Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Sammy Figueroa & his Latin Jazz Explosion is a true ensemble, balancing dazzling displays of virtuosity with touches of classical elegance, swinging Latin rhythms and sophisticated fusion, with Sammy always anchoring the music with his rich expressive playing. Remarking on Sammy's creativity and ease on his instrument, saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins has pronounced that "there is no better percussionist than Sammy Figueroa." After two decades as New York's number-one percussionist, recording and performing with artists such as Miles Davis, the Brecker Brothers, Sonny Rollins and pop stars David Bowie, Chaka Khan, and Mariah Carey to name a few, Sammy was ready for a change. He moved to South Florida where, between the extraordinary Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and a community of excellent musicians from Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Argentina, he discovered a vibrant Latin jazz scene, rich with musical opportunities. Gathering together some of the best players in town, Sammy and his band made their debut at the Hollywood Jazz Festival in 2002. He hasn't looked back since. The band's first two albums, And Sammy Walked In and The Magician, each received Grammy® Nominations for Best Latin Jazz Album and their exciting performances have gained them enthusiastic fans throughout the United States and Europe.

The Latin Jazz Explosion features the brilliant pianist Silvano Monasterios and accomplished bassist Gabriel Vivas (both from Venezuela), Alex Pope Norris on trumpet, saxophonist John Michalak and the young Puerto Rican drummer Nomar Negroni. On Urban Nature the group is joined by special guests Ed Calle on sax, Mike Orta on piano and Venezuelan percussionist José Gregorio Hernandez. Urban Nature is a salute to the creativity that Sammy, a native New Yorker, has experienced during his time in Miami. These are not the gritty streets of New York City: it's a place where condo towers, fast cars, culture clash and urban poverty meet the vibrant blue and green of sky and sea, where violent storms swiftly transition into incredible sunsets, where mangos block your driveway at certain times of year and where alligators might be lurking in the canals alongside I-95. This album was created as a team effort between Sammy, composer/arrangers Silvano Monasterios and Gabriel Vivas, and producer Rachel Faro. Monasterios and Vivas offer seven signature pieces, composed specifically for Sammy and this album.

The album opens with the clarion call of "Gufillo," an original piece by Monasterios, featuring one of Sammy's hand-blurring solos. This segues into the title track, a catchy, yet majestic cha-cha by Vivas. Mike Orta's original "Latin What?" features a quirky raw solo by Calle on tenor sax. "Zuliana" follows, a delicate folk-influenced tune by Silvano Monasterios dedicated to his father's home province in Venezuela.

Monasterios' "7th Door On Your Left" is in 7/8 meter and just about seven minutes long. This magic number takes the listener through a winding, relaxed journey that leads into "Cuco y Olga," a tribute to the late, great Mongo Santamaria. The last three tunes on the album, all originals by Vivas and Monasterios, further establish the group's characteristic sound. "Cha Cha 'Pa Ti" is a sinuous cha-cha, its melody winding around a steady base of repetitive rhythm parts. "Queen From The South" is Silvano's homage to one of the many beautiful women in his native land. The album closes with "Funny Talk," Vivas' tribute to Sammy's famous sense of humor. "The Latin feel in jazz has been around since jazz began," says Sammy. "It's all about the rhythm, the movement and certain swing. When you hear it, you don't have to be Latin to like it. It just does something to your system that one cannot explain. On this album we had the opportunity to successfully combine the joy of Latin rhythms with the sophistication of jazz harmonics. I hope the listener will enjoy this music as much as we have playing and recording it."

Urban Nature is set for release on August 30.

Tour Schedule:
August 31 - Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
September 2 - Jazz Kitchen, Indianapolis, IN
September 4 - Detroit International Jazz Festival, Detroit, MI
September 16 - Jazz At The Palm, West Palm Beach, FL
September 18 - Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, CA (with Sonny Rollins)
October 6 - Sculler's Jazz Club, Boston, MA
October 10 - Kennedy Center, Washington DC (with Sonny Rollins)
October 12 - Zinc Bar, New York, NY
October 14 - Nashville Symphony, Nashville TN (with Sonny Rollins)
October 15 - Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Clearwater, FL
October 22 - Jazz at Pinecrest Gardens, Banyan Bowl, Pinecrest FL

Sunday, August 28, 2011


On August 1, 2011, Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, launched "The Miles Davis Fan Project," an innovative online initiative designed to introduce the music of the American jazz composer-trumpeter-bandleader to a digital audience via Facebook. Throughout the month of August, 40 classic Miles Davis tracks - representing multiple aspects and phases of the iconic Davis canon from the post-bop cool of Kind of Blue through the ferocious fusion of Bitches Brew to the meditative Mobius cosmos of In a Silent Way - are being featured on Facebook via social sound sharing platform SoundCloud, powered by RootMusic's BandPage application.

The tracks feature an active "Like" button which prompts fans to 'vote.' The ten recordings accruing the most "Likes" from fans online will be assembled for Blue Flame, a fan-christened digital-only album to be released on September 26. By mid-August, more than twenty thousand "Likes" had been cast on Facebook with some songs grabbing more than twenty-five hundred "Likes." More than thirty-five thousand plays have been racked up between the various contenders for final inclusion on the album. An online Facebook poll for "The Miles Davis Fan Project" album title resulted in a landslide victory for Blue Flame, suggested by Jennifer Sammons of Los Angeles, California:

"I was introduced to Miles Davis' music by my Dad (D. J.) who was a huge fan," said Sammons. "I became further intrigued with Miles after seeing the actor Michael Wright portraying him! Upon reading Miles' bio, I realized that listening to his music is like taking an amazing journey through this musical genius' incredible life that began with that mystical magical 'blue flame'!"

"'The Miles Davis Fan Project' is yet another example of how Miles transcends genres and continues to speak to new generations," said Adam Block, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Legacy Recordings. "This is the first time we've put the music of an artist of this stature in the hands of fans via social media and asked them to create a collection of songs as a new release. That so many fans have chosen to engage, and to utilize the new technologies available to them, testifies to Miles' enduring appeal and eternal 'nowness.'"

In addition to A&R-ing the tracklist for "The Miles Davis Fan Project" album, online fans are being invited to name the album, create the official artwork for the release, and describe what Miles and his music means to them in personal testimonials to be featured in a digital booklet coming with the online release. The first online fan-assembled collection of its kind, the release of Blue Flame coincides with the 20th anniversary of Davis' passing on September 28, 1991. Fully endorsed by Miles Davis Properties, LLC, "The Miles Davis Fan Project" is engaging younger fans native to a digital environment and providing an introduction to the music of Miles. The final tracklisting, sequencing and artwork for Blue Flame will be revealed on September 26.

