I became interested in smooth jazz when I was a teenager after listening to classics like Cannonball Adderly with Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, Sonny Rollins' Wade in the Water and the Ramsey Lewis Trio's In Crowd. Many 1960s Motown artists were the precursors of the Smooth Jazz movement. Smooth Jazz History During the 1970's, Chuck Mangione's Feels So Good was great and in the 1980's, I listened to Bob James quite often. Of course, as one grows older, instrumental versions of popular songs bring back great memories, and since the heart rates slows as one grows older, people tend to listen to music that is softer and slower as they age. Finally, in the 1990's, I was hooked, and listened at home, in the car and at work to and WDZH in Southfield, MI (98.7 HD2). In 2011, there are fewer and fewer smooth jazz radio stations. Here are 100 of so of my current favorite artists (seen live if large):
Abair, Mindi
Benoit, David
Adams, Greg
Antoine, Marc
Austin, Patti
3rd Force
Albright, Gerald
Bernhardt, Warren
Albert, Herb
Benson, George
Baker, Anita
Bofill, Angela
Acoustic Alchemy
Average White Band
Barbieri, Gato
Brickman, Jim
Botti, Chris
Bowman, Tim
Braxton Brothers
Beasley, Walter
Bugnon, Alex
Braun, Rick
Bromberg, Brian(Bass)
Bryson, Peabo
Down to the Bone
Cole, Steve
Corea, Chick
Mangione, Chuck
Brown, Norman
Downing, Will
Dulfer, Candy
Culbertson, Brian
Butler, Jonathan
Isley Brothers
Fourplay: Bob James, Larry Carlton, Nathan East and Harvey Mason
Elliot, Richard
Duke, George
Carlton, Larry
Jarreau, Al
G, Kenny
Hancock, Herbie
Hardcastle, Paul
Chaquico, Craig
Khan, Chaka
Groove, Euge
Heintz, Tim
Colionne, Nick
Osborne, Jeffrey
Pieces of a Dream
Harp, Everette
James, Bob
Cooling, Joyce
Russell, Brenda
The Rippingtons
Hill, Warren
Jones, Quincy
Coryell, Larry
Spyro Gyra
James, Boney
Karukas, Greg
Geissman, Grant
Vandross, Luther
Tower of Power
Kashiwa, Jeff
Lewis, Ramsey
Golub, Jeff
Urban Nights: Ramsey Lewis, Gerald Albright, Najee, Jonathan Butler and Sonny Emory
Klemmer, John
Lorber, Jeff
Jackson, Paul Jr.
Jordan, Ronnie
Koz, Dave
Matsui, Keiko
Klugh, Earl
Laws, Ronnie
McDonald, Michael
Loeb, Chuck
Lington, Michael
Soul Ballet (Kelly, Rick RK)
Minucci, Chieli
Marienthal, Eric
Navarro, Ken
Meadows, Marion
Oliver, Steve
Ritenour, Lee
Rangell, Nelson
Standring, Chris
Sanborn, David
Tisdale, Waymon(Bass)
Scott, Tom (L.A. Express)
Veasley, Gerald
Snitzer, Andy
White, Peter
Sommers, Jimmy
Taylor, Paul
Zonjic, Alexander
Tesh, John
Torres, Nestor
Waters, Kim
Whalum, Kirk
Ponty, Jean-Luc
Daemyon, Jerald
Special Smooth Jazz Events: 2011-2012
Detroit Princess Cruises

Berks Jazz Fest March 25-April 3, 2011 Reading, PA

Earl Klugh Weekend of Jazz April 7-9, 2011 Colorado Springs, CO

Capital Jazz Super Cruise V October 23-30, 2011
Dave Koz's Smooth Jazz Cruise August 26-September 2, 2011
The Jazz Cruise January 29-February 5, 2012
Jim Brickman Ultimate Cruise August 6-13, 2011

Florida Smooth Jazz Cruise February 11-14, 2011

1st European Smooth Jazz Cruise October 23-30, 2011

Smooth Jazz Cruise 2012 January 15-22 and 22-29
Michigan Smooth Jazz Concert Schedule 2011

Madman Mike's Michigan Concerts in 2011

February 19, 2011 Patrick Yandall @ State Theatre in Bay City, MI

April 6-7-8-9, 2011 Bobby Lyle Dirty Dog Cafe

May 27 Southfield Nelson Rangell and Earl Klugh

June 8 Chene Park Will Downing

June 8 Chene Park Najee and Tim Bowman

June 22 Chene Park Richard Elliot and Norman Brown

June 29 Chene Park Gerald Albright and Hiroshima

July 6 Chene Park Brian Culbertson and Average White Band

July 13 Chene Park Walter Beasley Pieces of a Dream

July 16 Chene Park O'Jays vs. The Dramatics

July 29 Holt High School Bob Baldwin

August 5 Chene Park The Stylistics vs. The Whispers

August 7, 2011: Smooth Jazz on the River Trenton, MI

August 12-14, 2011: 11th Monroe River Raisin Jazz Festival: Nelson Rangell, Jeff Kashiwa, etc.

