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 Monday, 22 December 2014
Festivals
The 60th Newport Jazz Festival! PDF Print
Written by Sheila Horne Mason; Photographs by Kevin R. Mason   
Thursday, 06 November 2014

 

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George Wein

The Newport Jazz Festival, presented by Natixis Global Asset Management, took place from August 1-3, 2014. Although the weather didn’t always cooperate for this landmark 60th anniversary, there was an abundance of great music!

Friday, August 1

When legendary jazz impresario and festival founder George Wein introduced John Hailer, CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM), Wein said, “A sponsor is one thing, but a man who gives you everything he’s got, from the point of view of the love of the music, is someone special.” Wein continued praising Hailer for his support, noting that the festival hasn’t hosted Friday daytime concerts in over 50 years, and wouldn’t have had them this year without NGAM. In turn, John Hailer praised George’s unwavering commitment to jazz, saying “Jazz is George, and George is Jazz!”  Between sets, a giant screen showed anniversary congratulations from numerous artists and snippets of performances from previous festivals.


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The TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival, November 9-16 PDF Print
Written by Sheila Horne Mason   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014

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The third annual TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival will take place from November 9 – 16, 2014. The festival will host several events in the city of Newark, New Jersey, culminating in the main concerts at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). This celebration of jazz is a continuation of the musical legacy of revered and beloved longtime Newark saxophonist/ composer and NEA Jazz Master, James Moody. In only its third year, the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival has become a jazz event of note in the tri-state area of New Jersey/New York/Connecticut.

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The 2014 Montreal Jazz Liturgy and Dialogic Sessions PDF Print
Written by Sheila Horne Mason; Photographs by Kevin R. Mason   
Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Rev. Peter Woods
 

Each year, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presents an abundance of musical offerings, and inspires several of jazz-related events in the city. (See general review of the 2014 festival.)

The Fourth Annual Jamming at St. James—A Jazz Liturgy

Jamming at St. James, the jazz liturgy held on Sunday, June 29 at Montréal’s historic St. James United Church, was started by respected Canadian educator Professor Norman Cornett. Professor Cornett’s numerous activities kept him from hosting this year, although he was in attendance.  The service started with “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” which initially seemed like a surprising choice for a liturgy. This year’s host, Reverend Peter Woods (who did double duty on the saxophone), explained that he had once played it at a funeral, because the deceased had wanted that song. The congregation got a good laugh, realizing just how appropriate the song was for the occasion! During the liturgy, Cantor Stephanie Hradsky added her beautiful voice to the proceedings.

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Monterey must-sees: our Top Six picks for the 57th annual Monterey Jazz Festival and why PDF Print
Written by Pamela Espeland   
Thursday, 18 September 2014
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Cecile McLorin Salvant by John Abbott
 
 
Deciding to attend the Monterey Jazz Festival is easy, especially once you’ve been there. It only takes one time to fall in love with the music, the ambience, and the setting, a WPA-era fairgrounds with winding paths and mature trees and a mixture of buildings that three weeks ago hosted the Monterey County Fair, complete with pig races. This will be our 10th consecutive year at the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world, co-founded in 1958 by Jimmy Lyons and Ralph J. Gleason with a big helping hand from Dave Brubeck, who paved the way by performing for the Monterey City Council in 1957 with his quartet. He charmed them, then graced the festival 15 times in 55 years.

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Come Rain or Come Shine: The 2014 Detroit Jazz Festival Mostly Shined PDF Print
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
Friday, 12 September 2014

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I'm glad I take a lot of photos at the Detroit Jazz Festival every year because, after four days of nonstop music, I am admittedly bleary-eared and brain dead, and the photos help me remember what I heard. But I wouldn't have it any other way (unless I could just be ten years younger?). The 35th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival was almost perfect, from the soaring fire of the Bad Plus with Joshua Redman that opened the weekend to the Herculean effort of Phil Woods blowing his sax while an oxygen tank ensured enough air, from the sweet and sassy vocals of multi-lingual rising star Cyrille Aimee and ferocious keyboards of festival piano competition winner Tal Cohen to the "super" sounds of the 2014 Mack Avenue Superband and the full-throttle excitement of Mack Avenue's Sean Jones Quartet, from the youthful talents of Michigan's university ensembles to the unwavering delights of veterans Tom Harell, Barry Harris, Ron Carter, Dave Holland and Pharoah Sanders. The only downbeat came at the very end of the final day, as storms--which had threatened all weekend--finally moved in to wash out Stanley Clarke's School Daze and most of Dr. Lonnie Smith's Octet and John and Bucky Pizzarelli's family affair.

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The 35th Montreal Jazz Festival—A Landmark Celebration in 2014! PDF Print
Written by Sheila Horne Mason; Photographs by Kevin R. Mason   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014

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Aretha Franklin
 

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal commemorated its 35th anniversary from June 26 to July 6. Since 1980, the Festival has grown into a world-wide music celebration. This year, Montréal hosted over 3,000 musicians from over 30 countries, and two-thirds of the concerts were free! Over 2 million people attended the Festival, which Guinness World Records ranks as the world’s largest.  

The 35th Festival was dedicated to Paco de Lucía (1947-2014), the Spanish guitar virtuoso, flamenco superstar, and prolific composer whose masterful arrangements made him an ambassador for the beauty of his country’s music. Paco de Lucía was also posthumously honored with the Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, which is given “to an artist distinguished in the field of world music whose influence on the evolution of jazz and cultural crossover is widely recognized.”


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