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INTERVIEWS

Alan Broadbent: Intimate Reflections on a Passion for Jazz

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Pianist, composer, and arranger Alan Broadbent doesn't just “dig" jazz. He has a deep and enduring passion for it. Growing up in mid-20th-century New Zealand, he quickly went beyond piano lessons to reading musical scores and learning jazz standards. Then, when the Dave Brubeck Quartet came to his relatively isolated hometown of Auckland, his love of jazz escalated to an obsession. Soon he got a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, studied with Lennie Tristano in New York, and ...

THE JAZZ LIFE

Does Talent Matter?

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A good friend of mine, who is a recognized great guitarist, once said to me as we were standing at the bar of the old Birdland, “Charlie Christian really wasn't that good a player, you know." I looked at him for a moment, then said with a smile, “Are you trying to pick a fight with me?" He laughed. Busted! Not so long ago, another friend who wanted to be a novelist and had worked hard at it ...

INTERVIEWS

Stefon Harris: Pursuing the Tradition

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Musician and composer Stefon Harris wears many hats. But he wears them all well. He is a composer, performer, bandleader, businessman, educator and leadership trainer. He handles each with a clear head, confidence and sense of purpose. He's bright, articulate and relates to people on any level. Harris' to-do list on any given day can involve the fact that he is associate dean and director of the Arts Department at the Manhattan School of Music. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Monterey Jazz Festival 2018: When Women Ruled the Jazz Grounds

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Monterey Jazz Festival Monterey County Fairgrounds September 21-23, 2018 It made perfect sense when the Monterey Jazz Festival toasted it's milestone 60th anniversary last year with a bevy of tribute shows, a scheme which managed to accommodate in a bevvy of significant living players, while paying respects to the historic legacy of iconic artists who have passed through this venerable festival (the oldest continuous jazz fest in the known world), including tribute subjects Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy ...

ANATOMY OF A STANDARD

"Pick Yourself Up" by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields

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In 1936 Jerome Kern (1885-1945) and Dorothy Fields (1904-1974) collaborated to create several songs for the movie musical, Swing Time, starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. “Pick Yourself Up" served the film as the centerpiece around which a dance lesson given by Ginger to Fred yielded a remarkable “transformation" from a clumsy suitor to a technically superb dance master. Kern and Fields joined energies as a successful songwriting team for many projects yielding standards including “The Way You Look Tonight," ...

Terence Blanchard: Music, Social Justice and Raising Awareness About Violence Against Black People

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A few years ago, I was applauding as the cast of Motown was taking their bows on Broadway when I recognized a mother's face sitting across my row. Without question or trepidation, I felt compelled to say something, hopefully comforting, to Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin. In addition to my heartfelt condolences for the tragic violent death of her son, I told her about my Kids for Coltrane work, and she smiled with warmth and an appreciation hearing ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Detroit Jazz Festival 2018

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Detroit Jazz Festival Downtown Detroit Detroit, Michigan August 31-September 3, 2018 Over the course of its 39 year history, the largest free jazz festival in North America has seen its shares of up and downs. It once swelled to a five-day event starting on the Thursday evening before Labor Day and there was even a time when names such as Chaka Khan and Nancy Wilson rubbed noses with more mainstream sensibilities. There were even moments ...

LIVE REVIEWS

12 Points 2018

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12 Points 2018 The Sugar Club Dublin, Ireland September 5-8, 2018 Returning to its spiritual home of Dublin after back-to-back editions in San Sebastian and Aarhus, 12 Points 2018 marks one of the highpoints of the Irish musical year. Its appeal lies not just in the fact that it brings together twelve bands from twelve countries, after all, many festivals can boats similar geographical reach, but rather in its spirit of adventurous.

CATCHING UP WITH

Linda May Han Oh: Talent and Dedication

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Over the past decade, bassist Linda May Han Oh has been hailed as one of the most gifted bassists, bandleaders and composers of her generation. She is a virtuoso who can swing hard while keeping instrumental grace and precision, structuring her lines through a most free-flowing cascade of ideas. After completing her master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music in 2008, she recorded her debut album, Entry with trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and drummer Obed Calvaire. In the following years ...

OUT AND ABOUT: THE SUPER FANS

Meet Homer Schaaf

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Like several Super Fans before him, Homer Schaaf was brought to our attention by jazz musicians who appreciate his ubiquitous presence at the New York City clubs, gig after gig, year after year. We think you'll be charmed by Homer's singular way of expressing his views on jazz and life. “I try to set an example for the other old white guys," he tells us. “We all know how that's working out." Tell us a bit about ...