music

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John Blake Jr., a jazz violinist who combined strong classical technique with the expressive power of African-American spirituals, folk music and blues, died on Friday in Philadelphia. He was 67.

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Paul Mawhinney, a former music-store owner in Pittsburgh, spent more than 40 years amassing a collection of some three million LPs and 45s, many of them bargain-bin rejects that had been thoroughly forgotten. The world’s indifference, he believed, made even the most neglected records precious: music that hadn’t been transferred to digital files would vanish forever unless someone bought his collection and preserved it.

R.I.P. Kenny Drew, Jr.

Aug 6, 2014
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While the late pianist Kenny Drew Jr. may have been under-appreciated bu the wider music community, jazz musicians are well aware of his genius. This appreciation by fellow pianist George Colligan is a fitting tribute.

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Trombone Shorty, Ann Arbor musical favorite is a generous supporter of young musicians through his foundation based in New Orleans.

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Jimmy Scott, whose distinctively high soprano voice—caused by a rare genetic condition called Kallmann’s syndrome—gave his music a purity and youthfulness even into old age, died June 12 in his sleep at his Las Vegas home. His death, the cause of which has not yet been revealed, was confirmed by a family friend. Scott was 88.

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Blueswoman Mary Bridget Davies is a really special lady. Not only was she nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist for her debut recording "Wanna Feel Somethin'", the 38 year old is now is nominated for a Tony Award for portraying Janis Joplin on Broadway. Tune in to From Memphis to Motown this Sunday at 7:00 p.m. and you'll find out why.

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Once again, musicians from around the world and right here in Metro Detroit will come together to weave deep, meaningful stories through their music that are at the very root of what makes jazz an art form that imitates, creates and expands our collective musical and life experiences. Click through for full details.

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The Detroit Jazz Festival announced a slew of headliners Tuesday, including jazz icons Ramsey Lewis, Pharoah Sanders, Stanley Clarke and Ron Carter, for the 35th annual festival that takes place over Labor Day weekend in downtown Detroit.

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If you're thinking about heading to the Jazz Fest in New Orleans, check out this article from NOLA.com

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The trumpet, made of copper, helps Belgrave create his signature sound. He says he won't press charges and may even give a reward if his trumpet is returned.

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WEMU's Adrienne Ayers contributed this report for the MotorCity Muckracker. It’s been 8 years since the passing of native Detroiter, hip hop artist, producer, and innovator, James Yancey, who was better known to the public and hip hop world as J Dilla.

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Jason Moran and his trio will play Dave Brubeck's 'The Gates of Justice' at the Fillmore Detroit on Sunday.

Jazz Speaks for Life

Jan 29, 2014
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The music of the Jason Moran Trio and vocals of Alberto Mizrahi and other soloists combine to bring to life Dave Brubeck’s musical exploration of civil rights, the “Gates of Justice” composition. Woven throughout this historic piece, are vocal performances of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and biblical scripture, against the backdrop of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Bill. This unique evening will also feature the Jason Moran Trio performing their own music.

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Marking its 80th anniversary, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge is opening a second location this fall, and is working with Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services to find space in downtown Detroit’s lower Woodward corridor or in Capitol Park near the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. The original Baker’s Keyboard Lounge opened as a sandwich shop in 1933, and began booking jazz pianists the following year.

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Angélique Kidjo, the songwriter and singer from Benin, was in Kenya being a do-gooder when the concept of her new album, “Eve,” came to her, she said, “like a light bulb blowing up in your head.”

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Proclaimed by Vanity Fair as “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade,” Fred Hersch balances his internationally recognized instrumental and improvisational skills with significant achievements as a composer, bandleader, and theatrical conceptualist. A 2014 Grammy Nominee, Hersch has fully lived up to the approbation of The New York Times, which praised him as “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz — a jazz for the 21st century.” Two different sets.

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Proclaimed by Vanity Fair as “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade,” Fred Hersch balances his internationally recognized instrumental and improvisational skills with significant achievements as a composer, bandleader, and theatrical conceptualist. A 2014 Grammy Nominee, Hersch has fully lived up to the approbation of The New York Times, which praised him as “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz — a jazz for the 21st century.” Two different sets.

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Contemporary and classical ballet, modern dance, jazz and hip-hop will set the stage for “Visions: The 62nd Annual Faculty & Guest Artist Concert,” January 17 – 18, at 8 p.m. and January 19 at 2 p.m. at Eastern Michigan’s Quirk Theatre

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From the Basie, Kenton and Buddy Rich bands to Mel Torme and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Al Porcino's trumpet sound brightened any band.

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Off stage, Alejandra Escobar is calm and reserved, but when the Eastern Michigan University graduate student performs behind the piano, she displays the kind of passion and intensity that not only won the 2013 Graduate Student Music Competition, it earned her a spot on the EMU delegation to Wuhan University, China.

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Congratulations to Herbie Hancock on this new honor. He'll be giving a series of lectures on "The Ethics of Jazz". Herbie Hancock has been named the 2014 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. “Hancock will give his six Norton Lectures, ‘The Ethics Of Jazz,’ in February and March.” The series follows Hancock’s receipt of a Kennedy Center Honor in December.

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Legendary Detroit jazz musician and composer Yusef Abdul Lateef, who came of age in the 1940s and ’50s, moved to New York and helped shape modern jazz, died Monday in his home in Massachusetts.

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Linda Yohn played tribute to Jimmie last Friday. Playlist found here: http://n.pr/18v8Flh

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With over a century of rich and colorful history (so far!), American jazz has no shortage of marquee and impactful eras worthy of study. It is possible, however, that preceding and formative jazz evolutions expressed their culmination during the final year of the decade of the 1950s. The special sound of 1959 brought us genre-defining recordings from some of the most important artists of jazz history. Even more remarkable is the fact that these standout recordings came from both the new faces in modern jazz (Dave Brubeck, Omette Coleman) and the veterans of early jazz (Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald). Join us here to enjoy the unique musical experience of 1959 – the transcendent year that bridged the post-bop, modern, and avant-garde jazz movements, and set a lofty standard for the second half of the 20th century.

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2014 marks the 37th year of the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a two-night celebration of roots music, a fundraiser for The Ark, Ann Arbor’s non-profit home for folk, roots, and ethnic music. The 37th Ann Arbor Folk Festival is presented by Ford Motor Company Fund.

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