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Java Jazz Festival 2008
|Genres||Smooth jazz, Brazilian, world|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Associated acts||Boney James, Peter White, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, Dori Caymmi,Ricardo Silveira, Omar Akram|
Gregory Harry "Gregg" Karukas (born May 18, 1956) is a Grammy winning smooth jazz keyboardist, producer, composer and pianist, originally from the Washington, D.C.–Bowie, Maryland area. He experimented with drums, guitar, trumpet and keyboards as a child, but it was not until his teens that he pursued music professionally as a pianist, having played with the award winning Bowie High School Starliners big band.
He was an early synthesizer proponent at age 16, owning one of the first Minimoogs and co-founded the fusion group East Coast Offering with former Air Force Airmen of Note saxophonist Tim Eyermann, becoming DC's top original jazz/rock band. He then went on to form Natural Bridge with Shannon Ford, Carl Cable and Wink Robinson; later members included Michael Manring, Gerry Kunkel, Joe Dougherty and Steve Bloom on percussion. Gradually, since moving to Los Angeles in 1982 he developed a melodic and soulful style of music that made him a mainstay on smooth jazz and radio circuit.
Karukas is known to write music that evokes strong emotions. Gregg has received multiple Best Keyboardist nominations at the Oasis and National Smooth Jazz Awards. Two of his best-known singles, "Girl in the Red Dress" and "Nightshift", reflect a style familiar to his fans. Karukas has collaborated with Brazilian composer Dori Caymmi and Ricardo Silveira on several projects and produced, arranged, engineered and co-wrote 2 CDs with Omar Akram, whose Echoes of Love CD won the Grammy for Best New Age Album in 2013. Gregg also co-wrote sax star Jessy J.'s #1 hit "Tropical Rain". With eleven solo albums and many sessions and tours with prominent jazz artists, Gregg Karukas has established himself as one of the leading composers and musicians of the format. Gregg was an original member of the Rippingtons, recording their 1987 Moonlighting CD and he has toured through the years with superstars Boney James, Sergio Mendes, Melissa Manchester and Larry Carlton. Gregg continues to record and tour the world with Peter White and Rick Braun and was Musical Director for the Dave Koz and Friends Cruise to Europe, 2011–2013 featuring international stars such as Michael Bolton, Shelia E., Michael McDonald, and Jeffrey Osborne.
Gregg owns and distributes most of his music on his Nightowl Records Label.
He has a wife named Yvonne and two sons named Stevie and Alex. Stevie is a drummer, and Alex is an actor, singer, songwriter, and musician.
Discography as a Solo Artist
|The Night Owl||1987||Optimism/ now Nightowl|
|Key Witness||1990, 1998||Positive/ now Nightowl|
|Sound of Emotion||1992, 1998||Positive/ now Nightowl|
|Summerhouse||1993, 1998||Positive/ now Nightowl|
|Home for the Holidays||1993||Fahrenheit/ now Nightowl|
|You'll Know It's Me||1995||Fahrenheit/ now Nightowl|
|Gregg Karukas (Best of, Japanese Only)||2004||MK Music|
|Looking Up||2005||Trippin 'N' Rhythm/ now Nightowl|
|GK||2009||Trippin 'N' Rhythm|
- Jaskot, Colleen (February 27, 2013). "Grammy winner Gregg Karukas returns for DC show". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
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