In The Air with Pianist Aaron Diehl

November 23, 2015 by Simon Rentner
Filed under Featured, Interviews

Aaron Diehl

Pilot Aaron Diehl takes us on a flight around Manhattan while sharing an aviation playlist consisting of the music Philip Glass, James P. Johnson, and D'Angelo. Plus, the pianist and composer shares music from his own recording Space Time Continuum (Mack Avenue) and music featuring rising star singer Cecile McLorin Salvant.

Aaron Diehl performs at Jazz at Licoln Center March 18 and 19, 2016.

Gregorio Uribe’s Cumbia Universal

November 11, 2015 by Simon Rentner
Filed under Berklee, Featured, Interviews, Live

Gregorio Uribe

Colombian transplant Gregorio Uribe wears many hats as an accordionist, singer, composer, and big band leader.  Uribe presents the contagious afro-influenced music of his homeland and updates it for modern jazz big band in Cumbia Universal. This concert was captured at his alma mater Berklee College of Music as part of The Checkout Live series hosted by Simon Rentner.  See video of his awesome performance here.

Gregorio Uribe’s Cumbia Universal appears at NYC’s Pangea Jazz Fest Sunday, November 15th.

Audio Engineer: Jeremy Stirone

Steve Coleman: Synovial Joints

October 28, 2015 by Simon Rentner
Filed under Featured, Interviews

steve coleman

Saxophone polymath and MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient Steve Coleman explores the human anatomy, the trade winds of Ghana, and Amazon bird calls in his recording Synovial Joints (Pi).

Don't miss Coleman's Charlie Parker listening party at Jazz at Lincoln Center Thursday, October 29th at 7pm.

Also, his residency at the Village Vangaurd (November 10 - 15), where he will feature an augmented version of Five Elements plus the premier his band Natal Eclispe.

Kid Koala: Nufonia Must Fall

September 16, 2015 by Tim Wilkins
Filed under Featured, Interviews

kid koala

Montreal-based turntablist and illustrator Kid Koala (Eric San) talks with Simon Rentner about the stage adaptation of his graphic book Nufonia Must Fall, which he performs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's New Wave Festival Sept. 17-20.

Koala and designer K.K. Barrett (Her, Lost In Translation, Being John Malkovich) adapted his 2003 illustrations for the stage featuring puppets and live music by Eric San and the Afiara Quartet.  Camera crews shoot and edit the puppets in real time and project the action onscreen thus creating a live silent film.

Muhal Richard Abrams: 50 Years of AACM

September 9, 2015 by Tim Wilkins
Filed under Featured, Interviews

muhal richard abrams

Muhal Richard Abrams, co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, celebrates the organization's 50th anniversary at the 2015 Chicago Jazz Festival.

The legendary pianist and composer talks with Simon Rentner about his life and the historic reunion of his Experimental Band at the festival.

Bria Skonberg's Egyptian Fantasy

September 2, 2015 by Tim Wilkins
Filed under Featured, Interviews

bria skonberg

Vancouver-born, New York-based trumpeter and vocalist Bria Skonberg shares her new arrangements of music popularized by Sidney Bechet and Anita O’Day. 

Skonberg performed at the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival with her Jazz Compatriots, Evan Arntzen, Dalton Ridenhour, Sean Cronin, and  Darrian Douglas.

You can support Bria’s current recording project with Ali Jackson, Aaron Diehl, and Reginald Veal by making a contribution to her Pledge Music Campaign.

Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen

Edmar Castañeda: "World Ensemble"

August 12, 2015 by Tim Wilkins
Filed under Featured, Interviews

edmar castaneda

Colombian Edmar Castañeda brings musicians from eight different countries together with his World Ensemble.  The harpist also performs solo in our studio.  He talks about growing up in the high plains of Colombia and Queens, and his group's new album, recorded live at New York's Jazz Standard.

The group includes Gregoire Maret on harmonica,  Marshall Gilkes, trombone, Itai Kriss, flute, Shlomi Cohen, soprano sax, Pablo Vergara, piano, Rodrigo Villalon, drums, David Silliman, percussion, Andrea Tierra on vocals, Tamer Pinarbasi on kanun and Sergio Krakowski on pandeiro.

The Edmar Castañeda World Ensemble performs at The Jazz Standard August 12. 

Jon Batiste on Newport & Colbert

August 4, 2015 by Tim Wilkins
Filed under Featured, Interviews

jon batiste

Pianist Jon Batiste talks with Simon Rentner about his appearances at the Newport Jazz Festival and his hiring as bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Newport Jazz Festival Founder George Wein

August 4, 2015 by Tim Wilkins
Filed under Featured, Interviews

george wein

Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein talks with guest producer Leo Sidran about the 2015 festival and some of his favorite musicians.

The segment includes music by John Hollenbeck, Anat Cohen, Amir ElSaffar, Paul Gonsalves with Duke Ellington, Stan Getz and Lew Tabackin, all of whom have performed at the Newport Jazz Festival over the years.

This is an excerpt of Leo's 90-minute interview with Wein which can be heard at

Gary Peacock & Marc Copland: "Now This"

July 22, 2015 by Tim Wilkins
Filed under Featured, Interviews

bassist gary peacock

Bassist Gary Peacock (pictured) and pianist Marc Copland talk with Simon Rentner about their new ECM album, Now This. They spoke at the 2015 Montreal International Jazz Festival.