Upcoming Events Schedule
Great melodies; the essential quality that has defined Grammy-winning keyboardist / composer / producer Gregg Karukas’ 13 solo albums over a three-decade-long career, with many #1 radio hits, both sophisticated and accessible. Serenata, his first ever solo piano project, offers romantic impressions of classic songs from iconic Brazilian artists Milton Nascimento and Dori Caymmi as well as new and re-imagined Karukas originals. Gregg will also step into the classic piano trio format to play some of his best known songs and jazz classics – “unplugged”.
Coming out of a four-year hiatus, following the loss of his wife Yvonne from brain cancer, Gregg found the challenges of both the Covid isolation and developing his solo piano voice to be the perfect catalyst for reclaiming beauty, hope and, most importantly, new original music.
A genre-crossing veteran of Smooth Jazz, Brazilian, New Age and R&B/Pop, Gregg Karukas looks back on his years touring with Brazilian artists Sergio Mendes, Dori Caymmi and Ricardo Silveira in the 1990’s as some of his favorite musical experiences.
After a recent move, Gregg discovered a dusty box of live cassette recordings of shows in the 1990’s with Dori and Ricardo Silveira and was curious to check out one particular tape marked “Dori – Le Cafe”. Says Gregg, "I had to buy a used cassette deck to play it, and it was one of our magical nights. I sat down at the piano and recalled many of his lush, melodic songs as best as I could and got very emotional, especially since I had also recently found the video of our wedding in 1992, where Dori sang 'O Cantador' during the ceremony and 'Travessia' was our first dance. That evening pulled me out of my comfort zone and set me on a surprising new adventure that I hope will bring some peace and joy to all who are suffering during this challenging time.”
“Most people think of Brazilian music as highly rhythmic, based on samba, or carnival,” Gregg continues, “but there are so many other great qualities that encompass a world of influences; I love the more emotional, romantic melodies, and while I don’t understand any of the Portuguese lyrics, these songs are very special to me”.
This performance was originally recorded on August 7, 2022, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.
Tierney Sutton Band
Nine-time Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton has received a “Best Jazz Vocal Album” Grammy nod for every project she has released in the last decade. Known for her impeccable voice and imaginative treatments of The Great American Songbook, Sutton is heralded for her abilities as both a jazz storyteller and her ability to use her voice as an instrument.
Spanning over 20 years of collaboration, the Tierney Sutton Band recordings have featured the same core group of consummate musicians who have gelled to a singular voice. They have consistently topped the US jazz charts, leading to Tierney’s selection as JazzWeek’s Vocalist of the Year as well as to numerous other accolades in the music world including seven Grammy nominations - one for the Band’s collaborative arranging. The musical luminaries in the band are pianist Christian Jacob, drummer Ray Brinker, and bassists Kevin Axt and Trey Henry.
Tierney taught for over a decade at USC’s Thornton School of Music and spent 6 years as the Vocal Department Head at The Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena, CA. She has also taught and mentored some of the finest new generation of singers including Gretchen Parlato and Sara Gazarek.
This performance was originally recorded live on September 22, 2012, from the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA.
Performance of the Month
In 2008, Leslie Page began a long-standing residency at Mastros Ocean Club in Newport Beach. There she honed her vocal skills, performing songs by Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga. It was there that Leslie met Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Lou Pardini (currently with the beloved band Chicago) which opened the door for her to audition in 2012 as a background singer for Joe Walsh (The Eagles).
Since then, Leslie has had the incredible privilege of sharing the stage with Joe Walsh, Ringo Starr, Keith Urban, Billy Gibbons, Hunter Hayes, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Peaches and Herb, and many others. Leslie has been featured on numerous album projects, including songs written by world-renowned bass player Max Bennett (Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, etc) and she is currently set to go in the studio with Max and Tony Guerrero to record Fever, the song made famous by Peggy Lee in the 1960s, featuring Max Bennett on bass.
Leslie is an incredible force inside and out. She courageously journeyed and beat ALL Leukemia in 2016, celebrating her first Re-Birthday while on the road with Joe Walsh and Bad Company. Her unique life experiences resonate in the timber of her voice, creating a deep, sultry sound that is all her own. She has been described as a Pro’s Pro, having one of the finest and most adaptable voices you’ll ever hear and has been dubbed by producers as the “one take wonder”. Leslie is a woman who sings from the depths of her soul, with great tone and skill.
This performance was originally recorded live on August 11, 2019, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.
The Legacy of Luther Vandross
Luther Vandross had a gift, a unique ability to write and sing about love and the shared emotions we all feel in that search for and enjoyment of love. Love of family, friends, that special someone – all were themes Vandross explored with his music that touched the hearts of so many.
Festival of Arts brought to the stage some of Southern California’s most well-known tribute bands where talented performers pay homage to music legends as they re-create popular songs. In this concert, Terry Steele performs his tribute to the legacy of Luther Vandross at Festival of Arts, including such love-strewn hits as Power of Love (Love Power), Dance With my Father, and Here and Now.
