At last there is something new under the sun. Blending Latin, jazz, and flamenco styles, guitarist Russ Hewitt has conjured an oasis of hypnotic sound on Bajo el Sol, his long-awaited, ten-song debut solo album. Hewitt’s lightning runs on guitar and strong "rumba flamenco" rhythms are fused with Arabic and Indian textures. Combined with an extensive use of exotic scales and a keen sense for composition, the Baja el Sol sound is mesmerizing.
Hewitt’s evocative instrumental music speaks volumes. The debut CD also features world-renowned players Walfredo Reyes, Jr. (Santana, Strunz and Farah, Ricky Martin) on drums; Rafael Padilla (Miami Sound Machine, Shakira) on percussion; and Bob Parr (Cher, Brian Setzer Orchestra) on bass.
The first single, “Bajo el Sol,” reached the top 20; the second single, “Lydia,” reached the top 15 twice on Smooth Jazz indie charts; and the third single, “El Beso,” was on the Billboard Indicator chart: # 1 Most Added as well as the Smoothjazz.com chart: Most Added list. Russ Hewitt has been the # 1 Smooth Jazz Artist played on Music Choice satellite/cable TV for more than 23 weeks. He has also been a constant presence on the indie charts for over 44 weeks—and counting.
The critics agree: Bajo el Sol made the first cut for the 52nd Grammy Awards in five categories: Best Pop Instrumental Performance, Best Pop Instrumental Album, Best Instrumental Composition, Best Instrumental Arrangement, and Best-Engineered Album/Non-Classical. With over 220 shows and festivals this calendar year, Russ Hewitt is ready to step into the spotlight
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."