She’s intelligent, articulate, and a classically trained flute player. Her name is Kim Scott. Scott’s talent and distinctive, polished tone can be heard every time she plays. She’s not just an artist but also an educator that finds joy in sharing her gift and knowledge of music with her students. Her debut CD, “Crossing Over,” climbed the music charts. She’s constantly evolving as an artist and performer, and her growth is undeniable on her sophomore CD “Rite of Passage,” produced by Kelvin Wooten. Kim also shows off her vocal skills on the song “Sweet Obsessions,” which she wrote. Her album is currently rising on the charts, and she continues to tour sharing her gift with the world. Kim’s a mother, a teacher, Chair of the Music Department of The Alabama School of Fine Arts, she plays with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, and she’s a rising star in the world of Jazz. She does it all, and she does it with class.
Elan Trotman is not only a brilliant recording artist, he’s a composer and performer. Coming from the beautiful island of Barbados, Elan knows how to infuse the sounds of calypso and reggae into his music. Yet, his music is also sexy and full of edgy melodies. He shows this side of himself on the “Love and Sax” CD. His collaboration with Brian Simpson on “Heaven In Your Eyes” climbed the charts, and quickly paved the way for all that was to come for Elan. His latest release “Tropicality” features Peter White among other jazz artists, and embodies his native Barbadian culture.
West Coast Jazz Party at Sea prepared to be hit by a tidal wave of live music
Many firsts are in store for the star studded cruise hosted by Brian Culbertson & Boney James
sailing to the gorgeous Mexican Riviera.
St. Louis, Missouri (24 June 2013): If there has been one complaint among passengers who have sailed aboard The Smooth Jazz Cruise during its first decade it is that there are so many extraordinary concerts and events to attend that it is simply impossible to see and do everything during the 7-day music vacation experience. Wait until they find out what is planned for the first-ever West Coast departure of the perennially sold out luxury cruise to music paradise sailing to exotic Mexican Riviera ports October 12-19. With an astounding 60 concerts slated and a jam-packed program of unique first-time events, excursions and opportunities exclusively available during the West Coast Jazz Party at Sea, this adventure bodes to top all previous cruises, including the traditional January sailing that sold out for 2014 in record time.
R&B jazz luminaries Brian Culbertson and Boney James will host the cruise embarking from San Diego aboard Holland America’s m/s Westerdam en route to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Baja Coast with a starry cast of Grammy-winning and chart-topping performers featuring David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Tower of Power, Candy Dulfer, Jonathan Butler, Oleta Adams, Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Richard Elliot, Euge Groove, Earl Klugh, Kenny Lattimore, party band DW3 and music director Brian Simpson. When the live music pauses, legendary MC Biz Markie and Cool V will DJ to keep The Greatest Party at Sea grooving on the dance floor, and comedian Alonzo Bodden will provide the laughter.
Here are ten reasons why the West Coast Party at Sea is different than previous sailings of The Smooth Jazz Cruise:
· Wall to wall live music. The usual program offers 40 shows. 60 concerts will be staged on the October cruise.
· Guests will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to take a one-hour music lesson from the stars with the fee going to charity.
· At a first-ever songwriting seminar, Culbertson and the band will compose a new song on the spot with direct input from the audience.
· During the “Opening Act” talent contest where guests get to show off their own musical gifts, cruisers will judge the opening rounds of the competition with Culbertson, James and Dulfer ultimately determining the winner who will earn the privilege of opening for the headliner and perform with the cruise hosts on the final night of the voyage.
· When in Puerto Vallarta, guests will enjoy artist hosted excursions such as play golf with Braun, ride horseback with Elliot, sightsee with Culbertson, participate at an outdoor challenge with Butler, explore hideaways with Simpson, or join Dulfer for a swim with dolphins.
· While at sea, cruisers can battle Culbertson and James in a ping pong tournament, take a yoga class with Klugh or shoot hoop with Miller.
· For the romantically inclined, couples can renew their wedding vows during a ceremony presided over by Butler.
· On a theme night designated to support Pinktober, national breast cancer awareness month, guests are encouraged to wear pink. Each cruiser will be given a commemorative pin and when they give the card accompanying the pin to the front desk, they will be making a $5.00 donation to fight breast cancer with cruise producer Entertainment Cruise Productions donating matching funds.
