America’s smooth Jazz Saxophonist Dave Koz backed by contemporary jazz pianist, David Benoit; The Voice’s, Javier Colon; “The best female drummer alive,” Shelia E; and the “sultry, dynamic,” Margo Rey…..a combination of technique and talent guaranteed to transport music fans to new levels of contemporary smooth jazz.
Each of these performers alone would be worthy of a starring gig at any venue. Together they combine to take the contemporary jazz scene to heights never before experienced on any stage.
Dave Koz is best known as “the voice and sound of smooth jazz.” His syndicated radio program The Dave Koz Radio Show features the latest music and interviews with a who’s who in the genre. Dave co-hosted the Dave Koz Morning Show on 94.7 The Wave, a smooth jazz station in Los Angeles, for six years before turning the mic over to Brian McKnight. He was selected to host a syndicated afternoon show for Broadcast Architecture’s new Smooth Jazz Network. The show, based in Los Angeles, is broadcast on Smooth Jazz stations across the country. Koz and Ramsey Lewis are the only two Smooth Jazz personalities to host two different syndicated shows at the same time! Koz is also host of a weekly television series, Frequency, in which he interviews musicians and at the end of each interview plays along with the musician, adding some of his saxophone riffs to one of his/her hit songs. He has inherited the mantel of the great jazz saxophonists, such as Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond, allowing him to become the premier exponent of the Smooth Jazz sound.
David Benoit is one of the names most synonymous with the Smooth Jazz Movement. Since launching his recording career in 1977, David Benoit’s expansive career as a contemporary jazz pianist and composer has included over 25 solo recordings. His 80’s releases, This Side Up, Freedom at Midnight, and the Grammy nominated Every Step Of The Way are considered influential genre classics. David has been nominated for Grammys in the following categories: Best Jazz Recording, Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance and Best Instrumental Composition. In addition to his solo jazz career, Benoit has expanded his slate of orchestral music endeavors to include his ongoing role as conductor of the Asia America Symphony Orchestra and leading such eminent orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Symphonies of London, Nuremberg, San Francisco, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Jose.
Javier Colon was the first champion named on NBC’s hit show, The Voice. As he told People Magazine,” in this business, I have a tendency to keep my performance level high and my expectation level low. That is my natural protection. I have been at this a long time and it wears on you. This was amazing!” After shedding tears of joy as he was announced as the winner, he hugged host, Carson Daly, coach Adam Levine, his fellow finalists and then finally his wife and two daughters to whom he yelled, “yeah baby, daddy won!” His night was capped off, when in the middle of his press interview, he was informed that his original single, “Stitch by Stitch” had just reached No. 1 on iTunes. “It was really a night I will always remember and cherish”!
Sheila E, daughter of musician Pete Escovedo, became one of the top female musicians during the 1980’s due to her fierce drumming style and her Latin rhythms. A former protege of Prince, she became a drummer in his band and later toured with the Ringo Star’s All Stars before branching off into solo musical projects where she quickly estabished herself with the #1 hit single “The Glamorous Life.” In addition to being considered the best female drummer alive, Shelia E has also expanded into acting roles, most notably in the urban cult classic film, Krush. Her Latin music roots go deep. In addition to being born into the musical Escovedo family, she was the Goddaughter of Latin musical legend, Tito Puente. Shelia E is the co-founder of the Elevate Hope Foundation, an organization that provides abused, abandoned and severely emotionally disturbed children compassionate care by implementing an alternative method of recreational and education therapy through music and the arts.
Margo Rey has created alternative music that she calls “Organica.” She describes it as “a ferociously nuanced hybrid of Alternative Pop that is deeply rooted in lush vocals, ambient guitars, with thick dynamic grooves, all created by humans not machines. I wanted something “lo-fi” as opposed to the cloned sounds of today’s pop culture environment. I needed my music to sound like me rather than the equipment it was recorded on. Plus, I feel a high affinity–love affair even–for the singer/songwriter era of the seventies and eighties.” Margo Rey sums up her musical philosophy as follows: “Music has always been my clearest form of expression. I believe it is one of the most beautiful ways humanity can truly communicate…its vibration is universal and transcends boundaries and cultures. It is my great good fortune to be able to share the experience of my music and passion with you. Thanks to all who share in my groove.”