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Eric Hutchinson sounds like...

Eric Hutchinson- for the Grateful Web

Eric Hutchinson shines with a unique brand of pop-soul on his debut album, Sounds Like This. Although the charismatic singer/ songwriter has been favorably compared to his early idols (Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Paul Simon), one of the most remarkable things about Sounds Like This is the sheer breadth of musical styles that Hutchinson effortlessly encompasses.
 
The record was released on Hutchinson's own label, Let's Break Records, at the end of August 2007 and overnight it was breaking records. One of his buddies emailed celebrity blogger Perez Hilton a link to his MySpace page, and Hilton was immediately impressed, recommending the music on his site. Soon after, Sounds Like This was ensconced in iTunes' Top 10 becoming the highest-charting album by an unsigned act in iTunes history.
 
Since then, the self-described student of pop signed to Warner Bros. Records, toured with One Republic, released the undeniably catchy single "Rock & Roll," snagged a spot on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Soundtrack, and recently became one of VH1's "You Oughta Know" artists. Hutchinson takes pride in the raw, vintage vibe of Sounds Like This: "I tried really hard to keep it organic," he says. "Music is human expression and what's more human than to make a mistake? So to record something and then take out all the mistakes leaves the project with no soul to it." With ska-inflected grooves, jazzy melodies and vocals that veer from a gritty growl to a shimmering falsetto, Sounds Like This might just be the most soulful thing you've heard all year.

Eric Hutchinson looks like the kind of guy you can trust – honest, approachable, somehow familiar. There's just something about him that invites you to give up your innermost thoughts. And complete strangers don't hesitate to do so, as he wryly details in "Oh!"

Riding the subway with the scent of her hair She took out a toothbrush started using it there She explained "I'm always sure today's the day I will die I wanna look good if I get to look God in the eye" And I said "Oh!"

"Oh" is one of 10 keenly observed songs from Hutchinson's self-released debut album, Sounds Like This. The CD, which showcases the young singer-songwriter's unique brand of soul, bowed at #1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart in September 2007. But "Oh!" was penned during a dismal period of his life. His deal with Maverick Records had fallen apart when the parent company shuttered the label. With the plug pulled on his nascent recording sessions, Eric hit the road again. "It was all about getting the exposure and the experience," he says. After a relentless touring schedule, Hutchinson, who began writing songs as a child in the DC suburb of Takoma Park, MD, put everything he had into making his album.

Sounds Like This was released on Hutchinson's own label, Let's Break Records, at the end of August 2007. Overnight it was breaking records – thanks largely to the efforts of a good friend. One of his high school buddies emailed celebrity blogger Perez Hilton a link to Hutchinson's MySpace page. Hilton recommended it on his site and soon, Eric's album was ensconced in iTunes' Top 10 alongside the latest releases from Kanye West and Dave Matthews. It peaked at #5 on the iTunes album chart, becoming the highest-charting album by an unsigned act in iTunes history. No small accomplishment for a record that almost didn't get made.

A flurry of press followed, including features in Billboard and the Washington Post, which said ""Hutchinson is undeniably charismatic, splitting his time between keyboard and guitar, crooning about stormy romances and everyday struggles."

Eric recorded most of Sounds Like This with producer Will Golden (Joe Purdy, Ian Ball) in Los Angeles and two songs with Paul Kolderie (Radiohead) in Boston. "They were both really open to letting me do my own thing, but at the same time, were there to guide everything," he says. "They didn't involve their egos at all – they just wanted to make music they believed in."

Although he's been favorably compared to his early idols (Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Paul Simon), one of the most remarkable things about Sounds Like This is the sheer breadth of musical styles Hutchinson effortlessly encompasses. His ease is perhaps inherited from his grandmother, who played viola in a local orchestra, backing everyone from Tony Bennett to Aretha Franklin as they came through town. From the buoyant album opener, "Ok, It's Alright With Me" to the thoughtful "Back to Where I Was," depicting two friends at crossroads in their respective lives, to the soulful "You've Got You," the self-described student of pop music fuses divergent styles into a sound he alone owns. Hutchinson's vocals veer from a gritty growl to a shimmering falsetto on "Outside Villanova," which gives way to the jazzy "Food Chain," wherein the narrator comes to terms with a relationship marred by lies and broken expectations.

