|Aaron Bing (USA) - saxophone |
With a wide range of musical influences that included Grover Washington, Jr., David Sanborn and Walter Afanasieff, Smooth Jazz Artist Aaron Bing's talent began to shine at an early age. By the time he was 15 years old, he was playing professionally and garnering rave reviews for his soulful soprano saxophone sound. Aaron began opening up for established national artists such as The Temptations, Lenny Williams, Gladys Knight, Jeffrey Osborne, Brian McKnight and Rachelle Ferrell - to name a few. His most notable national recognition was his appearance on 'The Late Show' with David Letterman, as part of a Guinness World Record event to challenge the World Record for the longest held musical note. He was able to hold a single note for over 39 minutes and 40 seconds. Since the release of his new CD titled 'Secret Place', Aaron's music is now being heard on over 40 Smooth Jazz Radio and Internet Stations across the country as reported by www.allthatjazz.com. Offering his own brand of Jazz, Aaron's sound will surely please audiences all over the world!!!
|Airblue (Japan) - group|
AirBlue comes from Tokyo was formed by Trinity (keyboards, compose) and Betty (songwriter, singer). They started as a creative partner.
Both born and raised in Tokyo. They were listening to western music from childhood. That is why style of their music is inspired by multiple, unlimited genres. Above all, their music is included the impact of a leader of Techno Band in Japan Yellow Magic Orchestra. Also they are influenced by the great smooth jazz artists (George Duke, Jeff Lorber).
Their sounds have an atmosphere of Tokyo's cutting-edge.
A transparent warm voice in pop melodies, solid rhythm and cord progressions are blended beautifully.
That is the combinations of the precision and delicacy with electronic flavor. Also universal truth and love are expressed in the story of lyrics. In Japan they are very rare type of musician.
Their first album "PROOF" is released In 2009.
After the album release, they appeared in several radio shows and performed with several sessions and activities and live events in Japan.
Now they are recording their next album. Expected to be released in 2012.
|Al DeGregoris (USA) - keyboards |
Smooth Jazz keyboardist and composer Al DeGregoris can conjure up images of Oscar Peterson or Joe Sample with his cool, inventive playing. Al designed, built and operated Star Mix Recording Studios, Ltd., a commercial 48-track recording facility. During that time, Al composed, arranged and produced several Dance and Pop tracks with various vocal artists and wrote several commercial jingles including the score for a Guess Sportswear television commercial. Al performed at some of New York's hottest spots, including The Waldorf Astoria Hotel. In 2001, with guitarist Joe Bivona, Al formed the Smooth Jazz group "Deja Blue" and performed with them at many venues. Al DeGregoris is an American Song Festival Contest Winner, 2-time Billboard Magazine World Song Contest Top 500 winner and a Norwegian Cruise Lines Star Seeker winner. His original compositions meld modern Urban/Hip-Hop/Latin/Brazilian/Afro-Cuban grooves with lush compelling melodies. His newest cd is called "Three Before Midnight" (2008, Shark Music Productions).
Picture by Arnaud Pacary
|Alain Mion & Cortex (France) - group |
ALAIN MION is really a formidable funky jazz pianist. Real showman, gifted with a virtuoso technique, composer, singer, arranger, Alain has performed in radio and TV shows and at prestigious venues all over the world, recording in the USA, in Sweden, in Poland, in Swiss and in France.
CORTEX, which he founded in the seventies, has become cult group for the jazz funk addicts worldwide and many are the US stars of hip-hop who have sampled the compositions by Alain, like Rick Ross in his album « God forgives, I dont » (Gold Record in the USA), MF Doom, Wiz Khalifa etc.
On stage, the band ALAIN MION & CORTEX is the synthesis of the long career ever evolving of Alain, performed by top level european musicians. The group is available worldwide, in 2 different formations: quintet or trio.
|Alan Hewitt (USA) - keyboards |
Multi-platinum pianist/vibist and recording artist Alan Hewitt has made a name for himself as a writer, producer and musician. While studying at the Berklee College of Music, Hewitt cultivated his dream of becoming a composer/producer. Later, his association with artists like Earth, Wind & Fire, Warrant, Jonathan Butler and Donny Osmond, led to solid reputation as a multi-format artist. A regular music writer for Oprah, Hewitt has also contributed scores and songs to a variety of major television shows, networks and motion pictures, such as, Gods & Generals; Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason; The Osbournes; MTV; Survivor; National Lampoon's Van Wilder; ESPN; E!Entertainment, and Swimming Upstream.
|Anthony James Baker (United Kingdom) - guitar |
British born Anthony James Baker has worked with a host of international stars on both sides of the Atlantic - from the chart topping Swiss band "Magic Power" to playing with members of "Tears for Fears" and "Big Country" in the 1980's. Now back in the U.K. having recently returned from Colorado USA, where he performed at many venues, including the 2003 JVC Winter Park Jazz Festival, sharing the stage with Michael McDonald, Norman Brown, Ramsey Lewis and many other Jazz greats. Anthony also appeared at the Genuine Jazz Festival in Breckenridge, and other Jazz Festivals in the USA. His melodic instrumental music is featured on National Radio and T.V. in the USA, and is available for download on many digital sites, such as iTunes, Rhapsody, and Napster. Anthony's debut album features dynamic Saxman, Nelson Rangell on several tracks, notably the groove driven "Salamander" and the rhythmic "Razzbake". Anthony's upcoming CD features some exciting new material produced by friend and Hit producer Darren Rahn.
|Ariel Cubría (Slovenia) - guitar |
Ariel Cubrias songs contain a mixture of each of the music styles through which he has passed along his carier; from jazz, pop and rock to bolero and the music of his country, Cuba. In 1998 he sattled in Madrid and worked as a guitarist in recordings and tours with various artists like Gloria Gaynor, Marta Sanchez, Snowy White (Pink Floyd), Gema Corredera, Betty Missiego, Olga Guillot, Nuno Dacamara Pereira, Rita Irasema, Inma Serrano among others. With his band, that plays Latin Smoothjazz, he travelled a great part of spanish territory, sharing the stage with major artists.He has also performed in several cities around the world as: New York, London, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Oporto, Madrid, Barcelona, Nice, Ljubljana, Havana etc ... In 2007 he moved to Buenos Aires, where he worked primarily as a session musician for various recording projects and he also made his first solo album LO QUE VALE DE TI, with special collaborations such as the american pianist and composer Bob Telson (nominated for an Oscar for music of the film Bagdad Café). Has also made music for Radio and TV advertising. Since January 2011 he lives in Ljubljana.
|Attila Molnar (USA) - keyboards |
Since Attila Molnar's move from Budapest to Washington DC, the stature of this Hungarian born keyboardist, writer and producer has continued to rise. As an outstanding solo performer and acclaimed composer, Attila Molnar's talent is something special. Sometimes soulful, often funky but invariably jazzy, his music has been compared to the likes of Shakatak and Joe Sample, while he has been described as possessing an elegant exuberance, with an echo of the past and a glimpse into the future. Smooth jazz journalist Denis Poole commented that Molnar is an accomplished writer and producer whose distinctive style of smooth jazz is replete with intoxicating rhythms and gorgeous melodies. Attila has shared the stage with Jaared, Slim Man, Tim Bowman, U-Nam, Randy Scott and Marion Meadows, but it is as a solo artist that he is really garnering critical acclaim. In February 2010 Attila performed his own show to an enthusiastic audience at the Dubai International Jazz Festival.
Attila's debut CD 'Dreams' was released in 2009 and he is currently working on a new album which has a more overtly 'smooth jazz' vibe. Featuring several guest artists, and original Molnar compositions, the album perfectly showcases the unique talents of Attila Molnar.
|B.D. Lenz (USA) - guitar|
The New York Times says, "...Part of the reason for his accessibility is that he not only fuses jazz and rock, he complements it with warm chords of funk, soul, and rhythm and blues." Signed to New York Jazz label Apria Records, guitarist B.D. Lenz has released 7 CDs of his original contemporary jazz featuring such greats as Randy Brecker, Will Lee, Mark Egan, and Joel Rosenblatt among others. He has played guitar since his early teens and has studied with such masters as Mike Stern, Vic Juris, and Charlie Banacos. Lenz's music has also been licensed to over 100 television shows internationally on such networks as MTV, VH1, USA, A&E, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Travel Channel, Food Network, Spike TV, etc., while his high-energy ensemble can be seen performing throughout the U.S. and Europe. "While doing a live album, with such a diverse repertoire, poses risk, Lenz rises to the occasion, releasing an entertaining and engaging album that is sure to be included on this year's 'Best of' lists for jazz guitar." - Guitar International. "...Lenz's music portrays his deep attachment to groove and rhythm as well as an uncanny ability to craft interesting and memorable melodies..." - AllAboutJazz.com
|Bickley Rivera (USA) - steelpan |
Chilled out fresh jazzy steelpan and sexy interludes with soothing vocals and accents of saxophone, flute and guitar are flavors of Bickley Riveras Nujazz music. Her music has said to cross the genre borders of historical island to smooth jazz, chill, electronic, ambient and lounge music. Performing in a number of pop and tropical bands as keyboardist and singer, she transitioned to Tenor Steel Pan to develop a new-style of music called TropJazz. She has released 8 CDs under various musical groups, but all related to World & Caribbean influences. Recently she crossed over with her new TropJazz-style to release album Chillin After Five with Levelblu Records. The album combines efforts of international-recording artists Praful, Ed Calle, Magrus Borges and others around the globe.
Bickleys music is noted as ground-breaking and something no other steelpan musician is doing as well as magnetic magic. Her Chillin After Five album is airing and selling in over 50 countries worldwide. She will be touring for the album in the fall.
|Bob Baldwin (USA) - keyboards |
On the first cd's of Bob Baldwin, "Rejoice" (1990) and "Reflections of Love" (1992) featured Grover Washington Jr., Marion Meadows, Will Downing, and the late Noel Pointer. As a result of his success, Bob Baldwin performed nationwide in the USA and in Europe with vocalist Will Downing. "Cool Breeze" (1997) was his next cd. In 2000 he independently produced his cd "Bobbaldwin.com", his best sold CD to date. Bob Baldwin released several more cd's after that.
Since 2000, Baldwin has been developing the New Urban Jazz Radio Format, which is at it's very early stages. NUJ fuses Urban Music with Contemporary Jazz in a way that only Baldwin can mix it up. It is the future of Contemporary Jazz.
If he has it his way, Bob Baldwin will have his hands full with making, performing and sharing great music for years to come.
Picture by Henri Summereaux
|Bob James (USA) - keyboards |
His career spans five decades, in which Bob James has produced 30 solo albums and collaborations resulting in 15 Grammy nominations plus innumerable awards, most recently with the George Benson Lifetime Achievement Award in April of 2006.
He has recorded for CTI, CBS, his own Tappan Zee Label and Warner Bros. One On One ( with Earl Klugh) and Double Vision (with David Sanborn) won Grammy Awards selling over one million copies each. James composed the theme song for the series Taxi and all original music for the shows entire run. James has also composed for Broadway, most recently Jack OBriens Impressionism.
His popularity with the industrys top rappers (Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Guru, Consequence and Busta Rhymes) is just another example of James range. Fourplay, which Bob began in 1991, has recorded 11 albums, sold millions of CDs and toured the world. Recent solo titles from James: Take It From the Top (2004), Urban Flamingo, (2006) and Angels of Shanghai, featuring five young musicians from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (2007) (all Koch Records).
European bookings Basitours | Tour Booking Agency
contact: Peter Basler
Tappan Zee Records
contact: Marion Orr
Picture by Tom Berry
|Bobby Adams (USA) - guitar|
Smooth Jazz Guitarist Bobby Adams is no stranger to the musical world. Coming from over 22 years of touring with legendary punk icons 7 SECONDS, Adams has finally given in to his love of Smooth Jazz. Reno News & Review describes his music as instrumental R&B, trance-laced, prescription strength Smooth Jazz. The UKs Smooth Groovers Review says; We cant get enough of this beaconing sound. It's just like a special star winking at us across the desert skies. In April 2008, Bobbys title track Desert Trippin began airing on The Weather Channels Local On The 8s. Bobby Adams also made his live Smooth Jazz Debut at Smooth Jazz 92.1 KJZS. 92.1 also added the track Sandy Valley to its playlist also in April. The Source: Smooth Jazz and More Internet Radio has Bobby Adams in regular rotation and Smoothjazzbeachradio.com has selected Bobby as their Artist Of The Month.
|Brian Bromberg (USA) - bass |
Bassist, composer, and producer Brian Bromberg: From acoustic bass to electric bass, Piccolo bass to synthesizer bass, Brian brings the art of bass playing to a new level where the bass moves beyond simply being a rhythm instrument and brings it up front to be the lead voice. Brian has toured and performed throughout the world with many of the greatest jazz musicians of our time. He has also released some of the most critically acclaimed instrumental albums in contemporary jazz. Brian's last CD "Downright Upright" was nominated for a Grammy in 2008!
|Brian Culbertson (USA) - keyboards |
Acclaimed producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist, Brian Culbertson released his tenth album, Bringing Back The Funk, on GRP Records on April 29. The album debuted at #1 on Billboards Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and broke into the Top 100 on Billboards Top 200 Albums chart. Furthermore, the first single from the album, "Always Remember", quickly climbed to the top of the radio charts. Colorfully revealed on the CD cover, Brian has been immersing himself in studies of The Funk from a very young age (hes shown as a toddler grooving to an Earth Wind & Fire LP with headphones on the cover of Bringing Back the Funk for direct connection to the soul). His milestone tenth project, Bringing Back The Funk, which pays homage to the classic, yet timeless funk music genre was executive produced by living legend, Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire. The album boasts an all-star ensemble of musicians including, William "Bootsy" Collins, Musiq Soulchild, Ledisi, Larry Graham, Gerald Albright, Phelps "Catfish" Collins, Larry Dunn, Sheldon Reynolds, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Greg Adams, Tony Maiden, Bobby Watson, Michael Bland, Cora Dunham, Rhonda Smith, Ray Parker Jr., David T. Walker, Ronnie Laws, Tom Scott, Paul Jackson Jr., Perri, and many more. (August 2008)
|Brian Hughes (USA) - guitar |
Brian Hughes has carved out an impressive career in the contemporary jazz arena. His first two albums, Between Dusk and Dreaming and Under One Sky, firmly established him as one of the foremost guitarists and composers in the genre, perfectly blending his fluid and emotive guitar style into an exciting, melodic mix of Latin, Jazz and World Music compositions. After being picked as a winner in JAZZIZ Magazine's "Guitars On Fire" competition his subsequent recordings Straight To You, One 2 One, Shakin not Stirred, Along the Way and "LIVE" have received critical acclaim and major radio air play from coast to coast. With his new concert DVD release "No Reservations", Brian's sizzling fret work and infectious compositions are front & center. Brian has received the SOCAN/BMI "Jazz & Instrumental Composer of the Year" Award seven times from 1997 to 2008 and the title track from "Shakin' Not Stirred" was featured on an episode of HBO's "Sex and the City". Brian is well known for his twenty year parallel career performing and recording with world renowned vocalist Loreena McKennitt. His skills as a musician (guitars, oud, bouzouki) and his production talents are evident on her Grammy nominated recording "An Ancient Muse", the concert DVD "Nights From The Alhambra", filmed in Granada, Spain and her past seven multi-platinum recordings.
Picture by Daniel Ray
|Brian Simpson (USA) - keyboards |
Brian Simpson is a longtime studio musician, musical director, and touring keyboardist. His breakthrough as a solo artist with his Rendezvous Entertainment debut It's All Good was the genre's major story of 2006. Focusing once again on compelling acoustic piano melodies, bright jazz improvisations and spirited funk grooves, Simpson keeps the extraordinary momentum hopping and, true to the moniker he chose for the new album, soaring, with Above The Clouds. After graduating with a BA in music he moved to Los Angeles, quickly immersing himself in the local jazz scene. Soon he jammed with future stars like Everette Harp, Boney James, and Norman Brown. His story takes an interesting twist shortly there after by temporaring leaving the jazz scene and starting touring the world with pop divas Teena Marie, Sheena Easton, and Janet Jackson. But Brian has toured with some of the jazz greats like George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Larry Carlton, George Howard, Billy Cobham, and Gerald Albright. He has been the musical director for Dave Koz for the past 10 years, and most recently, musical director for the "Dave Koz and Friends Cruise" as well as the "Smooth Jazz Cruise" hosted by Wayman Tisdale.
Picture by G. Richter
|Bruno Müller (Germany) - guitar|
Bruno Müller is one of the hardest working Guitarplayers in the Jazz- and Soul/Funk/Fusion-style in Germany. Born 1969 in Cologne he picked up the guitar at the age of 13, starting with the akkustik, singing Paul Simon- and Beatles-songs with his schoolmates. Little later, through his cousin, he was introduced to the music of The Crusaders, George Benson, George Duke, Level 42 and Mezzoforte, a few of his main influences. So Bruno decided to play guitar for a living and studied jazz-guitar at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, took lessons with Peter OMara, Scott Henderson and Peter Bernstein. But beside going to school, he was always on the road playing in local soul-coverbands and later on, goin on tour with artists like Gloria Gaynor, Jennifer Rush, Weather Girls and Udo Jürgens. In 2001 he also played in the band of the german late night TV show TV-Total. With his Jazzquartett Café du Sport he won the Hennessy-Jazz-Award, followed by a lot of work with Jazz-Greats like Till Brönner, Joe Sample, Charlie Mariano, Jeff Cascaro, Wolfgang Haffner and many others. 2006 Wolfgang Haffner recommended Bruno for the vacant guitarposition of the legandary icelandic fusionband Mezzoforte and because he fits perfectly, Bruno was a fixed member of that band since then until Fridrik Karlssons return in 2014. Now Bruno is concentrating on his own Bandproject. He released his first Soloalbum Inner Back Home in March 2016. More Credits: Thomas Quasthoff, Don Grusin, Billy Cobham, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Jimmy Haslip, Butterscotch, Frank McComb, Gregory Porter, Magnus Lindgren, Nils Landgren, Sarah Connor, Blank & Jones........
|Carol Duboc (USA) - vocals |
Hailed as "...one of the most interesting and dynamic jazz singers of her generation."- Jazz Times Magazine - platinum selling singer / songwriter Carol Duboc's new release, Burt Bacharach Songbook featuring three time Grammy nominee Hubert Laws on the Flute is a tribute to Bacharach who is from Dubocs hometown of Kansas City. As a writer, arranger, and vocalist, Duboc has sold over three million records and has worked with Patti Labelle, Tom Jones and Jeff Lorber among many others. Her writing and arranging success includes; "This Word is All" on Patti LaBelle's Gems CD, which was certified Gold, "Precious", on Chante Moore's Precious CD which was certified Gold, the hit single "Never Do You Wrong" for Stephanie Mills, and the song "That Boy" on Jade's Jade To The Max CD which was certified platinum. Burt Bacharach Songbook is Carol's fifth release following her four critically acclaimed albums beginning in 2001, and her big screen debut as "Pumpkin" in Be Cool in 2005, which starred John Travolta and Uma Thurman. Don Heckman (LA Times) declared "Duboc's singing has the strength and originality to quickly move her into the top level of jazz vocalists regardless of genre," and his prediction is proving to be correct.
