Latest Jazz from NPR Music

A Blog Supreme
2:46 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

In New Afro-Cuban Music, Ancient Tradition Meets Future Shock

Michele Rosewoman (bottom right) is joined by batá percussionists in performance with her New Yor-Uba Ensemble in 2013.
Tom Ehrlich Courtesy of the artist

In Henry Dumas' short story "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" three "afro-horns" have been forged from a rare metal found only in Africa and South America. One rests in a European museum; a second one is believed to be somewhere on the west coast of Mexico among a tribe of Indians; and a third is owned by Probe, a jazz musician. When Probe finally plays the afro-horn in public, the sound is devastatingly powerful.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:03 am
Sat September 21, 2013

The Cristina Pato Trio: Tiny Desk Concert

Cristina Pato Trio performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Hayley Bartels NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:09 pm

After nearly a decade spent living in the city, Cristina Pato is a full-fledged New Yorker. But her first home is the place where Spain meets the Celtic world: Galicia.

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A Blog Supreme
3:25 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Melissa Aldana Wins Thelonious Monk Competition For Saxophonists

Melissa Aldana performs at the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Paul Morigi Getty Images for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

At a ceremony and concert last night in Washington, D.C., the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz named Melissa Aldana, 24, the winner of its annual competition for young musicians. The highest-profile event of its kind, this year's competition was open to saxophonists.

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A Blog Supreme
5:24 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Educated Guesses At The 2013 Monk Competition

The 2013 finalists pose with Thelonious Monk Institute officials. Left to right: Godwin Louis, Melissa Aldana, institute honorary co-chair Billy Dee Williams, Tivon Pennicott, chairman T.S. Monk.
Steve Mundinger Courtesy of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 12:19 pm

Yesterday's semifinal round of the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition was, to my ears, predictable.

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Music Reviews
11:41 am
Mon September 16, 2013

The Masters At His Fingertips, Art Hodes Pays Tribute To Bessie Smith

Art Hodes performs at the Ole South in New York City circa 1946.
William Gottlieb Library of Congress via Flickr

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:38 pm

Jazz pianist Art Hodes, born in Russia in 1904, grew up near Chicago. His recording career really took off in the 1940s in New York, where he also hosted a radio show and wrote for the magazine The Jazz Record. Later, he moved back to Chicago and the atmosphere that nurtured him.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:42 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Arturo O'Farrill: Tiny Desk Concert

The Arturo O'Farrill Octect performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Hayley Bartels Hayley Bartels/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:10 pm

Latin jazz works best when the musicians involved are as fluent in Afro-Cuban rhythms as they are in the deep grooves and advanced harmonics of bebop. Arturo O'Farrill has that pedigree in his DNA: His father, Chico O'Farrill, was part of a groundbreaking group of musicians who created the mash-up of Afro-Cuban music and jazz back in late-'40s New York.

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World Cafe
3:07 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Preservation Hall Jazz Band On World Cafe

Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Courtesy of brittanicadotcom

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:28 pm

New Orleans' Preservation Hall, the dirt-floor space off Bourbon Street, was founded in 1961 as a place for the elders of Crescent City jazz to play nightly. Today, World Cafe talks with Ben Jaffe; like his father Alan, who ran the space initially, Jaffe is a tuba player who guides the world-renowned band today.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
10:47 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Kate McGarry On Piano Jazz

Kate McGarry.
Matteo Trisolini

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 9:54 am

Singer-songwriter Kate McGarry has traveled many musical paths, from Celtic music to swing and various genres in between. That ecumenical outlook on music began early in her childhood. Growing up among nine brothers and sisters, she heard a variety of pop music (the Beatles, Earth Wind and Fire, etc.) but she also recalls family outings to hear live Celtic music groups performing at a local Irish pub.

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World Cafe
2:00 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

The Greyboy Allstars On World Cafe

The Greyboy Allstars.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:28 pm

Almost 20 years ago, the members of the Greyboy Allstars got together to play a record release party for DJ Greyboy and discovered a perfect fusion. Call it rare groove, acid jazz or Electric Boogaloo (as they named their 1995 debut album), guitarist Elgin Park, keyboardist Robert Walter, saxophonist Karl Denson and the rhythm section of Chris Stillwell and Aaron Redfield have a special sound. These Allstars still draw from '60s boogaloo on their new album, Inland Emperor.

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Music Interviews
5:44 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

'Singing Just To Me': Gregory Porter On Musical Inheritance

Gregory Porter's latest album is entitled Liquid Spirit.
Shawn Peters Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 2:14 pm

In his first semester playing football at San Diego State University, Gregory Porter severely injured his shoulder. Doctors told him his days on the field were over, but there was some good news: The school would let him keep his athletic scholarship. Suddenly without football, but with a lot of time on his hands, Porter searched for a new calling — and found it in his voice.

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