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.
Even people who wouldn't know Yo-Yo Ma from Yanni know Carnegie Hall is where the world's greats play. So how do unknown students and amateurs get to perform at one of the world's most celebrated venues?
Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 2:46 pm
Singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim (real name: Sean Scolnick) took his stage name from his hometown of Langhorne in Bucks County, Pa. After studying at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, Slim moved to Brooklyn and built a national following by touring with The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. Eventually, he made his way to Portland, Ore., where he's lived since the 2009 release of Be Set Free.
Whether we're talking about, say, the historic accumulation of medals by swimmer Michael Phelps or Rowan Atkinson's keyboard "playing" during the Opening Ceremony a few days ago, there have been --- at the current Olympic Games, of course --- scores of outstanding performances in London lately.
Therefore, in a tip of the hat to Mr. Phelps, Mr. Atkinson, and so many others, the next installment of All This Jazz will present a host of great performances from London Town . . . performances, in our case, in a jazz vein.