arts

Billy Taylor - July 24, 1921 - December 28, 2010

Dr. Billy Taylor, a Jazz pianist, composer, educator and broadcaster who encompassed that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that made him one of our most cherished national treasures, died in New York on December 28, 2010.  He was 89 and lived in Riverdale, New York.

The cause was heart failure, according to his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.

The distinguished ambassador of the jazz community to the world-at-large, Dr. Billy Taylor's recording career spanned over six decades. He also composed over three hundred and fifty songs, as well as works for theatre, dance and symphony orchestras.

Among his most notable works is "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free", achieving great popularity with Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Nina Simone covered the song in her 1967 album Silk and Soul, and the song continues to be recorded by many artists worldwide, most recently by Levon Helm.

Playing the piano professionally since 1944, he got his start with Ben Webster's Quartet on New York's famed 52nd Street. He then served as the house pianist at Birdland, the legendary jazz club where he performed with such celebrated masters as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Starting in the 1950s, Billy Taylor ked his own Trio, as well as performed with the most influential jazz musicians of the twentieth century.

After many years of recording for leading record labels, in 1989, Taylor started his own "Taylor Made" record label to document his own music, releasing four albums, and in the late 90s, "Soundpost Records," releasing his two final recordings.

Dr. Taylor was not only been an influential musician, but a highly regarded teacher as well, receiving his Masters and Doctorate in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and serving as a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University.

He also hosted and programmed such radio stations WLIB and WNEW in New York, and several  award winning series for National Public Radio. In the early 1980s, Taylor became the arts correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning.

Dr. Billy Taylor was one of only three jazz musicians appointed to the National Council of the Arts, and also served as the Artistic Advisor for Jazz to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he developed one acclaimed concert series after another including the Louis Armstrong Legacy series, and the annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

With over twenty three honorary doctoral degrees, Dr. Billy Taylor was also the recipient of two Peabody Awards, an Emmy, a Grammy and a host of prestigious and highly coveted prizes, such as the National Medal of Arts, the Tiffany Award, a Lifetime achievement Award from Downbeat Magazine, and, election to the Hall of Fame for the International Association for Jazz Education.

Dr. Taylor's survivors include his wife, Theodora and his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.  A son, Duane, passed away in 1988.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Bring Vocal Serenity, Song & Humor on Tour

Ladysmith Black Mambazo kick off their North American tour on January 18 in Oakland, CA, blending their iconic, moving harmonies with high-energy toe-touches and audience sing-alongs.  The tour will make stops in over 40 major markets across the US and Canada (including Hawaii) in just two months.

From the stage, Mambazo's nine-man a cappella team will transport concert-goers to the open fields and idyllic world of their youth in South Africa's Zulu country, singing the traditional South African folk tunes from their forthcoming album 'Songs From A Zulu Farm' (out February 1 from Listen 2 Entertainment Group/ Razor & Tie Entertainment) as well as selections from their nearly 50 year career.

These songs speak to the universal joys of childhood. "Whether you are in Ladysmith, Virginia, or Ladysmith, South Africa," says Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder and frontman Joseph Shabalala, "children are hearing songs they will carry with them for the rest of their lives and share with their own children. We hope that these songs sung to South African children can be enjoyed by families in many other places in the world."

Listen to the entire CD here.  | Read some Grateful Web coverage of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Upcoming Ladysmith Black Mambazo tour dates:


