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Vahagn Stepanyan is a gifted Armenian-born keyboardist, songwriter, composer, arranger and producer. His debut cd, "Moonlight" infuses the musical styles of Smooth Jazz, R&B and Funk with the talents of artists from the USA, Brazil, Armenia, Thailand, Israel, Turkey, Slovenia and Germany. Moonlight features saxophonist Eric Marienthal, guitarist Adam Hawley, bassists Melvin Lee Davis and Anthony Crawford, drummer Cleverson Silva, and trumpeter Tony Guerrero. Moonlight is available May 5, 2015. Pre-order your copy today on Amazon.
Follow Vahagn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Simpson’s latest masterwork is the perfect amalgamation of music that is close to his heart – Jazz, R&B, Funk and Soul. Out Of A Dream (Released February 17, 2015) is Simpson’s sixth album as a leader and third recording for Shanachie Entertainment. “When I first embarked on making this album, I was at a point where I felt I had to take my music to a different place,” explains Simpson who enlists nine different co-composers on the album that keep the sound ever-evolving and fresh. “By collaborating with other composers I was able to explore different styles of writing while still maintaining my own vibe.” Out Of A Dream unites Brian Simpson with an all-star cast including saxophonists Najee, Dave Koz and Grace Kelly, guitarists Marc Antoine and Norman Brown, singer Maysa and trumpeter Maurice Brown, Jonathan Fritzen, among others.
Follow Brian on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
One of urban contemporary jazz’s most versatile and acclaimed artists over the past 25 years, keyboardist/composer Gregg Karukas is now a Grammy Award winner for producing, engineering, co-writing and arranging Omar Akram’s Echoes of Love, which won Best NewAge Album at the 55th Grammy Awards in February 2013.
jazz, funk, and soul
Swiss-American keyboardist Greg Manning has performed on stages throughout the U.S., Europe, United Kingdom, and Asia. Manning’s use of jazz, funk, and soul, to create simplistic yet, complex compositions, are blended with precise timbre and intricate instrumentation. They are rich in texture, and identifiably this recording artist’s distinctive imprint of Soul-Jazz.
While growing up in Zurich, Switzerland, Manning was mostly exposed to Jazz by his parents. Yet, he discovered his deep love for music only after hearing “Isn’t She Lovely” by the legendary Stevie Wonder.
He started playing the piano at age 12. Several years later, he moved to the U.S. to study piano and film scoring at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was during this time his break came. Manning was asked to compose the music for “Keep Cool”, the most successful and longest running German language musical. The musical led him back to Zurich, Switzerland, where he continued to compose and produce for records and television.
The Parrrrty in ON!! Boom Boom Room style today with Chance Howard and I.
Chance Howard....Singer, Keyboardist, Writer, Producer. Plays keys bass and sings for Candy Dulfer, Prince, Morris Day and The Time, and many others.
Chance will be sharing with us some fascinating facts about his musical endeavors, past and present.
Kevin Howard is a world class keyboardist,writer,composer,producer, and businessman.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Kevin is President and CEO of Key
Chapter Entertainment a company which includes full service recording and production.
Kevin has received several awards which include three “Best Jazz Performer Awards”
from renowned local urban radio station WAMO; the WQED Harry Schwab Excellence
in the arts award; Best Jazz Performer Champions Association; Pittsburgh City Paper “top three jazz performers”. Kevin, along with his band served as the Pittsburgh's WJJJ Smooth Jazz Band for more than two years, performing at various events sponsored by
the radio station.
Kevin recently toured with and was the musical director for jazz saxophone legend Ronnie Laws, also recorded and performed with saxophonist Marion Meadows, Norman Connors, Lonnie Liston Smith, Najee, and George Benson. In addition has shared the stage with Roy Ayers, Pieces of a dream, Joe McBride and John Legend.
Kevin also headlined concerts in Parkersburg, WV Jazz on the Green and Mid-Ohio
Valley Multi-culture Festival, Jazz under the Stars Harrisburg PA, International Festival Baltimore MD., National Urban League Convention, and several venues nationwide.
Kevin has three CD's “Random Groove”, “Collage”, and “Special Edition” which includes special guest saxophonist Marion Meadows and guitarist Rohn Lawrence. Kevin is currently in production with his fourth CD titled “Travels” due Spring 2014.
Kevin Howard's smooth dynamic sound, warm personality and infectious smile will have you yearning for more. Together with his band of world class musicians, the sounds you experience are tantalizing, smooth, dynamic , and mesmerizing. They project energy, passion and charisma in concert. Kevin is a true entertainer.
Welcome to a closer look at the dynamic duo... The JT Project !!!
The JT Project: a multi-talented force of sound that brings forth a unique musical conceptualization: “a new genre in music called JT”. Adventurous and bold, Jacob Webb (Keyboards/Bass) and Todd Schefflin (Saxophone), leaders of The JT Project, knew that it would take more than just a passing interest in music to become the creative force that they envisioned. Jacob commands each stroke on the keyboard to awaken the soul with a touch of fire, and Todd caresses the notes to life with every breath.
