WBGO Blog
  • Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Newport Jazz 2014

    August 5, 2014. Posted by WBGO.

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    Darcy James Argue conducts the Secret Society in a new big-band piece at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival. (Image Credit: Adam Kissick for NPR)

    At the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, Duke Ellington and his Orchestra gave a performance so raucous and powerful that historians mark it as a turning point of the great bandleader's five-decade career. At its center was a piece called "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue," with a barn-burning solo interlude from saxophonist Paul Gonsalves.

    The composer and big-band leader Darcy James Argue is something of a Duke scholar, and by now a Newport Jazz Festival veteran. So he chose this date to present a 35-minute piece inspired by "Diminuendo" for the first time in the U.S. "Tensile Curves" joins a number of other previously unrecorded works that Secret Society presented at the main stage on Friday, Aug. 1.

    Set List

    • "Ferromagnetic"
    • "All In (For Laurie Frink)"
    • "Codebreaker (For Alan Turing)"
    • "Tensile Curves"
    • "Last Waltz For Levon"

    Personnel

    Darcy James Argue, composer/arranger; Erica von Kleist, alto saxophone/winds; Rob Wilkerson, alto saxophone/winds; Sam Sadigursky, tenor saxophone/winds; John Ellis, tenor saxophone/winds; Carl Maraghi, baritone saxophone/winds; Seneca Black, trumpet; Tom Goehring, trumpet; Matt Holman, trumpet; Nadje Noordhuis, trumpet; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; Marshall Gilkes, trombone; Ryan Keberle, trombone; Jacob Garchik, trombone; Jennifer Wharton, bass trombone; Miles Okazaki, guitar; Adam Birnbaum, piano; Matt Clohesy, bass; Jon Wikan, drums

    Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

  • Newport Jazz 2014 In Photos

    August 5, 2014. Posted by WBGO.

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    Cécile McLorin Salvant performed two sets at Newport, including one for a main-stage crowd on the festival's sunny opening day. (Image Credit: Adam Kissick for NPR)

    The Newport Jazz Festival turned 60 this year, and expanded to three days to celebrate. Throughout last weekend, more than 45 bands performed at Fort Adams State Park in coastal Rhode Island, playing through abundant sunshine, pouring rain and anything in between.

    Our photographer Adam Kissick spent long days in the saddle, logging approximately 22 miles on foot while carrying 40 pounds of often-damp gear. In the end, he captured nearly every act at the festival this year — all his photos are available at the NPR Jazz Flickr account. Here's a selection representing how Newport commemorated its 60th anniversary.

    Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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  • Jon Batiste And Stay Human: Newport Jazz 2014

    August 4, 2014. Posted by WBGO.

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    Jon Batiste embraces the crowd at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival. (Image Credit: Adam Kissick for NPR)

    Jon Batiste has a way with exits, as musicians from New Orleans tend to. Days before his day-ending set at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival, the pianist and singer walked out of The Colbert Report's theater with a studio audience and a dancing Stephen Colbert in tow. And following a high-energy Newport set — where his expanded Stay Human band played turbocharged versions of standards, rags and his own party anthems — he switched from piano to melodica and led the band into the main stage audience.

    Batiste's newest album is called Social Music, and it's easy to see how he could catalyze a gathering. As he paraded into the crowd, he switched into a number you might hear at a New Orleans jazz funeral parade, one that signaled his intent with a wink: "Just A Closer Walk With Thee."

    Set List

    • "My Favorite Things"
    • "On The Sunny Side Of The Street"
    • "People In The World"
    • "Shreveport Stomp"
    • "It's Alright (Why You Gotta)"
    • "The Star-Spangled Banner"
    • "St. James Infirmary"
    • "The Entertainer"
    • "Just A Closer Walk With Thee"

    Personnel

    Jon Batiste, piano/melodica/voice; Eddie Barbash, alto saxophone; Ibanda Ruhumbika, tuba; Barry Stevenson, banjo/bass; Joe Saylor, drums; Jamison Ross, keyboard/percussion/voice. With Grace Kelly, alto saxophone.

    Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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