Jazz

  On August 3, 2016, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will present Hannibal Lokumbe’s work for full orchestra, soloists and choir, “One Land, One River, One People,” on the Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s SPAC residency. SPAC’s program will be only the second complete performance of the work which was commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra. The work had its world premiere in November 2015 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Described by the composer Hannibal Lokumbe as a “spiritorio,” a term that encompasses the work’s libretto and choir elements and its influences from blues, jazz and spirituals, the work speaks to the universality of human struggle, injustice and ultimately, spirituality.

Vocal accompaniment for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance will be provided by soprano Laquita Mitchell, tenor Rodrick Dixon, and combined choirs of Morgan State University and Albany Pro Musica. Conductor Stéphane Denève will lead the performance.

  Founded by drummer and musical director Tommy Igoe, the Birdland Big Band features the finest musicians in New York City! Every Friday from 5-7pm the band gathers at the historic Birdland Jazz Club to play two swinging big band sets.

This month, the group is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Rob Middleton and Nathan Childers join us to tell us more.

Grace Kelly
www.gracekellymusic.com

  Berkshires Jazz presents a memorial concert in honor of the late alto saxophonist Phil Woods in Pittsfield, MA on Saturday, May 14 at 8 p.m. The tribute will be performed by the NEA Jazz Master’s quintet, with Brian Lynch on trumpet, Bill Mays on Piano, Steve Gilmore on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums, along with Woods’ protégé Grace Kelly on alto saxophone.

Woods introduced the 14-year-old saxophone prodigy Grace Kelly to Berkshires audiences at the second annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival in 2006, when he was guest soloist with the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors big band. Having mentored Kelly at a jazz workshop, Woods invited her to the stage, an event that has become part of jazz lore.

Fast forward and Kelly has headlined more than 700 shows in 30 countries and is part of the house band, Stay Human, for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew is one of the most iconic albums in American music.

Fans have been fortunate in the past few years to gain access to Davis’s live recordings from this time, when he was working with an ensemble that has come to be known as the Lost Quintet.

In his new book, The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles, jazz historian and musician Bob Gluck explores the performances of this revolutionary group—Davis’s first electric band—to illuminate the thinking of one of our rarest geniuses and, by extension, the extraordinary transition in American music that he and his fellow players ushered in.

  Two of the Capital Region’s best music venues – The College of Saint Rose Massry Center for the Arts and the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall – join forces again to present The Bridge Jazz Fest – two nights of outstanding jazz, one great event.

The Bridge Jazz Fest will kick off Friday, February 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall with Nnenna Freelon, Pierre Bensusan and the Tim Olsen and Eric Walentowicz Duo. The action shifts west of the Hudson River on Saturday, February 27, to the Massry Center for the Arts at The College of Saint Rose with Ellis and Delfeayo Marsalis, The No BS!Brass Band and the Arch Stanton Quartet starting at 7:30 p.m.

Here to tell us more are Jon Elbaum, Executive Director of The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and Salvatore Prizio, Massry Center Programming Manager.

  Joe Albany was a critically acclaimed but little known jazz pianist - one of the few white musicians to play bebop with Charlie Parker. His story is told in the film, Low Down - based on a memoir by Amy-Jo Albany, his daughter.

The film tells the story of a man torn between his musical ambition, his devotion to his teenage daughter, and his suffocating heroin addiction.

On Monday, September 28th at 7pm Amherst Cinema will present a screening of the film as part of their Jazz a la Mode film series.

  One of the hottest names in jazz is coming back to our region this weekend. The phenomenal 12-year-old Bali-born jazz pianist Joey Alexander brings his trio to Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY on Sunday, August 16th at 8pm.

Alexander’s virtuosity has garnered the attention and support of Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis, among others. His Helsinki show comes just weeks after his appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival and a residency at New York City’s Jazz Standard nightclub as well as his gig at Music Haven in Schenectady on 8/2.

Jazz In The Valley 2015

Aug 10, 2015

  The fifteenth annual Jazz in the Valley festival takes place this Sunday - Sunday, August 16th where there will be an outpouring of music on two stages, featuring the likes of legendary bassist Ron Carter along with leading musicians such as pianist Bill Charlap’s trio, saxophonists Javon Jackson and Tia Fuller, percussionist Steve Kroon, and pianist Arturo O’Farrill’s octet.

So, there will be a lot of world-class talent under the big tent with a global food court and marketplace at Waryas Park on the Hudson River shoreline. The festival is presented by TRANSART, a Hudson Valley-based non-profit educational organization.

