Smooth jazz is the sound of sophistication, unlike rough jazz, which is the sound of Louis Armstrong blasting chili out of his trumpet. Lend your ear to upscale scales with this GrouponLive deal to Pianos in the Park at the Levitt Shell at Overton Park on Sunday, September 2, at 6 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m. Attendees should bring chairs or blankets to sit on, if they so desire. Choose between the following options:
- For $30, you get two general-admission tickets (a $60 value).
- For $60, you get four general-admission tickets (a $120 value).
Presented by Strictly Jazz Entertainment, this year's Pianos in the Park festival sends relaxing vibes throughout the crowd with performances by ivory-tickler Bob Baldwin, R & B singer Glenn Jones, and Memphis' own S. Poitier. From his upbeat 1990 debut album, Rejoice, to his more recent millennial releases such as NewUrbanJazz.com, Bob Baldwin has kept his thumb firmly on the pulse of contemporary smooth jazz as a musician, a radio DJ, and a connoisseur of dentist offices. Adding another element of velvety smoothness to Baldwin’s set, vocalist Glenn Jones joins the pianist on stage to perform some of their tried and true duets, including 2011's deeply romantic “All Over You.” Named after the famous actor, S. Poitier can't help but draw comparisons to the legendary Al Green––though this Memphis native transitioned from pastor to soulful vocalist, not the other way around. Poitier, who still tends to his congregation between concerts, freely borrows elements and instrumentation from modern R & B, but he won't shy away from complex layering effects and chord structures that remind listeners of the jazz masters from the ‘70s.