Saturday, May 31, 2008

June's Jazz month in Jamaica

Jazz music had it's birth in America around the beginning of the 20th century in the Black communities in Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions.

Its West African pedigree is evident in its use of what is called blue notes (a musical note played or sung slightly lower than usual) , call-and-response (succession of two distinct phrases usually played different musicians, where the second phrase is heard as a direct commentary on or response to the first), improvisation (music performed or done without any preparation or set text to follow), polyrhythms (contrasting rhythms), syncopation (accent is shifted to a weak beat of the bar) and the swing note of ragtime( a style of U.S. popular music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries).

Jamaica musicians adapted and played the jazz form long before the birth of Bob Marley and reggae music. Today, the tradition is being perpetrated mainly among older musicians like Sonny Bradshaw but have pique the interest of few young contemporary players like pianist Dr. Kathy Brown.
Eighteen years ago, in an effort to restore real jazz tradition in Jamaica, Trombonist Sonny Bradshaw founded the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival that features yearly a veritable mix of the purist form of the genre. Bradshaw is responsible for the designation of June as Jazz month in Jamaica.

The Ocho Rios Jazz Festival kicks of Sunday, June 8th at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and climax at the Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa on Fathers Day, Sunday, June 15th. The Pegasus Jazz in the Garden is slated for Sunday, June 29.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

18 years of Ocho Rios Jazz Festival

Michael "jazzofonic" Edwards says

June is Jazz month in Jamaica and June 2008 marks the 18th year of the Ocho Rios Jazz Fest, the "last stand"for straight-ahead jazz and related music.

Events for the Festival kicks off Sunday June 1 at the Verandah in Kingston (Pulse complex, Trafalgar Road). Other events include Openign Jazz Day - June 8 at the Pegasus Gardens feat saxophonist Yolanda Brown out of England and The 4 Tenors out of Switzerland and closing Sunday June 15 at Shaw Park Beach hotel & Spa featuring Hungary's sax legend Odean Pope, the Kerekes Band and include Jamaica jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown

Frank Armstrong wins Ocho Rios jazz holiday

Frank Armstrong this week became the lucky winner of WDNA 88.9 FM Serious jazz radio Jamaica Gateway contest copping the grand prize of two round trip airfare to Jamaica courtesy of Air Jamaica, 5-day, 4-night all-inclusive stay at Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa, scuba and snorkling lessons, and admission to all Ocho Rios Jazz Festival activities.

Armstrong will join WDNA's morning show host Frank Consola, Viviam Lopez, Hal Roland, and Flagga (The Reggae Ride) who will broadcast their shows live from the Shaw Park hotel throughout the week of the Ocho Rios jazz fest.

For months listeners to the Miami based jazz station were invited to call in to their favourite shows for the chance to win the Jamican holiday. The winner was announced on May 26.

The Ochio Rios Jazz Festival sound off on Sunday, May 8th at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel and closes May 15th, Fathers Day in Ocho Rios.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

WDNA FM returns to Ocho Rios Jazz Festival

WDNA 88.9 FM Serious Jazz , a Miami based radio station, returns to the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival following the success of last year's live remote radio broadcast from the North Coast tourist mecca.

Last June the jazz station broadcast a number of programs, including the popular Latin Quarter and The Reggae Ride hosted by St. Ann born Howard "Flagga" Duperly, from the Shaw Park Hotel location. Duperly is the station's Sales/Marketing Director.

One lucky caller to WDNA 88.9 FM will win an all-inclusive Jamaica Getaway holiday to stay at the exquisite Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa at Cutlass Bay, Ocho Rios and will fly courtesy of Air Jamaica out of the Fort Lauderdale and Miami gateways. They will join hosts Frank Consola, Viviam Lopez, Hal Roland, and Flagga for this spectacular Jamaica Getaway.

The competition is also open to students of jazz who will not only win the Shaw Park vacation but also an opportunity to perform on the June 8-15 jazz festival.

Known worldwide as South Florida's premiere jazz music station, WDNA FM provides quality public-centric music, arts, and cultural programming to the residents of South Florida and across the globe via the Worldwide Web.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jamie Cullum: A dynamic jazz performer

Rather than explain all the things that Jamie Cullum can do, it’s almost easier to list things that he CAN’T do.
A dynamic British singer, songwriter and pianist that has not only proven he can churn out the hits with his original music but he has the uncanny ability to take songs from all genres of music and make them his own - Red Lounge -Jazz Music
Offbeat Note: Check out a Jamie Cullum's live performance on You Tube and imagine that he could and would excite an Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival.

