Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wynton Kelly was a superb accompanist with Jamaican roots

Son of a Jamaican mother and a Trinidadian father, Wynton Kelly was born in Brooklyn, New York December 2, 1931 and he started his professional career as a teenager, initially as a member of R&B groups. After working in the big band and small groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, he was a member of Miles Davis' Quintet from 1959 to 1963.

Wynton Kelly, the uncle of fiery bassist Marcus Miller and grand niece of Lil'Kim, was one of the most prolific sideman pianists of his era, performing on scores of jazz albums, and led albums under his own name for the Riverside and Vee-Jay labels. After leaving Davis's group, along with Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb, he formed a trio which worked regularly during the 1960s.

A superb accompanist, loved by Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley, Wynton Kelly was also a distinctive soloist who decades later would be a strong influence on Benny Green. He grew up in Brooklyn and early on played in R&B bands led by Eddie Vinson, Hal Singer, and Eddie Davis. Kelly, who recorded 14 albums for Blue Note in a trio (1951), worked with Dinah Washington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Lester Young during 1951-1952.

After serving in the military, he made a strong impression with Washington (1955-1957), Charles Mingus (1956- 1957), and the Dizzy Gillespie big band (1957), but he would be most famous for his stint with Miles Davis (1959-1963), recording such albums with Miles as Kind of Blue, At the Blackhawk, and Someday My Prince Will Come. When he left Davis, Kelly took the rest of the rhythm section (bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb) with him to form his trio. The group actually sounded at its best backing Wes Montgomery.

Wynton Kelly died in April 1971

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Desi Jones: Most sought after drummer on Jamaica jazz scene

Jamaican drummer Desi Jones, leader of the Skool band and celebrated drummer of the international reggae band Chalice, was in 1976 introduced to the legendary trumpeter and big band leader Sonny Bradshaw, and purely by chance.

“I was playing congas for the Eddie Thomas Dance Group at CARIFESTA and the drummer for the Sonny Bradshaw Seven met in an accident. I was then introduced to Mr. Bradshaw by [saxophonist] Dean Frazer as a stand in. He took the chance and allowed me to play for the band that day. Later in the year I was offered the job and I took it," Jones reminisced.

Today Jones is an expert drummer and with Chalice being inactive, is probably the most sought after drummer on the Jamaica jazz scene. Still, musically, his style runs the range of reggae, jazz, Latin and Jamaican traditional beats, a diversity that led him to Skool since 1988.

"I get inspiration from the knowledge that with just a simple beat I can make people dance. The drums can also make a person's mood change from joy to sadness," he said.

Although he has never released a solo album, Desi Jones, produced, arranged and played on a number of CDs for Mutabaruka, Carlene Davis, Peter Ashbourne, Dr. Kathy Brown, Skool Band and (the album) The Art Of Reggae Drumming".

Pianist Dr. Kathy Brown seeks opportunities to perform overseas

The little girl from mid-island Jamaica played the family piano at age 5 and by late teen she knew exactly what she wanted to be in life, a musician. Her parents being academicians counseled on the fickleness of the music business suggesting instead a career in medicine.

KathyBrown was performing small gigs throughout medical school all the time honing her piano playing skills, then she discovered jazz and found her niche. “My music is definitively a crossover between jazz and indigenous forms of music whether it is reggae, Latin and afro-Brazilian styles”.

Today, KathyBrown M.D. pianist, composer, bandleader, recording artist is a consummate jazz pianist with a CD Kathy Brown: A Musical Journey and lead her KathyBrown & Friends band, a favourite on the Jamaican jazz landscape.
The Jamaican pianist’s intense desire to play overseas got on the road in August 2007 when she was invited to play at the Island Soul Festival in Toronto, Canada. And, so began a musical journey that has taken her to Suriname, Antigua & Barbuda, Grand Cayman, Austria, New York, and Florida where she appeared with outstanding cabaret singer Sabrina Williams at Bistro Soleil on Marco Island, Naples prior to a raved performance at the Jazz Gallery at Miami jazz radio WDNA 88.9FM.

