Mark Wenner has led The Nighthawks since they launched in 1972. An outstanding harmonica player and vocalist, Mark has had some super talented musicians in the band throughout the years including Warren Haynes, Jimmy Hall, Jimmy Thackery and Jimmy Nails. The blues and roots music played by The Nighthawks withstands the test of time. Award-winning program director Ray White caught up with Mark backstage in July 2019 to talk about the bands' All You Gotta Do release, how he chooses blues standards for his albums and shows, and about the current band lineup - and much more! Coool CAT's hostess, Lisa Davis, features the legendary guitarist Steve Cropper in our showcase segment. You'll remember Steve as a member of Booker T. and the MG's and The Blues Brothers. His brand new album is Fire It Up. Lisa also highlights Shemekia Copeland - the daughter of the great blues guitarist/singer Johnny Copeland. She just received the prestigious UK Blues Award for International Blues Artist of the Year. Shemekia's latest project is titled, Uncivil War. The Blues thrive on the Coool CAT!!
Paul Jackson, Jr. name is at the top of the list for projects looking for an accomplished guitarist. Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elton John and Dave Koz are just a few of the world-class acts he's played with. Paul's an accomplished composer, arranger and producer, too. He's recorded 8 solo albums during his career that touches on urban/fusion jazz and R&B. Multi-award winning program director Ray White spent time with Paul, in June of 2016, talking about his work with Michael and Whitney (among nearly 2,000 projects), his several Grammy nominations and his latest solo release - Stories From Stompin' Willie. In our showcase segment, your "Hostess With The Mostest" Lisa Davis, looks back at the marvelous career of a founding member of The Supremes, Mary Wilson, who passed away on February 8, 2021. Mary was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame over 33 years ago. She will be missed. Tributes and super coool guests, right here from the Coool CAT!
Gordon Bahary has had a marvelous musical journey teaming with music legends Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis and many others. His keyboard and synthesizer work transcends several music genres including R&B, Jazz and World Music. Multi-award winning program director Ray White talks with Gordon, in November of 2012, about his musical mentors, his current album Unbreakable and his early years in Twilight 22 - landing a Top 10 song on Billboards' R&B chart. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis looks back at the phenomenal career of 25-time Grammy award winner, Chick Corea, who passed away on February 9, 2021. A pioneer in jazz music, Chick led several groundbreaking bands including Return To Forever and Chick Corea Elektric Band and has played with dozens of the giants in the jazz world. Coool CAT...Is where it's at!
Candy Dulfer, Brass Construction and Shaun Murphy join us on Best of the Coool CAT - Volume 2. Interviews and much more from these stalwarts of Soul, Funk, Contemporary Jazz and Blues! A great sampler of our Sittin' In With The Coool CAT syndicated radio shows | podcasts. Hear the entire shows from our most listened to episodes (from 51 to 99): Candy Dulfer (Episode 056), Brass Construction (Episode 063) and Shaun Murphy (Episode 066) at sittinginwiththecooolcat.libsyn.com and on most streaming and podcast services. Your "Hostess with the Mostest" Lisa Davis joins multi-award winning program director Ray White, bringing you the best interviews and more from musicians who have garnered numerous Grammy and other music awards and are in dozens of Hall of Fame's! Spread the word... we're hanging with some very Coool CAT's!!
Karen Briggs is known internationally as a virtuoso violinist with an eclectic range of musical styles. She's appeared in nearly two dozen music video concerts and recordings and has several solo releases. You may have seen this "Lady In Red" in the fantastic Yanni concert "Live From The Acropolis." Multi-award winning program director Ray White caught up with Karen in June of 2012 to talk about her music and worldwide travels and adventures. Her Soulchestral Groove album is a "must have" release. Lisa Davis features Jazz/R&B superstar Norman Brown, who's recently released Heart to Heart, along with the amazing saxman Jeff Kashiwa in our showcase segment. Jeff's current release is Fly Away. We have the hottest contemporary jazz musicians...right here on the Coool CAT!
Bettye LaVette was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2020, after launching her career in 1961 with a song that landed on the Top 10 of the R&B charts. Throughout her career she's combined elements of Soul, Blues, Rock and Roll, Funk, Gospel and Country music in a way that's made her very unique as a vocalist. Besides recording, Bettye had a six-year run on Broadway. She's been nominated for numerous Grammy awards and took home various other music awards during her career. In our February of 2011 interview, multi-award winning program director Ray White talked with Bettye about her Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook release and highlights from her illustrious career. Bettye is up for another Grammy with the recent release of her Blackbirds CD. Lisa Davis features 13-time Grammy nominee, and former lead vocalist for the Gap Band, Charlie Wilson, in our showcase segment. Also featured is 5-time Grammy winner Robert Cray, whose latest album is titled That's What I Heard. The Blues, R&B and much more... we have it covered on the Coool CAT!
