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Musician

Joe Kennedy, Jr.

Born:

Joe Kennedy, Jr. was an American jazz violinist and educator. Kennedy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He performed and recorded with pianist Ahmad Jamal and was director of jazz studies at Virginia Tech from 1984 to 1995.

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Bryan S. Wright

Read "Take Five with Bryan S. Wright" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet Bryan S. Wright Bryan S. Wright is a pianist and Grammy-nominated musicologist based in jny: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Since 2003, he has been the Executive Producer of Rivermont Records, a label dedicated to preserving and promoting ragtime and early jazz styles through reissues of historic recordings alongside new recordings by today's most celebrated ragtime and early ...

Results for pages tagged "Pittsburgh"...

Musician

Bryan Wright

Bryan S. Wright, Ph.D., is a pianist and Grammy-nominated musicologist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also the founder and executive producer of Rivermont Records, a label specializing in ragtime and jazz.

A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, Bryan first showed musical interest as a toddler and began classical piano lessons with Sandra Horwege at age 5, adding violin lessons two years later. In his early teens, Bryan became keenly interested in ragtime, jazz, and related styles, adding pieces by Scott Joplin, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, and others to his repertoire. By 15 he was host of a popular weekly radio program, Sunday Night Nostalgia, heard in Central Virginia over WLVA, WVLR, and WLQE. The program featured big bands, vintage jazz, and “old-time radio” dramas (with occasional live in-studio dramas that Bryan directed). As an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia), he furthered his piano studies with Christine Niehaus, taking time to host a weekly ragtime radio program, Elite Syncopations, on WCWM. (The program provided the groundwork for the first 24-hour internet ragtime radio station, Elite Syncopations Radio, which Bryan operated from 2003 to 2010.)

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Article: Profile

Stephen Philip Harvey: Big Band Superhero In the Making

Read "Stephen Philip Harvey: Big Band Superhero In the Making" reviewed by John Chacona


There's a passage in “Party Song," the concluding cut on the Stephen Philip Harvey Jazz Orchestra's debut recording, Smash! (Next Level, 2022) where the band claps hands, whoops and cheers over a syncopated praise-band saxophone riff. It's pure, unbridled joy and just like the exuberance implied by the exclamation point in the album's title, it's an ...

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Article: History of Jazz

Groove Town: Buffalo Jazz And Its Legacy - Historical Insights

Read "Groove Town: Buffalo Jazz And Its Legacy - Historical Insights" reviewed by Barbara Ina Frenz


From early on, Buffalo attracted musicians as a place to live and pursue their artistic endeavors—and they were excellent ones: Lil Hardin Armstrong, Jimmie Lunceford, Pete Johnson, and Stuff Smith. Dodo Greene, two masters of polyrhythm, Frankie Dunlop and Clarence Becton, as well as pianist and bassist Wade Legge grew up here. Two distinctive voices on ...

Results for pages tagged "Pittsburgh"...

Musician

Deanna Witkowski

Born:

Known for her adventurous, engaging music that heals the soul, pianist-composer-vocalist Deanna Witkowski moves with remarkable ease between Brazilian, jazz, classical, and sacred music. The award- winning bandleader releases her seventh recording, Force of Nature (MCG Jazz) in January 2022, a companion piece to her biography, Mary Lou Williams: Music For The Soul (Liturgical Press), published in September 2021. The two projects cap a twenty-year deep dive into the ground-breaking impact of Williams’ life and music, making Witkowski one of the few living authorities on the iconic pianist

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Article: Year in Review

2021: The Year in Jazz

Read "2021: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The jazz world continued grappling and adjusting in year two of the COVID-19 pandemic. International Jazz Day again went virtual for the most part. Singer Tony Bennett put the final stamp on his touring—and likely recording—career after his Alzheimer's disclosure. Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield was headed to federal prison. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four ...

Album

Pittsburgh

Label: Whirlwind Recordings
Released: 2021
Track listing: Ambler; Purpose of a Machine; Buckets; Can Am; Foreign Ghosts; Northern Touch; Cocoon; Ending Is Beginning; Blue Blues; Broke; Miserere.

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Article: Album Review

Matthew Stevens: Pittsburgh

Read "Pittsburgh" reviewed by Chris May


Good things were promised by New York-based guitarist Matthew Stevens' fusionesque sophomore album, Preverbal (Ropeadope, 2017). It was made with a kicking trio comprising the exceptional bassist Vicente Archer, a longstanding associate of Robert Glasper, and drummer Eric Doob, whose credits include organist Dr Lonnie Smith and, alongside Stevens, trumpeter Christian Scott. In the normal course ...

Results for pages tagged "Pittsburgh"...

Musician

George Heid III

Born:

George Heid III is a drummer, percussionist, and composer whose diverse musical passions range from jazz and classical to world and electronic genres. George grew up in his father’s recording studio and began playing drums and piano at age 3. In this environment, he was always immersed in music and surrounded by powerful musical influences, such as jazz guitarist Jimmy Ponder and his uncle Bill Heid, a world-class pianist and Hammond B3 jazz musician. George graduated from Pittsburgh’s Creative and Performing Arts high school, where he was mentored by jazz drumming legend Roger Humphries


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