Dr. KathyBrown appeared several times at the Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival opening for Roy Ayres (2007) and Latin music heartthrob Jon Secada (2010), Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival, and Port Royal Music Festival. She has shared stage with Jamaica’s great guitarist Ernest Ranglin, famed trumpeter Mickey Hanson, Japanese multi-reedist Hiroaki Honshuku, and veteran bassist for Monty Alexander and music producer Glen Browne.

With jazz a spatter on the Jamaica music landscape, KathyBrown, the All About Jazz musician, avidly seeks opportunities to perform her “true crossover” of “different music style” to audiences overseas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dennis Rushton is Jamaica's smashing jazz pianist

Dennis Rushton relationship with the piano began at age 9. He was classically trained, but, in later years, studied other music styles but with an emphasis on jazz. The founder/director of DenRush Productions, consisting of a music school and recording studio, is the executive producer of the concert series "Creative Praise”.

Rushton albums are Sail On (2002), The Star, a Christmas special, also in 2002, and Quiet Time released in September 2003. Active in the Jamaica Cultural Development Corporation (JCDC) national festival competition, his own production The Extra-Ordinary God won the JCDC Gospel song competition.

He has opened for Kirk Franklin and CeCe Winans in Jamaica and in 1999 won the Best Instrumentalist category at the annual Tri-State Music Awards held in New York, and has accepted distinguished service award from the Gospel Music Industry in Jamaica.

Dennis Rushton (piano), Dale Brown (bass)and Bobby Stewart (drums) made history being the first Jamaican Gospel Group to be featured on B.E.T. jazz channel. He performed for many Jamaican government officials, cocktail hour at the Prime Minister Independence Gala celebration, jazz series, weddings and corporate occasions.

Known as the Smashing Pianist, a Dennis Rushton performance is greatly entertaining, highly theatrics with elbows, knees and feet smashing into ebony and ivory of the keyboard. And, the fans love every moment.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Maurice Gordon: A Jamaican guitarist of great versatility

Unambiguously smooth jazz and reggae guitarist Maurice Gordon describes his music as contemporary jazz delicately flavored with hints of reggae, R&B, funk, rock and fusion. Whatsoever the label, he is an artist of great versatility one who is well admired in jazz circles for his fluid technique, dexterity and highly personal style that has earned him wide-ranging appeal from Canada to the Caribbean, from South Africa to South America.

Quietly respected as a credible musician and composer, Maurice Gordon has recognized and draws upon the great wealth and tradition of many styles in music by studying with the likes of Bobby Edwards, John McLaughlin (saxophone) and Frank Falco in Toronto, Canada. His own influences are Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, George Benson and Bob Marley.

Although quite fluent in a variety of musical idioms his love and devotion to jazz have remained constant. A Bachelor of Arts degree (Hons)in Music from York University, the former head of the Department for the Caribbean Latin and Jazz Program at the Jamaica School of Music and private teacher performs regularly in various settings as solo, duo, trio and as a quartets.

Maurice Gordon performed festivals in the Caribbean including Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, St. Lucia and Martinique Jazz Festivals, Ramajay Festival (Trinidad), Grenada Spice Jazz Festival. In 2001 he recorded "Jazz in the Sun" for BET jazz which is still being aired on cable. Currently he entertains as a solo guitarist at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay. Three CDs to his credit, Jamaica Time Celebrating Festival Vol 1, Jamaica Flora and Irie Mood.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jolly Boys launched Great Expectation CD in Paris, taped French TV Special on European tour

Jamaica's premier mento band, The Jolly Boys, launched their “Great Expectation” album in Paris concurrently taping a TV Special for French national TV.

The veterans of Jamaica indigenous mento music from picturesque eastern Jamaican town, Port Antonio breaks from the city of light and romance for further engagements that will take them to Germany, Ireland, Scotland, England and The Netherlands.

Jolly Boys December 2010 Tour Dates

•02 Ampere Munich, Germany
•04 Frannz Club Berlin, Germany
•05 Brotfabrik Frankfurt, Germany
•06 La Maroquinerie Paris, France
•08 Knust Hamburg, Germany
•10 Pavillion Bar & Nightclub Cork, Ireland
•11 Button Factory Dublin, Ireland
•13 Oran Mor Glasgow, Scotland 400
•14 Night and Day Cafe Manchester, UK
•16 HMV Institute Birmingham Birmingham, UK
•17 Earls Court London, UK 13812
•18 Melkweg Amsterdam, Holland

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Sacred jazz of Deanna Witkowski

Pianist, vocalist, composer and winner of the 2002 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, Deanna Witkowski is one of the more important sacred jazz artists today.
With a very original and virtuous style, she mixes contemporary and Latin jazz genres doing so from a spiritual perspective.

