Artist of the Month

Looking at the substantially self-guided career of a young performer, with as many upper-tier awards, recognition and accolades to her credit as she’s earned, Cécile McLorin Salvant, at 32, has a critical reputation beyond her years. Aside from her vocal gift for phrasing and an unmatched richness, quality, and range of voice, the jazz world […]

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, […]

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 […]

If a compositional work of music such as a 500-page score was discovered in our current era, that when arranged and performed would be 2.5 hours long and require 30 musicians to perform, you’d assume this was a classical piece for a symphony. Yet Epitaph is a composition by American jazz composer, bassist, bandleader, and […]

Known for his lyrical and relaxed style on the tenor saxophone, exceptional improvisor and seminal influence on his instrument, Lester Young, “The Prez,” was interviewed in a Paris hotel room just two months before he died. In response to a question about big bands like Count Basie’s Orchestra, where Young had become famous, he stated, […]

In the arena of large jazz orchestras – whether it be Duke Ellington, Count Basie, or Dizzy Gillespie – the choice of an individual musician becomes a critical decision for any bandleader. Ray Brown, legendary acoustic double-bassist, DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame winner, and peer-less performer of his instrument, was the obvious choice for many […]

As you look at all the seminal legends and stars of jazz that have performed and recorded for over 60 years, there are only a few currently active. An even shorter list, indeed, if you consider the list of performers still alive today who have intersected with jazz leaders from the 1940s and participated in […]

If ever there were a jazz singer whose musical career could not be separated from the legacy of their own political and social positions, it would be Nina Simone. From early on in her performances and recordings, her establishment and approach as a Black female and individual artist, particularly during the late ‘50s and ‘60s, […]

As one of the greatest crooners and stylists of the Great American Songbook, Tony Bennett has been influenced by and taken vocal impressions from many singular, legendary jazz performers. Bennett’s well-known emotional and physical reaction to hearing the birth of Bebop through Charlie Parker’s rapid-fire saxophone soloing at Birdland one night in the 1950s would […]

A sweeping messenger of the widest of musical genre explorations (classical, traditional jazz, post-bop, jazz-rock fusion, funk, electronica, hip-hop, pop, and ambient); jazz pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, and composer Herbie Hancock is true to his own label as “cultural ambassador.” Early in his musical career, Hancock followed a seemingly unbroken trajectory through some of the most […]


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