Thursday, February 13, 2014

Now's the Time: Najee

I've seen some of the most legendary figures in jazz perform to hundreds of empty seats at the Gem Theater.  Najee's appearance at the historic venue on Saturday, February 15, however, is a virtual sellout.  There's no shortage of fans of Najee's funk-infused version of smooth jazz.  Saturday's concert will include a tribute to the late Ahmad Alaadeen.  Joe Klopus spoke with Najee in advance of the concert.

1 comment:

Cb said...

The Najee event did indeed sell out @520 people.

That's two in a row - sell outs (Poncho Sanchez in September and Najee in February) for Jammin' at the Gem series concerts.

We are going for three in a row with the Newport all-star concert that includes Karrin Allyson among the luminaries featured (see latest JAM cover).

I think that more events in the Gem will help both, the district and Kansas City Jazz in general.

I have friends who will go on smooth jazz cruises and come to hear smooth jazz, but won't come to more the progressive or swing-based styles ...

That's the generation of folks who grew up during that first electric band era of the 1970s ... Smooth jazz is the groove of pop tunes from that era and most of them used electronics. Jazz has always done that to some degree.

Najee is more a musician than an artist who is branding the smooth jazz lifestyle. The cat can flat out play with most anybody in jazz[.]

Also, his flute playing is based upon classical training at NEC and superb in any context.