Alice Meikle - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://jazzreview.com Tue, 23 May 2017 17:39:30 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Meow Baby by Danny Lerman http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/meow-baby-by-danny-lerman.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/meow-baby-by-danny-lerman.html With his long awaited album, Danny Lerman definitely has a winner on his hands with his latest release entitled Meow Baby. Lerman is blowing up a storm on this …

With his long awaited album, Danny Lerman definitely has a winner on his hands with his latest release entitled Meow Baby. Lerman is blowing up a storm on this musical compilation and after listiening to it for the first time you will decide that this CD is the cat's meow. The instrumental and vocal arrangement on this joint is quite a fitting rendition for an artist, who is releasing his third album.

Meow Baby which is released on the Whiskey Records label and distributed by Lightyear Entertainment/EMI is proving to be one of Lerman's best project to date. The CD which consists of fifteen tracks varies in musical arrangements such guitar, bass, percussion, trumpet, trombone of course featuring the Saxsultan himself Danny Lerman on alto and soprano saxophone. Another highlight is the vocal arrangement which compliments the array of instrument.

Lerman has come of age on this album, as it is evident in the musicians who rendered their talents for Meow Baby. All the tracks from this album held there own and showed off Danny's versility as an artist. But everyone has their favorites and so did I. Starting off with the first track, which is also the title track for the album - "Meow Baby". Lerman hits some high notes on sax, coupled with the drums and percussion, making melodies perfect for stroll. "Summer in a Hummer" drives right in, as it is a guitar and saxphone combo which is perfect for the winter. Track number three is a remake of Sade's No Ordinary Love, nothing to complain about on this track as Lerman was extraordinary on sax. The John Lennon classic "Imagine" is the next track which featured vocals by Howard Hewett and a fantastic performance by Lerman.

Other songs that made a musical impression were "The First Time", "Snoopy's Dance", "Amadeus' Kiss", "South Beach Serenata" and "No Words". If you listen to a lot music, there is always that song which stays with you, Saxsultan is just that song, Lerman teamed up with musicians Tim Kobza, Tal Bergman and Fred Kron to make this great music on this track.

This CD gets the thumbs up and is defintely one for your collection.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Alice Meikle) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Sat, 30 Jun 2007 13:00:00 -0500
After Tonight by Will Downing http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/after-tonight-by-will-downing.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/after-tonight-by-will-downing.html For balladeer Will Downing, thirteen is definitely a charm. His latest release on Peak Records entitled After Tonight is by far his best ever. This repertoire of …

For balladeer Will Downing, thirteen is definitely a charm. His latest release on Peak Records entitled After Tonight is by far his best ever. This repertoire of classic ballads coupled with his silky smooth voice shows the extent of the talent by this songster. After Tonight is not just your regular jazz vocal album, but a compilation of songs that will definitely stir your imagination and help you to fall in love over and over again. The ten-song compilation has musical arrangement, melodies, and vocals made for each other. There is a song for what ever mood you are in on this album.

Even though Will was sidelined with the devastating auto-immune disease known as Polymyositis, he managed to create an album with music so melodious that it makes you fall in love with yourself. Downing, who reunited with his long time co-producer, Rex Rideout, collaborated on a musical journey which has led to the success of this monster undertaking.

The tracks on this disc tell a story of falling in love and being in love. The lyrics are words of reassurance, promise, dedication, and perseverance. Rideout and Downing collaborated on six of ten tracks on this album; the opening track entitled "Will’s Groove," shows that the duo never missed a beat since last coming together on Will’s fourth album. This groovy rendition along with its soulful lyrics leads you straight into "Fantasy (Spending Time With You)," the second track. One could describe the lyrics of this song .... "baby you are my fantasy, my body is calling for you baby..." as adult-like, tempting, and seductive. The title track has got to be the most powerful love song ever written and will definitely be a fan favorite. "After Tonight" is ballad with a little bit of yesterday and a sneak peak of what is left to come, if you stick around to listen the entire album.

Will Downing has worked with various artists over his career and holds Phyllis Hyman very near and dear to his heart. The Skip Scarborough penned classic "No One Can Love You More" made famous by the late Phyllis Hyman, is one of two cover tunes which Downing performed on the compilation. This rendition featured sax man Gerald Albright, a long time friend. The other cover tune is the Bill Withers classic "You Can’t Smile it Away" which features Kirk Whalum.

Downing’s wife, Audrey Wheeler-Downing and Noel Goring teamed up with Will to compose the track "God Is So Amazing." Knowing all that Will Downing endured while making this album, this track sums it all up. This album is a must have for any music connoisseur.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Alice Meikle) Jazz Vocals - CD Reviews Sat, 23 Jun 2007 13:00:00 -0500
3rd Annual Jazz In The Gardens http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/news-story/3rd-annual-jazz-in-the-gardens.html http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/news-story/3rd-annual-jazz-in-the-gardens.html The City of Miami Gardens is pleased to announce the star-studded lineup for the 3rd annual Jazz in the Gardens music festival, being held on Saturday, March 15th and Sunday, March 16th at Dolphin Stadium. Confirmed artists include, George Benson, Chaka Khan, The O’Jays, Wyclef Jean, Nancy Wilson, KEM, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Chrisette Michele, Mike Phillips, Anthony David, Elin among other local artists. "Jazz in the Gardens has really become an internationally recognized event. …

The City of Miami Gardens is pleased to announce the star-studded lineup for the 3rd annual Jazz in the Gardens music festival, being held on Saturday, March 15th and Sunday, March 16th at Dolphin Stadium. Confirmed artists include, George Benson, Chaka Khan, The O’Jays, Wyclef Jean, Nancy Wilson, KEM, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Chrisette Michele, Mike Phillips, Anthony David, Elin among other local artists.

"Jazz in the Gardens has really become an internationally recognized event. It’s exciting to know people from all over the world look forward to coming to Miami Gardens. It’s incredible how music has the power to transcend language and culture, as it serves to unite people. With this year’s line-up of jazz greats we will continue to make Miami Gardens a proud community and a more visible destination." says Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson.

Among the many performers who are slated to perform will be Jazz guitarist, singer and international superstar George Benson. Benson began his journey as fledging guitarist, working the corner pubs of his native Pittsburg. Forty years later, George Benson is an eight-time Grammy winner who has played the world over. Benson’s tone is juicy; his blues solos sparkle with a carefully honed logic where a jaunty funk and swing aesthetic prevail.

