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Musician

Lara Downes

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Lara Downes has garnered wide acclaim as one of the most exciting and communicative pianists of today's generation, lauded by NPR as "a delightful artist with a unique blend of musicianship and showmanship" and praised by the Washington Post for her stunning performances "rendered with drama and nuance". Lara’s innovative explorations of the piano repertoire - from iconic favorites to newly commissioned works - bridge musical genres, traditions and audiences. Born in San Francisco of Caribbean and Russian heritage, Downes began piano lessons at age 4, and later spent a decade studying and performing with her sisters in Europe, in what she calls a “gypsy-like existence” that took the family from Paris to Venice, Vienna, Basel and Rome. Since making early debuts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall London, the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Salle Gaveau Paris, Lara has appeared on the world’s greatest concert stages, winning over audiences at diverse venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Le Poisson Rouge, the Kennedy Center to Classical Revolution. Downes’ solo recordings have met with tremendous critical and popular acclaim

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

New Releases and Birthday Shoutouts To Ella Fitzgerald

Read "New Releases and Birthday Shoutouts To Ella Fitzgerald" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast features new releases from saxophonist Berta Moreno, bassist/vocalist Kristin Korb, guitarist George Gilliam and pianist/vocalist Lauren Lee with birthday shoutouts to Ella Fitzgerald, Roxy Coss, Charles Mingus, Alan Broadbent, Lara Downes and Kendra Shank, among others. Thanks for listening and please support the artists you hear by purchasing their music during this time of ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Juno Nominees, New Releases Plus Birthday Shout-outs For Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Marian McPartland And More As Womens History Month Continues

Read "Juno Nominees, New Releases Plus Birthday Shout-outs For Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Marian McPartland And More As Womens History Month Continues" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast features Juno nominees, new releases from vocalists Sarah Moule, Sarah Jerrom, Janis Siegel and guitarist David Howard plus birthday shoutouts to Elis Regina, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Marian McPartland, Michele Rosewoman, and Deanna Witkowski, among others. Thanks for listening and please support the artists you hear by purchasing their music during this time of lockdown.

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Celebrate Women's History Month With Birthday Celebrations for Flora Purim, Carol Sloane, Carole Bayer Sager And More

Read "Celebrate Women's History Month With Birthday Celebrations for Flora Purim, Carol Sloane, Carole Bayer Sager And More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


March is Women's History Month and A Broad Spectrum begins another year on the air with the best of women-driven jazz music, past and present. This broadcast features new releases from vocalist Frances Coché, pianist Lara Downes and a single from trombonist Aubrey Logan plus birthday shoutouts to pianist Tomoko Ohno, vocalists Carol Sloane, Flora Purim, ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Moon's Up, Night's Up - Taking the Town By Surprise

Read "Moon's Up, Night's Up - Taking the Town By Surprise" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


The annual celebratory broadcast for Joni Mitchell included an assortment of her songs by various jazz artists, plus new releases from Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, Norah Jones, saxophonist T.K. Blue, singer/poet Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein), and vibraphone artist Lolly Allen; also more birthday shout outs to Chris Conner, Betty Bryant (going strong at ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Birthday Celebrations for Shirley Horn and Judy Collins

Read "Birthday Celebrations for Shirley Horn and Judy Collins" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast celebrates songs about birds in the second hour plus birthday songbirds Judy Collins (who just turned 80) and the legendary Shirley Horn. New releases included vocalists Kalya Ramu, Holly Cole, Laurie Antonioli, Charles Ruggiero & Hilary Gardner, bassist Anne Mette Iversen, pianists Amina Figarova and Eric Reed, with more birthday shout outs to Bing ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Salutes to Ma Rainey, Ella Fitzgerald and Blossom Dearie

Read "Salutes to Ma Rainey, Ella Fitzgerald and Blossom Dearie" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Winding up Jazz Appreciation Month with special birthday shout outs to the Mother of the Blues Ma Rainey, pianist Dorothy Donegan, vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand and Blossom Dearie, among others, with new concept recordings from Nancy Kelly (a tribute to Mark Murphy) , Christina Morrison (duets with five other women vocalists) and Ellynne Rey (a ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

I'll Remember April - Happy Jazz Appreciation Month!

Read "I'll Remember April - Happy Jazz Appreciation Month!" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


A smooth segue from Women's History into Jazz Appreciation Month, commencing with a celebration of Gene Bertoncini, Freddie Hubbard and John Pizzarelli's birthdays in the first hour and concluding with a celebration of Billie Holiday in the final hour, plus new releases from Ashley Pezzotti, Ulysses Owens, Jr., Alicia Olatuja and Claire Martin & Jim Mullen ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Twilight World - Celebrating Marian McPartland, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Joni 75

Read "Twilight World - Celebrating Marian McPartland, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Joni 75" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


The penultimate week of Women's History Month broadcast includes new releases from guitarist Mimi Fox, trombonists Naomi Moon Siegel and Natalie Cressman, pianist Lara Downes, the group Five Play led by drummer Sherrie Maricle and vocalists Sivan Arbel and Patrice Jegou, as well as a first listen to the live recording of Joni Mitchell''s 75th year ...


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