker, Jr.

Sure to ignite the crowd is the ultimate west coast Latin party band, Johnny Polanco Y Su Conjunto Amistad.  Appearing for the very first time, Polanco and his group create the kind of infectious, rhythmic, multi-layered music that compels one to want to hit the dance floor.  Considered the 'hottest' salsa orchestra in Los Angeles, Polanco is proficient on 13 different instruments and has performed with such Latin jazz greats as Johnny Pacheco, Cachao, Tito Puente and many others.

One of the most influential trumpet players of his generation, Terence Blanchard's music reaches beyond the expressive sound of his trumpet.  The Grammy nominated Blanchard (a New Orleans native) is also renowned for scoring films and his work with director Spike Lee.  Their most recent collaboration is the highly acclaimed 2006 Hurricane Katrina documentary When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts. This is Blanchard's second Festival appearance.

Destined to be a crowd pleaser is the return of Norman Brown's contemporary jazz group, "Summer Storm."  Each a star in their own right, Summer Storm currently features Grammy winning guitarist Brown; pop R&B vocal legend and multiple Grammy winner Peabo Bryson (whose 2005 performance was a highlight of the show); soprano sax-master Marion Meadows; and Grammy nominated keyboardist Jeff Lorber.  By mixing Brown's soul driven R&B, with Bryson's soulful, silky vocals and Meadow's sweet , but funky soprano sax sound, along with Lorber's melding of bebop creativity and pop song craft, they create a hybrid sound that is distinctively cool and contemporary and uniquely their own.

Also returning for a second appearance is Grammy winning Renaissance man (acclaimed bassist, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist), Marcus Miller.  One of the most influential artists in jazz, blues and R&B, Miller will showcase the eclectic blend of inspirational music that has won him raves from critics and fans all over the world.

One of the most sought after talents on the music scene today is African bassist, vocalist, and composer Richard Bona.  Returning for the second time, Bona (from East Cameroon, Africa) is revered for his multi-faceted singing and arranging talents that have catapulted him into the upper echelons of the jazz and world music pantheon.

Sure to be a special highlight of Sunday's show is Red Holloway's 80th Birthday Celebration with special guest Kevin Mahogany.  A legend in the world of jazz and blues, Holloway is making his long awaited Festival debut as a leader.  A tenor sax player known for his big, hard driving sound, Holloway has performed with everyone from Billie Holliday, Muddy Waters, and Sonny Rollins to Aretha Franklin, George Benson and countless others.  With a voice reminiscent of the late Joe Williams, Kevin Mahogany is considered the quintessential jazz vocalist. Together, they will demonstrate the artistry that has made them both famous.

Direct from New Orleans, Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha Chas will take the Playboy stage for the very first time.  The group plays zydeco, the fast and furious accordion driven dance music of the Creole people of southern Louisiana.  With seven albums to their credit, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas are known for their trademark rubboard percussion, electric guitars, and R&B grooves.  Like their newest album, Hang It High, Hang It Low, the group delivers the expressive down home sounds of roots music that made them one of the most popular acts at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Best known for his role on the celebrated long running classic television series The Cosby Show, bass player Malcolm-Jamal Warner is now taking on the music world with his jazz/funk band, Miles Long.  Offering a fresh perspective on today's music, Warner and his band are making their Festival debut.  Playing to packed houses throughout the Los Angeles club circuit and opening for such high profile acts as Earl Klugh and the late Luther Vandross, the band's debut CD, …the miles long mix tape… has a distinctive sound, running the gamut from Living Color to Coltrane.

The Eagle Rock High School Jazz Ensemble will open Saturday's show at 2:30 p.m. Opening Sunday's show at 2:00 p.m. is Malcolm-Jamal Warner's Miles Long.

George Wein
serves as producer of the Playboy Jazz Festival for the 29th consecutive year. Darlene Chan is associate producer for both the Playboy Jazz Festival and Festival Productions, Inc.  Hugh Hefner is executive producer and Richard Rosenzweig is president of the Playboy Jazz Festival. For more information on the Playboy Jazz Festival and for ticket information and sales,call (310) 450-1173 or visit our Web site,


The upcoming Jacksonville Jazz Festival, set for April 13-15, will feature an all-star lineup including Chuck Mangione, Dianne Reeves, Roy Haynes, McCoy Tyner, Chris Botti, Wayman Tisdale, George Benson and Al Jarreau. Here are some of the highlights each day: Friday, April 13: Great American Jazz Piano Competition, George Benson and Al Jarreau. Saturday, April 14: Diane Schuur, Regina Carter, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band, Wayman Tisdale, Jazz Attack, and Roy Haynes. Sunday, April 15: Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti, Chuck Mangione,and Big 3 Palladium Orchestra.


Another one bites the dust as Milwaukee's longtime jazz station, WYMS-FM (88.9) is switching formats to become 88Nine RadioMilwaukee. The station began its transformation to its new format on Friday, February 23, by doing what the radio industry calls "stunting" to alert listeners to a change. WYMS began airing snippets of music that presumably will be part of the new programming set to officially launch on February 26. The first song fragment that aired at 7 a.m. Friday was Where Its At by Beck. The station is expected to play a mix of musical styles, including rock and hip-hop, that appeal to young adults ages 21 to 35. On-air announcers will debut on March 5.

