Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (November 2013): Ron Carter

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (November 2013): Ron Carter

Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. With more than 2,000 albums to his credit, he has recorded with many of music's greats: Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, the Kronos Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, and Bobby Timmons. In the early 1960s he performed throughout the United States in concert halls and nightclubs with Jaki Byard and Eric Dolphy. He later toured Europe with Cannonball Adderley. From 1963 to 1968, he was a member of the classic and acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. He was named Outstanding Bassist of the Decade by the Detroit News, Jazz Bassist of the Year by Downbeat magazine, and Most Valuable Player by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

In 1993 Ron Carter earned a Grammy award for Best Jazz Instrumental Group, the Miles Davis Tribute Band and another Grammy in 1998 for Call 'Sheet Blues', an instrumental composition from the film 'Round Midnight. In addition to scoring and arranging music for many films, including some projects for Public Broadcasting System, Carter has composed music for A Gathering of Old Men, starring Lou Gosset Jr., The Passion of Beatrice directed by Bertrand Tavernier, and Blind Faith starring Courtney B. Vance. Carter shares his expertise in the series of books he authored, among which are Building Jazz Bass Lines and The Music of Ron Carter; the latter contains 130 of his published and recorded compositions.

Carter earned a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School in Rochester and a master's degree in double bass from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He has also received two honorary doctorates, from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, and was the 2002 recipient of the prestigious Hutchinson Award from the Eastman School at the University of Rochester. Most recently he was honored by the French Minister of Culture with France's premier cultural award--the medallion and title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, given to those who have distinguished themselves in the domain of artistic or literary creation and for their contribution to the spread of arts and letters in France and the world.

Carter has lectured, conducted, and performed at clinics and master classes, instructing jazz ensembles and teaching the business of music at numerous universities. He was Artistic Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Studies while it was located in Boston and, after 18 years on the faculty of the Music Department of The City College of New York, he is now Distinguished Professor Emeritus although, as a performer, he remains as active as ever.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Fact About Music Preferences

The Fact About Music Preferences

People defend their music preferences like it was a conscious decision or a mystical or divine revelation, like God came down from the heavens and told them "this is the music you should listen to".

The fact is that studies show most people developed their music taste in their teen years as a way of being accepted in a social group. If you were lucky, you selected a group with a good music taste, if not; you probably spend your whole life wrongly believing you were listening to music masterpieces when in fact you were not. But if you were even luckier, you took music courses as a child or teenager and therefore made a conscious and educated decision, because music education made it clear to you that in order to be considered good certain music elements (harmonies, melodies, rhythm, tone) must be present and well developed in a music piece.

Yes, there is bad and good music. And some music styles are by its nature better than others. Good music taste, like any other decision in life, is mostly a matter of education; your personal preferences are irrelevant unless they are based in an educated decision. Good is good and bad is bad no matter if you like it or not. If you want to know the difference, educate yourself.

Music education for most people means that their ears will automatically reject music with lack of harmonies, simplistic and repetitive melodies and rhythm, and overuse of artificial/computer generated sounds, all things that science is discovering are not good for the mind; and something the musically educated mind always knew.

Music is food for the brain, but not all music have the same nutrition value. Music with rich harmonies, well developed melodic themes, rhythmic variations, and natural tones create neural connections in the brain that helps people in math and language development among other things. No good is done by telling people that all music have the same quality so it doesn't matter what kind of music they listen to. The goal must be to educate them, especially our youth, in order for them to choose wisely and receive the benefits of listening to good music.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (October 2013): McCoy Tyner

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (October 2013): McCoy Tyner

Tyner's blues-based piano style, replete with sophisticated chords and an explosively percussive left hand has transcended conventional styles to become one of the most identifiable sounds in improvised music. His harmonic contributions and dramatic rhythmic devices form the vocabulary of a majority of jazz pianists.

Born in 1938 in Philadelphia, he became a part of the fertile jazz and R&B scene of the early '50s. His parents imbued him with a love for music from an early age. His mother encouraged him to explore his musical interests through formal training.

At 17 he began a career-changing relationship with Miles Davis' sideman saxophonist John Coltrane. Tyner joined Coltrane for the classic album My Favorite Things (1960), and remained at the core of what became one of the most seminal groups in jazz history, The John Coltrane Quartet. The band, which also included drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Jimmy Garrison, had an extraordinary chemistry, fostered in part by Tyner's almost familial relationship with Coltrane.

From 1960 through 1965, Tyner's name was propelled to international renown, as he developed a new vocabulary that transcended the piano styles of the time, providing a unique harmonic underpinning and rhythmic charge essential to the group's sound. He performed on Coltrane's classic recordings such as Live at the Village Vanguard, Impressions and Coltrane's signature suite, A Love Supreme.

In 1965, after over five years with Coltrane's quartet, Tyner left the group to explore his destiny as a composer and bandleader. Among his major projects is a 1967 album entitled The Real McCoy, on which he was joined by saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Ron Carter and fellow Coltrane alumnus Elvin Jones. His 1972 Grammy-award nomination album Sahara, broke new ground by the sounds and rhythms of Africa. Since 1980, he has also arranged his lavishly textured harmonies for a big band that performs and records when possible. In the late 1980s, he mainly focused on his piano trio featuring Avery Sharpe on bass and Aarron Scott on drums. Today, this trio is still in great demand. He returned to Impulse in 1995, with a superb album featuring Michael Brecker. In 1996 he recorded a special album with the music of Burt Bacharach. In 1998 he changed labels again and recorded an interesting latin album and an album featuring Stanley Clarke for TelArc.

In the summer of 2005, Tyner joined forces with the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York and became the first client of Blue Note Management. That summer, Tyner began work on some unique projects, including performances with tap-dancer Savion Glover and the development of the Impulse! Septet, featuring his trio with some of today's top hornmen.

Tyner's partnership with the Blue Note has led to the formation of his own record label, aptly titled McCoy Tyner Music. The label is a subsidiary of the Blue Note's In-House record label, Half Note Records. The label launched on September 11, 2007, upon the release of Tyner's latest CD, "Quartet" featuring Joe Lovano, Christian McBride, and Jeff "Tain" Watts. Recorded live on New Year's Eve 2006, the album features a working band at its finest with some of today's "legends in training." Additionally, the record shows that Tyner, who now carries the torch as the only surviving member of the John Coltrane Quartet, is still at the top of his game as a composer, performer, and bandleader.

In review of Tyner's latest album "Quartet," Thomas Conrad of JazzTimes wrote "'Quartet' succeeds not only because everyone plays so well, but also because they play so well together. The pairing of Tyner and Lovano is synergistic. The McBride/Watts rhythm section, for intelligent propulsion, is state-of-the-art. 'Quartet' succeeds once more because of its excellent sonic quality. It was recorded by engineer Phil Edwards at Yoshi's in Oakland, Calif., over New Year's Eve weekend 2006. Almost always, even the best-sounding jazz albums require you to make a choice. You can have the visceral in-the-moment reality of a live recording, or the full bandwidth resolution of a studio session. This one has both."

McCoy Tyner's second release for the McCoy Tyner Music label is scheduled for a summer 2008 release. The recording features the stellar rhythm section of Tyner, Ron Carter, and Jack DeJohnette with four modern guitarists (and one banjo) of our time: Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, John Scofield, Derek Trucks, and Bela Fleck. The package will be a CD/DVD featuring state-of-the-art technology that allows the viewer to manually choose which musician(s) they would like to view in the studio at any time during each track. In 2009, Tyner will release his third recording for McCoy Tyner Music, a solo piano performance recorded live in San Francisco during the summer of 2007.

Tyner has always expanded his vision of the musical landscape and incorporated new elements, whether from distant continents or diverse musical influences. More recently he has arranged for big bands, employed string arrangements, and even reinterpreted popular music. Today, Tyner has released nearly 80 albums under his name, earned four Grammys and was awarded Jazz Master from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002. He continues to leave his mark on generations of improvisers, and yet remains a disarmingly modest and spiritually directed man.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (September 2013) Pat Metheny

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (September 2013) Pat Metheny

Pat Metheny was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. Starting on trumpet at the age of 8, Metheny switched to guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, receiving valuable on-the-bandstand experience at an unusually young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility - a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional "jazz guitar" sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Pat Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.

Metheny's versatility is almost nearly without peer on any instrument. Over the years, he has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich to Ornette Coleman to Herbie Hancock to Jim Hall to Milton Nascimento to David Bowie. He has been part of a writing team with keyboardist Lyle Mays for more than twenty years - an association that has been compared to the Lennon/McCartney and Ellington/Strayhorn partnerships by critics and listeners alike. Metheny's body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces, with settings ranging from modern jazz to rock to classical.

As well as being an accomplished musician, Metheny has also participated in the academic arena as a music educator. At 18, he was the youngest teacher ever at the University of Miami. At 19, he became the youngest teacher ever at the Berklee College of Music, where he also received an honorary doctorate more than twenty years later (1996). He has also taught music workshops all over the world, from the Dutch Royal Conservatory to the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz to clinics in Asia and South America. He has also been a true musical pioneer in the realm of electronic music, and was one of the very first jazz musicians to treat the synthesizer as a serious musical instrument. Years before the invention of MIDI technology, Metheny was using the Synclavier as a composing tool. He also been instrumental in the development of several new kinds of guitars such as the soprano acoustic guitar, the 42-string Pikasso guitar, Ibanez's PM-100 jazz guitar, and a variety of other custom instruments. He took the whole instrument development process into a different level with his mechanical, solenoid driven Orchestrion.

It is one thing to attain popularity as a musician, but it is another to receive the kind of acclaim Metheny has garnered from critics and peers. Over the years, Metheny has won countless polls as "Best Jazz Guitarist" and awards, including three gold records for (Still Life) Talking, Letter from Home, and Secret Story. He has also won 20 Grammy Awards in 12 different categories including Best Rock Instrumental, Best Contemporary Jazz Recording, Best Jazz Instrumental Solo, Best Instrumental Composition. The Pat Metheny Group won an unprecedented seven consecutive Grammies for seven consecutive albums. Metheny has spent most of his life on tour, averaging between 120-240 shows a year since 1974. At the time of this writing, he continues to be one of the brightest stars of the jazz community, dedicating time to both his own projects and those of emerging artists and established veterans alike, helping them to reach their audience as well as realizing their own artistic visions.


35 Grammy award nominations

Winner of 20 Grammy awards, including an unprecedented 7 in a row for 7 consecutive recordings.

