Wednesday, November 26, 2008


American Music Awards Merit Award Recipient Annie Lennox is about to release The Annie Lennox Collection, which paints a vivid portrait in song of the most successful female British artist in pop music history. Available February, 10, 2009 from Arista Records, this 14-song retrospective brings together the acclaimed artist's finest solo work on a single disc for the first time, and includes a pair of new songs available exclusively with this release.

This year the American Music Awards presented Annie Lennox with a special Award of Merit given to some of the industry's most influential artists. Previous honorees include Prince, Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond and Gloria Estefan. During the show, Lennox will also give a special performance which will be her first since having back surgery in August, 2008. The show aired live from the Nokia Theatre in L.A. on Sunday, November 23 (8:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) on ABC.

Spanning 15 years, The Annie Lennox Collection also available in a Deluxe CD/DVD edition includes hits from her four top-selling solo albums Diva (1992), Medusa (1995), Bare (2003) and last year's highly praised Songs of Mass Destruction. The timeless music selected for this collection uniquely reflects the essence of the singer's instantly recognizable brand of soul music on tracks like "Why," "Walking on Broken Glass" and "No More 'I Love You's'" -- a song that earned Lennox one of her four Grammys.

The retrospective also includes two new songs that Lennox recorded specially for this collection. The first, "Pattern of My Life," was written by Tom Chaplin of Keane. The second is a cover of "Shining Light," a song originally recorded by Ash in 2001. "I first discovered this song by Ash about six years ago, and I simply couldn't stop listening to it. It's so exultant that it virtually shimmers," Lennox says. Among the many highlights on The Annie Lennox Collection is "Sing," a song that references The SING Campaign, a humanitarian organization Lennox founded to raise awareness and support for the AIDS/HIV pandemic in Africa. "We're still in the early stages, but this is a lifelong commitment on my part," Lennox says. "I'm coming out from behind my singing voice to express myself in broader terms and help give a voice to those who don't have the same opportunities as I do."

In her 26-year career, both as a member of the groundbreaking Eurythmics and as a solo artist, Lennox has amassed sales of more than 78 million albums worldwide. Her towering achievements also include 34 hit singles, four Grammy Awards, 11 Brit Awards and five Ivor Novello Awards. The superstar has also won an Academy Award and Golden Globe.


1. Little Bird"
2. Walking on Broken Glass"
3. Why"
4. No More I Love You's"
5. Precious"
6. A Whiter Shade of Pale"
7. A Thousand Beautiful Things"
8. Sing"
9. Pavement Cracks"
10. Love Song for a Vampire"
11. Cold"
12. Dark Road"
13. Pattern of My Life"
14. Shining Light"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Joining the all-star lineup for the 16th Annual Barbados Jazz Festival is British folk singer and songwriter James Blunt, who will dazzle the crowds with his soulful ballads. In addition to Blunt, this year's event, running from January 12-18, 2009 will feature a wide range of both contemporary and classic jazz vocalists including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Harvey Mason, David Burnett, Angie Stone and the BCC Jazz Project, among others. Ticket prices start at $25 USD ($50 BDS) per person. Attendees can purchase a full season pass to all The festival will be staged across some of Barbados' most picturesque and enchanting locations around the island, including: the Sunbury Plantation House; Heritage Park/The Rum Factory; Garfield Sobers Complex; and Farley Hill National Park. In addition, Errol Ince will headline a special dinner set at The Crane Resort & Residences on Thursday evening, January 15, 2009.

Here’s the lineup for the 2009 Barbados Jazz Festival:
Jan 12 - Harvey Mason and Diana Jarret @ Sunbury Plantation House, St Philip
Jan 13 – David Burnett @ Heritage Park/The Rum Factory, St. Philip
Jan 14 – James Blunt and Kite @ Garfield Sobers Complex, St. Michael
Jan 15 – Errol Ince @ The Crane Resort & Residences, St. Philip
Jan 16 – Dee Dee Bridgewater @ Location TBD
Jan 17 – Angie Stone, Glenn Lewis and Nexcyx @ Farley Hill National Park, St. Peter
Jan 18 - Chrisette Michele, Hilario Duran and BCC Jazz Project @ Farley Hill National Park, St. Peter

Monday, November 24, 2008


Coming up on Saturday, November 29, singer-songwriter Jackson Browne & Friends - including Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez and Ry Cooder - will convene for a one-night-only Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium to raise funds to help survivors of the second most destructive Atlantic hurricane season on record. Proceeds from the post-Thanksgiving weekend concert will go towards Operation USA's ongoing disaster relief efforts in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Cuba and Haiti, with specific attention to programs designed to address the urgent local needs of displaced families and health facilities stretched to the breaking point.

Taking place during a break from Browne's Time The Conqueror World Tour, the show will be his last in Southern California until the summer of 2009. Also accompanying Browne at the benefit is his band of fifteen years: Kevin McCormick (bass), Mark Goldenberg (guitars), Mauricio Lewak (drums) and Jeff Young (keyboards, backing vocals). They'll also be joined by new members Chavonne Morris and Alethea Mills, vocalists Browne met in 2001.

Jackson Browne was inspired to organize the concert in response to the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, which hit Cuba, Haiti and the U.S. Gulf Coast twice within three weeks in late August and early September, 2008. Since then, the situation has become even more dire, as the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane season has proven to be unusually unrelenting and destructive. Recent storms including Hurricanes Omar and Paloma - the latter being the second strongest November hurricane in recorded history and was especially ravaging in Cuba - have continued to wreak havoc, further hampering relief efforts. All three areas are critically in need of aid to help restore safety and provide appropriate healthcare.

Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based humanitarian aid organization that helps people rebuild their lives after man-made or natural disasters, has been on the front lines of aggressive relief efforts throughout Cuba, Haiti and our Gulf Coast this season. Operation USA has been cited by Worth Magazine as one of the "100 Best Charities in America," and was recently named the #1 Privately Funded Charity by watchdog group Charity Navigator. Since 1979, they have aided people in 99 countries, delivering over $275 million for relief projects. The organization accepts no government funding and is a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize as part of "The International Campaign to Ban Landmines."

Jackson Browneis currently touring in support of his new album, Time The Conqueror. The tour kicked off September 15 in Washington, DC, and the Washington Post wrote of the opening night show, "The new material demonstrated that Browne, just a few weeks shy of 60, still has a terrific touch. That was particularly true on the contemplative, vividly drawn title track of 'Time the Conqueror,' the soaring if wistful 'Giving That Heaven Away' and the echoing, atmospheric 'Live Nude Cabaret'...When it was done - after a reggaefied encore version of 'I Am a Patriot' - Browne thanked the audience for having indulged him. He needn't have: The pleasure was ours."

Produced by Browne and Paul Dieter, Time The Conqueror was released September 23 on Inside Recordings, the independent label founded and run by Browne and his management team. It is hisfirst set of new studio material since 2002's The Naked Ride Home, and follows up two live albums recorded during recent solo acoustic tours in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia: the GRAMMY(R)-nominated Jackson Browne - Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1 ('05) and Vol. 2 ('08). For more information, click to to

Sunday, November 23, 2008


New from Femi Kuti is his latest studio release, Day By Day, a hybrid of Afro-pop, jazz and urban influences. The album has been a long time coming: seven years since his last studio album Fight To Win and four years since the live Africa Shrine, which contains early versions of three songs from this new album. ways Day By Day is a return to the glory days of Nigeria's big bands, of wailing organs, frantic polyrhythms and behemoth horn sections, playing against each other. Yet, now the palette is broader. "Do You Know" and "They Will Run" are undeniably jazz. "You Better Ask Yourself," "Oyimbo" and "Eh Oh" carry the air of lost messages from Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield. And then there is the title track, infused with gospel, suffering and ghostly echoes of work songs from the early 20th century. Classic Afrobeat, classic Kuti. "Everybody is back in training now," he smiles, "we have to re-establish my music. We have to come out and play it live, because the record industry is in such a bad shape, we are all suffering. He laughs, "luckily, the African man is used to suffering." Kuti is also slated for a 2009 North American tour (see dates below).

