The Arizona Jazz Festival

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The endless Arizona sky will be filled with a galaxy of stars day and night during the Arizona Jazz Festival slated for October 25-27, 2013 at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. More than 13,000 contemporary jazz and soul fans from across the nation are expected to flock to the lavish desert resort to enjoy performances by a stellar slate of Grammy-winners and chart-toppers along with a weekend of revelry. Tickets are on sale now for the three-day festival or as a single-day event and are available online at www.arizonajazzfestival.com and by calling 602.244.8444.

The Arizona Jazz Festival opens with an evening of seduction starting with the tantalizing pairing of saxophonist Eric Darius and R&B vocalist-producer Lyfe Jennings, who will set the mood for marquee-topper Maxwell, a Grammy-winning soul balladeer. Stick around for the official after-party at the resort.

Live music begins Saturday when nattily-attired guitarist Nick Colionne and new jazz swagger sax player J. White hit the stage followed by a trio set by saxophonists Warren Hill and Tom Braxton with blues-based guitar slinger Jeff Golub. Powerhouse tenors Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot and Euge Groove will blow a fierce sax storm in the desert before ten-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan belts out a song list filled with her massive crossover hits. The Queen of Neo Soul Erykah Badu will reign over majestic grooves and Baduizms preceding a set by “Uncle” Charlie Wilson, a 2013 BET lifetime achievement award winner, crooning cuts from his Grammy-nominated R&B songbook. After the concert, a number of the festival artists will head into the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa for an all-star jam.

It’s going to be a great-looking Sunday when saxophonists Jessy J and Michael Lington link with keyboardist Jonathan Fritzen to open the final day followed by a neo soul session from vocalist Eric Benet. Emerging saxmen Elan Trotman and Dominic Amato will accompany R&B chanteuse Melanie Fiona for an outing. Captivating multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson will inject a potent dose of funk-jazz into the mix during a high-octane performance before fellow blue-eyed soul man Robin Thicke blurs the lines during a set list certain to include the #1 summer smash “Blurred Lines.” Closing the festival is edgy multiplatinum R&B personality and reality television star Keyshia Cole.

“We pulled out all the stops for the Arizona Jazz Festival, which is perhaps the most spectacular lineup we have ever presented. While every festival that BTWconcerts.com produces and promotes is special, this is our hometown festival. We look forward to hosting guests from all over the U.S. that are passionate about jazz and R&B. It’s going to be an unforgettable weekend of live music and partying,” said Brad Laughlin of BTWconcerts.com, which also produces the Las Vegas Jazz Festival and the San Diego Jazz Festival.

The Arizona Jazz Festival offers reserved seating with ticket prices starting at $240.00 for the entire weekend or $65.00 for a single-day seat. For the enthusiast, tickets can be upgraded to include the Rock Star Experience that provides VIP tent access, a complimentary meal and drinks, artist meet & greets, Arizona Jazz Festival commemorative bag, t-shirt, poster and laminate, and entry to the Friday night after-party and Saturday night all-star jam.

About BTWconcerts.com

Phoenix, Arizona-based BTWconcerts.com is one of the premiere concert producers in the Southwest. Among the star-studded jazz and R&B concerts and multiday music and lifestyle festivals that the company promotes are the Arizona Jazz Festival (http://arizonajazzfestival.com), Las Vegas Jazz Festival (http://www.lvjazzfestival.com) and San Diego Jazz Festival (http://www.sandiegojazzfest.com).

Dave Koz And Friends At Sea 2013 – Sorrento

Dave Koz & Friends are delighted to be able to cruise in style with you to Italy, Greece & Sicily. The 2013 Mediterranean line-up includes:

Your Host – Dave Koz, Special Guest – Michael McDonald, Mindi Adair, Gerald Albright, Peter White, Keiko Matsui, Jake Shimabukuro, Vincent Ingala and more to be announced.

September 22nd thru September 29th, 2013

Ports of Call: Rome, Messina, Sicily; Mykonos, Greece; Athens, Greece; Sorrento, Italy

This is a Unique opportunity to hang out with Dave and his friends. You don’t want to let this ship sail without you. For more information about the cruise visit http://www.davekozcruise.com.