3 Gold Records (Secret Story, Still Live Talking, Letter From Home)

38 recordings totaling about 20 million records sold worldwide

Nominated in 12 different Grammy Award categories, winning in 10 of them. No one else has won in 10 different categories.

Best Contemporary Jazz Album

Best Pop Instrumental Performance

Best Jazz Instrumental Solo Performance

Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by Individual or Group

Best Rock Instrumental Performance

Best Instrumental Composition

Best Jazz Fusion Performance

Best Jazz Performance

Best New Age Performance

Best Arrangement on an Instrumental

Best Country Instrumental Performance


JazzTimes Readers Poll: #1 Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny

JazzTimes Readers Poll: #1 Contemporary/Electric Group - Pat Metheny Unity Band – Pat Metheny

JazzTimes Readers Poll: #2 Best New Release of 2012: Pat Metheny Unity Band – Pat Metheny


Downbeat Readers Poll: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Grammy Award : Best New Age Album - What's It All About – Pat Metheny


Downbeat Readers Poll: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny


Downbeat 75th Readers Poll Award: : Best Jazz Album - Orchestrion – Pat Metheny

Downbeat 75th Readers Poll Award: Guitarist of the Year – Pat Metheny


Downbeat 74th Readers Poll Award: Best Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Trio

Downbeat 74th Readers Poll Award: Guitarist of the Year – Pat Metheny

Guitar Player Magazine: 2009 Reader's Poll - Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Acoustic Guitar Magazine: Best Acoustic Guitarist-Readers Poll – Pat Metheny


All About Jazz: 10 Best of 2008 (new releases) TOKYO DAY TRIP – Pat Metheny Trio

All About Jazz: 10 Best of 2008 (reissues) QUESTION & ANSWER – Pat Metheny w/Dave Holland & Roy Haynes

NPR Music: Best CDs of 2008 - DAY TRIP – Pat Metheny Trio

Grammy Award Nomination: Best Jazz Instrumental Album - DAY TRIP – Pat Metheny Trio

Grammy Award Nomination: Best Jazz Instrumental Solo - SON OF THIRTEEN (from Day Trip) – Pat Metheny

Grammy Award Nomination: Best Country Instrumental Performance - IS THIS AMERICA (KATRINA 2005) From Charlie Haden's Ramblin Boy recording – Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Jerry Douglas, Bruce Hornsby

DownBeat 73rd Annual Readers Poll Award: Guitarist of the year – Pat Metheny

DownBeat 73rd Annual Readers Poll Award: Jazz Group of the Year – Pat Metheny Trio

Downbeat: DownBeat Critics Poll Award for Guitarist of the Year – Pat Metheny


Downbeat: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Downbeat: Jazz Album of The Year- Metheny/Mehldau – Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau

Grammy Award: Pilgrimage – Michael Brecker (Pat Metheny Co-Producer)

itunes: Best of 2006-Jazz – Metheny Mehldau

JazzTimes Magazine: Best Contemporary/Electric Group – Pat Metheny Group

JazzTimes Magazine: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Jazz Journalists Association: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

2006 Top 10 Recordings of 2006- Metheny Mehldau – Pat Metheny

Grammy Award: Best Contemporary Jazz Recording-The Way Up – Pat Metheny Group

Pat Metheny : Jazziz Critics Choice Award 2005 – Pat Metheny Group

JazzTimes Magazine Reader's Poll 2005: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Jazztimes Magazine-Reader's Poll 2005: Best Comtemporary /Electric Group – Pat Metheny Group


All About Jazz: Top 10 Recordings of 2005-THE WAY UP – Pat Metheny Group

All About Jazz: Top 5 Reissued Recordings of 2005-SONG X 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION – Pat Metheny & Ornette Coleman

Echos NPR Radio Listener's Poll: Top 5 Records of 2005-The Way Up – Pat Metheny Group


Grammy Award: Best New Age Album-One Quiet Night – Pat Metheny

Boston Music Awards: Jazz Act Of The Year – Pat Metheny Group

JazzTimes Readers Poll '04: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

JazzTimes Readers Poll '03: Best Contemporary Electric Group – Pat Metheny Group


Grammy Award: Best Contemporary Jazz Album -Speaking Of Now – Pat Metheny Group

Grammy Nomination: Best Pop Instrumental Performance-"As It Is" – Pat Metheny Group

Grammy Nomination: Best Jazz Instrumental Solo Performance-"Proof" – Pat Metheny


Downbeat Readers Poll: Best Electric Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group

Edison Award (Netherlands): SPEAKING OF NOW - Best Instrumental Jazz Recording (international) – Pat Metheny Group

Boston Music Awards: Best National Jazz Act – Pat Metheny


Adlib Magazine (Japan): : Best Video 2001-Imaginary Day Live – Pat Metheny Group

Swing Journal (Japan): Best Jazz Video-Imaginary Day Live – Pat Metheny Group

Boston Music Awards: Best National Jazz Act – Pat Metheny

JazzTimes Magazine: JazzTimes Reader's Poll - Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny


Grammy Award: Best Jazz Instrumental Solo-"(Go) Get It" – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Magazine Reader's Poll: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Magazine Reader's Poll: Top 10 Jazz Recordings of 2000-Trio LIVE – Pat Metheny

BET/Billboard Jazz Awards: Best Soundtrack Album composed and performed by – Pat Metheny

JazzTimes Magazine: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny


Grammy Award : Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by Individual or Group- – Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Roy Haynes, Dave Holland

Down Beat Reader's Poll: Best Electric Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group

Bell Atlantic Jazz Awards: Radio Jazz Artist Of the Year – Pat Metheny


Grammy Award : Best Contemporary Jazz Performance - Imaginary Day – Pat Metheny Group

Grammy Award : Best Rock Instrumental Performance - "The Roots of Coincidence" – Pat Metheny Group

Jazziz: Best Electric Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Down Beat Readers Poll: Jazz Musician of the Year – Pat Metheny

Down Beat Readers Poll: #1 Electric Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group


Grammy Award : Best Jazz Instrumental Performance-Beyond The Missouri Sky (short stories) – Pat Metheny & Charlie Haden

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Jazz Musician – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Electric Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Jazz Fusion Group – Pat Metheny Group


Fort Lauderdale Film Festival: Best Filmscore-for Gentle Into The Night a/k/a Passagio Per Il Paradiso – Pat Metheny

Boston Music Awards Nomination: Best Act of the Decade – Pat Metheny Group

Jazz Central Station Global Poll: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Jazz Times Magazine: Best Contemporary Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group

The Orville H. Gibson Award: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny


Grammy Award : Best Contemporary Jazz Performance - We Live Here – Pat Metheny Group

Adlib Magazine (Japan): Best Video 1995 - We Live Here -Live In Japan – Pat Metheny Group

Adlib Magazine (Japan): Best Album 1995 Grand Prix Award - We Live Here – Pat Metheny Group


Grammy Nomination: Best Instrumental Composition- "Half Life of Absolution" The Road To You – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Electric Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Musician – Pat Metheny

Boston Music Awards: Outstanding Jazz Album - The Road To You – Pat Metheny Group

Boston Music Awards: Outstanding Jazz Act – Pat Metheny Group

Boston Music Awards: Inducted into the BMA Hall of Fame – Pat Metheny

Adlib Magazine: Best Fusion Album - The Road To You – Pat Metheny Group

Adlib Magazine (Japan): Best Video - More Travels – Pat Metheny Group


Grammy Award : Best Contemporary Jazz Performance Instrumental - The Road To You – Pat Metheny Group

Grammy Nomination: Best Contemporary Jazz Performance Instrumental for "Road To You" – Pat Metheny Group

Boston Music Awards: Best Jazz Album - Secret Story – Pat Metheny

Boston Music Awards: Best Jazz Act – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Electric Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Top 3 Best Albums of All Time - Secret Story – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Album Concept - Secret Story – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Album by a Solo Artist - Secret Story – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Musician of the Year – Pat Metheny

Adlib Magazine (Japan): Best Fusion Album - Secret Story – Pat Metheny


Grammy Award : Best Contemporary Jazz Performance Instrumental - Secret Story – Pat Metheny

Grammy Award : Best Contemporary Jazz Performance Intrumental for – Pat Metheny

Jazz Times Readers Poll: Best Guitar Synthesizer Player – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Electric Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Boston Music Awards: Best Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group


Downbeat Readers Poll: Best Electric Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Jazz Times Readers Poll: Best Guitar Synthesizer Player – Pat Metheny

The Orville H. Gibson Award: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny


Grammy Award : Best Instrumental Composition - Change of Heart – Pat Metheny

Grammy Nomination: Best Instrumental Composition - "Change of Heart" – Pat Metheny

Keyboard Readers Poll: Alternate Controllers Award – Pat Metheny

Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll: Guitarist of the Year – Pat Metheny

Top Ten Records of 1990/Boston Globe: Question and Answer – Pat Metheny

Swing Journal Magazine Readers Poll: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Swing Journal Magazine Readers Poll: Best Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group

Jazz Times Readers Poll: Best Guitar Synthesizer – Pat Metheny

Jazz Times Readers Poll: Best Contemporary Jazz Artist – Pat Metheny

Jazz Times Readers Poll: Best Contemporary Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group

Boston Music Awards: Outstanding Jazz Album - Letter From Home – Pat Metheny Group

Boston Music Awards: Outstanding Jazz Act – Pat Metheny Group


Grammy Award : Best Jazz Fusion Performance - Letter From Home – Pat Metheny

Grammy Nomination: Best Instrumental Composition - "Letter From Home" – Pat Metheny

R&R Magazine: #1 Jazz Album of the Year NAC and Jazz Format - Letter From Home – Pat Metheny Group

Gavin Report: #1 Jazz Album of the Year NAC and Jazz Format - Letter From Home – Pat Metheny Group

Keyboard Readers Poll: Alternate Controllers Award – Pat Metheny

Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll: Guitarist of the Year – Pat Metheny

Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll: Jazz Album of the Year - Letter From Home – Pat Metheny Group

Cash Box: Top Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Cash Box: Top Electric Jazz Act – Pat Metheny Group


Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Cash Box Jazz Awards: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Cash Box Jazz Awards: Top Electric Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group


Grammy Award : Best Jazz Fusion Performance-Vocal or Instrumental - Still Life (Talking – Pat Metheny Group

Grammy Nomination: Best Instrumental Composition - Minuano (six-eight) – Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays

Boston Globe Readers Poll: Best Jazz Musician – Pat Metheny

Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll: Best Electric Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group

Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Boston Music Awards: Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Boston Music Awards: Best Jazz Act (Major Label) – Pat Metheny Group

