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Wayman Tisdale Documentary To Screen In His Hometown

June 3rd, 2010 Brian

A new documentary on the life of basketball and smooth jazz star Wayman Tisdale will be presented Saturday (June 5) at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in Tulsa, OK. Tisdale, who died at the age of 44 on May 15, 2009, gave two in-depth interviews just before his death that form the basis of The Wayman Tisdale Story.

The film, written and directed by Brian Schodorf, includes interviews with saxophonist Dave Koz and bassist Marcus Miller, as well as NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. Family members are also interviewed.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for a reception with live music, followed by the showing of The Wayman Tisdale Story at 8:30 p.m. A question-and-answer session will take place after the film.

For more information, go to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame website.

To see a trailer of the documentary, go to the documentary’s website.

The Wayman Tisdale Story will also screen June 12 at the Deadcenter Film Festival in Oklahoma City and Aug. 1 at the International Christian Film Festival in South Africa.

Spyro Gyra Highlighting Temecula Valley Balloon And Wine Festival

June 3rd, 2010 Brian

Spyro Gyra, which has earned 12 Grammy nominations as has sold more than 11 million albums worldwide, will be performing at theTemecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival this weekend at the Lake Skinner Recreation Area in Winchester, CA. The band will be performing Sunday (June 6) at 3 p.m. on the wine stage.

Spyro Gyra’s latest CD is Down the Wire. The band features saxophonist and leader Jay Beckenstein, Tom Schuman on keyboards, Julio Fernandez on guitar, Scott Ambush on bass and Bonny B on drums.

“If you’re granted the good fortune to stay around as a musical ensemble for as long as we have, boy I hope that she’s ripened some,” says Beckenstein. “I hope the wine gets better. We feel really good about ourselves and oddly enough after all this time, it feels like we’re making some of the best music we’ve ever made. And that is just a great place to find ourselves.”

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

Sting Begins “Symphonicity” Tour With Royal Philharmonic

June 2nd, 2010 Brian

Today (June 2), Sting begins his world tour with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in Vancouver, BC. The Symphonicity tour has Sting performing his most celebrated songs re-imagined for symphonic arrangement. The 45-piece Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will be conducted by Steven Mercurio and accompanied by a quartet comprised of guitarist Dominic Miller, percussionist David Cossin, vocalist Jo Lawry and bassist Ira Coleman.

Selections will include songs from Sting’s association with the Police and well as his solo career. That includes titles such as “Roxanne,” “’Next To You,” “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Every Breath You Take,” “Englishman in New York,” “Fragile,” “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You,” “’Fields of Gold,” and “Desert Rose.”

The tour travels to numerous cities across North America through July 31. Dates include June 9 at Red Rocks in Denver, June 15 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, and July 17-18 at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. Sting will also perform in New York, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle and Washington and return to Canada, with stops in Toronto and Montreal.

Sting, who will appear on Entertainment Tonight on Friday (June 4) and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno next Tuesday (June 8), begins the European portion of his tour on Sept. 3 in Oslo.

The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra has previously performed with internationally-renowned artists ranging from opera luminaries Andrea Bocelli, Bryn Terfel, Renée Fleming, Kiri Te Kanawa and the late Luciano Pavarotti to popular cultural icons including Burt Bacharach, George Benson, Michel Legrand, Diana Krall, Tina Turner and Randy Newman.

Natalie Cole Receiving Prestigious Ella Award; Dave Koz Performing

June 1st, 2010 Brian

Today (June 1), smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz will be on hand to honor vocalist Natalie Cole as she accepts the Ella Award, following in the footsteps of Ella Fitzgerald and artists like Elton John and Frank Sinatra. The event takes palce at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

Others joining Koz in performing will be Babyface, Macy Gray, James Ingram, Patti Austin, Nikki Yanofsky and Gladys Knight.

The nine-time Grammy-winning vocalist, daughter of legendary Nat King Cole, will be given the prestigious award by the Society Of Singers (SOS), who bestowed their first awards in 1989 to Fitzgerald. Honorees are chosen for their contributions to the music world and for their dedicated efforts to benefit community and worldwide humanitarian causes.

Other honorees over the years include Herb Alpert and his wife Lani Hall, Peggy Lee, Lena Honre, Barry Manilow, Celine Dion, Gladys Knight and Rosemary Clooney.

Cole released her 19th album, the Grammy Award-winning Still Unforgettable in 2008.

Brazilian Superstar Sergio Mendes Releases “Bom Tempo”

June 1st, 2010 Brian

Today (June 1), the legendary and Grammy Award-winning Sergio Mendes is releasing a CD he’s calling Bom Tempo. It’s the third for Mendes and the Concord Music Group, following Timeless and Encanto.