The ship will depart on September 22, 2013 from Rome and return on September 29, 2013. Saturday, September the ship will arrived in Sorrento, Italy.

Sorrento is a town of extraordinary beauty and is known as a popular gateway to Italy’s most spectacular stretch of coastline – the Amalfi Drive lined with fishing villages and famous resorts. The seaside resort of Amalfi sits with weathered houses scrambling up steep cliffs. Visitors marvel at its location and its magnificent cathedral. The religious sanctuary of Cloister of St. Francis is worth a visit. The tiny, exclusive resort of Positano has its famous world-class hotel, San Pietro.

Excavations of the ruined city of Pompeii, which was destroyed in 79 A.D. during the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius, give visitors a vivid impression of life in a very wealthy ancient city and the tragic end of its population. The Isle of Capri ranks as one of the most beautiful islands and has captured visitors for centuries with excellent climate, spectacular landscape and fantastic sea caverns. Capri has lavish villas, elegant hotels, chic boutiques and quaint restaurants. Museo Correale contains a death mask of poet Torquato Tasso and some special editions of his works, pictures, furniture and porcelain.

Dave Koz And Friends At Sea 2013 – Messina

Dave Koz & Friends are delighted to be able to cruise in style with you to Italy, Greece & Sicily. The 2013 Mediterranean line-up includes:

Your Host – Dave Koz, Special Guest – Michael McDonald, Mindi Adair, Gerald Albright, Peter White, Keiko Matsui, Jake Shimabukuro, Vincent Ingala and more to be announced.

September 22nd thru September 29th, 2013

Ports of Call: Rome, Messina, Sicily; Mykonos, Greece; Athens, Greece; Sorrento, Italy

This is a Unique opportunity to hang out with Dave and his friends. You don’t want to let this ship sail without you. For more information about the cruise visit http://www.davekozcruise.com.

The ship will depart on September 22, 2013 from Rome and return on September 29, 2013. Monday, September 23, 2013 the ship will arrive Messina.

Just three miles off the coast of southern Italy’s mainland is the port town of Messina on the island of Sicily. This bustling town has a complex history with roots in Greek mythology but, because of an earthquake in the early 1900s, it’s a relatively young city architecturally. Since the majority of the city has been rebuilt or refurbished within the last 100 years, you’ll find the town has an interesting blend of new architecture and old styles.

Messina was founded by the Greeks who named it Zancle which is connected to the word Scythe, in the ancient native tongue of the city, and was also the name of the legendary king, who built the harbour, whose name was said to be Zanclus. Following the Roman, Byzantine and Arab invasions, in the latter of which Messina was the last to submit to the Arab yoke, the Normans, Swabians and Angevins came to Sicily left their mark and were either conquered or fled the wrath of native Sicilians. Messina’s epoch of glory come with the rule of the Aragon dynasty, who made Messina the capital of the kingdom of Sicily and recognised its value and potential as a port.

Today the city is growing and developing along the coast, and due to the violent earthquakes that have struck the area on several occasions and areal damage and bombardment during the second world war, it is almost completely modern. Learning from past lessons, modern Messina is constructed with safety in mind. Streets are wide and buildings relatively low.

Dave Koz And Friends At Sea 2013 – Rome

Dave Koz & Friends are delighted to be able to cruise in style with you to Italy, Greece & Sicily. The 2013 Mediterranean line-up includes:

Your Host – Dave Koz, Special Guest – Michael McDonald, Mindi Adair, Gerald Albright, Peter White, Keiko Matsui, Jake Shimabukuro, Vincent Ingala and more to be announced.

September 22nd thru September 29th, 2013

Ports of Call: Rome, Messina, Sicily; Mykonos, Greece; Athens, Greece; Sorrento, Italy

This is a Unique opportunity to hang out with Dave and his friends. You don’t want to let this ship sail without you. For more information about the cruise visit http://www.davekozcruise.com.