Another headliner will be Jazz icon and incomparable soulstress Nancy Wilson whose musical style is so diverse, it is hard to classify. But whatever she performs she is riveting. Whether jazz, blues, pop or cabaret, she is the consummate "storyteller", a professor emeritus of body language. Wilson’s stellar career spans over 40 years and over 70 albums. She is a three-time Grammy winner, Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame inductee, and recipient of the NAACP image award. Nancy’s most recent Grammy was won in 2007 for her jazz album, "Turned to Blue". Nancy Wilson comes out of retirement to join the City of Miami Gardens’ for its 3rd Annual Jazz in the Gardens.

Concert goers will be treated the smoothe sounds of George Duke whose professional career has spanned five amazing decades. He began his piano studies at age seven, absorbing the roots of Black music at his local Baptist church. Fast forward to today and Duke’s career has taken twists and turns, all bigger than the next. The list of artists and projects Duke has participated in is mind blowing. He has worked with Al Jarreau, Jean-Luc Ponty, Cannonball Adderly, Quincy Jones, Frank Zappa, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Jeffery Osborne, Barry Manilow, Gladys Knight, George Benson, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Luther Vandross, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover and the list of top notch, multi platinum superstars that Duke has worked with goes on and on. Through the years, along with his own releases and busy producing schedule, George has acted as musical director for numerous artists and television specials including producing The Soul Train Music Awards for nine years. George Duke’s career has been simply stunning and it doesn’t look like its going to slow up any time soon.

In 1971, the jazz world immediately recognized the dexterity and complete musicality Stanley Clarke possessed. The former teen prodigy is now a Grammy & Emmy Award winner. His constant pursuit of perfection with relentless attention to be the best makes Clarke is a celebrated pioneer in fusion jazz music. He was Rolling Stone Magazine’s very first ‘Jazzman of the Year’, and the first bassist in history to ever headline tours and sell out shows.

Jazz in the Gardens, in just three years, has become one of the premiere jazz festivals in South Florida; raising the bar each year with its star studded line up. The jazz festival, with attendance levels expected at 20,000 this year, delivers a diverse mix of music genres that range from Jazz, R&B and Caribbean sounds.

This is the second year that the City has teamed up with Circle of One Marketing for Media, Marketing and Public Relations and Concertz Event Management, Inc. as Producers of Jazz in the Gardens. With the leadership of The City of Miami Gardens, this team has, in just 2 years, taken Jazz in the Gardens to unprecedented levels of notoriety and reputation. Last year’s phenomenal success included growing the attendance by 350% over the first year. With the tremendous line-up of artists, on-site attractions, tight event management and massive local, regional and national promotional efforts, this year’s attendance is expected to top 20,000, up more than 200% over 2007.

Jazz in the Gardens is presented by The City of Miami Gardens and Dolphin Stadium and sponsored by American Airlines, Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club, Royal Caribbean, UAIG, Miccosukee Resort & Casino, Southern Wines & Spirits, National Constructors, Warren Henry Automobiles, FP&L, National Constructors, Publix, LOVE 94, HOT 105, In Focus Magazine, Comcast and Opa Locka Flightline

The City of Miami Gardens was incorporated on May 13, 2003 as the 33rd city in Miami-Dade County. At a population of approximately 109,000, it is the third largest city in Miami-Dade County. Miami Gardens is a solid, working and middle class community of unique diversity. It is the largest predominantly African-American municipality in the State of Florida and boasts many Caribbean residents. In 2007, the City hosted the 41st annual Super Bowl. In 2009, the City will host the college BCS championship game and in 2010, will host the 44th Super Bowl.

For general information visit www.jazzinthegardens.com or call the event hotline at: 305.622.8043.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Alice Meikle) News Story Sat, 29 Jan 2011 20:14:14 -0600
Rivera Beach Music Festival - April 11-13, 2008 http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/news-story/rivera-beach-music-festival-april-11-13-2008.html http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/news-story/rivera-beach-music-festival-april-11-13-2008.html Over the past seven years the Riviera Beach Music Festival ("RBMF") has become a staple for jazz lovers far and near. The festival which attracts local, national and international performers for a three-day musical celebration. RBMF has earned a reputation throughout the State of Florida and across the country for being one of the best Music Festivals in the southeast. The 2008 installment of RBMF will take place from April 11 13, 2008. Past performers at the Rivera Be …

Over the past seven years the Riviera Beach Music Festival ("RBMF") has become a staple for jazz lovers far and near. The festival which attracts local, national and international performers for a three-day musical celebration. RBMF has earned a reputation throughout the State of Florida and across the country for being one of the best Music Festivals in the southeast. The 2008 installment of RBMF will take place from April 11 13, 2008. Past performers at the Rivera Beach Music Festival includes: Frankie Beverly and Maze, Arturo Sandoval, Keiko Matsui, Nestor Torres, Alex Bugnon, Najee, Mindi Abair, Spyro Gyra. City of Riviera Beach has an appreciation for music as the universal language bringing hundreds of thousands of people together from various backgrounds. This event began as a Jazz and Blues Festival and has grown into a Music Festival appealing to a wide range of music lovers to a peak attendance of over 20,000 attendees.

Some of the artists confirmed to perform for RBMF this year are Najee, Amiel Larrieux, Maysa, Michael Franks. There will also be a salute and tribute to Will Downing.

Najee: With two platinum and four gold albums, Najee is one of the pioneers of what is commonly known as contemporary jazz. A native New Yorker, Najee began his career playing clarinet and later saxophone and flute in his hometown Jamaica, Queens New York. While in high school Najee began studying under the direction of Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, and Billy Taylor at Jazzmobile in Harlem. Najee also studied flute with Harold Jones at the Manhattan School of Music. Najee has worked with many great artists such as Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, George Duke, Lionel Richie and Jonathon Butler. Most recently he performed as a special guest artist on the "Hit and Run" tour with Prince.