Picture by Bettie Grace Miner
|Chieli Minucci & Special EFX (USA) - guitar |
Chieli Minucci is the leader of the Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz group Special EFX, which formed in 1982. Minucci & Special EFX have recorded a combined 23 CDs, 6 of those being solo releases. In addition Minucci has recorded and performed with Marion Meadows, Jay Beckenstein, Gerald Veasley, Lao Tizer, Nestor Torez, Bob Baldwin, and many others.
Also known as a composer for television and film, Minucci worked for programs such as Good Morning America (theme), Bloomberg Radio (theme), Access Hollywood, The 700 Club, and contributed music to the soundtracks of Bowfinger (1999), Panic (2000) and most recently to Lifted (2007). Minucci composed and produced music for the Live Nation/Nickelodeon live stage productions of Dora the Explorer and the long-running British children's television show, Thomas & Friends Live!
Chieli's comment on SmoothJazz.eu: "Many American artists have been patiently awaiting the day that Europe would finally start to embrace the 'smooth' style of jazz, which ironically, is not smooth at all in a live concert setting!"
|Chris Beckers (Netherlands, The) - guitar|
Dutch guitarist Chris Beckers started composing and producing his own music in 1980. His third solo album Nightmoves (1983) was a breakthrough for Beckers music in Europe and Japan, released on his own CrisCrazz label (GAS/Benelux), on Polydor KK (Japan) and on Steinar Records (UK). Living in Germany and owning his own studio, Chris started production work for other artists as well. During the 80s and 90s the guitarist released a couple of solo albums featuring a.o. Billy Cobham, Peter Erskine, Ernie Watts, Abraham Laboriel, Paulinho Da Costa, Dick Morrissey, Alex Acuna, Gerry Brown, Michiel Borstlap & Nippy Noya. Back to his roots, Chris built the Beau Garage studio in Amsterdam which is gateway for all his musical activities. Seven Frames Of Mind, with Jimmy Haslip, Simon Phillips, Jasper vant Hof and Eric Vloeimans, is the title of his new (11th) solo cd.
Picture by Jordan Marking
|Chris Godber (USA) - saxophone |
Chris Godber has been a saxophonist from the beginning. He started playing at the age of 12 and began writing his own songs about the time he finished high school. Chris spent some time overseas as a child while his dad was in the Air Force. While in Germany, he spent much of his time in the house listening to music, and it became a central part of his life. At the time, it was Kenny G's mastery of the soprano sax that captivated his interest, and upon his return to the States, Chris took up the alto sax as he entered middle school. He had asthma, however, and doctors warned him that he should not take up the sax because it could further affect his respiratory condition. He fought through it, though, and rather than aggravating his asthma, the extra effort helped strengthen his lungs. Now Chris captivates audiences all over sharing his unique smooth jazz sound and testimony of Gods grace. Hes been performing throughout the USA for the past 5 years and just released his third album, One Breath at a Time and its getting some well deserved attention. His fans are labeling him as very Boney James / Kenny G-like but with a message of hope and inspiration.
Picture by Alain Rolland
|Chris Standring (USA) - guitar |
British born guitarist Chris Standring's latest cd is called "Love & Paragraphs", sensual chill, ambient soul and retro-groove driven set of infectious pop jazz fashioned around his trademark hip-swaying guitar. Besides his musical partner, keyboardist Rodney Lee, on it there are also performances by Jeff Lorber and Everette Harp. Chris has also worked with Jody Watley, Gregg Karukas, Marc Antoine and Shilts. Chris Standring likes to start from scratch each time out and let the vibe of the project emerge spontaneously from the writing process. His 1998 debut as a solo artist with cd Velvet came at a time when Standring was into the ambient European phenomenon known as the "chill out movement". Chris Standring is also busy on an educational level: finding exciting ways to give young musicians some of his experience.
Picture by John Secoges
|Chuck Loeb (USA) - guitar |
Jazz guitar player, composer, arranger and producer Chuck Loeb has a career that spans four decades. Starting at the age of 11, self taught Loeb was exposed to jazz and he decided that he would need to study music formally. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1976. Chuck Loeb became a sideman with Chico Hamilton, Ray Barreto, Hubert Laws and various others. From 1979 being a member of Stan Getz's group, and the composer of much of the band's repertoire, he had the chance to tour the globe and perform at many jazz festivals, clubs and concert halls. After leaving the Getz ensemble, Loeb began a career as a studio musician, recording, composing and producing albums, soundtracks, television show themes and jingles. In 1985, Loeb joined the group Steps Ahead with Michael Brecker, Michael Mainieri, Peter Erskine and Victor Bailey, returning to the festivals and stages of the jazz world. From 1988, he started to record solo albums. After four releases on DMP, Loeb left to sign with the jazz label Shanachie. Concurrent with his solo career, Loeb also recorded with jazz combo Metro (Mitch Forman, Wolfgang Haffner Anthony Jackson, Victor Bailey and Mel Brown) and played with the Fantasy Band (John Lee, Lionel Cordew and others). After nine years and seven solo albums, Loeb left Shanachie and joined Heads Up with his 2006 release Presence. About that album Loeb said, "It never ceases to amaze me how, as soon as you put the live musicians into the equation, its their presence that brings the thing to life."
|Cindy Bradley (USA) - trumpet |
Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Cindy enjoyed a varied career in music starting from a very young age. Although her first instrument of choice was the piano, she made the fateful choice to pick up the trumpet in her 4th grade band program. She earned a bachelors degree in jazz studies from Ithaca College, and a masters degree in jazz trumpet performance from the New England Conservatory. After earning her degrees she immediately moved to the New York City area to begin to cut her musical teeth, playing and performing with her own unique sound. As a sideman Cindy has toured and recorded extensively with various funk, top 40, R&B, jazz-fusion,and straight ahead jazz groups performing everywhere from Emmy Awards parties to the Superbowl. Now the newest addition to the Trippin' N' Rhythm family, Cindy's label debut, entitled "Bloom," draws upon all aspects of her musicianship. The tracks boast of some of the Industry's funkiest and most gifted sidemen and soloists and was produced by Grammy awared winning producer Michael Broening. Says Trippin's VP Jeff Lunt "Cindy's openness, honesty and the sheer volume of talent that she brings to the table is absolutely infectious and refreshing and should do well to launch her into the smooth jazz stratosphere.". Not just another pretty face...this girl is for real!
Picture by Christoph Schnyder
|Close To Mars (Switzerland) - group |
Close To Mars started their collaboration in 2002 by collecting and assorting their musical ideas. The result was a mixture of house, world music, lounge, jazz, funk and crossover called urban beats. The spontaneous interaction and the wide musical background of these four excellent musicians seduces them to spice the music with some classical and jazzy elements. The music is not about one soloist but the collective understanding of composition and sounds. The CD "Get Closer" was released in september 2008 and shows the exciting variety of Martian sounds.
Line up: Dave Feusi - saxes; Felix Utzinger - guitar; Roland Köppel - hammond b3 organ, synth; Andy Schnyder - drums, samples
Picture by Stefanie Linnesch
|Club des Belugas (Germany) - group |
Club des Belugas is one of the leading Nujazz projects in Germany, perhaps in Europe. They combine contemporary European Lounge & Nujazz Styles with Brazilian Beats, Swing and American Black Soul of the fifties, sixties and seventies using their unique creativity and intensity. Club des Belugas started their career in 2002 with their first album "Caviar at 3 a.m." In 2003 they released their 2nd album "Minority Tunes", which included the German Club Charts no.1 hits "Hip hip chin chin" and "Gadda Rio". In 2006 Club des Belugas enriched the world of music with a real masterpiece called "apricoo soul". The included Club des Belugas Remix of Dean Martin´s "Mambo Italiano" is the first worldwide legal remix of any Dean Martin track, authorized by Capitol/EMI and the Dean Martin Family themselves. Tracks from Club des Belugas have been licensed for a lot of advertisement and TV commercials.
Since 2005 Brenda Boykin is the main singer and co-writer of tracks of Club des Belugas. She has performed on many famous jazz festivals like the Monterey Jazz Festivals and the Montreux Jazz Festival (award for best vocalist in 2005). In october 2008 she released the album "Chocolate & Chili" on ChinChin Records, which is her 1st solo album produced in Europe and her 18th solo album in total.
Picture by Colleen Sharmat
|Craig Sharmat (USA) - guitar |
Guitarist, composer and producer Craig Sharmat has had a varied career in music going back 3 decades. He early on toured with Ronnie Laws and Randy Crawford. He eventually went on to composing for TV and Films which he still does, but has recently returned to his roots, which is being a smooth jazz guitarist. He has worked on Rick Braun's Truly Yours album and Peter White's "Christmas" album featuring Rick Braun and Mindi Abair. He has played/composed/ on thousands of TV, move, jingle and game pieces. His debut album titled "So Cal Drivin", which Rick Braun helped over see, features cameos by Mike White, Greg Mathieson, Andy Suzuki and Philippe Saisse among many others. The single from the album "So Cal Drivin" reached top 40 status on the SJ RnR Smooth Jazz charts and was still moving up as of this writing. Craig brings a rich orchestral background in addition to his original smooth jazz guitar stylings.
|Cynthia Layne (USA) - vocals |
Midwesterner Cynthia Layne has loved live music since the moment she attended her first concert at the tender age of seven. Since then, live music has become a regular part of her life with both the general public and media impressed by her performances. Layne has her own following in Indianapolis, where she has made her home for many years after growing up in Dayton, Ohio. Now she is poised for national attention with the release of Beautiful Soul, an album showcasing her vocal stylings in both the R&B and jazz arenas. Her previous album, Reality, was a jazz-flavored set. Both records are on "Indy-based" Owl Studios. The independent, artist-friendly label discovered Cynthia through her mentor/producer/fellow musician and friend Rob Dixon. Both have performed together regularly over the years and continue to do so in Indianapolis. Beautiful Soul was co-produced and co-composed by Dixon, a respected musician born in Baltimore and raised in Atlanta. He has toured all over the world. Layne's band members include Dixon on saxophone, Beautiful Soul co-producer/co-composer Reggie Bishop on piano, keyboards/keyboard bass along with Kenny Phelps on drums. Both Bishop and Phelps are Indianapolis-born. Beautiful Soul is more R&B-influenced than her previous release Reality. "I listen to a lot of music styles and grew up on R&B music," said Cynthia. "I wanted to do an R&B album to reach more audiences and listeners. I think there is a little something for everyone on the album. For example, "All I Need" has a more singer/songwriter vibe; "I Can't Change You" is more jazz; "Be You" is more neo-soulish and "Free Yourself" is plain old school funk."
|Dan Siegel (USA) - keyboards |
A highly respected pianist and composer, Dan Siegel has 19 solo albums, and hundreds of other producing, composing and performing credits in his extensive recording career. Dan holds degrees in Music Composition and Jazz Studies, and studied piano with the legendary Madam Chaloff. He has traveled and performed around the world in support of his numerous Top 10 recordings, and maintains a global audience. Over the years, Dan's albums have provided an abundance of diverse material, from the electronic oriented Another Time, Another Place, to the exotic world music compilation Hemispheres, which features an ensemble of eclectic musicians playing in unique and unlikely combinations. Siegel's work as a TV and film composer includes the score for the cult film, Reform School Girls, and Universal Studios dramatic TV series, Hard Copy. He has worked as musical director/conductor on the late night CBS TV show, Overtime with Pat O'Brien and played on numerous TV and film projects including the Oscar winning film, The Usual Suspects. Siegel has recorded and performed with a variety of artists including, Glenn Frey (The Eagles), Chaka Khan, Berlin, Philip Bailey (Earth Wind & Fire), Kenny Rankin, Hugh Masekela, Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock and the London Symphony Orchestra. Dan lives in Southern California and divides his time between performing, composing and teaching.
|Daniel Chia (USA) - saxophone |
Soulful, funky, and energetic, saxophonist Daniel Chia serves up his signature brand of Disco Jazz as the hottest fresh act on the scene.
After getting in the studio with 2-time Grammy Award winning producer and guitarist, Paul Brown, Daniel's debut full-length album of original songs features the finest international smooth jazz artists. With his top-notch band of established musicians based in Los Angeles, "In The Moment" will take the listener on an unprecedented sonic adventure. than 24 hours.
As Yamaha saxophone and Silverstein ligature artist, Daniel is no stranger to delivering his brand of music to the world, thrilling audiences at the MIDEM Festival in France and the Sunburst International Festival in Malaysia. He has also performed at ZoukOut, Music Matters Festival, Mosaic Music Festival, Audi Fashion Festival and Earth Hour, amongst many others.
Prepare for some uncontrollable foot-tapping, body-grooving, and soul-rocking - Daniel has made it his mission to make every show an unforgettable experience for his audience.
|Daniel Domenge (France) - guitar |
Daniel has been a professional musician for approximately 20 years. He has played on stage in France (Languedoc-Roussillon) with a lot of bands in differents kinds of music and has recorded jingles for national and local radio stations as well as writing the arrangements for them. Three years ago he decided to work on his first release "Patchwork" in his home studio. When he had written the lyrics and finished the arrangements he began to word seriously with his engineer friend, Reynald Evrard from his studio. He called other musician friends to record the keyboards and drums. Emmanuel Beer (Organik Trio) played Fender Rhodes piano and Hammond B3 organ, Thierry Gautier (Thierry Gautier Trio) played organ solo on the "Influences" track and Bruno Monard features on drum programming loops. Afterwards they recorded definitive guitars. For this album Daniel wanted to mix old sounds like Rhodes piano, Hammond keyboards and "wha-wha guitars" with some contemporary current sounds, sometimes he used voices on the melody. He was delighted to collaborate with Reynald Evrard, his input was very important for Daniel. His new album is recorded, mixed and mastered by Reynald and produced by Daniel. He is looking forward to working together with Reynald for the next project as well. Daniels' influence - he listened to a lot of jazz guitarists like Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Jimmy Bruno and many others and of course, George Benson. He is also inspired by Chuck Loeb, Robben Ford, Paul Jackson Jr. and Steve Laury.
Picture by Fernanda Forcaia
|Daniel Martina (Argentina) - guitar|
Smooth latin jazz guitarist, composer and producer from Rosario (Argentina). Influenced from names like W.Montgomery, P.Metheny, P.Martino, G.Benson, C.Loeb, E.Klugh, L.Carlton, L.Almeida, R.Ford, M.Davis, J.Hall , Grover Washington Jr., I.Lins, O.Alemán, L.Salinas. He begins studying music theory and Argentinian folk guitar lessons with a local teacher when he was nine. Then he studied at the Nacional University of Rosario and with Santiago G. Castelli, teacher of harmony and jazz improvisation. Furthermore, hes self-taught himself with the Berklee College of Music method and followed several workshops held by the G.I.T. He´s also taken part in clinics held by Pat Metheny, Chuck Wayne, George Benson, Scott Henderson, Joe Diorio, Jim Hall and Robben Ford. Daniel became a sideman with many Argentinian artists like "Gato" Barbieri among others. His recordings "Propinas", "Tute" and "Pichincha Latin Jazz" are available at CDBaby.com. His new work "Luna rosarina", next to releasing, joins great top musicians guest like Jeff Lorber, Jota Morelli (Al Jarreau´s drummer) and Lewis Pragasam (Bob James Asian band drummer)
|Dave Erickson (USA) - guitar |
Dave Erickson is a Jazz Guitarist and Composer from Denver, CO, USA. Dave began playing guitar at age 12 when his passion for music and guitar exploded. By age 15, Dave was performing professionally at local venues in the Denver metro area. Throughout his musical career, Daves passion and ability have spanned many genres of music, including a performance with the legendary Bo Diddley. However, Dave has mainly gravitated towards his love of jazz in his career with diverse influences (including jazz guitar greats Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour and Larry Carlton). Dave has developed his own style, blending his many musical influences into a unique guitar style, and highly original and melodic instrumental songs.
Today, Dave has returned to his musical roots and is writing and performing new music again as the Dave Erickson Project (DEP). His new contemporary jazz CD, Pinnacle, is a collection of all original music recently written by Dave. The new CD, inspired by the majestic Colorado mountains, is currently available through CD Baby and can be heard on various jazz internet radio stations around the world.
|Dave Koz (USA) - saxophone |
In a career spanning nearly two decades, saxophonist Dave Koz with musical luminaries as Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Kenny Loggins, U2, Michael McDonald, Luther Vandross, and Rod Stewart. Dave Koz initially picked up the saxophone to gain entry into his big brother's band. Years later, he decided to become a professional musician. Within weeks of that decision, he was recruited as a touring member of Bobby Caldwell's band. It was during this time that Koz befriended keyboardist Jeff Lorber, who invited Koz to come play on one of his tours. Dave Koz released his debut album Dave Koz in 1990. This was followed by eight other cd's.
Besides being a musician, Dave serves as a radio personality in two different outlets: on weekdays, as the host of an afternoon radio show that airs in 20 markets across the nation, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore, San Francisco and Denver; and on weekends, as the host of the syndicated Dave Koz Radio Show, now in its eleventh year, in over 120 markets.
Dave Koz is constantly touring, summer and winter, on land and by sea, with a summer tour, holiday (Christmas) tour, and as the host of the Dave Koz Cruise via the Holland America Cruise Line.
