World Cities & Harbors

Los Angeles from Griffith Observatory

featuring Kim Waters' "Secrets Told"

The sprawling cityscape of Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the United States, is a sharp contrast to the vertical skyline of New York City, the country’s most populous city. Here, a small cluster of downtown skyscrapers is surrounded by miles of relatively low buildings. This is partially due to earthquake-related restrictions on building heights that lasted much of the 20th century.

This eScapes scene features a sunset view of the city from Griffith Park atop Mount Hollywood. The famous Griffith Observatory, seen in the foreground, is a public center dedicated to sharing knowledge of astronomy. Both the park and observatory were gifted to the city by mining entrepreneur Griffith J. Griffith at the turn of the century. Admission is always free to the observatory, which has become one of Los Angeles’ best-known landmarks.

Kim Waters is a jazz multi-instrumentalist primarily known for his saxophone talent. In addition to fronting over a dozen albums, Waters’ chart-topping performances blend jazzy grooves with R&B and have been included on albums by genre greats including Al Green and Isaac Hayes.

Links

Griffith Observatory
Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau
City of Los Angeles
Kim Waters Official Site


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Paris (Eiffel Tower & Arc de Triomphe)

featuring Ken Navarro's "28 (For Kristin)"

Paris has a reputation as the most romantic city on the planet, and it’s easy to understand why. Whether it’s a ride down the River Seine, a walk through the Louvre Museum, or a twilight picnic at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, the greatest sights of Paris seem designed for two.

Known as the “City of Light” for its role in the Enlightenment, Paris is one of the world’s foremost cultural centers: a giant in fashion, food, and the arts. This eScapes scene features two of Paris’ most famous landmarks: the Eiffel Tower, originally built as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, and the Arc de Triomphe, decorated with scenes from French military history.

Ken Navarro is an award-winning contemporary jazz guitarist. His impressive discography of nineteen top charting albums showcases his appeal to a wide range of listeners with inspiring compositions and superb guitar performances.

Links

Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Eiffel Tower
Arc de Triomphe Paris
Ken Navarro Official Site


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Los Angeles, California

featuring Marion Meadows' "Let the Top Down"

Underneath the bustle of Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the United States, is a strong creative pulse. Los Angeles has been the worldwide capital of film production since the early 1900s, and about one-sixth of the city’s 3.8 million people work in the arts. On any drive through the city, you are never too far from a concert hall, movie theater, or sound stage.

Viewing the sprawling city and its impressive downtown skyline from afar, it’s hard to imagine the city’s humble beginnings as a missionary settlement in the 18th century. Whereas railroads and oil drove much of its past growth, the city is now fueled by its efforts in finance, technology, and media.

One of the city’s notable historical buildings is the iconic city hall. Once the tallest building in L.A., City Hall lost that title in 1968, but its and white masonry and art deco architecture still stand out in a field of modern steel-and-glass buildings.

Marion Meadows is a smooth jazz saxophonist and composer. Skilled with both the tenor and soprano saxophones, Meadows has collaborated with jazz and pop greats including Bob James, The Temptations, and Michael Bolton. He has also released solo albums since 1990.

Links

Los Angeles Convention & Tourism Bureau
City of Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Times
Marion Meadows Official Site


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Marina Bay, Singapore

featuring Chuck Loeb's "Love Is All"

The densely-populated city-state of Singapore rests on a small archipelago in the midst of Malaysia and Indonesia. A sovereign nation of one large metropolitan area, Singapore is one of the busiest ports in the world and one of the world’s wealthiest countries, with more millionaires (in terms of US dollars) per capita than any other country.

Despite being ruled by the same political party since its 1959, Singapore is also known for it’s lack of political corruption and for being one of the busiest port cites in the entire world. The country has greatly benefited from the many exports of its thriving industrial economy, as well as its strong financial sector.

Singapore also caters to the tourism industry, with numerous casinos, resorts, and a focus on medical tourism. This eScapes scene features some of Singapore’s most recent tourism draws: the Marina Bay Sands resort, including its futuristic “Sky Park” and the lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum; and the Singapore Flyer, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.

Chuck Loeb is a guitarist, composer, and producer. Known for his smooth jazz recordings, he is a versatile artist who has explored various other musical styles including classical and rock guitar. In addition to his extensive solo discography, Loeb has appeared on albums from many of jazz’s biggest names, as a performer and producer.

Links

Official Singpore Tourism Website
Singapore Government Information
Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino
Chuck Loeb Official Site


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Bordeaux, France

featuring Boney James' "Grand Central"

Maybe best known for its wine, the city of Bordeaux, France is also famous for its architecture. One of the largest concentrations of 18th century buildings in all of Europe, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a reputation as “the city of art and history.”

In this sample video, eScapes shows you why Bordeaux is a perfect destination for sightseeing or a relaxing afternoon stroll along the Garonne. A couple of attractions included in this video are the Pont de Pierre bridge and the nearby Porte de Bourgogne gate. Commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Pont de Pierre has seventeen arches to commemorate the emperor: either his seventeen military victories, or the seventeen letters in his name, depending on who you ask.