Will Downing: Suffice it to say that after nearly two decades of remarkable recordings and performances around the globe, Will Downing is recognized as a premier male vocalist for the embodiment of his singular, sensuous blend of R&B, jazz and pop. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he is an accomplished vocalist and composer. Downing’s began singing with Arthur Baker's "Wally Jump Junior" group, and later employed Baker as his producer when he signed with Island. He did session work in the ‘80s, singing on dates with Daryl Payne, Marc Sadane, Warp 9, and Jennifer Holiday. In 2007, under the most difficult conditions for most people, he released what is unquestionably the most crucial album of his career - After Tonight. The crux of After Tonight, Will's 13th album and first for the Peak Records label, is the commitment in the face of adversity he summoned to complete it - the sheer "force of Will" that inspired the man to see it through to its fruition.

Jeff Lorber: With a smooth sound that blends elements of funk, R&B, rock and electric jazz, keyboardist Jeff Lorber helped pioneer a genre of fusion later formatted under such names as NAC and Contemporary Jazz. Born in Philadelphia in 1952, he began playing the piano at the age of four, and as a teen performed with a variety of local R&B bands. Lorber's infatuation with jazz began during his stay at the Berklee College of Music, and after forming the Jeff Lorber Fusion he issued the group's self-titled debut in 1979. During the first half of the following decade, the band became one of the most popular jazz acts of the period, touring non-stop and even scoring a Best R&B Instrumental Grammy nomination for their radio hit "Pacific Coast Highway." He recorded for Verve and Zebra in the 90's before moving over to Narada in the 2000's and releasing successful smooth jazz albums like 2003's Philly Style and 2005's Flipside.

MAYSA is a singer/songwriter/activist. A smooth jazz artist, she is consistently on top of Billboard’s Sales Chart. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, Maysa is graduate of Morgan State University with a degree in classical performance. In the early 90s, Maysa auditioned over the phone to become a member of the acclaimed British jazz/funk/R&B band Incognito and in 1992 she relocated to London and recorded Tribes & Scribes, featuring the hit single "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing." Maysa has appeared on seven Incognito recordings including their latest CD, Bees and Things and Flowers. She recorded her self-titled debut in 1995, followed by her solo sophomore effort All My Life in 1999, Out of The Blue in 2002, Smooth Sailing in 2004, Sweet Classic Soul in 2006, and now Feel The Fire, 2007. Maysa is one of few Smooth Jazz Artist to remain consistently on top of the Billboard’s Sales Chart. Maysa has also collaborated with Rick Braun, Will Downing, Jason Miles' Soul Summit, Rhythm Logic, Jonathan Butler and Pieces of a Dream. And has been produced by George Duke, Rex Rideout, Mike White(Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly),Chris "Big Dog" Davis, Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick of Incognito, Richard Bull (Acoustic Alchemy).

MAYSA is a singer/songwriter/activist. She is a spokesperson for RSV, a disease that can be fatal to premature babies. She is featured in a nationally televised PSA, sponsored by the March of Dimes.

Michael Frank: Over the languorous course of 33 years and 16 albums, Michael Franks has mesmerized an international legion of fans with his one-of-a-kind artistry. Seamlessly weaving lyrics of stunning sensuality, wit, reflection and literary eloquence over music that tastefully utilizes top shelf shadings of jazz, soul, pop, chamber and music from around the globe, Michael Franks the songwriter has set a bar in the music world that places him as nothing less than a statesman of song craft. He made his first album in 1973, and enjoyed success with a string of late '70s albums on Warner Brothers. He has worked with the likes of Flora Purim, Kenny Rankin, Ron Carter, the Crusaders, David Sanborn, Toots Thielemans, Eric Gale, and others, and has had songs recorded by The Manhattan Transfer, Patti Labelle, Carmen McRae, and the Carpenters.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Alice Meikle) News Story Sat, 29 Jan 2011 20:14:11 -0600
Fourth Annual Jazz In The Gardens Announces Its Mega Lineup http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/news-story/fourth-annual-jazz-in-the-gardens-announces-its-mega-lineup.html http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/news-story/fourth-annual-jazz-in-the-gardens-announces-its-mega-lineup.html The City of Miami Gardens has just released their mega star-studded lineup for the 2009 installment of Miami Gardens’ own music fest billed as "Jazz In The Gardens". The fourth edition of this now popular music fete is set for March 28 and 29th on the grounds of the Dolphin stadium. The two-day festival will be a one stop shop for music fans of all ages, as there will be something for everyone to enjoy. The March 28th lineup includes: Anthony Hamilton, Common, Erykah Badu, W …

The City of Miami Gardens has just released their mega star-studded lineup for the 2009 installment of Miami Gardens’ own music fest billed as "Jazz In The Gardens". The fourth edition of this now popular music fete is set for March 28 and 29th on the grounds of the Dolphin stadium. The two-day festival will be a one stop shop for music fans of all ages, as there will be something for everyone to enjoy. The March 28th lineup includes: Anthony Hamilton, Common, Erykah Badu, Will Downing, Roy Ayers. The final day of the festival will see artists such as Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Kenny G, Jonathan Butler, Angelique Kidjo, and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. These artists are no stranger to the South Florida area and music fans from all walks of life who will travel to this two-day festival no doubt have there favorites.

Kenneth Gorelick' known only as Kenny G to his million of fans worldwide started with a job as saxophone soloist for Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973 at the age of 17, when White was impressed by his mastery of the blue scale. Kenny was also studying for a major in Accounting at the same time. After being rejected as a music major from Central Washington University, he went on to get a degree from University of Washington and played with the funk band Cold, Bold & Together before becoming a credited member of The Jeff Lorber Fusion. He began his solo career after his period with Lorber. In 1982, Kenny G signed with Arista Records as a solo artist, after label president Clive Davis heard his rendition of ABBA's "Dancing Queen". He has released many solo albums and collaborated with various artists including Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Natalie Cole, Steve Miller (which marked the only time he appeared on a rock and roll album), Dudley Moore, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin. Influenced by the likes of saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. and the lyrics of Barry Manilow, his own albums are usually classified as smooth jazz. He received success quite early on, with both G Force and Gravity, his second and third studio albums respectively, achieving platinum status in the United States.

Will Downing is an American singer/songwriter and producer. Downing's recording career has won a loyal audience of contemporary jazz and R&B fans with albums and concerts that have showcased his rich baritone vocals and unique interpretations of R&B and pop classics that stretches back to the early 1980s. After about two decades of making approximately sixteen solo albums, this crooner showed extreme courage, even though Will was sidelined with the devastating auto-immune disease known as Polymyositis, he managed to release his latest album entitled After Tonight. South Florida music fans will embrace him with open arms as their musical ear will be in for a treat.

