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Author: Doug Hall

The voice as an instrument, particularly in jazz, is a fascinating vehicle for musical expression. In the category of female vocalists there are the established legends – think Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Billie Holiday. They each have a different style and treatment of their personal interpretations of a jazz standard, original composition, or covering […]

The image of a Spanish flamenco dancer with intensive emotion, swirling with castanets clicking and boots stomping, driving a rhythm against a dance floor, is hard to separate from the accompanying band that delivers the syncopation. The flamenco dancer is intertwined with the fast strumming on Toque (guitar) and the spirited Cantaor (flamenco vocalist) telling […]

As the driving rhythm and dance-based sound of Afro-Cuban music was being introduced to the U.S. in the late ‘40s by Cuban bandleaders, most notably Machito and his Latin orchestra, a refinement of musical genre was evolving. With styles incorporating Afro-Cuban, Cubop, (a form of Latin jazz), and salsa music, (a dance-based genre with heavy […]

The voice, tone, phrasing–in effect, the signature sound of the sax has distinguished a number of artists. Wayne Shorter, now 89 years old, has been a profound force of interpretation on the tenor saxophone; on the soprano saxophone, there is no greater master. He has remained at the forefront of influence with his instrument and […]

As many musically divergent roads can lead to a professional career in jazz, veteran vocalist, pianist, multi-instrumentalist, Grammy-award nominee, and winner Catherine Russell, has followed her own path. With an established bloodline of famed musicianship from both parents, Luis Russell and Carline Ray, she was surrounded and influenced by a wide range of music, from […]

Watching live performances of featured artists in jazz, certain musicians command your attention with their physical presence, effortlessly able to exude enormous energy. Grace Kelly, saxophonist, singer, and bandleader, has been sharing that sustained personal intensity on stage since her teens. Kelly has a unique combination of passionate energy and infectious enthusiasm, all directed towards […]

As mentoring becomes a more recognized adjunct to an established career as a jazz musician (or any veteran artist), the impact is clear when insights are shared by mentored musicians. There are a handful of such teachers that carry as much respect for their philosophy of learning an instrument, as their accomplishments as composers. Multi-instrumentalist, […]

Champion: An Opera in Jazz Performed Sunday, May 22 at The Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater Music by Terence Blanchard Libretto by Michael Cristofer Now in its 45th season, Boston Lyric Opera is the largest and longest-lived opera company in New England. Standing away from popular themes, BLO’s programming has remained faithful to the tradition of […]

The music world abounds with references to Philly soul or Philly funk and its heritage of legendary musicians. Philly jazz musicians have also earned such iconic references. But there is one contemporary recording artist, constantly touring with top-shelf talent and held by most jazz musicians as a virtuoso on the Hammond B3 organ, whose roots […]

Experimental jazz guitarist, composer and ensemble bandleader Mary Halvorson has evolved her individual style and pushed an incredibly varied direction in musical expression over the course of numerous projects since 2005. Finding significant critical attention in 2017, 2018, and 2019, by virtue of consecutive wins in DownBeat’s International Critics Poll as Best Guitarist, Halvorson continues […]