Femi Kuti 2009 North American Tour Dates
Jan 7 - 8 PM @ Paradise Rock Club - Boston, Massachusetts
Jan 8 - 9 PM @ Webster Hall - New York, New York
Jan 9 - 9 PM @ 9:30 Club - Washington DC, Washington DC
Jan 10 - 9 PM @ World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jan 11 - 8 PM @ GlobalFest at Webster Hall - New York, New York
Jan 14 - 8:30 PM @ Club Soda - Montreal, Quebec
Jan 15 - 9 PM @ Opera House - Toronto, Ontario
Jan 16 - 9 PM @ Majestic Theatre - Detroit, Michigan
Jan 17 - 9 PM @ Metro - Chicago, Illinois
Jan 19 - 8 PM @ Boulder Theater - Boulder, Colorado
Jan 22 - 8 PM @ The Fillmore - San Francisco, California
Jan 23 - 9 PM @ House of Blues - West Hollywood, California
Jan 24 - 9 PM @ House of Blues - San Diego, California

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Beat Konducta (Madlib) – Beat Konducta Vol 5 – Dil Cosby Suite (Stones Throw)
Bonnie Bramlett – Piece Of My Heart: The Best of Bonnie Bramlett 1969 to 1978 (Columbia)
Bossa Do Morro (Man/Universal)
Cal Tjader – Soulful Vibes: Jazz Club (Verve)
Club Jazz A La Mode 3 (Rambling)
DJ Kawasaki & Others – Most Wanted Works International Edition (Extra Freedom)
Dave Grusin – Music From The Television Series ‘The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.’ (Varese Vintage)
Dining Rooms – Other Ink (Schema)
Dutch Rare Grooves 2: 18 Classic Soul, Jazz & Funk Tracks From Holland (Sonic Scenery)
Erik Rick – Double Feature: Journey Back To Me/Higher Frequency (Lifenotes)
Fabio Nobile – AlwaysLove (Déjà vu)
Foreign Exchange – Leave It All Behind (HBD)
Freddie Cruger – Just Chillin’ In The Spot (Home Grown)
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Wake Up Everybody (expanded version) (Philadelphia Int’ll)
Harry Connick Jr. – What A Night! Christmas Album (Columbia)
Incognito – More Tales Remixed (Dome)
Jazz Supreme Spiritual Waltz-A-Nova (P-Vine)
Jazzanova – Of All The Things (Verve)
Ledisi – It’s Christmas (Verve)
Ken Vandermark – Collected Fiction (Okka Disk)
Mavis Staples – Mavis Staples Live: Hope At The Hideout (Anti)
Melo – Off My Chest (Raw Fusion)
Menahan Street Band – Make The Road By walking (Dunham/Daptone_
Movements Vol. 2: 15 Deep Funk Pearls Compiled By Tobias Kirmayer (Perfect Toy)
New Mastersounds – Live In San Francisco (P-Vine)
Perceptions – Introducing The Perceptions (Freestyle)
Peter Hadar – Well Dressed For The Art Show (Cool Weirdos)
Peven Everett – Dear Europe (Studio Confessions)
Quasimode – Sounds Of Peace (Geneon)
Romina Johnson – Soul River (J&J)
Ronnie McNeir – Ronnie Mac & Company (Jupiter Island)
Rurals – Farming Grooves (Peng)
Serge Gainsbourg – Je T’aime Moi Non Plus Original Soundtrack LP (Phillips)
Tortured Soul – In Transit EP (Purpose)

