St. Louis, MO (April 27, 2011): Fans of the crossroads where funk and jazz intersect are marking their calendars for an explosive one-of-a-kind concert package touring the U.S. this summer. For the first time, keyboardist George Duke, bassist Marcus Miller and saxophonist David Sanborn are uniting to perform as one band under the moniker DMS. Each an accomplished soloist and composer in his own right, this trio of music legends will be gifting the masses with a generous set list comprised of ferocious funk, serious jazz, to-the-bone blues and anything else they feel like playing that night. Launching May 28th at the House of Blues near Orlando, Florida, the DMS tour will be sponsored by Jazz Cruises, producer of The Jazz Cruise and The Smooth Jazz Cruise.
The idea to bring the all-star music party at sea that Miller and Sanborn have been co-hosting and Duke has been a frequently featured guest to jazz fans on land was originally sparked by Michael Lazaroff, executive director of Jazz Cruises. Throughout their remarkable careers, the three music giants have often collaborated in various pairings and aside from performing together aboard The Smooth Jazz Cruise, never before have they toured together playing in the same band.
Two-time Grammy-winner Miller initially connected with Duke and Sanborn in the late `70s during his early days as an A-list session musician in New York City. “I first played with Dave in the Saturday Night Live house band, went on the road with him, wrote songs for his Voyeur album and eventually produced many of his records,” he stated. “I first worked with George when he produced The Brecker Brothers‘ 1980 album Detente, but because he worked more on the west coast, our paths didn’t cross in a major way until 1985. He wrote a song for Miles Davis titled ‘Backyard Ritual’ that inspired both Miles to move into a more contemporary direction and me to write Miles more songs for that album – including the title track ‘Tutu’ – which became his last signature recording.”
Six-time Grammy-winner Sanborn provided the other key connection via his acclaimed television program, Night Music, in the `80s. Miller was the musical director for the first season while Duke served as MD for the second season. The crux of the show was to bring outstanding musicians together from all styles and genres, creating a melting pot of aural delight that was as enlightening as it was entertaining. That passion was born the first time a teenage Sanborn saw The Ray Charles Orchestra perform after a basketball game. “That music was everything to me,” he told NPR. “It combined jazz, gospel and R&B. It wasn’t any one of those things, but all of them. That, to me, is the essence of American music.” Sanborn went on to become one of the most sought after saxophonists for 16-bar, straight-to-the-heart solos for everyone from Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones to Linda Ronstadt and Michael Franks.
It is that effortless, innate versatility that bonds Duke, Miller and Sanborn. Duke’s discography ranges from alto sax giant Cannonball Adderley to the eccentric rock and roll genius of Frank Zappa with Stanley Clarke, Dianne Reeves and Deniece Williams in between. Likewise, Miller has the distinct honor of having his compositions immortalized by not just Davis and Sanborn, but also the late, lamented soul star Luther Vandross, having played on R&B classics such as “Never Too Much” and co-composing and co-producing other hits for the crooner including “Power of Love/Love Power.” All three music masters are critically acclaimed, commercially successful, professionally in-demand and in possession of unlimited capabilities in a sprawling range of music. They are excited about combining forces for the once-in-a-lifetime DMS tour.
“Dave and I already had plans to reunite after being away from each other for a while,” Miller explained. “When we were thinking of adding a third person and our booking agent suggested George Duke, Dave and I looked at each other like, ‘Is that possible? Is he available? Let’s do it!’ The three of us had the chance to play together in January on The Smooth Jazz Cruise and the vibe was great. Now we’re looking forward to seeing where else we can take the music.”
Two-time Grammy-winner Duke sums up the possibilities of the super soul-jazz summit that is DMS. “The amazing thing is that we have not done this before. Each one of us in some way has changed the musical landscape. Now we are bringing this mountain of experience together to move and change it again. For me, the great thing is that we have such a wealth of musical knowledge, experience and history to choose from. More important is for us to take that wealth and formulate a fresh identity of who we are now – as a band – from this time forward. Accomplishing that will be the stuff of legend!”
Catch DMS live on the following tour dates:
May 28 Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), FL – House of Blues
May 29 Jacksonville, FL – Jacksonville Jazz Festival
May 30 Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Jazz Festival, Chastain Park
June 1 Buffalo, NY – Kleinhans Auditorium
June 2 Glenside (Philadelphia), PA – Keswick Theater
June 3 Columbia, MD – Capital Jazz Festival
June 23 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
June 24 Kettering (Dayton), OH – Fraze Pavilion
June 25 Charlotte, NC – Roadrunner Mobile Amphitheatre
June 26 Hampton, VA – Hampton Jazz Festival
August 5 Apple Valley (Minneapolis), MN – Weesner Amphitheater
August 6 Chicago, IL – Park West
August 7 St. Louis, MO – Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center
August 8 Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theatre
August 9 Denver, CO – Denver Botanic Gardens
August 12 Seattle, WA – Benaroya Hall
August 13 Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre
August 14 San Jose, CA – San Jose Jazz Festival
August 26 Santa Barbara, CA – Granada Theatre
August 27 Brooks (Sacramento), CA – Cache Creek Resort
August 28 San Diego, CA – Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay
August 31 Hollywood, CA – Hollywood Bowl
About Jazz Cruises
The largest private music charter company in the world, St. Louis, Missouri-based Jazz Cruises (Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC) owns, produces and promotes The Smooth Jazz Cruise (www.thesmoothjazzcruise.com) and The Jazz Cruise (www.thejazzcruise.com), and is proud to partner with Time Life for The Malt Shop Memories Cruise (www.maltshopcruise.com). Jazz Cruises (Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC) prides itself on providing first-class musical vacation experiences featuring marquee stars from their respective genres for loyal passengers, many of whom make the cruises an annual affair. With its current slate of excursions, Jazz Cruises (Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC) will have produced thirty-two full ship charter cruises. Additional information is available at www.jazzcruises-ecp.com.