Based in New York, Deanna has worked in different projects relating to sacred jazz. Most important is her album From this Place that mainly focused on liturgical music and feature saxophonist Donny McCaslin, bassist John Patitucci, drummer Scott Latzky and vocalists Laila Biali, Peter Eldridge, and Kate McGarry.

Deanna has recorded three other sets: Having To Ask, Wide Open Window and Length of Days. Her involvement in composing congregational music resulted in her work appearing in the hymnals Singing the New Testament (Faith Alive) and Swing a New Song to the Lord

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Canada's Jazz Air (LP) launch flights to Montego Bay

JAZZ AIR LP ("Jazz") launch Boeing 757-200 airline services from Toronto to Montego Bay with early morning flights departure to the Jamaica's tourist resort capitol, the headquarters of Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival 2011.

Jazz Air is Canada's largest regional airline and the second largest airline in Canada, based on fleet size and number of routes operated. Now in its 15th year, The Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival parades a galaxy of top flight international and local stars and is scheduled for January 23-29, 2011.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Miami-based WDNA FM plays Jazz With an Accent every Wednesday

JAZZ, the quintessential American art form, has become a global language, a language many artists around the world are using to tell their stories.

Jazz With an Accent, a weekly one-hour program that began November 3 on Miami based 88.9FM WDNA, is produced and hosted by writer and critics Fernando Gonzalez, and he plays jazz from around the world.

"It is jazz for the 21st century, informed by swing and the blues but also flamenco, tango, African music, the European classical tradition, bomba y plena, and more", blurts the station's promo.

There is a world of jazz to be discovered every Wednesday at 7 pm at

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nine Women In The Room: A Jazz Musicians’ Roundtable

Roundtable sisters: From left to right: (top row) Geri Allen, Ingrid Jensen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding, Tineke Postma and Helen Sung; (bottom row) Nona Hendryx and Gretchen Parlato

by Tom Cole
Over the summer, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington brought together some pretty high-profile musicians from all over the world to record The MOSAIC PROJECT: pianists Geri Allen, Helen Sung, and Patrice Rushen; bassists Esperanza Spalding and Mimi Jones; percussionist Sheila E.; woodwind players Anat Cohen and Tineke Postma; trumpeter Ingrid Jensen; violinist Chia-Yin Carol Ma; flutist Hailey Niswanger; and vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Carmen Lundy, Nona Hendryx, Patricia Romania, and Gretchen Parlato. Activist and author Angela Davis even contributes spoken word to one track.

You may have noticed they're all women. That was both the point of the session — and not the point.

After a full day of recording, eight of the musicians sat down with Lara Pellegrinelli for a conversation on the topic of women in jazz. They shared some of their own experiences and discussed the media, the music business, audience, mentors, and role models.

The story, discourse at NPR Music:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival takes Gleaner Honour Awards, the CEO responds

Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, formerly Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, takes the Jamaican Gleaner Honour Award 2010 in the category of Entertainment. From scores of nominees, the award is given annually to individuals and organisations that have made a difference by positively enhancing Jamaica's quality of life.

Since 1996, the festival has brought thousands of tourists to the Jamaican north coast and January 2010 staging in a new venue, the Trelawny Multi-purpose stadium, attracted over 20,000 patrons over three days. From Ziggy Marley and George Benson at its first staging, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Ritchie in between, to Babyface, Gladys Knight in 2010 the festival has featured well over 100international and local stars.

Big names are being eyed as Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary January 23 -29, 2011.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

YolanDa Brown woke to an "amazing gift" from Yamaha Music UK

YolanDa Brown woke up recently to a special delivery of a brand new saxophone from Yamaha Music UK, the world's largest and most successful maker of quality musical instruments with global network extends across 20 countries.

The jubilant multi-award winning Brown posted a thank you on Twitter "Thanks so much to Yamaha UK for my amazing gift! I can't stop playing this beautiful sax - a great sound! aha".