Acoustic Alchemy have completed a new album called This Way, which follows the band’s American/English project from 2005. Once again, the group led by the British guitar duo of Greg Carmichael and Miles Gilderdale recorded most of the album at the legendary Hansa Haus studios in Germany, but also utilized two studios in London and one in York, England.

Guitarist Chuck Loeb will be conducting guitar string training instructions at the Berks Jazz Fest Guitar Clinic on March 24 at the Sheraton Reading Hotel in Wyomissing, PA. Fellow instructors include guitarists Pat Martino and Bob Sabellico. For more information click to

Guitar legend George Benson and smooth jazz vocalist extraordinaire Al Jarreau have joined the lineup for this year's Umbria Jazz Festival, to be held in and around the medieval Italian town come this summer.

Steely Dan and B.B. King have signed on to perform at the Seneca Niagra Casino & Hotel in Niagra Falls, New York. The 2200-seat Seneca Events Center and the intimate 496-seat Bear’s Den Showroom at the Hotel & Casino have quickly become a popular destination for superstar performers. B.B. King is booked for May 12 and Steely Dan are scheduled for June 2. For more information click to

This year’s First Energy Berks Jazz Festival will feature a vast array of jazz talent as the 10-day event (scheduled for March 16-25) approaches. Appearing will will An Evening With The Six Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, and Steve Cole on March 24 at the Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom; Chuck Loeb featuring The Berks Jazz Fest Horns plus the WJJZ All-Stars with Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, Steve Cole, and Gerald Veasley on March 25 at the Sheraton Reading Hotel Ballroom; and An Evening With Guitars & Saxes featuring Gerald Albright, Tim Bowman, Jeff Golub, and Kirk Whalum on March 25 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

Toto, Jamie Cullum, Acoustic Alchemy, Freddy Cole and Dee Dee Bridgewater will headline the 5th Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival 2007. The three-day event will be held March 8-10 at Dubai Media City. For more information click to

Paul Brown’s new release – White Sand – includes covers of 60’s and 70’s soul & jazz classics, features a number of guests on the CD including Al Jarreau, Boney James, David Benoit, Bobby Caldwell, Euge Groove and Rick Braun.

Columbia/Legacy re-releases a remastered version of Boz Scaggs’ landmark 1976 album Silk Degrees. This edition includes three previously unreleased bonus tracks recorded in 1976.

Other releases due this week include: Andy Narell - Tatoom: Music For Steel Orchestra (with guests Mike Stern, David Sanchez & Luis Conte); Kenny Loggins – How About Now (includes a new version of A Love Song from Loggins & Messina); David Bromberg – Try Me One More Time; Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown & Milt Jackson – What’s Up? The Very Tall Band (recorded live at the Blue Note on Nov. 24-26, 1998, with seven bonus tracks); Johnny Mathis – Johnny Mathis Live: Wonderful! Wonderful! A Gold 50h Anniversary; Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland – The Definitive Collection; Joe Zawinul – Brown Street (2-CDs of orchestrated renditions of Weather Report classics such as Black Market, Night Passage, and A Remark You Made); and Carlos Santana & Wayne Shorter – Live At The 1988 Montreux Jazz Festival (DVD).

2006 was an amazing year for Mindi Abair as her CD Life Less Ordinary debuted at #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts, her song True Blue hit #1 on the Radio and Records chart, and it ended up being the 3rd most played song of the year at smooth jazz radio. She also toured the country with her band, performed on the Dave Koz Jazz Cruise, and hit the road for the Christmas season with Peter White and Rick Braun for their annual tour. 2007 has started off with a bang for her as she joined Wayman Tisdale’s Jazz Cruise. And even bigger, Abair’s newest single Bloom just hit #1 on the Radio and Records chart, landing Abair her 2nd #1 song in a row from her latest CD Life Less Ordinary.

Columbia/Legacy is releasing a Marvin Gaye 2-CD called Midnight Love And The Sexual Healing Sessions. This album is expected to be issued on April 24.

The upcoming Joss Stone album, Introducing Joss Stone, will be delayed from March 20 to the new date of April 3.

The Jakarta Java Jazz Festival 2007 is kicking off on March 2 with healiners Sergio Mendes, Sadao Watanabe and Jamie Cullum, among others. Java Jazz will be held in Jakarta Convention Center from Friday, March 2 to Sunday, March 4.

Smooth Jazz saxophonist Steve Cole's latest album, True, features all original compositions by the Chicago-based artist. While many of his contemporaries in the smooth jazz genre favor re-makes of old favorites, Cole remains true to the ideal of creating brand-new sounds. True features guest appearances by saxophonist David Mann, guitarist Jeff Golub, keyboardist Ricky Peterson, and percussionist Lenny Castro. His leadoff single is the up-tempo groove Metro.

This year's annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival, to be held April 13th to 15th in Destin, Florida, promises a huge lineup of stars including Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Golub, Tim Bowman, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Peter White, Nils, Brian Simpson, Jonathan Butler and Jeff Kashiwa. For more information click to


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