jazz

Dirty Dozen Brass Band & Booker T with Hill Country Revue

dozenOn Friday, April 24th the Backbeat Jazzfest Series will kick off its fourth consecutive season with a high-spirited performance by the legendary Dirty Dozen Brass Band featuring Booker T. Quoted by the Rolling Stone for radically modernizing brass-band music, the members of Dirty Dozen Brass Band were the first to incorporate funk and bebop to traditional New Orleans sounds putting distinctly personal stamps on traditional and familiar material. Joining the Dirty Dozen Brass Band will be Hammond B3 organ alchemist Booker T Jones, one of America's most prolific, distinguished and instantly recognizable musical forces who recently collaborated on his new album with The Drive By Truckers and Neil Young. Get ready for a high-octane performance when New Orleans most prolific modern brass band and organ prodigy Booker T take the stage!
 
 
Following the soulful sounds of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band feat. Booker T will be a performance by THE modern blues band for the new generation, Hill Country Revue. Formed by Cody Dickinson from The North Mississippi Allstars, Hill Country Revue is a product of a very special time for modern Mississippi country blues. The band is a collective of musicians from the fertile soil of North Mississippi who have grown up living and breathing the folk music of African fife and drums that dates back to the birth of the nation.
 
 
Don't miss these spirit-filled performances at Republic NOLA!
 
 
And remember, this year the Backbeat Jazzfest Series will be offering music lovers and the musicians they love smoke-free environments at all shows.
 
 
Advance tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.backbeatpresents.com or www.ticketweb.com.
 
 
Additional details and information about the events can be found at www.backbeatfoundation.org or by visiting the Foundation's Myspace and Facebook. Additional information and updates about the series can be found at the Backbeat Jazzfest Series 2009 group page.
 
 
For information about the Dirty Dozen Brass Band please visit their website at www.dirtydozenbrass.com. Additional information about Booker T Jones can be found at www.bookert.com. For information on Hill Country Revue please visit www.myspace.com/hillcountryrevue.
 
 
The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Tobacco Control Program (LTCP) coordinate their efforts in tobacco prevention and control by providing statewide coordination of existing tobacco control initiatives, funding innovative community programs for tobacco control, and improve the overall health and quality of life in Louisiana. For more information visit, www.tobaccofreeliving.org.

31st Cape May Jazz Festival

Discover Jersey Arts People’s Choice Award for The Favorite Music Festival went to the Cape May Jazz Festival January 8, 2009.  Festival’s organizers wish to thank all the friends and supporters who voted for the festival.

The 31st Cape May Jazz Festival “Legends….and more Blues” April 17-19, 2009 presented by NJ Division of Travel and Tourism and Bank of America promises to be one of the best.  A Tribute to Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan with “Have a Song on Me Celebrating Mr. B” and the Big Band Music of the 40s and 50s with the B Swingers Big Band and Steve Butler. Billy Eckstine, known as Mr. B, became the most influential ballad singer during this era with an appealing baritone voice.  It has been said Steve Butler “looks and sounds hauntingly similar to Billy Eckstine…capable and convincing” and the Big Band one of the best.

More Blues Saturday night with Grammy Award winner James “Superharp” Cotton whose pedigree is a veritable who’s who in the world of Blues. Cotton and his Blues Band continue to showcase his immense talent and keep him one of the most sought-after, hard-driving blues musicians touring the world today.  More Blues continues all weekend at Cabanas with Andrew Jr. Boy Jones, Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang, Alan Weber and Frenz and Juke Joint Central.

Legendary Odean Pope, known for his fiery, often intense solos, dazzling elevations and throbbing, husky sounds, opens Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May for an 8:30pm Jazz Dinner and late Show with open seating available.  Barbara King will continue the legends with a Tribute to Sarah Vaughan.  “Barbara King’s dusky, Sarah Vaughan-like qualities mark her as a talent to watch” says Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun-Times.

Opening up Carney’s Main Room Saturday night, Cuban percussionist Mayra Casales brings her band “Women on Fire” with Cuban Francois Zayas on drums. Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, her earlier influences began with the Afro-Cuban musical culture of her surroundings.

DC Sharon Clark returns by popular demand for the Jazz Dinner and late show in Aleathea’s Saturday night.  Sharon is an amazing, exceptionally gifted talent with performances including jazz standards but also lesser known songs performed by Ella, Sarah, Johnny Hartman and Nancy Wilson.

Performing in Carney’s Other Room is guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, a very charming, talented guitarist and composer offering creative melodies, brilliant solos and dazzling original compositions.  As a leader he has won high praise from jazz critics around the world.

Sylvia Cuenca opens Carney’s Main Room Friday night with her organ quartet.  Sylvia swings impeccably with her authentic feel for the Latin genre.  Performing in the Boiler Room at Congress Hall Saturday night, the Michael Thomas Quintet is a powerful and energetic group that is deeply rooted in the rich tradition of hard-bop and blues with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers their major influence.

