orchestra

Béla Fleck Unveils Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra with Nashville Symphony

Béla Fleck will present the world premiere of his Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra — one of the first ever written for the instrument — with the Nashville Symphony on September 22-24 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. To be performed by Fleck on his vintage 1937 mahogany Gibson Mastertone banjo, the Concerto marks a significant new departure for Fleck, who calls the piece "a liberating experience for my efforts as a composer and hopefully for the banjo as well." Commissioned by the Nashville Symphony, Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra will be the centerpiece of the orchestra’s opening concerts in the 2011/12 SunTrust Classical Series.

Given the names Béla (for Bartók), Anton (for Webern) and Leoš (for Janáčék), Fleck seems to have been destined to play classical music. Having launched a prolific and wildly successful career as a genre-melding instrumentalist, first with the New Grass Revival and later with the Flecktones, he made the classical connection with his 2001 solo album Perpetual Motion. Released on Sony Classical, the recording went on to win a pair of GRAMMYs®, including Best Classical Crossover Album. Fleck has won a total of 14 GRAMMYs®, and, with 30 nominations, he has been nominated in more different categories than anyone in GRAMMY® history.

Fleck dedicates his new Concerto to pioneering banjoist Earl Scruggs, who first inspired him to take up the instrument. The composer says that the piece reflects the dual influences of classical music and bluegrass. “You can hear an evolution in my own writing of the piece as it goes on,” he observes, noting that he wanted to “explore the new possibilities of the banjo as a member or the orchestra, while respecting its roots in bluegrass and jazz.”

Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra is perfectly matched at the Nashville Symphony concerts with Aaron Copland’s famous Appalachian Spring, which celebrates the American spirit with music of breathtaking beauty and directness. Concluding the performance is Tchaikovsky’s larger-than-life Fourth Symphony, the Russian composer’s favorite piece, which sweeps the audience with an emotional palette that ranges from melancholy to exuberance. The Thursday, September 22, performance will be webcast live via the Nashville Symphony’s website.

For more information about the concert or to purchase tickets, please call 615.687.6400 or visit NashvilleSymphony.org.
The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its recordings and innovative programming. With 140 performances annually, the 84-member orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, children’s concerts and community engagement programs. As a national and international ambassador for Tennessee, the Nashville Symphony has received far-reaching acclaim for its 19 recordings on Naxos, making the ensemble one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. These recordings have received a total of 13 GRAMMY® nominations and six GRAMMY® Awards. On May 12, 2012, the Nashville Symphony will perform at Carnegie Hall as part of the Spring for Music festival, which recognizes orchestras for adventuresome, original programming.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events, April 4 - April 10, 2011

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

Art Taylor: Notes and Tones, a celebration

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Notes and Tones is one of the most controversial, honest, and insightful books ever written about jazz. As a black musician himself, Arthur Taylor asked his subjects hard questions about the role of black artists in a majority white society. Free to speak their minds, these musicians offer startling insights into their music, their lives, and the creative process itself. Notes and Tones consists of twenty-nine no-holds-barred conversations which drummer Arthur Taylor held with some of the most influential jazz musicians in jazz—including: Thelonious Monk, Erroll Garner, Elvin Jones, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dexter Gordon.

Arthur Taylor drummed with Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and dozens of others. He was called ”one of the great drummers to come out of the fertile Harlem bebop scene” (New York Times) and ”one of the best bandleaders living or dead” (Village Voice). His band, Taylor’s Wailers, recorded several albums, and was based in New York City up until Taylor's death in 1995.

We welcome you to join this celebration of a classic of jazz literature.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Count Basie's All American 4

The Count Basie Orchestra's All American rhythm section appropriately initiates our focus this month on great rhythm sections. Basie (piano), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums), and Freddie Green (guitar) together perfected what, after Louis Armstrong's style modeled it, became known as swing. From the mid-30's to early 40's, the Count Basie Orchestra popularized this feeling, contributing to the period of American history called the Swing Era. These four men blended into a "cohesive whole greater than the sum of its parts," as Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem put it in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

We invite you to swing on through to our Visitor's Center for this free event in which the sounds of Lester Young and the All American rhythm section will reign once again.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Harlem Speaks

James Spaulding, flutist/saxophonist

6:30 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

James Spaulding has established his reputation as a masterful soloist for ensemble performances, and for many years was among the busier sidemen for Blue Note Records. An exceptional saxophonist and flutist, he is one of the many fine artists to come out of the Indianapolis, Indiana area. James is a modernist, with solid roots in classical jazz; his saxophone style is an extension of the Charlie Parker influence, but his overall concept incorporates much of the broad jazz saxophone heritage.

