4th Annual “Uptown Charlotte Jazz Fest”
Friday-Saturday, June 21-22, 2013
Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre
Charlotte, NC – Producers of the 4th Annual Uptown Charlotte Jazz Fest have announced Jazz/R&B musician and instrumentalist, Brian Culbertson, will perform during the two-night festival on Friday, June 21. Culbertson joins BWB, a jazz band named after the three members: guitarist Norman Brown, saxophonist Kirk Whalum and trumpeter Rick Braun. More artists will be announced in the near future.
The 4th Annual Uptown Charlotte Jazz Fest returns to the Queen City with the sounds and rhythms of some of the world’s greatest jazz performers June 21-22, 2013, at the Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre. Following up a nearly sold-out 3rd year with record attendance, the festival has truly become a “destination event” for true jazz enthusiasts, attracting attendees all along the Southeast including Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Tickets are on sale now.
VIP and Reserved ticket packages (includes Friday and Saturday) are available only at The Fillmore Charlotte Box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. For more information on the festival including show location: uptowncharlottejazzfest.com.
About Brian Culbertson
In the gentle lull of sleep, we’re often enraptured in a vivid sequence of thoughts, images, and sensations. A lifelike realm where radiant colors, sounds, and illusions intersect, creating the most vibrant experience. This spring, prolific R&B/Jazz musician Brian Culbertson invites you to close your eyes, open your ears, and fall deep into a lush world of musical fantasy with his breathtaking thirteenth album Dreams. With the help of lauded guest vocalists Noel Gourdin, Vivian Green and Stokley Williams of Mint Condition, Dreams masterfully melds jazz sensibility with an R&B flair in a wondrous mélange of enchanting grooves.
“Last summer, I just started having these really vivid dreams,” Culbertson says. “I started waking up inspired to get into the studio and write songs. Songs that made me feel like those dreams. It’s really strange for me, because I’ve never written songs about being inspired by dreams. That’s why this record is quite different.”
Having worked with an array of stellar R&B artists such as Faith Evans, Ledisi, Brian McKnight, Kenny Lattimore, and Avant on his past albums, Brian forges full steam ahead in that tradition on Dreams. Brian brought together a group of “who’s who” in music including: R&B producer and longtime collaborator and arranger Rex Rideout (Angie Stone, Ledisi, Luther Vandross, Lalah Hathaway, Will Downing, Kem); four of R&B’s top session players to help round out the sound – bassist Alex Al (Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones); and guitarists Michael Thompson (Babyface, Toni Braxton), Rob Bacon (Beyonce, Raphael Saadiq) and John “Jubu” Smith (Frankie Beverly & Maze, Whitney Houston).
The result is a stunning collection of 10 mesmerizing tunes, including the extraordinary lead Urban Adult Contemporary single “Still Here” – featuring the soulful rapture of Vivian Green. Co-written by Green, the song tells the passionate tale of how taking a risk on love can have a happy ending. “Sometimes your past experiences and all your friends are telling you to stay away from someone because it seems too good to be true,” explains Brian. “But there’s something different about this person. Almost like you’ve met before in a dream. Because of this, you have a strong feeling that it will work out so you go with it and amazingly, they turn out to be the one.” “Still Here” will also be the first music video from Dreams.
“Your Smile,” the album’s lead jazz single, is an exquisite rhythmic excursion underscored with an undeniable buoyant groove. “The song was inspired by a dream featuring his wife’s radiant smile. “In the fogginess of a quickly evaporating dream, I only remembered one thing: Michelle’s smile. As I opened my eyes, I saw her smile and realized how lucky I was.”
Brian recruited the R&B vocal prowess of singer Stokley Williams to enhance the melodic elegance of “No Limits.” A fan of Williams’ work as lead vocalist for R&B group Mint Condition. “Even though we’d never met each other, by the end of the day we felt like we’d known each other for a long time.” The song’s romantic lyrics accentuate the thrill of actualizing an altruistic union. On “You’re My Music,” singer Noel Gourdin pours his thick, soulful vocals over both Brian’s shimmering piano chords and bass guitar licks. Brian was instantly bowled over by Gourdin’s 2007 hit “The River,” prompting his inclusion on Dreams. “He has such an old soul voice. It was sort of channeling Ron Isley. You don’t hear that kind of sound that much these days. He really brings that old soul vibe with a contemporary feel to it.”
With Dreams, as with his previous efforts, Brian proceeds to keep the genre of jazz alive and viable by consistently injecting a fresh approach into his own unique sensibility. To his point, Dreams definitely proves that jazz and groove fit hand-in-glove – especially on cuts like the funky “In The City.” With the assistance of Alex Al’s strutting bass line, Brian crafted the tune after having a dream about walking the downtown streets of a city.
2013 is certain to be a pivotal turning point in Brian’s amazingly illustrious career. Dreams brazenly holds the keys to a new dimension of the jazz listening experience by effortlessly combining elements of R&B and soul with spellbinding melodies and the marvel of inner visions. “We all have dreams in life, whether it be to write a book, have a beautiful loving family, travel to a far away destination, or simply to learn to play an instrument. This album is for those who are keeping those hopes and dreams alive and not giving up. Hopefully people will dig it.”
About Uptown Charlotte Jazz Fest (UCJF)
UCJF was founded in 2010 by E2 Shows, LLC a Charlotte based concert promoter. Previous performers include David Sanborn, The Rippingtons, Alex Bugnon, Boney James, Michael Franks, Mike Phillips, George Duke and more.