Monday, April 30, 2007


Jazz fusion band Hiroshima's forthcoming release, Little Tokyo, celebrates cultural diversity by exploring the music of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Though the band, founded by wind instrument player Dan Kuramoto and koto player June Kuramoto, has always embraced a variety of global sounds and merged it with contemporary music, Little Tokyo points to an all-inclusive world view.

The 11 tracks on the album, due in stores May 22nd via Heads Up International, explore this multi-cultural stance, adopting a Middle Eastern style on the album's opener "Midnight Sun," mixed with the Japanese taiko drum sound of Kuramoto's bandmate Shoji Kameda. Bassist Kimo Cornwell and bassist Dean Cortez trade licks on a variety of tracks, most notably "On The Fence." The album also features Pieces of a Dream keyboardist James Lloyd (on "Lanai") and guest percussionist Richie Gajate Garcia (on "Sir Charles").

Kuramoto says of the band's mission to break with trends, "So many musicians are so afraid to stretch themselves. There's so little that they're allowed to play if they want to survive commercially. But we as a band have always believed that there's more to it than that, and we will continue on our journey to explore those possibilities, regardless of the next fad on the horizon."

Little Tokyo, which is named after the neighborhood in Los Angeles, includes the following tracks:

"Midnight Sun"
"On The Fence"
"Red Beans And Rice"
"Sir Charles"
"Hidden Times"
"Shades of Honor"
"Quan Yin"
"Hiro Chill"
"Little Tokyo Underground"


Gladys Knight, a singer, actress and humanitarian whose five-decade career stretches from gospel music to pop hits to R&B classics, has been chosen as the recipient of the 16th Annual ELLA Award by the Society of Singers (SOS). The announcement was made by Jerry F. Sharell, the president and CEO of SOS, a non-profit organization that offers comprehensive services to meet the emergency financial needs of professional singers worldwide. Named after its first recipient, Ella Fitzgerald, the ELLA Award is given to singers whose significant musical accomplishments are equaled by their dedication to charitable and humanitarian causes both local and international.

"Gladys Knight has one of the greatest and most distinctive voices of our time, and is a woman who has helped countless people through her humanitarian and philanthropic work," says Sharell. A seven-time Grammy Award winner with Number One hits in the pop, R&B and Adult Contemporary formats, Knight has released close to 40 albums; her hits include "Midnight Train to Georgia," "I've Got to Use My Imagination" and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." Her most recent album is "Before Me," a tribute to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday. The fall 2006 release was part of a charity initiative that Knight launched in collaboration with Ashley Stewart Stores. She also works with charities ranging from the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society to the Minority AIDS Project and amFAR.

The honor will be presented to Knight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on September 10, 2007. Previous recipients of the ELLA Award, besides Ms. Fitzgerald herself, include Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Peggy Lee, Lena Horne, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett and Placido Domingo.

The Society of Singers was founded in 1984 by Chairman Emeritus Ginny (Mrs. Henry) Mancini and Gilda Maiken Anderson when the two friends, both of them former professional singers, realized that many of their friends and colleagues were without pensions, unions, medical insurance or places to turn for financial help during tough times. SOS aids professional singers of all ages, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and offers scholarship programs designed to advance the vocal arts.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Ricardo Lemvo's mix of Cuban salsa and pan-African styles like soukous and Congo rumba has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "seamless and infectious." Born in Congo-Kinshasa of Angolan ancestry, Lemvo formed his Los Angeles-based band Makina Loca in 1990. Since then he has refined his craft and vision, raising his joyous voice with strength, singing songs that celebrate life. He has been enthusiastically acclaimed by both print and broadcast media including BBC Radio, NPR, the NBC Today Show, and CNN World Beat. He has toured extensively in Europe, Australia, and Latin America, and has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in North America including The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Lincoln Center in New York City and The Montreal Jazz Festival.

Isabela, Lemvo's fifth album, can be enjoyed purely for the way it moves, or you can drill down into its complex Afro-Atlantic heritage. Its cosmopolitan bouquet of musical styles is sung in six languages including Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Lingala and Kikongo, each with its own distinct musicality. Isabela's repertoire ranges from "Kasongo Boogaloo," a fiery upbeat boogaloo, to '50s Congo classic "Lollobrigida" (written by the late Congolese guitarist Tino Baroza in honor of Italian movie star Gina Lollobrigida), to "Serenata Angolana," a duet with Cape Verdean songstress Maria de Barros that Lemvo dedicated to his beloved Angola. Lemvo even learned to sing in Turkish for his version of Candan Ercetin's "Elbette," which he turns into a Turkish tango. Lemvo's songs are inspiring vignettes of life delivered with flair, using rhythms that are inviting and familiar. Ultimately, it could only come from someone who has seen the world and gathered the music of life.


Allen Toussaint will perform the following concerts: April 15 at Joe's Pub in New York NY, April 28 at Howlin' Wolf in New Orleans LA, May 6 at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans LA, May 10 at Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz CA, May 11 at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco CA, May 15 at Birch North Park Theatre in San Diego CA, June 2 at The Anvil in Basingstoke UK, June 4 at Barbican Centre in London UK, June 5 at Queens Hall in Edinburgh UK, June 6 at De Montfort Hall in Leicester UK, June 7 at Colston Hall in Bristol UK, June 8 at Lighthouse in Poole UK, June 9 at Derngate in Northampton UK, June 10 at The Sage in Gateshead UK, June 12 at Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool UK, June 13 at Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry UK, June 14 at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester UK, June 15 at The Dome in Brighton UK, June 22 at Teatro Circo in Braga Portugal, June 23 at CAE in Portalegre Portugal, August 11 at North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh NC, and August 12 at Blues & Roots Festival in Burnaby BC.
All dates June 2 through June 15 with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.


Smooth jazz outfit Spyro Gyra are readying the release of their new album, Good To Go-Go, on June 12th, via Heads Up. The 12-track album is the platinum-selling band's 26th, and their fifth release on Heads Up.

The band has also made a line-up change with the addition of Trinidad native Bonny B (short for Bonaparte) on drums and percussion. He had been touring with the band prior to the recording of Good To Go-Go and the band credits him with modifying their overall philosophy.

Group founder and saxophonist Jay Beckenstein said of the new face in the band's line-up, "The fact that we had this new drummer with this great spirit about him prompted us to go in the direction of a more live-sounding, less produced record. The band was just sounding so killer on the road that I wanted to capture some of that energy and reproduce it on the record. When you bring somebody new on board who's bringing some unexpected things with him, it shakes you up a little bit and puts you in new territory. It's been a process of discovery for all of us, and it's been a lot of fun."

Beckenstein said: "I think that along our journeys -- and we've journeyed into a lot of different styles and not all of them fit under the smooth jazz umbrella--but in those journeys we've come up with some combinations of pop and jazz and R&B and jazz that pre-dated what came to be known as smooth jazz. And in that sense, some of what we did, we were smooth jazz innovators. But to say that what we were doing when we were doing that was we were playing smooth jazz, wouldn't be accurate because it was a very small percentage amongst many other things we were doing musically."

He also said that working with the group has only gotten better: "It has gotten easier and easier. I mean after 30 years, something that tends to disappear, or at least it has with us, is the ego-based problems. Nobody feels threatened by anybody else. Nobody feels that if somebody else comes up with something really, really good that it puts me to the side or it makes me smaller in any way. We all root for each other."

Tour dates to support Good To Go-Go have not yet been announced.

The Good To Go-Go track listing is as follows:

"Simple Pleasures"
"Get Busy"
"Jam Up"
"The Left Bank"
"Funkyard Dog"
"Along For The Ride"
"Island Time"
"Easy Street"
"A Winter Tale"
"Good To Go-Go"


Puerto Rican-born jazz flutist Nestor Torres will release a career-spanning compilation next week (April 24th), titled The Very Best Of Nestor Torres.
Torres says that back in the '80s, he attended a Buddhist lecture in Japan on the arts, where a point of the lecture stayed with him for many years. "He talked about how some of the greatest works of art are of a religious nature, of a religious inspiration and overtones. And he said that we know this from our western perspective in terms of Christian works, that's what is really widely known. And he said the time had come for a new type of religious work, a new type of spiritual art to emerge. And that stayed with me."

Torres grew up in a family of musicians; his father was a pianist, organist and vibraphone player who often jammed with other musicians while young Nestor played along on pots, and later, a kid-sized drum set. But when entering one of the island's music schools, he was faced with a dilemma. Torres explained: "When I entered middle school I had a chance to go to what they call in Puerto Rico Escuela Libre de Musica; they have six of them throughout the island. And at the entrance exam or the entrance forms as I'm applying to go in, they asked what instrument do you want to learn. I said Hmmmm. And I just simply did not know."

Torres said he then made the decision that determined his future: "I mean, I had been playing the drums since I was like 5, Santa Claus had brought me a little drum set. It was professional, it was little, but it was a professional drum set. And I just didn't think about percussion to study music. I mean, if I was to study music I wanted to learn musical notes and harmonies and scales and stuff like that. So as I'm trying to figure it out I looked up and I saw up on the blackboard and saw a picture of a flute."


New York’s CD101.9 has confirmed dates for their upcoming Smooth Cruises ’07. Dates and scheduled acts are as follows:

June 20: Down To The Bone
June 27: Bobby Caldwell
July 11: Jeff Golub & Warren Hill
July 18: Gerald Albright
July 25: Brian Culbertson
August 1: The Rippingtons
August 8: Spyro Gyra
August 15: Mindi Abair
August 22: Richard Elliot
August 29: Alex Bugnon & Marion Meadows

Friday, April 27, 2007


Chaka Khan's "Classikhan" and The O'Jays' "Imagination" are set to be released May 15, 2007 on Music World Music as part of the Music World Master Series catalogue collection.

"Classic Soul has always been one of my favorite genres of music. It was very important to me to contribute to preserving the legacy and staying power of legendary artists such as Chaka Khan and The O'Jays. Re-introducing these great artists and their talents, experience, work ethics, and commitment is a vital message to the young artists in the music industry today. They have had the ability to stay in the game for over 30 years with numerous hits. This is why we at Music World felt it important to release the Master Series of timeless music," states Mathew Knowles (President & CEO Music World Entertainment).

"Classikhan" is a collection of time-honored Pop and Jazz mainstays made famous by Shirley Bassey, Sarah Vaughn, Frank Sinatra and Lena Horne. Backed by the London Symphony Orchestra, Chaka brings her own unique style and sound to these timeless tunes making them almost sound as if they are her originals. She delivers beautiful renditions of such classics as "Hey Big Spender," "Round Midnight," "To Sir With Love," "I'm In The Mood For Love" and "Stormy Weather," adding her own special brand of vocal expertise to each song.

