January 18, 2017     
Lee Bailey's Jazzy in July
Newcomer ‘Jacnique’ Dubbed Best Neo-Urban & Jazz Artist (Video)

*EURweb.com boasts yet another rare find for Jazzy In July, in the form of Jacnique (pronounced Zsa-nique).

The lovely, sultry siren is already a jazzy, soulful sensation! She is the 2011 winner of 2 Black Music Awards, “Best Neo-Soul Artist” and “Best Urban Soul Artist.”  She’s also the 2011 Los Angeles Music Awards winner, and Producer’s Choice  for “Jazz Album of The Year”. (Previous Producer’s Choice winners include No Doubt, The Black Eyed Peas, System of A Down and Sugar Ray).

It was once said that, “only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things.” This is reflected in the mind, body, soul, and music of Jacnique Harris-Love; known to her fans simply as Jacnique.   She is an avid songwriter, pristine vocalist, sensational performer, a runway renaissance woman and a rising star!

See and hear more at www.jacniquemusic.com. http://www.facebook.com/jacniquemusic.

For info on EURweb’s Jazzy In July email: [email protected]


Jazzy in July: ZOE’ (Zo-Ay) Makin’ Jazz Philly Style with a Jersey Twist

*ZOE’ (Zo-Ay) is a hot Smooth Jazz band from the South Jersey/Philadelphia area.

The group is comprised of five talented musicians whose melodic compositions produce extraordinary and compelling music.

Currently members of ZOE’ include sax man Reggie Harris, keyboardist Cleveland Belin Jr., drummer David Ferebee, bassist H. Marice Fonville and percussionist/trumpeter Boliver “Chico” Guadalupe.  ZOE’s recent project “Let’s Fly” features the late Ron Segers, a gifted guitarist and guiding force for the jazzy quintet.

ZOÉ has performed with or opened for Mindi Abair, Keb Mo, Phil Perry, Jeff Kashiwa, jazz flautist Sherry Winston and numerous notable, inspirational speakers.

ZOÉ has captivated audiences beyond the Philadephia/South Jersey area with their infectious rhythms that roll from smokin’ funk to supremely sensual.

For more info visit www.zoejazz.com.

Experience more of our Jazzy in July series HERE.

Jazzy in July: Vivian Male New England’s Jazzy Lady


Boston’s Jazz Diva & Champion for the community

*Vivian Male is a jazz vocalist whose debut recording was on the collaborative CD “Boston Sings Out.”  Next came Vivian’s first solo CD titled “Our Day Will Come.”  

Her exhilarating renditions demonstrate a musical versatility that appeals to audiences of all ages. Over the years Vivian has had the delightful pleasure of working with Walter Beasley, Bill Pierce,  Andre Ward and producer/composer Rollins Ross.

New England Patriot fans may recognize Vivian as the frequent chanteuse of the National Anthem at local games.

Vivian’s favorite venue is Sculler’s Jazz Club in Boston.  When away from the mic, Ms. Male is a highly recognized governmental official whose specialty is public policy.

Among her numerous affiliations are: the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Issues, the Middlesex County Chapter of Links, Inc., the Coalition of 100 Black Women of Boston, the Museum of African American History’s Legacy Society and the Berklee College of Music (Vice Chair Emerita), where she co-founded the Sarah Vaughan Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Vivian is the proud mother of a 15-year-old son and a glowing ray of sunshine in the world of jazz.

Click to hear a sample or buy music     http://www.myspace.com/vivianmale [email protected]

For info on EURweb’s Jazzy In July email: [email protected]

Jazzy In July: Caesar Jazz Balladeer’s Tribute to Nat ‘King’ Cole

*Caesar Jazz Balladeer delivers exquisite renditions in four languages that have left audiences around the world in a trance.  He has often been compared to the great Nat “King” Cole.  

Last month Caesar completed his anticipated debut album, A Tribute to Nat “King” Cole at Capitol Studios in Studio A, using the same microphone and Steinway piano that Nat “King” Cole and Frank Sinatra used in the 1950’s.

Caesar recorded with two of the best engineers in the world, 30 year Capitol vet and 3 time Grammy winner Charlie Paakkari, and Al Schmitt who has won 21 Grammy Awards, and has served as Producer/Engineer on over 150 Gold and Platinum albums including Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable album featuring Nat “King” Cole.  Yes, Caesar is in good company!

Currently Caesar is seeking the public’s support to help complete the mastering of the project in time for Grammy consideration.  Fans can donate via Kickstarter and assist Caesar in adding his spin on the legacy of the late Mr. Cole, whose widow (Maria Cole) has now also passed away as of July 11, 2012.  Caesar extends love to the entire Nat Cole family and wishes to honor his memory and make history of his own with a classic, all star album featuring Peter White, Eric Bloom, John Anter and more.  Caesar’s deadline is August 5th.

Click to make a pledge, read Caesar’s story, listen to his music and see pictures of his recording session at Capitol Studios in Studio A http://kck.st/KYRwis

2015 Essence Festival Unveils Night-by-Night Lineup

2015 essence festival

2015 Essence Festival ~ The A-list nighttime concerts featuring more than 40 acts will take place across five stages in the Superdome throughout the weekend—on the Festival’s renowned Mainstage and within the intimate Superlounges.

*(New York, NY) – The Essence Festival, now among the largest consumer live events in the nation hosting more than 550,000 annually, is thrilled to announce the all-star, night-by-night lineup of performers from July 2-5 in New Orleans, LA.

In addition, stay tuned next week for a special announcement of a New Orleans fan favorite making a triumphant return to close out Friday night’s tribute to the city with an epic performance on July 3.

2015 essence festival

2015 Essence Festival ~ The A-list nighttime concerts featuring more than 40 acts will take place across five stages in the Superdome throughout the weekend—on the Festival’s renowned Mainstage and within the intimate Superlounges.

The A-list nighttime concerts featuring more than 40 acts will take place across five stages in the Superdome throughout the weekend—on the Festival’s renowned Mainstage and within the intimate Superlounges.

essencefestival, wendell pierce

Wendell Pierce discusses the 2015 Essence Festival Itinerary. Scroll down below to view.

The 2015 Essence Festival  night-by-night musical lineup is as follows:

  • Thursday, July 2nd – What now? Tour featuring Kevin Hart. Other Mainstage Performances by: Trey Songz and Lecrae.
  • Friday, July 3rd – Mainstage: Charlie Wilson, India.Arie, Kem, plus a soon-to-be announced return of New Orleans’ finest. Superlounges:Adrian Marcel, Avery*Sunshine, Doug E. Fresh, Goapele, Kelly Price, Kindred The Family Soul, Luenell, Nico & Vinz and Slick Rick.
  •  Saturday, July 4th – Mainstage: Usher, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, Common, Beenie Man & The Zagga Zow Band. Superlounges:Bilal, Elle Varner, Esperanza Spalding Presents: Emily’s D+Evolution, Kool Moe Dee, Mali Music, Mystikal, Raheem DeVaughn, Sevyn Streeter, Tank and The Bangas and Tonya Boyd-Cannon.
  •  Sunday, July 5th – Mainstage: Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Floetry. Superlounges: Andra Day, Dee-1, Dumpstaphunk, Eric Roberson, Jeff Bradshaw, Lianne La Havas, Mase, Robert Glasper, SZA, Teedra Moses and Tweet.
  • Nephew Tommy from “The Steve Harvey Morning Show” will return as the Mainstage host, with special DJ appearances by Doug E. Fresh, and more surprise guest performances. In addition, special tribute moments will occur throughout the weekend in recognition of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans Essence Festival Itinerary with Wendell Pierce

Single day tickets go on sale today and are priced starting at $50 per person per night. For more information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the Essence Festival , visit Essence Festival www.essencefestival.com, join the Festival community: follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2015 Essence Festival on Facebook.

Sponsors of the 2015 Essence Festival include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Ford, My Black Is Beautiful, StateFarm, and Verizon; and official media partner MSNBC.  Superlounge sponsors include Coca-Cola, Ford and Verizon.

The 2015 Essence Festival is executive produced by Essence Festival LLC, a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI), and produced by Solomon Group. GeChar is the executive producer of the 2015 Essence Empowerment Experience and Empower U.




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[email protected]com

Frank McComb to Perform in Washington, D.C. & Annapolis, MD

frank mccomb, rams head, benefit concert

Frank McComb To Perform In Washington, D.C. & Annapolis, MD. Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis on Sunday July 19th and a Benefit Concert on Tuesday July 21.

*Frank McComb, the former MoJazz and Columbia Records singer who is now among the most successful independent artists in Urban Adult/Contemporary Jazz, is on a hot streak in 2015 with SRO performances in Europe, South Africa and Australia all the way to New York’s legendary The Bitter End Club and Studio City in California where he just played for the first time at Sheila Escovedo’s new club, “The E Spot.”

As McComb continues to prepare new material for “Soulmate: Another Love Story – his fall-slated first studio album in five years – he will be showcasing his latest 4-song teaser EP, Soulmate, by bringing his unique hybrid of soul to Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday, July 19th at 8:30PM.

He will next take part in a benefit concert for Cancer Research Institute at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday July 21st at 8PM.

This Rams Head concert also featuring special guests – gospel singer Crystal Aikin and pianist/singer and songwriter Aziza Miller) marks McComb’s first visit to the venue.

“The list is long of great musicians that have played Rams Head,” McComb says of the 18 year-old club established in 1997. “Fans have been asking me to play there for years as it is one of their favorite places to experience live music.

And I am honored to play the Howard Theatre to lend hope and support to so many battling cancer, and with the dedicated intention of eradicating this terrible disease.”

The Howard concert will be McComb’s first visit to the venue since being invited by the late, great George Duke to perform for the theatre’s grand reopening event on April 10, 2012.

Joining Frank on both shows will be Crystal Aikin who is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to being the top prize winner in Season One of BET’s gospel music program ‘Sunday Best’ blessing all with her song, “Even Me.” She will be doing her own set and, though she’s never met Frank before, plans to prepare one duet to make both nights extra special.