· “Backstage Pass” will be filmed nightly aboard the ship in front of a live audience for national television broadcast. Host Dane Butcher will interview each of the cruise stars.
· For the first time, premium reserved seats for the main shows in the Vista Lounge theater are available for all guests who book their cabins by July 31.
Butcher, the Director of Cruise Operations & Programming for Entertainment Cruise Productions, said,
“We are super excited for the West Coast Jazz Party at Sea because this itinerary has allowed us to program the cruise THE perfect way. With more than 60 shows onboard, we added a bunch of brand new activities that make the guests just as much a part of the cruise as the musicians. Visiting Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta provide fantastic shore excursions, beautiful beaches, great shopping and amazing food along with fabulous weather and smooth sailing. We are not only bringing in celebrity DJ Biz Markie and his sidekick Cool V, who are a perfect match for this party crowd, but we added more artists than ever before and have surprises planned that are guaranteed to make this one of the greatest cruises that we have ever produced.”
Guests have fallen in love with The Smooth Jazz Cruise ever since its maiden voyage in 2004. Much more than a jazz festival and much more than a vacation, cruisers spend an entire week completely immersed in the music. On top of the stellar concert performances with Dream Team pairings that take place nightly in the theater and in more intimate nightclub venues aboard the vessel, guests interact daily with the musicians at cocktail parties, poolside games and activities, informative seminars, autograph sessions and cooking demonstrations. It’s an unforgettable first-class lifestyle experience that keeps fans coming back year after year. Cabins for the October sailing are still available and can be reserved by calling toll-free 888.852.9987 in the U.S. & Canada and +800.852.99872 internationally. For more information, please visit http://www.thesmoothjazzcruise.com.
About Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC
The world leader in full ship charter music cruises, St. Louis, Missouri-based Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (ECP) owns, produces and promotes The Smooth Jazz Cruise and The Jazz Cruise (www.thejazzcruise.com), and is proud to partner with Time Life for the Soul Train Cruise (www.soultraincruise.com), Malt Shop Memories Cruise (www.maltshopcruise.com), The Country Music Cruise. (www.countrymusiccruise.com) and Celtic Thunder Cruise (www.celticthundercruise.com). Pleasing guests is Entertainment Cruise Productions’ most important goal and objective while providing luxurious vacation experiences featuring marquee stars from their respective music genres in an extraordinary setting for devoted passengers, many of whom make the fun and exciting cruises an annual affair. Additional information is available at http://www.ecpcruises.com.
June 21st at the Time Warner Cable Uptown Ampitheatre the line-up for a night a smooth jazz was stellar. The sky was blue and sun was bright. Local group 5th and York kicked the show off. Peter White and Euge Groove took to the stage and grooved us into the sunset. Peter played a couple of his songs as Euge grooved with him. Then the “House of Groove”, Euge that is, played his saxophone and drew the crowd in with hand clapping high energy. Peter and Euge complimented one another extremely well. Their chemistry was outstanding. They sent the crowd into a “chillaxin” mood perfectly indicative of the sun setting overhead. Night fell, darkness filled the sky, and the Charlotte sky line was beautifully lit up as Brian Culbertson graced the stage. He did so in classic Brian Culbertson style. He jammed with his new band from start to finish. His incredible vocalists Selina Albright and Jason Morales showed off their skills with duet’s and solo’s. WHEW!! The sound coming form the speakers kept the energy high and the crowd grooving. He slowed us down with “It’s On Tonight.” Then the unexpected as well as my favorite moment of the night happened. He took us down memory lane in Brian style and performed “Secret Garden.” It was for me the highlight of his show. He took his time and played his keyboard with pure passion.
