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Diana Krall Announces Biggest Tour Since 2009

Diana Krall Announces “Summer Nights” Tour

Her biggest U.S. tour since 2009

By Jeff Tamarkin

Pianist/singer Diana Krall will launch her biggest year of touring since 2009 on March 22. Krall announced nearly 20 additional dates on her 40-city, 2012 “Summer Nights” tour, taking place across the U.S. this spring and summer. Krall will be joined on tour by Anthony Wilson (guitar), Robert Hurst (bass), and Karriem Riggins (drums).

3/31 – Newport News, VA – Ferguson Center
6/19 – Baltimore, MD – Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
6/21 – Vienna, VA – The Filene Center
6/22 – Rochester, NY – Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater
6/23 – Lenox, MA – Tanglewood
6/26 – New Brunswick, NJ – State Theatre
6/27 – Lancaster, PA – American Music Theatre
6/29 – Hyannis, MA – Cape Cod Melody Tent
6/30 – Cohasset, MA – South Shore Music Circus
7/01 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center
7/03 – Williamsport, PA – Community Arts Center
7/06 – Chautauqua, NY – Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater
7/07 – Ocean Grove, NJ – The Great Auditorium
7/08 – Bethlehem, PA – Sands Bethlehem Event Center
7/11 – Atlanta, GA – Chastain Park Amphitheater
7/12 – Greenville, SC – Peace Center For the Performing Arts
7/13 – Nashville, TN – Schermerhorn Symphony Center
7/15 – Louisville, KY – The Kentucky Center-Whitney Hall
7/16 – Milwaukee, WI – The Riverside Theater
7/17 – Highland Park, IL – Ravinia Pavilion
8/05 – Beaver Creek, CO – Vilar Performing Arts Center
8/06 – Denver, CO – Denver Botanic Gardens – York Street
8/08 – Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
8/10 – Pala, CA – Pala Casino – Starlight Theater
8/11 – Indio, CA – Fantasy Springs Resort Casino – Special Event Center
8/13 – Las Vegas, NV – The Smith Center for the Performing Arts – Reynolds Hall
8/15 – Livermore, CA – Wente Vineyards
8/16 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
8/18 – Lincoln, CA – Thunder Valley Casino Resort – Outdoor Amphitheatre

Newport Jazz Festival Announces Program

Metheny, DeJohnette, Moran, Akinmusire, Frisell, Reeves & more

By Jeff Tamarkin

George Wein, the producer and founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, has announced the program for this year’s event, to be held in Newport, R.I., Aug. 3-5. The schedule includes Pat Metheny, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Miguel Zenón, Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Darcy James Argue, Dafnis Prieto, John Hollenbeck and more. In addition, Dianne Reeves and the Tedeschi Trucks Band will be a major part of the festival, along with Maria Schneider, Kurt Elling and Joe Lovano.

Cassandra Wilson Signs to eOne Music New album, ‘Another Country,’ 

to be released June 5

By Jeff Tamarkin

eOne Music has announced a new worldwide deal with singer/songwriter/arranger Cassandra Wilson. Wilson’s new studio album, Another Country, will be released on June 5. A majority of the songs on the new album were written by Wilson herself, or co-written with her collaborator, guitarist and producer Fabrizio Sotti. The album was recorded in Florence, Italy, and New Orleans, and is described in a press release as “largely guitar-based.”

Saint Lucia Jazz 2012 April 30 – May 13

“Live the Music”

The premiere musical festival in the English speaking Caribbean - Saint Lucia Jazz– is set for April 30- May 13. This year’s event will be headlined by celebrated performer and multiple Grammy-winner Lionel Richie. Saint Lucia Jazz will also feature performances from renowned local, regional and international superstars including jazz aficionado Joshua Redman; Southern France’s Gipsy Kings; Ziggy Marley - the son of iconic reggae legend Bob Marley; South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela; gospel king Kirk Franklin; Trinidadian soca stars Fay Ann Lyons and Bunji Garlin and a slew of Saint Lucia’s leading musical masterminds like Luther Francois, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson, Richard Payne, Derek Yarde and Teddyson John among others.

Ravi Coltrane to Release ‘Spirit Fiction’

June 19 New album is produced by Joe Lovano

Saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane will release Spirit Fiction, his Blue Note Records debut, on June 19. The album was co-produced by Coltrane’s label mate and fellow saxophonist Joe Lovano, who guests on two tracks, and includes two different band lineups: a quintet featuring trumpeter Ralph Alessi, pianist Geri Allen, bassist James Genus and drummer Eric Harland; and Coltrane’s longstanding quartet with pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress and drummer E.J. Strickland.

The playlist includes a half-dozen new Coltrane originals and three of Alessi’s tunes, in addition to music by Ornette Coleman (“Check Out Time”) and Paul Motian (“Fantasm”).

Spirit Fiction will be JT's lead review in the July/August issue.



Aretha Franklin to reunite with Clive Davis for new album

In a pairing of two legends, Aretha Franklin, fresh off celebrating her 70th birthday, told the AP that she will be reuniting with former Arista Records boss Clive Davis, with whom she teamed for a series of 80s hits like "Freeway of Love" and "Another Night," to work on a new album. No word as to what label the record may be on or when release is expected.

