Susan Frances

Susan Frances

29.01.2011

Bob Baldwin

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

A year to the day since the untimely death of Michael Jackson, contemporary jazz writer, producer and keyboard player Bob Baldwin mounted his own tribute to the great man. Out on the Trippin' N Rhythm label, his CD ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ is the first jazz record to pay homage to Jackson. It speaks directly to the sentiment felt by millions of fans worldwide and when recently I spoke to Bob from his home in Westchester County, NY I first asked him what had motivated him to …

Mention Chieli Minucci and Special EFX in jazz circles, and you’ll incite big round smiles from ear to ear on the faces of your audience. The poly-versed guitarist who formed the world fusion group Special EFX with the late drummer George Jinda in the early ‘80s has been keeping busy with composing scores for numerous side projects and touring with his band Special EFX which presently consists of drummer Lionel Cordew, bassist Jerry Brooks, keyboardist Jay Rowe, backup vocalist/percussionist …

29.01.2011

Justin Young

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

One listen to Justin Young’s swirling maze of saxophone designs on his debut album On The Way mixed by Paul Brown and you are hooked. He has the fluent skills of Kenny G. and bold diversity that is indicative of Andrew Neu. Every track on the album has its own calling card and chord expressions while maintaining a smooth jazz coda.

Young proclaims, "I am a person that likes variety. That's why I play soprano, alto and tenor saxophone because they are different voices! Why just …

29.01.2011

Dwayne Kerr

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

Nu-soul singer Erykah Badu says about flutist Dwayne Kerr, "As I watch my friend in amazement, the high tones and the trills become part of me, helping me to grow on stage. I don’t know which is sweeter, his tone or his soul."

Who is this man that has made such an impression on Erykah Badu you might be asking yourself? He is actually a very humble person raised in Central Islip, Long Island, family-oriented, and earnestly inspired by passages from the Bible. As a flutist he expresses, …

29.01.2011

Alan Hewitt

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

The All-Star Cruise is setting sail once again on Monday, January 21, 2008 from Port San Diego, California on the ship Carnival Elation, hosted by the Haven Entertainment. On board the cruise is platinum award winning pianist/composer/producer Alan Hewitt, which features three days of pre-cruise shows held at the Town And Country Resort in San Diego on Friday, January 18th, Saturday, January 19th and Sunday January 20th.

The shows bring together some of R&B, soul, and adult contempora …

29.01.2011

Ronny Smith

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

Smooth jazz guitarist Ronny Smith dedicated his song "Falling In Love With Jesus" from his recent album Simply Stated to his parents. He professes, "Music affects people in many different ways. I only hope that any music I perform, play, or write will have a positive affect with the G-rating.

Indeed his album Simply Stated has a smooth jazz G-rating, perfect for spreading good vibes and a gentle mood across the room. These positive feelings were a staple of his upbringin …

Bari, Italy’s renown saxophonist Rocco Ventrella says that he wants to move to Los Angeles, California after having fallen in love with its ambience while recording his latest album Give Me The Groove in Hollywood. The smooth jazz maker, and aficionado, found America to be very welcoming towards his music, and in return, American jazz has stimulated his creative urges. His debut disc Tribute To Grover Washington, Jr. is a testament to his love of American jazz. …

29.01.2011

Tom Braxton

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

Smooth jazz saxophonist Tom Braxton would be the last person on earth to describe himself as a beacon of light, but anyone who listened to his latest CD, Endless Highway would give him the title without debate. The making of Endless Highway was ironically spurred on by a series of losses that have recently entered Braxton’s life, especially the passing of his dear friend and buoyant bass guitarist Wayman Tisdale who succumbed to cancer. The man was Braxton’s inspiration for writ …

Drummer Jerry Granelli was an active member of the psychedelic music that was being fostered in the San Francisco Bay area during the ‘60s. He considers himself a "pre-hippie," coming into fashion before the members of The Grateful Dead and The Mamas and The Papas. And though it seems like a world away from his current album The Sonic Temple with his present band V16, the mentality of a hippie of not knowing where you are going, but taking pleasure in do …

Classical jazz pianist Enrico Pieranunzi has played on 61 albums. His recording history includes solo albums, as well as collaborations with other recording artists like André Ceccarelli, Paul Motian, and Chet Baker. His reaction to this historic achievement is sheer astonishment. "It’s simply wonderful," he elates, "sort of a dream for me. When I was a child or in my teens, I was very much focused on listening to the music and on practicing it. I couldn't imagine what is happening now, …