With a triumphant career as an artist and radio personality, his independent record company, and the well-earned respect of the recording industry, Dave Koz's artistry, commitment and influence continue to grow.
|Dave Panico (USA) - saxophone |
With emotional power and musical passion to spare, multi-talented saxophonist, flautist and composer Dave Panico-renowned by his thousands of fans as "The Soaring Saxman" breaks ground on a promising solo career, committing the contagious energy of his live performances to disc for the first time with a dynamic collection whose title says it all: Joy Rid'N. A smooth jazz, funk sound flavored with spices of life. Dave Panico, with saxophone in hand, will move you with a delectable combination of vibrations, tight rhythms and irresistible melodies. Once the first note is played, there is no denying the energy that permeates the room. Taking your senses to a new realm, Dave's distinctive music takes hold and truly reaches down to the very core of your soul. Having received Instrumental Artist of the Year Award at the 2007 Kansas City Christian Music Awards, Dave Panico is making a "sound" for himself. CCM magazine recognized the talents of Dave Panico and asked for his expertise with a unique article having him iterate about particular brand instruments that allow his sound to come out "smoothly". Dave Panico's music is rooted firmly in his faith, But while the tracks on the album convey his spiritual side, this never gets in the way of the high energy vibe that characterizes his playing. Consequently, Joy Rid'N is a recording that should appeal to both sacred and secular audiences alike.
Picture by Martin Holt
|Dave Plotel (United Kingdom) - guitar |
Dave grew up with Jazz but started his career in his teens backing American Soul artists Ben E King, Arthur Conley, Percy Sledge, The Platters, Jimmy Helms etc on tour in the UK and Europe. Later as guitarist with The Real Thing during the time of their hit You To Me Are Everything, he schlepped up and down motorways in the time-honoured fashion. Hes worked as a session player including a solo with Stevie Wonder on Charlenes single 'Used to Be', and played on Josie James' album Candles, backing her at her London appearance at the Jazz Café. (Josie is vocalist with Burt Bacharach.) Always inspired by the Jazz greats as well as creative and innovative musicians such as Donald Fagen and Pat Metheny through the years he's more recently been writing and recording in his own studio.
His CD Red Hat, originally released in Australia in 2006, is still doing well. He pleased to say that at last his long awaited 2nd
Album 'Love is on' is also out now, and both are available at CDbaby, Itunes, Spotify etc.
|David P. Stevens (USA) - guitar |
David Stevens began playing the guitar at age 12 and quickly began writing, recording, and playing professionally. In Tennessee he became the guitarist in the house band for the Trinity Broadcasting Network. In 2005, he recorded his first jazz album entitled Timeless, featuring several renowned Philadelphia musicians. After Timeless, David began recording his new album The Shedd. Accompanying him are Steve Cole, Gerald Veasley, among others. David about the album: "I wanted to create an album in the tradition of the Philadelphia jam session, focusing mainly on live musicians." David is influenced by Darryl Johnson (D-For), Fred Cooper (Boyz 2 Men), George Benson, Earl Klugh, Dwight Sills, Larry Carlton, and Norman Brown. David states, "If I could change anything about music, it would be to bring back real musicians and change the tide from instant microwave hits to actual thoughtful individual expression." David Stevens is a 'must see' performer. His season as a musician coupled with his electrifying stage presence will please any contemporary jazz loving audience for any event.
|Deborah J. Carter (Netherlands, The) - vocals |
Deborah J. Carter, cited by All About Jazz as "the epitome of a world-class jazz singer - a songstress who deserves a wider audience", is based in Europe. This vocalist/arranger, born in Texas and raised in Hawaii and Japan, travels extensively, performing in jazz festivals, theaters, seminars, etc. throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, accompanied by her trio. This Berklee-trained musician tours, sharing her expertise with young musicians through master classes and workshops (many of which are sponsored by American embassies) in such places as Taiwan, Algeria, Burma, Azerbaijan, Sarajevo, Albania, Spain, Kazakhstan, etc.
She performs regularly with orchestras and bigbands, including the Metropole Orchestra (NL), the Hessische Rundfunk Bigband (G) and many others. Deborah's 2008 release, "Blue Notes and Red Shoes", was recorded with her long-standing trio together with internationally renowned guest artists and is a prime example of her favourite genre 'metropolitan jazz'. Other CD's: 'Scuse Me... (1998), is a flavorful combination of jazz, latin, blues, and gospel and was psesented at the 1998 North Sea Jazz Festival. 'Round Moonlight (2002) is a hommage to the moon and nocturnal life. Girl-Talking! (2004), is a dynamic live performance in The Hague. Daytripper (2006), features fresh, original versions of Beatles' material.
|Delton Walker (USA) - saxophone |
If Delton "D" Walker seems right at home blowing sax for the audience, it's because he is. "D" feeds off of the crowd's energy, and gives back a passionate piece from his soul. At only nine years of age, "D" started playing drums, and then soon added piano, trumpet, and guitar. He picked up the sax while stationed in Germany. After returning to his native New York he has worked on commercials for Remy Martin, Newport, and American Express. This versatile musician can also be spotted in various movies or TV shows, like Law & Order. His debut album, "Just Let Me Loose" has captured airplay at some of the hottest radio shows across the USA. Delton was recently voted the #1 artist on the Smooth Atlanta (www.SmoothAtlanta.com) station; an impressive feat for an independent musician. Over the past few years, "D" played artists with such as: Marion Meadows, Mr. Wiley Dupont, Tony Hayes, Jam Port Authority band, Anthony Dixon, and the late sax legend, Nate Wiley.
|Denny Jiosa (USA) - guitar |
Energetic, vibrant, improvisational, lyrical, masterful...these are just a small sampling of the terms that have been used to describe guitarist Denny Jiosas music by some of the nations most formidable music critics. Denny Jiosa is known for his success in contemporary jazz both as a guitarist and producer! With 6 chart topping contemporary jazz CDs of his own and 4 Grammy nominations for Gospel artist Yolanda Adams and Polka queen Lynn Marie, he is no stranger to diversification. He is compared to guitar greats Wes Montgomery, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Santana!
Picture by Robert Lam
|Douyé (USA) - vocals |
Douyé is a Nigerian born, Los Angeles based singer-songwriter with a pure and sensual, jazzy voice. Influenced by Peggy Lee, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Sade and others, Douyé began singing in church at the age of seven. Soon she started to express her emotions in poetry, which led her to develop as a compelling songwriter. After travelling to Europe, she later immigrated to the United States where she studied at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. After graduating, Douyé continued singing, songwriting and performing at clubs throughout Los Angeles. With producer Terry Shaddick, Douyé worked on her debut album "Journey". The title is a perfect reflection of Douyé's musical and life experiences leading up to her exciting emergence as an independent singer/songwriter. To this day, she complements her music making with deep passions for writing poetry and collecting primitive art.
|Drew Davidsen (USA) - guitar |
Drew Davidsen - six string king... sees his life through his guitar.
From Charm City (Baltimore), voted one of top 10 best new guitar players - Guitar Player Magazine, continuing in the tradition started by Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt, he embodies the fact that the guitar can be a lead voice, even the leader of the band.
On Drews latest album, TRUE DREW, he worked with some of the best producers, musicians and engineers in the industry to present a truly mind-blowing musical feast.
This 5th CD featuring Ron Tyson, Bobby Lyle, Eric Marienthal, Bob Baldwin, Gerald Veasley and more is sure to burn up the airwaves. While Drew Davidsen is the six string king, this album features some killer licks from his 88 string friends, Bobby Lyle, Bob Baldwin, Pat Coil, Alan Blackman and Eric Copeland!
An award winning jazz guitarist, Drew has released 5 chart topping instrumental albums in 6 years. Born in Towson, MD and trained classically on cello at Baltimore's Peabody Institute, Drew Davidsen also served in the US Navy in Desert Storm. A former preschool music teacher, he has a passion for educating the next generation of musicians and regularly gives his time to various cartable causes.
|Drivetime (USA) - group |
Philadelphia has given us some brilliant music over the decades and thistight, contemporary jazz ensemble holds up to Phillys solid reputation withtheir highly anticipated new release, California Dreamin! The album revs upwith what the group calls Urban Organic Jazz
that is funky grooves andjazz-soaked, melodic originals, and delivers exciting new music, ranging fromsmooth to Latin to fusion to Tower of Power-like grooves, and even a splash ofchillout! California Dreamin sparks from cool collaborations between GeneTerramani, Bernie Capodici & Jimmy DellOrefice. Drivetime has been honingtheir craft and evolving into an important voice in the Global Smooth Jazzcommunity with the announcement of personnel changes to the line-up, Gene Terramani(Hotel Eden) on guitar and new energy provided by Mike Ruhl on bass, JJ Zelleron drums and 20-year-old sax sensation Shane Arnold promises to elevate andexcite even the most discriminate Smooth Jazz listener.
|Dwayne Kerr (USA) - flute |
His masterful mix of sounds and grooves is the memorable variable that makes flutist Dwayne Kerr, of the Erykah Badu Band a rising figure in contemporary music today. Playing an instrument that traditionally has been heard more often than seen, Kerr has put the flute up front on display with his unique playing style in his debut CD, Flutation (2003). His latest CD, Higher Calling, is a maturation of an artist that has evolved over several years in both the live setting and in the studio. While touring with Erykah, Dwayne has played in Africa, Italy, Japan, throughout Europe and Scandinavia, on the all-female artists Lilith Fair Tour and television appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, MTV's Real World, The Oprah Show, Live! With Regis and BET Live. While touring and recording with Erykah Badu for the past several years, Dwayne added his sound to recordings including her version of the Chaka Khan hit, "Hollywood" which is on the soundtrack/CD to the Spike Lee movie, Bamboozled, and Erykah's song, "Today". Kerr played on Erykahs latest CD, Worldwide Underground, and her previous CD, Mamas Gun, on Motown Records. Higher Calling features guest appearances by Erykah Badu and Kirk Whalum.
Picture by Dwight Sirls
|Dwight Sirls (USA) - bass |
"I have always had a connection with the past, and an ambition for a view of the future. From beyond our conceived reality, I'm guided in my musical visions. I hope that with each CD, the puzzle of my being will become clear. I am guided to share this, and I hope it will not only be enjoyable, but a conduit for relative visions." An engineer, composer, musician, and producer, Dwight makes a direct tap into his inner-most visions and translates this into his music.
Picture by Sandee O
|Earl Klugh (USA) - guitar |
Grammy®-winning guitarist EARL KLUGHs career of more than three decades includes over 200 compositions, more than 30 full-length albums, hosting and directing his own events, work in film and numerous world tours.
With his latest release, THE SPICE OF LIFE, Klugh follows his Grammy®-nominated Naked Guitar (his 11th nomination)with a statement every bit as compelling. This new, critically-acclaimed Klugh collection touches on the many inspirations of Earls lifetime, playing through with the authority and impact of a greatest-hits album, and at the same time, the fresh discovery of a journeyman still in the prime of his creativity. Klugh reflects, I wanted to create something that would encompass a wide spectrum of directions: solo, standards, originals, electronic, acoustic and orchestral. I wanted to make a recording that would reflect where
I am at this moment in my life, and something I am proud to present to my fans.Klugh has recorded 22 Top Ten charting records four of them #1 on Billboards Jazz Album charts. As a composer and songwriter, Klughs credit appears on recordings by Aretha Franklin, Jamie Foxx, Roberta Flack, Mary J. Blige, Al Jarreau and many others. He has been invited to play as a guest artist by such diverse peers and admirers as Jimmy Buffett, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis and Brenda Russell, and has
recorded legendary collaborative albums with George Benson and Bob James. Klugh currently hosts an annual event featuring world-renowned jazz artists at the award-winning Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, CO (USA). March 2009 marks Klughs 6th annual Weekend of Jazz at The Broadmoor.
|Elan Trotman (USA) - saxophone |
Saxophonist Elan Trotman has emerged as an exhilarating force in the world of contemporary jazz. As a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist, Elan excels in every setting. Elan has been the recipient of the award for Best Jazz Male at the New England Urban Music Awards in both 2008 and 2009. His playing, though inspired by Arturo Tappin, Grover Washington Jr and Kirk Whalum, features his own tone and fresh ideas. Born and raised in Barbados and educated at Berklee in Boston, Elan approaches jazz in his own way. Blending Caribbean rhythms from his roots with skillful horn textures, his playing is full of surprises. Elan states, "I dont want to limit myself to the usual format. I stretch out, take chances, and add an edge to my solos. I enjoy the genre and the concept but I also break some of the rules because that's how I play live, bringing all of my different influences into the music." Both inspiring and impressive, Elan's music is never predictable. Elan has recorded and performed with such notables as Roberta Flack, Brian McKnight, Nathan East, Najee, Don Grusin, Peter Gammons and major league baseball pitcher and guitarist Bronson Arroyo.
|Eric Bolvin (USA) - trumpet |
Eric Bolvin is an award-winning California Composer/Arranger with a schedule that includes playing, writing, teaching, and producing music. As a session player and arranger, Eric has recorded over 50 CDs for A&M Records and Mesa/Blue Moon Records. He has played or recorded with Russell Ferrante, Jeff Lorber, Dennis Chambers and Greg Adams; as a composer and arranger, his works have been performed by Jerry Bergonzi, Ernie Watts, Grant Geissman and many others. Eric's lush, soulful trumpet playing demonstrates why he was charted in 2008-2009 on Smooth Jazz Radio, playing on 85 stations nationwide and his songs and cues are currently carried by some of the industryâs top libraries. Eric Bolvin has released four solo CDs on his EBjazz Records label; Eric Bolvin's Quorum in 2002, The Night, The Rain And You in 2007, The Lost Recordings in 2008 and Workinâ It in 2009. The list of iconic musicians Eric has performed with also include Richie Cole, Dave Weckl, Carl Saunders, Steve Smith, Bobby Shew, Dave Liebman, Dee Daniels, Wayne Bergeron, Tom Scott, Norton Buffalo and many others.
|Eric Darius (USA) - saxophone|
With three critically acclaimed albums under his belt, a Number One hit single and Four Top 10 radio hits on Nielsens R&R/Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts, 27-year-old Blue Note Recording artist, Eric Darius, is a rising star. Prophetically hailed Debut Artist of the Year by Smooth Jazz News in 2004, Eric has shared the stage with innumerable renown artists, such as Prince, Brian McKnight, Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Miller, and George Benson, just to name a few. Erics music innovatively crosses over all music boundaries from Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, to Pop, creating a very distinctive, fresh sound and approach that is uniquely his own.
|Eric Marienthal (USA) - saxophone |
Eric went to Berklee College of Music where he studied with the legendary saxophone professor, Joe Viola. By the time he left Berklee, Eric had achieved the highest proficiency rating given by the school. He has since gone on to perform in over 65 different countries, recorded many solo CD's and has played on hundreds of records, films, television shows and commercial jingles. Eric went on to perform with artists such as Elton John, Barbara Streisand, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Chick Corea, Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, David Benoit, The Rippingtons, Patti Austin, The Yellowjackets, Jeff Lorber and many others. Besides his solo CD's, Eric has also written 3 instructional books as well as 3 instructional videos. Every summer for the past 8 years Eric has put on an annual fundraising concert for High Hopes. High Hopes is a non-profit organization in Orange County, California that works with people who have suffered traumatic head injuries. With the help of many guest artists who have donated their time to perform, these concerts to date have raised well over a half million dollars for this charity.
|Erly Thornton (Netherlands, The) - saxophone |
Saxplayer Erly began writing in 2004 composing many of the songs on his current CD "My Life". Drawing from his past he initially decided to create music using the strong Bass and Drums of the R&B of his youth, creating funky Jazz licks over the top. Erly performed with original Jazz groups like Jerry Wilborn and Limited Access in Knoxville, and in Nashville with AyreTyte, a contemporary Jazz cover band. Erly also performed with R&B artists Phil Perry, Glenn Jones and Howard Hewitt as a member of their show bands during performances in Nashville in the 90's. In Orlando, he became a key member and lead voice of B.One an all original Jazz band that quickly became one of the hottest groups in Central Florida, recording 2 CDs, opening for the Clearwater Jazz Festival, with Mindi Abair, and opening for Spyro Gyra at the House of Blues in Orlando.
Erly has since become a headliner and has released his 2nd CD titled "In Transit" whose title track was featured in Billboard Jazz top 30 for many weeks. Erly now resides in Europe in the Amsterdam area.
|Esha (Netherlands, The) - group |
A pure and warm voice emphasized by sublime piano poetry, a profound double bass embrace and a solid but shimmer story of drums. They put together a unique sound in the current jazz landscape. Always in love with the story, told by every song. With a natural interpretation and cheer togetherness.
The meaning of their name is desire in Sanskrit. The meaning of their sound leaves a lot to the imagination.Esha was established in the spring of 2008 and is formed by Ayesha (voice), Hans Kwakkernaat (piano), Jan Flubacher (contrabass), and Pieter Bast(drums). Esha is also available for an evening filled with pleasurable standards and popsongs that are customized into jazzy-arrangements.
Picture by Brooks Guyer (Gogh Films)
|Everett B. Walters (USA) - group |
Guitarist, Michael Everett Brown and Bassist, Harold Walter Brown III, the two brothers from the south side of Chicago are the founders and driving force behind the jazz/funk group Everett B. Walters. Their funky, smooth and danceable rhythms make for an outstanding live show and those same fresh grooves are carried throughout their album "Always High Reaching" which features Keyboardist, Brian Simpson on the title track.
"Always High Reaching" is a stellar recording with a host of talented musicians including Shawn Rivera (Az-yet), Alexx Daye, Mike White-drums, Alex Alessondroni-keyboards, Alex Al-bass, Simone Sello-Guitar and Leo Crowe-Guitar. The track "And The Story Goes" was a popular European single on JAZZ FM double CD compilation, The Very Best of Smooth Jazz. After hearing this track on the compilation CD, Brian Simpson decided to cover it on his hit Smooth Jazz album, "It's All Good". Everett B. Walters supports American Diabetes Association, a cause that is near and dear to their hearts because of their family's personal experience with the disease.
Picture by Kevin Clark
|Gabriel Mark Hasselbach (Canada) - trumpet |
Gabriel Mark Hasselbach is an award winning multi instrumentalist with a firm grasp on contemporary and mainstream jazz idioms. He is a unique stylist on trumpet, flutes, flugelhorn, valve trombone and digital wind instruments, with more than a dozen CDs under his own name, and numerous releases with other artists as player and/or producer.
