April 22, 2015
It's not as if there were ever clear paths for cello players beyond the European classical tradition, but Akua Dixon made one for herself. The New York City native found work in the pit band of the Apollo Theater, the multi-racial Symphony of the New World, and the bands of many jazz musicians — including drummer Max Roach's Double Quartet. As she developed her jazz chops, she also started her own string quartet, featured prominently on her new self-titled album. Akua Dixon also features her crafty arranging for strings over jazz standards and Afro-Latin grooves.
Jazz Night In America visits Sistas' Place in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn — a year-round venue which also helps to present an annual month-long grassroots festival in the heavily African-American neighborhood — to take in Akua Dixon's performance at the Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival. In addition to the string ensemble featured on her latest album, Dixon is also joined by her two children: vocalist Andromeda Turre and drummer Orion Turre.
© 2015 WBGO
April 22, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
The Berklee College of Music's "Effortless Mastery" Ensemble, directed by pianist Kenny Werner, performs live at WBGO for Jazz Appreciation Month. Click below to hear this concert.
Werner also spoke with Rhonda Hamilton about Berklee's new "Effortless Mastery" Institute, which teaches students holistic techniques for developing and maintaining healthy performance practices.
All month long in April, WBGO is showcasing student ensembles with vocalists who performed live in our studios for Jazz Appreciation Month. All of these full sets will be available online. Enjoy!
Click on the image below to see a slideshow from this live in-studio performance.
Berklee College of Music "Effortless Mastery Ensemble
live at WBGO 4/20/15
Kenny Werner, piano, Long Island, NY
Vivienne Aerts, voice, Leiden, Netherlands
Edmar Colon, sax, Coamo, Puerto Rico
Mao Sone, trumpet, Chiba, Japan
Max Salinger-Ridley, bass, Boston, MA
Tiago Michelin, drums, Cambridge, MA
© 2015 WBGO
April 21, 2015Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz performs at Jazz at Lincoln Center. (Image Credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
The public youth music education program known as El Sistema has reached hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, largely through participation in classical music ensembles. In 2007, drummer Andrés Briceño and head of the Simón Bolívar Conservatory of Music Valdemar Rodríguez introduced a jazz program to El Sistema, with the goal of promoting the music throughout Venezuela. The flagship ensemble, Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz, presents the work of both American jazz masters and Venezuelan composers, and like its orchestral counterparts, has now toured the U.S.
Jazz Night In America presents Simón Bolívar Big Band Jazz during a recent stateside sojourn, from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola within New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center.
© 2015 WBGO