Marion Meadows – A Musicial Spirit Comes to NYC

MarionMeadowsAlbert Einstein once said “We all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.” For multi-talented saxophonist and consummate creative spirit Marion Meadows, the allure of music was never too far. And he’s is back in NYC performing with Norman Brown, on July 15th, 2015 on the Smooth Jazz Cruise sailing around Manhattan. The charismatic, strikingly handsome, eloquent and debonair musician, who happens to moonlight as a brilliant digital designer/photographer, and semi-professional cyclist originally had aspirations to become a veterinarian.

Marion Meadows Performs Treasures Live at Thornton Winery

“Reaching people through music has always been rewarding for me. Expressing yourself through an instrument and having listener’s run through so many emotions is an artistic impression like no other,” says Marion. With a clear trajectory in sight, the stars aligned for Meadows one evening at Grand Central Station, when his saxophone was mysteriously overheard reverberating through the Big Apple’s oldest railway. Emmy-winning TV composer Jay Chattaway (Star Trek fame) was so enchanted that he introduced Marion Meadows to Grammy-winning pianist, producer and label owner Bob James, who helped Meadows to launch his career as a solo artist.

Marion Meadows and Warren Hill perform “Suede” Live at Morongo Casino

Close to 25 years later, scores of sold out shows, twelve critically heralded albums, a string of radio hits and collaborations with luminaries like Stevie Wonder, Eartha Kitt, The Temptations, George Benson and Norman Connors, Meadows is not through yet. “I have immersed myself in so many styles, from old school funk, jazz, rock and pop that a great tune is a great tune and I draw inspirations from all styles of music, but it is also from the outdoors and the beauty the world has to offer that inspire me each day” states Marion.

Marion Meadows – Whisper (2013) Official Video

February 26, 2013, Shanachie Entertainment in conjunction with Listen 2 Entertainment Group will release Whisper, Marion Meadows’ label debut. Featuring mostly originals, Meadows dances a delicate balance between soul and fire, intellect and emotion, and sensitivity and brawn, making Whisper, an exhilarating musical foray into one of contemporary jazz’s most brilliant minds and recognized soprano saxophonists.

Humanity

Don’t miss Marion Meadow, as he performs with Norman Brown, Wednesday night. For information and to purchase tickets, visit SmoothJazzNewYork.com. Tickets are ON SALE NOW online at Ticketweb.com and by phone at 1-866-468-7619. Ticket prices start at $45 and up depending upon show and time of purchase.

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Boney James Kicks of Smooth Cruise Season in NYC

Boney_JamesSmooth Jazz New York announced another star-studded line up for the Smooth Cruise series, now in its 18th year. The 2015 season takes place aboard the Hornblower Infinity, a 210-foot luxury yacht.

Boney James performing Grand Central on the NYC Smooth Cruise in 2014

The cruises set sail Wednesday evenings, June 24 through September 2. The summer’s roster includes 9 nights featuring 15 of the world’s greatest contemporary jazz and R&B acts in a stunning, intimate setting with shows at 6:30 and 9:30pm. The Smooth Cruises depart from Pier 40, located at Houston Street at the West Side Highway and cruise down the Hudson, offering both world-class musical acts as well as breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline.

Smooth Cruise 2014: Boney James – “Nothin’ But Love”

THE 2015 SMOOTH CRUISE SCHEDULE:

June 24: Boney James
July 15: Norman Brown & Marion Meadows
July 22: Peter White & Richard Elliot
July 29: Gerald Albright & Mindi Abair
Aug 5: Dave Koz & Rick Braun with Special Guest Kenny Lattimore
Aug 12: Jonathan Butler & Alex Bugnon
Aug 19: Najee
Aug 26: Rachelle Ferrell
Sept 2: Freddie Jackson

Smooth Cruise 2014: Boney James – “Total Experience”

For information and to purchase tickets, visit SmoothJazzNewYork.com. Tickets are ON SALE NOW online at Ticketweb.com and by phone at 1-866-468-7619. Ticket prices start at $45 and up depending upon show and time of purchase.

