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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.

The T. S. Monk Sextet is making its first-ever San Francisco appearance at the Great American Music Hall. Its bandleader, the ebullient and loquacious drummer T. S. Monk, is the son of legendary pianist Thelonious Monk who would have been ninety years old this year. He last performed the previous year, together with pianist Jason Moran, in a tribute to his father's appearance at Town Hall. This time around, he's appearing at a more intimate venue and with his band, many of whose membe
One of jazz’s most enduring artists is guitarist Pat Metheny. In the minds of some, he is one of the genre’s premier musicians. As a fusion practitioner, Metheny has been on the cutting edge of his craft for more than 30 years. Since 1975, he has recorded and collaborated on more than 45 albums. In addition, he has toured hundreds of cities throughout the world and has garnered an immense following for himself. His latest CD entitled ‘Day Trip’ is yet another journey into sound, on
Miami Gardens, Florida came alive for the third year in a row when the City welcomed an average of ten thousand patrons for the two-day festival Jazz In The Garden. Jazz In The Garden is not just a concert, over the past three years it has vastly become a major stop for old school and new school artists and fans. This two day event took place on March 15 16, 2008 at the Dolphins Stadium grounds. Unlike the Miami Dolphins, Jazz In The Garden was definitely a winner. The
There was an all-star musical tribute to the one and only John Lennon Beatle/painter/music icon, at Jeff Healey’s Roadhouse in Toronto on Sunday, December 9, 2007. This is the second great Lennon Tribute show this writer has attended, hosted by all-time Beatle fan and rock/blues artist extraordinaire Greg Godovitz (Goddo/ex-Ronnie Hawkins). This show also featured Godovitz's Rock Talk
29.01.2011

Wilson Heats Up S.F.

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Cassandra Wilson stood on stage and confessed that she wanted to sing in one place for a year. The audience answered by making the case for San Francisco to be just the spot to realize that wish. The acclaimed singer had the crowd from her opening tune, "Caravan." Known for her adventurous repertoire, Wilson performed a stellar, although short, set that stretched from jazz standards to an old blues number. The show was part of Wilson’s six-night run at the splashy new Yoshi’s in San Franci
There is something fresh and exciting about the Tierney Sutton band and it is captured on their new recording On The Other Side a Telarc release for 2007 and one of my favorites of the year. I jumped at the chance to come out and see the band at one of the most intimate nightclubs in Toronto, The Old Mill Inn. The show, put on by the TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival and coinciding with the International Association of Jazz Educators, IAJE conference that took place in Toronto, Jan
29.01.2011

Fish Out of Water

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Influenced by the sound of Benny Goodman and the Stray Cats, the Neo-Swing Jazz style of The Rock and Rule Swing Band is a fusion of big band swing, rockabilly, and even SKA. They appeared like fish out of water at this years annual San Pedro Country Music Festival in San Pedro Argentina and stole the show. The high energy eight piece band electrified the crowd; many of whom appeared to have never heard this style of music before. Smoke was continually sweeping across the stage in an ebb and tid
29.01.2011

Poncho Sanchez

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His new CD is titled Raise Your Hand, and the members of the audience at Demitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle Washington did just that on Friday, December 28th, as they were feeling the Latin vibes of percussionist Poncho Sanchez and his band. Although Jazz Alley does not have a dance floor, that did not stop the crowd from getting up and doing the mambo, salsa and cha cha in the aisles. The evening was an experience that those in attendance will not soon forget, as Sanchez kicked off his
29.01.2011

Michael Kaeshammer

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From the moment that Michael Kaeshammer took to the stage at the Center in Vancouver for the Performing Arts, on the evening of December 13th, you knew this was going to be a fun and entertaining evening, filled with great music. Kaeshammer possesses uncanny stage presence, an abundance of charisma-oh and did we happen to mention that he is a superb pianist, with great jazz vocals. The grand piano was turned at an angle giving his audience a clear view of Kaeshammer, as his fingers da
The cheers go up on recognition of the first song of the concert, "Don’t Be That Way" a huge sound fills the concert hall, with a gorgeous clarinet tone leading the way and sounding as sweet as can be. The orchestra is playing with passion, layer upon layer of fine silky like tones radiate out towards the smiling faces. A typical big band, a full sound that can’t go wrong? This big band is different, you have your trumpet section, your trombones, but add to that a twenty plus member string secti
29.01.2011

