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2011 Backbeat Jazzfest Series

The Backbeat Jazzfest Series will present its sixth annual consecutive series of evening concerts from April 29 - May 8, 2011 coinciding with the weeks of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. This series celebrates the music and spirit of New Orleans and showcases internationally renowned bands and the best in local New Orleans music in a manner that encourages collaboration to create those magical musical moments for the audience and performers alike. As in past years, the 2011 Backbeat Jazzfest Series is an evening destination for music lovers across the country craving late night entertainment after a day filled with musical celebration at Jazzfest.

This year the Backbeat Jazzfest Series will feature shows at its usual spots, Blue Nile and Tipitina's French Quarter, plus venues new to the series Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, 12 Bar, The Temple (also known as the Scottish Rite Temple.) and Tipitina's Uptown.

11th Annual NEWPORT BEACH JAZZ PARTY

Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 17-20, 2011, will again be the time for mainstream jazz lovers from around the country (& world) to arrive in Newport Beach for “Right Down The Middle And Straight Ahead” Jazz at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa.  The party will again center on a large stage nightly at 7:00pm (Thursday at 8:00pm) with reserved seating providing a near perfect mix of concert conditions and intimacy of a club setting, all in the Grand Pacific Ballroom.

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Highlights of this 11h Annual jazz lover’s weekend –

· Thursday’s Grand Opening Night will kick off the weekend with the Ken Peplowski Quartet followed by the Larry Fuller Trio and concluding with John Pizzarelli’s Tribute to Duke Ellington- Rockin’ In Rhythm with Swing Seven featuring Jeff Hamilton.

· Friday evening will begin with an All-Star set lead by trombonist Dan Barrett and feature Claudio Roditi-trumpet, Houston Person-tenor sax, Anat Cohen-clarinet, Eric Reed-piano, Christoph Luty-bass and Paul Kreibich-drums. The second of 4 sessions will feature tenor man Scott Hamilton along with Benny Green on piano, Chuck Berghofer on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. For the first time at the party - San Francisco vocalist Kim Nalley will take the stage together with party veteran Houston Person.  Rounding out the night will be a return of the popular Jeff Hamilton Trio!

· Claudio Roditi will open Saturday night’s sessions with an All-Star group featuring Scott Hamilton, Eric Reed, Christophy Luty and Jeff Hamilton.  The second session will bring together Yellowjackets’ famed tenor player Bob Mintzer along with party favorite flutist Holly Hofmann and the rhythm section of Benny Green, Chuck Berghofer and Lewis Nash.  Set #3 will for the first time at the party feature famed lyricist Alan Bergman and bringing the evening to a close will be an All-Star set featuring Anat Cohen, Downbeat Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll Jazz Artist Rising Star together with Ken Peplowski!

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Sunday night will open with one of the most recorded drummers in jazz- Lewis Nash followed by a solo set by pianist Benny Green.  Joining Benny for the next session will be bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton! The third set will feature the Ken Peplowski Quartet with Tom Ranier on piano, bassist Chuck Berghofer and Jeff Hamilton on drums.  Bringing the weekend to a swingin’close will be Frank Sinatra, Jr. and his 20 piece orchestra under the direction of Terry Woodson!

· Featured at this year’s Pool Sessions (Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon until 3:30pm), among 9 great sessions, will be the latin and Brazilian sounds of the Scott Martin Band;  big band standards of the Blue Note Swing Orchestra with guest Dan Barrett;  USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra directed by Bob Mintzer;  B3 organist Atsuko Hashimoto with Jeff Hamilton and guitarist Graham Dechter and the Dave Tull Trio.  Other highlights include All-Star sets lead by Bill Cunliffe, Holly Hofmann/Anat Cohen and Claudio Roditi/Gilbert Castellanos.

· Additionally, two Champagne Brunches will be offered starring legendary trumpeter Jack Sheldon on Saturday and a return performance by the popular Barbara Morrison and Houston Person on Sunday. Also appearing at the Saturday Brunch will be the Eric Reed Trio plus Scott Hamilton and on Sunday the Adam Schroeder Quartet!

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Tickets are now available for the complete four night, three-day package including one Champagne Brunch.  Prices are $350/375. Individual reserved seats are priced at $60/$75 for evening performances and $40/50 for the Grand Opening Sessions,  $30 each  for “Friday, Saturday & Sunday By the Pool” and $50 for each Jazz Brunch. For tickets to the 11th Annual Newport Beach Jazz Party, call the Jazzline at 949.759.5003 or for complete artist appearance times and an order form visit their website.