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Boney James Hit Machine Hits NYC

boney2014In 2009 Billboard magazine named Boney James the No. 3 Billboard Contemporary Artist of the DECADE. This comes on top of being a four-time Grammy Nominee. He was awarded Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2001, 2004, and 2014 and Best Traditional R&B Performance in 2009. Boney’s last release, “The Beat,” has exceeded his expectations and already spawned three number one singles. A year after its release, The Beat continues to hover around the top 10 on the Billboard sales charts. Boney James deserves it all.

Boney James performs at Seabreeze Jazz Festival 2013

In a recent interview with LA’s 94.7 The Wave, Boney said, “Every time I go up there (on stage) I’m going to give 110 percent because I feel a real responsibility to every person in the crowd to try and connect with them. I think that’s what they are there for. It’s what I love about the experience so I’m going to give it all every time. The fact that people are reacting to it, I’m super grateful. People are still coming to see the show after all these years… all I know is that I’m going to go up there and give it my all every time.” It is this attitude and embrace of life that makes Boney such a crowd pleaser.

Boney James “Metropolis” Live at Penn’s Landing

Boney has stepped off stage and into the studio recently to assume the role of producer. He produced two songs on Al Jarreau’s new tribute record to George Duke called “My Old Friend.” Boney is a huge fan of George Duke, who play on one of Boney’s records. This was the first time he produced a record for someone else, however he no stranger to producing and has been producing his own records for the last decade. He is not only a talented saxophonist, but also has a golden ear for delivering Gold records. He has four!

Always There (Casino Lights Live) with George Duke

Boneytook up clarinet at age 8 and switched to sax when he was 10. In the mid-80s, he toured with acts such as The Isley Brothers, Morris Day (The Time), Randy Crawford, and Teena Marie. Boney is a multi-instrumentalist, and just for fun here is a clip he recently posted in which he was playing keyboards for Morris Day!

Morris Day “The Oak Tree” [Soul Train 1986]

morris day

On August 28th, Boney James performs two shows at 6:30pm and 9:30pm in New York City. Join CoolGrooves.net on a ship called The Hornblower Infinity on Pier 40, by Houston St off the West Side Highway. For information and to purchase tickets, visit www.smoothjazznewyork.com. Tickets are ON SALE NOW online and by phone. Standard tickets for the Thursday, August 28th are only $65.00.

Boney James “After the Rain”

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Summer Horns featuring Dave Koz, Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot

summerhornsThere is a new definition of awesome in the smooth jazz lexicon. Awesome is now defined as the collaboration among Dave Koz, Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot on their Grammy-nominated Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns CD and its phenomenal tour. One may fear that these four saxophone superstars may clash on stage, but instead they inspire each other to new heights of musical excitement. You think I’m exaggerating?
Got to Get You Into My Life:

And they are now on tour, soon to be appearing in New York City (I’ll be there and you should be too! Click here to get tickets asap!). The project began when Dave Koz wanted to celebrate all the great horn bands with which those of us of a certain age grew up, bands like Chicago, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Tower of Power.
Hot fun in the Summertime:

All these players are headliners in their own right. Let’s go through the list. Mindi Abair, featured saxophonist on the 2011 and 2012 seasons of “American Idol” who joined Aerosmith on their 2012 Summer Tour; Gerald Albright, known for his acclaimed solo recordings and performances with Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, and The Temptations; and Richard Elliot, a former member of Tower of Power who has since forged a successful solo career.
So Very Hard To Go:

If you are in NYC on August 14th, it is imperative that you join CoolGrooves.net on the Smooth Jazz New York Cruise to see Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns. Tickets are still available for the 9:30 show. Click image below to get tickets ASAP. The 6:30 show is already sold out!
Summerhornsad

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Hanging with Euge Groove at BB Kings

Euge Groove is a performer both on stage and off. We had the opportunity to catch up with him at B.B. Kings in Times Square. It was a balmy night, and as luck may have it, the air conditioner backstage was broken. Being a consummate profession, Mr. Groove not only made the best of it, but turned it into entertainment. The audio sounded as though we interviewed him in a wind tunnel, so instead of a formal interview, we take you backstage at B.B. Kings so see how professionals handle the heat! Plus, we give you a glimpse of his performance! Enjoy the latest installment of CoolGrooves.net TV.