Along with the usual high energy jams Saturday and Sunday in Carney’s, the complimentary workshops and Saturday CD Signing Party, Juke Joint Central will be in Cabanas Sunday afternoon.  This is a fun, stimulating band with a juke joint jamming feel that is mainly blues -- a not to be missed experience.

The schedule, musician’s information and sounds bytes are found on the web at www.capemayjazz.org.  For more information or to be put on the mailing list please call       609-884-7277.  An All Event Weekend Pass to attend 18 events beginning 8pm Friday through 4pm Sunday is $150 general admission.  Individual Friday or Saturday Night All Event Wristbands are $55.  Saturday Afternoon Jam Wristbands are $35, Sunday Jams $25.  Reserved Seating is available at the Theatre at Lower Regional High School for an additional $25 per person .  Complimentary Festival Transportation running every 10 minutes is available between venues all weekend.

The 31st Cape May Jazz Festival is presented by New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism VisitNJ.Com and Bank of America and sponsored by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, Barefoot Wines, Jazz Times, WRTI Temple Public Radio, WBGO Jazz 88, WMGM  TV40, WCFA 101.5, WTTH the Touch, Cape May Star and Wave, Verizon Wireless with generous support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey Cultural Trust, local businesses and donors.

Soul Rebels Brass Band @ Boulder Theater

Imagine blending the sounds of Mardi Gras funk, soft rock, and reggae so seemingly it defies category. Now shrink that idea into a seven-piece ensemble, add a hip hop sensibility plus a hundred years of New Orleans jazz tradition, and you'll get the Louisiana sound known as the Soul Rebels. This shrewd crew of college trained multi-instrumentalists are forcing listeners to "Let your mind be free" as they "Work it out" on the dance floor. There music is utterly uplifting and hard core leaving fans with a myriad of intrinsic sounds and songs to enjoy.

After parading around the streets of New Orleans in the traditions of the second line and jazz funerals, the Soul Rebels began their professional debut with the famed Neville Brothers in New Orleans at the Hot Spot Tipitina's! The Soul Rebels rocked so hard and so strong they continued opening for the Neville Brothers and beyond. The band was featured in Spike Lee's HBO Documentary "When the Levees Broke". The bands hard funk groove has landed them gigs as an opening act for: Bootsy Collins, A Tribe Called Quest, Better than Ezra, Counting Crows, Olympia Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Roy Hargrove, James Brown, Allen Toussaint, Lionel Hampton, Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis,The Fugees, Digital Underground, The Roots, Brand New Heavies, The Gap Band, Robert Plant & Jimmy Page and many more.

Perhaps there latest album, "Rebelution" says it all. The Souls Rebels have rebelled against the music world rapping, soul shouting, and blasting out an assault of what is, in the truest possible way, unquestionably the hottest dance sound around.  The band’s mission is to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz. So, bring a taste of New Orleans to your festival, club, or party today with a visit from the Soul Rebels Brass Band.

Tickets are on sale now at The Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone. Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com. All tickets are subject to tax and service charge.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem March Schedule

A weekful of events kicks of with a great honor: a program presented in conjunction with the legendary Apollo Theater. Jazz for Curious Listeners celebrates the Apollo Theater’s 75th Anniversary with a session including film and an interview with Tajah Murdock, who danced there in the 1940’s.
 
The legendary jazz advocate Phoebe Jacobs graces Harlem Speaks on Thursday evening, recounting her close associations with Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and others.
 
Downtown, at the Rubin Museum of Art, Harlem in the Himalayas continues with bassist Henry Grimes in duo with guitarist Marc Ribot.
 
And the week ends with our third Saturday Panel, dedicated to a pair of true jazz iconoclasts, clarinetist Pee Wee Russell and trumpeter Frankie Newton. Our guests that day will include Dan Morgenstern, George Avakian, George Wein, Nat Hentoff, and a film show hosted by Hank O’Neal.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SPECIAL

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz at the Apollo
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: The Apollo Theater
(253 West 125th St.)
FREE | Seating is limited. Please call to reserve a seat.

The world-famous Apollo Theater in Harlem is a testament to the great African-American musical performers of the 20th century, regardless of genre. Yet the connection between this landmark venue and jazz is special. Rare if ever does a month go by during the various public programs at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem when senior music lovers and musicians don’t recall witnessing, for instance, the great Ellington and Basie big bands swinging with down-home majesty and emotive grace. The Apollo Theater is essential to the living history of jazz, and to the careers of legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Gloria Lynne, each of whom won the Amateur Night competition, launching their illustrious careers. Tonight’s Jazz on Film will take place at the Apollo Theater, for free! See you there. (Seating is limited. Please call to reserve a seat.)  

