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Featured Jazz Articles

INTERVIEWS

Dave Ledbetter: Diversity and Unity

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Even the most cursory listen to South African music yields an embarrassment of riches in the realm of guitar talents. Indeed, throughout the country's musical history innovative figures have forged a near universe of unique approaches to the instrument, fusing the many musical traditions of Southern Africa with popular styles into a staggering array of styles. Even within this abundance of guitar talents, Cape Town-based Dave Ledbetter nevertheless manages to stand out. A genre-hopping virtuoso whose ...

LIVE REVIEWS

3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition

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3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music Luslawice/KrakówPoland July 25-28, 2018 “An international jazz violin competition? Really?" That is usually came as a surprise to the applicants, and eventual participants themselves, that an international jazz violin competition should exist says a lot about the rarity of such an event. Yet as the bi-annual Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition has demonstrated, there is certainly no shortage of ...

Meet Jacob Cartwright

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Our August Super Fan is a visual artist with a special affinity for improvisational music, which has spilled over into his jazz-themed painting series. In jazz, as in art, Jacob Cartwright values the past while embracing the forward momentum of the new. Plus he's really “down with the jazz cats"--read on to see what we mean! To see more of Jacob's artwork, visit his website Tell us a bit about yourself. I'm a visual artist, working ...

RECORD LABEL PROFILES

Origin Records: Creating Opportunities and Community

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Being a jazz musician sometimes seems like a life ruled by jungle law. Everyone fights for gigs and puts out music on “labels" with only one artist. However, it doesn't have to be this way. Origin Records is an example of a modern artist driven label that has grown through collaboration and community. As Matt Jorgensen, one half of the team behind the label says: “If you want to be a part of it, you have to 'be a part ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Funchal Jazz Festival 2018

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Funchal Jazz Festival 2018 Santa Catarina Park Madeira, Portugal July 12-14, 2018 A stunning tableau greets visitors to the Funchal Jazz Festival entering by the main gate, at the top of Santa Catarina Park. The first thing that catches the eye are the spectacular trees that define the park's boundaries. African, Asian, South American and Mediterranean trees, with names as exotic as their forms, are bathed in purple and green light. The park's well-kept ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Elio Villafranca: Five Islands & A Revolt

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The setting was Systems Two, a well-known, state-of-the-art recording studio in Brooklyn. The sessions, occurring over five days in May (7-11) 2017, were set up to record Cuban pianist/composer Elio Villafranca's sixth album, the elaborate and thoroughly rehearsed double-CD Cinque (artistShare), the music previously performed in shows at Lincoln Center in 2015. Present at Lincoln Center and at Systems Two was a well-coordinated team of musicians, including Steve Turre (trombone, conch shells), Greg Tardy (tenor saxophone, clarinet), Vincent ...

PROFILES

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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Sidney Hauser: Justice and Jubilation

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The hiring of young saxophonist Sidney Hauser, to fill the second alto saxophone chair with the prestigious Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra may seem like a musical sidenote to the history of this 17 piece ensemble that was formed in 1995. But considering the marginalization of women instrumentalists in jazz over the course of the genre's history, Hauser's appointment is impactful, and represents only the second full time appointment in the history of SRJO. While the hiring of a ...

INTERVIEWS

Michael Leonhart: Surfing on an Orchestral Wave

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If one were to find an answer to the age-old “nature or nurture" debate, s/he would have to look no further than The Painted Lady Suite [Sunnyside Records]. Listening to the stunning debut album by the Michael Leonhart Orchestra makes it clear that major achievements are only possible when nature and nurture are well integrated and perfectly balanced. Take Michael Leonhart, an artist blessed by nature with a superior talent that was nurtured by a musical family. His ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Istanbul Jazz Festival 2018

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Istanbul Jazz Festival Vitrin: Showcase for Contemporary Music from Turkey Various Venues Istanbul, Turkey June 27-30, 2018 A leisurely stroll through the crowded streets of Istanbul offers many delights, Turkish or otherwise. The maze guides you through nested teahouses, majestic ottoman palaces, monumental sahns adjoining mosques with exquisite interiors; down narrow covered market streets with their incongruous juxtaposition of goods and gadgets, steep cobblestoned alleys, and traffic-clogged avenues, all the way down to the ...