Scottsdale, AZ – Arizona Music Festival

The whole experience, from the first phone calls that I made to the radio station and press, to the concert itself, were truly a wonderful delightful, laughing, and smiling experience. You guys in Phoenix are a rarity on the planet, you know?! Your continuing support for and interest in jazz, America’s music as much as and before rock n’ roll, is extraordinary and wonderful and necessary. I’m going all over the place and wishing for just what you gave to me every day.

You filled that two thousand seat church, with your smiles and bright eyes and open hearts and a real interest in my band in me. That kind of interaction between the people on stage and the audience really makes and encourages people on stage to give their all and their best. I felt you. You were there for us. You’ve been there for me since the “We Got By” album. That’s 41 years. Wow, that’s 41 years.

Highlands Church is a wonderful venue, and you’re so close to us, that we can almost reach out and touch you. I love that. The closer, the better. Joe Turano, my music director/horn player/keyboard player, played and sang with inspiration. You heard and clapped and applauded your approval. And when Chris Walker, my bass player, came down and sang a duet with me, I felt and saw the surprise and delight in your eyes, and how we all went to a wonderful new tangent. That’s the $#-%!  John Calderon and I tried a new little venture with “We’re in this Love Together,” sharing a starting vamp, with just the two of us. And when he went to the familiar guitar lick, you guys heard it and clapped, and said, “Oh, yeah!!!” Once again, that’s the $#-%! To venture something new on stage of an improvisational sort, and have it received well out there in the audience, that’s not just marking time and walking in place – that’s sharing the experience, you, and the band, and the situation, and finding it refreshing. In short, that’s the story of jazz and improvised music. It’s looking for something delightful in this particular moment now, with your faces as inspiration, and going for it. That happened with Mark on drums, too. Of course he plays well for everything, but he solo’d for you last night, and played something different because of last night’s different situation. Oops, sorry, Larry! I missed the entrance on “My Old Friend,” but it didn’t disturb you at all. And when you pick up the silver flute, it’s a killer. Every body in the room feels it.

After an intermission, we came back with some old standbys like “After All,” that was requested in writing more than 3 times. And Take Five, which you guys recognized, even with the strange new start we’ve adddeed. And “Boogie Down” and “Roof Garden” were really big hits last night. You stood up and danced! That’s really fantastic and when jazzy people feel the groove like that, they go “party!”

All of this means we should come back next soon, and often. Thank you, KJZZ, thank you donors and sponsors, and thank you Highlands Church for your youth educational programs and love for jazz and the arts. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Call the station, call the promoter, call the festival!



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Milwaukee – November fundraiser event

Chugga-Chugga-Chugga-Chugga-Choo-Choo! “Roll on, Milwaukee Road!”

Of course you know that song, I wrote it! It comes from the “Glow” album. The song is about me, the train, that was born in Milwaukee. Born out of my mama’s dreams.

So, anyway, I returned for a second time within two months to do a fundraiser for Gathering on the Green, and for the Tom Cheeks Scholarship Fund. Tom Cheeks was a brilliant teacher and adviser, who mentored and impacted several generations of students, educators, politicians, and mothers and fathers and families. It’s his legacy that we honor with this scholarship to educate teachers who commit to teaching in the Milwaukee system for at least five years. I, and scores of other young people, went on to collages and universities because of him.

I’ve sung other times at Gathering on the Green- a group that reaches lots of marginalized kids in center city, and other similar neighborhoods in the Milwaukee area. GOTG works to support STEAM programs in the schools… Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.  As the public school district cut back on their coverage these very important subjects, somebody has to fill the void.  That is Gathering on the Green’s mission… to help these kids have a chance.

A wonderful connection that you can call coincidence, serendipity, or the hand of God- that Beth is from the Harold Samson family. Papa Harold owned the Red Carpet Inn, where I sang as college student with the Les Czimber Trio, getting my feet wet on the first steps of the yellow brick road. And here we are, nearly fifty years later, meeting this way and under these circumstances, and thrilled to the bone. Rob, Beth and her team sent invitations to a wonderfully precious and select group of enlightened, community-minded heavy hitters, who have been friendly to the needy through the years. The situation and circumstances of that evening were wonderfully special, and cozy and warm. GOTG talked to the Ouzakee County Country Club, and found some open hearts that offered us their banquet room, with a full bar, which was elegant and relaxed at the same time. We talked early on and decided to make the appearance especially intimate and personal, by my performing as a duo with Joe Turano (Also from Milwaukee!). Joe’s been in the touring band for almost 15 years now, and we have just started performing as a duo. New stuff that shows a real close up view to what I am and what I do. It’s different, and it was a smash!!! People saw and heard things, in a different way, than ever before. And we raised a nice chunk of money, too.

A reception followed the performance, and it was fabulous, to say the least, to be here, at home, on an occasion like this. I looked up and saw John Givens and Auggie Ray, class of ’55 Lincoln High School (The first group of Tom’s Kids – Tom Cheeks). I almost yelled in surprise. When you have friends like this, there’s a secret, somewhere deep in the smiles and greetings, that is worth a billion dollars. GAWD I love that! Anyway, when you see Rob and Beth, tell them to pass along my thanks and gratitude to all the guests, and staff of the country club.


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Al’s spine surgery

Al Jarreau underwent a successful spine surgery today, October 3.  He plans to return to his tour after 5 weeks of recovery and physical therapy.  Al’s management is working with the promoters to re-scehdule two affected concerts, and updates will be posted here as soon as possible:

-October 17, 2014:  Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival

-November 1, 2014:  Palace Theatre, Stamford



REHOBOTH BEACH UPDATE:  Al’s appearance at Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival is postponed until October 16, 2015.  Ledisi has accepted the opportunity to perform on October 17, 2014 to replace Al Jarreau.  Rick Braun will still perform on the 17th too.  Al hopes that jazz fans will support the Festival and Ledisi.  More details available at


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HEY CHICAGO- Al’s coming to Dedry Jones’ Music Experience on Sept 16!


Al will get together with Dedry Jones at the Logan Center for the Arts on the University of Chicago campus on September 16 to discuss his new album, and sing a few songs, and autograph CDs for friends who attend.  The $25 ticket includes a copy of Al’s new album, “My Old Friend, Celebrating George Duke.”  This is a rare opportunity to see what Al has to say and sing in a fantastic, intimate venue.  Don’t miss it!  For tickets, click here

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Al Jarreau Returning to Brazil

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Al Jarreau is thrilled to announce 2 upcoming concerts in Brazil-  his first concerts in South America in many years.  Check out the TOUR DATES page for details about the November 15 Concert in Petropolis and the November 16 concert in Rio de Janeiro.  Both dates are part of the SESC Amplifica Bossa & Jazz Festival.  See you there!


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