Lots of events happening at our Website this Fall!

Greetings smooth jazz listeners!  Hope your summer was bright and festive.  We’re coming up on the fall months and the beginning of new events taking place.

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First is the return of “Smooth’s NFL Football Picks”.  Our annual series of predictions begins on September 1st with our pre-season predictions.  For the third year in a row, we’ll be broadcasting our picks on our airwaves. Week 1 picks begins Thursday September 6th.

  • Thursdays at 8:30am and 3:30pm
  • Fridays at 11:30am and 4:30pm
  • Saturdays at 1030am and 630pm
  • Sundays at 930am and 12:30pm
  • “The NFL Wrap” returns Monday mornings beginning September 17th from 6:30am to 9:30pm.

If you miss out on our broadcasts, you can read our picks at our football blog at WordPress.


Our other event is the return of Smooth Jazz and More Interviews.  We just published two podcasts that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

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Our first podcast is with the guitar duo, “Strunz and Farah”.  We were first familiar with their music on the old KKSF 103.7FM back in the late 80’s.  They released their new CD, “Tales of Two Guitars” and we’re playing the track, ‘Firoozeh – Turquoise’ in our daily playlist.  Learn more about the Grammy-nominated duo at their website; strunzandfarah.com

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Photo: Rogers TV

Our second podcast is with Ottawa-based singer Danielle Allard. Her latest CD is called “Passing Notes” and I’ve added the track, #nolongersilent to our daily playlist.  You can lean more about her career at her website; danielleallard.com.

Both interviews can also be downloaded along with my complete collection of podcasts at the iTunes Store with a free subscription.


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Our Featured Artist for September is saxophonist, Grace Kelly.  This talented musician has seen her star rise dramatically over the last 6 years, leading to a top 10 smooth jazz single and an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”  Listen to many of her tracks all month in our daily playlist.

Website: gracekellymusic.com.


Finally, we were privileged to have recognized the ‘Queen of Soul’, Aretha Franklin by playing some of her greatest hits during the month of August.

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Aretha, who died on August 16, 2018, had an amazing voice that entertained fans for the last 6 decades.  She won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance from 1968 to 1975.  In 1987, Aretha was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the first female performer. Other accolades include being a Kennedy Center Honoree, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. She also received 12 honorary degrees in her lifetime, including honorary doctorates from Michigan, Yale, Harvard, Brown and Penn. Rolling Stone magazine, listed Aretha as the No. 1 greatest singer of all time.

May our Queen sing with the angels for all time.

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In Losing Denis Ten, a Bright Shining Star…Dimmed.

 

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The figure skating world was rocked off its foundation when news spread that 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten was stabbed to death in his native Kazahkstan this morning. 

He was 25.

His death was devastating to his fans and especially his country, who enlisted his help in Almaty’s failed 2022 Winter Olympics bid. The backlash was swift and skaters gave their condolences to their fallen friend on Twitter, many unable to hold their emotions.

The news hit American figure skaters Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon especially hard, as they were training mates with Ten.

Ten was coached by the legendary Frank Carroll, the creator of many World Champions. Ten came out of no where in 2013, where he almost beat Canadian Patrick Chan at Worlds.  It would be the first ever medal of any kind for Kazahkstan, the former Soviet republic. His free skate was one for the ages.

He would parlay that performance to a bronze medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014 and another bronze medal at Worlds in 2015.

After 2015, Ten struggled to get back to form, as injuries affected his skating the next three years.  He won at Winter Universiade in his home city of Almaty in 2017. But he would struggle in Grand Prix competition later that year and finished 27th at the Winter Olympics in PeyongChang in February, missing out on the free skate.   Ten was determined to get back to skating this season, hoping to get back to 2013 form. But sadly, he would be taken from this earth much too soon, the victim of a senseless homicide.

We can only wonder what greatness we could have experience from this bright shining star…dimmed.

Posted in Denis Ten, Figure Skating, Figures skating, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, Kazakhstan, Skating, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New changes to our website!

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Our website was in need of an adjustment.  So if you visited smoothjazzandmore.com, you’ll noticed we’ve made some major changes.  We did a complete overhaul, with a couple of new web pages.

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The first is the “Featured Artist”.  We began in February with a new artist featured every month.  This May,  it’s smooth jazz pianist Bob Baldwin, who celebrates his 30th year in music with a new single release. We also did a podcast with Bob as part of our ‘Smooth Jazz and More Interviews’ series.  It’s now available for download on iTunes and at our website.

