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Istanbul’s İKSV: An Intensity Beyond Cool

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It would be easy to get breathless, even giddy, about the range and schedule of cultural events organized by İKSV, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (in Turkish: İstanbul Kültür Sanat Vakfı). One individual could not possibly keep up with its jazz and classical music festivals and everything else that's offered by İKSV. It brings under one organization something like the variety and aspirations of Lincoln Center in New York, the National Endowment for the Arts, commercial promoter Live ...

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Don Suhor: From Dixieland to Bopsieland

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This article first appeared in the 2016 issue of The Jazz Archivist. My brother, Don Suhor, played clarinet and alto sax in a stunning variety of jazz contexts for over fifty-five years--almost exclusively in jny: New Orleans. I always felt frustrated by my brother's lack of concern with legacy. He made a few recordings as a sideman, none of which displayed the range and the uniqueness of his talents. Some of his best work is preserved on tape ...

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Aretha Franklin, The Lady Soul: 1942 - 2018

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Soul Music may have been invented by others, but it was properly perfected only when Aretha Louise Franklin departed her modest success at Columbia Records for superstardom with Atlantic Records in 1966. On January 24, 1967, Franklin entered Rick Hall's (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises) FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to record, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" with the support of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. This song was released February 20, 1967 with the ...

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Remembering Tomasz Stanko

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This article was first published at All About Jazz in November 2002. Jazz of the '50s and '60s shared the overtly political side of much music from the period. Black musicians in the States and expatriates in Europe used their music as a platform for radical ideas that would reach a presumably sympathetic audience. Going back even further in history demonstrates the role jazz played in both breaking the color barrier and exacerbating it. In Europe, ...

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SFJAZZ: Decades After, Five Years In

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Five years after the jny: San Francisco, California organization SFJAZZ created its own building, the SFJAZZ Center, it has proved a raving, even rampaging, success, unrelenting in programming, sales, education, and music production. Its number of concerts has doubled from 248 to more than 500. Its membership has increased by almost 200% to more than 14,000. It moves a million dollars worth of tickets in the first week its box office opens; some shows sell out to members even before ...

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Kuumbwa And The Magic of Monday Night

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Monday nights, otherwise a down time for many music venues, have been magic for the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in jny: Santa Cruz, CA. Kuumbwa's most prominent shows occur, oddly, on off-calendar Monday nights or midweek, featuring headliners before or after their engagements nearby in jny: San Francisco and jny: Oakland and who are touring up or down the West Coast, going to or coming from bookings in other more major cities. It's a business plan which has found ...

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On Stage at JALC: Paul Jost

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Paul Jost had already enjoyed a successful, decades-long career as a drummer, sideman, and leader when he decided to work solely as a jazz vocalist. Switching from player to vocalist mid-course is not a typical career path for a musician. But Jost's quick rise as a singer over the last six years--he sang at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola for the first time just a few weeks ago--is a testament to his innate talent, his precision as a musician, and his ...

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Rebecca Parris: 1951-2018

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You'll happen my way on some mem'rable day And the month will be May for a while... I was never fortunate enough to have met Rebecca Parris in person; but, I was fortunate enough to live in and be a part of the musical universe that surrounded her. That universe was created by the singer through her recordings, performances, and instruction of aspiring vocalists, each who went on to become part of the creative galaxy that ...

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The Bach's Beach Vision Of Jazz Heaven

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Heaven for some is a baseball diamond in an Iowa cornfield. For Pete Douglas, it was a house on a beach with a jazz club in his living room, a would-be heaven also for anyone who dropped in. Douglas passed on, in 2014 at age 85, sitting at his desk overlooking the Pacific Ocean. But his vision lingers at the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, aka the Douglas Beach House, at Miramar Beach on Half Moon Bay in Northern California ...

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Bobby Bradford: Musician, Educator, Survivor

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In 1991 the prolific saxophonist David Murray recorded Death Of A Sideman (DIW), an album that put a spotlight on the compositions of Mississippi born cornetist Bobby Bradford. A long time coming, Bradford's music was finally receiving the kind of recognition it deserved, and from one of jazz's biggest names. Murray had been a student of Bradford's back in 1974 at Pomona College in California, where the cornetist still teaches to this day. Bradford's story, however, started in earnest in ...