510JAZZ On The UK Smooth Jazz Chart

We’re honored to be on The Moth FM Top 20 Smoother Jazz Chart for the fifth week.

510JAZZ Reaches #15 On The Moth FM Top 20 Smoother Jazz Chart!


510JAZZ’s new song Don’t Take Your Love Away (ft. Nick Neira and Kristen Nicole) is #15 on the list. We’re delighted that our friends around the world love our music.

We’d like to offer a huge thank you to The Moth FM’s DrGlyn Reece for this wonderful news. What a Blessing it is to be in such good company on the Top 20 chart.

View The Moth FM Top 20 Smoother Jazz Chart and Listen to DrGlyn’s Show S04 E53.

Vote For Our Song:
You can help 510JAZZ to move up the charts and be featured on next week’s show.  Here’s how:
1) Visit this URL: https://tinyurl.com/ycjm8rg3
2) Click on the “Request” button located to the right of the song title “Don’t Take Your Love Away”
3) Listen-in to the live radio show on Sunday, October 7 at 3 pm Pacific.

Vote For 510JAZZ In The 61st Grammys

If you’re a Recording Academy voting member, we would truly appreciate your consideration in voting for 510JAZZ’s new album “January 16” in The Grammys this year.

4Play Records has entered our album “January 16” for consideration for the 61st Grammy Awards.

On October 17, 2018 the Recording Academy opened the polls to allow all Recording Academy voting members to vote on the 61st Grammy Awards.  The polls close on October 31, 2018.

“January 16” contains 16 original songs composed by John, David and Andrew Vargas. Featured on this album are 24 talented Bay Area musicians. You can learn more about our “January 16” album on this page.

Watch our full-length feature video of our hit single “You’re Everything To Me”, directed by Carolyn Vargas and produced by Roy Reyes.

Our music is currently featured on SmoothJazz.com.

Listen to our current SmoothJazz.com radio spot.

We sincerely appreciate your consideration when voting on October 17.

Kind Regards

Third Week on Top20 UK Smooth Jazz Chart!

We’re honored to be on The Moth FM UK Top 20 Smooth Jazz Chart for the third week. 


510JAZZ’s new song You’re Everything To Me (ft. Maya Victoria) is #16 on the list. We’re delighted that our friends around the world love our music.

We’d like to offer a huge thank you to The Moth FM’s DrGlyn Reece for this wonderful news. What a Blessing it is to be in such good company on the Top20 chart.

View The UK Top 20 Smooth Jazz Chart and Listen to DrGlyn’s Show S04 E51.

Studio Talk: “Right Next To Me”

D-Varg and Matt Blaque are featured vocalists on the song "Right Next To me"


Right Next To Me is the lead-in track on our “January 16” album for a reason.  This song was composed to be a mover that brings fun into your 510JAZZ listening experience.  It’s the perfect anthem for dance parties and lively environments.  Matt Blaque’s stellar vocals carry the melodic component of this song while D-Varg’s rap storytelling is always on-point.

We’re delighted that this song is getting great airplay on radio stations around the world.

This blog post gives you a behind-the-scenes look at composing, arranging, recording and producing this superb song.

What They’re Saying

New Music Ear

“…The album opens with a medium paced Samba crossover with a big summery vibe.  It is a fun, bright and breezy number with hints of Michael Jackson (“Off The Wall” era) and Gloria Estefan’s Miami Sound Machine.  D-Varg’s rapping gives it an updated appeal to younger listeners who may not have heard music like this before…”

Andrew Goodwin
New Music Ear

Read the full album review


“Listeners LOVE the new single from 510JAZZ! “Right Next To Me” the sexy, smooth, bright bossa nova beat that will make you want to get up and dance!  It’s no wonder listeners across the globe are in love with this track.  Get your copy now in The Listening Loft

From Leadsheet to Hit Single

"Right Next To Me" features 5 exceptional Bay Area musicians

Our first samba original brought interesting challenges at every turn: establishing the form, composing the melody and hook, writing the verse, chorus and rap lyrics, recording the rhythm section, arranging the background vocals, adding the layers of latin percussion and electric guitar.  David and I couldn’t have successfully produced this song without the talent of 5 exceptional Bay Area musicians: Mark Rickey (keyboards), Tony Song (guitar), Charlie Channel (bass), Collette d’Almeida (drums) and Stan Muncy (latin percussion).

Building The Story

510JAZZ at Angelicas, February 17, 2018
I came up with the original storyline: a lively beachfront club where you go to be immersed in music and drink, surrounded by beautiful people, charged with adrenaline and dance.  The first verse came to me quickly, setting the stage for this story.  As with all whirlwind romances – there’s a storyteller and an elusive leading lady.  David ran with that, writing the lyrics for the second verse.  He quickly wrote twice the storyline for the rap verse that follows.  I find it amazing how these rap verses quickly build tension and then release.

I wrote the lyrics for the following verse, where our leading man’s head is spinning after his quick brush with this beautiful girl.  Before he knows it, he’s back in the game.  David uses rap to tell the story of how boy and girl develop their chemistry.

Improving The Form: Chorus and Turnarounds

"Right Next To Me" composed by John and David Vargas

Now we have the basic form for the song.  The fast-paced samba beat carried us through everything really fast, but something was missing – the hook!  David is a master of developing hooks.  He quickly came up with a simple but catchy chorus that we could use as an intro, then to keep things moving in the middle, and then again as an ending.  I thought our new form was perfect – but David was still composing.

David then took our instrumental interlude (8-bar acoustic guitar riff with unison scat-vocals) and wrote lyrics for it.  He transformed interlude 1 into an upbeat turnaround to keep the listener interested.  Then he wrote a brilliant storyline for interlude 2 which carries the listener into the final rap verse.  Tony’s guitar riff and scat-vocals layered with Matt Blaque’s vocals were just the ticket to keep the song moving.  Now we’ve got a story!

