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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Monika Herzig

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German born and bred pianist/composer Monika Herzig has a flare for putting an eclectic twist on traditional jazz idioms, and she makes no exceptions on her interpretation of classic holiday tunes for her forthcoming CD, Peace On Earth. Fraught with decorative furls and spontaneous chutes, Herzig’s album injects boasters to familiar holiday sing-along numbers like "The Coventry Carol" and "Silent Night’ producing bursts of freestyle energy rimming the main themes. Her improvisations ac …
29.01.2011

Peter White

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Guitarist Peter White continues to release music that innovates the genre. From his first recordings in the early 90s, he brings energy that matches and exceeds his peers. About people remembering those early recordings, he says, that means more to me to hear a song that I recorded way back for my first solo CD 19 years ago. It means a lot to me to hear that music that's still being accepted today. It's nice to hear the new songs, but wow, that song from my first album still getting played 19 …
29.01.2011

Hiroshima's Legacy

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To celebrate their 30th anniversary, the group Hiroshima goes back to the first ten years of their musical existence. Instead of re-releasing tracks from that first decade, leader Dan Kuromoto decided to re-record those songs on their newest CD Legacy. He says, we really didn't feel like doing the best ofs. We didn't know what that means really. When you have 17 CDs, how do you do a best of. Actually we then put it on our website and asked people to submit what they thought were their …
29.01.2011

Paul Carlon

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Paul Carlon has built a reputation for himself in the chamber-jazz quarter as the bandleader, composer and saxophonist for the Paul Carlon Octet, and as a motivating force of Latin-jazz in the New York City-based ensemble Grupo los Santos. But recently, he has taken on an additional role as the saxophonist and co-writer for The McCarron Brothers. The quartet has become his outlet to indulge his craving for American roots/smoky blues-jazz music, where he has settled into a stride t …
29.01.2011

Zlatko Kaucic

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When American author Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote the novel, Tarzan, he provided people with an impression of what a man would be like if he lived in the jungle and bonded with nature, taking its life forms into his bosom like a close member of his family. Similarly, composer-drummer-percussionist Zlatko Kaučič does the same with his music, treating nature like it is a family member, corresponding with it and respecting its space. Kaučič is a man who is inspired by …
Milford Graves, keynote speaker from Bennington College, International Centre for Medicinal and Scientific Studies - Topic: Tono Rhythmology and Biocosmology: New paradigms for creating a unified all-pervasive music. Originally, I was to have interviewed Professor Graves by phone. When I called him at his home in N.Y.C he asked how long this was going to take. "As long as you like", I replied. He explained to me that he was still packing and had to catch an early flight for his keynote addres …
29.01.2011

Foundations

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Trumpeter Curt Ramm, saxophonist Dan Moretti and pianist Bill Cunliffe excel in a myriad of musical settings; funk, fusion, Latin, r&b and classical. However, their true love is straight-ahead, soulful and grooving jazz. This common ground is the seed that germinated The Foundations Jazz Record label and as a result of this, we have the product of their first collaboration, Foundations. The new CD combines their skills as soloists, composers and creative forces. Foun …
It is Monday, June 8th 2009 and I am at home drinking a very good cup of coffee, while on the phone with Ezra Weiss. We have finally connected after playing an intense game of phone tag for a week or two. It feels amazing to finally have the opportunity to interview one of the true originals in jazz music and jazz education. One rarely gets the opportunity to talk with someone so passionate, yet so humble, about teaching young people and his deep appreciation for jazz music. Ezra Weiss i …
29.01.2011

Joanne Shaw Taylor

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Dissecting and sculpting opinions concerning the new tour of blues sounds has always dropped me off at my own crossroads. Just left of wax center, extremes of rhythms and vocal curves that stretch the traditional concepts of the textbooks become a welcome exploit for me. Whether the stylistic bending in blues is welcome or forbidden by traditional masses and talking heads, it is always an unworthy indulgence to have a sit-n-spin among the fresh and pioneering channels of echoes to come. I …
29.01.2011

