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Concert Reviews (826)

Nothing beats experiencing live jazz music as its being created right in front of you.  Stop here for reviews of your favorite jazz artists live and in concert.

The Long Beach Jazz Festival, always a highlight of Southern California's summer music calendar, convened for the 19th time over the weekend of August 18th. For three days, the ocean adjacent Rainbow Lagoon park was taken over by thousands of jazz fans who were treated to a diverse line up of artists. While the festival is mainly on smooth jazz and R&B, participants and highlights came from all across the spectrum of jazz. These included a funky and f
In her Lincoln Center debut, Jo Thompson smashed the piano keys with ferocious momentum, creating new sounds glittering against the midsummer night. With feline grace, her gossamer voice soared on melodic chords bewitching the audience into nirvana. This lady had more than enough electricity to light the entire north eastern coast for years! Hard to believe this woman, musician, composer, fashion designer, singer is almost eighty years old!! Madonna, Beyonce, and Maria better take
Arkansas rockabilly legend, Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins, rocked Toronto's Massey Hall to its 110-year old rafters, Sat. Dec. 17, 2005. The Hawk's been a fixture on the rock 'n' roll scene in Canada, ever since he arrived here from Arkansas in 1959 with drummer Levon Helm ( then-called Levon & The Hawks), who later became The Band of Last Waltz fame. Hawkins is known far and wide for his quic
Innocence and wonder allow creativity to flow endlessly, without inhibition. Bill Frisell knows and practices innocence in everything he does. He continually changes his sound in relation to the context in which he places himself. What the listener will hear is always Frisell though, abstractions, melodies, and all. Frisell takes away all preconceptions about his task of making music and resultantly produces a distinctive sound that within its own prescribed limits reveals no bounds. P
The Houston International Jazz Festival stands as one of the finest events of its kind in the United States and beyond. Celebrating 16 years of excellence, the Festival has presented jazz entertainment in varying styles that has included Latin, traditional, contemporary and influences from the far-flung corners of the globe. During the Festival’s existence, artists from Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland, Cuba, Asia and a host of other countries have particip
Chuck Jackson’s Southside Shuffle blues festival is a much-anticipated and appreciated annual blues event. It rolls around like clockwork the first Thursday through Sunday every September. This is why it’s always easy to remember when it’s happening.This consistency is also true with the high standards in blues and jazz excellence that this exciting annual blues fest offers the audiences who attend it in droves every September. One of the most popular
I remember it all as though it were yesterday, the first time I heard Chris Botti's music. It was a typical sunny Bel Air afternoon in October of 2000. It was my freshman year in college and I was studying for my first set of midterms. I went to my laptop computer, and noticed that I had just received an e-mail from my friend, who at the time was a sophomore at the University of California Berkeley. As I opened the e-mail I noticed that there was an attachment in MP3 form, entitled, Drive
In 2002 Bradley Quick created The Cool Change Foundation a non-profit foundation to carry the message of positive change, recovery, motivation, and life enhancement to a broad demographic that might not otherwise receive it. Bradley Quick’s Los Angeles based radio show, Help Your Self, airs weekly on KRLA 870 AM, which often features various celebrity guests, authors, and specialists. On June 1st, I attended the Cool Change Live recovery benefit concert and expo. The amazing lineup for
James Brown, performed to a sold out show at Toronto's Massey Hall on the night of Monday, November 29, 2004. If you've never encountered the man who gave 'soul' its name ... its definition ... raising it to a musical art form -- then you're in for a treat! True musical expression from heart, to ears to soul -- that's what the James Brown 'Experience' is all about! Whatever the man's on -- this writer wants to be on it too!James, al
Buddy Guy is truly a blues legend. His Chicago nightclub, Buddy Guy's Legends is legendary for the fine talent that's performed there. Mr. Guy was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2005. Congratulations to Buddy behalf of all his blues fans worldwide for this recent and well-deserved honor bestowed upon him.A little over two weeks later, Buddy Guy entertained a packed house of blues fans at Toronto’s Massey Hall o
Whenever The Rippingtons come to Houston, Texas for a concert, the welcome mat is always open for one of smooth jazz’s most prolific groups. In conjunction with the release of their latest CD/DVD entitled ‘The Rippingtons 20th Anniversary,’ (Peak Records) the group has embarked upon an August/September multi-city tour of the United States. The City of Houston is but one of the many pit stops along the way. Founded by Russ Freeman
The David Virelles Quintet Live at The Beaches International Jazz Festival Fresh off a very successful Canadian tour the band performed an early morning show, 11:30 A.M thus kicking off the 18th annual Beaches International Jazz Festival. I was invited to see the band, report on the show and follow up with a post show interview. Classically trained Virelles studied piano in his native Cuba at the age of seven. Through his families collection of jazz albums he was exposed

