The Smooth Jazz Cruise On Land in St. Louis
Saturday, September 7, 2019
Chesterfield Amphitheater (St. Louis County)
3:30 pm – 10:00 pm
1st Annual Festival
The Smooth Jazz Cruise is bringing The Greatest Party at Sea ashore for a full day of amazing smooth jazz. The show starts with local favorites Erin Bode and Tim Cunningham and continues with the high-energy show of Eric Darius and the elegance and talents of Grace Kelly. All leads up to the grand finale featuring one of the genre’s most popular stars, Brian Culbertson.
Brian Culbertson is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer known for his distinct brand of genre-crossing contemporary jazz, R&B and funk. Mining the urban sounds of musically-rich Chicago, he began his musical studies on piano at age eight and quickly picked up several other instruments by the time he was twelve, including drums, trombone, bass and euphonium. Inspired by the iconic R&B-jazz-pop artists of the 1970s like Earth, Wind & Fire; Tower of Power; Chicago; David Sanborn and others, Culbertson started composing original music for his seventh grade piano recital and hasn’t stopped since, amassing 30 Billboard No. 1 singles (and counting!)…Read More
and a deep catalogue of 18 albums, most of which have topped the Billboard contemporary jazz charts.
Having worked and performed with countless industry all-stars such as Michael McDonald, Chris Botti, Ledisi, Barry Manilow, Herb Alpert, Natalie Cole, Maurice White (EWF), Chuck Brown and Bootsy Collins just to name a few, Culbertson has won numerous awards and accolades along with nominations from the NAACP Image Awards and Soul Train Awards. In 2012, he founded the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, a flourishing wine, music and lifestyle experience for which he also serves as artistic director.
With love, romance and his recent twentieth wedding anniversary serving as his inspiration, Culbertson crafted thirteen new songs that will be released as “Colors of Love” on Valentine’s Day. The seduction begins with the first single, the amorous title track, which is a sensual R&B groove illuminated by lyrical acoustic piano melodies typical of the collection’s contents. A nearly three-month-long U.S. concert tour will bring “Colors of Love” to life in a vivid theatrical production, incorporating video elements in a major way.
Regardless of his success and numerous accomplishments, fans can rest assured that Culbertson always brings his very best – and brings the very best out of others – in all of his broad-ranging musical and creative endeavors.Read Less
“Grace Kelly has an electric charisma onstage that instantly ignites the room,” says Stay Human bandleader Jon Batiste. Featured in the 2017 Emmy-winning Yamaha production “The Right Note”, singer, saxophonist, and songwriter/composer Grace Kelly plays with the heart and passion of an old soul yet with the genre-bending zest and energy of a 26-year-old. The 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize winner (country genre) has appeared regularly in the house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert under Jon Batiste and was highlighted on screen as a jazz soloist in the Emmy-nominated Amazon series BOSCH (S2E2).
Featured by Vanity Fair…Read More
as a millennial shaking up the jazz world, Kelly is picking up steam by rewriting the rules of the performance experience. Her recent project, GO TiME: Brooklyn, brought a fully live, choreographed electrifying show to the Systems 2 recording studio in New York City in front of a spellbound in-person audience and to thousands more globally over a Facebook Live broadcast. Fans have responded in droves, with over 100,000 views on the video and thousands of positive comments and shares. Via Facebook, Instagram, and her Youtube channel, the snackable “PopUp” video series combining soulful sax solos with unexpected and exotic locales has millions of views, further establishing her brand as an artistic veteran with a digital native’s flair for innovation.
As a songwriter, Kelly has won multiple ASCAP Composer Awards, Boston Music Awards, and International Songwriting Awards, including placing second in the 2017 International Songwriting Competition (Adult Contemporary category). Her original composition “Blues for Harry Bosch” was recorded by the legendary vocal group Manhattan Transfer on their album “The Junction.” As a saxophonist, she was the winner of the 64th Annual 2016 Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll in the category “Rising Star – Alto Saxophone,” voted #4 Alto saxophonist in 2016 Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll, named “Jazz Artist of the Year” in the 2016 Boston Music Awards, and “Alto Saxophonist of the Year” by NYC Jazz Fans Decision 2016. She has been featured on CNN.com, Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women 2011, Forbes, Billboard, Huffington Post, and many appearances on NPR.
