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“What’s music for? Making money? Entertainment? No. Music is a language, one that exists between the land of emotion and the land of intellect. It’s about creating vibration, an energy. Music is for healing and transformation.” - John Medeski
 Sunday, 05 July 2015
Wolverines Big Band Celebrates July 4th in Excelsior E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

Wolverines Big BandİAndrea Canter

It's an old-fashioned 4th of July celebration at Excelsior Commons Park this Saturday, complete with fireworks and a big band. And not just any big band-- this is a rare opportunity to hear the Wolverines Big Band with three of the area's top vocalists-- Maud Hixson, Judy (Donaghy) Vinar and Jason Richards.

2015 Iowa City Jazz Festival: A Feast of Modern Jazz, July 2-4 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

Charles LloydİAndrea Canter

"I've dreamed of having Charles Lloyd play our festival since I became involved many years ago. That dream will be realized in July, 2015." -- Don Thompson, Iowa City Jazz Festival Committee Chair

Celebrating 25 years, the Iowa City Jazz Festival announced its 2015 line-up -- and it's a who's who in modern jazz, featuring internationally renowned headliners Rudresh Mahanthappa, Dave Douglas, Julian Lage, Ben Allison, Ron Miles, and Charles Lloyd. Rising stars abound as well, with Grammy nominated B-3 organist Brian Charette, widely acclaimed vocalist Becca Stevens, New York's KROM, and in multiple supporting roles throughout the festival, drummer Rudy Royston. Held July 2-4 on the famed Pentacrest lawn in the heart of the University of Iowa campus, the festival includes side stages along adjacent Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street (with bands playing between sets on the main stage), Culinary Row, FunZone, Artists Booths, and concessions; the Iowa City public fireworks display will take place following the final Main Stage set Saturday night. And new this year, in place of the late night jam sessions, concerts will be held at the Englert Theater on Friday (Ron Miles) and Saturday (KROM) nights.

Vocalist Tammy McCann and Trio at the Pilsner Room E-mail
Written by Glenn A. Mitchell, LA Jazz Scene   

Tammy McCann and her TrioİGlenn A. Mitchell

Vibrant vocalist Tammy McCann completed her recent West Coast Tour on Saturday evening, June 13, giving a stellar performance at the Pilsner Room in Irvine, CA.  The Pilsner Room is a newer venue trending excellent jazz groups and performers.  It is connected to McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant at the same location.   

Friday Night, Saturday Night: Jazz at The Nicollet and Black Dog, July 3-4 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

Ted OlsenİAndrea Canter

Steve Kenny's Illicit Productions continues to curate two modern jazz series each weekend, Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet and Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog, providing audiences on both ends of the metro with opportunities to hear many of the region's best improvising musicians in intimate spaces. This holiday weekend brings another round of such artistry, with young lions and seasoned veterans:

Fred Hersch returns to the Village Vanguard, 6/30-7/5 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
Fred Hersch İ Andrea Canter

Fred Hersch returns to the Village Vanguard where he was the first artist in the 75-year history of New York's legendary Village Vanguard to play week-long engagements as a solo pianist and his second featured run is documented on the 2011 release Alone at the Vanguard [Jazz Police review]. He will perform with his widely praised trio with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson on Tuesday, June 30th through Sunday, July 5th. This is the trio whose Alive at the Vanguard won the Grand Prix du Disque from the Académie Charles Cros in France [Jazz Police review]. Hersch was nominated for his sixth Grammy Award in 2014 for his solo on "Duet" from the CD Free Flying [ Jazz Police review], a duo album with guitarist Julian Lage; the disc received a rare 5-Star rating from Downbeat
Dave Douglas & High Risk at Constellation, 7/1&2 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   

Dave Douglas İ Andrea Canter

Two-time GRAMMY® nominated Dave Douglas continues his relentless musical exploration with a new record probing the possibilities of improvised jazz and electronic music. Featuring an exciting new band of noted players-- Jonathan Maron (Groove Collective) on electric and acoustic bass; Mark Guiliana (Beat Music, Heernt) on electric and acoustic drums; and DJ, producer and beatmaker Shigeto (Ghostly International) on electronics, Dave Douglas & High Risk Appear at Constellation in Chicago on Wednesday, July 1st and Tuesday, July 2nd.

Summer Jazz Explosion - The Bay Area Festival Scene E-mail
Written by Ken Vermes   

Dafnis PrietoİKen Vermes

It seems like only a few months ago that everyone was talking about the death of jazz and the end of the Bay Area urban music scene due to gentrification. There still are major problems on the club level, for sure, with soaring rents and a lack of excitement in some quarters. But in the midst of disintegration on that level of music, no one seems to have noticed that the Bay Area is growing into a region with one of the most exciting and varied group of music festivals in the world. From the North Bay’s Healdsburg Festival to a stunning show at the Yerba Buena Garden Festival to three thrilling shows at SFJAZZ to a very strong series starting at the Stanford Jazz Festival, there seems to be a new energy and a higher level of musical events in every corner of the Bay. And that doesn’t include the very strong San Jose Jazz Festival coming up in August and the Monterey Festival that closes the summer jazz events in September. Some recent highlights:

From the Ground Up and Into the Future In Memoriam: NEC Remembers Gunther Schuller E-mail
Written by New England Conservatory of Music   

Gunther Schuller (photo courtesy of New England Conservatory)

"The thing that may make me unique is that I have simultaneously had seven full-time careers in music over the last 50 or 60 years. That's more than Leonard Bernstein."-- Gunther Schuller

Ed. Note. French horn prodigy, NEA Jazz Master, composer, conductor and educator Gunther Schuller died in Boston on June 21 at age 89. Schuller is best known for bringing the worlds of classical music and jazz together, as well as establishing the first jazz program at a music conservatory. The following memorial piece is re-posted with permission from the New England Conservatory.

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