At Last

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"At Last" Etta James The Hummingbird Centre June 27 - Toronto Jazz Festival - Day 5 The show was sold out, The Hummingbird Centre seats 3200 people, as Ross Porter (Jazz.Fm Radio CEO) mentioned at the start of the show, "At last the Toronto Jazz Festival has arrived; they’re scalping tickets in front of the theatre." The Roots Band took to the stage, Donto James, drums; Sametto, bass; David Mathews, keyboards; organ; Bobby Murray, guitar; Josh Sklar,

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By Briget Michell'e for Paris In the Nite Jazz In Paris "Youman Wilder and Weird Stories New York In Paris" Never enough of Youman Wilder can I hear, "Anything this good should be bottled up and stored.This past week we had him here in "Paris France" and his great band Weird Stories. Youman Wilder takes the Funk/Jazz/Neo Soul approach to his music, featuring Mr. Wilder with Nelson Bainbridge (piano), C
Solomon Burke’s arrival at Toronto’s Massey Hall after a 15-year hiatus was greeted with a burst of applause seldom heard around these parts. It signaled the beginning of festivities that would shake the venerable concert hall to its foundation. I’ve never witnessed as warm and as embracing a welcome as the one afforded the King Of Rock And Soul, who is nearing his 70th year. This adulation was full acknowledgement of a triumphal career, one that has spanned nearly six decades.
Wearing purple flowing robes, Baaba Maal takes the stage at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco. Seated, he sings while accompanying himself on his six-string acoustic guitar. To his right sits his longtime accompanist and backup singer blind griot Mansour Seck, who - with his shaved head and orange flowing gown - resembles an elderly monk. Another backup singer, a female, sits to his left; she takes part of the lead in the second song which contains one English word: "San Francisco." The lo


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McCoy Tyner was announced, the crowd stood and applauded, a heroes welcome. Many in the audience worship the keys that Tyner dances upon. Bassist, Charnett Moffett, many including myself, worship the keys he plays in and drummer Eric Kamdu Gravatt took to the stage. Tyner was not with them, regroup, locate McCoy Tyner and take two. The audience breathed a collective sigh of relief, thankfully nothing had gone awry and all were on stage shortly. Tyner gazed out over the audience and affirmed h
As part of the JVC Jazz Festival, Charles Lloyd brought his new project Sangam to Zankel Hall June 22nd for their first New York performance. Judging from the ovation that erupted at the end of the group's stream-of-consciousness performance, Lloyd is once again exhibiting his knack of making abstract music accessible. In this case, he combines his various horns with Eastern and Western percussionists in the persons of Indian tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and his current quartet's drummer Eric Har
It was a privilege to have attended the Ultimate Doo Wop Show, a touring package that appeared recently at Buffalo’s majestic Shea’s Performing Arts Center. For starters, Pookie Hudson of Spaniels' fame qualifies as the highlight of this nostalgic extravaganza, but a host of Doo Wop greats helped set the stage for the much esteemed Mr. Hudson who is back-in-action after being sidelined with cancer. This is the gentleman who gave us "Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight"&nb
TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz - Festival June 23 July 2 The festivals 20th anniversary celebration commenced with 27-year-old jazz piano phenom Robi Botos. Botos was joined on stage by his brother Frank on drums and Attila Darvas playing bass. Robi Botos was the winner of the prestigious 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival solo piano competition. Botos, who was born in Nyiregyhaza-Hungary into a musical Romani (Gypsy) family, immigrated to Canada in 1998. Shortly after arriving