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Willie Nelson singing on The Smooth Side Of Jazz?? Click to find out how this happened. Plus feature on the remarkable career of violinist Josh Vietti.

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In my opinion and that of many others,  Barbra Streisand has the best ever singing voice on the planet. Two weeks ago we had our first listen to Streisand's new album just released August 6th titled Release Me 2 of some of her previously unreleased studio performances. Eight times a Grammy Award winner, Streisand occupied herself during the pandemic by compiling the album during the COVID lockdown while also working on her memoir. I have more from that fantastic album to play for you this week and in coming weeks. I am fairly sure no one would expect to hear Willie Nelson on this program. Not to diminish Willie Nelson’s talent but his work is not our usual musical focus. But then Barbra Streisand brings out the very best with everyone she works with both acting and musically.  Barbra heard through her A&R man that she was the one person Willie Nelson really wanted to sing with. She had previously met him through a mutual friend Kris Kristofferson while she was making A Star Is Born. Barbra states that it was really interesting to be able to do a duet with somebody from a different genre. So from Release Me 2, I have a wonderful duet from Barbra Streisand and Willie Nelson with I Want It To Be You.

Our featured artist this week is a really terrific violinist and composer Josh Vietti. He began playing the violin at the age of four. When he was seven, Vietti earned a violin scholarship with Mischa Lefkowitz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Vietti trained with Lefkowitz for ten years. Unable to attract attention from the music industry, he found his beginnings playing as a street musician on the streets of Santa Monica and selling CD’s from the trunk of his car.  Vietti drew such huge crowds he could not be ignored. He reportedly sold nearly 50,000 demo CDs during those street performances. In 2012, Vietti was named one of Los Angeles' Best Breakout Music Acts of 2012 by CBS Los Angeles for his unique talent and contributions to music education. 

Josh Vietti has been featured on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown commercial titled "The Journey" that aired throughout the NFL season. Vietti has performed at an NBA All-Star game and three times at Dodger Stadium. He released two great albums in 2018. He was featured everywhere that year including his performance at that year’s 32nd Catalina Jazz Festival.

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