Grammy nominee Richard Elliot had his musical breakout when he joined Tower of Power in the mid-1980's. Throughout the years he's been at the forefront of the contemporary jazz scene. Richard's released over 20 albums during his career, including a handful that hit #1 on the charts! In our March of 2015 interview, multi-award winning program director Ray White sat down with Richard backstage to talk about the major influence that Tower of Power had on his career, insights into his Lip Service release, and giving back through his work at charity events. Richard's brand new album is titled Authentic Life, and is climbing the jazz charts. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis features 13-time Grammy nominated R&B and jazz recording artist Ledisi, who also landed several acting roles. Her latest CD is The Wild Card. Smooth jazz and R&B at its best, right here on the Coool CAT!
James Lloyd, co-founder of Pieces of a Dream, has a dynamic on-stage presence that has excited fans worldwide since 1976. Influenced by the late Grover Washington, Jr., the band has released 20 studio albums throughout the years. Every single one has landed on the music charts! Besides his extraordinary keyboard skills, James is also a producer and songwriter. Coool CAT executive producer, Ray White, hung out with James in November of 2017 to talk about his on-stage antics, debut solo album - Here We Go, and Pieces of A Dreams' Just Funkin' Around release. The bands latest album is On Another Note. Lisa Davis, your "Hostess with the Mostest," features another great keyboardist, Brian Simpson, in our showcase segment. On his latest album he is joined by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter/producer Steve Oliver, who has scored multiple hit singles on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. Their latest collaboration album is titled Unified. We're tickling the ivories on this episode from the Coool CAT!
Dave Alvin, singer/songwriter and guitarist, landed on the national music scene as a founding member of The Blasters in 1979. Throughout the years he's concentrated on his solo career, leaning towards Blues and Americana music. In 2001, Dave won a Grammy for his Public Domain album. Multi-award winning program director Ray White caught up with Dave before his show in Asheville, NC, in June of 2011, to get his insights into playing with his brother, the "roots music" movement, and his Eleven Eleven release. Dave's latest effort is titled, From An Old Guitar. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis features the phenomenal blues vocalist Shaun Murphy, whose recording career started in 1971 with Motown Records and has garnered numerous blues awards and 3 Grammy nominations throughout her career. Her latest album is Flame Still Burns. We'll also feature Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. Rick's harmonica playing is over the top on his high-energy blues tunes. Their latest album is Contemporary. Blues is the essence of much of the American music genres, and we have the best here on the Coool CAT!
Everette Harp got a boost early in his career when he toured with Teena Marie, in 1988. He released his first solo album between tours with George Duke and Marcus Miller in 1992. This Grammy nominated saxman has released 9 solo albums with his latest titled First Love. In 2014 he helped to launch the super group Jazz Funk Soul, who has since released 3 albums - the latest named Life and Times. Multi-award winning program director Ray White hooked up with Everette in October of 2014, to talk about the influence of George Duke on his career, and hooking up with Jeff Lorber and Chuck Loeb to form his latest venture. As we close out 2020, Lisa Davis fills you in on the latest from Jonathan Butler and Gerald Albright who just released his G-Stream EP. Turning the page on a challenging year, we wish you a happy and prosperous New Year. More super shows coming your way from the Coool CAT!
Melissa Manchester, Singer/Songwriter/Actress, has won a Grammy and was nominated for two Academy Awards during her career. 24 of her singles have landed on various music charts. In this special 2020 holiday show, Melissa talks about her recent Christmas songs, duet with the legendary Al Jarreau, and provides other insights into her stellar career. Multi-award winning program director Ray White sat down with Melissa at a December of 2019 Dave Koz Christmas Tour show. In our showcase segment, we feature Jazz In Pink and Roomful of Blues, who share their holiday cheer. Sit back and relax during this heartfelt show with your "Hostess With The Mostess," Lisa Davis. Happy Holidays from your friends at the Coool CAT!
R&B and Jazz drummer Norman Connors is also an accomplished composer and producer. During his career he's played with Pharoah Sanders. Norman's 16 solo albums , with 11 Top 100 hits, featured various vocalist including Michael Henderson, Phyllis Hyman and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Musicians, who used their stint with Norman who went on to launch their own successful careers included Norman Brown and Marion Meadows. Multi-award winning program director Ray White sat down with Norman , in June of 2011, to discuss his bands throughout the years and his latest studio album Star Power. Coool CAT's Lisa Davis has 3 great artists in her showcase segment. Jam & Lewis x Babyface, the Yellowjackets - whose latest album is Jackets XL and Brian Culbertson whos current release is XX. The jazziest...the hippest...yes baby, on Coool CAT!