YolanDa Brown, popular young UK sax player with Jamaican connections, recently graduated from a London University with a PhD degree.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Michael Bublé 's "Crazy Love" tops Billboard Jazz Album charts

Canadian jazz crooner Michael Bublé's fourth studio album CRAZY LOVE (2009) stays comfortably atop Billboard Jazz Album charts concurrently as it straddles the Top 200 Album (Pop) at #124 after peaking at #1.

The tracks of CRAZY LOVE; 1. Cry Me a River 2. All of Me 3. Georgia on My Mind 4. Crazy Love 5. Haven't Met You Yet 6. All I Do Is Dream of You 7. Hold On 8. Heartache Tonight 9. You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You 10. Baby (You've Got What It Takes)11. At This Moment 12. Stardust 13. Whatever It Takes.

Michael Bublé (pronounced "booblay") winning stratagem is in taking the old (Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin) and made them new again. He combines pop standards from decades past with a splash of original tunes for a mix that has brought him international acclaim. And, his fans adore him, to the point of swooning like school-aged girls.

And, Michael Bublé is not down yet, find him elsewhere on this week's Billboard charts in the Catalog Album category where IT'S TIME is at #36 having gone to #1 and the recent HOLLYWOOD is at #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Since 2003, Bublé's made a quick trip up the ladder of success with bestselling albums like 2005's IT"S TIME and 2008's CALL MR IRRESPONSIBLE.

Monday, October 4, 2010

YolanDa Brown: A jazz saxophonist with affiliation in academia

Jazz has a preponderance of musicians of high academic achievements who have PhDs, Masters, Bachelors degree behind their names. Maybe the converse holds that high academic achievers, who are musicians, are invariably attracted to this great and wonderful music.

A recent addition to the list of A-Graders is YolanDa Brown,
British born jazz saxophonist, 2008 MOBO Award Winner "Best Jazz", 2008 Urban Music Award Nominee "Best Jazz", Women in Entertainment and Arts Award 2009 "Best Musician", who recently been awarded a Honourary Doctorate of Art degree from the North East London University joining a multitude of jazz musicians with affiliation to academia.

Born in England of Jamaican parents, the princess of sax is widely regarded as the "emerging" voice of mainstream jazz in the UK. Endorsed by Yamaha, supported by MAC Cosmetics, Brown has performed in a range of platform including the London Jazz Festival to an audience with the President of Russia. She has opened for artists including Diana Krall, The Temptation, David Sanborn and played at Royal Albert Hall and significant venues across the world.

Dr. YolanDa Brown is set to play what is undoubtedly a milestone concert at the IndigO2 at the O2, London in November.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jolly Boys mento rocks ITunes reggae/dancehall charts in Europe product description underscores the Jolly Boys' Great Expectation CD as "a stunning album of Mento interpretation of contemporary songs", eliciting comparison to Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club.

Released in Europe September as the main clutch of a hectic tour of the continent, Great Expectation, this week, tops all current reggae and dancehall artistes on nine Itunes' Reggae/Dancehall online music store charts.

With even greater expectation, the CD album is expected to be released in the US towards mid year 2011.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Glen Browne's acoustic guitar still strums

Though he has been a bass player for over 30 years, Glen Browne is best known for his distinctive acoustic guitar work on Untold Stories, one of the hit songs from Buju Banton's classic 1995 album 'Til Shiloh.

"I didn't expect the song to take off, really, but it was a great communication that hit the mark," Browne said recently. When he got the call from Banton's mentor and producer, Donovan Germain, to play on 'Til Shiloh, Browne was already an established musician

He played for years on the north coast circuit, and toured and recorded with high-profile acts like Jimmy Cliff and Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers

Full Story: Glen Browne!
Visit Glen Browne at All About Jazz!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Brazil's beat seduces jazz greats

OLINDA, Brazil (AFP) - Brazil's unique tropical blend of samba-rock-guitar known as MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) has exerted an irrepressible influence on modern jazz, masters of the genre say.

"Since I played with John Coltrane in 1961, I started using open intervals on the chords, distributing the notes of each chord broadly on the piano so the other musicians could play their solos," McCoy Tyner, a US pianist considered one of jazz's all-time greats, told AFP.

