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:
Keep an ear out for them. They're the future of our music. - Josh
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:
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.
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
Constitution Hall is just outside our broadcast booth. IAJE is showcasing a lot of college bands there today. The doors to the hall were open, and the sounds of blazing latin jazz were emanating into my ears. I had to check it out. It was the University of Illinois Latin Jazz Ensemble. Check them out on Eddie Palmieri's "Palmas":
Up next, I'll have a post about North Carolina Central University's Ensemble. They are an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) institution. Their guest performer will be Branford Marsalis. Stay tuned. - Josh
Thanks to Toronto's sizable West Indian population, there's a lot of food and beverage variety. Mr. Goudas Ginger Beer is my new favorite guilty pleasure during long days and nights at IAJE. I've had ginger beer, but nothing like this. It will set your mouth ablaze.
You gotta check out the commercial (RealMedia)
Too rich... - Josh