Terry Steele is a two-time GRAMMY award nominee and two-time ASCAP award-winning songwriter and has toured internationally as a professional recording artist. As a professional songwriter, Terry has written for and/or has collaborated with such megastar artists as Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, Starship, Hiroshima, Patti Labelle, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, The Spinners, Barry White, The Pointer Sisters, Arif Mardin, Natalie Cole, George Duke, and saxophonist Richard Elliott. As the principal writer of the blockbuster hit "Here And Now" (recorded by the late Luther Vandross), Steele garnered a GRAMMY nomination for Best Rhythm and Blues Song in 1990. In 2007, he took his first leap into the starring role of the hugely successful off-Broadway production, Here And Now: The Legacy of Luther Vandross.
This uncut, unedited performance was originally recorded on August 21, 2018, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.
the Abrazo project
Since his first solo release in 1988, Tony Guerrero has established himself in a variety of areas. His work as a contemporary jazz flugelhornist, trumpeter, composer, and producer has garnered him both critical success and a worldwide audience. He has toured the United States and much of the world as a headliner in major jazz festivals, concert halls, and clubs and has enjoyed commercial radio success not only with his own releases but with music he’s written for other artists.
About the Abrazo project special performance, Guerrero explains, "The music that inspired me to become a musician was a blend of soaring romantic Latin/Italian melodies, Brazilian rhythms, jazz improvisation, lush orchestration/arrangements. The music of Chuck Mangione was my first introduction to this style as a kid, but more music from Art Farmer, Ivan Lins, Earl Klugh, Gato Barbieri, and many more artists who used this setting, solidified my love of this style and inspired my own work. If you'll forgive me being a bit maudlin, this music, for me, is like a warm hug (hence the title, Abrazo, which means 'embrace' in Spanish). And, while I've been able to record some music like this, I've NEVER, in all my years of gigs, presented a concert of just this music."
Tony continues,"I finally get to, with the exact type of band configuration I'd always imagined (including Cello, Percussion, etc), filled by some of my favorite musicians on the planet!" Accompanying him on this event are Mark Visher (sax), Ginger Murphy (cello), Miles Jensen (guitar), Chris Barron (keys), Lyman Medeiros (bass), Joey De Leon (percussion), and Charles Ruggiero (drums).
This performance was originally recorded on August 1, 2022, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.
NEW! Spencer Day
Tribute to Broadway
Performance of the Month
Spencer Day is a #1 Billboard jazz/pop singer and songwriter has played venues as diverse as Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl and London’s West End. Spencer is a widely acclaimed songwriter creating witty and sophisticated pop songs in the tradition of classic jazz American writers. The Washington Post praised his “cool jazz sensibilities” and “cleverly crafted tales.” Time Out New York called him “a compelling, quirky singer-songwriter.”
Day’s songwriting is influenced by jazz, musical theater, cabaret, soul, and pop. Day’s album Vagabond peaked at #11 on Billboard’s Album Chart, staying there 47 weeks. His album, Daybreak, debuted at #1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts. Day’s collaboration with the Postmodern Jukebox has surpassed 1.5 million views on YouTube. His upcoming project, Broadway by Day is collection of reimagined theater songs from South Pacific, Evita, A Chorus Line and beyond, with surprising and genre-blurring arrangements. Broadway by Day, featuring Grammy-nominated artists such as Dave Koz and Jane Monheit, is scheduled to be released the fall of 2020.
His album Angel City, which Day arranged and co-produced, was recorded at Capitol Records with the Budman-Levy Orchestra. The album’s single, “72 and Sunny,” marked his debut on the Mediabase Adult Contemporary chart. His electronica remix of the song was recently featured on Kygo’s “Palm Tree Summer” playlist.
This performance was originally recorded live on July 15, 2022, at Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, CA.
Newport Music Festival
Pianistic Fireworks from two to eight hands - a fitting end to the Newport Music Festival!
This incredible closing concert features the Festival Family of Pianists: Bernadene Blaha, Michael Endres, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Daniel del Pino, and Grigorios Zamparas performing multiple impressive works including Francis Poulenc's Sonata For Piano (four hands), Franz Schubert's Marche Militaire in D (four hands), Mozart's Overture from The Magic Flute (four hands), Johann Svendsen's Fest-Polonaise (six hands), Albert Lavignac's Galop-Marche (eight hands), and more.
This uncut, unedited performance was previously recorded on July 28, 2013, from The Breakers at the Newport Music Festival in Newport, RI.
Blessed with “a voice of phenomenal beauty” (Stephen Holden, New York Times), Jane Monheit has had plenty of milestone moments in establishing herself as one of today’s best and most important vocalist-musicians.
With her new album, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald—the first to be released on her own Emerald City Records—the Long Island native has surprised even herself with her artistic leap. Fitzgerald’s beloved songbook albums held “Biblical” importance for her when she was growing up and have never lost their hold on her.
Monheit pays joyous tribute to Ella while sharing a definitive portrait of herself, guided by her producer, arranger, and trumpet great, Nicholas Payton. “This record is really different,” she adds. “It’s the first I’ve made a recording without a label and so I was able to make all the decisions myself. Honestly, when I listened back to the takes, I heard a different singer than I’ve heard before—a more mature one...These were the vocals of a 38-year-old woman with a lot of life experience. These tracks really express who I am.”
Jane’s gorgeous upward swoop is pure Ella, her earthy wordless phrases pure Sarah, but this album is a classic example of a singer leading her influences rather than being led by them. You don't want to miss this rebroadcast of this special live stream concert event!
This unedited performance was originally broadcast live on July 12, 2019, from Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ.
photo courtesy Chapman Management
Subject to change without notice
= Live Broadcast
= On Demand Weekend