That technique mirrored one also used in MPB, a trademark, urban Brazilian style that emerged in the 1960s as an evolution and a reaction to the smooth, languorous Bossa Nova wave. Tyner and fellow musicians Mike.....
Read Complete Article!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Esperanza Spalding's Chamber Music Society CD progressing on jazz charts

Esperanza Spalding August 17 release on the Heads Up label, Chamber Music Society is progesssing on the jazz charts. Chamber Music Society is her follow up to the 2008 release, Esperanza, which sat atop Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart for over 70 weeks.

About the CD:
On the opening track of her much-lauded, self-titled major label debut, Esperanza (Heads Up, 2008 ), bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding covered Milton Nascimento’s timeless gem, “Ponta de Areia.” Rather than covering another of the singer/composer’s tunes on Chamber Music Society, Spalding recruits Nascimento to perform on her own “Apple Blossoms.” It’s but one example of a highly intriguing set that blends her classical training with jazz, pop and soul tendencies.

Read the full AAJ review:Chamber Music Society

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Howard “Flagga” Duperly plays reggae on Florida’s serious jazz radio

Howard “Flagga” Duperly plays strictly reggae on his highly popular three -hour slot, The Reggae Ride, heard on Florida based, mostly jazz, radio station. WDNA 88.9 FM, a non-profit, no commercial radio station, is widely known throughout its reaches as South Florida’s premier jazz station, attests to by its designate, ‘Serious Jazz”.

With its foundation set on jazz, WDNA FM’s programming, however, targets, in the main, habitants of multinational, multi-cultured South Florida in airing a melting pot of music that includes Latin, Brazilian, Indian, Afro pop, and other public-centric genre.

Kingston,Jamaica born Howard Duperly is the Sales and Marketing director at WDNA 88.9FM and he being the main man among colleagues responsible for bringing diverse and innovative programs to the station. One such innovation is the Fine Arts Concert series that couple jazz with photographic and art exhibition, the most recent concert presented Dr. Kathy Brown Trio (Desi Jones, Dale Brown) alongside acclaimed photographer Howard Moss.

The monthly Fine Art concert brings art and jazz lovers together as WDNA radio exhibits artists rarely seen in South Florida.

Reggae Ride

Reggae being one of the multicultural music on the WDNA 88.9FM schedule, “Flagga”, one of reggae’s most knowledgeable personalities, stakes a claim that The Reggae Ride, which he hosts every Saturday, 12-3pm, plays “Reggae the way it ought to be, and music you don’t hear on the average station – if ever.”

A product of the 1960s music, Flagga brings a wealth of first-hand experience to his now worldwide audience. With his ‘old school’ groundings, the radio jock firmly believes that to effectively promote reggae it must be presented in all its forms – ska, rocksteady, roots, and lovers rock – such is The Reggae Ride show, which, he avers, ignores quick profit fluffs that uses rehashed rhythms, lewd and violent elements as a ploy.

Duperly is a graduate of the University of Miami and has spent his career in sales and marketing as an account executive for a number of South Florida radio stations whose formats included big band, classical, jazz, news, R&B, and adult contemporary. He also worked as a print media journalist contributing to several international publications including Caribbean Today where he served as Music and Entertainment Editor.

Except for its recent staging, Flagga, for the past 3-4 years, leads a team of WDNA FM personalities to broadcast their daily, weekly shows live from the Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival.

Flagga believes that WDNA 88.9 FM, the ‘Serious Jazz’ station, draws about 100,000 listeners each week, even as Arbitron, the radio ratings service, estimates the station's audience at closer to 90,000 a week. Additionally, WDNA attracts regular listeners as far away as Moscow, London, Toronto and in Jamaica through its webcasts.

Potentially, "We here in Miami are seeing increased enthusiasm” [for jazz], he says. "In our opinion, we've only started to scratch the surface." Consequently, the non-commercial WDNA 88.9FM, which plays much jazz and a sweep of multi-ethnic music, including reggae, is poised to grow bigger numbers among its South Floridian and International listenership.

Jimmy Cliff unplugged session at NPR Tiny Desk Concert

Jimmy Cliff, Jamaican reggae legend with a mighty stage presence is all gentleness appearing eleven minutes unplugged on the Tiny Desk Concert at the National Public Radio (NPR) Music office in Washington, DC.