June 22nd, night 2 under the sun, the moon, and the stars was jumpstarted by Gregg Karukas. He started the show off nice and easy. He opened with “Wild Wood” from his latest CD. Vincent Ingala joined him on stage and accompanied him on a few songs. Gregg’s working on his 12th CD. He played a few of the songs and asked the crowd to help him come up with a title. Guests were able to write down their suggestions and give them to him during the meet and greet session. That was pretty cool. Marion Meadows, Paul Taylor, and Vincent Ingala came to the stage playing 3 saxophones and heated things up a bit. They each shared music from their individual projects, and of course they jammed as a trio. Joe McBride wooed the crowd with his amazing vocals while playing the keyboard. During which, Vincent put his saxophone down and picked up a guitar and started playing. The entire band was electrifying and energizing. Ending the evening for us was Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, and Rick Braun aka as BWB. What a combination they are. They grooved, they sang, and engaged the crowd from start to finish. Each artist played individually taking us down memory lane with some of their songs. When they began to play songs from their new release “Human Nature”, all everyone could do is sing along. That was quite amazing being that it was a couple of days away from the 4 year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. What a beautiful tribute to an unforgettable legend.
Joe Lindsay is a soulful songwriter whose smooth sounds are evident every time you hear him play. Whether on his debut CD “I Wanna Groove”, or on stage with artists such as Stephanie Mills, or Brian Simpson. His music speaks to your emotions, and will always make you feel good. I sat down with Joe and had a conversation about his career.
PBN Joe, tell me when music became your calling.
JOE During my early teenage years when I was inspired by my next door neighbor who would sit outside on his porch and play the bass really loud, Bootsy style. He even had the Bootsy glasses. The funny part of the story is that I actually wanted to play bass guitar, but my parent’s bought the wrong one for Christmas. So it’s their fault I play guitar today.
PBN Did you play in High School?
JOE Yes, I started off playing the saxophone and was first chair every year. In 10th grade I switched to tuba. I switched to tuba because I like to play around a lot. So during band camp, the tuba’s would spot the 50 yard line, and didn’t have to do too much. It also leads back to the whole bass thing. I like being part of the low end.
PBN You attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. While there, what were some of the most valuable lessons you learned about music and about yourself?
JOE To be honest, it was a very excellent school. They give you so much information that it doesn’t really click until after you leave. I learned about theory and the music business. Learning is a lifelong journey. I was there with Lalah Hathaway, Delfayo Marsalis, and Roy Hargrove. So it was great being surrounded by music all the time.
PBN What drives you to continuously evolve?
JOE The love of music and keeping up with what’s going on.
PBN What would you say you like the most between songwriting, performing, recording, collaborating, and managing your own career?
JOE Songwriting of course because of the creative part of it. Performing because you want people to feel what you’re doing. If they’re grooving, you’re grooving.
PBN Who are some of the legends in the industry that have inspired you?
JOE On the songwritng side, Curtis Mayfield, and Miles Davis who’s my all time favorite. On the guitar side, my all time favorite guitar player is Hiram Bullock. I love his style and his diversity. He plays and has fun at the same time.
PBN You write your own original music, you co-write, and you collaborate live.
Do you enjoy one of those more so than the others?
JOE I can’t say I like one more than the other. They all tie in together.
PBN When collaborating and co-writing, you’ve worked across different genres of music and artists.
PBN Do you know who you want to collaborate with when you’re writing?
JOE I know who’s sound I want, and I know who can give me that sound, so I call them up.
PBN Who are some of those artists?
JOE Kenneth Leonard, Rischard Jenkins, John Dillard, Marcus Anderson, Adrian Crutchfield, and Calvin Richardson
PBN You are known as a soulful artist, and you create music that is heartfelt and feels good.
How do you connect the soul and the heart together to create the music?
JOE It’s all feeling. Play from the heart and hope the people you’re playing for feel it. I come from the whole blues background. I love that stuff.
PBN When recording your CD “I wanna Groove”, did you draw from personal experiences?
JOE Maybe some. It’s kinda different when you’re doing instrumental music with no lyrics. But the ballads like track 7 “Your Eyes”, that’s for the ladies. That’s a good mood changing song in a good way.
PBN I’m looking forward to interviewing the many talented artists from North Carolina. Having said that, you are the first one, but on your CD you collaborated with some of the other’s.
PBN How was it collaborating with your fellow friends and musicians?
JOE It’s fun to work with your peers on one another’s projects.
PBN Finally, tell me what it feels like to have your debut album be as successful and well received as it has been.
JOE It feels great. It means a lot of my hard work is paying off. It’s doing what I need it to do. I’m planning on doing another smooth jazz CD. First, I have to continue performing and introducing “I WANNA GROOVE.”
