Jazz

April was designated as "Jazz Appreciation Month," known as JAM, in 2002 by the Smithsonian Museum to herald and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz. The year 2017 also marks the centennial of the first recorded jazz album and the first commercial use of the word “jazz,” when the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded their New Orleans rooted music at Victor Talking Machine. The recording was an instantaneous success, ushering in a new era of popular music, the “Jazz Age.”

To celebrate all of this, and to preview an event at The Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival this summer, we welcome Danilo Perez. Pianist, composer, educator and social activist, Pérez is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. 

On Saturday, June 24th, he'll perform Jazz 100: The Music of Dizzy, Mongo and Monk with Joe Lovano, Jason Palmer, Josh Roseman, Roman Diaz, Ben Street and Adam Cruz.

The Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival is one of the most renowned and longest-running jazz festivals in North America and it marks its 40th anniversary this year. 

This Thursday, April 6th, Jazzstock will present a CD release concert for Teri Roiger’s new record, Ghost of Yesterday: Shades of Lady Day as part of its concert series, “Jazz at The Senate Garage” on North Front Street in Kingston, NY.

Later this month Jazzstock will present performances by Joe Lovano on April 15th and The Joey Alexander Trio on April 21st.

We are joined by Jazzstock-ers Teri Roiger and John Menegon.

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: Wilson

Upcoming:

Shawn Stone, Digital Editor of The Alt joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: The LEGO Batman Movie, John Wick Chapter 2

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany is an initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center, and University Art Museum, all of which are housed and function on the main campus of the University at Albany. Guests in this inaugural year of the series have included author Joyce Carol Oates and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover who appeared in September and October 2016, respectively.

Regina Carter is a violinist of unbridled artistry and imagination who has brought her exquisite improvisational skills to a broad diversity of styles ranging from classical and soul to African and traditional music of the South. Recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship for “pioneering new possibilities for the violin and for jazz,” she is widely considered to be the foremost jazz violinist of her generation.

She will discuss her career and musical inspirations with Joe Donahue at UAlbany in a New York State Writers Institute event on February 11th at 4:30 p.m.

She will perform at The Egg that evening at 8 p.m. Her recent work involves adaptations of music by Ella Fitzgerald.

Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival turns 40 this year.

The annual showcase of jazz, blues, rock and soul is held at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs.

The line-up will include several artists including Chaka Khan,  the Gipsy Kings, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Dee-Dee Bridgewater.

Bridgewater, a Grammy and Tony award-winner, performed at the first Saratoga Jazz Festival in 1978. In June she will visit the festival for the sixth time, shortly after the release of a new album and recognition as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.

Saxophonist Steve Wilson, Pianist Helen Sung, Bassist Ira Coleman are teaming up for a concert tonight at Massry Center at the College of St. Rose

Steve Wilson joins us. 

Two of the most progressive voices in American jazz piano join forces for a performance that blurs the line between composition and improvisation.

Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn have each risen to prominence within the jazz scene by expanding the boundaries of the genre and establishing a highly personalized approach to improvisation. Together, the two will draw on an evolving sketchbook of compositional ideas, developed through earlier iterations of the project, to continue a musical conversation that defies the notion of completion.

They will perform at EMPAC in Troy, NY this Saturday, October 29th at 8 p.m.

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox presents contemporary Top 40 hits slipped through a time machine – rearranged and performed in styles like swing, do-wop, ragtime, Motown, jazz, torch ballads, bluegrass, and more.

From Bradlee’s living-room via YouTube videos to world tours and (soon) Radio City Music Hall in just a few years – the rotating collective of musicians and vocalists present a very fun show.

Postmodern Jukebox is playing at The Palace Theatre in Albany, NY tonight and Scott Bradlee joins us.

  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.

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