Friday, November 21, 2008


Herbie Hancock @ Philharmonic, Warsaw, Poland, Dec 1
John Legend @ Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ, Dec 1
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Dec 1
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Philharmonic Center For The Arts, Naples, FL, Dec 2
John Legend @ Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA, Dec 2
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Scullers, Boston, MA, Dec 2
Herbie Hancock @ Arena Hall, Poznan, Poland, Dec 2
Wayne Shorter @ Carnegie Hall, New York, NY, Dec 2
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Raymond F. Kravis Center For The Performing Arts, West Palm Beach, FL, Dec 3
Tony Bennett @ Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, New York, NY, Dec 3
Anthony Hamilton @ Majestic Theater, Dallas, TX, Dec 3
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Birchmere, Alexandria, VA, Dec 3
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Keswick, Glenside, PA, Dec 4
Anthony Hamilton @ @ House Of Blues, New Orleans, LA, Dec 4
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Palace Theatre, Columbus, OH, Dec 4
Richie Havens @ Sun Music Hall, Floyd, VA, Dec 4
Marcus Johnson @ Holiday Inn, Washington, DC, Dec 4
Tony Bennett @ Capital One Theatre, Westbury, NY, Dec 4-5
Anthony Hamilton @ Paramount Theater, Austin, TX, Dec 5
Kenny G @ Mystic Lake Casino, Prior Lake, MN, Dec 5
Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway @ Canon Center, Memphis, TN, Dec 5
Richie Havens @ McGlohon Theater, Charlotte, NC, Dec 5
John Legend @ Tower Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, Dec 5
Tower Of Power @ Feather Falls Casino, Oroville, CA, Dec 5
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Mohegan Sun Wolf Den, Uncasville, CT, Dec 5-6
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL, Dec 6
Kenny G @ Riverside Theatre, Milwaukee, WI, Dec 6
Tower Of Power @ Cache Creek Casino – Club 88, Brooks, CA, Dec 6
Richie Havens @ The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC, Dec 6
Richie Havens @ Community Church Of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, Dec 7
Anthony Hamilton @ Arena Theater, Houston, TX, Dec 7
Tony Bennett @ North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly, MA, Dec 7
Kenny G @ Chicago Theater, Chicago, IL, Dec 7
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Nokia Theatre, New York, NY, Dec 7
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Ramshead, Annapolis, MD, Dec 7-8
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Ferguson Center For The Arts, Newport News, VA, Dec 8
John Legend @ Lyric Theatre, Baltimore, MD, Dec 8
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Palace Theater, Cleveland, OH, Dec 9
John Legend @ Constitution Hall, Washington, DC, Dec 9
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Music Mill, Indianapolis, IN, Dec 10
Anthony Hamilton @ House Of Blues, Las Vegas, NV, Dec 10
John Legend @ Peace Center, Greenville, SC, Dec 10
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Commerce Bank Arts Center, Sewell, NJ, Dec 10
Wayne Shorter @ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA, Dec 10
Richie Havens @ Rhythm Brews, Chattanooga, TN, Dec 11
Marcus Johnson @ Holiday Inn, Washington, DC, Dec 11
Anthony Hamilton @ House Of Blues, Anaheim, CA, Dec 11
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Valentine Theatre, Toledo, OH, Dec 11
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Plaza Theatre For The Performing Arts Center, El Paso, TX, Dec 11
Tower Of Power @ Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA, Dec 11-14
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ IMAC, Huntington, NY, Dec 12
John Legend @ Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, NC, Dec 12
Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway @ Majestic Theatre, Dallas, TX, Dec 12
Kenny G @ West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, Dec 12
Anthony Hamilton @ House Of Blues, San Diego, CA, Dec 12
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Paramount Theatre, Oakland, CA, Dec 12
Ledisi @ Yoshi’s, Oakland, CA, Dec 11-14
Wayne Shorter @ El Lunario at the Auditorio, Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 12
Marcus Johnson @ Café 611, Frederick, MD, Dec 12
Richie Havens @ Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA, Dec 12
Brian Culbertson @ Boulder Station Casino, Las Vegas, NV, Dec 12
Brian Culbertson @ McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert, CA, Dec 13
Anthony Hamilton @ The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA, Dec 13
Kenny G @ The Centre, Evansville, IN, Dec 13
Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway @ Arena Theatre, Houston, TX, Dec 13
Richie Havens @ WorkPlay Theatre, Birmingham, AL, Dec 13
Bobby Caldwell, Ashford & Simpson @ Bergen PAC, Englewood, NJ, Dec 13
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Wilshire Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Dec 13
John Legend @ Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham, NC, Dec 13
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Robert Ferst Center for the Arts, Atlanta, GA, Dec 13
Vincent Montana Jr. & The Phlly Sound Orchestra @ Commerce Bank Arts Centre, Sewell, NJ, dec. 13
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Mattie Kelley Arts Center @ OWC, Niceville, FL, Dec 14
Richie Havens @ Crossroads Music Hall, Huntsville, AL, Dec 14
Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway @ The Pageant, St. Louis, MO, Dec 14
Kenny G @ Playhouse Square Center, Cleveland, OH, Dec 14
Tony Bennett @ University at Buffalo Center for the Arts, Buffalo, NY, Dec 14
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Lyric Theatre, Stuart, FL, Dec 15
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Florida Theatre, Jacksonville, FL, Dec 16
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Wells Fargo Center, Santa Rosa, CA, Dec 16
Tony Bennett @ Apollo Theatre, New York, NY, Dec 16
Kenny G @ Lyric Opera House, Baltimore, MD, Dec 16
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Mesa Arts Center-Ikeda Theatre, Mesa, AZ, Dec 17
Kenny G @ Count Basie Theatre, Red Banks, NJ, Dec 17
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL, Dec 17
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Chumbash Casino, Santa Ynez, CA, Dec 18
Kenny G @ Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo, NY, Dec 18
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Guzzetta Grand Ballroom, Sacramento, CA, Dec 18
Marcus Johnson @ Holiday Inn, Washington, DC, Dec 18
Ledisi @ The Fillmore, Detroit, MI, Dec 18
Brian Culbertson, Tony Maiden, Mike Phillps, Vesta @ House Of Blues, San Diego, CA, Dec 18
Bela Fleck & The Flecktones @ The Blue Note, New York, NY, Dec 18-21
Richie Havens @ Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT, Dec 19
LaBelle @ The Apollo, New York, NY, Dec 19
Brian Culbertson, Tony Maiden, Mike Phillps, Vesta @ Conga Room, Los Angeles, CA, Dec 19
Kenny G @ Community Theatre at Mayo Center, Morristown, NJ, Dec 19
Ledisi @ B.B. King’s, New York, NY, Dec 19
Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway @ Madame Walker Theatre, Indianapolis, IN, Dec 19
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Tower Theatre, Fresno, CA, Dec 19
Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour w/Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Keiko Matsui @ Cerritos Center For The Performing Arts, Cerritos, CA, Dec 19-20
Michael Franks @ Festival @ Bangkok, Thailand, Dec 20
Kenny G @ The Palace Theater, Waterbury, CT, Dec 20
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ Spreckles, San Diego, CA, Dec 20
Richie Havens @ Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Dec 20
Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway @ Parkwest Theatre, Chicago, IL, Dec 20
Ledisi, Noel Gourdin @ Keswick Theatre, Glenmside, PA, Dec 20
David Benoit @ B.B. Kings, New York, NY, Dec 20
Lalah Hathaway @ Symphony Hall, Atlanta, GA, Dec 21
Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Lalah Hathaway @ Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA, Dec 21
Ledisi @ Ram’s Head, Annapolis, MD, Dec 22
Peter White, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun @ The Grove of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA, Dec 23
Fatback Band @ Grand Ballroom Manhattan Center, New York, NY, Dec 27
Tower Of Power @ Motor City Casino, Detroit, MI, Dec 31

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Sony Masterworks has announced that Yo-Yo Ma's recently released holiday recording, Songs of Joy & Peace, has garnered more sales in one week than any other in the history of the cellist's 30-year recording career with Masterworks. The unprecedented sales propelled the critically acclaimed disc to the #20 spot of Billboard's Top 200 chart, Ma's highest position ever. Songs of Joy & Peace, featuring a star-studded cast of musicians, is a musical party in celebration of the joys of the holiday season. Songs of Joy& Peace has been chosen as a featured holiday selection at Starbucks and is being sold at select Starbucks locations nationwide.

Some of the artists Ma collaborates with on Songs of Joy & Peace include James Taylor Alison Krauss, Renee Fleming, Diana Krall, Chris Botti, Joshua Redman, Sergio and Odair Assad, and Dave and Matt Brubeck. "It started with the idea of a party, a party built around the concept of joy and the infinite varieties of joy to be found in the world," recalled Ma. "But joy can't exist in our world without the comfort of peace. As we all draw closer and closer together in this world, nothing is more important. So as much as the music in this album is about joy, it is also about peace, about the two operating in tandem."

To celebrate the release of Songs of Joy & Peace, and in keeping with the theme of coming together in the musical spirit,Yo-Yo Ma teamed up with Indaba Music,, the leading collaboration tool and social network for musicians. Ma recorded the melody for Dona Nobis Pacem and made it available for other musicians to record to it -- creating a virtual music party. The music is available as part of a contest hosted at Indaba Music for artists to compete to create the most original and interesting counter melody or most creative set of variations. Musicians have until December 31, 2008 to submit their piece. Submissions so far have ranged in style from classical to world music to hip-hop, and even heavy metal. The Indaba Music community will vote for their favorites, and Ma will choose the winner who will have the opportunity to record with him. The contest began in early October and to date has attracted 500 entries.

Also available is a special deluxe edition of Songs of Joy& Peace featuring an expanded booklet and an exclusive DVD showcasing five music videos of Yo-Yo Ma joining forces with guest artists James Taylor ("Here Comes the Sun"), Alison Krauss ("The Wexford Carol"), Renee Fleming ("Touch the Hand of Love"), Diana Krall ("You Couldn't Be Cuter") and Chris Botti ("My Favorite Things"). In addition, the Songs of Joy & Peace bonus DVD premieres a behind-the-scenes 60-minute video documenting the making of the album.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Grammy-winning multi-platinum recording artist John Legend has just confirmed a new round of concert dates - his first shows in 2009 -- on his forthcoming North American tour. The 2nd leg of John's North American concert tour runs from January 12 through February 7. Joining Legend will be London-based emerging singer/rapper/songwriter Estelle who will appear as John's special guest on the 2nd leg of his tour. The first artist signed to John's HomeSchool Records label, Estelle rocketed to #1 on the UK charts with her single "American Boy" and is featured on "No Other Love," a key track on John's new album EVOLVER. John Legend will kick off his extensive worldwide concert tour November 19 in Minneapolis with the first leg wrapping up December 13 in Durham, North Carolina. John Legend's upcoming tour dates mark the artist's first major concert series since his massively successful world tour in 2007.

