Urban-jazz bassist Darryl Williams shows he’s got staying power on new single

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Urban-jazz bassist Darryl Williams shows he’s got staying power on new single

“Do You Remember,” featuring saxophonist Michael Lington, follows the Billboard top 10 “Here to Stay.” 

TEMECULA (11 January 2018): It took ten years for urban-jazz bass player Darryl Williams to write, record and release “Here to Stay,” his Billboard top 10 single and the title track to his second album. This week’s release of the follow-up single, “Do You Remember,” proves that he doesn’t plan to go away anytime soon. Plucking rubbery basslines on piccolo and electric basses on the slick jazz-funk energizer that he wrote and produced, Williams is joined on the dancefloor filler by chart-toppers Michael Lington (saxophone) and Adam Hawley (guitarist).

Williams’ return to center stage as a frontman with the “Here to Stay” set resulted in a 2017 Best New Artist nomination from the Smooth Jazz Network. The first-call bassman calls the collection that he produced with sax powerhouse Euge Groove “a labor of love,” featuring eight of his hand-penned originals along with a pair of remakes that have personal meaning to the San Diego native who currently resides in Temecula. A stellar list of his regular employers were quick to return the favor by making guest appearances on “Here to Stay,” including Groove, who ignites a pair of tunes including the title cut, two-time Grammy-winning guitarist and producer Paul Brown, jazz-funk keyboard pioneer Jeff Lorber, saxmen Marcus Anderson and Elan Trotman, and keyboardists Jonathan Fritzen, Greg Manning and Scott Wilkie. The disc’s lone vocal number, a faithful rendering of The Emotions’ “Don’t Ask My Neighbors,” is soul kissed by R&B crooner Ashling Cole. Williams remembers his late mentor, Carl Evans Jr., by revamping the former Fattburger leader’s sweetly redolent “The Doctor,” which is graced by Michael Paolo’s caressing soprano sax.

“While to some people, ‘labor of love’ is an overused cliché, it certainly applies to ‘Here to Stay.’ I began writing songs for the collection in 2007 before moving my family to Temecula from Las Vegas. The compositions were inspired by different experiences we went through in our journey throughout that period. It was an important and formative time in my career as well. That’s when I first started playing in Euge’s (Groove) band and did a tour with Jeff (Lorber) a couple years later. In between is when my very good friend and mentor Carl (Evans Jr.) passed, which was devastating. ‘Do You Remember’ was one of the last songs I wrote for the record and it was inspired by reflecting on how far I’ve come from growing up as a kid in Los Angeles and San Diego to playing in a funk band with my brother as a teenager. It took me ten years to finish this album and while it takes me back in time, the reaction from fans, radio and reviewers has me looking forward with excitement. I couldn’t be more proud of this album,” said Williams.

Williams was a teenager when he opened for R&B acts Lakeside and Al Green along with gospel legend Shirley Caesar. After studying jazz at San Diego State University, Williams went from regular gigs backing many of San Diego’s most prominent homegrown talent to the neon lights of the Las Vegas strip where he accompanied such nationally-renowned headliners as Clint Holmes, Angela Bofill, Tevin Campbell, Howard Hewett and Keith Washington, and did a road stint with Chaka Khan. After moving back to California in 2008, Williams dropped his debut album, “That Was Then,” garnering praise from JazzTimes and national airplay on SiriusXM. He has become a fixture on the smooth/contemporary jazz scene where he has shared the stage with the genre’s heavy hitters: Richard Elliot, Peter White, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, Brenda Russell, Darren Rahn, Jessy J, Everette Harp and Jeff Kashiwa. He has also recorded with Jackiem Joyner, Blake Aaron, Nils Jiptner, U-Nam and Kay-Ta Matsuno.

For additional information, please visit http://darrylwilliamsmusic.com/.

Brian Culbertson to celebrate love with a colorful bouquet of romantic music on Valentine’s Day

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Brian Culbertson to celebrate love with a colorful bouquet of romantic music on Valentine’s Day

 

The jazz-R&B keyboardist will release the intimate “Colors of Love” single and album that will be supported by an extensive spring concert tour. A bonus track is available for Indiegogo supporters.