Rolling Stone: Top 100 Pop Albums - Still Life (Talking) – Pat Metheny Group

USA Today: Top 10 Best Jazz Albums - Still Life (Talking) – Pat Metheny Group

R&R Magazine: #1 Top Jazz Album - Still Life (Talking) – Pat Metheny Group

Hi Fi Magazine Readers Poll (Germany): Best Jazz Fusion Album - Still Life (Talking) – Pat Metheny Group

Boston Music Awards: Best Jazz Album (Major Label) - Still Life (Talking) – Pat Metheny Group


Cash Box Magazine: Best Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group

International Musician & Recording World: Music Award Poll Best Jazz Group or Artist – Pat Metheny Group

Boston Music Awards: Outstanding Jazz Fusion Group – Pat Metheny Group

Boston Music Awards: Outstanding Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Guitar Player Magazine: Gallery of Greats Best Jazz Guitarist 1982-1986 – Pat Metheny

Guitar Player Magazine: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Downbeat Magazine: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Jazz Musician – Pat Metheny

Boston Music Awards: Outstanding Jazz Album - Song X – Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman

Jazziz Readers Poll: Best Group Album - Song X – Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman

New York Times (John Pareles): Top Album - Song X – Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman

USA Today: Top Jazz Album - Song X – Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman

Cash Box Magazine: Best Jazz Collaboration Album - Song X – Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman

Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll: Best Jazz Album - Song X – Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman

Downbeat International Critics Poll: Record of the Year - Song X – Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman


Guitar Player Magazine Readers" Poll: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Cash Box Magazine: Top Jazz Album - First Circle – Pat Metheny Group

Cash Box Magazine: Best Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group

International Musician & Recording World: Music Award Poll Best Jazz Group or Artist – Pat Metheny Group


Grammy Award : Best Jazz Fusion Recording Vocal or Instrumental-First Circle – Pat Metheny Group

International Musician & Recording World: Best Jazz Group or Artist Music Award Poll Winners – Pat Metheny Group

Guitar Player Magazine Readers Poll: Best Jazz - Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Academie Du Jazz (France): Best Contemporary Jazz Recording of the Year - Rejoicing – Pat Metheny/Charlie Haden/Billy Higgins

NACA Award: Campus Attraction of the Year (Jazz) – Pat Metheny Group


Grammy Award : Best Jazz Performance - Travels – Pat Metheny Group

Swing Journal (Japan): Best Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Performance Magazine: Best Instrumentalist of the Year – Pat Metheny

NACA Award: College Campus Jazz Entertainer of the Year – Pat Metheny

Downbeat Magazine Readers" Poll: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Guitar Player Magazine: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny

Cash Box: Best Jazz Group – Pat Metheny Group


Grammy Award : Best Jazz Performance - Offramp – Pat Metheny Group

Grammy Award Nomination: Best Instrumental Composition - Are You Going With Me – Pat Metheny

Grammy Award Nomination: Best Arrangement on an Instrumental - "Are You Going With Me" – Pat Metheny

Performance Magazine Readers Poll: Best Jazz Act of the Year – Pat Metheny Group

Playboy Readers Poll: Best Jazz Album - Offramp – Pat Metheny Group

Rolling Stone Readers Poll: Best Jazz Performer of the Year – Pat Metheny

Guitar Player Magazine: Best Jazz Guitarist – Pat Metheny


Grammy Award Nomination: Best Jazz Performance - As Falls Wichita So Falls Wichita Falls – Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays

Grammy Award Nomination: Best Instrumental Composition-title track-" As Falls Wichita So Falls Wichita Falls" – Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays

Performance Magazine: Top 40 Grossing Touring Acts in North America – Pat Metheny Group

Playboy Readers Poll: Best Jazz Album - As Falls Wichita – So Falls Wichita Falls


Grammy Award Nomination: Best Jazz Performance-Vocal or Instrumental - American Garage – Pat Metheny Group

Musician Magazine: Jazz Artist Who Made the Greatest Impact on the "70s – Pat Metheny

Musician Magazine Readers Poll: Guitarist Making the Most Impact on the "80s – Pat Metheny

New York Jazz Awards: Best Album of the Year - 80/81 – Pat Metheny Group

Cash Box: Top Groups of the Year - American Garage – Pat Metheny Group

German Record Critics Award: Jazz Record of the Year - 80/81 – Pat Metheny Group


Downbeat Critics Poll: Artist Deserving Wider Recognition – Pat Metheny

Record World Magazine: Jazz Album of the Year - New Chautauqua – Pat Metheny

New York Jazz Awards: Best Album of the Year - American Garage – Pat Metheny Group

New York Jazz Awards: Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year – Pat Metheny

Jazz pianist Ayako Shirasaki released her new trio CD “Some Other Time” on August 28, 2013

Jazz pianist Ayako Shirasaki,, residing in Brooklyn, NY, USA released her new trio CD “Some Other Time” on August 28, 2013 on Jan Matthies Records (JMR 201301).

On "Some Other Time" Ayako combines the hard swinging bebop language of Bud Powell with the sophisticated harmonic elegance of Bill Evans, but with a brilliant creativity all her own and one guiding theme: melody!

These are songs without words:

1. Sunrise (Ayako Shirasaki)

2. 3 Steps Forward (Ayako Shirasaki)

3. Yosaku-与作 (Kiminori Nanasawa)

4. Some Other Time (Leonard Bernstein)

5. Oleo (Sonny Rollins)

6. April in Paris (Vernon Duke)

7. My Man’s Gone (George Gershwin)

8. Long Ago and Far Away (Jerome Kern)

9. Sophisticated Lady (Duke Ellington) – piano solo

10. Antagata Dokosa – あんたがたどこさ (Japanese Traditional)

11. Peace of Mind (Ayako Shirasaki)

12. Hope (Lars Jansson)

Ayako is joined by Noriko Ueda on bass. Noriko, also living in NY, is the winner of the third annual BMI Foundation/Charlie Parker Jazz composition Prize. She played with for example: Frank Wess, Grady Tate, Kenny Barron...

On drums: Quincy Davis. Davis has toured with notable leaders including Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut...

Recorded on May 10 2013 at Systems Two, New York, USA

After her CD release tour in Japan this July you can see Ayako performing live this fall again in Japan and Switzerland:

October 5 - "Some Other Time'" in Seijo Hall - trio concert in Japan

November 19-24 - Lucerne Festival (Switzerland)

A European Tour for May 2014 is currently being scheduled.

"Some Other Time" is available at amazon, itunes, cdbaby etc. but not to be found on streaming services.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (July 2013): Buika

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (July 2013): Buika

María Concepción Balboa Buika (Concha Buika) goes by the stage name, ‘Buika’. She is a singer born on May 11th, 1972 in Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands in Spain. She is the daughter of African parents, and currently lives in Miami Florida, USA.

Buika is a creative survivor, a poet, composer, music producer and considers the role of “Mother” her paramount priority. She credits nature and her life’s experiences for her most profound lessons.

It has been said that; “Buika combines all the styles along with her emotionally charged lyrics and such broken sensuality in her voice, make her an unparallel artist.” Buika has no limitations when interpreting the different genres embodied in her discography, a fact reflected in the variety of her collaborations with musicians and singers whether in Spanish, Catalan, English, French or Portuguese. Her deep conviction is evident in her work with artists such as; Anoushka Shankar, Chick Korea, Niño Josele, Maritza, Bebo y Chucho Valdes, Luz Casal, Ivan “Melon” Lewis, Jose Luis Perales, Seal, Armando Manzanero, Nelly Furtado, Javier Limon…

Buika has collaborated on the sound tracts of several films. Her last experience and also the most remarkable was in 2011, when Director Pedro Almodovar included two ‘Buika’ songs in his movie; “La piel que habito” ( The skin I Live in ). Buika, along with her songs; “Por el amor de amar” (For love’s sake ) and “Se me hizo facil” ( I found it easy ), made their first appearance on the big screen.

Having performed in over 22 countries, language has never been an obstacle. Her audience spans the world and they adore her unique qualities. In 2010, Buika performed 95 concerts and the outpouring of appreciation in places like France, Turkey, Argentina and Mexico among others, stands out.

In 2001, Buika began in the music industry with her first album “Mestizuo” ( 2001 Producciones Blau S.L.), a presentation in the form of piano and vocals. Later, this was followed by; • “Buika” (2005, DRO ) and the trilogy produced by music producer Javier Limon, • “Mi niña Lola” (My baby girl Lola – 2006, DRO ), • “Niña de Fuego” ( Girl of Fire – 2008, Warner ) • “El ultimo Trago” ( The last drink – 2009, Warner ), • An anthology album CD which included her most pivotal songs as well as, some unreleased songs.

Buika’s albums have received the following awards; • Disco de Oro – certified Gold for the album “Mi niña Lola”, presented by Joaquin Sabina. • Best Spanish Song Album: “Mi niña Lola” (Premios de la Musica, 2007). • Best Producer: “Mi niña Lola”, Javier Limon (Premios de la Musica, 2007). • Germany Visual Critics Award 2007: “Mi niña Lola” • Latin Grammy 2008: Best Album and Best Production: “Niña de Fuego” (2008, Warner/Casa Limon) • Disco de Oro – certified gold for “El Ultimo Trago” ( Colombia, 2010 ). • Latin Grammy 2010: Best Traditional Tropical Album for “El ultimo Trago”.

In 2010, an article by Alice Winkler of NPR listed Buika among the best 50 vocalists. The article defined her as; “The voice of freedom”.

The arrival of Buika’s ninth album in 2013 is taking her to a new stage of her career. An era defined by her different creative processes which include; her second book of poems, “To those who loved hardcore women and left them” and producing her first movie based on a tale from her book, “From solitude to hell”.

Trying to speculate where Buika’s professional career will lead is a mystery because, when it comes to Buika; there is no script. She is a continuous flow, without interruptions. Her new music will taste like the old in their musical notes, their timing, streaming. Clearly, Buika is here to stay.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (June 2013): Keith Jarrett

Pianist, composer, and bandleader Keith Jarrett is one of the most prolific, innovative, and iconoclastic musicians to emerge from the late 20th century. As a pianist (though that is by no means the only instrument he plays) he literally changed the conversation in jazz by introducing an entirely new aesthetic regarding solo improvisation in concert. Though capable of playing in a wide variety of styles, Jarrett is deeply grounded in the jazz tradition. He has recorded nearly 80 albums as a leader in jazz and classical music. And he has won the Down Beat Critics Poll as a pianist numerous times -- including consecutively between 2001 and 2008.