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Harlem Speaks
Phoebe Jacobs, Jazz Advocate
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Phoebe Jacobs, born in 1918 in the Bronx, began her career in jazz as the hat check girl at her uncle’s club, where she met and worked with jazz greats such as Sarah Vaughan, Eubie Blake, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Ella Fitzgerald. “Sarah would say to me, ‘Gee, do you know where I can get my dress shortened’ or where can I have my nails done?’ They use to ask me things and I would do them for them. Then over the years they began to count on me.”

That’s an understatement, considering her work with and on behalf of the father of jazz. See, Jacobs worked in public relations for various jazz record labels and clubs, and became Louis Armstrong’s publicist, and, eventually, the Executive Vice President of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc.

In her role with the Armstrong Foundation, Jacobs was instrumental in efforts to honor his legacy, including the drive for the 1995 Louis Armstrong postal stamp. She is also a founding member of the Jazz Foundation of America (JFA), an organization devoted to aiding older jazz and blues musicians in financial difficulty or those experiencing health problems. (JFA’s Executive Director, Wendy Oxenhorn, was the  guest of Harlem Speaks on February 26, 2009.)

In 2003, Jacobs was honored with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Award for Leadership which she received at the concert “Here’s to the Ladies: A Celebration of Great Women in Jazz.” In 2007, her 89th birthday was celebrated at a JVC Jazz Festival concert at the Danny Kaye Playhouse.

What better way to honor Women’s History Month than to be present tonight, as the National Jazz Museum in Harlem presents an interview with Phoebe Jacobs?    

Friday, March 27, 2009                   

Harlem in the Himalayas

Henry Grimes and Marc Ribot
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

HENRY GRIMES

Master jazz musician (acoustic bass, violin) Henry Grimes has played more than 300 concerts in 23 countries since May of 2003, when he made his astonishing return to the music world after 35 years away.

He was born and raised in Philadelphia and attended the Mastbaum School and Juilliard. In the '5O's and '6O's, he came up in the music playing and touring with Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson, "Bullmoose" Jackson, "Little" Willie John, and a number of other great R&B / soul musicians; but, drawn to jazz, he went on to play, tour, and record with many great jazz musicians of that era, including Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Sonny Rollins, Roswell Rudd, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, and Rev. Frank Wright.

Sadly, a trip to the West Coast to work with Al Jarreau and Jon Hendricks went awry, leaving Henry in Los Angeles at the end of the '60's with a broken bass he couldn't pay to repair, so he sold it for a small sum and faded away from the music world. Many years passed with nothing heard from him, as he lived in his tiny rented room in an S.R.O. hotel in downtown Los Angeles, working as a manual laborer, custodian, and maintenance man, and writing many volumes of handwritten poetry.

He was discovered there by a Georgia social worker and fan in 2002 and was given a bass by William Parker, and after only a few weeks of ferocious woodshedding, Henry emerged from his room to begin playing concerts around Los Angeles and shortly afterwards made a triumphant return to New York City in May 2003 to play in the Vision Festival.

Since then, often working as a leader, he has played, toured, and/or recorded with  musicians such as Rashied Ali, Marshall Allen, Fred Anderson, Marilyn Crispell, Ted Curson, Andrew Cyrille, Bill Dixon, Dave Douglas, Andrew Lamb, David Murray, William Parker, Marc Ribot, and Cecil Taylor. Henry has also given a number of workshops and master classes on major campuses, released several new recordings, made his professional debut on a second instrument (the violin) at the age of 7O, has now published the first volume of his poetry, "Signs Along the Road." He has also been creating illustrations to accompany his new recordings and publications. He has received many honors in recent years, including four Meet the Composer grants and a grant from the Acadia Foundation. He can be heard on more than 8O recordings on various labels. Henry Grimes now lives and teaches in New York City.

MARC RIBOT                            

Marc Ribot (pronounced REE-bow) was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1954. As a teen, he played guitar in various garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. After moving to New York City in 1978, Ribot was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and from 1984 - 1989, of John Lurie's Lounge Lizards. Between 1979 and 1985, Ribot also worked as a side musician with Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, and many others.

Ribot's recording credits include Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithful, Caetano Veloso, Laurie Anderson, McCoy Tyner, T-Bone Burnett, The Jazz Passengers, The Lounge Lizards, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Medeski Martin & Wood, James Carter, Alan Toussaint, Allen Ginsburg, Madeline Peyroux, and many others, many of whom hail from other countries and continents. Ribot frequently collaborates with producer T Bone Burnett, most recently on Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's Grammy award winning Raising Sand and regularly works with composer John Zorn.

Marc's talents have also been showcased with a full symphony orchestra. Composer Stewart Wallace wrote a guitar concerto with orchestra specifically for Marc. The piece was premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC in July of 2004 and also appeared at The Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, CA in August of 2005.

Marc is currently touring with two bands, the Albert Ayler tribute project "Spiritual Unity" (Pi Recordings), featuring original Ayler bassist Henry Grimes, and Ceramic Dog featuring bassist Shahzad Ismaily an drummer Ches Smith. Ceramic Dog will release their debut album "Party Intellectuals" this May on Pi Recordings in the North America, and Enja in Europe and Japan.