LOS ANGELES (7 November 2017): They met for the first time when they were music majors at DePaul University. Flash forward, Michelle and Brian Culbertson celebrated their twentieth wedding anniversary last month. With love, romance and his wife serving as his motivation, the soulful contemporary jazz hit-maker started writing material earlier this year inspired by the occasion, crafting thirteen new songs that will be released as “Colors of Love,” his eighteenth album, on Valentine’s Day on the BCM Entertainment label. The seduction begins early next month when the amorous title track, a sensual R&B groove illuminated by Culbertson’s lyrical acoustic piano melodies typical of the collection’s contents, ships to radio. A nearly three-month-long U.S. concert tour will bring “Colors of Love” to life in a vivid theatrical production with the itinerary being revealed December 1.   

Culbertson is thriving creatively on this, his third independent album funded by an Indiegogo campaign (http://bit.ly/2wr3kt9), which closes this Thursday and offers unique opportunities and exclusive perks including a bonus track. Having spent the majority of his career on a major label, the freedom to follow his creative muse is readily apparent on “Colors of Love,” a complete contrast to last year’s “Funk!” set, which was a lively, full-band funk/R&B workout that features a number of vocal cuts. He describes “Colors of Love” as “purposely electronic, using very modern sounds and production” with his acoustic piano serving as the singular lead voice throughout the intimate date. The quiet and contemplative tracks are textured atmospherics and gentle R&B grooves – soothing beds for Culbertson’s melodic piano expressions of ardor.

Sharing the recording process via Facebook live, Culbertson polled his audience and they voted that “Colors of Love” be instrumental only. He took it a step further and for the first time in his career that to date has racked up 30 No. 1 Billboard singles as an artist, producer and/or songwriter, he refrained from using saxophone or guitar as lead instruments – only his poetic piano.

“The music on ‘Colors of Love’ explores all aspects of what love is. It’s a deep word that says a lot of things. There’s passionate love, love at first sight, longing love, lost love. Each color represents a different type of love. There are heart-wrenching songs, cuddly love – all kinds of different love songs,” said Culbertson, who played all of the instruments on the new record except for rhythm guitar (Isaiah Sharkey) and accordion (Peter White).

“I’ve been playing ‘Through the Years’ from the new album in my set since the Berks Jazz Fest last April. The response has been very emotional. Clearly this music touches a nerve – or the heart to be more exact.”   

Culbertson is already at work on how he will present “Colors of Love” live during the U.S. concert trek that runs March 28 through June 17 with tickets going on sale December 8. He’s planning to incorporate a video element in a major way.

“It’s going to be a very theatrical presentation with video images and lighting timed to the music. This music is visual and cinematic thus the show needs to be visual to complement the experience. It’s going to be larger than life when you see it live.

“Colors of Love” contains the following songs:

“Love Transcended”

“I Want You”

“Colors of Love”

“Don’t Go”

“You’re Magic”

“Through the Years”

“In A Dream”

“Let’s Chill”

“Desire”

“Michelle’s Theme”

“In Your Embrace”

“The Look”

“All My Heart”

A bonus track will be available exclusively for Indiegogo supporters.

For more information, please visit www.BrianCulbertson.com.

Saxophonist Justin Young’s “Blue Soul” powered by “High Definition”

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Saxophonist Justin Young’s “Blue Soul” powered by “High Definition

The November 17 album release reflects his Motor City roots, driven by the set’s new single

SEATTLE (9 October 2017): Justin Young is hungry. The energetic and enthusiastic saxophonist is all about hustle and hard work. For over a decade, he’s put out quality soul-jazz albums, but his forthcoming disc, “Blue Soul,” captures an artist hitting his stride on the cusp of a major breakthrough. Mining his Detroit roots, Young’s fourth album, due November 17 via JustnTime Records, features a dozen new songs recorded live in the studio with premier musicians, producers and songwriting collaborators. Paving the way for the collection is the new single, “High Definition,” a vibrant R&B/pop confection just shipped to radio stations, a tune that Young penned with fellow soul-jazz saxman Jackiem Joyner and keyboardist Matt Godina.  

The release of “Blue Soul” caps a lengthy recording odyssey for Young. His approach for this outing was purposely different and taps into the Motown lore that influenced his musical discoveries while growing up.

“I started work on this album three and a half years ago. There have probably been about 40 different songs written for this album. In the past, I would write twelve songs, and then enter the studio quickly and put out an album. But for ‘Blue Soul,’ I wanted to take a different approach and put the absolute best songs out, really push myself to elevate the standard this time around,” said Young, who had a hand in writing all but one song on the album. “‘Blue Soul’ goes back to my roots in music, Detroit, the home of Motown. I loved the creativity of musicians recording together in the studio, creating an amazing vibe. The opportunity to put high-quality musicians together along with amazing producers has always been my dream. I watched this growing up and listened to the Motown stories. ‘Blue Soul’ goes back to my love of jazz and soul music. It’s organic, it’s played by consummate musicians and it truly is soul music with saxophone at its beating heart.

