Fall 2017 Newsletter

Happy Fall! After a hot Summer, with some fun shows and trips in the rear view mirror, I'm looking forward to a cooler, but still busy, Fall season.

First, thanks to all who came out to my GK shows in Annapolis, Albuquerque, Honolulu, Seal Beach, Atlanta and Pensacola. As always, the "promoter people" were great hosts and the response made up for the crazy and sometimes hectic airline travel experience. I'm thankful that Southwest still has a nonstop from LA to BWI, so most of my East Coast shows can be routed from there. The band had some delays and terminal running in Atlanta and ended up missing a connection-thanks Delta...... Luckily, the show was the next day, so once their luggage arrived (late), all was good.

Coming up, I'll be in Norfolk, VA, Richmond and Philly this October. I'm returning to Richmond at The Tin Pan after a memorable show at the Richmond Jazz Fest in 2013. An hour before my showtime a massive thunderstorm hit and poured so hard, sending everyone running thru the flooded streets for cover. We waited in the van for a while, then went back to the hotel. After an hour of that, it cleared up, people drifted back to the park and we were able to play to a very damp, but happy crowd. Come to think of it, we had a similar, crazy thunderstorm in Norfolk with Jazz Attack in 2012. That time the show was cancelled by the city. I guarantee that these shows will go on, rain or shine.

They're indoors.

Back and forth a bit between shows with Peter White and Marc Antoine's "Guitar Tango"- including a return to Catalina Island Jazztrax for the 17th time.

Also, another great All-Star Festival in San Diego at Embarcadero Park Oct. 14. I'll be featured along with Paul Brown, Larry Carlton, Michael Paulo, Jessy J., Jazmine Ghent and DW3.

While back in town, we have spent lots of time at the beach whenever Yvonne has been feeling up to it. The great news is her brain tumor has not grown, and it even looks like it shrunk a little. Currently, I'm sitting poolside in Oakland with Yvonne while we play 3 nights at Yoshi's with Peter, Michael Paulo, Darryl Williams and Sergio Gonzales. Spectacular weather, and a nice waterfront area at Jack London Square. We will both be at Catalina Jazztrax for Oct. 21, going over early to hang with friends on their boat and condo. It will be nice to stay for a while and not have to rush to catch the late Catalina Express boat back on the sometimes choppy seas.

Looking forward to November 18, I will be with Deniece Williams, Michael Paulo, Freddie Washington and Land Richards at The Westin in Palm Desert. I always love playing with Deniece, who recorded our song, "This is as Good as it Gets" (written with Ron Boustead) as the title track of her 1988 album.

Deniece, Shelby Flint, Brenda Russell, Melissa Manchester, Patti Austin, Marilyn Scott......some great female singer/songwriters I've had the good fortune to accompany. It reminds me of my motivation to migrate to California from Maryland in 1982, after years in the original Jazz/Fusion bands East Coast Offering and Natural Bridge. My goal was not to become a solo artist. It was to stretch out and be versatile enough to support as many different artists and styles as possible- instrumental, vocal, fusion, jazz, R&B,Brazilian, whatever. As luck would have it (and thanks to Russell Ferrante's recommendation) on my 12th day in LA, I was playing at Donte's with some of the top players in town, reading the "book" (big stack of hand written, original charts in all those styles) of Shelby Flint. Being in Shelby's band for all those years, packing the best showcase clubs like At My Place led to just about every gig I've done since! And if you haven't heard Shelby's voice on our collaborations on my solo CDs, I urge you to check them out.

Speaking of Shelby, our acoustic jazz holiday CD, "Home for the Holidays" is now available with a special deal, since it is never too early to plan for all those last minute holiday gifts.

http://www.karukas.com/new-blog/2015/9/28/home-for-the-holidays-w-shelby-flint

Realizing it is the 30th anniversary of my first solo CD "The Nightowl", we've been talking about putting together a new CD collection of favorite songs from my older catalog for those who may have just discovered my music recently. Volume 1 will cover my first 5 CD's up to 1995's "You'll Know It's Me". These projects feature some very early recorded work of future stars Dave Koz, Boney James, Richard Elliot, Everette Harp and Eric Marienthal. The real story is we all played in each others bands a lot. Dave played in my band while he was still in college (before he joined Richard Marx and Jeff Lorber), and Richard Elliot had me playing in one of his first bands. Boney played in my band before he got signed to Warner Brothers, and I went on to tour with him for 4 years until 1999. So, we're not only celebrating the music, but also our decades long friendships.

We plan to remaster the tracks to get them sounding better than ever. And, we will fit as many songs as possible on one CD which will be available everywhere, but an enhanced, autographed package will be sold exclusively on my website and at shows. I'd love to hear your suggestions of what may be YOUR favorite songs off of the titles "The Nightowl", "Key Witness", "Sound of Emotion", "Summerhouse" and "You'll Know It's Me". So, let us know and we'll try to narrow it down.