Gabriel has performed at jazz fests worldwide, such as Montreux, North Sea, JVC, Vancouver International, and other high profile clubs and soft seaters. Besides the luminary guests present on Told Ya So (Jeff Lorber, Paul Brown, Marc Antoine, Darren Rahn, Miles Black, Rock Hendricks & Amanda Wood), he has recorded or performed with the likes of Michael Bublè (he even produced Michaels CD Dream), George Benson, Chris Isaak, John Denver, Bob James, Heart, Cold Blood, Little Richard, Spyro Gyra, Jeremy Monteiro, The O'Jays, Long John Baldry, The Powder Blues, Ben E. King, Nikki Yanofsky, Brian Culbertson, Mary Wells, David Sanborn, Michael Lington, and many more.
He has performed for Bill Gates in his home, for the President of Singapore, and also performed at the 2008 Beijing and 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Several of his albums have been nominated for Album of the Year at The Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards, and he himself has been nominated several times for Wind Instrumentalist of the Year.
Picture by Tyree Phillips
|Gail Jhonson (USA) - keyboards |
From the city of Philadelphia, Gail Jhonson began playing piano at the age of 10, had her 1st gig by 14, received a B.A. in composition from the Berklee College of Music, then later moved to Los Angeles to make her dream career come true! Gail has three contemporary jazz CD's: "It's About Time", "Keep The Music Playing" and "Pearls". As an educator of 12 years at famed Musicians Institute-Hollywood, she has written 3 books: Funk Keyboards, Dictionary of Keyboard Grooves, & Jazzy Keyboards, Vol. 1. 2008 brought Gail's vision of JaZz in P!nk; an all-star female ensemble of musical women in jazz! Gail was a featured artist for the 2009/2010 Summer Storm Tour, with Norman Brown. She has also toured, performed and/or recorded with: Mindi Abair, Pink, Jermaine Jackson, Bobby Womack, Ray Parker Jr., Brenda Russell, Jessy J, Paul Jackson Jr., Patti Austin & yes Milli Vanilli! 2010 Gail was winner of "Best Jazz Musician" by the American Black Music Association. Gail Jhonson's JAZ-PEL JOURNEY, is a brand new radio show at www.111eastpraise.com; after 2 years at www.solarradio.com!
|George Anderson (United Kingdom) - bass |
George Anderson bass player with the legendary 80's multi-award winning group Shakatak who's tune 'Nightbirds' was a global phenomenon, finally releases his solo-album 'Positivity'. Some say 'It's been a long time coming!', for George is instrumental in co-writing many of Shakatak's repertoire past and present most famously 'Day by Day' featuring grammy award winner Al Jarraeu. George was also responsible for co-writing the song 'Perfect Smile' which was a smooth-jazz radio play hit in the US for Shakatak in the 90's. The Jill Saward (Shakatak's lead singer) album 'Just for you' with the brilliant Jason Rebello on piano/keyboards was also co-written and produced by George. With these skills acquired over the years he has now composed, produced and engineered his solo album 'Positivity.' The lead track 'Lay ur hands on me' has been 'track of the week' on Jazz fm. The album continues to lay a solid foundation in the smooth-jazz market with its soulful vocal/instrumental groove vibe.
See also Shakatak
Picture by Greg Allen
|George Benson (USA) - guitar |
George Benson made his first public appearance at eight, singing,dancing and playing ukelele! By the age of 21, Benson had worked with organist Jack McDuff, Herbie Hancock and Wes Montgommery, and had firmly established himself as a reputable jazz
guitarist. He produced his first album as leader in 1964 and has gone on to produce an astonishing discography of over 30 recordings. In late 60's he joined forces with producer Creed Taylor at A&M, later the CTI label from 71 75. During this period, Benson was still best known as a jazz instrumentalist, yet his love of R&B, pop and rock became evident as he began to
incorporate it into his recordings. "Breezin" (1976) became a worldwide success and was the first jazz album to achieve platinum sales and soared to #1 in the US pop charts. In 1976 Benson discovered Earl Klugh and they on to record one of Benson favorite sessions "The Collaboration". Benson's late 70's and 80's recordings were more vocal based, including "On Broadway", "Give Me The Night" and "Turn Your Love Around". Throughout his career Benson has embraced everything from straight-ahead jazz to contemporary jazz and R&B/pop vocals. He is one of a handful of artists who have achieved major critical and commercial success in different genres and this pedigree makes him one of the most respected performers of the past 30 years.
Picture by DJ The Fonz
|Gerald Albright (USA) - saxophone |
Gerald Albright worked and toured with artists as Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Jeff Lorber, Jonathan Butler, Maurice White, Patrice Rushen, Phil Collins, Quincy Jones, Ray Parker, Jr., The Winans, Whitney Houston, Will Downing.
He has sold over 1,000,000 albums in the U.S. alone. His self-produced music features him on bass guitar, keyboards, flutes, drum programming, and background vocals. Gerald Albright has definitely earned the reputation as the "musicians musician". With 13 CDs under his belt and one collaboration CD, he has definitely gained his place in the music world as a player, songwriter and producer.
Gerald Albright is known for his swiftness on stage, his unique round sound which is percussive yet soulful. He gives his audience what they come for - a great show!
Picture by Bud Glick
|Gordon James (USA) - trumpet |
Seasoned performer, composer, trumpeter and flugelhornist Gordon James has a unique style of music blending the worlds of Jazz, Latin, R&B, Pop and hip hop music. His new release In Joy is produced by Bob Baldwin and James Lloyd from Pieces of a Dream, featuring Chuck Loeb. Gordon has appeared with or opened for such artists as Roy Ayres, Angela Bofill, Bobby Caldwell, Alex Bugnon, Pieces of a Dream, Chuck Loeb, Cassandra Wilson and others. James released his first CD Candlelight Love in the mid-nineties. The CD features world renowned guitarist Vic Juris in a rare contemporary jazz setting and percussionist Manolo Badrena of Weather Report and Spyro Gyra. Candlelight Love received much attention here in the US and in England. Gordon's second CD received rave reviews in the US, Europe, South America and Australia. His original track "Shades of Brown" has been included on the January 2000 compilation CD for Jazz FM in London.
Picture by Billy Kent
|Greg Adams (USA) - trumpet |
Greg Adams' career has included success as an arranger, composer, conductor, and performer and earned him both Grammy and Emmy nominations and an International Broadcasting Award from The Hollywood Radio and Television Society. Legendary for the horn arrangements that created the signature sound and have made Tower of Power one of the most enduring musical entities today, Adams is a founding member of Tower of Power recording fourteen albums with the group on four major labels and millions in record sales. Greg has arranged for, performed and recorded with countless artists as diverse as his career, including The Eurythmics, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Lyle Lovett, Phish, Linda Ronstadt, Luther Vandross, Little Feat, Aaron Neville, Santana, Everclear, Quincy Jones, Huey Lewis and the News, Wilson Pickett, Heart, Josh Groban, Bonnie Raitt, Dionne Warwick, Madonna and The Rolling Stones. Greg has played on over five hundred recordings. You have heard Greg's collaboration with Paul Shaffer on the opening theme of Late Show With David Letterman and on musical score arrangements in such films as Duets, Mask, Top Gun, Saving Silverman, Austin Powers In Goldmember with Smashmouth, and Little Big League where he teams up with Stanley Clarke and on Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band with the illustrious George Martin. Greg continues his commitment to music education in public schools and colleges through seminars, performances, mentoring and clinics.
|Gregg Karukas (USA) - keyboards |
Since moving to Los Angeles in the early 80s, keyboardist/composer/producer Gregg Karukas has recorded and toured with everyone from Sergio Mendes to The Rippingtons (he was a founding member); Rockwell, Larry Carlton, George Benson, Dori Caymmi, Peter White, Melissa Manchester, Boney James, Alphonse Mouzon, Kim Waters, The Jazzmasters tribute and Rick Braun. What is most impressive is that he has garnered consistently solid reviews for his string of hit solo CDs over the last 2 decades.
Unlike many artists, who depend on outside producers or pop covers to provide their material, Karukas is one of the few in the Smooth Jazz genre that scores hit after hit writing and producing his own projects,-GK is his latest-with a signature piano touch and melodies that are both soulful and sophisticated.
|J.P. Delaire (USA) - vocals |
Singer and saxophone player J.P. (Jason Peterson) DeLaire is a member of the well-known musical "Peterson Family" of Minneapolis, MN. A master of both keyboards and saxophone, DeLaire also writes and performs his own music and lyrics. "Singing for me is my most natural attribute. I've made my living as a sideman for all these years and I felt it was time for me to step out front with my own voice," said DeLaire. DeLaire's uncle, St. Paul Peterson, starred in the movie Purple Rain, as a member of The Time, and later went on to be the lead singer of The Family. When DeLaire saw Purple Rain, he was inspired to follow his dreams and pursue a musical career. A graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he studied film score and musical harmony, DeLaire has also extended his impressive artistic reach into the field of acting. He has several projects in the works. Fresh from returning from a European tour with Michael Bolton, soul-meister J.P. DeLaire releases the funk-fortified "Last Call" to radio from the "In My Life" cd.
|J4F (Spain) - group|
J4F is an innovative proposal by definition where creation & experimentation are the creative poles through which it produces its music. The bands singularity feeds on its musicians stylistic background and instrumental versatility. Its style is the outcome of powerful rhythmic sounds based on the harmonic language of Jazz at the service of their own compositions, made of all kind of bars: piped, looped, surprising turns... which refers to many sonorous worlds: Funk, Latin, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Flamenco, Brazil, Eastern, African
A true "everything is allowed", hardly classify, but that its 4 members has baptized as World Groove. At present, after almost one year recording, J4F is finalizing details to launch its first LP World Groove, absolutelly self-produced and self-recorded. Actually looking for a Label.
During 2007 and 2008 J4F has combined the recording process with many performances of its powerful and surprising show across Spain (Festivals, Clubs, etc.) getting its first recognition through next awards:
- "Catalan Countries' Young Jazz Space" at XV TORTOSA JAZZ FESTIVAL
- "SenglaRock" & "ASACC" Prizes at FESTINOVAL 2008
|Jack Prybylski (USA) - saxophone |
One of Western New Yorks premiere instrumental performers, Jack Prybylskis (purr-bill-ski) career as an award-winning saxophone player has included nine full-length recordings, endorsements, world travel and the opportunity to work with some of the most respected names in contemporary music.
As a performer, Jack has shared the stage with many of the top names in contemporary jazz including Richard Elliott, David Sanborn, The Rippingtons, and Spyro Gyra, and has performed with the prestigious Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Jack is an ten-time recipient of the Buffalo Music Awards top saxophonist award.
An unpredicted firestorm of accolades followed the sophomore release of Window Shopping. A 2006 top ten with Smooth Jazz News, Window Shopping would also find itself a favorite on several other year-end lists and reviewers.
Jack is currently in the studio working on his third CD release.
|Jamhunters (Denmark) - group |
The members of the duo Jamhunters are Peter Michael, keyboard and Lars Fabiansen, guitar. The repertoire consists of own compositions in a style that can be described as a unique mix of smooth jazz/lounge music mixed with pop- funk- and Latin-rhythms. On their three albums, only original material, they have been playing with star musicians as Chris Minh Doky (US/DK), Hans Ulrik(DK), Frank Senior (US), Moussa Diallo (Mali/DK) and Christina Boelskifte (DK). They have toured since 2006 in DK and US (NYC). The great interest from the American audience led to a visit to New York in November 2007 with live performances at the clubs Googies Lounge and Rockwood Music Hall. Again in 2008 JAMHUNTERS returned to New York, this time to performe at Shrien in Harleem and at the legendary jazz club Smalls in New York.
Picture by Eleanora Alberto
|Jason Miles (USA) - keyboards |
Jason Miles is a producer, artist, arranger, composer and keyboardist who has crafted music for Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Marcus Miller, Gato Barbieri, David Sanborn, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, The Crusaders, Michael Brecker and many others. He has produced ambitious musical tributes for Weather Report, Grover Washington Jr. (volume 2 will be released shortly) and Ivan Lins (Grammy awarded). His production of the song "She Walks this Earth" delivered Sting a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal in 2001. In 2004 he masterminded the Contemporary Jazz Collection "Maximum Grooves-Coast To Coast", which earned him his 4th Grammy nomination. He also produced a homage to Miles Davis "Miles to Miles, In The Spirit of Miles Davis" and Marvin Gaye's music with "What's Going On, The Songs of Marvin Gaye". Artists which Jason Miles has produced are such as Suzy Boggusss, Freddy Cole, Eric Marienthal and most recently The Bjorkestra-an 18 piece Big band that plays the music of Bjork. Global Noize is a new group with Jason and DJ Logic that brings the funk and World Groove to a new level, joined by Bernie Worrell and others. Their performance at 2008 Jazz Fest in New Orleans was enthusiatically greeted and the band will start a national tour on August 27, 2008. Currently Jason Miles has been playing more live concerts, including 2 major shows at the last 5 Berks Jazz Festivals and an appearance at 2007 Cassablanca Jazz Festival.
Picture by John Sanchez
|Jeanette Harris (USA) - saxophone |
Jeanette started playing the saxophone at the age of ten. She connected with the sax right away and soon realized that people enjoyed hearing her play. After high school, Jeanette went to the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in Boston where she graduated with a Bachelor in music performance. She has been rockin the stage ever since. In 2005, Jeanette was recognized as a "Shooting Star" and nominated for "Best Jazz Instrumentalist" by the L.A Black Music Awards. She's had the privilege of opening for and performing with big named artist including The Rippingtons, Kirk Whalum, Veretta Hathaway, Paul Jackson Jr., Phil Perry, Howard Huit, Denise Williams, and Pieces Of a Dream to name a few. She's played in big jazz festivals all over the United States and performed in Japan for the first time in 2008. Jeanette was the executive producer and songwriter on her first CD "Reflections" and is currently producing her second CD "Saxafied". Her live shows are full of high energy solos and mesmerizing soulful melodies that leaves the audience wanting more!
Picture by Vincent vd Wijngaard
|Jeff Lorber (USA) - keyboards |
Since the late 80s advent of the New Adult Contemporary format, composer, producer and keyboard legend Jeff Lorber has found himself filling a unique dual role. Having played a significant role in developing the late 70s, early 80s R&B-jazz hybrid sound that later evolved into todays smooth jazz, the keyboardist is a true elder statesman of the genre and mentor to many of this generations top artists. After forming the Jeff Lorber Fusion he issued the group's self-titled debut in 1979. During the first half of the '80s, the popular band scored a Best R&B Instrumental Grammy nomination "Pacific Coast Highway" of the album Step by Step. Lorber did not issue his first proper solo LP until 1991's Worth Waiting For, remaining both a prolific performer and producer for the rest of the decade, and releasing successful smooth jazz albums like 2003's Philly Style and 2005's Flipside. Throughout 2004 and 2005, Lorber anchored the immensely popular tribute tour Groovin For Grover, which featured Gerald Albright throughout its run in addition to stints by Richard Elliot, Paul Taylor and Kirk Whalum. In November, 2004, the keyboardist had a kidney transplant surgery (his wife Mink was a perfect match). True to his hardworking form, Lorber was back in action within a few weeks, performing gigs and getting back to his popular, weekly three hour radio show Lorbers Place Sunday nights on Sirius Satellite Radios Jazz Café Channel. After "He Had a Hat" was released on Blue Note in 2007, Lorber went on with a new album "Heard That". Again great songs, this time written in a modern funky R&B style with some jazzy, nostalgic sounds, bringing back Jeff's earliest music from 1979's "Water Sign"! A must have! Release date 30th of September 2008.
|Jessy J (USA) - saxophone |
With her debut CD Tequila Moon on Peak Records, vocalist/ saxophonist Jessy J had one of the most successful recordings in Contemporary Jazz of 2008, with the title track named #1 Song of the Year by both Billboard & Radio & Records. Jessy's sophomore release, True Love debuted at an impressive #3 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Chart in 2009 with the single "Tropical Rain" hitting a sweet spot at #1 for an incredible 3 moths on the Smooth Jazz Top 20 countdown. Jessy has also received high critical acclaim - hailed as a "unique voice with a gift for melodic improvisation" (All Music Guide); "flawless" (Jazz Times); credited with starting a new movement in Jazz in the May cover story of JAZZIZ magazine - "increasing the boundaries of jazz both musically and demographically;" and "revolutionizing jazz" as a young Latina by People Espanol.
|Joe McBride (USA) - keyboards |
Not even blindness can stop vocalist/keyboardist Joe McBride. His status as one of today's most popular contemporary jazz musicians is rooted in a solid foundation of talent. With his first CD for Heads Up International he quickly became a favorite in the contemporary jazz genre. His next recordings featured some of the giants of contemporary jazz, including Grover Washington Jr., Peter White, Dave Koz, Rick Braun, Larry Carlton, and others. With the help of his new acoustic trio, McBride adds another significant title to his impressive discography with the July 2009 release of Lookin' for a Change. On his latest Heads Up recording he features songs originally written and recorded by a range of pop luminaries, and reinterprets them via straightahead jazz arrangements. Four years since his last release, McBride is giving a jazz spin to pop hits of the 90s and 00s such as Cameo's "Word Up", Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" and Coldplay's "The Scientist".