The O'Jays' "Imagination" boasts production from A-list producers including the infamous Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The O'Jays bring their rich harmonies and smooth sound to this classic release as they flow fluently and equally between deep and meaningful love songs to up tempo dance grooves. "Why You Wanna Settle" will be the focus track serviced out to radio. "Imagination" encapsulates the quality of music the O'Jays are famous for. The single, "Make Up," is signature O'Jays. The smoothed out old-school track and sensual lyrics will have fans reminiscing of love from days gone by. The title track, "Imagination," written and produced by Jam and Lewis, has a laid-back infectious "steppers" groove to it, and the lyrics are cleverly vintage O'Jays. In addition to these living legends' classic tracks, the new release includes a hot new remix of "For The Love Of Money."

Both "Classikhan" and "Imagination" will be available in retail locations, and, for the first time ever, available digitally as well at iTunes.

Music World Entertainment (MWE) is one of the world's leading entertainment and music conglomerates dedicated to bringing quality entertainment to the world. MWE worldwide business includes record labels, artist and producer management, staff producers, artist development, Master catalog series, investment and property holdings, including offices in Houston, Los Angeles, New York and London. MWE is the brainchild of President and CEO Mathew Knowles, the powerhouse management behind the success of Grammy Award-winners Beyoncé and global phenomenon Destiny's Child, the most successful "girl group" in the history of pop music.

Music World is one of the most successful labels in the world with over 100 million records sold to date including releases by Destiny's Child, Beyoncé, Solange Knowles, Michelle Williams, Sunshine Anderson, the "Dreamgirls: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack," "Roll Bounce" Soundtrack and the highly anticipated upcoming Music World Master Series releases which includes Chaka Kahn and The O'Jays.


Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Dave Koz has announced more of his summer dates to support his film classics-inspired album, At The Movies. The tour is being described as a "double feature," with David Benoit and Phil Perry joining Dave to perform their own hits as well as selections from At The Movies. The Dave Koz band, made up of keyboardist Brian Simpson, bassist Bill Sharpe, drummer Stevo Theard and guitarist Randy Jacobs, will be an integral part of the show, as well.

In related news, Koz will take part in We Love Ella! A Tribute to the First Lady of Song, which will air on PBS as part of its Great Performances series, on June 5th. Joining him in the tribute, which will be taped on April 29th at the USC Galen Center in Los Angeles, are Patti Austin, Natalie Cole, George Duke, Quincy Jones, K.D. Lang, Nancy Wilson, Lizz Wright, Take 6, Cyndi Lauper and Ruben Studdard.

Dave Koz tour dates (subject to change):

June 3 - Columbia, MD - Capital Jazz Fest at Merriweather Post Pavilion
June 8 - Albuquerque, NM - Isleta Casino & Resort Showroom
June 9 - Wendover, NV - Peppermill Concert Hall
June 10 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theatre
June 15 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre
June 17 - Glenside, PA - Keswick Theatre
June 21 - Grand Prairie, TX - Nokia Live Theatre
June 22 - El Paso, TX - Plaza Theatre P.A.C.
June 23 - Detroit, MI - V98.7 Smooth Jazz Fest
July 13 - North Kansas City, MO - Voodoo Lounge at Harrah's
July 14 - Apple Valley, MN - Music in the Zoo
July 20 - Richmond, VA - Kanawha Plaza
July 21 - Winter Park, CO - Hideaway Park
July 25 - Atlanta, GA - Classic Chastain Park Amphitheatre
July 27 - Las Vegas, NV - The Pearl at The Palms
July 28, 29 - Temecula, CA - Thornton Winery
August 2 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery
August 3 - Sacramento, CA - Radisson Hotel Grove
August 4 - Woodinville, WA - Chateau St. Michelle
August 5 - Healdsburg, CA - Rodney Strong Vineyard
August 9 - Cleveland, OH - Playhouse Square Center
August 10 - Kettering, OH - Fraze Pavilion
August 11 - Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY - Long Island Jazz Fest - Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park
August 17 - San Diego, CA - Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay
August 18 - Concord, CA - Sleep Train Pavilion at Concord
August 19 - Hollywood, CA - Hollywood Bowl
November 4-11 - San Juan/St. Maarten/ St. Kitts/Half Moon Cay - Dave Koz & Friends At Sea Cruise
December 1 - Melbourne, FL - King Center for Performing Arts
December 2 - Naples, FL - Philharmonic Center for the Arts
December 4 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - AuRene Theatre
December 5 - Sarasota, FL - Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
December 11 - Cleveland, OH - Playhouse Square Center
December 19 - Mesa, AZ - Ikeda Theatre
December 21 - Cerritos, CA - Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
December 22 - Cerritos, CA - Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts


Eight time Grammy Award winner Natalie Cole has been tapped to host the all-star concert tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, entitled We Love Ella! A Tribute to the First Lady of Song, which will air on PBS as part of their Great Performances series, on June 6th at 9 p.m. ET. The celebration will be taped on Sunday (April 29th) at USC's Galent Center in Los Angeles, and will feature the diverse talents of such music greats as Patti Austin, George Duke, Quincy Jones, Dave Koz, Cyndi Lauper, Ledisi, Monica Mancini, James Moody, Ruben Studdard, Take 6, Nancy Wilson and Lizz Wright.

The release of We All Love Ella! Celebrating the First Lady of Song, timed to hit stores just one day prior to the TV special, will also feature Cole performing "A Tisket A Tasket," which the daughter of legendary crooner Nat King Cole recalls as the first jazz song she learned after meeting Fitzgerald when she was just 7 years old. The tribute album is a Verve Records release.
Fitzgerald won 13 Grammy Awards and sold over 40 million albums. She would have turned 90 on April 25th, 2007.


The Newport, R.I. 2007 JVC Jazz Festival will pay tribute to Ella, Billie, Dizzy, Mon, Bill Evans, Kir, Getz & Jobim. Branford Marsalis, B.B. King, Etta james, Al Green, Dave Brubeck, Joshua Redman and many others will perform over three days on multiples stages.

The festival kicks off Friday, August 10 at 8:00 PM, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino with Newport ’57 Revisited: The Legacy of Ella, Billie & Basie with Dianne Reeves and her Band plus The Count Basie Orchestra with Special Guest Nnenna Freelon.

On Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12, the festival moves seaside to Fort Adams State Park for two full days, 11:30 AM – 7:00 PM, featuring something for everyone – a glorious mix of straight ahead, traditional and contemportary jazz, rhythym & blues, funk, Latin jazz and Brazilian jazz.


In celebration of the 50th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival Records will make its debut with a remarkable series of historic, never-before- heard, live-at-Monterey releases. Not only does this mark the first time a festival has launched its own label, but the riches of its tape archives-more than 1600 tapes with more than 2000 hours of concerts in the vault-makes this ambitious endeavor a jazz bonanza.

The Monterey Jazz Festival, the pioneering West Coast-styled jazz party, inarguably holds the world record for the longest-running jazz affair, having been born in 1958 on the Monterey Fairgrounds, some 100 miles south of San Francisco. This year MJF turns 50, with its annual three-day gala (September 21-23) taking on special significance with a wealth of performances offered on nine stages spread throughout the festival's 20-acre grounds.

Monterey Jazz Festival Records is a stand-alone label in partnership with the Monterey Jazz Festival and Concord Music Group. The profits realized by the festival will be re-invested into its ongoing internationally recognized jazz education programs. The MJFR imprint's first five unreleased recordings, to be released on July 31, capture the crème de la crème of the jazz heritage: Louis Armstrong (caught playing the very first night of the festival in 1958); Miles Davis (introducing to the West Coast his classic '60s quintet, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, featuring saxophonist George Coleman in 1963); Thelonious Monk (his quartet augmented by bassist Steve Swallow and an expanded five-piece festival workshop in 1964); and two revered artists, Shirley Horn and Grover Washington Jr., both, respectively, playing their one and only sets at Monterey in 1994.

The label also promises to document the jazz of the future, says MJFR general manager Jason Olaine, the New York-based former director of A&R at Verve Records from 1999-2004. "We're not going to be stuck in a jazz time warp," he says. "We're excited to deliver important historical music, as well as assemble special projects and all-star ensembles to debut at the festival each year."

This year's celebratory jazz-future lineup includes an all-star quartet comprising of bassist Dave Holland, pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, saxophonist Chris Potter and drummer Eric Harland as well as the festival's 50th-year project that will include trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist James Moody, vocalist Nnenna Freelon, bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Kendrick Scott and pianist Benny Green, who serves as the musical director. Both groups will be documented live at MJF/50 for possible upcoming releases, with the latter ensemble going on a 50-date national tour in January 2008.

Glen Barros, President and CEO of the Concord Music Group, states, "Concord Records has been committed to nurturing and recording renowned artists for more than three decades, as well as discovering and developing new emerging talent. The Monterey Jazz Festival brand fits perfectly with our overall desire to provide consumers the finest documented recordings of all time. The Concord Music Group is excited to be involved in presenting these spectacular, rare and historic recordings to the public for the first time since they were originally heard by audiences at Monterey."

MJF general manager Tim Jackson tells the story of how the label was born. Three years ago while conceptually ramping up for Monterey's monumental anniversary; he started thinking in broader strokes. "I wanted to leverage the festival's assets and use the 50th as a launching pad to make this historical music available to people," he says.

Ten years ago, Jackson worked with legendary jazz producer Orrin Keepnews to compile a three-CD best-of collection for the festival's 40th birthday (Monterey Jazz Festival-40 Legendary Years, released on Malpaso Records, an imprint of Warner Bros.). It was at that time that he discovered that the archival tapes, housed at the Braun Music Center library on the Stanford University campus, were deteriorating from age. Thanks to grants, the festival has digitized all 2,000 hours of the live recordings made at Monterey in the past 49 years. That provided an impetus to set the label project into motion.

As for the contact with Concord, Jackson says he got to know Barros while they both served on the board of Jazz Alliance International. "As a festival, we're not equipped to market records," says Jackson, "but Concord has certainly proven that it's been very progressive in getting CDs to listeners. Glen and I like and trust each other and with the assistance of our MJF Board of Directors we quickly worked out an agreement. Plus Concord is a West Coast label with its roots in northern California. We like that, too."

Another round of Monterey live CDs will be released in early September to coincide with MJF/50. This historic series will continue as a thriving source of amazing music with many more releases planned for 2008 and beyond.


Some of Detroit's greatest musical acts are gearing up for the ultimate Motown soul concert. On May 19, The Motown Legends Tour will make its first stop in Youngstown, Ohio at the Chevrolet Centre. The concert features The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, The Miracles, Joe Billingslea's Contours and the Spyder Turner Show. Tickets for the show are reasonably priced $39.50 to $49.50. They may be purchased by calling the Chevrolet Centre Box Office ( or visiting ( Like the Motortown Review tours that featured big name Motown artists all on one bill, Cheers & Severino Productions plans to make a series out of the The Motown Legends Tour concert event. The show in Youngstown will mark the beginning of a series of tour dates around the country aimed at giving fans of the classic Motown concerts with lineups they haven't seen since the label's golden age.


