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.