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Concert Reviews (849)

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.

Let’s remember that the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra does for big band jazz what the Preservation Hall Jazz Band does for Dixieland jazz: preserves it. The difference is that the JLCO dusts off charts from a bygone age, dresses them up in contemporary designer gear, and re-presents them. And like all good jazz, to the keen listener, the original form is still there no matter what the latest development. Wynton Marsalis describes the big jazz band as "the American orchestra", and as such
Age, experience, the sage like qualities of a master musician all translated into a performance of perfection by octogenarian alto player Red Holloway. He set the bar very high for his younger summit attendees at this Toronto Jazz Fest Alto Summit. His younger alto saxophone band mates, Bobby Watson, Donald Harrison and Greg Osby, specialists each and everyone, have amassed a wealth of experience playing with a whose who of musicians. The spokesman of the group, the energy igniter for the eve
They came to see a Cuban Latin Jazz Master, the headliner of the concert and the magnetic draw for a packed house, the great trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, Arturo Sandoval. What they got as added bonus was one of the most dynamic Latin Jazz trios on the planet. Opening for Maestro Sandoval was Toronto’s own, by way of Cuba, the Hilario Duran Trio, made up of Roberto Occhipinti on bass and Mark Kelso playing drums. The trio played at a very high level of excitement with a glorious sound. They
29.01.2011

Jazz Lives!

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The 22nd anniversary of the Toronto Jazz Festival was one for the record books with more venues, more musicians and more aspirations of becoming the very best North American jazz festival. There literally was something for everyone. That seems to be the theme for most festivals these days, but with 50 venues, 350 concerts and an estimated 1,500 performers this event aims to please. The big shows focused on piano, the Grandmasters series, featuring Ahmad Jamal, Michel Legrand and Dave Brubeck. Mi
The cozy confines of the Chrome Showroom located inside the Santa Fe Station Hotel and Casino provided the stage for a stop on the annual summer tour of jazz's premier performers they simply call "Guitars and Saxes". Smooth jazz fans in Las Vegas were treated to a musical feast of supreme sensory satisfaction and non-stop excitement as the lineup this year is equal to the marvelous pairings of past years. Featured were guitarists Jeff Golub and Peter White, saxophonists Gerald Albright and Je
It is easy for a jazz writer to get jaded with the sheer quantity of music he/she is subjected to. Our only hope of salvation is the occasional performance that reaches rare levels of brilliance. So I was especially grateful to hear Luciana Souza and her quartet at the Kennedy Center in May. Everything seemed to just fall perfectly in place for this performance. It was the last night of a tour to promote Souza's new CD The New Bossa Nova, she was due to fly to Brazil the next day to se
The Art of Jazz Celebration is an amazing event. This year, the theme was about a Global Jazz Village and it lived up to the name in spirit, music, musicians and audience participation. The inaugural year, 2006, I considered this a spring jazz festival, and a great one at that. It was much more; it was enlightenment for many, including myself. I felt like I was in jazz heaven that first year, witnessing performances by jazz giants, famous names like Hank Jones, Kenny Barron, John Hand
Return To Forever is more than a novelty act. It's four matured musicians together again after 25 years of development as instrumentalists, as bandleaders, as composers and as producers. It's not the original lineup, but instead the classic lineup that recorded three albums between 1974 and 1976. Guitarist Al DiMeola was only 19 when he linked up with three musicians who were already legends. DiMeola's advancements since 1974 are remarkable and he unquestionably propels Return To Forever to
Starting out on electric piano Hermeto Pascoal the 2008 Art of Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, introduced his music to the audience in layers, as if pulling open the pages of a dynamic novel, the performance opened up to reveal more of the fascinating imagination of this spectacular master multi-instrumentalist performer. In the first song of the evening Pascoal would give the audience a taste of his versatility. Switching from the electric piano to electronic wind synthesizer and add
The Boiler House is an upscale dining establishment in the Historic Distillery District, it is not a great jazz venue for a powerhouse jazz quartet, it’s better than being outside in the rain, but not by much. The room has a very good lay out for a dining establishment with nice private booths and a 2nd floor balcony for intimate dining. The non-obstructed seating amounts to about forty seats, the obstructed view seating, about one hundred seats. People were in the aisles; they were peaking arou
What a mix of spirit, a joy of life, the gift of humour and a soul that swings. That is Sheila Jordan and she performed an afternoon show that was a delight, with her a wonderful accompanist, Steve Kuhn who also took to the daylight for one incredible set of touching piano reminisces, that was emotionally charged. The songs that Sheila Jordan sang were put out in wonderful fashion with a bebop style, songs with beautiful melodies, "Gentle Thoughts", "Lucky To Be Me" and songs with melancholy
Randy Weston and Billy Harper - Duo Series Randy Weston took to the stage and seemed all about business, he announced the evening’s performance would be dedicated to the blues. He proceeded to hammer out powerful chords that resonated wildly in the dim and dark cavernous Fermenting Cellar of the Historic Distillery District. Billy Harper came on equally as strong with a muscular tenor tone, stirring the soul and captivating the listener with his intensity. The first blues tune was a tradition
One of the most exciting concerts to have ever come to the Verizon Wireless Theater hit the stage with an incredible array of talent on Saturday night. The most enduring aspect of the event was the overall mystique surrounding the group who performed. After a 25-year hiatus, four of the finest musicians ever known mesmerized their audience as a style of music known as fusion jazz made a Return to Forever. During the 1970s and beyond, this group was one of the driving forces behind
"The communal experience of playing live - that's why I became a musician in the first place," "It's exciting and liberating. It never gets old for me." ~ Boney James The soulful, seductively silky-smooth sax stylings of Boney James were on display Saturday May 3rd inside the sold-out, extremely intimate setting of the Railhead Showroom located in Las Vegas's Boulder Station Casino. The twice Grammy nominated, Soul Train Award winning, numerous Smooth Jazz Awards and NAACP Image Award
Over the weekend of May 23 and 24, 2008. Over 22,000 people traveled from around Europe to attend the third Hague Jazz festival, held in the World Forum. This festival has replaced the world famous North Sea Jazz Festival, which has now moved onto Rotterdam. The Hague has been and always will be the number one for Jazz in Holland and as they lost the North Sea festival, three years ago the Hague Jazz was born. It was popular and almost sold out in its first year. Two years later an eclectic m
Famed blues guitarist Buddy Guy made his annual concert appearance at Massey Hall in Toronto, Saturday night, April 5, 2008. Buddy’s rhythm section has been part of his band for several years now. All are seasoned pros from the Chicago blues scene. On 2nd lead and rhythm guitar is Ric ‘Jaz Guitar’ Hall, with Orlando Wright on electric bass, Tim Austin
As our capital city, Washington D.C. is home to many events of national importance. This applies to the arts generally -- Washington is home to the National Symphony, the National Theater, The National Gallery, etc -- and is also reflected in the jazz world. A recent flurry of activity saw several jazz masters visiting the area. April is Jazz Month at the Smithsonian Institution, resulting in a full program of concerts, lectures and symposia, taking place at the Kennedy Center, The
29.01.2011

