This week, Ira spoke with Kevin Eubanks . To listen to the interview click below.
Kevin Eubanks, who performs (along with Stanley Jordan) in Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center, February 22-23, is a gifted musician, prolific composer, and winner of the BMI Classic Theme Composer Award. Kevin is also well known as the Music Director of The “Tonight Show” Band, appearing on the show 18 years (1992 – 2010).
Kevin, a consummate guitarist, has won over audiences with a laid back style and affability that have made him a household word. His CD, ZEN FOOD (released November 22, 2010 on Mack Avenue Records) debuted in the Top Five on the Billboard Jazz Chart and is Kevin’s fastest selling record ever. His new CD is called “The Messenger.”
Kevin and his touring band, which features Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Bill Pierce (who holds the Woodwind chair at Berklee College of Music), and Rene Comacho, continue to travel the country on tour.
This week, Ira spoke with Impressionist Rick Michel . To listen to the interview click below.
Rick Michel, who will be performing “Sinatra Forever starring Rick Michel” with his 24-piece orchestra at the M Resort on Saturday, February 23rd, has been a master impressionist for more than thirty years. He has shared the stage with Rich Little, Mickey Rooney, John Byner and Sherman Hemsley, among others, and entertained celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, President Gerald Ford, Tony Curtis and Steve Allen.
A memorable highlight of Michel’s career came when he performed his impression of Bob Hope for the comedic icon himself, at the Bob Hope Celebrity Golf Classic in Palm Springs. Other career highlights included appearances in an episode of “Baywatch,” America’s Funniest People” and the “Larry King Show.”
Performing in Las Vegas since 1981, Michel has been up one end of the Strip to the other. From the Stratosphere Hotel to the Tropicana Hotel, Michel has enjoyed Las Vegas being home as well as his work place.
This week, Ira spoke with Kurt Elling. To listen to the interview click below.
Among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists, Kurt Elling has been the DownBeat Critics Poll “Male Jazz Vocalist of the Year” for the past thirteen years. The New York Times declared “Elling is the standout male vocalist of our time.” He is also a Grammy winner, and every record Elling has made has been Grammy nominated. Elling brings his quartet to the Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center, February 8 & 9.
Elling is a renowned practitioner of vocalese, the writing and performing of words over recorded improvised jazz solos. Considered the heir to jazz pioneers Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Jon Hendricks, Elling has written and performed lyrics to the solos of Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny. Through Elling incorporating references from writers such as Rilke, Rumi, Neruda, and Proust into his work, the late poet and Bollingen Prize winner Robert Creeley wrote, “Kurt Elling takes us into a world of sacred particulars. His words are informed by a powerful poetic spirit.”
Elling’s current project is “1619 Broadway,” a tribute to the Brill Building, the most historic music address in the world.