Sunday, October 24, 2010

Artist of the Week: Ayako Shirasaki

Artist of the Week: Ayako Shirasaki


Recognized in her native Japan as a jazz prodigy (in the 5th grade she was already transcribing Bud Powell solos), Ayako Shirasaki while yet a pre-teen won many prizes including the Grand Prize at the Asakusa Jazz Competition. Her professional career began at the tender age of twelve when she began regular appearances at the “J” jazz club in Tokyo. Her extraordinary talent was soon recognized, and she was featured in Swing Journal.

Extremely versatile, Ayako majored in classical music at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and performed as a classical pianist for several years after graduation. But the love of the jazz idiom instilled by her father from the age of five won out, and Ayako soon returned to her first love, winning in 1995 second prize in the prestigious First Annual Heineken Jazz Competition.

In 1997 Ayako moved to New York City where she currently resides. Her talent won her a scholarship in the masters program at the Manhattan School of Music where she studied performance with such noted teachers as Kenny Barron and Ted Rosenthal and composition with Mike Abene.

Ayako is fast making a name for herself as one of the most exciting and inventive pianists on the New York jazz scene. She has been heard at the Blue Note, The Kitano, Birdland, Cobi’s Place, Dizzy’s Club, Sugar Hill Bistro, Swing 46, Copeland’s, Cleopatra’s Needle, and Kavehaz. Her unique style and strong rhythmic sense have made her much in demand. She has played with Lewis Nash, Kalil Madi, John Benitez, Steve Kirby, Kengo Nakamura, Kenny Garrett, Clarence Penn, Kit McLure and Harold Ousley.

Ayako released two self-produced CDs in 2002, “Live in New York” with her trio and “The Duo Live” with vibraphonist Tim Collins. In August 2003, her major debut CD “Existence” (Lewis Nash on drums, Marco Panascia on bass) was released in Japan. Her second major CD “Musically Yours” was released in June, 2005. In April 2006, Ayako’s long-waited solo piano album “Home Alone” was released. Additionally she has been featured on Marian McPartlands “An NPR Jazz Christmas with Marian McPartland and Friends, Vol. 3″ and recently on “Best of 1st International Jazz Solo Piano Festival 2009″.


“Ayako Shirasaki is a devoted, virtuosic, daring and expressive pianist.” - Howard Mandel, president of the Jazz Journalists Association and senior contributor DOWNBEAT Magazine, September 2009

“Ayako is an extremely gifted musician. She is blessed with great technique, a fertile and creative imagination, a firm understanding of the jazz tradition and a real love for the music. I recommend Ayako without reservation.” - Pianist, Kenny Barron

“She is one amazing musician, and an incredible pianist and composer. One of the greatest pianists I’ve ever heard! Don’t dare miss her. Ayako has everything that makes a musician great.” - Pianist, Jessica Williams

“Jazz improvisation at the highest level.” - Jazzthetik, German Jazz Magazine, April 2009

“Shirasaki is a virtuoso whose technique ranges from a tender touch like the late Tommy Flanagan, and brisk runs like Bud Powell, but with a brilliant creativity all her own.” - Greg Thomas, Chief editor, Harlem World Magazine

“She’s awfully good: rhapsodic when the material demands but still quite capable of swinging with Powellish drive.” - Paul Blair, Hot House Jazz Magazine, November 2007

“Ayako has a very good sense of time and advanced harmonic ideas.” - Ted Rosenthal, Pianist and Thelonious Monk Competition Winner

“Ya’ know, the good thing about this girl is that she really can swing!!” - Dr. Buster Brown , Tap Dancer

“Ayako, you are the very best!” - Cobi Narita, Music promoter


- Performance at Jazz Journalists Association Awards Gala 2010, New York (video)
- 1st International Jazz Solo Piano Festival 2009, Germany, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg
- Guest on Marian McPartland’s radio show “Piano Jazz” 2006; National Public Radio
- Finalist in the Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Piano Competition 2005 and 2006; Washington, D.C., USA
- Finalist in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition 2004, 2005 and 2006; Jacksonville, Fl., USA
- Member of the 2003 Jazz Aspen Snowmass Emerging Artist Program; Aspen, Co., USA
- Second prize in the First Annual Heineken Jazz Competition 1995
- Grand Prize at the Asakusa Jazz Competition; Asakusa, Japan


Ayako is equally comfortable entertaining jazz piano audiences in a solo setting or as leader of a larger ensemble. Ayako attributes her ability to excel in both settings due to her command of numerous musical genres and her ability to provide a strong time feel, as if her left hand assumes the role of a seasoned bassist or percussionist. Ayako`s ability to collaborate across a wide range ofmusical settings is evidenced in recent duo performances with tap dancers, vibraphonists and horn players. Influential musicians cited by Ayako include Bill Evans, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and Billy Strayhorn. Ayako has performed tribute concerts in honor of several of these jazz legends and plans on performing more in the future.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Artist of the Week: Ceumar

Artist of the Week: Ceumar
Here's a crystal clear voiced brazilian singer, named "Ceumar" ( pronounced as "say-ooh-mar") , whose name could have been an artistic reference: heaven (Ceu) and the sea (Mar) - very lyrical and a justifying metaphor for her musical approach.

When asked, Ceumar will reveal the truth of her name: it's a combination of her father's and mother's names. At home the young Ceumar was exposed to the music of artists like Milton Nascimento, Lo Borges, Clube da Esquina, Joyce and Boca Livre. When starting her own musical adventure, Ceumar tended to choose the less obvious road, not very eager to sing the songs "everybody" already sung before her. That was illustrated by her more or less first show, which she called "30 Músicas que você não ouve no radio" (30 Songs you don't hear on the radio) and contained songs by Egberto Gismonti, A Barca do Sol, Hermeto Pascoal and others.

Ceumar plays with ..

She has made performances with premier Brazilian artists such as Vitor Ramil, Nilson Chaves, Lui Coimbra, Sergio Perere, Mauricio Tizumba. ceumar & jazztrioRecently, she has participated in the project DISCO DE OURO – TROPICALIA (“Golden Record – Tropicalia” ) with Lula Queiroga, Sergio Dias (Mutantes) and Rebeca Matta.

Last years she performed a lot in Europe with a wonderful jazztrio from Amsterdam NL ( Mike del Ferro - Olaf Keus - Frans van der Hoeven ) and with the african-european-brazilian crossover group Kokoura. Recently Ceumar also performed with the great American jazz-singer Deborah Carter.

History: Ceumar played at ..

During the last 5 years, Ceumar made performances in Curitiba (Paiol, Guairinha), Itajai – Santa Catarina (Winter Festival), Porto Alegre (Santander Cultural), Campinas, Rio de Janeiro (Novo Canto Project, Bolsa Nova Project), Belem (SESC DOCA), Sao Luis (Circo da Cidade), Brasilia (CCBB, Feitico Mineiro), Belo Horizonte (TIM Mov. Perc – 2005) besides her performances in Sao Paulo – capital and countryside.

In 2005, joined the Projeto Pixinguinha (Pixinguinha Project) roaming about the North and Center regions of Brazil. She also joined the Festival Cultura (Cultura Festival) exibited by the TV Channel “ TV Cultura”, with the song ACHOU! (by Dante Ozzetti and Luiz Tatit) achieving the second place.

In 2006 & 2007 Ceumar performed many shows in The Netherlands, Spain and Belgium. Some of these concerts were together with guitarist Dante Ozzetti, others were accompanied by the Mike Del Ferro Trio or Kokoura.


Festival Mundial, Bimhuis Amsterdam, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Tropentheater Amsterdam, De Doelen Rotterdam, Zuiderpershuis Antwerpen (Belgium), Rasa Utrecht (NL), Sfinx Festival( Belgium).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Artist of the Week: Flavia Bittencourt

Artist of the Week: Flavia Bittencourt

Em seu segundo trabalho Flávia Bittencourt viaja na obra de Dominguinhos. O CD Todo Domingos, em edição independente, mostra uma cantora forte que ousa e experimenta. Ela coloca seu toque pessoal em cada uma das doze releituras especialíssimas escolhidas na imensa obra do compositor.

Por ser de lá, na certa por isso mesmo. Flávia Bittencourt é de São Luis, Maranhão. Dominguinhos é de Garanhuns, Pernambuco. Os dois estados no Nordeste brasileiro, região de cultura rica e de forte identidade musical. Flávia e Dominguinhos são artistas do mundo. Ela, jovem e talentosa cantora atenta aos movimentos mais delicados de sua arte. Ele sanfoneiro e compositor consagrado, autor de diversos sucessos que permeiam o inconsciente coletivo. A mistura dos dois se mostra mágica em um álbum de nobre abordagem contemporânea.

Nesse encontro Flávia deita belíssima voz, cheia de ritmo, em clássicos como Lamento sertanejo, Tenho sede e Abri a porta. Com coragem chega até a Eu só quero um xodó, música das mais presentes no dia-a-dia do país. E – pasmem – ela consegue trazer vida nova partindo de elementos do bumba-meu-boi e da música flamenca. Os arranjos foram maturados de maneira coletiva com a banda. “Geralmente eu penso na música, começo a cantá-la sozinha e as idéias começam a surgir”, conta Flávia. No disco passam arranjos assinados por Jayme Vignoli, Leandro Saramago, Luiz Flavio Alcofra, Silvério Pontes, Alessandro Cardoso, Gérson da Conceição, Charlles da Costa, Thiago França e Rogério Fernandes

Flávia está irresistível em Sete meninas, dessas gravações quentes que fazem até o chão dançar contagiado pelos metais e percussão. Ao mesmo tempo se mostra especialmente lírica na releitura delicada para Tenho sede. E esquenta com tons de reggae Abri a porta, hit pop do grupo A Cor do Som no início dos anos 80.