Spaulding's musical training started early, as he came from a musical family in his place of birth Indiana (his father was a professional musician who played the guitar and led his own big band, traveling throughout the country). James began playing a bugle when he was in grade school. He later took up the trumpet and saxophone on his own, and while in high school studied clarinet. He made his professional debut playing around Indianapolis with an R&B group.

From 1954 to 1957, Spaulding was in the army playing in service bands. When he was discharged, he settled in Chicago where he performed in clubs leading his own group, and had a stay with the Sun Ra Orchestra. He also furthered his flute studies there at the Chicago Cosmopolitan School of Music. In 1962, he arrived in New York City, and subsequently was associated with notables such as Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach and the Ellington Orchestra.

In 1975, he received a bachelor's degree in music from Livingston College in New Jersey where he taught flute as an adjunct professor. James' daughters, Gina and Yvonne Spaulding were on the cover of his very first recording: The Legacy of Duke Ellington, recorded in 1975. Mr. Spaulding's range of performance experiences extends nationally and internationally, from the concert stage to jazz clubs to colleges and street fairs. His original music, a suite entitled "A Song of Courage," was performed by him with full orchestra and choir at the Voorhees Chapel at the Rutgers University campus from funds awarded him by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been recorded on over 100 recordings.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Event: Mingus on Film with Loren Schoenberg

Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 2:00pm

Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University

328 Lomita Drive, Stanford, CA 94305

FREE|for more information: 650-723-4177

Loren Schoenberg, Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, concludes the Remember Mingus series with an afternoon of rare film footage, live concert clips, and lively discussion about Charles Mingus’ music, life and legacy.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Loren Schoenberg with the Gunn School Jazz Band, Music of Jazz Great Charles Mingus

Community School of Music and Arts at Finn Center

230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View, CA 94040

FREE|for more information: 650-917-6800

Stanford Lively Arts performance offering musical excerpts and conversation with Loren Schoenberg.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events, April 2011

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem cordially invites you to our April public programs, which we promise will warm your hearts as much as the weather of spring brings miles of smiles to your face.

Our bi-weekly discussion series first features flutist/saxophonist James Spaulding and then composer Maria Schneider, who will be premiering a large-scale works at Carnegie Hall in May. We continue in the spirit of celebration for our once-a-month Jazz for Curious Readers session, focusing on drummer Art Taylor's classic book of interviews, Notes and Tones.

For live performances, we direct you to The Rubin Museum's cherrywood-lined acoustic performance space, where Fred Hersch will play solo piano, and Scott Robinson will lead a quartet the likes of which you've never seen -  before for Harlem in the Himalayas. The Players Club is yet another beautiful setting for jazz players, which is why we point to this month's show by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars!

On the West Coast, at Stanford University, Executive Director Loren Schoenberg will lead a special class of Charles Mingus on film. And right here, at the Visitor's Center of the museum, we feature classes on the role of the rhythm section in jazz, from the 1930's to the 60's, in four Jazz for Curious Listeners sessions as well as our Saturday Panel, in which the Jonathan Batiste Trio will swing for you, and explain it at the same time.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas

Fred Hersch, solo piano

7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has been called "one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation" by Downbeat and has earned a place among the foremost jazz artists in the world today. From the late 70's onward as a sideman to jazz legends including Joe Henderson, Art Farmer and Stan Getz, he has solidified a reputation as a versatile master of jazz piano, as well as a relentlessly probing composer and conceptualist. His career as a performer has been greatly enhanced by his composing activities, a vital part of nearly all of his live concerts and recordings May of 2011 will see the premiere of My Coma Dreams for actor/singer, animation/multimedia and mixed ensemble. Hersch is considered to be the most prolific and widely-praised solo jazz pianist of his generation. Palmetto has just released Alone at the Vanguard which documents his second solo engagement at the legendary club.  An early review in All Music Guide calls it "a once-in-a-decade album that will stay with you long after the final track fades out."

Don't miss this opportunity!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jazz for Curious Readers

Art Taylor: Notes and Tones, a celebration
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Notes and Tones is one of the most controversial, honest, and insightful books ever written about jazz. As a black musician himself, Arthur Taylor asked his subjects hard questions about the role of black artists in a majority white society. Free to speak their minds, these musicians offer startling insights into their music, their lives, and the creative process itself. Notes and Tones consists of twenty-nine no-holds-barred conversations which drummer Arthur Taylor held with some of the most influential jazz musicians in jazz—including: Thelonious Monk, Erroll Garner, Elvin Jones, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dexter Gordon.