Saturday, March 28, 2008

Saturday Panels
We Remember Frankie Newton and Pee Wee Russell: A day with George Wein, Dan Morgenstern, George Avakian and Nat Hentoff
10:00am – 4:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Join us for our Saturday panel, where George Wein, Dan Morgenstern, George Avakian and Nat Hentoff will share their memories of trumpeter Frankie Newton and clarinetist Pee Wee Russell.  
PEE WEE RUSSELL     

Clarinetist Pee Wee Russell was born Charles Ellsworth Russell in St. Louis and began playing clarinet in Muskogee Oklahoma, famous for giving the jazz world pianist Jay McShann. Pee Wee's career in jazz began in the early 1920's in Chicago with Bix Beiderbecke and Frank Trumbauer, and he cut his first sides with Red Nichols and his Five Pennies in 1929. The band also featured Glenn Miller and Jack Teagarden on trombones, Bud Freeman on tenor sax and Eddie Condon on guitar.

By the early 1930's, Pee Wee moved to New York where he found a steady home in the bands of Eddie Condon and jamming with a roster of hot jazz players including Bobby Hackett, Red Allen, Edmond Hall, Hot Lips Page, Jack Bland, Buster Bailey and Vic Dickenson. Pee Wee played in the all-star band put together by Eddie Condon for Fats Waller's Carnegie Hall debut in 1942, which also included Bud Freeman and Gene Krupa. Throughout most of the 1940's Pee Wee could be found playing at Nick's, the popular Greenwich Village restaurant/club that was a mainstay for hot musicians as the swing era evolved into bop. During this period Pee Wee was recording sides for Milt Gabler's Commodore label under his own name and as a sideman.

In 1951 after years of heavy drinking and not taking care of himself, Russell fell ill and so near death that a benefit concert was held in his honor. After weeks in the hospital, including several blood transfusions, Pee Wee returned to New York and played a well received set at the Newport Jazz Festival with Thelonious Monk thus proving his talent for all music whether traditional or bop.

Pee Wee was a consummate small group player. Although he was offered jobs with many of the top-name big bands of the day, Pee Wee preferred the small group swing that he had been playing all his life, and with the exception of a short stint with Bobby Hackett's Big Band played exclusively in small groups. Russell was a mainstay in traditional jazz bands along the east coast until his death in 1969.

FRANKIE NEWTON
 
Admired by both Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie, trumpeter Frankie Newton had a relatively brief but artistically rewarding career. He had stints with Lloyd Scott (1927-1929), Cecil Scott (1929-1930), Chick Webb, Elmer Snowden, Charlie Johnson, and Sam Wooding, and appeared on Bessie Smith's final recording session in 1933. Newton worked with Charlie Barnet's short-lived integrated band in 1936 and with Teddy Hill, before briefly becoming closely associated with bassist John Kirby and his associates. The eventual John Kirby Sextet would have been the logical place for the trumpeter, but a falling out in 1937 ended up with the younger Charlie Shavers getting the spot in the commercially successful group. Newton instead played for Mezz Mezzrow and Lucky Millinder, led a few record dates (including participating in a set for Hugues Panassie), and worked at Cafe Society, accompanying Billie Holiday on several of her records (most notably "Strange Fruit"). As the 1940s progressed, Newton became less interested in music and gradually faded from the scene, painting more than playing.
 
Nat Hentoff has written that Newton was “matched only by Miles Davis for intimately evocative and lyrical storytelling.” Morgenstern has declared that “he was no ordinary man, and the music he made was no ordinary music. He was a poet; his recorded solos have a poignant lyricism of their own.” Come hear and witness the proof, as Loren Schoenberg and his venerable guests delve into the archives of their memory and record collections.

The Lee Shaw Trio With Special Guest John Medeski

leeVeteran pianist / composer LEE SHAW performs a special concert featuring her trio - bassist Rich Syracuse and drummer Jeff Siegel - and special guest JOHN MEDESKI  on SUNDAY, APRIL 5, at 7:30 PM at "the Egg" Center for the Performing Arts in Albany, NY. Tickets $24. Box office (518) 473-1845.

MEDESKI, of Medeski, Martin & Wood fame, studied with Shaw for a few years starting at age 13 and calls her one of his most beloved piano teachers. "She's a fantastic pianist and an incredible musical mind."

