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FEATURED INTERVIEWS

  • George Duke is a multi Grammy Award winning legend. So, when I called him to get a few quick quotes for my France Joli interview (he produced her album 'Witch Of Love') I quickly realized I needed to milk this…
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  • Born in Dallas, Texas and now happily domiciled in Los Angeles, bass player Edwin Livingston could be described as being on the crest of a wave.  His CD 'Transitions' was released in late 2010 and when recently I caught up…
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  • Kem Owens
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    Adekemi Owens, known professionally and affectionately to music fans as "Kem," has come a long way from Nashville, Tennessee to his current hometown of Detroit, Michigan. So, one figures that is why this musical genius has written and performed songs…
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  •  New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton has never conformed to anyone or anything. Reading his Facebook posts and Twitter “tweets”, you sort of get an idea about how un-traditional he is. He speaks his mind and, should someone attempt to challenge…
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Norm Breest

Norm Breest

Keyboardist Joe Sample and singer Randy Crawford have been together for a long time. Sample worked on Crawford's debut album Everything Must Change back in 1976 and Crawford helped The Crusaders, to which Sample was a member, create a smooth jazz classic with her treatment of the title track of their 1979 albumStreet Life. She says, Joe Sample is a wonderful musician and a wonderful person. I kind of wanted to work with him before I ever met him because I was familiar with their …
Kenny G is an artist of international acclaim. He was the one who helped bring the smooth jazz format for radio into the forefront with his first smash hit Songbird. That came from his 1986 CD Duotones, which brought three other songs that established him as the genre's favorite and the way for other people to get to know the music. He continued to record fresh music for the next 12 years, with one holiday album recorded in 1994.

In 1999, Kenny G recorded Classics in the Key …

In the gypsy jazz field, no one does it any better than the Madison, Wisconsin based group Harmonious Wail. Group founder Sims Delaney-Potthoff says, I knew that wanted to play Django Reinhardt inspired music and pretty much talked to people and put the band together. We just got a bar gig and started by trying out tunes. We called it Uncle Cachuk for awhile, then we called it Junior Holstein. None of those really worked as the band kind of started getting liftoff and finding that we had just …
29.01.2011

George Duke

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

It’s hard to believe that for the past 40 years George Duke has been a staple of the music industry and from the looks of things, this cat plans to be on the scene for a long time to come. "I’m having the time of my life making the kind of music that I want to make. It has been a great ride, it really has and I really have no complaints." Duke told me that being a label owner gives him the freedom to express himself musically. "My label is distributed through Heads Up …

Bassist Gerald Veasely has been making strategic moves throughout his career. His newest CD is called Your Move, referring to the game of chess. He says, jazz is known for the fact that it has a lot of improvisation and a lot of thinking on your feet in the moment. There's a multiplicity of moves you can make within a chess game. Certainly on stage or in the studio or rehearsing your music if it's jazz related, they're so many options that you have. That's part of the fun, just figurin …
When most people think about a harp, they think of music that's heavenly and classical. Lori Andrews has shattered that notion as she has become one of the best jazz harpists around. She says, there's not that many jazz harpists around. Deborah Hensen Conant, who is just extraordinary. There's actually two in Los Angeles, Carol Robbins and Corky Hale, playing jazz and there's a couple around the country. It's becoming more popular, which is good for us because I do believe that at some point …
29.01.2011

Andre Ward

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

Saxophonist Andre Ward is an artist who has gone through a lot of hoops to get to where he is today. Going through the school system in Chicago, he got an interest in music, which followed to Boston, where he learned his trade through the education process. However, he learned very quickly that in order to get youself noticed, you have to get attention any way you can. Then once you establish yourself, you can make the giant step to show why you're different than others in your craft.

Not mis …

In February, Spyro Gyra was nominated for their ninth Grammy award in the best pop instrumental album category for Wrapped in a Dream. However, even though four of the five nominees were smooth jazz artists, the award was given out to rocker Peter Frampton's instrumental album Fingertips. Jay Beckenstein, leader and sax man of the group, says, The Grammys have always had a hard time figuring out the categories of jazz, quite frankly. There's plenty of Grammy attention paid to m …
As the U.S. Congress talks about immigration reform, we remember that the United States is a country of immigrants. The group Hiroshima helps to show how diversity is the backbone of the country. When Japanese Americans, Dan and June Kuramoto, formed the group in East Los Angeles, they wanted to bring in other cultures to the mix, including Asian, Latin and African American, and others. By doing that, the group has helped to establish a style all their own.

Their newest CD Little Tokyo

Saxman Jackiem Joyner has moved from being a sideman to center stage. He says, "As a musician, you always start off as a sideman. I've been on the road with Ronnie Laws and he influenced me. I think his jazz chops are really great. I picked up a few licks here and there from him, and I also liked the way he performed. He had a really great performance. The first smooth jazz artist I went on the road with was actually Marcus Johnson. That's where I kind of got the idea of how this smooth jazz con …