Fan favorite "Rock & Roll" follows a pair of players rolling their way through the bar scene and ultimately into bed with one another, while its lilting ska-inflected groove erupts into one of Hutchinson's rapid-fire bouts of wordplay. Eric takes pride in the raw, vintage vibe of Sounds Like This. "I tried really hard to keep it organic," he says. "Music is human expression and what's more human than to make a mistake? So to record something and then take out all the mistakes leaves the project with no soul to it."

Hutchinson moved to New York last spring and, eager to tour behind Sounds Like This, began putting together a band. With Jimmy Coleman on drums and Tom Craskey on bass, the trio hit the road in January 2008 with OneRepublic and will be touring non-stop as Eric closes in on his goal of playing each of the 50 states (he's up to 40) and embarks on his first international gigs. And, of course, he will no doubt find inspiration in the inevitable random conversations with total strangers along the way. He's already writing material for the next record. "I need to be able to road test songs before I feel comfortable putting them on an album," says Hutchinson, preparing to burn rubber.

MIKE RELM TO RELEASE HIS DEBUT ARTIST ALBUM 'SPECTACLE'

Mike Helm- for the Grateful Web

As an audio/visualist and mash-up DJ, MIKE RELM has become world famous for his mind-melting real time performances. But with the advent of SPECTACLE, his exciting debut studio album due out September 23 on his Radio Fryer label, the San Francisco-based musical talent has masterfully upped his game. On the heels of his recent mesmerizing DVD Clown Alley and the acclaim of his riveting 2005 CD mixtape Radio Fryer, the bespectacled and suit-clad Relm steps into the role of electronic music maestro while effortlessly reinforcing his long-standing reputation for innovation.

By collaborating with respected underground talents like Mr. Lif, The Gift of Gab, Morningwood and Lateef the Truthspeaker, along with producer Patrick Palaad on Spectacle, Relm's sonic realm is as diverse as it is ingenious. Check out can't-miss offerings like "Body Rock" - complete with a twangy guitar line and a celebratory tack destined for the dance floor - and the disc's contagious first single "My Heart" that boasts razor-sharp delivery by rapper Adeem and vocalist Adrian Hartley, a veteran of both Blue Man Group and Fischerspooner.

After befriending Hartley during a lengthy, high profile stint opening for Blue Man Group, Relm knew he had to have her lend vocals to the latter, capturing her memorable performance in a Philadelphia hotel room of all places. Next came the New Hampshire-based Adeem. "We met during one of those 'Minivan-Days Inn' tours," Mike says. "But I knew I wanted to work with him. He was on this list of people I kept that I knew I'd ask and he did such a great job with that track."

With "My Heart" front-and-center in Relm's plan for global domination, it's matched by the equally powerful "You Break," which thrives on a similar and infectious arrangement and is elevated by the adept street prose of Mr. Lif. "That song, like almost everything I construct, started with a beat," Relm explains. "It's just one of those beats that I let people listen to and everyone wanted to get on it." Another notable track on Spectacle is "Hot To Trot" which features vocals and drums by percussionist/beat maker Alfredo Ortiz (Money Mark, Chromeo, Ozomatli).

MIKE RELM adds tremendous energy to any event and has a striking stage presence. He has toured with many different types of artists from the Blue Man Group to most recently Tony Hawk as the featured musical guest on the Boom Boom HuckJam tour, and has appeared at many major music festivals including Coachella, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Summer Sonic and Mt. Fuji in Japan as well as most of the major European festivals.

RELM is known for live performances which feature a series of audio mash-ups with video images, manipulated in real-time. His other credits include performances for a San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland A's baseball game and the closing ceremonies of the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro. He completed remixes for Adult Swim in conjunction with the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, scored a short film for the Disney Channel series Too Many Robots and created a four-song mega mix for Yo Gabba Gabba (Nickelodeon). RELM also stars in an international TV spot for HSBC Bank, directed by Stacy Wall.

