Wadada Leo Smith, Artemis, Kenny G & More: Jazz Week
The Week in Jazz is your roundup of new and remarkable stories from the world of jazz. It’s a one-stop destination for the music news you need to know. Let’s take it from the top.
New Wadada Leo Smith 80th Birthday Celebration Video: Trumpeter / songwriter Wadada Leo Smith shared a special 80th anniversary celebration video performance as a thank you to all the fans who appreciate his music. The performance features him alongside Pheeroan akLaff on drums, Erika Dohi on piano and Lamar Smith on guitar. Pianist / composer Sylvie Courvoisier contributes a separate video. Watch it via the player below.
Reservoir acquires the rights to the catalog from Fred Parris, founder of The Five Satins: Reservoir has acquired a stake in the publishing catalog of Fred Perris, the iconic writer / lead singer / founder of the historic doo-wop group, The Five Satins. Parris is best known as the writer / lead singer of “In the Still of the Night”, originally released in 1956. Regarding the deal with Reservoir, Parris said: “I am extremely happy to enter into this deal with […] the Reservoir team, and I am grateful for all their enthusiasm. I know they really care about my job and are huge supporters. “
The Blues Foundation Announces Judith Black as New President and CEO: The Blues Foundation has announced the appointment of Judith Black, whose career in marketing and communications spans more than 30 years, as the new President and CEO, effective January 1, 2022. Black said: “ I am honored and delighted to serve as CEO of The Blues. Foundation. I grew up in a home where the blues was celebrated and its history embraced. I look forward to tapping into my own family heritage, my knowledge of this community and my deep business experience to further the mission of the organization. The mission of the Blues Foundation has been to preserve, celebrate and promote the Blues genre.
Limerick Jazz will host a competition of young Irish jazz musicians: Limerick Jazz will host the very first young Irish jazz musician 2022 in association with Improvised Music Company. Apply here. The finalists will perform for a jury at the University Concert Hall in Limerick, Ireland on April 10. The chosen laureate will have the opportunity to record with a professional ensemble and will receive a scholarship to participate in an international summer school.
Blue Lab Beats, Trip to the homeland (Blue Note): The booming London duo Blue Lab Beats continue to refine their jazztronica sound with their upcoming debut Blue Note, Trip to the homeland, released on February 25. This collection of 17 tracks is the duo’s biggest project to date and emerges from a two-and-a-half-year work. It presents a fusion of genres and influences the duo picked up during this period. Pre-order Trip to the homeland here.
Kenny G, New standards (Concorde): World-renowned saxophonist Kenny G released a new collection of original compositions inspired by jazz ballads of the 50s and 60s on December 3 via Concord. “For this album, I wanted to try and recreate those ‘sounds’ but do it my own way, which meant for me that I had to compose the songs myself,” says Kenny G. “So I started to compose and playing songs that capture the “heart and soul” of these beloved jazz standards and recording them “my way”. New standards here.
Pete Malinverni, In town – Pete Malinverni plays Leonard Bernstein (Planet arts): Pianist Pete Malinverni pays tribute to iconic composer Leonard Bernstein on his new album, on the city, which will be released on January 14 via Planet Arts Recordings. The LP finds him reinterpreting nine Bernstein favorites as well as a new Malinverni original, all performed with his all-star trio including bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Jeff Hamilton. Pre-order it here.
Harold Mabern, Mabern plays Coltrane (Smoke sessions): Smoke Sessions has released a vibrant and unreleased recording of the great and late Harold Mabern performing the music of John Coltrane. Mabern plays Coltrane features a star quintet and is drawn from the last three nights of a 2017-18 three-week residency at the annual John Coltrane Smoke Festival. The album also includes cover notes by the son of the great pianist Michael Mabern and the dedication of his daughter Roxanne Mabern. Order Mabern plays Coltrane here.
Live music and festival news
Fred Hersch’s album release concerts at Village Vanguard: Fred Hersch will celebrate the release of his new album, Breath by breath, with album release concerts at New York’s Village Vanguard on January 4 and January 9, 2022. Tickets here. Breath by breath draws on Hersch’s long-standing practice of mindfulness meditation and is performed by a jazz trio with a string quartet. It will be released on January 7 via Palmetto. Pre-order it here.
Twelve musicians meet Bertoia at the Nasher Sculpture Center, in Dallas: The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas, will present “Sculpting Sound: Twelve Musicians Encounter Bertoia”. This is a series of six concerts bringing together twelve musicians to explore the expressive palette of Harry Bertola’s sound sculptures. The concerts will take place from February 22 to 27 and will complement the exhibition “Harry Bertola: Sculpting Mid-Century Modern Life”. More here.
Pyroclastic display at the Winter Jazzfest Marathon: Pyroclastic Record, the non-profit label founded by pianist / composer Kris Davis, will be hosting a Pyroclastic Records showcase on January 14-15, 2022, as part of the New York Winter Jazzfest Marathon. Concerts by Kris Davis Diatom Ribbons, Searching for the Disappeared Hour, Chris Lightcap’s Superette and Eric Revis Quartet will take place at the Jazz Gallery. Tickets here.
Artemis announces a concert in London on February 20: Artemis – the all-female supergroup starring Renee Rosnes, Ingrid Jensen, Anat Cohen, Nicole Glover, Noriko Ueda and Allison Miller – will perform at Cadogan Hall in London on February 20. They will present the music from their self-titled debut album, released last year via Blue Note Records. Tickets here.
10th Annual San Jose Winter Festival, February 11-27: The annual San Jose Winter Festival will return with its 10th edition of concerts held at eight South Bay area venues from February 11-27. Performers include La Santa Cecilia, The Cookers, Marquis Hill New Gospel Revisited, Harriet Tubman and more. There will also be tributes to Wayne Shorter and the late great Dr. Lonnie Smith. Other acts will be announced at a later date. Click here for tickets and more information.
JAS Experience Labor Day Weekend Headliners Announcement: Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) has announced that Stevie Nicks, Chris Stapleton and Leon Bridges will headline their Labor Day 2022 experience, which will take place at Snowmass Town Park in Aspen, Colorado, September 2-4. 2022. Three – Early bird passes are now available here. Daily schedules and the first parts of annual events will be announced at a later date.
Maurice “Mobetta” Brown at the Black Cat Jazz Supper Club: Trumpeter / producer / rapper Maurice “Mobetta” Brown will lead a four-day New Years Eve special at the Black Cat Jazz Supper Club in San Francisco, Calif. From December 29, 2021 to January 1, 2022. Brown will be playing with his group of stars while Executive Chef Yainiel Negrón will host a four-course tasting meal. Tickets here.
Featured photo by Dominik Huber.
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