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  • Grammy-winning hit-maker Paul Brown follows his heart “Back” to his roots

    The urban-jazz guitarist releases the bluesy “One Way Back” on Friday, an album on which he collaborates with four contemporary jazz guitar giants and another Paul Brown.

    Paul Brown has had the Midas touch since the early ‘90s when he began producing some of the biggest contemporary jazz hits and definitive chart-topping albums by the brightest urban-jazz stars in the galaxy, amassing more than 60 Billboard No. 1 singles. In the past twelve years, the guitarist stepped forward as an artist in his own right, consistently cranking out hits of his own. Although his formative recordings established the sound of the smoother side of contemporary jazz for more than two decades, Brown yearned to reconnect with his first musical passion: the blues. On Friday, Woodward Avenue Records issued his eighth solo collection, “One Way Back,” a self-produced ten-track outing on which he followed his heart back to his blues roots.   

    Bubbling under Brown’s clean and cool electric jazz guitar expressions throughout “One Way Back” are blues-powered keyboard and Hammond B3 organ blasts courtesy of the similarly-named Brother Paul Brown (no relation) and stacks of muscular horn section workouts from saxophonist Greg Vail and trumpeter-horn arranger Lee Thornberg. Having enjoyed a tremendous amount of success producing signature hits for saxophonists Boney James, Kirk Whalum, Euge Groove and Jessy J, Brown invited label mate saxman Darren Rahn to guest on “Sexy Thang.” Guitar fans will rejoice that four cuts – “Piccadilly Circus,” “River Walk,” “Take Flight” and “Rear View Mirror”- spotlight Brown trading stringed barbs with contemporary jazz guitar sensations Chris Standring, Marc Antoine, Peter White and Chuck Loeb respectively. Standring, Antoine and White stand apart using the voice of nylon guitars while Fourplay’s Loeb emotes deftly on jazz guitar. The session boasts a roof-raising gospel-jazz vocal from Don Bryant on the celebratory juke joint original “Well Alright.” Brown himself takes to the mic to croon the intimate “Heaven,” a poignant, heart-on-the-sleeve country-blues album closer spotlighting the artist’s character-rich voice.                

    “’One Way Back’ is a journey thru my musical and life experiences. This album is a pure sense of expression and everything I’ve got to give,” said Brown before adding, “I’m a much better guitarist, producer and writer now than ever before.”

    Born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif., initially Brown was a drummer before picking up the guitar. After learning his way around the recording studio, he became the engineer for R&B legends Diana Ross, Luther Vandross and Aretha Franklin. Moving over into the producer’s seat, Brown almost single-handedly architected the sound of smooth/contemporary jazz since the 1990s before delivering his solo debut in 2004, “Up Front.” From subsequent albums, three of which went Top 10, two singles -2005’s “Winelight” and 2007’s “The Rhythm Method” – were the most-played radio songs of their respective years. Concert performances around the world enabled him to refine and develop his guitar chops as well as cultivate his fan base far beyond the limiting confines of a recording studio. For more information, please visit

  • Al Jarreau Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award

    Al Jarreau recently took to his Faceook page to announce that he will be accepting the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music's Lifetime Achievement Award next Saturday, October 8th! He said the award is, "truly great honor for me, and I look forward to being back in my hometown"!

    "Al Jarreau inspires people of all ages worldwide through his diverse singing styles and personal touch. While touring the world, he works tirelessly to promote the importance of keeping music opportunities alive for youth everywhere," said Tim Schaid, Foundation Executive Director.  Congratulations Al!

  • Marc Antoine's Return To Health And California

    Laguna Beach, Calif. (23 September 2016): The four-year gap between albums for global guitarist Marc Antoine was spent fighting for his life and career as well as moving his family from their longtime home in Spain to the Southern California coast. Having conquered two major health challenges – one life-threatening and one career-threatening – and resettled into the placid enclave of Laguna Beach, the Paris-born, classically-trained hit-maker resumes his recording career Friday with the release of his Woodward Avenue Records debut, “Laguna Beach.” The title cut, which preceded the celebratory set of Antoine’s signature classical acoustic and nylon-string guitar melodies, quixotic gypsy jazz forays, brassy funk grooves and sultry Latin, Brazilian and Cuban rhythms, is already No. 5 on the Billboard songs chart, offering a last gasp of summer. 

    His thirteenth album, Antoine produced “Laguna Beach,” wrote eight of the nine songs and called upon some of his accomplished friends to collaborate with him, something he couldn’t do easily when he lived abroad for twelve years.              

