Go to Street Corner Music on Greenfield and 9 ½ Mile, and get YOURS, Two great songs out of 16 that will have you shaking you head as longas you here them!!!!.....”People Make The World Go Round”...and “Wes” (Is Still In The House)....
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Idris Muhammad was born on November 13,1939, and began playing the drums at age 8 in his native New Orleans. By the time he was 16, he was performing in jazz bands. Muhammad became known as one of the most innovative drummers in soul music of the 1960's, performing with singers Sam Cooke, Jerry Butler, and The Impressions.
He played for the popular musical Hair while performing with the house band for the Prestige Label in the early 1970's. For the rest of that decade, he accompanied popular singer Roberta Flack, led his own band, and worked with Johnny Griffin and Pharaoh Sanders.
An excellent drummer who has appeared in many types of settings, Idris Muhammad became a professional when he was 16. He played primarily soul and R&B during 1962-1964 and then spent 1965-1967 as a member of Lou Donaldson's band. He was the house drummer at Prestige Records (1970-1972), appearing on many albums as a sideman. Of his later jazz associations, Muhammad played with Johnny Griffin (1978-1979), Pharoah Sanders in the 1980s, George Coleman, and the Paris Reunion Band (1986-1988). He has recorded everything from post-bop to dance music as a leader for such labels as Prestige, Kudu, Fantasy, Theresa, and Lipstick.
Muhammad's 1993 recording My Turn includes saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. and trumpetor Randy Brecker, both of whom are also featured performers in this year's 25th Annual University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar and Concert.
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Thelonious Sphere Monk (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer. Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser" "Ruby, My Dear", "In Walked Bud", and "Well, You Needn't". Monk is the second most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed more than 1,000 pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70.
His compositions and improvisations feature dissonances and angular melodic twists, and are consistent with Monk's unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silences and hesitations.
He was renowned for his distinctive style in suits, hats, and sunglasses. He was also noted for an idiosyncratic habit observed at times during performances: while the other musicians in the band continued playing, he would stop, stand up from the keyboard, and dance for a few moments before returning to the piano.
Thelonious Sphere Monk was born two years after his sister Marion on October 10, 1917, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the son of Thelonious and Barbara Monk. His badly written birth certificate misspelled his first name as "Thelious" or "Thelius". It also did not list his middle name, taken from his maternal grandfather, Sphere Batts. A brother, Thomas, was born in January 1920. In 1922, the family moved to 243 West 63rd Street, in Manhattan, New York City. Monk started playing the piano at the age of six. Monk was largely self-taught. He attended Stuyvesant High School but did not graduate.
He toured with an evangelist in his teens, playing the church organ, and in his late teens he began to find work playing jazz. In the early to mid-1940s, Monk was the house pianist at Minton's Playhouse, a Manhattan nightclub. Much of Monk's style was developed during his time at Minton's, when he participated in after-hours "cutting competitions" which featured many leading jazz soloists of the time. The Minton's scene was crucial in the formulation of bebop and it brought Monk into close contact with other leading exponents of the emerging idiom, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Christian, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker and, later, Miles Davis. Monk is believed to be the pianist featured on recordings Jerry Newman made around 1941 at the club. Monk's style at this time was later described as "hard-swinging," with the addition of runs in the style of Art Tatum. Monk's stated influences included Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson, and other early stride pianists. In the documentary Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser, it is stated that Monk lived in the same neighborhood in New York City as Johnson and knew him as a teenager.
Mary Lou Williams, who mentored Monk and his compatriots, spoke of Monk's rich inventiveness in this period, and how such invention was vital for musicians since at the time it was common for fellow musicians to incorporate overheard musical ideas into their own works without giving due credit. "So, the boppers worked out a music that was hard to steal. I'll say this for the 'leeches', though: they tried. I've seen them in Minton's busily writing on their shirt cuffs or scribbling on the tablecloth. And even our own guys, I'm afraid, did not give Monk the credit he had coming. Why, they even stole his idea of the beret and bop glasses."
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She was born Geetali Norah Jones Shankar to legendary Indian musician, Ravi Shankar, and Sue Jones in New York City. Fittingly, her birth name, Geetali, carries the meaning of "song" or "melodious", and was bestowed on her by her father. No one could have possibly imagined how fully she would embody that name, even while circumstances removed her from the influences of her father's musical gifts.
