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Natalie Cole Named Spokesperson For Kidney Organization

April 29th, 2010 Brian

Grammy Award-winning vocalist Natalie Cole has been named a national spokesperson for the United Kidney Research Organization, a nonprofit group supporting medical research into the prevention, treatment and elimination of kidney disease.

Cole’s role will include raising public awareness of the various forms of kidney disease along with supporting the organization’s fundraising efforts. Cole, the daughter of singer Nat King Cole, received a kidney transplant in May 2009 after almost 10 months on kidney dialysis.

“As someone who has been affected by a form of kidney disease,” says Cole, “I recognize that I survived kidney failure and am alive and healthy today because of the availability of improved treatments, procedures and medications devised from decades of medical research. Through my involvement, I hope to bring greater recognition to the UKRO’s fundraising efforts for kidney research.”

More than 26 million people in the United States alone are believed to suffer from some type of kidney disease, and millions of others are at increased risk, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Cole’s latest CD is the Grammy-winning Still Unforgettable. Her hits include “Unforgettable,” “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “Inseparable,” “Our Love,” “I’ve Got Love on My Mind,” “Pink Cadillac,” and “Miss You Like Crazy.”

Natalie Cole tour schedule

05/09/10 Prior Lake, MN Mystic Lake Casino
06/24/10 Vienna, VA Filene Center At Wolf Trap
06/27/10 Syracuse, NY Onondaga Community College (Syracuse Jazz Fest)
09/04/10 Curacao, Netherlands Antilles Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival
09/17/10 Puyallup, WA Western Washington Fairgrounds

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Four80East Releases Back Catalog, Announces U.S. Tour

April 29th, 2010 Brian

The Canadian smooth jazz group Four80East, featuring Rob DeBoer and recent Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards winner Tony Grace, has reclaimed the rights to their first three recordings. They have now repressed The Album, Nocturnal and Round Three, all of which are now available on

Four80East, which is nominated in the international group category for October’s American Smooth Jazz Awards, begins a U.S. tour on May 8 at Thornton Winery in Temecula, Calif.

In the early 1990s, Grace, a drummer who also plays percussion, founded the band along with Rob DeBoer, who plays piano, guitar and bass. After recording as The Boomtang Boys, Grace and DeBoer debuted Four80East in 1998 with The Album. The CD featured the smooth jazz smash single called “Eastside.” Their fifth CD and latest CD is titled Roll On.

Four80East tour schedule

May 8: Temecula, Calif., Thornton Winery
May 15: Rochester, NY, Radisson Riverside
June 12: Sacramento, CA TBA
June 25-26: Copper Mountain, Colo., Genuine Jazz Fest
June 27: San Diego, CA Anthology (With Matt Marshak and Marcus Anderson)
June 28: Seattle, Wash., Jazz Alley (With Matt Marshak and Marcus Anderson)
July 28: Melbourne, FL, WGRV Concert Series at Crowne Plaza (free)
July 30: Balcones Heights, TX, Amphitheater at Wonderland of the Americas (free)
Aug. 8: Winnipeg, MB, TBA
Oct. 16: Rehoboth Beach, FL., Rehoboth Beach Autumn Jazz Festival
Oct. 29: Michigan City, IN, Blue Chip Resort and Casino (American Smooth Jazz Awards)

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Norah Jones Announced For Montreux Jazz Festival

April. 29th, 2010 Brian

Norah Jones, who has a Smooth Jazz Top 20 hit with “Chasing Pirates,” has been announced as a mainstage performer at the 2010 Montreux Jazz Festival, it was announced today (April 29).

Among other performers are Diana Krall with her husband, Elvis Costello; Pat Metheny; Lyle Mays; Simply Red; Roxy Music; Keith Jarrett; Chick Corea; Kenny Garrett; Christian McBride; Quincy Jones; and Massive Attack.

In addition, Herbie Hancock will be making a record 26th Montreux appearance.

Phil Collins will play an exclusive pre-festival concert on July 1, the day before the festival begins. The former Genesis singer and drummer will perform 1960s Motown and soul before hundreds of musicians from the worlds of pop, rock, blues, and jazz come together in the lakeside town in Switzerland from July 2 to 17 for the 44th version of one of Europe’s most prestigious summer music events.

For more information and a complete lineup, go to the Montreux Jazz Festival website.

