gala concert

IAJE Evening 1 - Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars

One of the nicest things about IAJE is seeing the fresh faces - the young talent who are really excited about playing jazz. It's funny to watch them go ga-ga over the professional musicians in attendance. Then I remember how that used to be me 15 years ago. Now I'm 33, and all those kids say, "Excuse me, SIR." Ugh. Go right ahead, kiddo...

The Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars are high school students. They're selected from an international pool of talent, though this group comes exclusively from North America. They opened the IAJE Gala Concert tonight. They are:

Gregory Chaplin - bass (Hopedale, MA), Jake Sherman - piano (Boston, MA), Conrad Jones - trumpet (Long Island), Javier Nero - trombone (Vancouver, WA), Eli Bennett - sax (Vancouver, BC), Jonathan Ragonese - sax (Pennsylvania)

And from Milwaukee, WI, drummer Carl Allen. He's the ringer.

Seems like the youngsters had some jitters at first (probably because they were playing to a few thousand strangers), but they came together on the standard, "After You've Gone." I could tell they enjoyed the arrangement, a transcription from trumpeter Nicholas Payton's record, Gumbo Nouveau. Hear it now:

Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars - After You’ve Gone

Keep an ear out for them. They're the future of our music. - Josh

IAJE Evening 1 - New York Voices and Pac-Man

I'm not the greatest fan of New York Voices, because I can't get beyond that vocal harmony sound. The rest of the planet loves it. I don't. But I absolutely respect what they do. Because they do it so well. You can always find New York Voices performing at one of the country's venerable jazz institutions, Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsman's Guild. Their latest CD, A Day Like This, is Grammy-nominated. And they are a crowd favorite at IAJE. They're also first-rate educators, and members of IAJE.

Shows you how much I know...

New York Voices played to a packed house for the IAJE Gala concert. Among the highlights was a vocalese rendition of John Coltrane's "A Moment's Notice." They call it "Noticing The Moment." Listen for yourself:

New York Voices - Noticing The Moment (A Moment’s Notice)

In the middle of the set, they invited one of the IAJE Gala honorees, Paquito D'Rivera, for a couple of songs from a previous album, Brazilian Dreams. After Pac-man told a story about how he and trumpeter Claudio Roditi wrote "Snow Samba" during a Chicago winter, they launched into it.

New York Voices and Paquito D’Rivera - Snow Samba

If you want more of that, the New York Voices and Paquito D'Rivera are playing the Blue Note in New York on Monday night. - Josh

IAJE Evening 1 - Lionel Loueke

I'm interviewing guitarist Lionel Loueke at noon, so I'm jumping the shark a bit. But Loueke closed the Gala Concert. After New York Voices, about 80 percent of the audience poured out of the Metro Toronto Convention Center's Constitution Hall. Those with a thirst for adventure (or simply no restrictions on bedtime) stayed for Lionel's trio. They are formerly known as Gilfema - Loueke, the Swedish/Italian bassist Massimo Biolcati, and Hungarian drummer Ferenc Nemeth.


They opened with the title song from Lionel's upcoming Blue Note release, Karibu. For the Swahili challenged, that means "Welcome."

Lionel Loueke - Karibu

Another live performance from the trio. This is called "Seven Teens." Don't bother trying to tap your foot or count the 17 beats per measure. Just enjoy listening to it.

Lionel Loueke - Seven Teens

The set ended with a little surprise. Lionel added to the international flavor of the band (not to mention the already-high musicality) with an invitation to harmonica player Gregoire Maret. And for lagniappe, let's throw in a some audience participation.

Lionel Loueke - Nonvignon