The complete track listing for MIKE RELM's SPECTACLE is:

  1. Money Beats (TV)
  2. Tron
  3. Everytime (ft. Del the Funky Homosapien and Adrian Hartley)
  4. Hey Drew (TV)
  5. Hot To Trot (ft. Alfredo Ortiz)
  6. Trying To Get Attention (TV)
  7. Body Rock (ft. Morningwood and The Gift of Gab)
  8. The Cube
  9. Red Shoes (TV)
  10. Vertiglo (Interlude)
  11. Without Her (ft. Lateef The Truthspeaker)
  12. Velvet
  13. You Break (ft. Mr. Lif and Adrian Hartley)
  14. Crackin' (TV)
  15. Quickie
  16. Technicism
  17. My Heart (ft. Adeem & Adrian Hartley)
  18. Learning Experience (TV)

MIKE RELM's updated tour routing is as follows:

Treasure Island Music Festival

FRI    9/20            San Francisco, CA                     Treasure Island Music Festival

Mike Relm Headline Dates             

Wed    9/24            Portland, OR                          Holocene       

Thu    9/25            Seattle, WA                           Chop Suey

Wed    10/1            Minneapolis, MN                       Triple Rock Social Club

Thu    10/2            Ames, IA                              Maintenance Shop

Fri    10/3            Chicago, IL                           Abbey Pub

Tue    10/7            New York, NY                          Spiegeltent

Wed    10/8            Boston, MA                            Middle East

Thu    10/9            Northampton, MA                       Pearl Street Nightclub

Fri    10/10           Philadelphia, PA                      Manhattan Room

Sat    10/11           Washington, DC                        Rock N Roll Hotel

Sun    10/12           Charleston, SC                        The Pour House

Mon    10/13           Atlanta, GA                           The Earl

Tue    10/14           Orlando, FL                           The Social 

Wed    10/15           Tampa, FL                             Crowbar

Fri    10/17           New Orleans, LA                       One Eyed Jacks    

Sat    10/18           Baton Rouge, LA                       Spanish Moon

Sun    10/19           Austin, TX                            Mohawk

Mon    10/20           Dallas, TX                            House of Blues Cambridge     

Wed    10/22           Scottsdale, AZ                        Chasers

Thu    10/23           San Diego, CA                         Casbah

Fri    10/24           Los Angeles, CA                       El Rey Theatre

Sat    10/25           Costa Mesa, CA                        Detroit Bar

Wed    10/29           Bloomington, IN                       Bluebird Nightclub

Thu    10/30           Bloomington, IN                       Jake's Nightclub

Tue    11/4            Ft. Collins, CO                       Hodis Half Note

Wed    11/5            Boulder, CO                           Fox Theatre

Thu    11/6            Boulder, CO                           The Black Sheep

Fri    11/7            Denver, CO                            Marquis Theatre

Sat    11/8            Aspen, CO                             Belly Up

 

Bob, Phil, Billy & Mickey to Play Obama Benefit on 10.13

Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart announced today that they will join together again on October 13th to headline a benefit concert for the Presidential campaign of Senator Barack Obama, at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, PA. Also appearing will be the Allman Brothers Band, plus opening act to be determined.

Rocking the Cradle - The Dead shows at the Great Pryamid

Good things come to those who wait! First, it took 30 years to produce this ultra-cool 2CD/DVD set from the Dead's legendary September 1978 run at the Sound & Light Theater, outside Cairo, nestled in the dunes just a short mummy-walk from the Great Pyramid and the mysterious Sphinx. Then, Dead Heads had to endure the long, restless weeks between the announcement of the release and when they could actually order it. Well, ring them bells, because the wait is over!

Jamie McLean - American Heartache

Jamie McLean- for the Grateful Web

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Jamie McLean likes to do things his way. From his tenure in the New Orleans based jazz ensemble the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to performances with Elvis Costello, Norah Jones and Widespread Panic to the debut of the Jamie McLean Band, his wailing guitar and flowing pen screams for the spotlight. Backed by a dynamic voice loaded with New Orleans soul and New York City swagger, McLean's transformation from hired gun to front man has been seamless. The songs on his latest release, American Heartache, are entirely Jamie McLean. Showcasing years of musicianship, McLean and company ooze drops of southern roots rock, blues, R&B, funk and soul out of every note. With the rock & roll attitude of the Rolling Stones and Black Crowes combined with the songwriting prowess of Tom Petty and Ryan Adams, the result is the Jamie McLean Band's latest effort.

