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Jonathan Butler Records “Rivers Of Babylon” For A Good Cause

April 9th, 2010 Brian

Guitarist Jonathan Butler sings vocals on a new version of the reggae standard “Rivers of Babylon” on Generosity Water Project, a 14-song CD benefiting Generosity Water, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the clean water crisis in developing nations.

Several other smooth jazz artists donated their time, creativity and musical skills to create the music.

The CD features new covers of original songs and is produced by Jeff Babko and Dan Lutz. Highlights include saxophonist Kirk Whalum, bassist Nathan East and vocalist Raul Midon on Sting’s “Love Is the Seventh Wave”; Queen Latifah on “River”; Whalum, East and guitarist Larry Carlton on “Wade in the Water”; and Whalum on “The Water Is Wide.”

In addition, keyboardist George Duke performs on his original song “Omi (Fresh Water).”

Sales of the album will be used to build wells in communities across the world that do not have access to clean water.

For more information, go to Generosity Water’s website.

Generosity Water Project track listing

1. Harvest For The World (Isley Brothers)/Kendra Hathaway/Sheila E.
2. Waters of March (Jobim)/Gretchen Parlato/Luis Conte
3. Love Is The Seventh Wave (Sting)/Raul Midon/Kirk Whalum/Nathan East
4. River (McDaniel)/Queen Latifah
5. Washing Of The Water (Gabriel)/Arnold McCuller
6. Wade In The Water (Traditional).Kirk Whalum/Larry Carlton/Nathan East
7. Agua De Beber (Jobim)/Raul Midon
8. Shelter In The Rain (Wonder)/Darlene Zshech
9. Many Rivers To Cross (Jimmy Cliff)/Steve Lukather
10. Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon)/Neville Peter/Larry Carlton/Nathan East
11. Water No Get Enemy (Fela Kuti)/Cleto Escobedo III/George Duke
12. The Water Is Wide (Traditional)/Kirk Whalum
13. Rivers Of Babylon (Melodians)/Jonathan Butler
14. Omi [Fresh Water] (George Duke)/George Duke/Sheila E

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Chris Botti Wants Fans To Write To Injured Young Trumpet Player

April 9th, 2010 Brian

Last year, Chris Botti says he met an incredible young man and fellow trumpeter named Simon at a show in Krakow, Poland. Botti recently received news that Simon was in an car accident and is severely injured.

Botti says Simon is now recovering at a hospital but could use any words of encouragement to help lift his spirits. “I’ve created a post in the forum section of my website with the hopes that all the other fans out there can send good wishes his way,” Botti says.

Botti has now released 10 solo albums including his latest, Live In Boston.

His tour continues Saturday (April 10) in Winston-Salem, NC, and Monday (April 12) in Vancouver, BC. Both shows feature orchestras.

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Unique Museum In Phoenix Will Have George Benson Exhibit

April 8th, 2010 Brian

A new museum in Phoenix, which opens on April 24 and bills itself as the world’s first global musical instrument museum, will have an exhibit featuring guitarist and vocalist George Benson. Benson, a native of Pittsburgh, now lives in the Phoenix area.

The Music Instrument Museum (The MIM) will host an exhibit on Benson’s most iconic album, Breezin.’ It will have the Gibson Johnny Smith guitar Benson used to record the album, as well as sheet music, the Best Pop Instrumental Performance Grammy award, the Triple Platinum plaque (more than 3 million sold) and the 1976 Billboard Award. In addition, Benson’s 2009 National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Masters plaque will be on display.

For more information, go to The MIM website.

In 2008, an permanent exhibit opened at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh that features Benson’s music. It’s part of the Crawford Grill exhibit, which replicates one of Pittsburgh’s premier jazz clubs.

Benson’s latest CD, Songs and Stories, features the smooth jazz hits “Living in High Definition” and “Nuthin’ But a Party.”

