Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:47 pm
In 1983, buoyed by a $10,000 grant from a city arts fund, a new concert presenter in San Francisco put together a festival called Jazz In The City. Fast-forward 30 years, and that organization — now called SFJAZZ and presenting more than 100 concerts a year — has raised $64 million, largely in private donations, for a new state-of-the-art performance space and permanent home. The SFJAZZ Center held a grand-opening ceremony Monday, and will celebrate Wednesday night with an all-star opening-night concert.
Keyboard player and composer Chick Corea was born Armando Anthony Corea in Chelsea, Mass., on June 12, 1941. His father, a Dixieland trumpet player, introduced Corea to jazz at an early age. By the time he was 4, Corea had begun studying the piano and played regular jazz gigs in high school. After graduation, he moved to New York to study music at Columbia and then Juilliard.
Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 11:26 am
Correction: The audio of this segment mentions a February performance by the Mingus Jazz Orchestra. There will be no Mingus Jazz Orchestra concert this year. The audio and text of this segment also misidentified the dates of the 2013 Mingus High School Competition. The competition is Feb. 15-18.
Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 11:04 am
The Winter Jazzfest turned nine this year, and it's matured into a known quantity, a New York cultural landmark. Its variety of routines have worn in enough to develop some comforting predictability. For such a scrappy, low-to-the-ground happening designed around emerging artists and new repertoires, that's an achievement.
Vocalist and poet Kurt Elling brings his rich baritone to Piano Jazz for a set of tunes and spoken improvisations with host Marian McPartland. As a child, Elling sang regularly in church and discovered jazz while studying at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He began sitting in at the city's jazz clubs, where his unique ability to improvise vocally led him in a new career direction.
Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 6:26 pm
In a concert and ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized its 2013 class of Jazz Masters on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013.
The honor is the highest federally supported award for jazz artistry; those recognized receive a $25,000 grant and a tribute performance. The event was broadcast live at XM Satellite Radio, WBGO-FM and online — with a live video stream — at this page on NPR Music.
Unpredictability is the active ingredient of New York's annual Winter Jazzfest. This year, fans will meander around six nearby clubs and take their pick of simultaneous shows. Choosing from among so many acts will be difficult.
Many of the bands are new, paced in rapid succession and often cryptically named. If you only have 45 minutes to spare, do you check out Breeding Ground? Hazmat Modine? Merger? 40Twenty? 10^32K?
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 11:42 pm
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton on All Songs Considered as they previewed some of the big upcoming releases of 2013. My pick was No Beginning, No End by the chameleonic vocalist Jose James.