Arthur Taylor drummed with Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and dozens of others. He was called ”one of the great drummers to come out of the fertile Harlem bebop scene” (New York Times) and ”one of the best bandleaders living or dead” (Village Voice). His band, Taylor’s Wailers, recorded several albums, and was based in New York City up until Taylor's death in 1995.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Count Basie's All American 4

The Count Basie Orchestra's All American rhythm section appropriately initiates our focus this month on great rhythm sections. Basie (piano), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums), and Freddie Green (guitar) together perfected what, after Louis Armstrong's style modeled it, became known as swing. From the mid-30's to early 40's, the Count Basie Orchestra popularized this feeling, contributing to the period of American history called the Swing Era. These four men blended into a "cohesive whole greater than the sum of its parts," as Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem put it in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

We invite you to swing on through to our Visitor's Center for this free event in which the sounds of Lester Young and the All American rhythm section will reign once again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Harlem Speaks

James Spaulding, flutist/saxophonist

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

James Spaulding has established his reputation as a masterful soloist for ensemble performances, and for many years was among the busier sidemen for Blue Note Records. An exceptional saxophonist and flutist, he is one of the many fine artists to come out of the Indianapolis, Indiana area. James is a modernist, with solid roots in classical jazz; his saxophone style is an extension of the Charlie Parker influence, but his overall concept incorporates much of the broad jazz saxophone heritage.

Spaulding's musical training started early, as he came from a musical family in his place of birth Indiana (his father was a professional musician who played the guitar and led his own big band, traveling throughout the country). Jamesbegan playing a bugle when he was in grade school. He later took up the trumpet and saxophone on his own, and while in high school studied clarinet. He made his professional debut playing around Indianapolis with an R&B group.

From 1954 to 1957, Spaulding was in the army playing in service bands. When he was discharged, he settled in Chicago where he performed in clubs leading his own group, and had a stay with the Sun Ra Orchestra. He also furthered his flute studies there at the Chicago Cosmopolitan School of Music. In 1962, he arrived in New York City, and subsequently was associated with notables such as Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach and the Ellington Orchestra.

In 1975, he received a bachelor's degree in music from Livingston College in New Jerseywhere he taught flute as an adjunct professor. James' daughters, Gina and Yvonne Spaulding were on the cover of his very first recording: The Legacy of Duke Ellington, recorded in 1975. Mr. Spaulding's range of performance experiences extends nationally and internationally, from the concert stage to jazz clubs to colleges and street fairs. His original music, a suite entitled "A Song of Courage," was performed by him with full orchestra and choir at the Voorhees Chapel at the RutgersUniversitycampus from funds awarded him by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been recorded on over 100 recordings.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special Event: Mingus on Film with Loren Schoenberg

Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 2:00pm
Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University | FREE

Loren Schoenberg, Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, concludes the Remember Mingus series with an afternoon of rare film footage, live concert clips, and lively discussion about Charles Mingus’ music, life and legacy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Duke Jordan/Tommy Potter/Max Roach

After Charlie "Bird" Parker and Dizzy Gillespie parted ways on the bandstand, Bird formed a quintet featuring Miles Davis and Jordan (piano), Potter (bass) and Roach (drums). Although they maintained the swing of their forebears as heard in last week's class, the way they dealt with accents and tempo transformed to perform the style that became known as bebop. Join us to hear the sonic transformation that revolutionized jazz.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jazz at the Players

Melba Joyce and The National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars 7:00pm

Location: The Players

(16 Gramercy Park S. | get directions)
$20 | Reservations: reservations@theplayersnyc.org or 212-475-6116

If you've never been to the elegant setting of The Players, we urge you to reserve a seat asap, because the down-home swing of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All Stars will make you tap your feet with glee, most happily, and swing your troubles away.

Melba Joyce was born in Dallas, Texas where she grew up under the warm and instructive musical influence of her mother and grand-parents.  Her father, Melvin Moore, a prominent vocalist with the jazz and swing bands of his era (including Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he toured and recorded )was also one of Melba's influences. After her family moved to Los Angeles, Melba was immediately noticed by musicians and soon found herself opening for such renowned artists as Miles Davis, Freddy Hubbard and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.

Melba tirelessly toured the war-torn fields of Vietnam to entertain the troops at the height of that horrid conflict, an experience that raised her social conscience to new heights.  When Melba returned, she was appointed panelist for the Congressional Black Caucus of Women in Jazz Forum. She produced the first Women in Jazz Festival at Harlem's Schomburg Center for Black Culture; and became a principal in the Day of the Child Series for UNICEF.  With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ms. Joyce produced Jazz For Special People, a musical education series for the handicapped.