Oh yeah, happy 2nd birthday to Jazzmine the cat; and happy 20th to our son Stevie Oct 29.

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Oct 1 - Temecula, CA Thornton Winery (Gregg guests with Peter White and Marc Antoine)

Oct 7 - Norfolk, VA The Attucks Theater GK w/ Darian Emory, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Oct. 14 - San Diego, CA Jazz Diego with Paul Brown , Larry Carlton, Michael Paulo, Jessy j. and more Oct 21 - Catalina Island, CA Jazztrax Festival (Gregg guests with Peter White and Marc Antoine)

Oct 25 - Richmond, VA The Tin Pan GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Oct 26 - Philadelphia, PA South GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Oct 27 - TBA

Oct 28 - Philadelphia, PA South GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Nov 18 - Palm Desert, CA The Westin w/ Deniece Williams and Michael Paulo

Feel free to share this.

www.karukas.com (exclusive autographed CD's and other goodies) www.cdbaby.com i-Tunes Amazon

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Rio Drive named #1 song of 2015!!

Wow, my song Rio Drive from Soul Secrets was named the #1 most played song of 2015 on Alan Kepler's Smooth Jazz Top 20! (#2 on Billboard's 2015 airplay chart). This has been quite a year - first: Elegant Nights #1, and now Rio Drive. I'm so thankful for the response, especially after 4+ years between solo releases.

The best part of this milestone in my 28 year journey as a solo artist is being able to see that the priorities I've chosen: Music (original, no covers), Relationships (over money), Entrepreneurship (maintaining ownership) have stayed the same. And I'm lucky to have such long term relationships with people who share the same goals. If you look at the credits on my CD's, or my tour history, you will see many of the same people over decades. They are all great artists in their own right, and most of them are on this chart too.

So, I'd like to thank all the radio programmers, my fans, and give a big shout out to my friends, bandmates and collaborators. Ron Boustead, Shelby Flint, Ricardo Silveira , Dave Koz, Eric Marienthal, Eric Baines, Eric Valentine, Michael Paulo, Michael O'Neill, Peter White, Rick Braun, Nathaniel Phillips, Ernest Tibbs, John Lewis, Jay Dulaney, Brad Roxanne Collins, Gary Meek, Boney James, Larry Carlton, Melissa Manchester, Lee Thornburg, Jerry Peterson, Jeffrey Pescetto, Craig Safan, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Al Evers, Tim Eyermann, Bud Harner, Adam Hawley, James Harrah, Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala, Charlie Bisharat, Luis Conte, Dave Hooper, Pat Kelley, Lon Price, Lee Ritenour, Brenda Russell, Dori Caymmi, Sergio Mendes, Jeff Kashiwa, Sergio Gonzalez, Paul Brown, Joel Taylor, John Leftwich, Steve Samuel, Bruce Atkinson, Donnell Spencer Jr, Dwayne Smitty Smith, Jacques Voyemant, Steven Madaio, Jessy J., Joe Dougherty, Gary Grainger, Gary Grainger, Melvin Lee Davis, Oscar Seaton, Thom Rotella, Jervonny Collier, Andy Suzuki, Richard Elliot, Ramon Stagnaro.

Cruise in May 2016 with Gregg, Ray Parker Jr. and Michael Paulo

The popularity of cruising with our music has soared, evidenced by the fact that all the well known Smooth Jazz cruises such as the great Dave Koz and Friends at Sea Cruise, which I helped launch as Musical Director 2011-2013, are sold out for the next year or 2. 

I am happy to announce that I'm part of a new, West Coast music cruise hosted by my friend Michael Paulo, featuring Michael, Ray Parker Jr., Ira Nepus, myself and more TBA. The Divine Jazz Cruise is a unique and intimate experience, the number of passengers is limited, allowing more one to one interaction between guests and musicians, and the onboard all-star performances are available only to our guests. It sails next May 6-11, 2016 from San Francisco to Vancouver with stops in Astoria, OR, Seattle, WA, Victoria, BC and Vancouver, BC.  

This ship is the Crystal Serenity, a true luxury ship with only 1000 passengers and 650 crew. You might have heard about Crystal Cruise Lines. For more than a decade, Crystal has won an unprecedented number of top awards across multiple categories including being voted “World’s Best” by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler, more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in history.

The other distinguishing factor about this cruise is that it is ALL-INCLUSIVE! Six Star Service, food, all drinks, gratuities and more are included in the price.
 
If you are interested, there is an early booking discount offered and space is limited, but act soon. Tell them I sent you. 