George Benson tour schedule

April 8: Winson Salem, NC Kenneth R. Williams Auditorium
April 9: Shippensburg, PA Luhrs Performing Arts Center
April 10: Englewood, NJ Bergen Performing Arts Center
April 11: Washington, DC Kennedy Center Concert Hall
May 28: Birmingham, UK National Indoor Arena
May 29: Glasgow, UK SECC
May 30: Sheffield, UK Sheffield Arena
June 1: Manchester, UK Manchester Evening News Arena
June 2: London, UK O2 Arena
June 3: Brighton, UK Brighton Centre
June 4: Nottingham, UK Nottingham Arena
June 13: Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl – Playboy Jazz Festival
June 24: Snoqualimie, WA Mountain View Plaza at Snoqualmie Casino
June 25: Victoria, BC Royal Theatre
June 26: Vancouver, BC Queen Elizabeth Theatre
June 27: Regina, SAS Casino Regina Show Lake

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Chris Standring Is Touring “Blue Bolero” With Local String Sections

April 6th, 2010 Brian

Smooth jazz guitarist Chris Standring on Monday (April 5) began a tour to promote his latest CD, Blue Bolero. The CD, released on March 30, features orchestral elements. For the show Monday in Seattle at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, Staring was joined by three band members - keyboardist Rodney Lee, bassist Osama Afifi and drummer Eric Valentine - and four performers from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Brittany Boulding and Andrew Joslyn on violin, Mara Sedlins on viola and Maria Scherer on cello.

At all of Standring’s shows with the string section, members come from the community. Upcoming shows include Friday (April 9) in Seal Beach, Calif., July 1-3 in London; Aug. 7 in Laguna Beach, Calif.; and Oct. 9 at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival in Southern California.

In Seattle, Standring played the entire Blue Bolero CD, including his current Smooth Jazz Top 20 hit “Bossa Blue,” from start to finish, excluding only two interludes. He also performed two songs from his 2008 Love & Paragraphs CD “Ooh Bop” and the title track, the latter a smooth jazz hit.

Chris Standring Tour Schedule

April 9 Seal Beach, CA Spaghettini (with Blue Bolero strings)
July 1: London, ENG Pizza Express (with Blue Bolero strings)
July 2: London, ENG Pizza Express (with Blue Bolero strings)
July 3: London, ENG Pizza Express (with Blue Bolero strings)
Aug. 7: Laguna Beach, CA Laguna Beach Festival Of The Arts (with Blue Bolero strings)
Aug. 15: San Jose, CA San Jose Jazz Festival
Oct. 9: Avalon, CA JazzTrax Catalina Island Jazz Festival (with Blue Bolero strings)

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Pat Metheny Beginning U.S. Tour, Will Appear On Nationwide TV

April 5th, 2010 Brian

Seventeen-time Grammy Award-winning guitarist Pat Metheny begins the U.S. portion of his Orchestrion tour on Tuesday (April 6), and will be featured later in the month in a rare television profile. Orchestrion, the name of Metheny’s latest CD, is a generic name for a machine that plays music and is designed to sound like an orchestra or band.

On April 25, CBS’ long-running TV show Sunday Morning will air a segment featuring Metheny and the Orchestrion project.

In addition, Metheny has teamed up with world-renowned speaker company Martin Logan to offer fans a chance to win a pair of Purity loudspeakers and an IPod filled with a collection of Metheny’s most popular tracks. The giveaway, on now, continues through April 30. You can find out more information at the Martin Logan website.

Metheny is also looking for passionate fans who want to be part of his street team to spread the word on his Orchestrion project. Members can help by sending ecards, putting up posters and coming up with creative ways to spread the word. From now until May 1, Methney is hosting a Street Team contest to see who can be the best promoter of an upcoming Orchestrion show. You can get more information at

Metheny has recorded more than 30 CDs. He records solo and with his renown Pat Metheny Group. Along the way, Metheny has recorded such popular smooth jazz songs as “James,” “Last Train Home,” “Follow Me,” “Chris,” “Facing West” and “Here to Stay.”

