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Alan Hewitt — Featured Smooth Jazz Artist Archives

April 2013

Alan Hewitt - The Musical Force of Nature

Alan Hewitt is a jack of all musical trades and a master at everything he pursues. The composer, producer, recording, performing artist and keyboardist, in addition to being a smooth jazz entity, has been associated with the iconic English rock band The Moody Blues and has a huge list of credentials. Alan Hewitt

Hewitt hails from Petoskey, Michigan where his musical career began at the age of 10 when he took up the drums. By the age of 12, he was well-known by area musicians for his musical chops, and often jammed with the best the area had to offer.

In the early ‘70s while attending Petoskey High School, the keyboardist was part of the popular regional power-trio rock band Rasputin known for their wild outfits and stage antics. After high school he went off to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music in 1976 and, while there, took up piano and keyboards. While in college he played in bands (T-Bone Walker) and even appeared on the original “Star Search” TV talent search show, eventually landing a demo deal with Warner Brothers.

Early in his career performing in the club scene, he quickly graduated to the production room, where he had the honor of working as a producer alongside Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire (EWF) fame for over half a decade with EWF’s Greatest Hits album going platinum in 2000. However, it was the co-writing, piano, and a Hammond B3 organ contribution on the triple platinum record on pop-metal band Warrant’s song “Cherry Pie” that would solidify Hewitt as a prodigious musical talent capable of crossing genres.

Hewitt has worked with a variety of notable artists like Donny Osmond, John Waite, and Jonathan Butler to foundations like the John F. Kennedy Center. His  list of record production credits as both a producer and recording artist spans across the various major labels and genres with over 12 million records sold.

As a first-call producer for a long list of major film productions, some of Hewitt’s credits include National Lampoon’s “Van Wilder,” “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” “Ocean’s 13,” “Happy Gilmore,” and “Gods and Generals.” He has also arranged and composed the theme songs or backing music for more than 50 television programs, including the Oprah Winfrey Show (including “Oprah’s Big Give” & “Dr. Oz”), The Osbournes, Inside the NFL, the popular Fox show 24, the first two seasons of Survivor, MTV, Home Improvement, and the list goes on and on…

To add to the accomplishments, he has composed music for video games such as Spy vs. Spy, Pool and Wisdom Voyager.  There is also the list of accolades from the industry which includes “The Golden Planet Award” and the “ESPY Award for Excellence” and 2 triple Platinum hits with Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” and Earth Wind & Fire’s Greatest Hits Mega Mix.  With all the talent that Hewitt exhibits, “WOW” would be a one-word understatement!

As a solo artist, the uniqueness of the Hewitt signature sound lies in his ability to draw from the diverse worlds of contemporary jazz, pop, rock, and rhythm and blues, while simultaneously bridging the gap between instrumental music and the urban scene with intoxicating stage performances that are fused with energy, style and grace. He’s been dubbed “The Musical Force of Nature” by numerous music critics. 

Hewitt’s extensive discography of albums includes High Fidelity (2012), Retroactive (2009), Symphony In Rock (2008), Metropolis, (2006) which features the single “Joyride,” Noche de Pasion (2004), Escape from Life (2000), TWO (1999), Native Heart (1996)  and Voyages (1996) which he produced.

It was the keyboardist’s 2004 release, Noche de Pasion, that marked his emergence on the pop instrumental scene. Some of the tracks feature well-known smooth jazz artists like sax sensations Euge Groove, Mindi Abair, and Michael Lington, as well as guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Butler.

The critically acclaimed 2006 release Metropolis is yet another fantastic project full of radio-friendly tracks that received a lot of fan attention. This was Hewitt’s first in collaboration with the nuGroove label. The first single “JoyRide” was strong evidence that Hewitt had arrived.

Retroactive features a stellar cast of guest artists including Greg Adams (Tower of Power), Paul Jackson, Jr., Steve Madaio (Stevie Wonder), Steve Oliver, and Shea Chambers. The first single is an intoxicating arrangement of the 70’s Isaac Hayes classic, “Shaft.”

On that album, Hewitt travels on a flashback journey in both his attire and music. The album’s cover looks like a reproduction of the old TV series, Miami Vice. “How retro is that?” David Chackler, President/CEO of nuGroove Records, once asked excitedly. “Alan has the golden touch.”

With the release of Retroactive, Hewitt took his vast melodic compositional and production skills and paired them with his exceptional technical musical brilliance to create a superior contemporary jazz masterpiece.

Hewitt’s latest CD, High Fidelity, returns him back to his singer/ songwriter roots.  He is featured on vocals, piano, keyboards, drums & guitar. He is also joined by many of his friends like Jervonny Collier (Bruce Hornsby Noisemakers) Chad Wright (The Jacksons, Michael Bolton) Shea Chambers, Brian Price, John Defaria, Steve Oliver, Gerald Spikes, and Moody Blues bandmate Norda Mullen on flute.

Since 2010, Hewitt has been the keyboardist on tour with The Moody Blues which has been on a world tour performing for sold-out audiences. The band auditioned forty keyboardists before deciding to hire Hewitt who replaced former keyboardist Paul Bliss. “Touring with the Moody Blues is a humbling and phenomenal experience,” says Hewitt. “Justin, John, Graeme and the band have a wealth of experience to share. I’m just honored to have been asked to play a part in this fun and exciting tour.”

Hewitt has been composing the music for a new Sony/Lionsgate series called “Twisted Tales” from the creator of “Fright Night” and the “Chucky” films. “Twisted Tales” started airing last month. He also composed the music for “A Fall From Freedom” which has won several major film festival awards and is currently airing on PBS.

With his gig as the Moody Blues’ keyboardist, Hewitt brings a whole new exciting jazzy sound, energetic vibe, and showmanship to the legendary classic rock band. His intoxicating, charismatic stage presence captivates audiences worldwide and has them always on their feet.

Now that you’ve traveled through Alan Hewitt’s musical journey, come back next month for another magical ride through another artist’s world here on “The Ride.” – Rene Sutton