Melodic and Rap Vocals

When you bring Matt Blaque into the recording studio, he won’t let you close the session until he’s added a full library of vocal stabs and choral harmonies that the producer can use.  Matt is one of the finest R&B vocalists that I have ever met, and he has an incredible ability to arrange his own vocal harmonies.  Our session with Matt Blaque was truly magical.

David has a busy job here at 4Play Records.  He’s our producer and engineer – and he’s also our rapper.  That means that once he’s finally happy with the tracking, with the engineering and most of the mix – he can finally add his production rap vocals.  Working with David, I find him to be as rhythmically-tight as the drummer.  It’s amazing!  David replaced his scratch-vocals with the superb rap stylings that you hear in our commercial release.

The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

Channeling legendary producers Sergio Mendes and Quincy Jones, we wanted our rhythm to be complemented with a lively latin percussion.  We brought percussionist Stan Muncy into the studio and he laid down the authentic latin vibe with cuica, samba whistle, shakers, agogo bells, cowbell and then triangle.  Once everything was in place, we decided to add in a breakdown starting with samba whistle and leading into Matt Blaque’s chorus.  We couldn’t resist adding Stan’s samba whistle at the very end of the song.  Stan’s percussion stylings conjure images of Carnaval in Rio, with people dancing in the streets to samba music.  Brilliant!

The Guitar Man

Many of my own compositions were inspired by legendary composer Antonio Carlos Jobim.   Jobim rendered many of his own songs playing the classic nylon-stringed acoustic guitar.  I wanted this song to contain this same rhythm foundation from start to finish.  Tony Song delivered.

When we were close to completion, David called The Guitar Man back into the studio with his electric guitar  Tony then came up with the staccato picking that you hear in the intro, interludes and ending.  Then he added color throughout the song with beautiful electric guitar accents.

What Do You Think?

We think that “Right Next To Me” is a real crowd-pleaser – but we want to get your input.  Why not buy the song and then tell us what you think on Facebook, Twitter or on our Website?  We’ve placed it in our online stores for you to enjoy:


You can also purchase the entire “January 16” album at the above stores – or you can buy the CD on our 4Play Records Music Store.

510JAZZ on Top20 UK Smooth Jazz Chart

We’re honored to be on The Moth FM UK Top 20 Smooth Jazz Chart for the week ending September 2, 2018.

510JAZZ is on The Moth FM Top 20 Smooth Jazz Chart.

510JAZZ’s new song You’re Everything To Me (ft. Maya Victoria) is #20 on the list. We’re delighted that our friends around the world love our music.

We’d like to offer a huge thank you to The Moth FM’s DrGlyn Reece for this wonderful news. What a Blessing it is to be in such good company on the Top20 chart.

Listen to the song “You’re Everything To Me”

View The UK Top 20 Smooth Jazz Chart and Listen to DrGlyn’s Show S04 E49.

“Song On The Radio”

This Week In Radio

We at 510JAZZ strive to reach out to terrestrial and Internet radio stations all over the globe – to tell them about our music.  We’ve been Blessed with very strong support from some of the best.

We’re delighted to see songs from our new album “January 16” playing on 21 stations this past week (August 25 to September 1).  Our most popular song is Right Next To Me (ft. D-Varg and Matt Blaque) followed by the song You’re Everything To Me (ft. Maya Victoria).  These stations have played several other songs from our January 16 album as well.  We’re thrilled to see this acceptance from our friends in radio.

We encourage you to check out these superb radio stations as they are playing the best in Smooth Jazz every day – including songs from 510JAZZ.  Look them up on your favorite search engine and click on their “Listen Live” link.

510JAZZ was heard on 21 radio stations during the week of August 27.

My Love For Radio

Ever think about the music that defined you as an adolescent?  Movies like That Thing You Do remind me of the excitement that artists and composers feel when their song gets played on radio – whether it’s that first radio spin – or several years later after thousands of spins.

I can’t help thinking about Al Stewart’s 1978 release Song On The Radio.  Every time I hear our music, it’s just like hearing Al Stewart’s hit single when I was a teen – pure magic!

Radio has sure changed since those days.  During that time we listened to the radio, fell in love with a song and then went to the store to buy a 45 or LP vinyl album, cassette or CD.  Then we would play it over and over on portable players, in the car and at home.  Radio was always the catalyst, for our love affair with music.

In 2018 music is available everywhere – as close as your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.  The one thing that remains the same is that radio continues to be the catalyst that drive’s music lovers to seek out that song and “put it into rotation” (on their mobile devices, computer, etc).

Radio has changed in a big way.  We now listen to a mix of terrestrial radio and Internet radio.  We no longer need to purchase that physical album at the music store.  The list of radio stations is massive now, to where some of the best stations can only be found on the Internet.

The one common ground here is that every radio station has a presence on the Internet.  So if your favorite songs are only played on a station in Sao Paulo, Brazil or Galway, Ireland – you can listen from where you are, via their live stream.

The Internet has made the music world a much smaller place.

John Vargas

Interview With DrGlyn Reece of The Moth FM

On August 25, 2018, 510JAZZ’s John and David Vargas were interviewed by DrGlyn Reece on his show “Jazz and Coffee” on The Moth FM.

You can listen to this excerpt on our SoundCloud channel.

The Moth FM's DrGlyn Reece Interviews 510JAZZ

In this interview, you’ll hear selected songs from our new “January 16” album. We talk about songwriting, our musicians and more!

This excerpt is taken from “Jazz And Coffee” show S01 E23.

This interview was recorded live on The Moth FM on August 25, 2018. Permission to use this excerpt has been granted by The Moth FM.