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Angela Bofill – The Angel of the Night returns…

She was discovered by Jazz legends Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen. They immediately signed her to their GRP label and in 1978 she released her debut record simply titled “Angie.” That was how an international audience was first introduced to Angela Bofill. That first record produced the acclaimed single “This Time I’ll be Sweeter.” A year later she produced the even bigger “Angel of the Night.” The Bronx native suffered two strokes in the last decade, but her fighter’s heart has assured audiences that they had not seen the last of her. On October 4th, Angela Bofill will perform two shows on the Spirit of New York at Pier 61 in New York City.

This Time I’ll Be Sweeter – Sharon Cuneta & Angela Bofill

Tonight I give in – Angelina Bofill

She is now touring with her Angela Bofill Experience which includes acclaimed saxophonist Kim Waters, jazz vocalist Maysa and Grammy-award winner Dave Valentin. While unable to sing and with her mobility impaired, Angela’s fighting spirit has inspired these artists to join her and put on a show that continues to give life to her music. If you liked her music before, you will truly enjoy her return to the stage with a stellar group of musicians.

The Angela Bofill Experience with Phil Perry and Maysa performing on the Smooth cruise ENCORE

After her success on both the Jazz and R&B charts but prior to her strokes, Angela continued to perform live to sizable international audiences, particularly in Asia. She also appeared in a number of stage plays, including God Don’t Like Ugly and What A Man Wants, What A Man Needs. She has also recorded with audience favorite Jazz pianist George Duke.

I try – Angelina Bofill

On October 4th, Angela Bofill Experience performs two shows at 6:30pm and 9:30pm. Celebrate the Smooth Cruises’ 16th year on the Hudson, aboard The Spirit of New York, located at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers (23rd St & West Side Highway). For information and to purchase tickets, visit www.smoothjazznewyork.com. Tickets are ON SALE NOW online and by phone. Standard tickets for the Wednesday, October 4th are $55.00.

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Spyro Gyra Returns to NYC

Brooklyn may seem like the “in” place today, but the group that broke out in the mid-70’s, helped define contemporary jazz and still wins Grammy awards today would not be without Brooklyn native Jay Beckenstein. The band is super group Spyra Gyro. The band formed in Buffalo, New York, in the thriving music scene of the 70’s. This coming Wednesday, August 14th, you can catch them on the NYC Smooth Jazz cruise around Manhattan. (www.smoothjazznewyork.com)

Spyro Gyra – The Deep End

Spyro Gyra has consistently been one of the commercially successfully pop-jazz groups of the past 30 years. The band became a full-time venture in 1976 and has been touring ever since. A club owner who wanted to advertise an upcoming appearance by the band asked Beckenstein for the group’s name. The saxophonist told him “Spirogyra,” a word he learned in a college biology course. The owner misspelled the word as Spyro Gyra, and the band fell into place.

Shaker song – Morning dance – Catching the sun Spyro Gyra at Northsea Jazz Festival (2003)

Spyro Gyra independently funded and recorded their debut album, releasing the record on the local independent label Amherst in 1976. The record slowly became a success and Amherst sold the rights to the band to Infinity Records, a division of MCA. Morning Dance, their first album for Infinity, was released in 1979. The record became a major hit, spawning a Top 40 single with “Morning Dance” and going platinum. Morning Dance firmly placed Spyro Gyra as one of the most popular artists in contemporary jazz, and throughout the ’80s, their popularity continued growing.

Spyro Gyra – Rockaway To Sunset (live, 2004)

Their albums were consistent best-sellers, and their concerts often sold out. And don’t think that the band’s creative ability waned. Just look at the awards they earned within the last decade. They won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2007 for Wrapped in a Dream, in 2008 for Good to Go-go, in 2009 for The Night before Christmas and in 2010 for Down to the Wire. Not too shabby.
Spyro Gyra – “Catching the Sun” at the HSBC Jazz Festival

A Foreign Affair was released in 2011 and debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s jazz charts.

Spyro Gyra on the 2011 Smooth Cruise

On August 14th, Spyro Gyra performs two shows at 6:30pm and 9:30pm. Celebrate the Smooth Cruises’ 16th year on the Hudson, aboard The Spirit of New York, located at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers (23rd St & West Side Highway). For information and to purchase tickets, visit www.smoothjazznewyork.com. Tickets are ON SALE NOW online and by phone. Standard tickets for the Wednesday, August 14th are $59.50.

