Friday, April 30, 2010

Star-studded lineup for The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2012 includes Smokey Robinson

Smooth sailing in the Caribbean with music legends and luminaries

Star-studded lineup for The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2012 includes Smokey Robinson

St. Louis, MO: Expect a Miracle at “The Greatest Party at Sea.” The stellar lineup to set sail from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean aboard The Smooth Jazz Cruise in 2012 was announced today by Jazz Cruises, LLC. Motown legend Smokey Robinson will make his debut on The Smooth Jazz Cruise that will be hosted by David Sanborn and Marcus Miller along with special event hosts Jonathan Butler and Gerald Albright. Reservations are now being accepted for the week-long musical voyages scheduled to depart January 15-22 and January 22-29, 2012.

Other stars that will perform aboard the Holland America M/S Westerdam to Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Barths and the private island of Half Moon Clay are Boney James, Rick Braun, Candy Dulfer, Eric Darius, Jeff Golub, Rahsaan Patterson, Patrice Rushen, Joe Sample, Brian Simpson, Peter White and DW3, the official party band of The Smooth Jazz Cruise. Alonzo Bodden will provide comic relief on the cruise while Pat Prescott and Dane Butcher will serve as event hosts and emcees.

“We are very proud and excited to announce the 2012 lineup. It is a very special lineup because we asked our guests who they’d most like to see perform on The Smooth Jazz Cruise and that’s who we booked. Our guests are our number one priority and we do everything we can to provide them with a fun, first-class experience and an unforgettable musical vacation,” said The Smooth Jazz Cruise’s executive director Michael Lazaroff. “In addition to the impressive array of instrumental and vocal talent that will sail with us, we’re thrilled about including a living legend, Mr. Smokey Robinson, in our cruise experience.”

The cruise attracts extraordinary repeat business: nearly sixty-percent of the guests return to sail aboard The Smooth Jazz Cruise again. In recognition of this remarkable loyalty, for the first time, a special rate will be offered for the 2012 cruise for guests who have sailed with the program four or more times. Due to popular demand, The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2011 marks the first time two sailings are offered: January 16-23 and January 23-30. Both excursions are virtually sold-out nine months ahead of the departure dates.

The original cruise in the genre, The Smooth Jazz Cruise, which sailed upon its maiden voyage in 2004, presents a wealth of opportunities to meet and get to know the artists personally off-stage in an out-of-the-ordinary setting. While sailing to exquisite ports of call in the Caribbean, guests enjoy nightly headline concerts with unique artist pairings to choose from in large showrooms as well as in more intimate lounges, cocktail parties hosted by the musicians, afternoon autograph and question & answer sessions, contests and even morning exercise classes. Reservations can be made from the U.S. and Canada by calling toll-free 888.8JAZZ.US (888.852.9987) and internationally by calling toll-free 800-8JAZZ.USA (800.852.99872). Additional information is available at www.thesmoothjazzcruise.com.

About Jazz Cruises, LLC

St. Louis, Missouri-based Jazz Cruises, LLC owns, produces and promotes The Smooth Jazz Cruise and The Jazz Cruise (www.thejazzcruise.com). Jazz Cruises, LLC prides itself on providing first-class, week-long musical vacation experiences featuring marquee stars from their respective genres for loyal passengers, many of whom make the cruises an annual affair. The Jazz Cruise, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary when it sails January 30-February 6, 2011, is the first and only full ship charter dedicated to straight ahead jazz. With its current slate of excursions, Jazz Cruises, LLC will have produced over twenty-five full ship charter jazz cruises. Additional information is available at www.jazzcruisesllc.com.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Upcoming New Jazz Releases - May 4, 2010