On September 20, Legacy Recordings will release Miles Davis Quintet - Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol.1, the first offering in a series of rare and previously unreleased live recordings from around the world from the legendary artist.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


August Darnell's alter ego Kid Creole is back in stride with his first high profile studio album in over 10 years, I Wake Up Screaming. The new album explores the vibrant mind of Darnell with a variety of themes and styles ranging from the lilting tropical love paean “Verily Verily Verily” to “Stony And Cory,” echoing Darnell’s early days with Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band. Mixed by Brennan Green (Chinatown Records, New York) and Lars Nissen (Denmark), the album features co-compositions and co-productions with Andy Butler of Hercules & Love Affair. The album was preceded in July by the dream-like dancefloor winner, “I Do Believe,” complete with mixes by Brennan Green, Faze Action, 40 Thieves and Emperor Machine. Darnell first came to prominence during the mid-‘70s in New York, forming Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band with his brother Stony Browder before producing a slew of eccentric projects for ZE Records including Cristina, Don Armando’s Seventh Avenue Rumba Band and Gichy Dan, as well as sporting his trademark zoot suit and fedora for the first time for the debut recordings by Kid Creole & The Coconuts. Signing on to Chris Blackwell’s Island Records and Seymour Stein’s Sire imprint, Darnell would become one of the ‘80s’ most unique and recognizable figures, scoring a brace of unforgettable chart hits mixing heavyweight tropical grooves with plenty of lyrical bite – “Stool Pigeon,” “Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy,” “I’m A Wonderful Thing Baby” and more. The new Kid Creole album won't be out until September, but that doesn't mean you have to wait until then for a taste of the new music. "I Do Believe" is a work of art in true Creole style, co-written by Hercules & Love Affair's Andy Butler, and the EP features Faze Action, 40 Thieves, and album producer Brennan Green. I Wake Up Screaming will be released on September 12.

I Wake Up Screaming Tracklist
1. Stony and Cory
2. I Wake Up Screaming (In the Tropics)
3. Somebody's Got to Lose
4. I Do Believe
5. Long Live the King
6.. Verily Verily Verily
7. Tudor-Jones
8. Attitude
9. This Is My Life
10. We're Rockin' Out Tonight
11. Love Remains
12. Blow Me up
13. Just Because I Love You

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The live jazz show September 10 promises to be the hottest night of the Summer in the Seattle area as "Best New Artist of the Year nominee" Kyle Wolverton brings his electrifying urban jazz show to the Kirkland Performance Center. Since the release of Kyle's debut CD, Soul Groove, the project has surprised many long-time smooth jazz lovers with not one, but two Billboard hits. The first single from the album "Miss Peaches" is a track steeped in '70s funk and R&B. The smooth follow up single "Can't Stop The Feeling" hit the power rotation on virtually every jazz station in the country on its ride to the top 10. Wolverton now lives in Los Angeles where he has assembled one of the most dynamic ensembles to join forces in years. The six-piece group features players who have toured with Stevie Wonder, The Jazz Crusaders, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Sheila E, Wayne Shorter and many more. The result is a sound that is a blend of urban, smooth, and Latin Jazz.

Kyle had the luxury of growing up in a very musical household. Kyle's father, and younger brother Joel also play the saxophone. If Kyle wasn't falling asleep at night to the sounds of his dad practicing, Zoot Sims, Billy Vaugh, or Boots Randolph were most likely playing on the record player. Kyle began playing at the age of nine. Wolverton's sound has been compared to Grover Washington Jr. and Gerald Albright. In addition to studying the works of legendary performers like fellow Seattle sax players Kenny G and Jeff Kashiwa, Kyle also was influenced heavily by The Yellowjackets, and David Sanborn. Kyle has always been a huge fan of Hip Hop and R&B. The influences of Stevie Wonder, Prince, Luther Vandross, and Michael Jackson can be heard throughout the critically acclaimed debut CD. Previously, Wolverton has played KWJZ's Summer Concert at the St. Michelle Winery as well as Jazz Alley. The show at the Kirkland Performance Center promises to be an extremely memorable homecoming for Wolverton. The intimate, 400 seat theater will play host to one of the biggest urban jazz shows to hit the stage in years.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Nick Ashford, who with wife Valerie Simpson wrote such legendary Motown songs as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand," has died after a prolonged battle with throat cancer, his publicist announced. He was 70. Their songs were spun into hits by, among others, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston and Ashford & Simpson themselves – including the '80s hit "Solid As a Rock." Ashford and Simpson's relationship went back to 1964, when they (she a 17-year-old from the Bronx, he a 21-year-old from Michigan) met in a Harlem church and decided to write songs together. They wed 10 years later. They had their first hit in 1966, when Ray Charles recorded "Let's Go Get Stoned." Motown quickly signed them to write for Ross, Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and the relationship with that label lasted seven years. Simpson cut her two solo albums for Motown. But in 1973, said Ashford, "We felt it was time for growth, to reach out as artists." The duo moved to the Warner Bros. label and also started producing albums for others, which they found less satisfying artistically but highly lucrative, allowing them to purchase a four-story Manhattan townhouse with a staff of five, and a 14-room Westport, Conn., estate with a pool, tennis courts and a barn that doubled as a stable for horses.

In recent years, Ashford & Simpson recorded and toured sporadically, and in 1996, they opened the restaurant and live entertainment venue, Sugar Bar in New York City. They were given writing credit on Amy Winehouse’s 2007 CD Back To Black for the single "Tears Dry On Their Own". The track is based on a sample of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's 1967 Motown classic hit "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". They had began performing their act in small, intimate venues, such as Feinstein's at the Regency in New York and the Rrazz Room in San Francisco, and in January 2009, they released a CD and DVD of their live performances entitled The Real Thing. On June 22, 2009, they made a guest performance at a party at Tribeca Rooftop, New York, to celebrate Virgin Atlantic's Birthday party. They also made their first appearance in Tokyo, Japan in November 2009, and performed 8 shows in 4 days at Blue Note Tokyo .

Ashford died in New York on August 22, 2011, of complications from throat cancer. Besides Simpson, Ashford is survived by their two daughters, Nicole and Asia.

Friday, August 19, 2011


As a follow-up to the #1 Urban charting radio single "So In Love" - which is currently at eight weeks and counting at #1 - Grammy award-winning singer/actress Jill Scott is releasing her second single, "So Gone (What My Mind Says)," today! Off her #1 album in the country The Light Of The Sun, "So Gone" is already garnering rave reviews from critics such as Los Angeles Weekly which called the new single a "sexy medley... that song should come with a cold shower."