Manifest Tone Vol. 1 is a sonic sofrito of lo-fi Afrobeat, gritty funk, and spicy Latin flavors from Marquitos Garcia of Antibalas. Armed with his childhood Casio keyboards, Garcia recorded Manifest Tone Vol. 1 during the band's down-time. The project, which began as an experiment in spontaneous composition, proved to be a true glimpse into the essence of Garcia's musical passions. Syncopated bass and guitars simmering, keyboard melodies bubbling over with Marquitos' harmony-laden vocals, create this exciting mixture of sound seasonings. Pungent Latin aromas waft throughout the music in the rhythms and the choruses. Known as "sabrosura," it is the effect that urges your body to boogie and makes you sing along. With the help of Rich Medina and Kindred Spirits, the Latin music of Garcia's upbringing and the vocabulary of Fela Kuti's afrobeat have come together to bring you Chico Mann's debut album, Manifest Tone Vol.1. Look out for a bangin' 12" mixes coming soon with remixes by DJ Quantic, Comtron (Rush Hour) and more.


Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Will Donato, best known for his work with such artists as Steve Oliver, Gerald Levert and Al McKay, as well as his soundtrack contributions to film hits Thelma & Louise and The Wedding Planner, has an album of his own ready for release. The set, called Will Call, is as passionate as his live shows. "I had a wonderful time recording this project and truly enjoyed the collaborations with my musical friends and producers," he said. The album boasts a stellar list of jazz musicians, including longtime friend Steve Reid, who co-produced and also provided percussion on most of the tracks; guitarist Steve Oliver, who co-wrote three songs and was also involved in pre-production; guitarist Blake Aaron, who guested on "X-Factor"; and trumpeter Tony Guerrero, who lends his talents to "Earthshakin'" and "Espana."

The track list of Will Call is as follows:

"Will Power"
"The Goddess"
"Drowning In Your Eyes"
"New Life"

For more information on Will, check out his website at:


The Peak Records debut from Grammy award-winning jazz guitarist Norman Brown is available in stores and online now. Released this week on Peak Records (Concord Music Group) after a string of releases for the Motown label and more recently Warner Bros, Norman Brown's new album Stay With Me is a collection of 10 urban-influenced contemporary jazz tunes that showcase Norman Brown's inventive talents as a guitarist and all-around musician. The album features a stellar line up of guest artists including fellow smooth jazz stars Rick Braun and Kirk Whalum on “It's Not Over,” Grammy- nominated American singer/songwriter Brian McKnight and jazz guitarist/ hit-making producer Paul Brown.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Italy’s Schema Records has a batch of new releases worthy of listening, check out… Guarapirango by Toco and Rosalia De Souza (Gerardo Frisina remixes); Que Bandeira by Rosalia De Souza and Marcos Valle (Gerardo Frisina remixes); Cubana/Zambele by Gerardo Frisina; Spread Your Love/Blu Night In Africa by Paolo Fedreghini and Marco Bianchi, Rio De Janeiro Blue by Mario Biondi and The High Five Quintet, Beyond The Moon by Gerardo Frisina (Nicola Conte Jazz Band rework); Nefertiti/Gica’s Dance by Nicola Conte and Gerado Frisina; and Kind of Sunshine/Impluse by Nicola Conte. All of these are fantastic remixes that are just wonderful to listen and to dance to.


After a near fatal car accident changed his life dramatically nearly 25 years ago, Teddy Pendergrass, is using his voice to help improve the quality of life for survivors of spinal cord injuries (SCI).  The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance (TPA), a non-profit organization which helps people with SCI rebuild their lives, has announced an elaborate star-studded extravaganza - the premiere Black Music Month event, "Teddy 25 - A Celebration Of Life, Hope, and Possibilities" - to be held 4 p.m. June 10 in Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts (260 South Broad Street on Avenue of the Arts).

Hosted by actress/comedienne, Mo'Nique, "Teddy 25" celebrates his life, music, and legacy honoring celebrities, industry executives, medical personnel, organizations, and personal friends & family who have contributed over the 25 years to his well-being.  Patti La Belle, Ruben Studdard and Stephanie Mills are among the performers confirmed along with Teddy himself who will premiere a new song, written specifically for Teddy 25.  
The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance will honor Whitney Houston, Arsenio Hall, Regis Philbin, Ashford & Simpson, Cathy Hughes (CEO & founder of TV One/Radio One), Mark P. May (CEO, Clear Channel), Donald Trump, Daniel Markus & Shep Gordon (managers), Bob Krasnow (CEO of Elektra/Asylum Records), and his longtime publicist Lisa Barbaris for their friendship and assistance through the years.       

Along with the honorees, invited celebrity guests include Stevie Wonder, Eddie LeVert, Kindred, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jill Scott, Musiq, Vivian Green, and Jaheim. Proceeds from the black tie gala will be donated to The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance.

Tickets for The Teddy 25 event are available for sale at  Pendergrass will make a special guest appearance this week on Tavis Smiley’s syndicated radio show “Tavis Talks” to promote the event.


In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Monterey Jazz Festival has announced its 2007 lineup, featuring an array of Jazz greats to appear Sept. 21 weekend at the Monterey, Ca, Fairgrounds. Young stars, such as trumpeter Terence Blanchard, vocalist Diana Krall and pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba will join jazz legends the likes of saxophonists Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman, pianist Dave Brubeck and band leader-composer Gerald Wilson to name just a few.

These greats and many other stars will appear in concerts in the large Arena/Lyons stage and five additional venues on the grounds, providing continuous music. Audiences, indeed, will have a hard time, as usual, choosing which concert to attend.

Friday will kick off the Festival with the multi-cultural and multi-dimensional talents of Cuban singer Issac Delgado; iconic bassist Dave Holland, appearing with Rubalcaba, Chris Potter and Eric Harland in a special all-star band; and the influential and mesmerizing guitarist John McLaughlin. On the Grounds sites (Dizzy's Den, Garden's Stage, Courtyard Stage, Bill Berry Stage, Coffee House Gallery)the vibe will be no less electric with the New Grooves show in Dizzy's Den being visited by three slices of funk bands from New Orleans, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, the Brass Funk Rock group Bonerama and the jazz-inflected Papa Grows Funk.

On the Grounds Friday night, in a meeting of creative minds, Jim Hall and Geoff Keezer will perform as an understated, yetintense, duo; the freewheeling guitarist Anthony Wilson and his Nonet will play and the cutting-edge pianist Craig Taborn and his Trio will forge new sounds. The Grounds will also feature the Terence Blanchard Quintet performing its visionary brand of jazz, the straight-ahead groove of Along Came Betty and the gifted students of the Berklee-Monterey Quartet.

Saturday will showcase a world of music from the blues to the symphonic, with a little of everything in between. The Arena/Lyons Stage will rock in the afternoon with the raw blues sounds of artists Otis Taylor and James Hunter, followed by the legendary Los Lobos, featuring their own blend of blues, rockabilly, and Latin jazz, mixed with the music of their Mexican-American heritage. Evening on the Arena/Lyons Stage will turn from the blues to the highly anticipated debut of two large scale pieces--Artist-In-Residence Blanchard's “Requiem for Katrina” with the MJF Chamber Orchestra, and 2007 Commission Artist Gerald Wilson's “Monterey Moods,” his third commission for the historic anniversaries of the Festival (25th, 40th, and 50th). The evening will end with the reigning queen of cool, singer/pianist Krall in her third appearance at Monterey, her first visit since 1999.

Saturday, the grounds will offer an international cornucopia of blues, straight-ahead jazz, elegant vocalists, the avant-garde, jazz legends, and rising stars. Appearing will be the quartets of legendary six-string guitarist Hall (MJF's 2007 Showcase Artist) and Kenny Burrell, plus the electrified bluesy Mimi Fox Trio; rising young trumpeters Sean Jones and Christian Scott; the rollicking pianism of the Cyrus Chestnut Trio and the Shigeru Morishita Quintet; the radiant power of vocalists Ernestine Anderson and Lynne Fiddmont; the trail-blazing drummer Rashied Ali and his Quintet; and the down-home traditional and electric-trance blues of James Hunter and Otis Taylor. Also featured will be the blues supergroup, The Honeydripper All-Stars, who are the subject of the John Sayles new film “Honeydripper,” which will be previewed in the Festival's Jazz Theater. Wilson and his Orchestra will also perform on the grounds on Saturday, as will bassist Dave Holland, with pianist Rubalcaba, Chris Potter and Eric Harland.

Sunday will cap off the 50th celebration weekend. Afternoon on the Arena/Lyons Stage, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Big Band (winner of the 37th Annual National High School Competition at the Next Generation Festival) and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra will take the stage along with Blanchard. Alto sax genius Coleman, one of the primary architects of jazz, will close Sunday's show, performing with his Grammy-nominated group.

Sunday night will present the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars. Blanchard, vocalist Nnenna Freelon, pianist Benny Green, legendary saxophonist James Moody, drummer Kendrick Scott and bassist Derrick Hodge will perform; each has a strong connection with the Festival.

Blanchard is the 2007 Artist-In-Residence at Monterey. Moody has been performing at Monterey since 1963, and Green is a graduate of the Festival's world-renowned Jazz Education Programs, having performed as a high schooler with the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Star Big Band in the 1970s. Freelon, a regular performer at MJF, also has connections with MJF Jazz Education Programs, having performed at the Festival's annual High School Jazz Competition. Scott performed with the Berklee-Monterey Quartet at the Festival in 2000. This special group will tour across 60 cities in the United States, from January through March of 2008.

Sunday night will also witness the return of one of the patriarchs of the Festival, Brubeck. Fans will be treated to a meeting of the minds as the Brubeck's Quartet performs with a legendary architect and innovator of modern jazz guitar, Hall, who also performed at the first Monterey Jazz Festival. The night's finale features crowd-favorite Rollins with his group on the Arena/Lyons Stage, the sixth time he has performed at the festival.

Grounds artist lineup will offer a varied selection of internationally known masters and young emerging talent. Audiences can enjoy the piano mastery of the Kenny Barron Trio and Jacky Terrasson, the unprecedented talents of Richard Galliano playing bebop accordion, and the jagged new music of the Smith Dobson V Quintet. The MJF All-Stars will also play a set on the Grounds, with additional appearances by stalwart drummer Benny Barth and his Trio, featuring Buddy Montgomery. Also on Sunday will be the groove-oriented audience favorite, the “Hammond B-3 Blowout” featuring a double bill of the Joey DeFrancesco Trio and Atsuko Hashimoto Trio (with Houston Person and Jeff Hamilton).


Bebel Gilberto's highly anticipated third release, 'Momento', walks the delicate artistic line between the gorgeous electronic subtleties of her ground- breaking debut, 'Tanto Tempo' and the lush acoustic sophistication of her self-titled follow up album.

