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Jazz Artist Interviews (634)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

With a lung capacity as mighty as the woolly-mammoth, saxophonist Virginia Mayhew shows that life is unpredictable, but always worth the challenges. Her battle with breast cancer put a halt to her recordings in 2005, although she released Sandan Shuffle in 2006 with her quartet. She tells, "I actually recorded Sandan Shuffle right before I discovered I had breast cancer. I did a short tour, then started the chemo." She is back in 2008 not only with a new solo …
29.01.2011

Kem Owens

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Adekemi Owens, known professionally and affectionately to music fans as "Kem," has come a long way from Nashville, Tennessee to his current hometown of Detroit, Michigan. So, one figures that is why this musical genius has written and performed songs that could be considered as Jazz, R&B, Soul or Adult Contemporary. This Detroit native with Nigerian roots has overcome some hurdles in his life, but through perseverance, is living the true American dream of success.
One wonders if Jimi Hendrix had the blues students of today in mind when he said, "Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel." However, when the self-invented wild child of blues, Debbie Davies, hits the stage, it all makes sense! From my first "plug-n-play" of Davies in my studio at a small stick in New England, Davies' manipulation and passion of the strings ignited the station populace. The Duchess of Blues was loose and out of control. Every lick had fever pitch. It was the blu …
29.01.2011

Ana-Isabel Ordonez

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The film documentary A Touch of Noir put together by Dr. Ana-Isabel Ordonez and François Olivieri pays homage to film noir, which is based on the dramatic look portrayed in German Expressionism and cinematography. Ordonez and Olivieri add a new dimensional to its presentation with live improvised music played by avant-garde musicians during the showing of these films in select theaters throughout the USA and Europe. Film noir is a form of filmmaking that accentuates the drama of human …
29.01.2011

Kat Parra

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Sephardic jazz is the voice of the Spanish Jews, whom singer-songwriter Kat Parra has a special bond with as a descendent of this spirited community. This is the music that moves her and inspires her to reach into her soul and find her voice, which resounds stunningly on her latest release Azucar de Amor. The melodies have an ethnic feel which combines influences of Afro-Cuban, Afro-Peruvian, South American folklore, Sephardic music of the Spanish Jews, and some Brazilian standards whi …
Jazz great Sonny Rollins is gearing up for an ambitious touring season which will take him from the West Coast (April 3 at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall and April 5 at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Southern California)then East for appearances at Kennedy Center, April 18, and Morristown, N.J., April 26. In May he will play in Japan, Korea and Singapore. After resting in June, his sextet will travel to France and Italy in July, returning in August to play three U.S. Festivals. Cat …
29.01.2011

Dena DeRose

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Pianist, singer, composer, and arranger, Dena DeRose is a natural when it comes to bringing out jazz music’s warm resonance and emotive punctuations, garnishing classic and modern standards that she plays. She never seems to run out of ideas to put into words and music, and reflects, "Inspiration for writing music comes in many, many forms for me. Whether it be personal experience, listening to other musicians, learning a new musical technique as in a theoretical approach to harmony or rhythm …
Bassist Gerald Veasely has been making strategic moves throughout his career. His newest CD is called Your Move, referring to the game of chess. He says, jazz is known for the fact that it has a lot of improvisation and a lot of thinking on your feet in the moment. There's a multiplicity of moves you can make within a chess game. Certainly on stage or in the studio or rehearsing your music if it's jazz related, they're so many options that you have. That's part of the fun, just figurin …
29.01.2011

Pamela Hines

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As one journey’s down the ivory keys of a piano one stroke at a time, each note is an attitude, however, when harmonies are in union with others they become a relationship soon to develop a story, the author is the musician and the beneficiary is the fan. Simple concept, but not so simple to orchestrate So let me familiarize you with one of jazz’s grand ivory authors Ms. Pamela Hines! From the cunningly complex arrangement of "Return" to the ever-evolving emotions of "Very" this unclas …
29.01.2011

Taeko Fukao

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Taeko Fukao, a name widely known now, but in the very near future, artiste Taeko the talent, will be synonymous with harmonic ingenuity and inventive musicality. Taeko has unearthed emotional jazz both in performance and concept. Talents are hidden beneath this Japanese born musical philosopher with a range that is refreshingly crisp. Taeko also has a gift of putting fear aside and acting on logic and direction. Asked if she found scatting difficult as many do, Taeko just expressed it as "n …
29.01.2011

