Bringing Dynamic, Engaging Jazz Artists to Philadelphia's Waterfront; Smooth Jazz Summer Nights Continues At Penn's Landing

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

PHILADELPHIA, May 21, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- This August, Penn's Landing continues the eleven year tradition of Smooth jazz on the waterfront. Smooth Jazz Summer Nights at Penn's Landing, on the Great Plaza, Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street. This season features some of the most versatile, multi-faceted artists in the industry. These musicians not only set the stage on fire with their electric performances, but they have also distinguished themselves as music educators, composers, arrangers, producers, activists, and business managers. Deeply ingrained in the industry, they present their best every Friday night in August beginning at 7:30 pm, continuing the series of Free Friday night concerts during the 2008 summer season at Penn's Landing. Smooth Jazz Summer Nights is sponsored by Smooth Jazz 97.5 WJJZ, along with CW Philly 57 and CBS 3. This series is free to the public due to the generous support of Independence Blue Cross.

The series begins on Friday, August 1, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. with Warren Hill, one of the premier saxophonists of this era. Over the past 15 years, Hill has ventured into every aspect of the jazz industry with contagious energy and remarkable authenticity that have made him a fan favorite. From the ten albums in his diverse discography to his leadership with the Smooth Jazz Cruise series to his engaging live performance presence, Hill proves himself well-versed as both a musician and businessman. Known for his electrifying live performances that bring "nothing but smiling faces and bopping heads in the house," as one fan noted, Hill also strives to revolutionize the recording industry by seeking ways to capture the energy and nuance of live performance on disc. Hill's newest album is set for release on June 24th.

Acclaimed saxophonist Everette Harp continues the series on Friday, August 8, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. As Harp explains, his career has truly been a "dream come true" since he has had the opportunity to play with all the people whose music he once covered during his humble beginnings in Houston. Throughout his career, he has performed with an eclectic mix of artists, from Herbie Hancock to Kenny Loggins to The Backstreet Boys to President Bill Clinton, to name a few. Harp's unique sound that combines dynamic funk edges and urban textures has been featured on the Arsenio Hall show, the Tonight Show, and the themes from Entertainment Tonight and Soul Train. An ambassador of modern smooth jazz, Harp has produced an impressive discography, including a remake of Marvin Gaye's entire classic album, Whats Going On.

On Friday August 15, 2008 at 7:30 p.m., one of few smooth jazz artists to remain consistently on top of the Billboard's chart, Maysa, graces the Penn's Landing stage. A Baltimore native, Maysa's career took off when she began singing in Stevie Wonder's backing group, Wonderlove, in the late 80s. Soon after, other artists, namely the leader of British jazz/funk/R&B band Incognito, began to notice Maysa's keen sense of jazz phrasing and gorgeous, deep voice, and recruited her to sing with them. With Incognito, Maysa recorded some of her most soulful, popular albums to date. Maysa was also featured on the Tonight Show as well as on Oprah and the Jungle Fever soundtrack. A respected musician, Maysa also works as an activist for RSV, a disease that can be fatal to premature babies.

Dubbed "an emerging jazz giant" by BET and nicknamed "the best-dressed man in smooth jazz," Nick Colionne brings his infectious stage presence to Penn's Landing on Friday, August 22, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. At the young age of 15, Colionne entered the jazz world and has been on a non-stop trip to the top ever since. This Chicago-born guitar virtuoso has played with a myriad of jazz legends, from The Staple Sisters to Curtis Mayfield and has become a crowd favorite on the Smooth Jazz Cruises. Winner of the 2007 International Instrumental Artist of the Year Award at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards, Colionne presents a unique fusion of styles marked with virtuosic guitar technique.

Philadelphia native Gerald Veasley performs on the series' closing night, Friday, August 29, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. Known primarily for his artistic versatility as a renowned bassist, Veasley is also dedicated to educating the next generation of jazz musicians. In recent years, Veasley adopted the Sheraton in Reading, PA as his "home bass." At this venue, he coordinates a weekly jazz performance series highlighting local and touring jazz talent and bringing a burgeoning jazz scene to Reading. Veasley performs on this series on a monthly basis.

August 29th also showcases the talent of saxophonist Walter Beasley. Beasley has distinguished himself not only as one of the top five best-selling African-American saxophonists in the world but also as a dedicated music educator. Beasley proves a "modern music Renaissance man" -- a full professor at his alma mater, The Berklee School of Music, creator of instructional DVDs and online "saxblogs" and webcam lessons for young players who cannot afford a traditional music education, founder and CEO of Affable Publishing and Affable Records, creator of a consulting business for aspiring musicians, and an active touring performing artist.

The final performer on the August 29th program, Chuck Loeb, proves a consummate musician. Over the course of a career that spans four decades, Loeb has made his mark as a versatile arranger, composer, producer, and above all, one of the greatest contemporary jazz guitarists to date. A former Berklee student, Loeb is known for his earthy, natural sound and his ability to respond to the nuances of music in any style he encounters.

WJJZ's Michael Tozzi comments, "WJJZ is thrilled to partner again this year for the 11th anniversary of Smooth Jazz Summer Nights with our friends at Penn's Landing along the beautiful Philadelphia waterfront. This is the one concert event in Philadelphia that we start getting calls about in January! Thousands upon thousands of passionate listeners and talented artists are what make these shows extremely exciting and a weekend destination for listeners from miles away each August for the past 11 years!" 97.5 WJJZ radio personalities will be on site every Friday evening to host the concert, give away prizes and sell special merchandise.

CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and The CW Philly 57 (WPSG-TV) are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation. "We are happy to continue the relationship with Penn's Landing Corporation this summer," says Michael Colleran, president and general manager of the two stations. The staff of CBS 3 is especially excited about promoting the Smooth Summer Nights series and sharing this exciting program with our viewers all summer long."

This series is FREE to the public due to the generous support of Independence Blue Cross. Public Programming at Penn's Landing would not be possible without our presenting sponsor Independence Blue Cross and the continued support of PECO, Bank of America, Pennsylvania Lottery, Live Nation and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, all of whom are committed to serving the Greater Philadelphia community.

Penn's Landing Corporation is the non-profit organization responsible for funding and producing public programming at Penn's Landing. Independence Blue Cross is the presenting sponsor of the 2008 Summer Season at Penn's Landing. All events produced by Penn's Landing Corporation are FREE to the public and on the Great Plaza, the heart of Penn's Landing, Philadelphia's premier riverfront entertainment destination.

For more information and event details, please call (215) 922-2FUN or visit The Penn's Landing Corporation website is a virtual resource for the waterfront which can help visitors plan to easily park, play and stay all day at Penn's Landing.


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