San Jose, Calif., -- Enter Music Publishing, publishers of hip, drum/percussion magazines worldwide and online, proved for a second straight year that the company can produce highly successful benefits. DRUM! Night, a benefit in which all of the proceeds were donated to Lincoln High’s music program, was a tremendous success. Held in conjunction with the San Jose Jazz Festival, DRUM! Night sold out and was highlighted by a diverse drum lineup of respected drummers and percussionists. But this was no ordinary festival concert. Rather, DRUM! Night resulted in a six hour-drummer’s event of concert, clinics, lessons, and sideshows.
East meets West with an enlivening and entertaining form factor, thanks to Palestinian pianist and buzuq performer Tareq Abboushi. In effect, the New York-based quintet diminishes the mystery and places more emphasis on intrigue. It's a union that combines Middle Eastern traditional music with various forms of Western modalities.
Dave Flippo's FLIPPOMUSIC explores the role of "musical shamans" as they present "Tao Tunes", a musical jazz setting of the ancient Chinese text Tao Te Ching. The original music by Flippo explores over 10 different musical styles and presents some extensive arrangements. Guest Artists: Larry Gray-cello, Neal Alger-guitar, Hamid Drake-percussion.
2011 Tanglewood Labor Day Weekend Jazz Festival, September 2-4
Judy Carmichael's Jazz Inspired with actress Blythe Danner and special guests from the worlds of Jazz, Broadway, and Hollywood to take place September 3 at 2pm
Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves, and Lizz Wright Featured in Sing the Truth with all-star band Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, James Genus, Munyungo Jackson, and Romero Lubambo on September 4 at 8pm
A Latin Jazz Tribute to Cachao with Federico Britos Sextet and John Santos Sextet to take place September 3 at 8pm
Coast to Coast Septet featuring NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Cobb with vocalist Mary Stalings and the Mingues Orchestra with conductor NEA Jazz Master Gunther Schuller to Perform September 4, at 2pm
Festival Opens with Ulysses Quartet (6:30 pm) and the Robin McKelle Quartet and Michael Kaeshammer Sextet (8pm) on September 2
2011 NEA Jazz Masters Life award provides additional Festival Activities including Interviews with Jimmy Cobb and Gunther Schuller (9/3. At 4:15pm), Screening of Charles Mingus "Epitaph" (9/3, at 4:15pm), and Master Class with Jimmy Cobb and Coast to Coast Septet (9/4, at 12:30pm)
Taking place in conjunction with the annual Labor Day Weekend Jazz Festival, the Wine and Food Classic returns to Tanglewood September 1-4
The Toronto Jazz Festival may have moved back to its original location in Toronto's theatre district but it did not feature a very strong line up of jazz. Following along with most of the major jazz festivals the organizers attempted to attract a more varied audience by appealing to a wide array of musical tastes. The opening act on day 1, June 24th - Aretha Franklin, a public favorite, The Queen of Soul gave a free concert that shut down one of Toronto's main streets - King St., adjacent to the Metro Square.
A great show by Angelique and Youssou at Oakland's Paramount Theater
San Jose, Calif., — Mike Portnoy, considered one of the most powerful players in the world, has garnered his first “Drummer” Of The Year” award in Enter Music Publishing’s 16th Annual Drummies reader’s poll awards. Definitely a dream come true for Portnoy, he also took “Best Metal Drummer” and came in second place in the “Progressive Drummer” category. Addditionally, Stanton Moore won "Best Funk Drummer" for a second straight time.
Monika Herzig is a supremely talented jazz pianist/composer/arranger who was born in a small village in Germany. Upon obtaining the chance to come to the United States on a student exchange program, she seized the opportunity to further her jazz studies and now has merited a prestigious position teaching music at Indiana University. Her new enchanting CD is titled Come With Me, and includes a DVD which features several live performances and penetrating background information and interviews with both herself and fellow musicians. The CD exhibits a profound harmonic density with the music manifesting itself on many levels; much like the multiple layers of skin on an onion.
A group of Berklee College of Music students and alumni, and Newton North and Needham, MA, High School students are using the summer break as an educational opportunity. The students will participate in a cultural exchange program in Kenya (June 25—July 15) through local organization Global Youth Groove (GYG), whose mission is to transform the lives of youth through music, where they will teach, perform, study Swahili, learn about traditional Kenyan music, instruments and dance, and be immersed in Kenyan culture. The program is spearheaded by Berklee staff member Sam Lutomia, co-founder of GYG and co-founder of Acacia in Kenya, a fundraising effort that provides support for girls education.
The GYG group will spend two weeks in Kakamega, Western Kenya, teaching music and giving workshops at the Matende Secondary School, founded by Lutomia's father Francis. They plan to bring a full ensemble setup—including donated guitars, bass, violin, alto saxophone, clarinets, drums, and keyboards—on which the students will teach and perform. The students will also give presentations in their fields of expertise. Berklee film scoring major Dave Chapman's demonstration of music production software using desktop gear will give people without access to recording studios the tools to self-produce on computers.
Making technology more accessible, the group will bring eight MacBook Pros, donated by the college's IT department, loaded with GarageBand and ProTools. At the end of the trip, the laptops and instruments will be given to a community center in Kakamega, allowing talented local youth to continue developing their skills. Lutomia explains, “Unfortunately, we can't leave the laptops at Matende School because of security. The school is still struggling to buy windows and doors for their classes, which is the case for most public schools in Kenya."
They also plan to visit other schools and orphanages in the area and will perform at the Kenya Schools and Colleges National Music Festival in Kakamega, June 29-July 2.
GYG includes students from Kenya returning home for the trip, and students from the US making their first trip to Africa. “I am really excited because students from Berklee and local high schools get to come to my country and have a little taste of my culture," says Nairobi native Wambura Mitaru, who studies at Berklee on a full Africa Scholarship. “It allows me to share a part of my life that is close to me—my home. I hope to learn from both worlds and see musicians interacting and having a great time speaking the universal language of music."
The group will also spend time in Nairobi meeting with Berklee alumni and other musicians, giving workshops, and performing in concert. After returning, the students will give a public presentation in Boston where they will perform, speak about their experiences, and show a documentary produced from the trip.
In the music press, much (perhaps too much) has been made of the need for American jazz musicians to preserve traditional jazz sounds. Never mind that the truest tradition of jazz is one of constant change and rebirth, many use this historical preservation imperative as an excuse to simply regurgitate the past over and over until the listening public is inundated with CDs titled 'So-And-So Plays The Standards.' In fact, what jazz really needs to remain relevant in the 21st Century is original compositions, and a deeper, cross-cutting understanding of the myriad ways that contemporary musical styles relate to jazz and blues. Bay-Area saxophonist and composer Howard Wiley accomplishes this and then some on "12 Gates To The City," where he explores musical traditions – both past and present - with a suite of extended, poly-stylistic compositions that draw inspiration from myriad facets of the vast African American artistic legacy.