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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

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

Yaron Gershovsky

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If you are a film producer and are looking for someone to write the score for your next blockbuster movie-Hello! The one thing Yaron Gershovsky hasn’t done and would still like to do is write the score for a major motion picture. Gershovsky’s impressive resume includes the Manhattan Transfer, working on several major Broadway productions including Swing and City of Angels as well as producing numerous CDs for artists including his own. Gershovsky isn’t out there advertisi …
29.01.2011

Ellen Johnson

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"I don’t paint, so I guess in my music I try to paint (using) words and sounds. People have made mention that with this CD (These Days) they hear all these subtleties and nuances. I do that on purpose because I am not just trying to sing a song, I am trying to add colors to it with my voice," says Ellen Johnson from her home on the west coast. The well spoken Johnson continues to talk about her passion for music, "If you walk out in nature and look at beautiful scenery, it’s no …
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

John Lee

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Some of the finest brass players in the world blow a spirited welcome on the opening and title track to Dizzy’s Business. Eighteen musicians including guest Roy Hargrove appear on this wonderful CD. Slide Hampton directs and Roberta Gambarini blesses our ears with her wonderful vocals. It is impossible to list all of the great musicians who comprise the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, but let’s tease you with a few names--Randy Brecker (trumpet), James Moody (tenor saxophone/flute/voca …
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

Vinny Valentino

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Although Vinny Valentino is a guitar virtuoso, his talent with six strings often overshadows his insight and genius as a composer. "I think that it is very difficult in our world to wear many different hats and for people to be accepting of those different hats. If you are a guitar player, you are not really thought of as a great composer," says Valentino. He continues the thought with, "(Take) Pat Metheny, nobody really thinks of Pat as a great composer. Well, I guess some people do, but …
29.01.2011

Ann Hampton Callaway

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It was Cyndi Lauper who rode the pop tune "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" in the early eighties, but Chicago born songstress, Ann Hampton Callaway, is one of New York City's bright lights in 2006, and she is the one having all the fun. The lady with the effervescent personality and fabulous vocals often refers to herself as a lover. "I was just born to be a lover," says Callaway. "I think that sense of love immediately draws people in. I am so glad that I can sing because all of that stuf …
29.01.2011

Reuben Rogers

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"There is something about when you are so close and people can almost touch you. It is another feeling and that is the way I like it," Reuben Rogers says in replying to my question about the type of venue that best suits him as an artist. The highly acclaimed bassist who earlier this year debuted his self-titled solo project continues, "(So close) that they can hear you breathe. I like to be able to look down and see the reaction of the person to the soloist, and to the energy of the song that t …
29.01.2011

Wycliffe Gordon

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If you are a fan of jazz music and you haven't heard of Wycliffe Gordon, you have to get dialed in now! You have probably heard people make statements about other artists such as, "It is almost like he/she makes that instrument talk." Well Gordon does indeed give a human voice to his Edwards 500 bore trombone and he has a lot of fun doing it. With songs like "Shhhh!!!!" from his most recent release, Cone's Coup from the Criss Cross label and "Take Your Cake Back" from the previously …
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 …
29.01.2011

Monika H.

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Monika Heidemann, or Monika H as she prefers to be called, joins Julie Hardy and Brenda Earle as part of the new wave of very talented contemporary Jazz singer/composers coming out of New York City. One couldn't hope for a more resounding endorsement than she received from highly respected Dominique Eade: "Monika always had her ear pointed in a different direction; she wasn't going for the beaten path and she stayed true to the sound she was after. She's smart, hip and has a great sense …
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 …