2022 South Florida Smooth Jazz Festival @ Miramar Artist Lineup

Peabo Bryson

Peabo Bryson the legendary voice of love, is back, and music has never been happier. Peabo is not just “back”, he is back and collaborating with powerhouse producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for his 21st album titled “Stand For Love”.

​This music dream team has delivered something music and music fans didn’t know was missing… R&B HITS.  The lead single off this 11 track masterpiece, “Love Like Yours and Mine,” makes it clear that Peabo is better than ever.

​​Stand For Love is an anticipated and epic return to popular music by one of the industries most gifted and cherished voices. “Peabo is just one of the greatest voices of our time,” said Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in a joint statement. “He exudes a class and sophistication that’s so needed in music today. I know R&B needs Peabo Bryson especially now. And his fans both old and new will fall in love with “Stand For Love.”

​Peabo had back-to-back gold albums with Capitol Records, Reaching for the Sky (1977) and Crosswinds (1978). The title tracks of these albums, as well as the hit singles “Feel the Fire” and “I’m So Into You”, truly penetrated the hearts of soul fans everywhere. During his relationship with Capitol, Peabo collaborated with label mate and friend Natalie Cole for the 1979 project “We’re the Best of Friends”.

A year later he worked with the phenomenal Roberta Flack for the double-LP Live & More (on Atlantic Records). Peabo delivered four more albums for Capitol before making a second, even bigger album with Ms. Flack titled Born to Love, a gold seller that featured the smash “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” (Top 5 R&B and #16 Pop chart). Peabo soon moved over to Elektra Records for four albums, the second of which, Take No Prisoners featured the crossover smash “If Ever You’re In My Arms Again” (Top 10 Pop and R&B).

​A return to Capitol in 1989 for the one-off album All My Love, earned Peabo his first R&B #1 single with a remake of the late Al Wilson’s “Show & Tell”. He hit the top of the R&B charts a second time with the smash “Can You Stop The Rain”, the title track of one of his two chart topping albums with Columbia Records. It was with the help of very famous Disney animated films that Peabo earned his two Grammys and the songs two Oscars®. The first was 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast”, a duet with international pop singer Celine Dion which topped the pop charts. The very next year, Peabo struck gold with a Grammy® and an Oscar® with Regina Belle on “A Whole New World” (Aladdin’s Theme) from Aladdin.

Since these two milestones, Peabo has been even more sought after as a guest vocalist and duet partner, resulting in work with Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga on “We Kiss in the Shadows” (#1 on the Classical Crossover  chart  from  a  new recording of “The King and I” score) and Kenny G’s “By The Time This Night is Over” (from the chart topping Contemporary Jazz CD, Breathless).

​Peabo has also starred on stage in the lead role of “Raisin,” as The Wizard in “The Wiz” and was featured in the Michigan Opera’s 100th anniversary production of “Porgy & Bess.” Additionally, he released a whopping three Christmas CDs, lovingly filled with music he’s performed for several years running in the annual touring holiday music extravaganza, The Colors of Christmas. As Peabo continues to make feel good music and sing about love, he encourages fans of classic R&B to have their voices heard. Leading an initiative called “The Choice,” he wants fans and advocates of classic R&B to actively support the genre. The time for complaining is over and albums like Stand For Love support the goal of this initiative. Choose Love. Choose R&B. Choose Peabo.

​Peabo Bryson has established a career as one of the premier male vocalists in contemporary music of the last quarter century. Possessing a beautifully rich, almost operatic voice, this two-time Grammy Award-winner has survived and prospered despite the passage of time and changes in popular musical trends.

With twenty albums to his credit, Peabo Bryson has enjoyed an unprecedented, across-the-board level of international success, Bryson has the distinction of being the first artist in music history to have separate records topping four different charts.

Kim Waters

 

Our host, Chart-Topping Saxophonist Kim Waters Offers A Prescription For Our Blues With A Joyous Celebration Of Life On New CD Shakedown which was released on May 29th, 2020.

