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Jazz Artist Interviews (634)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Richard Elliot

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It had to happen! Hot horns, mellow tunes, master musicians and lots of soul, after years of performing together, trumpeter Rick Braun and sax man, Richard Elliot along with co-producers Jeff Lorber, Rex Rideout and Philippe Saisse have produced a slamming, jamming scorcher, showcasing talents of all the artists, commanding attention of their listeners, thrilling their fans with this summer’s great hit, R n R As he rushed back from a gig in Detroit, Richard Elliot was kind eno …
29.01.2011

Kendra Shank

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Abbey Lincoln once stated "When everything is finished in a world, the people go to look for what the artists leave. It's the only thing that we have really in this world -- is an ability to express ourselves and say, ‘I was here.’" Today, through the words, mind and soul of Abbey Lincoln, comes those same feelings from vocalist/philosopher/educator, and hopefully soon to be composer, Kendra Shank. Kendra Shank is here with all the passion and insight of a most seasoned classic jazz p …
29.01.2011

Alan Hewitt

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The All-Star Cruise is setting sail once again on Monday, January 21, 2008 from Port San Diego, California on the ship Carnival Elation, hosted by the Haven Entertainment. On board the cruise is platinum award winning pianist/composer/producer Alan Hewitt, which features three days of pre-cruise shows held at the Town And Country Resort in San Diego on Friday, January 18th, Saturday, January 19th and Sunday January 20th. The shows bring together some of R&B, soul, and adult contempora …
29.01.2011

Tom McDermott

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I recently caught a set with New Orleans traditional jazz pianist Tom McDermott and his jazz trio on August 4 at Gulfstream, a restaurant in uptown New Orleans. The eclectic set included everything from Henri Mancini's "Days of Wine and Roses" done bassa nova-style to Fats Domino's upbeat "I'm Walking." His solid rhythm section included University of New Orleans music graduates Andy Wolf on bass and Cale Pellick on drums, who both admitted the post-Katrina music scene is still reeling a bit. The …
29.01.2011

Three's Company

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When Steve Allee was a young boy, his family would go visit an uncle with an extensive record collection. At some point during the gathering, his uncle would invariably start playing all kinds of music−classical, Dixieland, even Hawaiian. One day, his uncle played "It Ain’t Necessarily So" performed by Miles Davis and arranged by Gil Evans. When it was over, Allee asked, "Would you play that song one more time?" After it was done playing a second time, he still asked, "Could we h …
Jazz musician Najee is known as a legend in the contemporary jazz arena. He has been nominated for two Grammy Awards in his time and his CDs have garnered frequent airplay since he debuted back in 1988. With all these accomplishments Najee still manages to keep a sense of humility which is admirable. He recently released his second jazz CD under the Head's Up label called "Rising Sun", a jam packed musical session that is diverse with everything from Latin-tinged music, to ball …
29.01.2011

Ronny Smith

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Smooth jazz guitarist Ronny Smith dedicated his song "Falling In Love With Jesus" from his recent album Simply Stated to his parents. He professes, "Music affects people in many different ways. I only hope that any music I perform, play, or write will have a positive affect with the G-rating. Indeed his album Simply Stated has a smooth jazz G-rating, perfect for spreading good vibes and a gentle mood across the room. These positive feelings were a staple of his upbringin …
29.01.2011

Claire Martin

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Claire Martin, ‘UK’s best jazz vocalist,’ made her debut at The Oak Room of the legendary Algonquin Hotel, on New York’s West Forty Forth Street this summer. Coinciding with the release of her twelfth album, He Never Mentioned Love, a tribute to the late, great Shirley Horn. We spoke with Claire on her return to the UK about The Algonquin, her musical friends and returning home again to the sea. Claire Martin’s Algonquin debut had been a long time in …
29.01.2011

Rocco Ventrella

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Bari, Italy’s renown saxophonist Rocco Ventrella says that he wants to move to Los Angeles, California after having fallen in love with its ambience while recording his latest album Give Me The Groove in Hollywood. The smooth jazz maker, and aficionado, found America to be very welcoming towards his music, and in return, American jazz has stimulated his creative urges. His debut disc Tribute To Grover Washington, Jr. is a testament to his love of American jazz. …
Donning a blue wig and performing a whacky improvisation of a very senior citizen awaiting her boyfriend’s arrival, the absolutely comedic woman on the youtube video is obviously blessed with talent. Miss MacKenzie’s performance was repeated, in part, last Valentine’s Day as she delighted the patrons of New York City’s Cornelius Street Café. This time, she had an accomplice in a jazz artist by the name of Dave Devoe. Miss MacKenzie’s is the alter ego of the very talented and equally beautif …
It’s a warm, summer, Friday afternoon, the first Friday after the Fourth of July holiday, and I am a bit nervous as I enter into the condo complex in Dobb’s Ferry where I am about to conduct an interview with the jazz pianist Steve Kuhn. It’s my first interview and I am wondering how the hell I ever I came to this place. Doing an interview with a prominent musician was something I didn’t take lightly. Being a fan, I sometimes feel somewhat in awe of those who can so easily produce the …
29.01.2011