Also on the bill at Rams Head is veteran pianist /singer and songwriter Aziza Miller whose single, “The Subway,” is a delightful New York-themed music video. Aziza (who under her married name Linda Williams (maiden name Miller) composed her former employer Natalie Cole’s bossa soul classic, “La Costa” – Natalie wrote the lyrics) brings a zesty presentation under the guise of her new moniker as a leader.

In other Frank McComb news, he just contributed his composition “Signature” to the upcoming CD – You, Me and Forever by contemporary jazz master saxophonist Najee, playing every instrument except sax (of course) and guitar. Come experience the multi-faceted magic of McComb – up close and personal – at Rams Head (July 19) and the Howard Theatre (July 21).




J’ai St. Laurent-Smyth
[email protected] / [email protected]

Patty Farmer’s ‘Playboy Swings’ Releases in September

playboy, patty farmer, playboy jazz festival, hugh hefner,

Patty Farmer’s upcoming book accounts the story of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy and the music scene, its impact on popular entertainment (and vice versa), and the fabulous cadre of performers who took to the stages of the mythic Playboy Clubs and Jazz Festivals.

*Since the launch of Playboy magazine in 1953, two elements have been remarkably consistent: the first is the celebration of the world’s most beautiful & desirable women and the second is its involvement with music.  The Playboy experience was never just about sex—it was about lifestyle. And music—particularly the finest jazz, a personal passion of Hefner’s—has always been an essential component of that lifestyle.

While many books have been written about the Playboy organization and the ultimate playboy himself, Hugh Hefner, no book—until this one—has focused specifically on Playboy and the music scene, its impact on popular entertainment (and vice versa), and the fabulous cadre of performers who took to the stages of the mythic Playboy Clubs and Jazz Festivals.  Patty Farmer’sPlayboy Swings is a groundbreaking look at Playboy through a new lens: music.

In addition to its renowned coverage of music in the magazine, Playboy began to sponsor  a series of historic jazz festivals, starting with the groundbreaking 1959 Playboy Jazz Festival in Chicago celebrating the magazine’s 5th Anniversary.

Twenty years later in 1979, Hef enlisted George Wein, the world’s most famous jazz impresario, to help him revive the Playboy Jazz Festival at perhaps the most famous music venue in the world: The Hollywood Bowl.  This annual event continues to this day, attracting legendary stars, tens of thousands of ticket-buyers and employing the talents of thousands of musicians.

It was the success of that inaugural jazz festival that gave birth to the idea of the Playboy Club which opened its first doors in Chicago on February 29, 1960.  And once the clubs took hold, it was only natural that they would offer live performances featuring the sort of music the magazine endorsed.  As much as anything—including the clubs’ iconic Bunnies—the music presented at the clubs set the tone of the organization and kept patrons coming back for more.

From the first issue of the magazine, music enjoyed pride of place, and by 1957, Playboy had launched its “All Star Poll,” in which readers were invited to vote for their favorite musicians and acts. This led to what was, at the time, a rather bold step for the young company: Playboy began to produce records. Now, Playboy was doing more than discussing or reviewing music; it was actually presenting it.

Two months after that first Jazz Festival in October 1959, Hefner launched his first TV project, Playboy’s Penthouse, and all the top-notch performers and musicians dropped by. Comics made the scene as well, including the legendary Lenny Bruce on the very first show.  A later foray into television, Playboy After Dark (1968), was no less welcoming to the artists of the day. This time, traditional pop singers such as Vic Damone and Johnny Mathis shared the bill with the likes of Ike and Tina Turner and Sonny & Cher.

 At its peak, Playboy was the largest employer of talent in the country.

The Playboy Clubs reached their apogee in the mid-to-late 1960s, and nothing like the wide-ranging Playboy “circuit” for entertainers had been seen since the Golden Age of VaudevilleBy the time the clubs began losing momentum in the late ‘70s, Playboy had spent several decades shaping American musical taste and cultural values.

While music may not be the first thing you think of when you hear the word Playboy, it should certainly be in the top two—and Playboy Swings” is meant insure that. Compiled with the cooperation of hundreds of people

who were on the scene throughout Playboy’s rise, fall, and renaissance, Playboy Swingscarries readers on a seductive journey through the history of the empire—all the while focusing on the entertainment that made it unique.

Featuring candid, in-depth interviews with a multitude of musicians and singers, as well as those involved behind the scenes, the book moves from the inception of the Playboy Empire through the 1959 jazz festival, to the opening of club after club. Throughout the book, it is the artists who do most of the talking—and they have a lot to say about the golden era of

Playboy entertainment. The result is a fresh take on one of the great social and cultural institutions of our time, as well as a unique first-person history of American popular performance in the second half of the 20th century.

“Playboy, (Hef), has been a good friend to music in general, but especially jazz. We need him again!”—Al Jarreau

“You weren’t taken seriously if you didn’t have a Playboy key!” “Hugh Hefner didn’t care if you were black, white or purple, only if you were funny or could sing.”—Dick Gregory

 “God Bless the Playboy Clubs and Hugh Hefner, they made Gregory, Dad and myself stars!”—Maurice Hines

Now, in the 21st century, the clubs are starting to come back to life. There’s a new second-generation London Club, which opened in 2011, that is packing them in nightly and a new generation is discovering the magic and legend of the Playboy mystique.




Nina Gordon
[email protected]

Miles Davis @ NewPort 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Releases July 17

miles davis*(New York, NY)  Miles Davis’ 20-year association as an artist at impresario George Wein’s renowned Newport Jazz Festival is a thriving tradition that will be celebrated with the release of Miles Davis at NewPort Debut with Musical Tributes, Workshops and more.

Newport Jazz Festival to be held July 31-August 2 celebrates the Iconic Trumpeter’s Relationship with the Legendary Newport Jazz Festival and Its revered founder-impresario George Wein, Commemorating the 60thAnniversary Of Miles’Newport Debut With Musical Tributes, Workshops and more.

Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4.  296-minute program includes nearly four hours of previously unreleased material.

The four-CD box set, comprised of live performances by Miles’ stellar band lineups in 1955, 1958, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973, and 1975, in Newport, Rhode Island, New York City, Berlin, and Switzerland, will be the lynchpin for a 60th anniversary commemorative weekend of events at this summer’s annual Newport Jazz Festival (July 31, August 1 & 2).

Ahead of the festival, Miles Davis at Newport1955-1975: will be available everywhere on Friday, July 17 — 60 years to the date since Davis’ breakthrough performance at Newport in 1955through Columbia/Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

An interview with Newport Jazz Festival founder-impresario, George Wein, discussing his relationship with Miles Davis, can be viewed below

George Wein discusses Miles Davis and the Newport Festival

Fans are now able to pre-order the 4-CD set bundled with a poster exclusively from MilesDavis.com (http://smarturl.it/miles_newport_d2c ). The set is also available for pre-order on Amazon (http://smarturl.it/miles_newport_amzn).

The newest entry in Columbia/Legacy Recordings’ critically-acclaimed Miles Davis Bootleg Series, Newport 1955-1975 clocks in at 296 minutes, nearly four hours of which is previously unreleased.

From Miles’ debut performance at NJF in 1955 (a hastily arranged jam session featuring Thelonious Monk and Gerry Mulligan, that immediately led to the trumpeter’s Columbia signing), to his final public perform­ance of the ’70s in 1975 (at Lincoln Center during NJF-NY, the singular “Mtume” named for Miles’ favored percussion­ist of that decade), the box set traces the ascendance of Miles’ music as the ne plus ultra of jazz.

The full-length concert performances alone of Miles’ famed “Kind Of Blue” Sextet (with Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb), and ‘second great quintet in ’66 and ’67 (with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams) represent templates that reverberate in jazz and popular music to this day.

In that spirit, George Wein, who at age 89 still guides the Newport Jazz Festival, will preside over this summer’s Miles-centric gathering, July 31August 1 & 2.

The lineup includes a cadre of bands led by trumpet stars Ambrose Akinmusire, Chris Botti, Peter Evans, Jon Faddis, Tom Harrell, Arturo Sandoval, and Bria Skonberg.

In a rare, historic tribute, Botti, Evans, Faddis, Harrell, Sandoval and Skonberg will perform one Miles Davis number during their sets.

The festival weekend will feature a number of exciting panel discussions focusing on Miles Davis, created in conjunction with the Miles Davis Estate and curated by Grammy Award®-winning music historian Ashley Kahn.

Highlights include an interview with George Wein conducted byNew York Times critic Nate Chinen (co-author of Wein’s autobiography Myself Among Others: A Life In Music); a celebration of Miles and the St. Louis trumpet tradition with excerpts from the Clark Terry documentary Keep On Keepin’ On (produced by Quincy Jones); and a discussion of Miles’s romance with electric guitars.

There will also be a playback of music from the new Columbia/Legacy Recordings box set Miles Davis Bootleg Series, Newport 1955-1975  with co-producer of the collection—Grammy Award®-winning producer Steve Berkowitz and consultant Nell Mulderry.

Kahn penned the liner notes to this set, noting how Miles’s historic performances at the Newport Jazz Festival never failed to “show the trumpeter repeatedly rising to the occasion, delivering groundbreaking music every time he hit the Newport stage.”

In this symbiosis, George Wein employed Miles to make Newport great, and Miles obliged by bringing some of the post-modern jazz era’s paramount musicians to the festival stage in his bands.

The Newport Jazz Festival (and starting in 1959, Wein’s Newport Folk Festival) enabled audiences of 10,000 to dig the music in a surprisingly intimate setting, where you really could hear a pin drop. “When Miles played his solo on ‘Round Midnight’,” Wein remembers of that breakout 1955 jam, “he put his horn right up to the microphone, which trumpet players didn’t do.

Normally they like to get some air and play a little bit away from the mic but he put the bell of his horn right up against it, and it came through clear as a bell.”

In that moment, with that simple move, Wein states, “That’s when he became the star of the festival and later [Columbia Records A&R man] George Avakian went up and signed him.”

With his “ecumenical” music mix in these five- and six-hour programs – from traditional to bop, hard bop, and re-bop, from cool, modern and post-modern to jazz-rock, rock-jazz, blues and R&B – the contemporary music festival was sired by George Wein.

