TRIBUTE TO SOUTH AFRICA’S JAZZ EPISTLESThe Jazz Epistles, led by South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, was one of South Africa’s most acclaimed and influential jazz ensembles and a crusader for the anti-apartheid movement in its very short existence 1959-1960."There had never been a group like the Epistles in South Africa," Masekela writes in his 2004 biography, “Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela. "Our tireless energy, complex arrangements, tight ensemble play, languid slow ballads, and heart-melting, hymn-like dirges won us a following and soon we were breaking all attendance records in Cape Town.”But the party was quickly over — only one recording was ever made before brutal apartheid government forced the members into exile. The story of The Jazz Epistles is a big part of South African cultural history but largely unknown elsewhere, even among jazz experts.Now, member/pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly known as Dollar Brand) and his … [Read more...] about Lehigh Valley classical, jazz and art highlights: The Jazz Epistles, ‘Luisa Miller,’ Henriette Wyeth exhibit
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With cross-genre collaborations at its peak, jazz tends to generate a way of thought which reflects the society we live in. On the occasion of International Jazz Day, we take note of the major swings and blues of jazz in the past and present. Originating on the streets of New Orleans almost a 100 years ago, jazz has emerged and made its way through the suburbs of New York and Chicago. While the genre has surely evolved, the most interesting aspect of it is its very own definition in the modern age. Dixieland Jazz Band's 'Livery Stable Blues' is considered to be one of the first jazz songs to be commercially released. It appears to be informal and spontaneous but is ritualised and precise to set one grooving. It was a fresh record by white musicians and was released after black cornetist Buddy Bolden's prototypical jazz music. Yet, it didn't stop the Original Dixieland jazz cornetist Nick LaRocca from claiming to be the creator of the genre, mocking at what black people did in New … [Read more...] about All that jazz
For Herbie Hancock, jazz is more than just music. It is a unifying life force. And one so important that he has led a movement to celebrate it with its own day: Monday is the first-ever International Jazz Day, and the United Nations will be stage a concert to be simulcast on the Internet to millions. Co-hosts for the night include Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Quincy Jones. Among the performers joining Hancock will be Tony Bennett, Terence Blanchard, Jimmy Heath, Chaka Khan, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Dianne Reeves, Esperanza Spalding and a slew of music greats from around the world. George Duke will serve as musical director. Hancock, who has been the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue since July, spoke with the Daily News about Monday’s significance. NEWS: When did the idea for International Jazz Day come to you and how? HANCOCK: I’m the chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. … [Read more...] about First International Jazz Day means more than music to Herbie Hancock
Roy Hargrove, a prolific trumpet player who provided his jazz sound to records across a vast range of styles and won two Grammys, has died at age 49, his manager said Saturday. Hargrove died in New York on Friday of cardiac arrest stemming from a longtime fight with kidney disease, longtime manager Larry Clothier said in a statement. Clothier said Hargrove "was known just as intensely for his brimming fire and fury as he was for his gorgeous, signature balladry. Over and over, his sound attested to and sanctified his deep love for music. His unselfish timbre covered the waterfront of every musical landscape." Many of Hargrove's peers regarded him as the greatest trumpeter of his generation. Through his own bands and as a sideman, Hargrove brewed his jazz with African and Latin sounds, R&B, soul, pop, funk and hip-hop. He led the progressive, genre-melding group The RH Factor, played in sessions for Common, Erykah Badu and D'Angelo, and collaborated with jazz giants including Herbie … [Read more...] about Roy Hargrove, Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter, dies at 49
Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page By Marc Hirsh Globe Correspondent December 07, 2018 Consider: Somewhere on the Symphony Hall stage from now through the end of the Holiday Pops season, there is a percussionist whose primary responsibility is essentially to create snow out of thin air, one person whose job it is to sprinkle magic throughout the program. No wonder that “Jingle Bells” was the most-repeated song (making three appearances) on the Pops’ opening-night program on Thursday. Without assistance from the ubiquitous shing-a-ling, would it even be the holiday season?Perhaps, but there was little doubt right from the start. The Pops launched into a festive mood with “A Christmas Festival,” combining liturgical and secular songs that passed the melody democratically from section to section and instrument to instrument; the brass carried “Joy to the World,” … [Read more...] about Pops’ playful performance fits the spirit of the season
This story offers some illuminating historical debunkery, plus a few challenging sixth-grade mathematical equations that will once and for all answer the questions “Was the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival ever really a jazz festival?” and “Is jazz fest less jazzy than it used to be?”When the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival announced that the buoyant pop diva Katy Perry had been added to the 2019 lineup, it infuriated purists who felt that Perry belongs on the Fair Grounds like guacamole belongs in gumbo. What does the California-born “American Idol” panelist have to do with jazz after all? You might as well book Adam Levine while you’re at it. Or Up With People for mercy’s sake? Right? Well, here’s the thing. Adam Levine and Up With People have both performed at Jazz Fest. Based on a perusal of 49 past Jazz Fest programs, the truth is, the jazz fest has never been purely the province of jazz. The very first fest in … [Read more...] about Was Jazz Fest ever really a jazz festival? Is it less jazzy now?