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Harry S. Pariser

Harry S. Pariser

"I believe that any feeling of xenophobia and fear comes from ignorance. Often people think that when you are not like them, you are different and therefore you are a threat. It is not true. I think that the problem of xenophobia today is coming from the world economic crisis. Some people, for example, think that as foreigners we are going to take their work, we will take the bread from the mouth. It is not true. It is not like that. This fear has become a political tool to create divisions so t
Salif Keita, 58, a 40-year veteran of the music scene, numbers among Africa’s top musical stars. A man in motion, Salif might be anywhere from Canada to Christchurch within the space of just a few weeks. Born into a royal family, Salif found himself barred by social custom from becoming a musician. As an albino, Salif was an outcast; he found his way in music. He fled a Malian dictatorship to the Ivory Coast and later moved to Paris. He has since returned to Mali where he has built a recording s
An air of both impatience and anticipation hangs in the air at Sir Garfield Sobers Auditorium on the outskirts of Bridgetown, the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Barbados. Legendary singer Anita Baker is set to take the stage to perform at the 2007 Barbados Jazz Festival. First, everyone stands to sing the Barbados national anthem. Then the curtains part to reveal Anita’s band and then Anita herself.

Having kept the fans waiting for more than an hour, Anita apologizes obliquely

At around eight PM on the second Thursday in April, Randy Weston takes the stage at Yoshi's to begin a four-night run at the intimate Oakland, California club. Weston hasn’t performed in the Bay Area in recent years save at large halls festivals, so this is a rare chance to see this accomplished octogenerian master of the jazz piano at close range. He has invited a very special guest for this gig: legendary tenor saxophonist Billy Harper. Originally from Texas, Harper has played with the like

The Barbados Jazz Festival is a very special event. Attended largely by locals and returning Bajans (as Barbadians call themselves), along with a smattering of Americans and resident expats, the festival takes place in several halls (which host evening performances) as well as in Farley Hill National Park in the island’s north where two outdoor afternoon concerts take place. Despite the "jazz" in the name, the festival hosts mainly pop and jazz-fusion artists because that’s what, from the produc
Born in 1930 in New York City, Theodore Walter "Sonny" Rollins has long been a fixture on the jazz scene, and he has been no stranger to the San Francisco Jazz Festival. Sonny appeared most recently in October, 2006 at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco. At the event, Milestone and Fantasy record producer Orrin Keepnews introduces him to the audience. Keepnews tells us how he had first met Rollins at the recording session for Thelonious Monk’s classic recording "Brilliant Corners."

Wearing purple flowing robes, Baaba Maal takes the stage at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco. Seated, he sings while accompanying himself on his six-string acoustic guitar. To his right sits his longtime accompanist and backup singer blind griot Mansour Seck, who - with his shaved head and orange flowing gown - resembles an elderly monk. Another backup singer, a female, sits to his left; she takes part of the lead in the second song which contains one English word: "San Francisco." The lo
The stage is set at San Francisco’s Herbst Theater for a rare appearance by Randy Weston and the Gnawa musicians of Morocco. On one side of the stage is Randy’s black grand piano. Behind it is a set of congas and percussion instruments. And to the right is an enormous Middle Eastern carpet laid atop a raised stand.

The occasion is a rare appearance by Randy Weston and musicians from Gnawa. The musicians ancestors were brought from West Africa - the name "Gnawa" being a corruption of "Ghan

The acoustics at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral are superb. Constructed in 1928, Grace, the nation’s largest Episcopalian cathedral, was was finished only in 1964. Flags of many countries adorn the ceiling, and some of its gold-leaf paintings, when viewed from a distance, would not be out of place in a Buddhist temple. Solo jazz concerts at Grace are something of a tradition. Mavis Staples has performed here, and duos such as saxophonist Harold Lloyd with tabla percussionist Zakir Hussai

Henry Threadgill - clad in a long, caftan-style thin-red striped shirt which hangs down to his knees - brings his flute and alto sax to stage center at the Palace of San Francisco’s Fine Arts. To his rear, drummer Elliott Humberto Kavee sits in front of his drumkit. Acoustic guitarist Liberty Ellman, on acoustic guitar, is to Kavee’s right. Jose Davila, seated to Threadgill’s left with tuba in hand, is barely visible behind his music stand. Cellist Rubin Kodhell and cello/trombonist Dana

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