SHAW, a youthful octogenarian who studied with Oscar Peterson and worked with countless jazz luminaries including Dexter Gordon, Thad Jones, Chico Hamilton, Pepper Adams, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Richard Davis, Slam Stewart, Major Holly, and Eddie Jones, recently released a "LIVE IN GRAZ" which has earned wide acclaim:

"At age 82, pianist Lee Shaw is one of the unsung elders of jazz… Her harmonic language is expansive, her time impeccable, her touch divine." - Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes

"…rich, expressive palette.  A modest, irresistible person of immodest, irrepressible talent, she comes across both in the interview and at the keyboard as an artist who had a virtually religious calling for jazz, come what may." - Owen McNally, The Hartford Courant

"She does not sound like any of her predecessors... relaxed tempos…gentle but not lacking inner fire." - Scott Yanow, Jazziz

"Shaw's own playing style has the same elegant, lyrical approach shared by pianists [Billy] Taylor, Errol Garner, and Ahmad Jamal. Shaw - like Taylor -- doesn't play the notes so much as she coaxes them out of the piano, using a deft touch most safecrackers would envy.  … and makes beautiful, evocative music to this day." - J. Hunter, All About Jazz

PREZ FEST 2009 CELEBRATING BILLY STRAYHORN

Legendary Composer, Arranger, Pianist March 14 and 15, 2009 At Saint Peter’s Church, 54th and Lexington, New York City

Billy Strayhorn… the biggest human being who ever lived, a man with the greatest courage, the most majestic stature, a highly skilled musician whose impeccable taste commanded the respect of all musicians and the admiration of all listeners. —Duke Ellington
 
Saturday, March 14

3:00 PM Two-hour listening session of Billy Strayhorn recordings
Free

Sunday, March 15

 

4:00 PM   David Hajdu, author of Lush Life, presents
                                             “Dancing Without Duke: Strayhorn’s Work Away from Ellington”
Free

5:00 PM Jazz Vespers with Junior Mance / Hide Tanaka Duo
Freewill Offering

7:00 PM CONCERT with Randy Weston, Billy Taylor, Jeb Patton, David Wong, Winard Harper, Valerie Capers, John Robinson, Earl Williams, Aaron Diehl, Gene Bertoncini, Sara Caswell, Alan Ferber, Dan Pratt, Nate Radley, Gary Wang, Jimmy Owens, Mike Howell, Mike Hashim, Ehud Asherie, Darius deHaas, 18-piece Jazz Band Classic directed by Chris Winans, The Ellington Legacy Band (with Edward Ellington, Norman Simmons, Virginia Mayhew, Nancy Reed, Jami Dauber, Paul Wells, Tom DiCarlo, Noah Bless) and Jimmy Owens will be the emcee
$20 Suggested Donation-- tickets at http://www.saintpeters.org/jazz

An exhibit of Billy Strayhorn memorabilia will be an important part of the tribute.

 
Produced by the Jazz Ministry at Saint Peter’s Church and The Duke Ellington Society, TDES, Inc.
More information at http://www.saintpeters.org/jazz or 212 935 2200
 
Take the “E” train to Lexington Avenue or “#6” to 51st Street

My Suitcase Is Always Packed | Red Stick Ramblers | Streets 5.19

red-stick-ramblersThe Red Stick Ramblers return on May 19th with My Suitcase Is Always Packed, their fifth album and second for Sugar Hill Records. That rare young roots band that both embodies and transcends their influences, The Red Stick Ramblers continue to hone their unique hybrid of Cajun, honky-tonk, and swing (Western and otherwise) on their most visceral, personal album yet. The eleven new originals (in both English and Cajun French) are structurally daring and lyrically evocative, while still resounding proudly with the echoes of the traditions that inspired them. A pair of vintage Cajun numbers cement the band's undeniable affection for and mastery of classic Louisiana music.

 Featuring the twin-fiddle frontline of Kevin Wimmer and Linzay Young backed by the versatile rhythm section of Chas Justus (guitar), Eric Frey (bass), and Glenn Fields (drums), The Red Stick Ramblers have been astonishing audiences at dancehalls, festivals, and concert halls around the world since 2002, when they first emerged from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My Suitcase Is Always Packed, produced by the band with Grammy-winner Gary Paczosa and Brandon Bell, is their most wide ranging album yet - from the surging Cajun opener "Je T'aime Pas Mieux" and the haunting banjo and triangle driven "Nonc' Yorick" to the almost casually ingenious, charismatic swing of "Doggone My Time" and the title track. Brilliantly balancing the hard-driving and the heart-breaking, My Suitcase Is Always Packed is the sound of The Red Stick Ramblers in full flight, at once achingly familiar and infectiously surprising.

 

 

"Like all great bands," reflects fellow musician Dirk Powell in his powerful liner notes, "The Ramblers have grown over the years, grown together, grown individually, raised the stakes time and again. This time, they've dug deeper and reached further than ever."