Erica Abi Wright born February 26, 1971 better known by her stage name Erykah Badu, is a multiple Grammy-winner American soul singer and songwriter, whose work encompasses elements of R&B, hip hop and jazz. She is best known for her role in the rise of the neo-soul sub-genre, and for her eccentric, musical styling and sense of fashion. Erykah also known as the "First Lady of Neo-Soul". Early in her career, Badu was recognizable for wearing very large and colorful headwraps. For her musical sensibilities, she has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday. Her musical success stems over the following albums Baduizm (1997), Live (1997), Mama's Gun (2000), Worldwide Underground (2003), New Amerykah Part One (2008), New Amerykah Part Two(2009).

Anthony Hamilton was born January 28, 1971 in Charlotte, North Carolina is an American R&B, soul, and neo-soul singer, songwriter and record producer who rose to fame with his platinum-selling second studio album Comin From Where I'm From (2003), which featured the singles "Comin From Where I'm From" and "Charlene". Hamilton first discovered his talent while singing in his church's choir at age ten. In 1993, he left Charlotte and headed to New York City, where he signed with Andre Harrell's Uptown Records label. He was first introduced to mainstream audiences with his singing of the chorus on Nappy Roots 2002 "Po' Folks", which earned a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Rap Collaboration" in 2003. He is also featured on Jadakiss' 2004 hit "Why" (which was also nominated for "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration", in 2005) and two of 2Pac's remixed songs, 2002's "Thugz Mansion" (7 Remix) and 2006's "Dear Mama" (Frank Nitty Remix). Hamilton's first compilation album, Soulife, is composed of songs recorded during the early part of Hamilton's career and was released in June 2005. "Ain't Nobody Worrin", his gold-selling third studio album, was released on Deceember 13, 2005.

Ayers grew up in a musical family. At the age of five, Lionel Hampton gave him his first pair of mallets, which led to the vibraphone being his trademark sound for decades. The area of Los Angels that Ayers grew up in, now known as "South Central", but then known as "South Park", was the epicenter of the Southern California Black Music Scene. On any given day, Roy would have been likely to be exposed to music as it not only emanated from the many nightclubs and bars in the area, but also poured out of many of the homes where the musicians who kept the scene alive lived in and around Central. Thomas Jefferson High School, from which Ayers graduated, gave to the music and jazz worlds some of its brightest stars, such as Dexter Gordon. Ayers was responsible for the highly regarded soundtrack to Jack Hill's 1973 film Coffy, which starred Pam Grier. He later moved from a jazz-funk sound to R&B, as seen on Mystic Voyage and especially the title track from his 1976 album Everybody Love The Sunshine.

The Concert will see other greats as South African Singer/Songwriter Jonathan Butler, Babyface, Common, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Angelique Kidjo.

Jazz in the Gardens, in just four years, has become one of the premiere jazz festivals in South Florida; raising the bar each year with its star studded line up. The jazz festival, with attendance levels expected at 20,000 this year, delivers a diverse mix of music genres that range from Jazz, R&B and Caribbean sounds.

Circle One Marketing and Concertz Event Management, Inc., fresh off the heels of their success with last year’s festival is once again at the helm with this year’s installment. The strong leadership of Mayor Shirley Gibson has taken The City of Miami Gardens in just three years, taken Jazz in the Gardens to unprecedented levels of notoriety and reputation. Last year’s phenomenal success included growing the attendance by 350% over the first year. With the tremendous line-up of artists, on-site attractions, tight event management and massive local, regional and national promotional efforts, this year’s attendance is expected to top 20,000, up more than 200% over 2007.

Jazz in the Gardens is presented by The City of Miami Gardens and Dolphin Stadium and sponsored by The Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa, Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club, Macy’s, Southern Wines & Spirits, HOT 105 and Tootsies Cabaret.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Alice Meikle) News Story Sat, 29 Jan 2011 20:13:50 -0600
Kem Owens http://jazzreview.com/jazz-artist-interviews/kem-owens.html http://jazzreview.com/jazz-artist-interviews/kem-owens.html Kem Owens
Adekemi Owens, known professionally and affectionately to music fans as "Kem," has come a long way from Nashville, Tennessee to his current hometown of Detroit, Michigan. So, one figures that is why this musical genius has written and performed songs that could be considered as Jazz, R&B, Soul or Adult Contemporary. This Detroit native with Nigerian roots has overcome some hurdles in his life, but through perseverance, is living the true American dream of success.

Adekemi Owens, known professionally and affectionately to music fans as "Kem," has come a long way from Nashville, Tennessee to his current hometown of Detroit, Michigan. So, one figures that is why this musical genius has written and performed songs that could be considered as Jazz, R&B, Soul or Adult Contemporary. This Detroit native with Nigerian roots has overcome some hurdles in his life, but through perseverance, is living the true American dream of success.

Kem, who wrote, produced and financed his self-released debut album Kemistry was later signed by Motown Records in November of 2001. He released his sophomore project Kem II, which sold over 500,000 copies nationwide. "Love Calls," the single from his debut album, became a hit on the urban adult contemporary and smooth jazz radio, and USA Today tagged him as a "Motown Classic." "I Cant Stop Loving You," from his second album, went to No. 1 on Adult Contemporary Radio for several weeks. Additionally, Kem enjoyed success with another single, "You Might Win," which featured Steve Wonder on harmonica.

Kem has been touring for the past three years to promote his various albums. I caught up with him after his red-hot performance at the City of Miami Gardens 3rd Annual "Jazz in the Garden" that was held March 15-16, 2008. Here is how we "chopped it up."

JazzReview: I hear that you are in the studio now recording tracks for the new album. How is that going?

Kem Owens: I am currently working on my third album entitled KEM III Intimacy. We are working on bits and pieces of the three or four songs at a time. At this stage would say it’s working in progress.

JazzReview: Let’s talk a little about your performance at Jazz in the Garden. That performance will be on my mind for a long time. The crowd loved you. How did you feel being on stage delivering such great music?

Kem Owens: First of all, it was a relief to come to South Florida during this time of year because of the weather back in Detroit. I was excited to be a part of Jazz in the Garden due to the fact that it would be our first real performance in Miami. We have performed as part of the Tom Joyner Morning Show Sky Show, but doing the Jazz in the Garden gave us the opportunity to reach out even more to old fans and new. It certainly felt good to be on stage, using my God-given talent to entertain the people.