Kelly wrote her first song at 7 years old, recorded her first CD at 12, orchestrated and performed an original composition with the Boston Pops Orchestra at 14, and performed at President Obama’s inauguration at 16. As a bandleader, Grace has performed in over 800 concerts in over 30 countries at notable venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall, and international jazz festivals such as Montreal, Newport, and Montreux. Grace has performed and/or recorded with Questlove, Lin Manuel Miranda, Esperanza Spalding, Harry Connick Jr, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Emma Stone, Huey Lewis and Gloria Estefan, to name a few.Read Less
Eric Darius was born in Livingston, New Jersey, raised in Tampa, Florida, and now resides in Los Angeles, CA. He grew up in a very musical family to a Haitian father, who is a bass player and Jamaican mother, who is a singer and piano player. That Caribbean influence was passed down to Eric and his siblings. His older brother is a drummer and trumpet player, and his sister sings and plays clarinet.
“I first fell in love with the saxophone as a 9-year-old and began playing at the age of 10,” Eric recalls. “By the time I was 11, I started touring worldwide with Sonny LaRosa and America’s Youngest Jazz Band and playing Caribbean music in our family band. It’s truly a blessing to be…Read More
from a family that not only supports my passion for music but has also given me so many opportunities to nurture my God-given gift and pursue a career in it.” While growing up, Darius was also influenced by Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, George Benson, David Sanborn, Miles Davis, Bob Marley, and Grover Washington Jr., among many others. While still in high school, at the age of 17, he recorded and released his first album titled, Cruisin’, which would lay the ground work for his seven full-length albums. In 2004, Darius signed his first record deal with Higher Octave Music, after label representatives saw him perform and wow the audience at Florida’s Clearwater Jazz Festival. This resulted in the release of his national debut album, Night on the Town later that year. In 2006, Darius released his third project, Just Getting Started through Narada Jazz. In 2008, he released Goin’ All Out (Blue Note Records), in 2010 On A Mission and 2014 Retro Forward (both through Shanachie Entertainment).
With six highly-acclaimed albums to his discography, Darius continues to rack up some impressive statistics: Three No. 1 Hit Singles; Eight Top 10 Radio Hits on Nielsen’s R&R/Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart; 2004’s Debut Artist of the Year by Smooth Jazz News Magazine; named 2015’s SESAC Top 10 Jazz Artist of the Year; 2017’s Best Jazz, Saxophonist, Composer, Producer & Musician of the Year Award at the 1st Annual Citril Starz Awards; with many more milestones and honors to come.
Darius has made TV Appearances on Fox’s The X-Factor, TNT’s Mob City, and has shared the stage with Grammy â award-winning artists Prince, Mary J. Blige, David Foster, Carlos Santana, Jamie Foxx, Babyface, George Benson, Marcus Miller, Wyclef Jean, and many others.
Darius believes in giving back to today’s youth in the form of education. His On A Mission in the Schools initiative include making regular appearances to speak and perform with students from elementary and middle schools to high schools and at the college level. “I benefited greatly from the music-arts programs, and education is very important to me,” says Darius. “I’m an advocate for music in the schools and I want to help keep it alive. It’s important to me to expose kids to Jazz, encourage them to follow their dreams and inspire them to play musical instruments. I feel I have a responsibility to pay it forward, encourage the next generation and help preserve the future of music.”Read Less
In the decade-plus since Erin Bode began her professional recording career, she has garnered much critical praise for her pure voice, perfect pitch, and impressive phrasing and style. It is this talent, coupled with her reluctance to accept classification as a purely jazz vocalist that has led to reviews hailing her as “someone you won’t forget” and comparing her sound to the likes of Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones, and Karrin Allyson.
A Minnesota native, Bode was first introduced to music by her father, a Lutheran minister, who emphasized music in daily life and encouraged her to join the church choir. She studied music as well as foreign languages…Read More
at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and graduated from Webster University in St. Louis. It is at Webster where Erin studied vocal jazz with Christine Hitt who helped to launch her career as a vocalist.
Shortly after graduating college in 2001, Bode produced her first record, Requests. The album was successful in gaining Bode local attention and secured her a recording contract with St. Louis jazz label Maxjazz. Bode has also gained exposure through appearances on various programs including CBS’s Second Cup Café, Fox News’ Fox and Friends, and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.
To date, Bode and her band have released eight albums and toured the United States, as well overseas to Italy, Japan, and South Africa. The Erin Bode Group creates music forged from the Americana of its members’ Midwestern roots, infused with jazz grooves and made magic by Bode’s bell-like voice. Sophisticated arrangements and attention to phrasing, both vocal and instrumental, further distinguish the band’s fresh sound.
