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Join us at Up Close & Personal as we help celebrate a milestone in the musical career of one of our fave guitarist Steve Oliver. With eight albums over the last 15 years, Steve's "Best Of so far" gathers multiple #1 Billboard hits and fan favorites including 2 brand new songs.
Paul Brown has had over 60 # 1 airplay hits to his credit as an artist and producer, not to mention being a two- time Grammy Award winner. Paul has got the groove down as a hit maker and he is the most go to guy that every top artist in the contemporary/urban jazz genre relies on for their next smash hits.
His latest release Truth B Told is due out 7/29 and Paul will be on show to share this very eclectic and powerhouse filled CD like only he can create.
Hailing from the "birth place of jazz",Vandell Andrew's destiny was not too hard to find. Vandell started studying music at the age of 13 at a local jazz summer camp in the treme area of New Orleans. It was then that he learned to play the trumpet. After a whole summer of playing the trumpet, Vandell was approached by one of his teachers that his embouchure would be better suited playing the saxophone.
Being that this teacher was the COOLEST sax player in the world, Vandell took this ultimatum as a compliment that his teacher would be even considering teaching him. Soon after learning to play the alto saxophone, Vandell joined the infamous St.Augustine "Marching 100" band. Playing in events and parades all over the world, convinced Vandell that this was what he wanted to do for a living after high school. Following high school, Vandell enrolled in music classes at Southern University at New Orleans, and studied with the legendary Edward "Kidd" Jordan. Shortly after about a month of studying with Kidd, the horrible hurricane Katrina took the city of New Orleans by storm. Vandell found himself relocating to Dallas,Tx. This experience was extremely hard to cope with at first , but Vandell began to like living in Dallas a little more, after checking out the music scene around town. Vandell began writing and working on his own solo compositions. This has led to him sharing stages with many local acts,at many different venues .As well as nationally known acts like Kirk Whalum, and Tom Braxton. This is only the beginning for this young entrepreneur, he is soon to record his debut album in the very near future.
Saxophonist Richard Elliot has arrived at a very special anniversary for blowing audiences away with his soulfully robust playing. 2014 marks 30 years since the release of his debut solo album, Initial Approach (ITI – 1984), on which he stepped out showcasing his tenor sax, soprano sax, Lyricon and writing skills. What does a red-blooded Scottish sax man raised in Los Angeles – now with a wife and five children – do for a 30-year encore? Well, this one-time member of the classic soul band Tower of Power proves he’s “not a young man” and drops the most overtly sensual, romantic and intimate album of his career in collaboration with contemporary jazz production/guitar giant Paul Brown. The title of this 17th solo project is Lip Service (the artist’s first for Heads Up/Concord Music Group).
Over time, he became a part of that country’s scene of young rising jazz artists and freelance musicians, featured as both a singer and saxophonist. Lie toured Norway, Sweden, and Finland with different groups and appeared on the jazz shows of NRK, the Norwegian equivalent of the BBC. Lie was also a recipient of a grant from the Norwegian State Fund for Performing Artists.
Lie later decided to move to the U.S. since his favorite styles of music “were being created in this country 24/7 everywhere.” Loving the Southern California climate and being “a certified beach bum,” he chose L.A. as his new base. Since then he has been a jazz artist and freelance musician, performing in clubs and at festivals and concerts throughout the West Coast.
Cal Harris Jr.’s upbringing in Los Angeles was not a typical one. His earliest exposure to music took place literally in the company of legends. As the son of Grammy-nominated sound engineer Calvin Harris, Cal Harris Jr. grew up wandering the halls of the renowned Motown Studios in Los Angeles. In fact, one of his fondest childhood memories was a trip to the candy store with Melvin Franklin of the Temptations—a treat he would appreciate even more as an adult. It was within this environment that Harris would develop a love affair with music…and a well-groomed talent.
“I fell in love with arranging music after attending a Commodores session with my dad. It was a great track and I fell asleep as they began working on the orchestration. I woke up a few hours later in a wonder land of music. Soaring strings and horns, and sizzling cymbal swells. It was amazing to hear the transformation, an experience I'll never forget." It's no surprise that Cal Harris Jr. went on to a career as a very sought after sound engineer and producer. He has worked with such music monsters as Earth Wind and Fire, Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Whitney Houston, and Beyonce. Harris found a comfortable niche as a very sought after recording engineer, programmer, and keyboard player for music giants. Still, it wouldn’t be long before he could no longer control the desire to combine his talents and record his very own works. The time had come for Cal Harris Jr. push his abilities to the next level and reveal the gifted composer within him.
Cal has a passion and talent for composition as well as a lifetime of priceless experiences in the industry. He drives home the idea of creating solid, seductive, and infectious melodies through impeccable production. He is involved in nearly every part of his music's production, including writing, keyboards and mixing.
Join us as if we feature one amazing bassist taking his music to what I thought to be impossible to do and take his new release to an all new level...Michael Manson's latest release "Thumpin" is one of, if not the best release of the summer!! Here is what some have to say!!...
