Presented by The Smooth Jazz Cruise
The Smooth Jazz Cruise welcomes George Benson and Boney James, two of the most influential contemporary jazz musicians of the decade, to The Chicago Theatre on Friday, June 21, in an encore of 2012’s sell out performance.
At various points along the four-decade continuum of George Benson’s career, he has been heralded as a jazz guitarist of unparalleled chops, a vocalist with great emotional range and sophistication or a combination of both. “It’s a very simple equation,” the National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master says of the longevity of his career and the ten Grammy Awards that have punctuated it along the way. “In the end, it’s about the songs and the stories. That’s what keeps the music fresh for me.”
Boney James has four Gold albums, three Grammy nominations, a Soul Train Award and an NAACP Award nomination to his credit. He is currently touring to support his brand new hit cd The Beat. In 2010 Billboard Magazine named him “The No. 3 Top Contemporary Jazz Artist of the Decade.” Even so, James says, “I am just a saxophone player whose music has several different influences. Jazz is only one of them.”
In addition to a great show, there will be a very special presentation and appearance by Tony Cornelius, son of Don Cornelius the creator of Soul Train. Tony served as producer on the show for over 15 years, and he is launching The Don Cornelius Foundation and its inaugural "People All Over the World " campaign. Tony chose the city of Chicago as the campaign's launch to honor the city for being the birthplace of Soul Train. The Foundation's dedicated mission is to establish programs for awareness, prevention, and support for those contemplating suicide, or survivors who have lost loved ones.
The show is being presented by The Smooth Jazz Cruise, which is owned and produced by St. Louis, Missouri-based Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (Jazz Cruises) owns, produces and promotes The Smooth Jazz Cruise: The Greatest Party At Sea (www.thesmoothjazzcruise.com) and The Jazz Cruise (www.thejazzcruise.com), and is proud to work with Direct Holdings Americas, Inc. for The Malt Shop Memories Cruise (www.maltshopcruise.com), Country Music Cruise (www.countrymusiccruise.com), Celtic Thunder Cruise (www.celticthundercruise.com) and The Soul Train Cruise (www.soultraincruise.com). Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC prides itself on providing first-class musical vacation experiences featuring marquee stars from their respective genres for loyal passengers, many of whom make the cruises an annual affair. With its current slate of excursions, Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC (Jazz Cruises) will have produced 35 full-ship charter cruises. Additional information is available at www.ecpcruises.com.
In addition to their concert at The Chicago Theatre, George Benson is fresh off his appearance on the 2013 Smooth Jazz Cruise. Boney James is co-hosting the inaugural West Coast Edition in Oct 2013, as well as, appearing on the 2014 Cruise.