The Evolution of Smooth Jazz


“Smooth Jazz grew out of a format called Quiet Storm &, from the early 1970’s; A style of jazz with rhythm and blues, Soul and Funk infused. It was laid back with an adult sophistication; played by artists such as: Ramsey Lewis, Grover Washington jr, Lonnie Liston Smith and Hubert Laws. It evolved to include artists like George Benson, George Duke, Kenny G and smooth vocals from Sade, Anita Baker, Miles J. Later, Kenny G, Bobby Lyle and Norman Brown added to the mix.

Radio stations across the country had a successful format for jazz lovers and advertisers alike. By 2007, Smooth Jazz began its downturn. Broadcast Architecture and Clear Channel began programming the music and the listening audience began to dwindle.  Throughout the years, smooth jazz has struggled in being a viable format. I think the smooth jazz format is credible today, even though there are fewer terrestrial stations promoting this genre.  There are numerous internet stations picking up the banner, like us at Smooth Mixes 925…we specialize in Smooth Jazz mixes!

Smooth Jazz is celebrated at festivals, cruises, wineries and night clubs across the country and increasingly abroad. There’s still an interest in Smooth Jazz from  artists that create it, such as: Alex Bugnon, Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, Peter White & Gerald Albright. And there’s a wave of newcomers: Lin Rountree, Althea Rene, Cindy Bradley, Jazmin Ghent, Maysa & Brian Culbertson and the fans that faithfully attend these shows with season tickets!  Yes, Smooth Jazz is evolving!  New stations, new advertisers and new jazz lovers are making a way for this genre to be a strong pulse in American music.

There are many of us that love Smooth Jazz!  And we will continue to embrace this incredible music, and feature artists like Richard Elliot, Euge Groove, Najee, Jeff Lorber, Oli Silk, Bob Baldwin, Kim Waters, Peter White, George Duke, to include adult R&B from Maxwell, Musiq, Jill Scott, Eryka Badu, Prince, Will Downing and many others on our weekly show. I’m inviting you to join me in the Evolution of SmoothJazz, along with keyboard sensation, Gail Jhonson at

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