Tue Jan 18 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's

Wed Jan 19 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's

Fri Jan 21 - Sacramento, CA - Crest Theater

Sat Jan 22 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Cal Poly State

Sun Jan 23 - Campbell, CA - Heritage Theater

Tue Jan 25 - Maui, HI - Maui Arts Center

Wed Jan 26 - Kamuela, HI - Kahilu Theater

Thu Jan 27 - Laie, HI - Brigham Young University

Fri Jan 28 - Honolulu, HI – TBA

Sun Jan 30 - Clarksdale, MS -The Pinnacle

Tue Feb 1 - Baton Rouge, LA - Manship Theater

Wed Feb 2 - Baton Rouge, LA - Manship Theater

Thu Feb 3 - Austin, TX - One World Theater

Fri Feb 4 - Houston, TX - Jones Hall

Sun Feb 6 - El Paso, TX - El Paso Civic Center

Fri Feb 11 - Aspen, CO - Wheeler Opera House

Sat Feb 12 -  Boulder, CO - University Of Boulder

Tue Feb 15 -  Salina, KS - Stiefel Theatre

Thu Feb 17 -  Minneapolis, MN - Minnesota Opera

Fri Feb 18 - Riverside, IA - University of Iowa

Sat Feb 19 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Music

Sun Feb 20 - Interlochen, MI - Interlochen Center for the Arts

Tue Feb  22 - Chatham, ON - Capitol Theatre

Wed Feb 23 - St. Catharine's, ON - Brock University

Thu Feb 24 - Kingston, ON - Grand Theatre

Fri Feb 25 - Toronto, ON - Roy Thompson Hall

Sat Feb 26 - Rochester, NY - Nazareth College

Sun Feb 27 - Hillside, NJ - Kean University

Tue Mar 1 - Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head

Thu Mar 3 - Tarrytown, NY - Music Hall

Fri Mar 4 - Portsmouth, NH - Music Hall

Sat Mar 5 - Orono, ME - University of Maine

Sun Mar 6 - New London, CT - Garde Arts Center

Tue Mar 8 - Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head

Thu Mar 10 - Washington, DC - George Washington University

Fri Mar 11 - Durham, NC - Carolina Theater

Sat Mar 12 - Atlanta, GA - Georgia State University

Fri Mar 18 - Philadelphia, PA - Zellerbach Theater

Sat Mar 19 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

Sun Mar 20 - Cambridge, MA - Sanders Auditorium

Bela Fleck & the Flecktones 2010 Fall/Winter Tour

Bela Fleck & the Flecktones will be bring the Holiday Tour with Jeff Coffin and special guest Alash Ensemble to the Western USA and Canada. Spread the word and come begin the Holiday Season with the Flecktones.
The Flecktones have their Merchandise Store restocked with gift goodies, be sure and visit before the end of the year!
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Upcoming Tour Dates:
DATE          CITY                     VENUE
11.30.10      Calgary, AB CA    Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts
12.01.10      Edmonton, AB CA North Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
12.02.10      Banff, AB CA       Centre Complex (Eric Harvie Theater)
12.03.10     Spokane, WA        Bing Crosby Theater
12.04.10     Vancouver, BC CA  The Centre
12.06.10     Portland, OR      Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (Oregon Symphony Orchestra)
12.07.10     Eugene, OR           Hult Center for Performing Arts (Silva Concert Hall)
12.08.10     Bend, OR US         Mountain View High School Auditorium (KPOV)
12.09.10     Seattle, WA           Jazz Alley
12.10.10     Seattle, WA           Jazz Alley
12.11.10     Seattle, WA           Jazz Alley
12.12.10     Seattle, WA           Jazz Alley
12.14.10     Chico, CA            Laxon Auditorium - California State University
12.15.10     Santa Rosa, CA    Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
12.16.10     Oakland, CA       Fox Theater
12.17.10     Santa Barbara, CA  University of California
12.18.10     Los Angeles, CA    Orpheum Theater
12.19.10    Tucson, AZ            Rialto Theater

Keller Williams Announces Winter 2010 Tour

Today one-man-band Keller Williams announces his tour plans for early 2011. In addition to evening theatre shows in Austin, Chicago, and Philadelphia, Keller has confirmed some special matinee performances/book signings in select markets. That’s right, book signings. Hand-in-hand with the release of Keller Williams’ sixteenth album — and first-ever album for kids and families — appropriately titled Kids, Keller once again breaks new ground with the November 30 release of his very first children’s book, Because I Said So (Fun Read Publishing, $20, for ages 2-8, 33 pages).