E a festa soma presenças. A celebração de Dominguinhos se estende a seus parceiros. Aqui um painel variado que vai de Gilberto Gil a Guadalupe; de Djavan a Manduka; de Toinho até Anastácia, a mais presente. Passa também a presença de Jorge Benjor, celebrado na música "O Babulina", lançada por Dominguinhos em 1976.

Mais eis que o próprio compositor se faz presente, voz agreste acolhedora e sanfona aconchegada no peito, na íntima "Diz amiga". A amiga em questão não resistiu e incluiu uma composição própria e inédita, "Seu Domingos", homenagem dentro da homenagem.

A difícil seleção de repertório parte de uma carreira de mais de 40 anos do compositor. Assim que revelou ao homenageado a intenção de fazer o disco, Flávia ganhou apoio de Dominguinhos que ofereceu a ela discos raros, em que ela mergulhou em horas de pesquisa. “Foi um processo difícil porque eu tinha material pra fazer alguns discos e tinha que escolher só doze faixas. Mas também não queria deixar de lado alguns clássicos que são tão lindos”, revela.

A relação de Flávia Bittencourt com a música de Dominguinhos vem dos discos que o pai ouvia em casa. Mais tarde, já colegas de profissão, o encontro nos bastidores de um evento em que se apresentavam. O compositor convidou a cantora para interpretar o clássico De volta pro aconchego. O caminho de amizade levou Dominguinhos a participar do primeiro CD de Flávia, lançado em 2005.

O novo passo entrelaça ainda mais as histórias. Ele, longa estrada percorrida e em plena atividade levando sua música onde o povo está. Ela, segundo CD e construindo uma história sincera e apaixonada por sua música. Juntos em Todo Domingos, a voz de Flávia Bittencourt e a obra de Dominguinhos foram feitos um para o outro, basta ouvir.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Artist of the Week: Harvie S

Harvie S, award winning composer, arranger, bassist, educator and producer is continually challenging himself and his peers, expanding the borders of musical direction.

A legendary bassist he has performed and recorded with Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Dexter Gordon, Tony Bennett, Ray Baretto, Michael Brecker, Jean Pierre Rampal, Paquito D'Rivera, Gil Evans, Art Farmer, Mark Turner, Jim Hall, Stefon Harris, Billy Hart, Lee Konitz, Yusef Lateef, Dave Leibman, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Paul Motion, Chico O'Farrill, Danilo Perez, Maria Schneider, Zoot Sims, Toots Thielemans, Ray Vega, James Williams, Phil Woods, Louie Bellson and countless others.

He can be heard on 13 Cds as a leader. 12 as a Co-Leader and over 350 CDs as a sideman. These recordings include his work with an enormous variety of artistic voices such as James Brown, Kenny Barron, Chick Corea, Tom Harrell, Sheila Jordan, Steve Kuhn, Pat Martino, David Mathews, Virginia Mayhew, Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers,Anat Cohen, Tyshawn Sorey Mike Stern, Donny McCaslin, John Scofield, Dr. Billy Taylor, Yusef Lateef and Grover Washington Jr.

His 2008 release with jazz legend Kenny Barron "Now was the time" on High Note records was voted best of the year and topped the Jazz Week charts for over five months.

His most recent CD released in May 2010 "Cocolamus Bridge" on the Blue Bamboo Label and premieres a panoply of original compositions by Harvie.

Harvie's innovative piece "S" was a winner in the International Song Writing competition of 2006.

Harvie S was selected a Jazz Ambassador for the United States and toured throughout Europe

and Southeast Asia in this honored capacity in 2006.

He has been a guest on NPRs "All Things Considered" and "Fresh Air." His career is documented in Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz, the Grove Dictionary of Jazz and the All Music Guide. Mr. S composed the musical themes for the documentaries The Trumpet Kings, The Piano Legends and John Coltrane. He can been seen and heard on the music videos of Toots Thielemans, Pat Martino, Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, Jane Ira Bloom and countless others.

Harvie S has been featured in print and internet articles in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Daily News, Japan Times, USA Today, Downbeat, All About Jazz, Jazziz, Cadence , Jazz Improv, Coda(Canada), Jazztimes, Swing Journal(Japan), Jazz Life(Japan), Jazz Forum(Poland), Jazz Hot (France), Hot House, Jazz Improv, The Los Angeles Times, Jazz Podium and Jazz-it (Italy).

As a bandleader Harvie S has performed at The Blue Note, The Iridium, The Kennedy Center, Montreal Jazz Festival, JVC Festival and Freehoffer Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Temple University, the Painted Bride, Carnegie Hall, Yoshis, The Edminton Jazz Festival, The Toronto Jazz Festival, The Sugarloaf Festival, The Saratoga Jazz Festival,, Sweet Rhythm, the Philadelphia Museum After Five Series, the JVC Jazz Festival, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Festival, Flushing Town Hall Jazz Concert Series, The Rochester Jazz Festival, The Lake George Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, Tblissi Jazz Festival, Jazz at Riverspace, the WBGO Summer Jazz Festival, the Tarrytown Library Concert Series, the 55 Bar, the Kitano, the Zinc Bar, the Middleton County Artists in Residence Series, and the Patterson School District Arts in Education Program.

In addition to his performance career, Harvie S is an active educator. He has been a Professor of Jazz Bass and Ensembles at Manhattan School of Music for both undergraduate and graduate divisions since 1984.

He has conducted workshops, lecture demonstrations and presentations throughout the world at many venues including The Kennedy Center, The New School, New York University, Columbia University, Harvard University, the International Association of Jazz Educators, the International Society of Bassists, Yale University, Amherst College, L'Escuela de Nationale, Havana, Cuba, Carnegie Hall Jazz Education Program, Sibelius Academy, Eastman School of Music, Berklee College of Music, William Paterson College and The Henry Third Street Music Settlement.

Currently developing a new music for a variety of musical ensembles and recordings, Harvie S

is integrating his lifetime of musical experience and research into opening doors to new and exciting pathways of creative expression

Friday, September 24, 2010

Artist of the Week (september 26 - october 2) - Ana Paula da Silva

Artist of the Week (september 26 - october 2) - Ana Paula da Silva


Ana Paula da Silva nasceu em Joinville/SC, Brasil. Sua musicalidade foi tomando forma ainda criança, enquanto seu pai lhe ensinava obras de grandes compositores brasileiros.

Com formação auto-didata, há treze anos a cantora Ana Paula vem desenvolvendo sua carreira musical, evoluindo naturalmente de intérprete a violonista e compositora.

Com características fortes de uma grande intérprete e sua total identidade, Ana Paula reuniu grandes músicos, como Robertinho Silva, Arnou De Melo, Beto Lopes com novos talentos brasileiros para a gravação,
entre 2004 e 2005, do seu primeiro disco solo, “Canto Negro”. Com este projeto, apresentaram-se no Festival de Jazz de Montreux, Teatro Juarez Machado,
Teatro Municipal de Itajaí, Sesc Prainha e Turnê realizada na Austria.

Desde 2004, entre Brasil e Europa, Ana Paula realizou , junto do compositor, arranjador e guitarrista
Alegre Corrêa, o disco e a turnê Por Causa do Samba.

Nos seus quatorze anos de carreira, Ana Paula já dividiu concertos com grandes nomes como Elza Soares, Tavinho Moura, Toninho Horta, Leny Andrade, Lô Borges, entre outros. Também já atuou com músicos reconhecidos no Brasil e na Europa, como Robertinho Silva, Karl Hodina,
Jeff Gardner, Wolfgang Muthspiel e realizou em 2006 uma turnê de cinco semanas com o conceituado músico Joe Zawinul, no Joe Zawinul Syndicate.

Em 2009 aprovado pelo Edital SIMDEC lançou o seu terceiro projeto um livro-cd Contos em Cantos com
produção, composições e arranjos próprios, musicando histórias.

Em março de 2010 foi convidada pelo Grupo Chá de Cevada para fazer a turnê através do Circuito de Música do SESC, cantando e tocando música autorais do catarinense Edson Marques.

No segundo semestre de 2009, realizou o CD e a turnê * Aos de casa* aprovados pelo Prêmio Pixinguinha, somente dois artistas por estado brasileiro, passou por várias universidades de Joinville como pré-lançamento, e oficial em Joinville, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Jaraguá do Sul, Pomerode e segue para Áustria em Novembro deste ano.

Para 2010, já aprovado pelo Mecenato o disco Pé de Crioula de samba que terá a presença brilhante do arranjador Claudio Jorge um ícone do samba carioca.

No atual momento com o compositor e violonista Chico Saraiva realiza shows com a música de ambos e do folclore brasileiro.

O novo trabalho de Ana Paula da Silva – Aos de Casa, foi elogiado e divulgado no site Sintonia Fina por Nelson Motta

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Artist of the Week (september 19 - 25): Jennifer Zarine

Artist of the Week (september 19 - 25): Jennifer Zarine

Originally from the small town of Ghent in upstate NY, Jennifer eventually performed her way through most of the county and the Capital Region. She then went on to study at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY where she earned a BM in vocal performance.

Upon the completion of her classical training, Jennifer moved to New York City with a focus in Musical Theater. This focus led her to the two year intensive program at Circle in the Square Theater School. Though Jennifer always had a love for jazz, it was here where her vocal teacher suggested she give it a whirl.

After receiving her theater certificate, she began performing throughout the city singing in cabarets, off and off off Broadway shows and various jazz clubs including Kavehaz (now closed) and Mannahatta (also now closed). She promises that she is not the reason for their closing as she has also sung at plenty of venues that are still currently open!

Her debut album, Fresh Made Cuppa Tea is a dream come true... a compilation of standards and classic rock songs with a fresh jazzy twist. Jennifer’s love for her family, friends and tea were the inspiration for the album.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Artist of the Week (september 12 - 18) - Lawrence Lebo

Lawrence Lebo Biography

"Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3" completes the blues trilogy Ms. Lebo has been working on with style. A brilliant collection for young and old, the songs evoke the past masters while inspiring the next wave of blues greats to follow suit. Easily the best album in the genre I have heard this year.”

