Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 7:23 pm
Building on the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra's recent trip to Cuba, managing and artistic director Wynton Marsalis presents his newest large-scale work: Ochas, a suite for big band and Afro-Cuban percussion. He calls upon young superstar Pedrito Martinez, who brought along a trio of fellow hand percussionists, to execute the chants and rhythms of the batá drums specific to Santería religious practice. And he called upon virtuoso Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés to ignite the proceedings.
Even if you've never been to a jazz concert in your life, it's likely that you've heard Ryan Keberle play trombone. He's toured with Sufjan Stevens, backed up pop stars like Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake, recorded for a Woody Allen film, played in Broadway pits and directed music for a church in Manhattan. Left to his own devices, though, Keberle likes to put himself into improvising situations.
Herb Alpert is a world-renowned musician, composer, producer and co-founder of A&M Records. He rose to fame with the Tijuana Brass, and remains the only artist to have a No. 1 record as a singer and an instrumentalist.
This episode of Piano Jazz is in memory of trumpeter Joe Wilder (Feb. 22, 1922 – May 9, 2014). Wilder had his first professional gig at age 19 and went on to play with some of the most popular big band orchestras of the day.
For Herb Alpert, it all began in 1962 with a visit to a Tijuana bullfight. His first record, The Lonely Bull, drew inspiration from this experience, as he overdubbed his trumpet playing atop a recording of crowds and other ambient sounds. The album, which would become the first release on A&M Records, marked the beginning of Alpert's band, The Tijuana Brass.
Pianist, composer, and vocalist Freddy Cole can take any song and bring out colors and nuances never heard before. As Nat King Cole's younger brother, he has developed his own style to showcase his familial vocal talents.
Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 10:35 am
A dozen years after Kat Edmonson was very briefly a contestant on American Idol, she still occasionally finds herself fielding questions about the experience from incredulous interviewers. If nothing else, the recurrence of the topic reflects how profoundly incompatible her style of pop expression is with Idol's bias toward blunt-force power balladry. You'll hear no belting from Edmonson; she deals in more intimate, exact gestures.
It's a rare thing to have three pianists at three pianos in one studio. But given the marriage of keyboard masters Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes, host Marian McPartland thought it was a perfect opportunity to expand the Piano Jazz format with two of today's most gifted players as her guests.
Composer and alto saxophonist Steve Coleman, 57, has been named one of 21 new recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship, commonly referred to as the "genius grant." The award is worth a unrestricted stipend of $625,000 over five years, as dispensed by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.