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.