Sophie Milman

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From the moment that Sophie Milman hit the stage at the Center in Vancouver for the Performing Arts, on Canada’s west coast, December 13th, you knew she was into her music. As she started to sing the first few lines of "Spring Fever," her body swayed to the music. Earlier this fall, Milman received high marks from New York City critics after her performances at the Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, one of North America’s premier jazz venues. Vancouver was the last stop on her western Cana
While many regard New York as the jazz capital of the US, few people would think of Flushing Town Hall as part of that picture. Yet through a program developed in co-operation with the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts--a member of the Cultural Institution Group of New York City and an Affiliate Member of the Smithsonian Institution--the team at the town hall presents an array of arts and educational programs at the facility every year that includes some high quality jazz presentations. T
Subtitled "The Once and Future Life of Billie Holiday," a concept of vocalist Nnenna Freelon in collaboration with choreographer, Dancer Ronald K. Brown and his Evidence Dance Company at the Saturday night November 10th, 2007 opening event Jonelle Procope, President of the Apollo Foundation announced this to be "the first Art & Soul presentation of The Apollo Performing Arts Series." The Apollo Theater event was preceded by a Friday evening"Collaborative Spirit" interview moderated by NJP
Some years back, I turned on KUSF, the San Francisco iconoclastic radio station located at the University of San Francisco, to find myself in the middle of an interview with pianist Matthew Shipp. I was so struck by what he said that I went down to Bruno’s, a bar and restaurant on Mission Street which was programming inventive jazz at the time, and checked him out. Ever since then, I’ve been a fan of his challenging music. So I was delighted to see that he would be coming in the
Long recognized as one of the premiere bass players of his era, Harvie S is also an accomplished composer. His most recent release on the Zoho label, Funky Cha, is testament to his prowess in this regard. However, his most recent live performance at the magnificent Kitano Hotel featured brand new material composed over the previous year. After opening the set with a rumba- infused Rhythm-a-ning, Harvie and his group shared six fresh compositions with a captive audience. Their take on the Monk
29.01.2011

A Jazz Hot Venue

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Saxophonist Ernest Dawkins in town from Chicago along with his New Horizons Ensemble for two engagements at the Trane Studio, as part of the clubs ongoing artistic extravaganza, Afrikan Millennium & Cultural Arts Fest (Oct 1, to Dec 31, '07) put on a performance of high art. The New Horizons Ensemble consisting of Ernest Dawkins, alto and tenor saxophone, Steve Berry, trombone, Darius Savage, acoustic bass, Isaiah Spencer, drums; and the newest member, (all of twenty years old) trumpeter Mar
29.01.2011

Drums Live III

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The stage is set; drums align the stage - stretching from stage right to stage left, colorful, glowing, large sets with glistening chrome hardware, varying size cymbals of all manner of design and lots of percussion accoutrements. At the front of the stage a hi-hat, a snare and a bass drum are set up, spaced evenly apart with a drum stool stationed behind each instrument. The stars of the evening take a seat, not at the impressive full size, mammoth sets, Mark Kelso takes the drum throne behind
Thinking outside the box when the subject of jazz is discussed has become increasingly difficult during the last 20 years, especially so when examining the genre as an American art form. What has transpired in that amount of time has been a transitory attitude having little if any historical significance. In Houston, Texas, Da Camera of Houston an arts organization goes to great lengths to insure that jazz is highlighted as a form of artistic impressionism. For more than fourteen years
A major milestone has been achieved by KHJZ 95.7 "The Wave" in Houston, Texas. The radio station celebrated five successful years of smooth jazz programming with a concert entitled "Wave Day 5" featuring Fourplay, Boney James, Roberta Flack, Michael McDonald and Houston’s own saxophonist Dean James. In that amount of time, KHJZ has annually celebrated their success with a multi-faceted array of stellar musicians in a live setting
Only in Nellie McKay's world does Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In" become a song about illegal immigration. "Give me land, lots of land under starry skies above," she sang, gently strumming a ukulele. "Don't fence me in." That's McKay in a nutshell. She's an uncommon blend of bite and sentiment. She's both wise and a wiseass. The young pop-jazz singer performed at San Francisco’s The Independent on the heels of the release of her fine third CD, Obligatory Villager