Anita Baker Ready to Jam in New Orleans

Anita Baker will be a headliner at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 25th, and has just started work on a new album in Nashville, planned for release by Blue Note Records later in 2010, reports music veteran Bruce Edwin. “I’m going to Nashville to mix it up, shake it and see what comes out” states the eight-time Grammy winner with obvious excitement.

Ms. Baker will be producing the album with George Duke, Nathan East and Daniel Moore, recording in Nashville in part because, she explains, “they still know how to make a record in analog.” Baker has some long time friends in Nashville – just last month, when she performed at the TJ Martell Honors Gala there, attendees were surprised to find out that she counts many country stars and personalities among them.

Singing Vince Gill’s “Little Liza Jane” at the dinner, Ms. Baker was backed by a cohort of Nashville players. Inspired by their performance, she’s invited the “badass Nashville cats,” as she terms them, to record with her this month alongside NYC and LA session musicians.

The album will also include Anita Baker’s collaboration with fellow label mate affiliate Snoop Dogg on a “big, lush” version of Curtis Mayfield’s “Give You My Love” that she promises “is going to raise eyebrows.” The rest of the album, reports Hollywood Sentinel music editor Bruce Edwin, will be original material. Anita Baker is enthusiastic about the upcoming sessions. “I’m turning it up in a lot of ways,” she states.

Over 75,000 fans enjoyed Anita Baker’s 2009 headlining performances at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, Macy’s Music Cincinnati, and Mt. Diablo Festival in San Francisco, and now they will have the chance to see Anita Baker mix it up live at 5:25 p.m. on Sunday April 25th on JazzFest’s Congo Square “My Louisiana” Stage. And what will Ms. Baker play at JazzFest, The Hollywood Sentinel asks? “As always, the audience is in charge of the set list, kind of like being at a Grateful Dead show” the star says with a laugh.

Bruce Edwin is editor of The Hollywood Sentinel and Subnormal Magazine, and CEO of Starpower Management, the celebrity model and talent firm. He studied music in college before majoring in film, and formerly lived in New Orleans and Chicago, which he cites as the homes of jazz and blues. Contact Bruce at