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MUSICIAN Born:

Michael Abene

Michael Abene is a composer, arranger, keyboard player and record producer and as of 2004 was Musical Director-Principal Arranger/Composer of the WDR Radio Big Band of Cologne, Germany considered by many one of the great big bands in Europe. In November, 2011 Michael accepted the position of Professor of Ensemble Conducting at the KUG Jazz Institute in Graz, Austria. Michael also served as the Associate Music Director of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop and an Associate Professor of Jazz Composition at Manhattan School of Music. Michael produced the Grammy winning projects “Digital Duke” featuring the Duke Ellington Orchestra and “The GRP All-Star Big Band-All Blues.” He also produced the Grammy nominated “The GRP All-Star Big Band” and “The GRP All-Star Big Band Live” and received nominations in the arranging category for all three big band recordings

NEWS: PERFORMANCE / TOUR

Jelgavas Big Band Brings Latvian Music Arranged By American Pianist Michael Abene to DC on October 4th

Jelgavas Big Band Brings Latvian Music Arranged By American Pianist Michael Abene to DC on October 4th

On October 4, 2019, Latvia is presenting a jazz concert by the Jelgava Big Band at the Organization of American States on the on the Occasion of 130 years since the First International Conference of American States and in anticipation of the 25th anniversary in 2020 since Latvia is a Permanent Observer at the OAS. Venue ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Big Band tedesche in gran spolvero

Read "Big Band tedesche in gran spolvero" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Da almeno trent'anni in Germania operano alcune delle migliori orchestre mainstream d'Europa, ormai famose per le collaborazioni coi massimi jazzisti contemporanei. Tra i vari collettivi, la NDR Big Band di Amburgo e la WDR Big Band di Colonia si collocano oggi ai vertici internazionali, sapendo coniugare alta professionalità tecnica a doti di flessibilità, fantasia e apertura ...

ARTICLE: GENERAL ARTICLES

I nuovi orchestratori - 2: Kyle Saulnier - Rob Mazurek

Read "I nuovi orchestratori - 2: Kyle Saulnier - Rob Mazurek" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Parliamo ancora di orchestre e arrangiatori [per leggere la prima puntata di questo approfondimento -clicca qui. Tralasciando per il momento di considerare i contributi più innovativi della scena europea (tra cui spiccano la Vienna Art Orchestra e l'Italian Instabile Orchestra) dopo la stagione del Free la ricerca d'avanguardia statunitense non si è fermata. Purtroppo ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Idan Santhaus: There You Are

Read "There You Are" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

This debut release from composer/multi-reedist Idan Santhaus was a long time coming. There You Are actually started to take shape in April of 2008, when four of these tracks were recorded with a solid sixteen piece band, but that was just the beginning. It took three more years for Santhaus to get back into the studio ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

New York Voices: Keeping the Vocal Jazz Flame Burning

Read "New York Voices: Keeping the Vocal Jazz Flame Burning" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Kim Nazarian went to college in upstate New York for acting, with dreams of the Broadway stage. Some 25 years later, she's enjoying a career that has taken her to stages around the globe--but as a singer. Not just a singer, but one of four that makes up New York Voices, a group that has won ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

New York Voices: New York Voices Live with The WDR Big Band Cologne

Read "New York Voices Live with The WDR Big Band Cologne" reviewed by Edward Blanco

The Grammy Award-winning vocal group New York Voices celebrates its 25th anniversary presenting their first full live album with New York Voices Live offering a collection of past favorites and brand new arrangements from the principal arranger-conductor renowned pianist/arranger Michael Abene. A live recording from a May 2008 concert at the Kolner Philharmonie in Cologne, Germany ...

ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

Lee Konitz: What True Improvising Is

Read "Lee Konitz:  What True Improvising Is" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

Lee Konitz is legendary as one of the great individualists in jazz, an art form that has always placed an extraordinary high value on individualism and unique forms of expression. “I've pretty much dedicated myself to trying to figure out what true improvising is," he says, “as opposed to playing what you know and getting loose ...

ARTICLE: NEW YORK BEAT

Jazz Arrangers: A Celebration at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Read "Jazz Arrangers: A Celebration at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola" reviewed by Nick Catalano

Any discussion of a jazz figure's importance must include an analysis of the breadth of his or her talents. No one doubts trumpeter Louis Armstrong's stature in the origins of Dixieland. But attempts to place Jelly Roll Morton next to him in the pantheon of the genre often meet with resistance. Yet, in addition to being ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Fay Claassen with WDR Big Band Cologne: Sing!

Read "Sing!" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Internationally recognized Dutch vocalist Fay Claassen joins forces with the Grammy Award-winning WDR Big Band from Cologne, Germany and Berlin's Rundfunk Orchester, for her sixth album as leader with Sing!. Paying tribute to iconic female vocalists, the repertoire contains songs associated with jazz divas from Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington to singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell ...


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