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Najee Returns Home to NYC

Multi-instrumentalist and native New Yorker, Najee, returns to his home turf on July 31. Greenwich Village is where he was born and Jamaica, Queens is where he grew up and began his musical journey. The rest is history. After studying at the New England Conservatory of Music he went on to play with Chaka Khan, Prince, Freddie Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, Larry Carlton, and George Duke.

AQUI & AJAZZ, Najee “Najee’s Theme”

Najee has had the distinction of performing for Presidents Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela and he has made appearances on The Tonight Show and Good Morning America. “I have always tried to maintain consistency when it comes to music I’ve recorded throughout the years,” confides Najee. “As an artist I have been fortunate to attract an audience very early in my career that has followed and grown with me. My challenge has always been to record music that I enjoy playing while at the same time meeting the requirements that I believe my audience would like to hear. I am always looking for something to help me continue to grow as a musician.”

Najee performs Betcha Don’t Know Live at the BB Jazz Festival 2012

As a solo artist he came to prominence with “Najee’s Theme” in 1986. His greatest hits album, The Best of Najee, was released in 1998. On January 31, 2012, Shanachie Entertainment released Najee’s highly anticipated label debut, The Smooth Side Of Soul, a sublime offering from the peerless instrumentalist and composer, that is a testament as to why he has long reigned as the King of contemporary jazz.

Najee performs One Night in Soho live at the BB Jaz Festival 2012

Lest you think a Najee concert is not a party, watch this video of a recent performance where the audience joins him on stage to dance.

Najee performs Perfect Nights Live at Anthology

Najee performs in NYC on the Smooth Jazz cruise this Wednesday, July 31st. Here is a video from an earlier performance on the NYC Smooth Jazz Cruise.

Najee Live on the 2010 Smooth Cruises

On July 31st, Najee performs two shows at 6:30pm and 9:30pm. Celebrate the Smooth Cruises’ 16th year on the Hudson, aboard The Spirit of New York, located at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers (23rd St & West Side Highway). For information and to purchase tickets, visit www.smoothjazznewyork.com. Tickets are ON SALE NOW online and by phone. Standard tickets for the Wednesday, June 31st are $59.50.

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Peter White and Mindi Abair Join Forces

They are two of smooth Jazz’s biggest superstars. A veteran barefoot guitar player who has achieved top 40 success and a spit-fire blonde saxophonist who plays second to no one. They are none other than Peter White and Mindi Abair. These two phenomenal musicians have been teaming up on the road for many years and their performance is evidence of compatability. They work together effortlessly. It’s musical magic. They perform on the NYC Smooth Jazz cruise Wednesday July 24th.

Peter White, Mindi Abair, Dave Koz – Bueno Funk at the Spaghettini Dave Koz 2013 Cruise Party

PETER WHITE
For over two decades, Peter has maintained a reputation as one of the most versatile and prolific acoustic guitarists on the contemporary jazz landscape. Smooth jazz fans worldwide are enthralled by his spirited melodies, soulful grooves and inviting, instantly recognizable acoustic guitar tone. He’s always enjoyed finding unique ways to bring his modern sensibilities to cherished pop classics — and thanks to the smooth jazz format’s affinity for instrumental cover songs, two of the amazing thirteen #1 Radio & Records airplay hits he’s had through the years, “The Closer I Get To You” and “Walk On By,” have become enduring staples of the format.

Peter White & Mindi Abair perform “Smile” – The Smooth Cruise Series 2009

Pop music fans were listening to his classic acoustic guitar style even before the advent of the New Adult Contemporary and Smooth Jazz formats, most notably via his collaborations with British folk/pop singer Al Stewart. The Stewart-White partnership, which culminated with the dual live recording “Rhymes in Rooms” in the mid-90s, spanned over 20 years. White played on Stewart’s landmark “Year of the Cat” album, co-wrote and performed on two of Stewart’s biggest hits, “Time Passages” and “Midnight Rocks.”

