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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Jay Soto

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Jay Soto is rapidly becoming one of the hottest smooth jazz guitarists in America. His sophomore album, Stay Awhile, fulfills all the promise of his debut CD Long Time Coming. The talented guitar maestro, who in 2004 was one of six finalists in a national guitar competition, is riding the recent success of his single "Slammin’," which during the first week of May, took the top spot on the smoothjazz.com most added list, and held the number two spot for most added on the prestigi …
29.01.2011

John Abercrombie

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John Abercrombie has created one of the more elegant jazz guitar albums that you will hear. He refers to his new CD, The Third Quartet, as chamber jazz that incorporates the violin, guitar and drums. For the most part, The Third Quartet represents a departure in musical style from some of Abercrombie’s more recent projects such as Cat ‘N’ Mouse (2002), Class Trip (2004) and Open Land (1999) which made liberal use of improvisation and less structur …
29.01.2011

Matt DusK

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Let me be perhaps the first to introduce you to Matt Dusk. Matt Dusk is Canadian. Matt Dusk is adorable. Matt Dusk is, to sum it up, a gracious, thoughtful, fun, mature singer with a reality about the music business that seems to be innate. And he is all this at the remarkably young age of 28. I assumed that Matt was a product of a musical family because his intrinsic ability to make decades old songs sound like I was hearing them for the first time. But I wa …
29.01.2011

Will Donato

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More than any other song on Will Call, the title of the song, "Whatcha See is Whatcha Get," defines the personality of jazz saxophonist Will Donato. There is a lot about this CD that gives the listener insight to this gifted, smooth jazz musician, take for instance the back cover of the CD where the beautiful woman whom he is leaning into is his wife Diana. His conversation is peppered with glowing references to his wife and daughter. You get an opportunity in this business to …
29.01.2011

Jack Prybylski

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Jack Prybylski (pronounced purr-bill-ski) began playing the saxophone in elementary school and just never stopped. All through school and college, making music played a significant role in his life. Encouraged by his parents and teachers, he became a dedicated student and pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music education and music performance at the State University of New York in Buffalo where he graduated. He spent the ‘90s as a saxophonist in the jazz jamband ThemJazzbeards and played …
29.01.2011

Bob Margolin

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When you talk to blues guitarist, songwriter and singer Bob Margolin, you get the sense this is a man who deeply cares about family, friends, those he meets and animals. Those who know him use words like, "He is a very nice man," to describe him. It is perhaps those sensitivities that have infused the sensibilities that he brings to his music, and have made him a highly regarded musician and songwriter. He has shared the stage with music legends such as, Muddy Waters, "Pinetop" Perkins, The B …
29.01.2011

Stew Cutler

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This morning I was listening to a sportscaster on the radio describe a team that had been on a tear recently and he said, "They are not hot, they are very good." The same words can be used to describe guitarist Stew Cutler who is a very good, and we might even say, exceptional guitarist from New York City. In early April, Cutler took a few minutes to speak with me about his CD trio live recorded in live segments from the cities of Erie, Pennsylvania and Syracuse and R …
29.01.2011

Bob Mintzer

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Maintaining a big band based in New York for nearly 25 years, arranger/saxophonist Bob Mintzer is also a member of the Yellowjackets, teaches music, writes books on music and gives back to his community through music. Mintzer has played and written for Buddy Rich, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Art Blakey, Sam Jones and Jaco Pastorius, as well as Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and the New York Philharmonic. Among his session work, Mintzer has performed with James Taylor, Queen, Steve Winwood and …
29.01.2011

Maria Muldaur

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"I think that blues artists, men and women alike, are some of the most important cultural elders, and I do not think that they should be relegated to 78’s on some dusty shelf in the Smithsonian. It is music that still resonates and is very relevant today, even though the music emerged one hundred years ago. That is why I have been doing this because at the moment, it is my life’s passion," says Maria Muldaur. Muldair is most often associated with her hit seventies song "Midnight At The …
29.01.2011

Jackie Ryan

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Jackie Ryan is an international jazz star. She frequently plays both coasts and overseas, where her gig at Ronnie Scott’s in London garnered the critical praise: "One of the finest singers to perform at Ronnie's since Shirley Horn." --The London Evening Standard. Ryan has shared the stage and recording studio with many greats including Clark Terry, Red Holloway and Buddy DeFranco. Her recordings and performances generate a genuine heat, which rises above the "flavor of the month" excit …
29.01.2011