Etta James all the way

Celebrating an incredible five decades as a recording artist, music legend Etta James showcased her enduring artistry on an amazing diversity of the eleven songs featured on her new BMG album, “All The Way.”
Produced by Etta’s sons Donto and Sametto and longtime musical associate Josh Sklair, “All The Way” includes a range of material that would prove challenging for even the most competent vocalists:

“This is an album of songs that I’ve always loved, tunes that I heard and thought, ‘wish I could have been the one to do that one first!’” explains the three-time Grammy winner, who has also been the recipient of a NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, a Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Award and is a W.C. Handy Foundation honoree.

Honoured with a much-deserved star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame, Etta James added her special vocal magic to songs originally recorded by Prince (“Purple Rain”), Marvin Gaye (“What’s Going On”), Bobby Womack (“Stop On By”) and Simply Red (“Holding Back The Years”) alongside Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” (from ‘West Side Story’) and “All The Way,” the standard most often associated with Frank Sinatra. For good measure, Etta also included R. Kelly’s contemporary classic, “I Believe I Can Fly,” James Brown’s enduring “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Rebirth of the Cool: Jazz Meets Net Future

Jazz - from Benny Goodman's swing to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew to acid jazz - has consistently remained at the musical and cultural vanguard. But at the "Jazz 2001: The Convergence of Jazz and Technology" conference at New York's famous club The Knitting Factory on Monday, jazz musicians and producers found themselves surprised to learn that, after years at the forefront, they just might need to get hip.

The rise of online distribution channels, software composition advances, and marketing opportunities are forcing music labels and musicians to think twice about what seemed to be the enemy of authentic music: the computer. For the most part, the conference, sponsored by JazzTimes magazine and music resource N2K Entertainment, brought to light the frustrations and fears of label executives from Blue Note Records, RCA Records, and Polygram. The musicians, however, seemed only thrilled at the prospects for experimentation - and promotion - online.

Elder saxophonist Billy Harper, who says he "never wanted to deal with electric things at all," recalled a recent concert in Poland where he was besieged by crowds begging for more - online. "They were asking me, 'Are you on the Net?'" Harper recounted. Now, with the launch of his own homepage at Jazz Corner, Harper has been transformed into a ecstatic booster, imagining a world of jazz franchising at the fever pitch of baseball, with jazz playing cards, caps, and sax reeds. As he describes it, the Web "is the shape of things to come."

Editor Note: Read the full story in Wired Online Magazine

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Michael Buble': Jazz next big thing

He is the next big thing. The most requested artist in jazz radioland and the heir apparent to Frank Sinatra’s throne. His name is Michael Bublé (pronounced Boo-blay).
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Michael has the ability to take the greatest songs ever written and make them original, fresh and entirely his own. The best and perhaps most unbelievable thing about him is that he is just getting started

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Saxophonist YolanDa Brown for Ocho Rios Jazz Festival

Saxophonist YolanDa Brown is highly thought of in and beyond her London, England environment. An early musical beginings have bequeathed this uniguely talented artist with a long and endearing association with the tenor and soprano saxaphones she plays.
Born and raised in London, YolanDa grew up surrounded by an eclectic mix of music that influences both her playing and composition . She easily traverse the diverse mix of Jazz, Afro-Jazz, Gospel, Reggae, Salsa, Hip-hop, R&B, and for good meassure plays a little Mento and all in a self-assured style.

Her typical performance includes re-interpretation of chart-topping tunes, much jazz standards and original composition that inimitably defines the YolanDa Brown sound.
Well heeled in academia, YolanDa has completed a Masters in Management Science, Masters in Social Research Methods and is currently studying for her PhD at the University of Kent. She also host a TV talk show on a Sky Channel.
She has notched performances in numerous venues including: Jazz Café, Café de Paris, St. Martin in- the- Fields, Smollensky's on the Strand, Mermaid Theatre, Cargo, The Broadway Theatre and Hackney Empire.
The Londoner has also played for the Jamaican High Commission , Jazz venues in Miami, Frankfurt, Germany, the Rotterdam Carnival in the Netheralnds and the IslaVuelta festival in Spain. Her sold out debut concert at the Mermaid Theatre London last year and th release of the debut EP, entitled Finding My Voice both received rave reviews from press and fans alike.
YolanDa Brown is booked to appear at the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival on Sunday, June 7 as part of the Sonny Bradshaw celebration of Women in Jazz .