As Kahn affirms, Wein “swayed generations of festival producers and impresarios – from groundbreaking one-offs like the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969, all the way up to today’s genre-blending annuals like Coachella and Bonnaroo, [and in Europe] Glastonbury and Montreux.”

Intrinsically and inextricably linked at the hip were Miles Davis and George Wein, from the first conversation Wein recalls with the trumpeter in 1952, at a little club in New Haven, “when [Miles] was playing with a band that Symphony Sid had put together with Percy Heath and Milt Jackson,” Wein clearly recalls.

Twenty years or so later, he memorably amped up the 1969 NJF program with Led Zeppelin, the Mothers of Invention, Jeff Beck, Sly and the Family Stone, and others.

Miles was just six weeks away from recording the principal sessions for his all-time game-changing “Bitches Brew,”and his live band had replaced Hancock, Carter and Williams with Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette.

With more electronic instrumentation, and broader drum patterns, Miles was quickly moving beyond the very jazz styles he had helped to create and popularize.

Into the ’70s, rock and R&B-rooted musicians like guitarists Pete Cosey and Reggie Lucas, electric bassist Michael Henderson, Mtume on percussion, plus jazz drummer Al Foster and a rotating cast of saxophonists came aboard.  As Miles’ scope expanded, Wein’s festival became a week-long affair in Manhattan, then across Europe.

But to eyewitnesses, Newport Jazz Festival 1969 was ground zero, the big bang that informed “Bitches Brew.”  “I remember that Miles always came to Newport and left as fast as he could,” Wein told Kahn.

“In ’66, he came up in a boat and got to the stage in time to play, and was back on the boat and got the hell out of there.  In ’69, he stayed from the first day to the last, standing right by my shoulder… He watched every group and watched the response of the audience, who got the most applause, what music they were playing.  He was studying.  And that affected all the last years of his career.”

Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4. was produced for release by the multiple Grammy Award®-winning trio of Richard Seidel and Michael Cuscuna; with co-producer Steve Berkowitz.  Executive producers for the Miles Davis Estate were Cheryl Davis, Erin Davis and Vince Wilburn, Jr.  The music was mastered by Mark Wilder and Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York City.  All original concerts were produced by George Wein.

Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4. (Columbia/Legacy Recordings 88875081952)(All tracks previously unreleased, except where otherwise indicated)

 CD 1: (July 17, 1955: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)  

Selections: 1. Spoken Introductions by Duke Ellington and Gerry Mulligan • 2. Hackensack • 3. ’Round Midnight (previously released) • 4. Now’s The Time •

(All-Star Jam Session: Miles Davis, trumpet; Zoot Sims, tenor saxophone; Gerry Mulligan, baritone saxophone; Thelonious Monk, piano; Percy Heath, bass; Connie Kay, drums.)

(July 3, 1958: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)

Selections: 5. Spoken Introduction by Willis Conover (previously released) • 6. Ah-Leu-Cha (previously released) • 7. Straight, No Chaser (previously released) • 8. Fran-Dance (previously released) • 9. Two Bass Hit (previously released) • 10. Bye Bye Blackbird (previously released) • 11. The Theme (previously released) .

(Miles Davis, trumpet; Cannonball Adderley, alto saxophone; John Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Bill Evans, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Jimmy Cobb, drums.)

 CD 2: (July 4, 1966: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)  

Selections: 1. Gingerbread Boy • 2. All Blues • 3. Stella By Starlight • 4. R.J. • 5. Seven Steps To Heaven • 6. The Theme / Closing Announcement by Leonard Feather.

(July 2, 1967: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI) 

Selections: 7. Spoken Introduction by Del Shields • 8. Gingerbread Boy • 9. Footprints • 10. ’Round Midnight • 11. So What • 12. The Theme/Closing Announcement by Del Shields

(1966 & 1967: Miles Davis, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums.)

 CD 3: (July 5, 1969: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)  

Selections: 1. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down (previously released) • 2. Sanctuary (previously released)  • 3. It’s About That Time / The Theme (previously released) .

(Miles Davis, trumpet; Chick Corea, electric piano; Dave Holland, bass; Jack DeJohnette, drums.)

(November 1, 1973: Newport Jazz Festival In Europe, Berlin)  

Selections: 4. Spoken Introduction by Ronnie Scott/Band Warming Up • 5. Turnaroundphrase • 6. Tune In 5 • 7. Ife • 8. Untitled Original • 9. Tune In 5/Closing Announcement by Ronnie Scott

(Miles Davis, trumpet, organ; Dave Liebman, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute; Pete Cosey, guitar, percussion; Reggie Lucas, guitar; Michael Henderson, electric bass; Al Foster, drums; James Mtume Forman, percussion.)

(July 1, 1975: Newport Jazz Festival – NY, Avery Fisher Hall)  

Selection: 10. Mtume.

(Miles Davis, trumpet, organ; Sam Morrison, tenor saxophone; Pete Cosey, guitar, percussion; Reggie Lucas, guitar; Michael Henderson, electric bass; Al Foster, drums; James Mtume Forman, percussion.)

 CD 4: (October 22, 1971 : Newport Jazz Festival In Europe, Neue Stadthalle, Dietikon, Switzerland)  

Selections: 1. Directions • 2. What I Say • 3. Sanctuary • 4. It’s About That Time • 5. Bitches Brew • 6. Funky Tonk • 7. Sanctuary.

(Miles Davis, trumpet; Gary Bartz, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; Keith Jarrett, electric piano, organ; Michael Henderson, electric bass; Ndugu Leon Chancler, drums; Don Alias, percussion; James Mtume Forman, percussion.)







R&B Soul Jazz Singer Kenya Covers ‘Little Drummer Boy’ (Listen)

kenya, little drummer boy

R&B Soul Jazz Singer Kenya Covers Little Drummer Boy

*For this holiday single Kenya had the honor of working with an amazing young and emerging producer named Estuardo Galeno Stapleton based in Nashville, TN.

The musicians on the song include Dre Williams on bass guitar, Justin Abraham on drums, and Estuardo on keys. Sit back and enjoy the sounds of Kenya’s re-definition of the popular / classic ballad “Little Drummer Boy.”

About Little Drummer Boy

“I’ve always enjoyed “Little Drummer Boy” and think the lyrics are quite profound…basically the song is saying in the eyes of a higher power, we are enough.  Our gifts may seem simple, but they are enough and uniquely designed as ours to give.” – Kenya

The holiday season is a time where connection to family, friends, self and spirit are truly honored and celebrated.

Catch Kenya, in Europe touring as a part of the “Soul City Tour” performing in Amsterdam, Paris, and various cities in the UK during the Thanksgiving holiday through early December (more info at www.kenyamjmusic.com/shows-appearances).





[email protected]


Columbia/Legacy Celebrates the 90th Birthday of Miles Davis with Two Special New Releases

miles2* Columbia/Legacy will commemorate the 90th birthday of globally renowned music innovator Miles Davis with the release of two very special new Miles Davis album projects:

Miles Ahead – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be available Friday, April 1. A cinematic exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis, the movie feature “Miles Ahead” marks the directorial debut of Don Cheadle, who co-wrote the screenplay (with Steven Baigelman) and stars as the legendary musician in the film.

Miles  – OriginalMotion Picture Soundtrack is available now for digital pre-orders via iTunes – http://smarturl.it/Miles_Ahead_iTunes.

miles1Everything’s Beautiful  reimagined interpretations of Miles Davis’ music produced by Grammy Award winner Robert Glasper (who also served as coproducer of the Miles Ahead soundtrack) with musical guest artists including Bilal, Illa J, Erykah Badu, Phonte, Hiatus Kaiyote, Laura Mvula, KING, Georgia Ann Muldrow, John Scofield and Ledisi, and Stevie Wonder.

A visionary exploration of the music of Miles Davis, Everything’s Beautiful incorporates Davis’ original recordings into new collaborative soundscapes and will be available Friday, May 27 (the day after Miles’ 90th birthday).

The Miles Davis track featuring Bilal “Ghetto Walkin”, from the upcoming release Everything’s Beautiful , premieres today for the first time during Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show on Apple Music.

Everything’s Beautiful  is also available now for digital pre-orders via iTunes – http://smarturl.it/Davis_Glasper_iTunes.

Both releases are also available for pre-order at the official Miles Davis store on milesdavis.com.

Miles Ahead – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack explores the breadth and depth of Miles Davis’ musical innovations, combining 11 highlights from the legendary trumpeter/composer/bandleader’s Prestige and Columbia Records catalogs with original new compositions written and performed by Grammy Award-winning jazz/hip-hop artist Robert Glasper.

Select new tracks on the soundtrack album include guest appearances by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, rapper Pharoahe Monch and more. Both the CD and LP packages for Miles Ahead  – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack feature revelatory new liner notes penned by Don Cheadle.

“We culled the library for every style Miles touched…looking for cues to bridge key moments, bring others into focus. The stuff a good score is supposed to do. Miles made it easier. His music is multi-faceted and score friendly,” wrote Cheadle in his notes.

For new and future fans, Miles Ahead – Original Motion Soundtrack provides an ideal introduction to the music of Miles Davis. For seasoned aficionados of the influential 20th century musical pioneer, the album and film provide fresh perspectives and new insights into Miles’ transformative musical and cultural genius.

Miles Ahead- Original Motion Soundtrack features 11 essential tracks spanning 1956 to 1981, select dialogue from the film featuring Cheadle in character, and five original compositions written, co-written, produced or performed exclusively for Miles Ahead by Robert Glasper.

These include “What’s Wrong with That?” (a jam that closes the movie imagining Cheadle as Miles playing in the present day with guest performers Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Gary Clark, Jr. and Esperanza Spalding and Antonio Sanchez) and “Gone 2015,” an end-credits song featuring guest verses from rapper Pharoahe Monch.

The 2016 SXSW Festival in Austin, TX will premiere the long-awaited, critically acclaimed feature film “MILES AHEAD” on Wednesday, March 16th at 8:00pm at The Paramount Theatre.