Cliff who brought reggae music to millions worldwide is revered for his legendary songs on the soundtrack to the 1972 hit film The Harder They Come He was honoured with an Order of Merit from the Jamaica Government and this year inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Watch Jimmy Cliff on NPR!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Reliving Peter Tosh live at the Montreux Jazz Festival

Offbeat travels back in time to July 16, 1979, 30 years past, to figuratively relive reggae legend Peter Tosh performing a devastating live set at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
The concert was performed in The Casino which is mostly known for having been burnt down eight years earlier and memorialized in the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water."

Watch the concert live via You Tube video 1 -16.
Peter Tosh Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival!

The band:
Lead Guitar: Darryl Thompson
Rhythm Guitar: Mikey Chung
Bass: Robbie Shakespeare
Drums: Sly Dunbar
Keyboards: Robert Lynn
Keyboards: Keith Sterling
Backing Vocals: The Tamlins

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ernest "Ernie" Ranglin in demand at 78

Ernest 'Ernie" Ranglin O.D, Jamaica's legendary guitarist who pioneered Jamaica’s fertile reggae and ska scene of the late 1950s and early ‘60s and who's celebrated for his fluent and versatile guitar style, coupled with his arrangement skills is in constant demand at 78 (June 19.

In recent years, Ernest Ranglin has gone back to his roots and has made various cross cultural collaborations and concept albums including Below the Bassline on which he covers some of the greatest songs of the rock and roll era. He recorded Memories of Barber Mack as a tribute to the late Jamaican saxophonist Barber Mack.

The Search of the Lost Riddim album took Ernest Ranglin to Senegal for his first visit since the mid 1970's when he toured as part of the Jimmy Cliff band. These recording sessions represent the accomplishment of a dream he had cherished for over 20 years: returning to Africa to record with African musicians. Modern Answers to Old Problems is an adventuresome mix of jazz sophistication and Afro-pop syncopation while his penultimate Gotcha! identifies Ranglin as a somewhat perfect instrumentalist.

His 2005 Telarc release Surfin', recorded at Bob Marley's Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, explores the elusive boundaries between jazz and orld music.

Visit Ernest Ranglin!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Etienne Charles charmed on trumpet at Ocho Rios Intl Jazz Festival

Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles, who is from a musical linage that runs four generation deep, was indeed a charmer on trumpet at the opening of Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

Currently based in New York, the highly touted trumpeter was making a second appearance in Jamaica this year following a cameo appearance with the legendary Monty Alexander at the earlier Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival in Trelawny.

Etienne Charles gave a dazzling display of skill and talent to much appreciation from the hotel gardens audience. Alternating between the trumpet and the dejembe drum, he thrilled the audience with Douens, Mamma Malade, and Santimanite from the debut FOLKLORE album. When in Jamaica why not play a Bob Marley classic, and Charles pleased with Turn Your Lights Down Low.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Myrna Hague covers 'Broken-Hearted Melody'

Jamaican jazz singer Myrna Hague has never hid her admiration for American jazz stylist Sarah Vaughn. Recently, she got the opportunity to salute her musical idol by covering Vaughn's biggest hit song.

Hague teamed with veteran session guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Oral Brown on percussions, drummer Denver Smith and keyboardist/bass player Ozou'ne to record Broken-Hearted Melody, which was a massive hit in 1959. The song will be released on the Homegrown label.

"It's really a re-enactment of the original, we stayed true to the song," Hague told Gleaner writer Howard Campbell. Though she has performed Vaughn favourites such as On a Clear Day and Summertime in her live set, Hague has never recorded any of the legendary vocalist's songs.

Myrna Hague said why in the Jamaican Gleaner story published Saturday, May 29, 2010.Link:Read full story at!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Carmen Lundy played the Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival June 13

World-renowned American jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress Carmen Lundy who is also a celebrated painter, was one of several North American improv artists to have performed at the week-long, multi-venue Ohio Rios International Jazz Festival, held June 13-20.

Lundy has been performing for 3 decades, with a focus on original material, during which she has earned positive comparison to Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.
After studying at Miami University, Carmen Lundy moved to New York in 1978 and worked with Grammy Award-winning Puerto Rican jazz musician Ray Barretto prior to forming her own trio in 1980. Lundy would there record for Blackhawk (1987) and Sony (1988) and appeared in the plays Sophisticated Ladies and They Were All Gardenias, portraying Billie Holiday in the latter.

