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December 2012 Newsletter ~ The Jazz Queen

Whether enjoying a jazz concert, making connections or conducting business, we at Infinity Artists Group are blessed to have been able to forge many great friendships.  We would like to introduce you to a friend whom you may not yet know.  Her name is Terri Scott and is known in the industry by her sobriquet:  “The Jazz Queen”.

Terri lives in Las Vegas and works as a legal secretary in a law firm that specializes in construction defects.  However, her passion is jazz.

In the evening you’ll find her at home on her laptop on blogtalkradio, interviewing some of Contemporary Jazz’s top artists.  The interviews are interactive where fans can listen, call in questions and participate in a chatroom while the artist is on the air.  Let’s take a few moments to get to know “The Jazz Queen”.

IAG:  A lot of us know you as “The Jazz Queen” but we know very little about Terri.  Tell us about your background and how you became involved with jazz?

THE JAZZ QUEEN:  I was not really exposed to jazz until I moved to Atlanta in 1996. That was the first time I heard Brian Culbertson and Boney James play and saw Fourplay and Steve Cole live.  Then in 1998 I started working part time at Circuit City and heard Brian Culbertson’s “Secret” CD. To this day it is still my favorite.  From there my love of jazz grew.

IAG:  Tell us how you choose to work in the Smooth Jazz genre?

THE JAZZ QUEEN:  I lived in California for 13 years and I would casually listen to the jazz station, but I mainly listened to R & B.  I was not familiar with the jazz artists back then and it was not until I became exposed to the jazz scene in Atlanta that I had the opportunity to make new friends and learn more about the music.  Someone gave me Steve Cole’s ”Stay Awhile” CD and I loved it. They told me that it was produced by Brian Culbertson.

IAG:  How did you start Talking Smooth Jazz?

THE JAZZ QUEEN:  When I moved back to Las Vegas in 2001 I wanted to get involved with the local jazz station, so I called Cat Lee and asked if I could just come in and sit and watch him do what he does.  Unfortunately, the station did not allow it at that time.  I then decided that I should enroll in broadcast school, however, at that time there was no such school in Las Vegas.  A year later a school opened up and I was the first student to register.    One of our school assignments was to create a television or a radio show.  So I created a radio show and I got my name “Jazz Queen” from one of the instructors who is a local news anchor in Las Vegas.  He would always call me Jazz Queen because he knew about my love of jazz.  The director of the school told me about a couple of online websites, one of them being blogtalkradio, so I checked it out.  At the time it was free so I registered and did my very first show in May 2008.  I was so nervous during the show that after I completed it, I deleted it.  No one will ever hear that show.  My first airing was on June 8th 2008, just me talking about my passion for Jazz.

IAG:  With whom was your first interview?

THE JAZZ QUEEN:  I met Terry Steele on the 2007 jazz cruise that Brian Culbertson hosted.  Terry did a tribute show to Luther Vandross.  I never forgot Terry’s show, so in July 2008 when I was ready to do my first show I did a tribute to Luther Vandross too.   It was a great show and Terry talked about Luther and how he came to record “Here and Now”.  Terry also talked about how he attended the Grammy’s with Luther, so there were some great personal stories that Terry shared.  The first Smooth Jazz Artist that I interviewed was Nick Colionne.

IAG:  How many interviews have you done?

THE JAZZ QUEEN:  Since 2008, I have done over 250 interviews.  My goal is to do my 300th by my 5 year anniversary next year.

IAG:  Do you have a favorite interview moment?

THE JAZZ QUEEN:  Definitely it would have to be the first time I interviewed Brian Culbertson.  I was still in broadcast school and I brought in all my pictures of Brian and taped them up on the walls of the studio.  I was so excited to interview him and I have been lucky to interview him three more times since then.  Brian has such a large fan base, that any time I interview him he always breaks the record of chat participants and call-ins.

IAG:  Is there someone whom you would still like to interview?

THE JAZZ QUEEN:  The main artists that I wish I could have interviewed have passed on.  They would include:  Luther Vandross, Art Porter, George Howard, Grover Washington and Wayman Tisdale.

IAG:  How do you select the artists you are going to interview?

THE JAZZ QUEEN:  When I first started I had a “Wish List Binder” of artists I would like to interview.  I would collect information on them including bios and press releases and then I would go on MySpace and email them requesting an interview.  Now I contact artists through Facebook or their publicist, or someone from their label will contact me asking me to interview their artist.