Greer Smith is President of Jazz in the Valley and joins us this morning.

  The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice promotes the human voice as an instrument of healing, peace and artistic expression through presenting world class performances in Phoenicia, New York and surrounding areas.

This year’s festival - running July 29-August 2 - will be a Celebration of the Diverse Voices of America. We are joined by world renowned opera singers, Executive Director Maria Todaro and Artistic Director Louis Otey. 

 

   Jazz vocalist Judi Silvano is celebrating the release of her new album of original songs, My Dance.

  Part of that celebration will include a concert in Marlboro, New York at Live@The Falcon with Joe Lovano's Trio Fascination featuring Doug Weiss and Carmen Castaldi and Judi Silvano with pianist Michael Abene.

  This weekend, two of the area’s best music venues team up for two nights of great jazz music!

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy and The Massry Center for the Arts at The College of St. Rose in Albany present The Bridge Jazz Festival with a concert on Friday at the music hall and a concert on Saturday at The Massry Center.

The performers are the Marcus Roberts Trio, clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen, Heard, the Fred Hersch Trio, Cécile McLorin Savant, and the Gretchen Parlato/Alan Hampton Duo. Here to tell us more are Jon Elbaum, Executive Director of The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, and Salvatore Prizio, Massry Center Programming Manager.

Herbie Hancock

Oct 30, 2014

  Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music: a jazz pianist and composer whose illustrious career has spanned seven decades, fourteen Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and most recently, a Kennedy Center Honor.

In his new memoir, Herbie Hancock: Possibilities, he reflects on his life and thriving career. Hancock has had an enormous influence on both acoustic and electric jazz, R&B and hip-hop.

From his beginnings as a child prodigy to his work in Miles Davis’s second great quintet; from his innovations as the leader of his own groundbreaking sextet to his collaborations with everyone from Wayne Shorter to Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder; he tells us what made those possibilites possible.

  New York City based pianist Scott Bradlee has become a bit of a pop sensation, earning millions of views on YouTube for his series of music videos that show him with his group -Postmodern Jukebox- performing reworked versions of 21st century pop hits in a variety of vintage styles - like swing, jazz, bluegrass, do-wop, Motown, and ragtime.

Scott Bradlee and Post Modern Jukebox will perform this coming Saturday night at 8 at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, NY.

Legendary bassist, musician and composer Tony Levin is in the studio, kicking off a brand new tour with King Crimson this week here in Albany.

  The Jack DeJohnette Trio will be bringing their creative spirits and incredible sounds to the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY on Saturday, August 16 after completing a month-long tour throughout Europe and the U.S.!

In a career that spans five decades and includes collaborations with some of the most iconic figures in modern jazz, NEA and Grammy winner Jack DeJohnette has established an unchallenged reputation as one of the greatest drummers in the history of the genre.

    This Sunday, April 27th at 4pm - jazz pianist Armen Donelian will perform works from his new CD: Sayat-Nova: Songs Of My Ancestors in a CD release gathering at Castle Street Cafe in Great Barrington, MA in association with Berkshires Jazz.

The legendary Hudson Valley pianist will perform in a trio with Dave Clark on bass and George Schuller on drums.

    Named for alto saxophonist and jazz pioneer Charlie "Bird" Parker who dubbed it "The Jazz Corner of the World," Birdland opened on December 15th 1949. For 60 years it has been home to jazz legends, from Parker, John Coltrane Duke Ellington and Count Basie to Oscar Peterson, Hank Jones, Diana Krall and everyone in between.

The original 52nd street location was a cultural barometer and meeting place, inspiring the songs "Birdland" and "Lullabye of Birdland," and serving as a regular haunt for celebrities and cultural figures. The modern incarnation is a state of the art nightclub featuring award winning Southern and Cajun cuisine, first rate sound and lighting and a who's who of contemporary musical artists, 7 nights a week.

Gianni Valenti is the owner/operator of Birdland Jazz, located on West 44th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues in New York City, and he joins us to tell us more about the club.

Duke Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century.  His songs—he wrote more than 1500 of them—have been recorded by a who’s who of popular music, from Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Tony Bennett to Steely Dan. 

The grandson of a slave, he dropped out of high school to become one of the world’s most famous musicians, a showman of incomparable suavity who was as comfortable in Carnegie Hall as in the nightclubs where he honed his style. Many of his compositions, like “Mood Indigo” and “Sophisticated Lady,” remain beloved standards.  

In Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, Terry Teachout, drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, jazz musician, and author of Pops, an acclaimed biography of Louis Armstrong, reveals the many layers of a man as unique and complex as the music he created. 

Jazz in the Valley 2013

Aug 13, 2013

    Jazz in the Valley in Poughkeepsie began as an afternoon of music when TRANSART received an individual artist commission from the New York State Council on the Arts to commission Ahmad Jamal to create an original composition for the organization. Inspired by the natural beauty of the area he created “Picture Perfect” and it was first heard in a concert in the summer of 2000.

It has grown into an annual festival, showcasing music performed by world-class musicians, fittingly complemented by breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley as backdrop.

Jazz in the Valley has an intergenerational programming philosophy. Its programming allows living legends and younger voices to continue to expand the jazz idiom. TRANSART’s President Greer Smith joins us for a preview.

   This Wednesday at the Falcon Arts Center in Marlboro, NY - Teri Roiger will be singing the music of Abbey Lincoln in celebration of Juneteenth - the annual holiday celebrating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S.

Abbey Lincoln was a legendary singer, poet, songwriter, actress, and civil rights activist and Teri’s latest CD “Dear Abbey” captures the spirit of the rising civil rights movement and showcases Lincoln’s talents as a lyricist, mixing personal confession with larger social and political implications.

The album has been a real passion project for Teri and she joins us to tell us more.

Tune for Today

Apr 29, 2013

Our Tune for Today is “Sophisticated Lady” by Duke Ellington from his album Live at the Blue Note, recorded at The Blue Note nightclub in Chicago and first released in 1959.

Duke Ellington was born April 29, 1899 in Washington DC. Today would have been his 114th birthday.

  Ninety Miles is a Cuban American music collaboration of a distinctly unique collection of songs. Originally recorded in Cuba under a special visa, Ninety Miles has received global recognition and was a featured documentary on BBC Worldwide in the fall of 2012. The group will be performing Thursday night at the College of St. Rose.

The touring group features three critically acclaimed jazz musicians: vibist and Albany native Stefon Harris, saxophonist David Sánchez and trumpeter Nicholas Payton.

Stefon Harris attended Albany High School and played in the Empire State Youth Jazz Ensemble.

A four-time Grammy nominee, Harris has been heralded by The Los Angeles Times as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” and has been awarded “Best Mallet” six times by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Born in Boston and raised in North Carolina, Livingston Taylor is the fourth child in the very musical family that includes Alex, James, Kate and Hugh.

From Top 40 hits “I Will Be in Love with You” and “I’ll Come Running,” to “I Can Dream of You” and “Boatman,” both recorded by his brother James, Taylor’s creative output has continued unabated, creating well-crafted, introspective and original songs that have earned him listeners worldwide.

Taylor’s musical knowledge has inspired a varied repertoire, and he is equally at home with a range of musical genres – folk, pop, gospel, jazz – and from upbeat storytelling to touching ballads. He will be performing Friday night at the College of Saint Rose in Albany on Friday night.

Telegraph Avenue is the eighth novel by Michael Chabon who won the Pulitzer in 2001 for  The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

John Pizzarelli, the son of jazz guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, is a connoisseur of American song who grew up among the legends of jazz. His absorbing, upbeat, and down to earth new memoir, World on a String perfectly captures John's warm and funny tone as he tells the story of a musical life well lived.

As the 1960s ended, Herbie Hancock embarked on a grand creative experiment. Having just been dismissed from the celebrated Miles Davis Quintet, he set out on the road, playing with his first touring group as a leader until he eventually formed what would become a revolutionary band.

This Sunday, August 12, JAZZSTOCK will present a 70th Birthday Tribute to legendary drummer, composer, bandleader, and 2012 NEA Jazz Master recipient, Jack DeJohnette, at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY. 2012 Grammy Award winning drummer, composer, producer and clinician Terri Lyne Carrington will perform along many other talented musicians. Teri Roiger and John Menegon join us to tell us more.

The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival offers classical music and jazz through August 24. Artistic Director, Linda Chesis, joins us to tell us all about the rest of their amazing season.

Ella, conceived by Rob Ruggiero and Dyke Garrison with a book by Jeffrey Hatcher, is running at Capital Repertory Theater in Albany, NY July 24th through August 12th.

Maceo Parker

Jun 25, 2012

Funk and jazz sax legend, Maceo Parker, is performing at the 35th Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC on Saturday, June 30th. Here we speak with him about his start with James Brown, and more!

Music -Mother Popcorn

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