By Patte Purcell

I interviewed Adam Hawley as he waited for his flight to play with Dave Koz as they have been opening for Barry Manilow for the last 2 years. That’s not a bad place to start with this rapidly rising star. His first single release is at #6 on Billboard and in the Top Ten for the 3rd consecutive week. “35th Street” featuring Eric Darius is from his first CD entitled Just the Beginning, which was released on March 18 on the Kalimba Music record label, the jazz label of the late Maurice White of Earth, Wind, and Fire.

This is the first musician I’ve interviewed who has a Doctorate in music. He got his degrees, (Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate) from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.  He brings an impressive resume including touring with Manhattan Transfer, Jennifer Lopez, Natalie Cole, Dave Koz, and a host of contemporary jazz artists. Many of them including Gerald Albright, Eric Darius, Michael Lington, Euge Groove and Brian Culbertson are on his new CD. He’s also on many of their CDs as well.

Hawley is also part of the “LA Collective” consisting of bassist Darryl Williams, Greg Manning (producer and chart topping keyboardist) and Tony Moore on drums. This is the same band that are regulars on the Dave Koz Cruise every year. Hawley has performed with almost every big name contemporary jazz artist you can name.

In addition to a very busy schedule of performing, Hawley also produces and records his own music. In between he finds time to teach at Saddleback College, Chaffey College and Musician’s Institute.

Hawley was born to a non-musical family when he stumbled upon their vinyl record collection of Earth, Wind, and Fire, Brothers Johnson and Elvis. The guitar spoke to him but his mom was concerned and told him that he could play guitar if he took piano for a year. He did and never looked back.

His friend Greg Manning helped him land a record deal with Kalimba Records (Greg is also on the label) when they worked together in Las Vegas with Elan Trotman. His plans include releasing another radio single shortly and doing some touring to promote his new CD. He had a sold out show at Spaghettini and the Bamboo Lounge. He’ll be at the Catalina Jazz Festival, Laguna Festival of the Arts and the KSBR bash as well.

We are lucky enough to have him as our featured artist along with a host of national artists and some local favorites at the Celebrity Jazz Jam at Desert Willow Golf Resort on Monday May 16 from 6-9. There is an artist Meet and Greet at 5:30. Wine tasting, a special Chef Francois Jazz Jam buffet ($25 extra) Crater Lake Rye tastings and Alien Tequila specials will be available as well.

To contact Adam Hawley visit his website  To get up close and personal come see him at the Celebrity Jazz Jam on Monday May 16, Artists Meet and Greet at 5:30. Get your tickets at