PBN How can fans keep up with what you’re doing and where you will be performing?
Carol Duboc is undeniably an incredible artist with an amazing career. Her ability to sing, write, improvise, and put melodies together is what makes her dynamic. She not only writes original songs for herself, but also for other artists like Patti Labelle, Tom Jones, and Diana Krall. She collaborated with Jeff Lorber, Jimmy Haslip, Brian Bromberg, Hubert Laws, Michael Thompson, Luis Conte, Tim Carmon, and Vinnie Colaiuta on her latest release “Smile.” Writing the songs for “Smile” was therapeutic as well as healing for Carol. She wrote from her heart, penning an amazing CD full of heartfelt emotions.
Brian Simpson had an outstanding performance tonight here in Charlotte, NC. The opening act was also his band for the evening. A band full of some of the finest musicians in the business. John Dillard was on bass, Joe Lindsay on guitar, Calvin Napper on drums, and Lavell Bradford on keys. When Brian joined them on stage, the energy went to another level. He opened up with “South Beach.” Then he took us back to the “It’s All Good” album and played “Here With You.” Brian said, “that was the song that put him on the map.” Calvin showed off his incredible skills when featured on “What Cha Gonna Do.” Each artist displayed their musical skills showing everyone just how great they are. Brian explained that on each of his projects, track #4 is always the song that slows it down and sets the mood. He went on to play “Let’s Get Close.” His performance was full of amazing. He got down on his knees during one song, as well as playing to the crowd. He closed the show with “It’s All Good.” The perfect song to finish with because Brian’s performance was truly all good.
Brian Simpson has always known that music would play a very important role in his life. Actually, the most important role. The music of the 60’s Brian heard his Father play around the house had a strong influence on the artist he is today. He left his home town of Gurnee, IL and headed for LA. It was there that he began to get immersed in the jazz scene and start working with artists like Boney James. Brian took a little break from jazz to go on the road with pop sensations Janet Jackson, Teena Marie, and Sheena Easton. Those were experiences of a lifetime for Brian. He would however return to jazz music. Jazz was where his heart had always been. In 2005 Brian wrote “It’s All Good” as a solo artist, and it was a #1 radio hit. He is always working with other jazz artists, and continuously pours his creativity into every project. Not only has he been touring and working on other projects, but he’s also been the musical director for Dave Koz for the past 15 years. His current CD is titled “Just What You Need.”
Brian tells me his story during our interview.
CLICK TO FOLLOW BUTTON. LIKE THE FACEBOOK PAGE PINK AND BLUE NOTES. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @Pink_BlueNotes.
Rick Braun has been entertaining us for many years with his chart topping award winning hits. He’s collaborated with some of the best to bring us songs like “Shake it Up” with Boney James which won the Best Collaboration Award. His work with Richard Elliott in “RNR” went to #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. It’s no surprise that he’s a much sought after producer. He’s definitely proven that he has what it takes.
Rick is skilled in more than just one area of music which makes him versatile as an artist. He’s a vocalist who was once a back-up singer for artists like Rod Steward, Sade, and Tina Turner. That’s something that most people probably wouldn’t know. Now he’s chosen to display his vocals on his latest project titled “Rick Braun Sings With Strings.” He covered songs that we all know and love such as “Time After Time,” and some we may not be as familiar with like “Once Upon A Summertime.” Rick created a project that would beautifully display his trumpet playing skills, as well as his vocal abilities.
Rick tells me all about it.
CLICK FOLLOW AT THE TOP AND/OR BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN. LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE PINK AND BLUE NOTES. FOLLOW ON TWITTER @Pink_BlueNotes.
In the company of prominent friends, saxophonist Mike MacArthur releases a sterling jazz album,
“Feels Like Home,” his first major release as a frontman.
Tampa, Florida (4 June 2013): In the midst of graduation season, it seems like the ideal time for the release of long-time sideman Mike MacArthur’s first major recording on center stage. The saxophonist’s 10-song “Feels Like Home” was released today by Paradise Point Music. On the collection produced by Grammy-nominee Brian Bromberg, MacArthur graduates surrounded by his scholarly musician friends on the set comprised of soulfully performed jazz standards and alluring originals.