Port Highlight: San Francisco

Our cruise begins in San Francisco, one of the world's most scenic cities — with the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Chinatown, pastel Victorian Houses, steep hills, and extraordinary restaurants. See the white-capped waters of San Francisco Bay, eat crab cakes along Fisherman's Wharf, and experience the roller-coaster landscape of hilly streets and the spectacular setting on San Francisco Bay.

It's strongly recommended to arrive in San Francisco at least one day prior to our cruise.  Even better is to arrive several days ahead to fully explore this great city.   Tours can be arranged to suit a wide variety of interests, including: City Sightseeing, Sausalito & Muir Woods, a Sunset Cruise, Alcatraz Island, and the Napa Valley Wine Train.    For those who would like to golf, we are in the process of organizing a morning of golf on May 6th, before embarkation.   We will pass along details as our trip gets closer.

For those that like to tour independently, you may want to consider purchasing tickets on the Hop On Hop Off bus, a wonderful means to get to many of the key city sights. San Francisco offers outstanding restaurants, fun shopping, world-class museums and a Japanese tea garden.

Crystal Serenity is scheduled to set sail at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, May 6th, however we'll be kicking off our cruise early with our Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party and Performance.  Please plan to be onboard by 4:00 p.m., giving you a chance to settle in before the fun begins. 

Don’t forget to grab your camera for the spectacular view as we sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and past Alcatraz and Angel Island!  

Here are some highlights to consider during your time in the City by the Bay:

Sights—The Golden Gate Bridge; a cable-car ride over Nob Hill; Golden Gate Park; Fisherman's Wharf; a ferry ride to Sausalito; the postcard row of Victorian homes at Alamo Square; gourmet goods at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in the Ferry Building; Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the U.S.

Museums—The Asian Art Museum; the Legion of Honor; the de Young Museum; the Cable Car Museum; San Francisco Art Institute; Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD); Seymour Pioneer Museum; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Memorable Meals—Vegetarian lunch at Greens; dim sum at Ton Kiang; sushi at Ozumo; dinner, dancing and great city views at Top of the Mark; Irish coffee at the historic Buena Vista Cafe while watching the sun set.

Late Night—An evening with Jazz at Yoshi's; Cocktails and film noir at Lone Palm; Beach Blanket Babylon at Club Fugazi; dancing at Harry Denton's Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

Walks—Hiking across the Golden Gate Bridge; strolling anywhere along the 10-mi/15-km coastline from the Embarcadero through the Golden Gate Promenade (in the Presidio); shopping around Union Square; exploring the smaller streets and alleys of Chinatown; climbing the garden-lined stairway to Coit Tower.

- Crystal Cruises Early Full Payment Savings -
 
Crystal Cruises offers an Early Pay Discount of 2.5% for reservations paid in full by Friday, November 6th.   If you would like to take advantage of this additional savings, please contact Lynn prior to this date.
 
Phone:    (855) 854-5299  
Email:    info@divinejazzcruise.com
Important Reservation Details
- Online Check-in is Now Available -
 
Please take a moment to access your reservation through Crystal Cruise’s Priority Check-in & Planning Center.  Once there, you can kick-start the boarding process by checking in now.  If you need assistance checking in or finding your reservation number, contact Lynn - she's always more than happy to help!    Through the Priority Check-in & Planning Center, you will also be able to pre-reserve any Crystal shore excursions.     Lastly, as soon as your reservation is paid in full, you will be able to book your specialty dining reservations, spa appointments and more.   Crystal provides one complimentary reservation in each specialty restaurant per guest, so be sure to take advantage of this delicious benefit!

Click here to access your online check-in.
 
Crystal Serenity's All-Inclusive Highlights

Crystal's expansive host of complimentary services includes free fine wines, champagne and premium spirits, open bar service, and prepaid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff.

Included throughout the ship:
All gratuities for housekeeping (all stateroom attendants and Penthouse Butlers), bar and dining staff (including specialty restaurants)
Fine wines, premium spirits and champagne in all restaurants, including specialty venues Prego, and Silk Road and The Sushi Bar by Nobu Matsuhisa
Open bar service
All nonalcoholic beverages including bottled water, soft drinks and fresh juices
In-stateroom satellite TV and movies on your flat-panel television
Concierge services for personal arrangements ashore
In the coming months we'll let you know of more highlights that Crystal Serenity has to offer.
 
Click here to get a glimpse of the Crystal experience!
 
Important Passport Information!
 
Passports are needed for this cruise.  The name on your passport needs to match your reservation exactly. If your first and last names do not match, please let us know so we can adjust your reservation details. If your passport contains a middle name, please add this when completing your online check-in. 
 
If you still need to order or renew your passport, please don’t delay.  You will not be able to complete the online check-in without providing passport details.   In addition, you will not be able to reserve shore excursions or specialty dining reservations. 
 
Your passport should be valid until November 11, 2016.
 
Click Here For Dept. Of State Passport Information