Recorded over eight days at the legendary Allaire Studio near Woodstock New York, American Heartache rolls through twelve cuts of southern rock infused guitar, soulful melodies and radio ready choruses. The twangy guitars and driving rhythms of "Can You Hear Me Now" and "Garden of Thieves" are reminiscent of early Black Crowes while earnest ballads such as "Don't Do Me That Way" and "Bottle of Love" summon the songwriting influences of Elvis Costello. McLean's versatility and fret board mastery is on display on every track, as he coaxes that heavy, classic rock sound out of his army of Gibson guitars. Soulful lyrics pour from McLean's voice in trademark front man fashion. With producer Stewart Lerman (Rufus Wainwright, Richie Havens) at the helm, American Heartache is McLean's best work to date. "Allaire is a magical place to record and Stewart was able to really steer the ship in the right directions. He helped make each song as strong and concise and meaningful as possible," states Jamie.

Featuring a plethora of special guests, American Heartache offers plenty of supplementary textures and styles. With additional recording completed in New Orleans during the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Jamie McLean Band captures the essence of a city steeped in musical history. From trading bluesy guitar licks with Luther Dickinson (The Black Crowes, North Mississippi All-Stars) to adding the sexy and smoky vocals of Shannon McNally, McLean is in the company of good friends on this record. Joined by old band mates the Dirty Dozen Brass Band mixing up a chaotic horn section, everything comes full circle for Jamie McLean.

The remainder of 2008 is shaping up to be a gigantic year for the Jamie McLean Band. With a full-fledged album release tour in the works hitting all major markets, McLean is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces as well as securing some new fans. In the hopes of expanding their touring schedule to the western half of the country, the Jamie McLean Band is poised to take their music to the next level. The creative juices are pumping and Jamie McLean foresees the release of select lives sets, an entirely acoustic album and a possible new studio record on the horizon. "I feel like the band is really firing on all cylinders right now. We are amazingly productive with songwriting, singing and touring and look forward to releasing and performing as much of this great music as possible."

National Jazz Museum in Harlem September Schedule

- for the Grateful Web

From live performances for Harlem in the Himalayas to analysis of five classic recordings for Jazz for Curious Listeners, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem's September 2008 schedule of public programs is sure to please you, not tease you.
 
You are also welcome to attend several discussions: our newest series, Jazz for Curious Readers features Harlem-based jazz journalist Ron Scott, who pens a weekly column for the Amsterdam News; while our longest running program, Harlem Speaks, features conversations with three living giants of jazz music.
 
Cedar Walton, a fluidly swinging pianist and deft composer, will delve into his life and career on September 11th, followed two weeks later by octogenarian Chico Hamilton, still going strong as a leader after more than 50 years! To be sure, this interview with Chico Hamilton is a must-see, since he will engage in conversation with one of his true peers: Dr. Billy Taylor.
 
September 2, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

John Coltrane: A Love Supreme
 
John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, a 32 minute suite made in 1964 based on a four note motif on the words "A Love Supreme," has become a holy relic of jazz. Similar in intent to Duke Ellington's Sacred Concerts, the suite was Coltrane's musical gift to God. From the urgent speech-like timbre of his tenor, to the serpentine textures and earthy groove of Elvin Jones's drumming, Coltrane's suite proceeds with escalating intensity, conveying a beckoning serenity in the prayer-like drones of "Psalm," where Jones rolls and rumbles like thunder as Garrison and Tyner toll away suggestively.
 
One of the top-selling jazz recordings in history, A Love Supreme has "influenced countless musicians both inside and outside of Jazz," wrote Loren Schoenberg in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.
 
Come find out how and why this seminal recording has stood the test of time.

September 9, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Miles Davis: Kind of Blue

To many jazz fans and musicians, Miles Davis's Kind of Blue is the definitive jazz recording, capturing a variety of moods through musical modes interpreted by Davis, trumpet; Jimmy Cobb, drums; Paul Chambers, bass; John Coltrane, tenor sax; Cannonball Adderly, alto sax; Wynton Kelly, piano (on Freddie Freeloader), and pianist Bill Evans, with whom Davis worked up the compositional sketches.
 
Jazz historian Dan Morgenstern describes one reason for the timeless quality of this most classic recording: "It's so well balanced. There is not an unnecessary note in any of those pieces. And you keep coming back to it. It doesn't wear out its welcome."
 
That's why we implore you to attend this class, curious listener, as instructor Loren Schoenberg will relate why Kind of Blue reveals new vistas of artistic wonder each listening.