JazzReview: How do you get mentally prepared for a performance?

Kem Owens: I normally get together with my band to rehearse, figure things out with my production team, and eat well and rest. The day of the performance we do our sound check. We pray prior to the show, asking for guidance through the set. Since every audience is different and the cities are not the same, I am always adapting to my environment. You have to be mentally prepared to be able to communicate with the audience, and to deal with any unforeseen events during the performance.

JazzReview: Do you feel that as a performer, you need to practice more or prepare more mentally?

Kem Owens: Practice is good and it makes for a smooth performance, but the mental preparation is important if you want to deliver a great show over and over again.

JazzReview: Tell me about the journey from your birthplace in Nashville to where you currently reside in Detroit?

Kem Owens: I was born in Nashville and moved to Detroit where I started Pre-K. I still have a large amount of my family members in Nashville. Even though I was raised in Detroit, I was still influenced by the music that my family grew up with. I grew up listening to Steely Dan, Grover Washington, Hiroshima, Steve Wonder and Fleetwood Mac. Living in Detroit, it was divine landing in the Motown music era.

JazzReview: Exactly how would you describe your genre of music?

Kem Owens: My music certainly has some jazz overtones, but it’s also R&B. So I would say that it’s R&B/Jazz/Adult Contemporary. However, my new material will be a little different.

JazzReview: Tell me about what motivates you?

Kem Owens: Being spiritual is very important to me and it’s definitely at the forefront of my life. At the end of the day, your value system and your spirituality is all you have. Life is about finding that spiritual solution.

JazzReview: Has anyone ever told you that you sound like Al Jarreau? If so, how do you feel about that?

Kem Owens: Yes, I have been compared to Al Jarreau, which I think is the highest honor anyone could obtain. I have met Al personally and we have shared the stage performing together. We have also talked about doing something together. I admire his work and consider him a friend.

JazzReview: Who has been your musical influence over the years?

Kem Owens: I am definitely inspired by the work of Michael Jackson and Prince. Although we have totally different styles, I admire them because they make you feel good. You definitely feel something from listening to them or seeing them perform. Prince has great musicianship and is so prolific in composing songs and producing them. I admire him especially because he has the atomy on his projects, and that’s what I would like to continue to do.

JazzReview: Some of your love songs are said to be about your spirituality and not necessarily about boy meets girl. Was that your intent when you wrote the song "Each Other?"

Kem Owens: When I write my songs, although they might means something special to me, I want my listeners and fans to take the lyrics for what it means to them, whether it love or spirituality. I leave it up to them.

JazzReview: I hear that you are a self-taught musician. What instrument do you play?

Kem Owens: Yes, that is true. I play the keyboards and am planning to learn to play the guitar.

JazzReview: Having produced both of your albums, have you produced for anyone else?

Kem Owens: We are getting requests to produce other artists and have recently produced a song on the Madea’s Family Reunion soundtrack, which is entitled "Tonight." I have also produced the track called "Fascination" for the soundtrack of the movie Take the Lead, but I want to continue to pursue my career by building on what I have now.

JazzReview: Tell me about your days as a wedding singer, share some of your stories.

Kem Owens: A friend of mine introduced me to the leader of the wedding band. Being a wedding singer has given me some of the greatest experience as a singer. I did a bunch of cover tunes and got a chance to hone my craft. It taught me to interact with the audience and develop my stage presence. I did it for four years and did not regret a moment [of it].

JazzReview: Since your first album, who are some of the artists that you have toured with?

Kem Owens: I have been going non-stop for the last three years and have toured with some great artists--people like the OJays, Nancy Wilson, Will Downing, Reuben Stoddard, Fantasia, Kindred & Family, Boney James, Michael McDonald, Ashford & Simpson, Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan, among others.

JazzReview: Have you toured abroad?

Kem Owens: Yes. I have gone to several European countries and to South Africa.

JazzReview: Was it difficult to finance your first album? What were the pitfalls, if any?

Kem Owens: I financed my first album on my credit card. I did whatever work I could on the album and hired musicians to do what I could not. It was a learning experience for me.

JazzReview: What experience did you take to the making of your second album?

Kem Owens: I have gained a wealth of knowledge from the first album, like learning to budget my money and my time. I have definitely learned what not to do. I would recommend this hands-on approach to young artists who are starting out.

JazzReview: Well, good luck on your new project.

Kem Owens: Thanks. I will get it into your hands as soon as it’s ready.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Alice Meikle) Jazz Artist Interviews Sat, 29 Jan 2011 11:37:20 -0600
Jazz In The Garden Concludes With Bang http://jazzreview.com/concert-reviews/jazz-in-the-garden-concludes-with-bang.html http://jazzreview.com/concert-reviews/jazz-in-the-garden-concludes-with-bang.html Miami Gardens, Florida came alive for the third year in a row when the City welcomed an average of ten thousand patrons for the two-day festival Jazz In The Garden. Jazz In The Garden is not just a concert, over the past three years it has vastly become a major stop for old school and new school artists and fans. This two day event took place on March 15 16, 2008 at the Dolphins Stadium grounds. Unlike the Miami Dolphins, Jazz In The Garden was definitely a winner. The
Miami Gardens, Florida came alive for the third year in a row when the City welcomed an average of ten thousand patrons for the two-day festival Jazz In The Garden. Jazz In The Garden is not just a concert, over the past three years it has vastly become a major stop for old school and new school artists and fans. This two day event took place on March 15 16, 2008 at the Dolphins Stadium grounds. Unlike the Miami Dolphins, Jazz In The Garden was definitely a winner.

The concert on Saturday opened up with some home-cooking, Miami’s own Jesse Jones, Jr. Jones who is considered to be a legend in his own right maneuver through a repertoire of musical tracks which could only be described as intricate, soul-searching and sometimes riveting. Jazzy, Jr. as Jesse is affectionately called put together an ensemble of rhythm and sounds with his saxophone and his signature "scatting" which had the crowd showing him some love.

Haitian born trumpet player, Jean Caze was the next artist to hit the stage. The winner of the 2006 International Trumpet Guild Competition did more than just hold his own on a stage where legends were to follow him that night. Caze could be easy well be considered as a veteran even though he is only 25 years old. His lyrical tones and taste blend of music was showcased on Saturday evening. Jean definitely hit it out of the park, Florida Marlins style.

