Cheryl Hughey

Cheryl Hughey

The New York style jazz clubs of yesteryear often hold a sweet, nostalgic memory in the hearts of fans. We envision a dark place filled with swirling smoke and mysterious strangers chattering against a backdrop of bebop.  Although modern life has altered the landscape of the music and the city, the mystique of these historical venues remains.

With the decline of the contemporary jazz market in the US, you’d expect that recording artists would feel the pressure to follow prescribed trends. After all, part of the survival game has always involved releasing formulated “radio friendly” material.  However, there have always been a few brave visionaries who prefer to define the rules of the game. Welcome to the world of Acoustic Alchemy, who have just released their 18th CD, Roseland.

Have you ever dreamed of vacationing with your favorite jazz artists? From The Jazz Cruise to the Catalina Island Jazz festival, a jazz-themed vacation can be an enjoyable experience.

Whether you are attending a locally-based concert or a large national production, festivals play an important role in our jazz community. Although often not as intimate as a jazz club, they provide a place for both musician and the listener to come together as one.

The Jazz Review asked funk saxophonist Donn Bynum to share with us his favorite portable listening device.  For fans of Motown, Bynum has toured with mega names to include the Commodores, Bootsy Collins and Brothers Johnson.  From vinyl to digital, Bynum has witnessed the changing face of music today.

The trumpet can be a beautiful instrument that carries both soul and power.  Finding the right teacher for trumpet lessons will have a significant influence on a young musician’s future.  We asked several professional trumpet players for their advice.

Heather Ramsey, vocalist and CEO of The Midwest School of Voice, honored to be releasing her second CD with "Peace Like a River." Her soulful vocal style and poignant interpretations of holiday classics are a reflection of her diverse influences in music. Renowned pianist, arranger, composer and author Dr. Monika Herzig adds her unique spin to these festive tunes to showcase Ramsey's ability to sing many styles.

Keyboardist Alan Hewitt will be performing with The Moody Blues on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, October 13, 2011 in support of the band’s Precious Cargo Tour throughout Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The band will be playing one of their many hits on the show.

Alan is the keyboardist for the iconic band and has a long list of credentials of his own. According to Guy Arnston from the Illinois Entertainer in a review of Hewitt’s “Retroactive” CD, “Hewitt has crafted an award-winning L.A.-based career playing for and with bands like Earth Wind and Fire, Warrant and currently The Moody Blues.”

Do you enjoy rocking out to the radio and can't stop tapping to the beat? If you've ever thought about learning to play the drums, we're here to help. The Jazz Review asked the pros for a bit of advice on how to find the right instructor to get you started with drum lessons. "Having a good drum set teacher is a great thing. He or she can open your musical eyes to hitherto unknown sonic horizons and should be able to help you achieve your musical goals more quickly and efficiently," said Philip May, a 30-year teaching veteran (Greenwood Drum Studio - Sudbury, Ontario, Canada)

From Ella Fitzgerald to Nat King Cole, vocalists have played an important role in jazz history. With just a few notes, they can make us cry or rejoice. The lyrics they sing reflect the human experience in a way no other jazz instrument can. It may seem odd that we refer to the voice as a jazz instrument. However, it is an exact interpretation that reflects the highly trained and specialized field of vocal studies. Just like any other instrumentalist, a jazz singer must become a master of her craft and learn how to properly utilize the gift which has been given.

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