IAG:  What can we look forward to in 2013 on Talking Smooth Jazz?

THE JAZZ QUEEN:  On June 8th, 2013 I’ll be celebrating 5 years on the air, so I am working on those plans now.  I am also working on updating my website and a few other things that can help grow and develop the station more.

IAG:  What do you suggest the smooth jazz fans do to keep your show and the genre going strong?

THE JAZZ QUEEN:  Keep tuning in and listening and keep supporting the artists by buying the concert tickets and the music.  Don’t copy the music, buy it and support the artists.  They put a lot of time and effort into their CD’s, so purchase their music and keep supporting them that way!

If it’s smooth jazz, we are talking about it on Talking Smooth Jazz.  Join us for interviews with regional, national, and international smooth jazz artists.

Contact information:

www.talkingsmoothjazz.com

www.facebook.com/talkingsmoothjazz

talkingsmoothjazz@yahoo.com

Julian Vaughn interview ~ September 2012 Newsletter

Infinity Artists Group is proud to announce, Julian Vaughn, as one of the newest additions to our roster.  While you cannot miss the 6’7” lead bass player in a crowd, what is more attention grabbing is his sound.  Like many artists, Julian grew up performing music in his church.  Originally drawn to the drums, he found lots of competition among his friends because it seemed like each of the boys wanted to play the same instrument.  At age 15, Julian decided to choose another instrument and picked up the bass guitar.  He fell in love with the bass, taught himself how to play and quickly realized he could play by ear.  By the age of 19, Julian had his own 6-string bass guitar and had figured out that this was not just a hobby but a life’s passion.

Julian recently released his album “Breakthrough” with Trippin ‘N’ Rhythm Records and we were able to speak and learn more about him.  Enjoy some of our interview below.

 IAG:  How were you introduced to jazz music?

JULIAN:  I was raised in the church with gospel music but was introduced to jazz when I was around 15.  My Dad had a cassette tape lying around of Najee’s “Tokyo Blue” and after listening to it, I was immediately hooked.

IAG:  Who was a major influence on your becoming a musician?

JULIAN:  There were a few local guys in Kansas City that I looked up to.  Artist wise, I have to give props to Wayman Tisdale.

IAG:  Tell me about the first time you performed in public.

JULIAN:  I was 19 or 20 and the first song I ever performed in church was a song I wrote.

When I finished I received a 5 minute standing ovation from the congregation.  I don’t know where it is but I would love to have it for my archives.

IAG:  What was the first song you learned how to play?

JULIAN:  I do not remember a song specifically.  When learning how to play, I would just put in any gospel music and try to learn whatever the bass player was playing.  That is what I mean when saying I’m self-taught.  I learned by listening and repeating the sounds.

IAG:  What was the first concert you ever attended?

JULIAN:  It was before I even began playing music; it was a gospel group called “Commission” with Fred Hammond playing bass.

IAG:  You just released your new CD “Breakthrough”. Tell us a little about it and how it differs from your last CD.

JULIAN:  The title is really self-explanatory.  I have heard many artists, including other bass players, and I had to figure out how to create my own signature sound.  I wanted people to recognize it after the first few notes and be able to say, “Hey, that’s Julian!”  I believe I accomplished that with this record.  If you love this, just wait and see what I have in store for you on my next CD.  I am excited to continue creating music so look for a new release in the Winter of 2013.

IAG:  Where do you do most of your writing?

JULIAN:  On “Breakthrough”, two songs were written on the highway in the car.  I was writing a song in my car as it hit me, singing the vocals into my phone.  I’ve also had a song hit me in church where I have had to step out and record something into my phone.  But, on the flip side, when I do have the time to sit down and create, sometimes my mind is blank and nothing is comes to me.  So I’ve learned that when a song comes to me, I have to immediately take notes and record it into my phone.  I never know where and when inspiration will happen.

IAG:  How did you end up working with Darren Rahn?

JULIAN:  Back in the day, I was on MySpace listening to Wayman Tisdale and Toby Keith’s remake of “Never Gonna Give You Up”.  The thick bass line stood out, so I pulled out the CD liner notes to see who created and worked on it.  I found out that the bass player was Mel Brown, so I sent him a long email telling him I enjoyed his playing and that I would love to have him work on my album.  Mel replied, and after communicating a while Mel did some work on my album.  Later, I asked Mel if he knew Darren Rahn, and Mel said he and Darren were good friends.  So, Mel called Darren, put me on the phone, and our working relationship grew from there.