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Kirk Whalum To Perform Donny Hathaway Music At Detroit Jazz Festival

April 28th, 2010 Brian

The lineup for the 31st Detroit International Jazz Festival has been announced, and it includes smooth jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum. He will be joined by Lalah Hathaway and Robert Randolph as he plays the music from his upcoming tribute CD of music by Donny Hathaway. Lalah Hathaway is the daughter of the late singer. The CD, titled Everything Is Everything, will be released in September.

The Detroit festival will be held Sept. 3 through Sept. 6 in downtown Detroit.

Subtitled Flame Keepers – Carrying the Torch for Modern Jazz, the festival will feature a veritable dean’s list of alumni who passed through the schools of Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Betty Carter, Ray Brown, Miles Davis and Gil Evans. “2010 artists Mulgrew Miller, Bobby Watson, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Randy Brecker and Benny Green were all in Blakey’s band at one time or another,” says festival director Terri Pontremoli. “These musicians went on to develop their own bands, explore new territory and nurture a new generation of flame keepers.”

Other artists include pianist Danilo Perez, Manhattan Transfer, Maria Schneider, Kurt Elling, Tierney Sutton, Tia Fuller, the Freddy Cole Trio, Scott Kinsey Quartet, Poogie Bell Band with Victor Bailey, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Roy Haynes will appear with his Fountain of Youth band, and drummer Matt Wilson will present Trio M with pianist Myra Melford and bassist Mark Dresser.

As the 2010 artist in residence, pianist Mulgrew Miller will be featured on several stages throughout the weekend. On opening night, his trio will be joined by Take 6, and his other appearances include a duo piano session with Kenny Barron, a performance with his own band Wingspan, and a project with Detroit-based artists Karriem Riggins and Bob Hurst.

For more information, go to the festival’s website.

(Smooth Jazz Network)

James Taylor/Carole King CD/DVD Due On Tuesday

April 28th, 2010 Brian

In November of 1970, James Taylor and Carole King first performed together at the Troubadour on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, Calif. Thirty-six years later, in November 2007, Taylor, King and members of their renowned original band The Section (featuring guitarist Danny Kortchmar, bassist Leland Sklar and drummer Russell Kunkel) returned to the Troubadour for a three-night, six-show run to celebrate the venue’s 50th anniversary.

Those historic shows are documented in Live at the Troubadour, a special 2-disc CD/DVD available on Tuesday (May 4) from Hear Music/Concord Music Group. This recording, culled from these string of shows, features 15 songs and 75 minutes of video and audio including performances of the pair’s best-known hits by both Taylor and CKing.

You can now pre-order one of the specially-priced packages of Live at the Troubadour CD/DVD before the official release. Those who pre-order will receive an instant, high-quality MP3 digital download of the complete live album plus a live performance video of “You’ve Got a Friend.”

Taylor and King are now on tour and perform next month on the West Coast.

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Paul Hardcastle Remixes “19” With “Rainforest” And Marvin Gaye

April 27th, 2010 Brian

Paul Hardcastle has decided to remix his famous dance hit one more time – and this time it’s mashed up with another of his hit singles, “Rainforest,” as well as Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”

“When my Dad was alive, he was a great Marvin fan,” Hardcastle says. “I remember him saying that ‘19’ would go very well with ‘What’s Going On.”

On April 19 – the 25th anniversary of the original “19” being No. 1 worldwide hit – Hardcastle released three remixes of the famous anti-war dance hit. Hardcastle has said that he wanted to re-record “19” to reflect new times.

The three versions are “19: Boys to War,” “19: Welcome to Hell,” and “19: The Vision.” The latter is a smooth-jazz with the Becki Biggins, who sang on Hardcastle’s Hardcastle V CD.

Too see all three versions in video form, you can go to or

All three version are available for purchase on iTunes.

It was in 1985 that “19” debuted with its spoken-word, often-stuttering samples of a narrator talking about Vietnam War veterans. As the song makes clear, “19” was the average age of the Vietnam soldier.

(Smooth Jazz Network)

April 26th, 2010 Brian

Three-time Grammy nominee Boney James has added a few select concert dates to continue a 50-city tour began in 2009 to support of the saxophonist’s latest CD, Send One Your Love.

The new dates include a benefit show tonight (April 26) in Atlanta, with proceeds going to Emory University’s ALS Research Department, as well as help defray medical costs for longtime music industry executive Deborah Lewow, recently diagnosed ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Also appearing tonight with James are Earl Klugh and Mindi Abair.

Send One Your Love features the Smooth Jazz Top 20 hits “Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart),” “Send One Your Love,” “Touch” and “I’ll Be Good to You.”

Another song from that CD, “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” with vocalist Quinn, received a Grammy nomination last year in the Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance category.