In 2008, The Central Park Conservancy presented Melba with a very special recognition through the City of New York for creating and producing The First Women's Jazz Festival. The program, held in Harlem at the park's Dana House, featured  Kunle Abodunde reading of a chapter from his unreleased book.  During Melba's tour assignment in Nigeria as a Jazz Ambassador, Abodunde  attended her performance and being deeply impressed included a chapter in the book describing what he felt about the evening.

Her long and impressive career has spanned three decades in the company of and sharing top billing with such giants of the music world as Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughn, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and so many others.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas

Scott Robinson Quartet

7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Scott Robinson, bass saxophone
JD Parran, basssaxophone
Vinny Golia, bass saxophone
Warren Smith, drums, percussion

A respected performer in all areas of jazz, from traditional to avant-garde, Scott Robinson brings audiences an unusual pairing of three bass saxophones with percussion for this raucous and soulful concert—his encore performance at the Rubin Museum. The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Robinson, who is known for his work on unusual and obscure styles of saxophones, has been the winner of a number ofDown Beat Critics Polls and Jazz Journalists Association awards in recent years.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Red Garland/Paul Chambers/Philly Joe Jones

Miles Davis was a key member of the Charlie Parker Quintet, whose rhythm section was the focus of last week's class. This week we'll hear how Davis and other giants came into their own with the solid yet flexible support of one of the most grooving and soulful rhythm sections in the history of the idiom. The mid-50’s classics we'll listen to tonight are never old, but hearing them could make you feel younger. Don't miss it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Harlem Speaks

Maria Schneider, Composer

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

Maria Schneider’s music has been hailed by critics as “evocative, majestic, magical, heart-stoppingly gorgeous, and beyond categorization.” She and her orchestra became widely known starting in 1994 when they released their debut recording, Evanescence. With that recording, Schneider began to develop a highly personal way of writing for her 17-member collective, tailoring her compositions to distinctly highlight the unique voices of the group. Subsequently, the Maria Schneider Orchestra has performed at festivals and concert halls worldwide. She has received numerous commissions and guest conducting invites, working with more than 85 groups from over 30 countries spanning Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and North America.

Schneider’s music blurs the lines between genres, and as a result, her long list of commissioners has become quite varied. They include the Norrbotten Big Band and Danish Radio Orchestra with Toots Thielemans and Ivan Lins, the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands (several works), Orchestra National de Jazz (Recapitulation), Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra (El Viento), Monterey Jazz Festival (Scenes from Childhood, Willow Lake), The American Dance Festival (for dance company, Pilobolus–Dissolution), University of Miami Concert Jazz Band (Three Romances), Jazz at Lincoln Center (Buleria, Soleá y Rumba), Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (Aires de Lando), Peter Sellars’ New Crowned Hope Festival (Vienna’s Mozart Festival–Cerulean Skies), Kronos Quartet (String Quartet No. 1) and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with soprano, Dawn Upshaw (Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories), a work that will receive its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall, May 13th, 2011, conducted by Schneider.

Schneider’s most recent work (premiering June 12th, 2011), co-commissioned by the Ojai Festival, The Australian Chamber Orchestra and Cal Performances, will blur boundaries further as it features the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Dawn Upshaw, and two musicians long associated with Schneider’s own orchestra: pianist Frank Kimbrough, and multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson. For this work, she is incorporating poems by poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser, from his book ”Winter Morning Walks.”

Schneider continues to be a pioneer in funding her projects. She recently composed two works for her own orchestra with the involvement of commissioners, not from arts organizations, but directly from her ArtistShare® fan base. "Concert in the Garden" and her orchestra’s latest album, "Sky Blue" (on which Cerulean Skies was recorded) were both named “Jazz Album of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association and the DOWNBEAT Critics Poll.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Panels

The Beat Goes On: The Jonathan Batiste Trio Demonstrates What The Rhythm Section does

12:00 – 4:00pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

This Saturday panel is a perfect complement to and extension of our Jazz for Curious Listener's focus on great rhythm sections. Jonathan Batiste’s Trio will demonstrate how the piano comps, the bass walks and the drums ride the cymbals, yes, but that's only the start. You'll witness, live, how the bass and drums lock-in together creating the basis for the swing; how the trio ebbs and flows and communicates non-verbally to create musical magic. Not only should this class not be missed, it's also a chance to introduce jazz music to those curious about it, but haven't heard it up close and personal enough yet to connect with it. Do them and yourself a favor!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

It Don't Mean a Thing: Great Jazz Rhythm Sections

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

 McCoy Tyner/Jimmy Garrison/Elvin Jones

We started in the 30's with the rhythm section fronted by Count Basie, then moved to the 40's with a foundational group of three, and thereafter transitioned to the 50's. For our last session of this month's Great Jazz Rhythm Sections theme, we land on the doorstep of a classic 60's rhythm section that supported the Great John Coltrane. McCoy's percussive style, with Garrison's booming bass, and Jones' polyrhythmic fire combined to change the course of the music yet again.

