Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Performances & Events »

Jazz Prodigy Justin Kauflin to Play the Blue Whale

Posted January 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Quincy Jones & Justin Kauflin

Downtown LA’s premier jazz club owner Joon Lee of blue whale really knows how to pick talent. Nightly, this vibrant, intimate space buzzes with patrons, among them enthusiasts and musicians alike. It’s become a true mecca for ardent jazz fans.
Thursday, Jan29: Justin Kauflin Trio
Performing this Thursday at blue whale is 28-year-old jazz piano virtuoso, Justin Kauflin. He may not be a household name just yet, but I have no doubt that he will …

African, Artist Spotlight, Classical, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, Uncategorized »

Show #91: New Releases & Rare Classics

Posted January 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Dobet Gnahoré

 
This week, I showcase some choice new releases, as well a few classics. It’s a mixed bag, a variety show.
We ease into the show with Alison Balsom, an British classical trumpet player who has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras. She was most recently invited to play the iTunes Festival in London, and has been making headlines as an up-and-coming talent. There aren’t that many female trumpet players out there, …

Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events »

The Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna

Posted January 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Leek Violin

There are a lot of unusual orchestras out there: New Zealander composer Graeme Revell’s The Insect Musicians; New York-based composer Adam Rudolf’s  Go: Organic Orchestra; the Temple City Kazoo Orchestra; the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain; the Landfillharmonic of Paraguay; the Congolese jungle Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste; and the list goes on. I’m fascinated by the creativity and resourcefulness of these DIY orchestras.
The Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna takes it one step further. This 12-member Viennese …

African, Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #90: Angolan Superstar Waldemar Bastos

Posted January 16, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Peter Waldemar Tom

When I first heard Waldemar Bastos on a compilation called Adventures in Afropea 3: Telling Stories to the Sea, released by David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label years ago, I was completely taken by his mellifluous baritone and the sweet, gentle power of his music.
Back in 1999, as the newly appointed Hollywood Bowl Program Director of World Music, I programmed a Lusophone night featuring the music of Cape Verde (Fantcha), Angola …

African, Artist Spotlight, Cape Verde, Jazz, Performances & Events »

January Concerts I Plan to Attend

Posted January 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Waldemar Bastos - Guitar

The year is just getting started, and there are already two exceptional concerts this month that I’m really looking forward to:
Saturday, January 10: Jazz Saxophonist Chris Potter
The first is the exceptional tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, performing together with a superb rhythm section: Alan Pasqua (piano), Darek Oles (bass), and Peter Erskine (drums). As the youngest musician to ever receive Denmark’s prestigious Jazzpar Prize, Chris Potter was awarded the honor …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, French, Latin, MBE Archive, Music History, Performances & Events »

Artists You Should Know: Carlos do Carmo

Posted January 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Música: Carlos do Carmo homenageia Sinatra, o cantor a quem "deve muito"

There is a new documentary by filmmaker Ivan Dias, called Um Homem no Mundo, that hit Portugal’s theater circuit on New Year’s Day. Best known for his work as Carlos Saura’s co-director for the documentary, Fado (2007), Dias has now turned his camera to Portugal’s champion of its fado heritage, Carlos do Carmo.
I’ve long been a fan of fado, the Portuguese traditional song form, ever since lusophile historian, Donald Cohen, visited …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, New Releases »

Myung Whun Chung’s Exquisite New ECM Release, Piano

Posted December 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Myung Whun Chung - Piano

Yesterday, I received a treasure trove of new classical music from ECM Records, short for Edition of Contemporary Music. Founded in 1969 by producer Manfred Eicher in Munich, Germany, ECM first established its bearings as a jazz label, signing artists like Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, and Chick Corea, before expanding its repertoire to span pre-baroque to contemporary composition with the ECM New Series, which features artists like …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Classical, Jazz »

Herbie Hancock on Possibilities

Posted December 17, 2014 by | 1 Comment
Young Herbie

Herbie Hancock’s memoir, Possibilities, has just been published, painting a revealing picture of one of the most influential jazz pianists ever. I recently read the book while on vacation and just could not put it down.
Along with fellow jazz pianist, McCoy Tyner, Herbie rewrote the book on modern jazz piano stylings. He eschewed the 2-5-1 harmonic changes characteristic of bebop (think Charlie Parker & Bud Powell), introducing …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Holiday, Jazz, New Releases »

5 Holiday Gift Book Ideas

Posted December 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments
rcrumbheroes

Some of you have asked me about suggestions for holiday gift ideas for the music lover. It’s a matter of musical preference, of course, but if it were all about me, below are several book ideas that would definitely make it onto my wish list for Santa.
Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression. This is the story of the iconic jazz label, Blue Note. It’s a fascinating read, spanning the label’s 1939 …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Interviews, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #84: Nicolas Slonimsky, Amazing Musical Iconoclast (1894–1995)

Posted December 5, 2014 by | 1 Comment
Slonimsky Autographed 1988

This week, Rhythm Planet reprises the 100th birthday tribute I did back in 1994 for one of the most extraordinary men I’ve ever met: Nicolas Slonimsky, the Russian composer, conductor, musicologist, and lexicographer. Born in 1894 in czarist St. Petersburg to a family of intellectuals, he was singled out as a boy “genius,” who would, indeed, be destined for greatness.
Slonimsky learned music theory, composition, and …

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