The resurgence in smooth jazz continues with many new releases this year and the increasing number of live performance festivals. The highly successful Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama City Beach, Florida from April 24th to the 28th started this year off and completely sold every ticket one week before the festival. Jazz On The Vine May 10th to May 12th in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin had a fantastic line up of smooth jazz stars, that are often played on this program, including Brian Culbertson, Jonathan Butler, Keiko Matsui, Vincent Ingala, Cindy Bradley, and Roman Street. Smooth jazz is even international with the Mallorca Festival on the east coast of Spain last weekend on May 14th to the 19th featuring more artists often heard here including Steve Oliver, Four80east, Special EFX, and Eric Darius. Many more festivals throughout the country are forthcoming and will conclude with the wildly popular Catalina Island Jazz Festival in October.
New releases I have for you in the program's first hour include Sarah McKenzie, Elan Trotman from his brand new album, a tribute to Marvin Gaye, The Rippingtons, Lebron, Keiko Matsui, Jacob Webb, Walter Beasley, John Novello, Marqueal Jordan, and Nils.
In the middle of the first hour, I will play the Billboard top three songs in smooth jazz for this week. There is a new number one this week.
The second hour is devoted to the classics from this format. As always the closing segment will be what is considered a classic among classics. This week will feature early work from one of smooth jazz's most influential performers, Bob James. He released his first album in 1963. After much great work, he formed the incredible group Fourplay in 1991 and at age 79, he is still going strong. From his fifth album in 1977, I have his groundbreaking song Night Crawler.
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