Jarrett was born May 8, 1945 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At the age of three he began playing piano. He undertook the study of classical music at age eight, and at 15 he studied formal composition before moving to Boston to study briefly at the Berklee College of Music. Still in his teens, Jarrett intended to further his academic work in Paris before deciding to move to New York in 1964 and become a jazz musician.

He entered the city's vibrant scene by sitting in with veteran and aspiring players at clubs -- including the Village Vanguard. His first touring gig was with Art Blakey's New Jazz Messengers, where he remained until 1966. The lone recording with that band -- which also featured trumpeter Chuck Mangione -- was Buttercorn Lady, recorded live at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach. Jarrett joined Charles Lloyd's famed quartet in 1966. That band, which reflected the variety of changes taking place in jazz and popular music in general, achieved global success as both a recording and touring entity.

He left the group in 1968 and issued his first solo recording, Restoration Ruin, on the Vortex label. He played everything on the album including soprano saxophone, harmonica, drums, and guitar in addition to piano; he even sang. The album is mainly considered a curiosity in his catalog because it wasn't a jazz album, but a folk-rock recording. Regardless of how Jarrett regards it today, it stands as a brave undertaking from a young musician and paints an interesting view of his early thoughts in lieu of what he would accomplish later. Appearing the same year, he recorded Life Between the Exit Signs for Atlantic, where he led a trio whose rhythm section consisted of bassist Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. This group -- later a quartet with the addition of saxophonist Dewey Redman -- would record together for 11 years and attain the status of jazz legend for their dynamic, groundbreaking interplay and improvisation.

Jarrett played organ and electric piano with Miles Davis between 1970 and 1971, which resulted in Live at the Fillmore and Live/Evil. His work with Davis would also surface on the trumpeter's 1974 album, Get Up with It, and was beautifully documented on the box set Miles Davis: The Cellar Door Session 1970, which was issued in 2005. Jarrett also appeared on other artists' albums during the period, including Airto's Free, psychedelic pop duo Barbara & Ernie's Prelude To..., and soul singer Donal Leace's self-titled offering from 1972. Jarrett and Gary Burton issued their self-titled recording on Atlantic in 1971, the same year his trio released The Mourning of a Star.

The pianist briefly signed to Columbia, releasing one enduring album for the label, Expectations, in 1972 -- an album that featured his trio, guitarist Sam Brown, and Airto. The year also proved fruitful for two other reasons. The first was Facing You, Jarrett's first solo piano recording for Manfred Eicher's young ECM label, an association that would become symbiotic by the end of the decade. As previously mentioned, Redman joined Jarrett's group in late 1971, and the first offering by the larger band was Birth, issued by Atlantic in 1972. The band also recorded for Impulse! during this time, issuing the highly regarded Fort Yawuh (1973), Treasure Island (1974), Death and the Flower and Backhand (1975), Mysteries (1976), ByaBlue (1977), and Bop-Be (1978). El Juicio (The Judgement) also appeared on Atlantic in 1975.

Jarrett's horizons were broadening considerably in the early '70s, and his association with ECM was deepening. While 1972 saw the release of Ruta and Daitya, a duet album with Jack DeJohnette, 1973 offered evidence of what would become iconic in the decades to come: the improvised Solo Concerts: Bremen & Lausanne. In 1975, Jarrett's double live solo piano album The Köln Concert was released; its warmth, accessibility, and immense and enduring popularity have made it the best-selling solo piano recording in jazz history. His other solo piano works for ECM include Staircase, the ten-album Sun Bear Concerts, Moth and the Flame, Concerts, Paris Concert, Dark Intervals, Vienna Concert, La Scala, Carnegie Hall Concert, and Rio.

Jarrett began recording with a European group in the '70s, the second of his three groups that would become legendary. His European quartet included saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bassist Palle Danielsson, and drummer Jon Christensen; their debut, Belonging, appeared in 1974. Simultaneously, Jarrett remained busy with his American quartet and with recording experimentation. In the Light, which was released in 1974, was a double album that showcased his interest in composing modern classical music. His compositions were wide-ranging; among them were a string quartet, a brass quintet, and "Crystal Moment (Piece for Four Celli and Two Trombones)." He also recorded a pair of albums co-led with Garbarek, Luminescence (1975), where the pair were aided by an orchestral string section, and the popular Arbour Zena, which included Haden on bass as well as chamber strings. In 1976, the provocative Hymns/Spheres, a double album of improvisations played on an enormous 18th century organ in the Benedictine Abbey Ottobeuren, appeared on ECM.

The pianist's European quartet issued My Song in 1978, an album that brought more conservative jazz fans back to Jarrett's table, especially as it was surrounded by the releases of Bop-Be and The Survivor's Suite, the first of two releases by his American quartet to appear on ECM. That band's final album together, the live double album Eyes of the Heart, was released in 1979.

Jarrett kicked off the '80s with Celestial Hawk: For Orchestra, Percussion and Piano, recorded at Carnegie Hall. This work wed his instinctual improvisational discipline on the piano to his formal compositional abilities in both vanguard classical music and jazz. That year, his European quartet also released the live Nude Ants -- recorded at the Village Vanguard -- and Sacred Hymns, a solo piano album of compositions by metaphysical philosopher/musician Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff.

In 1983, Jarrett began working in a trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette. It was the beginning of an association that has lasted three decades thus far. Their initial session produced three albums: Standards, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and Changes (the last a set of free improvisations). Throughout the decade they alternated between recording standards and freely improvised sets, among them 1986's Standards Live and 1989's Changeless.

Jarrett also cut two deeply personal albums in the '80s. In 1986, Spirits, a double album, featured him playing piano, flute, recorder, soprano saxophone, guitar, and percussion. Another double, Book of Ways from 1987, was completely performed on the clavichord.

In 1988, Jarrett began recording canonical classical music. His first release was Bach's Das Wohltemperierte Klavier Buch I, followed by his Goldberg Variations the following year. But he hadn't abandoned jazz. Jarrett closed the decade with records by his European quartet in Personal Mountains, and by his American trio with Changeless, in 1989.

While his first album of the '90s was the solo Paris Concert, the trio was also busy touring. They stopped briefly to record Bye Bye Blackbird in 1991 as a memorial to Miles Davis. That said, Jarrett spent most of the decade's first half recording classical music. These albums included collections of Handel and Bach sonatas -- both with Michala Petri playing recorder: his award-winning Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues Op. 87 in 1992, Bach's French Suites in 1993, and the composer's 3 Sonaten für Viola da Gamba und Cembalo with violist Kim Kashkashian in 1994. He also recorded W.A. Mozart Piano Concertos K. 467, 488, 595 Masonic Funeral Music K. 477 & Symphony in G Minor K. 550 with conductor Dennis Russell Davies and the Stuttgart Symphony, which remained unreleased until 2004.

At the Deer Head Inn with Peacock and DeJohnette also appeared in 1994. A six-CD box set entitled Keith Jarrett at the Blue Note: The Complete Recordings, was released in 1995, documenting a three-night stand by the trio in June of 1994.

While on tour with the trio in Europe during 1996, Jarrett became ill with what was diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome. He battled the disease -- caused by an infection from parasitic bacteria -- for three years. While he recovered, ECM issued the 1995 solo concert La Scala in 1997, as well the trio document Tokyo '96 in 1998. During his illness in 1997, Jarrett gathered his strength and recorded the intimate Melody at Night, With You, in his home studio. It is a solo piano offering of short, straightforward interpretations of standards, ballads, folk songs, and a lone original; it is the most intimate recording in his oeuvre, and unlike anything else in his catalog. The album was released in 1999, the year he had recovered enough to begin touring again with his trio. Jarrett's first release of the 21st century, in fact, was Whisper Not, a collection of standards recorded on that tour.

Over the next four years, the trio toured and recorded shows. ECM issued several albums from them, including standards recordings such as Up for It and The Out of Towners, as well as Inside Out and Always Let Me Go -- the latter two shows consist of freely improvised music. In 2007, My Foolish Heart: Live at Montreux appeared, commemorating the trio's 25th anniversary. The stellar solo piano effort The Carnegie Hall Concert, wherein the pianist created new rules for himself as a live improviser, also appeared that year. In 2008, The Cure was released. It was a prime live standards gig by the trio from 1990 that had been sitting in the vault.

In 2009, the Paris/London solo concerts appeared, followed in 2010 by a duet recording between the pianist and Haden entitled Jasmine. In 2011, the aforementioned Rio was released shortly after the concert took place -- an anomaly in Jarrett's career. In 2012, ECM once more dug into its vaults and released Sleeper: Tokyo, April 16th, 1979, a previously unissued date by Jarrett's European quartet. His trio recorded at the Luzern Concert Hall in July of 2009; the concert was released as Somewhere in May of 2013.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A constellation of colossal musicians at The Montreal Jazz Festival

Indoor program of the 34th edition

A constellation of colossal musicians

from every corner of the globe

Tickets go on sale this Saturday at noon

Exclusive pre-sale for Spectra Newsletter subscribers: starts tomorrow!

Montreal, Tuesday, April 30, 2013 — By all the evidence before us, the indoor program of this 34th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented for 4 years now by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, trains the brightest possible spotlight on the two principal characteristics of our event: quality and diversity! Jazz fanatics, blues believers, world music devotees or, quite simply, fans of music in all its forms, period will find something to satisfy their deepest musical hunger and most discerning aural appetite. Whether you prefer intimate clubs or the most prestigious venues, adore jazz icons or the newest up-and-comers from near and far, or have a weakness for vocals or a particular instrument, you’re guaranteed to find musical happiness a hundred times over during this intense and elegant musical marathon from June 28 to July 7. In other words, hats off to our programming team! Tickets for these concerts go on sale this Saturday, May 4, at noon… although Spectra Newsletter subscribers can buy them starting tomorrow upon reception of their latest issue of the newsletter, and until Friday at 6 p.m. Everyone can subscribe free of charge by visiting

Please note that this the 2013 edition will be dedicated to great American pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, who passed away last December on the eve of his 92nd birthday, 6 months after having delivered his final concert, at the Festival. Mr. Brubeck was a proud partisan, champion and habitué of our event, which he honored with 14 concerts between 1981 and 2011, notably with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Angèle Dubeau and Pietà, and during the 30th edition of the Festival, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the legendary Time Out, the first jazz album to sell over one million copies.

