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Concert Reviews (826)

Nothing beats experiencing live jazz music as its being created right in front of you.  Stop here for reviews of your favorite jazz artists live and in concert.

Like a picture pulled from a photo album, guitarist Pat Metheny looked the same as he did in 1977 the last time he appeared at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in downtown Poughkeepsie. He still wears his hair long and he still dresses in casual attire faded jeans, knit top and sneakers. Pianist Brad Mehldau had a more scholarly look, sporting a corduroy jacket, as both artists walked onto the Bardavon stage before a sold-out Tuesday night audience. They’ve been touring for almost a month, presenti
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
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
The Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith Blues Band played Toronto’s Silver Dollar Room, Saturday, March 3, 2007, and filled this excellent blues venue with some of the finest Chicago blues around. Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith, is a much-revered and appreciated bluesman, who was the one and only Muddy Waters’ drummer for over 20 years, (replacing renowned Waters Band drummer
Jazz does have a sense of humor. Pianist Horace Silver has proven that throughout his career with titles like "Doodlin’", "Filthy McNasty", "Finger Poppin’", "The Sophisticated Hippie", "Funky Bunky", and "Rockin’ with Rachmaninoff". Fellow pianist Toru Dodo may not have such colorfully named tunes on his new release Dodo 3 (Jazzcity Spirit Productions, Inc.), but his charming wit brought about laughter from the crowd at Sunday’s Jazz Brunch at The Blue Note Jazz Club. Accompanied by Y
Johnny Winter never fails to please! This icon of all that is good in blues and rock ‘n’ roll guitar playing whether it be scorching rhythms, outstanding melodic leads, or slithery slide was all here to savour and enjoy by this packed house of Johnny Winter fans at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, here in Toronto, Ontario, on Monday, March 26, 2007. This writer’s personal experience, attending Johnny Winter concerts, goes way back ..
As another event to compensate for the postponement of this year's East Coast Jazz Festival, the Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Fund (FMJS) organized a President's Day open house in co-operation with the Music Center at Strathmore ( A fine arts complex and concert facility located one-half mile outside the Capital Beltway in North Bethesda, Maryland, Strathmore "provides affordable, accessible, multi-disciplinary arts programming in the Mansion at
Percussionist Andrea Centazzo co-founded Ictus Records in 1976. Somewhere amidst his passion for the music and the fickle and indifferent attitudes of listeners, Ictus Records disappeared almost a decade later. But passions can burn for a long time. Though he was not producing recordings for his label, he was producing music - scoring film soundtracks in Los Angeles for eight years until passion brought him back to New York last year for performances at, most notably, Tonic and the Rubin Museum
Dr. Sais Kamalidiin, Assistant Professor of Flute at Howard University and director of the Flutes of Howard University continues to present his ensemble, with a guest artist, in his annual Flute Fete. Since 2001, the event has featured: Yusef Lateef, Sherry Winston, Frank Wess, David "Fathead" Newman, Dave Valentin, and Harold Jones. This year's Fête was rather special, as the guest artist was celebrating a return to performance after a lengthy lay-off. James Newton remains slig
Having already presented McCoy Tyner's sextet and the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the 2006/7 jazz concert series at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performance Center has focused on a balance between composition and instrumental performance. The Stefon Harris ensemble which appeared February 11th exemplified that balance as well as anyone could. Harris presented sections from recent commissions and his most recent CD, African Tarantella: Dances With Duke. Working with his
The jazz program has been especially rich at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this season. As befits a national institution, the center aims to honor jazz masters while also supporting younger musicians and new music. A case in point is the flurry of visitors during the last month. February 9th, for example, saw bassist/composer Dave Holland bring his new sextet to the Terrace Theater. This ensemble is a mixture of old and new for Holland, with Robin Eubanks a holdover
Good music brings out good people. Even multi-instrumentalist Howard Johnson had to comment on the attentiveness of the standing-room only audience in the small campus dining area. Some had cozied up to warm beverages and evening meals while others caught up on their text messages. Those in the throes of studying in the outside lobby drifted in once the music began to percolate. Johnson fronted a quartet for two sets (the first of which is reviewed here) as part of the Thursday Night Coffeeho
I recently had the good fortune of being able to review Ernest Dawkins' New Horizons Ensemble DVD, The Messenger, which features the prodigious trumpeter, Maurice Brown. This young musician left such an indelible impression that I immediately resolved to get out and see him perform live if I ever had the chance. Downbeat Magazine has referred to Brown as "one of the most exciting young trumpeters in jazz-be it New Orleans
Of all the jazz related events coming through the greater Houston metropolitan area, the launch of the All Star Smooth Jazz Cruise stands at the top of the list of must do and see events. Tantamount to the cruise, is the pre-launch concert held the night before at Moody Gardens Convention Center in Galveston, Texas. Billed as the most amazing array of smooth jazz entertainment ever experienced on one stage, the concert is fast becoming the highlight of the ye
Great jazz was seen and heard this last President’s Weekend at the 7th annual Newport Beach Jazz Party before sell-out crowds. As well, since these four-day events began, the music seemed better than ever this year. Thursday night through Sunday night, there were performances virtually every hour of the day breakfast jazz brunches, afternoon Pool Stage sessions and, of course, evening concerts in the Grand Pacific Ballroom And, if that were not enough for afficionados to get their fill, every
The Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Fund (FMJS) is a non-profit organization that was created in memory of Elmore "Fish" Middleton to continue his vision of the perpetuation of jazz and supporting emerging jazz artists. Its major event is the annual East Coast Jazz Festival that I have reported on in previous years ( This year's event has had to be postponed, however, due to construction at the Doubletree (soon to be Hilton) hotel in Rockvill
One of the most dynamic saxophonists in jazz blew through Houston on February 11th with a concert that was thought to be a highly evolved presentation of funk. Anyone with any conceivable knowledge of Boney James will recognize him as the ultimate funkateer; however, he also manages the versatility to exhibit a high degree of sensitivity as well. Riding high on his latest CD entitled ‘Shine’ recorded on the Concord Record Label, Boney electrified the stages of Houston’s Veriz
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
How many can say that they have heard great music, met a guitar legend’s family, met some of jazz’s royalty, and seen one of the greatest sax players of all time perform an entire show with his fly down, all in one night? Well, last night, the crowd of folks who were lucky enough to be at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, Arizona can. The affair saw a sparse crowd because of the local PGA tour extravaganza in town, but it made it incredibly intimate for those of u
When an individual has the opportunity to hear one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time perform, accompanied by three no-less notable musical peers, it is truly a magnificent occasion. On a brisk December evening, the excitement in the air was tangible, as an eclectic crowd consisting of multi-generational jazz aficionados and music fans alike converged at the famed and intimate jazz club Yoshi’s in Oakland, California. Minutes before the first set started, I took my seat at table forty-sev