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 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.
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.
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.