A pilgrimage across the breadth of Planet Jazz

The Festival transforms Montreal into Planet Jazz for 10 days and nights, creating the perfect musical environment for exploring every facet of your taste to your heart’s content. It’s not just something but everything for everyone—that could be the Festival motto!—and this is just the tip of the iceberg: the Greatest of the Great, among them Aretha Franklin, Wayne Shorter, Chucho Valdés, George Benson, Oliver Jones; the absolutely essential Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, John Abercrombie, Ravi Coltrane, Bill Frisell Holly Cole and Boz Scaggs; landmark groups including The Specials, Belle & Sebastian, The Cat Empire; such hot-hot-hot sensations as Trombone Shorty, Caravan Palace, Serena Ryder and Nicolas Repac; emerging talents on the jazz scene including Jason Moran, Thierry Maillard, Gwilym Simcock, Thomas Enhco, Phronesis and Gregory Porter; stars of the indie scene like Austra, Leif Vollebekk, Mother Mother, Rhye, Thus:Owls, SUUNS, Woodkid, She & Him; ambassadors of exotic rhythms Vieux Farka Touré, Alpha Blondy, Xavier Rudd and Alex Cuba; and because the Festival has always been utterly devoted to promoting homegrown jazz and voices, some of the premier figures in the genre, including Alain Caron, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Vic Vogel, Julie Lamontagne, Elizabeth Shepherd, Michel Donato, Jaques Kuba Séguin, Sienna Dahlen, André Leroux, Yannick Rieu, Nikki Yanofsky, Joel Miller... And that’s not to mention some very intriguing and exciting double bills and special projects—Lyle Lovett and Chris Isaak, Dr. John & The Nite Trippers and Leon Russell, Champion and his G-Strings with I Musici, Katia and Marielle Labèque, and of course, the ever-dazzling Invitation TD series and a pair of three-night runs hosted first by Charles Lloyd at the opening of the Festival, followed by Vijay Iyer.

An opening concert with Pink Martini

Summer means it’s time to shake up another serving of Pink Martini, the preeminent suave multicultural, multilingual orchestra renowned for their dexterously blended musical cocktail of swing, jazz, classical, pop and lounge. Under the leadership of the charming Thomas Lauderdale, the group has racked up years of sold-out shows around the world, including numerous gigs at the Festival since 2005. Their most recent stop in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, two years ago, already seems like a distant memory… so let’s pour ourselves another musical Happy Hour! It’s the perfect opportunity to discover their new album, and renew acquaintances with the elegant China Forbes! June 28 at 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series). Presented in collaboration with CBC/Radio-Canada.

Soweto Gospel Choir: closing the Festival on a jubilant note!

Assembling some thirty members, the Soweto Gospel Choir was born 11 years ago in South Africa. Adored for their irresistible repertoire melding gospel, soul, reggae, pop and religious hymns, the vocal ensemble vocal has won an array of international awards—including two Grammys. They’ve collaborated with Céline, Robert Plant and Bono, and in their first Festival visit, they offer us music both poignant and jubilant. July 6, 7 p.m. (also at 3 p.m.), Maison symphonique de Montréal (Le Festival à la Maison symphonique series). Presented in collaboration with CBC/Radio-Canada.

The program, series by series

Événements spéciaux TD series, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA presented in collaboration with CBC/Radio-Canada, La Presse+, Rouge FM, CHOM and Virgin 96

♫ Pink Martini kicks off the party June 27, before the official launch of festivities the following day (June 28). ♫ On June 29, “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin returns to Montreal, 5 years after her sole Festival appearance. She offers us the rare privilege of a performance bringing us such immortal titles as Respect, Chain of Fools and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. ♫ The following evening (June 30), Festival fans can expect a formidable program featuring The Hits by George Benson (opening act: Morgan James): two years after his tribute to Nat King Cole, the gifted jazz guitarist and admired R&B singer is back with his smash songbook. ♫ On July 3, we welcome Zooey Deschanel, star of TV series New Girl and such films as (500) Days of Summer, and M. Ward, heard on dreamy folk-rock albums, united here as irresistible retro-pop duo She & Him (opening act: Camera Obscura). ♫ They turn over the stage July 4 to a double bill starring two artists making Festival debuts: Texas singer-guitarist Lyle Lovett, legendary cult figure of the alt-country scene, rides through his eclectic repertoire with an acoustic combo. Then, crooner-rocker Chris Isaak and his musicians make us swoon with such unforgettable tracks of oneiric Americana as Blue Hotel and Wicked Game. ♫ On July 5, it’s the very first Festival visit by Scottish cult stars Belle & Sebastian. Their leader, Stuart Murdoch, has spent over 15 years crafting a literate and tuneful songbook, with the added bonus of a melodic sensibility that recalls the pop goldsmiths of the ’60s (opening act: Here We Go Magic). ♫ The following night (July 6), Champion tunes up his G-Strings and invites in I Musici de Montréal conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni for the premiere of his new electro-lounge spectacle, °1, featuring arrangements by Jean-Nicolas Trottier.

Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series, 8 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA presented in collaboration with CBC/Radio-Canada, CJAD 800 AM, CHOM and 98,5 FM

♫ In his first visit in 4 years, Chucho Valdés, a master among masters, hailed as “the most complete pianist in the world” by Jazz Magazine, rolls in June 28 with the album Border Free, with his superb quintet Afro-Cuban Messengers. ♫ Then, get set for a concert-event that promises to make history June 29 with the Wayne Shorter Quartet with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade and their 80th Birthday Celebration: they’ll herald the 80th birthday of the legendary saxophonist with over 3 hours of music and a stage shared with some illustrious friends—quintet Sound Prints headed by Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas (with Lawrence Field, Linda Oh and Joey Baron) and star trio ACS featuring Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding. ♫ The following evening (June 30), rock legend Boz Scaggs, the man behind the timeless Silk Degrees and Grammy winner for Lowdown, pulls in with his new album Memphis. ♫ On July 3, an incredible double bill transports us to roots heaven, starring New Orleans singer-pianist Mac Rebennack, alias Dr. John (with The Nite Trippers), armed with a recent supercharged R&B-blues-rock-funk album entitled Locked Down, and then another living legend, singer/multi-instrumentalist Leon Russell, who made his legendary name as a solo artist with his amalgam of blues and southern rock in the ’70s. ♫ On July 4, Martha Wainwright takes on her first headline Festival gig since 2006 to present pieces from her excellent new album, Come Home to Mama, some tracks from the soundtrack to TV show Trauma, and perhaps even a little Piaf! (opening act: Dear Criminals). ♫ Then, July 5, rising Canadian jazz star Emilie-Claire Barlow unveils songs from her charming all-French album Seule ce soir, as well as other tracks from her rich jazz vocal repertoire (opening act: Michael Kaeshammer). ♫ Finally, suave-voiced singer Madeleine Peyroux (July 6) presents her latest, The Blue Room, marrying country and jazz with sensitivity and subtlety (opening act: Kat Edmonson).

Le Festival à la Maison symphonique series, 7 p.m., Maison symphonique de Montréal presented in collaboration with The Gazette and CJAD 800 AM

♫ The series opens June 28 with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, one of the most respected Big Bands on the planet, marrying tradition and modernity under the leadership of supremely gifted American trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis and spreading the gospel of jazz since the late ’80s. ♫ The festivities continue June 29 with a 20-year friend of the Festival, charismatic saxophonist Joshua Redman, who dazzles us with every visit. This year, the Joshua Redman Quartet will showcase songs from Walking Shadows (expected in May) accompanied by Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers and Gregory Hutchinson and an 18-piece string orchestra. ♫ On July 4, sister-pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque deliver the magnificent West Side Story + suite based on the Leonard Bernstein masterpiece, in a special arrangement for two pianos and percussion. ♫ The following day, they soar through Minimalist Dream House and a program presenting works by Erik Satie, John Cage, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, William Duckworth, La Monte Young, Arvo Pärt, Brian Eno, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Suicide, Glenn Branca, Laurie Anderson and many others. ♫ And before presenting the closing Festival concert on July 6 at 7 p.m., the Soweto Gospel Choir deliver an early hallelujah! at 3 p.m.

Tout en voix series, 8 p.m., Théâtre du Nouveau Monde presented in collaboration with Rouge FM, MusiMax and The Gazette

♫ Two stars of Canadian jazz vocals take turns in the spotlight during this series. Talented Nova Scotia native Holly Cole, passionate purveyor of jazz and pop, returns to us June 27, 28 and 29 with her new album, a genuine masterpiece entitled Nights, in her 25th visit to the Festival. ♫ On July 4, 5 and 6, Quincy Jones presents Nikki Yanofsky, the darling of Montreal jazz, who’s been heralded in the Olympia in Paris, the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York, at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games and, in her most recent Festival stop, in Place des Arts with the Orchestre Métropolitain. She’ll present a new album due in June.

Rythmes series, 8:30 p.m., Métropolis presented in collaboration with MusiquePlus, CKOI 96,9 and Virgin 96

♫ In his first Festival concert in 15 years (June 28), Garou gathers special guests to reconnect with his first love, Rhythm and Blues, a song catalogue including Otis Redding, Nina Simone, Gilbert Bécaud, Joe Dassin, the Black Keys and Alicia Keys, and an album that sold over 200,000 copies. ♫ On June 30, duo Rhye—a collaboration of two leading lights on the electro scene, Denmark’s Robin Hannibal and Canadian Mike Milosh, seduce us with the romantic electro-pop of their debut album Woman. ♫ Versatile French artiste Woodkid—all the rage buzz overseas with a video, Iron, that’s been seen over 20 million times on YouTube!—heads in July 1 with the tunes from a debut album, The Golden Age (opening act: Mozart’s Sister). ♫ Sharon Jones, passionate female reincarnation of the immortal James Brown, brings in her loyal Dap-Kings (July 3), an old-style soul-funk-R&B revue combo, with special guests James Hunter and his musicians. ♫ Next comes a female double bill to die for on July 4 starring a grand dame of soul, Bettye LaVette, who celebrated her 50th year as a singer with the extraordinary Thankful N’ Thoughtful, and Wanda Jackson, considered THE first female rock’n’roll singer, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. ♫ Stage demolishers The Cat Empire, known worldwide as the Party Band to watch, arrive July 5 in better form than ever with a collection of their classics and new ones from their 5th studio album (opening act: Colin Moore). ♫ Canadian-Australian multi-instrumentalist Xavier Rudd comes July 6 with his debut album Spirit Bird (2012), in which the Ohnia:kara Singers and the Perpetual Peace Project invoke traditional Amerindian music and dance (opening act: Jon and Roy) ♫ The spearhead of the ska revival that swept over the UK in the ’70s, The Specials, reformed in 2009, crank out the same energy they cranked in their glory days and roll into the Festival for the first time July 7 (opening act: Little Hurricane).