Before the year’s end, Keller tours as the “Super Music Friend” along select Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! stops. For the holidays, Keller performs some very special shows in and around his hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia, including his 10th annual SPCA Holiday Benefit. A complete list of currently confirmed shows – both evening and matinee performances - is included below.

Based on Keller’s song by the same name (included on Kids), Because I Said So is told through the eyes of “L’il Keller,” who begins by asking, “Mommy, can I have some pink flamingos?” The little fellow soon learns the important life lesson that you can’t always have what you want, and there isn’t always a good reason why. “You can't have an alligator, tractor, giraffe or hippopotamus, cause I said so!" Enhanced by the cleverly drawn illustrations of Virginia artist Bill Harris, Because I Said So is humorous, colorful, heartfelt, and wise. Included with the book is a CD containing the song "Because I Said So.” Because I Said So is available at www.kellerwilliamskids.net.

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KIDS – Keller’s first album release for children and families - has already been warmly embraced by kids’ and music tastemakers:

"[Keller's] big-hearted wit is perfectly suited to the songs on Kids, a record that will entertain children of all ages without talking down to them." - All Music Guide

“Kids sparkles with invention.” - Technorati.com

“This is hands-down my favorite kids album of all time.” - Perfect Porridge

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A number of gift packages that include both Kids and Because I Said So, as well as kid-sized T-shirts with the cute-as-can-be goat babies from the album cover, are available at www.kellerwilliamskids.net.

The complete list of Keller’s currently confirmed tour dates is as follows:

Wednesday, November 17 Humboldt Brews Arcata CA Keller Solo

Thursday, November 18 Memorial Sacramento CA Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!

Thursday, November 18 Harlow's Sacramento CA Keller Solo

Friday, November 19 Blu Nightclub - Montbleu Resort Lake Tahoe NV

Saturday, November 20 Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA

Sunday, November 21 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium San Francisco CA Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!

Saturday, November 27 State Theater Falls Church VA

Thursday, December 2 Avalon Theatre Easton MD Keller Williams Kids Show

Friday, December 3 Sherman Theater Stroudsburg PA

Saturday, December 4 Stage One Fairfield CT

Sunday, December 26 Fredericksburg Field House Fredericksburg VA SPCA Benefit

Wednesday, December 29 The Norva Norfolk VA

Thursday, December 30 The National Richmond VA

Friday, December 31 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte NC

Thursday, January 13 Vilar Performing Arts Center Beaver Creek CO 1st set with the Keels, 2nd set KW solo

Saturday, January 15 Aggie Theatre Fort Collins CO 1st set with the Keels, 2nd set KW solo

Thursday, January 20 Granada Theater Dallas TX

Friday, January 21 Fitzgerald's Houston TX

Saturday, January 22 Antone's Austin TX

Saturday, February 5 Park West Chicago IL KIDS show

Saturday, February 5 Park West Chicago IL

Thursday, February 10 Carnegie Hall New York NY Music of Neil Young at Carnegie Hall

Saturday, February 12 Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia PA KIDS show

Saturday, February 12 Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia PA

Thursday, February 17 New Daisy Theatre Memphis TN

Friday, February 18 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville TN with Umphrey's McGee

Bear In Heaven on Tour Now

Bear In Heaven are tearing it up one last time for 2010.  If you haven't seen them yet, this is a show that needs to be experienced.  Joining them along the way for their last US tour for the year, are Lower Dens, Twin Shadow, Sun Airway and Cloudland Canyon.  And just for fun the band have released yet another stellar remix, this time coming from UK band Tropics for the standout track "You Do You."

“Sometimes somebody will come along and amaze you, Tropics amazed us," said Bear In Heaven's Jon Philpot. "They opened up our song “You Do You” like the retractable roof of an arena. It’s slow and bumping. It’s kinda like Phil Collins."

Bear In Heaven's double LP Beast Rest Forth Mouth and special remix LP featuring The Field, Studio, High Places, Justin K. Broadrick (a.k.a. Jesu), & More is available now through Hometapes.