Norah Jones was raised by her mother in a Dallas suburb, and that's where her musical talents began to reveal themselves. She performed in church choirs, learned to play the piano and guitar, and even briefly tried her hand at the alto saxophone. She attended Interlochen Arts Camp, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas, and the University of North Texas, where she majored in jazz piano, and won Best Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist (twice, in 1996 and 1997) and Best Original Composition (1996). At the age of sixteen, she officially shortened her name to Norah Jones, no longer carrying the Indian, "Geetali". Nonetheless, the "melodious song" was very much alive, and moving full-steam ahead.
Captivated by New York's musical energy, Jones moved back to her city of birth in 1999 to embark on the life course that would lead to her great success. Jones began playing with numerous artists and bands, including Wax Poetic and the Peter Malick Group, but it was by her collaboration with a group of her remarkably talented friends - Lee Alexander, Jesse Harris, Adam Levy, Richard Julian, Daru Oda, Andrew Borger and others - that she would take the world by storm and carve her name into music history. Performing with her new band, Jones burst upon the pop music scene with her auspicious debut album, Come Away With Me, released by Blue Note Records in 2002. The album of original compositions - having sold almost 10 million copies in the U.S. and over 20 million worldwide - swept the Grammy Awards in 2003 and established her as the 'genuine article' - destined for a brilliant career.
Two years later Jones followed up with Feels Like Home, another engaging and heartfelt album that, like her first, was the perfect blend of originals by Norah and other members of the band. Feels Like Home debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, eventually selling over 4 million units in the U.S. and over 10 million worldwide.
Her third album, Not Too Late, was released in January, 2007 to both critical and public acclaim. A double-platinum seller, it has helped secure Jones' position as one of the best-selling female recording artists of the decade.
Further fleshing out her creative resumé, Jones starred in acclaimed director Kar Wai Wong's My Blueberry Nights (2007), along with Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Rachel Weisz. While the film was largely dismissed by mainstream audiences, few could deny its intriguing visual beauty and composite artistry.
On her latest recording effort, The Fall, Jones took a new direction, experimenting with different sounds, and a new set of collaborators, including Jacquire King, a noted producer and engineer who has worked with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, and Modest Mouse among others. Jones enlisted several songwriting collaborators, including Ryan Adams and Okkervil River's Will Sheff, as well as Jesse Harris, with whom she'd won a Grammy for "Don't Know Why" in 2003. King also helped Jones gather an entirely new group of musicians to perform on the album, together achieving a sound that broadened her already diverse repertoire, while enhancing her professional image.
Creatively energetic, uniquely talented, and exquisitely beautiful - Norah Jones has brought great honor to her family's musical legacy, all the while, evolving into an artist of classic rendition; one who worthily stands among the most adored entertainers of our time.
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Beverly started out singing gospel music in church as a schoolboy in Philadelphia. He has claimed that his first professional concert was a tour with The Silhouettes (famous for their 1958 hit single, "Get a Job") when he was only twelve years old. However, this is disputed by those associated with the group, whose members were never known to mention him while they were alive.
As a teenager he formed The Blenders, a short-lived a cappella, doo-wop group that were influenced by The Dells, The Moonglows, and The Del Vikings. After that outfit dissolved, he founded The Butlers (subsequently Frankie Beverly and the Butlers), which would be the first group he recorded with in 1963. In 1967, he cut "If that's what you wanted", which became a northern soul standard. As time passed, they caught the attention of the record producer Kenny Gamble, who eventually released recordings by the group.
It turned out that music performed by The Butlers did not fit into the "Philly Sound", and after some heavy touring, the group relocated to California. The unit was re-christened as Raw Soul and caught the attention of a sister-in-law to Marvin Gaye. Gaye featured them as an opening act at his shows, and also convinced Beverly to change the band's name to Maze.
The group's popularity was enhanced considerably in the UK by DJ Greg Edwards (DJ) in the late 1970s and early 1980s when they performed live at London's Lyceum Ballroom for broadcast on Capital Radio. They are best known there for their UK #57 hit single, "Joy and Pain".
Beverly's onstage attire (all-white custom designed and made, casual clothing, including slacks, long-sleeved shirt, and a baseball cap) has become his signature dress style over the years.
His son, Anthony, who has toured as a drummer with Maze, recently organized a tribute to his father, founding the record label Brantera as an homage to the work of Maze.
