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Smooth Music News (Smooth Jazz Network)

Tony Bennett Receives Emmy Nomination

Legendary singer Tony Bennett has been nominated for a Prime-time Emmy Award in the "Outstanding Variety Special" category for his PBS 'Great Performances' special, Tony Bennett: Duets II. On Duets II, the 17-time Grammy Award winner teams up with some of today's biggest stars including Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, Lady GaGa, John Mayer and Amy Winehouse, among others. The Grammy winning album debuted at the top of the Billboard Album chart, making Tony the oldest vocal artist to achieve the number one spot. The musical segments on the TV special were highlighted by insights on the process from the performers, making for an up-close look at one of the year's most celebrated recordings. The sessions were filmed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe ("Chicago," "Memoirs of a Geisha," "Collateral"), providing a personal, behind-the-scenes look at Bennett's collaborations and his artistic approach with each song. The Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC on September 23 at 7pm.

A&M Records Celebrates 50th Anniversary with 3-CD Set

A&M Records was born when Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss decided to make records out of Herb's garage back in 1962. Now the legendary label will celebrate it's 50th anniversary with a 3-CD collection entitled, A&M 50: The Anniversary Collection, due out August 28. Herb explains the genesis of the label, "We wanted to make good records. That was our goal. We felt if we made good records there would be an audience." Their first hit was "The Lonely Bull" by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass and the label grew as the two remained dedicated to artist development, resulting in some of the biggest superstars in music ever: Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Quincy Jones, Billy Preston, Cat Stevens, Carpenters, Peter Frampton, Supertramp, Jeffrey Osborne, Styx, Bryan Adams, Joe Jackson, the Police, Sting, Janet Jackson, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Chuck Mangione, and many, many more. You can check out the full 3-CD track listing here:

Chaka Khan Plans to Celebrate Big in 2013

Grammy winning singer, Chaka Khan has a big year planned for 2013. The funk/R&B icon will celebrate her 60th birthday on March 23 and her 40th year in the music business. Khan says, “Throughout my 40-year career, I have been through the fire a few times over and I’m still here as a living testament to God’s love and grace. Next year, I will be celebrating 40 years in the business and 60 years on earth, which equals one hundred percent Chaka.” She's announced she'll be releasing a new album, untitled as of yet, and embarking on an international tour. Khan also has plans in the works to unveil a new perfume line called Khanasutra, a line of candles, and her unique brand, 'Chaka Lips' for the holidays. Chaka has a show scheduled for September 13 in Pomona, CA and then heads to Europe and Asia through mid-November.

Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon for Children's Benefit Concert

Grammy winning singer-songwriter, Stevie Wonder will join together with Paul Simon and James Taylor to perform at the 25th Annual Children's Health Fund Benefit concert on October 4 at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. The Children's Health Fund was established to provide health care to children who are in the most need around the U.S. Tom Hanks, his wife actress-singer Rita Wilson, Tina Fey and Simon's wife, Edie Brickell are also participating in the event.

Lee Ritenour to release 'Rhythm Sessions' Sept. 25

Guitarist Lee Ritenour is set to release his latest album, Rhythm Sessions, via Concord Records on September 25. The project features an impressive list of legendary players mixed with four talented young artists who were the winners of Ritenour’s 2012 Rhythm Section Competition, an international event he launched in 2009 as a guitar competition and later expanded to include aspiring keyboardists, bassists and percussionists. Lee says, “I always thought it’s a very cool model to combine very well-known, almost legendary players with completely new talent on the same record. I love that scenario. It’s not a format that many people have followed before, but I’ve always considered it a fascinating experiment, and a way to create some great sounds.” The legendary players on the set include Chick Corea, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Dave Grusin, Christian McBride, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta and Patrice Rushen, among several others. Ritenour is currently on tour performing in Seattle, WA at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, August 21-26.

GRP Records 30th Anniversary Collection Due

10 classic albums also to be reissued in hi-res audio

Additionally, on the same date, Universal will release, remastered in high-resolution audio, 10 classic GRP albums from Chick Corea and the Elektric Band, Grusin, Ritenour, Schuur, Brecker, Dave Valentin, Yellowjackets, Austin and the GRP All-Star Big Band.

Founded in 1982 by musicians Grusin and Larry Rosen, GRP, known as the Digital Master Company, claims to have been the first record company to adopt digital recording technology for all its releases and to launch every release on CD worldwide.