Spyro Gyro's Jay Beckenstein has been a mainstay in the band since its formation in 1974 as saxophonist/composer/producer. Spyro Gyra has been nominated for 12 Grammy awards during their storied career. The band has released 29 studio albums since their inception. Award-winning program director Ray White caught up with Jay before his performance with Spyro Gyra in July of 2012 to talk about the early days of the band, their A Foreign Affair album and much more. The bands latest release is titled Vinyl Tap and has a groove that won't quit! Your "hostess with the mostest," Lisa Davis, features 7-time Grammy winner Toni Braxton in our showcase segment. Toni has sold an incredible 70 million records worldwide since her career was launched in 1989. Her brand new album is Spell My Name. Best of Jazz and R&B... you got it, from the Coool CAT!
Brian Simpson sits among elite contemporary jazz pianists and composers. He's played with the top musicians from jazz and R&B including Janet Jackson, George Duke, Dave Koz, Chuck Loeb and Michael Brecker. Multi-award winning program director, Ray White, sits down with Brian before a show in December of 2018 to talk about his Something About You release and the expansion of his writing style and much more! Brian's latest album, with Steve Oliver, is Unified. Lisa Davis, your "Hostess With The Mostest," features the incomparable Stevie Wonder in our "showcase segment." Stevie has a new single out titled Where Is Our Love Song. We've got two, very Coool CAT's! Check them out!!
Randy Jacobs, guitarist/band leader/music director, cut his teeth working with many at Motown as a youth. In the 1980's he was a member of the eclectic pop band Was (Not Was). Following that stint, Randy was in-demand by many of the popular music artists of the day. In 1994 he formed his own band - The Boneshakers, combining R&B, Soul, Jazz, Rock and Pop. Most recently, Randy's Boneshakers collaborated with sax stalwart Mindi Abair to release several high-energy albums - with the latest titled No Good Deed. Award-winning program director Ray White, caught up with Randy backstage before a show to talk about his music heritage and recent projects. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis features the super talented saxophonist/flutist/vocalist Paula Atherton, whose latest release Can You Feel It is rapidly climbing the charts. We'll also remember the life of Johnny Nash, who passed on October 6, 2020. Coool dudes (and ladies) join us on the Coool CAT!
Alex Bugnon learned his signature piano style of playing by studying at the most prestigious schools in Europe and America, charting with his first solo release in 1988. Alex remains at the top of his game today! Award-winning program director Ray White sat down with Alex in February of 2016 to talk about his transition from classical playing to jazz, his current studio album Harlem and much more. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis features Alex's good friend Najee, who's latest project is titled Center of the Heart. Also, we'll focus on the phenomenal bassist Brian Bromberg who recently re-released his Bromberg Plays Hendrix album, in honor of the passing of Jimi Hendrix, 50 years ago. This show is dedicated to the passing of my father, who left this world on August 27, 2020.
Dave Koz launched his solo career in 1990 and has sailed to the top of the contemporary jazz scene. Garnering nine Grammy nominations, his high-energy saxophone work has also been featured on numerous albums by all-star musicians, television and he even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Award-winning program director Ray White sat down with Dave before a performance of one of his hallowed Christmas tour shows to talk about his luxury ship cruises, latest project and upcoming plans. Dave's current album is Live from the Dave Koz Cruise and his upcoming release is A New Day. Your "Hostess with the Mostest," Lisa Davis, features the fabulous Billy Ocean, who's won several Billboard Music Awards along with a Grammy. Billy's brand new release is One World, his first album of original material in over a decade. This episode is not to be missed! That's right...groovin' with the Coool CAT!!
The legendary Randy Brecker has played trumpet and flugelhorn with a who's who of world-class musicians since the late 1960's. With 20 solo albums to his credit and nearly a dozen with his brother Michael, as the Brecker Brothers, Randy is among the elite musicians in the world today. Award winning program director Ray White, caught up with the Grammy winning musician in January of 2013 to talk about several of his cohorts throughout the years and about his Jazz Ballad Song Book project. Recently, Randy released a new album - Live and Unreleased a recording of The Brecker Brothers from 1980. Your hostess, Lisa Davis, also features Herb Alpert - a 9-time Grammy award winner, in our showcase segment. A documentary and box set, Herb Alpert Is..., will be released in the Fall of 2020. Jazz musicians in a class of their own, brought to you by the Coool CAT!
