(From PR Newswire) Urban jazz-funk drummer and worldwide recording artist Isaiah Stewart announces the release of his third album GROOVE GARDEN. Adding pop, rock and hip-hop savvy to the jazz-funk mix, GROOVE GARDEN is an all-original album that features Isaiah's powerful songwriting and explosive drumming that provides a foundation for the album's deep thundering bass lines, warm keyboards, funky electric guitars, fire-hot jazz improvisation and sublimely soulful vocals. After a decade of hard-hitting, edge-of-your-seat jazz-funk music, culminating in more than 500,000 mp3 downloads worldwide, the stakes are high for GROOVE GARDEN, but "high stakes" are what drive Isaiah's passion for making infectious music . . . music that begins with one thing . . . "Groove is everything to us drummers," Isaiah says. "It's all starts with phat funky beats. But with this album I wanted to go even deeper with the grooves to plant more primal roots for a new garden . . . a garden where the diverse worlds of funk, jazz, soul, hip-hop, rock, classical and tribal music were able to grow and blossom in exciting new directions." For Isaiah, exploring this new "garden" of possibilities meant featuring vocal tracks for the first time ever. GROOVE GARDEN features two musical collaborations with D Rose, a popular in-demand hip-hop vocalist/producer originally from South Bronx, NY, birthplace of hip-hop music. "I'm a die-hard instrumental artist, but when I began composing this album, I felt the need to take things in a bold new direction," Isaiah says. "Behind me were two successful all-instrumental albums, and the time was right to raise my own personal bar and explore new musical horizons. I wanted to include some real, authentic vocal hip-hop and soul music, which led to my collaborations with D Rose." A jazz-trained pianist and professional drummer since age 6, Isaiah has studied drums with many of the world's greatest players and is known for his technically impressive yet groove-oriented approach to playing. Since releasing his previous two albums: LIFE GAMES (2000), and URBAN PLAYGROUND (2005), Isaiah Stewart's music has been downloaded more than one-half million times throughout 28 different countries worldwide. Isaiah's global popularity as a recording artist began in August 2001, when "Midtown Funk," a jazz-funk track from LIFE GAMES, hit #15 on MP3.com's overall worldwide Top 40, beating out songs from popular artists at the time such as Eminem, Faith Hill, Madonna, Linkin Park, Mariah Carey, The Offspring and Sum 41. At the time, MP3.com was the world's No. 1 mp3 Internet site (receiving more than 35 million visitors a month), and during that year the site's Jazz Top 20 often contained all 14 tracks of LIFE GAMES at the same time. "I've always composed and performed instrumental music, because that is who I am as an artist . . . and I insist on being true to myself and remaining authentic," Isaiah says. "Surprisingly, instrumental music has also worked for me commercially as I learned that not having a language barrier can sometimes make it easier for an independent artist to become popular worldwide." Isaiah has maintained a unique worldwide position for over a decade with listeners throughout 28 different countries, but despite this success, Isaiah is also the first to discuss the insurmountable challenges that exist for any "indy" artist without big-label backing. 'The challenges are difficult but also what keep me going,' Isaiah says. 'You just have to stay positive. I often focus on the fact that there are people in Shanghai and Beijing listening to my music . . . very important since China remains the single toughest market to penetrate. I often receive emails in languages I don't understand," he adds. "But at least if the fan mail is in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or French, my wife can usually translate." Also "keeping Isaiah going" are the many talented featured guest artists he works with on his albums. In addition to D Rose on vocals, GROOVE GARDEN features Joshua Stewart on keyboard solos, Terence Hansen on guitars, Dave Chisholm on trumpet, John Flanders on saxophones and flute, Joe Chisholm on trombone, James Stewart on bass, and David Halladay on saxophones. "The guest artists on this album are musically gifted," Isaiah says. "When I collaborate with them in the studio, I feel like an