"On Momento, Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto does something we've been waiting for ever since her promising debut: she hits her stride-and wonderfully. Gilberto's jockeying between English and Portuguese feels fluid and inviting." --Interview, April 2007

"Gilberto's voice--smoky, velvety, infinitely sensuous...the more Gilberto's warm tone invokes Brazil's past, the more she shines." --Vibe May 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


The 12th Annual Litchfield Jazz Festival line-up is set and tickets are now available for sale at The event will be held on August 3, 4, 5 at the Goshen Fairground in Northwest Connecticut. This year's line-up is a salute to jazz orchestras featuring the Mingus Big Band, Count Basie Orchestra with Nnenna Freelon, Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra featuring Carla Bley and much more.

With past performers like Dave Brubeck, Eartha Kitt, Dionne Warwick and Diana Krall, it's no wonder the Litchfield Jazz Festival was recently nominated for two Festie Awards by A long-time festival attendee called it “a most mellow and tasty event,” and Dave Hershorin of New Orleans Radio said, “Litchfield really is what other jazz festivals wish they could be...a true gem.”

The weekend kicks off on Friday, August 3, with a gala “Friends of the Festival” party, with music provided by outstanding students of Litchfield Jazz Camp and hors d'oeuvres by Jordan Caterers. The party is followed by a performance by two-time Grammy Award Winner and NEA Jazz Master, trombonist Slide Hampton. Up next is the Count Basie Orchestra featuring Six-time Grammy Award nominated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon.

On Saturday, August 4, the music begins at noon with Insight, a group of seven young talented, award-winning musicians. In 2005 Eddie Palmieri reflected, “Give them another two years, and Insight will blow any band off the stage!'” Up next is 20-year-old vocalist Rachael Price. Rachael was a semi-finalist at the Montreux Vocal Competition. Following Rachael Price for his sixth appearance on the Litchfield Jazz Festival is Mario Pavone / Deez to Blues Sextet. Bassist Mario Pavone has recorded 17 albums as a leader. His latest recording, “Deez to Blues,” has appeared on best-of-the-year lists in The New York Times, The New Yorker, All About Jazz and more. Next up is the Sonny Fortune Quartet. Sonny has played in venues world wide with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Reggie Workman and many others. Next the festival welcomes Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts, with guest artist vocalist Bill Henderson. The New York Times called him “one of the best drummers of his generation.” This is Matt's eleventh the festival. Closing the evening is the Mingus Big Band celebrating the music of the late composer and bassist, Charles Mingus.

Opening on Sunday, August 5, is the high-energy Rolando Matias - Afro-Rican Ensemble featuring Bobby Matos. Up next is the Dave Stryker Organ Trio. Stryker is a regular teaching artist at Litchfield Jazz Camp and has played with such greats as Stanley Turrentine, Dizzy Gillespie and Freddie Hubbard. Following Stryker is the Helio Alves Trio led by the Brazilian born, New York-based pianist. Alves has recorded more than 40 albums as a sideman and recently released his second album as a leader. Next up is a Litchfield favorite - Don Braden who is the Music Director of Litchfield Jazz Camp. Braden will be performing with his Contemporary Standards Ensemble making this his tenth appearance on the festival. Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra will feature Carla Bley. Haden has received three Grammy Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship and four NEA grants for composition. The LMO's latest project, “Not In Our Name,” was released on Verve. And brining the 12th Annual Litchfield Jazz Festival to a close is a multi-Grammy-nominated vocalist/pianist - Karrin Allyson. Karrin appeared on the festival in 2005 and had the audience on their feet! She is “one of the most charismatic figures on tour today.” (New York Times).

Premium tickets are $350 for Best Friends VIP weekend passes and $125 for the opening gala and performance. These include upfront seating and VIP parking. Multi-day JazzPasses are available from $65 - $150 only until June 29th. Advance-purchase general admission tickets are $37 for lawn and $55 for tent. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets. Any other questions call 860-567-4162.

The Litchfield Jazz Festival is sponsored in part by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Steinway & Sons, The Republican-American, Down Beat, Connecticut Grand Hotel, Northeast Beverage Corporation of Connecticut, Jazz Corner, Hartford Magazine, Home Living Connecticut and Connecticut Business Magazine and others. Litchfield Jazz Camp students who study for up to a month prior to The Festival and perform at the festival participate with generous support from the CT State Department of Education Interdistrict Grants.

August 3, 4, 5, 2007
Goshen Fairgrounds, Route 63, Goshen, CT
Admission: $37 - $350
Contact: Ph. (860) 567-4162 Fax (860) 567-3592


Jarrah/Atlantic recording group the John Butler Trio has announced details of their upcoming tour. The schedule begins April 28th at the House of Blues in New Orleans, with dates continuing through July 1, where the tour ends at Solarfest in Taos, New Mexico (see attached itinerary). The trek also includes a June 17th performance at the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, TN.

Throughout the tour, the JBT is partnering with CLIF Bar, a natural food company, and their GreenNotes campaign to promote environmental awareness -- blazing a trail of positive action by taking such environmentally conscious steps as using biodiesel to fuel their tour buses; offsetting the tour's CO2 emissions through the purchase of clean, renewable wind energy credits; using recycled paper and soy-based inks for printed materials; providing organic cotton merchandise options for fans; and minimizing the idling of tour buses. Further details can be found at

Last month, the John Butler Trio released "GRAND NATIONAL," which is quickly proving to be a worldwide sensation. The album debuted at #1 on the SoundScan New Artist Chart in the U.S., where the first single, "Better Than," is in the Top 5 at AAA Radio. The album also debuted at #1 in the trio's home country of Australia, and struck a Top 20 debut in France, and a Top 30 debut in Japan.

Co-produced by Mario Caldato Jr. (Beastie Boys, Beck, Jack Johnson, Super Furry Animals) and John Butler, "GRAND NATIONAL" sees the John Butler Trio further opening its already wide-ranging sonic playbook, offering surprising new points of entry for newcomers, as well as inviting its legion of established fans deeper into its worldly vision. Centered around Butler's virtuoso guitar stylings and powerful, progressive lyricism, tracks such as "Funky Tonight" and the laidback lead track, "Better Than," draw upon a remarkable variety of musical genres, spanning folk, blues, funk, classic rock 'n' roll, and beyond. Joining the JBT on this extraordinary journey is an array of special guests, including Butler's partner, Danielle Caruana, Vika and Linda Bull, and on keyboards, the one-and-only Money Mark Nishita.

Having already established himself as a major artist in his native Australia, Butler and his band made their initial North American impact with 2002's independently released "THREE." The group soon signed with Lava/Atlantic, which released "SUNRISE OVER SEA" in March 2005. The album drew critical acclaim for its expansive artistic fervor, as did the JBT's inspired and energetic live shows, including headline dates, tours alongside Dave Matthews Band, festival appearances at Bonnaroo and the celebrated New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and a landmark television performance on CBS-TV's "Late Show with David Letterman."

In the JBT's home country, "SUNRISE OVER SEA" proved nothing less than a phenomenon, achieving 5x-platinum certification and earning Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards for "Best Independent Release" and "Best Blues & Roots Album," with Butler named "Best Male Artist." In addition, the album's hit single, "Zebra," was named "Song of the Year" by the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA).

The John Butler Trio is: guitarist/vocalist John Butler, bassist Shannon Birchall and percussionist Michael Barker.

Summer Tour 2007
28 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
30 Mobile, AL Mobile Civic Center Theatre

2 Charleston, SC Music Farm
3 Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues
4 Atlanta, GA Roxy Theatre
5 Memphis, TN Beale St. Music Festival
22 Baltimore, MD Sonar
23 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
24 New York, NY Webster Hall
27 Philadelphia, PA Jam on the River
30 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
31 Detroit, MI St. Andrews Hall

1 Louisville, KY Headliner's
2 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre
3 Indianapolis, IN The Vogue Theatre
5 Madison, WI Barrymore Theatre
6 Milwaukee, WI Eagles
7 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
9 Lawrence, KS Wakarusa Festival
12 Dallas, TX House of Blues
13 Austin, TX La Zona Rosa
14 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
15 Little Rock, AR Revolution Music Room
17 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Festival
20 San Diego, CA 4th & B Theater
22 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern
23 San Francisco, CA Fillmore
24 San Francisco, CA Fillmore
26 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
27 Seattle, WA Moore Theatre
30 Denver, CO Red Rocks - E Town

1 Taos, NM Solarfest


Tour Kicks Off in Oakland, CA on April 27

Jive recording artist Joe will hit the road on a North American tour in support of his forthcoming album Ain't Nothing Like Me due in stores on April 24. He will be joined by Brian McKnight and Sunshine Anderson. The 22 city tour will kick off on April 27 at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, CA. Joe's current single "If I Was Your Man" is Top 10 at Urban AC radio in most major markets, including New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles. The video is playing on BET and is getting heavy rotation on BETJ. The album is a collection of heart felt lyrics over productions by an array of producers that include Jermaine Dupri, Sean Garrett, Dre and Vidal, Tim and Bob, Cool and Dre and more. Guest artists include Nas,Papoose and Young Joc.

4/27 Oakland, CA -- Paramount Theatre
4/29 Los Angeles, CA -- Gibson
4/30 Anaheim, CA -- House of Blues
5/3 St. Louis, MO -- Fox Theatre
5/5 Chicago, IL -- Merrillville, Star Plaza
5/6 Cleveland, OH -- State Theatre
5/9 Hartford, CT -- Oakdale
5/10 Providence, RI -- Lincoln Park
5/11 Philadelphia -- Tour Theater
5/12 Washington, DC -- Constitution Hall
5/13 New York, NY -- Beacon Theatre
5/18 Miami, FL -- Knights Center
5/19 Atlanta, GA -- Chastain Park
5/20 Virginia Beach, VA -- Verizon Wireless Theatre
5/24 Columbus, OH -- Promo West Pavillion
5/25 Louisville, KT -- Whitney Hall
5/26 Charlotte, NC -- Cricket Arena
5/27 Orlando, FL -- House of Blues
5/31 New Orleans, LA -- House of Blues
6/1 Memphis, TN -- Orpheum Theatre
6/2 Dallas, TX -- Nokia Theatre
6/3 Houston, TX -- Verizon Wireless Theatre


Manhattan/EMI Music Catalog Marketing will release The Best of Van Morrison, Volume 3 on June 19. The new 2-CD collection, compiled by Morrison himself, offers a comprehensive overview of his later material. The set's 31 tracks include previously unreleased collaborations with Tom Jones and Bobby Bland, as well as duets with John Lee Hooker, B.B. King and Ray Charles.