News of John's first tour dates in the New Year comes hot on the heels of EVOLVER's recent arrival in the #4 slot on the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart. A crossover sensation, EVOLVER has already reached the #1 position on America's R&B Album chart, #1 on the Album Retailer chart and #1 on the Digital Albums chart. As one of the most eagerly awaited releases of 2008, EVOLVER is John Legend's first full-length studio album in two years. In addition to Estelle, guests on EVOLVER include OutKast's Andre 3000, R&B/pop superstar Brandy and John's longtime collaborator Kanye West. Songs on EVOLVER include the single "Green Light" (featuring Andre 3000), "It's Over" (featuring Kanye West), "Everybody Knows," "No Other Love" (featuring Estelle), "Satisfaction," "This Time," "Cross The Line," "I Love, You Love," "Good Morning," "If You're Out There," and "Quickly" (featuring Brandy).

Released in late December 2004, John Legend's debut album, Get Lifted, peaked at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart and became America's #1 Top R&B/Hip-Hop album in January 2005. A critical and commercial triumph, Get Lifted earned John an astounding eight Grammy nominations -- he won Best New Artist, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance ("Ordinary People") and Best R&B album -- while selling more than three million copies worldwide. John's second collection, Once Again, entered the Billboard Top 200 at #3 shortly after its release in October 2006, peaking at #1 on the R&B Album Sales chart, earning an RIAA platinum certification while securing two Grammy nominations: "Save Room" (for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and "Heaven" (which won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance). John racked up his fifth overall career Grammy win in 2006 when "Family Affair" -- a track he'd cut with Joss Stone and Van Hunt for Different Strokes by Different Folks, a Sly & the Family Stone tribute album (Epic/Legacy) -- took home top honors in the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals category.

John Legend Tour Dates
North American Tour - 2008 (w/ special guest Raphael Saadiq):
Nov 19 - Minneapolis, MN @ Northrop Auditorium
Nov 20 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
Nov 24 - E. Lansing, MI @ Wharton Center For Performing Arts
Nov 26 - Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre
Nov 28 - Toronto, Ont. @ Roy Thompson Hall
Nov 29 - Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theatre
Dec 1- Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theatre
Dec 2 - Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre
Dec 5 - Philadelphia, PA @ Tower Theater
Dec 6 - Fairfield, CT@ Fairfield University - Alumni Hall
Dec 8 -Baltimore, MD @ Lyric Theatre
Dec 9 - Washington, DC @ Constitution Hall
Dec 10 - Greenville, SC @ Peace Center
Dec 12 - Charlotte, NC @ Ovens Auditorium
Dec 13 - Durham, NC @ Durham Performing Arts Center

North American Tour Dates - 2009 (w/ special guest Estelle):
Jan12 - Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
Jan13 - Universal City, CA @ Gibson Amphitheatre
Jan16 - La Jolla, CA @ RIMAC Arena
Jan 22 - Dallas, TX @ Nokia Theatre @ Grand Prairie
Jan 23 - Austin, TX @ Bass Concert Hall
Jan 24 - Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Theater
Jan 26 - Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
Jan 28 - Orlando, FL @ Bob Carr Performing Arts Center
Jan 29 - Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
Jan 30 - Miami, FL @ The Fillmore Miami Beach At Jackie Gleason Theater
Feb 3 - Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre
Feb 5 - New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
Feb 6 - Mashantucket, CT@ MGM Grand Theater @ MGM Foxwoods
Feb 7 - Atlantic City, NJ @ Borgata Events Center

For more information on John Legend click to:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


As host of High Standards with Jonathan Schwartz on SIRIUSLY Sinatra, Schwartz will showcase his encyclopedic knowledge of music and his passion for popular American standards. Guiding listeners through the sound and meaning of this timeless genre, Schwartz will play classic favorites by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Mandy Patinkin, Joni Mitchell and many more. SIRIUS and XM listeners can also expect to hear music from Irving Berlin and Cole Porter to that of Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein, along with Schwartz's informed and compelling commentary celebrating the great American songbook.

"Jonathan Schwartz, my family and I have cleared up past misunderstandings, as Jonathan and his show join us at SIRIUSLY Sinatra on XM and SIRIUS weekdays from 3 - 6 pm ET and Sundays from noon - 4 pm ET," said Nancy Sinatra. "Jonathan and I are talking about taking part on each other's broadcast from time to time to add insight into the life and music of our time and in particular to the style, heart and genius of my father, Frank Sinatra." "What a joy," said Jonathan Schwartz. "I can't wait to join the Sinatra family on SIRIUSLY Sinatra to perpetuate the most profound body of work this country knows."

Often called "the Dean of American pop standards," Jonathan Schwartz has been one of New York City's most popular on-air hosts since 1967. His columns have appeared regularly in GQ Magazine and The Village Voice. Schwartz is also an accomplished singer and cabaret performer and has recorded three albums, Alone Together, New Sun in the Sky and Anyone Would Love You. Fans from New York will remember Jonathan from the many years he spent hosting his radio show at WNEW-AM.

High Standards with Jonathan Schwartz will air on SIRIUSLY Sinatra, SIRIUS channel 75, and XM channel 73, starting Wednesday, November 12 on weekdays from 3 pm to 6 pm ET, Saturdays from 3 pm to 6 pm ET and Sundays from 12 noon to 4 pm ET. SIRIUSLY Sinatra is the only 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, commercial-free channel to broadcast the entire spectrum of Sinatra's career as well as artists and songs from the standards era. Produced by SIRIUS XM and the Sinatra family, the channel features regular blocks of Sinatra's music, archival performances and is the home of Nancy for Frank, a weekly show hosted by his daughter, Nancy Sinatra. SIRIUSLY Sinatra also broadcasts The Chairman's Hour, a weekly radio show hosted by Frank Sinatra himself using archival material and presented by SIRIUS XM and the Sinatra family.

For more information click to and

Monday, November 17, 2008


American jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter's acclaimed quartet with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade, and the legendary Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés are among the headliners at the 6th annual Panama Jazz Festival, which will take place in Panama City January 12 through 17, 2009. The Boston-based Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez, who founded the festival in 2003 and whose Danilo Perez Foundation coordinates its educational component, anticipates more than 16,000 attendees.

"The Panama Jazz Festival has been a magical journey to a dream we've had for years in Panama," says Perez. "We, as a country, see the entire world pass through the Panama Canal every day, and we are honored to be the bridge of the Americas. But today, we are proud to say that every year--for the past six years--the Panama Jazz Festival has been the national event where the world does not pass by, but makes a stop in our wonderful land. The world's best jazz artists, as well as students and volunteers from all over the globe, unite in Panama with one goal in mind: to celebrate the world's diversity through jazz."

The 2009 festival will be dedicated to the late bassist, composer, and arranger Clarence Martin Sr., whose contributions to Panamanian jazz date from the 1940s and have influenced several generations of musicians from many genres such as jazz, classical, and Caribbean music.