Bill Evans Soulgrass Special Edition w/ Special Guest Sam Bush

bush_evansTHE IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB IS VERY PLEASED TO PRESENT THE KING OF NEWGRASS SAM BUSH AND JAZZ-SOUL SAX MAN BILL EVANS IN A VERY SPECIAL APPEARANCE APRIL 2-5.  BILL EVANS SOULGRASS SPECIAL EDITION SPECIAL GUEST SAM BUSH FEATURING DENNIS CHAMBERS, RICHARD BONA, RYAN CAVANAUGH AND CHRISTIAN HOWES (SAT AND SUN ONLY

Bill Evans

Throughout his 20-year career as a solo artist, saxophonist Bill Evans  has explored a variety of musical settings that go well beyond the confines of traditional jazz, including hip-hop, fusion, reggae, Brazilian and slamming funk.  Evans stepped into more adventurous territory with his 2006 Grammy nominated release Soulgrass, blending jazz, funk and bluegrass into a seamless and wholly unique hybrid of quintessentially American styles. He collaborated on the project with an exciting and eclectic group of all-stars, including Vinnie Colaiuta, Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Bruce Hornsby, John Scofield, Victor Wooten and Mark Egan.

His follow up to that widely acclaimed project, found him pushing the envelope a little further in that direction on The Other Side Of Something. “It’s an extension of Soulgrass,” he says of his latest release. “I am always trying to push the envelope and take the music somewhere it hasn’t been before. I am just beginning to explore all of the possibilities. I have been touring a lot over the last two years, using the banjo and fiddle as my rhythm instruments, so by the time I started writing new music for the new CD, I was over-flowing with ideas. One of the first ideas I had was to sing for the first time on one of my CDs. The saxophone and voice are very similar in range so it seemed like a very natural thing for me to do. It is, of course, another instrument so I have been working very hard at it. People will hear a new side to me that they have never heard before”.

 
The Other Side Of Something features Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Richard Bona, Victor Wooten, Dennis Chambers, as well as his regular touring band of Chris Howes, Ryan Cavanaugh, and Joel Rosenblatt.

 
Evans first joined Miles Davis group at the age of 22 in 1980, and went on to record six records and tour the world with Davis numerous times over a four-year period. He then toured and recorded three CDs with John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and later played with Herbie Hancock, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Steps Ahead and Mick Jagger, among others. The saxman has been touring almost exclusively with his own band since 1990, playing well over 100 concerts per year worldwide. He has recorded 15 solo CD’s and received two Grammy nominations, one for Soul Insider(2002) and the other for Soulgrass ( 2006).

Sam Bush

Though he admits a certain discomfort with the moniker "King of Newgrass" Sam Bush has more than earned it. As cofounder and leader of the seminal progressive bluegrass band New Grass Revival through 18 years during the 1970s and '80s, Bush is responsible for influencing legions of bands like Nickel Creek, Yonder Mountain String Band, and String Cheese Incident, to name just a few.

When not heading his own band, Bush has spent the past 15 years as a supersideman with the likes of Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, and the Flecktones; spearheaded boundary-stretching collaborations with Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor, and David Grisman, and driven nearly every "bluegrass supergroup" imaginable with his inimitable mandolin playing.

 
icon) on mandolin . Bill Evans and Sam Bush have teamed up before to produce an invigorating blend of styles that gets the audience up out of their seats. Sam also hosted the Bluegrass awards last year in Nashville and came home with the "best mandolin of the year" award.

Dennis Chambers is a drummer whose propulsive style and versatility have enabled him to play in combos or large groups, and work with fusion and hard bop bandleaders. He has released two sessions as a leader and recorded and played with Parliament and Funkadelic, Special EFX, David Sanborn, John Scofield, Mike Stern/Bob Berg Band, Randy Brecker’s Band and Michael Brecker’s Band, Mike Urbaniak's Band/Bill Evans Band/CTI All Stars/George Duke/Stanley Clark's Band/Steve Kahn's Eyewitness Band/John McLaughlin Band. 2005 till now: Santana - 2007: Tower Of Power.

RICHARD BONA Dubbed “The African Sting, Richard Bona has been recognized as one of the planet’s five revelations of the past decade. A complete artist, an absolute master of his art, and a melodist of rare elegance and sensuality, he’s also a poignant singer, and a member of that exclusive club, "the world’s best bassists. ”His unique style is situated at the crossroads of a horde of influences - jazz, bossa nova, pop music, afro-beat, traditional song, and funk.

RYAN CAVANAUGH Whether playing traditional bluegrass music, or adding a unique twist to a modern fusion quintet with master saxophonist Bill Evans, Ryan Cavanaugh strives to be original and innovative on the banjo. Having shared stages with Jazz legends such as Bill Evans, John McLaughlin, and Bluegrass legends like Sam Bush, Cavanaugh's journey has taken him from the fiddlers' conventions of VA to the Jazz audiences of Europe.


CHRISTIAN HOWES
has already made an indelible mark and is poised to be a path-finding figure on the contemporary violin. He’s won recognition and kudos from artists and critics alike. Says guitar pioneer Les Paul, with whom Christian has made numerous appearances: “There is nobody better than this guy.” The prominent artists Howes has performed and/or recorded with include Greg Osby, Randy Brecker, James Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Akua Dixon’s Quartette Indigo, Billy Hart, D.D. Jackson, David Murray, Steve Turre’s Sextet with Strings, Jane Monheit, Dr. John, Frank Vignola, and Lenny White, to name a few.