- Christopher Llewellyn Adams,

“She sounds like what a daughter spawned by Ella Fitzgerald and Bob Wills might have”

- Dirty Linen Magazine

"She's hard to catagorize, and that's good!" - L.A. Jazz Scene

“DON’T CALL HER LARRY, VOL. 3 : AMERICAN ROOTS” - LAWRENCE LEBO brings her “Don’t Call Her Larry” trilogy to an anti-pop, deconstructed climax.

Hailing form Southern California, singer/songwriter/composer LAWRENCE LEBO is an artist who is enthralled with and dedicated to American Roots Music. Her journey began with her critically acclaimed debut Ep titled “LAWRENCE LEBO and her LITTLE BIG BAND:DON‘T CALL HER LARRY ”. With the release of her first collection, LEBO interpreted eclectic 30’s and 40’s Big Band Blues, using the vehicle of an eight piece “Little Big Band” surprisingly comprised of traditional bluegrass instrumentation, creating a hybrid of Americana Blues/Jazz/Roots, with vocals extraordinaire! Ace banjoist PAT CLOUD’S Charlie Parker influenced banjo work is not to be missed. The Ep was recorded live to 2 track and originally mastered to vinyl at 45rpm. It was later re-released on CD as "DON'T CALL HER LARRY, VOL. 1". The work garnered rave international reviews. The Ep's success got the attention of NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO who featured Ms. LEBO on the WEEKEND EDITION show, hosted by Liane Hansen.

The success of her first endeavor sparked her second release"DON'T CALL HER LARRY, VOL. 2", This time LEBO reinterprets her songbook with an acoustic quartet captured in a lice setting, comprised of vocals, guitar, bass and violin. The CD includes new tunes that showcase LAWRENCE’S songwriting and arranging talents along with her powerful vocals. LEBO swings, scats and moans her way through both originally penned compositions, and originally arranged classics that run the gamut from rocking electric blues, acoustic swing, to contemporary jazz.

In the age of trilogy, LEBO conjures a masterful offering. In “DON’T CALL HER LARRY, VOL. 3 : AMERICAN ROOTS” she continues to explore the depths of American Roots music, reinterpreting her songbook in a duet setting, featuring herself and bassist DENNY CROY (Doug MacLeod, Brian Setzer Orchestra). Stripped down to an organic setting, the stellar vocalist creates vivid imagery with her texturally diverse vocal styling. In an age where singers are manipulated with technology and slick production, LEBO goes bar-room-raw, minimal, and shows us exactly what she can do. In addition, LEBO has penned new works. They are American Roots hybrids of acoustic jazz/blues, western swing, and a heart wrenching folk tribute to the sudden loss of her dearly loved yellow Labrador Retriever, titled “Rose, Rose”. Notables contributing on the CD are PHIL PARLAPIANO (John Prine, Lowen &Navarrow, Dave Koz) on accordion, and MIKE ACOSTA (Brian Setzer Orchestra) on saxes. “DON’T CALL HER LARRY, VOL. 3 : AMERICAN ROOTS” is certain to thrill loyal LAWRENCE LEBO fans, as well as to attract new followers with its compelling ability to differentiate itself from the pack.

Ms. LEBO has worked long and hard at developing her craft. In addition to her more than 20 years experience as an accomplished vocalist, band leader and songwriter, Lawrence was driven to expand her natural talents through various educational programs. In the 1980s, she attended the vocal program at Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, California. With this educational background, a steady performance schedule and raising family, Lawrence returned to traditional academia in 2000, earning an Associate of Arts degree in music at Santa Monica College, and then transferring to UCLA to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree.

"An education at UCLA was not something I could afford,” says Lawrence. Nevertheless, she poured herself into her studies at UCLA and the hard worked paid off. Ms. Lebo received two of UCLA’s highest honors, including a Regents Scholar and a Gold Shield Alumni Scholar. Lawrence proudly notes, however, “The highlight of my experience at UCLA was getting to study Duke Ellington under Professor Kenney Burrell. It just doesn‘t get any better than that!” In the summer of 2005, Lawrence graduated from UCLA with Latin Honors. On the heels of this educational achievement, Lawrence released, DON‘T CALL HER LARRY, VOLUME 2. Currently LEBO teaches a Blues singing techniques workshop at world famous McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica.

Intellectually curious and stubbornly original, LAWRENCE LEBO continues to explore American Roots music and develop her art in ways that defy categorization. Ms. LEBO can be found performing at events, festivals, night clubs and exclusive private parties. She can be found on the world wide web at For Booking Information or Press Kit contact On The Air Records at (818) 708-9565 or email at:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Artist of the Week (august 29 - september 4) - Kenia

The artist was born Kenia Acioly into a family of Italian origins in the city of Nova Iguaçu, a distant working class suburb of Rio de Janeiro. When she was six, Kenia’s family moved to Copacabana. Later, she lived in Niterói, Rio’s sister city across Guanabara Bay, and Leblon, one of the city’s most upscale neighborhoods. Each stop along the way provided opportunities to explore the local cultural peculiarities that go into making Rio and its neighboring environs one of the world’s most exotic locales.

An interest in music came early; she studied piano and learned to play the guitar by ear. Singing however, became her path to success in music world. Influenced by such Brazilian greats as the late Elis Regina, she also began listening to such North American artists as Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRea and George Benson. And her choice of music to interpret came not from the bossa nova of the 1960s but from the talents of the generation of composers that followed and put the Brazilian sound on the world map once again.

Arriving in the U.S. in 1980, Kenia quickly established herself as the new Brazilian singer on the scene and recorded her debut in the States with trumpeter Claudio Roditi on his album Red on Red. Several years later, she launched her solo recording career, producing four popular and critically-acclaimed albums for the MCA and Denon labels between 1987 and 1991. She also established herself as one of the most popular and successful U.S. based Brazilian musicians since the heyday of Sergio Mendes and Brazil ‘66. In 1997, Kenia launched her own label, Mooka Records, with a particularly ambitious effort; Project Ivan Lins, a tribute to the one of Brazil’s most prolific and popular contemporary songwriters, featuring Lins himself as a special guest.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Artist of the Week - Carol Morgan

Artist of the Week - Carol Morgan


Carol Morgan is a jazz trumpeter, composer, author and college professor who resides in NYC. Originally from Texas, she is a Juilliard graduate who has worked with many remarkable teachers including Chris Gekker, Mark Gould, Ingrid Jensen, and Dennis Dotson.

Carol's discography includes three CD's as a leader. The Carol Morgan Trio CD, Opening, featuring Harvie S and Rich DeRosa was signed by Blue Bamboo Music and released in early 2010. Other session work includes solo outings, Classic Morgana and Passing Time with the Carol Morgan Quintet, as well as filling side-person roles on releases by DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Hawk-Richard Jazz Orchestra, The Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, NPR's The Engines of Our Ingenuity, Thomas Helton, Henry Darragh and Calvin Owens. As a composer she has been commissioned by DiverseWorks, the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble, the Arch-diocese of Houston/Galveston and St. Thomas Presbyterian Church, Houston. In 2008, Carol authored what is now a highly-regarded method for jazz improvisation--a textbook entitled The Practicing Improviser.

Currently, Carol leads her own trio with bassist Harvie S and Rich DeRosa on drums, Carol Morgan's Case Study--featuring Helen Sung and Mike Moreno, and is a member of the New York-based DIVA Jazz Orchestra. Recent performing venues include Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC), Small's Jazz Club (NYC), Blues Alley (DC), the Playboy Jazz Festival (The Hollywood Bowl, LA), The Lionel Hampton Jazz Club (Paris), The Elephant Room (Austin), The Deer Head Inn (Delaware Gap, PA) and World Cafe' Live (Philadelphia).

Carol's goal as an artist and teacher is to help people enjoy music more.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nikki Yanofsky is a 16-year-old musical prodigy. Since her debut at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival, where she won the hearts of the 100,000+ audience, Nikki has never looked back. She was the youngest singer ever on a Verve Records release when she recorded “Airmail Special” for the Ella Fitzgerald tribute album, We All Love Ella: Celebrating the First Lady of Song, alongside such musical
luminaries as Etta James, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Krall and Natalie Cole. She has also recorded the swing-era classic, “Stompin’ at the Savoy” with Grammy Award-winning artists Herbie Hancock and for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants. Also, in the realm of popular music, Nikki was asked to
record “Gotta Go My Own Way” for Disney’s smash hit High School Musical 2. The song was included in French and English on the Canadian release of the soundtrack, and in the bonus features of the worldwide DVD release. Nikki has also starred with renowned hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean on episodes of PBS' current version of The
Electric Company and has been broadcast internationally on PBS’s youth talent showcase From the Top. In 2008, Nikki released Ella… of Thee I Swing – a live CD/DVD package recorded in Montreal.

Garnering critical acclaim, it earned Nikki two Juno nominations including New Artist of the Year and Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. Most recently, Nikki was a featured artist at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games held in Vancouver. Performing at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics as well as the opening ceremony of the Paralympics, Nikki was introduced to a world-wide audience.
Nikki was also chosen to sing “I Believe,” the anthem of Canada’s Broadcast Consortium. Written by Stephan Moccio and Alan Frew, this song quickly became a #1 hit on iTunes Canada and the Billboard Canada Top 100 chart. The single had the highest first-week sales of any Canadian artist in SoundScan history and was certified quadruple-platinum. That same week, Ella… of Thee I Swing went back to the top of the iTunes Canada Jazz Albums Chart and her single “I Got Rhythm” went to the top of the iTunes Canada Jazz Songs Chart. This was the first time since the inception of digital downloading that an artist has held these #1 positions concurrently.