Her portfolio includes 11 albums, including the debut GOOD MORNING KISS and the well thought of live set, Jazz and the New Songbook: LIVE AT THE MADRID (Theatre) in Los Angeles. In 1991 she moved to LA, recording for Arabesque (1992) and JVC. Although open to the influences of folk, R&B, and pop, Carmen Lundy, who will perform on Festival open day (June 13)in the Gardens of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, is a strong improviser.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lena Horne: Barrier-breaking jazz star, actress

(AP) — Lena Horne, the enchanting jazz singer and actress [was] known for her plaintive signature song Stormy Weather and for her triumph over the bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialise with them.

Horne died Sunday, May 9th at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Horne, whose striking beauty and magnetic sex appeal often overshadowed her sultry voice, was remarkably candid about the underlying reason for her success.

"I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept," she once said. "I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked."

"I knew her from the time I was born, and whenever I needed anything she was there," actress Liza Minnelli said belatedly. She was funny, sophisticated and truly one of a kind. We lost an original. Thank you Lena."

In the 1960s Horne was one of the most visible celebrities in the civil rights movement, once throwing a lamp at a customer who made a racial slur in a Beverly Hills restaurant and in 1963 joining 250,000 others in the March on Washington when Martin Luther King Jr gave his I Have a Dream speech.

In the 2009 biography, Stormy Weather, author James Gavin recounts that when Horne was asked by a lover why she'd married a white man, she replied: "To get even with him."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Esperanza Spaulding: superb bassist, multlingual vocalist, irresistible jazz performer

American born Esperanza Spalding, vivacious, prodigious bassist, multlingual vocalist, and irresistible contemporary jazz performer.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke releases his 28th album

Bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke, the American jazz performer, composer, bandleader who rose to prominence in the 1970s and single-handedly brought the electric bass to the forefront of jazz and R&B teams with up-and-coming star, Japanese virtuoso Hiromi Uehara, keyboard master, Ruslan Sirota, and fierce drummer Ronald Bruner Jr, in a special "sneak peak" showcase of his upcoming June 15, 2010 release, The Stanley Clarke Band, solo album number 28.

On show will be Clarke's latest genius at BLUES ALLEY in DC - Thursday, June 3rd through Sunday the 6th.

In a career that spans nearly four decades and boasts a long list of feats including Grammy's, Emmy's, gold and platinum records, bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke, known for his innovative and influential work on double bass and electric bass guitar as well as for his numerous film and television scores, is one of the most celebrated bassists in the world. His last release, May 2009, titled Jazz In The Garden on Heads Up International, included two brilliant collaborators at the top of their respective games: pianist Hiromi Uehara and drummer Lenny White.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Gerald Clayton supposes tradition and innovation can peacefully exist

At one-forth the age of jazz, New York based jazz pianist Gerald Clayton stakes his claim in the history and the present of jazz.
“Tradition and innovation can peacefully exist”, supposes the son of famous bassist John Clayton. However, his biography states, 'with Gerald behind the piano this coexistence anything but peaceful.'

‘His dynamic and award-winning sound has been praised in print by the Jazz Times and Los Angeles Times. The New York Times has saluted his “Oscar-Peterson like style” and “huge, authoritative presence” and Down Beat Magazine’s 2008 Readers’ Poll named him one of the top up-and-coming pianists to watch'.
As a composer, his work has been commissioned by the Jazz Gallery in New York City and performed overseas by the BBC Orchestra. He has received many honours including the US Presidential Scholar in the Art.
Born in the Netherlands in 1984, Gerald grew up mainly in Los Angeles with a musical family that includes his father, bassist/composer John Clayton, and uncle, saxophonist Jeff Clayton.