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The other most recent web page addition is our broadcast stream page.  Just recently, our broadcast provider, Torontocast, received clarification on embedded players and widgets on producer’s web pages.  Bottom line, is that we’re no longer allowed to have our widget on any of our website, unless its hosted on a Torontocast server.  Thankfully, Torontocast gave all current producers free space on its servers to set up a dedicated web page for our player.   But doing so, we continue to be up to code with SOCAN.

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Finally, the most dramatic change is the addition of our “Recent Tracks” widget, letting everyone know exactly what’s playing in “real-time”.  You can also click the “All Access Stream” button on the web site.  Of course, there are plenty of places to listen to our web stream, including our exclusive radio app from Nobex Partners.

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In being convicted, Bill Cosby lost whatever credibility he had left.

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This week, Bill Cosby was convicted by a jury of drugging sexually assaulting a woman 14 years ago. It was one of dozens of allegations by women against the long time comedian and media mogul of the last 50 years.

I wrote a blog a number of years ago on the subject, basically recommending his to “stay silent”.  But a jury believed the victim and found enough evidence to convict.   No doubt, this conviction may be the first of many Cosby will see in the next couple of years, providing the 80 year old will be able to be confronted with.

Whether the rest of those allegations are true or not, this conviction provides a solid foundation for others to come forward.  Now, I know some people will call this unfair, that the allegations are too old and that the statute of limitations have run out.  Some have even pulled the “race card” out.

I just find it hypocritical, and rather ironic for Cosby to even have the moral high ground to criticize people on their language, knowing that for years, he was allegedly performing these unspeakable acts on many of the victims.

Every incident involving the comedian should be based upon the merits of the individual cases, which would include the motives of the victims.    But ultimately, it’s Cosby alone who should have known better.

I’m reminded of what comedian Eddie Murphy said about Cosby 30 years ago when he was confronted by him on his use of profanity in his stand-up.  Ironically, Cosby said that Murphy was a bad role model on his children.

Let that sink in.

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Wanna Do Something About Sinclair TV Propaganda? It’s Easy! TURN IT OFF!

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The story this week is the mass propaganda promo made by 66 different TV news stations by right-wing corporate broadcasting giant, Sinclair.  The behemoth calls out “one-sided news stories,” and accused “some media outlets” of publishing “fake stories without checking facts first.” In essence, the company handed out a script questioning what they call “Fake News” and had their anchors read it as copy.  As a result, all 66 TV stations that recorded it made its anchors seem like they were mindless robots.

This is the same Sinclair that in 2004, forced it’s affiliates to air anti-John Kerry propaganda during the final days of the presidential election, to which, George W. Bush won.  Donald Trump weighed in on the controversy saying, “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC,” in a tweet this morning.  But let’s face it.  There’s no question that this stunt is nothing but propaganda, disguised as news.

There’s only one way to stop this type of propaganda, and that’s in the pocketbook.  Sinclair owns or operates 173 stations across the country, mostly in small and medium-sized markets.  But the company is currently in the process of acquiring Tribune Media, which will give Sinclair access to the nation’s Top 7 markets.

By refusing to watch Sinclair TV stations, you cut into their bottom line.  Now, some people will say that by calling a boycott, you’ll be hurting their employees.  Well, I say that the employees, specifically the anchors who read the copy on the teleprompter, knew exactly what they were doing.  By participating in this propaganda scheme, they’re complicit in the efforts to fool the viewing public.  People need to take a stand on news ethics and what constitutes journalistic integrity.  What Sinclair is doing is right out of Josef Goebbels propaganda playbook.  “If you lie enough times, the people will believe it”.

I refuse to allow it to happen.  None of us can!

Click the link below to see which stations are in the Sinclair family and boycott the station and their advertisers.  Because after all, Sinclair is only out for the almighty dollar.

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Just some of the stations Sinclair owns. More below in the link.

List of Sinclair TV Stations.

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April means JAM, also Paula Atherton is our Featured Artist of the Month!

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Big Band by LeRoy Neiman (1921 – 2012)

It’s no “April Fool’s” joke. Jazz Appreciation Month returns to our airwaves!

Our daily playlist includes some of the legends of jazz music, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and many more. This is the 8th year in a row we’ve celebrated an American original music art form with added tracks. In addition to listening to jazz, there are other activities you can do to celebrate JAM.