IAG:  How did you get in the line-up for the Dubai Jazz Festival this year?

JULIAN:  I was at the mall when I got a call from Darren Rahn.  He asked if I would be willing to go to Dubai to perform, and I said “Yes!”.  When I was over there I was walking around a huge 1,300-store mall and three people stopped me because they knew who I was.  I was blown away that people on the other side of the world, in Dubai, knew who I was.

IAG:  We love the entire new album but we have to ask about “Ju Ju’s Groove”.  Who is Ju Ju?

JULIAN:  Ju Ju refers to me.  It’s a family nickname I was given as early as age 2.  No one calls me that now, but growing up I was Ju Ju.  That song will probably be the second single that is released.

IAG:  What’s your favorite tune to play live?

JULIAN:  From “The Purpose Project” album, I like playing “Get Up” live.  On the “Breakthrough” record, I enjoy playing “On Your Feet”, but I think my favorite so far is “Ju Ju’s Groove”.  Oh yeah, and the title cut “Breakthrough” is fun to jam on.  It’s a three minute song, but at my recent CD Release Party we jammed on it for 10 minutes.  That was so much fun, we just tore the place up!

IAG:  Do you play any other instruments?

JULIAN:  Besides bass and drums, I play a little keyboard.  I really need to brush up on my piano skills though because that will only enhance my writing abilities.

IAG:  What has been one of your most memorable performances so far?

JULIAN:  I would have to say Dubai this year.  HHHow I was able to get up there in the windy 62 degree weather, not think about anything and just focus on putting on a memorable show.  I did some things I have never done before; jumping on a table during the last song, bringing people on stage for their birthday,  things I have never done before.  I was just in the zone and it was great.

IAG:  What was the last concert you attended as a fan?

JULIAN:  Wayman Tisdale’s concert in Kansas City, Kansas about six years ago.

IAG:  Whom do you listen to?

JULIAN:  I listen to and get inspiration from all genres of music except for maybe heavy metal.  I can work out to it, but I cannot get much musical inspiration from it.

IAG:  What are your hobbies?

JULIAN:  Fitness is my main hobby.  I try to work out and lift weights every day to take care of myself and be my best on stage for the audience.  I also love to play basketball.  I enjoy watching movies, but have been so busy lately that I don’t have the time to sit down and enjoy a movie.

IAG:  If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would you like to play?

JULIAN:  I would love to perform in Paris or South Africa.

IAG:  What can your fans look forward to from you in 2012 and 2013?

JULIAN:  Great music and a great show.  “Breakthrough” is just warming everyone up for the next CD.  I am ready to take the fans on a ride.

Well Julian, we are ready to go on that ride!  We cannot wait until Sunday October 7, 2012 when we can see him perform live on Catalina Island during JazzTrax.  For more information or to purchase tickets to this show, please visit: jazztrax.com/jazz/catalina.html

If you are unable to make it out to Catalina, you can catch Julian this month on Friday September 7th in Reno, Nevada at John Ascuaga’s Nugget in The Orozko Lounge.  For more information on this show, please visit:  www.janugget.com/entertainment/orozkolounge.asp

To learn more about Julian or to purchase his music or to see if he is performing in a town near you, please visit his website atwww.julianvaughnmusic.com

We welcome Julian to our Infinity Artists Group family and we wish him only success and look forward to the ride he is going to take us on in the future.

Infinity Creations September 2012

 

 

 

 

Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes or other small tomatoes on the vine
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, and herbes de Provence in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet until oil shimmers. Carefully add tomatoes to pan (oil may spatter). Transfer skillet to oven and roast, turning once, until tomatoes burst and give up some of their juices, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and drizzle with Worcestershire sauce.

Meanwhile, season chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken on both sides until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and roast chicken until cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
Slice chicken; divide among plates. Spoon tomatoes and sauce over; garnish with herbs.Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet; heat over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze pan with vinegar, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan; add tomatoes and their juices and simmer until sauce is just beginning to thicken, about 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilson Creek’s 2009 Winemaker’s Select Chardonnay

Aromas of baked apple, honey, vanilla and a touch of citrus. This wine is refreshing and clean, yet slightly tart. Flavors of ripe pear and apple are accented with spicy, toasty oak and vanilla. Soft, sweet fruit, and spice linger in the finish.
Alc. by Vol.: 14.6%
Net Contents: 750 ml
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IAG August 2012: Jazz at the Creek

 

A new jazz concert series has come to beautiful San Diego, California this summer.  Brought to you by Leonard Thompson, President and CEO of M.A.N.D.A.T.E. Records (www.mandaterecords.com) this is a series of concerts held on Saturday afternoons to bring those who are community involved and jazz enthusiasts in the area together.