The ship will depart on September 22, 2013 from Rome and return on September 29, 2013.

Rome is the capital of Italy and the country’s largest and most populated city and commune, with over 2.7 million residents in 1,285.3 km2 (496.3 sq mi). Rome today is one of the most important tourist destinations of the world, due to the incalculable immensity of its archaeological and artistic treasures, as well as for the charm of its unique traditions, the beauty of its panoramic views, and the majesty of its magnificent “villas” (parks).

Among the most significant resources are the many museums – (Musei Capitolini, the Vatican Museums, Galleria Borghese, including those dedicated to modern and contemporary art and great many others) – aqueducts, fountains, churches, palaces, historical buildings, the monuments and ruins of the Roman Forum, and the Catacombs. Rome is the 3rd most visited city in the EU, after London and Paris, and receives an average of 7–10 million tourists a year, which sometimes doubles on holy years. The Colosseum (4 million tourists) and the Vatican Museums (4.2 million tourists) are the 39th and 37th (respectively) most visited places in the world, according to a recent study.

Rome contains a vast and impressive collection of art, sculpture, fountains, mosaics, frescos, and paintings, from all different periods. Rome first became a major artistic centre during ancient Rome, with forms of important Roman art such as architecture, painting, sculpture and mosaic work. Metal-work, coin die and gem engraving, ivory carvings, figurine glass, pottery, and book illustrations are considered to be ‘minor’ forms of Roman artwork.

Gerald Albright – Funky Sax

One of the biggest stars of R&B, contemporary and straight-ahead jazz, Gerald Albright has earned his reputation as a “musician’s musician.” Born in Los Angeles, he began piano lessons at an early age. Albright’s love of music picked up considerably when he was given a saxophone that had belonged to his piano teacher. By the time he enrolled at the University of Redlands, he was already a polished saxophonist. Albright decided to switch to bass guitar after he saw Louis Johnson in concert. A few months after graduating from college, he joined jazz pianist/R&B singer Patrice Rushen, who was in the process of forming her own band. Later, when the bass player left in the middle of a tour, Albright replaced him and finished the tour on bass guitar.

During the ’80s, Albright became a highly requested session musician, playing on albums by a wide variety of artists – including Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Lola Folana, Atlantic Starr, Olivia Newton-John, the Temptations and Maurice White. He also toured extensively with Les McCann, Jeff Lorber, Teena Marie, the Winans, Marlena Shaw, Quincy Jones, and Whitney Houston, among many others. Albright also went on to record numerous successful solo albums for Atlantic Records. Two albums hit the number one slot on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Chart, and were nominated for GRAMMY® Awards in 1989 and 1990. Phil Collins asked him to front a Big Band in 1998, and they toured together. The two of them also recorded one of Albright’s tunes, “Chips N’ Salsa” on Collins’ Big Band Project, entitled A Hot Night In Paris. Later that year, Albright released Pleasures of the Night with Will Downing on Verve Forecast, which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart as well.

Albright moved to GRP in 2002 for the Groovology album, and continued to maintain his busy schedule as a session man. His second GRP album, Kickin’ It Up, followed in 2004. Two years later, he signed with Peak Records, which released the 2008 GRAMMY® nominated New Beginnings, and the 2009 GRAMMY® nominated, Sax for Stax; both in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Album.

Over the years, Albright has appeared on numerous TV shows such as A Different World, Melrose Place and BET Jazz segments, as well as piloting a show in Las Vegas with Designing Women star Meshach Taylor. Albright was selected to be one of 10 saxophonists to play at President Clinton’s inauguration ceremony. Along the way, he has sold over a million albums in the U.S. alone and has appeared on nearly 200 albums by other artists.

Pushing the Envelope is easily Gerald Albright’s most rewarding session to date. “The title reflects all the tunes on the project,” Albright says. “I didn’t want to hold anything back. I really wanted to push the envelope and give people a little more edge. I come from the era where we didn’t think of a formula – we went from the gut.”

Gerald Albright published with permission of Bettie Grace Miner.