Jazz News

Tony Bennett On Piano Jazz

Jul 27, 2018

Ever-popular song stylist Tony Bennett was McPartland's guest on Piano Jazz for the first time in 1990. Bennett vocalizes American popular songs like nobody else can. When he was starting out, a voice teacher, Miriam Speier, famous told him: "Don't imitate singers, imitate musicians." So, Bennett decided to emulate Art Tatum. He also credits his relaxed delivery to the inspiration of Mildred Bailey.

Don Byron On Piano Jazz

Jul 13, 2018

Pulitzer Prize finalist and 2007 Guggenheim Fellow Don Byron is a prodigious multi-instrumentalist and composer. One of the most inventive and compelling musicians of his generation, he is credited for reviving interest in the jazz clarinet, his primary instrument. He has presented projects at major music festivals around the world and is known for playing in a wide variety of genres.

The first "destination" jazz festival took place in Newport, R.I., in 1954 — multiple days, one stage and gorgeous scenery. These days, Newport is going strong, as is Monterey in California, and the festival model has expanded to multiple stages and far beyond big-brimmed hats and lawn chairs.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

The Mercer County Jazz Festival returns this year on Saturday, July 7.  Celebrating one of the most significant genres of American music the featured artists this year, will be the Baylor Project as the headlining performance. 

2018 Mercer County Jazz Festival Lineup

The Baylor Project - 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Jeff Bradshaw - 5 to 6:15 p.m.

Aya - 3:40 to 4:45 p.m.

Bob Pollitt - 2:20 to 3:25 p.m.

 

 

It's an exciting week for new music. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks to NPR's Rodney Carmichael, Ann Powers, Stephen Thompson and Tom Huizenga, along with WBGO's Nate Chinen about the best releases for June 29. This includes Drake's highly-anticipated double album, Scorpion, Florence and the Machine's tentative turn toward optimism with High as Hope, previously unheard and unreleased music from jazz legend John Coltrane and much more.

Featured Albums

Even a professional gamer is no match for Kamasi Washington in the arcade classic Street Fighter II Turbo.

Your Favorite Summer Jams

Jun 22, 2018

Earlier this week, we asked you for your favorite summer jams — the feel-good music that'll carry you through unrelenting news cycles, flat LaCroix, and incessant reminders from your mom ("HAVE YOU PUT ON SUNSCREEN YET?"). We loved your choices, from the sultry Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa song "One Kiss" to Korean boy band BTS's "Fake Love." More importantly, we appreciated your enthusiasm: "It bangs" was a common comment, along with "It slaps" and "IT BUMPS IN THE WHIP." (We may have learned some new terms).

Virtuosity — of a dazzling, ebullient, yet altogether generous sort — might be the most obvious bridge between David Holland and Zakir Hussain. But there's also a deep cultural foundation behind their musical dialogue, which forms the beating heart of a project called Crosscurrents.

Kamasi Washington's idea of heaven is the world he creates and retreats to in his mind. The jazz torchbearer's double album Heaven and Earth, out today, represents that inward heaven versus his outward reality on Earth.

On this week's episode of New Music Friday, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton chats with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Rodney Carmichael, along with jazz critic Nate Chinen from WBGO about the most exciting new releases for June 22. Albums include the intense, industrial rock of Nine Inch Nails, the new joint project of Lecrae & Zaytoven and the wildly ambitious, shape-shifting jazz of Kamasi Washington.

Featured Albums

  1. Nine Inch Nails: Bad Witch
    Featured Song: "Ahead Of Ourselves"

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

New York's Village Vanguard may come closer than any other club to embodying the spirit of jazz. For nearly 30 years, the guardian of that spirit has been the Vanguard's formidable impresaria, Lorraine Gordon. Gordon, a jazz champion since her teen years and one of the music's female pioneers, died Saturday at the age of 95.

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