  • Attend a jazz concert at a local concert hall, performing arts organization, church, school, college, or jazz society.
  • Follow your favorite musicians or groups on social media.
  • Discover new jazz music, musicians and albums.
  • Read a biography about one of your favorite jazz musicians, jazz poetry or other jazz book – fiction or nonfiction.
  • Watch a movie or a documentary about Jazz (“Bird“, “’round Midnight“, or “The Buena Vista Social Club” to name a few.).

For more information on Jazz Appreciation Month, go to smithsonianjazz.org.

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Also happening at our radio station is our featured artist.  This month, its saxophonist Paula Atherton.  We interviewed her in 2009 on a previous CD release and her podcast is still available on our website and on iTunes. (Free Subscription available.)

This month, Paula released her new CD called, “Shake It”.  We’re featuring selected tracks off the album.  In addition, she’s constantly on the road performing, so if you get the chance to see her live, please do so.  She’s a very dynamic performer and we’re proud to have her music on our airwaves.

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Smooth’s Podium Picks – World Championships 2018

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The final International event of the season begins this week, where a number of Olympic champions will head to Milan, Italy to pad their medal cases.   There have been some discussion about whether the competition should take place during an Olympic year.  A number of withdrawals have been announced over the last few weeks stemming from the end of the Winter Olympics.  The World Championships is still a vital indicator for next season’s ISU rankings as far as positioning. Three spots in each division is still at stake for countries participating.

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Japan’s Shoma Uno looks to grab his first world title this weekend.  

Men – The drop-off from Pyeongchang is pretty dramatic, with two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan and two-time World, 2014 Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan of Canada and Olympic bronze medalist Javier Fernandez of Spain sitting out this weekend’s competition. That leaves teammate and Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno being the favorite for this weekend. He finished second at Worlds last year and looks to grab his first ever World title. Competition isn’t by all means sparse. Uno should expect a challenge from 2017 World bronze medalist Boyang Jin of China. Jin just missed the podium in Pyeongchang, finishing 4th. American Nathan Chen looks to better his disappointing 5th place showing last month. Still, he completed five clean quadruple jumps in the Free Skate and if he skates clean this weekend, he’ll be in medal contention. Russian skater Milkhail Kolyada’s best finish at Worlds was fourth in 2016. He looks to improve from his 8th place finish at the Olympics.

Skaters to Watch –American Vincent Zhou won a World Junior Championship in 2017. A surprise 6th place finish in Pyeongchang last month puts him in the mix this weekend. Dmitri Aliev of Russia finished 2nd behind Zhou at World Juniors in 2017 and has a 2nd place finish at Europeans this season. American Max Aaron takes over for Adam Rippon, who declined after his Olympic assignment. Aaron’s best finish international was 3rd at Cup of China. Israel’s Alexei Bychenko finished outside the top 10 at Pyeongchang and will look for a better finish this time around.

Smooth’s Pick – This is Nathan’s chance to right the wrong from last month’s Olympic disaster.
1. Nathan Chen (USA)
2. Shoma Uno (JPN)
3. Boyang Jin (CHN)

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Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond looks to return to the podium and maybe find something golden.

Ladies – Russia’s Alina Zagitova’s meteoric rise to the top of the ladies division culminated into gold at Pyeongchang last month. With teammate and Olympic silver medalist Evgenia Medvedeva sitting out due to injury, Zagitova has the chance to claim glory by herself this weekend. Her main competition will be from Olympic bronze medalist Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond, who finished 2nd past season and is on pace for another appearance on the podium. Japan’s Satoko Miyahara barely missed the podium in Pyeongchang by percentage points and will look to claim her spot this weekend. Italy’s Carolina Kostner wasn’t able to duplicate her Olympic success last month, but she still can look for a return to the podium where she took the top spot in 2012.  This also could be her “”swan song” and what better way to end her skating career than in her home country.

Skaters to Watch – Maria Sotskova wasn’t able to do a Russian sweep last month, finishing 8th in Pyeongchang. She was also 8th at last year’s worlds, with two 2nd place finishes at Europeans. Canadian Gabby Daleman looks to move on from her disastrous free skate at the Olympics. She was third at worlds last season. Jitters may have placed American Bradie Tennell 8th at the Olympics last month, but she’ll get another chance to prove she belongs on the podium. Teammate Mirai Nagasu is just a triple-axel and a clean program away from the podium and is still a threat. Karen Chen has withdrawn from World, so Mariah Bell gets the chance to skate this weekend. Her best finish internationally was 2nd at Skate America in 2016. Other skaters to look out for includes Korea’s Dabin Choi, Kazakhstan’s Elizabet Tursynbaeva and Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi.