A special “Miles Ahead” panel led by Don Cheadle, with NPR’s Felix Contreras onboard as Moderator, will discuss the making of the film, along with the music, with intimate behind-the-scenes anecdotes provided by Erin Davis (son of Miles) and Vince Wilburn, Jr. (nephew of Miles).

Additional panelists include Robert Glasper, who scored the film’s soundtrack; Oscar-winning supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer and sound designer Skip Lievsay; and Keyon Harrold, a sought out trumpeter/producer/arranger/songwriter who performs with Grammy-winning group D’Angelo and The Vanguard, and is featured as the trumpet sound of Don Cheadle playing Miles Davis.

The panel will take place on Thursday, March 17 at 12:30pm in ACC Room 18ABC, and will be open to Music, Film, Platinum and Gold badges, as well as Showcasing Artist wristbands.

Miles Ahead Film Trailer

Everything’s Beautiful is beautifully crafted collection produced by Robert Glasper, blending a diverse group of master takes and outtakes from across the incomparable Miles Davis Columbia catalog with an impressive lineup of contemporary artists and musicians to create original interpretations.

“I didn’t want to do just a remix record,” Glasper noted when discussing the 11-song set. “My idea was to show how Miles inspired people to make new art.”

Realizing that “Miles didn’t have one audience,” Glasper recruited a legion of diverse guest artists to add to the magic of the project including familiar collaborators like R&B musicians Erykah Badu, Ledisi, Bilal and King.

They are joined by British soul singer-songwriter Laura Mvula; hip-hop producer Rashad Smith; Grammy-nominated Australian neo-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote, rapper/singer Phonte, rapper/producer Illa J; jazz guitarist John Scofield, who was in Miles Davis’ band; and the legendary Stevie Wonder.

“I am living in the spirit of Miles when I am doing what I’m doing because I am documenting my time period. I’m documenting what’s around me. I’m documenting who I am now, where music is now,” notes Glasper.

“That’s what this project is about. I wanted to do something where we can take some of Miles’ ideas, shake them up, and try to show the influence of Miles and make new things. And that’s the beauty of this whole album.

The whole project is based on Miles, but it is based on Miles’ vision, it’s based on Miles’ trumpet, it’s based on Miles’ voice, it’s based on Miles’ composition, it’s based on Miles’ influence, it’s based on Miles’ swag.”

Miles Davis is a rarity: a pioneering superstar who was constantly voyaging into new directions and genres with an ever changing cast of collaborators.

Throughout his discography, sweeping change and innovation could happen based on who was in the studio and what they brought to his stunning musical vision.

Few American artists have impacted popular music and culture in as broad and long-lasting a way as he did.

By similar design, pianist/producer Robert Glasper has built a career out of a vibrant fusion of R&B, jazz and hip-hop. As the leader of the acoustic Robert Glasper Trio and the electronic Robert Glasper Experiment, he’s pushed the boundaries of each genre he works in to their breaking point.

This is the artist whose album, In My Element (2007), featured mashups of Herbie Hancock and Radiohead and tributes to rapper/producer J Dilla.

2013’s acclaimed Black Radio featured collaborations with Erykah Badu, Ledisi, Lupe Fiasco, Yasiin Bey and other artists. Black Radio was also capped by a sprawling cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.

Most recently, Glasper scored for Miles Ahead, the Miles Davis film directed by and starring Don Cheadle.

Everything’s Beautiful

is unlike any other in Davis’ discography. From the familiar (riffs and passages within the catalog) to the obscure (samples of Miles’ in-studio instructions spoken after false starts), Glasper has built something unique but still unquestionably Miles.

The cover art was created by Francine Turk and integrates elements of Miles Davis’ artwork. With the cover, Turk creates a visual that is similar to the idea of Robert Glasper taking fragments of Miles music and reinterpreting in a unique and modern way.

About Miles Davis

Born Miles Dewey Davis III on May 26, 1926 in Alton, Illinois, Miles grew up in East St. Louis, first learning trumpet at age 13. Graduating high school, he moved to New York in 1944 to study at the Juilliard School of Music, developing chops in technique and music theory before leaving Juilliard to become a full-time player on the New York jazz circuit, cutting his first records in 1945.

One of the most revolutionary and influential musicians and recording artists of the 20th century, Miles Davis was in the vanguard of virtually every phase of the evolution of post-WWII American jazz, from be-bop to cool jazz to hard-bop to modal to the radical rock-funk-fusion which got him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Miles Davis died on September 28, 1991, leaving the world an extensive catalog of unprecedented music that’s forever timeless and groundbreaking.

Trumpeter, bandleader and composer Miles Davis fronted some of the most formidable and adroit ensembles in musical history.

Miles was the rarest of artists: an uncompromising avant-garde visionary, and transformative cultural icon (with a larger-than-life persona), who achieved both critical and commercial success.

In 2008, Davis’s 1959 masterpiece, Kind of Blue, was certified 4x platinum, solidifying its position as the top-selling jazz album of all-time. In December 2009, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution on Kind of Blue’s 50th anniversary “honoring the masterpiece and reaffirming jazz as a national treasure.”

Since 1960, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) has honored Miles Davis with eight Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards.

Over the past twenty years, Miles and his music have been commemorated on a variety of critically-acclaimed box sets released through Columbia/Legacy, many of them winning Grammy Awards, charting in the Top 4 of the Billboard Jazz Album charts, and earning Jazz Reissue of the Year and other accolades in Down Beat magazine’s Critics and Readers polls, among other accolades.

In September 2011, Columbia/Legacy launched the Miles Davis Bootleg Series with the release of Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1. Miles Davis At Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 won JazzTimes’ Readers Poll for 2015 Best Historical/Vault/Reissue, the fourth time that a box set in the critically-acclaimed, best-selling Bootleg Series topped the JazzTimes Readers Poll in this category.

The set won the 2016 NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Jazz Album category.

Each of the first three releases in the Bootleg Series–Miles Davis Quintet – Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1, Miles Davis Quintet – Live In Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2, and Miles At The Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3–took home Best Historical/Vault/Reissue from JazzTimes readers.

Miles Davis At Newport 1955-1975 was honored as the Reissues/Archive Album of the Year by the 2015 Jazzwise Albums of the Year Critics Poll. In previous years, the Miles Davis Bootleg Series Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 have won in this category.

Miles Ahead – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 

  1.  Miles Ahead
  2. Dialogue: “It takes a long time

3. So What

  1. Taylor Made – Taylor Eigisti
  2. Dialogue: “Listen, you talk too goddam much
  3. Solea (excerpt)
  4. Seven Steps To Heaven (edit)
  5. Dialogue: “If you gonna tell a story
  6. Nefertiti (edit)
  7. Frelon Brun
  8. Dialogue: “Sometimes you have these thoughts
  9. Duran (take 6) (edit)
  10. Dialogue: “You own my music
  11. Go Ahead John (part two C)
  12. Black Satin (edit)
  13. Dialogue: “Be musical about this shit
  14. Prelude #II
  15. Dialogue: “Y’all listening to them
  16. Junior’s Jam – Robert Glasper, Keyon Harrold, Marcus Strickland
  17. Francessence – Robert Glasper, Keyon Harrold, Elena Pinderhughes
  18. Back Seat Betty (excerpt)
  19. Dialogue: “I don’t like the word jazz
  20. What’s Wrong With That?   – Don Cheadle, Robert Glasper, Gary Clark, Jr., Herbie Hancock, Keyon Harrold, Antonio Sanchez,Esperanza Spaulding,Wayne Shorter
  21. Gone 2015 – Robert Glasper, Keyon Harrold, Pharoahe Monch

(*) from the soundtrack of the film, Don Cheadle as Miles Davis

All other tracks performed by Miles Davis, except where noted

Soundtrack album produced by

Don Cheadle, Steve Berkowitz, Ed Gerrard & Robert Glasper

Soundtrack Executive Producers:

Don Cheadle, Erin Davis, Darryl Porter &, Vince Wilburn

Everything’s Beautiful

  1. “Talking Shit”
  2. “Ghetto Walkin” featuring Bilal
  3. “They Can’t Hold Me Down” featuring Illa J
  4. “Maiysha (So Long)” featuring Erykah Badu
  5. “Violets” featuring Phonte
  6. “Little Church” featuring Hiatus Kaiyote
  7. “Silence Is The Way” featuring Laura Mvula
  8. “Song For Selim” featuring KING
  9. “Milestones” featuring Georgia Ann Muldrow
  10. “I’m Leaving You” featuring John Scofield and Ledisi
  11. “Right On Brotha” featuring Stevie Wonder








Gabby Gibb
[email protected]


2016 Music Festival Rolls into Cincinnati July 22-23

Music Festival, Cincinnati Music Festival

2016 Music Festival Rolls into Cincinnati July 22-23

* Music Festival – QLZ Productions, LLP will provide tickets and accommodations for the annual, Cincinnati Music Festival (www.qlzproductions.com), to be held on Friday, July 22nd and Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 at Paul Brown Stadium in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Cincinnati Music Festival is one of the nation’s most highly-anticipated two-day R&B music festivals, attracting local and regional guests from across the Midwest.

Each year, the festival draws a wonderful mix of Old School and the hottest contemporary R & B music performers to its stage.

The first day of the festival begins at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, July 22nd with the following line-up:

2016 Music Festival Line-Up (Day 1)

* New Edition – The hit making teen pop group that evolved into a mature R&B vocal act.
* Babyface GRAMMY® Award winning R&B singer, songwriter, record producer,
* Fantasia American Idol winner, R&B soul singer
* The Whispers One of the world’s most gifted, one-of-a-kind premier vocal groups.
* Judith Hill GRAMMY® Award winning singer and songwriter

The 2nd day of the festival begins at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, July 23rd with the following line-up:

2016 Music Festival Line-Up (Day 2)

* Charlie Wilson Grammy-nominated R&B singer-songwriter
* Maze f/ Frankie Beverly an American soul / quiet storm band,
* Ledisi an American R&B and jazz recording artist, songwriter and actress
* Leela James American R&B and soul singer-songwriter
* The Deele an American band from Cincinnati, Ohio
Ticket prices range from $55 and up. For updates and/or to purchase tickets, visit www.qlzproductions.com or email:[email protected]com

The Festival History

The Cincinnati Kool Jazz Festival is referred to as the granddaddy of them all. It is one of the oldest running music festivals in North America.