Picture by Amado Diaz
|Johannes Linstead (Canada) - guitar |
From being named "Guitarist of the Year" in the CSJ Awards, to winning four "Best Album" awards, to four top-ten Billboard charting albums, to top-ten radio airplay, Johannes Linstead has become recognized internationally as one of best selling guitarist/composers in the Instrumental, Latin Jazz, and World Music genres. Johannes' live performances are nothing short of phenomenal. Bursting with tropical sounds, audiences are moved to dance and clap along to his music. In concert, as on his recordings, Johannes and his group create a festive mood, with plenty of lightning fast guitar improvisations and spicy percussion solos. Johannes let's loose a fiesta of Spanish guitar magic!
|Johnny Britt (USA) - trumpet |
Johnny Britt is a singer, trumpeter, songwriter and producer who has made a name for himself both in support of acts like the Temptations and Josh Groban and as one half of the former R&B/jazz duo, Impromp2. Britt has served as the musical director for the Temptations and has written several songs for the group. His 2011 composition, "Contact," was a chart-topper for jazzman Boney James. And Britt currently serves on tour with Josh Groban. Britt first came to the attention of SoulTracks through his hot duo with Impromp2. The duo was nominated for a SoulTracks Readers' Choice Award and landed on the charts with two of their three critically acclaimed albums. In 2011 Britt remained busier than ever. He independently released the album Feels So Good, the first single from which is "Beautiful Queen." Britt is also appearing in the new movie Water for Elephants and is serving as the musical director for America Sings on the GMC Network.
|Jonathan Fritzén (Sweden) - keyboards |
A year after his first release, Swedish pianist Jonathan Fritzén released his follow up album VIP. The first single: "VIP" became a top-10 hit on Billboard, spending over 15 weeks on the Smooth Jazz Indicator Chart. The album reached top-10 on Amazon.com as well, becoming a best-seller in Smooth Jazz. With his success, Jonathan has performed his music to fans in Europe, Central America and in Asia. As on his debut Love Birds, Jonathan covers eight different instruments, but this time he has help. Guests include world- renowned Jay Soto (guitar) and Michael Lington (sax) from the USA, Swedish artists Laila Adéle and Greger Hillman, and some of Swedens top studio musicians. Jonathan's formal training is from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, where he was one of the first students to receive a masters degree from the jazz department. At age 22 Jonathan had already performed with several major celebrities on national TV and toured with some of the most respected jazz musicians in Sweden. Three years later he made a mark as the first pianist from Sweden to release a smooth jazz album. Love Birds has sold in over 25 countries and received stellar reviews in magazines ranging from JazzTimes to various smooth jazz sites.
Picture by Jim Casada
|Keith Andrew (USA) - guitar |
Keith Andrews latest CD, Blue Funky Blue gets seriously deep into the classic funk vibe from the start and keeps the melody flowing with light horns, kicking keyboards and the right mix of vocals to keep things fresh. The project also features melodic bass lines, soulful trumpet work and a little bit of flute to add exciting musical depth to the CD. Every song on Blue Funky Blue is enriching and satisfying right down to the very last note!
Picture by Cary Gillespie
|Ken Navarro (USA) - guitar |
Top charting & award winning contemporary jazz guitarist and composer Ken Navarro is recognized as one of today's leading musicians. His impressive discography of 18 Top Ten albums showcase his appeal to a wide range of listeners with inspiring compositions and superb guitar performances. Navarro's brand new CD "The Grace of Summer Light" was released on June 17, 2008. Ken's magnificent new compositions and his signature acoustic and electric guitar work are supported on this new CD by world class musicians including drummer Joel Rosenblatt (Spyro Gyra, Manhatten Transfer), acoustic and electric bassist Tom Kennedy (Dave Weckl, Al DiMeola), and keyboardist Jay Rowe.
|Kenny G (USA) - saxophone |
Kenny G will release his first Latin Jazz album, Rhythm & Romance, with producer Walter Afanasieff and backed by Latin musicians like Paulino Da Costa and Alex Acuna. The result is a rich tapestry of samba and salsa, ballads and bossa nova, held together by beautiful melodies of Kenny G's signature sound. Kenny has established himself as the biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era, with global sales totaling more than 75 million albums. Romance is something Kenny G knows very well: he is a man who has made a career out of playing soft notes! After years of playing with Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra and Jeff Lorber Fusion, Kenny signed with Arista Records in 1982 where he released his first solo albums. His big moment came in 1988 when Kenny recorded "Songbird" from his fourth album Duotones. From there he went on to become a multi-platinum sensation, collaborating with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra, Babyface, Toni Braxton, Brian McKnight, Barbara Streisand, Burt Bacharach and others. He recorded several solo albums, holiday compilations, jazz standards and duets. For the past twenty years, it brings Kenny great joy to introduce new material to a live audience. He has been a fixture in arenas, amphitheaters and concert halls and has performed for millions of people all over the world. When pressed about his theory as to why he has been so successful, Kenny offers, "I think my music gives people the opportunity to listen to their own thoughts. Tap into their imaginations. Create their own stories to songs without the limitation of words... plus it's a really beautiful instrument."
Picture by Nnamdi
|Keyan Williams (USA) - saxophone|
Saxophonist Keyan Williams has never been shy to play for crowds. Many fans of his music have said that his style reminds them of Grover Washington Jr. He is influenced by Grover Washington Jr., Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery and Stanley Clarke. Keyan recently released his new CD, "The Art of Living". Keyan says, "Grover Washington Jr. is one of my favorite musicians. He would give you a great show with three hours of non-stop playing. I wanted to keep that kind of drive alive. It's music with really strong grooves, to get back to what I call the original smooth jazz sound. I think I've done that with this album". When it comes to live performances, Keyan plays from the heart and you'll never hear him play a solo the same way twice. Keyan has had the honor of sharing the stage with Herbie Hancock, Chic Corea, and Junior Cook to name a few.
|Kizzy McHugh (Netherlands, The) - vocals |
Kizzy McHugh has had a successful career as a TV host, actress, singer and songwriter. Born in Holland, Kizzy grew up in Curaçao where she became known for her poems, theater-shows, music hits and as a TV host.
After high-school she moved to the USA, where she graduated from Berklee College of Music.
She was invited into the Berklee Dean-club for her "Outstanding ability and accomplishments as a performing artist" and also attended dance and acting classes at the Boston Conservatory and Emerson College.
During her eleven years in America, she hosted TV shows and did high-profile performances as the lead vocalist of the Winiker Orchestra and Big Band - with whom she performed for e.g. Bill Clinton and Deval Patrick.
McHugh hosted events like the Miss Boston competition and the Bean-town Jazz Festival, was voted "One of the Top 10 Most Eligible Bachelorettes in Boston" by the Improper Bostonian magazine, and shared the stage with Steven Tyler, Diana Reeves, Kim Burrel, Al Kooper and Glenn Close.
She returned to the Netherlands and recorded the album "Unspoken Rhyme". This fusion of Soul-Pop, Jazzy-Blues and contemporary grooves is produced by Robert Jansen and multiple award winning producer Piet Souer.
Picture by Mihail Maslov
|Konstantin (Netherlands, The) - saxophone |
A musical adventure that has already taken Konstantin half the way around the world has now resulted in his latest CD Smoothing. It is an outstanding collection of commercially attractive smooth jazz tunes. The third solo album demonstrates that Konstantin is rapidly maturing as a writer, performer and producer. This versatile and experienced saxophonist has toured and performed throughout Europe and South America.
|L'dia On Bass (Netherlands, The) - bass |
L'dia is one of the few female (funk) bassists in the world and she can sing pretty well too!! Which started as a joke, she uploaded a couple of YouTube movies in 2007 named: "Lydia on bass" and within no time, her videos had been picked up considerably worldwide! Currently, the counter "views" of one of her movies has reached over a million! L'dia is also the sole bass player in Europe which is endorsed by Fender.
She has played with Candy Dulfer, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Berget Lewis, Julya Lo'ko, Toots Tielemans and gives a lot of swinging clinics. She is also one of the main members of the Dillan Lewis Project ("Girls Behind The Scene" and "ZO Gospel Choir").
L'dia has been touring with musicals in The Netherlands "Turkish Delight", "Hair" and is currently touring with the Dutch cabaret-act, "Veldhuis and Kemper.
Her latest CD "Plonkay" has been released April 1, 2010.
|LA Chillharmonic (USA) - group |
A collection of the top LA based contemporary jazz and rhythm and blues artists, in a truly all-star effort. Contributors include Richard Smith(leader), Brian Bomberg, Alex Acuna, Vinnie Colaiuta Jeff Lorber, Greg Adams (long-time member/arranger for Tower of Power), Dan Siegel, and many more. (See also profile Richard Smith)
Picture by Alex Solca
|Lao Tizer (USA) - keyboards |
Keyboardist and recording artist Lao Tizer captivates audiences of all ages and musical tastes. Tizer has been proclaimed an independent artist with all the right moves and a torchbearer for the new generation of contemporary jazz. He is a Best New Jazz Artist nominee; a Yamaha-endorsed pianist and keyboardist; has appeared at many premier venues including Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland, Pier 39 Fishermans Wharf San Francisco; and has graced the stage at events alongside artists including Isaac Hayes, Boney James, Zappa Plays Zappa, Wayne Shorter, George Benson, The Commodores, The Rippingtons, Bruce Hornsby, Jethro Tull and Spyro Gyra. In 2006, the Lao Tizer Band returned to the studio to record Diversify, Tizers first release for Yse Records In 2008, Tizer again broadened his horizons and assembled an all-star concert tour The Lao Tizer Band featuring Chieli Minucci and international violin virtuoso Karen Briggs.The band also comprises Steve Nieves (sax, percussion, and vocals), Jeff Kollman (guitar), Drew Megna (drums) and Andre Manga (bass).
|Larry Carlton (USA) - guitar |
Four-time Grammy winner guitarplayer, Larry Carlton established himself from his first recording, A Little Help From My Friends. He worked woth Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., Herb Alpert, Quincy Jones, and literally dozens of others. He went on to perform with the Crusaders and with Fourplay. With 30 albums to his credit and having performed on over 100 albums that have gone Gold or Platinum, Larry Carlton has set a standard for artistry that spans three decades.
In 2011 Larry Carlton will receive the George Benson Lifetime Achievement Award at the Canadian Wave Awards. Larry's recent Grammy Nominations include Best Pop Instrumental Album for "TAKE YOUR PICK" (2011); Best Pop Instrumental Album for his "Greatest Hits Rerecorded - Volume One" (2009); and Best Pop Instrumental Performance for "Fortune Teller" from Fourplay's Energy (2009).
In February 2010 Larry Carlton announced that after having had the distinct privilege of enjoying the past 12 years of its 20 year history with Fourplay he has decided to take his leave to delve further into his solo career. Fans can be sure that Larry will continue to deliver great music that will inspire generations to come and live up to the quality that they have come to expect from him.
|Lee Ritenour (USA) - guitar |
Its hard to believe that 2010 marks 50 years since Lee Ritenour starting playing the guitar, setting in motion a career that legends are made of. A career that has earned him 19 GRAMMY nominations, a GRAMMY Award, numerous #1 spots on guitar polls, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian SJ Awards and the prestigious Alumnus of the Year award from USC. He has recorded over 40 albums, with 35 chart songs, and was a founding member of the group Fourplay, considered the most successful band in contemporary jazz. As a young guitarist, his diverse musical style became the foundation of over 3,000 sessions covering a broad spectrum of artists ranging from his first session at 16 with the Mamas and Papas, to Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Simon & Garfunkel and Frank Sinatra. Not to forget the dazzling array of talent appearing on his solo works and collaborations; from his legendary work with Dave Grusin, to Phil Collins, Brazilian greats Ivan Lins, Caetano Veloso, and Djavan, to opera great Renee Fleming. On his latest endeavor, 6 STRING THEORY, Ritenour celebrates the instrument that has allowed him this blessing, the guitar; by producing and assembling a star-studded tribute with 20 of the greatest and soon- to- be greatest guitarists of our time. Incorporating all of his history, from jazz and classical to rock and blues, from acoustic to electric, Lee Ritenours 6 String Theory promises to be one of the greatest guitar recordings ever made!
Picture by Jean Paul Berthoin
|Leee John (United Kingdom) - vocals |
Since bursting on to the music scene in 1981 with his soul, funk group Imagination, singer Leee John has achieved that rare distinction of longevity and high profile in the fast changing and variable world of popular music. 2005 marks the coming of age for Leee John, releasing his long awaited solo album "Feel My Soul". The album gives you Leee in a Soul-Jazz mode with original songs penned and produced by Leee alongside classic standards with modern arrangements. Co-produced by Eric Debeurge, Francois Gaucher and musical arrangements by Leee John. Leee John has worked during his career with producers and musicians including Preston Glass, Ron Kersey, Robert Kraft, Frankie Knuckles, Tony Humphries, David Morales, Mark Kaymens and Mike Pickering. Leee's writing credits include Maxi Priest, Byron Stingley, Club 69, Jane Boisdur, Pete Hunnigale, Alison Limerick and Ultimate Chaos. Leee has also written, recorded and produced with Nick Martinelli and Arthur Baker. Leee has grown up first hand in the entertainment industry and now invites you to join him in a new era. The Soul-Jazz world of Feel My Soul.
Picture by Leridee-Nance
|Linny Nance (USA) - keyboards |
Linny began his professional career playing keys with Little Joe Blue; Since then, he has shared the stage and/or studio with Lucky Peterson, Yarborough and Peoples, James Ingram (on a Patti LaBelle tour), Breggett Rideau, Tutu Jones, Pamela Williams, Tom Braxton, Bernard Wright, Bobby Sparks and a variety of other talented acts. Linny has played all over Europe, Japan, Canada, and the Caribbean: his performance credits include the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Jazzhaus, the Montreal Jazz festival. As a professional musician, Linny Nance works out of his Dallas studio, writing, composing and producing for R&B groups, jazz, rap and gospel artists.
Also freelancing, Linny plays keys on recording sessions for other acts. Recently, Linny did showcase his talent in "The look of Love" & "Elixir", albums of Saxtress Pamela Williams; also in Tamara Peterson's first solo release. Last but not least, Linny Nance leads his own band, Network.
|Lionel Jones (USA) - vibraphone |
Lionel Jones was born in France and having roots in Baltimore Maryland, Lionel cultivated his musical sounds of urban contemorary to blend in with different genres from around the world. Lionel started on drums but discovered his unique talent for the vibraphone. At Berklee he studied both vocal and percussion. Lionel performed with people like Cyrus Chestnut, Delphio Marselus, Mark Whitfield. As background singer he worked with people like Donnie McClurkin and Fred Hammond. Lionel has toured in Germany, London England, Canada, Japan, Korea, Philippines.
Lionel Jones is a brilliant musician with talent to create jazz music that soothes the soul, restores peace of mind and ushers you into the place of tranquility. Sit back and relax as the melodious sounds of smooth jazz vibraphone and vocals calm your spirit, soul and body.
Lionel has currently finished his latest project entitled "Papa Jones". It is a wonderful fusion of smooth jazz that closely resembles the music of such greats as Pat Metheny, Spyro Gyra, and the Rippington's.
Picture by C. Chen
|Luca Sirianni (Italy) - guitar|
Guitarist, Composer and Arranger
Born in Petroná (CZ) Italy, Luca moved to London to pursue his career in music. Luca is one the most promising names within the new generation of guitarist. He 's been striking the attention of opinion makers and has been regarded as one of the next big talents in the genre. His versatile, stylish playing and fluent technique have made him a prominent presence on the London scene, the guitarist of choice for fellow musicians and clients alike. He is currently working on a number of projects, both live and in studio. He also arranges, composition has always been a central component of his output, and he has composed a diversity of music from jazz and rock to film soundtrack. Predominantly, he is inspired by Brazilian/latin jazz and blues genres, and many of his compositions exhibit these influences. As well as performing live with his band Luca plays solo shows to jazz festivals and concert halls, dazzling audiences with his exiting song rearrangements into his distinctive style.
|Magdalena Chovancova (Germany) - saxophone |
Magdalena was born in Ostrava, Czech Republic. She began to play the piano at the age of 6. Later on she learned to play the saxophone and flute. Still in her teens, she won several national music competitions and began recording and touring together with other musicians and bands. After her studies in Prague, she moved to Germany where she founded the Threestyle band together with Robert Fertl (guitar, bass, trumpet) and her twin sister Gabriela Chovancova (drums, vibraphone). Since that time they have been touring the world on regular basis.
Picture by Markus Rintala
|Mango Machine (Finland) - group |
Mango Machine was founded in 1986 in Kokkola, Finland, when a group of young players got together to play fusion jazz, a style of music that was not so popular at that time in Finland. Their influences comprised of musicians and bands like Chick Corea, Mezzoforte, Yellowjackets, Koinonia and the Rippingtons. In the early 1990's they took part in many major jazz-festivals in Finland, such as Kainuun Jazzkevät, Pori Jazz and Kaamosjazz (several times). They also played a warm-up gig for Tomas Ledin in Kokkola, which was also broadcast on TV. In 1992 the band played its last concert, after that families, work and studies put the band on hold. 10 years later, in the summer of 2006, they decided to put the band together again and added a couple of new players. Their first CD "Restart" is now ready and available. Mango Machine's repertoire consists of both original songs and cover tunes.
Picture by Lori Stoll
|Marc Antoine (Spain) - guitar |
Guitarist, composer and producer, Marc Antoine, born in Paris (France), was 11 years old when he started playing guitar. At age 13, his father sent him to the conservatory where he would study classical music. At 17 he'd already won many prizes and started showing an interest in a variety of music genres including jazz, rock, Afro, pop, and more. Unless a devastating accident to his left hand, his love and passion for music helped him overcome this tragedy. After that he performed in clubs in Paris, recorded for artists and worked in London with great bands like Soul to Soul. His world tour travelling led him to spend time in Tokyo where he became an acclaimed session player. After moving to Los Angeles his career continued by playing for Sting, Celine Dion, Rod Steward, Cher, Selena, Queen Latifah, George Benson, Guru Jazzmatazz, Take 6 and others. He also composed and performed for major movie soundtracks. Marc began his successful solo career in 1994 with his first album "Classical Soul". His career boasts many #1 hits on the R&R contemporary jazz charts, as well as topping the Billboard charts. Regularly touring with contemporary jazz artists like Dave Koz, Chris Botti, Jeff Lorber, Jeffrey Osborne, David Benoit, Larry Carlton, he also performs or records with Jazz Legends such as Peter Erskine, Jimmy Haslip, Mike Mainieri, Dave Valentin, Christian McBride, and Mark Egan. Marc currently resides in Madrid (Spain) where he writes and produces in his studio when he´s not giving concerts.
|Marcus Anderson (USA) - saxophone |
Saxophonist, flautist and vocalist, Marcus Anderson electrifies stages with an unmatchable energy and an intoxicating sound that stretches the definition of the smooth jazz genre. Anderson, a South Carolina native, is from a large musical family. Growing up, both of his parents sang regularly, but it was his father who introduced him Jazz. He began playing the saxophone at a young age and it wasnt long before he was given the opportunity to perform on tour with pianist, Marcus Johnson. During his college years, Marcus studied with Branford Marsalis and Donald Hayes. Marcus performs frequently around the US and this summer, he won the 2009 Capital Jazz Fest National Competition and earned a spot on the Capital Jazz Cruise. On stage, his showmanship & talent exceeds well beyond his years. Anderson has opened for or shared the stage with Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, George Duke, Everette Harp, Alex Bugnon, Nenna Freelon, Bob Baldwin, Ledisi, Layla Hathaway and several others. This year, Marcus released his second solo album From The Heart and is currently in rotation at various terrestrial and internet stations around the country. Anderson is also the youngest endorsee of Antigua Winds Saxophones.
|Marcus Johnson (USA) - keyboards |
Jazz keyboardist, composer and producer Marcus Johnson got his start more than a decade ago. While studying at Georgetown University, he independently produced his first album, "Lessons in Love" (1996). This album helped him launch his career as a renowned jazz musician and chief executive of Marimelj Entertainment Group LLC (MEG). BET founder Robert L. Johnson invested in MEG and became Marcus' business partner. Under this partnership, MEG's label Three Keys Music established its own full-service recording studio, Studio 8121; and two music publishing companies, Marimelj Music Publishing and Three Keys Music Publishing.
