April 26, 2012. Posted by Becca Pulliam.
UNESCO -- the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -- has named April 30 as International Jazz Day. And festivities begin on Friday, April 27, in Paris. For more information, visit the UNESCO web page.
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock spoke with Alex Dutilh of France Musique yesterday about the pianist's involvement in International Jazz Day, as well as changes in jazz worldwide since Herbie started to play the music as a teenager in the mid 1950s. Herbie says,
. . . my experience [then] was that for the most part, the best jazz musicians were Americans. I can’t say that these days. I can’t say that today because, in my experience traveling around the world and hearing jazz musicians from different countries and seeing also jazz musicians that have moved to the United States and gotten experience working with great world class musicians in America and taken that back to their home countries, it’s expanded the professional level of jazz musicianship. Exponentially. So now it truly is an international music.
At sunrise on Monday, April 30, there will be a worldwide hookup of young players in New Orleans, Rio, Cape Town and Paris on a synchronized live version of Herbie's "Watermelon Man!"
Check out the April 30 events at UN headquarters in New York here.
And Monday night at 6:30, we'll broadcast the New Orleans concert as a special. Listen to WBGO and wbgo.org for more info.
© 2012 WBGO
April 25, 2012. Posted by Alex Ariff.
Alexander Ariff is a Master's Degree student in Jazz History & Research at Rutgers University . In celebration of 20 years, he digs up and shares special gems from the JazzSet archive.
There is something definitively “American” about the two clips this week. JazzSet offers not only music that swings, but jazz's many overlapping elements (world, Latin, funk, soul, etc.) Today is Ella Fitzgerald's birthday so I thought I'd share a special clip featuring two icons, Ella and Stevie Wonder, in one seriously soulful duet. These two icons presented careers to the world of music that certainly bent, if not broke, genre boundaries.
First, let’s have a dose of one of my favorite guitarists/composers, Bill Frisell. A personal favorite of mine was his recent release with strings entitled Sign of Life and later this year (August), he’ll be interpreting the music of John Lennon with longtime collaborator and violinist Jenny Scheinman (who just released her own project, Mischief and Mayhem). Also, we'd like to extend a special congratulations to Bill Frisell for being selected as a 2012 Doris Duke Charitable Foundation recipient. In this clip, he is performing near the bluffs above the Iowa River in downtown Iowa City for the 2000 Iowa City Jazz Festival. JazzSet is proud to be a part of this great treasure of the Midwestern jazz scene. Each year, the festival falls on Fourth of July weekend. Becca Pulliam remembers smelling a storm rolling in during Frisell's set as audience members occupied the street and nearby fire escapes. It must have been a magical Independence Day from the heartland. Frisell was joined by Greg Leisz, slide guitar; David Piltch, bass; Kelly Wolleson, drums. Here is a the full live audio performance of “Egg Radio,” first released in 1998 on Frisell's album Gone, Just Like a Train.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival kicks off this weekend! This clip is in honor of one of the most authentic festivals and jazz vocalists) in the world. The 1977 festival was a particularly special year. New Orleans native and legendary brass band leader Ernest “Doc” Paulin performed, and a certain 94-year-old pianist called Eubie Blake gave one of his final performances aboard the SS President river boat. But one dream collaboration continues to warm the hearts of many (including JazzSet producer Becca Pulliam): Ella Fitzgerald invited Stevie Wonder on stage during her set to sing Stevie's "You Are The Sunshine of My Life." NPR's Jazz Alive! recorded this performance. It was unheard for decades until JazzSet aired it. And this performance was later released on We Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song. Listen closely to how the two masters trade back and forth and you can distinctively hear Ella's influence on Stevie.
© 2012 WBGO
April 23, 2012. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
The New School Swingers performed live in the WBGO studios today, the ninth and last in our series of student performances for Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). Listen to audio from this broadcast here. A full set list and links to hear our other JAM broadcasts are below.
The ensemble, which has members from South Africa and Sweden as well as the United States, performed "hot swing" classics from the 1930s, including Duke Ellington's "C Jam Blues," Django Reinhardt's "Minor Swing" and Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose."
We hope you enjoy our Jazz Appreciation Month festival of student ensembles!
Members of the New School Swingers
Alto: Ross Harris
Trumpet: Lesedi Ntsane
Violin: Anna Fuerstenberg
Piano and bandleader: Dinos San Pedro
Bass: Ben Murphy
Drums: Alex Kirkpatrick
Guitar: Nelsen Hutchison
New School Swingers Set List
"C Jam Blues" - Duke Ellington
"Dinah" - Harry Ackst, Sam L. Lewis and Joe Young
"Minor Swing - Django Reinhardt
"Funeral March" - Ben Murphy
"Nuages" - Django Reinhardt
"You're The One" - Dinos San Pedro
"Honeysuckle Rose" - Fats Waller and Andy Razaf
"Everybody Loves My Baby" - Spencer Williams, Jack Palmer
"Thick And Thin" - Dinos San Pedro
"I'll Fly Away" - Albert Brumley
WBGO JAM Live Broadcasts 2012
© 2012 WBGO