Posts Tagged ‘ Gregg Karukas ’

Gregg Karukas – Serenata

Great melodies; the essential quality that has defined Grammy winning keyboardist/composer/producer Gregg Karukas’ 12 solo CD’s over a three decade 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 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. As producer, pianist, composer and arranger, Gregg won the New Age Grammy in 2013 (Echoes of Love), and has also worked with pianist David Lanz, arranging and producing two successful crossover CDs. A versatile, founding member of the Los Angeles smooth jazz community, Gregg contributed to many seminal projects (The Rippingtons, Dave Koz, Peter White, Boney James).

After a recent move, Gregg discovered a dusty box of cassettes of his live shows in the 1990’s with Dori Caymmi and Ricardo Silveira and was curious to check out one particular tape marked “Dori – Le Cafe” with a star! Gregg says, “Those Dori shows at that tiny Los Angeles music room were legendary, with everyone from Michel LeGrand, Dave Grusin, Quincy Jones to Wayne Shorter in the audience. 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 the Dori Caymmi songs as best as I could and got very emotional. That evening pulled me out of my comfort zone and set me on a surprising new adventure, a solo piano project that I hope will bring some peace and joy to all who are suffering during this challenging time.” Continue reading

Gregg Karukas – Soul Secrets

So often you can admire Gregg Karukas as a live musician, so rare are the releases of his albums. Gregg comments: “I have struggled with the time and energy to make the best music possible, given my other productions, family matters and touring schedule. I chose to release Soul Secrets indie (under my own label Nightowl Records, which owns all but 3 of my 12 solo releases) because it is the right time for this and it is better for the integrity of the project. This is the trend that is a very positive thing for artists and fans, thanks to the internet.″

The project was worth it. The CD is packed with 14 original compositions. Supported by Rick Braun, Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala, Ricardo Silveira, Michael O’Neill, James Harrah, Adam Hawley, Eric Valentine, Nate Phillips, Charlie Bisharat, Luis Conte, Shelby Flint and Ron Boustead this is a win-win situation.

In the beginning more gospel later more jazz Gregg introduces into Do Watcha Love on his vintage Wurlitzer Electric Piano featuring the bluesy style of guitarist James Harrah and the funky Vincent Ingala on sax.

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Gregg Karukas – Soul Secrets

SoulSecretsThe “Secret” is out! 2013 Grammy winner Gregg Karukas is back with a new collection featuring his signature piano touch, pristine production, and melodies that are both soulful and sophisticated. Organic, funky, and melodic is how the original Rippingtons keyboardist describes his latest, long awaited 12th solo project, Soul Secrets. Gregg’s elegant grand piano melodies and infectious grooves are everywhere; this time around he digs into his roots, featuring the classic Fender Rhodes, Wurlie, Minimoog and B3 keyboards quite a bit.

At a generous and expansive 14 tracks and no covers, “Soul Secrets” reveals Karukas as an artist who has refined his sound to be instantly recognizable while constantly exploring a wide range of styles and grooves – from old school soul-jazz, with hints of gospel, R&B and funk to the world/samba grooves he immersed himself in while touring with Brazilian legends Sergio Mendes and Dori Caymmi. The album’s debut single, “Elegant Nights” is classic Karukas; it was the #1 Most Added Track in its first week on radio. The live interplay sizzles as Gregg surrounds himself with an all-star guest list that includes his friends Rick Braun, Euge Groove, guitarists Ricardo Silveira, Michael O’Neill, Adam Hawley and James Harrah; violinist Charlie Bisharat, Luis Conte, Eric Valentine, Nate Phillips; vocalists Shelby Flint and Ron Boustead and 21 year old rising sax star and occasional touring partner Vincent Ingala.

A prolific, genre-crossing veteran of Smooth Jazz, Brazilian, and R&B/Pop, Gregg won a Grammy Award in 2013 for producing, composing, playing all keyboards, arranging….and engineering the Echoes of Love CD, a collaboration with Omar Akram, winning Best New Age Album. Since his 2009 release “GK”, Gregg has also been busy touring with guitarist Peter White and Rick Braun and served as musical director for the annual Dave Koz and Friends at Sea Cruises 2011-2013. After traveling the world with Koz and supporting all the artists, Gregg made a deliberate career move in 2014 to focus more on his solo projects and finally found time to bring 14 new songs to life. Continue reading

Smooth Jazz Festival Mallorca 2014

The smooth jazz community is international. One likes to travel to faraway places to meet with like-minded people. So you can enjoy not only the concerts of popular artists but exchanges views among themselves. Many have formed friendships with each other and are also linked via Facebook or other platforms. This multiplies the impressions gained for all the senses, especially when one meets in such illustrious climes as the 5-star Protur Biomar Hotel in Sa Coma.

Concert promoter Christian Bößner had invited for the third time and they came to this outstanding event from many countries. We were particularly pleased to see so many American friends who had after all to cope with a wide approach path. And there were very prominent among them such as Melody Warren, who is very active with her JAZZ IN M.E.E. magazine. She equipped many artists with her t-shirts which maps the logo of her magazine. We could also welcome Sandy Shore known by her website and radio station SmoothJazz.com.

Regulars at this festival include Jaume Nebot from Spain, the competent general manager for the Protur Hotels, Peter Boehi from Suisse, who has already written his personal impressions on his website Smooth Vibes, Sascha Brezina from Austria, who always comes closest to the artists with his camera, Michel Mathieu from France, Len Seward and his wife from London, UK, Hilde Jervsjø and husband from Norway, Andreas Büchel, Germany, who is responsible for all prints of this festival, and the list goes on and on.

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