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Saxophonist Jaared Offering “Manhattan Nights”

March 30th, 2010 Brian

Smooth jazz saxophonist Jaared today (March 30) releases a new CD, Manhattan Nights, on the Trippin N Rhythm record label. His fourth solo CD follows Addiction, Hang Time and Foreward.

Manhattan Nights is produced by Michael B and features guitarists Jay Soto and Tim Bowman, saxophonist Cindy Bradley and trumpeter Greg Adams. The 14-song CD features titles such as “If You Know What I Mean,” “That’s What She Said,” “Dancing With You” and “Coolsville.”

Another song, “Always Together,” is the Feedback Track this weekend on the Smooth Jazz Top 20.

Jaared has numerous shows planned for the year. To find out more, go to his Website.

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Brian Culbertson’s “XII” To Be Released In July

March 29th, 2010 Brian

There’s a reason why smooth jazz musician Brian Culbertson is calling his upcoming CD XII. The number “12” is significant to the keyboardist.

It’s his 12th album, including nine studio CDs, a Christmas CD, and last year’s DVD/CD Live From the Inside. XII will have 12 songs. Culbertson was born on January 12. He’s been married to his wife, Michelle, for 12 years. There are 12 notes to a scale. At 12, Culbertson knew he wanted to be a musician, and that year was introduced to MIDI synthesizers and computers. And Culbertson says every address where he’s lived has had 1s and 2s in it, including 1120, 1220 and 211. His dorm room in college was 210.

Culbertson says XII is half R&B and half-instrumental, with an overall R&B bent. There will be horn sections and live strings on several songs as well. The CD has an all-star cast, including Ray Parker Jr., Paul Jackson Jr., Nate Watts, Lenny Castro, Oscar Seaton Jr., Randy Bowland, Eric Marienthal, Dan Fornero, Greg Boyer, Charlie Bisharat Randy Jacobs and Sheldon Reynolds. Guitarist Earl Klugh is featured prominently on one song, and vocalists include Kenny Lattimore, Brian McKnight and Chuck Brown.

XII will be released on July 20. To keep up on its progress, go to Culbertson’s YouTube channel.

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Guitarist Chris Standring’s “Blue Bolero” Is Released Today

March 30th, 2010 Brian

Smooth Jazz guitarist Chris Standring today (March 30) releases Blue Bolero, the followup to 2008’s Love & Paragraphs, which featured the smooth jazz hits “Love & Paragraphs” and “Have Your Cake and Eat It.”

“It has been my ambition for many years to record an album with an orchestra,” says Standring, who adds that the project is extremely cinematic but will still resonate with his many smooth jazz fans. “I also wanted to take a major left turn musically on this album, and as soon as I started messing around with orchestral samples, the drive to realize this project became much bigger than me.”

The CD features the hit single “Bossa Blue,” which makes its debut this weekend on the Smooth Jazz Top 20. Among the 13 other tracks include “Please Mind the Gap,” “Sensual Overload,” “Fast Train to Everywhere” and “Lost in Angles.”

Standring is now offering a free download of “Bossa Blue” on his website. Fans can also order the CD on the site as part of several packages, which includes autographed copies, signed photos, music scores and bonus tracks.

Chris Standring Tour Schedule

April 5: Seattle, WA Jazz Alley (with Blue Bolero strings)
April 9: Seal Beach, CA Spaghettini (with Blue Bolero strings)
July 1: London, ENG Pizza Express (with Blue Bolero strings)
July 2: London, ENG Pizza Express (with Blue Bolero strings)
July 3: London, ENG Pizza Express (with Blue Bolero strings)
Aug. 7: Laguna Beach, CA Laguna Beach Festival Of The Arts(with Blue Bolero strings)
Aug. 15: San Jose, CA San Jose Jazz Festival
Oct. 9: Avalon, CA JazzTrax Catalina Island Jazz Festival (with Blue Bolero strings)

(Smooth Jazz Network)

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