“Music is the one thing that everyone can turn to during this pandemic. It brings joy in these trying times,” says Kim Waters. Heralded as “Simply one of the planet’s best saxophonists” by JazzTimes Magazine and the “Pied piper of Smooth Jazz” by Upscale Magazine, the prolific chart-topping saxophonist, composer and producer has enjoyed a career longevity that is rare in the music business. For three decades, Waters has reigned as one of the premier architects of Urban Smooth Jazz and a beacon of light in Contemporary Jazz. He’s garnered praise from critics and fans alike, ranking among the top five best-selling instrumentalists in jazz. “New music continues to come out, which gives the world something to lift them up and share with family and friends,” states Waters, whose new and 24th recording as a leader, Shakedown offers a thrilling ten-track escape meant to catapult us to a happier frequency. The Georgia based saxman shares, “Shakedown to me is something that makes you want to get up and dance and move your body! That was my goal for this CD!! Music that makes you happy and soothes the soul!”

Kim Waters’ instantly recognizable sound has found the perfect equilibrium between sensitivity and brawn, intellect and emotion and technique and soulfulness. On Shakedown the suave, debonair and commanding saxophonist’s ability to transcend the musical boundaries of Jazz, Pop and R&B have made him one of the most sought-after musicians in Contemporary Jazz. In typical fashion, Waters is like a one-man band, playing all the instruments on Shakedown as he creates dreamy melodies, sultry ballads and funky and bluesy dance-inspired grooves. He also reinvents a recent R&B gem. The new album is dedicated to Waters’ wife Dana and his twin daughters Kimberly and Kayla. “They all inspire me so much and they are truly my best friends! Kayla has become an amazing artist, writer, producer and performer!! Words cannot express how this makes me feel to work together with her and to share the stage together on many occasions! She continues to grow at her craft and she and Kimberly are my heart!”

Waters composed Shakedown at the piano as opposed to his normal process, which is in the recording studio. “This is the first album where I wrote all of the songs at my grand piano in my piano lounge. I usually write in my studio, but this time I stayed on the piano until all of the songs were written.” Shakedown opens with the jubilant and uplifting title-track and first single. It has a bluesy-old school feel and is reminiscent of the Ramsey Lewis hit and crowd pleaser “The In Crowd.” The composition “Feels Like Friday Night” is a fun-loving celebration marked by Waters’ soulful horn doubling on the chorus and his gorgeous flowing sax melody throughout. We are transported to the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean for the song “Nina In Tortola.”

Born in Maryland into a musical family, Kim Waters picked up his first instrument, the violin, at the age of eight. “That didn’t go over well with the fellas,” says Waters, who later found his calling on the alto and soprano saxophones at 13. Shortly afterwards he began playing in a band with his brothers James (who he still performs with) and Eric and his old friend, pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Kim Waters has been called on to perform with or open shows for the best including Al Green, Isaac Hayes, Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Riley and Guy, and Gerald Albright to name a few. Through the years Kim Waters has recorded a string of successful and chart-topping albums on Shanachie: Love’s Melody (1998), One Special Moment (1999), From The Heart (2001), Someone To Love You (2002), In the Name of Love(2004), All For Love (2005), You Are My Lady (2007)I Want You: Love in the Spirit of Marvin (2008), Love Stories (2010), This Heart of Mine (2011), Rhythm and Romance(2016) and What I Like (2018).

We could all learn a thing from Kim Waters’ Zen-like approach to music and life. He is an advocate of not sweating the small stuff and seeing the big picture. He professes that these are key ingredients to living a long life. Waters is also motivated by the opportunity to reach others. He concludes, “My fans, friends and family inspire me to be the best I can be. It makes me smile when I hear and see people happy because of my music!!! That’s what it’s all about.”

This formula has catapulted him to the top of the charts time and time again and has made him one of the biggest selling saxophonist to date. JazzTimes Magazine has declared, “Waters is simply one of the planet’s best saxophonist, Instantly recognizable for his keen melodic sensibilities and soulful approach to his saxophone, The Washington Post has likened Waters to “A romantic pied piper out on a long evening stroll.” The prolific saxophonist, composer, and producer has enjoyed a career of longevity that is rare. Waters’ Zen-like approach to his life and artistry is simple. ”

