October 15, 2014. Posted by WBGO.Dreiser Durruthy Bambolé (left) and Yesenia Fernandez Selier dance in front of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. (Image Credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
Building on the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra's recent trip to Cuba, managing and artistic director Wynton Marsalis presents his newest large-scale work: Ochas, a suite for big band and Afro-Cuban percussion. He calls upon young superstar Pedrito Martinez, who brought along a trio of fellow hand percussionists, to execute the chants and rhythms of the batá drums specific to Santería religious practice. And he called upon virtuoso Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés to ignite the proceedings.
The performance launches Jazz at Lincoln Center's 2014-15 calendar and highlights its season-long theme "Jazz Across The Americas."
All compositions by Wynton Marsalis.
- "Agayú Sola"
Wynton Marsalis, trumpet/music director; Pedrito Martinez, batá/vocals; Chucho Valdés, piano. With the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra: Kenny Rampton, trumpet; Marcus Printup, trumpet; Greg Gisbert, trumpet; Vincent Gardner, trombone; Chris Crenshaw, trombone; Elliot Mason, trombone; Sherman Irby, alto saxophone; Ted Nash, alto saxophone; Victor Goines, tenor saxophone; Walter Blanding, tenor saxophone; Paul Nedzela, baritone saxophone; Dan Nimmer, piano; Carlos Henriquez, bass; Ali Jackson, drums. Featuring Román Diaz, batá/vocals; Clemente Medina, batá/vocals; Dreiser Durruthy Bambolé, dance; Yesenia Fernandez Selier, dance; Denise DeJean, vocals; Amma Dawn McKen, vocals.
© 2014 WBGO
October 9, 2014. Posted by WBGO.Percussionists Clemente Medina, Román Diaz and Pedrito Martinez perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. (Image Credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
To open its 2014-15 season, Jazz At Lincoln Center welcomes the world premiere of a work by managing and artistic director Wynton Marsalis. Ochas, for big band and Afro-Cuban percussion, features special guests in the commanding pianist Chucho Valdés and percussionist, vocalist and Santería priest Pedrito Martinez. With the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, they blend jazz with the traditional folkloric and religious music of Cuba.
Jazz Night In America explores how the new suite of music came to be.
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August 14, 2014. Posted by WBGO.Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band. L-R: Blade, Myron Walden, Melvin Butler, Chris Thomas, Jon Cowherd. (Image Credit: NPR Music)
We had hoped to get the great drummer Brian Blade to give us a little private exhibition after his set at the Newport Jazz Festival this year. The weather, however, was proving much less generous than he and his band were. Early that morning, a steady all-day rain settled in over coastal Rhode Island, making it difficult to transport dry instruments anywhere. On top of that, a last-minute change to travel plans meant that Blade needed to get out of town quickly — to an airport over four hours away.
But he and the Fellowship Band — the group of guys Blade has been making music with for the better part of two decades or more — were game to figure out something for us. So we herded them into the shelter of a quiet tunnel in Fort Adams State Park. Myron Walden and Melvin Butler put their horns together, and pianist Jon Cowherd realized he could use the synthesizer app on his iPad. The three of them played for us one of Cowherd's many serene melodies — this one called "Landmarks," the title track of their new album.
One of the great things about Blade's work with the Fellowship Band is that it's not all about the drummer and his proven technical wizardry. It's also about beautiful harmonies, slow-developing pieces, earnest entreaty to make you feel something other than distanced admiration. And though Blade himself doesn't play, this brief moment of zen under heavy skies — this pretty li'l chorale for horns and iPad app — it also gets at why this band is special.
Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Patrick Jarenwattananon; Event Manager: Saidah Blount; Videographers: Mito Habe-Evans, Colin Marshall, Nick Michael; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Editor: Colin Marshall; Special Thanks: Newport Jazz Festival, Mark and Rachel Dibner of the Argus Fund, The Wyncote Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Josh Jackson of WBGO; Executive Producer: Anya GrundmannCopyright 2014 Newark Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wbgo.org.
© 2014 WBGO
August 7, 2014. Posted by WBGO.David Sanchez and the Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors perform at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival. (Image Credit: Adam Kissick for NPR)
Boston's Berklee College of Music was already one of the premier conservatories for jazz when it launched a new program designed to push a select group of students beyond the classroom. The Berklee Global Jazz Institute assembles a small international ensemble to create works on the bandstand and explore connections to culture, nature and other art forms.
That band acts as a de facto emissary for Berklee and jazz across the U.S. and around the world. Appropriately, for its Newport-opening set, the group's current lineup was paired with the accomplished Puerto Rican tenor saxophonist David Sanchez, who led the ensemble in a performance of his own compositions.
- "Morning Mist"
- "Endless Wait"
- "A Thousand Yesterdays"
David Sanchez, tenor saxophone; Mao Sone, trumpet; Leandro Pellegrino, guitar; Takafumi Suenaga, piano; Jared Henderson, bass; Jharis Yokley, drumsCopyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
© 2014 WBGO
August 6, 2014. Posted by WBGO.
The commanding singer Gregory Porter likes a good aqueous metaphor. He named his first album Water and led off with the title track. Then he called his latest album Liquid Spirit, which he released following last year's ecstatic Newport show. (He sang that title track, too, with its bouncy hand-clap exhortations.)
Porter returned to Newport this year on the festival's main stage, delivering a triumphant set that spanned his whole repertoire. And, appropriately enough, he cut through day-long rain showers during his performance on Saturday, August 2.
- "On My Way To Harlem"
- "No Love Dying"
- "Liquid Spirit"
- "Work Song"
- "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons"/"You Send Me"
- "1960 What?"
Gregory Porter, voice; Tivon Pennicott, tenor saxophone; Chip Crawford, piano; Aaron James, bass; Emanuel Harrold, drumsCopyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
© 2014 WBGO