Read more

Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau and Hubert Laws on Upcoming Childre...

‘JumpinJazz Kids—A Swinging Jungle Tale’ Set For Release Sept. 25

Bridgewater is featured on “ This Elephant’s Gerald,” and Jarreau’s vocal is featured on “Do The Monkey Swing” and “Hubert Hummingbird.” Laws adds flute to both a song named in his honor, “Hubert Hummingbird,” and “Her Name is Little Growl.”

The stories follow the adventures of a 7-year-old girl named Claire and her stuffed animal friends. For more information, visit JumpinJzzz Kids.

John McLaughlin celebrates his 70th birthday year with a bang by releasing his most explosive new album since the early days of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and playing a major concert at the Barbican during the London Jazz Festival. Now Here This (yes, it is spelt that way, album sleeve pictured left) is released by Abstract Logix on 15 October and features the 4th Dimension, including Gary Husband on piano, keyboards and drums, Etienne M’Bappé on electric bass and Ranjit Barot on drums.

The album comprises eight new compositions by the guitarist, who also plays guitar-synth on the recording, and follows the 4th Dimension debut, To The One, released in 2010, with an even harder slab of jazz-rock that bursts out of the gate with the blistering ‘Trancefusion’ and doesn’t let up for 49 scorching minutes. The addition of Indian-born Barot to the 4th Dimension band adds extra heft and propulsion to the rhythm section with complex polyrhythms played with frightening speed and power, while McLaughlin pushes a level of energy and intensity that would be a big ask for a 21 year-old, let alone someone who’s 71 this coming January.

John McLaughlin and the 4the Dimension play The Barbican on Sunday 11 November at 7.45pm.

2013 NEA Jazz Masters

National Endowment for the Arts Announces the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters, Nation's Highest Honor in Jazz

Washington, DC – Dizzy Gillespie. Count Basie. Ella Fitzgerald. Herbie Hancock. Names of the greatest purveyors of America's homegrown art form, jazz -- and all NEA Jazz Masters. Today, the National Endowment for the Arts adds four new names to the list with the announcement of the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters. Like the 124 honorees who came before them, these four individuals are recognized for their lifetime achievements and significant contributions to the development and performance of jazz. They will each receive a one-time award of $25,000.

The 2013 NEA Jazz Masters are:

Mose Allison, pianist, vocalist, composer
Born in Tippo, Mississippi, currently lives in Long Island, New York

Lou Donaldson, saxophonist
Born in Badin, North Carolina, currently lives in New York, New York

*Lorraine Gordon, jazz club owner
Born in Newark, New Jersey, currently lives in New York, New York

Eddie Palmieri, pianist, bandleader, arranger, composer
Born in New York, New York, currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada

Monterey jazz festival

The Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest running jazz festival in the entire world.The 55th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival will take place from September 21-23, 2012.

Over 500 artists will be performing nonstop on 8 stages for 3 nights and 2 days of the world's best jazz. Voted “World's Best Jazz Festival” by the readers of JazzTimes Magazine in 2006, 2007 and 2008, the Monterey Jazz Festival offers 20 acres of magnificent oak-studded grounds for fans to enjoy, featuring films, conversations with the Festival's stars, exhibitions, food and beverages, an international shopping bazaar, and 8 stages of live jazz entertainment spread throughout the grounds

Program :

The esteemed festival is held every September on the Monterey Fairgrounds site. The festival kicked off in 1958 and was founded by Jimmy Lyons and co-founded by his colleague, Ralph Gleason.It began as a dream to provide a "sylvan setting with the best jazz people in the whole world playing on the same stage, having a whole weekend of jazz."That dream saw fruition in 1958, with the inaugural Monterey Jazz Festival featuring performers such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, John Lewis, Shelly Manne, Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Ernestine Anderson, Harry James, Max Roach, and Billie Holiday.Every year after that, on the third full weekend in September, the Monterey Jazz Festival brings in high quality talent to the now nine stages within the Monterey Fairgrounds.
The Monterey Jazz Festival offers the most prolific jazz entertainers from around the world for a three-day jubilee of the finest acts in jazz today.
Additionally, the Monterey Jazz Festival features jazz themed discussions, panel interaction, workshops, exhibitions, learning clinics, and an international assortment of food, venders, and other revelries found throughout the 20-acre Monterey Fairgrounds.


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