Boney James tour schedule

4/26 Atlanta, GA Variety Theater
5/08 Temecula, CA Thornton Winery
5/15 Newport Beach, CA Newport Beach Jazz Festival
5/21 Columbia, SC Carolina Coliseum
6/12 Sacramento, CA Radisson Hotel Sacramento-Guzzetta Grove
7/03 Healdsburg, CA Rodney Strong Vineyards
7/08 St. Charles, MO Ameristar Casino-Bottleneck Blues Bar
7/09 Kansas City, MO Ameristar Casino & Hotel Kansas City
7/25 Winter Park, CO Winter Park Jazz Festival
7/31 San Diego, CA Humphrey’s
8/13 Long Beach, CA Long Beach Jazz Festival-Rainbow Lagoon Park
8/27 Philadelphia, PA Penn’s Landing
10/15 Rehoboth Beach, DE Rehoboth Beach Convention Center
10/16 Cincinnati, OH Aroness Center
12/04 Las Vegas, NV Boulder Station Casino

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Patti Austin’s New CD, “Sound Advice,” Is Due Aug. 31

April 26th, 2010 Brian

Shanachie Entertainment has announced that it will release a new CD by Grammy-winning vocalist Patti Austin, Sound Advice, on Aug. 31.

The CD, to be recorded next month, is called a “collection of powerful songs with potent messages that have personal meaning to the singer.” Sound Advice follows Austin’s Grammy-winning tribute to George Gershwin, Avant Gershwin.

Topping charts as diverse as R&B, dance and jazz, Austin has collaborated with everyone from her godfather Quincy Jones (most recently on “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”), Michael Jackson (Off The Wall) and James Ingram (“Baby Come to Me”), to Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, George Benson and Bette Midler, to name a few.

Austin will be performing Friday (April 30) in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Saturday (May 1) in San Jose, Calif., with Lea Salonga. On May 12, she will be at B.B. Kings Blues Club and Grill in New York.

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Guitars And Saxes Returning For 16th Year; Tour Begins In May

April 26th, 2010 Brian

For years, the popular Guitars and Saxes has been a staple of the smooth jazz summer touring season.

The 16th annual lineup has been announced and it will include guitarists Peter White and Jeff Golub and saxophonists Kirk Whalum and Gerald Albright. All have previously been on the tour.

The tour begins May 15 in Sacramento, Calif.

Guitars and Saxes veteran Golub is justifiably proud of his long association with the tour: “I’m the senior member of Guitars and Saxes. I’ve done it the most times, and I’m happy to do it. I love Guitars and Saxes. I think all the artists are inspired and spurred on by the other artists, and I just like being a part of it.”

Guitars and Saxes tour schedule

May 15: Sacramento, CA Radisson Sacramento Ballroom
May 16: Newport Beach, CA Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Jazz Festival
May 28: Las Vegas, NV Rail Head-Boulder Station Casino
May 29: San Diego, CA KiFM Smooth Jazz Gas Lamp Festival
July 30: Newport Beach, CA Hyatt Newporter
July 31: Temecula, CA Thornton Winery
Aug. 11: New York, NY Spirit Cruise Ship/Chelsea Piers/Pier 63
Aug. 12: Glenside, PA Keswick Theater
Aug. 13: St. Louis, MO The Pageant
Aug. 14: Kettering, OH Festival of the Vine/Fraze Pavilion
Sept. 11: Palmdale, CA Palmdale Jazz & Wine Festival/Palmdale Amphitheater
Sept. 24: Dallas, TX Bishop Arts Theater

(Smooth Jazz Network)

Norah Jones Adds New Tour Dates For The Summer

April 26th, 2010 Brian

Norah Jones has lined up new summer dates in support of her latest CD, The Fall, including a pair of Lilith Fair appearances as the all-women’s festival returns after an extended absence.

Jones’ current tour, which resumes Wednesday (April 28) in Albuquerque, continues through the middle of May. She’ll be off the road in June and July, except for shows June 9 in Brooklyn for Celebrate Brooklyn Fest and June 11 for Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee.

The next leg of show begins Aug. 7 in Bethlehem, Penn., with the Lilith Fair tour appearances coming later in the month in West Palm Beach, Fla. and Birmingham, Ala.

Released last November, The Fall is Jones’ fourth album, and follows 2007’s Not Too Late. It features the Smooth Jazz Top 20 hit “Chasing Pirates.”

Full venue and ticketing information is available at Jones’ website.

(Smooth Jazz Network)

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