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“The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen.” - Duke Ellington
 Monday, 27 April 2015
April 30 -- International Jazz Day Celebrated Around the World, Twin Cities E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor & Ronaldo Oregano   


In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The Institute is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting, and producing this annual celebration.

Jazz Legend Gary Bartz at the Jazz Standard 4/30-5/3 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   

Gary Bartz

Alto saxophonist Gary Bartz was awarded a Grammy Award with McCoy Tyner in 2005 (‘Illuminations’).  Known as a leader and trail-blazer, he also toured and recorded with the Max Roach/Abbey Lincoln Group, Art Blakey's Jazz Messangers, and the Miles Davis group. He has recorded more than 40 solo albums and over 200 as a guest artist. Gary Bartz's Quintet features Paul Bollenback on guitar, Larry Willis on piano, James King on bass, and Greg Bandy on drums. Hear them at teh Jazz Standard on Thursday, April 30th through Friday, May 3rd.
Nicholas Payton Trio at the Jazz Showcase 4/30-5/3 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   

Nicholas Payton © Andrea Canter

Multi-instrumentalist and Trumpet Master, Nicholas Payton,was hailed as a virtuoso before he was even out of high school.  He is credited on over 120 recordings as a composer, arranger, special guest or sideman. Nicholas Payton will appear on trumpet and keyboards with his trio at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago on Thurday, April 30th through Sunday, May 3rd. His trio also includes bassist Vincente Archer and drummer Bill Stewart.
Chris Potter Takes Charge at SFJAZZ E-mail
Written by Ken Vermes   
Chris Potter © Andrea Canter

There is a reason that the saxophone has been one of the most dominant instruments in the history of jazz. Its range, timbre, flexibility, and long history in the music gives it a dynamic hard to match. It isn’t that there have not been great pianists, trumpeters, bass players, and the rest. But when sax players take charge, master the instrument, and propel themselves to the head of the class, it can be said that there is cause for a major celebration. Such moments are rare in any art. In music they happen when one player, or an entire band, creates a sense of peak effort that is sustained and memorable beyond any others like it. There are many fans of this music who never see any moments like these. And they were a lot more frequent when the great masters were on the planet, such as August 12, 1958 when the “Great Day in Harlem” photo was created, for example. Or in the time when one could walk the jazz listeners' paradise on 52nd Street in New York City.

Roberta Gambarini Quartet at Catalina's Jazz Club E-mail
Written by Glenn A. Mitchell, LA Jazz Scene   
Roberta Gambarini Quartet with Johnny Mandel (far right) © Glenn A. Mitchell

Roberta Gambarini is a jazz singer born in Turin, Italy. She was raised in a musical family and began singing at a young age in venues in her home city. Later, she had the opportunity to come to the U.S. to study music at the New England Conservatory. In Boston and later New York, she met and worked with many great musicians, becoming a protegé of Benny Carter and James Moody. A finalist in the 1998 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition, Roberta is now one of the most lauded jazz vocalists on the American scene, with two Grammy nominations for Best Vocal Album.

Talent Indestructible: Ashley Daneman ("Beauty Indestructible," 2014) E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   


Beauty Indestructible

"I believe in the indestructible beauty of people and of life. No matter what may happen, we are redeemable.  That is the message of this album." --Ashley Daneman

“…an uncompromising concoction of subtle and intimate jazz with a touch of hipster singer-songwriter.” --West Michigan Jazz Society

Twin Cities Jazz Festival Announces 2015 Headliners! E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   


Francisco Mela©Andrea Canter

Five bands of incomparable artists will headline the 17th annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival, held June 25-27 in and around Mears Park in St Paul's historic Lowertown Arts District. The new stage at the CHS (Saints) Field will host six-time Grammy winner Dr. John and the Night Trippers on the festival's closing afternoon. Appearing on the Mears Park Main Stage will be the Araya Orta Latin Jazz Quartet Featuring Othello Molineaux, Festival Artistic Director Francisco Mela's new quartet with special guest Nicholas Payton, 2014 Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition winner Marquis Hill, and an all-star quartet featuring Chris Potter, Dave Holland, Lionel Loueke and Eric Harland. In addition to CHS Field and Mears Park Main Stage, the festival will present events on the Sixth Street and Union Depot Stages, and throughout downtown St Paul and beyond at over 20 clubs, bars and studio venues. 

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

Charles Lloyd©Andrea 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.


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