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Festival International de Jazz de Port-au-Prince, 2017 Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2Festival International de Jazz de Port-au-Prince Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 4-11, 2017 Haiti: the only nation in the world established as the result of a slave revolt; home of Vodou. Haiti: poorest country in the Western Hemisphere; subject to devastating hurricanes and earthquakes. Most potential visitors to Haiti are likely to focus on the second view of the country, especially after the catastrophic 2010 earthquake which caused massive building collapse and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michel Sajrawy: Floating City

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In his ongoing quest to create a singular jazz alignment bridging traditional and contemporary music of his homeland, Israeli guitarist Michel Sajrawy explores the multicultural background of the city of Nazareth, in Floating City. Though Jerusalem gets all the headlines and global attention, Nazareth stands apart as a city epitomizing co-existence in a region ravaged by religious strife, and turmoil. With his previous releases exposing a western slant on Arabic maqam music, this record has Sajrawy burrowing into ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill O'Connell: Monk's Cha Cha

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Pianist Bill O'Connell has long been valued for his blazing Latin chops, enlivening bands lead by flutist Dave Valentin and legendary conguero Mongo Santamaria as a sideman and delivering his own burning leader dates on a variety of respected imprints in recent times--Zoho, Challenge, and Savant, to name just three. He's been a steady though occasionally under-documented force in the music for decades, putting his dependable pianistic stamp on many absorbing projects, but he's never delved deeply into the art ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Diamond: Avenida Graham

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Brooklyn-based jazz guitarist Greg Diamond issues his most culturally diverse musical mosaic on Avenida Graham reflecting a blend of jazz and the Latin sound that has been an influential part of his life. Being half Eastern European Jewish and half Colombian, Diamond long ago learned to appreciate the Latin sounds listening to the music of Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon as he immersed himself in the jazz idiom later on. Living near Graham Avenue (aka Avenue of Puerto Rico) and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chano Dominguez: Over the Rainbow

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Jazz music is an interpretive art form, it is in fact, the quintessential American art form. This is an undeniable attribute to the genre, which over the past century has impacted musical culture internationally, sharing it's compositional and improvisational commonalities and absorbing the unique musical identities of neighboring musical movements. Certainly this is the case with the musical forms of Latin America, with notably strong contributions emanating from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and perhaps most prominently, the Afro-Cuban rhythms ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Panama Jazz Festival 2017

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Panama Jazz Festival Ciudad del Saber, Republic of Panama January 10-14, 2017 In terms of the number of marquee musicians it features over the course of five days, the annual Panama Jazz Festival is far from being in the big leagues of similar events in Latin American. That, however, only tells part of the story. Where the PJF stands head-and-shoulders above most music festivals is in terms of the emphasis it places on education, offering dozens ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita: Transparent Water

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Omar Sosa would make an excellent global ambassador. He seems to make friends and erase boundary lines wherever he goes. Back in 2012, the Cuban pianist connected with Senegalese kora guru Seckou Keita through a mutual musical associate--drummer Marque Gilmore. Sosa and Keita struck up a quick friendship at that initial meeting, ultimately leading to the creation of this radiant collaboration. They laid down the basic tracks for the project in 2013 and added some other worldly (and otherworldly) voices ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens

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Monty Alexander Trio The Ballroom at Longwood Gardens Kennett Square, PA February 11, 2017 It's generally a good sign for any show if the players onstage are smiling and laughing more than anyone else in the room. If there's been one main constant to Monty Alexander's music over his 59-year career, it's an irrepressible positivity that runs through everything in any mode or style. His nimble piano might incorporate the blues and reggae roots of ...

NEW YORK @ NIGHT

Monty Alexander: Looking Back

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Monty AlexanderJazz Standard jny: New York, NYFebruary 1, 2017 A lot has changed since I started covering the New York beat for All About Jazz in mid-2016. In that time, we have witnessed epic changes in our city, our country, our world--changes that are already affecting our culture, including and perhaps especially jazz and, in the broader context, African-American life. How can music journalists remain unaffected? Since the presidential election in November, rather than ...


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