"So Gone (What My Mind Says)" tells the story of a celibate woman who takes matters into her own hands, becoming "Dick-matized" by a service-man named "Diamond-Chip-Dick" played by rapper Paul Wall. The song talks about the perils of getting caught in the glove of sexual inhibitions versus the value of personal connection and companionship. "Sometimes we can get to a point where it's all about the physical pleasure of it all and not about the person, you become hypnotized..." comments Jill. "For this record and for this time, my journey to finding love has been more of a journey about finding myself."
Beginning August 23rd through August 29th, 2011, Scott's The Light Of The Sun can be downloaded from iTunes for $8.99 with a free video download of "Hear My Call."

Currently on the blockbuster 2011 North American Tour Summer Block Party Presented by Budweiser Superfest, which continues through August 28th, critics are also raving about the Jill Scott Live Experience. Amongst Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, Newsweek, People, Time Out NY and others, Boston Globe remarked, "Jill Scott does not waste her breath or time..." while Washington Post remarked, "a romantic journey from pleasure, to pain, to confusion and finally to acceptance, with enough rest stops for fun and laughter as balance."

Recently seen performing on The Today Show, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Live! With Jimmy Kimmel outdoor series, Live! With Regis & Kelly as well as her sold out co-headline arena tour with fellow R&B crooner Maxwell, Scott will be performing favorites off her new album such as "So In Love" and "Shame" amidst classics such as "Is It The Way" and "He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat)." The Multi-platinum winning singer/actress critically acclaimed fourth studio album The Light Of The Sun has made TIME Magazine's Summer 2011 Highlights and USA TODAY's Playlist will be joined by special guests, Grammy nominated R&B singer Anthony Hamilton and groove specialists Mint Condition with music provided by DJ Jazzy Jeff and hosted by party starter Doug E. Fresh. Scott's Summer Block Party, produced by Live Nation/ Haymon Ventures, will make stops at amphitheaters around the country through August 28th; tickets are currently available through Ticketmaster.com.

Fans looking to get more of the Jill Scott Experience can catch her performing songs off her new album, such as "Blessed," at the '33rd Annual UNCF An Evening Of Stars,' which airs September 25th on BET.

"Throughout the course of her 90-minute [...] Scott dug deeply and nearly exclusively into the female condition, celebrating its joys and pondering its challenges in unsparing detail."
- Los Angeles Times

"Jill Scott does not waste her breath or time. The gifted singer was onstage for little more than an hour Tuesday at the Bank of America Pavilion, yet nearly every note and nuance seemed perfectly placed to give the packed house an emotionally rich concert."
- Boston Globe

"Brimming with fierce independence, soul singer Jill Scott came out firing Sunday at a packed Charter One Pavilion and didn't let up for 90 minutes."
- Chicago Tribune

"Since she emerged on the musical scene in 2000, Scott -- and her 'in-your-face voice' -- has always been the true adult in a room full of immature wannabes. Now [...] there's really no denying that recent life experiences have moved the girl from Philly even closer to the head of the class."
- Newsweek

"The singer mixed classic hits with cuts from her new disc, The Light Of The Sun, and was backed by a back-flipping break-dancer and three bow-tie-wearing gents on backing vocals."
- Time Out New York

"The sequence of songs she masterfully performed at the Verizon Center on Sunday traced a romantic journey from pleasure, to pain, to confusion and finally to acceptance, with enough rest stops for fun and laughter as balance."
- Washington Post

Jill Scott Summer Block Party Dates:
8/19/11 - Atlanta - Chastain Park Amphitheater
8/20/11 - Atlanta - Chastain Park Amphitheater
8/21/11 - Virginia Beach - Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
8/23/11-  Raleigh - Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
8/24/11-  Charlotte - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8/27/11-  Dallas - Gexa Energy Pavilion
8/28/11-  Houston - Reliant Center


Two of the most popular and socially significant singing groups in music history celebrate their 50th anniversaries in 2011. Both the Supremes and the Temptations signed their recording contracts with Motown in 1961, launching careers that changed not only the sound and style of pop but smashed racial and cultural barriers in America and around the world. Their songs defined a generation: the Supremes with "Baby Love," "Stop! In The Name Of Love" and "Love Child," and the Temptations with "My Girl," "Get Ready," "Ball Of Confusion" and "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone." They even recorded together, hitting with "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," and starred together in two groundbreaking TV specials. During the tumultuous sixties and early seventies, the Temptations injected relevance otherwise missing from pop singing groups. At the same time, the Supremes notched breakthroughs for African-Americans and for African-American women on stage and on television. Both groups brought people together, no matter their race. As a result, they became more than merely the most successful vocal groups of their time but also cultural icons. Both are inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and unanimously hailed among the greatest artists of the rock era.

Their histories are inextricably intertwined. The Supremes originally took shape as The Primettes, when the Primes, which included future Tempts Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, wanted a sister group to perform as a package. In January 1961, Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard and Barbara Martin changed their group name and signed with Motown. Actually their mothers signed, since the girls were too young: Diana and Mary were 16, Barbara (who exited the following year) and Florence were 17. Four months later, Motown also inked the Temptations.

Though their first singles were not hits, eventually the two groups would reach the top of the charts. The Supremes earned their first No. 1 in 1964 with "Where Did Our Love Go" and would log 12 Pop No. 1 hits. The Tempts reached No. 1 Pop the following year with "My Girl," also No. 1 R&B, where the group had 14 such chart-toppers. Yet there was so much more to both ensembles. Motown founder Berry Gordy championed each one and insisted they appeal to integrated audiences.

The Supremes' performances on national television, particularly The Ed Sullivan Show, were landmarks. Notably, they were also part of rock 'n' roll shows on stage and television. The Supremes were the first black female pop act to be tapped for TV commercials for major products, such as Coca-Cola. They were on the cover of Ebony magazine—and also Time. They stirred controversy when during one mid-sixties television appearance an interracial audience was seen dancing together; and when, on The Ed Sullivan Show, they sang "Love Child"—a No. 1 song about an unwed mother.

The Temptations set the standard for male singing groups, a standard that every group thereafter—from the Jackson 5 to Boyz II Men, from the Backstreet Boys to a White House tribute featuring Jamie Foxx, John Legend and Seal—hoped to match. The classic Tempts lineup, with Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams and David Ruffin, was smooth and cool, epitomized by the "Temptations Walk" dance steps. But during the height of the Vietnam War, with new lead singer Dennis Edwards, the group made a startling transformation, adding an edge to the songs they sang and developing psychedelic soul. For soldiers overseas and Americans at home, black and white, the Temptations provided the soundtrack to their lives.

The crossover success of the Supremes and the Temptations helped change America. The 50th anniversary year of their Motown debuts, America celebrates their music and their impact on our lives today.

