Jonathan Butler – So Strong

Jonathan Butler grew up in the townships of South Africa, the youngest of 12 children. He started singing and playing guitar at age seven. Even before he reached age ten, he traveled cross-country performing in villages with a 100-member troupe making money to help support his family. The audiences would vary from poverty-ravaged black townships to opulent halls open only to whites. Traveling accommodations were dismal and atrocious. In his travels, the young entertainer could neither comprehend the extreme destitute nor the harsh treatment he endured and bared witness to under the reign of Apartheid. Afrikaans was his native tongue, but he learned English in his travels.

After signing his first record deal as a teenager with British record producer Clive Caulder’s Jive Records, Butler’s premier single became the first by a black artist to be played on white radio stations in South Africa. The single won a Sarie Award, which is the South African equivalent to a Grammy award. Butler called England home for 17 years. His self-titled debut album put him on the map internationally and garnered two Grammy nominations: one for the R&B-pop vocal statement “Lies” and the other for a poignant instrumental, “Going Home.”

Butler’s albums and worldwide concert tours have afforded him fame and a lifestyle far from what he ever could have imagined as a child performer, but more importantly, it brought him the freedom to follow his passion – music – on his own terms. Residing with his family in the verdant hills of Southern California for more than a decade, an area that he says reminds him of his homeland, Butler remains humble and grateful.

Jonathan Butler published with permission of Bettie Grace Miner.

Dave Koz And Friends At Sea 2012 – Toulon, France

Join the gentleman of Smooth Jazz Dave Koz and his friends for a week-long fun-filled trip to Europe. He will be cruising the Italian and French Riviera in September of 2012. It’s really a dream-come-true itinerary starting in Barcelona, Spain and continuing on to Naples, Rome and Florence, Italy — then on to Nice and Toulon, France! Three countries and six ports during an unforgettable seven-day cruise on board the Royal Caribbean Line’s Serenade of the Seas. This cruise is already booked out, but perhaps you have luck to catch the boat!

On the Dave Koz & Friends At Sea Cruise, every single night you will be entertained by some of the best known names in Smooth Jazz: Dave Koz, Michael Bolton, Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason, Chuck Loeb, Marc Antoine, Patti Austin, Norman Brown, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Brian Culbertson, Michael Lington, Paul Brown, Raul Midón are among the already booked artists.

On October 2, 2012 the ship will arrive at Toulon, France. Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence.

The old town of Toulon, the historic centre located between the port, the Boulevard de Strasbourg and the Cours Lafayette, is a pedestrian area with narrow streets, small squares and many fountains. Toulon Cathedral is located here. The area is also home of the celebrated Provençal market which takes place every morning on the Cours Lafayette, which features local products. The old town had decayed in the 1980s and 1990s, but recently many of the fountains and squares have been restored, and many new shops have opened.

For more information about this attractive town visit this website.

Dave Koz And Friends At Sea 2012 – Nice

Join the gentleman of Smooth Jazz Dave Koz and his friends for a week-long fun-filled trip to Europe. He will be cruising the Italian and French Riviera in September of 2012. It’s really a dream-come-true itinerary starting in Barcelona, Spain and continuing on to Naples, Rome and Florence, Italy — then on to Nice and Toulon, France! Three countries and six ports during an unforgettable seven-day cruise on board the Royal Caribbean Line’s Serenade of the Seas. This cruise is already booked out, but perhaps you have luck to catch the boat!

On the Dave Koz & Friends At Sea Cruise, every single night you will be entertained by some of the best known names in Smooth Jazz: Dave Koz, Michael Bolton, Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason, Chuck Loeb, Marc Antoine, Patti Austin, Norman Brown, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Brian Culbertson, Michael Lington, Paul Brown, Raul Midón are among the already booked artists.

On Monday, October 1st, 2012 the ship will arrived in Nice, France. Located on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille. The city is called Nice la Belle (Nissa La Bella in Niçard), which means Nice the Beautiful, which is also the title of the unofficial anthem of Nice, written by Menica Rondelly in 1912. Nice is the capital of the Alpes Maritimes département and the second biggest city of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region after Marseille.

The Promenade des Anglais (“Promenade of the English”) is a promenade along the Baie des Anges, a bay of the Mediterranean, in Nice. Before Nice was urbanized, the coastline at Nice was just bordered by a deserted stretch of beach covered with large pebbles. The first houses were located on higher ground well away from the sea.

Starting in the second half of the 18th century, many wealthy English people took to spending the winter in Nice, enjoying the panorama along the coast. When a particularly harsh winter up north brought an influx of beggars to Nice, some of the rich Englishmen proposed a useful project for them: the construction of a walkway (chemin de promenade) along the sea.

The city of Nice, intrigued by the prospect of a pleasant promenade, greatly increased the scope of the work. The Promenade was first called the Camin dei Anglès (the English Way) by the Niçois in their native dialect, Nissart. After the annexation of Nice by France in 1860 it was rechristened La Promenade des Anglais, replacing the former Nissart name with its French translation.

The Hotel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais was named after Henri Negresco (1868–1920) who had the palatial hotel constructed in 1912. In keeping with the conventions of the time, when the Negresco first opened in 1913 its front opened on the side opposite the Mediterranean.