Throughout “Blue Soul,” Young’s alto, tenor and soprano sax is embedded amidst rhythms and grooves constructed by the likes of bassists Alex Al and Hussain Jiffry, and the late drummer to the stars, Ricky Lawson. Former Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist-vocalist Sheldon Reynolds is another notable player who fortified Young’s lilting harmonies and undeniable melodies. The first single, “Always There,” one of four cuts written and produced by Joyner – a Billboard chart-topper in his own right – hit the Billboard Top 25 and the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown. “Jazz Along The 101,” one of three tracks shepherded by gospel producer Noel Hall (Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond), kept Young’s momentum motoring along with both singles garnering daily spins on SiriusXM’s Watercolors. In response to Hurricane Harvey, he released the hopeful “Song For A Better Tomorrow” (https://youtu.be/PoL8NtcUwFw), donating the track’s proceeds to the American Red Cross. “High Definition” promises to take him into 2018 on a high note with a wealth of potential singles in the offing.

Young began in music as a drummer and was introduced to a wide array of styles – from R&B and pop to jazz and gospel – by his father, Jim Young, who led and played in a variety of bands, encouraging his scion to play sax. Landing his first professional concert at age sixteen, Young put himself through Michigan State University by playing weekend gigs. He issued his debut album, “Rendezvous,” in 2003. After winning a competition at the famed Capital Jazz Fest in 2007, he released “On The Way.” A move to Southern California helped his following multiply quickly when he booked a year-long residency at Spaghettini, a hot spot for the contemporary jazz crowd south of Los Angeles. Gigs on the national festival circuit ensued as did subsequent recordings, “Home for the Holidays” and “Nothin’ But Love.” Young previewed music from “Blue Soul” at a Detroit show held at Chene Park last July with 5,000 people in attendance and at a sold-out date in August when he returned to Spaghettini. Now based near Seattle, he will support the new record with a series of local concerts at nearby wineries this fall. Resourceful and brand savvy, Young produces and plies his effervescent personality as the host of “The Justin Young Audio Experience,” a podcast that teaches musicians about the business of music. For more information, please visit www.JustinYoungSax.com.

“Blue Soul” contains the following songs:

 “Always There”

“Nothin’ But Love”

“Razzmajazz”

“Jazz Along The 101”

“Paradise Found”

“New Life”

“Blue Soul”

“Sorento”

“Sweet Release”

“India”

“Song For A Better Tomorrow”

“High Definition”

“Dear Friend”: Jazz fusion keyboardist Patrick Bradley honors tangible and “Intangible” influences on his fourth album, due August 25

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“Dear Friend”: Jazz fusion keyboardist Patrick Bradley honors tangible and “Intangible” influences on his fourth album, due August 25 

ALISO VIEJO (31 July 2017): The spiritually-minded jazz fusion keyboardist Patrick Bradley doesn’t need a special occasion like marking his tenth anniversary as a recording artist to acknowledge his inspirations both tangible and divine. However, “Dear Friend,” the first single from his forthcoming fourth album, “Intangible,” due August 25, does just that, slated to arrive ten years after the release of his first solo set. Written with the album’s producer, Jeff Lorber, “Dear Friend” pays respectful homage to the seminal musicians who influence and inform Bradley’s contemporary jazz, rock, fusion and R&B mashups released on the Patrick’s Song Factory label.

“My intent was to honor the influence and significant impact that late musicians have on me musically such as keyboardist giants Keith Emerson, Richard Wright, George Duke, Joe Sample and Jon Lord. Bass players Chris Squire and Jaco Pastorius and guitarist Alan Holdsworth have a major influence on my approach to arrangements and melodies. Their influences are woven throughout my musical experiences, abilities and styles,” said Bradley, who wrote and arranged the ten songs that comprise “Intangible” with Lorber. “The tune also celebrates friendship of all kinds – whether it is the intimate friendship between a spouse or lover, a trusted best friend, a mentor, your family pet or the friendship expressed through songs of faith.”         

 Intangible” is the third outing for Bradley and Lorber, the latter of whom is a keyboardist widely recognized as one of the forefathers of jazz fusion, thus an element of mentorship is evident in their ongoing creative friendship. “Jeff and I work very well together. Coming into the studio, I had about 18 songs to work with for this project and we selected ten. Collaborating with Jeff always draws out new dimensions and makes me dig deeper.”

