Delfeayo Marsalis to play first ever Jazz Festival in Saudia Arabia!
February 22-24, 2018, Delfeayo Marsalis will lead his band at the first ever Jazz Festival in Saudia Arabia, located at the Riyadh InterContinental Hotel. More info here!
popMatters reviews Banda Magda
"There has always been a strong sense of playfulness in the globally focused music of Banda Magda. Led by Greek-born singer and bandleader Magda Giannikou, the group has members from four continents and, like so many of today's leading transcontinental bands, has links to Snarky Puppy. While debut album Amour, t'es là went retro with cheeky chansons and sophomore work Yerakina brought us tight covers of international classics, though, new album Tigre has a timeless, reality-transcending vibe to it. Theatrical and multilingual, Tigre uses Banda Magda's unique sense of over-the-top color, broad set of cultural influences, and knack for aural fantasy to escape into vibrant melodrama."
Review: A dramatic evening with singer Rene Marie
"Technically speaking, singer Rene Marie’s performance Friday night at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center could be called a jazz set. More accurately, though, it amounted to an unlikely fusion of theater piece, performance art, self-styled choreography and, oh yes, some of the most expressive jazz singing one might hope to hear."
NPR features Fred Hersch for Jazz Night in America
"Fred Hersch is no stranger to the art of introspection. As a pianist, a composer, a bandleader and a sideman, he has always combined clarity of projection with a willingness to go deep. His latest expression of interiority is a graceful and revealing memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly, which takes shape as a gradual declaration of selfhood, in personal as well as artistic terms.
This week, Jazz Night in America joins Hersch in conversation at his loft in SoHo, to talk about his upbringing in Cincinnati, and the early realization that he was gay; about his scrappy arrival on the scene in New York, back when certain gigs stretched past dawn; about his death-defying recovery from a coma in 2008; and about the creative breakthrough he had a few years before that, adapting the work of a personal hero, the American poet Walt Whitman."
NPR features Kat Edmonson on SONGS WE LOVE
There's a song on Old Fashioned Gal called "Not My Time" that seems to allude to that experience, with a bit of wry comic distance. ("I auditioned to be a star," it begins.) But Edmonson, who produced the album and wrote each of its 11 songs, isn't looking to revive grudges here. The album is a handsome showcase for her songwriting, which has grown ever more confident over the last decade, nostalgic in tone but clear-eyed in the application. Click here to listen to the feature!
2018 Grammy nominations
2018 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS!
Congrats to Fred Hersch for receiving nominations in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo categories. We are also thrilled to announce that Innov Gnawa has been nominated for the Best Dance Recording category for their collaboration with Bonobo. Here's the full list.
INNOV GNAWA TO PLAY 2018 BIG EARS FESTIVAL
Innov Gnawa set to play Big Ears in Knoxville, TN!
Of all the vocal-driven ensembles in the world of contemporary music there is none as compelling or beckoning as Banda Magda.
"In the music of this group there are many moving parts, but there is no doubt that its driving force is Magda Giannikou who is most often listed as having played accordion on stage or in the studio, but is also a multi-instrumentalist who makes it seem as if she was also born to be – among other things – a truly gifted contrabassist. As a composer, Miss Giannikou conceives works that are operatic in scope even when she is writing a 5-minute song. Her Grecian background enables her to create and empathise very deeply with the characters and her music is redolent of rhapsody, and dramatic catharsis. As a singer she is unmatched in her ability to captivate – even seduce – her audiences with whom she could be in just about any part of the world as she can write and sing lyrically in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek and English thus far, at any rate." Click here to read the full review.
René Marie left marriage, banking job and religion to thrive as jazz singer
She got the go-ahead to pursue jazz, but only as a hobby. Marie began singing with a quintet called Just Friends. Conveniently, the band’s jam sessions were held across the street from the Wachovia bank where she worked. Within a year, she was leading her own jazz trio and preparing to record her debut album. Not so fast, said her husband, who demanded she end her budding singing career, there and then. If she went to the recording studio, he warned, she could not return home.
Moreover, he vowed, if Marie did go to the studio, she “would have hell to pay.” After Marie asked if he was threatening her, she recalled matter-of-factly, her husband beat her. “When he was done, I got up off the floor and asked him: ‘Are you finished?’ And he said: ‘Yes.’ I packed up my music, got a few of my clothes and left in my car. I never went back” she said.
“It wasn’t like I had to choose music over my husband. But I didn’t want to spend any time living in a house with somebody who thinks they can give me an ultimatum and then physically abuse me. It had happened to my mom, and she’d put up with it for years. It wasn’t going to happen with me.”
This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. You could almost say my guest, Fred Hersch, returned from the dead. He’s a jazz musician and composer who has had HIV for more than 30 years. The diagnosis came at a time when he was thinking he was ready to come out. It’s hard to think of another jazz musician who was out at the time. Hersch’s new memoir “Good Things Happen Slowly” is about what it was like to be closeted in the jazz world, and then come out as gay and as having AIDS. Click here to listen.