Johnson's eagerly anticipated upcoming release is his most unique and multifaceted album yet, "Poetically Justified" (June 2009) promises to deliver 14 unique tracks that each feature a taste of Johnson's signature sound, combining acoustic and electronic sets. Johnson's most recent project was the groundbreaking Billboard Top 5 Contemporary Jazz FLO series, which consisted of three distinct albums "FLO: Chill", "FLO: Romance" and "FLO: Standards" released simultaneously in September 2008.
|Marion Meadows (USA) - saxophone|
Meadows was born in West Virginia and grew up in Stamford, Connecticut. He began playing the clarinet and studying classical music at the age of eight. In high school, Meadows began to play the soprano saxophone and played tenor through most of his college years. His passion for music led him to appreciate the work of many jazz musicians such as Stevie Wonder and Duke Ellington. After studying jazz with Anthony Truglia, Meadows attended Berklee College of Music, where he majored in arranging and composition. He later went to the SUNY Purchase School for the Arts, where he studied under Ron Herder. During college, Meadows was with a band called the Aboriginal Music Society. Meadows was playing in Grand Central Station and Jay Chattaway who was working with Bob James at the time introduced himself and later signed Marion to his record label, TappanZee. Although Meadows first recording went unreleased, the experience of recording with Bob James put him on the road to his eventual success. Meadows collaborated up with numerous artists and musicians in the 80s, recording or performing over the years with Brook Benton, Eartha Kitt, Phyllis Hyman, Jean Carne, The Temptations, Michael Bolton, Angela Bofill, Will Downing and Native American flute player Douglas Spotted Eagle, among others.
Picture by Rod Bishop
|Mark Harper (USA) - guitar |
Mark Harper is a seasoned guitarist, performer and multi-platinum award winner who is introducing yet another side of his creative abilities to the world. Mark has recorded and performed with some of the industries top performers such as: Kirk Whalum, Ronnie Laws, Bebe Winans, Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Phyllis Hyman, Tom Braxton, Fingerprints, The Mac Band, George Duke, Jonathan Butler, Michael Lington, Wayman Tisdale, Tower of Power and a host of others. Mark is also the leader for two bands: "The Mark Harper Project", and "The Mark Harper Acoustic Band". Both bands are exciting to see and listen to. The Acoustic Band, specializing in Jazz, Latin Jazz, CuBop, and other styles of music, gives you raw excellence with great musical imagery. The Mark Harper Project provides that same imagery through Smooth Jazz, R&B, and wonderful vocal ballads. Please extend a warm and enthusiastic welcome to a guitarist extraordinaire, Mark Harper.
|Marty Q (USA) - saxophone |
Marty Q, saxophonist / singer / songwriter has been on the music scene for only a few years and put out his first National Release titled "Table for 2". After Marty stamped his sweet soprano sax sound on "My Girl" on Shanachie Record's compilation CD titled "Smooth Jazz Plays Motown's Favorite Love Songs" Marty teamed up with the producer Chris "Big Dog" Davis to do his own project titled "Table For 2". A lush CD with a blend of angelic soprano sax tones and some very flavorful tenor expressions. Marty Q's live show is always satisfying because he plays alto, tenor and soprano sax live along with soulful vocals with a little edgeiness to it. Marty also appears on Vesta Williams CD "Distant Lover" (2007) with an alto sax solo on "Ooh Baby Baby" also on Shanachie Records Label. To date Marty Q has sold 24,000 CD's and downloads combined as an independent artist. "Only a few guys in the business play that sweet soft tone on soprano" - Chris "Big Dog" Davis - "Marty's tone is Superior" - Neil Reshen (former mgr. of Miles Davis).
|Matt Bianco (United Kingdom) - group |
Matt Bianco was formed by the late Kito Poncioni (bass), Mark Reilly (vocals) and Danny White (keyboards) in 1982, from the remnants of the abandoned Blue Rondo A La Turk. For their first album "Whose Side Are You On?" they hired unknown polish vocalist Basia Trzetrzelewska. Her vocal arrangements gave the album a jazzy dimension that Reilly and White couldn't anticipate, and hits like "Get Out of Your Lazy Bed" and "Half a Minute" turned Matt Bianco into one of the biggest acts of 1984 in Europe. The band name suggests that Matt Bianco is a personal name, but Matt is "a made up spy, a secret agent; we loved spy TV themes and film scores." Basia and Danny White left the group after the first album. Mark Reilly found ex-Wham keyboarder Mark Fisher and recorded the self titled "Matt Bianco" album. Their rendition of Georgie Fame's "Yeh Yeh" received a European music award as Best Single of 1985 and was followed by a big European tour. Mark Reilly and Mark Fisher are back once again as a duo and have recorded a new album, entitled "Hi Fi Bossanova". 2009 has seen them perform in Europe, Japan and SE Asia and with the new album the band have secured a contract with Edel (Ear Music) in Europe and continued their cooperation with JVC-Victor in Japan. The album will be their first studio album together in 5 years, the first release in the UK since 2001 and is available on 14 September 2009.
Picture by Kyle Douglas
|Mekiel Reuben (USA) - saxophone |
Mekiel Reuben's fifth album release "Cookin' in East L.A." has the Smoothjazz world very Excited. He open the cd with "Ain't Nobody" a Chaka Khan classic. Mekiel said he wanted to give this new cd a kick with some slick originals and a combination of classic R&B covers like "Baby come to me" (James Ingrim & Patti Austin), "I keep forgettin"(Michael McDonald) "Too Hot" (Kool & the Gang) nice soft rock classic "Operator" (Jim Croce) played with a slight bossa feel. The Chicago born native became interested in music at the early age of eight when his mom gave him a guitar for Christmas. At the age of 15 he began studying music and woodwinds under Louis Gray, high school band director (Crane HS). He moved to the Caribbean where he continued to pursue his musical career. After several years of touring and playing with several theatrical/dance companies in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mekiel returned to the United States and now resides in Los Angeles, CA. Mekiel Reuben's explosive saxophone style has been compared to the likes of Grover Washington Jr., Stanley Turrentine and John Klemmer. When you listen to his music, it glide you on a journey from his United States jazz roots to his fruitful life in the Caribbean. Mekiel Reuben has a fresh sound of his own.
Picture by Christoph Giese
|Mezzoforte (Iceland) - group |
30 years on, Mezzoforte seem on a great roll. Still fresh-faced, creative and vibrant. After all they were only teenagers when they created Iceland's first international chart-hit, Garden Party in 1983. This well crafted instrumental paved the way, allowing musical ideas to flow, develop and mature and making sure their overnight success should not be just a one-night stand. Mezzoforte has visited 40 countries and released 11 albums. The year 2009 will see their 12th album followed by tours of European and Asian continents as well as their brand new collection of works on DVD distributed worldwide.
With original founders Eythor Gunnarsson (keyboards), Gulli Briem (drums) and Johann Asmundsson (bass), the guitar chores are now shared between Bruno Mueller and original guitarist Fridrik Karlsson. Other teammates include Oskar Gudjonsson (sax), Sebastian Studnitzky (keyboards/ trumpet) and Thomas Dyani (percussion). This line-up recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of Garden Party with an open-air concert in Reykjavik.
While Mezzoforte is truly based on solid musical pillars, the group keeps refreshing and reinventing itself by constantly revelling in new concepts which typically lead to imaginative new global & musical adventures.
|Michael Dowdle (USA) - guitar |
Michael Dowdle is one of the best guitarists you have "never heard" of.
Although he has been very busy through the years and has a long distinguished career behind him. As a recording session guitarist for more than 30 years he has recorded thousands of sessions over the years
averaging over 200 sessions a year. Most of his recording work has been for American TV networks and musicians in the Salt Lake City area. As a composer he has written music for ABC Sports Themes, NBC The Today Show, CNN International theme, Larry King, FOX Fall Campaigns and MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews. He has recorded 4 critically acclaimed Smooth Jazz Albums that were released nationally in the United States featuring world class musicians such as Vinnie Colaiuta, Jimmy Johnson and Brandon Fields to name only a few. He was also headliner at the 2000 Catalina Jazz Festival.He has performed with many artists through the years such as Donnie Osmond, Marie Osmond, Richard Ellington and Jonathan Butler and Will Lee and Anton Fig from the David Letterman Band. His
compositions are well known for their tasty melodic content with catchy hooks and solos.
Picture by Albert Sanchez
|Michael Lington (USA) - saxophone |
Since the late 90s, Michael Lington has scored hit after Top Ten hit while seducing fans with passionate performances that turn sax into a celebration of love and life. His major breakthrough came with singer Bobby Caldwell, whom he played with from 1994 to 1998. After his cd's Vivid, Everything Must Change, Stay With Me, he now gets back to his sensual funk roots, turning up the Heat big time on his new CD "Heat" released from Nu Groove. On this cd he works with Aaron Neville, former American Idol finalist and Grammy nominated songwriter Ace Young, Bobby Caldwell, Michael and Danny Sembello, Randy Waldman, Michael Thompson, Kim Pierce, Neil Stubenhaus, Nathan East, Teddy Campbell, Vinnie Colaiuta. The cd is co-produced by keyboardist Greg Phillinganes.
Michael Lington is opening some 2008 concerts of Barry Manilow, together with contemporary jazz keyboardist Brian Culbertson.
|Mindi Abair (USA) - saxophone |
Saxophonist/Singer/Songwriter Mindi Abair has not only set sonic trends, but has broken all the boundaries as she continues to define the less traditional future of jazz. Her own brand of pop and soul meets jazz adds a refreshingly unique voice to an exciting new generation of crossover artists. Her unique hybrid sound
.a mix of cool vulnerability and utter conviction
have brought her to the top of her game. This Florida-raised Berklee College of Music graduate tours to sold out audiences worldwide, hosts a popular internationally syndicated radio show Chill With Mindi Abair, and has five successful major label solo releases to her credit It Just Happens That Way (2003), Come As You Are (2004), Life Less Ordinary (2006), Stars (2008) and "In Hi Fi Stereo" (2010), which debuted #2 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. She is an artist ambassador for the Grammy Foundation and Campbells Labels for Education, and she is an elected governor on the board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy. The list of artists she has toured or recorded with are a testament to her talent. They include the Backstreet Boys, Duran Duran, Mandy Moore, Josh Groban, Adam Sandler, Keb Mo, Lalah Hathaway, Lee Ritenour, Teena Marie, John Tesh, Bobby Lyle, Jonathan Butler, Peter White and Rick Braun.
|Pat Kelley (USA) - guitar |
Pat Kelley has recorded eight CD's, toured in more than thirty countries and worked as a composer and studio guitarist for records, television, commercials, and motion pictures. Pat has performed with Natalie Cole, George Benson, Tom Scott, David Benoit, Dave Brubeck, John Pisano, Herb Ellis, Rick Braun, Jeff Lorber, Richard Elliot, Dave Koz, Al Jarreau, Gregg Karukas, Bill Cantos, Keiko Matsui, Nickel Creek, B. B. King, Ronnie Laws, Hubert Laws, Jose Feliciano, Eric Marienthal, Olivia Newton John, Stix Hooper, Randy Crawford, Melissa Manchester, and Burt Bacharach. In June 2003, Pat was honored in his hometown of Tulsa and his home state of Oklahoma by being inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Pat joined the ranks of past inductees such as Charlie Christian, Chet Baker, Barney Kessel, Oscar Pettiford, Dave Brubeck, and Lester Young. Pat is also an active producer and engineer. He is the founder of the Artsong Music CD label. Pat holds a full time teaching position in the Studio/Jazz Guitar Department at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles.
|Paul Brown (USA) - guitar |
With the crisp, jazzy sound of his beloved Gibson L-5 guitar once again front and center, two-time Grammy Award winner Paul Brown keeps his grooving momentum going on his Peak Records debut White Sand. Quickly closing in on a staggering 50 #1 charting airplay hits as the smooth jazz genres top producer over the past 15 years, Brown had the unique experience in 2006 of scoring #1 Radio & Records chart hits as both an artist and producer. Winelight, the second single from his 2005 solo album The City, was recently ranked by Mediabase as the genres most spun track of the year. Brown also had chart topping hits with Norman Brown (Up And At Em), Euge Groove (Get Em Goin) and Peter White (What Does It Take (To Win Your Love).
|Paul Lamoureux (Canada) - saxophone |
Saxophonist, keyboardist, composer, arranger, producer, songwriter and teacher, Paul Lamoureux was born in Edmonton. He holds both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in music from North Texas State University, and a diploma in Performing Arts from Grant MacEwan College. Paul has most recently performed with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas ("O" at the Bellagio). Other performing credits include the Ice Capades, and Broadway musicals like Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. He has accompanied Robert Goulet, Mickey Rooney, and Red Skelton and many others. Paul toured Europe with the New York Harlem Opera Ensemble, and played 2 seasons at Opryland USA in Nashville, Tennessee. Paul toured North America with Grammy-nominated Christian rock recording artists "DeGarmo & Key". He was Musical Director of CBC French radio's Gala Albertain de la Chanson for 8 years and was Musical Director for Theatre Francais de Toronto's musical retrospective "Et si on chantait
" Paul has taught at the prestigious Royal Conservatory of Music and Ryerson University in Toronto. From 2003 to 2008, Paul was an Instructor of Music Technology at the University of Guelph. Paul's most recent CD is entitled "Decaf Life". It encourages people to lead a more stress-free life.
Picture by Cary Gillaspie - ScenicJAZZ Photography
|Paul Taylor (USA) - saxophone |
A native of Denver, Taylor has lived and worked in the thriving musical environment of Las Vegas since graduating as a music performance major from UNLV. He began playing sax at age seven and discovered his true calling while playing in a local high school garage band called Mixed Company, which played Top 40, funk and Crusader-styled fusion. Aiming to build his resume beyond the many dues-paying Vegas lounge gigs that marked his early professional life, he commuted often to Los Angeles and hooked up in the late 80s with (his later producer) Dino Esposito. Taylor did one of Espositos sessions at Jeff Lorber's home studio; a few years later, in 1994, the popular keyboardist remembered Taylor and asked him to play with him at the Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival. Popular keyboardist Keiko Matsui and her producer/husband Kazu liked Taylors charismatic performance and soon offered him an audition with their band. Taylor toured with The Rippingtons as a special guest artist. He also toured as a featured performer with the all-star Groovin For Grover lineup (including Jeff Lorber, Richard Elliot and Gerald Albright) After participating in Norman Browns Summer Storm II tour in 2006, the saxophonist began 2007 aboard the Brian Culbertson All-Star Smooth Jazz Cruise as a featured headlining performer.
|Paul Williams (United Kingdom) - guitar |
It would seem most likely that a child from the tough streets of Manchester's Moss side, would be destined for the type of lifestyle such surroundings normally yield. Paul's musical destiny was defined when a month after he was born his mother purchased a Guitar, Paul then had access to his first guitar long before he was big enough to play it. Though these early years and the physical limitations did not allow him to play, it was not long before he started to hone his God given gift. Paul was inspired as a Junior by his uncle who regularly played guitar in the reggae bands Pressure Shocks and Junior C Reaction. It was this musical experience that opened his young eyes to the importance of rhythm and groove. Ask anyone that has heard Paul play and they will comment on the incredible rhythm and soulful groove that abounds every time he picks up his instrument.
|Peet Project (Hungary) - group |
Founded by young musicians with writing and producing skills that defy their tender age, the Peet Project plays a seducing blend of jazz, pop and funk. The driving force in the group is violinist / composer / producer Peter "Peet" Ferencz who uses the violin as a lead instrument in an equivalent role to saxophones or keyboards. Peter started to learn classical violin at the age of 4 and was already playing for pop groups at 13. He was just 15 when he began to write and record hip-hop, r&b, house and pop songs in a small home studio. At high school, Peter teamed up with keyboarder Adam Lorincz with whom he wrote and recorded a series of compositions, of which the track Pink Spirit received regular airplay at Budapestâs leading smooth-jazz/lounge radio station 90.9 Jazzy. While working on their first album in 2009, they were joined by seasoned saxophone player and jazz educator Marci Mits and took up the band name "Peet Project". Be Free, the first track recorded with the new line-up was voted best new contemporary jazz song at 90.9 Jazzy in 2009 and was approved for heavy rotation immediately. Released in January 2010, the band's debut album, Pink Spirit, is quickly gaining attention from smooth jazz fans and industry professionals alike.