Children of Song

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The junior jazzers turned out in full force for Jumpin’ at Roy’s a performance at Roy Thompson Hall this past Thursday backing up Jon Hendricks, the master of jazz vocalese. They were also all for helping out The Art of Jazz quintet. The young 240 member group proceeded to serenade an eager audience, whom for the most part, looked to be friends and relatives of these young crooners. The Art of Jazz Community Voices are nearly seasoned pros now, as this is their second big show staged in Toron
In the latter half of 2007, one of Houston’s most revered venues re-opened its doors once again. Considered by many to be the city’s best entertainment location for live performances, the H Town Arena Theater closed its doors approximately 4 years ago after 30-plus years of presenting quality attractions. When walking the hallway of the Arena, there are numerous pictures of luminaries on the walls that have graced the stage of the Arena. The list reads like a \"Who’s Who of Entertainmen In the latter half of 2007, one of Houston’s most revered venues re-opened its doors once again. Considered…
Visitors to London interested in hearing good jazz are greeted by a rich and diverse scene. There are, as in the US, too many good musicians chasing too few gigs, but while this may be bad for musicians it provides many good choices for jazz fans. Tourists tend to gravitate towards Ronnie Scott's club (www.ronniescotts.co.uk) and Pizza Express (www.pizzaexpresslive.co.uk) in the West End. While these are fine venues, Ronnie's has become rather corporate since Scott's