DJ YODA U.K. Turntablist 'DJ Yoda & Friends'

Audio-visual turntablist extraordinaire DJ YODA is set to release a brand new five-track EP entitled DJ YODA & FRIENDS out March 7, 2011 via A.Skillz’ Jam City label in North America. Taken from his exclusive album sessions, the EP follows DJ YODA’s groundbreaking Stop, Look & Listen Tour which saw him mashing audio and visual elements across the U.K., conquering various venues including the celebrated British Film Institute IMAX in London.

DJ YODA is no ordinary scratch DJ. His seminal How To Cut & Paste series showcased a tongue-in-cheek mixing style that prompted Q magazine in his native Britain to declare him “one of the ten DJs to see before you die,” while Hip Hop Connection voted him “one of the top three DJs in the world.” American gaming enthusiasts may be familiar with him as a contributor to ‘DJ Hero,’ for which he collaborated with its designers, contributing his expertise to the look of the game.  It also features two of his mixes and a DJ Yoda level.

From hip-hop beginnings, DJ YODA has evolved in the past ten years, using his turntable skills and diverse influences as varied as funk, b-more, kuduro, reggae, drum ‘n’ bass and even big band swing and country & western to make unashamed party music. On the DJ YODA & FRIENDS EP— the follow-up to his 2006 debut album The Amazing Adventures Of DJ Yoda, where he produced tracks with Biz Markie, 2005 MOBO-winner Sway, Princess Superstar, Jungle Brothers, MC Paul Barman and a host of other vocalists—the master producer teams with a unique cast of characters.  Rappers Izza Kizza, a vocalist from super-producer Timbaland's stable, and Gotty Boi Chris, a key figure in the very hot New Orleans Bounce scene, and DJ/producers A.Skillz, Hervé and Nick Thayer are DJ YODA’s cohorts on these five brand new tracks

A-Skillz has done it all from plying his turntable abilities at clubs and festivals across the world to producing his own tracks and helping mould others. Similarly, Joshua “Hervé” Harvey has created club smashes under various guises and collaborated with some of the most exciting players in the scene, including Fatboy Slim to create 2010’s “Machines will do the Work.”  Nick Thayer is an Australian DJ/Producer who has already won the support of Kissy Sell Out (Radio 1), the Stanton Warriors and Utah Saints amongst others, off the back of his debut album which he released in May, Just Let It Go.

On stage, DJ YODA can be found cutting the “Indiana Jones” theme with woofer-worrying dubstep or “The Muppet Show” theme with M.IA. His shows are peppered with film, TV and YouTube samples and visuals that lift his sets to new and stratospheric heights.  His live repertoire—which U.S. audiences will get to experience this spring when he comes over to tour—has him trail-blazing into the world of the audio-visual.  DJ YODA pioneered a new art form, using cutting-edge technology that he’s been instrumental in developing to scratch and mix visuals on top of his DJ sets in the clubs.

Starting out by re-scoring both “The Goonies” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” on the festival circuit in 2003 and 2004, DJ YODA went on to transform the average night out into a fusion of clubbing and the movies. His recent audio/visual tours have included “DJ Yoda Goes To The Movies,” “Magic Cinema Show” and “National Video Vacation.” Elements of his most recent outing with his “Stop Look And Listen” show can be found here.

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Recent highlights for DJ Yoda include:

  • Selling out London’s Koko on his critically acclaimed ‘Magic Cinema Show’ tour.
  • Performing alongside the likes of Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson and Fatboy Slim.
  • Being nominated for a Sony Radio Award in the ‘Music Special’ category for his "Cut & Paste" documentary for BBC Radio 1.
  • Winning the Contemporary Classical Album of 2009 at the Independent Music Awards for the Heritage Orchestra feat DJ Yoda's G. Prokofiev Concerto For Turntables & Orchestra.
  • Producing an hour-long music documentary for BBC Radio 1’s 40th birthday, mixing-up highlights of their history as part of their official anniversary celebrations.
  • Releasing the critically acclaimed Fabric Live 39 mix CD.
  • Working with Dame Evelyn Glennie on a genre-defying collaborative live show.
  • Mixing up the Champions League highlights for ITV’s Champions League Final.
  • Performing with Lily Allen providing exclusive visuals.
  • Creating a special Michael Jackson tribute Mini-Mix for Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show
  • DJ’ing to packed-out clubs everywhere from China to Brazil to Australia.
  • Playing on the same bill as Steve Martin, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock at the HBO Comedy Festival in Las Vegas.