Nikki has used her budding fame to help the underprivileged – becoming an ambassador for the Montreal Children’s Hospital, The Children's Wish Foundation and MusiCounts. Nikki has also recently joined her fellow Canadian artists in recording K’Naan’s
“Wavin’ Flag” for Young Artists for Haiti. Being sold on iTunes as a single and video, the proceeds will directly impact the lives of children, families and communities in Haiti through the relief and rebuilding efforts of Free the Children, War Child Canada and World Vision Canada. The local, national and international charity events that Nikki has been involved with to date have raised well over
$10 million.

Already a veteran of the touring circuit, Nikki has played to sold-out crowds at jazz festivals in Montreal, Toronto, Sapporo and Montego Bay, played Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and Avery Fischer Hall with renowned composer and conductor, Marvin Hamlisch and has performed before full houses at Dizzy's in New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Center, the famed Catalina's Jazz Club in Los Angeles and even Tokyo’s historic Kabuki-za.

Nikki’s first studio album, Nikki, will be released by Decca Records in the spring of 2010. Produced by 15-time Grammy Award-winning producer Phil Ramone, it features new arrangements of classic jazz songs as well as some of Nikki’s first original music. It includes collaborations with fellow Canadian Ron Sexsmith and Grammy
Award-winning songwriter Jesse Harris as well as a song written for Nikki by Feist.
The summer of 2010 is already filling up with international tour dates. Canadian, US, UK, Japanese and European tours are all in the works including her fifth straight appearance at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Artista Da Semana (junho 13-19) - Sandy Cressman

Artista da Semana - Sandy Cressman

Bio: Sandy Cressman

Born in New York City, Sandy began her recording career with the highly acclaimed vocal trio Pastiche, with whom she recorded two CDs, "That's R&Bebop" (Pony/Canyon/Nova) and "Remember That" (BluePrint). In 1992, Sandy began a solo career parallel to working with Pastiche, and in 1996 joined keyboardist Marcos Silva, for a steady gig at Caf»Bastille, a San Francisco jazz bistro. Silva, formerly musical director and arranger for Flora Purim and Airto, who has also worked with Toninho Horta, Dori Caymmi and other Brazilian greats, shared her passion for the music. Over a period of two years they developed an extensive repertoire, musical interplay and following in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sandy has lent her vocals to recordings by such diverse artists as Ray Obiedo (Windham Hill), Pete Escovedo (Concord Crossover) and Eddie Money (CBS).

In 1997, Sandy was featured on the debut release "Intercambio" (Good Omen,), by young Brazilian jazz harmonica player Damien. Her love of languages and world music has led her to become a much-in-demand session vocalist for Latin and World Music artists. Sandy often performs with Rebeca Mauleon-Santana, Orquesta Candela, and Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra. Sandy also composes songs for television and films, and most recently contributed a song, "Island Ways" to the film "Lulu on the Bridge" starring Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino and Vanessa Redgrave.

Sandy writes for the online magazine "Connecting Voices." and has lent her vocals to a number of notable artists' recordings, including: Ray Obiedo“Sweet Summer Days, Sticks and Stones and Iguana (Windham Hill Records) Pete Escovedo“Flying South (Concord Crossover Records) Eddie Money“Can't Hold Back (CBS Records) Neal Schon----Late Nite (CBS Records) Pastiche“Remember That (BluePrint Records)
and That's R&Bebop (Pony/Canyon/Nova) Damien“Intercambio (Good Omen Records) * Prince Ayo“Dancing to Africa (Polygram Nigeria) Candela“Ilusiones (Orfeo Records, Uruguay) James K“A Giggle Can Wiggle Its Way Through a Wall (Rivertown Records)

Sandy teaches vocal technique and style at two studio locations in San Francisco and at Blue Bear School of American Music. Sandy also coaches vocal groups and bands on harmony and blend and does vocal production in the studio. Most recently, she arranged and produced the vocals for Dr. Loco and the Rockin' Jalape³o Band's CD "Puro Party" (Flying Fish Records). Sandy is an associate of instructor Seth
Riggs, creator of the Speech Level Singing technique.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Artista da Semana (junho 6 - 12) - Ligia Saavedra

Cantora, compositora e poetisa, neta do Maestro Jerônimo Guedes fundador da Banda Carlos Gomes de Abaetetuba-PA, nasceu no RJ e desde os seis anos de idade mora no
estado do Pará, transformando-se numa autêntica “Paraoca”.

Canta desde a década de 80 e está chegando aos trinta anos de carreira com apresentações nacionais e internacionais. Foi fundadora do Grupo Pau Brasil do Hilton
Belém, em 1985, grupo este que se manteve por vários anos a frente de vários eventos importantes no Pará e em outros hotéis da rede, inclusive no exterior. Desfeito o Grupo Pau Brasil, Lígia Saavedra, partiu para a carreira solo, participando de
vários Festivais de Música, ganhando troféus e fama pelo país além de se apresentar por muitos anos em bares, boates, teatros, praças e etc...

Participou dos Cds de Alcyr Guimarães e de Eduardo Dias, o Curumim, dois nomes de grande expressão musical no Norte do Brasil. Tem registro musical ao lado de Zeca Baleiro e Rita Ribeiro, no disco “TRIBO” quando de sua passagem por São Luís do Maranhão, aonde também foi puxadora de samba de avenida, quando cantou o samba da "Turma do Quinto", Escola de Samba do primeiro grupo ao lado de Roberto Ricci, um grande virtuose maranhense.

Nas letras escreve com a alma e é reconhecida como poetisa há alguma décadas, tendo sido premiada várias vezes por suas poesias e contos. devendo lançar seu primeiro livro de poesias no ano que vem.

Em 2002 teve sua trajetória interrompida por um câncer que a afastou dos palcos, mas,
“não dos verdadeiros amigos”, como ela mesmo diz, “ que a trouxeram de
volta”.Hoje aos 55 anos e às vésperas dos 56 e completamente curada, lançou seu primeiro CD “Além dos Muros”, com a produção e a direção musical de Pedrinho Cavalléro, onde canta Samba, Bossa Nova, Carimbó, Boi Bumba e Marabaixo, esses três
últimos ritmos amazônicos brasileiros, com grande aceitação no Brasil e
no exterior e agora Lígia Saavedra afirma que: "Sim, na estrada por onde passeiam a música e a poesia fiz meu reencontro com a Arte e com a vida".

Cd "Além dos Muros" Música brasileira com cheiro do Pará.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Artista da Semana (maio 30 - junho 5) - Eddie Gomez

Legendary bassist EDDIE GOMEZ has been on the cutting edge of music for over four
decades. The Latin GRAMMY® award-winner’s impressive resumé includes performances with jazz giants such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan and Benny Goodman. Eddie’s unique sound and style can be heard on hundreds of
recordings spanning the worlds of jazz, classical, Latin jazz, rhythm & blues, popular and contemporary music.

Born in 1944 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Eddie moved to New York City with his family at an early age. His love of music led him to the double bass as a precocious 11-year old student in the public school system. Two years later he was accepted to the High School of Music and Art and soon began private studies with the great double bass teacher Fred Zimmerman. During these years, he performed with many
professional dance bands and was a member of the Newport Youth Band led by Marshall Brown. By 18, he had performed with such jazz luminaries as Buck Clayton, Marian McPartland and Paul Bley.

Eddie Gomez & Bill Evans

Eddie continued his studies at the Juilliard School of Music, where his contemporaries included Chick Corea, Hubert Laws, James Levine, Itzak Perlman, Paula Robinson and Gary Karr. By the end of his third year of school, he dreamed of a career as a performing jazz musician. Later that summer he joined with Gary McFarland and soon after the Gerry Mulligan Quintet.

In the spring of 1966, both Mulligan’s group (with Eddie on bass) and the Bill Evans Trio performed for a week at the famed Village Vanguard. That week at the Vanguard
changed Eddie’s life forever. When Bill Evans heard the young phenom,
he practically hired him on the spot. Bill called a few weeks later and
Eddie’s dream had been realized. At age 21, he was the bassist with
the Bill Evans Trio – and rose quickly to fame. TIME magazine declared
in its review of the trio’s first recording, “Eddie Gomez has the world
on his strings.”

Joining the Bill Evans Trio was indeed a turning point in Eddie’s career. He had arrived in a big way and the jazz community took notice. For 11 years, Eddie played an integral role in the Bill Evans Trio’s sound and evolution. This period
of vast artistic growth with Bill Evans included performances throughout the United States, Europe, South America and Asia, as well as dozens of recordings – two of which won GRAMMY® awards. During this time, Eddie also realized another dream
performing on many occasions with the great Miles Davis, in the Davis
quintet that also featured Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams.

In 1977, Eddie left the Evans Trio to explore new musical territory. For the
next decade, he performed in many diverse musical contexts, working with
Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, McCoy Tyner, Hank Jones, Nancy Wilson, Tania Maria, Ray Barreto, the All Star groups “Steps Ahead”
and “New Directions” and many others, as well as on GRAMMY®-winning recordings with Chick Corea.

EDDIE GOMEZ, Steve Gadd, and Richard Stoltzman are Special Guest Artists with Mika Yoshida (2008) In the classical music world, Eddie has been a guest artist with
The Kronos Quartet, Tashi Ensemble, Japanese marimbist Mika Yoshida and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. His recordings with Stoltzman have included “Begin Sweet
World” and most recently “The Goldberg Variations” and other pieces by
Johann Sebastian Bach. At Carnegie Recital Hall, Eddie premiered a
musical piece written specifically for him by William Thomas McKinley.

In popular music, Eddie has performed and recorded with artists such as
Bobby Darin, Tim Hardin, Carly Simon, Art Garfunkel, Mark Knoffler, Michael
Franks, Judy Collins and Jennifer Holliday. He has also been a member
of “The Gadd Gang,” Steve Gadd’s All Star R&B/jazz band. Today, Eddie tours and records with his own group, which he formed in 1992 with pianist Stefan
Karlsson and legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb. The group’s recordings
include “Live in Japan,” “Dedication” and “Uptown Music.” He is
composing for his own projects as well as for film and television most notably
for the prize-winning William Steig animation, “The Amazing Bone.” Eddie Gomez continues to enjoy an active, international career as a performer, recording
artist, composer, educator and featured guest artist on many high profile projects.

Eddie’s recent recording “Duets,” co-led with Carlos Franzetti on piano, won
Best Instrumental Album at the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY® Awards. His recordings as a leader include “Next Future,” “Outlaws,” “Live in Moscow,” “Street Smart,”
“Power Play,” “Mezgo,” “Discovery,” “Gomez,” “Down Stretch,” “What’s New at F, “Palermo” and “Trio.” The recordings feature guest artists including Michael
Brecker,Richard Tee, Randy Brecker, Al Foster, Steve Gadd, Chick Corea, Jeremy Steig, Jack McDuff and John Abercrombie. His recordings co-led with pianist Mark Kramer include “Entropy,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Art of the Heart.” In 2006, his DVD “An Evening with Eddie Gomez” was released – with Eddie and Mark Kramer performing and lecturing on the intricacies and dynamics of improvisation.
A sought-after educator, Eddie is Artistic Director at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico where he has been professor and artist-in-residence since 2005. He has been artist-in-residence and associate professor of jazz double bass at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and recently was resident artist at Stanford University, North
Texas State University, Georgia State University, Jacksonville University,
and the prestigious Berklee College of Music. He gives master classes at many of the major universities and conservatories throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and South America.

Eddie Gomez continues to enjoy an active, international career as a performer, recording artist, composer, educator and featured guest artist on many high profile projects.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Artista da Semana (maio 23 - 29) - Antonio Adolfo

Antonio Adolfo

Filho de uma violinista da Orquestra do Teatro Municipal do Rio, carioca de Santa Teresa, aquariano da classe de 47, o pianista Adolfo aos 16 anos já pertencia ao fechado clube da bossa-nova acantonado no Beco das Garrafas, à frente de grupos como o Samba a Cinco e o Trio 3-D. No último, ele participou da peça musical Pobre Menina Rica, de Carlos Lyra e Vinícius de Moraes, e começou a acompanhar ases do setor. Mas a partir de 1967, em dupla com o letrista Tibério Gaspar, Adolfo, o compositor, transformou-se num dos detonadores da ala da toada moderna, que produziu sucessos como Sá Marina e Juliana.

Ao mesmo tempo, pilotando o grupo Brazuca, instaurou um tônus de modernidade eletrônica no pop da época (Teletema, Ana Cristina) até desaguar na autopista abrasiva da BR-3, que causou polêmica e sacudiu as estruturas festivalescas. Integrante da banda que acompanhou Elis Regina em duas excursões à Europa, um estágio com a erudita Nadia Boulanger, em Paris (além dos aperfeiçoamentos com os brasileiros Guerra Peixe e Esther Scliar), Antonio Adolfo estava pronto para mais um grande salto.

Em 77, num ato de coragem e pioneirismo, lançava o disco Feito em casa em seu próprio selo Artezanal. Era o pontapé inicial de uma tendência libertária, a do disco independente, que motivaria o aparecimento de artistas divergentes das leis do mercado tradicional.

Adolfo gravou neste sistema tanto material próprio (até música para crianças, a peça Astro Folias e Passa passa passará) quanto promoveu revisões de Ernesto Nazareth e Chiquinha Gonzaga, de pianeiro para pianeiros. Era o sinal de que como intérprete (vide sua incrível participação no III Free Jazz, no comando de três módulos de diferentes escolas da música instrumental), ele atingiu uma posição rara: a do criador contemporâneo que domina a linguagem da atemporalidade. (Tárik de Souza)

Desde 1985, Adolfo vem se dedicando a sua escola de música, o Centro Musical Antonio Adolfo, além de participar em eventos internacionais como músico e educador, sem deixar de lado sua carreira como intérprete. Recebeu dois Prêmios Sharp por seus trabalhos Antonio Adolfo e Chiquinha com jazz, respectivamente.

Como autor de material didático, lançou no Brasil sete livros pela editora Lumiar, além de um video-aula e dois livros sobre música brasileira no exterior. Durante oito anos foi o representante do IAJE (International Association For jazz Education) para a América Latina.

Recentemente Antonio Adolfo voltou a se apresentar com mais frequencia em shows, seja em formato piano solo ou em grupo. De uma de suas apresentacoes com a filha Carol Saboya, em uma Universidade dos Estados Unidos nasceu o trabalho em CD, lancado no Brasil e no Exterior: Antonio Adolfo & Carol Saboya Ao vivo/Live. E, mais recentemente, Lá e Cá/Here and There.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Artista da Semana (maio 16 - 22) - Carol Saboya

Artista da Semana - Carol Saboya
O ambiente sempre foi musical. Filha do compositor Antônio Adolfo, Carol Saboya foi criada em meio a acordes inspirados, partituras rabiscadas, músicas nascendo: arte em pleno processo de criação. Aos oito anos registrou sua voz pela primeira vez em dupla com Miéle no compacto A menina e a TV. Ainda menina participou como vocalista de discos de Erasmo Carlos e Ângela Ro Ro. Participou do histórico musical Verde que te quero ver e de trilhas sonoras infantis. Passou três anos estudando canto nos Estados Unidos, quando participou do CD Brasileiro, de Sérgio Mendes.

Na volta ao Brasil gravou com a pianista americana Joyce Collins e participou de um tributo a Aldir Blanc, que se emocionou ao ouvir Carol cantar a música Carta de pedra no Canecão. A menina de voz doce e afinação impecável começou a chamar atenção da mídia. O aguardado trabalho solo veio em 1998. Produzido por Almir Chediak, Dança da voz garantiu a Carol o Prêmio Sharp de Melhor Cantora Revelação do ano. No ano seguinte se debruçou sobre a obra de Tom Jobim e gravou, acompanhada pelo violão de Nelson faria, o álbum Janelas abertas.

Em 2000 é a vez de visitar o inconsciente coletivo com o repertório cinematográfico de Sessão Passatempo. Ainda nesse ano defendeu Imaginária, de Suely Mesquita e Mário Seve, no Festival da Música Brasileira promovido pela TV Globo. O álbum seguinte, Presente (2003) retomava a sofisticada e bem sucedida mistura de música pop e tradicional presente no primeiro. Para 2005 Carol prepara um CD inteiramente dedicado ao inspirado letrista Abel Silva, seu primeiro parceiro musical.

Dois anos depois, em setembro de 2005, teve a oportunidade de gravar o seu primeiro DVD ao vivo (ainda em fase de finalização), no Teatro Leblon, com concepção e direção de Paulinho Moska. No show, interpretou músicas dos seus dois discos lançados no Japão Bossa Nova e Nova Bossa e contou com a participação especial de Marcos Valle, Rildo Hora e Os Cariocas. O primeiro trabalho gravado integralmente com seu pai veio em 2006, quando lançou Antonio Adolfo e Carol Saboya - ao vivo / live. O CD surgiu a partir do show Bossa Nova Forever, um tributo à bossa nova e ao samba-jazz, que fizeram em outubro de 2005, na Universidade de Miami.

Dentre os projetos para o futuro, Carol quer se dedicar à carreira de compositora, firmar as parcerias com Abel Silva (com quem compôs Agora, Amanda, Sim, Olhos tontos) e com Marcelo Moutinho (Quando o verbo é partir) e ainda gravar um disco com as novas criações.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Artista da Semana (maio 2 - maio 8)- Lissy Walker

Lissy Walker is a jazz singer, but her wide-ranging musical interests set her apart from your average chanteuse. She’s been an actress and singer for most of her life and brings a dramatic sensibility to her jazz vocals with nuances of folk, pop, and country in her performances. “When I started working on the arrangements for Life Is Sweet I chose songs by writers like Harry Nilsson, and Randy Newman because they’re the songwriters I love, along with writers we readily associate with The Great American Songbook, as well as a few from across the pond, like Ray Davies and Nick Drake.”

"I tend toward happy melodies with sad lyrics or vice versa, tunes that look at both sides of the coin. Several songs deal with mortality, or the ache of a broken heart, but the underlying theme of the album is redemption. How love affects our ability to embrace life and acknowledge the limitations of existence, and that beauty can be found in melancholy. The idea that a broken heart is better than no heart at all.”

Walker produced Life Is Sweet with bassist Jon Evans (Tori Amos, Spencer Day). The arrangements are by Walker and pianist John R. Burr. Drummer Scott Amendola (Madeleine Peyroux) and Grammy nominated guitarist Scott Nygaard complete the basic quartet. Cellist Philip Worman, organ player Julie Wolf (Ani Di Franco), trumpeter Steven Bernstein (Rufus Wainwright), and Dave Ellis on sax added discreet overdubs. “We left room in the arrangements for improvisation,” Walker says. “We worked out the feel of the songs, coming up with specific interpretations, the intros and endings, and then let the ideas flow.”

Walker’s burnished vocals have a hint of restrained passion that suggests country music, but her phrasing, which dances around before and after the beat, is pure jazz. Her low-key approach is folky at times, but raw emotion lurks just beneath the surface, adding an alluring tension to her performances.

Lissy Walker grew up in Berkeley surrounded by artists, architects, and writers, lovers of art and music in the seventies. Both parents were classical music buffs, and it was played night and day. As a child Walker studied classical piano. “I loved playing, and the lessons gave me an important base for all the music I’ve done,” Walker recalls. “When I discovered ragtime, I asked if I could take jazz piano. My parents encouraged me to teach myself, so I bought a book of Scott Joplin rags and learned to play ragtime on my own.”

“In the 7th Grade, I saw A Midsummer Night's Dream and decided I wanted to be an actress. I went to the Young Conservatory at ACT in San Francisco. At Berkeley High School, I studied classical music and appeared in musical productions. At choir rehearsals, I could hear the jazz band down the hall. I asked the jazz teacher, Phil Hardymon, if I could sing with the jazz band and he put together a combo with some of his students.” They performed to great success at the school and got a few gigs around town.

Walker went on to study theatre and voice at UCLA, then attended the Neighborhood Playhouse School Of The Theatre in New York, studying singing, dance, and acting with Sanford Meisner, the school’s founder. After graduation, Walker became a regular player with the Home for Contemporary Theater and Art. She appeared in The School For Jolly Dogs, a revue based on English Music Hall songs and Charles Mee’s The Imperialists at the Club Cave Canem, which was picked up by Joseph Papp’s Public Theater. Walker was reviewed favorably in the New York Times.

After eight years in New York, Walker and her husband, cellist Philip Worman, moved back to San Francisco. She appeared in the award-winning productions of Tom Jones and The Sea Plays and ACT’s critically acclaimed Long Day’s Journey into Night.

Walker never stopped singing, however. She took classes at Berkeley’s Jazzschool, learning to write her own charts and create arrangements. With the help of her teacher Maye Cavallaro, she made connections in the Bay Area’s jazz community. She began to develop her folk/jazz approach to arranging and singing. Gigs at local clubs and events got positive feedback. Fellow musicians encouraged her to go into the recording studio. Local singer/songwriter, Alexis Harte suggested Jon Evans as producer. “I met Jon and we clicked. We talked about doing a jazz album with folk and pop elements, to bring together all the music I love. He suggested (pianist) John R [Burr], (drummer) Scott Amendola and a few of the other players. I wanted people who had range, for an eclectic mix of styles.”

The result is a quiet classic, with the musicians placing their restrained virtuosity in the service of Walker’s subtle vocals to deliver an album that keeps revealing its emotional and musical intensity with repeated listenings.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Artista da Semana (abril 25 - maio 1)- Andrea Brachfeld

Flutist, composer, arranger, producer, educator, business owner, Andrea Brachfeld, is a graduate of The High School of Music and Art and Manhattan School of Music. Over these past 30 years she has recorded more than a dozen CD's with many artists including, Wayne Wallace, Bobby Carcasses, Africando, Oscar Hernandez (Spanish Harlem Orchestra) and Timbalaye. Her breakthrough performance as the flutist for the popular Latin band Charanga '76, catapulted her into Salsa history and fame as the first female flutist to play this music in the United States. While in high school she received the "Louis Armstrong Award for Outstanding Student" from Jazz Interactions . Study with Hubert Laws, Jimmy Heath, and Mike Longo helped her develop her own style. Downbeat magazine referred to Andrea as "one of the finest jazz flutists around." She has twice been the recipient of the Latin New York Music Award as a flutist. She has performed with Dave Valentin, Nestor Torres, Tito Puente, and Ray Barretto among others. While in Venezuela, she had the honor of opening for Chick Corea, and Paco de Lucia. She was recently awarded the Chico O'Farrill Lifetime Achievement Award from Latin Jazz USA. Her first Latin Jazz CD, "Remembered Dreams" combines Latin originals with contemporary jazz cuts. Her second CD, "Back With Sweet Passion", is a dynamic Salsa recording featuring Grammy winner Oscar Hernandez on piano, and Alfredo De La Fey on violin. Her third CD "Beyond Standards" is a collaborative effort with Chembo Corniel, featuring jazz greats Hilton Ruiz on piano and Steve Turre on trombone. She has appeared with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra as a soloist performing her own compositions as well as those of Mike Longo, longtime musical director for Dizzy Gillespie. She is currently performing with her own group Phoenix Rising, and her latest Latin Jazz CD is ,"Into the World: A Musical Offering" with guest artists Mike Longo, Paul West and Brian Lynch.


* Louis Armstrong Award for Outstanding Student from Jazz Interactions
* Latin New York Music Award - Twice the recipient for flutist
* Chico O'Farrill Lifetime Achievement Award - Latin Jazz USA
* Tribute to Women in Salsa - Salsation Productions, Washington DC
* Nominated as Best Latin Jazz flutist - Chip Boaz - Latin Jazz Corner

Monday, April 26, 2010

Artista da Semana (abril 18 - 24) - Mart'nalia

Daughter of samba legend Martinho da Vila, Mart’nália was born and bred in the heart of the Rio
de Janeiro samba scene. Today she is one of Brazil’s most exciting new
artists, ready to carry the classic rhythms of Rio into the future.
Performing with her full band from Rio, Mart’nália is samba. Her CD’s
have been produced by legends and icons like Maria Bethania, Caetano
Veloso and Celso Fonseca. Chico Buarque sings duets with the young
artist. And everyone in Brazil, from lovers of classic styles to hipster
cariocas, has fallen in love with the music of Mart’nalia.
Mart’nália: born to the samba tradition

As a child, she would follow her father to the samba sessions of Vila Isabel. Soon she was dancing samba, and eager to be a full-fledged
sambista, she learned to play guitar, tambourine, and sing. 1985, she
started recording a few things “just for fun”, but her talent was
immediately recognized, and her first album was released, “Mart’nália
(3M//music manager, Ruy Quaresma). In 1995, her second album was
released: “Minha Cara” (ZFM//music manager, Ivan Machado). In 2002 she
released the acclaimed “Pé do Meu Samba” (Natasha Records), which she
considered her “real thing.” Produced by Celso Fonseca and directed by
Caetano Veloso, the CD was highly praised by the media and led to a long
run of live performances, which were recorded on DVD. Next came
“Mart’nália ao Vivo” in 2004 (Natasha Records). This time, the singer
took personal charge of the music production and the show was directed
by Marcia Alvarez, also in charge of the screenplay. This live album was
recorded at Olimpo/Rio de Janeiro, and had as special guests: Caetano
Veloso, Celso Fonseca, Djavan, Martinho da Vila, Moska and Zélia Duncan.

Her most recent recording, “Menino do Rio,” was released in 2006 on the Quitanda label, owned by diva Maria Bethânia who also performed on
the album, contributed with art direction, and “her” conductor Jaime
Alem, for the music direction. This
diversified album includes the song “Cabide,” a gift from
singer/composer Ana Carolina – chosen as the sound track for a popular
“novella” (a type of Brazilian soap opera) directed by Gilberto Braga.

During her entire career, Mart’nália has been a sought-after and active performer and important presence in the Brazilian music scene, in
shows throughout Brazil and Europe.
Shows & reviews

Since 2002, when “Pé no Samba” as a live show was still a project, Mart’nália decided she would always invite a friend to share the
performance. The idea was to re-create the open, relaxed atmosphere of
the rodas de samba. The best moment, she thought, would be right after
the “voice and guitar”: the guest would perform his songs, maybe a
different version of her songs, and they could sing in duet. It worked,
and the stage of Pé no Samba received artists such as Alcione, Beth
Carvalho, Caetano Veloso, Celso Fonseca, Fernanda Abreu, Geraldo
Azevedo, Ivan Lins, Jussara Silveira, Lenine, Luiz Melodia, Martinho da
Vila, Moska, Pedro Luís, Sandra de Sá, Zélia Duncan, Zé Renato and Toni
Garrido. What happened? Every performance became unique – creative
samba, always on the move.

In November, she accepted an invitation from Caetano Veloso and took part in the Projeto Pão Music, held at the park Ibirapuera, São
Paulo. In Rio de Janeiro, she sang at the Canecão, together with her
father, Martinho da Vila. These shows were part of the “Projeto Música
Popular Brasileira”. From there she went on, doing a number of concerts
in Portugal. Many more shows followed.
Some highlights of the last few years:

• Mart’nália had two show seasons: one every week at the Centro Cultural
Carioca (on Wednesdays), and one every Sunday at Melt.
• She took part in “Show da Mangueira”, singing with Djavan at the
Canecão and with Emílio Santiago at Tom Brasil, in São Paulo.
• By February, the DVD “Mart’nália ao Vivo” was out, celebrated with a
party at Modern Sound, a cult record store in Rio.
• May 1st; she performed at “Encontros Tim”. Held in Copacabana beach,
the show also brought Marcelo D2, Marisa Monte and Paulinho da Viola.
• May 13 celebrates the Brazilian freedom from slavery, and a beautiful
event took place at the headquarters of Escola de Samba de Vila Isabel.
Also invited were Sandra de Sá and Zélia Duncan.
• June: Mart’nália’s European Tour started in Italy, with the 15th Latin
American Festival, in Milano. Next, she went to the cities of Porto and
Lisboa – Portugal – and from there she landed at Espaço Brasil/França,
in Paris. To round up the Tour, her last show took place in Roma.
• November: the 5th CD was recorded, with art direction of Maria
Bethânia and music direction of Jaime Alem.

February: Release of “Menino do Rio.” Eclectic in style, the CD shows
unique interpretations of :
• “Menino do Rio”, a classic from Caetano Veloso.
• “Estácio Holly Estácio”, a classic from Luiz Melodia.
• “Cabide”, from Ana Carolina (became a hit song).
• “A Origem da Felicidade”, a partido alto (tradicional samba), with
Celso Fonseca, drums and percussion of Bateria da Vila Isabel.
• “São Sebastião” has the swing of Totonho Villeroy and the voice of
Maria Bethânia.
• “Soneto do teu corpo”, with successful pop music partners Moska and
• “Só Deus é quem sabe”, a romantic song from Guilherme Arantes.
• “Nas águas de Amaralina”, by Nelson Rufino and Martinho da Vila.
• “Casa da minha comadre”, by Roque Ferreira and Jorge Agrião.
• “Boto meu povo na rua” by Arlindo Cruz, Acyr Marques and Ronaldinho
• “Essa mania” (with Paulinho Moska)
Martn’ália’s father, the great samba lengend, Martinho da Vila writes:

“The name “Mart’nália” was an invention, a mixture of my own name, Martinho, and that of her late mother Anália. What a singer she is! Her
voice is sweet, dark, and swinging, with a distinct and unique timbre.
She also dances, plays guitar and almost every Brazilian percussion
instrument. God bless you, Mart’nália!”

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Artista da Semana (abril 11 -17) - Yasmine Seydi

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
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

Three years later she returns to France where she continues her
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
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.

Yasmine Seydi est née à Ziguinchor au Sénégal, elle a grandi en France puis a vécu au Brésil. Elle porte en elle ses multiples influences ce à quoi
un amour immodéré de la musique et de la danse.

Elle débute sa carrière artistique comme danseuse au sein de la troupe « Brasil Tropical »qui regroupe
une quarantaine de danseurs et musiciens. Après de nombreuses tournées
et après avoir parcouru les scènes du monde entier, elle réside durant
trois années au Brésil, son pays d’adoption et aussi celui de
et du métissage.

De retour en France elle poursuit son parcours professionnel de danseuse dans différents groupes de danse,

cabarets et participe à des émissions télévisées aux côtés de
chanteurs de variétés.

La musique et la danse font partie de son univers chorégraphique. Ces deux disciplines se déployant dans un espace commun, Yasmine se passionne naturellement pour le chant
et étudie la musique brésilienne avec Rolando Faria, le jazz avec
Michelle Hendricks et Viviane Ginapé dans le cadre de l’IACP (école
de jazz à Paris) ainsi qu’avec Sara Lazarus à la Bill Evans piano
Academy à Paris.

Chanteuse et meneuse de revue dans divers cabarets et salles de spectacles (Pau Brasil, Pharaon…) elle se produit aussi dans plusieurs club de jazz et salles de concerts
avec sa formation musical (7 Lézards, festival de St Denis2007, Festival

« Cores do Brasil », Blue Note (Paris), Casino de Lille, Casinos Lucien

Es posible que tu navegador no permita visualizar esta imagen.


Le groupe est composé de trois musiciens (piano, basse, batterie) mais nous pouvons aussi nous produire
en formation réduite : piano, voix ou guitare, voix.

Le répertoire est basé sur la musique brésilienne (Bossa Nova) et le Jazz, à écouter ou à danser.

Il est adapté aussi bien aux concerts qu’aux réceptions et soirées thématiques.

Un voyage saisissant dans l'univers chaleureux et chaloupé de la musique brésilienne.

Une interprète à la voix d'une douceur envoûtante qui semble planer au dessus de la musique pour venir s'y poser avec une grâce infinie.

De Rosa Passos à Jobim en passant par Djavan et Gilberto Gil, Yasmine et sa voix de velours explorent un répertoire poétique, sensuel et généreux !

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,
of St Denis2007, Festival “ Cores do Brasil, Blue Note(Paris), Casino
de Lille, Casino de Saint Jean de Monts…).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Artista da Semana (abril 4 - 10) - Elizabeth Shepherd

Elizabeth Shepherd’s music is less about following a particular tradition than it is about expressing a creative spirit; she is an artist looking to share her take
on the world. Which is not surprising coming from someone who grew up
in a highly musical family, living all over Canada and France, played
tenor horn in the Salvation Army brass band where her parents were
ministers, had an early love-affair with hip-hop music, only to wind up
studying French poetry, and eventually, classical and jazz piano at
McGill University.

Her multiple industry accolades have landed her 2 Juno nominations (Canada’s Grammy equivalent), tours in Europe and across and North America,
Japan, and most recently, a show at the legendary Hollywood Bowl with
Jamie Cullum & Count Basie Orchestra. Fans and critics have drawn
comparisons to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, and Rickie Lee
Jones. And what these names all share is both an accessibility and a
distinctness – that quality people can’t quite pin down.

Depending on what the song calls for, Shepherd always draws upon her roots – be it Salvation Army origins, poetic singer-songwriter lyricism, the modal
inflections of world music, simple and sassy pop, infectiously deep
hip-hop grooves, or the harmonic complexities of jazz. Her tunes are
always a departure from convention; yet one never has the sense of
leaving the home she weaves on stage and invites us to be part of.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Artista da Semana (março 28 - abril 3) - Michaela Rabitsch


Born and grown up in Upper Austria. Classical violin lessons at the age of 7; moved to Vienna with 14 to attend
Musikgymnasium and studied violin at conservatory of Vienna; completed with
university-entrance diploma.
Later on change to trumpet and studies for jazz- and popular music at the Bruckner conservatory Linz (now Anton
Bruckner private University) with Ingrid Jensen, Peter Tuscher and
classical trumpet with Fritz Handlbauer.
Plays and played with bands like: two of a kind, Hypersax, stage music at Burgtheater Wien, Just
for funk, Ladybirds, MBB, Blechvögel, Michaela Rabitsch Quartett feat.
Lukas Zimmer, Robert Pawlik Quartet, Sophisticated Ladies, Theater des
Kindes Linz, Damen der Gesellschaft, Con Moto, various Big Bands.
In the last years she focuses especially on her own compositions played
together in quartet or duo with Robert Pawlik.
"A modern day female Chet Baker" (Kyle O' Brien, Jazzscene)

Michaela Rabitsch, singer, composer and Austria’s only and top female jazz trumpet player and her ingenious partner – composer and guitar player Robert Pawlik are pleased
to release their junior release Moods. This album presents ten songs
that reflect the passion, energy and emotions of their life.

Moods is their first recording with exclusively original compositions presented by both leaders, reflecting the core of their current work. The album was recorded and mixed in
their private studio, which they try to optimize always according to
their needs, constantly looking for and achieving the ultimate sound
using vintage and only the finest gear in recording.

In the past both focused a lot on the standard repertoire – Michaela more on the Jazz repertoire and Robert more on funky and fusion side of music.

For more than ten years now they have shared their private and musical lives, playing together in their jazz quartet and their acoustic duo, writing for both groups and playing concert
tours together.

The fact that they studied extensively the Jazz standard repertoire and a lot of Jazz related music genres gives them a rich musical vocabulary to draw from. Listening to their music
will always bring new horizons to your listening palette.

Together they have developed a rich and eventful style, never trying to be purist’s only, but always looking for the core message of each song they are writing or playing, and how they
can express it best.

The fact, that Michaela is a trumpet player and singer at the same time gives her an extra venue of possibilities in expression and interpretation. “The fact that I can choose to sing or
to play a tune on the trumpet helps me to get to the essence of each
tune and it’s mood.”

As international touring artists, Michaela and Robert have performed at Festivals and Jazz Clubs not only in their home country Austria, but also in Germany,
Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania,
Israel, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Greece, Russia, Iran and

Friday, March 12, 2010

Artista da semana (março 14 - 20) - Tia Fuller

Artista da Semana - Tia Fuller


Professional Saxophonist, Composer and Educator

Jazz musicians are blessed with the desire and ability to play a genre that has a history as rich as its sound. All the greats, past and present know that it’s not enough to simply play the notes, one has to live the music and feel it with every breath. When Mack Avenue recording artist, Tia Fuller picks up her sax to play, the two become one and something amazing happens as the notes and reverberations of her musical elixir fill the room. Suddenly, everything in the universe feels right and it’s easy to see and hear why this artist and teacher, who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, (Magna Cum Laude) and Master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder (Summa Cum Laude), was selected to be a member of the all-female band touring with R&B star, Beyoncé. As part of the I AM..Sasha Fierce and Beyoncé Experience World Tour promoting the superstar’sCD’s, Tia has played in various venues throughout the US, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. She is a featured soloist on the Beyoncé Experience DVD (Me, Myself and I) and also appeared on number of major television shows, such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today Show, Good Morning America, BET Awards, American Music Awards and Total Request Live.

An accomplished performer in her own right, Tia has recorded three CDs with her quartet. The first, Pillar of Strength (2005/Wambui), received praise as being "an exhilarating work that introduced her as a leader who strives for perfection" (Terrell Holmes, All About Jazz Magazine). Her sophomore release, Healing Space (2007/Mack Avenue), is an offering of “melodic medicine” that the wide-eyed optimist sincerely hopes will serve as a healing agent for those who indulge in it. Tia will be releasing her third CD “Decisive Steps”, Jan. 2010, which will be her second offering under the Mack Avenue label. Her quartet was recently featured at Oris Watches/ Time Tourneau building for WBGO’s jazz festival. Tia can also be seen performing regularly with a number of bands, including the Ralph Peterson Septet, the T.S. Monk Septet, the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, the Rufus Reid Septet, the Sean Jones Quintet, the Nancy Wilson Jazz Orchestra, and Wycliff Gordan Septet.

The dynamic saxophonist has been featured in Jazz Improv Magazine, Rocky Mountain News, The Philadelphia Tribune, The Star Ledger, Downbeat Magazine and many other print and online publications. In addition to receiving numerous awards and marks of distinction, Tia was honored to be the keynote speaker at the Jazz Institute of New Jersey’s 2003 graduation ceremony, where she presented her “Journey to Success” speech. She also be featured solist playing “The National Anthem” for Detroit Tiger Stadium in Sept. 2009. Also, in January 2008, she had the privilege of participating in a press conference with pianist and composer, Danilo Perez and the Governor of the Republic of Panama, Carlos A. Villarino.