    “When you live near LA, you can call anyone to come and work with you. Once I built my new studio over here, fired it up and began working on new material, I knew I just had to make a few phone calls to get the right guys to play on it,” said Antoine, who reached out to soloists Philippe Saisse (keyboards), Rick Braun (trumpet), Greg Vail (saxes), Armand Sabal-Lecco (bass), Tim Welvaars (harmonica) and two-time Grammy winner Paul Brown (electric guitar), who mixed the album. Anchoring the tracks were drummer Gorden Campbell, upright bassist Roberto Vally, keyboardist Marco Basci, and percussionists Gumbi Ortiz and Richie Gajate Garcia. 

    Incorporating an interesting variety of sounds, tapestries, moods and styles remains the guitar alchemist’s forte. Antoine’s compositions on “Laguna Beach” are enriched with his spirited sense of joy and gratitude after enduring major heart surgery in 2012 to repair an incapacitating atrial fibrillation problem only to be followed by hand surgery two years later to relieve the crippling pain and permanent nerve damage he endured while playing the guitar that locked the fingers on his left hand in odd positions.

    After “pretty much hitting rock bottom” in 2014, Antoine and his wife, Rebeca, decided to make the move back to California where they resided prior to Spain. It turns out playing the guitar is ideal physical therapy, enabling Antoine to work through the scar tissue in his hand. 

    “I remember vividly that a hand therapist from LA told me that the only way to fix this is to change my ways,” Antoine recalled. “I have a deep relationship with my guitar. It's a little bit like a marriage: if you don't put effort into it, there is no life in it. So playing, and most importantly, playing with joy, love and respect is the key. I am so grateful for what is going on in my life right now and I am back enjoying my instrument, which fixes all problems. It is for real: life through guitar therapy.”

    Rejuvenated, reinvigorated and restored to full health, Antoine anticipates a busy concert itinerary of festival, theater and club dates to support the album release across the U.S. where he has been a popular entertainer ever since he toured globally with Basia in 1988. He’s also shared the stage with superstars Sting, Queen Latifah and Selena prior to launching his solo career with the album “Classical Soul,” which spawned the first of a library of radio hits that have made Antoine one of the mainstays at contemporary/smooth jazz radio since 1994. He’s played in pop, rock, jazz, world music, hip-hop and acid jazz settings, each of which have informed his multicultural sonicscapes and furthered his international appeal.  For more information, please visit

    Antoine’s “Laguna Beach” album contains the following songs:

    “Why Not”                  
    “This and That”
    “Laguna Beach”
    “High Five”
    “New Morning”
    “Twice Upon a Time”


  • Brian Culbertson Live Stream Tonight

    This evening at 6:30pm pacific, Brian Culbertson is having a dress rehearsal for his new tour at Center Staging in Burbank, CA.  This can be streamed live at


  • Richard Elliot's New #1 Album

    Saxophonist Richard Elliot's new album Summer Madness debuted at #1 on the Contemporary Jazz Chart this week! Purchase the album at major retailers or an exclusive autographed copy at the links below.

    Autographed CD:

  • Prince Tribute Show Line-up: Stevie Wonder, Anita Baker, John Mayer & More

    Prince: The Official Prince Tribute a Celebration of Life and Music will be on October 13 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and features all-star cast of Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan, John Mayer, Tori Kelly, Anita Baker, Doug E. Fresh, Luke James, Bilal, Mint Condition, Morris Day and the Time, Judith Hill, and Liv Warfield.  Tickets go on sale Monday at 10am through Ticketmaster.



  • Herb Alpert Foundation Donates $10 million

    Trumpeter Herb Alpert. (Dewey Nicks / Herb Alpert Foundation)

    Trumpeter and co-founder of A&M Records, Herb Alpert, has changed the lives of music students at Los Angeles City College. According to, the Herb Alpert Foundation is making a $10.1-million donation to Los Angeles City College that will provide all music majors at the school with a tuition-free education.

    “LACC is a gem of an institution,” Alpert said regarding the donation. “The biggest motivation was helping kids who don’t have the financial energy to go to a major college. At LACC, they’ve nurtured thousands of dedicated students every year. My brother went there. My ex-partner [record producer] Lou Adler went there. I’ve visited the school. It’s alive. It’s kickin’.”


  • King + Queen of Hearts World Tour

    Tickets for the King + Queen of Hearts World Tour with Maxwell and Mary J. Blige go on sale today. Get more information at

  • Lin Rountree Performs in Uganda

    The 9th Annual Nile Gold Jazz & Soul Safari

    Lin Rountree recently shared a video on Facebook from his upcoming concert on October 8th in Uganda with Maxi Priest and Jackiem Joyner.


  • Aretha Franklin Cancels Shows

    Aretha Franklin has cancelled several upcoming shows due to health reasons, according to AP. The 74-year-old singer said in a statement Monday that “due to doctors’ orders I will have to cancel a few concerts for the next month or so”.

    Cancelled shows include her Aug. 26 show at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts near Vienna, Virginia and her appearance in “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90” on Sept. 15, and a solo show on Sept. 23 at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. We wish her good health.

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