September 11, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Cedar Walton, Pianist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

For over 25 years, pianist Cedar Walton has enjoyed an uptempo career, which never seems to slow down. Maintaining a non-stop itinerary, Walton has accompanied a litany of jazz greats while also fronting his own successful groups. Born January 17, 1934 in Dallas, Texas, Walton set his sights on a career in music at an early age. An after-hours gig at the Denver Club introduced him to notable musicians like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane, who would sit in with Walton's group when they passed through town.

From there, Walton ventured to New York and began to work locally with Lou Donaldson, Gigi Gryce, Sonny Rollins and Kenny Dorham before landing his first touring job with J.J. Johnson. Soon after, the pianist made his recording debut backing Kenny Dorham on the Riverside album Kenny Dorham Sings. He also made two records with J.J. Johnson's group on Columbia Records before joining the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet, a group he toured and recorded with for two years. Walton's next major musical association was with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. During his three years tenure with Blakey, Walton stepped forward a composer, contributing originals like "Mosaic" and "The Promised Land" to the group's recordings for the Blue Note and Riverside labels.

Walton left the Jazz Messengers to lead rhythm sections and trios throughout the New York club and recording studio circuits. His debut recording as a leader came in 1966 with the release of Cedar on Prestige Records. From the late '60s to early '70s, Walton kept steady company with bassist Sam Jones and drummers Louis Hayes and Billy Higgins in multi-purpose trios that occasionally annexed saxophonists Clifford Jordan, George Coleman or Bob Berg for specific tours and albums.

During the '80s, Walton embarked on a variety of interesting projects, which have grown into lasting affiliations. In 1981, he formed a trio with Ron Carter and Billy Higgins, which clicked right from the start. Around the same time, Walton became part of the Timeless All-stars, a sextet also featuring Harold Land, Bobby Hutcherson, Curtis Fuller, Buster Williams and Billy Higgins. Walton also ignited rhythm sections behind the likes of Milt Jackson, Frank Morgan, Dexter Gordon and vocalists Ernestine Anderson and Freddy Cole, and held the piano chair of The Trumpet Summit Band.

Walton's efforts have been well documented on record. In addition to a host of dates as a sideman, the pianist has been recording with his own groups at a prolific rate, as evidenced by an assortment of albums on the Timeless, Discovery, Red Baron and Steeple Chase record labels.

Walton is one of the most influential musicians active today. His original compositions "Bolivia," "Clockwise" and "Firm Roots" are frequently recorded by other musicians, and have become part of the standard jazz repertoire. His playing regularly receives praise from critics, fellow Jazz musicians and audience around the world. Cedar Walton is a true master of the music he loves, and you can discover even more about his life and career by attending. And bring a friend.

September 12, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Charles Davis Quartet
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Born in Mississippi and raised in Chicago, Charles Davis graduated from the famous DuSable High School, studied at the Chicago School of Music and was a private student of John Hauser. In the 1950s he played in the bands of Billie Holiday and Ben Webster, Sun Ra and Dinah Washington, and performed and recorded with Kenny Dorham, with whom he had a musical association that lasted many years.

In the tumultuous '60s Davis performed and recorded with Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison, Illinois Jacquet, Freddie Hubbard, Johnny Griffin, Steve Lacy, Ahmad Jamal and worked with Blue Mitchell, Erskine Hawkins, John Coltrane, Clifford Jordan, among others. In 1964 he won Downbeat Magazine's International Jazz Critics Poll for the baritone saxophone. In the '70s, he was member of the cooperative group "Artistry in Music" with Hank Mobley, Cedar Walton, Sam Jones and Billy Higgins; was the co-leader and composer/arranger for the Baritone Saxophone Retinue, a group featuring six baritone saxophones; made European tours of major jazz festivals and concerts with the Clark Terry Orchestra; and toured the USA with Duke Ellington's Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington.

He performed and recorded with the Philly Joe Jones Quartet, "Dameronia" and with Abdullah Ibrahim's "Ekaya" in the United States, Europe and Africa in the '80s, when he also toured Europe with the "Savoy Seven Plus 1: A Salute to Benny Goodman." With his own quartet, performed in Rome, at the Bologna Jazz Festival, Jazz in Sardinia Festival, and the La Spezia Festival. In 1984 he was named a "BMI Jazz Pioneer."

Among his many musical activities in the '90s, Davis was the tenor saxophonist and a major contributor of musical arrangements with Larry Ridley's "Jazz Legacy Ensemble" which appeared at the Senegal Jazz Festival, performed concerts and conducted clinics, seminars and master classes. In addition, with Ronnie Cuber and Gary Smulyan he performed in the Three Baritone Saxophone Band, which toured Italy, appeared at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and other venues around the world.