Gerald began an 11 years study of classical piano at age 6, later enrolled in a Jazz Studies program at the University of Southern California. Still later he would study piano and composition under masters like Kenny Barron
A current member of the siblings Clayton Brothers Quintet, Gerald can be heard on the Brothers latest release, Brother to Brother, as well as on Roy Hargrove’s 2008 Earfood, and Diana Krall’s From This Moment On. But, it is Gerald Clayton’s own New York City based trio, comprised of Justin Brown (drums) and Joe Sanders (bass) that provides the most direct opportunity to explore and expand his own thoughts in music.
Gerald Clayton’s Two-Shades CD drops in June.
Live at the Smalls:!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Frank Consola: WDNA's walking encyclopedia of jazz

He hosts 88 Jazz Place Morning, Monday - Friday 6 - 11 am, on Miami's WDNA 88.9 FM, Frank Consola, known as "the walking encyclopedia of jazz", had transplanted to Philly and ingrained himself into serious R&B and Rock & Roll. Later, however, a romantic interest would play for him a record Herbie Man at the Village Gate it was a big turn on to jazz.

Growing a jazz collection, Frank went to Miami in 1982 where he discovered WDNA, the serious jazz radio, and, in his own word, "becoming a sort of pest" he wrangled himself behind the microphone, he with his stack of jazz record. In 1989, as a volunteer, he started hosting a once a week jazz show and today Frank Consola's morning mix on the longest running jazz show in Miami brings musical order to the testy Miami morning commute

Tune in the next time you find yourself in some heavy traffic, Miami or anywhere. And if Miles, Coltrane, Parker, Kirk, and the rest of the legends don't soothe your soul, chances are you're too much of a hothead for even the coolest of jazz.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival 2010 honours Sonny Bradshaw

The approaching 20th Annual Jamaica Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival 2010 is fittingly being organised in a celebration of the life and work of music icon and event founder Cecil "Sonny" Bradshaw.

Festival co-founder, devoted and constant partner Myrna Hague heads the 'Jazz the Real Deal' 30 jazz events to be held across the island during Jazz Week, June 13-20, 2010.

Traditionally, the festival underscores valid jazz presentations by both local and international musicians and will be taken to jazz fans along Jamaica's north, south and east coasts and corporate area Kingston. In the works a 'Jazz Village', 2-day Jazz Symposium, Jazz-Art & Photo Exhibition displayed throughout the week, as well as the viewing of jazz films and videos.

Nightly jam sessions, wine & fashion, jazz Cruise, jazz Dinner, jazz Dance, visitors streaming into the island, live radio, are few of the activities of this milestone jazz festival. Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival opens at the Jamaica Pegasus Gardens (June 13) and the curtains will coming down on Fathers Day Jazz in Ocho Rios.

For the details: Visit!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Barbara Streisand's new jazz CD: An exquiste cover

Barbra Streisand, the entertainment grande dame, returns with one of her most beautiful albums in a long time. An exquisite cover, Love is the Answer, the deluxe, double CD edition, Orchestra version and Quartet version with Diana Krall's jazz ban is truly marvelous recording.

Co-produced by Tommy LiPuma, the exquisite Streisand album is summarily a perfect collaboration between Diana Krall, LiPuma, Streisand and Johnny Mandel. At 67, Streisand's voice is at once both mature and still stunningly beautiful.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Haitian Singer Emeline Michel introduced to U.S. on Telethon

Though she was introduced to many during the January 22 "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" telethon, Haitian singer Emeline Michel, the 'Joni Mitchell of Haiti', has been performing all over the world for more than two decades.

Born in Gonaïves, Haiti, Michel began as a member of her local church choir, blossomed in talent and traveled to the United States where she studied her craft at the Detroit Jazz Center. From America, to Paris, then Canada and over her career that includes 4 albums, Michel has performed for the Clinton Global Initiative, NPR, CBC Radio, Canadian television and at festivals like Reggae on the River and the Montreal International Jazz Festival, as well as New York City's Carnegie Hall.

More on Emeline Michel on MTV:!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kurt Elling sings Grammy's Best Jazz Vocal Album 2010


Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman
Kurt Elling
[Concord Jazz]

Hall & Oates revisits New York's Troubador Club

The best selling pop duo of all-times Hall & Oates
revisits New York's Troubador Club 35 years after they last played as an opening act delighting fans at a May 2008 gig with unforgettable hits after hits that is captured on the live CD/DVD.

The Daryl Hall & John Oates - Live at the Troubador performance will premier on New York metro area public television station WLIW21 beginning March 2010.

The duo/band which played to huge acclaim at the recent Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival received a nomination for their performance of "Sara Smile" on the live set CD.