Al DiMeola - One Night In Montreal (Jazz Hour )
Alan Ferber - Music For Nonet And Strings - Chamber Songs (Sunny Side )
Alan Ferber - Music For Nonet And Strings: Chamber Songs (Sunny Side )
Anais - Short Version: Live (Phantom )
Beginners Guide To Swing - Beginners Guide To Swing ( )
Ben Goldberg - Baal: The Book Of Angels, Vol. 15 (Tzadik )
Ben Monder - Bloom (Sunny Side )
Bing Crosby - 100 Hits Legends-Bing Crosby (BGO - Beat Goes On )
Burri / Doran / Leimgruber / Om / Studer - Willisau (Phantom )
Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine: The Best Of (Phantom )
Chucho Vald / Juan Pablo Torres - Torres, Juan Pablo/Chucho Vald- Together Again (Timba )
David Fathea Newman - Mr. Fathead (Wounded Bird )
Frank Sinatra - Sinatra/Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings (Concord )
George Benson - Top Of The World:Best Of George Benso (Indie Europe/Zoom )
George Winston - Love Will Come:Music Of Vince Guara (Epic Japan/Zoom )
Goran Ivanovic - Macedonian Blues: Laments And Dances (Proteus )
Goran Ivanovic - Seven Boats, Music For Two Guitar (Proteus )
Jane Duboc - Tributo A Ella Fitzgerald (Phantom )
Jazz Divas - Simply Jazz Divvas (Simply )
Kenny G - Songbird:Best Of Kenny G (Indie Europe/Zoom )
Louis Armstrong - 100 Hits Legends-Louis Armstrong (Demon )
Louis Armstrong - 100 Hits Legends: Louis Armstrong (DMG 100 )
Luis Frank Arias - Noches Cubanas En El C (Phantom )
Luis Frank Arias - Noches Cubanas En El Cafe Del Mar (Connector )
Manhattan Transfer - Very Best (Warner )
Michael Leonhart - Seahorse & The Storyteller ( )
Nat "King" Cole - Simply Nat Kingn Cole (Simply )
Nat "King" Cole - Simply Nat King Cole (Indie Europe/Zoom )
Nekta - Storybook (Infracom!Records/Ka )
Nikki Yanofsky - Nikki (Decca Records )
Paquito D'Rivera - Reunion (Timba )
Paquito D'Rivera - Improvise One: Live (Connector )
Paquito D'Rivera & Arturo San - D'Rivera, Paquito & Arturo San- Reunion (Timba )
Philip Catherine - Concert In Capbreton ( )
Robin McKelle - Mess Around (Koch )
Sixtoo - Duration (Crosstalk )
Tommy Muellner - It's All About Time (Proteus )
Wolfgang Sauer - Sweet Und Swing (Traffic Entertainment Group )

Our thanks to:New release information provided by allaboutjazz.com
The Upcoming Release Center at allaboutjazz.com is the most comprehensive new release listing for jazz music on the internet.
The information is updated biweekly by John Kelman


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

John Stein / Ron Gill - "Turn Up The Quiet" - On Whaling City Sound - 5/11/10

Vocalist Ron Gill joins guitarist John Stein, as they pair up on "Turn Up The Quiet," recorded at WGBH Radio in Boston in the spring of 2009.

Longtime Downbeat Magazine scribe Fred Bouchard writes "When we need to move on from too much talk (as composer Ivan Lins tells us in his tune Love Dance), there's nothing like quiet music and a warming lyric to shush up our noisemakers (inside and outside) and educe romantic notions from musicians and listeners alike. Ron Gill and John Stein find their love of fine songs turn them to dancing with words, lofting pretty chords, and capturing passionate ideas about togetherness. Collaboration Ð so often a tricky treat, a windy street they negotiate openhandedly with wit and diplomacy."

WCS says This a gem of a recording with fourteen expertly crafted tracks, thirteen distinctive standards and one original that must be heard! Stein's subtle guitar playing and Gill's perfectly executed vocals, along with the addition of Gilad Barkan on piano, is a collaboration that will be enjoyed over and over!

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Arturo Sandoval - "A Time For Love" On Concord Jazz 5/11/10

In what promises to be a breakthrough achievement in a long and celebrated career, jazz impresario Arturo Sandoval's collection A Time For Love will be released by Concord Jazz. The album features classical compositions for orchestra and jazz trio by Grammy-winning arranger Jorge Calandrelli along with a sprinkling of American jazz standards by composers including Gershwin and Chaplin.

The Havana-born Sandoval, a multiple Grammy-winning horn player, has been yearning to do this album for decades. "It's been twenty years since I came to live in the United States," he explains, "and practically every year, with every record label who's signed me, I've asked to make this style album. ‘Let me play softly,' I said. ‘Let me play ballads with big orchestration behind me. Let me hear the violins and violas, the oboes and the flutes. Let me be inspired by a symphonic setting."

However, record labels were reluctant to endorse this type of work by an artist known internationally for his own style of bebop-influenced Afro-Cuban jazz and for his technical precision. So, he took matters into his own hands by recording 20 tracks in his home studio that he described as speaking "the language of love." A superb keyboardist as well as trumpet player, Sandoval played all the instruments and suggested the strings through a synthesizer.

