Norm Breest

Norm Breest

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 …
This is a true story of two people who came together due to the love of Dixieland music. Walter Sereth is a person who enjoys Dixieland music. He says, I lived next door to Alan Crowne and his brothers when I was 12 and some years later, got into play Dixieland. I never, except in the Army, played professionally. Mary Ann Stevens played violin and had an interest in fiddle music when she was going to college in Oklahoma. She says, I learned some fiddle tunes in college and then I came …
29.01.2011

Jeff Golub

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

In August, Jeff Golub (pronounced Goal-ub) released his 8th solo album, Blues for You. Jeff is known primarily as a smooth jazz guitarist, but he stretches out his blues chops on this album - the blues being an early influence in his musical background. Blues for You is also a different album for Jeff in that four of the tracks are vocals. Although Jeff has had vocals on past albums, his focus has been instrumental music. Blues for You reunites Jeff with Billy Squir …

Sax man and vocalist Walter Beasley has two great loves that he has a passion for. One of those is his role as an educator. Teaching at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he says, "I like the give and take and I like being able to share what I learned over the last 30 years in the classroom. I have educational DVDs online that I do, too. If you stay in one bag too long, I think for me anyway, I become rusty and because life is so quick and because I think we're all charged with being abl …
29.01.2011

Chuck Loeb

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

Chuck Loeb does it all - guitarist, performer, arranger, composer, producer, teacher, and novelist. To highlight just a few of his accomplishments, he has written themes for CNN, The New York Yankees, the Knicks, has played on Number 1 hit recordings and movie soundtracks, taught at Berklee College of Music, University of Southern California, and the University of Tenerife, Spain, produced recordings by Spyro Gyra, and Bob James, and composed and recorded a number of his own CDs.

As C …

Keyboardist Brian Culbertson is making this Christmas the best ever. He has always celebrated the holidays with his family in central Illinois in a big way. He says, "I love getting together with the whole family and I really love making fires in the fireplace, just chilling out in the living room and listening to pretty Christmas music, and obviously the food. Everything about it is just wonderful. A great time of year."

To celebrate this holiday, Culbertson has released A Soulful Christm …