Picture by Sherry Fisher
|Peter White (United Kingdom) - guitar |
Since his beginnings as a solo artist in 1990, Peter has performed as a guest artist on recordings by many of his friends, including Rick Braun, Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot, Craig Chaquico, Jeff Golub, Lee Ritenour, 3rd Force, The Rippingtons, Kirk Whalum, Boney James and Marc Antoine. Over the years, White has progressed from a shy onstage presence to an assured performer who has an amazingly comfortable rapport with his audience. "I feel a tremendous joy when I'm able to connect with my fans. The purpose of being up there is not to show them how clever I can be, but to simply invite them to have a good time with me and the music."
|Phil Perry (USA) - vocals|
After moving to Los Angeles in 1979 Phil Perry soon became one of the most sought-after back-up vocalists on the L.A. scene. His bright, multi-octave range played a supporting role on albums of artists as Anita Baker, Dave Koz, George Duke, Barbara Streisand, Roberta Flack. Johnny Mathis, Bill Withers, The Pointer Sisters, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Womack, and Wil Downing. Quincy Jones invited Perry to record and tour with him in the early 80's and introduced him to Paul Anka, with whom he worked for several years. By 1991 he stepped out as a solo artist with the album "The Heart of a Man". During the 90s, Phil Perry received increased coverage on Smooth Jazz radio through his guest work on albums by Lee Ritenour, the Rippingtons and others. His album "One Heart One Love" was aimed straight at the Smooth Jazz market and hit the top five. In 2004 Perry featured a performance on Don Grusin's smooth jazz project labeled "The Hang". The live concert recording reunited Perry with Patti Austin, Dave Grusin, and an all-star ensemble of musicians. Through eight strong solo albums highlighting both his ability to interpret classic songs as well as his own superb genius as a songwriter, he remains one of the most beloved and soul stirring artists of our time. Perry's latest release "Ready For Love" (2008) is a lush production, rich with Perry originals. Released in March of 2008, the album hit the Billboard Adult Contemporary music chart at #4 - the first week of its release. Presently, Phil Perry is writing and recording a duo project with the Toni Award winning songstress, Melba Moore, due to be released before the end of 2009.
|Phillip 'Doc' Martin (USA) - saxophone |
How often is one lucky enough to recognize the signs of a unique, soulful musician on the verge of a long and promising creative career
Meet Phillip 'Doc' Martin; a rising alto saxophone stylist whos heartfelt, humble melodies are wooing live audiences across the country. And if Martin has his way, music fans all of world. Martin's latest CD, REALIZATION, features 14 new songs that don't passively fit the traditional smooth, instrumental or funky rhythm genres. His tunes flex, bounce and bend offering audiophiles a "new sax" diagnosis. Martin plays his horn with a warm and clear tone supplemented by a chronic range that takes you on a soulful and energetic journey with the likes of classical soul crooners like Donny Hathaway, Gerald Lever and James Brown. Phillip 'Doc' Martin's third release, REALIZATION, is a toe-tapping, finger-snapping, get-out-of-your-seat groove CD. Martin's unique eclectic style takes you on a musical journey from smooth to straight ahead jazz; breaking from traditional smooth jazz genres. While in dental school, Martin realized he was able to do it all, through studying on a plane between gigs and writing notes between practicing dentistry, thus REALIZATION became a reality and vision for the new CD.
|Pieces of a Dream (USA) - group |
Pieces of a Dream was formed in 1976 by keyboardist James Lloyd, drummer Curtis Harmon and former bassist Cedric Napoleon. The group based their name on Pieces of Dreams, a cover tune by Stanley Turrentine that the group performed. It was Grover Washington Jr., who helped Pieces of a Dream become the internationally known stars they are today. One day, while the teenagers were playing at the Bijou, he sat in with them to play "Mr. Magic." Soon Washington announced that he was starting a production company and that Pieces of a Dream would be his first act. Lloyd toured with Grover all over the world. From 1981 to 1984, Pieces of a Dream built their reputation with three albums on Elektra that would come to define the musical essence of the smooth jazz radio explosion: Pieces of a Dream, We Are One and Imagine This. In 2001, Pieces of a Dream signed with Heads Up International and celebrated their 25th anniversary with their best album in years, Acquainted with the Night. This release featured guitarist Ronny Jordan, vocalist Maysa Leak, and saxophonists Gerald Albright and Kenny Blake. Their April 2004 release, No Assembly Required, is another hit album in their long and illustrious career. "We will always be true to ourselves and our roots," says Lloyd, "and at the same time try to stay in touch with the times."
Picture by Byron Jones
|Reggie Codrington (USA) - saxophone |
Reggie is the son of the nationally known trumpeter and bandleader Ray Codrington, who played with numerous soul legends, including Little Richard, Gladys Knight and the late Jackie Wilson. Although many artists cite their parents as prime influences on their careers, Codrington takes that a step further, inviting his father Raywho helped Codrington develop his skills and learn improvisationto play trumpet throughout the recording.
Throughout his career, he has held his own on stage headlining many of his own shows, and also has opened for numerous legends, including Ramsey Lewis once in Charlotte, and he has played with keyboardist Kevin Tony at the Key Club in Los Angeles. Last year, he opened for Frankie Beverly and Maze and Charlie Wilson from The Gap Band. Codrington also played at the star studded Black Caucus in Washington, DC.
While the Fayetteville, North Carolina native seems new on many peoples radars, Reggie Codrington has actually been performing and recording since the early 90s and has eight previous CDs. His newest project, Vicarious Experience, is due out this summer and offers plenty of groove, R & B and funk for listeners of all ages. Its 10 luscious tracks tell a story that chronicles a romantic relationship from the beginning, taking the listener with him on a journey of the ups and downs of love.
|Renato Falaschi (France) - keyboards |
Born and raised in Bari, Italy, Renato Falaschi was inspired by music he was exposed to as a child, and began playing the piano by ear at a very early age. He began formal piano studies at the age of eight at Baris Niccolò Piccinni Conservatory of Music (Italy) and this he continued off and on into his teens, shifting to a focus on organ, guitar and arrangement and composition for big band of which he obtained his masters at the Jazz University in Terni. In 1990 he obtained a degree in classical piano at Enrico Dunis Conservatory of Music in Matera (Ba), Italy. Renato worked for RAI 1 Italy's no one-television network in 1985 where he remained for 5 years. Currently he lives in France where he has recorded many albums with different singers as a pianist and arranger. Renato has released his mini CD entitled Summer Rain like "prelude" to your upcoming album!
|Reza Saleh (USA) - bass |
Reza Saleh is an exceptional bassist and musician with a passion for jazz, music and the arts. Rezas simple, integrated approach emphasizes chord progressions, riffs and harmonies, resulting in distinctively intelligible, enjoyable music that everyone can appreciate. His compositions and performances leave listeners and audiences impressed and delighted. With recordings of his work and performance clips on YouTube, Facebook and featured on several podcasts, Rezas enthusiasm speaks for itself. Originally from Indonesia, Reza became interested in playing bass when he was 12. After his father, the late Usmawi Saleh, challenged him to learn as many rhythmic variations of the 12-bar Blues as possible, and with his older brother, Emir, playing piano, Reza was captivated. With after-school jamming as an everyday practice with his family, Reza developed impeccable skills. By the time he caught an Earth, Wind and Fire performance which convinced him that music could be thrilling both to create and consume Reza committed to music as a way of life. He came to America, where he was named the Long Beach Jazz Festivals Best Jazz Star Search Artist in 2006. Reza has since played the Jazz & Music festival. Reza still plays his Yamaha bass, has released his album, FIRST STEP.
Picture by Terri Long
|Ric Alexander (USA) - saxophone |
Fans characterize Ric's musical style as a cross between Grover Washington Jr. and a smooth jazz version of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Ric Alexander is an experienced saxophonist, songwriter, and producer. His reputation for playing two saxes at once is being noticed by promoters, magazine/newspaper writers, audiences at local venues, smooth jazz events and radio stations. Ric was in 2005 crowned the Smooth Jazz Idol by Dave Koz on the Dave Koz Cruise.
|Richard Elliot (USA) - saxophone |
The Scotland-born and L.A. raised saxophonist, multi-talented tenorman, composer and producer started his career by touring with the Pointer Sisters and Natalie Cole. He played for Smokey Robinson, the The Four Tops, the The Temptations and the Yellowjackets. He later toured and recorded with Melissa Manchester and Rick Springfield. He spent five years with the funk band Tower of Power and was part of two tours with Huey Lewis and the News. In 1986 he came out with his first solo release Trolltown, setting the stage for a successful solo career and recording 12 additional solo releases. Three of Richard Elliots friends have come together to bring one of the most successful tours in recent years to audiences worldwide: Jazz Attack features Elliot, the guitarist Peter White, the trumpeter Rick Braun and the singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler, who was on last years Hot Summer Nights tour with saxophonist Dave Koz. Elliot and Braun formed the label ARTizen Music Group, which released Elliots album Metro Blue and the current Rock Steady. He partici-pates in the current decades all-star tours like Groovin For Grover and Jazz Attack.
|Richard Smith (USA) - guitar |
Guitarist Richard Smith is one of the most prolific and popular veterans of Contemporary Jazz. Each of his 10 solo discs has reached the top of the charts, while garnering awards such as "Best New Artist"(Radio & Records Magazine) and "Best Album of the year"(Tune Up Magazine). Two and a half years in the making, The L.A. Chillharmonic brings some of the Smith's high profile L.A. based peers together under one jumping, moving, and soulful roof. This all-star collaboration creates a quintessential L.A. vibe, meticuously crafted songs, and an uncompromising 9-piece homrn section stacked with the best and brightest players around. Joining Richard on his Artistry Music debut are Greg Adams, Alex Acuña, Brian Bromberg, Vinnie Colaiuta, Greg Karukas, Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, Michael Paulo and Patrice Rushen. (See also L.A. Chillharmonic)
|Rick Braun (USA) - trumpet |
Rick Braun, born in Pennsylvania, is a successful jazz trumpet phenomenon, composer/arranger, producer and entrepreneur. Before embarking on a solo career, Braun got his start by playing in several bands, including guitarist Jeff Golubs Avenue Blue. Braun also plays in the band BWB, with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and guitarist Norman Brown. In 1993 he was offered a record deal in L.A with his jazz-fusion band Auracle. He directed his focus to contemporary jazz, issuing his solo debut Intimate Secrets. After touring with Sade, he returned in 1994 with Night Walk. With 1995s Beat Street, Brauns popularity continued to snowball, with 1996s smash Body & Soul launching the NAC chart-topper Notorious. He is a two-time winner of the Gavin Reports Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year award. He collaborated with Boney James on the 2000 release Shake It Up. The album Kisses in the Rain followed a year later. His talent led him to performing and recording with the best, including Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Natalie Cole, Sade, Tom Petty, War, Glen Frey and Crowded House. His latest Yours Truly is another milestone in an illustrious and fulfilling career. In 2005 he co-founded the record label ARTizen Music Group with saxophonist Richard Elliot.
|Rob Tardik (Canada) - guitar |
In a career spanning nearly two decades, Rob Tardik has established himself as an award winning guitarist now a rising instrumental music artist! Having performed for 5 years running at the coveted Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards held yearly in Mississaugas Living Arts Center, Rob has shared the stage with the likes of legendary producer Phil Ramone, Paul Brown, Marc Antoine, Tower of Power founding member Greg Adams, guitarist Peter White and 4 time Grammy award winning saxophonist David Sanborn. Rob is now taking center stage with his latest release The Right Time, having just won the prestigious award for 2010 as guitarist in the category of Canadian Smooth Jazz Guitarist of the Year and holding the #1 spot on the U.S based Music Choice Contemporary Jazz charts for 4 weeks in row Sept/Oct 2010! Rob was also previously honoured by being named Mississaugas 2007 Established Performer of the Year, an award won previously by Oscar Peterson and Rik Emmett. An industry veteran, and highly respected guitarist, Robs work can be heard on his successful debut CD Without Words which was met with great enthusiasm and radio play world wide from Sweden and Hungary to the U.K. In spring 2006 Rob earned a #1 Smooth Jazz chart single in Canada with his soulful remake of Stings Fields of Gold. The newest album released in Canada in Oct 2009 and Jan 2010 in the U.S features the singles Crusin, Smoothy and Frame of Mind which have been favourites on many Canadian and over 100 U.S/International terrestrial and internet radio stations.
|Robert Kramers (Netherlands, The) - bass |
Roberts bass career started at the age of 15. During his College years, he founded with some friends the very popular funk & soul cover band "Jam Square". For more than 10 years, "Jam Square" played on parties and festivals in the Netherlands as well as abroad.
In November 2008, Robert joined the Dutch band "Alderliefste", a well known band in Holland. Two of their songs songs are listed in The Dutch Top 2000 (Een Mooi Verhaal/ Une Bellle Histoire and Laat me/ Vivre). The last song was made in collaboration with Ramses Shaffy, one of Holland's most famous singers, who passed away in 2010. Alderliefste also wrote the song luistert er iemand, the title song for the audiobook version of Mr Finny, a childrens book, written by Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands.
For 5 years Robert worked on and off on his first solo album, titled On The Block. In this album he shows himself as a writer, producer and musician who not only plays the bass but also raps and sings. On this album he had the privilige to work with a variety of international musicians who inspired him during the many live concerts he did over the years.
|Rocco Ventrella (Italy) - saxophone |
The saxophone player Rocco Ventrella getting good reputation in Smooth Jazz music business. "Give Me The Groove" CD released on February 2007 Rocco has been Pre-Nominated Grammy Award Contemporary Jazz Best Album 2007 and got quotes from Dave Koz, George Duke, Chris Standring, Bob James, Everette Harp and more. He has been named as new best Smooth Jazz saxophone player by Jazziz Magazine and jazzreview.com.
Picture by Tom Oldham
|Roger Odell (United Kingdom) - drums |
My earliest experience as a drummer was playing in various modern jazz groups and then I turned fully professional with the group CMU releasing two albums on the Transatlantic label. I then joined Northern Lights which included the singer Tina Charles and later Shakatak's Jill Saward. We played residences in various London venues and I began to get calls for session work. During this time I formed the band Tracks which included Bill Sharpe, Keith Winter and Trevor Horn, who later became a well known Producer. I introduced Bill to another Producer (Nigel Wright - later a Musical Director for X-Factor and Andrew Lloyd Weber) and this led to the formation of Shakatak with the addition of Keith, Jill Saward, Jackie Rawe and later, George Anderson. As well as recording and touring with Shakatak on a regular basis I formed the recording group Beatifik and in 2000 we released a CD "The Blue Window" which featured Jackie Hicks, Mornington Lockett, my wife Larraine and our son Jamie Odell. The second Beatifik CD "Intrigue" was recorded during 2014/15 and features the same personnel with the addition of Keith Winter. This is available on Secret Records.
|Roselyn Brown (Canada) - saxophone|
Roselyn is a standout multi-instrumentalist with a long history of versatility and excellence. After many years working with top notch musicians in the Big Band Circuit and Toronto jazz scene Roselyn kicked off her solo jazz career, focusing on the key elements of rhythm, melody and 'smooth'. Roselyn is an engaging and soulful player who continues to delight audiences with her colourful expression wherever she is heard. Whether she is decorating the music of other artists or performing solo; Roselyn Brown paints a sonic picture that is unforgettable.
EMANCIPATION, Roselyn brown's premier recording, was released in the spring of 2008. Produced by award-winning record producer Brandon Grady Pitts, this album offers a glimpse of the many talents of Roselyn Brown. "Roselyn Brown is one very talented lady so much so that it's tough to categorize her as an artist because she performs on so many instruments that it is perhaps better to refer to her as a multi-instrumentalist who can also sing. Emancipation reveals the depth of her skills where she crafts an album of originals, covers and one oft heard classic into a primarily smooth jazz recording." - Edward Blanco eJazzNews.com
|Running Hybrids (Austria) - group |
Excellent and enthusiastic musicians from upper Austria, Hungary and Vienna, and lower Austria playing a musical high tension. The Quintet presents a compact, precise sound with catchy pulsating Drive. A combination of complexity, lightness and rhythmic finesse. Running Hybrids was founded by keyboarder and composer Georg Henke. With sophisticated arrangements and much a mix groove from Acid Jazz Soul Pop Funk. With singer Mary Lamaro he has found in a very own style. Selected cover versions (Watermelon Man, Cantaloup Island Erykah Badu..) are presented by the finest.
Picture by Donald Tipton
|Russel Blake (USA) - bass |
Russel Blake has been a professional musician, solo artist and educator for over 3 decades. He was instructed by his father, Latin great Alexander Blake and his brother, world renowned jazz bassist Alex Blake II.
Russel Blake has performed and recorded with artists like Sonny Rollins, Hugh Masekela, Paquito D'Rivera, Gil Evans, Angela Bofill, Chaka Kahn, Billy Cobham, Wallace Roney, Hiram Bullock, Dave Valentin, and Brenda Russell. He also performed on Broadway as a bassist in the The Lion King and Dreamgirls.
As a music producer, his latest project "Quiet Strength" is a powerful and soulful jazz project that gives the listener the ability to experience all facets of his musical skills.
|Salt Seven (Netherlands, The) - group|
SaltSeven has developed out of a long lasting cooperation and friendship between Dutch musicians from different musical backgrounds. This gave the band a Smooth Jazz sound that's truly unique. This style blends elements of Latin, Soul, and Pop into a funky dance sound.
SaltSeven is a band that you really have to see live to feel the positive vibe to the fullest. Its repertoire consists of melodious songs with a groove that makes you want to dance. These melodies are carried and enhanced by percussion and sparkling horn arrangements. The chord progressions find their origins in the music of both North and South America.
Feel good is the main motto of the band's shows. The audience is being swept away by the swing of the music, the catchy melodies en the zest of the horn riffs. This band's energy takes you on a musical journey that you wont forget easily. Apart from the collective effort of the band members, they each get their own share of the spotlight as well.
|Sara de Ville (Spain) - vocals|
Is it Smooth and Jazz and Groovy that you like? The music of Sara de Ville is what you might like! Sara de Ville is a Belgian Smooth Jazz singer and songwriter, based in Spain. She toured several years with her family-trio in Europe and decided to start her solo career at the beginning of 2009, capturing the attention of fans all over the world. She released her debut solo-EP "Look at me now " in July 2009, which was followed by her first full CD PARADISE ISLAND on April 15th 2010. This album includes 10 original tracks.
June 2011 : single Samba Nina, inspired by her daughter.
November 2011 : Christmas Single Footprints In The Snow
June 2012 : Single Dinner for One
July 2013 : Single Stranger in Paradise. A latin mood with a jazzy twist!
January 2014 : Single Cosy, a jazzy love song and a groovy feel
The music and the lyrics of all these songs are written by Sara de Ville and she sings the lead vocals and the backing vocals on each song. The piano and all other instruments are played and recorded by Paul Vandenberghe alias " Tio Jazzy".
|Seraph (Netherlands, The) - group |
Seraph was established in 1994 by Marcel Zimmer, Eric Lagerstrom, Dave Sahanaja and Elisa Krijgsman. The band started in a tv-talkshow and has been developing ever since.
