Today jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal celebrates his 82nd birthday, presumably near Montauban, France, where he will play a gig tomorrow. In fact, he'll spend most of the month in France, The Netherlands, Greece, Switzerland and Turkey doing what he does best: pouring himself into his enchanting music.
This summer, Weekend Edition Saturday is listening to the sounds of music al fresco. Today, we present an audio postcard of a trumpeter we recently heard blowing "The Star-Spangled Banner" just down the street from NPR.
Pianist Helen Sung appeared on Piano Jazz on the heels of her second release, Helenistique. Critics loved the energy, the intelligence and, as pianist Benny Green put it, "the life-affirming joy" that emanated from Sung's playing on that album. Marian McPartland, too, was seduced by Sung's "dazzling and passionate" approach.
C'est la saison de jazz à Montreal! Starting Thursday night and running through next weekend, Francophone Canada's cultural metropolis hosts its grand prix: the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The self-proclaimed "largest jazz festival in the world" casts a musical spell over the city, across 10 outdoor stages, 15 concert halls and clubs galore with more than 1,000 shows.
The guitarist Marc Ribot has played in just about every conceivable setting in New York City. But through his involvement in punk bands, funk and soul groups, film scoring, the noise community, session work with rootsy singer-songwriters, South American and Caribbean folkloric projects, the contemporary classical scene and all the other experiments, he's also long held a love of jazz, from its hairiest to most clean-shaven expressions.
Join Milton Shirdan on Jazz at Nite this evening for a very special interview with Arturo Sandoval during the 9:00 hour. Arturo Sandovals' latest release is Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You) available on Concord Records.