grammy®

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.

Wayne Shorter at Town Hall Wednesday

It was announced today that Wayne Shorter is due to perform at the Barbican Centre in London and at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in South Africa. How cool is that? Real. So get out your credit card, make your plans and have fun getting stripped-searched at JFK. OR - walk over to Town Hall on West 43rd Street, or just go to ticketmaster.com from the chair you're in, and get tickets for the band's first NYC appearance in over two years. The guys will be playing on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 8pm (two weeks from tonight.) They'll do "An Evening With" with no opening group and play a straight 90+ min set. You'll be home by 10, can still watch "Top Chef," and will have a musical and spiritual experience you can cherish forever. Just ask anyone who was at Carnegie Hall in Dec. '08.

Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 800-745-3000. They are also available at the Town Hall Box Office, 123 West 43rd St.

Regarded as one of the most significant and prolific performers and composers in jazz and modern music, National Endowment for the Arts' "American Jazz Master" Wayne Shorter has an outstanding record of professional achievement in his historic career as a musician and composer. He has received substantial recognition from his peers, including 9 Grammy® Awards and 13 Grammy® nominations to date.

Shorter was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1958 through 1962.  In 1964 Miles Davis invited Shorter to go on the road with his band, which also included Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Ron Carter. Shorter stayed with Davis for six years, recording a dozen albums with him, and creating a new sound with a bandleader who changed the face of music.

In 1970, Shorter co-founded the group Weather Report with keyboardist and Miles Davis alum, Joe Zawinul. Weather Report was the premier fusion group through the '70s and into the early '80s.  Shorter then formed his own group in 1986.

In the summer of 2001 Shorter began touring as the leader of a talented young lineup featuring pianist Danilo Pérez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade, each a celebrated recording artist and bandleader in his own right. The ensemble features one of the finest rhythm sections in jazz.

Danilo Pérez' distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz, covering the music of the Americas, folkloric and world music, has attracted critical acclaim and loyal audiences. Perez recently released a Grammy®-nominated album entitled Providencia, his "most ambitious album since Motherland," notes the Wall Street Journal.

Drummer Brian Blade recently collaborated with Daniel Lanois on his Black Dub CD and tour project. In between Wayne Shorter Quartet concerts and recording and touring with Lanois, Blade also performs with his own Fellowship Band.

A Grammy®-winning acoustic and electric bassist, John Patitucci is not only known for his work with Shorter, but has attracted worldwide acclaim as one of today's most influential musicians and composers. In 2009, Patitucci, released a project for Concord Jazz, Remembrance, a remarkable Grammy® nominated outing.

This concert celebrates the Quartet's 10th anniversary and is their first NYC performance since 2008

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Jan. 24 - Jan. 30, 2011

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

--

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Christian McBride Hosts: My Musical Heroes
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Christian’s Subject: Motown—The Jazz Singers

Our Co-Director, the brilliant bassist/composer/bandleader Christian McBride continues his insightful series on his musical heroes. This evening’s program will shed light on some music usually not included in a jazz context, and that’s a shame. As quiet as it’s kept, many of the instrumentalists and vocalists central to the Motown Sound were immersed in the jazz idiom. One of the singers you’ll hear tonight is Marvin Gaye, singing jazz ballad standards! If you like to expand your horizons, please join us.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Harlem Speaks
Tommy LiPuma, Producer

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

One of the music industry’s most innovative and uniquely creative forces for more than four decades, Verve Music Group Chairman Emeritus Tommy LiPuma’s legendary career is record business history in the making. With 29 gold and platinum records to his credit, more than 30 GRAMMY® nominations, and three GRAMMY® Awards, he is one of the most successful pop and jazz producers ever.

By choosing to transition into the position of Chairman Emeritus in 2004, LiPuma decided to spend more time in the studio, and the very essence of what has driven him to be one of the most sought-out producers in the business – his keen musical insight and pristine sensibilities. “I can’t always put my finger on why I know something will work. It’s more the chills factor I look for — honing in on that artist whose music reaches inside you and takes you somewhere. There’s no scientific formula for hitting the mark, but that’s part of the excitement and challenge for me.”

One of the greatest success stories of LiPuma’s career is Diana Krall, with whom he continues a close association.

LiPuma began his first stint with Warner Bros. in 1974 as a staff A&R producer, helping launch the label careers of George Benson, Al Jarreau, and Michael Franks and recorded albums with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, and Claus Ogerman. After a brief time back at A&M in 1978, where LiPuma led the newly formed Horizon Records, working with Brenda Russell, Seawind, Dr. John (for whom he later produced the duet “In A Sentimental Mood” with Rickie Lee Jones), and David Grisman, he returned to Warner Bros. as Vice President, Jazz and Progressive Music. As producer and talent scout, he worked with the artists who made Warner Jazz one of the most successful jazz labels in the industry: Randy Crawford, Patti Austin, Bob James, David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, Everything But the Girl, The Yellowjackets, Joe Sample, and the late Miles Davis.

In 1990, LiPuma joined Elektra Records as Senior Vice President, A&R, rejoining his old partner Krasnow, who was label Chairman. While at Elektra, he produced Natalie Cole and Anita Baker, and brought Sanborn, The Story, and Wayne Shorter to the label. His work on Cole’s breakthrough album Unforgettable (which was produced by LiPuma, Andre Fischer, and David Foster) earned LiPuma a share of the 1991 GRAMMY® for Album of the Year. He also produced Cole’s platinum follow-up, Take a Look, as well as her 2002 Verve Records debut, Ask A Woman Who Knows.