Today, the Temptations and the Supremes continue to be an essential component of the Motown legacy. The Temptations recent DVD release, Get Ready: Definitive Performances 1965-1972, is currently double platinum, and their recent ICON CD has already sold more than 100,000 copies. The Diana Ross & The Supremes DVD release, Reflections - Definitive Performances 1964-1969 is now platinum. Fifty years later, original fans as well as new fans confirm with steady sales that the true artistry and talent of The Temptations and The Supremes is ageless and timeless.

Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), which manages the classic recorded catalog of Motown, will mark the historic Detroit label's musical achievements with key music releases in both physical and digital formats, with bonus tracks and materials enhancing these packages. Details will be announced as each new package approaches. UMe will also collaborate on other projects, ranging from tributes and television appearances to merchandise and brand partnerships, to mark this extraordinary double anniversary.

Mary Wilson, The Supremes and Otis Williams, The Temptations are available for interviews.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Smooth Jazz will soon be returning to Orlando, Florida. The two translators that Central Florida Educational Foundation had leased to Cox to simulcast 580 WDBO have been returned to their owner as Cox moves its programming to 96.5. There are also applications on file to complete their moves from Winter Park, FL to Orlando itself. 102.5 W273CA (formerly W274AX) will now be leased to Clear Channel, who will use it to rebroadcast 107.7 WMGF-HD2. The station will pick up the Smooth Jazz format recently dropped by 103.1 WLOQ after its sale. SmoothJazz1025.com was registered by Clear Channel yesterday is and is currently in a partially active state. Programming will come from Broadcast Architecture’s Smooth Jazz Network. Much like its earlier launch of The Oasis in Detroit, Smooth Jazz can now be heard on FM transmitter 102.5, which is owned by Clear Channel, with a simulcast on 107.7 WMGF hd-2

"We are thrilled to be in a position to bring Smooth Jazz from Broadcast Architecture back to Central Floruda," Clear Channel Pres./Market Manager Linda Byrd said. "Today it’s very easy to deliver a format to its listeners via HD, FM, online and mobile. And that’s exactly what we are doing."

"We’re delighted to be able to provide local Jazz music fans with such a well-produced product that is clearly at the top of its game," added Clear Channel/Orlando Program Director Ken Payne.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to assist Clear Channel/Orlando in bringing Smooth Jazz music back for the over 200,000 listeners disenfranchised by the recent switch of WLOQ," Broadcast Architecture Owner/Pres. Allen Kepler said. "This marks our third return of the format this year! Recent convert Smooth Jazz 104.7, The Oasis in DETROIT is already reaching over 130,000 listeners and KBDB-A/Reno debuted with a 1.0 share, which truly shows the format’s potential on an AM signal."


South Florida JAZZ, in its 20th year, coming off its most successful season as the principal purveyors of modern jazz in the region since 1991, formally announces its new season schedule. All performances will be held at the Rose & Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd, Nova Southeastern University campus, Davie, FL. The focus of the organization remains steadfastly on presenting artists of national and international repute under the aegis of Artistic Director Ron Weber and gently guided by world-acclaimed vibraphonist/educator Gary Burton, Artistic Advisor, who believes this lineup is potentially as strong as last season's, which featured Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Christian McBride and Kurt Elling with their combined 38 Grammy Awards. Subscriptions and individual tickets to all concerts can be purchased from the Broward Center box office at 954-462-0222, toll-free at 877-311-SHOW or online at http://www.southfloridajazz.org/ or http://www.browardcenter.org/.

November 19, 2011 - Platinum Anniversary Celebration and Concert
Paquito D'Rivera Quintet with Special Guest Antonio Madruga: A Cuban-born child prodigy, Paquito D'Rivera has dazzled the music world for his entire career. A clarinet/saxophone virtuoso, Mr. D'Rivera has flourished in the classical and jazz worlds and collected 10 Grammy Awards and an NEA Jazz Master award. He is an international musical ambassador and was a founding member of Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna and the acclaimed, groundbreaking band Irakere in his homeland before taking the world by storm for the last three decades. His quintet is superb. South Florida piano phenom Tony Madruga will make a guest appearance with his mentor Mr. D'Rivera.

2012 Concerts
January 14, 2012 - 8:00 PM
Bob Mintzer and the Canyon Cove Trio featuring Peter Erskine and Larry Goldings: The best in West Coast jazz comes to South Florida in the form of a new Los Angeles-based organ trio comprised of the hippest of contemporary jazz musicians. Saxophonist, composer and arranger Bob Mintzer, still the principal voice of Yellowjackets, brings together drumming icon Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Yellowjackets) and Larry Goldings, one of the greatest keyboard players of his generation. They plow new musical ground with original music written by the players.

February 11, 2012 - 8:00 PM
Jacky Terrasson Trio: The Franco-American pianistic dynamo Jacky Terrasson arrives in Florida for the first time and with a new trio. Jacky, a 1993 Thelonious Monk Competition winner, has garnered acclaim and awards in America and France for two decades. Following the first of his 10 Blue Note recordings, The New York Times Magazine named Jacky "one of 30 artists, 30 and under, most likely to change American culture for the next 30 years." Terrasson's 2010 Concord Jazz debut, Push, is a gem of vibrant pianism that opens up a new door onto his extensive jazz vocabulary and effervescence.

March 10, 2012 - 8:00 PM
Antonio Adolfo - Carol Saboya Group: Carol Saboya, the beautiful and enchanting girl from Ipanema with the sweet voice and impeccable intonation, is the daughter of pianist-composer-arranger Antonio Adolfo, one of Brazil's most revered performers and educators. This rare South Florida appearance comes after the 2011 release of Chora Baiao, which follows in the footsteps of their Latin Grammy-nominated 2010 CD La e Ca/Here and There. This band returns by demand after their sensational 2009 concert for South Florida JAZZ.

April 14, 2012 - 8:00 PM
Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts: Jazz music should be fun and Matt Wilson, the clown prince of drumming, makes it ebullient, entertaining, and eminently delightful. No drummer has ever expressed the pure joy of making music and had the abundant talent of Matt Wilson or has been this sought-after, as his resume obviously displays. Add the pure trumpet of Terell Stafford, the versatility and originality of organist Gary Versace, and the solid propulsion of bassist Martin Wind and you have Arts & Crafts - a band with a groove and a style of its own.

May 12, 2012 - 8:00 PM
David Sanchez Quartet featuring Antonio Sanchez with Special Guest Stefon Harris: Tenor saxophonist David Sanchez (Puerto Rico), pianist Edward Simon (Venezuela), and spectacular drummer Antonio Sanchez (Mexico) are Latin musicians who play jazz, rather than musicians who play Latin jazz, a major distinction. While the music might be flavored by their heritage, it definitely will be serious, original jazz. Forget labels. Stefon Harris, Jazz Journalists Association Mallet Player of the Year, appears as a special guest, which means the band will be en fuego!

