Artists – 2017
Multiple GRAMMY®-Award, Emmy-Award and Tony-Award nominee and New York Times Bestseller Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television. Her albums have earned multiple Grammy nominations and have yielded such classic hits as “Save the Best For Last,” “Dreamin,” “Work To Do,” “Love Is,” the Academy Award-winning single “Colors of the Wind,” from Disney’s “Pocahontas,” and many others. Concord Records released Vanessa’s, “The Real Thing,” in June 2009, for which she received a NAACP nomination for Outstanding Jazz Artist.
In 2007, Vanessa achieved a career pinnacle, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her accomplishments as a performer. In December 2010, the International Foreign Press Academy named Vanessa as the recipient of the 2010 Mary Pickford Award For Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the Entertainment Industry. The award honors her international achievements and success in film, television, stage and recording over the past 28 years. Vanessa is looking forward to performing an elegant evening of Jazz, R&B and hits at Weekend of Jazz. www.VanessaWilliams.com
HERB ALPERT & LANI HALL
Legendary trumpeter HERB ALPERT’s extraordinary musicianship has earned him nine GRAMMY® awards, five #1 hits, fifteen Gold albums, fourteen Platinum albums and has sold over 72 million records. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass propelled his sound into the pop music limelight, at one point outselling the Beatles two to one. In 1966, they achieved the since-unmatched feat of simultaneously having four albums in the Top 10 – and five in the Top 20. Herb Alpert also has the distinction of being the only artist who has had a #1 instrumental and vocal single.
Some of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’ fourteen Top 40 singles include; The Lonely Bull, Mexican Shuffle, Spanish Flea and the GRAMMY®-winners “A Taste Of Honey” and “What Now My Love,” and the #1 hits “This Guy’s In Love With You” and “Rise.” In 2006, Alpert and his A&M Records partner Jerry Moss were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2013 Herb Alpert was awarded The National Medal of Arts Award by President Barack Obama for his musical, philanthropic and artistic contributions. www.HerbAlpert.com
GRAMMY Award-winning vocalist and producer, LANI HALL started her singing career in 1966, as the lead singer of Sergio Mendes’s break through group, Brasil’66. She left behind her city roots in Chicago and, for 5 years, performed throughout the world. While Lani’s singing career took her on the road, she also focused on her writing – committing to the page her personal impressions of the world around her. Sergio Mendes further expanded her writing career by asking Lani to write the English lyrics for many of the band’s Brazilian songs.
In 1966, A&M Records signed Brasil’66 and Lani met her future husband, music legend, Herb Alpert, who is also the co-founder of A&M Records. Herb and Lani married in 1973. Lani has the distinction of recording more than 22 albums in three different languages (English, Portuguese and Spanish, and in 1983, she sang the title song for the James Bond film, Never Say Never Again. www.LaniHallAlpert.com
EARL KLUGH’S NIGHT OF GUITARS with EARL KLUGH, LEE RITENOUR and RAY PARKER JR.
Earl Klugh’s ‘Night of Guitars’ features a trio of world-renowned guitarists performing their signature styles of music. Klugh’s inspiration for ‘Night of Guitars’ began nearly 40 years ago while performing with two of his biggest influences, Chet Atkins and George Benson. This first ‘unofficial Night of Guitars’ aired on the PBS series Soundstage throughout 1978 and 1979. At Weekend of Jazz, Klugh is thrilled to feature Lee Ritenour and Ray Parker Jo. Klugh and Parker Jr. grew up together in Detroit, and Ritenour performed on Klugh’s sophomore album 40 years ago: Living Inside Your Love.
LEE RITENOUR: Lee Ritenour has earned 19 Grammy® nominations, was a founding member of jazz supergroup Fourplay, and has recorded over 40 albums with 35 chart songs. Some of his many notable performances were with The Mamas and the Papas (at age 16), Tony Bennett and Lena Horne, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie and more. Dave Grusin and Ritenour won a Grammy®-Award together for Best Arrangement on an Instrumental in 1985. www.LeeRitenour.com
RAY PARKER JR: Guitarist, songwriter, producer and recording artist, Ray Parker Jr., is best known for writing and performing the theme song to the motion picture Ghostbusters, for his solo hits, and performing with his band Raydio as well as the late Barry White. Now, Parker enjoys spending time with his family while continuing his love and passion for music. www.RayParkerJr.com.
EARL KLUGH: Since GRAMMY®-Winner Earl Klugh released his inaugural album in 1976, the Detroit-born master of the acoustic-classical guitar has become one of the most imitated icons of the instrument. He has released over 40 records, 24 of which have been on Billboard’s top-10 list of jazz albums and 6 of which have made it to the No. 1 slot. Klugh’s recordings have received 13 Grammy® nominations (including one for his latest release, HandPicked) – and his collaboration with pianist Bob James, One on One, walked away with the 1980 Grammy® Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album. www.EarlKlugh.com.
BWB: BRAUN, WHALUM, BROWN
RICK BRAUN: Nearly twenty years into his solo career, RICK BRAUN’s done just about everything. Braun’s first big break came when he composed “Here With Me,” a Top 20 hit for REO Speedwagon. He soon became a highly regarded pop sideman, touring and recording with the likes of Rod Stewart, War, Sade, Tina Turner, Natalie Cole, and Tom Petty. His records have ranked in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart – including #1 on the Contemporary Jazz Chart for RnR with Richard Elliott – and his singles have held the #1 position on the R&R NAC/Smooth Jazz album charts. A much-in-demand producer, he has delivered #1 radio hits with artists including David Benoit, Marc Antoine and Jeff Golub. www.RickBraun.com.