The festival will open with a gala concert at the Teatro Nacional by a flamenco jazz group from Spain, sponsored by the Spanish Embassy. Other artists scheduled to perform at the festival are the Puerto Rican saxophonist Marco Pignataro and his quintet, featuring Eddie Gomez and Billy Drummond; American singer Luba Mason, whose quintet includes flute master Hubert Laws, bassist Jimmy Haslip, and vocalist Rubén Blades (Mason's husband, and Panama's Minister of Culture); and the young Panamanian saxophonist Jahaziel Arrocha, who won a Berklee College of Music scholarship at the 4th annual Panama Jazz Festival and currently attends Berklee as a Presidential Scholar.

Auditions for admission and scholarships to the New England Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, and the Conservatorio de Puerto Rico will be scheduled during the week of the festival. Also planned are ensemble, flute, trumpet, guitar, composition, drum, bass, piano, and saxophone workshops by the New England Conservatory Ensemble, led by jazz department chair Ken Schaphorst, and master classes by Berklee professors Jim Odgren and Jim Kelly. All classes will take place at the Ascanio Arosemena Educational Center, on the Panama Canal Administration Campus. Chucho Valdés, John Patitucci, Brian Blade, and pianist Edna Golandsky (with the Golandsky Piano Institute) are among the artist/instructors.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Panama Jazz Festival will offer clinics and courses on music technology under the auspices of the Berklee College of Music Production and Engineering Department (MP&E) and Music Synthesis Department (MS). Courses on recording, mixing, and live sound will be presented by Rob Jaczko, Chair of MP&E; Alejandro Rodríguez, Associate Professor of the MP&E Department; and Neil Leonard, Chair of Berklee's Music Synthesis Department.

The keynote for the 2009 festival is "expansion," notes Perez, as the concert lineup expands from 3 to 5 days a week and the scope of the master classes expands to include a new private lesson component. "We're also reaching out even more than before to other disciplines, such as art and dance, and we're opening a classical music department," says Perez. "We're expanding our scholarship opportunities to Panamanian schools in need by giving admission to the festival to students who demonstrate academic progress. And we are expanding our children's program to include even more communities in need of outreach programs."

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The new Sirius XM has unveiled new enhanced channel lineups. Effective immediately, and for the first time, XM subscribers will hear SIRIUS' dynamic and exclusive music, news, talk, sports and comedy shows and channels, and SIRIUS subscribers will have access to XM's equally diverse and unique content. SIRIUS and XM subscribers will hear the exclusive music, talk and comedy channels and shows from Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Elvis Presley, Grateful Dead, Eminem, Frank Sinatra, Jamie Foxx, Metropolitan Opera, NPR, NYU's Doctor Radio, The Catholic Channel, Blue Collar Comedy, Cosmo Radio, Tom Petty, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, the Grand Ole' Opry, Barbara Walters, Deepak Chopra, and more, now available to all subscribers.

Listeners can now get easy access to channels spanning SIRIUS and XM that feature music's most critically-acclaimed artists for the first time at no increase in the subscription fee and with no need to change or upgrade their existing radios. With this new programming lineup, subscribers will receive the same number of music and non-music channels on the SIRIUS and XM services as they have in the past. "This is the ultimate evolution for our channels and sets a new bar for audio entertainment. The breadth and quality of the new programming lineups make it clear that everything worth listening to is now on SIRIUS XM," said Scott Greenstein, SIRIUS XM's President and Chief Content Officer.

XM subscribers will have access to new exclusive music, talk and comedy channels and shows. Here is a selection:
-- Bruce Springsteen's E Street Radio features music spanning three decades from the rock icon, including new releases, concert recordings, rare archival recordings and interviews.
-- Jimmy Buffett's Radio Margaritaville is a radio paradise of great music as well as live broadcasts of Buffett's concerts.
-- The Grateful Dead Channel features music spanning the band's career with unreleased concert recordings, rare archival interviews with Jerry Garcia and original shows hosted by band members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.
-- Eminem's Shade 45 features uncensored, commercial-free hip-hop programming executive produced by Eminem.
-- "Little Steven" Van Zandt's Underground Garage and Outlaw Country channels, both created and executive produced by the E Street Band member, feature the best rock 'n' roll records ever made and shows hosted by some of country music's biggest names, including Mojo Nixon, Shooter Jennings and others.
-- Elvis Radio is the world's first and only officially authorized, commercial-free, Elvis all-the-time radio channel, broadcast live from Graceland.
-- Frank Sinatra on SIRIUSLY Sinatra broadcasts the Great American Songbook as recorded by Sinatra and the greatest singers of all time.
-- Metropolitan Opera Radio broadcasts live performances throughout the Met's entire season and classic performances spanning the Met's 77-year broadcast history.
-- Jamie Foxx's comedy channel, The Foxxhole, is Jamie Foxx's exclusive 24/7 entertainment channel. Foxx created the channel and hosts a live, weekly show.
-- Blue Collar Radio features favorites from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and everyman humor from other great comedians and hilarious new stand-up stars.
-- Cosmo Radio, geared toward Cosmopolitan magazine's audience of fun, fearless females, features smart relationship advice, tips on beauty, fashion and health, and entertainment news.
-- SIRIUS XM Stars features exclusive weekly shows from Barbara Walters, Deepak Chopra, Jane Pratt, Judith Regan, Senator Bill Bradley and others.
-- The Catholic Channel, produced by SIRIUS XM and the Archdiocese of New York, is a modern talk format with an open dialogue focused on Catholicism in today's world, including daily call-in talk shows, live daily Mass from Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and football and basketball games from the University of Notre Dame.
-- NPR Now offers in-depth news, features, and entertainment produced and assembled by NPR specifically for SIRIUS and XM Radio, featuring shows Fresh Air and Marketplace, plus public radio favorites like Car Talk, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, Talk of the Nation, and more.
-- Doctor Radio powered by NYU Langone Medical Center is a groundbreaking 24/7 national radio channel featuring live, call-in shows hosted by leading doctors from the NYU Langone Medical Center, representing a vast array of fields including child psychology, sexual health, men's health, diet, nutrition and more.
SIRIUS subscribers will have access to new exclusive music channels and shows. Here is a selection:
-- Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour is an award-winning weekly show hosted by the iconic artist that features an eclectic mix of songs from a wide variety of musical genres related to that week's theme, as well as on-air thoughts and commentary from Dylan and special guests.
-- Tom Petty's Buried Treasure is a weekly hour of musical rarities and classic tracks handpicked by Petty from his private vaults.
-- Willie's Place broadcasts live from Willie Nelson's very own honky tonk deep in the heart of Texas, featuring a nickel jukebox playing the best traditional, rustic and rich country and western swing.
-- B. B. King's Bluesville features a broad range of blues and gospel music hand-selected by the Mayor of Bluesville, B.B. King.
-- Grand Ole' Opry showcases the best live American country music with performance archives and programs hosted by Eddie Stubbs, a regular announcer for the Grand Ole' Opry, popular country music DJ and respected country music historian.
-- '40s on 4 is where you go for the biggest hits from the 1940s and the greatest standards to come out during the first half of the 20th century.
-- enLighten broadcasts Southern Gospel roots music based on four-part harmony featuring family groups, trios, quartets and soloists.
-- '90s on 9 plays the biggest hits of the decade featuring songs from every genre - pop, rock and rhythm ... from grunge to boy bands.
-- XM's Artist Confidential series, hosted by Lou Brutus, features up close and personal interviews, plus exclusive performances from some of the biggest names in music including Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Sting, Santana and over a hundred more.
Enhanced music, talk, and sports channels will bring together the best hosts in their fields and genres.
-- The Loft will continue to be led by Mike Marrone and will now add exclusive shows by rocker Lou Reed, Vin Scelsa, Dave Marsh and David Johansen.
-- Deep Tracks will add veteran rock DJ Pat St. John.
-- Marky Ramone's show, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg, can be heard on Faction.
-- Jonathan Schwartz, the renowned Standards DJ, will host his daily and Sunday show on SIRIUSLY Sinatra.
-- '60s on 6 has a stellar lineup of hosts including Cousin Brucie, the legendary Oldies DJ who will continue his Wednesday show on '50s on 5.
-- '70s on 7 will now air Casey Kasem's original American Top 40 countdowns, as well as Joe Causi's Disco Saturday Night.
-- '80s on 8 will be the home of all the former MTV VJs including Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn, Alan Hunter and Nina Blackwood.
-- XM's channel for the presidential election, POTUS '08, and SIRIUS' channel for the independent voter, Indie Talk, have combined into POTUS - Politics of the United States, and will be heard on both SIRIUS and XM. POTUS will feature, from SIRIUS, actor and commentator Ron Silver, The Blog Bunker (the first show dedicated to the biggest blog headlines), and Pete Dominick; and from XM, Joe Mathieu, Tim Farley and more.
-- SIRIUS XM Book Radio, previously known to XM subscribers as Sonic Theater, now brings SIRIUS and XM listeners excerpts of the greatest and hottest books, interviews with authors, and readings by some of the biggest authors in the business.
-- Kids Place Live, targeted to entertain kids aged 3-8, now offers the best kid-friendly music previously heard on Kids Stuff and XM Kids, along with hosts Kenny Curtis, Absolutely Mindy and Robbie Schaeffer, and guests and specials.
-- The previously announced Mad Dog Radio sports talk channel will launch soon on SIRIUS channel 123 and XM channel 144 offering sports fans engaging talk and interviews 24 hours a day. Renowned sports talk personality Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo headlines the channel and can currently be heard hosting its anchor program, Mad Dog Unleashed, weekday afternoons live on SIRIUS 123 and XM 144.

