Bernie Williams



First single "Just Because" featuring David Benoit impacts radio June 9

NEW YORK - GRP Records will release the debut recording of NY Yankees star Bernie Williams, widely ranked among baseball's best, entitled The Journey Within on July 15.  The first single "Just Because" (which features pianist David Benoit) will impact radio on June 9.

Williams, who is a highly accomplished guitarist and composer, penned an impressive 7 out of 11 tracks on his debut, which was produced by Loren Harriet (NBC Celebrity Christmas CD, Big League Rocks).  GRAMMY┬« Award-winning artists Bela Fleck and Ruben Blades make guest appearances, along with Gilberto Santa Rosa, and top session players Leland Sklar (Phil Collins, James Taylor), Kenny Aronoff  (Melissa Etheridge, John Mellencamp), David Sancious (Eric Clapton, Sting) and Luis Conte (Santana, Celine Dion) among others.  Williams, who is a native of Puerto Rico, has composed a refreshing blend of highly melodic, contemporary and Latin-flavored jazz selections with an undeniably soulful delivery.  The CD also includes covers:  Billy Joel's  "And So It Goes," a gorgeous rendition of the Kansas classic "Dust In The Wind," Academy Award-winning songwriter John Denicola and Patti Maloney's "The Way," and "Samba Novo" by Baden Powell, who was instrumental in creating the Bossa Nova.  A special limited-edition pressing of The Journey Within will feature original cover art of Williams as depicted by legendary artist LeRoy Neiman.

"The Bernie Williams signing is not about a future Hall of Fame baseball player.  It is about a talented and dedicated musician whose newly-recorded album deserves the best in the way of marketing and distribution.  We are very proud to have Bernie on the GRP/Verve roster," says Ron Goldstein, President and CEO of The Verve Music Group.

Williams, who studied music on scholarship beginning at age 13 at the Escuela Libre de Musica in Puerto Rico, had initially planned on a career in music before segueing to Major League Baseball.  He has won four World Series Championships with the New York Yankees; a Gold Glove; a Batting Title, and is a lifetime 300 hitter.  Williams will kick off  The Journey Within with a live concert event at Chicago's House of Blues on July 13, which will coincide with Major League Baseball's All-Star Week.