October 20, 2004

Guitarist Peter White warms up his sleigh

Second smooth jazz Christmas concert tour to visit 18 U.S. cities, features Braun and Abair

The svelte Englishman in the oversized jolly red suit preparing to slide down the chimney of all the good little smooth jazz fans is guitar sensation Peter White.  This year, he’s bringing a couple of special elves with him on his musical mission of holiday merrymaking.  Trumpeter Rick Braun and saxophonist Mindi Abair are loading up White’s musical sleigh as they prepare to embark on an 18-city U.S. concert journey kicking off in San Diego, California on November 26th.  White, Braun and Abair will deck the halls with jazzy versions of seasonal classics, a few original holiday songs and some of their best known hits.  A Peter White Christmas is a holiday treat loaded with only the finest ingredients - fun, funk, jazz and pop - and is guaranteed to enchant even the meanest of Scrooges.                 

All three artists have previously released holiday CDs, which is one of the things that inspired White to launch the tour, now in its second year.  “My earliest memories of Christmas were probably not much different from many other people: snowflakes, tinsel, Santa Claus, reindeer and the opening of presents surrounded by family.  As a child, my father taught me to play Christmas music on my first instrument, the recorder, and my love for holiday music has endured throughout the years.  I hope this tour will be an opportunity for fans to enjoy their favorite Christmas songs in a family setting.  Perhaps I’ll even bring my recorder.” 

Over the past decade, White’s intimate way with acoustic guitar melodies has scored twelve #1 singles that have helped define the smooth jazz radio format.  Earlier this year, MediaBase 24-7’s research revealed that White’s music is the most played on the entire radio format.  The four-time consecutive winner of the National Smooth Jazz Awards “Guitarist of the Year” honors is currently supporting his ninth solo album, Confidential, which was released in March.  The first single from the album, “Talkin’ Bout Love,” spent seven weeks at #1, and the new single from the collection, “How Does It Feel,” just entered the Top 20 on its ascent to the peak position.  His guitar sound has become his signature, a sensitive and emotive voice of melody, which sings eloquently over R&B, jazz, pop and Latin rhythms.  White, who first made his mark as a teenager while playing with singer-songwriter Al Stewart, with whom he wrote the hit “Time Passages,” has recorded and/or toured with Abair, Basia, Dave Koz, Richard Elliot, Boney James, David Benoit, Gato Barbieri, Euge Groove, Craig Chaquico, and Braun.

Braun is also regarded as one of the top artists in all of smooth jazz, a format that he fell into after a stint in the pop world, where he co-penned the hit, “Here With Me,” while playing with REO Speedwagon.  He went on to play in Sade’s band, which helped him hone his own sound as a solo artist.  The trumpeter consistently delivers #1 hit singles and his albums often camp out at the top of the national charts for months on end.  Braun has released ten solo albums, including a new live collection, Sessions Volume 1, released on the newly launched Artisan Records label, which he owns with saxophonist Richard Elliot.  Twice named “Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year” by the Gavin Report, Braun is also recognized as an ace in the studio, where he has produced records for White, Benoit, Marc Antoine, Jeff Golub, Eric Marienthal, Willie & Lobo, amongst others.  On the concert stage and on record, Braun is a soulful and dynamic funkster, who has recorded and toured behind collaborative duo and trio album projects with Boney James and Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown (BWB).

Abair was last year’s breakthrough new artist of the year in smooth jazz.  She shared the stage on White’s inaugural Christmas concert tour last year and she’s back for another trek, this time in support of her recently released sophomore album, Come As You Are.  Abair is an instrumentalist and a vocalist who incorporates rock and pop into her soul-jazz selections and she has already started her own collection of #1s.  The sassy saxophonist’s crossover appeal landed her an opening slot on tour this past summer with Josh Groban.  Before emerging as a solo artist, Abair toured with The Backstreet Boys, Mandy Moore, Duran Duran and Jonathan Butler.  It takes a strong talent to share the stage with two luminaries like White and Braun; Abair is a radiant and gifted musician who is more than up to the task.     

The itinerary for A Peter White Christmas concert tour is below (additional dates may be added):

November 26          San Diego, CA                        Spreckles

November 27          Incline Village, NV                    Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe at Incline Village

November 28          Fresno, CA                              Tower Theatre

December 1             Jacksonville, FL                       Florida Theatre

December 2             Clearwater, FL                        Ruth Eckerd Hall

December 3             Destin, FL                                Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort

December 4             Atlanta, GA                               Robert Ferst Center for the Arts

December 6             Stuart, FL                 Lyric Theatre

December 7             Annapolis, MD                         Rams Head Tavern

December 8             Alexandria, VA                        The Birchmere

December 9             West Reading, PA                    Scottish Rite Cathedral

December 10           Huntington, NY                        IMAC

December 11           New Haven, CT                      John Lyman Center/S. Connecticut State College

December 12           St. Charles, IL                          Norris Arts Center

December 13           Milwaukee, WI                         Northern Lights Theatre/Potawatomi Bingo Casino

December 15           Cleveland, OH                         Playhouse Square Center Allen Theatre

December 18           Huntington Beach, CA             Huntington Beach Cultural Center (Mindi Abair will not appear)


Posted by Peter Böhi at October 20, 2004 8:33 PM