SHE’S BEAUTIFUL, SHE’S TALENTED, SHE IS THERESA GRAYSON

It is apparent that Theresa Grayson was born with a gift, a gift that she’s embraced and shares through her music. At the age of 4, she could play all woodwind instruments, the piano, and the guitar. It wasn’t until the age of 8 that she cultivated a lasting relationship with the saxophone. She grew up in musically competitive environments that helped her master her art. Music is her passion, it’s evident in every note she plays. Theresa is also very dedicated to her education. She’s earned two Masters degrees and is pursuing a Doctorate degree. Amid it all, she continues to thrive and excel in every area of her life. She’s worked hard and waited for such a time as this. Her sophomore cd, “Live 2 Love,” is a compilation of soulful cover songs and beautiful originals that mirror anthems of a love story. Her rendition of “Smooth Operator” maintains the authenticity of the original, yet she makes it her own. One of her originals, “Close Your Eyes,” is so captivating, it will transport you into another world. Theresa’s music is just as colorful and vibrant as she is. Grayson’s vocals on “Live 2 Love” are sultry, funky, and oh so smooth. She attributes her work with artists like Kirk Whalum, Marion Meadows, Jeff Majors, Ronnie Laws, and Jessy J with framing who she is as an artist. Her first single is “Afterthoughts,” and her cd is set to be released on November 5th.

Talking to Theresa was inciting, fun, and motivating.

Theresa Grayson

Theresa Grayson

Theresa Grayson

Theresa Grayson

Keiko Matsui’s “Soul Quest”

When you cross paths with a great spirit while on this journey called “life,” it is an amazing experience. While listening to and talking with Keiko Matsui about her journey, that connection was made. Out of her journey was born her latest CD “Soul Quest” on which she dedicated her mind, body, and soul. Keiko, the pianist, composer, and humanitarian collaborated with music greats like Chuck Loeb, Narada Michael Walden, Kirk Whalum, and Marcus Miller to create her latest masterpiece. Undoubtedly, she displayed music artistry at its best, meanwhile sharing her passion about various causes that effect us personally as well as the world we live in.

From the moment the music begins, you’re instantly mesmerized by the melodious first song “Dream Seeker.” Later, Keiko adds vocals to the up-tempo Black Lion which is also her first single. Alongside Loeb, she wrote “Top Secret” which displays a beautiful dance between piano and trumpet. Next up is “A Night With Cha Cha,” featuring the smooth sounds of Saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Keiko and Narada Michael Walden change the tone of the CD with the soul stirring “Moving Mountain” and “Antarctica – A Call To Action.” “Antarctica – A Call To Action” is soulfully powerful and features Kirk Whalum on sax and Marcus Miller on bass. She dedicates this song to saving Antarctica and the environment or our planet. The title track, “Soul Quest,” is mystical and alluring. “Proof” is funky and sultry, and “Two Hearts” resembles a conversation between two. Both were written by Keiko and Chuck. Finally, she and Walden pay tribute to Sting with the edgy song “Stingo” on the finale of the album.

The connection unfolds…

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui’s “Soul Quest”

When you cross paths with a great spirit while on this journey called “life,” it is an amazing experience. While listening to and talking with Keiko Matsui about her journey, that connection was made. Out of her journey was born her latest CD “Soul Quest” on which she dedicated her mind, body, and soul. Keiko, the pianist, composer, and humanitarian collaborated with music greats like Chuck Loeb, Narada Michael Walden, Kirk Whalum, and Marcus Miller to create her latest masterpiece. Undoubtedly, she displayed music artistry at its best, meanwhile sharing her passion about various causes that effect us personally as well as the world we live in.