In August 2001, he performed for President Bill Clinton at the "Harlem Welcomes Clinton" celebration. The Barry Harris/Charles Davis Quintet appeared several times at "Sweet Basil" in New York City, and in August 2004, they performed in the 50th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival.

Charles is a saxophone instructor of private students from The New School, a teacher at the Lucy Moses School and for over 25 years has been an instructor at the Jazzmobile Workshops. He has made five of his own albums and is featured on over 100 recordings. Recent CDs include Blue Gardenia, with Cedar Walton on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums, released in 2003 on Reade Street Records. His latest, Land of Dreams, was released in 2007.

September 15, 2008
Jazz for Curious Readers
Ron Scott, Jazz Journalist
6:30 – 8:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
Free  | register online

Ron Scott currently writes a weekly column "Jazz Notes" for the Amsterdam News, and is a regular contributor of reviews and features for the monthly publications Jazz Improv and Network Journal.  He also wrote monthly reviews for the Jazz Heritage Society Catalogues, and contributes pieces to the online publication jazzhouse.org.  
 
He is the senior editor for the book Forever Harlem, (Starlight Press L.L.C., 2006), a pictorial history of Harlem from 1896-2006. Most recently he was writer and editor for the Community Works exhibit "Harlem is… Music," exhibited at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts and the Museum of the City of New York   
 
As a freelance writer Scott's byline has appeared in a variety of publications including the New York Times, Vogue, the NY Daily News, Time Out New York, Johnson Publications and ABC Radio. Scott also spent time as a theater and restaurant critic.
 
He is a member of the Jazz Journalists Association, New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ), and National Writers Union Local 1981. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University, and New York University's Graduate School of Social Work.
 
He's served as a publicity consultant on feature films and television specials working with such celebrities as Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor Harry Belafonte and two-time Grammy winner and jazz legend Roy Haynes. On the hip-hop tip Ron has worked on projects with Ice T., Chuck D. and Ice Cube. He's coordinated press conferences for Reverend Jesse Jackson, and R&B Grammy winner Al Green and Patti LaBelle.
 
Scott has received numerous awards including the D. Parke Gibson Award for distinguished achievement in Public Relations. He has lectured at the City University of New York, Howard University and shared his expertise on music and journalism panels throughout the United States.
 
September 16, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Benny Goodman: 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert
Amongst celebrated dates that exist in popular or fine art music, January 16, 1938 denotes the day the Benny Goodman Orchestra played the rarified environs of New York's Carnegie Hall - previously designated as the dignified home of classical music. Initially conceived as a publicity stunt to enhance Goodman's increasing popularity, this was the very first time a jazz ensemble had ever played this venue and despite initial coolness towards the event, the sell-out performance left no doubt that swing dance bands provided the latest craze which could no longer be ignored.

"As an ensemble, the players brought a new kind of perfection and swing to their interpretations of the classic arrangements by Fletcher Henderson, Edgar Sampson, and Jimmy Mundy," wrote tonight's instructor and National Jazz Museum in Harlem Executive Director Loren Schoenberg in his book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

You'll hear the truth of these words by way of a crystal-clear recording of this date so crucial to not only jazz, but American social history too.

September 19, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Cindy Blackman
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Born in Ohio and raised in Connecticut, Cindy began her musical career as a New York street performer. She spent three semesters at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and also studied with legendary teacher Alan Dawson.

Cindy moved to New York City in the 80's and since that time, she has been seen and heard by millions of people all over the world performing with her own group and during her 11 year stint with retro funk rocker Lenny Kravitz, since 1993.

In 1998, Cindy released her first drumming instructional video entitled, Multiplicity. Cindy was touted as "one of the hottest drummers in the business, by the Star-Gazette and is regarded as one of the top drummers in the world. She is a solid, dependable drummer who can easily move from straight-ahead jazz to rock to funk and back again.

She's upheld the backbeat and created texture for artists as varied as: Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Don Pullen, Hugh Masekela, Pharaoh Sanders, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bofill, Bill Laswell, Buckethead. In early 2000, Cindy released her acclaimed solo album Works on Canvas, and yet another solo album, Someday, in 2004.