The remix LP has already recieved RAVE reviews in the UK, with the BBC calling it an "absorbing reinvention". In a time where remixes are as common as singles themselves, this is a band who have crafted their already dynamic sound and taken it to an exciting new level.

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US Fall Tour Dates:

11/13 Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon*^

11/14 - Atlanta - The Earl*^

11/16 Charlottesville, VA – The Southern*#^

11/17 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s*#

11/18 Cambridge, MA – Middle East Downstairs*#

11/19 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg*#

2/04 - Alexandria Street, Fortitude Valley - Brisbane, QLD

2/05 - Footscray Community Arts Centre - Melbourne, VIC

2/06 - Sydney College of the Arts - Sydney, NSW

2/11 - Fowler’s Live - Adelaide, SA

2/12 - Perth Cultural Centre, Urban Orchard, Northbridge - Perth, WA

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*Sun Airway

#Twin Shadow

^Cloudland Canyon

Jake Shimabukuro October Newsletter

Aloha! Jake finished his annual tour of Japan last month and is now getting ready for shows on the east coast of the United States and his first visit to GERMANY!!

Jake's proud to announce his new album "Peace Love Ukulele" will be released in January 2011! The album includes Jake's original songs "143" (the numeric pager code for "I love you") and his tribute to World War II veterans, "Go For Broke". On the album's only two solo ukulele arrangements, Jake brings his unique style to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", and Queen's epic rock and roll classic "Bohemian Rhapsody".

Watch Jake perform "Bohemian Rhapsody" filmed by Tad Nakamura in Hiroshim, Japan.

Jake recently released a new album "I Love Ukulele" in Japan. To promote this new album, Jake went on a month long tour (August 14 - September 14) around Japan, which consisted of 16 shows in 14 cities.  While in Japan, Jake even had time to visit some elderly homes and spread the joy of music that we are all familiar with.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

10.16.2010 - 2nd Annual Asian American Music Festival - Los Angeles, CA

10.17.2010 - Balboa Theatre - San Diego, CA

10.20.2010 - Sellersville Theatre 1894 - Sellersville, PA

10.21.2010 - Infinity Hall - Norfolk, CT

10.22.2010 - The Berlind Theare - Princeton, NJ

10.23.2010 - Rams Head On Stage

10.24.2010 - Gagnon Auditorium at the Morgan School - Clinton, CT

10.25.2010 - Highline Ballroom - New York, NY

10.26.2010 - Regattabar - Cambridge, MA

10.30.2010 - German Jazz Festival Frankfurt - Frankfurt, GERMANY

11.02.2010 - The Ceder - Minneapolis, MN

11.03.2010 - Stoughton Opera House - Stoughton, WI

11.04.2010 - The Ark - Ann Arbor, MI

11.06.2010 - Old Town School of Folk Music - Chicago, IL

11.19.2010 - Raymon F. Kravis Center for the Arts - West Palm Beach, FL

01.28.2011 - The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts - Louisville, KY

02.03.2011 - 41st Annual Jazz Festival Fundraiser - Penfield, NY

02.07.2011 - The Grand Opera House - Wilmington, DE

02.08.2011 - Birchmere - Alexandria, VA

02.10.2011 - Lipinsky Auditorium University North Carolina at Asheville - Asheville, NC

02.11.2011 - Kenan Auditorium University North Carolina Wilmington - Wilmington, NC

02.12.2011 - Progress Energy Center For the Performing Arts - Raleigh, NC

02.18.2011 - Kahilu Theatre - Kamuela, HI

03.24.2011 - Orange Couty PAC Segerstrom Concert - Costa Mesa, CA

03.26.2011 - San Francisco Jazz Festival - San Francisco, CA

03.31.2011 - Campbell Hall - Santa Barbara, CA

04.01.2011 - Target Artbeat Series-Henderson Events - Henderson, NV

08.26.2011 - Dave Koz & Friends at Sea - 2011 - Seattle, WA

They Might Be Giants Take Over The East Coast This September!