While Bode got her start singing standard jazz, her recent projects have been decidedly more pop-based. 2008’s Little Garden and 2010’s Photograph feature all original material by Bode, and showcase her love of poetry with songs that are rich in harmonic and timbral texture.
Bode’s latest release, Here and Now is a collection of songs by the master songwriters of the Great American Songbook, replete with clever melodies and witty lyrics. Erin collaborated with producer and bassist Viktor Krauss, guitarists Matt Munisteri and Todd Lombardo, cellist Tara Santiago and Grammy Award winning vocalist, Suzanne Cox. With this treasured collection of songs from writers like Irving Berlin and Frank Loesser, Rickie Lee Jones and Gerry Rafferty, Bode and her fellow musicians impart each story through simple yet sophisticated arrangements of each piece.Read Less
When Tim Cunningham was faced with the choice between the football field or the musical stage, lucky for us, he chose the latter. Having played the saxophone for over half his life, Tim spent his college years at Michigan State splitting his time between playing defense and playing music. And although a football scholarship saw him through school, his passion for the sax has carried him well beyond, as he passed up an NFL contract and eventually pursued a career in music.
For decades the words “smooth , sultry, cool & funky” have been used to describe Tim’s high energy and emotional stage show as his sexy blend of smooth jazz…Read More
and soulful R&B connects with people of all ages, races and genres of music. This unique and versatile style has earned Tim the pleasure of opening for such jazz greats as Dave Koz, Norman Brown, Brian Culbertson and George Benson. On the flip side, his bumpin’ R&B flavor has on occasion paired him with Earth Wind & Fire, Cameo, Boyz II Men, Patti Labelle, Frankie Beverly, Jeffrey Osborne, and the late Luther Vandross. Tim’s experiences bridge beyond the live stage to TV as he co-wrote and performed the theme song to 20th Century Fox’s “Bertice Berry Show” along with appearing in three episodes of “The Untouchables” and BET’s “Jazz Central.
Signed to Atlantic Records in 1996 his first major label release, “Right Turn Only” featured the efforts of Will Downing, Brian Culbertson, Kevin Whalum, and Bobby Lyle. It’s featured single, “This is the Life,” hit #19 on the Smooth Jazz Chart and received much international airplay. Tim’s additional CD credits include “Sax Change Operation”, “A Change in Altotude”, “Waiting For Love”, “Inner Peace”, and “Manchester Road” which was picked up by Nite Breeze Music/Universal in 2008. His 2011 release entitled “Reflection”, features a cool collection of original tracks packed with smooth grooves and emotional ballads. The “Tim Cunningham Live” album, where he covers some of his favorite songs, was released in 2012. Tim’s next CD will be released in the summer of 2019 and he hopes to have another Christmas CD completed in 2019 as well.
Tim credits his mother and his strong Christian beliefs for keeping him grounded as he strikes that delicate balance between the world of music and that of family man with his 3 children and wife of 20 years, all whom he has written and named songs for on past CDs. Tim continues to wow audiences near and far with his explosive live stage performance, which typically will take him out into the depths of his audience and yet he makes a point to stay after each show to sign every last CD sold. This approachable and down to earth quality is what endears Tim to his fan base…and his gift to touch their hearts with his music is what keeps ’em comin’ back for more!Read Less
The Chesterfield Amphitheater is a beautiful outdoor amphitheater that is truly unique to the region and the perfect place to see your favorite artists perform! Only seven years old, it has been host to artists such as Kenny Loggins, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Gladys Knight, Diamond Rio, Edwin McCain, Peabo Bryson, The Yellow Jackets, David Benoit, Erin Bode, and many more. A gorgeous setting, amazing acoustics, and not a bad seat in the house! The Chesterfield Amphitheater might just become your new favorite concert venue!
The Chesterfield Amphitheater can host a variety of theatrical, musical, educational, and corporate events. The facility can seat up to 4,000 patrons and provides a large stage with fixed and lawn seating, concession and restroom areas, and power and audio infrastructure to accommodate small to medium sized events. Take advantage of the full spectrum of adjacent amenities set within Central Park, the lake gazebo, pedestrian bridges, stream walks, lake, trails, playground, Aquatic Center and public art sculptures, including the Awakening.