Music

Benoit Rousseau

While the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements have shaped the debate in the United States, our neighbor, Canada, is going through its own cultural awakening and moment of reckoning. Rising stars like Jeremy Dutcher are giving its mistreated indigenous population a voice through music.

 


Detroit. Feb. 13, 1973. A Tuesday night.

For more than 30 years, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has been a nonprofit working at the intersection of music education, jazz appreciation and public policy. Beginning in the new year, it will continue those efforts under a new name: the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz.

WBGO

James Francies has a love affair with the piano. It’s apparent when you hear him play. We had that opportunity when he visited Afternoon Jazz to promote Flight, his debut album, recently released on Blue Note.  


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Trumpeter and composer Roy Hargrove, who died tragically on Friday at 49,  is best known for his unflappable command in small-group settings, including his sterling quintet. But he was also a connoisseur of the big band — leading his own, on and off, through most of his career.

The Roy Hargrove Big Band released a single album, Emergence, in 2009. Around the time of the album’s release, he brought the 18-piece ensemble to WBGO for a session on Afternoon Jazz. Highlights from that session were later featured on The Checkout, then hosted by Josh Jackson.

Roy Hargrove, an incisive trumpeter who embodied the brightest promise of his jazz generation, both as a young steward of the bebop tradition and a savvy bridge to hip-hop and R&B, died on Friday night in New York City. He was 49.

Marek Lazarski

Andrew Cyrille, a drummer and composer who has stood near the center of the jazz avant-garde since its origins in the 1960s, will be the Vision Festival’s next lifetime achievement honoree. He’s due to receive his honor during the 24th annual edition of that event, at Roulette in Brooklyn next June.

Courtesy of the artist

The Other Side of the Story is drummer Matt Kane’s third release as a leader, but the first to showcase his talent as a composer.

Kane was born and raised in Hannibal, Mo., and since moving to the New York/New Jersey area in 1997, has established himself as a highly accomplished drummer as well as a skillful and effective educator. From the first track here, you know you’re in for a tuneful, upbeat experience.

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For years, Justin Brown has been a drummer in high demand, constantly on the road with the likes of Thundercat and Ambrose Akinmusire. At the same time, he’s been carefully writing his own compositions, and plotting his debut as a bandleader.

He released his debut album, NYEUSI, in June — and heralded its arrival with a show jointly presented by WBGO and Revive Music.


Bertrand Guay / Getty Images

The seventh annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival begins this weekend at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and as usual it presents a broad view of the modern jazz mainstream. 

Running from Nov. 3 to 18, the fest takes place almost entirely at NJPAC — though its kickoff event, featuring the Jon Faddis Quartet, is a Jazz Vespers service this Saturday at Bethany Baptist Church. The concluding event, according to tradition, will be the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition.

Kenny Vance had a front-row seat for the dawn of the rock ‘n’ roll era, in New York City during the late 1950s. “It was very frenetic in those days,” he tells Bob Porter on Saturday Morning Function, “because it was a brand-new thing, and nobody really knew what to do.”


Jeff Xander

With both parents working as music educators, Aubrey Logan’s artistic cup began to fill with tap lessons. She was 5. Artistic openness led to choral lessons, along with slide trombone studies at  Berklee — and on down the road, performing around the world with Dave Koz’s Summer Tour.


Bruno Bollaert

All too often, great jazz talent overseas goes underappreciated in the United States. The Checkout spotlights two such figures: guitarist Philip Catherine, a legendary guitarist who once collaborated with Chet Baker and Dexter Gordon; and pianist Fulco Ottervanger, an exciting up-and-comer now making waves. I spoke with both artists onstage at Jazz Middelheim, a summer festival in Antwerp, Belgium.


Unlimited Myles

Sonic Creed is vibraphonist Stefon Harris’ first recording as a leader in nine years. He recently came in to discuss the album, among other things, on Morning Jazz.


Musician Jerry González has cut a swashbuckling path in his over four decades of playing music. He was a double threat on both trumpet and congas who came of age in The Bronx learning to play in the time-honored tradition of wood shedding with albums of his heroes.

After an uncertain delay, the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition has an official date: According to an announcement by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the nonprofit organization that runs the competition, it will be held this Dec. 2-3 in Washington, D.C.

Anna Webber

Pianist and composer Christian Sands goes back quite a ways with WBGO — and with Gary Walker, who recalls first seeing him as a 12-year-old protégé of Dr. Billy Taylor. Sands is now 29, and one of his generation's leading figures on the instrument. He has an ambitiously realized new albumFacing Dragons, which is one reason he dropped back into our studio for a conversation with Walker on Morning Jazz.


MCA/The Raymond Scott Archives

People all over the world can hum his tunes, yet relatively few have ever heard his name.

He was championed for creating a new sound in jazz, but never made it into jazz history books. His music was harmonically daring, but found its greatest audience through popular cartoons. A swing-era celebrity, he also stood at the vanguard of electronic music. These are among the dichotomies in the musical legacy of composer, bandleader, pianist, engineer and inventor Raymond Scott.

We all knew vocalist Rubén Blades knew his way around the clave, the rhythmic pattern that propels the Afro-Cuban dance music he's known for.

But I bet you didn't know he could swing a big band jazz tune with an easy flair that recalls past masters like Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra.

John Rogers

Take Five celebrates albums by five amazing drummers whose music defies stereotype.

Yvonne Schmedemann

Mark de Clive-Lowe is a grand pianist and jazz technologist who fuses acoustic and electric sounds. Along with his keyboards and live electronics, his band on tour features Teodross Avery on saxophones, Corbin Jones on bass, and Gene Coye on drums.

Courtesy of the artist

New York Voices sang at a WBGO event even before their first album. That was 30 years ago. I have lost count of how often they've come to talk and perform on Singers Unlimited through the years. 


Southside Johnny — singer and harmonicat, "the Godfather of the Jersey Sound," a sidekick of Bruce Springsteen, an inspiration for Jon Bon Jovi — is performing with the Asbury Jukes this Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Enlow Recital Hall of Kean Stage

He came by to have fun talking with Michael Bourne, and to play some blues live in the WBGO performance studio. 

Here's a video of Johnny and pianist Jeff Kazee playing an impromptu tune, "New Jersey Tomato Blues." 

Nicholas Payton, Sheila Anderson and Kevin Eubanks
WBGO

Most of America likely recognizes guitarist Kevin Eubanks by his laugh — a prominent part of his 15 years as band leader of the Tonight Show Band, and sidekick to host Jay Leno.

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