 

M.A.N.D.A.T.E. Records is a Christian owned and operated, music recording and development company.  Leonard has promoted and produced many events in San Diego including events with Gospel Day at the San Diego County Fair and San Diego’s Annual Praise Fest (www.sandiegopraisefest.com).  Leonard said he wanted to bring jazz to San Diego and is testing out the market this year with a three show concert series this summer held at Market Creek Amphitheater (www.marketcreekeventsandvenues.com/venues_amph.htm).  Leonard said, if this series is successful he wants to try to host a six show Jazz series next year.  This series gives a portion of the proceeds to San Diego Food Bank’s “Food 4 Kids Backpack Program” which provides food to chronically hungry elementary school students from low-income households who are at risk of hunger over the weekend when free school meals are unavailable.

 

Infinity Artists Group was in attendance for the first two shows on June 30th with sax player Will Donato, the phenomenal bass man Darryl Williams and special guest sax sensation Elan Trotman.  The second show on July 21st, featured keyboardist Marcus Johnson and Infinity Artists Group’s own sax man Brad Rambur.  One of the highlights of the day was a young fan around age 6 who began dancing in front of the stage and was checking out Brad’s sax while he was playing.  Music reaches all ages and provides such enjoyment to everyone, so we at IAG are appreciative and thankful to everyone who is supporting Jazz At The Creek.

 

Market Creek Amphitheater has concrete stepped seating so bring a cushion, or bring a low-back lawn chair or blanket and sit in the grassy area.  Stay cool under the hanging canopies at this hidden gem in San Diego while soaking in the beautiful surroundings and listening to great jazz music.

 

The last Jazz At The Creek show for this year will be held on Saturday, August 11th and features sax man Reggie Smith and Jazz in Pink.  Please spread the word and join us for an afternoon of music, food, fun and help support the community.  To purchase your tickets please visit www.jazzatthecreeksd.com.

 

Chicken and Artichoke Fricassée with Morel Mushrooms

Ingredients

 

1 1/2 lemons

12 baby artichokes

 

6 cups water

2 tablespoons all purpose flour plus additional for dredging

2 teaspoons salt

1 bay leaf

 

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 chicken thighs

4 chicken drumsticks

4 ounces fresh morel mushrooms

2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth

 

1/4 cup crème fraîche

 

Preparation

Fill large bowl with water. Squeeze juice from 1 lemon into water; add lemon halves. Tear outer leaves from 1 artichoke until only pale green leaves remain. Cut top 3/4 inch from top; trim end of stem. Cut in half lengthwise. Rub cut sides of artichoke with lemon half; transfer to bowl with lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Bring 6 cups water, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and bay leaf to boil in large saucepan. Add artichoke halves and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Melt butter with oil in heavy large deep skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Cook chicken until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate. Add mushrooms, carrots, and shallots to skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon thyme and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add wine; bring to boil. Add broth and artichokes; bring to boil.

Return chicken to skillet, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Turn chicken, cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer chicken and vegetables to platter. Whisk crème fraîche into sauce in skillet; bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon thyme, and serve.

Tri-Tip with Caramelized Red Onions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slicing this sturdy cut of beef very thinly after grilling makes it more tender. What to drink: Spicy, jammy Zinfandel from California pairs beautifully with barbecue!

Caramelized red onions

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds red onions (about 4 medium), halved, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Melt butter with olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until deep golden brown, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes. Stir in vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.) Stir in chives.

Tri-tip

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound beef loin tri-tip roasts, trimmed of all but 1/4 inch of fat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Your favorite barbeque sauce with a touch of red wine added.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Mix garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Brush both sides of tri-tips with oil and sprinkle with garlic-powder mixture, pressing to adhere. Grill tri-tips 5 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium-low, or if using charcoal grill, move meat to cooler side of grill. Cover and grill until thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 125°F to 130°F for medium-rare, brushing with barbecue sauce and turning every 10 minutes, about 30 minutes longer.

Transfer tri-tips to work surface; let stand 10 minutes. Cut meat crosswise into very thin slices; arrange on platter. Surround with caramelized onions and serve.