international

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.

David Gilmore and Energies of Change at Iridium

Over the past decade guitarist and composer David Gilmore has recorded and performed with some of the most highly influential and innovative artists in modern music today including Wayne Shorter, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sam Rivers, Steve Coleman, Don Byron, Dave Douglas, Cassandra Wilson, Christian McBride, Uri Caine, Randy Brecker and David Sanborn. He has appeared on over 50 recordings and has been a major presence on the international touring scene. He has also recorded, and toured extensively with pop artists Joss Stone and Me’Shell N’Degeocello..

In the Spring of 2001, he released his first recording as a leader entitled Ritualism (Kashka Records), which received major international critical appraise and was nominated for Debut CD of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. He has twice been a recipient of Chamber Music America’s New Works Composer Grant and voted as a Rising Star in DownBeat’s Reader Poll. His playing has been compared to guitarists with styles as diverse as George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix and Leo Nocentelli. His latest recording effort, Unified Presence (RKM Music), features Ravi Coltrane, Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and Claudia Acuna. 

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David Gilmore

Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 at Iridium Jazz Club
Sets @ 8:30 & 10:30  $25

David Gilmore - guitars
Jaleel Shaw - alto and soprano saxes
Luis Perdomo - piano/ keys
Hans Glawischnig - bass
E.J. Strickland – drums

Dirty Vegas/New Music Video Feat. Jena Malone

Ready to capture the international dance floor once again, Electric Love marks the explosive return of Dirty Vegas. It finds that elusive sweet spot between the slickly polished electronic sounds of their past and a more decidedly rock edge, deftly balancing beats and guitar-led melodies. After touring the world on the strength of two albums (2002’s Dirty Vegas, 2004’s One), music featured in two films (2005’s Goal!, 2006’s The Boys & Girls Guide To Getting Down) and an international dance hit that snagged a Grammy (“Days Go By”), Dirty Vegas (Steve Smith and the non-related Ben Harris and Paul Harris) had parted ways in 2005 to work on individual projects and just to take a breather. Without the pressures of a recording contract or label executives issuing directives, the trio found a fresh kind of positivity when they reformed four years later to craft Electric Love. Dirty Vegas is rocking with an updated sound on their new album, but the fact that they are game-changers is nothing new; just ask anyone in the music business who deals with the worlds of licensing for film and television. The band’s debut single “Days Go By,” originally released in 2001, appeared on a television advertisement for Mitsubishi. The revived single, and its wonderfully magnetic original video, not only catapulted to Grammy success (for Best Dance Recording in 2003), but was a huge benchmark that helped set a whole new model for the marketing of music. The band also won three DanceStar Awards and was even named Electronic Artist of the Year by Playboy.

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Dirty Vegas, who now have made available the new music video to their latest single “Electric Love” featuring actress Jena Malone (The Soloist, Into The Wild, Donnie Darko).

Written and produced by photographer James Gooding the “Electric Love” video features Jena as she has never been seen before (pole dancing (!), hanging at a cool muscle car race).

“Electric Love” is James Gooding’s directorial debut as well as the first visual element from Dirty Vegas’ new album—also titled Electric Love—due out April 26 on OM Records.  It is also the first of two videos with Jena that will run concurrently over one larger narrative.

You can learn more about Dirty Vegas at their website.

JACOB FRED JAZZ ODYSSEY | STAY GOLD

JFJO celebrated Record Store Day this weekend with a limited edition 7-inch release of "The Sensation Of Seeing Light," which also served as a sneak peak into the quartet's sprawling new album, Stay Gold, that is due on June 22 on CD, Double Gatefold Vinyl and mp3. If you collect wax, it's not too late to track down the single at your favorite indie record stores.

Upcoming JFJO dates are:

June 12 | OK Mozart Festival | Bartlesville, OK
June 16 | The Grog Shop | Cleveland, OH
June 17 | Rochester International Jazz Festival | Rochester, NY
June 18 | Chris' Jazz Cafe | Philadelphia, PA
June 19 | 92Y Tribeca | New York, NY
June 22 | Mill Hill Saloon | Trenton, NJ
June 23 | Parima | Burlington, VT
June 24 & 25 | Outpost 186 | Cambridge, MA
June 26 | Mass Moca | North Adams, MA
July 9 | Festival Lent | Maribor, Slovenia

PHAROAH SANDERS RETURNS to BROOKLYN

Two of Brooklyn’s vanguard organizations for African American music and culture, Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium and International African Arts Festival, will collaborate to produce a Community Day Gala Concert, as part of the 11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival, featuring saxophone great Pharoah Sanders. This event will take place on Saturday, March 27th at Boys and Girls High School auditorium located at 1700 Fulton Street in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.  Tickets are $35 in advance, available online or by calling 718.773.2252 or 718.638.6700.  Doors open at 7:30 PM concert begins at 8:00 PM.