Swedish, born and raised, singing sensation Elin (pronounced EE-a-Leen) followed the smooth sounds and enchanted performance of Jean Caze. She was electrifying as she was talented, she performed music inspired by her Peruvian roots and incorporated a Brazilian, Latin and contemporary jazz sound. Let’s just say that she was a little samba and a whole lot of Basia performing music from her latest CD entitled Lazy Afternoon. Elin’s stock has risen even more after her performance at Jazz In The Garden.

Hidden Beach recording artist Mike Phillips woke up the over ten thousand patrons when he took the stage in Miami Gardens, Florida. The confident young saxophone player was all about hip hop, funk and contemporary jazz, as he blew that sax like a veteran with years under his belt. He played a mixture of songs from his two albums and some of his favorites from others. After his set, Mike and I spoke about his trip to South Africa, where he performed with Steve Wonder and Michael Jackson for Nelson Mandela’s birthday party. A jazz musician with a great sense of humor is quite different from, what I have seen and heard from jazz musicians, they are normally eccentric, quite and soft spoken. But Mike, who seemed very outgoing and free spirited, chopped it up with the members of the press. He said that he was excited to perform at Jazz In The Gardens, and hope to be back next year. As the release of his third album MP3 approaches, Mike continues to tour and showcase his music.

It was my first time seeing either George Duke or Stanley Clarke perform, so to be able to see them perform together was more than a treat. The performance was electrifying, Clarke was mean on the guitar, and his solos were definitely a signature to his performance. George Duke was equally complementary, he played several of hits, but the old school medley paying tribute to funk, was the highlight of his performance for me. George said that his love for the music keeps him coming back to make good music year after year. He said that Johnny Guitar Watson was of his influences. George said that he is currently in studio working with Diane Reeves, Shante Moore and Tower of Power on their new album. He said that he is also working on a new album of his own. As a musician, he said that the Internet has given him great exposure as a musician. Duke said that kids, who are learning to arrange music, should learn to play instruments instead of just using the computer to just push a bottom.

Stanley Clarke, who is considered to one of the most talented jazz musician alive, gave a stellar performance at the Jazz In The Garden. Appearing with George Duke, there could be no bigger reward for the jazz fan, as they gave a high energy performance. The crowd was literally up their feet cheering. Stanley said that he blames his mother who was a fine artist, for taking him to museums and galleries, and introducing to different sounds. Clarke, who has done music for over 50 films, says his latest project - First Sunday starring Kat Williams, Tracy Morgan and Ice Cube was a lot of fun, because he has a lot of respect for the young comedians. His advice to young musicians is work hard to hone their skills and to be disciplined from the start. He said that bass player Charlie Mingus was a great influence on his life. Clarke said that he would sit for hours talking about philosophy and music with Mingus.

After Duke and Clarke, the night belonged to the man they call the Greatest George Benson. There was no stopping him on Broadway, as he hit the stage running. His mean guitar, just strummed off hit after hit. It was Love Times Love, Turn Your Love Around, Kisses in the Moonlight, as the crowd stood together for this up-tempo, finger-clicking performance. There was no time to waste, no ad-libbing, no talking to the crowd, Benson allowed his vocals and guitar to for the talking. In short, George’s set was to the point, he was confident; the music was priceless and vintage. Jazz In The Garden rocked with Benson.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Alice Meikle) Concert Reviews Sat, 29 Jan 2011 09:40:30 -0600
Sample This http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/sample-this.html http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/sample-this.html Joe Sample
The 5th Annual Jazz In The Gardens is gearing up to welcome legendary jazz master and pianist Joe Sample, to be one of the headliners on day one, of the highly-anticipated music festival. Jazz In The Gardens will be held on the grounds of the new Sunlife Stadium (formerly Dolphins Stadium) from March 20-21, 2010. Over the last five years, the music fest has attracted several national and international artists and Joe Sample’s appearance this year will just add more star power to this great event
The 5th Annual Jazz In The Gardens is gearing up to welcome legendary jazz master and pianist Joe Sample, to be one of the headliners on day one, of the highly-anticipated music festival. Jazz In The Gardens will be held on the grounds of the new Sunlife Stadium (formerly Dolphins Stadium) from March 20-21, 2010. Over the last five years, the music fest has attracted several national and international artists and Joe Sample’s appearance this year will just add more star power to this great event.

Joe has longed been a favorite of mine, this legendary performer could easily be known as the king of hard bop, and should also be credited for his switch to electronic piano in the fusion era. Joseph Leslie "Joe" Sample was born on February 1, 1939 in Houston, Texas. He is an pianist, keyboard player and composer. As one of the founding members of the Jazz Crusaders (the band which became simply The Crusaders in 1971) Sample remained a part of the group until its final album in 1991.

Sample began playing the piano when he was five years old. Since the early 1980s, he has enjoyed a successful solo career, making guest appearances on many recordings by other performers and groups, including Miles Davis, George Benson, Jimmy Witherspoon, B. B. King, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, and The Supremes. Sample who is famous for fusing jazz, gospel, blues, Latin, and classical forms into his music, seperating him from the other talented pianist like David Beniot and Monte Alexander.

While in high school in the 1950s, Sample teamed up with two friends, saxophonist Wilton Felder and drummer "Stix" Hooper, to form a group called the Swingsters. While studying piano at Texas Southern University, Sample met and added trombonist Wayne Henderson and several other players to the Swingsters, which became the Modern Jazz Sextet and then the Jazz Crusaders, in emulation of one of the leading progressive jazz bands of the day, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

Sample never earned a degree from Texas Southern; instead in 1960, he and the Jazz Crusaders made the move from Houston to Los Angeles. The group quickly found success on the West Coast, making its first recording, Freedom Sounds in 1961. The Jazz Crusaders released up to four albums a year for much of the 1960s. The Jazz Crusaders played at first in the dominant hard bop style of the day, standing out by virtue of their unusual front-line combination of saxophone (played by Wilton Felder) and Henderson’s trombone. Another distinctive quality was the funky, rhythmically appealing acoustic piano playing style of Sample, who helped steer the group’s sound into a fusion between jazz and soul in the late 1960s. The Jazz Crusaders became a strong concert draw during those years.

