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 www.wdna.org.

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: http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2010/11/01/130978669/nine-women-in-the-room-a-jazz-musicians-roundtable?sc=nl&cc=mn-20101102