Classical, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

A Devotion To The Mighty Pipe Organ

Posted October 21, 2015 by | 1 Comment

Anybody who’s never experienced a big pipe organ concert in a cathedral has missed something special. The pipe organ is — and has always been — the biggest and most complicated musical instrument of all. Its huge array of sound, its sheer sonic power, would make a stack of Marshall amps or heavy metal band sound puny.
Then there is the setting: cathedrals, especially the …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Jazz, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Six Great Music Educators

Posted October 20, 2015 by | 1 Comment

A good music teacher can infuse inspiration and instill a lifelong love of music. I couldn’t relate at all to my super straight, rigid piano teacher when I was seven or eight, plus there was simply no great music to be had in the Schnabel household, save for the 45 rpm 7″ R&B sides my older brother brought home. So I stopped taking lessons. …

Asia, Middle East, Performances & Events »

Grand Performances’ Re:Arranged: Muslim Cultures Illuminated

Posted September 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments
GP - Yuna 1

At a time when the world’s attention is focused on the tragic plight of Syrian refugees, and governments across Europe race to create contingency plans for dealing with the growing migrant crisis, there is really no more crucial moment for building bridges than now. Thanks to a generous grant received by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Downtown’s Grand Performances is on a mission to do exactly that, guided …

Jazz, Latin, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #121: Cubana Be, Cubana Bop, The Return of Bebop at MOLAA—Next Saturday, Aug29

Posted August 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments

When Afro-Cuban drummer Chano Pozo (b. 1915–1948) met jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (b. 1917–1993) in New York City, it was a meeting of two legends with musically explosive results. At the time, bebop was still new and revolutionary, but Chano’s fiery drumming served as a catalyst that furthered its dynamism. It was a short-lived partnership between the two, though, with only a few records …

Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events »

Saturday, Aug 22: Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali & DJ Neil Sparkes at Grand Performances

Posted August 19, 2015 by | 0 Comments

I used to tell my listeners that Qawwali music was not music made by cute little furry Australian arboreal creatures, but rather, sufi gospel music from Pakistan.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my discovery and experience with the late Qawwali master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. When Nusrat passed away in 1997,  he left a musical vacuum, which his then-teenage nephews committed themselves to filling. …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Latin, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Buena Vista Social Club’s Ibrahim Ferrer & the Havana Sugar Kings

Posted August 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments
BVSC - Ibrahim Ferrer

I first heard about the Buena Vista Social Club back in the mid-1990s, probably through Ry Cooder. The minute the album went on sale at Rhino Records in Westwood, I bought my import copy for $27.00 and fell in love with them from the very first notes. I was the first to air them on the radio.
Five years later in 2000, I was lucky to be …

African, Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events »

Skirball Concert Review: Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba = Ngoni Power!!

Posted August 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments

The ngoni is the Malian ancestor of the banjo (the word banjo itself being of Congolese origin). In the Malian Manding language, ‘Ba’ means ‘power.’ Bassekou Kouyaté and his band, Ngoni ba, deliver exactly that: massive musical power—organic and acoustic. It’s African power at its greatest.
Malian ngoni virtuoso Bassekou Kouyaté’s concert last Thursday at the Skirball Cultural Center was—for me—not only the best concert of this summer …

African, Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events »

Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba Come to the Skirball Cultural Center—Thursday, July 30

Posted July 29, 2015 by | 4 Comments
Bassekou & Ngoni Ba

Bassekou Kouyaté and Ngoni Ba is authentic traditional Malian music at its best. Continuing a dynastic line of griot musicians, this exceptional family group has performed together for decades. This Thursday, July 30, the Skirball Cultural Center brings these artists to Los Angeles as part of their summer Sunset Concert series, which you won’t want to miss.
This group is one of my favorite bands from a stable of incredible …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, New Releases, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Me

Posted July 27, 2015 by | 2 Comments
Nusrat Forever

I first discovered Pakistani sufi maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in 1982 on one of Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) Festival benefit collection LPs, titled Music and Rhythm. It was the beginning of a 1980s phenomenon that would come to be known popularly as world music, right around the same time that King Sunny Ade would gain fame outside of Nigeria.
The most arresting track on the …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Jazz, MBE Archive, New Releases, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #113: Branford Marsalis Quartet’s Tribute to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

Posted June 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments

If I had to name a few of the greatest instrumental jazz records of all time, several artists would come to mind: Louis Armstrong, Ahmad Jamal, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis would be at the top of my list.
John Coltrane and his album, A Love Supreme, was music of an even higher order. It distinguishes itself from the rest by being not only …

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