They Might Be Giants continue their US tour, hitting the east coast this September.  The Brooklyn rockers will play a special free show as part of the Milennium Stage Series at the Kennedy Center in DC in addition to two performances at New York City’s Town Hall and the 5th annual “fan appreciation show” at Mohegan Sun!

The band is scheduled to play both days of this year’s Life is good Festival in the Boston area alongside three stages of headliners, including Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, OK Go, Ben Harper & Relentless7 and many more.  All proceeds go to benefit The Life is good Kids Foundation whose mission is to provide support to kids who face life-threatening conditions such as the trauma of violence, poverty and loss.

The Giants’ kids album, Here Comes Science, released in September 2009, has received praise across the board for its unique and exciting fusion of rock, education and humor. Boing Boing described the album as “top-notch pop music with humor that's aimed at both kids and adults” and called the album“better than great. Perfect.”

They Might Be Giants Tour Dates

09/11: Canton, MA @ Life is good Festival
09/12: Canton, MA @ Life is good Festival
09/24: Providence, RI @ Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel
09/25: Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena, 5th annual “fan appreciation show” (Free, 21+)
09/26: New York, NY @ Town Hall (Family Show, 12:30pm)
09/26: New York, NY @ Town Hall (Family Show, 3:30pm) (All Ages)
10/02: Washington, DC @ Millennium Stage Series at the Kennedy Center (Family Show, Free)
10/16: Port Washington, NY @ Landmark on Main Street/Jeanne Rimsky Theater (Rock Show, 3:00pm)
10/16: Port Washington, NY @ Landmark on Main Street/Jeanne Rimsky Theater (Rock Show, 8:00pm)
10/17: Morristown, NJ @ Community Center at Mayo Center for the Performing Arts (1:30pm)
10/17: Morristown, NJ @ Community Center @ Mayo Center for the Performing Arts (Family Show, 4:00pm)
10/30: Fairfield, CT @ Quick Center for the Arts (Family Show, 2:00pm) 10/30: Fairfield, CT @ Quick Center for the Arts (8:00pm)

Dark Star Orchestra Announces Jeff Mattson as Lead Guitarist

Dark Star Orchestra, the faithful interpreters of the music of the Grateful Dead, announced today that Jeff Mattson will be taking on Jerry Garcia role and welcomes him as a full time member of the group. The band’s statement reads:

“After months of touring and playing with Jeff, we have decided to offer him the full time gig, which he has gratefully accepted.  Jeff has blown us away with his energy, licks, and presence on stage. He is a great guy, an inspiring musician and so much fun to perform with, we cannot wait to get back out there and mix it up with him once again. We are having more fun than ever and are looking forward to seeing you all at the upcoming shows.”

A veteran of more than 30 years on the road, Jeff was a founding member of The Zen Tricksters and has performed in two bands of actual Grateful Dead members with Phil Lesh & Friends and the Donna Jean Godchaux Band. RELIX Magazine recently praised his “eerily on-point Garcia interpretations” and Jambase.com noted “Any doubts about new lead guitarist-singer Jeff Mattson were erased by a breathtaking "Eyes of the World" where Mattson continually proved a real prize in his new role, bringing all his years in The Zen Tricksters to bear and then upping the ante a bit more.”

Having joined Dark Star Orchestra for two nationwide tours, fans and critics have already weighed in with PopMatters.com marveling how “Mattson’s guitar playing matched every intricate moment,” and Hidden Track praising his “soulful vocals and dense solos to anchor the major suites, chipper, airy ones to flesh out the rockers… his improvisational style is intense but not ostentatious.”

A video clip of Jeff Mattson performing with Dark Star Orchestra doing a scorching version of "Viola Lee Blues" at The Klein in Bridgeport, CT can be viewed online here: http://www.vimeo.com/9585290.