Disc 1
1. Cry For Home (with Tom Jones) (previously unreleased)
2. Too Long In Exile
3. Gloria (with John Lee Hooker)
4. Help Me with Junior Wells (live)
5. Lonely Avenue / 4 O' Clock In The Morning (with Jimmy Witherspoon,
Candy Dulfer & Jim Hunter) (live)
6. Days Like This
7. Ancient Highway
8. Raincheck
9. Moondance
10. Centerpiece (with Georgie Fame & Annie Ross)
11. That's Life (live)
12. Benediction (remix) (with Georgie Fame & Ben Sidran)
13. The Healing Game (re-mix)
14. I Don't Want To Go On Without You (with Jim Hunter)

Disc 2
1. Shenandoah (with The Chieftains)
2. Precious Time
3. Back On Top (remix)
4. When The Leaves Come Falling Down
5. Lost John (with Lonnie Donegan) (live)
6. Tupelo Honey (with Bobby Bland) (previously unreleased)
7. Meet Me In The Indian Summer (orchestral version) (remix)
8. Georgia On My Mind
9. Hey Mr. DJ
10. Steal My Heart Away
11. Crazy Love (with Ray Charles)
12. Once In A Blue Moon
13. Little Village
14. Blue and Green
15. Sitting On Top Of The World (with Carl Perkins)
16. Early In The Morning (with B.B. King)
17. Stranded

From THE BEST OF VAN MORRISON, VOLUME 3 liner notes (By Michael Heatley) It's now been more than four decades since Van Morrison left his native Belfast to embark on a career as a professional musician. And while there will be a number of people buying this third volume of highlights from that career who remember the days of Them, and others who picked up the story with legendary late 1960s/early 1970s albums like 'Astral Weeks' and 'Moondance,' there is yet another generation that tuned in during the 1980s.

The first 'Best Of Van Morrison' made the UK Top 5, proof that his fan base was still expanding after a quarter of a century at the cutting edge of music. And the reason is clear. Live shows are no 'greatest hits' parades but have always incorporated healthy amounts of new music, and the
public has responded by buying tickets and albums in ever-increasing numbers. The 1990s would prove to be a fruitful and prolific period in Morrison's history, with a release round about every year taking his original recordings total past the 30 mark by the middle of the following

All of which means the people who purchase this double album will differ widely in their knowledge of the man's back catalogue. Some of the songs here will be familiar -- even if not in these exact versions – while others will have escaped all but the most ardent Van-ologist. What's
certain is that it's a hand-picked selection with something for everyone whose life has been touched by Morrison's music.

Van Morrison will perform the following concerts: April 27 at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans LA, April 28 at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta GA, May 11 at Roundhouse in London UK, and June 9 at Forest High Lodge in Thetford UK

Friday, April 20, 2007


Just when you thought that Brazil must surely have exhausted its supply of irresistibly jazzy, funky, sexy, soulful electro-pop singer-songwriters, CéU (pronounced Say-Ew) comes along and makes you think that maybe that particular well is bottomless after all. CéU's self-titled US debut comes hot on the heels of a Latin Grammy nomination for "Best New Artist of 2006." She is also riding high on a wave of international success in Brazil, Holland, Italy, Canada, and France.

CéU's stateside release opens enticingly with "Vinheta Quebrante," a brief introductory track that builds itself up in delicate rhythmic layers. With "Lenda," CéU stakes out her musical territory more assertively. Anchored by the juxtaposition of a subtle melody and a lazy funk groove, ornamented with a gracefully understated turntable scratch, the song exudes hints of reggae with dub lurking in the background. "Malemolnêcia," a more explicitly reggae-flavored song, is featured in the soundtrack to "Cidade dos Homens," the television adaptation of the celebrated film City of God. The album's most surprising track is her cover version of Bob Marley's archetypal sufferer's anthem "Concrete Jungle." Samba, reggae, dub, electronica, love, heartbreak, chaos and sweet, sweet tunefulness - sounds like the perfect recipe for an irresistible album by a thrilling new talent. And so it is.


Medeski, Martin & Wood will perform the following concerts: April 13-14 at Fillmore Auditorium in Denver CO, April 25 at Kitty C Hart Theatre in Albany NY, April 26 at Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown NY, April 27 at McCarter Theatre in Princeton NJ, April 28 at Grand Opera House in Wilmington DE, April 29 at Birchmere in Alexandria VA, May 25 at Festi de Bella Luna in Clarks Grove MN, June 10 at Wakarusa Festival in Lawrence KS, and September 20 at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga


Over 20 years into her storied career, singer Suzanne Vega shows that she remains one of the freshest voices in popular music today with the release of Beauty & Crime, her seventh album and her debut for Blue Note Records.

Revolving around the theme of New York, the city where Vega was raised and still lives, the 11 original songs on Beauty & Crime present Vega's signature poetry and folk-pop songcraft illuminated by lush orchestral arrangements that are juxtaposed against cutting-edge beats.

From the driving opener "Zephyr & I," which recounts a conversation with the seminal graffiti artist while strolling down West End Avenue, to the ghosts of Lower East Side haunts depicted in "Ludlow Street," to "New York is a Woman," which personifies the city as a hard-luck lady whose beauty still shines, Vega captures the spirit of her hometown's past, present and future. The album also includes two of her most personal songs yet, a love song for her husband ("Bound") and a dedication to her daughter ("As You Are Now").

The sessions, recorded in both New York and London, were produced by Jimmy Hogarth (Sia, Corinne Bailey Rae, KT Tunstall), mixed by Tchad Blake, and included an eclectic cast including orchestral arranger Will Malone (Dido, Seal, Corrine Bailey Rae), background vocalist and vocal arranger KT Tunstall, guitarists Gerry Leonard (David Bowie) and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), bassist Tony Shanahan (Patti Smith), as well as members of Vega's touring band, bassist Mike Visceglia, and drummer Doug Yowell.

With the release of her self-titled debut on A&M Records in 1985, Vega began paving a path for an entire generation of female singer-songwriters to follow in the 1990s. Her 1987 album Solitude Standing established her as an international star, first with its surprise hit "Luka," and again later when UK electronic dance duo DNA released a remixed version of the a cappella "Tom's Diner" (the song has since been remixed upwards of 25 times). Vega's other albums include Days of Open Hand (1990), 99.9 F° (1992), Nine Objects of Desire (1996), and Songs in Red and Gray (2001).


Multi Grammy-Award Winning & Platinum Selling R&B Singer Deniece Williams Makes Major Return to R&B After A Decade with Shanachie Debut Love, Niecy Style

Deniece Williams will forever be one of the great all-time R&B divas. Processing an infectious, angelic and soulful honey -coated voice with an awe-inspiring range, Deniece Williams set the bar high for R&B singers back in the 70s and to this day her influence can be heard on everyone from Mariah Carey to Beyoncé. Her songs have been sampled by dozens of artists including Will Smith and Master P. Deniece's pure, rich and spine-tingling vocal quality, along with her impeccable diction and ability to honestly connect with any song has resulted in a vast catalog of hits. Some of her timeless anthems include "Silly," "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" (her No. 1 pop and R&B duet with Johnny Mathis), "Let's Hear It For The Boy" (the million-selling pop/soul chart-topper from the movie Footloose), "It's Gonna Take A Miracle," "Free" (from her gold-certified This Is Niecy album) and "Black Butterfly." In recent years the chanteuse has primarily been recording gospel records but on April 24, 2007 Shanachie Entertainment will release Deniece Williams' highly anticipated return to R&B Love, Niecy Style produced by renowned Philly soul producer Bobby Eli.  Deniece's label debut will mark her first major return to R&B in over a decade.  For this momentous occasion Deniece called upon some of the artists who have been instrumental throughout her career: Stevie Wonder, George Duke and Philip Bailey.
In 1978, Deniece Williams' sophomore album Songbird was released, coming two years after the classic "Free" (from her gold-certified This Is Niecy album) propelled her into international fame and success.  The title was a perfect description of the soulful vocal beauty associated with this legendary singer/songwriter and it is as appropriate now as it was back then.  Indeed, a songbird with a dynamic range, a distinctive sound and a true gift for lyrical interpretation, Deniece has long enjoyed a place in the hearts of music buyers who embraced her through a rich legacy of close to thirty charted singles and a dozen best-selling albums. Her career also includes four Grammy wins and an extensive list of credits including sixteen Grammy nominations, three Stellar Awards, an American Music Award and an Oscar nomination.
As Deniece reflects "I wasn't really thinking about making a new record until a mutual friend put me in touch with Bobby, who I knew from the recording sessions I did with Thom Bell in the early '80s which included songs like "Silly" and "It's Gonna Take A Miracle."  Bobby talked to me about the idea of doing a project of songs that I've always loved. I thought it was a great way to honor artists like Luther Vandross, Donny Hathaway and Gwen Guthrie and what their music has meant to me.  When people listen to this project, I hope it will take them back down memory lane as well as create new memories for those who may not be familiar with all the songs on the album."
Within weeks of agreeing to Love, Niecey Style, Bobby Eli (whose extensive production credits include such favorites as Sister Sledge, Atlantic Starr, Major Harris, Blue Magic and Engelbert Humperdink and whose discography includes countless Philly soul sessions as a star guitarist with Billy Paul, The Spinners, Wilson Pickett, The Salsoul Orchestra, The O'Jays, MFSB, The Temptations and Elton John) and Deniece had begun selecting songs for it.  "There were so many songs I had been carrying around forever, humming them, singing them and never thinking I would be recording them!" she declares. "By the time we finished, I felt we had done what we set out to do."  For Eli, working with Deniece was "a pure pleasure.  She's a producer's dream, a very special artist and someone I always wanted to work with from being on the Thom Bell sessions with her."  
Love, Niecey Style is particularly special, given the presence of three distinguished music men who have played an integral role in Deniece's career at different times: icon Stevie Wonder (with whom Deniece got her first gig as a member of his touring backup vocal group Wonderlove in 1972); super producer, songwriter and artist in his own right, George Duke (who produced 1984's Grammy-winning "Let's Hear It For The Boy"); and renowned vocalist Philip Bailey, of Earth, Wind & Fire, with whom Deniece was associated by virtue of working with EW&F's Maurice White and Kalimba Productions from 1976 to 1982.        
In addition, what distinguishes Niecy's new CD from other albums of R&B 'cover' tunes is the range of her choices, starting with the 1963 Baby Washington chestnut "That's How Heartaches Are Made" through to Donny Hathaway's eternal "Someday We'll All Be Free" and on to Luther Vandross' first solo 1981 smash, "Never Too Much."  For good measure, Deniece re-recorded her own "Cause You Love Me Baby," a staple in her repertoire since the track was included in her 1976 Columbia debut album as well as cutting a brand new song, "The Only Thing I'm Missing Is You," a prime romantic mood-setting, sensuous cut which showcases the songbird sounding better than ever!
The basic tracks on Love, Niecey Style were cut by producer Eli in Philadelphia;  an all-star cast of West Coast musicians including saxman Everette Harp, bass player extraordinaire Freddie Washington and Tower Of Power trumpeter Greg Adams then added their musical skills to the album.  Says Deniece, "It was an extraordinary experience to make music with such gifted musicians…words could never truly express how special it made me feel being in the studio again with Stevie, George, Philip, Greg, Freddie and Everette.  Truly, I was surrounded by friends and loved ones."
The spirit of love and celebration is displayed throughout Love, Niecey Style. Speaking about her choices for the album, Deniece explains, "I'd been wanting to record "That's How Heartaches Are Made" for years.  I was thirteen when I first heard Baby Washington sing this song.  It touched my heart because at the time, I was in love with this boy but he didn't love me the same way!   When we started recording the song, I could hear Stevie (Wonder) playing harmonica on it.  'Can you come down?' I asked and he was gracious enough to play on the track.  It turned out beautifully. Then, "Love's Holiday" has always been one of my favorite EW&F songs. 
It was also written by Skip Scarborough, who I feel was one of the best songwriters of our generation.  Then having my dearest friend Philip Bailey sing on it…it doesn't get any better than that!"
The standout ballad "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" (previously cut by both Angela Bofill and Roberta Flack, one of the many artists whose recordings - including Minnie Riperton and Esther Phillips - benefited from Deniece's work as a session singer in the '70s) is a tribute to a longtime friend: "The song was written by the late Gwen Guthrie who we lost to breast cancer. Gwen used to sing with me, Lani Groves and Patti Austin - we were in the same circle of background singers when I lived in New York and I remember when she wrote the song.  I always wanted to do it and it's my way of honoring Gwen."
Deniece says the two most challenging tunes were her reading of Donny Hathaway's "Someday We'll All Be Free" (which features Greg Adams) and one of the only covers ever done of Luther's "Never Too Much."  The vocalist shares, "I told Bobby (Eli) and Executive Producer Danny Weiss that I wanted to do Donny's song.  After I listened to his rendition again, I just broke down and cried. I thought, 'do I have the audacity to do this song?' I called the record company and told them I'd made a mistake.  They said, 'are you crazy?  No…you gotta do the song!'  It has a beautiful message of encouragement so I'm glad I did it.  As for the Luther song, well, he was a friend and certainly one of the best vocalists of our time.  I had no idea how hard a song "Never Too Much" was to sing – you can hardly sing and breathe on it. I tell people, when I get to heaven, I'm going to tell Luther how hard it was to do!"     
Keeping with contemporary classics of the '80s, Deniece chose Kool & The Gang's "Cherish"  about which she says, "real love only happens on a few occasions and when we have it, we shouldn't take it for granted"; and George Benson's 1983 hit, "Love Me (One More Time)" which she declares is her favorite Benson song, given "something really special by George (Duke) who played on the track."  Rounding out this stellar collection are her own "Cause You Love Me Baby" and "If You Really Love Me," another nod to Stevie Wonder. "I sang this song so much as background for Stevie that at one time, I was singing it in my sleep!  I was very apprehensive about doing this song because he was and still is my mentor and I wanted to please him.  I think I've made him proud."  The choice for Deniece Williams to revisit one of her own classic tunes "Cause You Love Me Baby" was easy: "I've been very blessed as a songwriter and publisher to have so much of my music sampled.  I was going to re-do "Free" but then I thought it would be good to do something up-tempo because it's been sampled by so many other artists…and being the romantic I am, it seemed perfect for this project."  
Since the mid-'80s, Deniece has been busier than ever, recording a children's CD, Lullabies To Dreamland, appearing in the London cast of the pioneering musical "Mama I Want To Sing," producing and hosting her own radio program, "The Deniece Williams Show" for BBC Radio for almost ten years.  Purposely devoting much of her time to raising her four sons, Deniece says she made a conscious choice to limit her touring activities: "I've been doing maybe ten concerts a year and in recent years, I've really got into writing theater pieces and developing film scripts with my older sons.  I felt it was time to test myself in other creative ways.  Now with my children grown, it's time for mom to be out there again!  I chose to stay at home and did only 10% of what I could have done.  Vocally, I think I'm stronger than I've ever been and it's time to get out there and do it.  I've been blessed with a fantastic audience and I'm always humbled by that.  My audience reminds me that this is what I'm supposed to be doing!"