Showcasing a one-off AV mix at the DMC 25th Anniversary Championships, detailing the competition’s incredible highs from the past quarter of a century in his own inimitable style.

11th Annual NEWPORT BEACH JAZZ PARTY

Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 17-20, 2011, will again be the time for mainstream jazz lovers from around the country (& world) to arrive in Newport Beach for “Right Down The Middle And Straight Ahead” Jazz at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa.  The party will again center on a large stage nightly at 7:00pm (Thursday at 8:00pm) with reserved seating providing a near perfect mix of concert conditions and intimacy of a club setting, all in the Grand Pacific Ballroom.

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Highlights of this 11h Annual jazz lover’s weekend –

· Thursday’s Grand Opening Night will kick off the weekend with the Ken Peplowski Quartet followed by the Larry Fuller Trio and concluding with John Pizzarelli’s Tribute to Duke Ellington- Rockin’ In Rhythm with Swing Seven featuring Jeff Hamilton.

· Friday evening will begin with an All-Star set lead by trombonist Dan Barrett and feature Claudio Roditi-trumpet, Houston Person-tenor sax, Anat Cohen-clarinet, Eric Reed-piano, Christoph Luty-bass and Paul Kreibich-drums. The second of 4 sessions will feature tenor man Scott Hamilton along with Benny Green on piano, Chuck Berghofer on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. For the first time at the party - San Francisco vocalist Kim Nalley will take the stage together with party veteran Houston Person.  Rounding out the night will be a return of the popular Jeff Hamilton Trio!

· Claudio Roditi will open Saturday night’s sessions with an All-Star group featuring Scott Hamilton, Eric Reed, Christophy Luty and Jeff Hamilton.  The second session will bring together Yellowjackets’ famed tenor player Bob Mintzer along with party favorite flutist Holly Hofmann and the rhythm section of Benny Green, Chuck Berghofer and Lewis Nash.  Set #3 will for the first time at the party feature famed lyricist Alan Bergman and bringing the evening to a close will be an All-Star set featuring Anat Cohen, Downbeat Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll Jazz Artist Rising Star together with Ken Peplowski!

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Sunday night will open with one of the most recorded drummers in jazz- Lewis Nash followed by a solo set by pianist Benny Green.  Joining Benny for the next session will be bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton! The third set will feature the Ken Peplowski Quartet with Tom Ranier on piano, bassist Chuck Berghofer and Jeff Hamilton on drums.  Bringing the weekend to a swingin’close will be Frank Sinatra, Jr. and his 20 piece orchestra under the direction of Terry Woodson!

· Featured at this year’s Pool Sessions (Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon until 3:30pm), among 9 great sessions, will be the latin and Brazilian sounds of the Scott Martin Band;  big band standards of the Blue Note Swing Orchestra with guest Dan Barrett;  USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra directed by Bob Mintzer;  B3 organist Atsuko Hashimoto with Jeff Hamilton and guitarist Graham Dechter and the Dave Tull Trio.  Other highlights include All-Star sets lead by Bill Cunliffe, Holly Hofmann/Anat Cohen and Claudio Roditi/Gilbert Castellanos.

· Additionally, two Champagne Brunches will be offered starring legendary trumpeter Jack Sheldon on Saturday and a return performance by the popular Barbara Morrison and Houston Person on Sunday. Also appearing at the Saturday Brunch will be the Eric Reed Trio plus Scott Hamilton and on Sunday the Adam Schroeder Quartet!

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Tickets are now available for the complete four night, three-day package including one Champagne Brunch.  Prices are $350/375. Individual reserved seats are priced at $60/$75 for evening performances and $40/50 for the Grand Opening Sessions,  $30 each  for “Friday, Saturday & Sunday By the Pool” and $50 for each Jazz Brunch. For tickets to the 11th Annual Newport Beach Jazz Party, call the Jazzline at 949.759.5003 or for complete artist appearance times and an order form visit their website.

Roy GAINES “Tuxedo Blues” Blues Award Academie' Best Blues Album

Roy Gaines & His Orchestra recorded their first CD “Tuxedo Blues” (Black Gold Records) in 2009 at Capitol Records, and has performed at local venues and events in 2010 including the Central Ave Jazz Festival, The Typhoon Restaurant and the Catalina Jazz Club.  The motto of this 17-piece orchestra is “Dress the blues up”.

Tuxedo Blues has been aired on KKJZ 88.1 FM by Helen Borgers, who also wrote the liner notes.  The blues we hear on this disc have been arranged for a swingin’ big band that could be performing at the elegant ballrooms of the most prestigious hotels.