June 9, 2012 - 8:00 PM
The Bad Plus: The Bad Plus -- pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer David King -- have broken down the walls of jazz convention and created an uncompromising body of work. Few jazz groups have amassed such acclaim, and few have inspired such controversy. Their brand of avant-garde populism has put them at the forefront of a new instrumental music movement. While most of their output is original music, they also deconstruct songs in the pop, rock, country, and classical music idioms. The Bad Plus is both thrilling and provocative, which makes it one of the most acclaimed bands on the jazz scene.


Music legend and one of America's most iconic crooners, Tony Bennett will appear live on HSN for a special one-hour multi-platform concert at 7 p.m. (EDT) to celebrate his 85th birthday and to launch his latest CD, Duets II (RPM/Columbia Records). Bennett fans can also go to www.hsn.com, keyword: Tony Bennett to send birthday well wishes to Tony and view special content and videos leading up to his HSN debut. The 17-song compilation includes hit songs featuring today's biggest stars including "The Way You Look Tonight" with Faith Hill; "The Lady is a Tramp" with Lady Gaga; "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" with Michael Buble; "It Had To Be You" with Carrie Underwood and "Stranger in Paradise" with Andrea Bocelli. Other powerhouse musicians joining Bennett on the CD include Mariah Carey, Natalie Cole, Sheryl Crow, Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban, Norah Jones, Lady Gaga, k.d.lang, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, Alejandro Sanz and Amy Winehouse. "Continuing to keep HSN current and relevant while entertaining our customers is a core component of our entertainment strategy," Sandy Conrad, SVP of Merchandising for HSN. "Welcoming Tony Bennett for the launch of his new Duets II CD collection gives us the chance to provide our customers an exclusive opportunity to connect with one of the world's greatest talents." HSN customers will have the opportunity to order a special exclusive 2-disc bundle that will include Duets II and a bonus disk which will be available on-air at HSN, through hsn.com and via HSN Mobile for $14.95. An exclusive pair of Koss Stereophones will also be available to HSN customers for $149.99.

With numerous gold and platinum albums and millions of records sold worldwide, Bennett has received fifteen Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Award. A champion of the Great American Songbook, Tony is one of the very few artists whose music spans both the 20th and 21st centuries, setting an ongoing standard for popular music. Entering his seventh decade as a recording artist with over 100 albums and 15 Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Bennett has earned his legendary status many times over. He remains the Columbia recording artist with the greatest longevity at the label. In 2006 his Duets CD was released in honor of his 80th birthday and became the singer's best selling CD to date garnering three Grammy Awards and platinum sales. His 2007 prime-time special, "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," won seven Emmy Awards. A visual artist as well, three of his original paintings are part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian. He has published three books – his autobiography, "The Good Life" and two books of his paintings, "Tony Bennett: What My Heart Has Seen," and "Tony Bennett In the Studio; A Life of Art and Music." His humanitarian efforts are renowned and the United Nations honored him with their Humanitarian Award in 2007 Bennett founded, in association with the Department of Education in New York City, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts – a public arts high school in his hometown of Astoria, Queens. With his wife Susan, he established Exploring the Arts, a charitable organization that supports arts education in NYC public high schools.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


George Benson is set to release his next album, entitled, Guitar Man on October 4, 2011. The 12-song collection includes a mix of jazz and pop standards, some in a combo setting and some solo, but all of them tied together seamlessly by Benson’s soulful and exploratory signature sound. Lending a hand on this recording is a solid team made up of veterans and newcomers alike – pianist Joe Sample, keyboardist and musical director David Garfield, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Harvey Mason. Williams is one of the hottest up-and-coming new artists on the jazz scene. Mason is a regular member of Fourplay, and a studio collaborator with Benson all the way back to Benson’s 1976 blockbuster album, Breezin’. In a career that spans five decades, more than 30 recordings as a leader and ten Grammy Awards, Benson has used his jazz roots as the foundation for an engaging mix of pop, R&B and other shades that add up to a style that appeals to a broad mainstream audience. Along the way, he has also established himself as a formidable jazz singer – one whose biggest career hits have showcased his vocals. But Guitar Man is just what the title implies – an album that highlights Benson’s unparalleled guitar playing, perhaps more than any other album he has released in decades. For the new project, the crew came together in the studio with a minimum of prior rehearsal time but an eagerness to jump in and lay down tracks in something very close to the live experience – what Benson describes as an “old school” approach. The impromptu sensibility comes across in the final product, much of which came together with minimal takes in a single day of recording. “We figured that we would get the best energy if we went into the studio with some live musicians who are savvy and flexible,” says Benson, “and boy, did we accomplish that.”

On Guitar Man, Benson’s mastery of the guitar is demonstrated in a variety of styles and settings, all with legendary jazz roots. The opening track “Tenderly” is a solo guitar track that serves as a reminder that Benson is one guitar man with sufficient technical and interpretive skills to be a band unto himself. The second song is an intriguing rendition of Lennon and McCartney’s “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Along with Benson on nylon-string guitar and Garfield on piano are guitarists Paul Jackson Jr. and Ray Fuller; bassist Freddie Washington; drummer Oscar Seaton, Jr. (who regularly tours with Benson); violinist Charlie Bisharat; and flutist/clarinetist Dan Higgins. All come together to create a fully orchestrated sound that casts one of the most simplistic of the Beatles’ early love ballads into something full-bodied and engaging. The remainder of the set consists of either solo guitar tracks or Benson backed by the aforementioned five-man team, which lays down an easygoing rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour.” Benson delivers the lyrics in his own engaging vocal style that includes a healthy dose of his trademark scatting guitar accompaniment. Other highlights include a rollicking version of the Champs’ 1958 instrumental hit, “Tequila,” followed a couple tracks later by “My One and Only Love,” which opens with a 16-bar solo jazz guitar intro that segues into a sweet vocal ballad. Benson delivers a playful straightahead rendition of “Paper Moon” with the quartet, followed by a solo guitar rendition of “Danny Boy” (one of the few times, if ever, that a guitar sounds like bagpipes). In the final stretch, Benson and Garfield set up a lush guitar-and-piano arrangement of the smoky standard, “Since I Fell For You,” with Benson once again stepping up to the mic for an emotional delivery of the song’s impassioned lyrics.