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George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was an American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He worked with numerous artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and as a professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio. He was known primarily for thirty-odd solo albums, of which 'A Brazilian Love Affair' from 1980 was his most popular, as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.
George Duke was born in San Rafael, California. He was raised in Marin City. It was at the young age of 4 that Duke first became interested in the piano. His mother took him to see Duke Ellington in concert and subsequently told him about this experience. "I don't remember it too well," says George, "but my mother told me I went crazy. I ran around saying 'Get me a piano, get me a piano!'" He began his formal piano studies at the age of 7, at his local Baptist church. It was those early years that influenced his musical approach and feel, as well as his understanding of how music elicits emotion.
Duke attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley before earning a bachelor's degree in trombone and composition with a minor in contrabass, from the San Francisco Conservatory in 1967. Playing initially with friends from garages to local clubs, Duke quickly eased his way into session work, which refined his abilities and expanded his approach to music. He later earned his master's degree in composition from San Francisco State University. He also taught a course on Jazz And American Culture at Merritt College in Oakland.
Beginning in 1967 Duke experimented further with jazz fusion, playing and recording with violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, as well as performing with the Don Ellis Orchestra, and Cannonball Adderley's band, while he acquainted himself with Frank Zappa. Duke appeared on a number of Frank Zappa's albums through the 1970s.
Frank Zappa played guitar solos on Duke's 1974 album, Feel - the instrumental "Old Slippers", and "Love" - credited as Obdewl'l X, possibly due to contractual reasons.
Duke covered two Zappa-composed songs on his 1975 album, The Aura Will Prevail, - "Uncle Remus" (co-written with Duke) and "Echidna's Arf" - that he had played on while a member of The Mothers on Zappa's albums.
A further Zappa connection occurred on Duke's other album from 1975, I Love the Blues She Heard Me Cry - which utilized Ruth Underwood, Tom Fowler, and Bruce Fowler from Zappa's Overnite Sensation band that Duke was a part of, along with Zappa-associate Johnny "Guitar" Watson and jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour.
Duke served as a record producer and composer on two instrumental tracks on Miles Davis albums: "Backyard Ritual" (from Tutu, 1986) and "Cobra" (from Amandla, 1989). He has also worked with a number of Brazilian musicians, including singer Milton Nascimento, percussionist Airto Moreira and singer Flora Purim. Lynn Davis and Sheila E appeared on Duke's late-1970s solo albums Don't Let Go and Master of the Game.
Duke was prominent in the R&B genre, releasing funk-based songs like "Reach for It" and "Dukey Stick". In 1979 he traveled to Rio de Janeiro, where he recorded the album A Brazilian Love Affair, on which he employed singers Flora Purim and Milton Nascimento and percussionist Airto Moreira. The album contained music in a wide assortment of genres, including some Latin jazz and jazz-influenced material. From a jazz standpoint, the album's most noteworthy songs include Nascimento's "Cravo e Canela", "Love Reborn", and "Up from the Sea It Arose and Ate Rio in One Swift Bite". The track "Brazilian Sugar" was featured on the 2006 video game Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. Meanwhile, Nascimento's vocal on the ballad "Ao Que Vai Nascer" is an example of Brazilian pop at its most sensuous. The 1992 film Leap of Faith featured gospel songs and choir produced by George Duke and choir master Edwin Hawkins.
Duke worked as musical director at numerous large-scale musical events, including the Nelson Mandela tribute concert at Wembley Stadium, London in 1988. In 1989, he temporarily replaced Marcus Miller as musical director of NBC's late-night music performance program Sunday Night during its first season. Duke was also a judge for the second annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
Duke worked with Jill Scott on her third studio album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3; guesting on the track, "Whenever You're Around". In the summer of 2011, he put together a trio with David Sanborn and Marcus Miller for a tour across the US of more than 20 sold out shows.
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Israel López Valdés
Israel López Valdés (September 14, 1918 – March 22, 2008), better known as Cachao (/kəˈtʃaʊ/ kə-CHOW), was a Cuban double bassist and composer. He is considered one of the most influential charanga bassists of all-time, the co-creator of the mambo and a master of the descarga (improvised Cuban jam sessions). He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and won several Grammy Awards from the 1990s.
Cachao was born on September 14, 1918 in Belén, a neighbourhood in Old Havana, into a family of musicians, many of them bassists—around 40 or more in his extended family. He was born and raised in the same house in which José Martí was born.