Grammy award winner Pharoah Sanders has not performed in Brooklyn since his days at the legendary jazz shrine The East. Pharoah’s ascent to stardom began with collaborations with John Coltrane.  His distinctive sound has revered him among many jazz lovers.  Other jazz luminaries he has performed or recorded with include: McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Sun Ra, Don Cherry, Billy Higgins and Alice Coltrane just to name some.  This concert also includes performances by Omi Yesa (Afro-Cuban and Yoruba folklore music) and poet Louis Reyes Rivera.

International African Arts Festival is a not for profit entity that began in 1971 as a fundraiser for the Uhuru Sasa School. Their cultural presentation was originally known as the African Street Carnival, fore runner to BAM’s Dance Africa Festival.  Now in its 40th year the annual IAAF attracts nearly 75,000 people and presents musicians from across the African Diaspora.  International artist such as Fela Kuti, The Mighty Sparrow, Lauren Hill and Abbey Lincoln, just to name a few, as well as local artists present(ed) their musical styling's.

11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival, March 27th thru April 30, 2010, will feature a lineup of international, local musicians; jazz forums; youth performances and a Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame & Museums (TM) induction ceremony.  Confirmed venues include: Brooklyn Tech Auditorium, Weeksville Historical Society, BAMcafe Live, Parlor Jazz, Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture-Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, Afroarts Design, Sistas’ Place, Hitchcock Institute for Studies in American Music at Brooklyn College, Two Steps Down, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Brooklyn Arts Council, Rustik Lounge, Brooklyn Historical Society, New York Aquarium, Sugar Hill Restaurant and non traditional music venues throughout the borough.

Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium acknowledges Brooklyn Tourism and Visitors Center, Long Life Information & Referral Network, Brooklyn Arts Council, Department of Cultural Affairs and International African Arts Festival, Inc. for assistance with producing the 11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival, the longest continuous running jazz festival in the borough.

Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium/CBJC founded in 1999, is an amalgam of patrons, entertainment venues, faith based and community organizations and musicians.  Over the past ten (10) years CBJC has presented an annual spring festival, established a Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame & Museum (TM), and produced yearly programs that feature local jazz talent.  CBJC is a nonprofit corporation committed to preserving, promoting and supporting live music within the under served communities of Brooklyn.

British Music Embassy Announces SXSW Lineup

In the 1960s, bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones put British popular music firmly on the international map. They were joined in later decades by artists as diverse as Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols and Oasis, making British music a distinctive international brand. British Music is thriving, both at home and overseas, because it continually renews itself, fusing cultural commentary, fashion and politics in a heady mix.

2009 POP Montreal International Music Festival

These newcomers to the 2009 edition of the POP Montreal International Music Festival will join some of the best headliners that Pop world has to offer.

Richie Havens to Open The Cannes International Film Festival

photos courtesy of Madison House- for the Grateful Web

On Wednesday, May 14th, Richie Havens will perform his song "Freedom" at the opening ceremonies of the prestigious 61st annual Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France.   This performance takes place on the heels of Richie's successful February 2008 European release of his latest album Nobody Left to Crown.   

Nobody Left to Crown is Richie's 27th album.   Recorded in 2007 at Sear Sound Recording in NYC, Nobody Left to Crown was released in Europe in February 2008 on Polydor Records.   The U.S. release date and label imprint will be announced soon.   Special guests on Nobody Left to Crown include Derek Trucks and Harry Manx.

Richie Havens first emerged from New York City's Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 60's, and in 1969, inspired and electrified an audience of over half a million with his legendary three hour opening performance at Woodstock.

Four decades later, Richie Havens remains one of the most recognizable voices and universal lyricists in popular music. A truly timeless performer, and a man before his time, Richie Havens is on tour this summer.

The current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:

May 17 Jacoby Auditorium Roseburg OR
May 18 Tower Theater Bend OR
May 19 92nd Street Y / Kaufman Concert New York NY
May 28 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Bethel NY
May 30 The Turnig Point Piermont NY
May 31 Mauch Chunk Opera House Jim Thorpe PA
June 13 Stone Church Music Club New Market NH
June 20 Chiasso Festate Switzerland
June 25 Veteran's Park Amphitheater Springfield OH
June 27 Riverwalk Center Breckenridge CO
June 28 The Solied Dove Underground Denver CO
June 29 Strings Music Pavillion Steamboat CO
July 05 Guilfest Surrey England
July 06 Solidays Paris France
July 11 Bluesfest Windsor Windsor ON
July 12 Bluesfest London Downtown ON
July 17 Theatre Antique De Vienne Vienne France
July 24 Anderson Park Montclair ON
August 02 Newport Folk Festival New Port RI
August 03 Sleeping Bear Dunegrass and Blues Empire MI
August 07 Brooklyn Academy of Music Brooklyn NY
August 09 L. L. Bean Summer Concert Series Freeport ME
August 10 Nashua River Valley Folk Festival Lancaster MA
August 25-26 Mohegan Sun Casino Uncasville CT
August 29-31 Rhythm Festival 2008 Clapham Bedfordshire, UK
September 05 The Ohio Theater Cleveland OH
September 06 Beverly Arts Center of Chicago Chicago IL
September 13 Tupelo Music Hall Londonderry NH
September 19 Le Poisson Rouge New York NY
September 26 Infinity Hall Norfolk CT
September 27 Jonathan's Ogunquit ME
September 28 Higher Ground S. Burlington VT
November 21 The Sellersville Theater Sellersville PA
November 22 Patchogue Theater Patchogue NY
November 28-29 Stone Mountain Arts Center Brownfield ME
December 11 Rhythm & Brews Chattanooga TN
December 13 WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham AL
January 16 One World Theater Austin TX
January 23 Anthology San Diego CA
January 24 The Palmdale Playhouse Palmdale CA
February 06 The Firehouse Coffeehouse Littleton MA
February 07 Veritas Auditorium Chicopee MA
February 20 Kirkland Performance Center Kirkland WA
February 25 Kayhi Auditorium Ketchikan AK
February 28 Mariner Theatre Homer AK

More dates to be announced soon.

International politics in Africa and more Pamela

The Serengetti - Tanzania, Africa- for the Grateful Web

Hi Everyone!  How are you?  Hopefully staying sane in this insane world!  I am continuing to listen to VOA and BBC every day, and glad to hear the war is (maybe?) nearing an end.  It has been interesting hearing the differences in American and British perspectives, although we are "united in the war effort".  The British angle is definitely more analytical and objective, expressing more views from other nations as well as their own.  Most Tanzanians don't think the war is justified, and they don't like Bush.  They think he is using excessive force to accomplish a task that should have been left to the United Nations.  We are not seen as a liberator, we are seen as a big bully and it's quite embarrassing to be an American right now.

At the village level, the war has had an impact on my ability to initiate projects, because the grant review process was stalled until the war ends.  All first-year Environment/Agriculture volunteers were scheduled to go to Dar Es Salaam March 23-29 for meetings on how to fine tune our grants and implement projects.  However, just prior to this, the war began and our meeting has been postponed until a date that is still unknown.  Also, we were put on modified standfast, meaning we were not allowed to leave our regions.  A week later we were put on full standfast, and not allowed to leave our villages except to buy supplies.  This lasted for two weeks, and now we are back on modified standfast.  When the war began, there were several Muslim protests held around the country, but nothing potentially violent or dangerous resulted from them, so the Ambassador and Peace Corps staff have relaxed a bit.

I have still been keeping busy - gardening, building a rainwater harvester, talking to people to prepare for projects, teaching English, reading a lot, and traveling.  After we found out we weren't going to Dar and before we were on full standfast, a couple other volunteers and I traveled down to the town of Njombe to visit our volunteer friends there.  We took a bus out to a village 3 hours east of Njombe, and I would have to say it was the scariest bus ride of my entire life!  The road was muddy and the terrain was very mountainous.  At one point, the bus was spinning tires trying to make it up a hill, and a guy jumped out to run along side the bus with a block of wood!  I assume he was our emergency break system !?!  Once we arrived at our destination however, the ride was well worth it.  The landscape there was absolutely breath taking - steep lush and green mountains covered with tea, other crops, and forest, and surrounded by thick mist.  On high points you could see out over several layers of mountains, probably for hundreds of miles out onto the plains.  It was incredible!

Last week, I traveled to another beautiful area in my district, near the village of Ifwagi.  Each of the 17 volunteers around Mafinga brought 3 students (one boy, two girls) to a Girls' Empowerment Conference.  The students learned about women and children's rights, HIV/AIDS, rape, good nutrition, and also fun things like new songs, how to crochet, sew underwear, make corn-husk dolls, and play hacky sack and frisbee!  I think the students had a great time, being away from home and their chores (especially the girls, who haul all the water, wash clothes, and help their mothers cook.)  The volunteers also had a great time.  We set up a tent city and made sure the local dukas (shops) made a profit this month by buying up all their beer!

This weekend, I had the options of climbing Mt. Kili or going on safari in Ruaha National Park, and was leaning towards the safari because it was not as expensive.  But now I've decided to hold off on that as well (until ya'll come visit!), and save my money to go to South Africa in July to see my friend Lori, go to an International Film Festival on Zanzibar, also in July, and maybe go to Lake Victoria in June.  I am having no problem enjoying life here!