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West Coast Release Party For "The Last Balladeer: The Johnny Hartman Story"

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Johnny Hartman
Author Gregg Akkerman will be launching the release of his new book, The Last Balladeer: The Johnny Hartman Story (Scarecrow Press, 2012), on the West Coast at a reading event in San Diego, California. The release marks the long-overdue biography of a vocalist best known for his eponymously titled album with the intrepid saxophonist John Coltrane (Impulse! 1963) and as the singing voice behind several scenes in Clint Eastwood's The Bridges of Madison County. Jazz singer Carol Sloane was one of the first get a copy and remarked, “I read The Last Balladeer over the weekend and enjoyed it immensely. It mirrors many of my own joys and frustrations in the music industry and is a wonderful, fitting tribute to one of America's most gifted singers."

Akkerman is a southern Califonia native and earned two degrees from San Diego State University while performing in the area as a pianist/vocalist. It was during these years that he first heard Hartman's definitive rendition of Billy Strayhorn's “Lush Life" and seeds of this project were planted.

The book release will be held at Twigg's Coffee Shop-Green Room, 4590 Park Boulevard, 5:30 p.m. on July 31. Autographed copies of the book will be available at the event. Visit johnnyhartmanbook.com for more details.

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