As an 8-year-old bongo player, he joined a children's septet that included a future famous singer and bandleader, Roberto Faz. A year later, already on double bass, he provided music for silent movies in his neighborhood theater, in the company of a pianist who would become a true superstar, the great cabaret performer Ignacio Villa, known as Bola de Nieve.
His parents made sure he was classically trained, first at home and then at a conservatory. In his early teens he was already playing contrabass with the Orquesta Filarmónica de La Habana, under the baton of guest conductors including Herbert von Karajan, Igor Stravinsky and Heitor Villa-Lobos. He played with the orchestra from 1930 to 1960.
He played the double bass with his late, older brother, the multi-instrumentalist/composer Orestes López, who was known as "Macho". The brothers, both members of the charanga Arcaño y sus Maravillas, composed literally thousands of danzones together and were a major influence on Cuban music from the 1930s to the 1950s. They introduced the nuevo ritmo ("new rhythm") in the late 1930s, which transformed the danzón by introducing African rhythms into Cuban music, which led to mambo. They co-wrote the danzón "Mambo" which was called the "Mother of all Mambos" by Cuban writer G. Cabrera Infante. He composed "Chanchullo", a danzón on which "Oye cómo va" is based. "Chanchullo" was released in 1957 as a single by Gema. In 1958, Arcaño y sus Maravillas disbanded.
One day in 1957 Cachao gathered a group of musicians in the early hours of the morning, energized from playing gigs at Havana's popular nightclubs, to jam in front of the mics of a recording studio. The resulting descargas, known to music aficionados worldwide as Cuban jam sessions, revolutionized Afro-Cuban popular music. Under Cachao's direction, these masters improvised freely in the manner of jazz, but their vocabulary was Cuba's popular music. This was the model that would make live performances of Afro-Cuban based genres, from salsa to Latin jazz, so incredibly hot.
These descargas were released in 1957 by the Panart label under the title Cuban Jam Sessions in Miniature. They have been named by many critics as one of the most essential Cuban records of the 1950s, including being cited by the book 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die. Between 1957 and 1959 he recorded many more descargas at Panart studios. These recordings were released in the following years by Kubaney and Maype, and re-released by EGREM. He also recorded descargas with Tojo's orchestra and Chico O'Farrill's All-Stars Cubano amongst other ensembles. He worked alongside Peruchín, Tata Güines and Alejandro "El Negro" Vivar.
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Grace Kelly (born Grace Chung; May 15, 1992) is a musician, entertainer, songwriter and arranger. Kelly has collaborated and recorded with many acclaimed musicians in various genres of music, produced and released recordings of her own. Kelly regularly tours with her band. She has scored soundtracks for films and appeared in documentaries. Among her many honors, Kelly was named one of Glamour magazine's Top 10 College Women in 2011; and she has been featured on CNN.com and on the NPR radio shows Piano Jazz with both Marian McPartland and Jon Weber, as well as on WBGO's JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Working professionally since she was a pre-teen, Kelly has been dubbed a prodigy in the jazz world. In 2014, Kelly worked with the producer Stewart Levine on her EP, Working For The Dreamers which was released in September of that year.
Born Grace Chung in Wellesley, Massachusetts, to Korean parents, she moved to Brookline, Massachusetts, when she was two years old. Her mother remarried in 1997 to Robert Kelly, who legally adopted Grace a few years later, thus changing her name to Grace Kelly. Kelly wrote her first song "On My Way Home" at age seven.
Kelly left Brookline High School at age 16 and earned her GED. After studying in the Jazz Department of New England Conservatory of Music's School of Preparatory Education, she enrolled at Berklee College of Music, where she graduated in December 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Music at age 19. Kelly studies or has studied saxophone with Jeremy Udden, James Merenda, George Garzone, Lee Konitz, Greg Osby, Jerry Bergonzi, and Allan Chase.
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Glasper's earliest musical influence was his mother, Kim Yvette Glasper, who sang jazz and blues professionally. She took him with her to club dates rather than leave her son with babysitters. She was the music director at the East Wind Baptist Church, where Glasper first performed in public. He performed during services at three churches: Baptist, Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist. Glasper has said that he first developed his sound in church, where he learned his own way to hear harmony, and was inspired to mix church and gospel harmonies with jazz harmonies.