The festival began in 1962 at Carthage Fairgrounds, with a pure jazz format. The early years of the Festival was met with international acclaim. It featured such greats as master trumpeter, Miles Davis, Al Jarreau, Grover Washington, Jr., George Benson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and The Spinners.

The festival soared in popularity, and the public demanded more. The event promoters, Dino & Joe Santangelo of Cincinnati, and their partner J. Lee Freidman of Atlanta, decided to meet the public appetite for quality live entertainment, and give them more. Along with the sponsorship and financial support of the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co, the festival catapulted into a multi-city event.

In June 1981, The Atlanta Kool Jazz Festival was held at the former Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. The big name headliners included The Isley Brothers, The Spinners, Johnny Taylor, The Manhattans, Aretha Franklin, Peabo Bryson, Cameo, and The Jones Girls. The Kool Festival was held that same year at the Superdome in New Orleans.

The festival played later that same summer at its birthplace, Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium. The Cincinnati line-up continued to maintain its original jazz genre, by featuring such jazz greats as Jimmy Smith, Herbie Mann, Nate Adderly, Eddie”Lockjaw” Davis, and Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers. The Kool Jazz Festival played in July 1980, for a 4 year run at Milwaukee’s County Stadium.

Over the years as a result of a number of factors, the event has evolved from that of a musical genre of pure jazz, to one predicated by a musical genre of rhythm & blues.

The Cincinnati Music Festival, now held at the all-new Paul Brown Stadium (home of the Cincinnati Bengal’s), is a state of the art facility.

Outside of the performers on stage, it is an event for those who are dedicated people watchers. It is an event to see, and to be seen. It is an event to meet and greet, mix and mingle. When in Cincinnati, be sure to take in the new Underground Railroad Freedom Museum. It is a journey through American history, for the struggle for freedom for African-Americans.






Zachary Berry
[email protected]com


Incognito Drops New CD ‘In Search of Better Days’

Incognito, In Search of Better Days*Incognito ~ It has long been noted that the role of a true artist is to use their art as a vehicle for change and to shed light on the times.

Nina Simone stated that the artist’s responsibility was to “reflect the times” and James Baldwin eloquently noted that their role was to “illuminate darkness and blaze roads” so that the artist would not “lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.”

Marvin Gaye asked “What’s Going On” and Stevie Wonder urged us to get on “Higher Ground.”  The prolific and pioneering UK singer, guitarist and producer, Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick, has been asking the questions and singing the songs for decades.

In Search Of Better Days and his music remains his weapon. While he continues to raise us to our feet with his downright funky and insatiable grooves, he also elevates our consciousness with his poignant visions and dreams.

“We are living in troubled times and I see the plight of the young in my neighborhood, the refugee crisis in London and all over Europe. Corruption. Child abuse. There is political, religious and financial misguided ideology all around the globe,” expresses Bluey, the mastermind behind Incognito.

“My trade is music and social awareness, and as such, I am fully aware of those In Search Of Better Days, including myself!”


Incognito’s anticipated 17th studio album is steeped in deep, rich history, bridging the classic sounds of the past and the tonal and sonic languages of the present and future.

The songs on In Search Of Better Days are songs of love and awareness,  that question and challenge and that deliver optimism, joy, and hope.  Incognito plans to tour the US in the Fall but until then you have the soundtrack to put you on the road to better days.

The creative force behind Incognito, the preeminent funk/jazz/soul/dance outfit in the world, Bluey, pioneered the ‘acid jazz’ movement and laid down the blueprint for the neo-soul scene to follow.

At a time when drum machines and sampling dominated the airwaves, Bluey and Incognito reminded us of the sheer beauty of the human soul and instrumental virtuosity.

As a producer, songwriter and musician, Bluey has collaborated with a who’s who list in music including James Brown, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Chaka Khan, R. Kelly, Leon Ware, George Duke, Phillip Bailey, Steve Gadd, Maxi Priest and countless others.

You would think that a 37-year-old band would rest on its laurels…right? No, not Incognito! The band is as creative and full of fire as it was at its conception in 1979. A rare feat in these days and times.

The sound of Bluey’s London for over three and a half decades weaves its way throughout In Search Of Better Days and gives it flesh, with splashes of Drum & Bass and Broken Beats, Rare Groove, Deep Soulful House, and even influences from the Rock and Blues that were at the heart of the UK scene in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

From the driving bass of featured guest Stuart Zender  (original Jamiroquai bass player) on the opening track, you know that this album is upping the ante and it’s going to be one hell of a good ride!

Imaani, Vanessa Haynes, Tony Momrelle, Katie Leone, Vula Malinga – the UK’s finest and most soulful voices hit you relentlessly one after the other with songs that will remain with you from the first hearing.

And as if that was not enough to make this one of Incognito’s best albums, in comes American chanteuse extraordinaire – Maysa- aka “the voice of Incognito” – to seal the deal!

Listen to Incognito feat Maysa – All I Ever Wanted (Lyric Video)

Highlights on In Search Of Better Days include such message oriented compositions and real stories of love, loss  and revelation as “Love’s Revival,” “Moving On Up,” “I See The Light,” “Echoes of Utopia,” “All I Ever Wanted” and “Everyday Grind,” Bluey’s favorite.

He shares, “Everyday Grind’ is the freshest thing I’ve done in years. Sonically it’s the sound of the London I know in combination with my favorite voice on the planet -Maysa.

It’s about a break up in a relationship that both Maysa and I could identify with and thus tell the tale convincingly because we both lived it!’ Incognito also takes us on a burnin’ and unforgettable instrumental journey on “Bridges of Fire.”

In Search Of Better Days features numerous special guests includingsinger/pianist Avery*Sunshine who plays piano on “I See The Light.”

Bluey shares, “She popped in for a brief couple of hours in my studio and joined in the backing vocal section for a song and sat at my piano and left me a beautiful piano track and said, ‘See if you can do something with this!’

I was instantly inspired to not only write, but to sing. She is an amazing talent!” Also highlighted on the CD is drummer Richard Spaven, cosmic percussionist Jody Linscott, and Japanese guitar legend Tomoyasu Hotei of Kill Bill fame.

Grounding the entire album are the usual suspects: Matt Cooper and Ski Oakenfull (keyboards); Francis Hylton (bass); Francesco Mendolia (drums); João Caetano (percussion); Francisco Sales (lead guitar); Sid Gauld (trumpet); Trevor Mires and Alistair White (trombone); Paul Booth, Jim Hunt, and Andy Ross (sax and flute); and Richard Bull (everything).

These fine artists combine to take the band to a new and higher high! The whole thing is beautifully catalogued, blended, and sonically gift-wrapped by sound engineer Mo Hausler.

As Bluey continues blazing his own trail with his ever-expanding community of  all-star artists, fueled by a passion for storytelling and creating unity through the Groove, Incognito’s In Search Of Better Days surely takes us there.

This album is . . .  Truth! The musical wizard concludes, “When you are lucky enough to be doing what you love for a living, that alone should be enough to make you want to carry on, add to that the friendships, the wonderful journeys around the world, the possibility to communicate and stimulate change for the better… The thrill just keeps getting stronger!”





Monifa Brown
[email protected]

Stars of ‘Underground’ Shine at 2016 Essence Festival

underground, Underground, Essence Festival

Stars of ‘Underground’ Shine at 2016 Essence Festival Left to Right: Cori Murray (Entertainment Director, Essence Magazine), Director/Executive Producer Anthony Hemingway, Actors Amirah Vann, Alano Miller and Aldis Hodge; Director/Executive Producer Anthony Hemingway, Actors Amirah Vann, Alano Miller and Aldis Hodge

* A crowd of cheering fans greeted WGN America’s “Underground” stars Aldis Hodge (“Noah”), Alano Miller (“Cato”) and Amirah Vann (“Ernestine”), and director and executive producer Anthony Hemingway, as the celebrated group took center stage at the 2016 Essence Festival, the nation’s top showcase for African American music and culture.

Moderator Cori Murray from Essence Magazine covered hot topics, spanning from the phenomenon the record-breaking series “Underground” has become to what’s in store for the series’ season two, during the not-to-be-missed panel discussion at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 1.


When asked about “Underground’s” relevance to today, Hodge’s comments were applauded, “we are all necessary to the progression of America…we need to continue to build without judgment. No problem is bigger than love.”

Continuing the ovation, Director Anthony Hemingway added, “How active is your activism?  Everybody has a purpose.”  Miller’s thoughts about the importance of the powerful story of the heroes of the Underground Railroad were also lauded, “we have that fight in us…it’s important that we talk about the revolution.”

Fans affirmed their appreciation for Vann’s response to a question about the strength of her popular character “Ernestine,” saying “women have been running the ship for a long time…how many of our mamas are like ‘Ernestine’?”

From executive producer John Legend and creators and executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, “Underground” tells the unflinching story of some of America’s most heroic freedom fighters—slaves who risked their lives to reach freedom and claim their civil rights.  Season two will begin production this summer for a 2017 debut.

The first season of WGN America’s “Underground” captured the pop culture zeitgeist and scored 3 million Total Viewers in Live + 7 delivery on Wednesday nights, and made history as the network’s most-watched original series ever.

The series also ignited Twitter as the #1 most social cable drama on Wednesday nights and trended worldwide on the same day the U.S. Treasury Department announced Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

From executive producer John Legend, “Underground” is created by Misha Green (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Heroes”) and Joe Pokaski (“Daredevil,” “Heroes,”) who executive produce alongside Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman (“A Beautiful Mind,” “I Am Legend”) of Weed Road Pictures; and Joby Harold (“King Arthur,” “Edge of Tomorrow“) and Tory Tunnell (“King Arthur,” “Holy Rollers”) of Safehouse Pictures;

Get Lifted partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius executive produce. Additionally, Get Lifted oversees all elements of the show’s music. Anthony Hemingway (“The Wire,” “Treme”) directs and executive produces the series.