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (Corner of 51st)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
http://www.iridiumjazzclub.com/
Sets At 8:30 & 10:30PM

Beat Kaestli at Cachaca, March 17th

beatBefore heading out on my his second tour to Mexico BEAT KAESTLI premiers his new French Music project at Cachaça Jazz Club on MARCH 17TH, featuring PAUL MEYERS, ARIA HENDRICKS and MAGOS HERRERA. He’ll also add some great new American Standards and songs from his upcoming release “Far From Home – A Tribute to European Song”.

BEAT KAESTLI QUARTET @ CACHAÇA
feat. Paul Meyers (guitar), Aria Hendricks (voc) and Magos Herrera (voc)
TUESDAY, MARCH 17TH - 2 SETS  7:30 AND 9PM
35 W 8th St # 2
(212) 388-9099, www.cachacajazz.com
Cover: $10
Directions: A, B, C, D, E, F and V train to W 4th

Line up:
Beat Kaestli - voice
Magos Herrera - voice
Aria Hendricks - voice
Paul Meyers - guitar
Matt Wigton - bass
Luc Decker - drums

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New Music: http://www.myspace.com/beatkaestli
http://www.beatkaestli.com
CD sales: http://www.cdbaby.com/beatkaestli2

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events

Two brilliant pianists sparkle across the Jazz Museum’s transom this week. Toshiko Akiyoshi joins us for an extended interview at Harlem Speaks about her fabled career as an influential bandleader/composer. And Onaje Alan Gumbsjoins us for Harlem in the Himalayas in a sublime concert setting along with bassist Avery Sharpe.  
 
Add to that our weekly Jazz for Curious Listeners, which focuses on jazz on film in the 1930’s (Ellington, Billie Holiday, Goodman, Lunceford for starters) and you’ve got a typically exciting menu of jazz to contemplate.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Jazz for Curious Listeners

Jazz on Film: The '3Os
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | 
register online

Known as the “Swing Era” by historians of jazz, the 1930s heralded the primacy of the big band in American popular culture. Orchestras led by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers and Cab Calloway, among others, gave millions a soundtrack for the period, as radio shows spread the joy of jazz across the nation. But jazz was also caught on film, as this evening’s discussion and videos will make abundantly clear. 
 
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Harlem Speaks

Toshiko Akiyoshi, pianist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more info: 212-348-8300

Toshiko Akiyoshi's unique contributions to the jazz world have evolved like falling dominoes through a series of events that started with a piano-loving little Japanese girl in Manchuria and brought her to prominence as an unparalleled pianist, composer and leader of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. 
Akiyoshi's interest in the piano started at age six, and by the time her family had moved back to Japan at the end of World War II.  She had developed a real love for music, and soon began playing piano professionally, which eventually led to her being discovered by pianist Oscar Peterson in 1952 during a Norman Granz Jazz at the Philharmonic tour of Japan. On Peterson’s recommendation, Toshiko recorded for Granz, and not long after, she went to the U.S. to study at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.

Her years in Boston, and later on in New York, developed her into a first class pianist. Her interest in composing and arranging came to fruition when she moved to Los Angeles in 1972 with her husband, saxophonist/flutist Lew Tabackin. The following year they formed the world-renowned big band that became known as the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin. The band, which began as a vehicle for Toshiko's own compositions, grew in stature during its 10 years on the west coast and gained a reputation as one of the most excellent and innovative big bands in jazz. In 1976 the band placed first in the Down Beat Critics' Poll and her album, Long Yellow Road, was named best jazz album of the year by Stereo Review. 

In 1982 the couple returned to New York, where Toshiko reformed her band with New York musicians, In 1983 the new Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin had a critically successful debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the Kool Jazz Festival. That same year a documentary film by Renee Cho depicting the Akiyoshi/Tabackin move from L.A. to New York was released, entitled "Jazz is My Native Language" (Rhapsody Video).

Toshiko recorded 18 albums with the Jazz Orchestra, garnering 14 Grammy Award nominations since 1976. The band was also voted #1 in Down Beat magazine's Best Big Band category, and Toshiko has placed first in the Best Arranger and Composer category in the Down Beat Readers' Poll, making her the first woman in the history of jazz to have been so honored.

Toshiko realized a long time dream in 1996 when she completed her autobiography. "Life With Jazz." The book is now in its third printing in Japanese and will soon be translated into Korean. 

The Orchestra followed the great Duke Ellington tradition of using each musician's individual sound and style as an integral part of the ensemble's musical identity. To this Akiyoshi adds her own complex, boppish lines and contemporary colors and textures, mingled with elements of her Asian roots to produce a sound that has no equal in jazz.