Glasper attended Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas, and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and went on to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. At the New School, Glasper met neo-soul singer Bilal Oliver. They began performing and recording together, which led to associations with a variety of hip-hop and R&B artists parallel to Glasper's emerging jazz career. He has worked with Bilal and Mos Def as musical director, Q-Tip (The Renaissance), Kanye West (Late Registration), Meshell Ndegeocello (The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams), J Dilla, Erykah Badu, Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Common, Slum Village, and Maxwell, with whom he toured extensively on 2009's BLACKsummers'night tour.
Glasper's first album, Mood, was released by Fresh Sound New Talent in 2004, after the pianist's stints playing in bands with guitarists Russell Malone and Mark Whitfield, bassist Christian McBride, and trumpeters Terence Blanchard and Roy Hargrove. The album features six original compositions by Glasper alongside versions of "Blue Skies", "Alone Together", and Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage", featuring guest vocalist Bilal. Glasper has said that his arrangement of the Hancock tune was inspired by the Radiohead song "Everything in Its Right Place".
Blue Note Records released Canvas, Glasper's major-label debut, in 2005. The album features nine original songs and a version of Hancock’s "Riot". Glasper plays the Fender Rhodes on three tracks, and Bilal sings on two. In My Element, released in 2006, includes songs written in honor of Glasper's mother ("Tribute") and hip-hop producer J Dilla ("J Dillalude"). The pianist also revisits Hancock's "Maiden Voyage", which segues into a version of "Everything in Its Right Place", and quotes Duke Ellington’s "Fleurette Africaine".
Glasper's 2009 album Double-Booked is divided between songs performed by Glasper in an acoustic piano trio and funk-influenced tracks played on electric instruments, such as the Fender Rhodes electric piano and the vocoder (used on a version of Hancock's "Butterfly"). The album features voice mail recordings from Blanchard and Roots drummer Questlove, and guest vocals and spoken-word appearances by Bilal and Mos Def. Bilal received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the track "All Matter".
Glasper has performed at jazz festivals throughout the world, and his trio performed at the 2007 Bonnaroo Music Festival as part of Blue Note's "Somethin' Else" jazz tent. In addition to his working trio (Chris Dave, drums; Vicente Archer, bass), he also leads the Robert Glasper Experiment (Derrick Hodge, Mark Colenburg, and Casey Benjamin), in which he explores fusions of jazz and hip hop.
On February 28, 2012, Glasper released Black Radio, which featured performances by many neo-soul and hip hop artists including Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, Lalah Hathaway and Yasiin Bey. This synthesis of hip hop and jazz is supposedly Glasper's attempt to correct what he sees as a lack of new energy in the jazz genre. In the April 2012 issue of Down Beat, Glasper stated: "I've gotten bored with jazz to the point where I wouldn't mind something bad happening. Slapping hurts, but at some point it'll wake you up. I feel like jazz needs a big-ass slap." On November 5, 2012, Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP was released with five remixed tracks from the prior album.
On October 29, 2013, Glasper released Black Radio 2, with Fiasco and Hathaway returning from the prior album (Bilal is featured on a bonus track in the Deluxe Edition). Like the prior album, the band performed with a cross-section of R&B, neo-soul, and hip-hop artists, with some tracks having a segue at the end to reprise the prior song or introduce the next track.
On June 16, 2015, The Robert Glasper Trio released the album Covered, which features instrumental covers from various genres.
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Joey Alexander (born Josiah Alexander Sila; June 25, 2003) is an Indonesian jazz pianist and is considered a child prodigy. He released his first album, "My Favorite Things" on May 12, 2015, at age 11. Alexander taught himself to play jazz at age six, and has performed for Herbie Hancock and Bill Clinton. In 2014, Wynton Marsalis invited Alexander to play at the Jazz at Lincoln Center's 2014 gala, which made him an "overnight sensation", according to The New York Times. Alexander won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Master-Jam Fest, and performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Newport Jazz Festival in 2015.
Alexander is the first Indonesian act ever to enter the Billboard 200 chart in the United States, where his debut album My Favorite Things debuted at number 174 on the week ending May 30, 2015, re-entered and peaked at number 59 in January 2016.
Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, learned about Alexander after a friend suggested he watch a YouTube video clip of him playing compositions by Coltrane, Monk and Chick Corea. Marsalis praised Alexander as "my hero" on his Facebook page, and invited him to appear at his organization's gala in May 2014, when Alexander was 10. It marked Alexander's United States debut. He received positive reviews for his performance, particularly for his solo version of the Monk song "'Round Midnight", The New York Times said he became an "overnight sensation" after the performance. Allen Morrison of Down Beat magazine said of the performance: "If the word 'genius' still means anything, it applies to this prodigy. He played his own solo variations on 'Round Midnight' with a breathtaking precocity and mastery of several decades of piano style." Marsalis said of him: "There has never been anyone that you can think of who could play like that at his age. I loved everything about his playing – his rhythm, his confidence, his understanding of the music." Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, widow of tennis player Arthur Ashe, invited Alexander to perform at the Arthur Ashe Learning Center gala, where he played for a crowd that included former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Moutoussamy-Ashe introduced him to Gordon Uehling III, founder of the CourtSense Tennis Training Center, who has allowed Alexander and his family to stay at his estate in Alpine, New Jersey.
Alexander played at A Great Night in Harlem at the Apollo Theater, a performance honoring Herbie Hancock. His performance at the University of the District of Columbia garnered viral attention on the Internet, drawing more than 500,000 views on Facebook. Alexander also played in a concert with students of the Juilliard School, the proceeds of which funded his continuing stay in New York City. The concert, which received national media attention on NBC News, was successful enough for Alexander to obtain an O-1 visa, which is granted to "individuals with extraordinary ability". He also gave noteworthy concert performances in 2014 at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival and the International Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta.
Alexander's debut album, My Favorite Things, was released on May 12, 2015, on the Harlem-based label Motéma Music and produced by Grammy Award-winner Jason Olaine. He was 11 at the time of its release. Alexander began recording the album in October 2014. He arranged all the songs on the album, which includes renditions of "'Round Midnight", Coltrane's "Giant Steps" and Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life". It also includes an original Alexander composition called "Ma Blues", which was inspired by Bobby Timmons' "Moanin'". "My Favorite Things" features Alexander's working band of Russell Hall, Alphonso Horne and Sammy Miller, as well as guest performers Larry Grenadier and Ulysses Owens. Alexander had several notable performances throughout 2015, including one at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and another at the Newport Jazz Festival in August. Newport producer George Wein is reluctant to sign alleged child prodigies, but made an exception after Moutoussamy-Ashe took Alexander to Wein's Manhattan apartment to play for him. Wein said Alexander distinguished himself with "the maturity of his harmonic approach". The Jazz at Lincoln Center has expressed interest in incorporating Alexander into its educational outreach efforts, hoping to encourage young people to listen to jazz music.
In February 2016, Alexander was a runner-up through his nomination for the Grammy Awards Best Jazz Instrumental Album (for My Favorite Things) and Best Improvised Jazz Solo (for Giant Steps). He performed live at the Premiere Ceremony, the pre-telecast ceremony at the Grammy Awards.
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Help Us Keep Jazz Music Alive!
Gee Caver In Support of Baker's Keyboard Lounge
The tag line for my company, Key of Gee, is “Have A Very Musical Day”. My life is filled with rhythms and sounds. I am listening, writing reviews, singing and humming all day. A friend asked if I could go 24 hours without turning on music. I told him I could and then began to wonder “what was I thinking?”
I took the dare and learned a great lesson. I kept to my regular routine – up early tied up my walking shoes – headed out for some exercise with no IPod – no music!
Walking my regular route, I noticed a large pothole in the street. Every vehicle that hit that hole had a different sound da-dum da-dum. The business on the corner flies three flags. As the wind blew the flags there was a whip, pop, whip sound and the rope on the flags was banging the pole, clang um clang. I started smiling, is nature making me cheat?
Car horns blowing, loud mufflers, dogs barking, birds chirping -- the leaves on the tree – the sound of my shoes hitting the pavement -- everything has a sound – its own cadence.
For 24 hours, I didn’t turn on any music. I took the time to be present in the moment and enjoy my surrounding and heard some wonderful sounds. And I still had a Very Musical Day.
This year, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge celebrated 76 years of Jazz – maintaining its standing as the world’s oldest Jazz Club.
In an effort to keep the music playing, Roger Tucker and Three Quarter Step will host a Wednesday Night open mic Jazz Jam at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. Come out and hear Jazz-America’s music performed by Detroit’s premier artists. In the weeks to come there will be fabulous door prizes and special celebrity guest performances. You won’t want to miss a week.