Leslie Pintchik

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Pianist/composer Leslie Pintchik’s new CD, Quartets, follows the success of her delectable 2004 debut, So Glad To Be Here. Quartets actually features two different quartets, the core of each being Pintchik’s working trio Pintchik on Piano, Scott Hardy on Bass, and Mark Hodge on drums. Percussionist Satoshi Takeishi and saxophonist Steve Wilson round out the two quartets. We caught up with Leslie recently, and she was happy to discuss her new CD and mor …
When most people think about a harp, they think of music that's heavenly and classical. Lori Andrews has shattered that notion as she has become one of the best jazz harpists around. She says, there's not that many jazz harpists around. Deborah Hensen Conant, who is just extraordinary. There's actually two in Los Angeles, Carol Robbins and Corky Hale, playing jazz and there's a couple around the country. It's becoming more popular, which is good for us because I do believe that at some point …
The cover photo on the album Meow Baby displays a very good-looking, almost impish, young man. That photo comes to life when a rich, deep, mellow and very manly voice comes across the phone line for this interview. With Danny Lerman on an extensive tour for his new album, it is almost natural to begin the interview with: "Good Morning. Do you know where you are?" Lerman quickly comes back with a lighthearted chuckle, setting the tone for an interesting, lively conversation, …
29.01.2011

Aaron Diehl

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Sometimes it's possible to catch a rising musician at the very start of his career before he becomes better known to the general listening public. Such is the case with jazz pianist Aaron Diehl. Diehl is already making a name for himself in New York in joint concerts with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Eric Reed, Marcus Roberts, Wess Anderson and Jonathan Batiste at various clubs, at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem and at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Ironically, Diehl's first CD was pro …
29.01.2011

Yoko Miwa

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Listening to Yoko Miwa play the piano is like listening to the stars that shine at night twinkle at various decibels as they frame the celestial bodies in the evening sky with sound waves of elation and startling beauty. Yoko’s latest album Canopy of Stars, released from Polystar Jazz Library Recordings, is a kaleidoscope of gently twirling notes created by Yoko on piano and her band that consists of Scott Goulding on drums and Massimo Biolcati on bass. Born in Kobe, Japan …
29.01.2011

Diane Schuur

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Jazz vocalist and pianist Diane Schuur delivers one of her most personal albums to date with the release of Some Other Time. The CD is a loving tribute to the music that filled her home when she was a young girl. Made to coincide with the 40th anniversary of her mother’s death, the album is a strong return to Schuur’s jazz roots. The Grammy-award winning singer performs selections by Gershwin, Berlin, and Hammerstein, among others. With her strong, flexible voice, she makes the song …
Libby York was recently told that her voice is like a warm bath. That description suits her just fine. "I love it when people tell me my music is relaxing," she said. York offers a respite from a hectic world. Her latest CD, Here With You, is the vocalist’s third album and a heartfelt offering of 11 standards. Rather than the selection of songs, the album’s strength is the small group of musicians that came to York’s side. "These are people I wanted to work with," she said. The g …
29.01.2011

Marcomé

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In the depths of the creative atmosphere that comforts us musically, a fresh resonance with a spirit so animated and enchanting (that cataloging is an exercise in futility) has emerged. The sound is that of Canadian, Marcome’, (Mar-ko-may), a multi-artistic phenomenon that will, I assure, change the way you perceive composition and performance along your journey through musical exploration. Marcomé first emerged on the scene in 1995 and within a few months, engaged the World Music popu …
29.01.2011

Cynthia Layne

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Maybe something that you have often asked yourself is "What is neo-soul and nu-jazz," buzz words that seem to come up often now-a-days? These are terms that music writers like myself use to describe a new generation of soul and jazz artists, similarly to the way writers back in the mid-’80s called Bobby Brown the voice of new-jack FM radio. Singer/songwriter Cynthia Layne is an R&B/soul artist who believes that artists are not separated by generation gaps, because whether they s …
29.01.2011

Andre Ward

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Saxophonist Andre Ward is an artist who has gone through a lot of hoops to get to where he is today. Going through the school system in Chicago, he got an interest in music, which followed to Boston, where he learned his trade through the education process. However, he learned very quickly that in order to get youself noticed, you have to get attention any way you can. Then once you establish yourself, you can make the giant step to show why you're different than others in your craft. Not mis …