Summing up her own career, Toshiko, with characteristic modesty commented in an interview with the San Bernardino Sun, "I would hope that my work might have more substance and more quality rather than quantity of notes. And I hope the notes I produce today are more selective than 20 years ago."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas
Onaje Allan Gumbs with Avery Sharpe
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Onaje Allan Gumbs, a guest of Harlem Speaks in July 2007, is one of the industry’s most respected and talented musical collaborators. He has worked for more than 30 years with an illustrious list of jazz, R&B and pop artists. In 1974, he created a special arrangement of “Stella By Starlight” for the New York Jazz Repertory Company as part of a concert honoring Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall. He followed that with live and recorded performances with such artists as Lenny White, Buster Williams, Cecil McBee and Betty Carter. In 1975, Onaje joined forces with trumpeter, Nat Adderley as part of his quintet contributing to the group’s releases on Atlantic and Steeplechase Records. Producer Nils Winter of Steeplechase upon hearing Onaje’s improvisations, invited the young pianist to record a solo piano project entitled Onaje.

In 1976, he provided the arrangement for the song that was to become the signature piece for the late great vocalist Phyllis Hyman, “Betcha By Golly Wow.” In 1978, the Woody Shaw Group, for which Onaje was pianist, won the Down Beat Reader’s Poll for Best Jazz Group and for Best Jazz Album (Rosewood).The album was later nominated for a Grammy. In 1985, Onaje lent his keyboard and arrangement skills to “Lady In My Life” on guitarist Stanley Jordan’s widely acclaimed debut album, Magic Touch on Blue Note Records.This was the first jazz album in history to maintain the #1 spot atop Billboard Magazine’s jazz charts for more than 50 weeks.

In 1986, Onaje received the “Min-on Art Award”...”in recognition of his great contribution to the promotion and development of a new musical movement for people with the aim of the creation of Peace...” Previous recipients of this prestigious honor include Tina Turner, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Buster Williams. Motivated by the goal for World Peace, Onaje uses the practice of Nicherin Daishonin’s Buddhism as a philosophical, spiritual and technical approach to his life and his music. 

Onaje Allan Gumbs, whose most recent recording is titled “Sack Full of Dreams,” continues to contribute his talents as a keyboardist, composer, arranger and producer. As he states: “Music has a healing force that is immeasurable and I am committed to being a part of it.” 

Bassist Avery Sharpe was born in Valdosta, Georgia on August 23, 1954. His first instrument was the piano. “I started playing when I was eight years old,” he recalls. “My mother was a piano player in the Church of God in Christ, and she gave lessons to everybody in the family — I'm the sixth of eight children — but it didn't stick until it got to me.” He moved on to accordion and then switched to electric bass in high school. 

In 1972, Sharpe enrolled at the University of Massachusetts, where he majored in Economics and minored in music, and continued to play electric bass in gospel, funk, and rock groups. While at UMass, he met the jazz bassist Reggie Workman, who encouraged him to learn the acoustic bass. Sharpe adapted quickly to the big instrument, and within a few years he was performing with such notables as Archie Shepp and Art Blakey. Shepp and Max Roach, his professors at the time, had a major influence on him. Sharpe also performed in orchestra and chamber groups at UMass, and completed one year of graduate school in Music Performance. In 1980, he auditioned with McCoy Tyner and won a spot in the pianist's group. He has worked with Tyner almost continuously since then, playing hundreds of live gigs and appearing on more than 20 records with him. 

Sharpe's credits also include sideman stints with many other jazz greats, from Dizzy Gillespie to Pat Metheny, as well as leading his own groups. His first recording as a leader was the 1988 album Unspoken Words on Sunnyside Records, which was praised by critic Jim Roberts as “a diverse, challenging record that rewards repeated listening.” In 1994, he recorded Extended Family, the first CD of a trilogy released on Sharpe's own label, JKNM Records. 

In 1989, he wrote and conducted the soundtrack for the movie An Unremarkable Life; a decade later, his six-movement piece America's Promise debuted in a concert-hall performance that featured Sharpe's quintet and a gospel choir backed by the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony Orchestra. In the 1990's Sharpe was commissioned by the Classical group Fideleo to write 3 extended works for them. 

Regardless of the setting, Avery Sharpe always brings both exceptional musical skill and unswerving honesty to the endeavor. His duo performance with Onaje Allan Gumbs promises to render the immeasurable healing and empowering wonder of jazz.

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Visitors Center
104 East 126th Street, Suite 2C
Monday through Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m
close to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 trains to 125th Street

We’re waiting for you! Yes, that’s right. Our new Visitors Center is now open Monday through Friday (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and chock full of books, CDs and DVDs for your perusal. There is also a first-class exhibit of photos on the walls, so we hope you will come up and see us and also spread the word to any other curious folk who want to spend some time getting jazzed in Harlem.
Also, to find audio and video clips, event summaries, program updates and photographs galore from our previous events, venture here:

http:///www.jazzmuseuminharlem.org