One of the dimensions that Bradley developed under the tutelage of Lorber was to cultivate the ability and the confidence to communicate as a trilingual keyboardist: piano, Hammond B3 organ and Moog synthesizer. Bradley’s nimble finger work dispenses harmonies in equal measures of power and grace, poignant and propulsive, riveting and rousing, and cerebral and accessible. His multi-voiced keyboard approach makes an individual track seem as if it is helmed by more than one protagonist with each unique keyboard instrument providing a different perspective on the melodies. In addition to the heavy usage of the Hammond B3 along with frequent spacy Moog forays, Bradley’s distinctive brand also consists of deep-pocketed grooves constructed by live instrumentation from a core unit of prominent musicians – guitarists Adam Hawley and Michael Thompson, bassist Jimmy Haslip, drummer Gary Novak and Lorber on synth bass, guitar and additional keyboards. A handful of cuts are bolstered by the brawn and bravura of David Mann’s horns. Paul Jackson Jr. cranks out a gale force of electric guitar riffs on “Tail Wind” while Andrew Carney’s trumpet thrives animatedly while exploring “Newport Coast.”                    

There is another essential element to Bradley’s recordings that have been present ever since he issued his debut album, “Come Rain or Shine,” a decade ago. “Music and creativity and whatever talents we each have are a gift from God. Love, faith, hope and even music are all intangible, hence the new album title. Much of our universe is intangible yet we spend the majority of our time seeking the physical and temporal things. I always want to encourage people to look beyond the physical universe and turn our hearts towards God,” said the Southern California native who balances his creative output with a corporate profile by serving as president of the Southern Pacific Region at Whole Foods Market.

Bradley’s singles regularly hit the Billboard chart, but he was especially encouraged by the success and growing support he received for his previous album, 2014’s “Can You Hear Me.” “It gave me a new drive to write, play and collaborate with a newfound zeal and energy, revealing where I am at musically at this time. All music has a piece of the artist within their songs. I find with each new project, I feel the need and responsibility to dig deeper and in a sense, be truer to the musician I am and inspire to be.”

For more information, please visit www.PatrickBradleyMusic.com.

“Intangible” contains the following songs:

“Dear Friend”

“Funky Greens”

“Tail Wind”

“On Tap”

“Intangible”

“Find the Way”

“Newport Coast”

“Winds of Change”

“Destiny”

“Out of Bounds”

Fatherhood has put saxophonist Jackiem Joyner in a funky mood

Jackeim Joyner

 

Fatherhood has put saxophonist

Jackiem Joyner in a funky mood

The spirited first single from the “Main Street Beat” album is named for his daughter, Trinity.

SHERMAN OAKS (8 May 2017): Delivering on his promise to “Evolve,” the title of Jackiem Joyner’s last soul-jazz album, the saxophonist became a father since his 2014 release, an elation-inducing experience that informs the music he wrote and produced for his new Artistry Music set, “Main Street Beat,” due June 30. The first single from the funky, dance inspiring, Motown-influenced session that will be shipped to radio this month is the exultant “Trinity,” named for Joyner’s first child whose presence on the track is voiced by Steve Oliver’s incandescent acoustic guitar.

Joyner approached crafting “Main Street Beat” with a three-pronged purpose. “I wanted to create something upbeat, fun to listen to and something to dance to. ‘Main Street Beat’ originally started off as a straight funk record that eventually became some of that, but a whole lot more as I allowed the creative process to have its way with me,” said Joyner, a Billboard chart-topper who plays tenor, alto, soprano and baritone saxophone on the date, often enriching the tracks by laying layer upon layer of horns to form a powerhouse sax section.     

The exuberant album opener, “Main Street,” exemplifies the mighty wall-of-horns approach with Joyner playing lead harmonies on alto reinforced by his sax section. Instead of tracking individually, Joyner brought the band – drummer Raymond Johnson, bassist Darryl Williams, electric guitarist Kyle Bolden and piano player Carnell Harrell – into the studio to record six tracks old-school style, including “Back To Motown.” Nick Colionne guests on “When You Smile” to flash his cool electric jazz guitar on the infectious mid-tempo R&B cut. Taking his alto sax chops out for a strut, Joyner cranks up the band for a fiery funk romp down “Southside Boulevard,” one of three tunes that adds Nikolai Egorov’s trombone muscle to the horn section. On a pair of urban joints – “That Good Thing” and “Don’t Make Her Wait” – Joyner plays soprano sax. He takes full command on the stormy “Addicted,” playing every instrument heard on the moody number. “Think James Brown on tenor sax” is how Joyner describes the super funky “Get Down Street.” A pair of high-energy pop-R&B covers – Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” and Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” – complete the outing, songs Joyner elected to record based upon their buoyant, positive nature, which he says mirrors his young  offspring’s personality.

