At a time when Jazz music could truly use a boost in listenership, singer Tony Hightower is on a mission to be the bridge to help a younger generation of appreciators crossover. With his sophomore album LEGACY entering the marketplace, all-around singer/entertainer Hightower – a protégé of the late Freddy Cole - is leveraging his R&B and Hip-Hop roots to entice more young people to dig jazz.
“I want young people to know that Jazz is not old - Jazz is cool as a mug,” Hightower enthuses! “So many of your childhood memories from the movies, television and cartoons to some of the music you listen to on the radio – especially Hip Hop of the `90s were full of jazz or influenced by it – and you may not have even known it. Good melody and grooves are good melodies and grooves no matter what genre. Growing up in the Hip Hop and R&B generation myself, I was still listening to Jazz – real jazz. You are hearing more of it in my new record than ever before. I intend to merge the two worlds - retaining the integrity, of course, but allowing the appeal to expand. The audience can’t all be older or of a certain demographic. I believe that if artists such as myself and Jazzmeia Horn can persuade listeners to dig us, they may reach back to appreciate the singers that influenced us. That will be beneficial to them and Jazz itself.”
Hightower also expresses to aspiring musicians that a strong Jazz background can be your ticket to fluently playing any style of music. “If you can play Jazz, you can play anything. It enables you to be fluid enough to segue into other genres.”
Tony Hightower is soldiering in his career in the wake of having just lost his mother and grandmother to colon cancer. Their departures have impacted upon him to not only be more mindful with his own health but to encourage others as well. “Had they gotten tested earlier, we might be in a different situation today,” he states.
“If someone in your family develops cancer, the risk is higher for later generations to have it, too. It’s extremely important for family members to be tested – and early. I just spoke with a nurse so I can be tested. I understand doctors can be expensive if you don’t have insurance… It’s up to you make sacrifices so that you can take preventative measures for a healthier future. It’s ‘Go Time’ – time to rise up and walk into the new year as your strongest, finest self!”
LEGACY TRACK LISTING
Can't Hide Love
Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You
All to the Good
Love and Happiness
Here's To Life