The new SIRIUS XM channel lineup will also continue to feature channels from the top news outlets in the country, including BBC World Service, Bloomberg Radio, ESPN Radio, CNBC, CNN, CNN en Espanol, Fox News Channel and Fox News Talk, among others. As part of the rationalization, XM subscribers will be unhappy to learn they have lost favorites such as Lucy, Flight 26 Fungus, Beyond Jazz, Rhyme, The System, Viva and XM Exclusive but maybe happy to learn they will pick up former Sirius only stations such as E Street Radio, Margaritaville, Little Steven's Underground Garage, Elvis Radio Frank Sinatra and Metropolitan Opera Radio. Non music pickups on XM include The Foxxhole, Blue Collar Radio, Cosmo Radio, Catholic Channel, NPR Now and Doctor Radio.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Tony Bennett is about to release his first holiday CD in forty years since his 1968 release of Snowfall, and this latest project, Tony Bennett: A Swingin' Christmas featuring The Count Basie Big Band, is destined to become an annual favorite of the season. Featuring 11 tracks, Tony swings such classics as "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Winter Wonderland," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town,' and the CD introduces his daughter, Antonia, who duets with Tony on "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," Phil Ramone, who has worked with Bennett on several of his recent outings including the multi-platinum, "Duets: An American Classic," produced the CD. A Swingin' Christmas is available everywhere on RPM Records/Columbia. In the meantime, on November 20, the 15-time Grammy award winner will be on hand when Bloomingdales' unveils their holiday windows on Lexington Avenue in New York City, with a special mini-holiday concert to be held outside on 59th street in front of the store starting at 4:30 pm that day. This concert event is Bloomingdales' gift to New York City as it is free and open to the public. Bennett will perform a selection of holiday classics from A Swingin’ Christmas. The performance choir from the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, the NYC public arts high school that Tony founded with his wife Susan, will perform some holiday favorites prior to Tony Bennett taking the stage. One of the highlights of the season will be Tony Bennett's performance with the Count Basie Orchestra at New York's historic Apollo Theatre on December 16th. The event will be his only concert appearance with the famed Basie Band in support of his new holiday album, A Swingin' Christmas.

Tony Bennett Upcoming Tour Dates:
Nov 14 – Bossier City, LA @ Horseshoe Casino
Nov 19 – Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theatre
Nov 20 – New York, NY @ Bloomingdale’s Holiday Window Concert
Nov 21 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Caesar’s Casino
Nov 22 - Atlantic City, NJ @ Caesar’s Casino
Nov 28 – Las Vegas, NV @ Las Vegas Hilton
Nov 29 – Las Vegas, NV @ Las Vegas Hilton
Dec 3 – New York, NY @ Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting
Dec 4 – Westbury, NY @ Capital One Theatre
Dec 5 – Westbury, NY @ Capital One Theatre
Dec 7 – Beverly, MA @ North Shore Music Theatre
Dec 14 – Buffalo, NY @ University at Buffalo Center for the Arts
Dec 16 – New York, NY @ Apollo Theatre

Monday, November 10, 2008


Contemporary and smooth jazz favorite Brian Culbertson, for the third consecutive year, is taking BRIAN CULBERTSON'S A SOULFUL CHRISTMAS to venues across the country. This year's line-up features an all-star cast consisting of vocalist Vesta Williams, vocalist & guitarist Tony Maiden (of Rufus), and saxophonist Mike Phillips. In addition, Brian is proud to have his friends at AirTran Airways return as the tour sponsor. In typical “Brian Culbertson ashion," the show will feature uplifting and soulful performances of holiday favorites and tunes from Brian's holiday album, A SOULFUL CHRISTMAS (in stores now)! In addition, Brian and his guests will play hits from their respective catalogues. "For a third year, I get to bring this fantastic show on tour to audiences across the country," said Culbertson. "I'm thrilled to share the Holiday season and the stage with such an amazing group of performers!" In the span of a fantastic career this far, Brian Culbertson has released eight albums so far. The first three were on the Blue Moon label: "Long Night Out" 1994, "Modern Life" 1995, and "After Hours" 1996. After moving to Atlantic Records three more albums followed: "Secrets" 1997, "Somethin' Bout Love" 1999, and the critically acclaimed "Nice & Slow" 2001. "Come on Up" 2003 was released on Warner Jazz, and Culbertson then moved to GRP Records for his project, "It's On Tonight" 2005 which debuted at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s contemporary-jazz charts.

Tour dates are as follows (with more dates to be announced soon):
November 28 - Seattle, WA @ Benaroya Hall Theatre
November 30 - Harrisburg, PA @ Sunoco Performance Theater
December 4 - Albuquerque, NM @ Kimo Theatre
December 8 - Alexandria, VA @ The Birchmere
December 12 - Las Vegas, NV @ Boulder Station Hotel & Casino
December 13 - Palm Desert, CA @ McCallum Theatre

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Celebrating Motown's forthcoming 50th anniversary early in 2009, MOTOWN: THE COMPLETE NO. 1'S (Motown/UMe), to be released December 9, 2008, brings together every Motown No. 1 hit from every U.S. and international chart and every genre - a staggering 192 tracks, plus 10 bonus tracks whose cover versions were also No. 1. Housed in a jaw-dropping package – a replica of the original Motown headquarters, "Hitsville U.S.A." -- are five digipaks, each containing two CDs, and a mini-photo book including rare and classic images, track annotations and an essay by Motown's first No. 1 hit-maker, the legendary Smokey Robinson. Every No. 1 Motown recording from the Supremes, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Marvelettes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Four Tops, Martha & the Vandellas, Mary Wells, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Jackson 5, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, the Commodores, Rick James, Lionel Richie, Johnny Gill, Boyz II Men, Erykah Badu and more is contained here.