“This is bom tempo music, good times music,” says the Brazilian-born, U.S.-based Mendes, summing up the CD’s Portuguese title. “It’s all about the good times, good weather, good tempos. The album is about the diversity, joy and sensuality of Brazilian music-songs I previously recorded and some that I never have played by Brazilian and American musicians.”

Musical guests include guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. and Brazilian vocalists Milton Nascimento and Seu George.

Bom Tempo, which is also available in a remixed version, features titles such as “Emorio,” “You and I,” “Magelenha,” “Orpheus (Quiet Carnival),” “The Real Thing” and “So Tinha de Ser Com Voce.”

Mendes, 68 and his group Brasil ’66 were the top-selling Brazilian artists in the U.S. on Herb Alpert’s A&M Records. They scored with hits with covers of “Fool on the Hill,” “Scarborough Fair” and “Mas Que Nada,” among others.

Sergio Mendes tour schedule

07/30: Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl
07/31: Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl
08/07: Richmond, BC River Rock Casino
08/14: Mount Pocono, PA Mount Airy Casino and Resort
09/04: Willemstad, Curacao Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival

Joyce Cooling Performing At Ultimate Jazz Festival In Southern California

June 1st, 2010 Brian

Smooth jazz guitarist and vocalist Joyce Cooling is among the acts scheduled for the second annual Ultimate Jazz Festival at Fairmount Park in Riverside, CA. The event is Aug. 7-8.

Cooling’s latest CD, 2009’s Global Cooling, is the San Francisco-based musician’s seventh solo CD. She’ll also be performing Oct. 10 in Duck, NC, and Nov. 6 in Bozeman, MT. Cooling is expected to announce more solo shows soon.

Joining Cooling as performers on Aug. 7 will be pianist Marcus Johnson, saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa, saxophonist Steve Cole, Pete Escovedo & Family, and Con Funk Shun.

Scheduled Aug. 8 are pianist Gail Jhonson, saxophonist Michael Paulo, guitarist Stanley Jordan, percussionist Poncho Sanchez, and Zapp.

The festival, which is put on by Jazz to be Green, is pairing with the Lupus Foundation this year by contributing a percentage of proceeds from the festival to the organization. For more information, go to the festival’s website.

Rippingtons The First Act Announced For Oasis Contemporary Jazz Awards

June 1st, 2010 Brian

The Oasis Contemporary Jazz Awards has announced its first confirmed performer – the veteran smooth jazz group the Rippingtons, who performed at the inaugural show 10 years ago. The Rippingtons have already won two Best Group awards, and founder and leader Russ Freeman has picked up Producer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement honors.

The band, also featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Bill Heller, Dave Karasony and Rico Belled, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011 and release its 19th CD in February. It will follow Modern Art, which features the Smooth Jazz Top 20 hit of the same name.

The awards show will be held in San Diego March 10-13. The weekend includes a concert March 10 at the Balboa Theater, the Oasis Contemporary Jazz Awards Ceremony and Show on March 12 at the San Diego Civic Theater, and a dozen other events between the scheduled dates.

A total of 25 performing artists and groups are scheduled to be announced.

A nominating panel is being selected to determine the specific categories to be recognized and select the nominees in each category. Final award voting will be conducted online and open to the public.

Jeff Lorber Fusion Today Offers “Now Is The Time”

June 1st, 2010 Brian

Today (June 1), keyboardist and producer Jeff Lorber releases a new CD that goes back into his early catalog and reinvents some of his compositions from the Jeff Lorber Fusion heyday. The CD, Now Is the Time, is Lorber’s follow-up to 2008’s Heard That.

By the late 1970s, Lorber had become a prominent figure in the new movement known as jazz fusion – a marriage of traditional jazz with elements of rock, R&B, funk and other electrified sounds. Lorber and his band, Jeff Lorber Fusion, first honed their craft in the Portland, Ore., club scene and rapidly expanded their reach to a national and international audience.

This new incarnation of the Jeff Lorber Fusion includes bassist Jimmy Haslip (who co-produced with Lorber and Bobby Colomby), saxophonist Eric Marienthal, trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., and drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl.

New songs include “Pixel,” “Dr. Moy” and “Sumatra.” Remakes include “Black Ice,” “Chinese Medicinal Herbs” and “Water Sign.” Lorber also covers Weather Report’s “Mysterious Traveler.”

Lorber is currently performing overseas but will be returning for a full slate of U.S. shows . The first is Sunday (June 6) in Columbia, MD, at the Capital Jazz Fest.