Just when Sandoval was convinced that he would have to release the album himself, a meeting was held with Concord executive Gregg Field, who immediately embraced the project concept and agreed to come aboard as the album's producer. "Over the next month, we discussed different ideas. As a foundation, Arturo had heard the Shelly Berg Trio album Blackbird and wanted that sound and sensitivity," said Field. "I suggested Jorge Calandrelli as the arranger for the orchestra and Arturo, who had worked with Jorge in the past, loved the idea. Jorge has tremendous experience with multiple genres including classical cross-over having produced and arranged among others, YoYo Ma's Soul of the Tango and Obrigato Brazil."

While the album features selections from the Great American Songbook of jazz standards, the focus is reinterpreting the works of classical composers including Ravel, Feure and Piazolla. Classically trained himself, Sandoval was influenced by such artists as Maynard Ferguson, Conrad Gozzo, Woody Herman, Charlie Parker and most importantly, his mentor Dizzy Gillespie.

The album reflects all of these diverse influences, but in particular Sandoval cites trumpet player Bobby Hackett, best known for his work with the multi-layered arrangements of the Jackie Gleason orchestra, and the album Clifford Brown with Strings, as the record's inspirational touchstones. "These were lush records that thrilled my imagination. They made me realize that the trumpet, for all its brash power, can be a romantic and intimate instrument of love, says Sandoval.

A highlight of the album is the track featuring Sandoval and guest trumpeter Chris Botti on Ravel's "Pavane for a Dead Princess." Says Field about the collaboration, "Having two of the most famous trumpet players on the planet in the same room playing together was an event unto itself!"

Another highlight features vocalist Monica Mancini singing on the Astor Piazolla composition "Oblivion," which debuts an English lyric written for her for the recording. Sandoval also sings on the album in both Italian and English ("Estate" and "Smile").
Truly a melding of classical repertoire with jazz, A Time For Love is a major departure for Sandoval, yet immediately familiar in its timeless ballads. "The song selection process was something that I'd begun when I was a kid back in Cuba," says the artist, referring to how while growing up he would surreptitiously listen to the officially banned Voice of America radio broadcasts. "This is a project of a lifetime, and no one could be more thrilled than me to have this precious opportunity.

1. Aprés un Reve 5:10
2. Emily 4:26
3. Speak Low 4:37
4. Estate 3:59
5. A Time for Love 5:05
6. Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) 5:14
7. I Loves You Porgy 5:15
8. Oblivion (How to Say Goodbye) 5:26
9. Pavane 4:52
10. Smile 4:01
11. All the Way 4:03
12. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes 4:23
13. Windmills of Your Mind 5:34
14. Every Time We Say Goodbye 5:57

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - April 26, 2010



LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Peter White - "Good Day" - (Peak/Concord)
2 - 2 - Jackiem Joyner - "Lil' Man Soul - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
3 - 3 - Richard Elliot - "Rock Steady" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
7 - 4 - Chris Standring - "Blue Bolero" - (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 5 - Brian Bromberg - "It Is What It Is" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
5 - 6 - Sade - "Soldier Of Love" - (Epic)
10 - 7 - Steve Oliver - "Global Kiss" - (SOM)
8 - 8 - Rick Braun - "All It Takes" - (Artistry)
6 - 9 - George Benson - "Songs And Stories" - (Concord)
13 - 10 - Paul Brown & Marc Antoine - "Foreign Exchange" - (Peak)
12 - 11 - Maysa - "A Woman In Love" - (Shanachie)
11 - 12 - David Sanborn - "Only Everything" - (Decca/Universal)
14 - 13 - Lawson Rollins - "Espirito" - (Infinita/Baja/TSR)
16 - 14 - Euge Groove - "Sunday Morning" - (Shanachie)
15 - 15 - Darren Rahn - "Talk Of The Town" - (NuGroove)
18 - 16 - Kim Waters - "Love Stories" - (Shanachie)
17 - 17 - Jessy J - "True Love" - (Peak)
21 - 18 - Walter Beasley - "Free Your Mind" - (Heads Up)
22 - 19 - Jaared - "Manhattan Nights" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
20 - 20 - Gregg Karukas - "GK" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)



Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart.
Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Guitars And Saxes Returning For 16th Year; Tour Begins In May

For years, the popular Guitars and Saxes has been a staple of the smooth jazz summer touring season.

