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Jazz Artist Interviews (634)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Chris Washburne

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The first time Chris Washburne picked up a trombone, it was a rather auspicious occasion. The superbly talented jazz musician, bandleader and composer seemed to have fun in relating the experience to me. "I didn’t pick the trombone, the trombone picked me. When I was ten years old I wanted to play the trumpet because it was shiny and because it played high and loud. There were still music programs in all the high schools and grade schools. At ten you could go and rent an instrument fairly che …
29.01.2011

Kellylee Evans

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Try to put singer/songwriter Kellylee Evans into any one musical category, and marvel as she effortlessly soars over, glides under, dances around, or bursts through it. Her electric, eclectic, vibe is a heady brew of jazz, soul, blues, carribean, and more. Evans gained worldwide recognition as runner-up in the 2004 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, and her recently released debut CD, Fight or Flight, has inspired comparisons to Erykah Badu, and Cassandra Wilson. Jaz …
29.01.2011

Charlie Fishman

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Watching Charlie Fishman at work is an exercise in perpetual motion. He is everywhere at once, making sure that details are taken care of for the latest Duke Ellington Jazz Festival. The festival is his personal campaign to awaken and enlighten jazz enthusiasts to the unlimited possibilities that Washington, D.C. offers. There is always music playing, whether it is in a concert venue or at his home that also serves as his office. Charlie speaks with the enthusiasm and conviction of a man who tru …
29.01.2011

Delfeayo Marsalis

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The Marsalis name has always been synonymous with Jazz music and some good ole’ Nawlings sound. Those Marsalis boys -- Wynton, Branford, Jason and Delfeayo have followed in the footsteps of patriarch Ellis for a sound that is uniquely theirs. Delfeayo plays the trombone. It's an instrument he admits he has had a love affair with for years."It suits my personality. It’s mellow and suits me fine and I feel as if I’m connected to it in some way."It’s great to be a trombone," M …
New Age and Smooth Jazz artist Kazu Matsui was born in Tokyo on June 5, 1954. He studied ethnic arts at UCLA after traveling through Europe and India in the mid 1970’s. He went back to Tokyo to teach Educational Theories at Toyoeiwa Woman's University. At the same time, Matsui began his music career with studio sessions that included major players of the day, Danny O'Keefe (1979’s The Global Blues), Ry Cooder (1982's Slide Area) and Joni Mitc …
29.01.2011

Steve Cole

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Steve Cole: Chicago's Sound In smooth jazz, there has always been primarily two types of smooth jazz, West Coast style and East Coast style. However, there has been a growing voice out of Chicago that is giving smooth jazz listeners a third style that has a flavor all its own. Starting with pianist Ramsey Lewis, many artists who have worked with musicians on both coasts are starting to come together to bring the Chicago sound to a growing audience. One of the leading Chicago-based artists is …
29.01.2011

Stacey Kent

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Stacey Kent and Jim Tomlinson have been making music together for 15 years. Their latest collaboration has the celebrated jazz singer making a special guest appearance on husband and saxophonist Tomlinson’s The Lyric. The effort has resulted in no less than album of the year honors at the 2006 BBC Jazz Awards. "This album was pure joy," said Kent, who attributes the success of the CD to its collaborative spirit. Kent, who sings on nearly all of the s …
29.01.2011

Lynne Arriale

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Lynne Arriale’s music has been crossing demographic boundaries by thrilling both non-jazz and jazz fans alike ever since her CD Live at Montreux catapulted her to the forefront of the jazz community. Her lyrical style and her dedication in selecting material that allows interactive conversations from all styles of music (Beatles to Monk), has placed Arriale on the list of leaders. She defies trends to follow her heart and intuition, and breathes life into the j …
29.01.2011

Gladys Knight

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Gladys Knight is one busy lady. In addition to her concert performances, she is planning a concert tour to publicize her new CD, Before Me. She directs a Grammy award-winning church choir that will also have a new CD for the upcoming holiday season. When she’s not on the road performing, she’s in her new farmhouse redecorating, or traveling with her husband. If you look at her on the cover of her new CD, you can see that all of this agrees with her. She has a joy, a love for life that is …
29.01.2011

Mark McLean

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I recently caught a show at the Toronto International Dance Festival with legendary jazz great David "Fathead" Newman. The show was billed as "Dance And How It Moves You." Along with David "Fathead" Newman were dancers extraordinaire, Brenda Bufalino (tap dancer) and Esmeralda Enrique (flamenco dancer), as well as contemporary break dancer, Jason York. The show took place August 16, 2006 at the Toronto Distillery in the underground cavern known as the Fermenting Cellar. Newman was accompanied by …
29.01.2011