Dierks Bentley Announces 30-City Spring Tour

Multiple GRAMMY nominee and chart-topping country music star Dierks Bentley is slated to headline the 2011 JÄGERMEISTER COUNTRY TOUR kicking off March 17.  The 30-city tour runs through mid-May and will feature special guest Columbia Nashville road warrior Josh Thompson and brand new A&M/Octone duo Miss Willie Brown.  Each concert will also feature a local Jägermeister sponsored country act.

Pre-sale tickets are available to fan club members through www.dierks.com, while the general public will be able to purchase tickets beginning Jan. 21 and Jan. 28 through Ticketmaster.  The remaining cities will go on sale over the coming weeks.

“It’s a good thing we’ve got a video crew on the road with us capturing everything that goes down,” laughed Bentley.  “Putting my band, Josh Thompson, the Miss Willie Brown girls and a few thousand fans in a Jägermeister sponsored room with loud country music sounds like a pretty solid recipe for a great night!”

“For the brand’s 20th music tour, Jägermeister is bringing top country star Dierks Bentley to the stage to show our dedication and loyalty to country music,” says Bill Henderson, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising at Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc.  “In addition to this great line-up, Jägermeister is sponsoring over 25 country music acts to open the shows and is looking for more.”

2011 Jägermeister Country Tour Dates:
3/17            Wallingford, CT *
3/18            Sayreville, NJ **
3/19            Atlantic City, NJ **
3/20            Pittsburgh PA **
3/24            Lewiston, ME **
3/25            Poughkeepsie, NY
3/26            Reading, PA            **
3/27            Westbury, NY **
4/1              Los Angeles, CA **
4/2              Las Vegas, NV **
4/6              Houston, TX            **
4/7              Mescalero, NM **
4/13            Asheville, NC
4/14            North Myrtle Beach, SC **
4/15            Melbourne, FL
4/16            Boca Raton, FL                                           
4/21            Mankato, MN
4/22            Sioux Falls, SD
4/23            Clear Lake, IA
4/27            Salina, KS
4/28            Bloomington, IL
4/29            Saint Charles, MO                                                        
5/5              Akron, OH
5/6              Detroit, MI
5/7              Indianapolis, IN
5/11            Augusta, GA
5/12            Charleston, SC
5/13            Norfolk, VA
* Tickets On Sale Jan. 21
** Tickets On Sale Jan. 28

11th Annual Newport Beach Jazz Party

Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 17-20, 2011, will again be the time for mainstream jazz lovers from around the country (& world) to arrive in Newport Beach for “Right Down The Middle And Straight Ahead” Jazz at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa.  The party will again center on a large stage nightly at 7:00pm (Thursday at 8:00pm) with reserved seating providing a near perfect mix of concert conditions and intimacy of a club setting, all in the Grand Pacific Ballroom.

Highlights of this 11h Annual jazz lover’s weekend:

Thursday’s Grand Opening Night will kick off the weekend with the Ken Peplowski Quartet followed by the Larry Fuller Trio and concluding with John Pizzarelli’s Tribute to Duke Ellington- Rockin’ In Rhythm with Swing Seven featuring Jeff Hamilton.

Friday evening will begin with an All-Star set lead by trombonist Dan Barrett and feature Claudio Roditi-trumpet, Houston Person-tenor sax, Anat Cohen-clarinet, Eric Reed-piano, Christoph Luty-bass and Paul Kreibich-drums. The second of 4 sessions will feature tenor man Scott Hamilton along with Benny Green on piano, Chuck Berghofer on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. For the first time at the party - San Francisco vocalist Kim Nalley will take the stage together with party veteran Houston Person.  Rounding out the night will be a return of the popular Jeff Hamilton Trio!

Claudio Roditi will open Saturday night’s sessions with an All-Star group featuring Scott Hamilton, Eric Reed, Christophy Luty and Jeff Hamilton.  The second session will bring together Yellowjackets’ famed tenor player Bob Mintzer along with party favorite flutist Holly Hofmann and the rhythm section of Benny Green, Chuck Berghofer and Lewis Nash.  Set #3 will for the first time at the party feature famed lyricist Alan Bergman and bringing the evening to a close will be an All-Star set featuring Anat Cohen, Downbeat Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll Jazz Artist Rising Star together with Ken Peplowski!

Sunday night will open with one of the most recorded drummers in jazz- Lewis Nash followed by a solo set by pianist Benny Green.  Joining Benny for the next session will be bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton! The third set will feature the Ken Peplowski Quartet with Tom Ranier on piano, bassist Chuck Berghofer and Jeff Hamilton on drums.  Bringing the weekend to a swingin’close will be Frank Sinatra, Jr. and his 20 piece orchestra under the direction of Terry Woodson!

