Archive for July 21, 2011

Join us in celebrating the Smooth Cruises’ 14th year aboard The Spirit of New York, located at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers (23rd St & West Side Hwy). Experience this one-of-a-kind LIVE JAZZ concert series as you cruise down the Hudson River taking in fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty and the breathtaking Manhattan skyline.

This summer will feature ten of the world’s greatest jazz acts in an intimate setting, every Wednesday evening beginning June 29th and ending August 31st with your choice of 2 Shows at 6:30pm & 9:30pm.

The Smooth Cruises sell out quickly, so get your tickets today!

The Spirit of New York, Pier 61 @ Chelsea Piers

August 10th, 6:30PM
August 10th, 6:30PM


In a career that spans the decades, Kirk Whalum has a sound uniquely his; one that leaves an indelible imprint on his listeners. Soulful, passionate, stirring are the words most often used to describe his music. Born of his Memphis, TN gospel roots and his 1980‘s initiation into the thriving Houston, TX nightclub scene, Kirk’s big, rich tenor sound is unmistakably his. The 80’s were highlighted by his stepping out of his sideman role to form his own band. With this, Kirk ultimately developed both his “voice” and songwriting on the local club scene.

It was also in Houston where jazz pianist Bob James “discovered” him and brought him on tour, leading to five successful albums with Columbia Records, including Cache, Kirk’s first #1 album. Kirk and Bob also received a Grammy nomination for their collaboration on the album Joined at the Hip. After moving to Los Angeles, Kirk became an in-demand session player for top artists including Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones, and most notably, Whitney Houston, amongst many others. It is his saxophone heard on the mega-hit, “I Will Always Love You.” Kirk soon followed that career high point with his phenomenal hit album released on Warner Bros. Records, For You, perhaps the most successful of his 25+ solo recordings to date; others include his eclectic Gospel According to Jazz series,(Chapters 1, 2 and 3).

Kirk is the recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgments for his musical excellence including three Dove Award nominations, an NAACP Image Award nomination and has won two Stellar Awards-Gospel music’s highest honor. An eleven time Grammy nominee, Kirk won his first Grammy award for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do,” featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside life-long friend and gifted writer, Jerry Peters. His most current releases (on Mack Ave. Records) are: The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter 3 (double CD & DVD) and Everything is Everything – the Music of Donny Hathaway.


NYC-based Jeff Golub’s kinetic blend of jazz, blues, soul, and rock has made him one of contemporary jazz/blues’ hottest artists. Originally from Akron, OH, the guitar virtuoso attended Boston’s prestigious Berklee School of Music, where he honed his considerable skill as a guitarist. In 1980, shortly after Jeff arrived in NYC, he was invited to join Billy Squier’s band, which led to his performing on several albums and three world tours.

A highly valued session player and sideman, Jeff worked with artists including Peter Wolf, John Waite, Tina Turner, Vanessa Williams, Ashford & Simpson, and Rod Stewart, with whom he continued to work with for eight years. In addition to session work, he found time in 1988 to record his debut solo album, “Unspoken Words” which was hailed by Guitar World as “smooth, versatile… full of taste and soul.”

In 1994, Jeff left Rod Stewart’s band to pursue other musical interests and formed his own contemporary jazz group, Avenue Blue. Their self-titled debut on Bluemoon Records was an immediate success, both critically and commercially, reaching the #2 spot on both R&R and The Gavin Report’s contemporary jazz charts. Jazz Times called it,“An elegant excursion into atmospheric, R&B-touched jazz.”

Four more acclaimed albums followed in the ‘90s. In 1997, the third Avenue Blue release “Nightlife” hit #1 on R&R’s NAC/Smooth Jazz Albums chart, while the album’s title track also topped the R&R NAC/Smooth Jazz tracks chart. Golub has also frequently collaborated with his Stewart bandmate, Rick Braun. The two co-produced all three Avenue Blue collections (featuring Braun’s trademark hornwork), while the guitarist contributed licks and leads to the trumpeter’s 1995 “Beat Street,” 1997’s “Body and Soul,” and 1998’s “Full Stride” (all on Bluemoon).

In 1999, Jeff decided to go solo. “Out of the Blue” marked his stepping up front with an all-new collection of progressive blues-inflected instrumentals with funky Latin-tinged rhythms, soulful melodies, and dramatic arrangements. Six more albums have followed since 2000. His most recent, “Blues for You” (2009) marks Jeff’s eighth solo album.

Come aboard the Spirit of New York on Wednesday, August 10th for a very spirited smooth jazz show featuring these two multifaceted talents.