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Joe Venuti

Giuseppe "Joe" Venuti is widely regarded as the first great jazz violinist. Born to Italian parents who immigrated to the States; he learned classical violin as a child, the fruits of which can be clearly seen in his exciting melodic and rhythmic technique. At school in Philadelphia in 1913 he met guitarist Eddie Lang; and they started playing together, at first playing polkas, inventing and trading variations, quickly moving into jazz. It was a fortuitous and rewarding partnership. From 1926 to 33 they made many recordings, in a variety of small band line-ups, becoming internationally famous, not least because the novelty of the guitar/violin combination. Venuti's technique was groundbreaking; he had a sharp, bright tone, excellent intonation, and an ability to play in any key, anywhere on the violin

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Dexter Payne: All Things, All Beings

Read "Dexter Payne: All Things, All Beings" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Clarinet, harmonica and saxophonist, composer and bandleader and musical globetrotter Dexter Payne is the type of musician who is most often categorized as “difficult to categorize." Profoundly influenced by physical and spiritual journeys through the cultures of America, the Middle East, Africa and Brazil, Payne's recorded output checks off every box from Mississippi delta blues to ...

ARTICLE: GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Rising Stars: Wondrous Woman

Read "Rising Stars: Wondrous Woman" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

For those of you who may not be aware, Your Own Personal Genius was once a fresh-faced music major at Mars Hill University in North Carolina. My principal instrument was euphonium (I also had a minor in trombone). Later, I left to study Jazz with Ellis Marsalis during his residency at Virginia Commonwealth University. As a ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition

Read "3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition" reviewed by Ian Patterson

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 ...

Philadelphia Jazz: A Brief History

Read "Philadelphia Jazz: A Brief History" reviewed by Jack McCarthy

This article was first published at the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia website. Jazz began to emerge as a distinct musical style around the turn of the twentieth century, a merging of two vernacular African American musical styles—ragtime and blues—with elements of popular music. New Orleans, the “cradle of jazz," was the most important city ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Vanessa Tagliabue Yorke: We Like It Hot

Read "We Like It Hot" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Nuovo album da leader per Vanessa Tagliabue Yorke, una delle più interessanti voci nostrane, che -dopo l'originalissimo Contradanza -torna a frequentare un repertorio a lei carissimo, ovvero quello delle origini del jazz, che aveva esplorato nel suo primo CD, Racine Connection. Amante dei progetti ben delineati e al tempo stesso poeticamente enigmatici, l'artista segue in questa ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Tomoko Omura: Roots And Branches

Read "Tomoko Omura: Roots And Branches" reviewed by Ian Patterson

It's been a good year for New York-based, Japanese violinist/composer Tomoko Omura, whose second CD as leader, Roots (Inner Circle Music), has earned high praise from critics and peers alike. The roots of the title refer to Omura's heritage as she reimagines popular Japanese tunes through the prism of jazz. The ten tracks draw inspiration from ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Lisanne Tremblay: Violinization

Read "Violinization" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Say “jazz" and the musical instrument that comes to mind might be the saxophone or the trumpet. Say “classical" and it's probably the violin. But there's a long history of players of that have taken that quintessentially classical instrument and moved into the jazz/improvised music world: Stephane Grappelli (1909-1997) and his swinging Quintette du Hot Club ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Penang Island Jazz Festival 2014

Read "Penang Island Jazz Festival 2014" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Penang Island Jazz Festival Bayview Beach Resort Malaysia December 4-7, 2014 It was business as usual at the Penang Island Jazz Festival 2014, following the tenth anniversary celebrations of the previous year. That milestone was no small feat for Festival Director Paul Augustin, business partner Chin Choo Yeun and their ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Luca Ciarla: Violinair

Read "Violinair" reviewed by Duncan Heining

"I would be interested to know what you think of my record." The reluctant reviewer takes the CD, heart sinking, thinking to themselves, “I very much doubt it." On this occasion, I am, however, grateful to Italian violinist, Luca Ciarla. He's certainly not without self-assurance but, fortunately, that confidence is well-matched by the genuine talent evident ...


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