This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're sure you know this by now, but just in case, President Obama won reelection and will serve a second term in office.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I believe we can seize this future together, because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We are not cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.
Elizabeth Doyle was brought up around all kinds of music from an early age, thanks to a truly musical family in South Dakota. Three of her four grandparents were professional musicians, including one radio performer and singing cowboy. Her father had played saxophone and clarinet in the Navy during WWII, and her mother was an avid singer and pianist. Both parents were fans of big-band music, jazz, and the show tunes of the '30s, '40s, and '50s.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:17 pm
The pioneering pianist Thelonious Monk left behind a treasure trove of compositions. Onstage at the KC Jazz Club at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., a current jazz treasure is here to play some of the best. Benny Green is on piano with Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums.
Singer-songwriter Willie Nelson was born April 30, 1933, in the small farming community of Abbott, Texas. His early interest in music came about through singing in church, and he wrote his first song at age 7. By age 9, he'd begun playing in a local band; after high school, Nelson served briefly in the Air Force and studied at Baylor University. In the mid-'50s, he worked as a disc jockey in Texas and Washington state, played in honky-tonks and continued to write songs.
There are three stages at the Newport Jazz Festival. At least two are always running simultaneously. Given the surfeit of options, it's rare to hear a complete set. The question begins to nag: Should be we somewhere else? And away you go, leaving a work in progress to make sure you don't miss one getting underway.
But sometimes if you choose a spot on the lawn and stay put, the juxtaposition of two bands delivers a fine festival experience. Sunday morning, August 5, 2012, on the Quad Stage is such a time.
This week, Piano Jazz digs deep into the archives with a session featuring James Herbert "Eubie" Blake. He was the last of the known living original ragtime pianists when he appeared on the program in 1980 with host Marian McPartland.
Saxophonist John Ellis (center) performs with Matt Perrine (left) on sousaphone at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Credit Erik Jacobs for NPR
Sharply dressed for the occasion, composer Darcy James Argue led his 18-piece big band, Secret Society, at the main Fort Stage on Saturday.
Credit Erik Jacobs for NPR
Song titles like "Three-Legged Tango In Jackson Square" and "Zydeco Clowns On The Lam" clue us into the Southern Gothic imagination of saxophonist John Ellis and his band, Double-Wide. New Orleans resident Matt Perrine played sousaphone bass during the festival's first main-stage show.
As we re-release these two sets from Newport, saxophonist John Ellis (leader of one, player in the other) is leading workshops in Portugal and Italy. Darcy James Argue has released a studio recording of Brooklyn Babylon, and his Secret Society tied with the Maria Schneider Orchestra for the Big Band of 2013 in the just-out DownBeat Critics Poll.
JazzSet returns to the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival for performances from two complementary bandleaders on the main Fort Adams stage: violinist Regina Carter and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.
Regina Carter started playing violin as a 4-year-old Suzuki method student in Detroit, and later played in school and community orchestras. After attending the New England Conservatory of Music, she chose jazz as her primary direction. JazzSet first presented her from the 1995 Telluride Jazz Festival — on a stage in the mountains, playing into the open air.
Note the message on Kevin Eubanks' cap: "Meet You at the <a href="http://www.americanjazzmuseum.com/SiteResources/Data/Templates/t1.asp?page=getcalendar&DocName=Home">Blue Room</a>." It's a nice club in Kansas City, in the historic district where Count Basie, Lester Young and Mary Lou Williams used to play.
Credit Len Katz Photography
From left to right: Kevin Eubanks, Bill Pierce and Marvin Smitty Smith perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 9:58 am
Kevin Eubanks (briefly) and saxophonist Bill Pierce (in the mid 1980s) both played in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the two-generation-spanning band that is so very important in jazz from 1950s through the '80s. Now Pierce chairs the Woodwinds Department at Berklee College.
Eubanks and Marvin Smith were in TheTonight Show band together for 15 years, with guitar riffs and rim shots for Jay Leno Monday through Friday. "Smitty" brought Los Angeles bassist Rene Camacho into this group.
Juan-Carlos Formell participated in a multi-artist showcase at SOB's — home to Brazilian and Latin music in New York — a few years ago. Between a couple of amped-up bands, he took the stage alone (as I recall) and sang in Spanish, accompanying himself on guitar. His voice had urgency to it, and there was an irresistible engine inside that guitar. Ever since, I've wanted to hear and know more.