Catching Up With

Less formal than our standard interviews with a focus on an artist's recent recording project or tour.

CATCHING UP WITH

Mike Vax: Getting Vaxinated

Read "Mike Vax: Getting Vaxinated" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Mike Vax has one of the shortest surnames in jazz music—he's “tied" with Tommy Vig and Jack Six for that honor. However, those familiar with his activities as a well-respected lead trumpeter and soloist with Stan Kenton, a stalwart member of the famous Dukes of Dixieland, the leader and man behind the annual tour of the Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra, and as an ardent proponent of jazz education know that what the name Vax lacks in length, Vax delivers in ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Matthew Whitaker: A New Voice On Jazz Piano

Read "Matthew Whitaker: A New Voice On Jazz Piano" reviewed by La-Faithia White

Matthew Whitaker is an American jazz pianist. Blind since birth, he has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and The Apollo Theatre, where aged ten, he opened for Stevie Wonder. Though he is only eighteen years old, multi instrumentalist Whitaker has come a long way to get where he is today, overcoming adversity and dedicating countless hours to honing his craft. Now with his declarative label debut Now Hear This (Resilience Music, 2019), ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Shalosh: Onwards and Upwards Indeed

Read "Shalosh: Onwards and Upwards Indeed" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

Shalosh is the Hebrew word for “three," and also a powerhouse piano trio from jny: Jerusalem with a dynamic rhythm section featuring drummer Matan Assayag and bassist David Michaeli with Gadi Stern on the keys. The group formed in 2014 when Stern and Assayag, who've known each other since childhood, joined with Michaeli for the trio's debut record. Their emphasis on co-leadership has been evident since the beginning. These days they are enjoying a significant surge in recognition ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Wallace Roney: What’s Going on Today

Read "Wallace Roney: What’s Going on Today" reviewed by Kevin Press

Trumpeter Wallace Roney has come a long way since his days as a Miles Davis mentee. The young man who earned the Down Beat Award for Best Young Jazz Musician of the Year in both 1979 and 1980 is now a seasoned veteran with 22 band-leader recordings to his credit. During his career, Roney has played with Davis, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Chick Corea and a long list of others.

CATCHING UP WITH

Stephanie Richards: Creative Music

Read "Stephanie Richards: Creative Music" reviewed by Kevin Press

Calgary's Stephanie Richards has been rubbing shoulders with some of the world's finest jazz players since putting down roots in jny: New York City. The trumpeter has a passion for testing boundaries and an intuitive approach to her work. Her latest, Take the Neon Lights, is a tribute to her new home. All About Jazz: Collaborations have played a big part in your career to date. Is that by design? Steph Richards: It's inherent in the ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Bret Primack on Jazz Video and the Ira Gitler Documentary

Read "Bret Primack on Jazz Video and the Ira Gitler Documentary" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Since the 1990's, Bret Primack has probably been the most prolific video chronicler of jazz in the world. He has just released a documentary about jazz writer-record producer Ira Gitler called Ira Gitler Lives. Since Gitler was a big fan of Charlie Parker, I presume this is a play on a famous bit of graffiti—"Bird Lives." In the documentary, Primack uses footage amassed in person and via Skype including interviews with Gitler, a number of other jazz journalists ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Vivian Sessoms: To Be Black In America

Read "Vivian Sessoms: To Be Black In America" reviewed by Kevin Press

Vivian Sessoms has built a career in collaboration with a range of world-famous artists. P. Diddy, Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, Sinéad O'Connor, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Stevie Wonder all have a place on her resume. With a new Ropeadope contract in hand, Sessoms has produced a two-part album release called Life. They make an extraordinary pair, from both a personal and political perspective. All About Jazz: There is a lot here thematically. Walk us through it. Vivian ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Keith Fiala: From Maynard to the Maestro

Read "Keith Fiala: From Maynard to the Maestro" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Keith Fiala, trumpeter, composer, producer, author, educator/clinician, video production guru, and currently personal assistant to 10-time Grammy winner, Arturo Sandoval. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa and later jny: Austin, Texas, Fiala who also spent time starring on Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau Band, took a few moments from his busy schedule to chat. All About Jazz: Keith, on behalf of All About Jazz, thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to talk. Keith Fiala: Thanks ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Tierney Sutton: Movie Music Re-visited

Read "Tierney Sutton: Movie Music Re-visited" reviewed by Josef Woodard

Ace jazz singer Tierney Sutton has built up a large discography and international “gigography" with her tautly integrated and long-standing band— pianist Christian Jacob, bassists Kevin Axt and Trey Henry and drummer Ray Brinker— scooping up accolades and trophies, of the GRAMMY and poll-winning sort and more. Enter a new-ish relationship: screen life. Sutton and band have rubbed collective elbows with the film world in the last few years, after jazz-loving director Clint Eastwood hired them to perform ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Herb and Lani Alpert: Truth-Telling, the Arts and Heart

Read "Herb and Lani Alpert: Truth-Telling, the Arts and Heart" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

It's been nearly four years since we last spoke to Herb Alpert. Now in his early 80s and about to go on tour performing with his wife, Lani Hall, Alpert continues to be a dynamic—and vital—force in both the music and art world. His philanthropic efforts on behalf the arts and music education are unparalleled and distinguish him as a true humanitarian. All About Jazz: Herb, on behalf of All About Jazz, thanks for taking time.

CATCHING UP WITH

David Helbock: Inside & Outside the Piano

Read "David Helbock: Inside & Outside the Piano" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Austrian pianist/composer David Helbock was born in 1984, and began playing the piano at the age of six. He studied at the Feldkirch Conservatory with Prof. Ferenc Bognar, where he finished in 2005 with an “excellent" degree in performance and since 2000 took lessons with the New York jazz pianist Peter Madsen, who became his teacher, mentor and friend. Awards include the audience prize at the world's biggest jazz-piano-solo competition of the Jazzfestival Montreux, and the most important prize in ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Arthur Satyan: A life Steeped in Music

Read "Arthur Satyan:  A life Steeped in Music" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Pianist, composer and educator Arthur Satyan came to Lebanon from his native Armenia in 1996 with a 3-month contract for the reopening of the area's premier performance space Casino Du Liban. Accompanying Satyan were American musicians drummer Steve Phillips, bassist Jack Gregg and guitarist Eric Schultz. Satyan ended up accepting a position at the Lebanese National Conservatory of Music as a professor of classical piano and, in 2005 founded the school's jazz department which he still heads. Throughout the past ...


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