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Art of Jazz Celebration Young Centre For The Performing Arts The Distillery Historic District, Toronto, Canada May 18, 2006 9:30 PM - A Tribute to Barry Harris By Paul J. Youngman KJA Jazz Advocate The show started with an introduction to Hank Jones, the legendary pianist took to the stage and announced his selection, Poke a Dots and Moonbeams. Mr. Jones performed the song solo and his interpretation was breathtakingly beautiful. Bassist Earl May and
The stage is set at San Francisco’s Herbst Theater for a rare appearance by Randy Weston and the Gnawa musicians of Morocco. On one side of the stage is Randy’s black grand piano. Behind it is a set of congas and percussion instruments. And to the right is an enormous Middle Eastern carpet laid atop a raised stand. The occasion is a rare appearance by Randy Weston and musicians from Gnawa. The musicians ancestors were brought from West Africa - the name "Gnawa" being a corruption of "Ghan
Jazzfest in The Big Easy took place in spite of the damage that Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita ravaged the state of Louisiana with last year. The city of New Orleans would not be denied of its beloved Jazz & Heritage Festival, which show cased New Orleans as one of the largest tourist attractions in the United States. New Orleans is the original birth place of jazz with the greatest jazz sound in the world and home to some of the greatest jazz musicians that ever lived past and pres
The acoustics at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral are superb. Constructed in 1928, Grace, the nation’s largest Episcopalian cathedral, was was finished only in 1964. Flags of many countries adorn the ceiling, and some of its gold-leaf paintings, when viewed from a distance, would not be out of place in a Buddhist temple. Solo jazz concerts at Grace are something of a tradition. Mavis Staples has performed here, and duos such as saxophonist Harold Lloyd with tabla percussionist Zakir Hussai
Henry Threadgill - clad in a long, caftan-style thin-red striped shirt which hangs down to his knees - brings his flute and alto sax to stage center at the Palace of San Francisco’s Fine Arts. To his rear, drummer Elliott Humberto Kavee sits in front of his drumkit. Acoustic guitarist Liberty Ellman, on acoustic guitar, is to Kavee’s right. Jose Davila, seated to Threadgill’s left with tuba in hand, is barely visible behind his music stand. Cellist Rubin Kodhell and cello/trombonist Dana

Keiko Matsui

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In smooth jazz, as with other genres of music, there are many extremely talented pianists and keyboardists. In this writer's opinion, NaradaJazz recording artist Keiko Matsui is among the top, let's see...THREE! Here’s an artist (and I mean that in every sense of the word) who really needs no intro, but I love knowing that I am introducing her to someone who just may not yet be acquainted with her extraordinary musical genius. I have long been a huge fan of this worldly, beautiful
Last Wednesday night, the place to be in Saint Louis was Webster University's Music Annex. In this humble concert hall nestled in the trees behind a vast Tudor-style home, a capacity crowd was treated to an unforgettable set of hot jazz. Trombone-leader Charlie Halloran fronted his sextet to culminate his studies at the university, but this was no average senior recital. Only recently has Charlie reached legal drinking age, but he’s been playing in bars and appearing on records for yea
The Columbus Jazz Orchestra has developed a comprehensive plan to "raise the bar" and become a premier arts organization with the Columbus, Ohio community, as well as a premier jazz orchestra on a national basis. As one of the few full-time jazz orchestras in the United States, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra tapped trumpeter Byron Stripling as artistic director to inspire the organization to rise to a higher level, both artistically and financially. For the CJO has been profitable for most o
Helpful to my appreciation of the ICP performance at UMass Amherst was my visual memory of the work of Pieter Bruegel, a 16th century Flemish painter. Although the subject matter explored by this late Renaissance master frequently took a religious or traditional turn, the way in which Bruegel portrayed the figures in his paintings was remarkably cariactural. Leap to the Instant Composers Pool Orchestra. This is a contemporary big band made up of an extraordinary group of musicians led by D
Donald Fagen released his first solo album The Nightfly a full twenty-five years ago in 1981, but it was not until this year and the release of Morph the Cat, his third disc sans Walter Becker and Steely Dan, that the once road-shy keyboardist and singer took to the road on his own for a full tour of the U.S. and Canada. Addressing the assembled fans at the Donald Fagen Band's stop at L.A.'s historic Wiltern Theatre Fagen promised a set mixing songs from his solo career, some cover
This was a very interesting evening for a number of reasons. First of all, it was another example of a setting in which jazz and related genres of music can be presented in a way that makes economic sense. The organizers, Transparent Productions, to quote from their website, ( "is a non-profit, volunteer organization that produces creative improvised music concerts in the Washington DC area. Our goal is to bring this wonderful music to DC a