Dave Frank

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Avant-garde jazz pianist Dave Franks’ humor can sometimes be as surreal as the paintings of Salvador Dali, whose paintings served as the inspiration behind the song "Salvador Dali in a State of Grace." Frank will joke about where Dali might be now or about playing a private concert for Picasso. He talks about his own music using descriptive metaphors. "Salvador Dali was one of the proponents of the surreal avant-garde painting movement, taking traditional images and reinvent …
From Burghausen Jazz Festival in Germany to a New Year’s Bash in Morocco for King Hassan, and back in the United States at many of the finest settings, composer, pianist, all-around nice guy, Lafayette Harris, Jr., has enjoyed it all, including a coaching position for youngsters in Japan. Harris was also the music director and conductor for "Cab Calloway’s Legacy of Swing Tour" in a ten-week tour of the United States. With all that experience and stardom, Harris has earned a station in …
29.01.2011

Jerry Granelli

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Drummer Jerry Granelli was an active member of the psychedelic music that was being fostered in the San Francisco Bay area during the ‘60s. He considers himself a "pre-hippie," coming into fashion before the members of The Grateful Dead and The Mamas and The Papas. And though it seems like a world away from his current album The Sonic Temple with his present band V16, the mentality of a hippie of not knowing where you are going, but taking pleasure in do …
29.01.2011

Jane Stuart

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"My mother took me to a Broadway show when I was about seven years old. I remember very vividly the moment I looked at the performance that I could do that! I can and will do it. That was the start." From the Moser Starlights stage at age five, to her off Broadway performance of "Curley McDimple," the stage has been home to Jane Stuart. Jane cherished the theatre, but there was still a vacancy inside, a need that burned daily with desire. Jane knew what the fire was stoked by; it was the heat …
29.01.2011

Enrico Pieranunzi

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Classical jazz pianist Enrico Pieranunzi has played on 61 albums. His recording history includes solo albums, as well as collaborations with other recording artists like André Ceccarelli, Paul Motian, and Chet Baker. His reaction to this historic achievement is sheer astonishment. "It’s simply wonderful," he elates, "sort of a dream for me. When I was a child or in my teens, I was very much focused on listening to the music and on practicing it. I couldn't imagine what is happening now, …
29.01.2011

Jay Leach

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The church and music have always gone hand-in-hand. It is the place where artists like modern rock’s Bono of U2 and R&B/jazz savant Lizz Wright began by singing in the choir, pop music’s Whitney Houston and hip hop’s Kanye West first touched audiences, and country music’s Dolly Parton and bluegrass’ Alison Krauss were first embraced. The church and music have a great deal in common. They both encourage communal gatherings and participation, and they also both transcend any delineations th …
The first impression you may have of Marcus Horatio Mitchell is that he is a handsome, young man with dreamy, brown eyes, a happy-go-lucky disposition, and a sunny smile that could melt the Arctic glaciers, but this handsome 24-year old has more than just good looks to his credit. He has the music chops and astute business sense of an artist who can give smooth jazz, and the burgeoning urban jazz market, the lift to bring it notoriety in the way that Smokey Robinson gave to Quiet Storm. < …
In February, Spyro Gyra was nominated for their ninth Grammy award in the best pop instrumental album category for Wrapped in a Dream. However, even though four of the five nominees were smooth jazz artists, the award was given out to rocker Peter Frampton's instrumental album Fingertips. Jay Beckenstein, leader and sax man of the group, says, The Grammys have always had a hard time figuring out the categories of jazz, quite frankly. There's plenty of Grammy attention paid to m …
As the U.S. Congress talks about immigration reform, we remember that the United States is a country of immigrants. The group Hiroshima helps to show how diversity is the backbone of the country. When Japanese Americans, Dan and June Kuramoto, formed the group in East Los Angeles, they wanted to bring in other cultures to the mix, including Asian, Latin and African American, and others. By doing that, the group has helped to establish a style all their own. Their newest CD Little Tokyo …