- The Piano Guys Celebrate 'A Family Christmas'
The Piano Guys released their first holiday album in October entitled A Family Christmas and will be celebrating the music and the season with concerts and television performances. On December 11, The Piano Guys will perform "Angels We Have Heard On High" live on The Today Show on NBC, during the Kathie Lee and Hoda hour. On December 14, they will perform on Huckabee - FOX News Channel. The group has several holiday concerts planned as well - catch them on stage in Westbury, NY (Dec. 11), Boise, ID (Dec. 17) and Salt Lake City, UT (Dec. 21). Paul Anderson (producer/videographer), Jon Schmidt (pianist/songwriter), Steven Sharp Nelson (cellist/songwriter) and Al Van Der Beek (music producer/songwriter) are the core members of The Piano Guys. The group took the world by storm after posting their unique music and sensational videos on YouTube. Their second release, the self-titled The Piano Guys, reached number one on the Billboard New Age Albums chart in 2012. For more information about the band, visit their website here.
- John Legend Launches 'Playing it Forward' Concert Series
John Legend helped kick-off the new concert web series Playing it Forward at the Culver City Farmer's Market last week. According to Entertainment Weekly, the event was created by Crackle, the multi-platform entertainment network behind Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee among other ventures. Playing it Forward will feature surprise street performances from some of the biggest names in music across the country, all benefiting music education and charities of the artists’ choice with a $100,000 donation from Crackle. Legend performed his hit “Ordinary People,” his current single “All of Me” from his new album Love in the Future and "Shine," a song he wrote for the documentary Waiting for Superman, about the public education system in America. Legend's Show Me Campaign organization will receive the Crackle donation, using the funds to further its work to break the cycle of poverty by giving children access to quality education through the promotion of scalable, proven solutions and programs. To watch the video of John's performance and support the cause, visit the Playing it Forward website here.
- Santana, Hancock to Receive Kennedy Center Honors
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced the 2013 recipients for the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors. Five artists will be honored including guitarist, singer-songwriter Carlos Santana, jazz legend Herbie Hancock, pianist, singer-songerwriter Billy Joel, opera singer Martina Arroyo and award-winning actress Shirley MacLaine. The 36th Annual National Celebration of the Arts Gala will be held on December 8, 2013 on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage. The honorees will be seated with President Obama and Mrs. Obama during the gala performance and will be guests at the White House prior to the event. The Honors Gala will be recorded and broadcast on CBS on Sunday, December 29 at 9 p.m. ET.
- Phil Collins Considers Return to Music
Award-winning singer, songwriter, drummer Phil Collins retired from his music career in 2011 due to damage to his spine that prevents him from playing the drums. But according to Digital Spy, in a recent interview with the German media at a Stuttgart premiere of Tarzan, a musical based on his Disney film, he indicated he is considering a Genesis reunion. He says, "I have started thinking about doing new stuff. [Maybe playing] some shows again, even with Genesis. Everything is possible. We could tour in Australia and South America. We haven't been there yet." Known for hits like "One More Night" and "Another Day In Paradise," Phil last released a covers album of 60's Motown and Soul classics entitled Going Back in 2010.
- Robin Thicke, Jennifer Hudson for 'New Year's Rockin' Eve'
New Year's Eve celebrations are being set as Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest has announced their festivities will be anchored by performances from Robin Thicke, Jennifer Hudson, Fall Out Boy, Jason Derulo and Enrique Iglesias. Fergie, from the Black Eyes Peas will host from Los Angeles, while Seacreast will lead the countdown in Times Square in New York City. ABC will air New Year's Rockin' Eve Presents the 30 Greatest Women in Music, a two-hour special from 8-10 p.m. EST, as a lead-in to the live performances beginning at 10 p.m. EST. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks for the Times Square and West Coast parties.
- Watch Nathan East on 'Arsenio Hall Show' Tonight
Bassist Nathan East will be appearing on the Arsenio Hall Show airing tonight (November 27) on CBS. He'll join fellow guests Mike Tyson and Niecy Nash. Meanwhile, Nathan is also busy working on his next solo project, due out in March 2014. Catch East on stage with Fourplay for their Esprit De Four tour at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City, December 10-15.
- 'Songs for the Philippines' Includes Adele, Keys, Beyonce Tracks
With the death toll over 5,200 in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, the Asian nation is still struggling to recover from the devastation. Musicians have come together along with the recording and publishing industry to create an all-star fundraising compilation to help the Philippine Red Cross recovery efforts. Artists like Adele, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Michael Bublé, Beyoncé, Earth, Wind & Fire, U2, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Katy Perry and Madonna have all donated songs to the project. Songs for the Philippines features 39 tracks and is available via iTunes at iTunes.com/Philippines. Donations to assist the Philippines Red Cross can be made here.
- Jazz Drummer Chico Hamilton Dead at 92
Legendary drummer and NEA Jazz Master Foreststorn ‘Chico' Hamilton died on Monday, November 25, 2013, in New York City at the age of 92. Born September 20th, 1921 in Los Angeles, Hamilton began his successful career in his high school band alongside his classmates and future jazz legends Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. His work with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnett, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and Lena Horne secured Hamilton's fate as a highly regarded and sought-after jazz drummer. Hamilton began leading his own ensembles in 1955 and nurtured talented artists like Paul Horn, Eric Dolphy, Ron Carter, Gabor Szabo, Charles Lloyd, Larry Coryell & Arthur Blythe, among others. In 1987 Hamilton helped to found the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Program in New York City, where his students included members of Blues Traveler and The Spin Doctors. Chico had recorded new music in October for his album The Inquiring Mind, scheduled to be released on Joyous Shout! in early-2014.
- Keiko Matsui Releases 'Antarctica--A Call To Action' Video
Japanese keyboardist-composer Keiko Matsui has released a new video for her song "Antarctica--A Call To Action" from her latest album Soul Quest on Shanachie Entertainment. Keiko will be on tour this holiday season as she joins the 2013 Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour, kicking off this Friday, November 29 in Sarasota, FL. She will be performing along with Koz, guitarist-singer Jonathan Butler and singer Oleta Adams as they spread some holiday cheer in cities like Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland and San Francisco, among others. Visit Dave's website for a full list of tour dates and check out the video for Keiko's "Antarctica--A Call To Action" here.
- American Music Awards Air Live on Sunday
The 2013 American Music Awards (AMAs) will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles this Sunday, November 24 at 8pm EST on ABC. Artists nominated for awards this year include Robin Thicke, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Pink and Taylor Swift, among many others. The AMAs will feature over 16 musical performances and present the fan-voted awards in the categories of New Artist of the Year, Artist of the Year, Soul/R&B, Adult Contemporary, Pop/Rock, Alternative Rock, Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, Contemporary Inspirational, Latin and EDM. Performers this year include "The Voice" judge Christina Aguilera, R&B star Rihanna, who will also receive the very first AMA Icon Award, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Timberlake, among others. For a full list of nominees, visit the AMA website here.