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Musician

Bela Fleck

Born:

Just in case you aren't familiar with Béla Fleck, there are some who say he's the premiere banjo player in the world. Others claim that Béla has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. If you are familiar with Béla, you know that he just loves to play the banjo, and put it into unique settings. Born and raised in New York City, Béla began his musical career playing the guitar. In the early 1960's, while watching the Beverly Hillbillies, the bluegrass sounds of Flatt & Scruggs flowed out of the TV set and into his young brain. Earl Scruggs's banjo style hooked Béla's interest immediately

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Article: Under the Radar

A Different Drummer, Pt. 8: Ustad Zakir Hussain Talks Tabla

Read "A Different Drummer, Pt. 8: Ustad Zakir Hussain Talks Tabla" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Origins of the Tabla The twin hand drum was developed in its current form about 300 years ago on the Indian subcontinent but the roots of the tabla may date to pre-Muslim, Arabia. The name comes from “tabl," the Arabic word for drum, and temple carvings of tabla-like double-hand drums date to 500 BCE. Tabla is ...

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News: Festival

Grammy/Emmy Winning Composer Gordon Goodwin Makes Feature Film Debut In 'knights Of Swing' + Hollywood Bowl Jazz Fest June 26

Grammy/Emmy Winning Composer Gordon Goodwin Makes Feature Film Debut In 'knights Of Swing' + Hollywood Bowl Jazz Fest June 26

Multiple Grammy/Emmy Award winning composer/arranger Gordon Goodwin has added actor to his storied resume with a spirited cameo as “Mr. Hughes,” the lead judge presiding over the California Battle of the Bands in the jazz-driven period piece, 'Knights of Swing,’ a late 40s era coming-of-age journey that follows the challenges,disappointments and successes of six high school ...

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Article: Interview

Zakir Hussain: Making Music, Part 1-2

Read "Zakir Hussain: Making Music, Part 1-2" reviewed by Ian Patterson


"Everybody wants to play with Zakir. He's amazing..." The words were spoken by Herbie Hancock, one of many musicians who paid tribute to the great Indian tabla player and composer Zakir Hussain on the occasion of his Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Francisco Jazz Centre in 2017. In a short film made for ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Global Folk and Fusions

Read "Global Folk and Fusions" reviewed by Geno Thackara


It's a wide world out there, yet as vast as it gets, there are always players finding common ground between its most far-flung corners. Naïsaam Jalal and Rhythms of Resistance Un Autre Monde Les Couleurs du Son2021 Ten years is an impressive tenure for any musical outfit, so Naïssam ...

Album

The Ripple Effect

Label: Craft Recordings
Released: 2020
Track listing: Bamako; Nashville; Snug Harbor; Elyne Road; Matitu/Buribalal; Manchester; Throw Down Your Heart; Kauonding Sissoko; Katmandu; Dueling Banjos.

Album

Harp vs. Harp

Label: ACT Music
Released: 2019
Track listing: Blueserinho; Acts; No Fear; Hope; Romance de Barrio; Santa Morena; Our Spanish Love Song; Manhã de Carnaval.

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Article: Hardly Strictly Jazz

2020 and Me

Read "2020 and Me" reviewed by Skip Heller


As I type this, it is December 8, 2020, the fortieth anniversary of John Lennon's murder. I was then a newly-minted barband guitarist, fifteen years old and thinking how the world —via the election of Ronald Reagan —and music had just suffered the worst season that could ever be. 2020 has been an ongoing ...

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Article: Album Review

Susan Alcorn Quintet: Pedernal

Read "Pedernal" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn has achieved the enviable feat of commanding her own instrumental niche in the jazz world. Much like Toots Thielemans' harmonica, Gary Versace's accordion or Béla Fleck's banjo, she seems to have a unique role all to herself, at least until her substantial talents eventually spawn a host of imitators. From her ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

The Pat Metheny Songbook - A New Jazz Canon, Part 2

Read "The Pat Metheny Songbook - A New Jazz Canon, Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


This is the second part of our celebration of Pat Metheny's 66th birthday through an exploration of the best renditions of his work by other musicians. Metheny's signature compositional style inspired countless colleagues, even before he had released his first album. It's no surprise that more than four decades later, the renditions of his work can ...


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