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 Saturday, 28 March 2015
The 2014 Litchfield Jazz Festival PDF Print
Written by Sheila Horne Mason; Photographs by Kevin R. Mason   
Tuesday, 27 January 2015


Cecile McLorin Salvant

The 19th Litchfield Jazz Festival took place August 8 - 10 at the Goshen Fairgrounds in Connecticut.  The festival had wonderful musical offerings, delicious food, and an artist village with hand-wrought collectibles and gifts, including paintings, photographs, jewelry, soap, and metal art.

Friday, August 8  

The festival got off to a great start with an opening-night “Friends of the Festival Gala,” a fundraiser for the Litchfield Jazz Camp. In fact, the first music you heard was from the talented Jazz Camp students. The gala also featured a silent auction with several desirable items, including a superb portrait of Dave Brubeck by illustrious Connecticut artist, Chris Osborne.

2015 Iowa City Jazz Festival: A Feast of Modern Jazz, July 2-4 PDF Print
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
Wednesday, 07 January 2015

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.

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


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.

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


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.

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

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.

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
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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