The music harkens back to the days when Roy was part of a touring program, on the same bill with Count Basie’s Orchestra and Jimmy Rushing, under the influence of impresario John Hammond.  But the music transcends any one era.   Roy puts everything he has into everything he does.  And he is a visionary.  His plans for the evolution of this music – where it will be heard, played and grown – are exiciting.  Today a homage to Count Basie, tomorrow Duke Ellington.  Beyond – who knows?   One thing is for sure, it will be a class act!

Cosmic NYE, 2011 shows, New Downloads

Dark Star Orchestra will be recreating the Legendary 'Live at the Cow Palace' show from 12/31/76 plus DSO will kick off the evening with a rare acoustic set. We are looking forward to wrapping up an incredible year of touring and music ...Come Join us for the Celebration!

GA tix include admission, party favors and champagne toast

Limited VIP packages are available and include premium reserved seating, access to a private VIP bar, exclusive show poster, party favors, and a champagne toast.

Click HERE for GA NYE tix
Click HERE for VIP NYE tix

12/30 - Dark Star Orchestra will be performing 3 sets kicking things off with a special Terrapin Nation set!

Click HERE to get your 12/30 tickets today...

With DSO ringing in 2011 at The Klein on 12/30 and 12/31, we've partnered up with our friends at The Fairfield Theatre Company who are doing a weekly giveaway of DSO and Grateful Dead related merchandise each week up until the show. Visit and 'like' their Facebook Page and check each Wednesday to enter to win some great prizes, including a rare, limited edition Dark Star Orchestra poster and more!

Discounted hotel rooms are available for the 12/30 show. For rooms please call the Holiday Inn in Bridgeport, CT at 203.334.1234 and ask them for the $79 FTC Rate, by mentioning Dark Star Orchestra. The on line code for rooms is DSO if you want to reserve them that way. Our room block for 12/31 is sold out, but we found a few other options we wanted to share with you so you can still join in the party on New Years Eve!

Hampton Inn Milford - 203-874-4400
Homewood Suites Stratford - 203-377-3322
Hilton Garden inn Shelton - 203-447-1000
Residence Inn Milford - 203-283-2100
SpringHill Suites Milford - 203-283-0200

12/29 - Penn's Peak - Jim Thorpe, PA - TICKETS

12/28 - Wellmont Theatre - Montclair, NJ - TICKETS

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New Tour Dates!

DSO will hit the road after the Southbound Winter Tour for a late winter run through the mid-atlantic. Stops include The National in Richmond, VA, State Theatre in Falls Church, VA, The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown, Mexicali Blues, Reading, PA and Tarrytown, NY.

Spring brings the band back to the west coast with stops in Seattle, Portland and Eugene, OR, Arcata and Santa Cruz, CA and 3 nights at the Great American Music Hall in San Fran.

Check out our TOUR DATES PAGE for complete details.  | Check out some DSO coverage on the Grateful Web.

Fresh Nugs

Just in time to warm you up this winter season we have 14 new shows now available on our Livedownloads Site. Culled from the shows this past summer and fall you can check out performances from many of this years tour highlights including our sets from All Good, Mountain Jam, A Bear's Picnic and even a special secret show recorded at a top secret location in the Pennsylvania forest.

Check out our Livedownloads Site for these and other great shows from the DSO on Demand catalog.

DAVID AMRAM The First 80 Years! A Musical Celebration

DAVID AMRAM: The First 80 Years Jazz, a spectacular, historic celebration of a true American original whom the Washington Post has described as “one of the most versatile and skilled musicians America has ever produced,” will be presented by Jazz Forum Arts on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 7:30 PM at Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, in Manhattan, it was announced by Mark Morganelli, Executive Director of the presenting organization. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Clearwater, the organization founded by Pete Seeger, as well as the Woody Guthrie Foundation

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The historic concert will feature:

· The New York premiere of Amram’s “Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie” performed in memory of Odetta by the 60-piece Queens College Orchestra, conducted by Maurice Peress. The work will be introduced by Nora Guthrie, who commissioned it with support from the Guthrie Foundation, based on her father’s song “This Land is Your Land.”  

·The New York premiere screening of the finale of the recent production of Amram’s 1968 comic opera “Twelfth Night” with a libretto by the late Joe Papp, which will be introduced by Bernard Gersten, Executive Producer of the Lincoln Center Theater and former co-producer with Joe Papp of the New York Shakespeare Festival.

·The first ever concert performance of excerpts from Amram’s classic film scores, “Splendor in the Grass” (1960), and “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962), performed by the Brooklyn Conservatory Jazz Ensemble, directed by Earl McIntyre, and The Jazz & Gospel Choirs, directed by Renee Manning.