While Sample and his band mates continued to work together, he and the other band members pursued individual work as well. In 1969 Sample made his first recording under his own name; Fancy Dance featured the pianist as part of a jazz trio. In the 1970s, as the Jazz Crusaders became simply the Crusaders and branched out into popular sounds, Sample became known as a L.A. studio musician, appearing on recordings by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, B. B. King, Joe Cocker, Minnie Riperton and Anita Baker. In 1975 he went into the studios with jazz legends Ray Brown on bass, and drummer Shelly Manne to produce a then state-of-the-art recording direct to disc entitled The Three. About this time Blue Note reissued some of the early work by the Jazz Crusaders as "The Young Rabbits." This was a compilation of their recordings done between 1962-68.

The electric keyboard was fairly new at the time, and Sample became one of the instrument’s pioneers. He switched to electric keyboard for his recordings with the Crusaders themselves, and the group hit a commercial high-water mark with the hit single "Street Life" and the album of the same name in 1979. In 1978 he did a joint session with guitarist David T. Walker, Swing Street Café, which had all the feel of a live set done in a back street joint in Texas.

The Crusaders, after losing several key members, broke up after recording Life in the Modern World for the GRP label in 1987. Despite the disbanding of the Crusaders, the members would join each other to record periodically over the years; releasing Healing the Wounds in the early ’90s. Felder, Hooper, and Sample recorded their first album, called Rural Renewal, as the reunited Crusaders group in 2003 and did a live concert in Japan in 2004.
Since Sample’s Fancy Dance (1969), he has recorded several solo albums, including the George Duke produced Sample This.

GRP also released Joe Sample Collection, and a three disc Crusaders Collection, as testament to Sample’s enduring legacy. The pianist’s most recent recordings are The Song Lives On (1999), featuring duets with singer Lalah Hathaway, and The Pecan Tree (2002), a tribute to his hometown of Houston, where he relocated in 1994. His 2004 album on Verve, Soul Shadows, paid tribute to Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton, and pre-jazz bandleader James Reese Europe. In 2007 he recorded Feeling Good with vocalist Randy Crawford.
Some of his works are featured on The Weather Channel’s "Local On The 8s" segments and his song "Rainbow Seeker" is included in their 2008 compilation release, The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz II. Nicole Kidman sang his song "One Day I’ll Fly Away" in the Baz Luhrmann film Moulin Rouge!.

Jazz In The Gardens is brought to you by the City Of Miami Gardens and is produced by Circle Of One Marketing. Last year close to 40,000 attended Jazz in the Gardens and enjoyed incredible performances by Kenny G, Babyface, Frankie Beverly, Roy Ayers, Erykah Badu, and a host of other world renown artists. Also appearing with Joe Sample on Saturday will be Mary J. Blige, Robin THicke, TeenaMarie, K’Jon, Rachel Brown, Kwan Debosse and Jon Saxx. Sunday’s lineup includes, David Sanborn, Cassanra Wilson, John Legend, Boys II Men, Melanie Fiona, Eric Roberson and Jovie.



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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Alice Meikle) Press Releases Sat, 29 Jan 2011 08:55:56 -0600
Will Downing Back On Track http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/will-downing-back-on-track.html http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/will-downing-back-on-track.html Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter Will Downing’s career extends over some two decades. With these valuable years under his belt, Downing has gotten better lyrically and excelled musically. He brings a very unique style to his ballads and his music could be classified as R&B, Soul, Smooth Jazz or Adult Contemporary. Lyrically he is a masterful and gifted writer and vocally he has an extremely distinct and accomplished sound, both of which is a winning combination for the "l

Brooklyn-born singer/songwriter Will Downing’s career extends over some two decades. With these valuable years under his belt, Downing has gotten better lyrically and excelled musically. He brings a very unique style to his ballads and his music could be classified as R&B, Soul, Smooth Jazz or Adult Contemporary. Lyrically he is a masterful and gifted writer and vocally he has an extremely distinct and accomplished sound, both of which is a winning combination for the "long haul" needed to succeed as an artist.

Downing has earned his keeps on the musical sound stage as he surely did not arrive on a silver platter overnight. After working behind the scenes with 1980s club producer King Arthur Baker and songbird Jennifer Holiday, Downing ventured out on his own to work on his solo project. His self-titled debut album ("Will Downing’) was released in 1988. Since 1988 Downing has presented his music and engaging live performances to hundreds of fans worldwide. He has toured extensively in Europe and the US, with venues ranging from intimate club settings to large outdoor concerts and music festivals. Will Downing’s music has been consistent and his signature brassy bedroom voice has coupled with female vocalists like of Phyllis Hyman, Chante Moore and Rachel Farrell. He has collaborated with the like of Gerald Albright and Jonathan Butler and appeared on stage with George Duke, Jonathan Butler, Art Porter, Regina Belle and Lee Ritenour among other jazz greats.

Downing has given his fans the pleasure of listening to his rather seductive voice blended with musical arrangements which makes his music on even comparison to the late Barry White as far as love ballads are concerned. Famed music producer Rex Rideout has been a staple on quite a number of his albums. The Lyrics from songs like "Do You Still Love Me", " Don’t Talk To Me Like That", "Million Ways" and "After Tonight" could be the topics taught in the Love 101 class for men or women at the local college. The lyrics cut deeply into you love conscience, forcing you to be "perfect in love" or simply to try be.

Will Downing to his fans is this one consummate music professional, who did not disappoint, and is considered to be an invincible giant in the music business. But two years ago, when we all found out that he was ill; it was a reality check no one was willing to cash. Downing was diagnosed with Polymyositis a muscular inflammatory disease which took over his life as he would have known it. He was hospitalized for a long period of time and faced the biggest challenge of his life. But the disease did not overcome him totally; as he fought back with courage and faith and mustered up the energy to record his latest album entitled "After Tonight". While fulfilling a promise to his fans in South Florida at the recently concluded Miami Gardens "Jazz In The Gardens" music festival. Downing stated that he was happy to have recovered from the illness; he said it was a pleasure to play in front of his fans, who were very disappointed when he had to cancel his appearance for last year’s Jazz In The Gardens. Downing also spoke candidly about his illness and the making of the After Tonight album. He spoke of the challenges he faced being in a wheel chair and while doing the vocals for some of the tracks on After Tonight. But all this courage has paid off for him, as he is back on tour and working in the studio. As to his performance at Jazz In The Gardens, he completed a red hot set and was every bit animated like the Will of old.