Kayla Waters

 Award-winning urban-jazz pianist Kayla Waters is a chart-topping recording artist, composer, producer and music director. After signing a multi-album record deal with Trippin N’ Rhythm (SONY), Kayla made Billboard history by becoming the first female pianist and composer to reign atop the charts at the No. 1 spot for 6 consecutive weeks. Beautifully composed and eloquently written, Kayla’s sophomore album, “Coevolve” has dazzled the hearts of many and awarded her two Billboard No. 1 singles “Zephyr” and “Full Bloom.” Recently, Kayla’s musical achievements have been extolled on prestigious platforms, as she was honored with the Rising Star in Jazz award (Black Women in Jazz and the Arts Foundation of Atlanta) and the Best Jazz Artist award (The Wammies & The Musicianship) in Washington, DC where she is based. This polished young woman premiered with the Billboard No. 1 single “I Am” from her debut album, “Apogee.” Both the single and album hit Billboard’s yearend charts, underscoring her remarkable breakout year. The spotlight has humbly created opportunities for Kayla to play and perform with music legends and prominent recording artists, including Stevie Wonder, Patrice Rushen, Avery*Sunshine, Maysa Leak, Kim Burse and Ray Chew to name a few. Passionately alluring, Kayla gracefully flourishes on stage, having played exhilarating and exuberant concerts at intimate venues, illustrious theaters and acclaimed festivals such as the Newport Beach Jazz Festival, Berks Jazz Festival, Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Catalina Island Jazztrax Festival, Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, Music City Jazz Festival, Capital Jazz Supercruise and the Algarve Jazz Festival in Portugal. Poised with purpose, the luminous artist shined brightly on national television at BET’s acclaimed “Black Girls Rock” awards show, revealing her tenacity and versatility by performing with legend Gladys Knight, Marsha Ambrosius, Corinne Bailey Rae and Imani Uzuri. The keyboardist was also invited to be a featured performer at the inaugural Fender Rhodes Fest in Los Angeles alongside a host of music contemporaries.

 

A classically trained pianist who grew up in a jazz household, Kayla’s parents observed her innate passion for music when as early as 10-months old,  “baby Kayla” frequently made her way into the living room and began “playing” the family’s Brentwood piano. Enrolling in piano lessons at the age of six, she instantly fell in love with music and fervently began mastering her gifts. The daughter of urban-jazz saxophonist Kim Waters, Kayla closely observed the inner workings of the music industry by studying and admiring his successful career; it naturally inspired her to pursue her calling as a solo jazz pianist. In addition to being featured on several of her father’s albums, she has performed with him at various concerts and jazz festivals worldwide. These experiences nurtured her creative artistry, serving as fertile ground for Kayla’s evolution as an emerging artist, composer and producer.

As a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Howard University where she earned a degree in Piano Performance, Kayla credits the institution for her success. Spiritually grounded, she serves as Associate Music Director at Grace Brethren Church in Maryland and delights in the opportunity to share her God-given gifts of music in ministry. Firm in her faith and wholly aware of her unique purpose, Kayla never loses sight of God divinely orchestrating her every move

Nestor Torres

Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Nestor Torres moved to New York City, where he pursued Classical flute studies at Mannes School of Music, Jazz at Berklee College of Music and Classical and Jazz at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. During that time he also learned to improvise in the ‘Charanga’ Cuban Dance Music genre, which helped shape and develop Torres’ unique melodic and danceable style.

 

This rhythmic and mellifluous sound evolution remains apart in a class by itself with 4 Latin Grammy nominations, one Grammy nomination and one Latin Grammy Award. In addition to 18 solo recordings, Torres’ unique collaborations with diverse artists such as Gloria Estefan, Kenny Loggins, Dave Mathews, Paquito d’Rivera, Herbie Hancock, Arturo Sandoval and Tito Puente; as well as performances with the Cleveland, Singapore, and New World Symphony Orchestras among many others, are testament to his remarkable versatility and artistry. 2017 brought two diverse album releases for Torres; the Latin Grammy Nominated – “Jazz Flute Traditions”, a spectacular tribute to his jazz flute mentors and influences, and “del Caribe, soy!”, a collection of classical compositions by Latin American composers, including the great Puerto Rican icon Rafael Hernandez, alongside contemporary works written for Torres by Tania Leon and Miguel del Aguila. This relentless exploration of musical possibilities without boundaries led to a recent concerto commission by Mariano Morales for a world premiere with Torres and The Lynn Philharmonic. In May 2021 Torres recorded his much-awaited second classical album. The album was produced under the direction of the highly recognized and multi-Grammy winning Russian/Polish (Uruguayan born) classical composer and conductor Jose Serebrier.

In addition to his achievements in the studio and on the stage, Torres is also the recipient of many awards, including two honorary doctorate degrees from Barry University and Carlos Albizu University, for his commitment to youth, education and cultural exchanges.