Featured at this year’s Pool Sessions (Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon until 3:30pm), among 9 great sessions, will be the latin and Brazilian sounds of the Scott Martin Band;  big band standards of the Blue Note Swing Orchestra with guest Dan Barrett; USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra directed by Bob Mintzer; B3 organist Atsuko Hashimoto with Jeff Hamilton and guitarist Graham Dechter and the Dave Tull Trio. Other highlights include All-Star sets lead by Bill Cunliffe, Holly Hofmann/Anat Cohen and Claudio Roditi/Gilbert Castellanos.

Additionally, two Champagne Brunches will be offered starring legendary trumpeter Jack Sheldon on Saturday and a return performance by the popular Barbara Morrison and Houston Person on Sunday. Also appearing at the Saturday Brunch will be the Eric Reed Trio plus Scott Hamilton and on Sunday the Adam Schroeder Quartet!

Tickets are now available for the complete four night, three-day package including one Champagne Brunch.  Prices are $350/375. Individual reserved seats are priced at $60/$75 for evening performances and $40/50 for the Grand Opening Sessions,  $30 each  for “Friday, Saturday & Sunday By the Pool” and $50 for each Jazz Brunch. For tickets to the 11th Annual Newport Beach Jazz Party, call the Jazzline at 949.759.5003 or for complete artist appearance times and an order form visit our website.

Those wishing to have a weekend getaway may also enjoy the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa special rate of $154 per night for a standard room, $164 for Pool/Music View, $174 for Ocean Music View and $179 for Concierge. For hotel reservations call Marriott at 949.640.4000 and ask for the Newport Beach Jazz Party rate.  The Marriott  is located at 900 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach-  10 minutes from the John Wayne/Orange County.

Fistful of Mercy on Conan Tonight

Fistful of Mercy will be the musical guest tonight on Conan (11/10/10), making the band the third musical act of his new show. They'll be joined by some very special guests! Conan airs tonight at 11/10c on TBS, be sure to check your local listings.

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Fistful of Mercy on Tour Now

Tickets still available for select shows. Full list of dates below.

11/11/10 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall SOLD OUT
11/13/10 Hollywood, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever SOLD OUT
11/13/10 Hollywood, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever SOLD OUT
11/14/10 Hollywood, CA @ Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever SOLD OUT
11/16/10 Washington, DC @ Sixth & I SOLD OUT
11/17/10 New York, NY @ Apollo Theater Purchase Tickets
11/18/10 Somerville, MA @ Somerville Theatre Purchase Tickets
11/20/10 Philadelphia, PA @ Baptist Temple at Temple University Purchase Tickets
12/03/10 London, UK @ Koko Purchase Tickets
12/05/10 Paris, France @ La Cigale SOLD OUT
12/07/10 Amsterdam, Holland @ Paradiso Purchase Tickets
12/09/10 Milan, Italy @ Alcatraz Purchase Tickets
12/10/10 Modena, Italy @ Vox Club Purchase Tickets
12/12/10 Berlin, Germany @ Postbahnhof Purchase Tickets
12/13/10 Cologne, Germany @ Live Music Hall Purchase Tickets
12/14/10 Brussels, Belgium @ Ancienne Belgique Purchase Tickets
04/22/11 Byron Bay Bluesfest Purchase Tickets

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Fistful of Mercy interview on CNN

Yesterday, CNN posted a video feature on Fistful of Mercy telling about how the guys met and the recording process for the new album, As I Call You Down. Today, CNN added an in-depth interview with the band to the video feature. Click here to read the interview and check out the video!

2010 University Of Michigan Jazz Festival "Charles Mingus Day"

The 2010 University Of Michigan Jazz Festival  "Charles Mingus Day" will take place February 13th at 7:30p.m. at the Power Center for the Performing Arts in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The festival announced today that Congressman John Conyers Jr. would receive the first, "University of Michigan John Conyers Jr. Jazz Advocacy Award". This award is named in his honor and serves as recognition of extraordinary achievement in the world of Jazz by an advocate or patron.

In recognition of Black History Month and the Jazz Festival tribute to Charles Mingus, three virtuoso bassists, Christian McBride, Robert Hurst and Rodney Whitaker, will take the stage together in an historic improvised performance.

The festival feature concert will also include the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble, The Christian McBride Band and the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra under the direction of Dennis Wilson. The DJFO will feature a new composition by Christian McBride entitled "The Movement Revisited". This composition is an important expression of the Black experience through the language of Jazz and will also be performed on February 14th at 7:30pm at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit.

The University of Michigan Jazz Festival is a noncompetitive event providing collegiate, high school and middle school students an opportunity to interact with the music faculty of the University of Michigan as well as other distinguished educators.  The Festival is open to students, educators, and music lovers of all ages and is presented by the School Of Music Theatre & Dance through the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation with additional support from numerous academic units within the University Of Michigan.