· “En memoria de Chano Pozo” for Latin/jazz group and symphony orchestra, performed in memory of  Dizzy Gillespie by the Queens College Orchestra, conducted by David Amram, with guest soloists Candido (congas) and Bobby Sanabria (timbales) with Amram himself on piano, pennywhistles and percussion.  

·“One Heart, Many Voices,” performed by Amram’s Middle Eastern Trio with Avram Pengas (guitar and Bazookie) and Israeli singer/songwriter David Broza.

·Malachy McCourt will introduce Amram’s  “The Fox Hunt From Cork Meets The Blues From New York,” performed by Larry Kirwan (Black 47), John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Amram’s Latin/Jazz Ensemble and dancers from the Stella Adler School of Acting.

·Actor John Ventimiglia (The Sopranos) will read excerpts from Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road” followed by performance Kerouac/Ginsburg/Cassady title song from the 1959 Best Documentary Film “Pull My Daisy.

The star-studded salute will also include filmed 80th birthday wishes from Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Willie Nelson, members of the N.Y. Philharmonic, and friends and colleagues from around the country. There will also be appearances and performances by Amram’s friends from the world of theatre, film and music, including actor Keir Dullea (2001: A Space Odyssey), Josh White Jr., Patience Higgins,  the Amram Family Band and current members and alumni of Amram's quartets from the past 40 years, as well as other surprise guests.  

The entire concert will be filmed by Lawrence Kraman for his documentary film “David Amram: The First 80 Years,” segments of which will be shown for the first time at this concert. To see links for the trailer, visit here and for the poster.

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During his illustrious career, David Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works; numerous scores for Broadway theater and film; two operas, and the score for the landmark 1959 documentary Pull My Daisy, narrated by novelist Jack Kerouac.  He is also the author of three books, published by Paradigm Publishers.  A pioneer player of jazz French horn, he is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from 25 countries, in addition to being a renowned improvisational lyricist.  Amram has collaborated with Langston Hughes, Dizzy Gillespie, Dustin Hoffman, Johnny Depp, Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Tito Puente and Leonard Bernstein, who chose him as The New York Philharmonic's first composer-in-residence in 1966.  One of Amram's most recent works, Giants of the Night, a flute concerto, was commissioned and premiered by Sir James Galway.  Today, as he has for over 50 years, Amram continues to compose music while traveling the world as a conductor, soloist, bandleader, visiting scholar, and narrator in five languages.  He celebrates his 80th birthday on November 17th.  Additional information is available at http://www.davidamram.com/

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Tickets for DAVID AMRAM: The First 80 Years are: $75, $55 and $35 (members, students, seniors: $70, $50 and $30; children: $65, $45 and $25) and can be purchased at the Symphony Space Box Office, 212.864.5400, or at http://www.symphonyspace.org.  For information about Jazz Forum Arts, call 888.99.BEBOP, or visit http://www.jazzforumarts.org/.

Jump, Jive, an' Wail is Stand-Out on Live Brian Setzer DVD

"Jump, Jive, an' Wail" from the Brian Setzer Orchestra's 'It’s Gonna Rock... 'Cause That’s What I Do' DVD, out now from Surfdog Records, got 150,000 people out of their seats when it was recorded during a headlining BSO set at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

The song, a 1956 hit for Louis Prima, has been in the BSO repertoire since 1998, when it earned a Grammy® Award for Best Pop Performance. The version on the DVD features a stinging Gretsch guitar solo by Setzer, high-energy bursts from his leopard-print tuxedo-clad horn section and his sequined backup singers, and 300,000 waving arms.

Watch a clip of "Jump, Jive, an' Wail"

Brian Setzer's "Christmas Comes Alive!" CD is also out from Surfdog Records now. A collection of 15 amazing holiday tracks performed live in concert as only the Brian Setzer Orchestra can do it, the single-disc offering is packed with music that is, according to Billboard, "guaranteed to get your Christmas party on its feet!"

DeadPhish Orchestra: Seamlessly weaving the music of Grateful Dead & Phish

DeadPhish Orchestra seamlessly weaves the music of The Grateful Dead and Phish, and features members of Great American Taxi, Phix and Mason's Children

DeadPhish Orchestra will play Quixote's in Denver, Colorado this Friday at 9:00pm.  The official lubrication party before 4 nights of madness in Broomfield! DPO will play two full sets outside on the patio....with UltraViolet Hippopotamus on the inside stage!

Also, be sure to check out DeadPhish Orchestra when they headline Quixote's on October 22nd.

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DPO is:

Chris Sheldon - Drums/Vocals
Paul Murin - Guitar/Vocals
Brian Adams - Bass/ Vocals
Ted Tilton - Keyboards/Vocals