Their first CD, titled Tales of the unexpected was brought out in 1996 by Ecovata Record Company in Oisterwijk. This album consists of ten of their own compositions, with the saxofonist Tom Beek as a guest musician. Eric Lagerstrom (keys) left the band in 1997. Dennis Tielkes took his place.
Some musicians such as Marcel Zimmer and Elisa Krijgsman more frequently occupied themselves with producing CD's, creating a possibility for the musicians to jam together in spare time between productions. In fact, life was blown into Seraph again with the addition of musicians Mark Dekkers on bass guitar, and pianist/ saxophonist Christan Grotenbreg. This resulted in a new album release in 2005 titled ' Proskuneo '.
Eight years after 'Proskuneo', Seraph released their 3rd album titled Behind the scenes'. Christan Grotenbreg has left the band and Sjoerd Visser replaced him on saxophone. This album contains again ten of their own composition.
Picture by Katerina Polstyanaya
|Sergei Chipenko/Trans Atlantic (Russia) - keyboards|
Honored artist of Russia, pianist and composer Sergei Chipenko is a participant of many international jazz festivals and competitions, the author of music for theatre productions and documentaries. He is the founder and unchangeable leader of one of the leading Russian smooth-jazz groups Trans Atlantic. Graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, the Rakhmaninov School student. Played with: D.Koz, P.Perry, E.Marienthal, B.Simpson, С.Loeb, J.Lorber, J.Haslip, W.Kennedy, R.Elliot, D.Mann & many other famous jazz musicians...
|Shakatak (United Kingdom) - group |
Shakatak have enjoyed a level of success and career longevity rarely paralleled in contemporary music-but then Shakatak is a particularly unusual group. After a number of successful top-twenty singles in the UK, the band went on to score unprecedented international success with the release of the classic "Nightbirds" recording, and the title track has now become a standard in the popular music repertoire. This sucess was repeated with the top-ten hit "Down on the Street". Along with this successful recording career, Shakatak had firmly established themselves as a vibrant live act, combining astute musicianship with a sense of fun that communicated strongly with world-wide audiences. Besides their performance in Japan's Budoken Hall, other live concerts of note have been the East meets the West Border Concert at the time of German re-unificationin 1989 and the open air concert in Cape Town for the Millennium Celebrations 2000 where they played in front of 250,000 people. Shakatak perform regularly in the UK, Europe and the Far East and release CD's almost annually. There are also DVD releases available, proving there is still an insatiable demand for the unique Shakatak sound.
See also George Anderson
Picture by Steve Koress
|Shilts (USA) - saxophone |
Paul "Shilts" Weimar hails originally from London, England and has been playing saxophone since his early teens. His career has spanned all forms of jazz, soul, rock and pop music. He has toured all over the world and performed with a host of international artists, such as The Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, Rick Braun, Jeff Lorber, Peter White and many more. Eventually Shilts became the most visible and identifiable member of the UK jazz group Down To The Bone. In his eleven years with the group, he remained excited about the ongoing challenge of creating a separate identity for himself with his highly anticipated debut, "See What Happens" which earned a 2001 Smooth Jazz Award nomination. "HeadBoppin" was his second and highly acclaimed follow up. His third and latest release, "Jigsaw Life", is a powerful showcase for Shilts' multitude of performing and composing talents, focusing not only on his tenor brilliance but also his instantly infectious melodies. Shilts brings the same high energy and up beat groove to his solo project as he did with DTTB, all mixed in with a bit of British charm and wit....
|Sietse Huisman (Netherlands, The) - drums |
Sietse Huisman, is a Drumset artist, producer from the Netherlands. Born 1968 and with 20 years of professional experience Sietse is a well known drummer in the scene.
With his band Art Atack Sietse released two albums and his third solo album called "Mindscapes" is out now! You can purchase these records on itunes, spotify etc.
With his killing! live band Sietse is available for bookings and gigs. As an endorser for Tama drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Regaltip drumsticks and Evans drumheads Sietse also works as a clinician.
Besides that Sietse works as a teacher at the Academy for Popculture in Leeuwarden in the Netherlands. At his studio in Leeuwarden Sietse records drumtracks on a freelance basis
for those who need them.
Picture by Katarzyna Parejko
|Slow (Poland) - group |
Founded in 2010 in Poland by guitarist, Tomasz Kaczmarczyk and pianist, Krzysztof Wermiński, the musical project Slow, is a bountiful, melodic Smooth Jazz duo that has released a remarkable debut album, ART OF SILENCE. This full band recording features the highest quality production and world-class musicianship including session-superstars from Poland and US. Many critics were delighted to discover such sophisticated, intriguing new music in a part of Europe that is seemingly abuzz with new excitement for Smooth Jazz. Fresh, innovative musical ideas is exactly what the genre needs and ART OF SILENCE is filled with intelligent, heartfelt new music.
|Snake Davis (United Kingdom) - saxophone |
Snake Davis is one of the jazz worlds best kept secrets. A saxophonist of almost unparalleled gifts he's played with the best in the genre through a career spanning three decades. He's released nine albums of funk, soul inspired jazz. The latest is probably his most personal and intimate work to date. A combination of self-penned numbers, jazz standards and soul classics, it's an album that's happy, sad, optimistic, wistful and beautiful at the same time. A rare document of a musician on top of his game, unafraid to wear his emotions firmly on his sleeve. Brought up listening to sax heroes such as Coltrane, Parker and Sanborn, Snake soon developed a voice of his own. Bending and twisting notes in a way few can match, Snakes sound has become instantly recognisable. Even if you're not a jazz-head, you'll have heard that sweet sax sound before. Because aside from his own projects, Snake's lent his talents to hits by Take That, Lisa Stansfield, M People; recorded on countless commercials and appears on television. He's worked with everyone from Ray Charles and Dionne Warwick to Amy Winehouse and George Michael. Snake Davis is truly a sax legend of the modern age.
Picture by Bettie Grace Miner
|Special EFX (see profile Chieli Minucci) (USA) - group |
SEE PROFILE "CHIELI MINUCCI & SPECIAL EFX"
|Steve Adelson (USA) - guitar |
INSTRUMENT: CHAPMAN STICK - Steve Adelson is one of the world's premier Chapman Stick players. He has performed solo and with his group "The New Stick-Tet" internationally and throughout the United States. The revolutionary Chapman Stick is a twelve string bass/guitar/piano hybrid, that allows Mr. Adelson to use a unique two handed tapping technique to create melodies, harmonies, rhythms and improvisations all simultaneously in real time. Steve's repertoire is very varied with influences from the worlds of jazz, Latin, pop and beyond. Steve also produces the Long Beach (NY) Jazz Festival, teaches Stick clinics around the world, has written for various music publications as well as a method book for Mel Bay and a DVD instructional course with TrueFire. Music critics have applauded Steve's output of CDs, DVDs and live shows. It's rare indeed to find a new voice and Mr. Adelson's new sound on The Chapman Stick , certainly has found its space in that special place.
|Steve Baxter (USA) - trombone |
Steve Baxter heralds from Houston, Texas. Born in Shreveport La. been in Los Angeles for 18 years now free lancing and touring. This dynamic high energy trombonist brought his jazz, classical and urban approach to his 1st solo project "In And Out"(2003). The 2nd CD "Sugar On The Bone" goes back to the roots, lends it's sound to "The Crusaders" which Steve toured during 2003. Steve have toured with some great artist, names like Ray Charles, Horace Silver, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Jodie Watley, Barry Manilow, Babayface, Eric Benet, Glady's Knight, Cameo, The Gap Band and many others. "Sugar On The Bone" features: Randy Crawford, Everette Harp, Brandon Fields, Michael Bearden, Sekou Bunch, Michael Lington, Chris Strandring, Val Davis, Billy Vallentine, Wilton Felder, Oscar Seaton and many others. This project has been picking up steam and is forcast to be around for many years.
|Steve Cole (USA) - saxophone |
At the age of 18 saxophonist Steve Cole played as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Despite his success in the classical realm, Cole opted to focus on his true musical loves, Jazz, Pop and R&B. Steve began gigging frequently on the local Chicago music scene as a session player and performing with keyboardists Bob Mamet and Brian Culbertson. Steve Cole began his solo career with his first solo album Stay Awhile (1998). It turned out to be a smooth jazz sensation. The success of this debut album culminated at the 2000 Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards where Steve was the recipient of the Prism Award for Best New Artist. Cole followed the record's success by performing and recording frequently, both as band leader and featured guest, with such artists as Boz Scaggs, Junior Wells, Waymon Tisdale, KMFDM, Rick Braun, Peter White, and Brian Culbertson. In addition to his roadwork, Cole has also lent his special sax touch to such records as Larry Carlton's "Fingerprints", Brian Culbertson's 1999 release, "Somethin' About Love" , and Jeff Lorber's "Kickin' It".
Picture by Carvin
|Steve Oliver (USA) - guitar |
Guitarist and vocalist Steve Oliver, often likened to a hybrid of George Benson and Bobby McFerrin, revels in sharing the joy of what he does best, celebrating life and music. Growing up in Walnut Creek, his love for so many different styles and worship of every guitarist from Santana to Pat Metheny made every path an early possibility. During highschool he played in bands with different styles from rock, classical to even a little jazz. Steve had to go through a lot of phases to discover his true voice. His debut album, First View (1999), was nominated for an AFIM (Association for Independent Music) Award and earned him the distinction of "Debut Artist of the Year" from the national publication Smooth Jazz News. His 2002 album, Positive Energy, all on an indie label, was nominated by the National Smooth Jazz Awards for Best New Artist and Best Guitar Player for 2003. While he's toured and performed with Chris Botti, Rippingtons, Michael Franks, Kyle Eastwood, Fourplay, it was Steve's high profile role in Steve Reid's band that finally gave him the opportunity to emerge as a budding instrumental star. More than simply the lead guitarist, he became a true partner of Reid's shortly after joining the band in 1996, writing nine songs on the Mysteries album and three on Bamboo Forest's new Passion In Paradise.
Picture by Rob Laughlin
|Steve Raybine (USA) - vibraphone |
Steve Raybine is a vibraphonist who has earned a reputation for his exciting live performances and melodically-appealing and rhythmically-compelling original contemporary jazz compostions. Raybine is equally talented at Funk, R&B, Pop and Latin sounds. He toured the United States and Europe. Raybine performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Frankfurt Jazz Festival, Sopot Jazz Festival (Poland) and numerous jazz venues in Los Angeles. He worked with Ed Shaughnessy, Dizzy Gillespie, Rick Braun, among others. His first CD release was entitled "Steve Raybine: Balance Act". His second CD, "Bad Kat Karma" was released in late June, 2005. It was listed as one of the top 50 jazz CD's in the U.K. for 2005. His new CD release is entitled "In The Drivers Seat".
|Susan Jane (Netherlands, The) - vocals |
Susan Jane follows her heart because the heart tells more than everything around her. With her soulful voice and acoustic guitar, she seeks for the truth. Her songs are about the desire to find the silence of the eye of the storm. Her selfwritten songs reveal the total spectrum of her personality, from fragile girl to powerful woman. Her fantastic voice guides the listener in her songs along the past, saying goodbye, feeling safe and growing up. About true love and the awareness that everything she needs is inside her. She just has to find it.
Het first album Clarity Of Mind is released in 2012. She recorded it with a variety of talented musicians like Arthur Bont (drums / percussion), Janos Koolen (guitar), Lucas Beukers (bass), Frank Montis (keyboards), Rory Ronde (guitaar), Matthijs Lievaart (violin), Morris Kliphuis (french horn), Kobi Arditi (trombone), Randell Heye (trumpet), Stan Haywood (clarinet), Jon Karthaus (vocals) en Leine (vocals).
|Terje Lie (USA) - saxophone |
Saxophonist Terje Lie ("Terry Lee") started his career during highschool in Norway with his blues/rock band with which he appeared as a lead vocalist on Norwegian television at seventeen years of age. Lie toured Norway, Sweden, and Finland with different groups and appeared on the jazz shows of NRK, the Norwegian equivalent of the BBC. Lie later decided to move to the U.S. since his favorite styles of music "were being created in this country 24/7 everywhere." Since then he has been a jazz artist and freelance musician, performing in clubs and at festivals and concerts throughout the West Coast. Lie has a degree in music education as well as a Master of Music degree. He is active in music education and as a clinician and when time allows, he also donates time to children's music programs. Commenting on his new album Urban Vacation, produced by Jimmy Haslip and Jeff Lorber, Terje says, "Seeing how much work Jimmy and Jeff put into Urban Vacation has definitely inspired me to expect even more from myself as a composer, musician, and performer. It's great to have the opportunity now to share that with more fans than ever before. Jeff and Jimmy enlightened me to many new angles and concepts that made this a fantastic experience for me. It's been a great thing to record with them and the result is a seriously kickin' album!"
Picture by Melinda Norris
|Terri Brinegar (USA) - vocals |
Soulful, Inspiring, Passionate, Beautiful these words describe the songwriting and singing talent of Terri Brinegar. Since her relocation to Nashville, Tennessee, Terri has been writing music of diverse influences, from Jazz to R&B to Adult Contemporary. Her melodies are never predictable, her words are inspiring, and the music is soulful and rich in texture. Terri likes to write with a definite groove in her songs, but feels that the melody is the most important part of the song. An accomplished musician who grew up playing a variety of instruments, Terri graduated with a degree in Classical voice and even attended The Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She is a seasoned professional with years of stage experience from her years of performing in the Los Angeles Blues circuit. Her voice has been described as "a weapon of great caliber for minds and hearts" and "one of the strongest on the scene". Terri has two CD's of all-original material to her credit, soon to release a third.
|The Super Groovers (USA) - group |
The Super Groovers consists of a core group of two super talented musicians residing in Los Angeles, Frank Villafranca originally from Buffalo N.Y. playing tenor, alto, soprano saxophones and flute and Andrew D. Gordon originally from London England playing keyboards, guitar, computer programming, creating modern jazz/funk/latin/blues grooves influenced from the 60's & 70s. Their first album Supergroovin released in the spring of 2007 received international airplay with the title track Super Groover charting on many smooth jazz radio playlists. The Super Groovers, have put together an exceedingly cool collection of original contemporary jazz tunes, expertly embellished with elements of blues, funk, and Latin grooves. Scott OBrien SmoothJazz.com. Their next album is planned for release in the Spring of 2009. Besides performing and recording artists they are both music educators and between them have written over 30 music educational books that are sold all over the world. They are currently working on a series of smooth jazz educational books for woodwind and brass instruments.
Picture by Jonas Ramos
|Tom Braxton (USA) - saxophone |
Saxophonist Tom Braxton is a versatile instrumentalist, a charismatic performer, and a gifted composer whose distinct, melodic sound thrills audiences of all ages and leaves them wanting more. His crisp, lyrical melodies and tantalizing grooves blend elements of jazz, Latin, funk, and R&B to create a sound that is innovative and appealing. After one of his electrifying concerts, you'll still be humming the melodies and snapping your fingers all the way to the parking lot.
|Tony Vattimo (USA) - keyboards |
Tony Vattimo has been playing in the Philadelphia area for many years. He has performed with various musicians in and around the Philadelphia and New York area. He has studied with some notable teachers and has a degree in music from West Chester University. He has been a staff composer for Music Library companies both in New York and California. Recently he has release a CD called "Can't Let Go".
|Tower of Power (USA) - group |
Since 1968, Tower of Power has been creating their own kind of soul music. Tower's rhythm section lays down a groove like no other band. The bands horn driven sound is unique, and the way they approach everything, from writing and arranging to mixing and performing, is totally their own. Combine all of that with an outstanding lead vocalist and you have one of the most dynamic groups of musicians to ever hit the stage. Tower of Power's 40 year odyssey actually began in 1968 when Emilio Castillo met Stephen "Doc" Kupka in July of that year. Since the beginning, Tower of Power has never stopped touring and recording. Always in demand, the band never fails to entertain and amaze their fans. Tower is truly blessed to have a dedicated following that often travels to see the band, and in many cases fans will plan their vacation or work schedule around an appearance of TOP. Of the ten current members, Emilio Castillo, Rocco Prestia, Stephen Kupka, and David Garibaldi are four of the bands founding members. With Mic Gillete rejoining the band in August of 2009, there are now 5 original members in the current lineup. Their dedication to the music, their creative writing, and their original vision still guides Tower of Power. Each year Tower of Power tours the United States, Japan and Europe, playing to sold out crowds all over the world. 2009 will see the release of the Great American Soulbook, a collection of classic soul tunes, and the 40th Anniversary Concert DVD. Tower has never been busier or more in demand. New generations of fans come to see the band perform as their timeless music continues to excite fans of all ages.
|Travis Vega (USA) - guitar|
2008 starts another chapter for Travis, with his latest release SMOOTH URBAN NIGHT. This CD is by far his greatest work to date, combining his love of retro grooves, strong hooks, and silky smooth melodies, Vega lets loose and opens up to wonderful results, making the guitar sing, while effortlessly flowin' through fast melodic runs. His passion of choice is of course his love of the spanish guitar, which is showcased beautifully on LATIN KNIGHTS and NITE FLOW, always giving that Vega touch of sophistication.
Picture by Osamu
|Tuck and Patti (USA) - group |
For more than 33 years, this unique vocal/ guitar jazz duo has cast its passionate musical spell worldwide, capturing the hearts of lovers, the respect of jazz buffs, and the jaw-dropping awe of guitarists.
Onstage and off, guitarist Tuck Andress and vocalist/arranger Patti Cathcart might, at first impression, strike you as an odd couple. Patti exudes the soft, centered yet powerful graciousness of a gospel singer; Tuck almost wears his brain on his skin, anticipating the thousands of musical decisions he'll have to send to his ten fingers during the course of a performance. Seeing the virtuosity and complexity of Tuck's guitar work, most are surprised to learn that Patti is the actual writer, arranger, and producer.
Patti seemed to be born singing. She performed with many rock and jazz groups during the sixties.
Tuck spent days in his room learning everything he could about guitar playing. He played with garage rock bands and school big bands, and learned songs from Montgomery, Benson, Coltrane, B. B. King, etc. but was also influenced by Jimi Hendrix.
In 1978, Tuck was already guitarist for a cover band when Patti walked in to audition. "Within a few seconds of hearing her sing," recalls Tuck, "I knew I had found my lifetime musical partner."
They tour Asia and Europe so much that they know that home is with each other, regardless of location