“My little girl played a huge role in inspiring this album. Having Trinity around during the writing process sparked an enormous font of creativity and really kicked my writing into high gear. The first single, named after her, really captures the excitement and joy of being a dad as well as the exciting little girl that she is. Trinity was right there in the studio during a lot of the writing process. Her jumpy and bouncy upbeat little self is really reflected on this album,” said Joyner, who will launch the record with June concerts in Cincinnati (June 9 at A Celebration of Black Music), Birmingham (June 11 at Jazz in the Park), San Diego (June 25 at Mediterranean’s Jazz and Supper Club) and Philadelphia (June 29 at South).  

The release of “Main Street Beat,” Joyner’s sixth album, coincides with his tenth anniversary as a recording artist. His 2007 debut “Babysoul” earned Debut Artist of the Year honors from Smooth Jazz News. Two years later, his sophomore set, “Lil Man Soul,” spawned two No. 1 singles on the Billboard chart and won the Song of the Year trophy for “I’m Waiting For You” from the American Smooth Jazz Awards. His self-titled 2010 album solidified his position as a consistent hit-maker. Revisiting his non-secular roots, Joyner issued the gospel-jazz “Church Boy” in 2012. “Evolve” placed his infectious melodies amidst futuristic electronic sonicscapes. Joyner’s music isn’t his only creative effort that ventured into extraterrestrial territory. Last year, the Norfolk, Virginia native who resides near Los Angeles authored his first book, the science fiction novel “Zarya: Cydnus Final Hope (Book 1). For more information, please visit www.JackiemJoyner.com.

“Main Street Beat” contains the following songs:

“Main Street”

“Back To Motown”

“Can’t Stop The Feeling”

“Trinity”

“When You Smile”

“Southside Boulevard”

“That Good Thing”

“Treasure”

“Addicted”

“Don’t Make Her Wait”

“Get Down Street”

Saxophonist Elan Trotman adds EDM beats to his Caribbean-jazz fusion

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Plugged In: Saxophonist Elan Trotman adds EDM beats to his Caribbean-jazz fusion

The “Electro Sax” album is released as the tropical “Island Gal’” prepares to charm radio.

BOSTON (24 April 2017): Saxophonist Elan Trotman is unwavering in his committed to wave the flag high for Caribbean music, but after releasing six soul-jazz albums and more than ten chart-topping singles that made him a permanent fixture on radio playlists, the Barbados native is “shaking it up” by going electronic on “Electro Sax,” his seventh outing which was released last Friday (April 21) by Island Muzik Productions.

Seeking a “hip radio sound that will reach beyond the masses,” Trotman assembled a creative team of up-and-coming producers – Spardakis, P-Nut, Dr. O and Da Troof – who he met at Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music and tasked them with putting a fresh, modern twist on the eleven new tracks that he wrote for the collection. With electronic elements evident in the production of Trotman’s tenor and soprano sax and the adventurous EDM sonicscapes, the result is an energizing, dance-happy mix of impromptu jazz sax licks, kinetic dance beats and festive Caribbean rhythms. Adding nuances to the audacious alchemy are guitarists Wayne Jones, Freddie Fox and JJ Sansavarino, and steel pan player Kareem Thompson. The first single set to seduce radio is the reggae-infused “Island Gal’,” which spotlights Trotman on soprano sax on the cut he describes as having “a sexy vibe to it.” Prince fans will appreciate the balladic tribute “Purple Emotion” that closes the set. The session’s lone cover is a tropical, dance hall take of Walk The Moon’s infectious pop smash “Shut Up and Dance.”

“’Electro Sax’ is a true representation of where I am at in my career. It’s modern sounding with prominent hints of the island. It’s also about branching out, reaching out by making good music for the masses. It’ll definitely ruffle feathers, but that is part of being an artist – pushing boundaries and perhaps establishing new ones,” said Trotman. “The ‘tropicality’ elements are part of who I am and I’m sticking with it. It’ll always be part of my sound and I believe in it. It is part of my brand and it’s authentic to my (Barbadian) roots.”