Peter White Mindi Abair Whose That Lady Live at the Spaghettini Dave koz 2013 Cruise Party

MINDI ABAIR
Mindi Abair shines as one of the contemporary jazz artists who crosses over into the world of pop. Her unique hybrid sound and mix of cool vulnerability and utter conviction gives the likes of John Mayer and Corinne Baily Rae a run for their barrier breaking money. Mindi’s own brand of pop meets jazz adds a refreshingly unique voice to an exciting new generation of crossover artists who, like her, are powerful instrumentalists as well as thought-provoking singer songwriters.

MINDY ABAIR “LUCY’S” w/ Kirk Whalum & Peter White

Perhaps John Taylor, famed Duran Duran bassist, says it best about her stunning melodies and heartfelt lyrics, citing her 2008 album Stars, a genre-busting, breathtaking combination of contemporary jazz and Top 40 torch songs. He notes, “It will be love at first listen.” Mindi’s first single from the album, the title track “Stars,” struck genre transcending success, charting number 29 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Peter White “Bullseye” November 14, 2007-Tokyo

Peter and Mindi have also created a smooth jazz Christmas spectacular that rivals the Rockets at Radio City Music Hall. See them this coming Wednesday and you’ll see great musical chemistry before your eyes. And it will be intoxicating for your ears.

Flavor of Jazz interviews of Peter White and Mindi Abair for TampaBayNightLife.TV

On July 24th, Peter White and Mindi Abair perform two shows at 6:30pm and 9:30pm. Celebrate the Smooth Cruises’ 16th year on the Hudson, aboard The Spirit of New York, located at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers (23rd St & West Side Highway). For information and to purchase tickets, visit www.smoothjazznewyork.com. Tickets are ON SALE NOW online and by phone. Standard tickets for the Wednesday, June 24th are $59.50.

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Regina Belle’s Voice Carries Her Soul to NYC

The four-time Grammy® Award and Academy® Award winner vocalist, Regina Bell, whose hits have included “Make It Like It Was,” “If I Could,” “Dream In Color” and “A Whole New World (with Peabo Bryson) is returning the New York City on July 10th on the Smooth Jazz Cruises. Even your kids may remember her when she sang the soundtrack of Disney’s Aladdin. Today Belle has focused on gospel with the release of her new CD, HIGHER.

Regina Belle Live with intro by Luther Vandross – 1990

Regina Belle is a native of the area. She was born in Englewood, New Jersey. She sang her first solo in church at age 8. In high school Belle studied trombone, tuba and steel drums. After graduation, she studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music. At Rutgers University, she became the first female vocalist with the school’s jazz ensemble. Belle is a consummate musician.

Regina Belle-Baby Come To Me-LIVE! (Rare)

In 1987, she released her debut album All By Myself. It includes her first hits “So Many Tears” and “Show Me the Way.” Her follow-up album was Stay with Me, released in 1989. Belle recorded duets with Johnny Mathis and Peabo Bryson, the latter was the featured single from the soundtrack to the 1992 Disney movie Aladdin. The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and won the Grammy Award in 1993 for “Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” as well as a “Best Song” Oscar in the same year.

Regina Belle – What Goes Around (Live 1990)

In 2001, Regina Belle’s cover of “Just the Two of Us” from the tribute album To Grover, With Love returned her to the billboard charts. Within months Belle released the album This Is Regina!, which featured the R&B hit singles “Ooh Boy,” “Don’t Wanna Go Home” and “From Now On.” In 2004, she released a jazz standard album, Lazy Afternoon, produced by George Duke.

Belle released her debut gospel album Love Forever Shines on May 13, 2008. On June 5, 2012, she released her second gospel album, called “Higher”, on which Belle stated: “I think that, with the second CD ["Higher"] I had a better understanding of where I wanted to go [compared to "Love Forever Shines"].”

Regina Belle – Make An Example Out Of Me(Testimony)

On July 10th, Regina Belle performs two shows on July 10th at 6:30pm and 9:30pm. Celebrate the Smooth Cruises’ 16th year on the Hudson, aboard The Spirit of New York, located at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers (23rd St & West Side Highway). For information and to purchase tickets, visit www.smoothjazznewyork.com. Tickets are ON SALE NOW online and by phone. Standard tickets for the Wednesday, June 26th BWB show are $59.50.

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