Hip-O Select and Motown have scheduled the release of an expanded edition of the album Surrender, the 1971 album by Diana Ross. In addition to the original eleven tracks, this set is expanded with nine bonus tracks. Included are alternate vocals and mixes of several songs found on the album, as well as the unreleased Surrender sessions tune, “Baby, I’ll Come.” One of the tunes in the bonus disc is a demo with vocal track by songwriter Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson, both of whom were major song contributors to the album) of “Remember Me.” The booklet contains a new essay, photos, and a song-by-song commentary. This re-mastered album is planned for December 9.

Fania Records is set to release a 4-CD/58 track Various Artists collection of Salsa favorites entitled Salsa: A Musical History. This collection will be made available on December 9.

GRP and Verve Records have scheduled a batch of Jazz releases for February 10. The GRP titles are Satchmo at Pasadena (Louis Armstrong), and Chapter One: Latin America (Gato Barbieri). The Verve titles are Ubiquity (Roy Ayers), On My Way and Shoutin’ Again (Count Basie), Dynasty (Stan Getz), You’ve Got It Bad Girl (Quincy Jones), Oscar Peterson & Nelson Riddle (Peterson/Riddle), Blues in the Closet (Bud Powell), Let It Be Me (Nina Simone), and Feels So Good (Grover Washington, Jr).

On November 25 you can find an 8-CD superset coming for War called Collector’s Edition: The Eight Original Gold and Platinum Studio Albums.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


From what we’ve seen thus far, there’s plenty of new holiday-themed releases coming our way. Here goes what we have found thus far…

Verve Records is releasing Remixed Christmas as the next in the series of Verve Remixed releases. This one is the first Holiday-themed Remix album for this series. Songs on the CD incliudee “What a Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong, The Orb Remix; as well as “Zat You, Santa Claus?,” also by Louis Armstrong called The Heavy Remix. There are eleven songs altogether. (Out now).

Motown has released set Playlist Your Way, which collects Various Artists tunes from talent like Stevie Wonder (“Someday at Chrismas”), Jackson Five (“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”), The Miracles (“It’s Christmas Time,” “Christmas Everyday”), The Supremes (“Oh Holy Night”), The Temptations (“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and the previously unreleased “Jingle Bells”), and a few others. (Out now).

Rounder Records will release the first Holiday-themed album from Bela Fleck & The Flecktones. It is called Jingle All the Way and is a covers classic set stamped with the sound of The Flecktones.
(Out now).

Hip-O Records will release a Various Artists package of 14 classic Christmas tunes entitled Classic Rock Christmas. This compilation features songs by Elton John (“Step into Christmas”), Bryan Adams (“Christmas Time”), The Moody Blues (“December Snow”), Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Run Rudolph Run”), Richie Sambora (“O Come all Ye Faithful”), with even more by Styx, Joan Osborne, Timbuk 3, .38 Special, Elvin Bishop, Pat Benatar, and more than these. (Out now).

Columbia will issue A Swingin’ Christmas by Tony Bennett featuring The Count Basie Big Band in both a standard CD package and a deluxe digipak CD/DVD set. The DVD will include Live performances as well as in-studio footage. (Out now).

If you haven’t picked up this one yet you should as it is simply great! RCA has assembled a collection CD called Elvis Presley Christmas Duets. This is a bit of studio gimmickry in the same way that Natalie Cole was able to duet with her father, Nat King Cole, through the magic of technology. On this Elvis Presley duets album, he will be paired with singers like Gretchen Wilson (“Merry Christmas Baby”) – this one is definitely a standout!, Amy Grant (“White Christmas”), Anne Murray (“Silver Bells”), and Carrie Underwood (“I’ll be Home for Christmas”). (Out now).

From Yo-Yo Ma comes Songs of Peace & Joy. This set includes 22 songs with participation by the likes of Diana Krall, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile, James Taylor, Dave Brubeck, Chris Botti, and many, many others. This album will be released in a standard CD digipak package and a deluxe CD/DVD set that will add a 60-minute film of behind-the-scenes sessions footage, a gallery, and five music videos (“Here Comes the Sun” w/James Taylor; “You Couldn’t be Cuter” w/Diana Krall; “The Wexford Carol” w/Alison Krauss; “My Favorite Things” w/Chris Botti; and “Touch the Hand of Love” w/Renee Fleming). (Out now).

NOW That’s What I Call Christmas. What would Christmas be without yet another Now That’s What I Call Christmas collection. In this one you’ll hear “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – John Lennon/Yoko Ono; “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Andy Williams; “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – Dean Martin; “A Holly Jolly Christmas” – Burl Ives; “Run Rudolph Run” – Chuck Berry; “Feliz Navidad” – Jose Feliciano; “Silent Night” – The Temptations; and a whole lot more that you’ll immediately recognize.

Brian Setzer Orchestra issues of Christmas Rocks: The Best-of Collection, which contains 20 traditional classics (two previously unreleased), and Christmas Rocks: The Ultimate Christmas Collection, which brings together the CD AND the DVD (LA’s Universal Amphitheatre in 2004). The DVD had been previously broadcast on PBS in edited form but here, you get the whole 100-minute show. It’s out now on Surfdog Records..

The folks at Time/Life have assembled a collection of Christmas favorites entitled A Sexy Christmas and will contain 12 that mix the holiday with a little snuggle. With songs like “Please Come Home for Christmas” (Aaron Neville), “Snowflakes of Love” (Toni Braxton), and “The Mistletoe Jam (Everybody Kiss Somebody)” (Brenda White-King & Luthor Vandross). Another Time-Life collections also offers a some well-known Christmas classics – “Silver Bells” (Doris Day), “The Little Drummer Boy” (Roger Whittaker), and “Winter Wonderland” (Elvis Presley) to name a few – along with a bonus CD-Rom of 473 Christmas recipes. In addition, the set will come with a free one-year subscription to the magazine, Taste of Home. The Various Artists collection is called Taste of Home: Home for Christmas.

Epic Records hasl released a collection called Winter Songs featuring female singer-songwriters like KT Tunstall (“Sleigh Ride”), Katy Perry (“White Christmas”), Fiona Apple (“Frosty the Snowman”), Emily Wells (“O Holy Night”), and Priscilla Ahn (“Silent Night”), amongst other current female stars. Winter Songs is available in both CD and LP formats.

Other releases include Christmas Spirit (Epic Records) by Los Lonely Boys; Christmas (Rhino Records) by Al Jarreau; It’s Christmas (Verve Records) from Ledisi;

Friday, November 07, 2008


Atlantic Records has announced the release of "Dark Streets - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack," the musical companion to the upcoming Samuel Goldwyn Films film noir musical fantasy. The album features original songs performed by an array of soul and blues legends, including Etta James, Dr. John, and Solomon Burke, alongside such new stars as Atlantic recording artists Marc Broussard and Serena Ryder. The soundtrack will be released digitally on November 25th. "Dark Streets" is set for release in selected cities nationwide on December 12th.