The 16th annual lineup has been announced and it will include guitarists Peter White and Jeff Golub and saxophonists Kirk Whalum and Gerald Albright. All have previously been on the tour.

The tour begins May 15 in Sacramento, Calif.

Guitars and Saxes veteran Golub is justifiably proud of his long association with the tour: “I’m the senior member of Guitars and Saxes. I’ve done it the most times, and I’m happy to do it. I love Guitars and Saxes. I think all the artists are inspired and spurred on by the other artists, and I just like being a part of it.”

Guitars and Saxes tour schedule

May 15: Sacramento, CA Radisson Sacramento Ballroom
May 16: Newport Beach, CA Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Jazz Festival
May 28: Las Vegas, NV Rail Head-Boulder Station Casino
May 29: San Diego, CA KiFM Smooth Jazz Gas Lamp Festival
July 30: Newport Beach, CA Hyatt Newporter
July 31: Temecula, CA Thornton Winery
Aug. 11: New York, NY Spirit Cruise Ship/Chelsea Piers/Pier 63
Aug. 12: Glenside, PA Keswick Theater
Aug. 13: St. Louis, MO The Pageant
Aug. 14: Kettering, OH Festival of the Vine/Fraze Pavilion
Sept. 11: Palmdale, CA Palmdale Jazz & Wine Festival/Palmdale Amphitheater
Sept. 24: Dallas, TX Bishop Arts Theater

Article originally posted on 4/26/10 by Brian Soergel at smoothjazznetwork.com

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Upcoming New Jazz Releases - April 27, 2010


Al Di Meola - One Night In Montreal (Phantom )
Amos Hoffman - Carving (Indie Europe/Zoom )
Bar Jazz Vol. 2 - Bar Jazz Vol. 2 (Phantom )
Barbara Carroll - Something To Live For ( )
Beatles vs. Stones - Beatles vs. Stones (Jazz Club) (Phantom )
Bill Carrothers - Joy Spring ( )
Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine: The Best O (Sony )
Chris Corsano / Paul Dunmall - Identical Sunsets (Esp Disk LTD. )
Chris Corsano / Paul Dunmall - Identical Sunsets [1 LP] (Esp Disk LTD. )
David Newman - To Be Home (Nettwerk )
Dexter Gordon - American Classic (Phantom )
Django Reinhardt - Quintette Du Hot Club De Franc (EMI )
Duke Ellington - Carnegie Hall Concerts: 1943-1947 (Phantom )
Fats Waller - Performance (Var�se Sarabande (USA) )
Federico Britos - Voyage (Sunny Side )
Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here ( )
Head Over High Heels (Strong & Female 1927-1959) - Head Over High Heels Strong & Female 1927-59 (Phantom )
Hot Club Of Detroit - It's About Time (Mack Avenue/Red )
Hot Club Of Detroit - It's About That Time (Mack Avenue )
Jacky Terrasson - Push (Concord Jazz )
Jim Brickman - Never Alone ( )
John Coltrane - Blue Trane (Apo )
John Coltrane - Absolutely Essential (Indie Europe/Zoom )
Jon Larsen - Portrait Of Jon Larsen ( )
Kenny G - Songbird: Best Of (Camden )
Kerry Politzer Quartet - Blue in Blue (Piloo Records)
Lean Left - Volume 1 (Smalltown Superjazz/Carrot Top )
Lloyd Mcneill - Asha (Phantom )
Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire (Friday Music )
Paul Dunmall - Identical Sunsets (ESP-Disk )
Paul Horn - Inside The Taj Mahal, Vol. 2 (Wounded Bird )
Paul Horn - Visions (Wounded Bird )
Paul Horn - Paul Horn & Nexus (Wounded Bird )
Paul Horn - Inside The Taj Mahal (Wounded Bird )
Ramsey Lewis - In Chicago/Stretching Out (Disconforme )
Ron Miles - Go Home (Bag Production )
Sarah Partridge - Perspective ( )
Soil & Pimp Sessions - 6 (Phantom )
Sonny Simmons - Staying On The Watch (Esp Disk LTD. )
Tin Hat - Foreign Legion ( )
Tore Johansen - Is (Indie Europe/Zoom )
Vernons Girls - We Love The Vernons Girls 1962 (Phantom )
Yuganaut - Sharks (Egr )

Our thanks to:New release information provided by allaboutjazz.com
The Upcoming Release Center at allaboutjazz.com is the most comprehensive new release listing for jazz music on the internet.
The information is updated biweekly by John Kelman


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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Playboy Jazz Festival Sponsors Free Concert - Beverly HIlls Civic Center - May 2nd

Grammy winning pianist Bill Cunliffe and his Septet will bring his innovative,
swinging sound to Beverly Hills and vocalist and bandleader Johnny Crawford and His
Orchestra will evoke the romance of another era when they perform in a free concert
sponsored by the Playboy Jazz Festival, Sunday, May 2nd. The event will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Beverly Hills Civic Center Plaza, located at 450 North Rexford Drive,between Santa Monica Boulevard and Burton Way.

