Archive for May 12, 2013


For 16 years, the Smooth Jazz Cruises have been a hit. This summer enjoy New York’s favorite summer jazz series aboard the Spirit of New York! The Smooth Jazz Cruise has evolved into one of New York’s most popular attractions.

June 26th Smooth Cruises featuring BWB
Price: $59.50 – Smooth Sunset Cruise & Smooth Moonlight Cruise
BWB – Braun – Whalum – Brown

Collaborating in 2002 as BWB, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown recorded the album Groovin’. The title track hit #1 and was followed by a popular US tour in Fall 2002. Now they’re back with their amazing sound, thrilling audiences in 2013!


No one on today’s contemporary urban jazz scene knows more about the power of perfect, timely partnerships (or what it takes to keep the #1 hits coming) than Rick Braun. After launching the millennium with “Shake It Up” with Boney James (sharing a Best Collaboration award for their 2000 hit reigning at #1 on the Billboard chart for 11 weeks) and later hooking up with Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown as BWB, he toured as part of Jazz Attack, then with Peter White and Jonathan Butler in 2005 and 2007. He set a record at the 2002 National Contemporary Jazz Awards in San Diego by winning a total of five trophies, including Best Male Artist, Best Album (“Kisses in the Rain,” which hit #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart), Song of the Year (the title cut) and Best Brass Player. Rick’s recent releases include Sings with Strings (2011) and the 2012 holiday album Swingin’ in the Snow.


Grammy-winner Kirk Whalum boasts a career spanning the decades, with a sound uniquely his: one that leaves an indelible imprint on his listeners. Soulful, passionate, stirring are words most often used to describe his music. Born of 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 marked his stepping out of a sideman role to form his own band. This ultimately developed both his “voice” and songwriting on the local club scene. He is the recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgments including three Dove Award nominations, an NAACP Image Award nomination, and won two Stellar Awards, Gospel music’s highest honor. An 11-time Grammy nominee, Kirk won his first Grammy for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do,” feat. Lalah Hathaway) alongside life-long friend and gifted writer, Jerry Peters. Kirk’s most current releases include The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter 3 (2010), Everything is Everything – the Music of Donny Hathaway (2010),and 2012’s Romance Language, featuring his brother Kevin on vocals.


Picking up a guitar at age 8, Norman Brown was initially inspired by Jimi Hendrix but it was his father’s preference for Wes Montgomery that set Norman on his stylistic journey. After high school, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue music, attending the Musicians Institute where he also taught for a time. Playing with his own group in local clubs and drawing comparisons to George Benson, he was discovered and signed to the fledgling MoJazz label, a division of Motown. His compilation “The Very Best Of Norman Brown” was one of the best-selling smooth jazz albums of 2005 and 2006. His 2010 release “Sending My Love” with its seamless blend of pop, R&B and jazz marked his 8th solo album. 2012 saw the release of 24/7, in collaboration with saxophonist Gerald Albright.

Spirit of New York, Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, New York, New York 10011