When asked to describe how he felt after recording the album at Bromberg’s suburban Los Angeles home, MacArthur said “It felt like the beginning of a lot of things to come – like I’ve finally moved away from the kids’ table with my own (musical) offering. It confirms that I can stand alone as a frontman.”
“Feels Like Home” sounds live. MacArthur describes it as “real players making real music on real acoustic instruments.” Playing the music of the masters such as Duke Ellington (“In A Sentimental Mood”), Miles Davis (“Jean Pierre”), Sonny Rollins (“Blue Seven”) and Joe Zawinul (“Birdland”), MacArthur, bass prodigy Bromberg, Ron Reinhardt (piano, B-3 organ) and Frank “Third” Richardson (drums) formed the core quartet that features spotlight soloing from contemporary jazz maverick Jeff Lorber on piano, Rick Braun on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Jeff Golub on guitar. Journeyman percussionist Alex Acuna decorates and texturizes the tracks. MacArthur graciously gives his friends permission to uncork their finest vintage of improvisational jazz.
Radio stations have been playing the gospel soul cut “Sanctified,” which was christened as the first single and includes a vocal hook belted out by the almighty Alva Copeland. MacArthur wrote the three other original tunes on the disc, including the title track, a heartfelt ballad with a gorgeous melody gracefully emoted from his tenor sax. He penned the boisterous blues joint “Around The Corner” specifically with Golub’s gritty guitar in mind. Written on piano in his daughter Sydney’s playroom while the then 5-year-old was gleefully dancing, MacArthur refers to the frenetic “Sydney Style” as the “up tune on the album.”
Throughout the album, MacArthur’s sax play is dexterous, precise and efficient. He plays just enough notes to convey the song and solos with just enough pizazz to get his point across. Having performed with a bevy of marquee musicians as a sideman throughout his career, including with Bromberg, Braun and Golub, he wants the release of “Feels Like Home” to signal the start of a new chapter. Setting the bar high in terms of performance, production, and composition, MacArthur’s stride into the spotlight is smartly executed with confidence, poise and a whole lot of soul.
After recently opening for superstar Queen Latifah, MacArthur will lead his own band at Uptown Altamonte near Orlando, Florida on June 15th sharing the bill with guitarist Nils and will open for guitarist Peter White on July 21st at Glenora Wine Cellars in Dundee, New York.
“One of the best for 2013 no matter what flavor jazz you may be into. That nice fat tenor sound with chops to match, if ‘Feels Like Home’ doesn’t move you then you must be waiting on your autopsy report.” – Critical Jazz
“This album has no safety zone. It is entertaining, listenable, and catchy but it is not safe. Some of these guys have made a name for themselves in smooth but this is a jazz album. It is not an academic, archival, or intimidating jazz album. It’s a jazz album because there is a lot of improvisation and about half of the songs on here are benchmark songs in the history of contemporary jazz, and beyond…This is an album that will lead even the most skeptical pop/smooth listener deeper into the world of jazz.” – SmoothViews
“He (MacArthur) has surrounded himself with some pretty fine players and has made an album which is simply terrific…Of the album’s ten tracks, three are MacArthur originals and it’s a testament to his skills that you can’t differentiate them from the standards…this is a warm and enjoyable album that is a treat for the ears.” – Bass Players United
“’Feels Like Home’ is superior jazz made among friends. From the first track ‘Filthy McNasty’ by Horace Silver to the 10th and final cut ‘Mo Better Blues’, music enthusiasts will know that this one belongs on the top shelf.” – The Entertainment Bank
“Rolling through a set of tracks as diverse as any jazz enthusiast could hope for, MacArthur puts both feet into this project, offering appealing sax runs while his pals mix up a batch of riveting acoustic bass runs, soul-wrenching guitar riffs, tantalizing piano/keys action, and solid drums and percussions.” – The Smooth Jazz Ride
“He (MacArthur) comes out firing – surrounding himself with some of the very best players on the circuit and wisely mixing the repertoire between tried and tested jazz standards and quality originals.” – Soul and Jazz and Funk
“The result is a predictably eclectic and jazzy mix with which jazz lovers of all persuasions will find favor.” – Smooth Jazz Therapy