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Musician

John Blake

Born:

John Blake, Jr. has been one of the world’s leading jazz violinists for over four decades. A four-time winner of the Down Beat Critics’ Poll Violinist Deserving Wider Recognition category he was also one of the top two jazz violinists in the 49th, 50th, and 51st Down Beat Readers’ Poll, Classically trained, Blake first gained recognition on early-'70s recordings he made with Archie Shepp and in the mid-70s became established with a global audience during three years recording and touring as a member of Grover Washington, Jr.’s popular “crossover” jazz band. He then spent five years working extensively as a member of various ensembles led by pianist McCoy

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Article: Interview

Jean-Luc Ponty: Imaginary Voyages, Part 1

Read "Jean-Luc Ponty: Imaginary Voyages, Part 1" reviewed by Peter Rubie


Part 1 | Part 2 Jazz is an art form that has been a singular hothouse of musical talent over the decades. There are, and have been, lots of not just great but brilliant players. But perhaps not unsurprisingly, there have been far fewer jazz originals. I mean by that, musicians whose playing has ...

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Article: The Jazz Life

Fit As A Fiddle: How the Violin Helped Shape Jazz, Part 2

Read "Fit As A Fiddle: How the Violin Helped Shape Jazz, Part 2" reviewed by Peter Rubie


Part 1 | Part 2 This is Now I hate to confess this, but I've never been that keen on Stephane Grappelli's playing, as masterful and brilliant as he assuredly was. ("He plays with an accent," violinist and Berklee professor Rob Thomas confided to me when I hesitantly mentioned this to him. What Rob ...

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Article: Album Review

Johanna Burnheart: Burnheart

Read "Burnheart" reviewed by Chris May


The violin has an eventful history in jazz. But it is still a niche instrument, despite a line of singular players stretching back to Stephane Grappelli and Stuff Smith (who deserves some bonus points for composing the immortal “If You're A Viper"). There are no schools of jazz violinists, simply a succession of one-off stylists, with ...

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Article: Album Review

Monique Canniere: Preachin’ to the Choir

Read "Preachin’ to the Choir" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Violinist, composer and vocalist Monique Canniere began her musical career, one suspects, like many other violin players: By playing traditional Celtic music in competitions and folks festivals, which she did from the age of six with her musician father, Vic; and by earning her BM in performance (from Mansfield [PA] University, where she performed as violinist ...

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Article: Album Review

Akua Dixon: Akua Dixon

Read "Akua Dixon" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Virtuoso cellist Akua Dixon is one of the few exclusive practitioners of the instrument in jazz. Whether in a supportive role or leading her Quartette Indigo she deftly fuses intimate chamber decorum and spontaneous ingenuity for an elegant and vibrant style that is hard to pigeonhole. She spices her eponymous release with Latin passion and an ...

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Article: Interview

Tony Miceli: Vibes Matter

Read "Tony Miceli: Vibes Matter" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Tony Miceli is a long-time master vibraphonist who, until a few short years ago, was relatively unknown outside of the jny: Philadelphia area, when he started getting requests to perform and teach all over the world. Now, he is in demand in Ireland, South Korea, Argentina, and Australia, not to mention New York and the West ...

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News: Performance / Tour

Butch Reed Group In Cheltenham Wed. Oct. 1st!

Butch Reed Group In Cheltenham Wed. Oct. 1st!

Jazz Bridge First Wednesday Neighborhood Concert Series in Cheltenham presents drummer Harry Butch Reed and his group at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, 439 Ashbourne Road, on Wednesday, October 1st. Tickets are $10, $5 for students, and show time is 7:30 p.m. Information: 215-517-8337 or visit Jazz Bridge. “Butch Reed is a prime example of ...

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News: Award / Grant

Saying Goodbye to John Blake Jr.

Saying Goodbye to John Blake Jr.

By Suzanne Cloud Sharon Baptist Church boasts a congregation that harkens back to 1934, many years before the church finally found an expansive resting space in West jny: Philadelphia. It's a very big church, but John’s family and friends needed a big one to say goodbye and to wish him well on his journey home. John ...

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News: Obituary

John Blake, Jr., RIP

John Blake, Jr., RIP

From jny: Philadelphia comes news of the death of John Blake, Jr., a violinist who combined his classical training, love for the African-American musical tradition and sense of adventure to become prominent on the forward edge of jazz in the 1970s. Blake was 67. He made his mark recording with tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp and soon ...


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