September 23, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Wynton Marsalis: Blue Interlude
"Blue Interlude" is an ambitious work centered on two mythic lovers, and it beautifully executes Wynton Marsalis' stated fundamentals of jazz: a communal conception of improvising, vocal effects on instruments, swinging rhythms, blues, and a sense of mystery and even melancholy. There are echoes of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, yet on this, his first extended composition on record, he establishes his own compositional stamp.

If you've listened to this recording before, or even if you haven't at all, rest assured that you'll hear Marsalis' "mastery of making four horns sound as full and as varied in timbre as a big band," says Loren Schoenberg in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

September 25, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Chico Hamilton, Drummer; Interviewer: Dr. Billy Taylor
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Chico Hamilton, born September 21st, 1921 in Los Angeles, had a fast track musical education in a band with his schoolmates Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnett, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six years with Lena Horne established this young West Coast prodigy as a jazz drummer on the rise, before striking out on his own as a bandleader in 1955.

Chico's impact upon jazz includes the introduction of two unique and distinct sounds: first in 1955 with his Original Quintet which combined the sounds of his drums, the bass of Carson Smith, the guitar of Jim Hall, the cello of Fred Katz, and the flute of Buddy Collette; and the second in 1962 with his own drums, the bass of Albert Stinson, the guitar of Gabor Szabo, the tenor sax of Charles Lloyd, and the trombone of George Bohanon.

In 1997, Chico received the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Programs Beacons in Jazz Award in recognition for his "significant contribution to the evolution of Jazz". In 2002, Chico was awarded the WLIU-FM Radio Lifetime Achievement Award. At the IAJE in NYC January 2004, Hamilton was awarded a NEA Jazz Master Fellowship, presented to him by Roy Haynes. In December 2006, Congress confirmed the President's nomination of Chico to the Presidents Council on the Arts. And in 2007, Chico received a Living Legacy Jazz Award as part of The Kennedy Centers Jazz in Our Time Festival, as well as receiving a Doctor of Fine Arts from The New School.

Dynamic as ever at the age of 86, Chico Hamilton has a resume that includes scores for film, original compositions, commercial jingles, 50 + albums as a leader, and countless international tours.

September 26, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
David Ornette Cherry with The Ensemble for Improvisors
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

David Ornette Cherry grew up in Watts, California. This Watts young man, son of Don Cherry, later won the 2003 ASCAP- Chamber Music America Award for adventurous Programming of Contempory Music. He is inspired by themes of silence and nature versus technology.

The pulses and melodies that arise from his jazz, classical, African, world music background, and from playing with some of the great jazz artists of our times, speak about our human experiences through the language of sound. He listens with an open heart and fresh mind to his collaborators and the world around him in a way that makes his compositions not only music, but a way of life a positive form of energy, and a way to connect. His current group is titled Ensemble for Improvisors, the latest iteration of which you can hear tonight.

David Ornette Cherry studied music composition at Bishop College in Dallas and concentrating on "world music" at California Institute of the Arts. He spent challenging summers attending the Creative Music Studio at Woodstock, New York. These summer experiences gave him the space to compose and create music with Trilok Gurtu, Olatunji, Jai Deva, and Foday Musa Suso and to explore the relationship of jazz and music from other cultures. While jazz remains both the root and sustenance of his sound, he often incorporates the sounds of the world in what he calls "multi-kulti" music.

He sees himself crossing borders drawing from the past - building a passageway to jazz of the future. David states, "The music never stopped. Jazz is dynamic. It is a continuum that expands and takes from the players and composers so they can add their little something to the art. It's not about JUST referencing the past. It's about keeping the momentum going like a ball that keeps rolling along."

Acoustic piano, electronic keyboards, melodica, wood flute and douss'n gouni are his instruments.

David Ornette Cherry's future plans include: "Creating a musical intensity which invigorates and sets trends in jazz of the future, passing the torch to take the music beyond...to become another color in the ever-expanding sound spectrum."

September 30, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Andrew Hill: Point of Departure

Alfred Lion, founder of Blue Note Records, considered Andrew Hill his last major discovery, for Hill's rich, rhythmic piano and utterly unique compositions stand alone. Point Of Departure is Hill's masterpiece, with rich three-horn arrangements for Kenny Dorham, Eric Dolphy and Joe Henderson. Richard Davis and Tony Williams complete this high level ensemble of musicians with a wide range of approaches, but who, on this classic date, created a unified aesthetic whole.