From the moment the music begins, you’re instantly mesmerized by the melodious first song “Dream Seeker.” Later, Keiko adds vocals to the up-tempo Black Lion which is also her first single. Alongside Loeb, she wrote “Top Secret” which displays a beautiful dance between piano and trumpet. Next up is “A Night With Cha Cha,” featuring the smooth sounds of Saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Keiko and Narada Michael Walden change the tone of the CD with the soul stirring “Moving Mountain” and “Antarctica – A Call To Action.” “Antarctica – A Call To Action” is soulfully powerful and features Kirk Whalum on sax and Marcus Miller on bass. She dedicates this song to saving Antarctica and the environment or our planet. The title track, “Soul Quest,” is mystical and alluring. “Proof” is funky and sultry, and “Two Hearts” resembles a conversation between two. Both were written by Keiko and Chuck. Finally, she and Walden pay tribute to Sting with the edgy song “Stingo” on the finale of the album.

The connection unfolds…

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Dwayne “Smitty” Smith

How do I begin telling the story of Dwayne “Smitty” Smith? Well, I can start by saying that the artist from Washington, DC is kind, and humble. He’s also a writer, producer, and super talented bassist. It was in middle school that Smitty realized his love for the bass guitar. He heard a fellow classmate playing “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder and asked him to teach it to him. Amazingly, he not only learned the song, but played it perfectly with one finger. WOW!!! A bassist was born, and a stellar career soon followed. He moved to LA and quickly became the bassist to call. Not only would he work on the local scene, but would work with artists like Gerald Albright, Teena Marie, Anita Baker, and Kirk Whalum. Just to name a few. He was fortunate enough to spend 7 years with the legendary band The Isley Brothers. He continues to collaborate with other artists and has released his sophomore project titled “Stories.” This CD has something on it for everyone. Smitty beautifully covers “People Make The World Go Round”, and offers other songs that will have you swaying to funky grooves, and listening intently.

A conversation in Seattle.

"Stories"

Dwayne "Smitty" Smith

Dwayne “Smitty” Smith

Nicholas Cole…The Next Generation

When I hear the name Nicholas Cole, a few words come to my mind. Words such as gifted, grounded, humble, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, AMAZINGLY talented. Cole has landed on the contemporary jazz scene and shown that he’s the future generation. His friend Brian Simpson says “Nicholas is the best young songwriter of contemporary jazz that I’ve come across in the last several years….and he will definitely play a huge part in the future.” He is a composer, producer, and performer. He collaborated with Michael Stever, Tim Bowman, Vincent Ingala, Steve Oliver, Julian Vaughn, Marcus Anderson, and Lynne Fiddmont on his current CD “Endless Possiblities.” His knowledge and awareness of different genres of music gives him the ability to be innovative and continuously evolving. The future is very bright for Nicholas, and I look forward to following his journey.

Click below to hear our interview:

[audio https://mm2513.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/nicholas-cole.mp3]

Keyboardist Nicholas Cole

Keyboardist Nicholas Cole

Nicholas Cole

Nicholas Cole

The Thrilling Elan Trotman

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.

More from Elan himself.

Elan Trotman

Elan Trotman

Elan Trotman

Elan Trotman

Jazzfest Performances

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.

Peter White

Peter White


Euge Groove

Euge Groove


Brian Culbertson

Brian Culbertson


Brian Culbertson

Brian Culbertson


Selina Albright and Brian Culbertson

Selina Albright and Brian Culbertson


Peter White and Euge Groove

Peter White and Euge Groove


Gregg Karukas

Gregg Karukas


Gregg Karukas

Gregg Karukas


Vincent Ingala and Gregg Karukas

Vincent Ingala and Gregg Karukas


Vincent Ingala, Marion Meadows, and Paul Taylor

Vincent Ingala, Marion Meadows, and Paul Taylor


Marion Meadows

Marion Meadows


Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor


Marion Meadows and Paul Taylor

Marion Meadows and Paul Taylor


Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, and Rick Braun aka BWB

Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, and Rick Braun aka BWB


Norman Brown

Norman Brown


Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum


Rick Braun

Rick Braun


BWB

BWB