Benson has never been one to shy away from innovation or experimentation. For this guitar man, putting a jazz spin on pop standards – not just on this recording but throughout his career – is less of a taboo when you’re willing to dispense with labels and the limitations that come with them. “People categorize things because they need to find someplace to put them on their shelf,” he says. “It’s all music to me. I think a lot of pop tunes that were very big in the United States many years ago were recorded by jazz musicians playing in the background. Most of the Motown records were recorded that way. Those guys were jazz musicians who were living in Detroit and were called to do a job, and they did it very well…I try to do the same thing. I try to make it sound like it’s natural, because to me it is. There are only two kinds of music, good and bad. There are a lot of things in between, but they’re eventually going to fall on one side or the other of that equation.”

George Benson will be touring in support of Guitar Man. The live shows will feature Benson’s masterful guitar playing, and Benson and his band will be performing classic George Benson hits along with an acoustic presentation of a few songs from Guitar Man.

Upcoming tour dates:
Oct. 1 – Austin, TX – The Riverbend Centre
Oct. 2 – St. Louis, MO – Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, University of MO
Oct. 14 – Phoenix, AZ – Sage Court, JW Marriott
Oct. 16 – Atlanta, GA – Symphony Hall
Oct. 19 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen Performing Arts Center
Oct. 20 – Morristown, NJ – Morristown Civic Center
Oct. 21 – New York City, NY – Town Hall
Oct. 23 – Glenside, PA – Keswick Theatre

Monday, August 08, 2011


Alexander Boynton Jr – Doo Beeo Doo Boo
Brazilian Love Affair Revisited (Various Artists)
Cates Fomin Project – Music For Your Soul
Chico Mario – You Make Me Smile
Chuck Loeb – Plain N’ Simple
Dorothy Leigh – Intimate Moments
Foreign Exchange – Staring Into The Sun
Gianna – Something True
Gina Carey – Melodic
Global Grooves – On The Move
James Torme – Love For Sale
John Carey – New Beginnings
Joseph Tolliver – Dancing In The Window
Joss Stone - LP1
Keith Andrews – Blue Funky Blue
Kenneth Nash – Mama Blue Shoes
Kenny Love – Case Sensitive
Kim Kang Won – Groovie Night
Kindred The Family Soul – Love Has No Recession
Little Dragon – Ritual Union
Lorenzo Johnson – Things Are Looking Up
Marc Staggers – Soul Summer Love
Micheline Cardoso – Cascadura Samba
Mongorama – Mongorama
Motown Moe – Riding Into The Sunset
Neaman – So Free
New Foundation – Goin’ Places
Paolo Rustichelli – Soul Italiano
Phil Casagrande – Singles: Midnight Desires & Island Paradise
Player A – Our Own Devices
Plunky – Plunky On Fire
Reggie Young – Steppin’ Up
Robert Harris – Miami Sun
Roman Street - Shorelines
Russ Hewitt – Alma Vieja
Russell K. Shores –LS 5
Sachal Studios Orchestra – Interpretations of Jazz Standards & Bossa Nova
The Allure – Enchant Me

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Beth Hart, known for her raw and powerful blues-rock sound, wraps her expressive vocals around classic soul covers on Don't Explain, an album that grew out of her friendship with guitarist Joe Bonamassa. Produced by Kevin Shirley (Joe Bonamassa, Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes), the album features Hart's scorching interpretations of ten songs, with Bonamassa on guitar and his ace band filling out the tracks.  Don't Explain is scheduled for U.S. release on September 27 on J&R Adventures, the independent label founded by Bonamassa and his longtime manager and business partner, Roy Weisman. It will be released in Europe via Mascot Records on September 26. Fans will be able to get their first taste of the album on August 12 with the release of a free download. Sign up to hear it first at http://www.hartandbonamassa.com//. The site also features a five minute video clip of Beth and Joe discussing the new album.

"Beth's got a pretty heady voice, very reminiscent of Janis Joplin," says Shirley, who has produced Bonamassa's last five albums.  "She's also got a lot of Etta James in her, but hadn't really accessed it.  With this material, there is a gentleness to the way she delivers the most heartfelt tunes that she hasn't shown before.  It's very cool, she's done a fantastic job."

Bonamassa and Hart had crossed paths on the road numerous times, and played many of the same festivals in Europe.  In early 2010, he caught a show of hers in London -"It was killer," says Bonamassa - and suggested they do a project together sometime.  Don't Explain took shape that summer while Bonamassa was recording his latest album, Dust Bowl, in Santorini, Greece.  "I was up late one night, I couldn't sleep.  I was playing songs on my iPod from the reissue of Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out, which included all the opening acts from that Stones show," he recalls. "As soon as the Ike & Tina Turner tracks came on, I just said out loud, 'Beth Hart.'  I emailed Kevin, saying, 'Let's do a soul covers record with Beth,' and he replied back, 'Actually, that's a great idea.'" Hart agreed, though she says, "When I first got the call from Joe about doing a soul record with me, I figured I'd be the background vocalist.  He said, 'No, you're singing lead.'" She collaborated with Bonamassa and Shirley on choosing songs, and the final set list features numbers made famous by artists including Billie Holiday (the title track, "Don't Explain"), Aretha Franklin ("Ain't No Way"), Bill Withers ("For My Friend"), Ray Charles ("Sinner's Prayer"), Delaney & Bonnie ("Well, Well," featuring a vocal duet with Bonamassa), Tom Waits ("Chocolate Jesus"), Etta James ("I'd Rather Go Blind" and "Something's Got A Hold On Me")—a personal favorite of Hart's—and others.

To accommodate everyone's tight schedules, Don't Explain was recorded in four days over two weekends in January 2011 at Village Recorders in Los Angeles (and later mixed by Shirley at The Cave in Malibu).  Hart prepared by listening to the originals over and over, to fully learn the material and absorb its very essence—and she was delighted by quickly capturing the raw energy and immediacy she felt in the studio.  "With the level of players there, including Joe of course, I really had to rise to the occasion," she says. "I couldn't do my best, I had to do better.  That kind of focus was humbling, and it was great.  We had such a good time making the record." To back Hart up, Bonamassa assembled the band that was heard on his #1 Blues album The Ballad of John Henry (2009): Anton Fig (drums, percussion), Blondie Chaplin (guitar), and Carmine Rojas (bass), as well as Arlan Scheirbaum (keyboards).  The sound evolved into a simmering mix of soul, jazz, rock, and blues, with Hart's vocals confidently in the pocket of each and every groove.  "Beth has been an absolute hidden gem," says Bonamassa.  "She has a beautiful voice.  She's a fantastic singer, a lovely person."  Don't Explain explains it all.