Todd hailing from Philadelphia, and Jacob from Kansas City, the two musician’s paths collided in 2007 at the prestigious William Paterson University music department in New Jersey. After an immediate musical connection, Jacob and Todd started writing music together, which eventually led to the formation of The JT Project in 2009.
The JT Project has exponentially expanded into a musical collective, incorporating the most talented Jazz and Soul musicians in New York City. The members of the group have toured and recorded with major label legends such as Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Jaheim, Ashford and Simpson, Kenny Garrett, Joe, and Mulgrew Miller among many others.
The JT Project has independently released four critically acclaimed albums: Love Passion Correspondence Vol. 1 (2009), Love Passion Correspondence Vol. 2 (2012), Love Passion Correspondence Vol. 3 (2013), and now their latest release Under The Covers featuring the single “Jetsetter.”
The “Secret” is out! 2013 Grammy winner Gregg Karukas is back with a new collection featuring his signature piano touch, pristine production, and melodies that are both soulful and sophisticated. Organic, funky, and melodic is how the original Rippingtons keyboardist describes his latest, long awaited 12th solo project, "Soul Secrets". Gregg's elegant grand piano melodies and infectious grooves are everywhere; this time around he digs into his roots, featuring the classic Fender Rhodes, Wurlie, Minimoog and B3 keyboards quite a bit.
At a generous and expansive 14 tracks and no covers, "Soul Secrets" reveals Karukas as an artist who has refined his sound to be instantly recognizable while constantly exploring a wide range of styles and grooves – from old school soul-jazz, with hints of gospel, R&B and funk to the world/samba grooves he immersed himself in while touring with Brazilian legends Sergio Mendes and Dori Caymmi. The album’s debut single, “Elegant Nights” is classic Karukas; it was the #1 Most Added Track in its first week on radio. The live interplay sizzles as Gregg surrounds himself with an all-star guest list that includes his friends Rick Braun, Euge Groove, guitarists Ricardo Silveira, Michael O’Neill, Adam Hawley and James Harrah; violinist Charlie Bisharat, Luis Conte, Eric Valentine, Nate Phillips; vocalists Shelby Flint and Ron Boustead and 21 year old rising sax star and occasional touring partner Vincent Ingala.
Join Nancy J. Reid & Lisa D. Smith – mother-daughter travel team and publishers of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine, for Big Blend Radio’s Champagne Sundays variety show, airing live from the historic Coronado Motor Hotel in Yuma, Arizona.
- Lizzie Harrah, vocalist and keyboardist for The Madisons discusses their new album Err on the Side of Love
- Bunny Sigler, legendary 4-time Grammy winning producer-singer-songwriter discusses his new album Bundino
- Jennifer Bort Yacovissi, author of historical novel ‘Up The Hill to Home’
- Artist Victoria Chick discusses The Family Portrayed in Art
- C. Lee McKenzie, author YA novel ‘Sudden Secrets’ & ‘The Great Time Lock Disaster’
- Howard & Ruth Milstein, author of ‘Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine’ talk Salad & Wine
One of the most stylish and creative lead bassists of this wonderful time in C-jazz is the rising star Julian Vaughn whose fluid bass runs and compositions always seem to hit that special nerve in you that’s reserved for the smooth groove. Here on his latest released,Limitless, he continues to serve it up in abundance.
Bringing in a few luminaries from his Trippin N Rhythm/Cutmore Records family (saxmen Lebron and Darren Rahn, keyboardist Nicholas Cole, and flutist Althea Rene) along with saxmen Marcus Anderson and Elan Trotman, the bassist loads up with heavy grooves and romantic seductions.
The up-tempo but easy ridin’ lead track “Ride Along” firmly complements tracks like the energetic “Initiate” and calls a cool timeout for the fluid entrance of the more laid back romance-laden offering “All to Myself” and the mid-tempo R&Bish “Ecstacy.”
Vaughn’s wonderful tribute to the late great Wayman Tisdale shows how much of an impact the jovial and greatly talented Tisdale had on Vaughan.
We all love a great up-tempo jam, and Vaughn certainly offers his share here, but his skill with crafting slow- to mid-tempo tracks with tons of melody like the previously mentioned “All to Myself,” “I Will,” and “Say Yes” is equally as powerful and full of charm.
Here is a bassist who is doing it the right way…feeling the genre and the groove and how it moves him and his music to always strive for excellence. As the album title could imply, his potential is truly Limitless. – Ronald Jackson, The Smooth Jazz Ride.
Live broadcast with outstanding jazz artist’s interviews and two hours of great jazz music, join the National Endowment for the Arts and Jazz at Lincoln Center for a celebration of the 2015 NEA Jazz Masters: Carla Bley (Composer, Arranger, Bandleader, Keyboardist), George Coleman (Saxophonist, Composer, Educator), Charles Lloyd (Saxophonist, Flutist, Composer, Arranger), and Joe Segal (Jazz Presenter and Club Owner
2015 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony & Concert Webcast | NEA
On Monday, April 20, 2015 at 7:30pm, the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, will webcast the 2015 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony & Concert in Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City. The event will celebrate the lif…
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