Continuing to bring smooth jazz to the Philadelphia Waterfront, WJJZ Smooth Jazz Summer Nights returns for a ninth season, to the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing on Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street. The sounds of local and national Smooth Jazz artists will fill the air every Friday night in August through September 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m. and continuing the series of Free Friday night concerts during the 2006 summer season at Penn's Landing. Sponsored by WJJZ, along with CW Philly 57 and CBS 3, this series is free to the public due to the generous support of Independence Blue Cross.
The series will kick-off on Friday, August 4th with the smooth sounds of Philadelphia native, Gerald Veasley. He was recently named "Best Electric Bassist" in Jazziz magazine's annual readers' poll and Philadelphia Magazine named him "Best Jazz Band." This University of Pennsylvania alumnus has shared stages with Jazz legends such as Grover Washington Jr. and Miles Davis. His new album, At the Jazz Base, is sure to please and is receiving rave reviews.
On Friday, August 11th, enjoy the alluring saxophone playing of Ken Navarro. Navarro is recognized as one of today's top Contemporary Jazz guitarists and composers. His remarkable list of 16 top charting albums displays his appeal to a wide range of listeners with inspirational compositions and outstanding guitar performances. As founder of Positive Music Records, Navarro is responsible for launching and furthering the recording careers of saxophonist Brandon Fields and guitarists Grant Geissman. Ken's latest album, Love Colored Soul, is in stores now.
On Friday August 18, another gifted saxophonist, Steve Cole, brings his unique sound to the Philadelphia Waterfront, with fresh and crackling brand of smooth sax jazz sounds inspired by his hometown of Chicago. Cole's trademark sound is a sizzling mix of modern funk textures and neo-soul sensibilities mixed with catchy hooks and feisty horn textures on the choruses. It's guaranteed to make any audience a true fan.
This year's series also features Michael Lington, one of the hottest acts on the Contemporary Jazz scene. On Friday, August 25th, Lington, who once toured with Little Richard, will grace the stage with a passionate, intense style that will have crowd wanting more. Lington's sound is unique. Critics have described him as, "One to watch out for in the near future." Lington is in the studio now working on a summer 2006 album release.
The series will close out on Friday, September 1st with an exciting performance by the Sax Pack. The Sax Pack features three of the most talented saxophonists in the country; Jeff Kashiwa, brings his classic style, Kim Waters, adds a little funk and last but not least, Steve Cole, contributes his own eclectic mix to the trio.
Smooth Jazz WJJZ 106.1 has supported this concert series since it's inception. WJJZ's Michael Tozzi comments, "This is one of the premiere concert events in Philadelphia each year. The thousands of listeners and talented artists are what make these shows magical and a weekend destination for so many each August!" WJJZ 106.1 radio personalities will be on site every Friday evening to host the concert, give away prizes and sell special merchandise.
CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and CW Philly 57 (WPSG-TV) are part of the CBS Television Stations division, one of the largest network-owned station groups. "We are happy to expand the relationship we began with Penn's Landing Corporation last summer by having our sister station CBS 3 join the partnership," says Michael Colleran, president and general manager of the two stations. The staff of CBS 3 is especially excited about promoting the Smooth Summer Nights series and sharing this exciting program with our viewers all summer long."
This series is free to the public due to the generous support of Independence Blue Cross. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis for each show. Public Programming at Penn's Landing would not be possible without our presenting sponsor, Independence Blue Cross, and the continued support of PECO, an Exelon Company; Commerce Bank, Pennsylvania Lottery and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, all of whom are committed to serving the Greater Philadelphia community.
Penn's Landing Corporation is the non-profit organization responsible for funding and producing public programming at Penn's Landing. Independence Blue Cross is the presenting sponsor of the 2006 Summer Season at Penn's Landing. All events produced by Penn's Landing Corporation are FREE to the public and on the Great Plaza, the heart of Penn's Landing, Philadelphia's premier riverfront entertainment destination.