Now Is the Time track listing

1. Pixel (Jeff Lorber-Jimmy Haslip-Bobby Colomby) – 5:23
2. Black Ice (Jeff Lorber) 4:22
3. Rain Dance/Wanna Fly (Jeff Lorber-Irene Bauza-Frankie Biggs) – 4:13
4. Las Rosas (Jeff Lorber) – 4:00
5. Water Sign(Jeff Lorber-Irene Bauza-Frankie Biggs) – 3:56
6. Mysterious Traveler (Wayne Shorter) – 4:55
7. Curtains/Before We Go (Jeff Lorber-Irene Bauza-Frankie Biggs) – 4:17
8. Dr. Moy (Jeff Lorber-Steve Dubin) – 3:07
9. Sugar Free (Jeff Lorber-Irene Bauza-Frankie Biggs) – 4:49
10. Chinese Medicinal Herbs (Jeff Lorber) – 4:24
11. Sumatra (Jeff Lorber) – 4:11

Eric Darius Finishes Fourth Solo CD, “On A Mission”

May 27th, 2010 Brian

Smooth jazz saxophonist Eric Darius has completed his fourth CD, On a Mission, which is his follow-up to 2008’s Goin’ All Out, which featured the No. 1 smooth jazz single of the same name, as well as the hit “Because of You.”

On a Mission will be released June 29 by Shanachie Entertainment. It features producers Rex Rideout, Micah Otano, Chris Andrew, James Lloyd and Rohan Reid. Grammy-winning producer and engineer Peter Mokran mixed the CD. Mokran has collaborated with everyone from Michael Jackson, Prince, R Kelly, Christina Aguilera and the Pussy Cat Dolls to Quincy Jones, Toni Braxton and Snoop Dogg. “It was a joy to have the chance to work with him,” Darius says. “Peter brings a whole new sound and dynamic to the music he mixes. Having his legendary touch on this album was truly an honor for me.”

The new, 10-song CD includes nine original songs and a cover of Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly” featuring trumpeter Rick Braun. Other guest are Lloyd from Pieces of a Dream on “Uptown Swagger,” and vocalist Luke James and rapper Ku on “Let’s Go.” Other titles include “Settin’ It Off,” “Soulful Stride” and “My Prayer for Haiti.”

Another song, “Jean Marie’s Groove,” originally appeared earlier this year on United We Cure, a benefit CD released by PRVCY Premium.

“Contemporary jazz is the genre that has embraced my music,” Darius says, “but I see myself as a musician first. I play every style of music from jazz, R&B, pop, reggae, hip-hop, rock to gospel. As I continue to evolve and grow musically, it’s the journey to explore new things that keeps me excited and hungry to do what I do.”

On a Mission track listing

1. Settin’ It Off (Darius/Otano/Barkulis)
2. Soulful Stride (Darius)
3. Let’s Go (Darius/Otano) [Featuring Luke James and Ku]
4. Uptown Swagger (Lloyd) [Featuring James Lloyd]
5. Jean Marie’s Groove (Darius/Rideout)
6. Kingston’s Flavor (Darius/Reid)
7. Butterfly (Hancock) [Featuring Rick Braun]
8. Move to It (Darius/Otano/Barkulis)
9. Nu Trane of Thought (Darius)
10. My Prayer for Haiti (Darius)

Brian Culbertson’s “XII” Has Six Vocalists, Plus Guest Star Earl Klugh

May 26th, 2010 Brian

Smooth jazz musician Brian Culbertson’s upcoming CD, XII, boasts six high-profile vocalists. They are Ray Parker Jr. on “I Wanna Love You,” Chuck Brown on “Feelin’ It,” Kenny Lattimore on “Another Love,” Brian McKnight on “Out on the Floor,” Avant on “Skies Wide Open,” and Faith Evans on “Don’t U Know Me By Now.”

In addition, guitarist Earl Klugh is featured on the instrumental “That’s Life,” which also has Parker Jr. on the track. Other musicians on the CD include 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.

XII is Culbertson’s 12th album, including nine studio CDs, a Christmas CD, and last year’s DVD/CD Live From the Inside. The latter includes the current Smooth Jazz Top 20 hit “Go.”

XII will be released on July 20. Fans now have two pre-order options through Culbertson’s website. The first is a special $9.99 price. The second a deluxe package that includes a signed CD and signed, individually numbered, limited edition letterpress poster.

Culbertson will be performing Saturday (May 29) at the Smooth Jazz 98.1 Gaslamp Festival in San Diego.

XII track listing

1. Feelin’ It (Featuring Chuck Brown)
2. Another Love (Featuring Kenny Lattimore)
3. It’s Time
4. Out on the Floor (Featuring Brian Mcknight)
5. Waiting for You
6. Stay Wit It
7. Skies Wide Open (Featuring Avant)
8. Forever
9. Don’t U Know Me by Now (Featuring Faith Evans)
10. That’s Life (Featuring Earl Klugh)
11. I Wanna Love You (Featuring Ray Parker Jr.)
12 . I Don’t Know

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