Smooth’s Picks – A logjam for 2nd and 3rd may make it interesting, but this is Zagitova’s to lose.
1. Alina Zagitova (RUS)
2. Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)
3. Carolina Kostner (ITA)

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Germany’s Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot look to continue the win streak and add a World title to their Olympic Gold.

Pairs – The top two teams from the Olympics won’t be participating this weekend. Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford took Gold and Bronze last month and will retire from the competitive ranks. China’s Wenjing Sui and Cong Han who took silver at the Olympics are out due to injury. That leaves Olympic gold medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany as the favorites to win in Milan. Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov are their main rivals this weekend. They missed the podium at the Olympics, finishing 4th. But they’ve beaten Savchenko and Massot twice at Europeans and are capable of beating them this time around. Teammates Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert had a personal best at the Olympics and finished 7th. They have a chance at a top 5 or more finish. France’s Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres also have a chance for a top 5 finish. They were 5th in Pyeongchang last month.

Skaters to Watch – The retirement of Duhamel and Radford opens the door to new beginnings in Canadian pairs skating. Julianne Seguin & Charlie Bilodeau are expected to take over as the leaders in pairs. They finished 9th at the Olympics and were 2nd at nationals. The Canadian spot opens for Camile Ruest & Andrew Wolfe, who make their Worlds debut. Their best finish internationally was 4th at the Autumn Classic International in 2016. The Americans also gained another spot at worlds. Deanna Stellato & Nathan Bartholomay will join US champs, Alexa & Chris Knierim in Milan. The Knierims almost singlehandedly won bronze in the team event for the US. They also finished 15th in Pyeongchang. Stellato & Bartholomay finished 5th most recently at the Four Continents Championships in January. The Italians have two teams who could make a move to the top 5. Valentina Marchei & Ondrej Hotarek (6th at Olympics) and Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise (10th at Olympics) are ranked 9th and 11th in the ISU World Standings. China’s best hopes for the podium are with Xiaoyu Yu & Hao Zhang (8th at Olympics) and Cheng Peng & Yang Jin (17th at Olympics).

Smooth’s Picks – This will be a battle between Germany and Russia for 1st and 2nd.
1. Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov (RUS)
2. Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot (GER)
3. Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres (FRA)

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A wardrobe malfunction may have cost France’s Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron Olympic Gold, but they look to close out the season with a World title.  

Ice Dance – Two of the three Olympic medal winners, Canadian gold medalists Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir and American bronze medalists Maia & Alex Shibutani won’t be participating this weekend. Russia also loses a spot, as Ekaterina Boborva and Dimitri Soloviev withdrew. This leaves to door open for France’s Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron to mend their bitter heartbreak of missing out on gold in Pyeongchang. They will be the favorites in this competition, but will have a challenge from the Americans and the Canadians. Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue made a fatal error in their free skate and left the door open for the “ShibSibs” to gain bronze last month. Teammates Madison Hubbell and Evan Bates had a disappointing free skate in their Olympic performance to finish 9th overall. Both teams will look to make the podium for the US. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje finished 7th and Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier finished 8th in Pyeongchang. Both teams will be in contention.

Skaters to Watch – Italy’s Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte haven’t won a world title since 2014. Their journey to another title may be too far off after finishing 6th at the Olympics last month. Americans Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker take the place of the Shibutanis in Milan this weekend. This season saw the team win their first senior international championship at Four Continents. They also won the World Juniors title in 2014. The withdraw of Boborva and Soloviev leaves Russia with two chances at the podium. Tiffani Zagorski & Jonathan Guerreiro were 13th at the Olympics, while Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin were not even allowed to participate in Pyeongchang because of a directive from the International Olympic Committee. Don’t be surprised if Stepanova & Bukin have a chip on their shoulder.

Smooth’s Picks – French Ice Dance will be redeemed this weekend along with Russian Ice Dance.
1. Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron (FRA)
2. Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin (RUS)
3. Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue (USA)

Posted in Figure Skating, Figures skating, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, ISU, Skating, World Championships | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment