Friday, December 26, 2008

Artista da Semana - Robin Aleman (Dezembro 28- Janeiro 3)

“Robin Aleman is a name to remember,” says Jazz critic Scott Yanow and audiences agree. A native of New York, Robin Aleman’s smooth vocals have been engaging audiences for many years.

Robin’s debut CD, entitled Tonight, was released in 2005 to critical acclaim. Jazz Improv Magazine dubbed the CD “…a promising debut from a talented jazz singer.” Jim McElroy of writes “Her voice draws you in and surrounds you with an emotional blanket of sound that has a wide range of depth and texture to it.” The CD features classic standards by a wide variety of songwriters: Brubeck, Jobim, Monk and Ellington, to name a few. Robin's natural sense of timing serves her well on a couple of odd-meter arrangements, as evidenced on "Tea For Two" and "Some Day My Prince Will Come". Hidden gems are rediscovered, as with "All Through the Night" by Johnny Mercer & Arthur Schwartz, which on this CD is combined with the Cole Porter tune of the same name.

In addition to working with her own jazz quartet, Robin performs with a Latin band. Of Puerto Rican heritage, salsa music was always playing at family get-togethers. The repertoire for the band encompasses many Latin styles, including salsa, Brazilian jazz and classic boleros.

A faculty member at the Singers Forum in NYC, Robin teaches private lessons in voice. She also enjoys work as a studio singer and voice over artist.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Artista da semana - Ellen Robinson (Dezembro 21-27)

Artista da Semana - Ellen Robinson

"Hers is a white chocolate sound, intense and pure, swinging and bitter-sweet. Ellen Robinson's CD "Mercy!" showcases the West Coast singer in a beautifully balanced program of standards and fresh material. Keep your ears and eyes open for more Ellen Robinson." Carol Sloane

Swinging and straight-from-the-heart vocals from this adventuresome singer with loads of presence and a diverse selection of songs. Ellen Robinson is known for her ability to sing with a vocal palette that has a wide variety of colors in both her choice of material and also the range of emotions she covers in a performance. Her latest CD "Mercy! Ellen Robinson Live" captures those transparent moments and passionate one-of-a-kind performances in a compilation of songs selected from four different concerts performed since her last CD “On My Way To You.”

Ellen is backed by an array of talented musicians: pianist Ben Flint, bassists John Schifflett and John Wiitala, drummers John Arkin, Andrew Eberhard and Jeff Marrs, and reedman Charles McNeal.

This recording was produced by Ellen on her own EMR MUSIC label with the San Francisco Bay Area’s well loved drummer, jazz treasure and radio personality, Bud Spangler.

“Ellen Robinson is a welcome entree into the world of jazz voices. This CD is a keeper on the ‘play it again’ shelf.” Bruce Tater, KETR - Commerce, TX

Ellen’s singing is enriched by a firm foundation of education and training: she has studied with the legendary Mark Murphy, former Voicestra member Raz Kennedy, jazz vocalists Madeline Eastman and Ann Dyer, cabaret performer Faith Winthrop, and scat singer extraordinaire Kitty Margolis. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree focusing on piano and voice from Ithaca College in New York and continued her education on the graduate level at C.W. Post, Hofstra University, Bank Street College of Education, and SUNY-Stony Brook.

“Ellen Robinson is blessed with great pipes.” Jazz Improv Magazine

Currently Ellen is the Director of the Anything Goes Chorus, a 50 member community chorus for men and women which she founded in 1980 in the San Francisco Bay Area, and three women’s vocal ensembles: Girlfriendz, Swingshift Singers and Treble Makers. She is also a gifted and dedicated vocal coach to many private students.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Artista da Semana - Yasmine Seydi (Dezembro 14 - 20)

Artista da Semana - Yasmine Seydi

Yasmine seydi immense love of music and dance is undoubtedly influenced by her rich cultural heritage. Her journey began in Ziguinchor, Senegal, where she was born, then raised in France only to follow her heart to Brazil. She began her artistic career as a dancer with the Brasil Tropical a large troop of forty dancers and musicians. After touring the globe several times and appreciating all the different expressions of each country she nonetheless was drawn back to the melting pot of Brazil and its mix of interbreeding and imaginary.

Three years later she returns to France where she continues her professional course as a dancer performing with various dance groups and cabarets, and participating in TV broadcasts along side the singers. Music and dance is Yasmine’s universe, here these two disciplines unfold and entwine in choreographic harmony. Her passion is directed towards Brazilian songs which she studies with Rolando Faria, jazz with Michele Hendricks and Viviane Ginapé who are within the framework of L' IACP(school of jazz in Paris) and also with Sara Lazarus at the Bill Evans Academy piano in Paris.

Not only, over many years performing as an entertainer in music and dance at various cabarets and shows (Pau Brasil, Pharaon…) , she also has appeared in several jazz clubs and concert halls (7 Lézards, festival of St Denis2007, Festival “ Cores do Brasil, Blue Note(Paris), Casino de Lille, Casino de Saint Jean de Monts…) ”…)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Artista da semana - Judy Wexler (Dezembro 7 - 13)

Artista da Semana - Judy Wexler

"…to merit being called a jazz singer you have to have something to say-your own story-as it moves you then and there." .... Nat Hentoff

From Louis Armstrong to Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis to Pat Metheny, jazz artists have always sought to tell stories. Judy Wexler is a natural storyteller, with a distinctive voice, full of shadings. She knows how to dig into a song and find its essence. She is also "one of the most focused, unpretentious, no-nonsense, bop-oriented jazz singers around," according to Harvey Siders in JazzTimes, with an "instinctive ability to bring out the best in each song, often taking it into unfamiliar territory," wrote Ken Dryden in All Music Guide. Her 2005 debut, Easy on The Heart, made radio waves and introduced her to a wide jazz audience; now comes the follow-up… debuting at #2 on the national JazzWeek chart, Dreams & Shadows, her new CD on the Jazzed Media label, confirms her ability to find great songs and effortlessly bring them to life. Judy was interviewed on NPR Weekend Edition by Susan Stamberg, who said, "From the evidence on her new second album, Dreams & Shadows, Judy Wexler can sing almost anything."

Judy has sung at the Blue Note in New York, Blues Alley in Washington, DC, Jazz Alley in Seattle, the Tel Aviv Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, and the Temecula Valley International Jazz Festival, where she opened the show for the legendary Mose Allison; she has also headlined in venues as diverse as Montreal, Istanbul, Vancouver and , Miami, the Sundance Film Festival, and the 2006 IAJE (International Association for Jazz Education) conference in New York, garnering rave reviews and building audiences along the way.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Judy studied piano from the time she was 5, but she gravitated toward theater, acting and singing in high school productions. She majored in psychology and theater at UC Santa Cruz, and after graduating, moved to San Francisco where she continued to perform in theater. Judy met her future husband, her upstairs neighbor, and together they spent a lot of time listening to jazz. "My husband and I lived in North Beach, just a couple of blocks from Keystone Korner," she says (referring to the world-renowned jazz club that closed in the 1980s), "where we frequently heard the finest jazz musicians around. It drew me in then and never let go."

A few years later, the couple moved to Los Angeles. Judy continued performing in theater and television, and guest starred on the hit comedy Frasier. But she was still drawn to jazz and began studying at the Dick Grove Music School. She concentrated on jazz harmony and jazz vocals, and subsequently studied for several years with acclaimed pianist Terry Trotter, with the goal of accompanying herself at the piano. Judy explains, "Finally, I figured I'd be a hundred years old before I'd be as good as I wanted, so I decided I should focus solely on singing." But it took a deathbed wish from her mother to get Judy out on the nightclub stage.

"My mother told me, 'Kid, you want to sing. I'll die happy if you just get out there and do it.' And that was really her final gift to me...she gave me a kick in the ass."

A few years of increased exposure on the L.A. scene earned her a reputation for the craftsmanship and emotional immediacy of her singing, while displaying her knack for compiling a spirited, cliché-free repertoire. Judy collaborated with Alan Pasqua as pianist and arranger for her first disc, Easy on the Heart, which received wide airplay and critical acclaim. Pasqua shared the playing and arranging with Jeff Colella on Judy's new CD, Dreams & Shadows, which has received rave reviews and has remained on the national JazzWeek chart for three months since its March 2008 release. As Christopher Loudon of JazzTimes asserts, "With this exalted follow-up to 2005's superb Easy on the Heart, Wexler proves she's ready to join the top rank of female jazz vocalists."

"I love the freedom of jazz and I love being able to connect with the audience and express myself through the lyrics," Judy beams. "There is so much great material to explore and share. And living in southern California, I get to play with some of the finest jazz musicians in the world. It's a privilege that I never forget when I get up to sing."