Artists are signing up to perform at the 3rd annual National Smooth Jazz Awards
in San Diego Saturday night, March 2nd. Al Jarreau, Peter White, Kirk Whalum, Wayman Tisdale, Keiko Matsui, Fattburger and last year's big winner Rick Braun have already signed to perform at the ceremony, which will be held at the Golden Hall Theatre. There should be at least 30 smooth jazz artists performing in the show, which will be taped for future airing on the BET on Jazz
cable channel. Keyboardist/producer Jeff Lorber will again be the musical director for the event and there is expected to be some special collaborations in the show. For the first time, the nominees will be seated in the audience, just like at the other award shows. Announced award presenters will include Craig Chaquico and Gabriela Anders.
In conjunction with the event, Native Language Music will be releasing a compilation CD featuring music from many of the nominated artists. Smooth Jazz Awards Collection Volume 2 will be released five days before the ceremony on February 26th. The CD will feature 11 tracks, including one new track that will feature Lorber, saxophonist Everett Harp and bassist Brian Bromberg. The new track will be a cover version of Michael Jackson's 1979 hit Rock With You and will be produced by Bromberg. Other tracks on the CD will feature music from Lorber, White, Richard Elliot, Joyce Cooling, Euge Groove, Urban Knights, Spyro Gyra, Chuck Loeb, Jeff Kashiwa, Shilts and Steve Reid.