Track Listing:
1. Sinner's Prayer 4:28
2. Chocolate Jesus 2:38
3. Your Heart Is As Black As Night 4:59
4. For My Friends 4:10
5. Don't Explain 4:32
6. I'd Rather Go Blind 8:05
7. Something's Got A Hold On Me 6:02
8. I'll Take Care Of You 5:12
9. Well, Well 3:40
10. Ain't No Way 6:47

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


The Bob James electric arrangements make this CD by Stanley Turrentine one of his best for CTI! The record's got a laidback dope 70s approach to funky jazz – with loads of nice modal chords, sliced through by some deep soul solos from Stan. Players include Idris Muhammad, Bob James, Harold Mabern, and Eric Gale – and the CD features a great remake of Marvin Gaye's "Don't Mess With Mister T", plus "Too Blue", "Two For T", and "I Could Never Repay Your Love". Stanley Turrentine's Don t Mess with Mister T rose to #2 on the 1975 Billboard jazz chart and was another artistic triumph for the sax legend in his year with CTI Records. What first leaps out and grabs the listener s attention is Turrentine's sweet yet muscular sound, which suggests Johnny Hodges more than the classic Swing tenors, David H. Rosenthal wrote in his book, Hard Bop. A flexible voice, it can deepen to a resonant honk, soar into one of the most piercingly full-throated cries in jazz, and broaden to a thick, sensuous vibrato on ballads. Turrentine tends to play on top of the beat, making for a deep, trancelike groove, and his phrasing draws on both modern jazz and R&B. Angular lines alternate with timeless blues phraseology.

Produced by Creed Taylor on CTI. Recorded at Englewood Cliffs, NJ. CD version, 1988 reissue. ~ Ron Wynn.
Photographer: Mort Mace.
Arranger: Bob James.

Personnel: Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone); Eric Gale (guitar); Harry Glickman, Guy Lumia, John Pintaualle, Harold Kohon, David Nadien, Irving Spice, Harry Cykman, Emanuel Green (violin); Harold Coletta, Emanuel Vardi (viola); Seymour Barab, George Ricci (cello); Jerry Dodgion (alto saxophone); Joe Farrell (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn); Alan Raph (bass trombone); Idris Muhammad (drums); Rubens Bassini (percussion).


Red Hot + Rio 2 is a modern tribute to late 60’s Brazilian Tropicália movement and produced in partnership with Entertainment One Music and the album sheds new light on the songs of this influential, politically charged era, which changed the culture of the country forever. This new compilation features over 30 original collaborations between Brazil’s legendary musicians and today’s international indie artists including John Legend, Os Mutantes, Devendra Banhart, Caetano Veloso, Dirty Projectors, Seu Jorge, Beck, Bebel Gilberto, José Gonzalez, Beirut, Tom Zé, Of Montreal, Marisa Monte Gogol Bordello, DJ Dolores, Aloe Blacc, Angelique Kidjo, Rita Lee, Madlib, Money Mark, Céu, Apollo Nove, Mayra Andrade, Trio Mocotó, Tha Boogie, Alice Smith, Carlinhos Brown, Los Van Van, Brazilian Girls, Marcos Valle, St. Vincent, Neon Indian, Forró In The Dark, Mia Doi Todd, Javelin, and many more. Red Hot + Rio 2 is the natural successor to the 1996 original Bossa Nova inspired Red Hot + Rio, which Vogue called the album “the latest and the hippest” while Entertainment Weekly said it was “an inspiring and modern sounding tribute. As with all Red Hot projects, proceeds from Rio 2 will benefit HIV/AIDS related charities. The first Red Hot + Rio raised over $1 million dollars as did the organization’s most recent album, Dark Was The Night (featuring 2011 Grammy winner for best album, Arcade Fire, The National, Feist, Grizzly Bear and Bon Iver among others).

Since its inception, Red Hot Organization – a not-for-profit production company – has produced over 16 albums and donated over $10 million dollars to worthy organizations, causes and projects around the world. Its mission is to raise awareness and money to fight AIDS/ HIV and related health and social issues. To date the Red Hot organization has sold more than three million albums and has co-produced performances at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Radio City Music Hall, Central Park Summer Stage and more.

Along with the album release is a new documentary that features Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil (both featured on the new Red Hot + Rio 2). Both returned to their native Brazil from political exile in the UK in 1972 – both to fame and to fortune, and in Gil’s case to eventual high political office. In this new documentary which recently had its North American premier at the somewhat clumsily-named 9th Cine Fest Petrobras Brasil-New York these two men, along with their collaborators and fellow travelers (literal and metaphorical), reflect on their experiences in and out of what Chilean-born author Roberto Bolaño called “the bloody open labyrinth of Latin America in the 70s.” From the guide to the festival: “[In] the wave of arrests that followed the decree of AI-5 by the military dictatorship in December of 1968, [Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil were] arrested in São Paolo and later transferred to Rio de Janeiro [which] they eventually left for exile in London.” Which isn’t to say that Sounds of the Exile is a depressing or overly-earnest look at the period’s politics and compromises. Instead, it’s mostly a chance for Veloso, Gil, Jorge Mautner, Jards Macalé, and even and especially the writer/director Geneton Moraes Neto to riff on an age gone by, reliving and elaborating on the Tropicalista movement and what it led to with incredulous humor, wry grins, and near-solipsistic ramblings.

Though touching on serious social upheaval and deep political convictions, Veloso, Gil and the gang have had (and give us in turn) plenty to laugh about. Whether it’s the dark burlesque of Gil’s impromptu concert in the guards’s barracks inside his prison, or Macalé’s hilarious recounting of an LSD-addled “trip” to Madam Tussaud’s (he was removed from the building for weeping copiously over the waxen, supine form of Snow White within her glass coffin), their stories both amuse and at the same time bear implicit testimony to the immense improvement – material, political, social – that Brazil has undergone in recent decades. A more literal translation of the original Portuguese title (Cancões do Exilio: A Labareda que Lambeu Tudo) serves these men’s passionate music and unfortunate story better: “Songs of the Exile: The Flames That Singed Everything”. Both of these titans of Brazilian popular music make appearances on the new Red Hot + Rio 2 as songwriters, and Veloso himself shows up twice as performer on the album–once alone (“Terra”) and once with the equally-imcomparable David Byrne (“Dreamworld: Marco De Canaveses”).