Dark Star Orchestra will be performing at clubs and festivals across the nation this summer, all announced dates are listed below:

Rock My Soul Summer Tour

06/24    Minnesota Zoo Weesner Ampitheater | Apple Valley, MN

06/25    Simon Estes Ampitheater | Des Moines, IA

06/26    CEFCU Stage | Peoria, IL

06/27    Park West | Chicago, IL

06/29    Otto's | Dekalb, IL

06/30    Summerfest | Milwaukee, WI

07/02    Gratefulfest 11 | Garretsville, OH

07/03    Gratefulfest 11 | Garretsville, OH

07/04    Gratefulfest 11 | Garretsville, OH

07/07    Veteran's Park Ampitheater | Springfield, OH

07/08    All Good Music Festival Masontown, WV

07/10    State Theatre | State College, PA

07/11    Tags Summerstage | Big Flats, NY

07/29    Gathering Of The Vibes Bridgeport, CT

07/30    Saranac Brewery | Utica, NY

07/31    Town Ballroom | Buffalo, NY

08/01    Midland Theatre | Newark, OH

08/03    Harris River Front Park | Huntington, WV

08/05    Bottle and Cork Dewey Beach, DE

08/06    Hilton Atlantic City | Atlantic City, NJ

08/07    Bergen PAC Theatre | Englewood, NJ

08/09    Zoellner Arts Center | Bethlehem, PA

08/12    Party in the Park | Rochester, NY

08/13    Bears Picnic | Laurelton, PA

08/15    Lake Champlain Maritime Festival | Burlington, VT

A Slingshot On Mars Tour

09/09    The Valarium | Knoxville, TN

09/10    Minglewood Hall | Memphis, TN

09/11    Terrapin Hill Farm | Harrodsburg, KY

09/12    Orange Peel | Asheville, NC

09/15    Jefferson Theater | Charlottesville, VA

09/16    The Norva | Norfolk, VA

09/17    Rams Head Live! | Baltimore, MD

09/18    930 Club | Washington, DC

09/22    Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead | Munhall, PA

09/23    Grand Opera House | Wilmington, DE

09/24    Theatre of the Living Arts | Philadelphia, PA

09/25    Palace Theatre | Albany, NY

09/27    Toad's Place | New Haven, CT

09/28    Westcott Theater | Syracuse, NY

09/30    Calvin Theatre | Northhampton, MA

10/01    Lowell Memorial Auditorium | Lowell, MA

10/02    Nokia Theatre | New York, NY

New Jersey Jazz Society 2010 Jazz Fest

Each year since 1976, the New Jersey Jazz Society has presented Jazzfest, one of the best mainstream jazz festivals in the entire metropolitan New York City area.  This year is no exception as this popular jazz picnic pays tribute to recent New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees Count Basie and Les Paul, plus Django Reinhart and Woody Herman. Jazzfest will take place on the campus of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey on Saturday, June 5th from Noon to 10:00 p.m. with a free concert on Friday evening, June 4th.



Headlining Jazzfest 2010 will be the great Bucky and John Pizzarelli with the Statesmen of Jazz, featuring Harry Allen, Rebecca Kilgore and Martin Pizzarelli.  Also on the bill will be Frank Vignola’s Hot Club, Cecil Brooks III CBIII Band, Harry Allen’s Four Others, the George Gee Swing Orchestra, the Aaron Weinstein/Joe Cohn Duo, the Madame Pat Tandy Band, and a special solo piano appearance by the legendary Marty Napoleon, who performed with Louis Armstrong for many years.



The music takes place in two venues, the Concert Hall in the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts, and a spacious jazz tent located on the lawn area adjacent to the arts center. As an extra bonus, there will be a variety of vendors offering a wide selection of food, hard to find records, jazz CDs, art and crafts of all kinds.



FREE CONCERT ON FRIDAY NIGHT



For those interested in seeing the future of jazz, there will be a concert in the tent at Drew University on Friday June 4 featuring the winners of the three division of the New Jersey high school jazz band competition.  This concert is free and will start at 7:00 P.M.



