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The 4th Annual Uptown Charlotte Jazz Fest Line-Up Announced

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Marvin Ross
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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.

The festival will begin on Friday, June 21, at 7:00 p.m. with smooth jazz artists 5th and York; two of smooth jazz’s biggest stars, Peter White and Euge Groove; and jazz/R&B/funk musician Brian Culbertson.

On Saturday, June 22, the festival will kick off with Grammy Award winning smooth jazz keyboardist and pianist Gregg Karukas.  Saturday will also feature Sax in the City, which includes Soprano saxophonist Marion Meadows, smooth jazz saxophone icon Paul Taylor and the young, vibrant sax sensation, Vincent Ingala. Joining these superstars on the final evening is BWB, a jazz band named after the three members:  guitarist Norman Brown, saxophonist Kirk Whalum and trumpeter Rick Braun.

“We at E2 Shows are all excited about 2013 lineup.  Having 5th and York, Brian Culbertson, Peter White and Euge Groove start the festival on Friday, June 21st is an amazing way to get the weekend started.  And then to follow up on Saturday, June 22nd with Gregg Karukas, Marion Meadows, Paul Taylor, Vincent Ingala and BWB, is an amazing way to celebrate our fourth year,” says Tammy Greene, “The Jazz Diva” and a Managing Member of E2 Shows, LLC.


VIP and Reserved ticket packages (includes Friday and Saturday) will be 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.

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.

The 4th Annual Uptown Charlotte Jazz Fest is sponsored by Belk, Novant Health and Wells Fargo.


Artist Biographies

5th and York has emerged as one of the premier smooth jazz bands to come out of the Southeast. With influences ranging from the Yellow Jackets and Fourplay to the great funk bands of the 70s and 80s, the band has opened for national recording artists such as Earth Wind and Fire, Chicago, Anthony Hamilton and Gerald Levert.

Over the years, Peter White has maintained a reputation as one of the most versatile and prolific acoustic guitarists on the contemporary jazz landscape. Armed with an unparalleled combination of lyricism and energy, he combines elements of jazz, pop and classical guitar to create a sound that is singular and at the same time accessible to a broad audience.

Euge Groove perfectly describes the jazz/R&B/pop perfection of saxophonist Steven Eugene Grove. During the last ten years he has toured, performed or recorded with a “Who’s Who” in modern music, including Joe Cocker, Eurythmics, The Gap Band, Huey Lewis and the News, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville, Eros Ramazotti and Richard Marx, among many others. (Marx included Groove’s sax savvy on a duet he recorded with Luther Vandross, “Keep Coming Back,” which captured another No. 1 spot for Groove on Billboard’s AC chart.)

Culbertson is a keyboardist, trombonist, writer, arranger, producer and the most exciting live performing instrumentalist on the scene today. The proof is all over his milestone tenth project, Bringing Back The Funk, a historic and completely unprecedented revisiting to the land of the sho’ nuff uncut `70s-style funk of ages.

Gregg Karukas hails originally from the D.C. – Maryland area where he was one of the top fusion and studio players in town. He has been a popular guest artist on tours with Boney James, Peter White, Eric Marienthal, Ricardo Silveira and Larry Carlton and has produced a vast array of artists at his own Nightowl Studios, including Kirk Whalum, Peter White, Craig Chaquico, Phil Sheeran, Gabriela Anders, The Pointer Sisters and crossover pianist David Lanz. As a songwriter, his tunes have been recorded by Richard Eliott, George Benson, Chaquico, Arnold McCuller, Pauline Wilson, Kenia and Deniece Williams.

Smooth jazz-styled soprano saxophonist Marion Meadows adopted the classical clarinet at age nine before moving to the saxophone as a teen and later studying composition and arranging at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. A protege of Joe Henderson and Eddie Daniels, Meadows later served a long stint as a member of Norman Connors’ Starship Orchestra; after a series of session dates and sideman gigs, he made his solo debut in 1990 with the RCA release For Lovers Only.

A true contemporary urban jazz force of nature, Paul Taylor has been one of the most popular and innovative saxophonists and performers over the past decade and a half. Taylor has been on one of the most successful runs of his 15 year recording career, scoring his first #1 ever on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart with “Ladies’ Choice” and hitting #1 on the airplay charts with the title track from Burnin’. Taylor’s mix of funk and silk, groove heavy chops on soprano, alto and tenor, dynamic stage presence and catchy melodies were a natural fit for the smooth jazz genre.

Back in January 2011 Smooth Jazz Journalist of The Year nominee, Denis Poole, commented that North End Soul from multi- instrumentalist, writer and producer Vincent Ingala was, by any standards, an outstanding piece of work. In fact, it proved to be spectacular debut and set the scene for what evolved into a truly remarkable year. Ingala’s brand new album Can’t Stop Now, features seven original compositions, two spellbinding covers and guest performances from Jonathan Fritzen and Gregg Karukas.


Brown-Whalum-Braun, better known as BWB, is a jazz band that is named after its three members: guitarist Norman Brown, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and trumpeter Rick Braun.


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