Boney James is a saxophonist who, despite his resistance to being labeled as strictly a jazz artist, was named the “No. 3 Top Contemporary Jazz Artist of the Decade” by Billboard Magazine in 2010. Influenced by many genres including R&B, James is a three-time Grammy-nominee who has sold more than three million records.

Links

Bordeaux Official Tourism Site
Bordeaux Region economic development
Wikipedia article: Bordeaux
Boney James Official Site


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Los Angeles from Mount Lee

featuring Lee Ritenour's "Can You Feel It?"

Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the United States, has been the worldwide capital of film production since the early 1900s. One-sixth of the city’s 3.8 million people work in the arts.

This eScapes video takes you to the hills of the city’s Griffith Park. One of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Hollywood sign on Mount Lee overlooks the city as a symbol of the glamour and opportunity of the city’s entertainment industry. The hills also offer a panoramic view of the sprawling Los Angeles metro area, with the skyscrapers of downtown standing out and commanding attention.

Lee Ritenour is a Los Angeles-raised guitarist that has worked in many genres including jazz, blues, and rock. As a young session musician, Ritenour recorded thousands of performances with popular artists including Frank Sinatra, Pink Floyd, and Steely Dan. Now a successful solo musician, Ritenour was also a founding member of jazz supergroup Fourplay, and won a Grammy for his collaboration Harlequin with Dave Grusin.

Links

Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Hollywood Sign
The Los Angeles Times
Lee Ritenour Official Site


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San Francisco (Fisherman’s Wharf at Night)

featuring Joe McBride's "In a Garden of Eden"

Between the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, the famous neighborhood of Fisherman’s Wharf attracts locals and tourists with its nightlife.

This eScapes scene presents the relaxing skyline of San Francisco at night, with the Bay Bridge in the foreground, and a view of the restaurants and storefronts on the Wharf.

Joe McBride is a smooth jazz pianist and singer. A Missouri native, McBride released his debut album in 1992 and has also toured and opened for popular R&B/jazz acts including Whitney Houston and Larry Carlton.

Links

San Francisco Official Travel Site
San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf
Bay Bridge Public Information Office
Joe McBride Official MySpace


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Château de Beynac, France

featuring Cindy Bradley's "Before I Go"

There are many villages along the Dordogne River and many castles in the former Périgord province of France, but the Château de Beynac is one of the most impressive. Perched on a cliff over the river, this château was first built in the 12th century and continuously upgraded and strengthened over the centuries by different owners.

In addition to the fortress’ obvious external defenses, the interior of the castle is designed for defense as well, with features like narrow stairways that only allow visitors to ascend in single-file.

In modern times, the château is open to visitors and kept in a similar state to how it was in medieval times.

Cindy Bradley is an award-winning jazz trumpeter. She has toured the world as both a band sidewoman and as a solo artist. With two albums released since her solo debut in 2009, Bradley has become a rising presence on contemporary jazz radio and in the jazz festival circuit.

Links

Beynac-et-Cazenac from French Moments of Sydney
Wikipedia article: Château de Beynac
French Government Tourist Office
Cindy Bradley Official Site


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Saint Petersburg, Russia

featuring Keiko Matsui's "The Morning Moon"

Like many Eastern European countries, St. Petersburg struggled for much of the 20th century (mostly while known as Petrograd or Leningrad). It witnessed most of the Russian Revolution in the early part of the century and went on to be devastated by a lengthy Nazi siege during World War II. After the war, the city continued to struggle under the stress of political and economic forces.

Still, St. Petersburg is a beautiful city with a unique skyline and many historical and architectural sights. One of the most distinctive, featured in this video, is the spire of the the Peter and Paul Cathedral, the oldest landmark in the city and the resting place of nearly all Russia’s emperors. Also seen in this video is the yellowish State Russian Museum and the courtyard of the Kazan Cathedral.

Keiko Matsui is a pianist, composer, and producer. She has traveled the world with her talents as she combines the genres of smooth jazz, classical, new age, world music, and more.

Links

St. Petersburg Travel Guide (unofficial)
Wikipedia article: Saint Petersburg
The State Russian Museum
Keiko Matsui Official Site


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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

featuring Nils' "Just Smile"

At night, Dubai might be a spectacle of exciting nightlife, but early in the day, the desert city moves a calmer, more relaxing pace. As the sun rises over the Persian Gulf, there’s a clear contrast between the modern skyscrapers of downtown Dubai and the quiet desert on the outskirts.

One of the unique sights of Dubai– seen in this video– is the great number of auras– traditional wooden water taxis that ferry locals and tourists across the Dubai Creek. An interesting feature of these boats is their rustic steering method: many are guided by a simple wooden rudder controlled by ropes and pulleys.

Nils is a Munich-born guitarist, producer, and composer. Though most comfortable playing R&B and pop material, Nils has been adopted by the smooth jazz format. His stylistic diversity is evident in his numerous solo albums and compositions. Nils is also passionate about teaching young guitarists.

Links

Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Official Portal of Dubai Government
Wikipedia article: Dubai
Nils Official Site


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