Yule Like This: A Cool Jazz Christmas Tour

The latest smooth jazz holiday tour features David Benoit, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, guitarist and vocalist Jonathan Butler and vocalist Michael Franks. Some dates have already been confirmed.

Smooth jazz fans now have another option in the increasingly crowded field of Smooth Jazz holiday tours. Just announced is a new tour called Cool Jazz Christmas, which will features pianist David Benoit, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, guitarist and vocalist Jonathan Butler and vocalist Michael Franks.

Franks, who in 2004 offered a holiday CD called Watching the Snow, had a few shows to promote the CD back then. But he says was excited to be able to play those songs again when offered a role with the tour. "I had thought that wouldn�t it be great to do something like guest with some group and do three or four of the tunes from this record. You know, I�ve recorded actually with Kirk a little bit and I've met Jonathan. I also recorded the song 'Christmas Time Is Here' on one of David Benoit�s Christmas albums, which is one of my favorite Christmas tunes. So it seemed like this tour had a great combination of artists."

At this point the tour will visit eight cities in North America beginning Dec. 1 in Houston and concluding with two show in Cerritos, Calif. The new holiday tour joins two tour that have already proven to be successful � Dave Koz & Friends: A Smooth Jazz Christmas and A Peter White Christmas. Although Dave Koz�s annual tour will be taking a break this year, Peter White�s annual show with trumpeter Rick Braun and saxophonist Mindi Abair is confirmed and begins Nov. 24.

Whalum and Butler are currently performing as part of the Rendezvous All Stars tour. Benoit just released a new CD called Full Circle while Franks' latest is Rendezvous in Rio.