June 15, 2015
Every spring, a New York City community organization puts on a month's worth of jazz events centered around the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival turns the spotlight on a historically African-American region, and often some lesser-heard talents. Though Akua Dixon has played in just about every situation open to a cellist, less frequently does she lead a band bearing her own name. Her music often features her compositions and arrangements for a string ensemble, and occasionally adds her own voice to the mix as well.
Jazz Night In America visits the coffee shop and jazz club Sistas' Place — one of the key venues for the Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival — to take in a set led by Akua Dixon. In addition to the band featured on her latest album, Dixon is also joined by her two children: vocalist Andromeda Turre and drummer Orion Turre. Watch a full set here.
© 2015 WBGO
May 22, 2015Joe Temperley performs with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in 2013. (Image Credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
Baritone saxophonist and clarinetist Joe Temperley has led an illustrious career spanning several decades, performing in some of the best big bands that ever were. Temperley, now 85, has performed with the orchestras of Humphrey Lyttelton, Woody Herman, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, and of course, Duke Ellington. For the past 25 years, Temperley has also been the heart and soul of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. As Wynton Marsalis has written, "There is no greater sound on earth, than Joe Temperley on a horn."
Jazz Night in America gets to know the man, listening to his original music and his new arrangements of Ellington favorites. Watch highlights from the concert here.
© 2015 WBGO
May 19, 2015
The late Kenny Wheeler's stunning compositions and imaginative improvisations on trumpet and flugelhorn left deep impressions on generations of musicians. Two such devotees — trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and saxophonist Steve Treseler — revisited Wheeler's compositions after his death in 2014 at age 84. And in doing so, they realized they wanted to record their arrangements, paying tribute to the man who catalyzed their own careers. So Jensen, raised in Vancouver and now based in New York, traveled back across North America to meet Treseler, who resides in Seattle, to make the album and play a gig while they were there.
Jazz Night In America explores the legacy of Kenny Wheeler through the music that Jensen and Treseler arranged and performed live at the Royal Room in Seattle. They're accompanied by Jensen's working rhythm section — pianist Geoffrey Keezer, bassist Martin Wind, drummer Jon Wikan — and local vocalist Katie Jacobson. Watch the concert here.
© 2015 WBGO