audience member myself as I'm ringside to performances that completely blow me away! Their musical skills are phenomenal. As a producer I am forced to live completely in the moment as making great music is about constantly being open to spontaneity. The end goal is to make yourself happy as an artist while making sure you satisfy your listeners." GROOVE GARDEN explodes out of the gate with "Power Funk," a deep, hard-hitting funk track heavily powered by Isaiah's thundering "four on the floor" drumming. Swiftly following is the philharmonic string orchestra of "Sin City," a high-energy yet darkly classical jazz-rock track. The first vocal on the album is next as "Fake It," delivers infectious, danceable old-school hip-hop that features D Rose's powerful and soulful singing. "Urban Beat," goes even deeper, powering out a thick laid-back hip-hop groove that grounds Dave Chisholm's bright, soulful trumpet playing. Dreamy Brazilian-jazz sounds soon follow with "Nights in Rio," which features Terence Hansen's beautiful flamenco acoustic guitar riffing. "Street Jungle" then explores the pulsating, infectious rhythms of "jungle" drumming as Isaiah's thundering tom-tom riffs punctuate John Flanders' explosive tenor sax playing. "Soleado," (meaning "sunny" in Spanish) offers a personal tribute to jazz-aficionado Chick Corea and features high-energy Latin-fusion sounds as Joshua Stewart shreds the ivories of a real acoustic grand piano. James Stewart's funky bass fret-board work soon ensues with the deliberately danceable "Funk in the Trunk," which also highlights David Halliday's amazing alto sax playing. Next a massive wall of African hand drumming thunders from the speakers on "Earth Dance" as Isaiah powers out a "Bimbe," a traditional 6/8 African ceremonial rhythm deeply infectious and hypnotic that makes you want to get up and dance as warm keyboards and passionate horn solos further enhance the tribal cacophony. D Rose returns, again showcasing his uncanny gift for arranging lush, soulful squeaky-tight R&B vocal harmonies on "She Knowz," a deeply heartfelt old-school joint about losing one's love and feeling the need to do anything to get it back. "Summer Groove" follows and delivers jazzy hip-hop guitars, Isaiah's impressive turntable scratching, and a phat swing-funk groove against a punchy and savory trumpet melody. Things turn to alternative rock as 'Trash Talk' closes the album in a high-octane climax of grungy guitars that riff over Isaiah's deep, hard-driving rock beats. The song delivers an incessant maelstrom of shredding lead-guitar and wailing tenor sax, which refuse to let up . . . even for one second. Twelve tracks. More than 75 minutes of all-original music. GROOVE GARDEN stands as quite the musical achievement and Isaiah has higher hopes for this project more than any of his past albums. "When I make music, my hopes are always about one thing and one thing only: to make people's lives better," Isaiah says. "I want my music to have the same effect on my listeners as it does on me. I've always felt that music, and particularly instrumental music, has this expressive quality that allows people to travel to a place unique to their own experiences. And whether my music is touching listeners' emotions or connecting them to something much bigger than themselves . . . there remains this amazing beauty and spirituality in music that's connected to feelings . . . feelings true and eternal that cannot ever be denied. That's what GROOVE GARDEN is about." Album Liner Notes: ISAIAH STEWART acoustic & electronic drums, lead & rhythm keyboards, congas, bongos, percussion, vinyl scratching, programming, keyboard solos D ROSE lead & background vocals, vocal arrangements JOSHUA STEWART keyboard solos TERENCE HANSEN electric & acoustic guitars DAVE CHISHOLM trumpet JOHN FLANDERS alto, tenor & soprano saxophones, flute DAVID HALLIDAY alto & tenor saxophones JOE CHISHOLM trombone JAMES STEWART bass JOHN STEWART trumpet melody Recorded, mixed and pre-mastered entirely in 24-bit digital by ISAIAH STEWART at The Playground, Salt Lake City, UT Post production and mastering by BRUCE KIRBY at Boho Digitalia, Salt Lake City, UT Executive producer JOHN STEWART Illustration, graphic design and art direction KEVIN KELLER Photography LEO DEREK Legal affairs MADISON, HARBOUR, MROZ & BRENNAN D ROSE appears courtesy of Draw Productions.