MARIEA ANTOINETTE SPEAKS “STRAIGHT FROM THE HARP”

Harpist Mariea Antoinette is gracefully leaving an indelible impression in smooth jazz. Classically trained on the harp, Mariea knew it was undeniably the instrument for her at the age of twelve. She has been playing for over thirty years and has always wanted to take her playing into a different stratosphere. “Straight From The Harp” bolsters a smooth fusion of jazz, funk, and R&B, blazing a new trail for herself and those to come after her. The journey has definitely been the reward for Mariea. Her concept for “Straight From The Harp” came from wanting to introduce a fresh, unique sound that could be heard in a different way. Mariea enlisted producer Allan Phillips to help bring her vision to life. The special edition of the Billboard Top 5 album will be released on September 25, 2015. Also joining Mariea on the album is violinist Karen Briggs who adds her twist to the first single, “Walk the Walk.” Mariea’s parting words of wisdom were: “practice compassion.”
Listen as Mariea and I talk history, music, and more:

maria antionette

MARIEA ANTOINETTE SPEAKS “STRAIGHT FROM THE HARP”

Harpist Mariea Antoinette is gracefully leaving an indelible impression in smooth jazz. Classically trained on the harp, Mariea knew it was undeniably the instrument for her at the age of twelve. She has been playing for over thirty years and has always wanted to take her playing into a different stratosphere. “Straight From The Harp” bolsters a smooth fusion of jazz, funk, and R&B, blazing a new trail for herself and those to come after her. The journey has definitely been the reward for Mariea. Her concept for “Straight From The Harp” came from wanting to introduce a fresh, unique sound that could be heard in a different way. Mariea enlisted producer Allan Phillips to help bring her vision to life. The special edition of the Billboard Top 5 album will be released on September 25, 2015. Also joining Mariea on the album is violinist Karen Briggs who adds her twist to the first single, “Walk the Walk.” Mariea’s parting words of wisdom were: “practice compassion.”
Listen as Mariea and I talk history, music, and more:

maria antionette

SUNSET JAZZ FESTIVAL

As we approach the end of the summer, we are also approaching the last few festivals for the year. I am going to get a couple more in before it all comes to end for 2015. August 15, 2015, Atlanta, GA was once again the host for the Sunset Jazz Festival at Chastain Park. As always, the line-up was incredible and left no stone unturned. Opening the five hour show with his energetic performance was saxophonist, Mike Phillips, joined by the very talented violinist, Karen Briggs. They’ve appeared together all over on various stages. Next up was The Robert Glasper Experiment. Robert had just flown in from London the night before, and he gave the type of performance he is known for: incredible. Alongside a cast of extremely talented musicians, The Robert Glasper Experiment wowed the crowd. Following was R&B singer, Eric Benet. His performance was grown and sexy–as expected. Eric never disappoints his fans with a collection of songs spanning his expansive career. Headlining the festival was none other than the entertaining, keep-you-on-your-feet Brian Culbertson. In true Culbertson style, Brian and his talented ban delivered a performance not to be forgotten. With an expansive catalog of music, Brian was able to give the crowd some of old and new music. The energy he and his band leave on the stage every time he performs is undeniable and created the perfect finale. Without knowledge of the line-up for 2016, I can assure old and new attendees they can safely make plans to attend. Furthermore, they will be happy that they did. I’ll see you there in 2016.

Here are some photos from the Sunset Jazz Festival:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Sunset Jazz Festival

Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips

Karen Briggs

Karen Briggs

The Robert Glasper Experiment

The Robert Glasper Experiment

Eric Benet

Eric Benet

Eric before taking the stage

Eric before taking the stage

Rick and Ross of The Famous Rick & Russ Show

Rick and Ross of The Famous Rick & Russ Show

QUEEN CITY JAZZ FEST 2015

Jazz-Eblast_Artist WBAV

This year marks the first annual Queen City Jazz Fest. Perfectly located at The Uptown Amphitheatre in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. Come out and enjoy live performances by Will Downing, Brian Culbertson, Mike Phillips, and Karen Briggs. Great music and exhilarating show stopping performances will fill the evening air, while the beautiful Charlotte skyline serves as the perfect the backdrop.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office or via the following link:  http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E004E86D0E16FE3

Click below to listen to Will Downing share his excitement about the QC Jazz Fest:

JAZZY LADY GAIL JHONSON

When jazz great Norman Brown bestows upon you the title of First Lady of Smooth Jazz, you know you are doing something right. Gail Jhonson has been performing music since she was a young girl in her home town of Philadelphia. She recalls traveling to various venues with her group and being so young that they had to sit off to the side and away from the main crowd. Nevertheless, they continued to woo crowds, and Gail continued to become more immersed in music and fueling her passion. Jhonson’s hard work over the years has paid off and still continues to yield her great things. One of the many highlights in Gail’s career was when she received a Grammy nod for her CD “Pearls” in 2009. I told her that I felt like she was a phenomenal woman for overcoming the loss of a son and still maintaining a heavy presence in the world of jazz. She truly does it all. She’s a recording artist, touring musician, appears on TV shows, and performs at many jazz festivals. To top it all off, Gail is the leader of the all-female jazz ensemble “Jazz In Pink” which is comprised of Karen Briggs, Althea Rene, and Mariea Antionette. The group can often be seen sharing the stage with other women in jazz. Next week, Jazz In Pink will be joining the line-up of awesome artists at the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway. I can’t wait to wear my pink.

Listen to what this phenomenal woman has to say about how she does it all:

 

Gail Jhonson

Gail Jhonson