Jazzfest is made possible through the generous support of RXR Realty, Toyota of Morristown, Jazzmobile, WBGO Jazz99FM, Hot House Magazine, the Madison Downtown Development Commission and the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance. The Best Western Morristown Inn is the official festival hotel and offers a special discount room rate for attendees of the festival. The Morristown Inn is located just two miles from Drew University. For reservations, call 973-540-1700

Keller Williams releases brand new album, Thief, today

Today, Keller Williams releases his first-ever all-covers collection, amusingly titled Thief. Recorded with the Keels—husband and wife duo Larry and Jenny Keel—Thief includes songs originally written and recorded by as wildly diverse an assemblage as anyone’s ever likely to dream up.

Thief offers up Keller-versions of songs by an [almost] unthinkable collection of artists: from Amy Winehouse (“Rehab”) to the Grateful Dead (“Mountains of the Moon”), the Butthole Surfers (“Pepper”) to Kris Kristofferson (“Don’t Cuss That Fiddle,” which opens the album, and “The Year 2003 Minus 25,” which closes the album). The set is filled out with tunes by Ryan Adams, the Presidents of the United States of America, the Raconteurs, Patterson Hood, Danny Barnes, Cracker, the Yonder Mountain String Band and Marcy Playground. All over the place, indeed, but that’s the way Williams likes it. And in his hands it all makes sense—like everything he’s ever touched, whether from his own pen or someone else’s, it all becomes Keller Williams' music.

Those who purchase Keller’s new album, Thief, at Keller’s Official Merch Store by August 31, 2010, will be automatically entered into The “Keller and The Keels On Your Couch” sweepstakes. The contest offers a chance to win a 90 minute private acoustic performance by Keller and The Keels in the winner’s living room for them and up to 49 of their friends.

Keller is on tour this summer - at solo shows, with The Keels, and even for a run of gigs as vocalist/guitarist in The Rhythm Devils, the project by Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and his partner percussionist Mickey Hart.

Keller’s complete list of currently confirmed tour dates is as follows:

Tuesday, May 25 "City of Fredericksburg" Riverboat Fredericksburg VA CD Release Party!
Friday, May 28 Bella Madre Music Festival Geneva MN
Saturday, May 29 Summercamp Chillicothe IL
Sunday, May 30 Delfest Cumberland MD Keller Williams and Friends featuring Jeff Austin and Keith Moseley
Thursday, June 17 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Telluride CO with The Keels
Thursday, June 17 Sheridan Opera House Telluride CO with The Keels
Saturday, June 19 Clearwater Festival - Croton Point Park Westchester NY
Friday, June 25 Buffalo Place Rocks The Harbor Buffalo NY supporting moe.
Friday, July 2 Nateva Music & Arts Festival - Oxford Fairgrounds Oxford ME
Sunday, July 4 Gratefulfest - Nelson Ledges Garrettsville OH Keller Williams solo and with The Keels
Friday, July 9 Aberdeen Music Festival Aberdeen SD
Sunday, July 11 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV
Saturday, July 17 YMSB String Summit North Plains OR RHYTHM DEVILS
Sunday, July 18 Britt Festival Jacksonville OR RHYTHM DEVILS
Thursday, July 22 Ogden Theatre Denver CO RHYTHM DEVILS
Friday, July 23 Steamboat Springs Concert Series Steamboat Springs CO RHYTHM DEVILS
Saturday, July 24 The Spud Drive In Driggs ID RHYTHM DEVILS
Sunday, July 25 Red Butte Garden Salt Lake City UT RHYTHM DEVILS
Saturday, July 31 Gathering of the Vibes Bridgeport CT RHYTHM DEVILS
Friday, August 13 Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival Alta WY with The Keels
Saturday, August 14 Mile High Music and Arts Festival Denver CO
Saturday, August 21 Hoxeyville Festival Cadillac MI
Friday, August 27 Music on the Mountain Top At The Old Fairgrounds Boone NC
Thursday, September 2 Bottle & Cork Dewey Beach DE