The freshman season of “Underground” featured an acclaimed cast, including Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“True Blood,” “‪FridayNight Lights”), Aldis Hodge (“Straight Outta Compton”), Christopher Meloni (“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”), Alano Miller(“Jane The Virgin”), ‎Jessica de Gouw (“Arrow,” “Dracula”),

Marc Blucas (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), ‎Adina Porter (“The 100”), Mykelti Williamson (“Justified,” “24”), ‎Amirah Vann (“Girls,” “And So It Goes”), Johnny Ray Gill (“Rectify”), Chris Chalk (“Gotham”), Reed Diamond (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Theodus Crane (“The Walking Dead”), James Lafferty (“One Tree Hill”), Renwick Scott (“Treme”) and Jussie Smollett (“Empire”).

WGN America and Tribune Studios

WGN America, the flagship entertainment network of Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) is nationally distributed in nearly 80 million homes via cable, satellite and telco, with high-quality entertainment programming including the breakout hit series “Outsiders,” “Underground” and “Salem.”

The network also brings its audience a strong slate of popular first-run syndicated series and blockbuster movies.  Through Tribune Studios, the creative development arm of Tribune Media, original content is produced for WGN America and Tribune local stations nationwide.  Follow the network on Twitter @wgnamerica.  For additional information, please visit www.wgnamerica.com.

Social Media Handles:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UndergroundWGN

Twitter:  @UndergroundWGN


“Underground” Panelist Social Media Handles:

Aldis Hodge: @AldisHodge

Alano Miller: @AlanoMiller

Amirah Vann: @amirahvann

Anthony Hemingway: @shinybootz



Dawn Lach
[email protected]


Jacques Lesure Jazzy for All Times (Video: Watch & Groove)

*Jacques Lesure is a man who always has jazz on his mind.

The prolific guitarist hails from Detroit, Michigan and has performed with greats such as Kenny Burrell, Oscar Brown Jr., Stanley Turrentine, Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Les McCann, Carmen Lundy, Oliver Lake and many others.  Jacques Lesure offers musical entertainment, enrichment and education through live  performances, individual and group lessons, lectures and music clinics.

Jacques Lesure is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music who presents all over the United States, striving to nurture a love and appreciation for the tradition of jazz as an original American art form that is the root of music today.  Lesure and his wife have formed the Los Angeles based Now Dig This Foundation to give back to the community and expose today’s youth to the rich history of Black American Music, especially Jazz; while keeping the adults grooving to his amazing sound.   www.JacquesLesure.com

For info on EURweb’s Jazzy In July email: [email protected]

Jazzy in July: Smitty Smith Brings up the Bass!

*Writer, producer Dwayne “Smitty” Smith hails from Washington, D.C. where he traded baseball for an electric bass at age twelve.  Smitty later spent a melodious tour of duty with the U. S. Air Force, then returned to D.C. as bassist for the popular Larry Seals Quartet.

Next Smitty was off to tinsel town landing a spot on Anita Baker’s “Rapture” tour.  He has laid prolific bass lines for Natalie Cole, Boney James, Jeff Lorber, George Howard, Everette Harp, Gerald Albright, Teena Marie, Will Downing, Wayne Henderson, Euge Groove, Ron Brown, Kirk Whalum, Lee Ritenaur, Rachelle Ferrell, Peabo Bryson, Doc Powell, Brenda Russell, Deniece Williams, Phillip Bailey, Jeffrey Osborne, Norman Brown, Boney James, Ron Brown and that’s the short list.

Smitty’s Debut CD “This Is Me” is another chapter in his amazing career.  Influenced by Marcus Miller, Jaco Pastorius and Larry Graham, “This Is Me” is evidence of why this humble side man is also a star in his own right.

The album is available through all music outlets.  Smitty is currently in the studio working a new project which is due in the fall.

Fans can follow Smitty Smith on Facebook. 

Experience MORE Jazzy in July artists HERE.

Jazzy In July: Laura Reed Banking on Faith not Fear

*Laura Reed’s chain of life events gave birth to a new phase in her career as she sat at her piano one night a year ago.

What seemed like disarray, was actually the seeds that helped her to conceive the first single from her upcoming album, The AwakeningFaith Not Fear  offers a vibrant message about overcoming the test and trials that all of humanity faces.

Laura defines it as “a kind of marching band anthem with a beat box tempo.”  The debut song  and upcoming album was co-written and produced by the two-time Grammy-award winning songwriter/producer SHANNON SANDERS (India.Arie/John Legend/Pink).

From her native South Africa, to her current city Nashville, Laura Reed’s travels have taught her that faith is an action word.  As an artist that has been captivating audiences for many years with her “slow-cooked soul music recipe”, Laura Reed’s sound and style is reminiscent of iconic music trendsetters like Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and the late Amy Winehouse.

For more information on Laura Reed and her upcoming tour dates, visit www.laurareed.com.
Itunes link to ‘Faith not Fear” here
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Jazzy In July: Rita Edmond Pays Tribute to Sarah Vaughan

The Contemporary Face of Jazz Royalty

*Contemporary jazz artist Rita Edmond is a sultry delight and one of the entries in the Sarah Vaughan Competition held by Indaba Music.  Just one listen reveals why Ms. Edmond is more than a serious contender.  Click here for a dazzling burst of vocal majesty at the Indaba Music profile page.

The International Sarah Vaughan Competition is also presented by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Jazz Roots, and public radio station WBGO in Newark, New Jersey in honor of the illustrious Ms. Sarah Vaughan, a native of Newark who rose to become an international  jazz icon.  A win for Rita Edmond means claiming a $5,000 prize and a performance as the opening act at the February 2013 Jazz Roots concert in NJPAC’s Prudential Hall. The judges include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jon Hendricks, Melissa Walker, Michael Bourne, and Larry Rosen. The entry deadline is August 15, 2012.

Rita’s submissions are “Here’s to Life,” “This Can’t Be Love,” and “It Might As Well Be Spring.”  Rita is a native of Ohio, who has performed in Las Vegas, Paris, Monte Carlo, Italy and locally in Los Angeles. For more on Rita Edmond visit www.RitaEdmond.com.

EURweb Jazzy In July fans can VOTE HERE for Rita Edmond in the Sarah Vaughan competition!


Maysa’s ‘Last Chance for Love’ Hit #4 on iTunes Jazz Charts (WATCH)

maysa, back 2 love, last chance for love, phil perry

Maysa’s lyric video “Last Chance For Love” featuring Phil Perry from her CD “Back 2 Love” was released May 26 on Shanachie and hit #4 on itunes jazz charts.

*The new Maysa lyric video for her song “Last Chance For Love” featuring Phil Perry is out now via Shanachie.

“Last Chance for Love” is off the singers “Back 2 Love” CD.   It hit #4 on iTunes’ jazz charts.

The producers  of the track include J.R. Hutson (Jill Scott), Lorenzo Johnson (Ledisi), and Chris “Big Dog” Davis (Kim Burrell).

“The older I get I want less things in life…less material things,” the Baltimore native told The Pulse of Entertainment‘s Eunice Moseley . When discussing what her listeners can expect on the album she said, “I hope the album encourages people to live their dreams. I put it (love) aside…my son is 16 and I’m ready to meet that person.”

Maysa – “Last Chance For Love” (ft. Phil Perry)





Monifa Brown
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Flutist Althea Rene’ Releases New CD ‘Althea Rene’ – Live in Detroit’

althea rene, althea rene - live in detroit

Flautist Althea Rene’ releases new CD ‘Althea Rene’ – Live in Detroit’

*Los Angeles – Making a smash hit debut “Althea Rene – Live In Detroit” is crushing the competition across the globe with its’ killer production selection.

Classical music trained Althea Rene’ has been climbing up the charts with her amazing flute skills over the last 10 years.  With her critically acclaimed 6th project, Live In Detroit, she’s got international jazz enthusiasts and music lovers a like buzzing about her unique, soulful, compelling sound.

Entertainment influencers such as Patrice Rushen, Roy Ayers, Deniece Williams and Stevie Wonder, grace the collection her recent project and the creative renditions do not disappoint.

althea rene', live in detroit

Of course, the talented musicians, Producer Demetrius Nabors, on keyboards and programming; Robert Skinner on bass; Gary Johnson, lead guitar; Marcus Hunter on drums; and Eddy Garcia, percussion; all helped make this “music to our ears” as well.

Guest appearances by Phil Denny, Lin Rountree, and Dezie McCullers Jr. added additional flavor to the project.

“Althea is definitely on top of her game with her Live CD. Not only is she an incredible flutist, she brings class, style, and pizzazz to the stage. You can almost visualize her performing on the CD. We have so much to look forward to from Althea and I am enjoying her musical journey.” – Donna Franklin, Asst. General Manager KTSU-FM, and On-Air Jazz Host WCIN Radio

Upcoming tour dates:

•       May 28th – The Suite Lounge – Atlanta, Georgia (8pm)
•       June 6th – Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine and Jazz Festival – Ottawa, IL (8pm)
•       July 10th – Idlewild Music Festival – Detroit, MI (11am)
•       July 18th – The Battle House – Mobile, AL (8pm)
•       July 26th – University Plaza – Stockton, CA (6pm)
•       Aug 14th – Downtown Jazz Series – Winston Salem, NC (8pm)
•       Oct 1st  – Tour with Gerald Albright – Gem Theatre – Kansas City, MO (8pm)
•       Oct 2nd – Tour with Gerald Albright – Bishop Arts Theatre Center – Dallas, Texas (8pm)
•       Oct 3rd – Tour with Gerald Albright – Fort Sam Houston – San Antonio, Texas (8pm)
•       Oct 4th – Tour with Gerald Albright – Cullen Theatre at Wortham Center – Houston, Texas (8pm)

We hope you can join us for a show to help spread the word about this talented female flutist.  Even just listening to the C.D. and offering positive words in a review or spotlight would be amazing.  She’s worth talking about.

You can now hear Althea on the following stations & iTunes:
•       KUNP
•       KUNV
•       KYSJ
•       Mood Media Jazz Vocal Blend
•       Mood Media Smooth Jazz
•       WFSK
•       WEIB
•       WSBZ
•       WVST
•       WVAS

Stay connected with her on Twitter @flautistdiva, Facebook, or Reverbnation.