G. Love Custom Guitar up

- for the Grateful Web

Enter for a chance to win the G. Love custom model guitar from Gretsch, along with a SIGNED harmonica and Shure 520DX "Green Bullet" Harmonica Microphone. You'll see G. Love playing these instruments all summer long on his headline tour with John Butler Trio and Tristan Prettyman. Make sure you pick up a copy of his new album Superhero Brother before you head out to the show!

YMSB to Perform at Obama's Acceptance Speech Today!

Yonder Mountain String Band, hailing from Nederland, Colorado (forty miles northwest of Denver), is honored to perform at this year's Democratic National Convention held on Denver August 24-28.  Yonder will take the stage on the final day of the convention - August 28th at INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium - just prior to Barack Obama's highly anticipated acceptance speec

Turbine Picking Up Speed In Colorado

photos by Janie Franz- for the Grateful Web

Turbine has been building a following the past few years around their dynamic live performances and constant touring schedule. Exploring various styles of music from rock to bluegrass to sci-fi, they use their vast catalog of songs as launching pads for improvisation. Recently chosen by Relix Magazine as artists "On the Verge", they have now released their second studio album Reward to critical praise. Ryan Rightmire, playing the harmonica and acoustic guitar at the same time, brings this classic combo into the 21st century as he manipulates effects that can turn his harmonica into an electric guitar, organ, and even a turntable. Jeremy Hilliard, in addition to being a prolific songwriter, brings an explosive electric guitar style steeped in the blues and roots traditions of the south. This one two punch of intertwining soloists, backed by Eric Johnson on drums and Justin Kimmel on bass, sound like nothing you've heard before. Their ability to switch styles has allowed them to play in any situation, from performing Led Zeppelin songs with Marco Benevento of The Duo to sitting in with bluegrass legends the Del McCoury Band.

Based out of New York City, they have appeared twice at the Wakarusa Festival, twice at the 10,000 Lakes Festival, Strange Creek Campout, Camp Creek, The Gathering of the Vibes, The Sunshine Daydream Festival, and three years at the Bele Chere Festival. They have also appeared at such renowned venues as the B.B. King Blues Club, State Theatre in VA, the Knitting Factory, Lion's Den, Paradise Rock Club, Iron Horse, North Star Bar, the Haunt, Starr Hill, and Nectar's. They have shared the bill with countless talented bands including Bob Weir and Ratdog, Trey Anastasio, The Black Crowes, Derek Trucks, Phil Lesh and Friends, Les Claypool, Jimmy Herring, The Benevento/Russo Duo, The Del McCoury Band, The String Cheese Incident, Gov't Mule, Drive-By Truckers, and Widespread Panic.

Turbine's new album Reward, released in 2007, brings their songwriting and musicianship to the next level. In it you can hear the many influences that have made them who they are today, from the songwriting of Bob Dylan to the futuristic sounds of Radiohead. But who are Turbine…

Jeremy Hilliard moved from Virginia to Manhattan to study jazz guitar. He attended the Mannes School of Music and soon began playing around the city. As his songwriting progressed he found himself identifying more along those lines than as a jazz musician. Ryan Rightmire actually started out playing the French Horn. He spent 15 years of intense studying in classical music and jazz, all the while experimenting with electronics and effects. Soon after moving to Manhattan he made a discovery: "the French Horn is a civilized instrument and I'm not a civilized man." It was then that he switched over to the harmonica and guitar. When Jeremy moved into the apartment next door to Ryan, they began a songwriting partnership. Eric Johnson, the newest member of the band, has added another dimension to this sound. Bringing an exploratory approach to the music, his intensity and drive to push the boundaries of improvisation take the band into unexpected places on a nightly basis. Justin Kimmel provides the final piece to the puzzle with his bass guitar and vocal harmonies. Originally from Colorado, he has the ability to seamlessly switch from one style to the next, anchoring the sound at every turn. To hear music and check Turbine's tour schedule, go to www.turbinemusic.com

Lotus Releases HAMMERSTRIKE and Announces Fall Tour

This fall, Lotus releases their highly anticipated studio album, Hammerstrike, and steps out on their most ambitious tour yet. The months ahead will wrap up a huge year of growth for Lotus; a year that has positioned this instrumental post-rock outfit for a breakout 2009.