Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 11:04 am
By Patrick Jarenwattananon
The Winter Jazzfest turned nine this year, and it's matured into a known quantity, a New York cultural landmark. Its variety of routines have worn in enough to develop some comforting predictability. For such a scrappy, low-to-the-ground happening designed around emerging artists and new repertoires, that's an achievement.
Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 10:11 am
Thirty years after presenting its first concerts in San Francisco, the organization SFJAZZ has built a permanent home and performance venue. The SFJAZZ Center, conceived as the first stand-alone building for jazz in the U.S., opened with a star-studded concert on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. WWOZ, WBGO and NPR Music teamed up for a live radio and online video broadcast of the concert.
Note: A full archive of the concert and video excerpts will be made available pending permissions.
Vocalist and poet Kurt Elling brings his rich baritone to Piano Jazz for a set of tunes and spoken improvisations with host Marian McPartland. As a child, Elling sang regularly in church and discovered jazz while studying at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He began sitting in at the city's jazz clubs, where his unique ability to improvise vocally led him in a new career direction.
Unpredictability is the active ingredient of New York's annual Winter Jazzfest. This year, fans will meander around six nearby clubs and take their pick of simultaneous shows. Choosing from among so many acts will be difficult.
Many of the bands are new, paced in rapid succession and often cryptically named. If you only have 45 minutes to spare, do you check out Breeding Ground? Hazmat Modine? Merger? 40Twenty? 10^32K?
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 11:42 pm
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton on All Songs Considered as they previewed some of the big upcoming releases of 2013. My pick was No Beginning, No End by the chameleonic vocalist Jose James.
As a teaching assistant for UCLA's undergraduate course "Jazz in American Culture," I spend much of my time in a scene found on college campuses around the world. My professor, the seasoned jazz guitarist Charley Harrison, lectures eager students on the music's geniuses. In the evening, he directs the college big band through classic Swing Era repertoire and modern reinterpretations of it. Harrison and his colleagues also lead smaller ensembles that take 1960s hard bop as their aesthetic core.
Our partners at Jazz24 — that's the Internet jazz radio service from Seattle-Tacoma's KPLU — are making a list of the 50 Quintessential Jazz Vocals of All Time. They'll create an online stream from the results, and they're looking for your help. Vote for up to three of your top picks via a simple online survey.
Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 12:30 pm
Trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis hails from one of New Orleans' most distinguished jazz families. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his oratorio Blood on the Fields, as well as multiple Grammy Awards and the National Medal of Arts, but his commitment to the improvement of life for all people is what demonstrates the best of his character and humanity.