January 10, 2011. Posted by Simon Rentner.Orrin Evans plays piano and conducts his Captain Black Big Band at Sullivan Hall as part of Winter Jazzfest. (Image Credit: Patrick Jarenwattananon/NPR)
In jazz-rich New York City, it often seems like there's a major festival going on every week. But few concerts have become as hotly anticipated as those of the city's annual Winter Jazzfest. This year, the music marathon encompassed five venues, two nights and 60 performances, and drew more than
What started as a showcase designed for attendees of the concurrent Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference has become a massive event for New Yorkers, too. It's a worthy celebration not just for its overload of shows, most of which feature less-known ensembles or known musicians' new bands; it's also an exciting scene, with plenty of that prized young audience, not to mention plenty of musicians hanging out and watching their friends play.
In addition to the great music and the equivalent vibe, this year's Winter Jazzfest was marked by sub-freezing temperatures at night. That set into clear relief the event's struggles with crowd control. Tickets -- an absurdly good deal at $35 for two entire nights -- sold out early, and those looking to hop from club to club often found themselves struggling to peer over standing-room-only sections, if not waiting in long lines to enter.
These are good problems to have, of course. Among the 4,000-plus were Josh Jackson, host of WBGO's The Checkout, and Simon Rentner, another WBGO staff producer. They joined me for a recap of what we all saw, via instant message. (NPR Music's Bob Boilen, of All Songs Considered, was there on Saturday evening, and had some reflections too.)
© 2011 WBGO
January 7, 2011. Posted by Brandy Wood.
Starting Sunday, WBGO will have one week of specials celebrating the life and music of Dr. Billy Taylor. With eight special broadcasts over seven days, there are many opportunities to tune in or log on to hear the late, great Billy Taylor.
Sunday – Jan 9 - JazzSet features Billy Taylor - 6:00pm
Monday – Jan 10 – Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz featuring Billy Taylor– 8:00pm
Tuesday – Jan 11- Jazz Profiles spotlights Billy Taylor – noon - Wednesday –
Wednesday - Jan 12 – Billy Taylor Jazz at the Kennedy Center – Joe Lovano – 9:00am
Wednesday – Jan 12 - JazzSet features Billy Taylor - 6:30pm
Thursday – Jan 13 – Billy Taylor Jazz at the Kennedy Center – Nancy Wilson– 2:00pm
Friday – Jan 14 - Gary Walker with Billy Taylor at the piano – 9:00am
Saturday – Jan 15 – JazzSet - Billy Taylor 80th Birthday Tribute Concert – 3:00pm
© 2011 WBGO
January 4, 2011. Posted by Michael Downes.
This week on the Checkout, Josh Jackson presents Namaskar, a collaboration between tabla master Sameer Gupta and the ambidextrous pianist Marc Cary. In "Love's Lying Story (Has Me Crying)," featured in the above video, the group lifts a melodic theme from a popular Bollywood film score and re-frames the tune with the rhythm section of a traditional jazz ensemble.
© 2011 WBGO