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Russ Kassoff

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Russ Kassoff is an accomplished jazz pianist, conductor, composer, orchestrator, and arranger, whose varied talents are much valued and on display in the music world. Russ Kassoff is one of the most highly regarded musicians in New York and was praised by the New York Times in 2004 as possessing a "precision and enthusiasm that is riveting." In the words of the Chairman of the Board, "You are the best." -Frank Sinatra, '87 Russ toured as pianist to Frank Sinatra from '80-'91, served as pianist/accompanist for Liza Minnelli from '82-'01 and Minnelli's music director and conductor for the acclaimed Minnelli on Minnelli national tour ('00)

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

New Releases Plus A Centennial Birthday Shoutout For Guitarist Mary Osborne

Read "New Releases Plus A Centennial Birthday Shoutout For Guitarist Mary Osborne" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast opens with a centennial salute to guitarist Mary Osborne. Born in North Dakota, she came to prominence in New York City in the 1940s appearing with jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie, Art Tatum, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk and Mary Lou Williams. Also presented are new releases from vocalists Samara Joy, Hilary Kole and violinist Diane ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Romance in the Dark - Celebrating Bettye LaVette's Latest Release

Read "Romance in the Dark - Celebrating Bettye LaVette's Latest Release" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Included are new releases from Bettye LaVette (pictured), Champian Fulton, Nubya Garcia, The Moore-McColl Jazz Society and Kenny Washington plus singles from Emilie-Claire Barlow & Bocana and Sue Maskaleris with more birthday shoutouts to Charlie Parker (100!), Hilary Gardner, Naomi Moon Siegel, Russ Kassoff, Jimmy Rowles and more. Thanks for listening and please support the artists ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Autumn's Embrace and September Song

Read "Autumn's Embrace and September Song" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Happy Fall to all! This equinox broadcast includes new releases from guitarist Claudette King, vocalists Tish Oney, Kelley Johnson, Carolyn Fitzhugh and Chiara Izzi, pianist Sumitra and saxophonist Chelsea McBride's Socialist Night School, with birthday shout outs to saxophonist Vi Redd (pictured), pianists Lovie Austin, Bobby Short, Kait Dunton, Helen Sung and Champian Fulton, guitarist Emily ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Labor Day at Coney Island

Read "Labor Day at Coney Island" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


The Labor Day weekend broadcast included new releases from vocalists Audrey Silver, Deb Bowman, Barb Jungr, Tracey Coryell, a single from pianist Lauren Lee, plus a collaboration of Jenny Scheinman and Allison Miller, with birthday shout outs to Dinah Washington, Alice Coltrane, Teri Thornton, Valerie Simpson and Charlie Parker, among others and a nod to the ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Moon Songs and The Rhythm of Life

Read "Moon Songs and The Rhythm of Life" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Much to celebrate this week with new releases from MaryJo Mundy and Ken Peplowski and Diego Figueiredo, plus birthday shout outs to the great Dorothy Fields in the first hour, Phoebe Snow in the second hour, vocalists Margaret Whiting, Ruben Blades, Rufus Wainwright, Jimmy Scott, Helen Merrill and guitarist Mary Osborne, among others, with a collection ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Dinah Washington, Teri Thornton and a Cornucopia of New Releases

Read "Dinah Washington, Teri Thornton and a Cornucopia of New Releases" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


In this episode we celebrate some heavyweight jazz birthdays --Dinah Washington, Teri Thornton and Alice Coltrane, to name a few. Plus a bumper crop of new releases as summer winds down. Playlist The Diva Jazz Orchestra “The Rhythm Changes" from The Diva Jazz Orchestra: 25th Anniversary Project (ArtistShare) 00:00 Madeleine Peyroux “On a ...

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Article: Album Review

The Jay Vonada Trio: Red Pajamas

Read "Red Pajamas" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Band leader/trombonist Jay T. Vonada has shared the stage with former Frank Sinatra pianist Russ Kassoff, bassists David Finck and Jay Leonhart, as well as drummers Tim Horner and Dennis Mackrel. He also leads several bands, is a member of the Zeropoint Big Band and performs in various venues throughout the Aaronsburg and central region of ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five With Jay Vonada

Read "Take Five With Jay Vonada" reviewed by Jay T. Vonada


Meet Jay Vonada: Trombonist Jay T. Vonada, of Aaronsburg Pennsylvania, had his debut CD, Jammin', released on Tuesday July 22, 2008. His latest CD, Red Pajamas, was released in January of 2012 and features trombone, organ and drums.Vonada attended Mansfield University in the fall of 1993, studying jazz improvisation with Dr. Michael ...

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Article: Big Band Report

BuJazzO: That's German for Swinging Big Band Jazz

Read "BuJazzO: That's German for Swinging Big Band Jazz" reviewed by Jack Bowers


On August 8, my friend Wes Pfarner and I drove to Santa Fe for a once-in-a lifetime event: a performance by the German Federal Youth Jazz Orchestra, better known to big band enthusiasts by its more condensed and colorful name, BuJazzO. The twenty-piece ensemble, directed by Jiggs Whigham, an American trombonist and educator from Cleveland, Ohio, ...


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