August 13 Chene Park Brian McKnight

Kirk Whalum @ Detroit Jazz Festival, Detroit, MI, Aug 14, 2011
Metro Jazz Fest Warren, MI

September 1 Fourplay and Spyro Gyra at Motor City Casino

September 4 Chene Park Charlie Wilson

September 9 Toledo Nelson Rangell

September 17 Holt High School Euge Groove

Links to Smooth Jazz:
Smooth Chart
Radio Wave Chart
Smooth Jazz Artists
Smooth Jazz News
Smooth Jazz Vibes Links
Smooth Jazz Links
Jazz Times
Music Choice

Christian Jazz


America's Music Charts

American Smooth Jazz Awards

Other Notable Jazz Performers
Aaron, Blake
Adkins, Jim
Ahlers, Ozzie
Ayers, Roy
Baldwin, Bob
Bass X
Bona Fide
Breaux, Zachary
Cain, Jonathan
Darius, Eric
Donato, Will
Douthit, Mark
Essix, Eric
Fagen, Donald
Freeman, Russ
Fritzen, Jonathan
Gabriano, James
Garfield, David
Garrett, Kenny
Geith, Chris
Goin, Gary
Grant, Tom
Hardiman, Ronan
Hewitt, Alan
Hiltebrand, Dave
Hollingsworth, Mark
Hughes, Brian
Jacobson, Keith
Jiosa, Denny
Jordan, Marc
Julienne, Klement
Lanz, David
Leighton, Bradley
Levine, Mike
Lyle, Bobby
Manhattan Transfer
Mariano, Torcuato
Martin, Phillip
McMurray, Dave
Metheny, Pat
Miles, Jason
Miller, Marcus
Mullins, Rob
Next Level
Nichols, Grady
O'Neal, Alexander
O'Neill, Michael
Paulo, Michael
Pensyl, Kim
Phillips, Mike
Portmann, Mark
Powell, Doc
Quintin Gerald W
Rahn, Darren
Riney, Sam
Rotella, Thom
Sabler, Les
Saisse, Philippe
Schuman, Tom (Spyro Gyra)
Sereny, Dave
Shilts (Paul Shilts Weimar)
Shimabukuro, Jake
Siegel, Dan
Simply Red
Simpson, Brian
Smith, Richard
Smith, Roger
Soto, Jay
Tarquin, Brian
Thompson, J
Toney, Kevin
Urban Jazz Coalition
Urban Renewal
Vargas, James
Vibes Alive
Watley, Jody
Whitfield, Mark
Williams, Pamela
Wolverton, Kyle
Yandall, Patrick
Local Michigan Venues for Smooth Jazz Concerts
The Ark
Chene Park
DTE-Palace of Auburn Hills, Pine Knob, Meadowbrook
Jerome Duncan Ford Theatre/Freedom Hill
University of Michigan Hill Auditorium/Power Center
Breslin Center
County Fairs in Michigan
Bert's Marketplace
Goodnight Gracie
Kerrytown Concert House
Quarter Bistro
Jazz News Michigan
Metro Times Calendar
AOL City Guide Detroit
Best of Detroit
Detroit News Best of Michigan 2007
Live at Night
I believe there is a connection between Motown (Soul, Funk, etc.) and the Smooth Jazz movement, and here are some links to Motown Trivia:
Classic Motown
History of Rock: Motown Records
Motown Story
Motown Historical Museum
Detroit Free Press: Motown at 40
Talk of the South: Motown in the 1960's
Musicals Seen
Beauty & The Beast
Forever Plaid
Jekyll & Hyde
Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Les Miserables
Lion King
Mama Mia
Miss Saigon
Movin Out
Phantom of the Opera
Sound of Music
Starlight Express
Sunset Boulevard
The Full Monty
The Producers
West Side Story
Broadway Musicals we're hoping to see:
Aspects of Love
Chorus Line
Color Purple
Jesus Christ Superstar
King Lear
Legally Blonde
Mary Poppins
Phantom of Manhattan
Spring Awakening
Whistle Down the Wind
Links for Musicals:
Tony Awards
R&H Theatricals
EXP 100
Channel 4
Time Magazine's Broadway Collection
Internet Broadway Database
The Broadway Musical
Heather's Links
Local Michigan Venues for Musicals
Nederlander (Fisher Theatre/Detroit Opera House/Masonic Temple)
Croswell Opera House
Wharton Center
Fox Theatre
Stranaham Theatre (Toledo)
DeVos Performance Hall
Van Andel Arena
Kellogg Arena