Joshua Bayer

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"I am a simple carpenter of tunes" is how Joshua Bayer introduces himself. Like many gifted musicians, his modest description is a grand understatement, but one look at his resume and another version comes to life. Musician, composer, performer, educator, husband, father and son, Joshua Bayer is a very unique individual with a very unique sound. The master of the stand up bass, Bayer has just released a new CD entitled New Voice: Old Voice, in which his artistry and singular vision …
29.01.2011

Davide Virelles

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JazzReview: I’m with David Virelles (an award winning pianist) and Luis Deniz (an award winning alto saxophonist) of the The David Virelles Quintet.They have known each other for a long time, having gone to school together in Cuba. The band has just finished playing their set for the Beaches International Jazz Festival. The festival takes place in the east end of downtown Toronto on the shore of Lake Ontario. Davide you have just finished a tour, how did that go? …
29.01.2011

Rollins Ross

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Roxbury native Rollins Ross recently returned from Puerto Rico where he was on tour at the San Juan Hotel and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Martha’s Vineyard Cottagers. Despite the whirlwind travel, Ross was upbeat and relaxed when I entered his Mattapan home for our interview. His living room was filled with CDs, DVDs, a piano and music memorabilia. Although a jazz musician at heart, he loves his R&B and his long-standing band, Soul Source, will be laying rhythm an …
Soaring on the wings of critical acclaim and success, Chris Botti has reached a pristine zenith of achievement in his career. Most importantly, he has done so without compromising his vision. Chris Botti is intent on imparting awareness of the importance of music in the lives of children, as well as the parental involvement that is necessary in aiding children with this process. There once was a time when children pursued their love of music absorbedly, therefore chose to dedicate their live …
29.01.2011

Shilts

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The group Down to the Bone has always been in the forefront of breaking the smooth jazz mold. One of the group's signature personnel is saxophonist Paul "Shilts" Weimar, who is the group's longest running member. After working nine years with Down to the Bone, Shilts is breaking out with his own style of music in a solo project called HeadBoppin'. Not only has Shilts been playing sax with Down to the Bone for nine years, he has been playing sax since he was ten years old. He says, W …
29.01.2011

Brett Boyd

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He lives in New York, just finished high school, plays a sweet trumpet and can sing the pants off any of today's "singers." His name is Brett Boyd. Brett comes from a most musical family; one grandfather played trombone in big bands with Tommy Dorsey, Sammy Kaye and Ted Lewis. His other grandfather sang and used to open for Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey band. His grandmother was a classical pianist and his father is a singer. Nobody needs debate whether or not talent can be genetic. His …
29.01.2011

Ignacio Berroa

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On a warm summer evening in Havana, Cuba, a young man stands outside a concert hall talking with some friends. He is ecstatic and he is telling this friends that his life can end now and he will go peacefully because he has seen the great Dizzy Gillespie perform. Performances such as this are a rare thing in Havana and this one has left a very strong impression on the young man. Little did he know at the time that a short four years later, this same young man would get to& …
29.01.2011

Harvie S

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Harvie S is one of the most adventurous musicians working on the scene today. On his latest CD, "Funky Cha," the bassist continues to push into new territory, exploring the meeting of jazz and Afro-Cuban music. The album features reworkings of a few familiar tunes by Thelonious Monk and Cole Porter, but it’s mostly made of up six original tunes that capture S and his band’s bold, infectious sound. One of the compositions featured is "S," which won second prize in the 2006 Interna …
29.01.2011

Larry Vuckovich

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When you first see his face on the cover of his latest CD release Street Scene, Larry Vuckovich looks like your grandfather; the grey hair sticking out from under the black beret, the trench coat tied at his waist, the knowing world weary look on his face. He sort of looks like one of those tough guys in the old nineteen forties movies, kind of like the guy Humphrey Bogart would run into, or maybe Cagney or maybe even George Raft. The album cover is straight out …
29.01.2011

Annie Ross

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I had the opportunity to go to the Hollywood bowl on July 19, 2006 to see John Pizzarelli and guests perform under the stars. The guests included Bill Henderson, Kurt Elling, Tierney Sutton and Annie Ross. Each of the five singers (John also sang) was in top form. One of the real highlights of the evening was when Annie Ross sang "Twisted," which was only up-staged when she sang "Lush Life." It was a remarkable evening. Several weeks before the Jazz at the Phil concert, I spoke with An …