“Baby”—Alice Smith + Aloe Blacc
“Tropicália (Mario C 2011 Remix)”—Beck + Seu Jorge
“Um Girassol da Cor do Seu Cabelo”—Mia Doi Todd + José González
“Samba de Verão”—Quadron
“Boa Reza”—Vanessa da Mata + Seu Jorge & Almaz
“Love I’ve Never Known”—John Legend
“Nascimento (Rebirth) – Scene 2”—Aloe Blacc + Clara Moreno
“Ela (Ticklah Remix)”—Curumin
“Baby (Old Dirty Baby Dub Version)”—Aloe Blacc + Alice Smith
“Um Canto de Afoxé para o Bloco do Ilê”—Superhuman Happiness + Cults
“Mistérios”— Om’Mas Keith
“Aquele Abraço”— Forró In The Dark + Brazilian Girls + Angelique Kidjo
“Canto de Iemanjá”—Mia Doi Todd
“Terra”—Caetano Veloso (Prefuse 73 ‘3 Mellotrons In A Quiet Room’ Version)
“Nú Com A Minha Música”—Marisa Monte + Devendra Banhart + Rodrigo Amarante
“Acabou Chorare”—Bebel Gilberto
“Dreamworld”—Marco de Canaveses: David Byrne + Caetano Veloso

“O Leãozinho”—Beirut
“Panis et Circensis”—Tha Boogie
“Bat Macumba”—of Montreal + Os Mutantes
“Tudo o Que Você Podia Ser”—Phenomenal Handclap Band + Marcos Valle
“Banana”—Madlib + Joyce Moreno Feat. Generation Match
“Freak Le Boom Boom”—Marina Gasolina + Secousse
“Tropical Affair”—Money Mark + Thalma de Freitas + João Parahyba
“Soy Loco Por Ti, América”—Los Van Van + Carlinhos Brown
“Roda”—Orquestra Contemporânea de Olinda + Emicida
“Berimbau”—Mayra Andrade + Trio Mocotó
“It’s a Long Way”—Apollo Nove + Céu + N.A.S.A.
“A Cidade”—DJ Dolores + Eugene Hütz + Otto + Fred 04 + Isaar
“Ogodô, Ano 2000”—Javelin + Tom Zé
“Águas de Março”—Atom™ + Toshiyuki Yasuda Feat. Fernanda Takai + Moreno Veloso
“Show Me Love”—Twin Danger
"Pistis Sophia”—Rita Lee


Legendary performer Tony Bennett celebrates a milestone birthday on August 3rd when he turns 85. But "the best is yet to come" with news that the singer has just completed recording with Lady Gaga and Aretha Franklin for his highly anticipated Duets II CD adding to a celebrated list of artists previously announced including Michael Buble, Norah Jones, John Mayer, Queen Latifah, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Amy Winehouse and many others. Lady Gaga joined Tony for a rendition of the Rogers and Hart song, "The Lady Is A Tramp" and Bennett and Franklin collaborated on the Alan and Marilyn Bergman classic, "How Do You Keep The Music Playing." Both tracks were recorded live in the studio in New York City at the end of last month. A full listing of the artist and song roster is below. Bennett's official 85th birthday celebration will be held on Sunday, September 18th following his debut performance at the Metropolitan Opera House. The elegant invitation only supper will take place directly after the concert and will be hosted by Alec Baldwin with a special performance by Sir Elton John. The event honors Bennett's Exploring the Arts organization which funds and supports arts education in all five boroughs in New York City. In advance of the event, over $1.5M has already been raised. (For more information on the event: TonyBennett85@eventassociates.com) Tony Bennett has had a long-standing commitment to arts education in New York City. Ten years ago with his wife Susan Benedetto, he founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) one of the most well regarded and prestigious high schools in the country. It is located in his hometown of Astoria, Queens.

In support of Exploring the Arts, Tiffany & Co. is donating for auction a unique "Breakfast At Tiffany" with Tony Bennett in-store event that also includes tickets to Tony's Metropolitan Opera concert and birthday gala, a personalized Tony Bennett giclee art print, as well as a $10,000 Tiffany private shopping experience and tour of the famed store. This exceptional auction package will be launched exclusively on charitybuzz starting on August 3rd and for more details please go to www.charitybuzz.com/tonybennett. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to Exploring the Arts and Tiffany will also be a table sponsor at the September 18 birthday gala. Additionally, Tiffany, the jeweler synonymous with true love recently introduced a new website and iPhone® App, as What Makes Love True, which has quickly become the resource for romantics around the world. Within the "Art of Romance" section, Tiffany features a playlist of Tony's top ten favorite love songs which can be viewed now at www.whatmakeslovetrue.com.

On Bennett's August 3rd birthday, he is scheduled to appear on the "The Today Show" and "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." Tony will perform a benefit event hosted by AARP to support their "Drive To End Hunger" initiative at the Staples Center on September 24th. Several national television appearances are slated for Duets II week of release and throughout the fall. Duets II is the follow-up to the multi-platinum CD, Duets, released in conjunction with Tony's 80th birthday in 2006 which won three Grammy Awards and was the singer's best selling CD to date. Phil Ramone produced the original Duets as well as the forthcoming Duets II CD.

Entering his seventh decade as a recording artist with over 100 albums and 15 Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Bennett has earned his legendary status many times over. He remains the Columbia recording artist with the greatest longevity at the label. His 2007 prime-time special, "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," won seven Emmy Awards. A visual artist as well, three of his original paintings are part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian. His humanitarian efforts are renowned and the United Nations honored him with their Humanitarian Award in 2007. He has published three books – his autobiography, "The Good Life" and two books of his paintings, "Tony Bennett: What My Heart Has Seen," and "Tony Bennett In the Studio; A Life of Art and Music." Bennett founded, in association with the Department of Education in New York City, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts – a public arts high school in his hometown of Astoria, Queens. With his wife Susan, he established Exploring the Arts, a charitable organization which supports arts education in NYC public high schools. Exploring the Arts supports seven additional public high schools throughout New York City.

Duets II Artist & Track Listing

Monday, August 01, 2011


103.1 FM / WLOQ in Orlando has recently been sold and is in the process of switching formats from Smooth Jazz to an unknown format. At midnight on August 1, WLOQ's smooth jazz format moved exclusively online, and the station began stunting as "Elvis 103.1" until the new format is unveiled. The station initially signed on the air in 1966 as WLOQ-FM and at the time the format was all instrumental “beautiful” music through 1977. The station programmed what became the Smooth Jazz format from 1977 to 2011. In 2011, after CEO John Gross retired for medical reasons, WLOQ was sold to TTB Media Corporation. Here is a message posted online from the CEO of the station:

"What can one say about a family, radio staff, and you... all who have been responsible for creating the iconic format and community that is 103.1 WLOQ? "The first of its kind", "family owned and operated", "the last of the independents" - these and every phrase fall short, when describing what has been life long friendships of the rarest kind. From the Gross family, past and present staff at 103.1 WLOQ, please join us in our final weeks on-air as we bring listeners, past personalities, musical super stars, community builders, and you together for one last celebration of all things 103.1 WLOQ. You won't want to miss it! Once again, on behalf of my family and staff please accept our deepest gratitude and most heartfelt thanks for 34 fantastic years! Our very best wishes to you and yours."

Jim Gross
Gross Communications Corporation
Welcome to WLOQ OnLine!


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