Tia believes her passion for teaching and inspiring students is in her genes because her parents were educators/administrators in the Denver Public School District. As a devoted educator, she presents lectures and teaches ensembles and masterclasses at some of the most respected institutions in the country, including Stanford University’s “Jazz Workshop,” the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, New Mexico State University, the IAJE Jazz Convention, Purchase College, WBGO’s “Children in Jazz” Series, Duquesne University and Panama Jazz Festival.

Tia moved to Jersey City, NJ two days before the events of September 11, 2001. Despite the fact that the jazz community believed there was not much work in the area during that period, she wasn’t discouraged and used the tragic event as a reason to succeed. She got her first gig playing in a big band at a fish fry in South Jersey. Brad Leali, who was playing in the Count Basie Orchestra at the time, spread the word that Tia was a skillful saxophonist who also played the flute. This brought her to the attention of others in the jazz community, including Gerald Wilson, Jimmy Heath, Don Braden and Don Byron, which led to her performing with a number of luminaries in the world of jazz.

With music in her blood and a song in her heart, Tia was born in Aurora, Colorado to jazz musicians, Fred and Elthopia Fuller. Her father, Fred plays bass and her mother, Elthopia sings. She grew up listening to her parents rehearse in the basement of their home, as well as the music of jazz greats, such as John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughn and Charlie Parker. I

Inspired by her older sister, Shamie, Tia began playing classical piano when she was just three years old and continued until she was thirteen. She also began studying the flute when she was nine. Her interest in jazz came into fruition in high school. It was during this time that she began playing the saxophone.

The Colorado native, who now resides in Essex County, New Jersey, says playing music makes her feel as if she is a vessel for the Spirit to flow through. While listening to her songs, she wants people to be uplifted and experience a sense of restoration, compelling them to move forward not in fear, but in love and faith.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Artista da semana (março 7 - 13) - Amina Figarova
Amina Figarova is without doubt one of the most productive jazz composers
and talented jazz piano players from Europe. Amina started playing piano
and composing at a very early age. She studied as a classical concert
pianist at the Baku Conservatory, jazz performance at the Rotterdam
Conservatory and the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Amina made
her recording debut with Attraction in 1994, and was accepted into the
prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Colony in Aspen, Colorado in 1998.

With her husband multi-flutist Bart Platteau
central to the three horn frontline Ms. Figarova arranges for her sextet,
she plays compelling, artful and heartfelt changes on the urbane, bluesy
lyricism originally developed by the likes of Miles Davis, Horace Silver,
Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, et al. Though the recipient
of rigorous Russian musical education in the classics, Amina has come
to identify her sound with these master mainstream-progressives of recent
jazz decades after having explored aspects of the avant garde (in September
Suite, her shocked and sad response to terrorists attacks on American
soil) and multi-keyboard fusion-oriented funk (on Another Me).

On the CD Above the Clouds (Munich Records) one of the most cosmopolitan and accomplished artists in jazz today proves
that the music is a natural not a national language. Amina Figarova,
the globe-trotting Azerbaijan-born, Rotterdam-based composer-pianist-bandleader
with more than a dozen recordings to her credit has created a new album
of original songs that refresh the classic post-bop idiom established
by labels such as Blue Note, Prestige and Impulse! during the 1950s
and 1960s. Far from derivative or concept-conscious, though, Above the
Clouds unfolds as a personal, vividly colored, confidently-propelled
contemporary soundtrack, satisfying in and of itself.

Amina is stylistically wide-ranging, unwilling
to be pinned down, but most of her compositions on Above the Clouds
continue in the direction she set forth on Come Escape With Me, a 2005
release which reached top 10 status on the Jazzweek radio airplay charts
(two tracks preview her next project, a suite for nonet). Throughout
the entire album Amina's measured, graceful, touching pianism and cooly-controlled
ensemble writing demonstrate commitment and ease with a jazz idiom.

Amina Figarova performs with her own group at
many jazz festivals and jazz clubs around the world: Netherlands, Belgium,
Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, France, UK, Denmark, Israel, Bahrain,
United Arabs Emirates, Mexico, USA, Canada, Brasil, Azerbaijan, Indonesia,
South Africa, Tunisia, Dutch Antilles, Croatia, Italy, etc…

(Partly form the press release by Howard
Mandel c 2008)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Artista da Semana (fevereiro 28 - março 6) - Brigitte Zarie

Artista da Semana - Brigitte Zarie

Introducing BRIGITTE ZARIE, vocalist , composer and lyricist extraordinaire. Her new CD release , "Make Room For Me". A fantastic collection of all new , all original Jazz compositions written by Brigitte & performed by Brigitte's BigBand and Jazz Quintet. Old school never sounded so new ! An incredible rhythm section & stellar guest artists including , Randy Brecker & Jeff Golub , Tom Malone -Al Chez & Bruce Kapler from the David Letterman Show , and a host of NY's top session players helped to make this a CD to remember. Brigitte's international flavor shines thru, (she speaks 3 languages), on a second version of the title track recorded in French. She has also had songs from her catalogue performed and recorded by UK pop/opera artist Russell Watson in English and Italian. Other compositions have been featured on TV shows such as the O.C. , MTV, The Real World & TV Movies like Snow2:BrainFreeze and Future Cars. Her voice has been featured on spots for The NBA , Southwest Air , Toyota , Scotch Tape , Kay Jewelers and 2 new Feature Films for 09, FoodFight and LonelyStreets , just to name a few. "Make Room For Me". A collection of great "NEW" jazz compositions destined to be the standards of tomorrow. Get a taste and get in the mood ! Check out Brigitte Zarie at MySpace for a preview ( or visit Brigitte Zarie_"Make Room For Me" produced by Neil Jason For more info contact: Neil Jason @ NJMusic Inc.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Artista da Semana - Elin

Brand new rising star, Elin (pronounced EE-a-leen), has reached astonishing
heights on the music scene by now twice selling out Jazz at Lincoln Center -
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, and regularly performing at other prestigious venues
such as the Blue Note, Smoke, Sweet Rhythm, The Bar Next Door, and Zinc Bar.
Her star is also on the rise in other major cities such as San Francisco, Boston,
and Miami where she shared the stage with Chaka Khan, George Benson, and
Nancy Wilson at the 2008 Jazz in the Gardens festival. This year alone Elin has
performed in New York, Japan, El Salvador, Guam, Washington DC, Florida,
California, and Boston.

Born and raised in Sweden by Peruvian and Irish parents-and fluent in five
languages-Elin is the embodiment of multiculturalism. Her debut
album, Lazy Afternoon, released in the U.S. to rave reviews by jazz
radio and critics alike, is a genre-bending mix of American &
Brazilian standards combined with fresh new originals. On the US
JazzWeek charts, where it spent 22+ weeks, it debuted as the #1 most
added album on the World Music Chart then peaked at #6. On the
Traditional Jazz Chart, it debuted as the 6th Most Added CD, and on the
College Jazz Chart it peaked at #4. Performing in seven languages,
she's a polished jazz vocalist with a pop sensibility who showcases an
ardent vocal style and an uncanny ear for melody.

Elin grew up in three distinct cultures and continents - Europe, North and
South America. She's the oldest of six children, fluent in
five languages, an eight-year resident of New York City,
instrumentalist and student of music since the age of seven, and
utterly obsessed with Brazilian music! This should give you a start at
understanding the colorful complexities and remarkable adventures from
which Elin draws her inspirations and expressions.

It all began one lazy summer afternoon in Sweden when Elin was 15,
in a moment she says altered the course of her life forever. School was
out for summer break and I'd entertain myself, among other things, by
going through my parents' huge record collection. One day, she randomly
picked one out and played it, not really knowing why, only to become
mesmerized by a sound she had never heard before. It was Joao Gilberto
and Antonio Carlos Jobim. She assumed that this was jazz. Right then
and there, she knew she was meant to sing this music. I'm going to be a
jazz singer! she proclaimed. Someday, I'm going to go to Brazil, learn
to speak Portuguese, learn to play the guitar like that, and learn to
sing this music!

Although Elin had been studying music and playing instruments since
she was seven, she never liked jazz nor considered being a singer. But
after this, she started buying jazz albums of all the great female
vocalists including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan,
and got heavily into American jazz, without realizing it wasn't exactly
the same as the music that had originally put her on this path. It
would be another seven years before Elin finally got back to her first
passion for Brazilian jazz. When my parents moved to the U.S., I was
able to attend the University of Florida. It was during this time that
I won a scholarship to attend a language course in Brazil where I could
finally learn Portuguese and delve into the music of all the great
Brazilian singers, such as Elis Regina, Leny Andrade, and Gal Costa.

But the major turning point in Elin's career as a singer came when she
met Miriam Jaskierowicz Arman, Ph. D., voice teacher extraordinaire, and
author of The Voice: A Spiritual Approach to Singing, Speaking and
Communicating (3 editions) and the CD "The First Lesson". The day
they met, Ms. Arman immediately asked one of her students to give up
her lesson just so she could teach Elin on the spot. From the very first
moment, she was convinced of Elin's talent, and it was then or never,
since Elin was scheduled to catch a flight back to NYC in just a few hours.
From then on, they worked long distance between NYC and South Florida
for several years before Dr. Arman finally moved to New York. Now, seven
years later, I can honestly say that I wouldn't have a career, or even a voice,
if it wasn't for Miriam. I owe her so much! She's the only voice teacher I ever had that taught me how to use my voice in the right way. And the learning is ongoing.

Elin continues to maintain a close connection to Brazil, the country whose
music she is so addicted to. Most recently, she spent a month in
Rio de Janeiro where she performed with world-renowned Brazilian
artists, including Durval Ferreira and Guinga. Based in New York City,
she continues to perform both in the U.S. and overseas. Her debut
album, Lazy Afternoon, showcasing a sublime mix of Brazilian and
American classics combined with original songs, was released on
September 5th, 2006 to rave reviews from critics and radio stations
across the country.