Watch Althea Rene perform “In the Moment” from her CD “Live in Detroit.”:

Soul-Jazz Flutist Althea Rene was born December 25th in Detroit, Michigan and began her musical journey at age four as a classical flutist.

She studied classical music while attending Howard University in Washington D.C. and later gained further musical inspiration from the accomplishments of Yusef Lateef, Ian Anderson, and her father, one of Motown’s original Funk Brothers, Dezie McCullers. She has since developed her own creative style.

For more than 10 years she was employed as a Wayne County Deputy Sheriff (Detroit, Michigan). Today, she is a full-time performing/recording artist and some regard her as a “master of her craft” and one of the world’s most exciting solo improvisational flutists.

althena rene, live in detroit,

Classical music trained Althea Rene’ has been climbing up the charts with her amazing flute skills over the last 10 years.

In May 2013, she released her fifth project “In The Flow”. Collaborating with Grammy award winning producer Michael Broening; (producer for legendary icons George Benson, Marion Meadows, and Paul McCartney) we co-wrote the title track.

That song became a hit single and reached number one ranking on both the Billboard Chart and the Smooth Jazz Chart. Our partnership allowed her to become the first flute player in the history of Billboard Chart to reach the number one spot.

In April of 2015, she released her 6th project in her hometown of Detroit MI. arguably the strongest performance ever displayed by a soul-jazz flutist in recent history. Her Detroit-based band history delivered unparalleled funk that made this concert a scorching hot tour de force.

Learn more at: http://www.reverbnation.com/althearene





Katrina Jefferson
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Amiri Baraka’s ‘Dutchman’ Opens July 15 Limited Engagement @ Edgemar Center for Arts

dutchman,edward albee, amiri baraka, tanna frederick, edgemar center for the arts, siaka massaquoi, levi lee simon

Lula, a young white woman, encounters Clay, a Black man, on the subway. Each has pre-conceptions about The Other. Both are in for a big surprise.

*First produced off-Broadway in 1964, Dutchman” won the Obie Award. Amiri Baraka’s breakthrough play, co-produced by Edward Albee and presented and published when Baraka was still known as LeRoi Jones, launched the prolific African American writer into the front ranks of American public intellectuals. At the current moment, when race relations and related violence are once again commanding headlines, Dutchman feels as timely as ever.

Lula, a young white woman, encounters Clay, a Black man, on the subway. His “buttoned-up” attire would indicate that he is not from the streets, but solidly from the middle class. She attempts right there on the train to sexually provoke him. Each has pre-conceptions about The Other.  Both are in for a big surprise.

The current production at Edgemar Center for the Arts will play for three performances only prior to traveling to the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC, where it is a Festival selection this August.

Tanna Frederick stars as Lula.  She has received critical acclaim for her stage appearances at Edgemar in recent years, including roles inTrain to Zakopané, The Rainmaker (L.A. Times Critic’s Choice), Just 45 Minutes From Broadway, Sylvia and more. She is one of the queens of independent cinema, with starring roles in The M Word, Hollywood Dreams, Queen of the Lot, Irene in Time, Just 45 Minutes From Broadway, and more.

Siaka Massaquoi portrays Clay. His previous credits include the film Consinsual, the TV movie Wingmen, and the stage and screen versions of Saidi’s Song.

Levy Lee Simon directs. A prize-winning playwright, he is best-known for The Haitian Trilogy: For the Love of Freedom (L.A. Times Critic’s Choice) and The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel, both of which were produced by Robey Theatre Company. The Maginificent Dunbar Hotel proved to be the biggest ticket-seller in the twenty-year-old company’s history. Dutchman, The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel, and another play by Simon, The Last Revolutionary,will all be presented this year at the National Black Theatre Festival. Simon is the recipient of the Lorraine Hansberry Award and the Audelco Award, among other honors.

Frederick, Massaquoi and Simon are graduates of the University of Iowa, where the trio met.

Performances of Dutchman will be followed by a Q&A moderated by theatre critic Sheryl Aronson.

Dutchman. Written by Amiri Baraka. Directed by Levy Lee Simon. Produced by The Rainbow Theatre Company in association with Kilpatrick/Cambridge Theatre Arts and Jazz Lion Productions. Starring Tanna Frederick and Siaka Massaquoi. At Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405. July 15, 22 and 29, 2015. Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. Admission: $10. Reservations: (310) 392-7327. Online ticketing: www.edgemar.org







Lori DeWaal
[email protected]

Take 6 Records ABC’s for ‘Reba to the Rescue’ [Watch]

reba to the rescue, take 6, abc's

Take 6 recorded ‘ABCs’ for their likenesses to perform on the new animated elementary education app, “Reba to the Rescue”

*Take 6, the most award winning jazz, pop and R&B acapella group in the world, recorded “ABCs” for their likenesses to perform on  the new animated elementary education app, “Reba to the Rescue”.

Both  iPhone and Android versions are now available  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaJezg9tiyc) released  by Spoken Spices, LLC. There are plans for at least two more songs to help preschoolers learn both academic and life lessons. There is a colors game, a shapes game and a basic math game.

Reba is a “pint-sized princess” who loves assisting others. From schoolwork to recycling, Reba is ready, willing and able to come to the rescue with assistance and encouragement. “And now the ‘Kings of A Capella’ are helping to teach kids their ABC’s and more,” said Ms. Mitchell.

Cicely C. Mitchell, the African-American creator of the children’s learning series, has combined elements of jazz music, learning and love! A former educator, she is aware that it has been empirically proven that music has a positive impact on learning, particularly math and science.

“Reba to the Rescue” is a series of informative and encouraging stories geared toward preschoolers. Each story features a lesson about life and learning put to music and filled with fun-loving characters.


The “Reba to the Rescue”© series is the result of over a decade of experience Ms. Mitchell has enjoyed as an educator with K-12 children, which gave her the groundwork to  compile information about development objectives.

The endeavor has been designed to help children develop solid foundations in reading, writing, comprehension, life skills and vocabulary. The series and app are appealing to diverse cultures, and are available in English, Spanish and Japanese with plans for further expansion.

“Reba To The Rescue” Joins Take 6 For ABC Fun!




Antonella Marafioti
[email protected]


19-Year-Old Jazz Vocalist Impresses Seasoned Professionals with Debut Album

ira hill, tomorrow

19-Year-Old Jazz Vocalist Impresses Seasoned Professionals with Debut Album

*Phoenix, AZ – Even as the title of “Tomorrow” — the debut album from Phoenix’s Ira Hill — hints at a bright future for the sensational 19-year-old jazz vocalist, it pays its dues to the past by means of an attentive and eclectic set list.

In spite, if not also because of Hill’s gloriously extroverted vocalese, the album comes across as a vividly personal journey.

Hill’s tender delivery is much more mature than his years, ensuring that “Tomorrow” is certain to invite a new generation of enthusiasts to appreciate the genre, while impressing scores of seasoned musicians and jazz aficionados. Sample “Tomorrow‘s” tracks at www.cdbaby.com/cd/irahill12.

Watch Ira singing “Billie’s Bounce”

Billie’s Bounce

“Ira Hill possesses all the ingredients that precede a rise to stardom as a jazz vocalist,” said internationally acclaimed jazz, blues and symphony pops vocal luminary, Dr. Dee Daniels. “The fact that he is only 19-years-old could lead one to believe in reincarnation. The composer, educator and mentor continued excitedly, “I suggest you keep your eyes and ears on Ira to witness his journey to global recognition!”

The album’s core trio – pianist John Proulx, bassist Kevin Axt and drummer Dave Tull¾gives young Hill all the space both he and his listeners need to luxuriate in the breadth of his sound. With the trio alone, he turns evergreens like “My Funny Valentine” and “Tomorrow’s Another Day” even greener. The hallmark of any jazz singer is not only the way in which he lays out the melodies, but also the way in which he infuses the lyrics with soul. At a tender 19, Hill navigates a familiar songbook as if it were his own, singing as one who means every word. Balancing sophistication and fun, he brings his all to every tune with panache, gratitude and always with a smile.

But it’s really in “Afro Blue,” the album’s slick opener, that one gets the immediacy of his feel for groove and atmosphere. Integrated seamlessly into the trio, along with vibraphonist Craig Fundyga, percussionist Alex Acuna and reedman Doug Webb, Hill buffs every edge until it fits flush with the next.

At every turn of “Tomorrow,” one can count on a rich, emotional directness in Hill’s singing. He incorporates several timeless favorites into the album’s repertoire, including an uplifting “Billie’s Bounce;” the scintillating staccato of “Cloudburst” in which he duets with The Manhattan Transfer’s Cheryl Bentyne; a swinging “I’ll Remember April” and bright “You’ve Proven Your Point,” which ends the album on a Latin vibe, paying tribute to Ira’s childhood, spent partly south of the border.

In all of these, one encounters Ira’s gifts for rhythm and tonal color in spades. Tomorrow is certain to be a much-appreciated holiday gift-giving favorite!

“Ira Hill is coming out of the gate strong. Just in his first week at radio, his CD has hit the Most Added Charts at CMJ and Jazzweek, including the Biggest Gainer Chart,” hailed music promoter Kari Gaffney.

Tomorrow” is showing significant promise among the crowded field of jazz releases primed for the end of year push at radio.”

Most agreeable, Hill’s debut album is certain to be a much-appreciated holiday gift-giving favorite!

About the Artist:

Born 1996 in Bakersfield, California, Ira spent his earliest years shuttling between the United States and Mexico, before settling in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of seven. His father, a jazz enthusiast, introduced him to the Motown greats on which he, by age 10, Ira would be cutting his teeth.

This was the foundation for Hill’s inevitable future His ever-supportive father brought 14-year-old Ira to hear Grammy-nominated Count Basie vocalist Dennis Rowland in concert. Before the show, dad introduced Ira to Rowland, who, upon discovering that Ira wanted to sing, gave him an opportunity to perform on stage. He sang the Temptations hit “My Girl” with Rowland’s jazz big band. The performance earned the youth a standing ovation, and opened his eyes to a wholly new possibility of self-expression.

