Sunday, July 26, 2009

White House celebrates the music of Stevie Wonder

Twas an evening of celebration with President and Mrs. Obama at the White House in honor of legendary musician Stevie Wonder's receipt of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on February 25, 2009. Telecasted by PBS, the concert included performances by Wonder with a cavalcade of popular musicians, including Tony Bennett, India Arie, Diana Krall, Paul Simon, performing a selection of Wonder's hit songs.

The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, named in honor of the legendary George and Ira Gershwin, recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world's culture. The prize is given annually to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins. Paul Simon was the first recipient of the Gershwin Prize in May 2007.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jazzy "A" graders: Brown, Martin & Brown

Published: Jamaica Gleaner
Sunday | July 5, 2009

The jazz genre appears to lure and engage more musicians that are academics than any other genres, at least of popular music. Recently the United States (US) National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released survey results suggesting that jazz musicians are largely male, middle-aged and well-educated.
"The study shows that jazz musicians tend to be male and well educated, with about 45 per cent holding a bachelor's degree or higher," says the NEA. And, likewise, many women in jazz have similarly come from the crest of academia...
Photo: YolanDa Brown

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Purple Rain to close Montreaux Jazz Festival

The purists deem as sacrilegious the idea of pop concerting on traditional jazz festivals. But while they gripe Europe's most prestigious jazz festival as confirmed US pop icon Prince for a two-show set to close this year's Montreaux Jazz Festival.
Called a "musician of genius" by the organizers, the Purple Rain composer will be joined by Rhonda Smith, Renato Net and John Blackwell for two shows.

As reported by Reuters, Prince "last played at the Swiss event two years ago and then showed up at 3 a.m. to jam with his band at a late-night jazz cafe. That year, tickets sold out in a record 10 minutes for his performance at Stravinski Auditorium."

The 43rd staging of Montreaux, which began July 3 to end July 18th, also features Black Eyed Peas, B.B. King, Dave Matthews Band, Angelique Kidjo, Wyclef Jean and pianist Herbie Hancock in concert with Chinese pianist Lang Lang