"Dark Streets - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" features original songs written especially for the film by James Compton, Tim Brown, and Tony DeMeur. To perform them, veteran producer/music supervisor George Acogny (Paul Simon, Sting, Peter Gabriel) gathered a veritable who's who of musical masters, which also includes Natalie Cole, Aaron Neville, Chaka Khan, and Richie Sambora. Acogny himself criss-crossed the country to record and produce all 10 tracks with each of the acclaimed artists featured on the soundtrack, capturing the gritty authenticity, raw power and aching beauty of the blues echoed in the film. Additionally, Acogny composed the "Dark Streets" film score.

A noir fever dream of music, seduction, and murder, "Dark Streets" tells the story of Chaz Davenport (Gabriel Mann), a dashing bachelor who owns what promises to become the hottest new nightclub in town -- if only the lights would stay on. Surrounded by the sumptuous blues music he adores, and with his pick of the gorgeous women who perform their sensual dance numbers onstage every night, Chaz is the envy of every man.

But with the city thrown into darkness by frequent blackouts and a menacing loan shark closing in, Chaz is in danger of losing the club -- and far more. At the same time, he finds himself embroiled in a love triangle with the club's alluring star singer, Crystal (Bijou Phillips), and a new arrival at the club -- the mysterious and seductive chanteuse Madelaine (Izabella Miko).
When people close to Chaz begin turning up dead, he doesn't know where to turn or whom to trust. And the harder he tries to uncover the truth, the further he's drawn into the darkness of lies and betrayal -- a darkness as black as the city's streets during yet another power outage. Welcome to the Blues...

Directed by Rachel Samuels ("The Suicide Club") from a screenplay by Wallace King, the film stars Gabriel Mann ("The Bourne Supremecy"), Bijou Phillips ("Choke"), Izabella Miko ("Coyote Ugly"), Elias Koteas ("The Thin Red Line"), Michael Fairman ("Thirteen Days"), and Toledo ("Don's Plum"). The film is produced by Andrea Balen, Claus Clausen, Corina Danckwerts, and Glenn M. Stewart; and executive produced by Steffen Aumueller.

In homage to the blues music which drives "Dark Streets" the film's producers will be donating half of the film's profits to The Blues Initiative. This non-profit organization administered by The Baton Rouge Area Foundation will directly aid musicians and contribute to the revival of the cultural and music arts in New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricanes Gustav and Katrina.

"Dark Streets - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" Complete Tracklisting 1. Chaka Khan - "Too Much Juice"
2. Natalie Cole - "Send Me Your Kiss"
3. Aaron Neville - "Life On The Layaway Plan"
4. Marc Broussard - "Lose Somebody"
5. Etta James - "It Ain't Right"
6. Richie Sambora - "Blood On The Ground"
7. Dr. John - "It Don't Make No Never Mind"
8. Serena Ryder - "The Game Of Life"
9. Toledo - "Talkin' To The Devil"
10. Solomon Burke - "Dark Streets"

Thursday, November 06, 2008


When award winning writer/producer Frank Fitzpatrick was asked to create a classic hit representing the signature Memphis Soul era for Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac to sing in their upcoming film, he knew exactly what to do. Soul Men director Malcolm D. Lee needed a song that sounded like it could have been the Real Deal's (the film's fictitious band featuring Jackson, Mac and Grammy-winning John Legend) number one song from the height of their career - 1969. In a line up of unforgettable classics like I'm Your Puppet, Memphis Train (Rufus Thomas), Do Your Thing (Isaac Hayes), Soul Dressing (Booker T & the MG's) and I Take What I Want (Sam & Dave), the request might have been a tall order.

But Malcolm loved the song and the filmmakers decided to make Soul Music the title track. Fitzpatrick then brought in six-time Grammy nominated Anthony Hamilton to record the song for the film and for the first single off the soundtrack album on Concord/Stax Records. "I really felt Anthony was the perfect artist to bring that classic feel and still give an original voice to the song. I had wanted to work with Anthony for some time, so this was the perfect opportunity. He is a great artist and a beautiful human being," commented Fitzpatrick. The song was recorded in Memphis to uphold the integrity of the era and the sound of the older Stax classics. Fitzpatrick produced a second version of the song, featuring members of his old band Hidden Faces, for the film's Main Title sequence. The single featuring Hamilton closes the film, accompanying a tribute to Bernie Mac.

The story is not all happy endings, as the film also marks the last performances by entertainment icons Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes, who passed away unexpectedly just one day apart from each other in early August. "We were all shocked to learn of their passing. Isaac had a profound musical influence on me and I have truly fond memories of working with Bernie on prior films -- both were inspiring entertainers and amazing people. I feel honored to have been part of the film and to have had the opportunity to pay homage to the music we all loved and shared," said Fitzpatrick, who joined co-star Samuel L. Jackson and director Malcolm D. Lee, along with many others, to pay tribute to Mac and Hayes at the Apollo Theater, where the film premiered on October 28th.

Soul Men will be released nationwide November 7, 2008 (Dimension Films/MGM). The soundtrack, featuring additional music from Isaac Hayes, Anthony Hamilton, John Legend, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, will be released November 4th (Concord/Stax Records). Other mixes of Soul Music, including an "Old School Mash Up" are available exclusively on iTunes . For more information click to

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Gloria Gaynor, long known as a source of inspiration for her hit single "I Will Survive," has released a Christmas album entitled "Christmas Presence," just in time for the holiday season. The CD includes many traditional holiday songs such as God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, Frosty the Snowman and O Holy Night.

Gaynor has also recorded a touching original song, Christmas Prayer, which is her tribute to American military men and women. "Though it's important to keep our troops in our thoughts and prayers all year long, Christmas is a time when we are able to express that even more," said Gaynor, "and I'm so happy to include Christmas Prayer on my new album."

This coming year, Gaynor is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the release of "I Will Survive." A veteran of the music industry, Gaynor signed her first record contract at the age of nineteen and has been entertaining audiences with her music ever since. In 1973, Gloria made history as Billboard gave birth to the Disco Action Charts and Never Can Say Good-Bye bowed at #1 on the charts and became the first dance song to reach #1 status in dance music. Gloria continued to set the standard when, in March of 2001, her single Just Keep Thinkin' About You topped the Billboard Dance/Club charts at #1, while her international hit Last Night debuted at #1 throughout Europe.

In September 2002, Logic Records/BMG released the highly anticipated U.S. album "I Wish You Love." This was her first worldwide release in 15 years and it delivered four #1 dance singles on Billboard's Dance Charts as well as her first top ten hit, I Never Knew, on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Charts. She also recorded a new live version of I Will Survive in Spanglish, recorded in Brazil.

With many hits and a successful international music career, Gaynor's popularity continues to flourish. In 2001 she was honored at the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo with the coveted "Legend" award presented by long-time fan Prince Albert. In 2005, Gloria, along with her hit song I Will Survive, was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. She made a splash on Broadway in "Smokey Joe's Café," the longest-running musical revue, and has been a guest star on such popular programs as "That '70's Show" and "Ally McBeal," introducing her to a whole new generation of fans.

I Will Survive continues to be a theme of survival, encouragement, and steadfast strength not only for Gaynor, but for several generations of music fans. In addition to releasing her new album, Gaynor keeps busy by lending her support to numerous charities, ranging from the likes of The Rita Hayworth Gala for Alzheimer's to Revlon's Annual Run/Walk for Life.
In January 2009, Gloria will kick off her symphony tour with the Houston Symphony. More details to come.

"Christmas Presence" is available from Koch Records, available in retail stores nationwide, as well as iTunes, Amazon and Gloria Gaynor's personal website:


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