Downing will wind down promotion of the After Tonight album to focus on the completion and upcoming release of his latest recording entitled "Classique" which is due "to drop" on or about June 24, 2009. Will also revealed that he is undecided as to which song he will release as a single from Classique. Judging from his repertoire of musical hits, fans will not be disappointed. While we are all eagerly awaiting his next record, let enjoy cuts from "After Tonight" like So Amazing, After Tonight, Satisfy You and All I Need Is You. No doubt you will realize that those are my favorite cuts from the album, so go ahead and decide on yours.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Alice Meikle) Press Releases Sat, 29 Jan 2011 08:52:40 -0600
Angelique Kidjo's Sizzling Hot Performance http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/angelique-kidjo-s-sizzling-hot-performance.html http://jazzreview.com/jazz-news/press-releases/angelique-kidjo-s-sizzling-hot-performance.html Angelique Kidjo
On Sunday, March 29, 2009, patrons gathered on the grounds at the Dolphin Stadium for the Fourth Annual Jazz In The Gardens and in the process, they were treated to the musical stylings of Angelique Kidjo. The Grammy Award winning Angelique Kidjo who performed following the red hot Jonathan Butler, is herself a sizzling hot singer-songwriter who was born in Contonou, Benin. She brought her show to the people of South Florida with her high energy stage presence, mezmerizing voice and a barrage

On Sunday, March 29, 2009, patrons gathered on the grounds at the Dolphin Stadium for the Fourth Annual Jazz In The Gardens and in the process, they were treated to the musical stylings of Angelique Kidjo. The Grammy Award winning Angelique Kidjo who performed following the red hot Jonathan Butler, is herself a sizzling hot singer-songwriter who was born in Contonou, Benin. She brought her show to the people of South Florida with her high energy stage presence, mezmerizing voice and a barrage of fancy footworks. Kidjo danced her way through her set and invited the crowd to participate likewise. She belted hits after hits in her native language and had about 40,000 screaming fans singing the hooks from songs like Senamou and Gimme Shelter. Angelique, who says she grew up listening to singers like James Brown , Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Wonder and Carlos Santana, did not disappoint the fans as she showcased her versatality and soulful swagger. She paid tribute to the Rolling Stones displaying her ability to hang with the bad boys of rock and roll. Concert goers were treated to her diverse musical renditions, which ranged from rock and roll, reggae and even salsa. By the end of her performance, she was already a household name in South Florida. This diva came to play and held nothing back.

Kidjo’s musical career tells a story of one determined individual who fought for her name and fame. By the time she was six, Kidjo was performing with her mother’s theatre troupe, giving her an early appreciation for traditional music and dance. She started singing in her school band Les Sphinx and found success as a teenager with her adaptation of Miriam Makeba’s "Les Trois Z" which played on national radio. She recorded the album Pretty with the Cameroonian producer Ekambi Brilliant and her brother Oscar. It featured the songs Ninive, Gbe Agossi and a tribute to the singer Bella Bellow, one of her role models. The success of the album allowed her to tour all over West Africa. Continuing political conflicts in Benin prevented her from being an independent artist in her own country and led her to relocate to Paris in 1983.

While working various day jobs to pay for her tuition, Angelique studied music at the CIM, a reputable Jazz school in Paris where she met and married musician and producer Jean Hebrail with whom she has composed most of her music. She started out as a backup singer in local bands. In 1985, she became the frontsinger of the known Euro-African jazz/rock band Jasper van’t Hof’s Pili Pili. Three Pili Pili studio albums followed: Jakko (1987) Be In Two Minds (1988, produced by Marlon Klein) and Hotel Babo (1990). By the end of the 1980s, she had become one of the most popular live performers in Paris and recorded a solo album called Parakou for the Open Jazz Label.

She was then discovered in Paris by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell who signed her in 1991. She recorded four albums for Island until Chris Blackwell’s departure from the label. In 2000 she was signed in New York by Columbia Records for which she recorded two albums. Her musical influences include the Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, jazz, gospel, and Latin styles; as well as her childhood idols Bella Bellow, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Miriam Makeba and Carlos Santana. She has made her own renditions of George Gershwin’s Summertime, Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child, and The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter, and has collaborated with the likes of Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band, Kelly Price, Branford Marsalis, Robbie Nevil, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Cassandra Wilson. Kidjo’s hits include the songs "Agolo", "We We", "Adouma" "Wombo Lombo" "Afirika","Batonga" and her version of "Malaika". Kidjo is fluent in Fon, French, Yoruba, and English and sings in all four languages; she also has her own personal language which includes words that serve as songtitles such as Batonga. Malaika is a song sung in Swahili language. She often utilizes Benin’s traditional Zilin vocal technique and jazz vocalese.

Jazz In The Gardens took Angelique on a journey to Miami Gardens, which was rather fitting, as she recorded her first album entitled "Logozo" for Island Records between Miami and Paris, working with Miami Sound Machine drummer Joe Galdo. That album featured Branford Marsalis and Manu DiBango on saxophones. it was released worldwide in 1991 and reached number one on the Billboard World Music chart. Music videos for the singles We We and Batonga were released and Angelique made her first world tour, appearing at many festivals and headlining the Olympia Hall in Paris on October 31, 1992.

In 2002 Angelique traveled to Salvador de Bahia to start recording the Axe percussion grooves for this album inspired by the Afro-Brazilian culture. She worked with famous songwriters Carlinhos Brown and Vinicius Cantuaria. On the Brazilian version of the album, Gilberto Gil joined her on Refavela and Daniella Mercury on Tumba. Dave Matthews appears on the song Iwoya.

Angelique Kidjo released an album titled Djin Djin on May 1, 2007. Many guests appear on the album including Josh Groban, Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Peter Gabriel, Amadou and Mariam, Ziggy Marley, and Branford Marsalis. The title, Djin Djin, refers to the sound of a bell in Africa that greets each new day. The album is produced by Tony Visconti, who is known for his work with David Bowie, Morrissey, and T. Rex, among others. Djin Djin won a Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music album and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding World Music album

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Alice Meikle) Press Releases Sat, 29 Jan 2011 08:52:21 -0600