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SMOOTH CRUISE: Norman Brown & Gerald Albright - Spirit of New York, Pier 61/Chelsea Piers
TICKETS - $55 thru day of show
OR BY CALLING 866-211-3812
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 6:30PM
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 9:30PM
New York’s Premier Summer Jazz Series Returns…
Join us Wednesday, August 22nd for a Smooth Cruise with Norman Brown and Gerald Albright at 6:30pm or 9:30pm aboard the Spirit of New York.
Celebrate the Smooth Cruises’ 15th year on the Hudson, aboard The Spirit of New York, located at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers (23rd St & West Side Hwy). Experience this one-of-a-kind LIVE JAZZ concert series as you cruise down the river enjoying stellar views of the Statue of Liberty and the breathtaking Manhattan skyline.
The Smooth Cruises sell out quickly, so get your tickets today!
Picking up a guitar at age 8, Norman Brown was initially inspired by Jimi Hendrix but it was his father’s preference of Wes Montgomery that set Norman on his stylistic journey. After high school, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue music, attending the Musicians Institute where he also taught for a time. While playing with his own group in local clubs, and drawing comparisons to George Benson, he was discovered and signed to the fledgling MoJazz label, a division of Motown. His debut, “Just Between Us” was followed by the gold-certified “After The Storm” and “Better Days Ahead.”
With critical acclaim and sales behind him, he moved to Warner Bros. and released “Celebration,” which first teamed him with producer Paul Brown. The follow-up, “Just Chillin’,” earned Brown much-deserved Grammy® recognition in the best pop instrumental category. Next, on “West Coast Coolin’,” he tested out his skills as a vocalist, a move embraced by the urban Adult Contemporary radio market and found him topping the charts. With changes at Warner Bros., Brown switched to Peak Records where he could continue his jazz and instrumental work but still keep reaching his urban audience.
Brown’s fan base has been expanding over the years. His compilation “The Very Best Of Norman Brown” was one of the best-selling smooth jazz albums of 2005 and 2006. In 2007, his engaging personality led Broadcast Architecture to tap him for its fledgling Smooth Jazz Network as an on-air personality. He also toured with 2007 edition of his popular Norman Brown’s Summer Storm featuring a roster of special guests including superstar vocalist and Peak Records label mate Peabo Bryson, saxophonist Marion Meadows, and legendary keyboardist Jeff Lorber. Norman’s 2010 release “Sending My Love” with its seamless blend of pop, R&B and jazz marks his 8th solo album.
Jazz and R&B icon Gerald Albright is considered one of the most innovative and successful artists of the last 25 years. One of the biggest stars of R&B, contemporary and straight-ahead jazz, he has earned a reputation as a “musician’s musician.”
Born in Los Angeles, he began piano lessons at an early age. His love of music flourished when he was given a saxophone that had belonged to his piano teacher. By the time he enrolled at the University of Redlands, he was already a polished saxophonist. He made the switch to bass guitar after seeing Louis Johnson in concert. A few months after graduating from college, he joined jazz pianist/R&B singer Patrice Rushen, who was forming her own band. Later, when the bass player left mid-tour, Albright replaced him, finishing the tour on bass guitar.
During the ’80s, Gerald became a highly requested session musician, playing on albums by a variety of artists including Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Lola Folana, Atlantic Starr, Olivia Newton-John, the Temptations, and Maurice White. He also toured extensively with Les McCann, Jeff Lorber, Teena Marie, the Winans, Marlena Shaw, Quincy Jones, and Whitney Houston, among many others.
He went on to record several successful solo albums for Atlantic Records. Two hit the #1 slot on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Chart, and were nominated for Grammy Awards in 1989 and 1990. In 1998, Phil Collins asked him to front a Big Band and they toured together. They also recorded one of Albright’s tunes, “Chips N’ Salsa” on Collins’ Big Band Project, entitled “A Hot Night In Paris.” Later that year, Gerald released “Pleasures of the Night” with Will Downing (on Verve Forecast) which hit #1 on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart. Most recently, “Sax for Stax” (Peak Records) received a 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album and “Pushing the Envelope” (Heads Up International) followed suit in the same category in 2010.
Sail the Hudson with us Wednesday, August 22nd, for an evening filled with the smooth sounds of Richard Brown and Gerald Albright.