Hiromi

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"Other people can put a name on what I do", says keyboardist Hiromi Uehara. "It's just the union of what I've been listening to and what I've been learning. It has some elements of classical music, it has some rock, it has some jazz, but I don't want to give it a name." On her electrifying new release, Time Control, Hiromi explores the concept of time. The CD features long-time Hiromi bandmates drummer Martin Valihora and bassist Tony Grey, along with special guest guitarist David …
This is a true story of two people who came together due to the love of Dixieland music. Walter Sereth is a person who enjoys Dixieland music. He says, I lived next door to Alan Crowne and his brothers when I was 12 and some years later, got into play Dixieland. I never, except in the Army, played professionally. Mary Ann Stevens played violin and had an interest in fiddle music when she was going to college in Oklahoma. She says, I learned some fiddle tunes in college and then I came …
29.01.2011

Jackiem Joyner

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Saxman Jackiem Joyner has moved from being a sideman to center stage. He says, "As a musician, you always start off as a sideman. I've been on the road with Ronnie Laws and he influenced me. I think his jazz chops are really great. I picked up a few licks here and there from him, and I also liked the way he performed. He had a really great performance. The first smooth jazz artist I went on the road with was actually Marcus Johnson. That's where I kind of got the idea of how this smooth jazz con …
29.01.2011

Michael Powers

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Jimmy Reed, the bluesman who wrote "Honest I Do," and "Boy, What You Want Me To Do?" later covered by Elvis, taught Michael Powers the barre chording technique on a guitar. He grew up listening to Vanilla Fudge rehearse in his neighborhood and when he was a boy, his grandmother hauled his butt into the living room to watch the Rolling Stones perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. One might say Michael Powers was destined to become the powerhouse blues guitarist, singer and songwriter that he has be …
29.01.2011

Jeff Antoniuk

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At the end of February, I had a chance to visit and dine with Washington DC saxophonist Jeff Antoniuk who was returning to his native Canada for the week,to act as an adjudicator for a province wide high school jazz competition. Most of our conversation focused on his new CD Here Today, his debut solo effort in which he was joined by his band, The Jazz Update. At the time, the album was ranked number twenty-five on the national airplay list and by the end of March, had spen …
29.01.2011

Richard Hart

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Fusion guitarist Richard Hart is a well known studio and touring musician in jazz circles having worked with "Chuck Datillo, Larry Nance, Tony Molina, Ansley Dunbar, Ron Eschete, Tom Scott, Heath Brothers, Kirk Whalum, Russell Malone, McCoy Tyner, and Mel Torne," he roll calls. His musical experiences inspired him to create his own songs and release an album of original material called Fearless Shores on Innervision Records. "I wanted to incorporate all the great influences of t …
29.01.2011

Urban Jazz Coalition

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A little bit of R&B and funk is good for the soul, but when it's peppered with smooth jazz textures, then you've got some of the best feel-good sounds around.The seven member group of the Urban Jazz Coalition (UJC) is a group that displays the musical hybrid and they are really "bringing it" on with their latest CD Down to Get Up. On this 12 track CD, I can basically handpick a few tracks that are indeed chart-topping candidates. Now that's what I'm talking about! …
If the name Ellen Honert doesn’t ring any musical bells for you, I’m here to change that! Bay area Singer/Songwriter/Pianist Honert has just released her debut CD, Breath of the Soul on the Mill Station Records label. The twelve tracks include a cover of the Beatles’ classic, "Got to Get You Into My Life," as well as Ellen originals. All tracks were produced and brilliantly arranged by …
29.01.2011

Elli Fordyce

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There is an old cliché that goes something like this, ‘If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it probably is a duck.’ That cliché may apply to some people and most certainly is applicable to ducks, but it relates in no way to the life of jazz singer Elli Fordyce or the attitude with which she approaches her life. The singer who will be turning seventy-years old on March 31, demonstrates no signs of slowing down and does not fit the stereotype of someone about to join the septuagenaria …
Some actors learn how to sing and occasionally dance so they can land a plumb role on Broadway or another big stage, but this is the story of an actress who decided to turn to singing and we are the lucky ones. Melissa Stylianou is an incredibly gifted jazz vocalist who arrived in New York City from Toronto, Canada in 2005. Her effortless reading of Sting’s "Tea In The Sahara" (Bachelorette-2001) is elegant, her interpretation of Lennon and McCartney’s "Blackbird" (Sliding D …