Archive for February, 2012

Mark Stephens Album Release Party

Mark Stephens lives in the Los Angeles area and has been a vital contributor to the music industry for years. He is in possession of a rare sensibility which allows him to interpret diverse styles with equal authenticity and yet his Jazz improvisational style remains unique and recognizable.

With his album The Dream Of The Peaceful Warrior (2011) it’s time to walk into the limelight. This star-studded project is featuring Chaka Khan, Andrae’ Crouch, Take 6, Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, Marcus Miller, Boney James and the late, great Michael Brecker and has certainly the potential to make Mark popular.

Mark Stephens created The Dream Of The Peaceful Warrior with an unbelievable passion. Tightly packed with top notch musicians this album shines with an enormous energy, that I call: “Come on, man. Play it one more time!”

Spaghettini Grill & Jazz Club, 3005 Old Ranch Parkway, Seal Beach, CA 90740

Sunday, March 4, 2012 6:00pm until 9:00pm

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Eric Darius live @ Mallorca Smooth Jazz Festival 2012 Saxophone | Friday, April 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Every now and then an artist bursts onto the scene, changing the rules and challenging the status quo. Eric Darius is one of those artists fearlessly pushing all musical boundaries. He’s one of the most exciting musicians to enter the contemporary jazz scene in the last decade. His explosive arrival as a recording artist at the age of 17 caused a frenzy. Not surprising as the ambitious musician eventually shared the stage with big names such as Prince, Wynton Marsalis, George Benson and Brian McKnight. Fast-forward to a 1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz hit and several more top ten’s, and the votes are in – Eric Darius continues to be a force that is unequaled in today’s new musical landscape.

The Tampa, Florida-based urban instrumentalist, producer and composer further solidifies his place as one of contemporary music’s brightest stars with his latest album “On a Mission” (2010). Eric Darius’ Haitian/Jamaican roots run deep, bringing his passion and resolve into clear focus… he’s on a mission. Highlights include his profoundly personal and emotion-filled “My Prayer for Haiti” and inspiring tracks like the sun-drenched reggae number “Back to My Roots” and the electrifying dance mix, “Let’s Go”. The new project features Darius’ stunning chops with an introspective take on Herbie Hancock’s classic “Butterfly”, joined by trumpet veteran, Rick Braun. “On a Mission” is without a doubt his finest effort yet.

Contemporary jazz is the genre that has fueled my early success, but I’m ON A MISSION to celebrate every style of music from Jazz, R&B, Pop and Reggae to Hip-Hop, Rock and Gospel. “I want my music to be a vehicle for change, transcending all boundaries regardless of age or race. I believe my music can make a difference in the world,” says Darius with his warm, trademark smile.

Here you can order your exclusive Hotel Package:
All Concerts & 2 Overnight Stays, Single Room from 303,60 Euro | Double Room from 524,40 Euro
Concert Tickets (without Hotel), 49,00 Euro per Person

Playing dueling Steinway grand pianos two of the highest profile keyboardists in contemporary jazz, Brian Culbertson and David Benoit, join together to perform some of their best known compositions along with original music they’ve collaborated on specifically for this project.

David Benoit’s expansive 30-year career has included over 25 solo recordings. Chart-topping keyboardist and R&B/Jazz multi-instrumentalist, Brian Culbertson has released twelve inspired albums that have passionately surveyed a broad spectrum of musical styles.

March 6, 2012 San Diego, CA Anthology

March 7, 2012 San Diego, CA Anthology

March 10, 2012 Mesa, AZ Mesa Arts Center – Piper Theater

March 11, 2012 Wickenburg, AZ Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts

March 16, 2012 Buffalo, NY Buffalo State College

March 17, 2012 Van Wert, OH Niswonger Performing Arts Center

March 19, 2012 New York, NY The Blue Note Jazz Club

March 21, 2012 Durham, NC The Carolina Theatre of Durham

March 22, 2012 Fort Pierce, FL Sunrise Theatre

March 23, 2012 Fort Lauderdale, FL The Parker Playhouse

March 24, 2012 Naples, FL Philharmonic Center for the Performing Arts

March 25, 2012 Clearwater, FL Capitol Theatre

March 28, 2012 Boston, MA Scullers Jazz Club

March 30, 2012 Reading, PA Miller Center for the Arts

Paul Taylor has just one question for his fans who have been Burnin’ for more since his last hit album in 2009: Are you ready for Prime Time?

The popular saxophonist sure is. A true contemporary urban jazz force of nature, Taylor has been on one of the most successful runs of his 15 year recording career, scoring his first #1 ever on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart with Ladies’ Choice (2007) and hitting #1 on the airplay charts with the title track from Burnin’. Fresh from kickin’ it up on tour these past few summers as part of the Gentlemen of the Night tours with fellow saxophonists Marion Meadows, Michael Lington and Warren Hill, Taylor is keeping things soulful, funky and innovative as ever on his sixth Peak Records album and debut release through new distributor Eone Entertainment Group. Paul’s in Prime Time mode with emotionally powerful 10 song collection of instrumentals and vocals which finds him vibing with a mix of old and new (and very funky) musical friends.

There are unique characteristics about Contemporary Guitarist/Vocalist Steve Oliver who is a West coast native. For most of his life, he kept his eye on the prize of becoming a well versed musician, composer and producer that creates music capturing various sounds from around the world.

With phenomenal capabilities of emulating and incorporating music styles from global genres with a mix of pop/rock/soul and contemporary, he has forged the edge on branding a fresh, new, crisp and chart topping sound as an unparalleled guitarist and signature vocalist. His radiating live performances have earned him countless standing ovations throughout the U.S. and world tour invites. Adding a technical force to his credit, Oliver is branded and acknowledged for designing a spectacular guitar synth for Carvin Guitars and has conducted training videos available online and demonstrations the NAMM show annually.

