Marietta, GA. September 19, 2015. Contemporary smooth jazz guitarist and vocalist Nick Colionne returned to Atlanta for the 8th Annual Atlanta Smooth Music Festival, which was held on Saturday, September 12, 2015, at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre.
From the beginning to end, the Atlanta Smooth Music Festival quenched the thirst of smooth jazz fans. “The show is held together with book ends, the opening and closing acts. The opener sets the pace for the rest of the show.” Joe Cleveland, Managing Partner of the Promotion Company Jazz Grooves, said. Up and coming Saxophonist Tony Exum, Jr. opened the festival proving that he had every right to be there. Headliner Nick Colionne was worth the wait. He engaged the audience taking them from zero to 100 in minutes.
“His energy is unimaginable.” Wanda Cameron, a festivalgoer, said. “I’ve seen each of his performances at the festival and have never been disappointed.” Nick Colionne brought his Midwest swagger to the Atlanta Smooth Music Festival. His style of dress is impeccable. Whether he’s strumming his Broadway™ or Joe Pass™, he captures you on the first note. The baritone in his singing voices reminds you that he’s multi-talented. His sense of humor allows him to connect and command his audience.
Colionne’s play list included his signature Rainy Night In Georgia, Slammin’, and High Flying. For 35 weeks his When You Love Somebody has topped the Billboard charts. When he played this up close and personal with audience members, the crowd responded with vigor and excitement. His sequined gold jacket with matching tuxedo pants, fedora, and metallic gold shoes, put the exclamation point on his performance. The festival closed with a finale featuring all of the performers in a impromtu jam session. Colionne used his show tune, There’s A Party Going On, which brought the audience to a frenzy.
In addition to Colionne, Grammy nominated guitarist Jeff Lorber brought his jazz fusion style of music to the Atlanta Smooth Music Festival. He was accompanied by saxophonist Eric Marienthal. Lorber’s music has crossed multiple genres. His music could have been heard on The Weather Channel’s Local On The 8s. He also appears on their compilation albums, The Weather Channel Presents: The Best of Smooth Jazz and The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz II. He’s been credited with advancing the career of Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, aka Kenny G.
Guitarist Jim Bowman wowed the audience with his blend of smooth jazz, R&B, blues, and gospel. Bowman has enjoyed multiple chart topping and #1 hits. His debut album, Love, Joy, Peace peaked at #19 on the Gavin Smooth Jazz Charts and #20 on Radio & Record Magazine’s album chart. Other celebrated chart toppers include Summer Groove, Sweet Sundays, High Def, and Rapture All My Life, and Let It Shine.
The multi-talented Paula Atherton followed Exum. She’s a songstress, flutist, and saxophonist. Atherton’s notoriety increased after she and her band performed at the New York Ball celebrating former President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration. Later she led the house band for the cable comedy show Girls Night Out, and often performs with Jazz In Pink. Jazz In Pink is a made up of female contemporary jazz artists who often join together for performances around the globe.
One of the highlights of this year’s festival included the give a way of an autographed Epiphone guitar. Tim Bowman and Nick Colionne are members of the Epiphone family. Epiphone representative Cara Hogan came, along with the Gibson Guitar Party Bus, was present for the drawing. They brought along new guitars for Bowman and Colionne to choose.