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Keiko Matsui
"My melodies are my living testimony," declares internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and humanitarian Keiko Matsui. A world citizen, Matsui's music speaks to the hearts and souls of fans around the world, transcending borders and building bridges among people who share a common appreciation of honest artistry and cultural exchange. "Music creates a oneness," says the striking, petite powerhouse who has worked alongside everyone from Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder to Hugh Masekela and Bob James. A consummate artist, Keiko views each show and recording as a unique opportunity. "Journey To The Heart is my gift to my fans. I want to deliver the most beautiful and emotional experience." Keiko, who has lent her voice to raise awareness for such causes as The Daniel Pearl and the Susan G. Komen Foundations says, "I feel the world is getting crazier and we need to collectively go back and recall what connects us all...our spirits, hearts and our souls." On Journey To the Heart, Matsui more than delivers what she has come to be loved for breathtakingly beautiful transcendent melodies that transport the listener. A master storyteller, Keiko Matsui crafts passionate and emotive songs with lush harmonies and global rhythms to create timeless musical anthems. "Every song is like its own drama," confides Keiko. "The word `heart' in the title has a double meaning. I want the music to find its way into your heart but I also mean heart, as is the creator and center of the universe. I hope the listeners will allow themselves to go anywhere with my music."

Upon the completion of Keiko Matsui's 2016 winter tour, the pianist, who divides her time between the West Coast and Japan, set her sights and energies on her next recording project. "I finally had a chance to slow down, so I went to Catalina Island to be free. I love the ocean. Just to be able to hear the waves and watch the sunset is healing to me. Catalina Island is where most of the melodies on Journey To The Heart were born." The project evolved over a four month period starting in Catalina and then taking the pianist on an Eastern European tour and eventually back to California to record at Unity Studio in Hollywood. "After I completed the last album Live in Tokyo, I felt that a new chapter in my life had started. I really wanted to work in a more organic way," explains Keiko. Journey To The Heart Keiko Matsui's 27th recording as a leader, marks the 30th Anniversary since her recording debut and is her boldest statement yet. Helping Keiko to reinvigorate her sound and new acoustic direction are Cuban musicians: bassist Carlitos Del Puerto and drummer Jimmy Branly. Del Puerto, son of famed bassist Carlos Del Puerto, one of the founding members of Irakere, has collaborated with everyone from Bruce Springsteen and Quincy Jones to Stevie Wonder. Conservatory trained Branly has worked with such notables as Flora Purim, Celia Cruz, Sheila E., Natalie Cole and Airto Moreia. "Carlitos and Jimmy are amazing musicians. I admire their artistry, musicianship and spirituality. They are my new family on the road and they bring such a sensitivity and passion to every situation," shares Keiko. Peruvian guitarist Ramon Stagnero and Venezuelan percussionist Luis Quintero also join Keiko along with special guest harmonica player Gregoire Maret and a sublime string section that augments several of the album's tracks. Stagnero has worked with such diverse artists as Al Jarreau, Andrea Bocelli, Dianne Reeves and Herb Alpert, while Quintero has been first call for such musicians as Louie Vega, Natalie Cole, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and George Benson. Maret hails from Switzerland and has worked and toured with Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny among others.

"We need to find that common bond in our hearts. People are dying with violence, hunger and war. This music is my new journey," concludes Keiko Matsui. "It is an evolution in many ways. I hope I can make a path and make some noise and leave a positive effect on the world. This is my mission and I am dedicating my music to this cause."

Euge Groove
Euge Groove -- a pseudonym for saxophone journeyman Steve Grove -- began playing piano in the second grade and turned to the saxophone at the age of nine or ten. His teacher gave him a classical education on the instrument, which he continued at the University of Miami's School of Music, where he became interested in jazz. Upon graduation, he initially remained in Miami doing sessions and playing in bands such as Expose, where he can be heard on the group's 1987 number one single "Seasons Change." He then moved to Los Angeles and joined Tower of Power, remaining with the group for about four years. Following this experience, he freelanced, doing sessions and working in backup bands, his clients included Joe Cocker, Eurythmics, the Gap Band, Huey Lewis & the News, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville, Eros Ramazotti, and Richard Marx. His saxophone appeared on Marx's Top 20 pop and number one AC hit "Keep Coming Back" in 1991. At the end of the '90s, Grove developed the persona of Euge Groove, a corruption of his real name, and recorded a demo that attracted the attention of various labels. This demo soon landed him with Warner Bros.

Euge Groove, his debut album, was released in May 2000. At the time, the saxophonist was touring in Tina Turner's backup band. He followed up with 2002's Play Date, featuring the singles "Slam Dunk" and "Rewind." In 2004, Grove moved to Narada for the '70s pop-soul-inflected Livin' Large. Grove stuck with the '70s vibe for 2005's Just Feels Right, and then incorporated a more gospel approach for 2007's Born 2 Groove. He moved to Shanachie for 2009's Sunday Morning. In 2011, Grove returned with his seventh studio effort, the fittingly titled Seven Large on Shanachie, with two more releases following for the label, 2012's House of Groove and 2014's Got 2 B Groovin. In 2016, he delivered Still Euge, featuring guest appearances from Chuck Loeb, Peter White, and others.

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Tidings of Jazz & Joy with
KEIKO MATSUI & EUGE GROOVE
November 30, 2017
Showtime @ 8pm
Doors Open @ 6pm
Tickets $35 in advance, $40 day of show
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* All Ages
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