Franklin most recently independently released A Woman Falling Out of Love in 2011, which hit the R&B top 20.

Read more: Aretha Franklin to reunite with Clive Davis for new album | SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews




Herbie Hancock, U.N. Ambassador, Launches International Jazz Day

By Charles J. Gans, Associated Press

Ambassador Herbie Hancock believes what the world needs is a little jazz diplomacy.

The renowned jazz pianist's first major initiative since being named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador last July is to establish International Jazz Day to be held on April 30 of every year. That date coincides with the last day of what has been celebrated as Jazz Appreciation Month in the U.S.

This year's inaugural event - organized by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which Hancock chairs - will include star-studded concerts in Paris, New Orleans and New York, as well as jazz-related events in at least two dozen countries from Algeria to Uruguay.

Hancock said he had little difficulty in lining up support for his proposal from the 195-member U.N. cultural organization "because so many countries have been affected in crucial ways over the years by the presence of jazz."

"Jazz has been the voice of freedom for so many countries over the past half century," Hancock said in a telephone interview ahead of Tuesday's official announcement of International Jazz Day.

"This is really about the international diplomatic aspect of jazz and how it has throughout a major part of its history been a major force in bringing people of various countries and cultures together."

Read more at Billboard Magazine

Backbeat: Iridium Nightclub Launches Record Label with Loose Set by

Jane Monheit, Les Paul Trio

By K. Leander Williams, New York

Jane Monheit performing with The Les Paul Trio at Iridium in New York on Monday night (photo: Frank White)

The Iridium nightclub in New York's theater district came to prominence as a jazz room that once a week hosted Les Paul, the legendary guitarist, recording pioneer and namesake inventor of the famed Gibson guitar favored by several generations of rock gods. Mondays still belong to Paul's swinging trio nearly three years after the granddaddy of guitar heroics passed away in 2009, but at last night's launch event for IridiumLive, the club's new in-house label, it was clear that Paul's visionary status is now even more central to Iridium's future.

"I've wanted to do recordings for awhile," said club owner Ron Sturm, moving rapidly through the club as the trio prepared for its set with album special guest singer Jane Monheit. "Les wanted to do them. That's how we ended up with the HD recording and mixing equipment. It's 32-tracks. Ten years ago I couldn't really get my hands around it, but then everything changed digitally in terms of distribution -- iTunes and everything else -- so now it makes sense."

Read more at Billboard Magazine

Smooth Music News (Smooth Jazz Network)

Anita Baker Tour Dates


Anita Baker has been busy working on her next album and has several tour dates on her calendar this spring. Recently, she took a break from her own project to join hip-hop/rap artist Ludacris in the studio. She'll be featured on his album, Ludaversal, due out in September. In the meantime, fans can catch Anita live on stage performing at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on May 6, the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, NC on June 17 and at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, CA on August 22. Tickets for the Hollywood Bowl date go on sale May 5 and will also feature Grammy winning singer-bassist Esperanza Spalding.



Sade, Seal, Sting for 'Every Mother Counts 2012' Charity CD

Model Christy Turlington Burns has partnered with Starbucks to release her second charity CD, Every Mother Counts 2012. The project supports the organization she founded by the same name. Every Mother Counts works to promote awareness and actively campaign to reduce the maternal mortality rate around the world. Sade, Seal, Sting, Diana Krall, David Bowie, Coldplay, Bono and the Edge, Paul Simon and Edie Brickell, and Alanis Morissette are just a few of the many stars who are featured on the project. Several previously unreleased tracks were offered by the artists including an acoustic version of "Yellow" from Coldplay and "Don't Fence Me In" by Diana Krall. The new collection with be available exclusively at Starbucks, May 1 through May 29 in honor of Mother's Day.



Chris Botti to release 'Impressions'

Trumpeter Chris Botti is set to release his latest album, Impressions, on April 17. The set features collaborations with a broad range of artists including Herbie Hancock, Andrea Bocelli, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, David Foster and Caroline Campbell. Botti keeps strong melodies at the heart of the song selections with songwriters like George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, R. Kelly, Randy Newman, Bob Thiele, David Weiss and Ivan Lins highlighted on the set. He co-wrote two of the songs for the album including "Tango Suite" with Herbie Hancock and "Per Te (For You)" with David Foster and Tiziano Ferro, featuring Andrea Bocelli on vocals. Chris is performing in York, PA tonight (March 29).


Sade releasing 'Bring Me Home - Live 2011' DVD/CD

Sade will release a new live DVD/CD and Blu-ray entitled Bring Me Home – Live 2011 on May 22. Hailed as “the best concert of the year” by the Baltimore Sun, Sade returned to the U.S. in 2011, after a 10-year hiatus, for a 54-date tour in support of the platinum selling album Soldier Of Love. The tour became one of last year’s top 10 grossing concert events, surpassing fellow British superstar Adele. The tour was directed by the renowned Sophie Muller and the set will feature 22 of Sade’s biggest hits performed live on the visually stunning stage which was nominated by Pollstar for “Most Creative Stage Production” and “2011 Major Tour of the Year Award.” Sade also grants fans a rare, all access look behind-the-scenes with a 20-minute documentary film shot by Sophie Muller, as well as a technical documentary by Stuart Matthewman, and outtakes from the crew.

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