For tickets go here.

Rumba Supper Club, 351 W Hubbard St, Chicago, Illinois 60654

Sunday, March 04, 2012 – 4:00 pm

The ultimate weekend of smooth jazz returns for its 14th season! The Seabreeze Jazz Festival showcases the top names in smooth contemporary jazz — all just steps away from the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches and exciting shopping, dining, and nightlife. Named a “Top 100 Event in North America” by the North American Tour Bus Association, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival combines top talent and white sand beaches for a jazz experience unlike any other.

Artists to appear include:

Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, Trombone Shorty, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Down To The Bone, Phil Perry, Nick Collione, Mindi Abair, Four 80 East, Maysa, Jeff Golub, Cindy Bradley, Jeff Lorber, David Pack, Eric Darius, Alexander Zonjic, Brian Simpson, Althea Rene’, Shilts, Urban Jazz Coalition, Karen Briggs, Matt Marshak, Gail Johnson!

Tickets available online at www.seabreezejazzfestival.com and by phone at 800-595-4849. Plus, don’t miss our Seabreeze Dinner Cruise with Brian Culbertson aboard The Lady Anderson Dinner Yacht on Wednesday April 18th from 7-10pm. Kick off the ultimate weekend of smooth jazz in style with Brian Culbertson! For more information call 850-267-3279.

The 2012 Seabreeze Jazz Festival will be here before you know it. Tickets are already on sale and jazz lovers are booking their favorite Panama City Beach gulf-front vacation rental. Every year, the Panama City Beach vacation rentals sell out for this event and those closest to the event site at Pier Park go first.

April 19 – 22, 2012
Pier Park Amphitheater, Panama City Beach, FL

Sage Court stages a two-day jazz festival at the beautiful JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa featuring 20 of your favorite artists! The Desert Ridge Jazz Festival is a smooth jazz spectacular, featuring several days of appearances by nationally and internationally acclaimed jazz musicians. Scheduled to appear: Euge Groove, Peter White, Brian Simpson, Keiko Matsui, Mindi Abair and others listed in the picture above.

Saturday, April 14, 2012 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, April 15, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The jazz festival takes place at the outdoor Sage Court amphitheater at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. That’s in North Phoenix. It’s very close to North Scottsdale.  Tickets are available here.

Sage Court, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, 5350 East Marriott Dr, Phoenix, Arizona

Back by popular demand, Lee Ritenour launches the 3rd Annual Yamaha 6 String Theory Guitar Competition on Jan. 21, 2012, in partnership with Yamaha, Berklee College of Music, Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation and the National Guitar Workshop. 2012 marks the expansion of the competition to include the Inaugural Lee Ritenour & Dave Grusin Rhythm Section Competition.

Oscar® award winning and 2012 Grammy® nominated, Dave Grusin, is head of the Advisory Board for the Rhythm Section competition. Adding 3 new instruments to the competition: Piano, Bass and Drums, the contest grows to reach thousands of aspiring and upcoming new musicians from around the world. The contest kicks off January 21, 2012 and ends May 1, 2012.

The competition is the inspiration of legendary Grammy® award winning guitarist/composer and producer, Lee Ritenour, who debuted the International competition in 2010 with the release of his all-star guitar CD, 6 String Theory. The CD has been named Guitar International’s “Best Album of the Year,” Jazziz’ “Publisher’s Album of the Year” – and culminated in Ritenour receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from Guitar Player Magazine.

The CD features 20 world-class guitarists including George Benson, BB King, Slash, Vince Gill, Robert Cray, and the winner of the 2010 competition Shon Boublil. Lee Ritenour’s 2012 album, tentatively titled “Rhythm Sessions” will feature a ‘who’s who’ of all-star rhythm players, as well as a track with the winners of the 2012 rhythm section competition.

The contest continued to flourish in 2011 garnering hundreds of applicants from over 45 countries and giving 36 semifinalists the opportunity to compete and study at the world-renowned National Guitar Workshop. The 6 finalists attended the esteemed Crown of the Continents Guitar Workshop and Festival where the Final Competition took place. Our 2011 winner, David Browne Murray, is a talented acoustic guitarist from Ireland.

With the success of the previous two competitions, it was a natural progression to expand the contest to include piano, bass and drums as well as guitar. Guitar Entries will be accepted in the genres of Rock, Blues, Jazz/Fusion, Acoustic, Classical/Flamenco or Country. Rhythm Section Entries will be accepted in the genres of Jazz, Fusion, Rock, Blues or Contemporary.

Competitors are required to send an online video submission at www.sixstringtheory.com. Prizes for the Guitar Competition include Berklee College of Music Scholarships, professional recording and mentoring opportunities, a weeklong stay at the four-star Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork, MT for a party of two ($8,000 value), a potential Concord Records recording contract, 36 National Guitar Workshop scholarships, 6 Crown of the Continent Scholarships, Cash, Yamaha Guitars & endorsements as well as other prizes from Monster, D’Addario Strings, and others.

There is a special cash prize of $2,500 awarded to the Classical Guitar Finalist (courtesy of sponsor James Stroud), as well as $500 cash prize to each of the 6 Guitar Finalists. Rhythm Section prizes include Berklee College of Music Scholarships, Yamaha instruments; professional mentoring; an opportunity to record on Lee Ritenour’s forthcoming album with Concord Music Group scheduled for release May 2012; an opportunity to perform at the esteemed Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop and Festival in Montana Aug. 26-Sept. 2, 2012 and other prizes from Monster. Total value of 4 prize packages over $600,000.

To register and for complete contest rules, regulations and prizes visit www.sixstringtheory.com.