Another place worth mentioning is the small street parallel to the Promenade des Anglais, leading from Nice’s downtown, beginning at Place Masséna, and running parallel to the promenade in the direction of the airport for a short distance of about 4 blocks. This section of the city is referred to as the “Zone Pietonne”, or “Pedestrian Zone”. The banning of cars creates a more serene setting. Here tourists can find a fine selection of restaurants, specializing in both Niçoise cuisine and various types of foreign cuisine. There is also a large selection of cafés where one can sit and enjoy an espresso or choose from a variety of specialty coffees, ices and desserts, and watch the city walk by. There are also plenty of small shops selling clothing, shoes and souvenirs.

Laurie Maves – Love for Jonathan Butler

Laurie Maves is a visual artist and live painter/performing artist based in Denver, Colorado.  She works as ‘green’ as she possibly can, by recycling canvases, paint, collage materials and whatever else she can get her hands on. She also provide various artist services such as portrait commissions, mural work and most recently table and bar tops. Her work historically has been influenced by Picasso and Gauguin and most definitely Modigliani, but more recently by Frida Kahlo and Basquiat.

Most of her work is figurative in nature, but her deepest focus has always been on color and texture. She uses materials that build up the surface of her canvases so that the color can jump out at the viewer. She paints figures, faces, eyes, orbs, moons, landscapes and poppies.  Her newest endeavor has been in the ‘fashion’ industry, by creating and selling one-of-a-kind hand-painted recycled handbags. These are great little art items which she aims to make affordable for everyone.

Please stop by her rockin’ studio located in Denver’s bustling Santa Fe Arts District, at Studio Shakta, 773 Santa Fe. Drive, Denver, CO 80204, USA or visit her website. Also read her interesting blog about this picture and the story behind it.

Dave Koz and Friends at Sea 2012 – Barcelona

Join the gentleman of Smooth Jazz Dave Koz and his friends for a week-long fun-filled trip to Europe. He will be cruising the Italian and French Riviera in September of 2012. It’s really a dream-come-true itinerary starting in Barcelona, Spain and continuing on to Naples, Rome and Florence, Italy — then on to Nice and Toulon, France! Three countries and six ports during an unforgettable seven-day cruise on board the Royal Caribbean Line’s Serenade of the Seas.  This cruise is already booked out, but perhaps you have luck to catch the boat!

On the Dave Koz & Friends At Sea Cruise, every single night you will be entertained by some of the best known names in Smooth Jazz:  Dave Koz, Michael Bolton, Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason, Chuck Loeb, Marc Antoine, Patti Austin, Norman Brown, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Brian Culbertson, Michael Lington, Paul Brown, Raul Midón are among the already booked artists.

In addition to watching these talented artists, they will also host an array of events for you to join in on from Q & A Sessions to Cocktail Mixology Afternoons and the list goes on; every single day there will be unique events and special seminars, in an informal get-to-know-you-better setting. What better way to meet and become friends with the very musical masters you idolize.

With dramatic walls of glass and retractable canopy, Serenade of the Seas has already embarked on the course other cruise ships will someday follow. When you’re not enjoying the magnificent ocean views, you’ll be relaxing in the soothing ShipShape® Day Spa, swimming in one of the two pools, taking a much-needed whirlpool or catching up with friends over your favorite drink in one of our eight lounges.

The cruise will start in Barcelona,  the capital of Catalonia. The Barri Gòtic (“Gothic Quarter” in Catalan) is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Catalan modernista architecture (related to the movement known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe), developed between 1885 and 1950 and left an important legacy in Barcelona. Several of these buildings are World Heritage Sites.

Especially remarkable is the work of architect Antoni Gaudí, which can be seen throughout the city. His best-known work is the immense but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882, and is still financed by private donations.

The Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival 2012

The Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival is described as “one of the things to do when you come to Dubai”. Special Smooth Jazz artists on this festival are Acoustic Alchemy on February 16th, Jonathan Butler on February 17th, Althea Rene on February 18th, Cindy Bradley on February 21st, All-Star Smooth Jazz on February 22nd, and Spyro Gyra on February 23rd.

Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai is the most populous emirate of the seven emirates of United Arab Emirates. Dubai alone has more than 70 shopping malls, including the world’s largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall. The city draws large numbers of shopping tourists from countries within the region and from as far as Eastern Europe, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent.

Dubai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles.  As a result of the boom, modern Islamic – and world – architecture has literally been taken to new levels in skyscraper building design and technology. Dubai now boasts more completed or topped-out skyscrapers higher than any other city. A culmination point was reached in 2010 with the completion of the Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower), now by far the world’s tallest building at 829.84 m (2,722.57 ft). Dubai is also the city with more than 382 hotels. Here you find the ultimate luxury.

The Festival will be held in Dubai Festival City, a large residential, business and entertainment development. Shows will be hosted every night at the Al Badia Golf Course, allowing thousands of music enthusiasts the opportunity to sit back and enjoy a cross-mix of genres in a chilled-out atmosphere.

For further information about the Festival visit www.dubaijazzfest.com.