The concert is the first in the Festival’s acclaimed series of free community events held in conjunction with the upcoming Playboy Jazz Festival set for Saturday, June 12th and Sunday, June 13th at the world famous Hollywood Bowl.

Cunliffe, who will open the show, continues to attract nationwide attention for his
lyrical style and groundbreaking compositions, has toured and played with many jazz greats, including Frank Sinatra, The Buddy Rich Big Band, Joe Henderson, Joshua Redman, James Moody, and many others. Together, Cunliffe and his Septet will echo the sounds of big band with a celebration of saxophonist Oliver Nelson: The Blues and the Abstract Truth. Cunliffe’s latest CD, Imaginacion, spent a month in the #2 position in the JazzWeek radio polls.

Johnny Crawford and His Orchestra will recall the musical elegance of another
time, with their authentic arrangements of popular songs and music from the ‘20’s and ‘30’s. An actor and former child star, (who rose to fame in the ‘50’s as Lucas McCain’s son on the popular TV western “The Rifleman”) Crawford has appeared in over 200 television shows, 15 movies, and 13 plays. Also an accomplished musician from a show business family, Crawford now performs with his own vintage dance band featuring genuine orchestrations from the first half of the 20th century. He has garnered an enthusiastic following in Southern California for concerts, dances, private parties and provides authentic period music for film and special events. A teen idol during the ‘60s, he had five Top 40 hits. His latest CD is Sweepin’ the Clouds Away. Currently his band is #7 on the My Space jazz chart.

“Our Beverly Hills concert has become a popular kick-off for the annual Playboy Jazz Festival season, and this year’s roster of talent promises a lively afternoon of upbeat jazz entertainment at the Civic Center’s attractive outdoor performing arts venue in celebration of our 32nd Annual Festival,” stated Richard Rosenzweig, Playboy Jazz Festival President.

Food and refreshments will be available for purchase to the public. Glass containers, alcoholic beverages and audio/video recorders are not permitted. Two free hours of parking are available at the Civic Center parking structure, adjacent to the Beverly Hills Public Library.

For more information regarding the community concert series or the Playboy Jazz Festival, call the hotline at 310-450-1173 or visit www.playboyjazz.com

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mindi Abair elected to Board of Governors of the LA chapter of NARAS

Saxophonist/singer/songwriter Mindi Abair was just elected to the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles chapter of NARAS, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, of which she has been a member for several years. She will serve a 2 year term from 2010-2012.

"I'm so proud," says Abair. "I've become more and more involved over the past few years with Grammy in the Schools and the Grammy Foundation, which I'm currently an Artist Ambassador for -- alongside Campbell's Labels for Education. I've wanted to get more involved in shaping our futures as artists and musicians and really have a say in our future professionals in the music business. "

Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as the Recording Academy, is dedicated to improving the cultural environment and quality of life of more than 14,000 musicians, producers and other recording professionals, the Recording Academy is internationally known for the outreach, professional development, cultural enrichment, education and human service programs.

The Recording Academy actively represents the music community on such issues as intellectual property rights, home taping, record piracy, archiving and preservation and censorship concerns. In pursuing its commitment to address these and other issues, the Recording Academy undertakes a variety of national initiatives. A mainstay of that agenda is raising public awareness of and support for music education. In that effort, the Recording Academy, in partnership with the Music Merchants, formed the National Coalition for Music Education. The national coalition maintains fifty state coalitions which work to promote music education in communities and school districts across the nation.

For more info on NARAS:
http://www.grammy.com

Abair's new CD, In Hi Fi Stereo, is scheduled for release May 18 on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group.