Couleurs SAQ series, 7 p.m., Club Soda presented in collaboration with Rouge FM, CJAD 800 AM and CIBL 101,5 Radio-Montréal

♫ The series kicks off in fine fettle June 28 with the super-celebratory musical cocktail shaken up by joyous Parisian troupe Caravan Palace, here to unleash the electro-gypsy jazz-swing of their excellent album Panic. ♫ In Sarah Slean with Strings June 29, the Toronto singer revisits her refined pop repertoire with inventive arrangements, including her latest album, Land & Sea, accompanied by a string quartet. ♫ Charismatic and brilliant young New Orleans trombonist Trombone Shorty takes command June 30, flanked by his explosive combo Orleans Avenue, rolling out his latest For True, a contagious blend of funk, rock, R&B and hip-hop. ♫ The following evening (July 1), welcome the American singer who proudly holds aloft the torch handed down from the great Afro-American singers of the ’60s and ’70s: Gregory Porter. ♫ Next, on July 2, talented Toronto singer Serena Ryder builds on the success of her new album Harmony and hit Stompa, a powerhouse female country-pop-folk-rock blend. ♫ On July 3, the “Hendrix of the Sahara,” Vieux Farka Touré, visits with a new solo album, masterfully collapsing the boundaries between Malian blues, rock, reggae and soul. ♫ Also from Africa, legendarily committed pacifist reggaeman Alpha Blondy and The Solar System stop in on July 4 to unfurl the standard-bearing songs from a new album, Mystic Power, released this past spring. ♫ The party rolls on July 5 with the Montreal premiere of new album Ruido En El Sistema/Noise in the System by Cuban native and adoptive Canadian Alex Cuba, cruising between Latino soul and pop-rock, and nominated for the JUNO for Best World Music Album! ♫ The following night (July 6), actress Molly Ringwald, discovered and beloved by a billion boys in the ’80s for her roles in Pretty in Pink and Breakfast Club, reveals the songs from her debut, Except… Sometimes, including such standards as I’ll Take Romance and I Get Along Without You Very Well ♫ Closing the series out with a burst of energy July 7, Vancouver quintet Mother Mother break out their latest—and catchiest—album, The Sticks.

Jazz Beat Hyatt Regency Montréal series, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, PdA presented in collaboration with

♫ Returning after a 5-year absence, brilliant saxophonist and iconic New York jazz figure Ravi Coltrane is back June 28 with his Quartet and a new album hailed by the experts, Spirit Fiction, his first for Blue Note. ♫ Considered one of the most enlightened jazzmen of his generation, pianist-composer Jason Moran returns June 29 with his Fats Waller Dance Party, a tribute to the legend accompanied by exceptional collaborators (including Meshell Ndegeocello). ♫ The following evening (June 30), returning after a 22-year absence, crack British saxman Courtney Pine brings in his virtuosity and a quintet to present House of Legends, an Afro-Caribbean-inflected album shaking up calypso, ska, mento and merengue with passion and imagination. ♫ Then, the lights blaze in an incandescent concert July 1 starring Macy Gray (making her Festival debut), joined by the renowned David Murray Infinity Quartet in a show firing up funk, blues and alternative pop. ♫ High-octane combo the Kurt Rosenwinkel New Quartet with Aaron Parks, Eric Revis and Justin Faulkner take charge July 2 with a program based on the daring young jazz guitarist’s recent album Star of Jupiter. ♫ On July 4, Benoît Charest et le Terrible Orchestre de Belleville present the 10th anniversary of Triplettes de Belleville in a show combining jazz, cabaret ambience and diabolically swinging rhythms, with a remarkable array of collaborators (Dan Thouin, Jim and Chet Doxas, Dany Roy, Dave Martin and Simon Meilleur) and a rear projection of the film itself! ♫ In another historic rendezvous July 5, legendary ensemble the Preservation Hall Jazz Band return 25 years after their sole Festival visit to transport us to the deepest roots of jazz. ♫ With their mandate to herald the global jazz repertoire, the Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal make a first Festival appearance July 6 playing pieces by Christine Jensen, Marianne Trudel and Jean-Nicolas Trottier, a tribute to Joni Mitchell with Karen Young, and excerpts from the Africa/Brass Sessions by John Coltrane, starring André Leroux on tenor saxophone. ♫ Finally, July 7, The Brubeck Brothers Quartet pay homage to a late, lamented legend with their Tribute to Dave Brubeck with guests Lorraine Desmarais, Adrian Vedady and Chet Doxas, celebrating a repertoire that is quite simply the living memory of jazz.

Invitation TD series, 6 p.m., Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, PdA and Gesù — Centre de créativité presented in collaboration with The Gazette

♫ All genuine, full-blooded music fans, take heart: the Invitation TD series returns with concept-concerts spanning several evenings. In the first series, famed American reedman Charles Lloyd celebrates his 75th birthday starting June 28 in Théâtre Jean-Duceppe in a Quartet with Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland. ♫ For his second performance, Sangam, Charles Lloyd teams up with Zakir Hussain and Eric Harland to revisit the subtlety and refinement of the major concert presented at the Festival in 2005, inspired by a tribute to drummer Billy Higgins. ♫ To close out his series in perfect form June 30, Charles Lloyd delves into musical conversations in duos and trios with Jason Moran and Bill Frisell, who channel their respectively remarkable improvisational sensibilities. ♫ On July 4, genius-level New York pianist Vijay Iyer settles into the Gesù in a Trio with Justin Brown and Stephan Crump, performing the acclaimed Accelerando, 2012 Jazz Album of the Year according to the International Critics Poll in DownBeat Magazine. ♫ In his second concert July 5, Vijay Iyer shakes up the formula masterfully in a duo with another keyboard magician: Craig Taborn ♫ Finally, piano master Vijay Iyer, universally celebrated for his creativity and named Pianist of the Year at the 2012 Jazz Awards, rewards us with Vijay Iyer solo, a format in which he excels—witness his album Solo, released in 2010. Do not miss this!

Pianissimo series, 7 p.m., Cinquième Salle de la PdA presented in collaboration with Radio-Classique 99,5

♫ Celebrating the brilliance of the world’s pianists, this series opens with the virtuosity and passion of France’s Thierry Maillard, launching us June 28 in two very promising formats: solo and trio, accompanied by drummer Yoann Schmidt and double bassist Matyas Szandaï, with whom he recorded the dazzling Beyond the Ocean released this past winter. ♫ Montreal’s Alexandra Stréliski follows June 29 with pieces from her album Pianoscope, a combo of melancholy and lighthearted music, accompanied by a string ensemble and projections. ♫ She cedes the spotlight to brilliant English pianist Gwilym Simcock, who showcases the full range of his jazz and classical affinities solo on June 30. ♫ Cuban prodigy Harold López-Nussa takes over July 1 with two versions of his artistry, armed with a new album: solo to open, then in a trio featuring Felipe Cabrera on double bass and his brother Ruy López-Nussa on drums. ♫ Young French pianist and violinist Thomas Enhco performs in the same format July 2 to present his latest, Fireflies, first solo, then in a trio accompanied by Chris Jennings on double bass and Nicolas Charlier on drums. ♫ A number of solo concerts follow, starting July 4. First, Festival fans can enjoy the brilliance of Italian pianist and composer Enrico Pieranunzi, who has wonderfully interpreted the music of Morricone and Fellini films alongside his own pieces. ♫ The venerable Oliver Jones next takes the stage solo on July 5 and 6 with a blend of compositions and standards. ♫ Finally, after over 30 Festival concerts in our history in every configuration imaginable, Montreal pianist, composer, trombonist and bandleader Vic Vogel closes us out solo on July 7.

TD Jazz d’ici La Presse+ series, 6 p.m., L’Astral presented in collaboration with

♫ Lean into this series June 28 with music oscillating between modernity and tradition, courtesy of the 2012 Radio Canada Discovery, versatile trumpeter and composer Jacques Kuba Séguin: ODD LOT, fusing Eastern European music, jazz harmony and electronica. ♫ He hands the baton over on June 29 to the André Leroux Quartet, led by one of our most eminent saxophonists, accompanied by friends Ben Charest, Fred Alarie and Christian Lajoie, and delivering his brilliant debut album as a bandleader, Corpus Callosum. ♫ Then, get ready for a summit meeting of Montreal’s highest-profile musicians, from the indie-rock, jazz and folk scenes (June 30): Muse Hill with Chet Doxas, Brad Barr, Andrew Barr, Joe Grass and Morgan Moore. ♫ Montreal saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen is next on July 1 with guests Ingrid Jensen and Gary Versace, weaving an evening of refined melodies and daring improv. ♫ Next (July 2), welcome two jazz masters, one on double bass, the other on drums, Michel Donato and Pierre Tanguay, as they fuse their talents in a duo for a jazzy exploration of the Bach repertoire: Groove en Bach. ♫ The series powers forth July 3 with Joel Miller (2013 JUNO for Best Jazz Album) and Honeycomb, here to spellbind us with the world-infused jazz of their latest album released this past winter, alongside Kiko Osorio, Rémi-Jean Leblanc and John Roney. ♫ On July 4, enjoy a trio pulsing with life in Trifolia starring the Marianne Trudel Trio, uniting Marianne Trudel on piano, Wurlitzer, accordion and vocals, Étienne Lafrance on double bass and Patrick Graham on percussion; we all dug their album Le refuge in 2013. ♫ Then, July 5, the legendary Guy Nadon, a one-man chapter in the history of this Festival, celebrates 60 years behind the skins and his 30th visit to the event with a Big Band. ♫ Pianist Julie Lamontagne follows July 6 with Opus jazz orchestra, reconnecting with the classical repertoire—Rachmaninov, Debussy, Bach, Ravel, Chopin, Haendel, Brahms, Fauré and André Mathieu—she explored on the album Opus jazz, Album Jazz Création award winner at the 2012 ADISQ Gala. ♫ Closing out the series, three-time Félix winner for Jazz Album of the Year (1996, 2000 and 2006) and 2006 Oscar Peterson Award honoree, saxophonist Yannick Rieu returns July 7 with the new music of Spectrum 4, accompanied by Jean-Sébastien Williams, Samuel Joly and Rémi-Jean Leblanc.