Bliss Life Records, will release Amel Larrieux’s collection of great American standards, “Lovely Standards” on May 22.

“I grew up watching musicals from the 40’s and 50’s, and my grandfather used to play standards on the piano while our family sang," explains Larrieux, "It was inevitable that I try my hand at interpreting these songs because they were surely as influential in shaping who I have become as an artist.”

Singer, songwriter Amel Larrieux and producer Laru Larrieux have handpicked a collection of songs.  Their nuanced delivery once again exhibits this pair's versatility and devotion to their craft while defying stereotypes.  Parlaying Amel's reputation for vulnerable yet intense interpretations of her own songs into an intimate and relevant portrait of classics ranging from Ellington to Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Having sold over one million albums, the Grammy-nominated songbird has three critically acclaimed solo albums, Morning (Bliss Life), Bravebird (Bliss Life), and Infinite Possibilities (Epic). Larrieux fuses a range of genres—R&B, soul, hip-hop, jazz and folk, with flashes of Middle Eastern, West African, and Indian styles.  As lead siren and co-writer for Groove Theory, Amel enjoyed success with "Tell Me," which broke the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 and the top five on the R&B charts before being certified gold in October 1995.

Larrieux’s influence on the music world is widespread, having contributed to film soundtracks, such as Barbershop, Love Jones, Down To Earth, and Sunset Park, and having collaborated with artists from former Sade guitarist Stuart Matthewman in her work with Sweetback to working with hip hop supergroup, The Roots.  Equal to Amel’s vocal and writing talent is her alluring beauty and eclectic style. She has been spotlighted as a style maven in Essence, Honey, Harper’s Bazaar, Trace, The Fader and was also featured in the Coach anniversary print campaign.


Catch nu jazz/acid jazz/chill vibe groove gurus Four 80 East in their only NYC appearance on Tuesday, April 24 @ Opia! The band will be celebrating the release of their amazing new CD En Route.

A new release from Corinne Bailey Rae is due out on June 19 from Capitol as she is currently in the studio (during her tour stops) recording the new album.

Blue Note will release Birthday Bash - Live at Yoshi's from Kenny Burrell and Dear Miles by Ron Carter – no release date has been set as of yet.

Chris Botti has been in the studio in London, recording at least 18 songs with an orchestra, for an album with an Italian feel, reports The project includes versions of "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel, and the classic operatic aria "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot by Puccini. Botti also covers the theme from the film The Mission by Ennio Morricone, and "Caruso" by Lucio Dalla.

Grammy winner Diana Krall has just signed with the Las Vegas Hilton for a four-night run at the hotel's Hilton Theater, featuring the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, from June 14th through the 17th.

R&B diva Deniece Williams is set to release her first album in a decade, titled Love, Niecy Style, on the Shanachie label. The disc is a collection of cover tracks that honor the artists who influenced her own career as a soul singer, including Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Angela Bofill, Gwen Guthrie, Luther Vandross, Kool & The Gang, George Benson, Donny Hathaway, and Earth Wind & Fire. The album, slated for an April 24th release, also showcases newer impressions of some of the 55-year-old singer's original efforts: the 1976 staple "'Cause You Love Me Baby," and the new romantic track "The Only Thing Missing Is You."

The Bad Plus, Herbie Hancock Quintet, Ken Ford and the Pete Escovedo Orchestra are among the slew of artists slated to perform at the 30th annual Atlanta Jazz Festival over Memorial Day weekend. To be held May 26-28 at Piedmont Park, the festival has tis year added the Future of Jazz stage, featuring newer avant-garde artists The Atlanta Jazz Festival is also presenting a trio of dates for the Soulful Sounds of the City concert series at Chastain Park Amphitheatre. George Benson and Al Jarreau will perform Saturday (April 14), Joe Sample and Randy Crawford will take the stage May 12 and Aretha Franklin is scheduled for Sept. 1. Tickets are now on sale.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Euge Groove is highly anticipating the birth of his new project, Born To Groove. The disc will be in stores on June 19th. Recorded entirely in hi-definition sound, the album features eight original instrumentals, a writing and performance collaboration with Jeffrey Osborne, and an appearance by Ali Ollie Woodson on a neo-soul remake of Donny Hathaway's I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know. Euge Groove's touring schedule is filling up, with dates through the summer.

To check for additional dates, check
Euge Groove tour dates are as follows:
April 28 - Alta Monte, FL - Crane's Roost
May 4 - New Haven, CT - John Lyman Center
May 5 - Annapolis, MD - Rams Head On Stage
May 19 - Newport Beach, CA - Lexus Jazz Festival
May 26 - San Diego, CA - Gas Lamp Quarter
May 27 - Las Vegas, NV - Spring Mountain State
June 22 - Overland Park, KS - Corporate Woods
June 23 - Greenwood Village, CO - Coors Amphitheatre
July 6 - Carlsbad, CA - Four Seasons Resort
July 14 - St. Joseph, MI - Jazz At Sunset
August 4 - Woodinville, WA - KWJZ Smooth Jazz Fest
August 17 - Newport Beach, CA - Hyatt Summer Jazz Series
August 18 - Temecula, CA - Thornton Winery
September 7 - West Bend, WI - Riverside Park
September 8 - Avon, CO - Ritz Carlton


Smooth Jazz singer Will Downing has cancelled his current tour dates after having been diagnosed with polymyositis, a debilitating chronic inflammatory disease of the muscles that can lead to paralysis. The 46-year-old performer first noticed symptoms over the holidays, when he felt extremely tired and sick, according to

Although remission is rare, treatment can improve muscle strength and function. Downing has been hospitalized since January and is now undergoing physical rehabilitation in an attempt to retain his strength. Fortunately, his voice has not been affected.

Downing is still going forward with his plans to release a new album this September, via Peak Records.

Downing is one of those rare artists with fans in both smooth jazz and R&B circles, and he says that working with producers who add elements of various genres keeps things challenging for him as an artist.

Downing adds that even jazz or gospel elements in the arrangements make the music more interesting for him as well as the audience: "I hate things to be boring. So I think that's where the jazz elements kind of kick into the music. We may come up with an R&B kind of a groove and all of a sudden from a chordal standpoint, there's certain things that are just a lot more fun to sing over than others. "

He adds that the public's natural affinity for categorizing what they hear can cause some issues, but Downing says that his fans know exactly what they're getting: "That's when the confusing part comes into most folks' ears. They kinda go: 'I mean, it's not R&B because he's got this in there. All of a sudden, there's a sax solo or there's a ... you know, a trumpet solo, or ....' It's like, that's what music is. It's supposed to be fun like that. And fortunately I've been able to sell records based on that kind of 'warped' theory all these years." 