Many jazz followers are familiar with the work of saxman Jeff Kashiwa as a member of The Rippingtons, throughout the 1990's. Since 1995 , Jeff has produced 9 solo albums with a new release expected very soon. You'll also find Jeff in the sax-loaded band - The Sax Pack. Jeff's latest solo project is titled Fly Away. Multi-award winning program director Ray White caught up with Jeff in the lobby of his hotel - right before his show, to talk about his latest effort, new projects and much more. In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis brings you the latest from Soul/R&B superstar Brian McKnight. His recent effort is Exodus. Two is better than one, so we'll also shine the spotlight on 4-time Grammy winner India.Arie whose current project is Worthy. Contemporary Jazz, Soul and R&B at it's best...on the Coool CAT!
Emilio Castillo, co-founder of Tower of Power, has led the band for over 50 years. Their horn-based R&B/Pop sound is known worldwide for their fantastic musicianship. TOP's vocalists are among the best of the genre. Multi-award winning program director, Ray White, caught up with Emilio in April of 2020 to talk about their latest release - Step Up, the band and today's challenging times. In our showcase segment, your "Hostess with the Mostest" Lisa Davis turns you on to the awesome saxophonist Kim Waters, whose latest project is Shakedown along with guitarist Thom Rotella, who just released the single Street Talk. Brass...and strings - right here on the Coool CAT!
Greg and Gary Grainger are two of the busiest guys in the music business. As co-founders of Pockets in the late 1970's, they recorded 3 studio albums which contained 6 songs that landed on Billboard's R&B charts. Back together today, Pockets have been in the studio and have just released their new single - Work It Out. In recent years, bassist Gary and drummer Greg, have produced several albums as Grainger with the latest being Phase III. With their roots back to the early days of Earth, Wind & Fire, they also find the time to book gigs as In Gratitude - a tribute to their long time friends. On the contemporary jazz front, they record and tour with Acoustic Alchemy, whose recent release was 33 1/3. And last...but certainly not least, you'll find the brothers in the Paul Reed Smith Band, playing worldwide and laying down some tracks, too. Multi-award winning program director, Ray White, talked with them on all fronts, on this packed-full episode! They are certainly, two really Coool CAT's!!
One of the top R&B singers today, Phil Perry launched his career in 1971 as a member of The Montclairs. He's sang on numerous contemporary jazz albums throughout the years and has released 12 solo studio projects. You'll find him in the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame, too! Multi-award winning program director Ray White, talks with Phil about his latest album - Breathless, the Jazz Legacy Foundation and overcoming surgery. A voice like no other...Mr. Phil Perry! Your "Hostess with the Mostest" Lisa Davis, features saxman Michael Lington, whose latest album is Silver Lining and Incognito's Bluey, who just released Tinted Sky. R&B and Contemporary Jazz, it's Coool...CAT!
Smooth Jazz keyboardist Jay Rowe can be found on stage with many of today's top performers on the smooth jazz scene. Special EFX, and others, keeps him on the road for most of the touring season. Jay's talents includes writing, producing and serving as musical director. He's released 5 solo albums with the latest being Smooth Ride. Multi-award winning program director Ray White caught up with Jay, in November of 2019, in his busy hotel lobby after dropping off his bags before heading to soundcheck. Jay also gives back via his Smooth Jazz for Scholars foundation. He's dynamic...among the best...Jay Rowe! In our showcase segment, Lisa Davis features two great performers - former Tower of Power frontman Lenny Williams, who has a new album out titled Fine and "Mr. Entertainment" guitarist Nick Colionne who just released Finger Painting. This episode is chock full of awesome entertainment...that's right...Coool CAT!!
Mike Phillips has played with many of music's top performers throughout his career including Stevie Wonder, Prince, Boyz II Men and Babyface. As a solo artist, he has a handful of albums to his credit. In our October of 2018 interview, multi-award winning program director Ray White caught up with Mike to talk about the honor of being the first musician to be signed by Nike, his M.P.3 album and his latest project - Pulling Off The Covers. Your "Hostess with the Mostest" Lisa Davis, features guitarist Ken Navarro in our showcase segment. Ken's latest release is titled - Into The Light. We close out this episode of the Coool CAT with a tribute to Soul and R&B singer Betty Wright, who passed away on May 10, 2020. She was awarded a Grammy in 1976 for composing "Where Is The Love."
Peter White started his musical career in the pop/rock world in the mid-1970's playing with Al Stewart and Basia. In 1990, he launched his solo career shifting over to smooth jazz and jazz fusion styles. Since then Peter has had 13 Top 10 albums and 12 Top 20 singles. Multi-award winning program director Ray White hooked up with Peter backstage after a show in August of 2019. His lively interview touched on his participation in the West Coast Jam tour, connection with James Bond and his personal insights to living on the road and separating from loved ones during tours. Peter's latest album is - Music From Starlux Airlines. Our "Hostess with the Mostest," Lisa Davis, features 12-time Grammy nominated R&B and Jazz recording artist Ledisi, in our showcase segment. Her latest single, Anything For You, is rapidly climbing the charts.