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Jazz Artist Interviews (634)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Karrin Allyson

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Jazz vocalist, musician, arranger and composer, Karrin Allyson (pronounced Cãr in) is one of those artists who can do it all. She can sing sassy, sensually, belt out a standard or coo a romantic love song. When she is not singing at the front of the stage, Allyson approaches the piano with the confident air, expectation, and professionalism that one has come to associate with other jazz greats, such as Diana Krall and Chick Corea. Allyson, who is fluent in French and sings beautifully in Port …
29.01.2011

Chieli Minucci

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Mention Chieli Minucci and Special EFX in jazz circles, and you’ll incite big round smiles from ear to ear on the faces of your audience. The poly-versed guitarist who formed the world fusion group Special EFX with the late drummer George Jinda in the early ‘80s has been keeping busy with composing scores for numerous side projects and touring with his band Special EFX which presently consists of drummer Lionel Cordew, bassist Jerry Brooks, keyboardist Jay Rowe, backup vocalist/percussionist …
29.01.2011

Justin Young

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One listen to Justin Young’s swirling maze of saxophone designs on his debut album On The Way mixed by Paul Brown and you are hooked. He has the fluent skills of Kenny G. and bold diversity that is indicative of Andrew Neu. Every track on the album has its own calling card and chord expressions while maintaining a smooth jazz coda. Young proclaims, "I am a person that likes variety. That's why I play soprano, alto and tenor saxophone because they are different voices! Why just …
29.01.2011

Dwayne Kerr

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Nu-soul singer Erykah Badu says about flutist Dwayne Kerr, "As I watch my friend in amazement, the high tones and the trills become part of me, helping me to grow on stage. I don’t know which is sweeter, his tone or his soul." Who is this man that has made such an impression on Erykah Badu you might be asking yourself? He is actually a very humble person raised in Central Islip, Long Island, family-oriented, and earnestly inspired by passages from the Bible. As a flutist he expresses, …
29.01.2011

Kirk Whalum

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For over 30 years, sax man Kirk Whalum has been in the forefront of the modern era of jazz. During that time, he has earned seven Grammy nominations, recorded numerous number one albums and had a number one smooth jazz hit last year with his version of Luther Vandross' "Give Me The Reason" from his The Babyface Songbook release. Whalum continues to bridge urban music styles with his new release Roundtrip. Roundtrip looks at all areas of Whalum's career, yesterday, today a …
29.01.2011

Richard Elliot

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It had to happen! Hot horns, mellow tunes, master musicians and lots of soul, after years of performing together, trumpeter Rick Braun and sax man, Richard Elliot along with co-producers Jeff Lorber, Rex Rideout and Philippe Saisse have produced a slamming, jamming scorcher, showcasing talents of all the artists, commanding attention of their listeners, thrilling their fans with this summer’s great hit, R n R As he rushed back from a gig in Detroit, Richard Elliot was kind eno …
29.01.2011

Kendra Shank

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Abbey Lincoln once stated "When everything is finished in a world, the people go to look for what the artists leave. It's the only thing that we have really in this world -- is an ability to express ourselves and say, ‘I was here.’" Today, through the words, mind and soul of Abbey Lincoln, comes those same feelings from vocalist/philosopher/educator, and hopefully soon to be composer, Kendra Shank. Kendra Shank is here with all the passion and insight of a most seasoned classic jazz p …
29.01.2011

Alan Hewitt

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The All-Star Cruise is setting sail once again on Monday, January 21, 2008 from Port San Diego, California on the ship Carnival Elation, hosted by the Haven Entertainment. On board the cruise is platinum award winning pianist/composer/producer Alan Hewitt, which features three days of pre-cruise shows held at the Town And Country Resort in San Diego on Friday, January 18th, Saturday, January 19th and Sunday January 20th. The shows bring together some of R&B, soul, and adult contempora …
29.01.2011

Tom McDermott

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I recently caught a set with New Orleans traditional jazz pianist Tom McDermott and his jazz trio on August 4 at Gulfstream, a restaurant in uptown New Orleans. The eclectic set included everything from Henri Mancini's "Days of Wine and Roses" done bassa nova-style to Fats Domino's upbeat "I'm Walking." His solid rhythm section included University of New Orleans music graduates Andy Wolf on bass and Cale Pellick on drums, who both admitted the post-Katrina music scene is still reeling a bit. The …
29.01.2011

