The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet has been serenading audiences in its native Washington, D.C., across the country and even as far as France for more than two decades. But its members are finding ways to bring something new to their performances. Bandleader and co-founder Ginny Carr says she wrote the words and music to all 10 songs on the quartet's new album, Hustlin' for a Gig — a relative rarity in a jazz world defined by time-tested standards.
This weekend, NPR Music and our partners WBGO and WGBH are presenting 16 hours of live video webcasting from the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival. For your convenience, here's a breakdown of what you'll see online and hear on WBGO. Everything is subject to change, as with all broadcasting; for the latest, check out npr.org/newportjazz, where you'll find the streaming video.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 11:38 am
In May, JazzSet host Dee Dee Bridgewater emceed three nights of concerts held at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater as part of the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival in Washington, D.C. Chihiro Yamanaka and Jane Bunnett opened the first night; they come from Japan and Canada, respectively, and each has a compelling story.
Gil Evans, born a century ago this year, was a leading jazz arranger and composer starting in the 1940s, when he wrote for big bands. He helped organize Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool sessions, then arranged Davis' celebrated orchestra albums like Sketches of Spain. Evans, who had his own big bands that went electric in the 1970s and '80s, died in 1991, but some of his rare music has been newly recorded.
Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 10:52 am
The experience of going to the Newport Jazz Festival actually starts before you get there. The community of Newport sits at the tip of Rhode Island's Aquidneck Island — the exact festival location even more so — which means you're going to need to cross a big bridge or hop a boat. You'll probably pass through the old resort community of Newport, and by its massive oceanside mansions. It'll be about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with a stabilizing ocean breeze. And then there's the music.
Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 4:21 pm
We took recordings from all the bandleaders at the Newport Jazz Festival this year and put them all in a 24/7 streaming channel. Mostly the actual bands at Newport 2012, with some classics mixed in for spice. Have a listen?
Charles Mingus, as remembered by Nat Hentoff. "Every once in a while, when I was at home, the phone would ring and I'd be jolted by music until he came on. 'What do you think of that?' he would ask. 'I just wrote it.'"
Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am
Though he's remembered for his intense interest in the lives of everyday folks, the Pulitzer Prize winning author and Chicago radio legend Studs Terkel was also a great lover of music, and especially jazz. His first book, Giants of Jazz, featured literary portraits of the likes of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.