KIRK WHALUM: Grammy-Winner and 11-Time Nominee KIRK WHALUM began his career in the 1980’s in Houston, TX and has never looked back. The tenor saxophonist has collaborated with industry greats such as Al Jarreau, Quincy Jones and Barbara Streisand and it is his passionate sound heard on Whitney Houston’s mega-hit, I Will Always Love You. The recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgements for his musical excellence, Whalum has received a Grammy-Award and eleven nominations, three Dove Award nominations, an NAACP Image Award nomination and has won two Stellar Awards-Gospel music’s highest honor. www.KirkWhalum.com.
NORMAN BROWN: Grammy-Winner NORMAN BROWN delivered his 1992 debut, Just Between Us, and followed with the gold-certified After The Storm and 1996’s Better Days Ahead. With critical acclaim and sales behind him, the talented musician made the leap to Warner Bros. and released Celebration, with first teamed him with producer Paul Brown. The 2003 followup, Just Chillin‘, earned Brown much-deserved recognition with a GRAMMY® Award in the best pop instrumental category. Brown currently has over 10 releases, the most recent being Let It Go. www.NormanBrown.com.
FOREIGN AFFAIR: MICHAEL LINGTON, ALEX BUGNON & MARC ANTOINE
MICHAEL LINGTON, MARC ANTOINE and ALEX BUGNON join forces to create The Foreign Affair Tour 2017. Combining the talents of three chart-topping jazz artists all hailing from Europe – the FOREIGN AFFAIR TOUR – promises a show of high-energy music with an international flair.
MICHAEL LINGTON: Michael Lington is a Danish-American contemporary saxophonist, songwriter, producer, recording artist and a purveyor of soul and contemporary jazz. Lington has released 9 solo albums and has 20 singles that have charted on the Billboard and Radio & Records contemporary jazz radio charts. www.MichaelLington.com.
ALEX BUGNON: Jazz pianist Alex Bugnon has been a prolific, energetic force on the contemporary music scene for more than two decades. A renowned musician/composer/bandleader, Bugnon hales from the picturesque town of Montreux, Switzerland. www.AlexBugnon.com.
MARC ANTOINE: Guitarist, composer and producer, Marc Antoine, was born in Paris. Marc’s career boasts many #1 hits on R&R contemporary jazz charts, not to mention the Billboard charts. He has received numerous nominations for jazz awards. www.MarcAntoine.com.
Composer, arranger, vocalist and drummer JAMINSON ROSS combines his gifts to present a unique offering to the world of Jazz. His debut GRAMMY®-nominated release, Jamison, takes listeners on a musical journey that unifies his drumming abilities and vocal gifting. In 2012, Jamison won the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition for drums, the most prestigious award for jazz artists. Since then, Jamison has gained acclaim within the genre through his collaborations with Wes Anderson, Jon Batiste, Henry Butler, Billy Childs, Dr. John, Jimmy Heath, Ramsey Lewis, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Marcus Roberts, Patrice Rushen, Cecile McLorin Salvant and Snarky Puppy. He was recently voted second in the “Rising Male Vocalist” category of DownBeat Magazine’s 65th Annual International Critics Poll. www.JamisonRossMusic.com.
One of the fastest emerging contemporary jazz recording artists in recent history, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, VINCENT INGALA has blasted into an exciting stratosphere of his own making since his 2010 critically acclaimed debut album, North End Soul.
Still in his early twenties, the charismatic saxophonist has been named Billboard Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year in 2012, Sirius XM Watercolors Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2013, and his music is consistently found atop the most noteworthy music charts in the world, including three number one hits on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart, five singles in the Billboard Smooth Jazz Top 10, as well as an unprecedented 25 weeks at #1 on SmoothJazz.com’s Top 50 Independent Chart and #15 on SmoothJazz.com’s 2014 Year End Chart. His third album, 2015’s Coast To Coast, has placed Vincent Ignala back on the top, with the project’s first and second singles, hitting number one on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. www.VincentIngala.com.
EAST COAST PARTY BAND
Enjoy a true South Carolina experience with one of the most popular dance bands in the Southeast and Weekend of Jazz regulars, the East Coast Party Band! The East Coast Party Band will perform a variety of Carolina beach music, soul, fifties, a sensual array of ballads and classic rock & roll. The group has six dynamic lead vocalists, a well-versed horn section and a fantastic rhythm section that has played together for twenty-five years. The ECPB’s latest release, Together, has garnered consistent airplay throughout the Southeast, as well as other party of the country. Their single release, “Candy,” was inducted into the Beach Music Radio Hall of Fame. www.EastCoastPartyBand.com.
A Detroit, Michigan native, Ron grew up playing the organ, following in the footsteps of his mother who played in his local church. At the age of five, he discovered drums and never looked back. By 16, Ron was playing in local clubs around the Detroit area and he has been working with Earl Klugh since 1994. Ron has also performed with Nancy Wilson, Bob James, KEM and Aretha Franklin. In addition he has recorded with Keith Washington, Wendy Moten and R&B singer Tyrese. Ron released his highly anticipated debut album Up Front in 2009 and has a brand new project available called Stay In Your Lane.