After experimenting with other music genres, Hill finally landed smoothly in jazz. During this period of intense artistic development, he benefited immeasurably from mentors Rowland and Grammy-nominated pianist and vocalist Judy Roberts, another fixture of the Phoenix scene.

In addition to vocalists, Ira has learned much by proxy from the likes of Lee Morgan, Dexter Gordon and Bill Evans – musicians whose art allowed Ira to infuse his own musicianship with an instrumental flavor. This is most obvious in his scatting, which at once distinguishes him from his bandmates and humbles him as an equal improviser among them.

Ira Hill credits the time graciously given to him by greats who genuinely care about the up-and-coming generation of stars, and who instilled in him the confidence to brave his first solo.

To that end, it was while participating in a Los Angeles jazz workshop that young Ira fatefully met Cheryl Bentyne of The Manhattan Transfer, who was so impressed by his singing that she invited him back to L.A. to lay down this full studio album, which she also produced. Hill has crafted a consummately individual statement that speaks true, sings truer, and promises to be the springboard to a prosperous career.

The new album is called “Tomorrow,” and with Ira leading the way, that’s just what we have to look forward to from this young and very talented singer. To learn more about the sensational young vocalist, please visit www.irahill.com





Toni Beckham – PR, et Cetera, Inc.
[email protected]


Soulful Summer Brings Live R&B Favorites to the Forum

Soulful Summer

Soulful Summer Brings Live R&B Favorites to the Forum

*94.7 The Wave’s Soulful Summer presents a full night of live music at the “Fabulous”Forum in Inglewood, CA on Saturday, July 2, kicking off Independence Day weekend.

Don’t miss R&B favorites Blackstreet, Johnny Gill, After 7, Total and Al B. Sure! for one night only.

Soulful Summer

Soulful Summer Tickets go on sale Friday, March 18 at 10:00 AM through Ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000 or the Forum box office.

Blackstreet’s 1996’s Another Level album was a breakthrough success due to the top single “No Diggity” (with Dr. Dre), which was a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1996, and won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, along with the Top 40 hit “Don’t Leave Me”.

Another Level eventually went four times platinum in the United States and peaked at #3 on the Billboard chart. “No Diggity” is ranked at #91 on Rolling Stone and MTV: 100 Greatest Pop Songs, while Blackstreet comes in at #214 of the Top 500 Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years.

Johnny Gill is an American R&B musician, songwriter and singer best known as a successful solo recording artist and as lead singer of platinum-selling boy band New Edition.

Johnny Gill also contained four singles that powered onto the R&B and Pop Singles charts: “My, My, My,” a signature Gill ballad that reached No. 1 on the R&B chart and the Top 10 on the Pop chart; “Wrap My Body Tight”; “Fairweather Friend” and “Rub You the Right Way.”

After 7 emerged in the ’90s as a solid contemporary ensemble able to perform creditably in either vintage soul or modern new jack and urban styles. The Indianapolis trio includes brothers Melvin and Kevin Edmonds (the brothers of producer/performer Babyface) and Keith Mitchell (cousin of Babyface‘s longtime partner L.A. Reid).

They signed with Virgin in 1989 and had immediate success with their LP After 7. Such songs as “Can’t Stop” and “Heat of the Moment” were major winners on the urban and quiet storm circuit.

Total is an American R&B girl group and one of the signature acts of Sean CombsBad Boy Records imprint during the 1990s. Total is best known for their hits “What You Want” (Featuring Mase), “Kissing You”, “Can’t You See” (featuring The Notorious B.I.G.), and “What About Us?” & “Trippin'”, both featuring Missy Elliott.

Long also featured on The Notorious B.I.G.’s hit song “Hypnotize”, singing the chorus.

Al B. Sure! is a three-time Grammy-nominated American R&B recording artist and record producer.

During the late 1980s, Al B. Sure!, was one of new jack swing‘s most popular romantic singers and producers, due to his smash hit “Nite and Day, which reached the Top Ten on the pop charts and topped the R&B charts for three weeks.

The follow-up, “Off on Your Own (Girl),” was also a number one R&B hit, and he became a bona fide star among urban audiences, though he didn’t remain a presence on the pop charts.



Vanessa Kromer
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Erik Stein
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Kirk Franklin 20 Years in One Night Tour Returns

Kirk Franklin

Kirk Franklin 20 Years in One Night Tour Returns

*Award-winning gospel artist, songwriter, producer and trailblazer Kirk Franklin kicks off the second leg of his critically acclaimed 20 Years in One Night Tour  in Clearwater, Florida at The Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Extended due to overwhelming demand, the 20 Years in One Night Tour returns for 14 additional dates.

Kirk Franklin

The 20 Years in One Night Tour is a retrospective of Kirk Franklin’s expansive 20-plus year body of work, which has garnered him honors including 10 GRAMMY Awards, over 40 Stellar Awards and 16 GMA Dove Awards.

The first leg of the high-powered tour began on March 15, 2016 in Miami and was met with great success, selling out most venues.

Beloved for his distinct brand of inspirational music and lively stage performances, Franklin is extremely excited about extending the tour.

Tickets for the 20 Years in One Night Tour summer dates are available now via Ticketmaster.com

20 Years in One Night Tour Schedule – Summer 

June 2nd                      Clearwater, FL           Ruth Eckerd Hall

June 3rd                       Augusta, GA               James Brown Arena

June 4th                       Durham, NC               Durham Performing Arts Center

June 5th                       Jacksonville, FL          Times – Union Center

June 8th                       Memphis, TN             Landers Center

June 9th                       Tulsa, OK                    Brady Theatre

June 10th                     Austin, TX                   ACL Live at Moody Theatre

June 11th                     New Orleans, LA        Orpheum Theatre

June 12th                     Mobile, AL                  Saenger Theatre

June 14th                     Birmingham, AL        Alabama Theatre

June 15th                     Savannah, GA             Savannah Civic Center

June 17th                     Rochester, NY            Main Street Armory

June 18th                     Dorchester, MA         Strand Theatre

June 19th                     Baltimore, MD           The Lyric Opera House

About Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Records

Fo Yo Soul Recordings is a joint venture between gospel music icon Kirk Franklin and RCA Records.  The Dallas-based inspirational music label, which was established in 2013, showcases some of the genre’s most talented emerging artists and established performers.

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Tricia N. Newell
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Trio Presents 9th Annual Toast to Urban Music Executives

Urban Music Executives

Trio Presents 9th Annual Toast to Urban Music Executives

*Urban Network Digital, Music Industry Quarterly, and Lynn Allen Jeter & Associates present the 9th Annual Toast to Urban Music Executives on Wednesday, June 22nd.

Toast to Urban Music Executives

The 9th Annual Toast is a Pre-BET Awards and Black Music Month celebration that will be hosted by Jeannie Jones (Radio/TV Personality).

The Toast will take place from 7p.m. to 11p.m. at Tinhorn Flats located at 1724 N. Highand Ave, Hollywood, CA., 90028 with live performances by Joshua Ledet (American Idol/Soul Singer), Vincent Berry II (Co-Producer & Co-writer for Beyoncé’s “Sandcastles” on album “Lemonade;” three-time Grammy-nominated), Mindless Behavior (R&B, Epic Records Artist), Vonzell Solomon (R&B Artist), and more.

The presenters will be Mir Harris (Entertainment Executive, A&R); Pat Shields (Partner, Black Dot LCC.); and David Mitchell (Publisher, MIQ); and others.

This years honorees are Phylicia Fant- VP of Publicity and Lifestyle, Warner Bros Records; Brad Davidson- VP of Urban Promotions, RCA Records; Brian Samson- Blueprint Promotions/Management; Jerome Spence- Sr. Creative

Director of Film & TV, Peermusic; and Moya Nkruma- ASCAP Associate Director, Rhythm & Soul. The event is produced by Lynn Allen Jerter & Associates.

Invited celebrities and VIPs include Mona Scott-Young (LHH Producer), Goapele (Artist), Max Gousse (Record Entertainment Executive) James Leach (VP of Writer/Publisher Relations at SESAC), Jeanine McClean (MBK Entertainment), Herb Trawick (Executive Producer/Co- Host of Pensado’s Place), Eric Bellinger (Grammy Award winninger singer-songwriter); Tank (Grammy-winning singer-songwriter), and Howard Henley (TV Host, CW’s ‘Truth or Dare’).


Urban Music Executives

Trio Presents 9th Annual Toast to Urban Music Executives

The mission of the Toast to Urban Music Executives Awards event is to honor influential Urban Music and Entertainment Executives from the worlds of music, music and entertainment landscape multi-media, film and television for their outstanding commitment, contributions, and sacrifices made to preserve the heritage and value of the urban entertainment landscape, and to showcase new talent.

Along with honoring Urban Music Executives, the Toast provides a networking platform in the spirit of recognition, support, mentorship, and relationship building.

Past Toast honoree recipients include Eric Bellinger- Grammy-winning songwriter for Chris Brown and Usher; Warryn Campbell- Songwriter & producer; Cynthia Horner- Editor-In-Chief of Hip Hop Weekly; Virgil Roberts- Esq., Entertainment Lawyer;

Vincent Herbert- Manager of Lady Gaga; Tammi Mac, Radio Air Personality, KJLH Radio; and Mathew ‘Boi-1da’ Samuels- Grammy-winning producer for Drake and Kanye West; Mir Harris- Director of Rhythm & Soul; ASCAP; Taj Stansberry-director and photographer of some of the biggest names in the Urban industry, such as Rihanna, J-Lo and Ne-Yo;

Malik Yusef- 5 Time Grammy Award Winner and 6 Time ASCAP Winner; Eesean “E” Bolden- A&R Epic Records; Herb Trawick- Executive Producer/Co-host of Pensado’s Place, just to name a few.

Sponsors: Warner Bros Records, Moreno BLHV, Urban Network Digital, Music Industry Quarterly, ASCAP, Giddy Up Energy Products, Tinhorn Flats, & Lynn Allen Jeter & Associates.

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Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ToastToUrbanEntertainmentExecutive/

Instagram- @toasttourbanentertainmentexecutives






Lynn Jeter
[email protected]

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