If you like "LIVE" music albums, you'll love this set. It's rockin' from the first to the last song. MM and his band are some of the most talented smooth jazz artists that I've ever experienced. Khari Parker on the drums is the man. He's sets a strong groove and everybody else just lays in the "cut" so to speak. Your head and feet will move the entire concert. That's what it feels like on a good stereo or surround setup. You won't be disappointed. The recording quality is top notch and you can hear ALL of the musicians and background singers. Just Superb. W. Harrison- Fan
"One of Smooth Jazz's most creative and explosive bassists, Chicago-based Michael Manson has put out some great studio discs - but nothing tops the wild abandon and all-out joy of his live performances. So it's exciting that he's giving us his unfiltered, hard groovin' best on THUMPIN' LIVE, a 16-track set CD/DVD of the multi-talented artist at his best. In addition to expansive romps through his popular tunes like "Outer Drive," key tracks include the soulful, swaying "Just One Touch" and the brassy, heavy bottom way out rockin' funk of "The Bottom Line," fashioned as a tribute to his late hero George Duke, whom Manson first played with on Kirk Whalum's "The Gospel According To Jazz" in 1997. Nobody does THUMPIN' LIVE better than Manson!" ~JONATHAN WIDRAN Smooth Jazz.com
On Tuesday May 13th at 3pm est,2pm cst and Noon pst, join Dean Swett, President of the Paramour Group, as he talks to the one and only Ken Pike, lead singer of Absolon. Joining Ken guitarist Tyler Colick will also be talking with Dean. Let's hear all the exciting news that Ken and Tyler will be sharing with our listeners. Check out Absolon's website :
And you can also join their new fan club page on Facebook:
And you can also like their band page :
Flutist, vocalist, and songwriter, Ragan Whiteside is taking the Contemporary Jazz world by storm. With her unique style and soulful vibe, this triple threat is bringing the flute back into mainstream focus.
2014 has been an exciting year for Ragan, having won Flutist of the Year in the Black Women in Jazz & Fine Arts Awards, and looking forward to the highly anticipated release of her 3rd studio album, Quantum Drive. This album pushes the boundaries of Contemporary/Urban Jazz and R&B even further and features collaborations with Bob Baldwin, Frank McComb, Althea Rene, and Patrice Rushen.
Bob Baldwin describes Ragan by saying, “She not only has THE silkiest and sweetest flute tone in the business, but her tenacity and desire to be recognized in Urban, New-Soul AND smooth jazz genres makes her a musical force to be reckoned with!! Mark my words!”
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.
With his fourth solo release (Back Home) on C.A.R. Records, Saxophonist Rob Maletick expresses his love for music by melting together the various styles of musical expression that have made him a sought after musician on stage and in the recording studio. During his 8+ years in the recording industry, Rob has played almost every style of music possible on his 3 saxophones, but has landed in Gospel and Jazz music for his foundation. Often called upon for his "anointed expression" as one radio DJ calls it, Rob has succeeded in creating his own style of Inspirational Jazz that is easily heard on Smooth Jazz radio and Gospel radio simultaneously.
Born and raised in the Washington D.C. suburb of Manassas Virginia, Rob was able to surround himself with music at an early age. Having
music teachers for parents didn't hurt either. After High School, Shenandoah University became Rob's home for 4 years. Learning about the Music Business and Jazz Performance there put him in numerous situations in which he was able to perform with legends Billy Taylor, Bob Berg, and Randy Brecker. Rob credits saxophone professor Joe Eckert with guiding his playing in the right direction throughout the college years.
Big NY, Christian De Mesones, Willie Bradley and Elliott Levine will be stopping by to promote Saturday's Show at K-2 Lounge in Woodbridge VA
Jeff Antoniuk and The Jazz Update
Saxophonist Jeff Antoniuk is internationally respected as a jazz composer and musician. Now living in Annapolis, Maryland, the Canadian born artist appears on numerous recordings and has been consistently well received by critics.
With a master’s degree from the University of North Texas in jazz performance and West African ethnomusicology, Antoniuk spent a decade touring and recording with the Unified Jazz Ensemble. In 2004, he formed his own heavy hitting quartet, the Jazz Update.
The group celebrated the release of their first album together in 2007. Brimming with Antoniuk originals and luscious covers, the CD Here Today quickly climbed the jazz radio charts in the US and Canada and achieved stellar success in the world of high tech music sourced through high speed cable, Internet and broadband.
With the quartet’s 2010 album Brotherhood Antoniuk and company step out with fresh, memorable, and beautifully executed compositions. The progressive jazz disc delivers sophisticated and compelling rhythm, melody and harmony. Its global themes are brought home with depth and humor. Brotherhood began receiving significant airplay and advance sales even before the official release date.
Popular shows at Blues Alley, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian and U Street clubs show the Jazz Update to be equally adept at live performance. The group surprises and satisfies wherever they perform.
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