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Five-time Grammy award winner, Israel "Cachao" Lopez recently played two nights at the Blue Note in New York City. Leading a ten-piece band, Cachao dazzled the audience with his rhythm and enthusiasm. He was introduced by his daughter and received a warm welcome. The music opened with Cachao’s bow on the bass. Consecutive solos from Kiwzo Fumero on trumpet, Rafael Palau on sax and Fedirico Brito on violin followed Cachao’s brilliant introduction. A most interesting exchange then found Brito and
I first saw Keith Jarrett perform with a quartet at the Jazz Workshop in Boston in the early 1970s. At that time, having been introduced a few years back to jazz through Bitches Brew, I was interested in seeing performers who had played with Miles, and Keith filled that bill. I remember, in particular, his playing a small wooden xylophone. Years later, living in Kyoto, Japan, I borrowed several of the ECM solo records from Jonah, a theater student and fellow English teacher. I remember being
There is no doubt that the Cape May Jazz Festival is a success. Presented twice a year in the charming New Jersey seaside resort of Cape May, the event is entering its twelfth year. The secrets to its success? Great music and great organization; the festival seems to have struck an ideal balance between music and marketing. Anyone attending this event would have to conclude that the reports of jazz' demise are grossly exaggerated. According to music industry sources, jazz represents
I hope James Moody enjoyed his 80th birthday party. He should have it lasted all year! There was a whole series of events, including a week-long celebration at The Blue Note in New York, in March, featuring Moody's group with a slew of guests, an inaugural fund raising concert for the James Moody Jazz Scholarship Endowment at SUNY Purchase in April, and another celebration at The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles with MC Bill Cosby, The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Nanc
You can call a live performance many things: a gig, date, show, or what you will. But Alice Coltrane's recent concert at UCLA's Royce Hall, her first U.S. public appearance in three decades? Now, that was than an event. Mrs. Coltrane, playing piano, organ, and synthesizer, led a stellar quartet featuring son Ravi on tenor and soprano saxophone, the legendary Reggie Workman on bass and drummer Trevor Lawrence. Providing ample support on
There are still those who hold that the flute does not belong in jazz, or that it is, at best, a marginal jazz instrument. There are, however, many artists working in the genre today who disprove that notion, and Flutology is at the top of the heap. This all-star sextet was formed at Birdland one night in 2002 when jazz flute pioneer Frank Wess heard two flutists in tandem--Holly Hoffman, who was working with Ray Brown's quartet, and Holly's long time friend and fellow young lioness Ali R
Friends and I were able to catch the first set of a two-night stand by the James Carter Quartet. The jazz at Founder’s Hall is always top-notch, but the James Carter Quartet decided to add some new notches at the top of scale with what was a killer six-song, ninety minute set. James Carter, dressed like he was headed for a GQ fashion shoot, led his fellow musicians on stage carrying an armful of gleaming horns. Drummer Leonard King came on stage sporting an electric smile and dreadlock
The boppin’ and blowin’ boys from the Big Apple blew into Miller-town with their A-game, first as a cool jazz band and then as a brassed-up, opus-producing orchestra. The New York City Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra stopped in at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee for a one-nighter on a Thursday before right away coaching down to Chicago for the next day full of demo’s and teaching and another concert, and then two days later heading off to Japan to continue the tour
The boppin’ and blowin’ boys from LA-la-land blew into Miller-town with their A-game, as a cool jazz band wait, wait, that’s exactly what I wrote about a terrific one-nighter by another repertory jazz ensemble which came to Milwaukee two weeks before. Then it was the New York City Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, led from the back (kind of like a conductor-less NYC subway train) by cool and reknown Wynton Marsalis. This time -- in the third concert of the five-concert 14th seaso