Three's Company

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When Steve Allee was a young boy, his family would go visit an uncle with an extensive record collection. At some point during the gathering, his uncle would invariably start playing all kinds of music−classical, Dixieland, even Hawaiian. One day, his uncle played "It Ain’t Necessarily So" performed by Miles Davis and arranged by Gil Evans. When it was over, Allee asked, "Would you play that song one more time?" After it was done playing a second time, he still asked, "Could we h …
Jazz musician Najee is known as a legend in the contemporary jazz arena. He has been nominated for two Grammy Awards in his time and his CDs have garnered frequent airplay since he debuted back in 1988. With all these accomplishments Najee still manages to keep a sense of humility which is admirable. He recently released his second jazz CD under the Head's Up label called "Rising Sun", a jam packed musical session that is diverse with everything from Latin-tinged music, to ball …
29.01.2011

Ronny Smith

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Smooth jazz guitarist Ronny Smith dedicated his song "Falling In Love With Jesus" from his recent album Simply Stated to his parents. He professes, "Music affects people in many different ways. I only hope that any music I perform, play, or write will have a positive affect with the G-rating. Indeed his album Simply Stated has a smooth jazz G-rating, perfect for spreading good vibes and a gentle mood across the room. These positive feelings were a staple of his upbringin …
29.01.2011

Claire Martin

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Claire Martin, ‘UK’s best jazz vocalist,’ made her debut at The Oak Room of the legendary Algonquin Hotel, on New York’s West Forty Forth Street this summer. Coinciding with the release of her twelfth album, He Never Mentioned Love, a tribute to the late, great Shirley Horn. We spoke with Claire on her return to the UK about The Algonquin, her musical friends and returning home again to the sea. Claire Martin’s Algonquin debut had been a long time in …
29.01.2011

Rocco Ventrella

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Bari, Italy’s renown saxophonist Rocco Ventrella says that he wants to move to Los Angeles, California after having fallen in love with its ambience while recording his latest album Give Me The Groove in Hollywood. The smooth jazz maker, and aficionado, found America to be very welcoming towards his music, and in return, American jazz has stimulated his creative urges. His debut disc Tribute To Grover Washington, Jr. is a testament to his love of American jazz. …
Donning a blue wig and performing a whacky improvisation of a very senior citizen awaiting her boyfriend’s arrival, the absolutely comedic woman on the youtube video is obviously blessed with talent. Miss MacKenzie’s performance was repeated, in part, last Valentine’s Day as she delighted the patrons of New York City’s Cornelius Street Café. This time, she had an accomplice in a jazz artist by the name of Dave Devoe. Miss MacKenzie’s is the alter ego of the very talented and equally beautif …
It’s a warm, summer, Friday afternoon, the first Friday after the Fourth of July holiday, and I am a bit nervous as I enter into the condo complex in Dobb’s Ferry where I am about to conduct an interview with the jazz pianist Steve Kuhn. It’s my first interview and I am wondering how the hell I ever I came to this place. Doing an interview with a prominent musician was something I didn’t take lightly. Being a fan, I sometimes feel somewhat in awe of those who can so easily produce the …
29.01.2011

Dave Frank

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Avant-garde jazz pianist Dave Franks’ humor can sometimes be as surreal as the paintings of Salvador Dali, whose paintings served as the inspiration behind the song "Salvador Dali in a State of Grace." Frank will joke about where Dali might be now or about playing a private concert for Picasso. He talks about his own music using descriptive metaphors. "Salvador Dali was one of the proponents of the surreal avant-garde painting movement, taking traditional images and reinvent …
From Burghausen Jazz Festival in Germany to a New Year’s Bash in Morocco for King Hassan, and back in the United States at many of the finest settings, composer, pianist, all-around nice guy, Lafayette Harris, Jr., has enjoyed it all, including a coaching position for youngsters in Japan. Harris was also the music director and conductor for "Cab Calloway’s Legacy of Swing Tour" in a ten-week tour of the United States. With all that experience and stardom, Harris has earned a station in …
29.01.2011

Jerry Granelli

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Drummer Jerry Granelli was an active member of the psychedelic music that was being fostered in the San Francisco Bay area during the ‘60s. He considers himself a "pre-hippie," coming into fashion before the members of The Grateful Dead and The Mamas and The Papas. And though it seems like a world away from his current album The Sonic Temple with his present band V16, the mentality of a hippie of not knowing where you are going, but taking pleasure in do …
29.01.2011

Jane Stuart

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"My mother took me to a Broadway show when I was about seven years old. I remember very vividly the moment I looked at the performance that I could do that! I can and will do it. That was the start." From the Moser Starlights stage at age five, to her off Broadway performance of "Curley McDimple," the stage has been home to Jane Stuart. Jane cherished the theatre, but there was still a vacancy inside, a need that burned daily with desire. Jane knew what the fire was stoked by; it was the heat …