Jazz and Blues

Jazz Caliente
11:30 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Resources for learning about Latin music

Trombonist and educator Steve Turre plays sanctified shells at Smoke in NYC
Alan Nahigian

Two informative, fun and  in-depth resources for learning about Latin music debuted  in 2009:  the interactive exhibit American Sabor  and the PBS series  Latin Music USA.

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First person
4:08 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

If you don’t know this band, you don’t know anything about music – really?

Nima Fatemi Flickr

I literally had someone say that to me the other day. My head almost exploded.

So if I am not familiar with a band that you happen to know or like, that means I have NO musical knowledge, whatsoever?

What is worse is that this is not the first time I have heard this from someone.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz
7:43 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Could Thelonious Monk win the jazz competition named after him?

Pianist Kris Bowers performs in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. He was later named the winner.
Brendan Hoffman WireImage

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:12 pm

Last week, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz announced the 12 semi-finalists for its annual competition for young musicians, often seen as the most prestigious in jazz today.

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Jazz Caliente
1:09 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Time for a little respect for the teachers, champions of Latin Jazz

fundrum.blogspot.com

Every art form needs its champions, its teachers, those who believe deeply and share their passion.

I have tremendous respect for two such champions of Latin Jazz (one based in San Francisco, the other in the Bronx): John Santos and Bobby Sanabria.

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Jazz Caliente
11:49 am
Thu August 9, 2012

What's that sound? Beaded gourds and laughing drums

chekere
Andrea Corniel Photography

Latin Jazz is rich with percussion and compelling sounds.  Most of the percussion instruments originate from Africa, and are tied to spiritual and religious ceremonies.  Here are a couple of favorites:

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Blues Time Machine
5:00 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Tracking the 'Big Road Blues' and a soul sold at the crossroads

The only known image of Tommy Johnson

Tommy Johnson’s songs may not be very well known, but he was a hugely influential blues player and also may be the source of one of the most enduring legends of the blues – the Devil and the Crossroads.

While this legend is sometimes associated with Robert Johnson (no relation), it was Tommy Johnson who first cultivated a story about himself that he met the devil at a crossroads, and sold his soul in exchange for his musical ability.

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Jazz Caliente
12:01 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

What Mambo is – improvisational near-riots and 'forbidden fruit'

Mambo Madness movie poster, 1955
Sonny Watson's Streetswing.com

According to Rebeca Mauleon's indispensable "Salsa Guidebook for Piano and Ensemble,"  the Mambo is:

An up-tempo dance style, developed through the 1940s and 1950s, which blended several elements of North American instrumentation and harmony with the Cuban son (a style of popular dance music that combined Spanish and African elements).

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Jazz & Blues
11:36 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Hearing, more than smell, brings (my) memories to life

I know. I know. It is widely assumed and believed that smell is the strongest sense tied to memory. But for me (and a handful of musicians that I spoke to), music – in some cases even just a few bars of a song -  can draw upon some of the most powerful memories in a persons life.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
8:17 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Jazz Caliente July 26: Hard Hands

Ray Barretto 1929-2006
Soul Portrait

This week's Jazz Caliente on KPLU includes music from conguero, composer and bandleader Ray Barretto.  One of the first musicians to introduce Latin percussion to American be-bop, he was known as Manos Duras (Hard Hands), a power hitter of the congas. 

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jazz
10:56 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

For jazz musicians looking for mentors, things ain't what they used to be

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard (center) is known as one of jazz's great cultivators of young talent, whether as an educator or leading bands with younger musicians like saxophonist Walter Smith III or pianist Fabian Almazan.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:14 pm

One of the great things about jazz is that it bridges generations. Because it relies on interactive improvisation and live performance, and thus can't be completely taught in a classroom or with a book, aspiring younger musicians seek the direct guidance of older, wiser ones. And more experienced musicians have plenty of reasons to take fresh talent under their wings, like gaining new bandmates with fresh skill sets, or helping future torch-bearers to thrive.

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Jazz & Blues
10:02 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Jazz Caliente debuts today on KPLU 88.5

Kenton's Cuban Fire

Jazz Caliente debuts today at 2 p.m. on KPLU’s Mid Day Jazz.

It’s a three-song set featuring Latin Jazz:  the melodies and improvisation of jazz blended with Latin rhythms.

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A Blog Supreme
4:48 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Reader comments about building jazz audiences, musicians with day jobs

Discussion about the future of jazz audiences — and how to cope with them — was strong.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:13 am

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Jazz & Blues
4:29 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Jazz bassist James Genus on SNL, influences and languages of music

James Genus

The house bassist for Saturday Night Live and credited on hundreds of studio and live recordings across a wide variety of genres, James Genus is one of the most in-demand bassists on the scene.

In this interview, Genus discuss being required to learn upright bass in college, his experiences with Horace Silver and Roy Haynes, what he credits for his versatility, his thoughts on the late Michael Brecker, and what it is like to be part of a television show band.

Read the interview on Groove Notes.

Jazz & Blues
8:55 am
Tue May 29, 2012

KPLU School of Jazz is back in session

Several of Western Washington’s finest high school jazz bands and jazz professionals are showcased on KPLU School of Jazz-Volume 8, the station’s latest CD release which is the culmination of this year’s mentoring project.

Buy your copy of KPLU School of Jazz now

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Jazz & Blues
2:52 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Jazz vocalist Halie Loren defines 'authentic'

"I definitely create music from a very authentic place, and have musicians around me who do the same," Halie Loren told Groove Notes.
Sally Sheldon

Halie Loren talks with Groove Notes about her most recent release, “Heart First” – which rose to number one on the iTunes Canada Jazz chart – her path to becoming a jazz singer, her success in other countries and what it takes to convincingly sing a song that she didn’t write.

Read the story on Groove Notes.

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