Trotman showcases and shares the culture of his homeland at his annual Barbados Jazz Excursion, slated to take place on the Caribbean island for the fourth time in October over Columbus Day Weekend (October 6-9, 2017). The saxman performs and hosts the music festival and golf tournament that benefits his nonprofit Never Lose Your Drive Foundation and the Head Start Music Program in Barbados. Slated to perform this year are R&B and contemporary jazz mainstays Will Downing, Norman Brown, Marion Meadows, Brian Simpson, Jeanette Harris and Julian Vaughn as well as the Queen of Soca, Alison Hinds.

Earning a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music from the government of Barbados, Trotman has lived in Boston ever since. Named the Jazz Artist of the Year on multiple occasions by the New England Urban Music Awards and the Barbados Music Awards, he debuted as a solo artist in 2009 with “This Time Around.” Subsequent albums featured collaborations with Grammy winners Kirk Whalum, Terri Lyne Carrington and Paul Brown as well as Downing, Peter White, Jeff Lorber, Cindy Bradley, Tony Terry and Simpson. Trotman has also guested on Billboard No. 1 hits by Meadows, Simpson, Vaughn, Greg Manning and Cal Harris. He’s a popular draw on the festival and club circuit. For more information, please visit www.ElanTrotman.com.

The songs on “Electro Sax” are:

“Happy Place”

“Electro Sax”

“Barbados Breeze”

“Island Gal’”

“Chill Cat”

“Shut Up and Dance”

“Up In The Clouds”

“orutrA”

“No Need For Trippin’”

“120 BPM”

“Move!”

“Purple Emotion”

 

Guitarist Blake Aaron is Sirius about making it a “VIVID” spring

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Guitarist Blake Aaron is Sirius about making it a “VIVID” spring

The vivacious third single from the forthcoming “Color and Passion” album goes for radio adds on April 24.

ALISO VIEJO (11 April 2017): Guitarist Blake Aaron has been featured multiple times on SiriusXM over the past week as part of Jazz Appreciation Month just as his vibrant new single, “VIVID,” is preparing to bloom brightly. The third single issued in advance of his upcoming “Color and Passion” album, Aaron wrote and produced the multihued bouquet of invigorating instrumental dance music, power pop horns and glossy R&B grooves that surround fragrant stems of fresh electric jazz guitar flourishes. On the way to radio stations now with an April 24 playlist add date, the perfectly-timed spring fling should happily satiate listeners until Blake’s sixth album streets this fall on Innervision Records.

Last Thursday, the national satellite radio broadcaster’s Watercolors aired a live concert performance by Aaron recorded at the SiriusXM studios in Washington, DC. On Sunday, the guitarist who hosted his own nationally syndicated radio show for seven years hung out on the “Dave Koz Lounge” with the affable sax sensation. This week, Aaron served as guest DJ on Tuesday and although he took command of the air waves, he didn’t sneak in the new single before the official add date.

“No, not yet,” he chuckled. “’VIVID’ is my feel good track of the spring/summer. With real Earth, Wind & Fire-style horns and tons of energetic, bright melodic hooks, I am proud to say that this is one of my most infectious grooves and most intense productions I’ve done to date. Vivid is how I try to live my life and it is how I try to teach my kids to live their lives. Be uniquely you – boldly and with passion. Be you – vividly.”

Aaron’s last collection, 2015’s “Soul Stories,” spawned five Billboard Top 10 singles. “Color and Passion” aims to continue his run of chart success with a chromatic and intense fusion of sounds and styles – funk, R&B, soul, jazz, rock, blues and Latin music. While the first three singles – “Summer Ride,” “Godfather Brown” and “VIVID” – are upbeat and full of life, the disc will also include intimate ballads allowing Aaron to showcase his lyrically expressive guitar on downtempo numbers.

Aaron recently plied his soulful fretwork on three songs for urban-jazz chart-topper Najee’s forthcoming set. The indemand session player, sideman, producer and songwriter will celebrate his birthday with an April 29 concert at Southern California hotspot Spaghettini in Seal Beach where he will be joined by two-time Grammy winner Bill Champlin, a singer-songwriter and keyboardist who spent 28 years as a member of the legendary band Chicago. Aaron will hit the road Memorial Day Weekend for performances at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in Florida (May 26), St. James Live! in Atlanta, GA on a bill shared with saxophonist Tom Braxton and vocalist Kevin Whalum (May 27), and a headline date with Braxton at The King Center in Melbourne, FL (May 28).

For additional information, please visit www.BlakeAaron.com.