Noel Webb

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Composer/arranger/violinist Noel Webb is like a human sponge, able to absorb a multitude of influences from different sources of art found in the works of musicians, filmmakers and literary writers. He asserts, "Artists should dive into any and every form of creative art and literature that they can get their hands on. Then, they should explore every aspect of those areas that time and money will allows. All art and literature, yes literature." He emphasizes will explode you …
When guitarist Craig Chaquico records a CD, you can expect a lot of moods in it. He says, I like the album to be sort of like a good movie or a good book that takes you on a journey that interests you so it touches your emotions. A good book or a good movie can have the action scenes in it, but it can't all be action. It's got to have the romance scene, it's got to have something that touches your emotions. No matter who we are, we don't even need to know each other, we all have…
Saturated in a legacy, ignited by a deep inbred passion, Zakiya Hooker takes the blues from the past and allows the future to extract her signature sound. Influenced by her icon father John Lee, Zakiya directs us out of the crossroads, with her new jewel box Keeping it Real. Ms. Hooker is a direct and focused vocalist, both in her philosophy of life, and her style. She intermingles her faith and father (John Lee Hooker), crediting both for her journey thus far. This is what makes …
Pushing ‘PLAY’ on the CD player transports the listener immediately to Copacabana Beach, conjuring up images of sipping a caipirinha in Brazilian paradise. It is really no accident that Anne Walsh invokes such visions of a tropical paradise. She’s had a sort of infatuation with the world of Latin rhythms "since I was a little girl going to a friend’s house and listening to the music," Walsh recalls. "The language itself is infectious," she says. "(The rest is) listening to the music and …
It’s Monday June 1, 2009 at approximately 6:14 pm and Derrick Gardner, the proverbial titan of hard-bop, is on a journey. After visiting his mother Dr. Effie Gardner (classically trained pianist) and a week long stint (gigging) in New York City, he is traveling across country to do what he does best playing JAZZ! Gardner, at full speed, has hit the road literally traveling almost nonstop for the past couple of weeks to promote his latest work, Echoes of Ethnicity. Gardner rec …
Bernie Williams bounds across the floor with a major league swagger. He is on the road again, only this time he’s armed with a jazz guitar instead of his trusted Gold Glove that made him one of baseball’s top defensive players four years in a row. Yes, the six-time All-Star Centerfielder for the New York Yankees is on another winning streak, scoring points first with Craig Ferguson during a television taping in Los Angeles, then lighting up the crowd in Sacramento, where his new musical relea …
29.01.2011

Daniela Schächter

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People generally have a preconceived idea about how classic jazz music should sound, relying on reference points like the soft timbres of Peggy Lee, the swift scat shuffles of Ella Fitzgerald, or the refined grooves of Duke Ellington, but singer/pianist/composer Daniela Schächter plays classic jazz without adhering to anyone else’s rules but her own. Schächter personalizes jazz music to fit her own voicing and make-up. She admits, "I wasn’t concerned" about making music that appea …
Even though flautist Alexander Zonjic lives across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario and is a Canadian by citizenship, he has considered Detroit his second home for about 30 years. He is the morning host on Detroit's smooth jazz radio station WVMV, owns a jazz supper club called Seldom Blues in downtown Detroit, promotes five to six major festivals throughout the metro Detroit area and has a successful career as a musician. Although he has been the host of the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards sin …
29.01.2011

Martha J

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It’s common for aspiring artists to hear that they could be an international star from agents and people in the press, but in the case of singer/ guitarist/ arranger/ teacher Martha J, those folks are not just weaving tall-tales. Martha J has the goods and the chops to become much more than a local attraction in her native land of Milan, Italy. The lass has a set of pipes that can appeal to the denizens of Australia’s outback just as assuredly as she can reel in crowds for a conce …
Composer/keyboardist/saxophonist/singer/producer Jason Peterson ("JP") DeLaire comes from a very musical family whose roots are firmly planted in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His family is to Minneapolis-soul what the Rockefeller’s are to the financial world, the Barrymore’s to the acting world, and the Kennedy’s to the world of politics. His uncle, Paul Peterson, was a member of the dance-funk group, The Time and played in Prince’s 1985 movie, Purple Rain. DeLaire shares about h …
29.01.2011

Irene Atman

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Jazz music is like catnip to Irene Atman, when she rubs her vocals all around its creamy lathers and emits sensual purrs as if the music is an aphrodisiac that she cannot resist. Jazz calls to Atman like bees swarm to honey, barnacles attach to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, or lightning strikes are drawn to metal. She admits that her attraction to jazz music stems from, "The rhythm, the harmonics and the freedom to make up your own ideas ..and playing with people doing the same thing. …