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Monday, April 19, 2010

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - April 19, 2010




LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Peter White - "Good Day" - (Peak/Concord)
2 - 2 - Jackiem Joyner - "Lil' Man Soul - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
3 - 3 - Richard Elliot - "Rock Steady" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
5 - 4 - Brian Bromberg - "It Is What It Is" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
6 - 5 - Sade - "Soldier Of Love" - (Epic)
4 - 6 - George Benson - "Songs And Stories" - (Concord)
7 - 7 - Chris Standring - "Blue Bolero" - (Ultimate Vibe)
9 - 8 - Rick Braun - "All It Takes" - (Artistry)
8 - 9 - Najee - "Mind Over Matter" - (Heads Up)
11 - 10 - Steve Oliver - "Global Kiss" - (SOM)
12 - 11 - David Sanborn - "Only Everything" - (Decca/Universal)
10 - 12 - Maysa - "A Woman In Love" - (Shanachie)
14 - 13 - Paul Brown & Marc Antoine - "Foreign Exchange" - (Peak)
17 - 14 - Lawson Rollins - "Espirito" - (Infinita/Baja/TSR)
16 - 15 - Darren Rahn - "Talk Of The Town" - (NuGroove)
13 - 16 - Euge Groove - "Sunday Morning" - (Shanachie)
15 - 17 - Jessy J - "True Love" - (Peak)
18 - 18 - Kim Waters - "Love Stories" - (Shanachie)
20 - 19 - Kirk Whalum - "The Gospel According To Jazz Chapter III" (Rendezvous/Mack Avenue)
19 - 20 - Gregg Karukas - "GK" - (Trippin 'n' Rhythm)



Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart.
Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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“The Greatest Party at Sea” docking in Chicago & L.A. for special launch events

The star-studded lineup for The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2012 will be unveiled April 30th

St. Louis, Missouri: Don’t miss the boat, Chicago and Los Angeles. “The Greatest Party at Sea” is heading your way. On Friday, April 30th, The Smooth Jazz Cruise will announce the unprecedented lineup of legends and luminaries that will set sail on The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2012 at launch party celebrations that are already nearly sold-out.

Two-time Grammy nominee Jonathan Butler, a special surprise guest and DW3, the official party band of The Smooth Jazz Cruise, will take the stage at Spaghettini Grill & Jazz Club near Los Angeles to preview the talent that will be aboard the ship’s two 2012 sailings (January 15-22 and January 22-29). Cruise personalities Dane Butcher and comedian Alonzo Bodden will host. In Chicago, saxophonist Eric Darius will perform at Close Up 2 at a celebration hosted by The Smooth Jazz Cruise’s executive director Michael Lazaroff.

“We’re thrilled about announcing the 2012 lineup, which will be our best yet, at the launch celebrations with our guests in Chicago and Los Angeles. The passengers voted on who they’d most like to see on the cruise and we listened to their suggestions. Also we’re bursting at the seams to announce a special performance by a legendary recording artist who will make his debut on The Smooth Jazz Cruise,” said Lazaroff. “Our guests are our number one priority and we do everything we can to provide them with a fun, first-class experience and an unforgettable vacation. As a company, we take great pride in the fact that nearly 60% of our guests return to sail with us on another cruise. In recognition of this loyalty, for the first time The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2012 will offer a special rate for guests who have sailed with us four or more times. The loyalty our passengers have shown us is extraordinary and we go out of our way to recognize and reward it.”

The original cruise in this genre, which made its maiden voyage in 2004, The Smooth Jazz Cruise embarks on week-long vacations aboard Holland America ships to alluring ports of call in the Bahamas (Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Barths, and the private island of Half Moon Cay) while showcasing the finest artists in the genre. The cruise presents a wealth of opportunities to meet and get to know the artists personally outside of the spotlight in a unique setting. The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2011 marks the first time two sailings are offered: January 16-23 and January 23-30. Both sailings are nearly sold-out nine months before the departure dates. Additional information is available at www.thesmoothjazzcruise.com.

About Jazz Cruises, LLC

St. Louis, Missouri-based Jazz Cruises, LLC owns, produces and promotes The Smooth Jazz Cruise and The Jazz Cruise (www.thejazzcruise.com). Jazz Cruises, LLC prides itself on providing first-class, week-long musical vacation experiences featuring the biggest stars in their respective genres for loyal passengers, many of whom make the cruises an annual affair. The Jazz Cruise, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary when it sails January 30-February 6, 2011, is the first and only full ship charter dedicated to straight ahead jazz. With its current schedule of excursions, Jazz Cruises, LLC will have produced over 25 full ship charter jazz cruises. Additional information is available at www.jazzcruisesllc.com.

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