For more information on Will, visit his website at:


Keyboardist/composer Lao Tizer released his sophomore effort, Diversify, on Tuesday (April 3rd), via his own Yse Records. The young prodigy creates invigorating jazz in a wide variety of deliveries, including contemporary jazz, world music, R&B/funk, fusion, classical, Latin and instrumental pop -- hence the title. The 14-track album boasts an equally diverse array of special guests, including guitarist/Tizer mentor Chieli Minucci, violinist Karen Briggs, percussionist D. Munyungo Jackson and saxophonist Andy Suzuki. Tizer plans to tour behind the album, kicking off his dates by opening for George Benson and Al Jarreau at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival on April 13th a,nd touring the jazz festival circuit through the early fall.

Lao Tizer Diversify tour dates are as follows:
June 24 - Big Bear, CA - JazzTrax Summer Music Festival
June 27 - Anderson, CA - Summer Concert Series
July 1 - Newport Beach, CA - Summer Concerts in the Park
July 5 - Wichita, KS - Summer Concert/Segwick County Zoo
July 6 - Boulder, CO - Friday Afternoon Club Concert Series
July 7 - Denver, CO - Festival Nights/Cherry Creek Arts Festival
August 3 - Milwaukee, WI - Summer Sizzle/Historic Third Ward Jazz Fest
August 11 - Las Vegas, NV - Jazz by the Lake
August 12 - Chula Vista, CA - Summer Concert Series
August 19 - Pasadena, CA - Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts
October 19 - Avalon, CA - Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival
For more information, go to


All titles are available on CD for the first time and contain extensive liner notes

Collectors’ Choice is set to reissue ten classic Dionne Warwick albums from the Scepter and Warner Bros. years, all remastered from the original tapes and all with extensive liner notes by Ritchie Unterberger. Featured are the multi-Grammy® Award-winning artist’s first six albums and nine out of her first ten, including a definitive cross-section of her masterpieces with Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Street date for the CDs is May 15.
The Collectors’ Choice reissues complement recent reissues on Rhino Handmade, which featured the singer’s final Scepter sessions.
Collectors’ Choice’s Dionne Warwick reissues include:
• Presenting Dionne Warwick: This 1963 album marked not only the emergence of a brand-new vocal star, but also the debut of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David/Dionne Warwick team, which is responsible for nine of this album’s 12 tracks. Featured are Warwick’s first single, “Don’t Make Me Over,” and “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” which was later a hit for Dusty Springfield.
• Anyone Who Had a Heart: Released in 1964, this album featured Warwick’s first Top Ten hit as its title track, plus plenty of Bacharach and David songs along with expertly chosen compositions from other songwriters such as Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. “Anyone Who Had a Heart” boasts an impressively bittersweet, unpredictably shifting melody; shifts in time signature from 5/4 to 4/4 to 7/8 and back to 5/4; a brief, smoky sax solo; gorgeous orchestration and swelling background vocals; and Warwick’s impassioned vocal.
• Make Way for Dionne Warwick: Make Way, released in ‘64, was Warwick’s first charting album, powered by “Walk On By” and a host of other Bacharach-David classics, including “Close To You,” a hit for the Carpenters some ten years later.
• The Sensitive Sound of Dionne Warwick: Taking a slight turn toward adult pop with this ‘65 release, the album contained the hit “Who Can I Turn To?” from the Broadway play The Roar of the Greasepaint — The Smell of the Crowd. The album contains some of Warwick’s more adventurous vocal work.

• Here I Am: This album, released in late 1965, contained nine Bacharach-David compositions out of 12 songs. Its biggest hit, "Looking With My Eyes,” reached only No. 64, and perhaps had a few too many melodic twists and turns to be a big AM radio hit. For those who savor Bacharach-David’s risky sophistication, however, it’s an obscure nugget, particularly in those passages that suddenly change gears to a stuttering, melancholy jazzy piano lick wholly unrelated to other parts of the song.
• Dionne Warwick in Paris: Europe was quicker to catch on to the enormity of Dionne’s talent than were American audiences. She was particularly big in France, where they dubbed her "The Black Pearl," so it was logical that her first live album would be recorded at the Olympia Theater in Paris, the very venue that hosted her first European concert. This January 18, 1966 show won raves from the local press.
• Here Where There Is Love: Released in ‘66, this was Warwick’s first Top 20 pop charting album and a No. 1 hit on the R&B charts, thanks to a quartet of Bacharach and David masterpieces: “Alfie,” “What The World Needs Now,” “Trains and Boats and Planes” and “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself.” She even covers Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind”
• The Magic of Believing: Dionne Warwick was so hot on the pop charts with hits like “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and “(Theme From) Valley of the Dolls” that she could afford to do such an avowedly noncommercial project as this tribute to her gospel roots. And those roots were deep — her mother, Lee Warrick, was a founding member of the Drinkard Singers with Cissy Houston (Whitney’s mother) and Dionne herself got her start with the Gospelaires along with her sister Dee Dee. Fittingly, the Drinkard Singers back Dionne in a labor of spiritual and musical love.
• Love at First Sight: This album concluded Dionne’s association with Warner Bros. Records in 1977. By then, the “marriage” of Bacharach and David had dissolved in acrimony, so noted producers Steve Barri and Michael Omartian took the reigns. The inclusion of songs by Brill Building folks like Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and Evie Sands brings it back to the classic Warwick sound.


Platinum-selling recording artist Deborah Cox reinterprets the classic songs of Dinah Washington on her Decca debut, Destination Moon.  Set for release on June 19th, Destination Moon thrusts the R&B/dance diva into whole new territory, showcasing her range and scope as an artist capable of tackling jazz, blues and “big-band” with ease and confidence. 
"This is a complete labor of love, a concept album that I've had in mind for years," Cox explains.  "This is a project that's an introduction to all of the styles that I grew up with. It's a way to expose another side of me that I've kept quiet.  It's a chance to look inside my history of influences and hear where I'm coming from as an artist.” 
Having conquered the pop and R&B charts, including one of the longest-running #1 songs in history on Billboard's R&B singles chart and an impressive nine #1 hits on Billboard's Hot Dance Club play chart, Deborah was another protégé of legendary record executive Clive Davis. She starred on Broadway in Elton John's and Tim Rice's "Aida," and now the 32-year-old Toronto-born singer/actress pays effusive tribute to her childhood idol, the beloved and troubled Washington.  Deborah Cox's first exposure to Washington came very early, when she was a little girl.  "I first became aware of Dinah when I was growing up, when I was about 8 or 9 years old" she says.  "A lot of jazz was played about the house. I heard my mother playing a 45 of "This Bitter Earth" -- this first song I had ever heard from Dinah.   It was the richness and the tonality of her voice that I gravitated to.”
Later in life, Deborah realized that apart from the turbulent personal issues, she had a great deal in common with Dinah in terms of how she wants to be perceived as an artist.
“I'm doing this to broaden people's awareness of what I can do and also for the sheer love of her music."  As a result, Deborah's homage to Dinah Washington does not lean overwhelmingly toward one particular style. It was designed from the beginning to be a compendium of several of Dinah's idioms -  the big-band swing of "All Of Me" and "Destination Moon,"  swaggering R&B ("I Don't Hurt Anymore)," the blues that earned her the misleading nickname "Queen of the Blues" ("Misery," "New Blowtop Blues"), the lush ballads that put her on the jukeboxes of Middle America ("What A Diff'rence A Day Made," "This Bitter Earth").
For the arrangements and the production, Deborah turned to the highly-versatile New York-based music man Rob Mounsey, whose credits with such diverse performers as Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin and Tony Bennett to name a few.   The record was made live in the studio, with 40 musicians in the same room with her, playing and singing in real time under Mounsey’s direction.
To celebrate the release of Destination Moon, Deborah Cox will be appearing for one night only at Dizzy’s, in New York City’s Jazz At Lincoln Center on June 25th, with more appearances to be announced.


On Wednesday, May 9, in Memphis, Tennessee, The Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame committee will honor Blue Note/EMI recording artist and Blues legend Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack Jr., famously known as Dr. John, as an inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame. Other 2007 Inductees include Dave Bartholomew and late artists, Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Non-performer inductees are Ahmet Ertegun and Art Rupe.

Beginning his career as a sideman in his home town of New Orleans, Dr. John quickly developed his own musical voice based on the Jazz, Blues, and Rock music of the Louisiana Delta. As the infamous character Dr. John the Night Tripper, Mac achieved breakthrough success with his 1968 album Gris Gris. Dr. John went on to record more than 30 albums and work with similar legends including B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells, Big Joe Turner and Aretha Franklin, solidifying his place as a New Orleans Blues icon. Blue Note Records released his most recent album Mercernary in 2006.

Dr. John has also become one of the leading spokesmen for the New Orleans region after hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. Immediately following the storm, Dr. John recorded a seven-track EP dedicated to the Crescent City, Sippiana Hericane. All the proceeds from the CD's sales were divided equally between the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, the Jazz Foundation of America and the Voice of the Wetlands.

The Blues Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be conducted in association with The Blues Foundation's Charity Member Dinner, Wednesday, May 9 in Memphis, Tennessee, the night before the 2007 Blues Music Awards.


Keith Jarrett / Jack DeJohnette / Gary Peacock, Eartha Kitt, Nancy Wilson, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jim Hall, Patti LaBelle, Branford Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Jean-Luc Ponty, India.Arie, Bela Fleck, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Lee Konitz, Cesaria Evora & More!

New York takes over the city June 17 - 30 with more than 300 artists in nearly 200 concerts and events (including clubs) at 28 venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and reaching as far as Philadelphia. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 18.

Festival highlights include 80th birthday celebrations for Eartha Kitt and Lee Konitz; 70th birthday festivities for Ron Carter and Nancy Wilson; the return of soul diva Patti LaBelle and the barefoot diva Cesaria Evora; salutes to Benny Carter, Ruby Braff, Jimmy McPartland and jazz maven Phoebe Jacobs; a double dose of hot new talent with India.Arie and Lizz Wright; a unique concert pairing with Branford Marsalis and Joshua Redman at The Town Hall; and six free concerts at Macy's across New York City and Philadelphia.

“Every year, it gets more challenging to present a great festival; but every year, I believe we succeed,” said George Wein, Chairman of Festival Productions, a division of The Festival Network, LLC. “This year, you can count on two weeks of outstanding music featuring some of the best of traditional, straight-ahead, contemporary, Big Band, Second Line, R & B, Latin, world music and more.”

The 2007 JVC Jazz Festival presents eight concerts at Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium and three at Zankel Hall. The 8:00PM Carnegie Hall concerts begin on Thursday, June 21, with Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Peacock followed by young vocal powerhouses India.Arie and Lizz Wright on Friday, June 22 and Patti LaBelle and the Lou Donaldson Quartet on Saturday, June 23. Don't miss C'est Si Bon: Eartha Kitt's Fabulous 80th Birthday Concert with Eartha Kitt and many special guests on Monday, June 25, and the “Barefoot Diva” from Cape Verde, Cesaria Evora, and The Bird and the Bee on Tuesday, June 26. Ron Carter: The Master @ 70 takes the stage on Wednesday, June 27, featuring Ron Carter & Friends in four group - Quartet with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter & Billy Cobham; Trio with Mulgrew Miller & Russell Malone; Duets with Jim Hall; and New Quartet with Stephen Scott, Payton Crossley & Rolando Morales.

