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
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.