Tri C Jazz Fest: Smooth Jazz Double Bill

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Tri C Jazz Fest: Smooth Jazz Double Bill
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Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland says
Multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson opens, followed by Brian Simpson's Smooth Jazz All-Stars with Euge Groove, Maysa, Kim Waters and Peter White.

Inspired keyboardist, composer, prolific studio musician and producer Brian Simpson brings sophisticated harmonics sense, bluesy overtones, R&B flavor and keen sense on how to craft a song that stands the test of time have made him the go-to man for many. Through the years Simpson has been revered for his ability to compose unforgettable melodies and irresistible grooves. "When someone hums your song, it’s the melody they are humming," he says. "So, as important as the groove is, the melody is still king.” Simpson’s soulful approach has made him first call for many including Janet Jackson, Teena Marie, George Duke, Stanley Clarke and Dave Koz, for whom he has had the distinction of being musical director for close to two decades. A chart-topping musical chameleon who wrote the No. 1 R&B hit “The First Time” for Surface in the 1990s, Brian has a knack for churning out genre-bending timeless anthems. George Duke once said “What I love about Brian’s playing is his understanding that melody and groove are important.” Simpson’s approach is simple, “I’m following in the footsteps of those that laid the foundation of contemporary jazz music. The fusing of jazz and R&B is just what contemporary jazz is all about.”

Brian Culbertson began his musical journey at the age of 8 on piano, adding drums at 9, trombone at 10 then bass at 12. He grew up near Chicago, loving genre-crossing jazz-pop artists such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, Tower of Power, The Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn, Yellowjackets, Sting and Chick Corea. In 1994, at age 20, Brian self-produced his debut album, Long Night Out. After that release, he then went on to compose jingles for clients such as United Airlines, Gatorade, Sears, Coors and McDonald's in the bustling city's highly competitive advertising community while still continuing to make records and tour. Brian released 15 more albums, toured the world, seen his name at the top of Billboard and radio charts, worked and performed with industry all-stars like Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire, Larry Graham, Michael McDonald, Chris Botti, Musiq Soulchild, Ledisi, Barry Manilow, Herb Alpert, Natalie Cole, Chuck Brown, and Bootsy Collins just to name a few. In 2012, Brian founded the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, a 5-day festival of wine, food, art and music set in California's famous wine region.
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By: Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland

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