Carnegie Hall concerts continue with Nancy Wilson's Swingin' 70th Birthday Party featuring the Nancy Wilson Trio with special guests Regina Carter, Kurt Elling, Nnenna Freelon, Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis and Dianne Reeves on Friday, June 29. Making his Carnegie Hall debut as a headliner is Bela Fleck & The Flecktones plus The Del McCoury Band on Saturday, June 30.

Zankel Hall is the spot to celebrate Lee Konitz's Beautiful 80th Birthday Party featuring Lee Konitz with Orquestra Jazz Matosinhos & New Nonet & String Quartet plus special guests Paul Motian & Steve Swallow, directed by Ohad Talmor on Monday, June 25. The festivities continue on Tuesday, June 26, with Benny Carter Centennial Celebration: The King of New York starring Loren Schoenberg Big Band with Chris Neville, Catherine Russell & Roberta Gambarini. Spend An Evening with Jean-Luc Ponty on Wednesday, June 27. All three concerts are at 8:30 p.m.

The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College spotlights some of the best in traditional jazz with salutes to Jimmy McPartland, Ruby Braff and Phoebe Jacobs. Kicking off the series is Jimmy McPartland Centennial Celebration featuring Marian McPartland with Howard Alden, Bill Crow, Eddie Locke, Joe Muranyi, Ken Peplowski, Bobby Pring and Warren Vach on Tuesday, June 19. Then, on Wednesday, June 20, We Remember Ruby: A Musical Salute to Ruby Braff stars Warren Vach, Jon-Erik Kelso, Scott Hamilton, Harry Allen, Norman Simmons, Dick Hyman, Jon Wheatley, Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Frank Tate, Chuck Riggs, Daryl Sherman, Jackie Williams and JVC Jazz Festival impresario George Wein.

The Kaye series ends on Thursday, June 21, with Phoebe Jacobs - A Life Well-lived: A Work Still in Progress featuring the Music of Eubie Blake, Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan & Louis Armstrong performed by Terry Waldo, Mary Louise, Barbara Carroll, Jay Leonhart, Steve Johns, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ken Peplowski, Jon Faddis, Mercedes Ellington, Andre de Shields, Antoinette Montague, Carolyn Leonhart, Jonathan Batiste, Peter Washington and many others. All concerts are at 8:00 p.m.

JVC Jazz Festival - New York moves to The Town Hall for three 8:00 p.m. concerts including Preservation Hall at Town Hall: Bourbon Street Comes to Broadway featuring Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Jenny Scheinman, Allen Toussaint, Steve Wilson and many other special guests on Tuesday, June 19, followed by a double bill with Branford Marsalis and the Joshua Redman Trio on Wednesday, June 20. Wrapping up the series is YKK Presents Jazz: East & West featuring Bass Talk with Yoshio “Chin” Suzuki and Soichi Noriki, Shinpei Inoue & Yoichi Okabe, The Tokyo Trio with Kei Akagi and Tomokazu Sugimoto & Tamaya Honda plus special guests Dave Liebman and Billy Hart on Thursday, June 21.

Kenny Barron & Eliane Elias with Marc Johnson & Satoshi Takeishi perform at The Allen Room at the Frederick P. Rose Hall on Sunday, June 24, at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Making its debut as a JVC Jazz Festival venue is the Rubin Museum of Art with three 7:00 p.m. concerts including Raw Materials featuring Vijay Iyer & Rudresh Mahanthappa Duo on Friday, June 22; Anat Fort on Wednesday, June 27, and Ned Rothenberg & Glen Velez on Friday, June 29.

Hurry up to Harlem for A Father's Day Gift presenting Sonny Fortune Quartet with Michael Cochrane, Chip Jackson & Steve Johns on Sunday, June 17, at 3:00 p.m. at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Geri Allen Trio with Rashaan Carter, Kassa Overall & tap dancer Maurice Chestnut light up the night at the Studio Museum in Harlem on Wednesday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m.

The JVC Jazz Festival - New York returns to the Jazz Standard for five World Jazz Nights featuring Lionel Loueke Trio with Ferenc Nemeth & Massimo Biolcati on Tuesday, June 26, and Avishai Cohen Sextet with Lionel Loueke, Jason Lindner, Omer Avital, Daniel Freedman & Yosvany Terry on Wednesday, June 27. Then Roswell Rudd's MALIcool with Kadialy Kouyate, Balla Kouyate, Mawuena Kodjovi, Henry Schroy, Jorge Amorim & Mar Gueye takes up residence for a three-night run Thursday, June 28 - Saturday, June 30. All sets are at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. with an 11:30 p.m. set added on Friday and Saturday.

The 2-for-1 Club Night series with special discounts to JVC Jazz Festival ticket holders will be offered throughout the festival at The Blue Note, Iridium Jazz Club, The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, Smoke, Sweet Rhythm and Zinc. Artists include Eric Person & Meta-Four and Larry Carlton at the Blue Note; Yellowjackets and Keiko Matsui at Iridium; and Barbara Carroll and Sarah Partridge at The Oak Room.
Catch two free concerts Outdoors at Citicorp Plaza at St. Peter's Church at 12:30 p.m. Downbeat Presents: Jazz Combos with Berklee College of Music JVC Jazz Festival Ensemble, Eastman Jazz Performance Workshop and William Paterson Jazz Sextet on Thursday, June 21. JVC Jazz Festival & Midtown Arts Commission Celebrate International Women in Jazz featuring Ada Rovatti Quintet and Sherry Luchette Trio on Thursday, June 28.

The JVC Jazz Festival - New York teams up with Celebrate Brooklyn! to present Groove Collective, Ravi Coltrane Quartet and Craig Harris Ensemble in a free concert at Prospect Park Bandshell at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 29.

Shop and bop 'til you drop at six free concerts at Macy's where guests can sign up for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Patti LaBelle's JVC Jazz Festival concert at Carnegie Hall. Catch Sonny Fortune at Macy's Herald Square on Tuesday, June 7, at 6:00 p.m.; an artist to be announced at Macy's Brooklyn on Friday, June 8, at 6:00 p.m.; International Women in Jazz featuring Audrey Silver at Macy's Queens on Saturday, June 9, at 3:00 p.m.; Eric Mintel at Macy's Center City in Philadelphia at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 9; Roni Ben-Hur at Macy's Herald Square on Thursday, June 14, at 6:00 p.m.; and an artist to be announced on Monday, June 18, at noon.

JVC Special Events & Educational Programs include Take the A Train: The Music of Billy Strayhorn, featuring New York City Gay Men's Chorus with Music Director Casey J. Hayes, arrives at Nokia Theatre Times Square on Monday, June 18, at 8:00 p.m. Incorporation of Artists on the Move presents Swing, Bebop to Hip-Hop: To Mary Lou Williams with Love, curated by Gwendolyn Black with Musical Director Emme Kemp, June 19 - July 30 at Harlem Branch Library and Citibank Financial Center.

Don't miss a visit to the Langston Hughes House: Harlem Renaissance Continued when Motema Music presents “Bujo” Kevin Jones & 10th World on Wednesday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; The Kit McClure Band on Friday, June 15, at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.; Claudia Beth Hayden Band on Saturday, June 16, at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.; Elmolenium Orchestra performing the music of Elmo Hope on Tuesday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; Marc Cary Experience & Abstrakt Blak on Thursday, June 21, at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.; Lynne Arriale on Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23, at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.; Jana Herzen Band on Friday, June 29, at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.; and Roni Ben-Hur: Strayhorn Project on Saturday, June 30, at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

JVC Jazz Festival - New York supports JazzReach featuring Bruce Hornsby-Jack DeJohnette-Christian McBride on Wednesday, May 23, at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at B. B. King Blues Club & Grill and Matt Wilson Arts & Crafts and Metta Quintet on Tuesday, June 19, at 8:00 p.m. at The Ailey/Citigroup Theater. Then JVC joins in the festivities at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music 20th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, June 20, at 7:30 p.m. with performances by notable alumni and mentors including Chico Hamilton, Marcus Strickland, E. J. Strickland, Charles Tolliver, Peter Bernstein and more.

Spend the weekend in Saratoga Springs, NY, at the 30th Annual Freihofer's Jazz Festival, at Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center June 23 - 24, starting at noon with a line-up of world-renowned artists including George Benson, India.Arie, David Sanborn, Al Green, Trio Beyond featuring Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield & Larry Goldings, The Dizzy Gillespie All-star Big Band and more. Tickets go on sale May 13. For more information, visit

JVC Jazz Festival - Newport, now celebrating the 53rd year of the famed Newport Jazz Festival, is set for August 11 - 13 at Fort Adams State Park. Artists will be announced on April 24.

Additional support for the JVC Jazz Festival - New York is provided by NYC & Co., Macy's and media partners The Village Voice and Jazz 88/WBGO-FM.

Hotel 57, located at 130 East 57th Street between Park & Lexington, is the official host hotel of the JVC Jazz Festival - New York. For the special festival rate, call (212) 753-8841 and mention the JVC Jazz Festival and visit
For more information, visit the official JVC Jazz Festival - New York website at

Tickets and information for JVC Jazz Festival - New York concerts are available at respective box offices or by telephone: JazzReach at The Ailey/Citigroup Theater; The Allen Room (212) 721-6500; JazzReach at B. B. King Blues Club & Grill (212) 307-7171; Blue Note (212) 475-8592; Carnegie Hall (212) 247-7800; Incorporation of Artists on the Move at Citibank Financial Center (212) 665-5313; Harlem Branch Library (212) 348-5620; Iridium (212) 582-2121; Jazz Standard (212) 576-2232; Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (212) 772-4448; Langston Hughes House (212) 860-6969; Macy's (212) 695-4400; New School (212) 229-5488; Nokia Theatre Times Square (212) 307-7171; The Oak Room (212) 419-9331; Prospect Park Bandshell (718) 855-7882; Rubin Museum of Art (212) 620-5000; Saint Peter's Church (212) 935-2200; Schomburg Center (212) 491-2200; Smoke (212) 864-6662; Studio Museum in Harlem (212) 864-4500; Sweet Rhythm (212) 255-3626; The Town Hall (212) 307-4100; Zankel Hall (212) 247-7800; Zinc (212) 477-8337. For information and a Festival brochure, call (646) 862-0458 weekdays from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. or write JVC Jazz Festival - New York, P.O. Box 1169, Ansonia Station, New York, NY 10023.

JVC, sponsor of JVC Jazz Festivals worldwide since 1984, is one of the world's largest manufacturers of high quality audio and video products.


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