Le Club series, 9 p.m., L’Astral presented in collaboration with Galaxie and CIBL101,5 Radio-Montréal

♫ Brilliant American saxophonist Tia Fuller kicks off this series June 28 with her first headline performance at the Festival, following the 2012 release of a 4th solo album, Angelic Warriors. ♫ Next (June 29), renowned, exquisite jazz guitarist Bill Frisell makes his 10th Festival visit in a 40+ year career with a solo performance of selections from his vast repertoire. ♫ The grand dame of Korean jazz, Youn Sun Nah (June 30) serenades with her sumptuous voice and takes Festival fans beyond the boundaries of jazz vocal, armed with her dazzling recent album, Lento. ♫ Another rising star on the international jazz scene jazz, trio-with-piano Phronesis featuring Danish double bassist Jasper Høiby, British pianist Ivo Neame and Swedish drummer Anton Eger, return July 1 after a 2-year absence with their latest, Walking Dark. ♫ The musical voyage continues July 2 with globetrotting Frenchman Titi Robin, making a debut Festival visit in a trio with a musical style that soars beyond borders on guitar, oud and bouzouki, and some 15 albums including Les Rives, released in 2011. ♫ Then, French guitarist Nicolas Repac invites Festival fans on a trip to the very roots of the blues with The Black Box July 3, melding grooves and electric guitar to recordings of black prisoners’ work songs recorded in the ’30s by Alan Lomax, a shaman’s chants, and the voices of Bo Diddley, a gypsy singer, Haitian storytellers... ♫ In her first Festival stopover, young Brazilian cellist and singer Dom La Nena (July 4) spellbinds in Portuguese and Spanish with songs from her gorgeous, melancholy debut album recorded with Piers Faccini. ♫ Next (July 5), the Lionel Loueke Trio, led by the exquisite Benin guitarist, present a new album released on Blue Note, Heritage, featuring vibrant jazz accented by West African sounds, melodic grooves and daring improv. ♫ Jazz-rooted pianist Laurent de Wilde, who distinguished himself at the Festival a decade ago with electronic adventures, takes over July 6 to unveil Over the Clouds, an all-jazz album recorded with a trio. ♫ The series closes out on July 7 with the Festival baptism of a young singer-guitarist gifted with a retro soul, JD McPherson, captaining a captivating trip through time shaking up old-skool rockabilly and R&B as brilliantly represented on his sizzling debut album, Signs & Signifiers.

Jazz dans la nuit series, 10:30 p.m., Gesù — Centre de créativité presented in collaboration with and

♫ Two virtuoso guitarists take turns solo on June 28 to lead into this series with an all-guitar double bill, specially scheduled for 7 p.m.: Peppino D’Agostino takes us on a melodic voyage accented with jazz, flamenco, pop and folk rock, and Martin Taylor unfurls his new album, The Colonel & The Governor. ♫ The following evening (June 29), the Festival is delighted to welcome Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart, hailed by the New York Times in the ’90s as the best organ trio of the decade, now armed with 8 albums and a peerless creative chemistry. ♫ On June 30, another trio rolls in, this one led by brilliant Franco-American pianist Jacky Terrasson, celebrating a 20-year career with Gouache, combining original compositions with covers of pop and jazz-funk hits. ♫ Maintaining the trio formula, The Bad Plus, Ethan Iverson (piano), Reid Anderson (double bass) and Dave King (drums), with a 10-year history of burning down Festival stages, barrel in July 1 with their latest album, Made Possible. ♫ Next, the Steve Kuhn Trio visit July 2 with material from Wisteria, their solid album released on ECM last year, featuring the wonderful playing of Steve Swallow and Joey Baron. ♫ Legendary bassist and former member of jazz fusion masters UZEB Alain Caron takes over July 3, accompanied by his six-string bass and his latest album, Multiple Faces. ♫ Super American guitarist Charlie Hunter, devotee of blues and soul, thrills us July 4 in a duo with an old compadre, drummer Scott Amendola, who accompanied him on the recent album Not Getting Behind Is the New Getting Ahead. ♫ They’re followed July 5 by American saxophonist Tim Berne, presenting his scintillating Snakeoil, a gem of contemporary jazz unanimously hailed by critics, benefiting from the unbridled creativity of a quartet completed by Oscar Noriega, Matt Mitchell and Ches Smith. ♫ Drummer and composer Antonio Sanchez, leader of solid combo Migration with Dave Binney, John Escreet and Matt Brewer, comes in July 6 to reveal a new album, New Life, fusing tradition and innovation. ♫ And finally, jazz guitar virtuoso John Abercrombie has the last word on July 7, accompanied by a remarkable Quartet featuring Joey Baron, Billy Drewes and Drew Gress.

Musique au MAC series, 8 p.m., Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal presented in collaboration with CISM 89,3 FM

♫ Chassol opens the series June 28, 29 and 30 with a genuine film/music hybrid: Indiamore, the film of a voyage of discovery in India, in which Chassol replicates images, playing with the montage to create a rhythmic and visual motif. ♫ Swedish singer Erika Angell and Montreal guitarist Simon Angell, united as Thus:Owls, take over July 2, 3 and 4 with the dark, cinematographic folk of their fascinating 2nd album, Harbours. ♫ Finally, July 5, 6 and 7, adoptive Montrealer Leif Vollebekk delivers the piercing ballads and delicate and vibrant blues-laced folk of his new album North Americana, released in March.   Concerts intimes series, 7 p.m., Savoy du Métropolis ♫ In her first Festival visit, Canadian artist Sienna Dahlen, heralded for her spellbinding voice and magnetic presence, comes in June 28 and 29 to present a 5th album, Verglas, delving into the roots of jazz, folk and country. ♫ Toronto’s Elizabeth Shepherd, who pushes jazz vocal beyond its usual boundaries, invites us in June 30 and July 1 to discover Rewind, a remarkable album of standards (Poinciana, Prelude to a Kiss…) featuring her own arrangements and production. ♫ The only man among an array of Canadian female vocalists, Italian composer-guitarist-accordionist Peppe Voltarelli arrives solo July 3 and 4, with customary humour and ironic sensibility and a repertoire of songs crossing traditional Italian music, ska, onomatopoeia and festive rhythms. ♫ On July 5 and 6, Toronto jazz vocalist jazz Daniela Nardi brings in 4 musicians to plunge into pieces from her recent album Espresso Manifesto—The Songs of Paolo Conte, in which she brings her own slant to classics by the Piedmontean master. ♫ Closing the series July 7, supertalented Nova Scotian Mo Kenney, armed with her acoustic guitar, shines with the luminous pop-folk blend of his debut album, released last year.

Nuits Heineken series, 11 p.m., Club Soda presented in collaboration with CISM 89,3 FM and NIGHTLIFE.CA

♫ An evening of Kannibalen [Live] with Black Tiger Sex Machine, Dabin, Apashe and Snails (June 28) promises decadence and contagious fun, with raw funk-disco-house that may unleash the animal within and transport everyone into a collective trance-state. ♫ The Herbaliser, the Brit group led by Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba, continue the assault June 29 with a savvy blend of hip-hop, soul and jazz, brilliantly immortalized on albums Very Mercenary and Something Wicked This Way Comes, along with songs from the excellent There Were Seven released last year. ♫ The next evening (June 30), it’s New York group The Virgins, who mine the motherlode of ’70s and ’80s rock on a 2nd album, Strike Gently, five years after they got jiggy and funky on their debut. ♫ Next, we usher in A Tribe Called Red, led by Ottawa Amerindian DJs Shub, Bear Witness and NDN, here to kick off a party July 2 with an “Electric Pow Wow” of pulsing sounds mixing reggae, hip-hop, electronica and dub with First Nations music. ♫ They cede the stage July 3 to the head-turning voice of Torontonian Katie Stelmanis and collaborators Dorian Wolf and Maya Postepski, united as the New Wave group Austra, whose highly-anticipated 2nd album, Olympia, is due in June. ♫ The following day, July 4, party animals Fitz and the Tantrums land with a new album, More Than Just a Dream, fusing electronica, hip-hop and ’80s influences. ♫ On July 5, David Lynch presents his newest muse, Chrysta Bell, in a nocturnal rendezvous with a dream-turned-reality (or vice-versa), courtesy of the 11 tracks of This Train. Take a trip into a spellbinding Twin Peaks ambience guided by an otherworldly, captivating and sexy feminine presence. ♫ The power-party element returns July 6 in the presence of Marseille trio Chinese Man, consisting of DJs Zé Mateo and High Ku and beatmaker Sly, disciples of abstract hip-hop with the most diverse possible influences and samples (heavy rock, soul, funk, electronica, swing and… Chinese pop). ♫ Finally, Montreal band of the moment, SUUNS, zoom in from the zenith of indie rock stardom with a 2nd album, Images du futur, to close the series out with perfect cool and energy July 7.

The Croisière Jazz, 6:30 p.m., Bateau-Mouche, Jacques-Cartier Quay, Old Port of Montreal

♫ Christine Tassan et les Imposteures have carved out a well-earned niche in gypsy jazz, now ranking among the most respected in the genre. While excelling in the studio, these veteran musicians are particularly comfortable onstage: for proof, look no further than their Festival appearance in 2010, when they reeled out the joyous album Pas manouche, c'est louche. Renowned for their enthusiasm and contagious good vibe, this unstoppable swing quartet takes to the waves to helm the jazz cruise with C’est l’heure de l’apéro. It’s Happy Hour! June 29 and 30, July 2, 3 and 4. Boarding at 6:15 p.m. from Jacques-Cartier Quay in the Old Port of Montréal, returning at 10:30 p.m. Reservations required: 514 849-9952, 1 800 361-9952 or Don’t miss the Soirées jazz Upstairs at Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill (1254 MacKay St.), at 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., with The Barry Harris Trio with Ray Drummond and Leroy Williams (June 28 and 29), Bebop Band : Nir Felder, Greg Osby, Orlando le Fleming and Terri Lyne Carrington play Dexter Gordon (June 30), Nir Felder 4 with Aaron Parks, Orlando le Fleming and Mark Guiliana (July 1), Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music (July 2), Helen Merrill (July 3 and 4), Bill Charlap (July 5), Stranahan/Zaleski/Rosato (July 6) and Ranee Lee (July 7). Finally, the Le Dièse Onze au Festival will be presented at 9:30 p.m. at Dièse Onze (4115-A, St. Denis Street), with Benoît Charest Trio (June 28), Matt Herskowitz Trio (June 29), Kalmunity, Jazz Project (June 30), Trabuco Habanero, Cuban Jazz (July 1), Alex Bellegarde Trio with Al McLean (July 2), Daphne Cattellat Trio (July 3), Paulo Ramos Trio and guests (July 4), Rafael Zaldivar Trio (July 5), Montreal Hard Bop Four (July 6) and Kalmunity, Jazz Project (July 7).

