Cynthia Sayer is widely regarded as one of the best banjoists in the world, able to perform in virtually any genre. Her accolades include the National Banjo Hall of Fame, a New York Philharmonic appearance and performances for two U.S. presidents. Sayer has played with Woody Allen's jazz band for more than a decade, and on this episode of Piano Jazz With Jon Weber, she whips up a fresh take on an old-time sound. Her latest album is titled Joyride.
Janis Siegel has been a member of the seminal vocal group The Manhattan Transfer for 30-plus years. Along the way, the group has recorded more than 20 albums and collected eight Grammy Awards, and Siegel also has nine solo albums under her belt.
The trio of Joe Dyson (drums), Max Moran (bass) and Conun Pappas (piano) met in New Orleans' performing-arts high school, and have all gone on to careers in music. Together, they've worked as Donald Harrison's rhythm section before they could legally drink, and in 2012 released a self-titled debut album as The Bridge Trio. Their new-school inspirations and grounding in New Orleans' musical community result in a precociously mature sound.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:53 pm
Originally from Minneapolis, José James began chasing his dreams of jazz singing at 17. He found his way to London and New York, and eventually ended up at The New School to study jazz vocals. James was always interested in a musical place where jazz, R&B, hip-hop and more can all come together.
Clarinetist and saxophone player Don Byron has a way of homing in on a departed artist's legacy and transforming it with intelligence and adventure. Having already dedicated albums to klezmer clarinetist Mickey Katz, the great saxophonist Lester Young circa 1946 and R&B saxophonist Junior Walker, Byron and his latest project take after the legacy of classic gospel music, primarily that of composer Thomas A. Dorsey and singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Keyboardist, composer, arranger and bandleader Clare Fischer was known for his versatile and deft touch with everything from classical to jazz to Latin and Brazilian music. He began his career after earning his Master's degree in composition from Michigan State University, where he worked as a pianist and conductor for the vocal group The Hi-Lo's. After working with The Hi-Lo's for five years, he went on to work with Dizzy Gillespie and Donald Byrd.
The U.S. considers jazz a national treasure. But its core audience has been gradually shrinking — and aging.
Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride has been trying to stem that tide by looking at the form in a different way. He tells Tell Me More guest host Celeste Headlee where he thinks jazz should go to reach its audience, and offers his personal insight with regard to how artists should take it from here.
The pianist Mulgrew Miller died on May 29, 2013, following a cerebral hemorrhage. The jazz world is grieving the loss of this "wonderful musician and great spirit," in the words of fellow pianist Kenny Barron. As saxophonist Loren Schoenberg so aptly says, "Mulgrew could levitate a bandstand."