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RIP: Zane Musa (1979–2015)

Posted February 9, 2015 by | 5 Comments
Zane Musa in Recording

 
One of the most talented saxophonists to emerge on the LA jazz scene in the past twenty years has left us. Zane Musa passed away tragically last week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He had just returned from performing with Arturo Sandoval’s band on a Caribbean jazz cruise. His family, friends, musicians, and fans alike are shocked and mourning his untimely death.
“Zane Musa [was] an incredible virtuoso of the …

African, Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Asia, Cape Verde, Classical, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #93: Tom’s Personal Grammy Picks for 2015

Posted February 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Grammys 2015

I have been involved with the Grammys for 25 years now. As a short-lived executive at A&M Records from 1990–91, I sat on the committee that created the first Grammy Awards category for World Music (thanks to the late Bill Traut for shepherding this through). For this week’s Rhythm Planet show, I thought we’d have some fun and highlight several favorites among this year’s nominees for the 57th Annual Grammy …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, New Releases »

John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean Makes Musical Tidal Waves

Posted February 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments
imgres

Composer John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean has been nominated for three Grammys.
The other day, I finally got my copy of Become Ocean by composer John Luther Adams. I’d been trying to get it for weeks now, in fact, ever since I first heard it on the radio and it blew me away. The label, Cantaloupe Records, had had it out of stock for some time.
Now I know the work of John Adams pretty well but was …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz »

Melissa Aldana Comes to LA’s Blue Whale—Feb6

Posted February 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Melissa Aldana

This Friday, February 6, LA’s premier Downtown LA jazz club, blue whale, serves up yet another delectable jazz treat. Born in Santiago, Chile, tenor saxophone virtuoso Melissa Aldana established herself as a heavyweight when she won the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.
A third generation saxophonist, Melissa first picked up the instrument at the age of six, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Enrique ‘Kiko’ Aldana, a …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Classical, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Uncategorized »

Sundance Report: What Happened, Miss Simone?

Posted January 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Nina Simone - Thumbnail

“But what happened, Miss Simone? Specifically, what happened to your big eyes that quickly veil to hide the loneliness? To your voice that has so little tenderness, yet flows with your commitment to the battle of Life? What happened to you?” —Maya Angelou
So wrote the erudite Maya Angelou, following a 1970 Redbook interview she did with the mercurial ‘High Priestess of Soul’ herself, Nina Simone (b. 1933–2003). Echoing …

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 …

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