The Festival, 24/7, thanks to Bell For all true fans, the Festival is a year-round experience, thanks to Bell. With, everyone can stay constantly connected to the passion of the music, whether before, during or after events. Video excerpts, information on the artists, access to archives from previous editions of the Festival, video channel (montrealjazzfest.TV, etc.—in short, it’s the ideal online destination for every music fan. We remind you that the Festival is on Facebook ( and Twitter (@mtljazzfestival) and that you can follow and experience every aspect of it using mobile applications for iPhone and, new this year, an Android version ( Tickets go on sale this Saturday, May 4 at noon

Exclusive pre-sale for Spectra Newsletter subscribers: starts tomorrow!

• Place des Arts and Maison symphonique de Montréal: 175 Ste. Catherine Street West; 514 842-2112, 1 866 842 2112 or • Métropolis and Savoy: 59 Ste. Catherine Street East;, or 1 855 790-1245 — • L’Astral (Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan): 305 Ste. Catherine Street West;, or 1 855 790-1245 — • Club Soda: 1225 St. Lawrence Boulevard; 514 286-1010 or • Gesù — Centre de créativité: 1200 De Bleury Street; 514 861-4036; or 1 855 790-1245 — • Théâtre du Nouveau Monde: 84 Ste. Catherine Street West; 514 866-8668 or • Bateau-Mouche au Vieux-Port de Montréal: 55 St. Paul Street West; 514 849-9952 or 1 800 361-9952 — • Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal: 185 Ste. Catherine Street West;, or 1 855 790-1245 —

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (May 2013): Chucho Valdés

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (May 2013): Chucho Valdés

Winner of eight Grammy Awards: five Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy and creditor of many doctorates, Dionisio Jesus "Chucho" Valdés Rodríguez is natural from Quivican, Havana Province, Cuba.

Born in 1941, pianist, composer, professor of music, musical arranger and director of his own groups began his musical training in his former years, at home, under his father influence of his father "the great Bebo Valdés" and his mother, Pilar Rodriguez, teacher of piano and singer. At the age of three, he already played at the piano the melodies he listened at he radio, by ear with both hands at any tone.

The positive musical environment of his family allowed him to enter int the knowledge fluently in several styles and genres of music.

With five years, he received piano lessons, theory and solfa with the Professor Oscar Muñoz Boufartique, studies that were finished at the Municipal Music Conservatory of Havana at the age of fourteen. He improved his knowledge with private lessons with Zenaida Romeu, Rosario Franco, Frederick Smith and composition with Leo Brouwer.

Teaching and other

Regularly teaches as professor at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana and also in universities around the world.

In 2006 he was declared a Goodwill Ambassador to the FAO in ceremony at the Vatican, Rome. Since then, gives concerts in Havana every October, the World Food Day. "Haiti will return" is the theme song he composed and whose rights ceded to FAO to raise funds for victims of the hurricane that devastated the Caribbean country.

At fifteen he formed his first jazz trio with Emilio del Monte and Luis Rodriguez. In December 1958 he worked as a pianist in the Deauville Hotel and St. John of Havana. In 1959, made his debut with the orchestra "Sabor de Cuba" orchestra directed by his father where he accompanied with many important singers of that time like Rolando Laserie, Fernando Alvarez and Pio Leyva.

In this last year by Leo Brouwer recommendation, he simultaneously created his combo that in 1965 added a singer named Amado Borcelá, better known as "Guapachá", work that opened a new way in the cuban popular music: It was Irakere´s preamble where many of its founders accompany him. In 1967 he incursed in the Cuban Modern Music Orchestra under the direction of Armando Romeu and Rafael Somavilla, so matured in Chucho his knowledge consolidated as the group leader. Inside it appeared the Combo idea with a quintet format, and in 1970 he made his debut with it at Jamboree International Jazz Festival in Poland, becoming the first Cuban group that participated in a festival abroad of that genre, where is congratulated by Dave Brubeck and it located Chucho for the first time, among the better five world piano players, together with Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.

In 1972, after recording the LP "Jazz Bata" with Carlos del Puerto and Oscar Valdés, Chucho decided to enlarged the format adding brass session and drums, then he founded in 1973 "Irakere", considered the most important group in the Cuban music history in the second half of the XX century, an explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical and traditional Cuban music, a sound that had never been heard before that revolutionized the Latin music.With Irakere, he developed a created work that joined the musical Cuban roots with the most contemporary expressive ways, with masterpieces of great transcendence as "Misa Negra" and "Shaka Zulu", both for Symphony Orchestra and Irakere.

In 1998 he began to work with a quartet format and the vocalist Mayra Caridad Valdés, with emphasis of the piano as soloist and leader voice of itself up today.

New musical experimentation led him to conceive at the end of 2009 "Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers" format with the recorded the award winning album "Chucho's Steps" with his Comanche label and wich performer successful world tour between 2010 and early 2012.

At the end of 2012, Chucho surprises us with his new quintet, a perfect musical combination, mixing the irreplaceable Yaroldy Abreu (percussion) and Dreisser Durruthy Bombalé (batá and vocals), along with the younger generation of Cuban jazz that propose an incredibly innovative comtemporary dynamics: Gastón Joya (bass) and Rodney Barreto (drums). With this format recording at the end of his latest álbum "Border-free", with his own label "Comanche" and in turn inaugurates the 28th Jazz Plaza Festival International, wich was the premiere in Cuba of the disk format and a resounding success with the critics and audiences.

Until 2010, Chucho Valdés has chaired the Organization Committee of the International Jazz Plaza in Cuba.

He usually teaches as Titular Professor at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana and also at Universities all over the world.

Toured every continent and most famous performances in world scenarios, supporting the recognition of his extraordinary interpretative work, considered by critics as one of the best pianists in the world.

The Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Hollywood Bowl, Blue Note NY, Village Vanguard, the Colón Theatre in Buenos Aires, among others, and sharing with exceptional musicians the likes of Herbie Hancock for two pianos, Billy Taylor, Kenny Barron , Michel Legrand, Frank Emilio, Michel Camilo, Chano Dominguez, Marian Marpartlan, Mulgrew Miller, John Lewis, Chick Corea, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Carlos Santana, Joe Lovano, Grover Washington Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, Hugh Fraser, David Sanchez, George Benson, Taj Mahal, Max Roach, Jack Dejonnette, Ron Carter, Idris Muhammad, Eddie Gomez, Gato Barbieri, Giovanni Hidalgo, Tito Puente and the Lincoln Center orchestras Big Band, Village Vanguard Orchestra, John Clayton Big Band and the Machito Orchestra, among others.

Scenarios in London, Paris, Turkey, Portugal, Greece and Lebanon, with Michel Legrand have hosted their performances.

In Spain, among other presentations has issued promotionally with Pablo Milanes, introducing the CD "Beyond All" and also appeared with his father Bebo the famous CD "Together Forever", in nine concerts.

In 2009 Chucho appeared before 12,000 people at the concert of the Cathedral Plaza in Panama City and in the most prestigious in Canadá, Europe, Asia and Australia.

In the recently concluded 2012 acted in Costa Rica, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Spain, Japan, and Panama, along with Cuban singer Omara Portuondo.

During January-February made, with Afro-Cuban Messengers twenty-two concerts in thirty days, from coast to coast U.S. that included his return to the stage at the famous Carnegie Hall in New York, after thirty-four years of absence, (with Spanish singer Concha Buika), promoting the CD of both "The last drink" and his own album "Chucho's Steps"; also offered concerts, clinics and lectures at universities.

Later this year, another intense tour of presentations was occupied by more than twenty-four U.S. cities, including a return to Carnegie Hall New Yorker, in his third performance at full capacity sold. In the so-called "Temple of Jazz" Festival hosted a Cuban or evening when it presented, along with his quintet, two of the best young talents Cuban Aldito López Gavilán, Dayramir Gonzalez and as one of the champions of the clusters rumba tradition in Cuba, Yoruba Andabo. Then came a very special presentation with three great pianists Latinos: the Brazilian Egberto Gismonti, Panamanian Danilo Perez and Cuban Gonzalo Rubalcaba, in a historic concert pianos unprecedented four considered by the New York Times as one of the best concerts of 2012 in the United States. The year ahead for Chucho Valdes imposes the challenge of new and multiple international presentations around the world, including a first for a Cuban in New Zealand, and among other countries: Russia, Japan, Indonesia, Spain, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany , England, France, Italy, Australia, Canada, USA, Portugal, Switzerland.

Demonstrated by sustained virtuosity on the instrument has been the recipient of numerous awards as a soloist in various international festivals. Among other honors and awards, has also received

- Illustrious Son Quivicán, Cuba


- Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Victoria in Canada, 1997. - "Felix Varela Order" first degree for his relevant artistic merits, issued by the State Council of the Republic of Cuba, 1998 - Honorary Doctor of Arts in 2000 and - Educational Merit Award in 2001, both from the Institute Superior de Arte of Havane, ISA. - National Music Award (shared with Leo Brouwer) in first edition, 2000. - Was registered in the Hall of Fame in Los Angeles Latin Jazz in ceremony with Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and Lalo Shiffrin, 2000. - Music Prize of Spain in 2009 by category Jazz CD "Together Forever", recorded with his father Bebo Valdés under seal 54th Street. - Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, with his father Bebo Valdes in May 2011. - In June 2011 he was appointed Honorary Visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- Malaga Provincial Council appointed him Honorary Citizen of the Province, 2012

- Recognition Gitana Tropical, Provincial Department of Culture of the Havana, 2012.

Winner of EIGHT GRAMMY AWARDS, FIVE Grammy Awards and THREE Latin Grammy Awards

For his virtuosity hold in the instrument he has been creditor of many Awards as Soloist in different international festivals.

Fragment of critical newspaper Granma, Saturday 22 December 2012. "No limits" Pedro de la Hoz

"Chucho Valdés has no limits. When someone thinks he has everything, man appears more and better inventions. Virtuoso is a term that is narrow because it does not fit the fireworks or the parade narcissistic to dazzle. Dumps in their creations all worlds has come and, more importantly, anticipates the roads lie ahead ... Before, during and after, Chucho is your island. With the same fervor with which the monks singing Gregorian chants in the abbeys Renaissance, he displays the ritual of the Orishas in a liturgy that charges in Yansa Dionysian dimensions or proportions telluric on roads. But he also has the wisdom and sensitivity to design a suite elegiac as Pilar, before which Stravinsky imagine his hat, or make navigating a theme of Scheherazade, Rimsky-Korsakov, in a bateau on to beat Mississippi blues ... Chucho limits are within himself and convinced that I have not yet encountered the ".