The open mic Jazz Jam starts Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 9:30pm. All Musicians and vocalists are invited to perform.
Baker’s is known for hosting the best in Detroit’s Jazz including: James Carter, Rayse Biggs, Calvin Brooks, Al McKenzie, Penny Wells, Allan Barnes, Vonne', Jazzeray, Gwen Dommond, David Myles and Mylestones, Guymon Ensley, Ange Smith, Ola Hemphill, Rene King-Jackson, Earl Klugh, Straight Ahead, Port of Call, to name a few. Come and experience standing on the stage that also hosted: Dave Brubeck, Donald Byrd, Oscar Peterson, Sunny Stitt, Kenny Burrell, Jon Lucien and Sea Wind. Mix with the spirits of Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Liberace, Dr. Teddy Harris, Ken Cox, Donald Walden and the list goes on and on.
Calling All Past Performers -- It’s up to us to keep the music playing!
Baker’s Keyboard Lounge
Detroit, MI 48221
HAVE A VERY MUSICAL DAY!
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Born c. 1969, in St. Petersburg, FL; daughter of Lance (a saxophone player and keyboardist) and Linda Abair. Education: Attended University of Northern Florida; graduated from Berklee College of Music, magna cum laude, 1991.
At a time of sagging sales for contemporary and smooth jazz, pop-inspired saxophonist Mindi Abair has brought the cool factor back onto the jazz scene, boosting not only her own popularity, but that of an entire genre as well. With her heavy emphasis on the sounds of R&B and dance music as well as pop and rock, her jazz tunes defy categorization, and have attracted many new, young listeners to the genre. Although most clearly defined as a jazz musician, she cut her teeth playing the saxophone for pop superstars the Backstreet Boys. That connection showed clearly in her 2003 major label debut, It Just Happens that Way. "Lucy's," a single from the album, debuted at the number one position on the Radio & Records chart for most airplay. Following on the single's heels, the album itself landed in the top ten on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart.
Abair grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, in a family of musicians. Her father, Lance, was a saxophone player and keyboardist. His band, the Entertainers, frequently played on the road, and Lance took his family along with him, including Abair and her mother, Linda. Abair was the third generation of musicians in the family; her grandmother had been an opera singer. Young Mindi Abair learned to play the piano when she was five years old, while on the road with her father. She soon fell in love with the saxophone, again following her father's example. She had learned to play the sax by the time she was eight years old, and that same year she began writing her own music.
By the time she reached high school, Abair was an accomplished musician, playing in her high school marching band, in which she also played drums. There was never a point at which she decided to make music her life, she recalled later, she simply always was a musician. Her early influences were not only the music of jazz musicians such as Bill Evans, Miles Davis, and others, but top 40 hits as well, and this blend of tastes defined her work in later years.
After graduation from high school, Abair won a full scholarship to the University of Northern Florida to study music. But she soon found that the music department was not receptive to her interest in contemporary jazz. "It was a great experience," she later explained to Kevin Walker in the Tampa Tribune, "but they were very traditional." After a year she transferred to the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston. There she found herself at home with instructors and fellow students, who appreciated her desire to fuse jazz with rock, dance, and pop sounds. Among her most influential teachers was famous saxophone instructor Joe Viola, who helped her further hone her composition skills. After class she got even more experience playing in jam sessions with classmates in the dorms.
Following her graduation from Berklee, Abair moved to Los Angeles. Unlike many of her peers, she chose not to get a day job to help support herself; she expected her music to support her immediately. To this end, she put together a band to play in clubs at night and, lacking other work, she played on the streets of Santa Monica during the day. The gamble paid off when new age recording artist John Tesh spotted her in one of her club gigs and invited her to join a concert tour he was putting together. She accepted, and her career was off and running. More job offers rolled in, and soon she was playing with such acts as the Gap Band, Adam Sandler, Mandy Moore, Teena Marie, and perhaps most significantly, from 1999 to 2001, the pop group the Backstreet Boys.
Bud Harner, a Verve record label representative, caught one of Abair's acts in concert. He later described the scene to Dave Scheiber in the Chicago Sun-Times: "The whole place was just mesmerized by her, this beautiful, young, blond woman ... just burning on the horn." Abair was already committed to a long-term tour with the Backstreet Boys tour, so she and Harner agreed to talk when she returned.
For Abair, the gig with the Backstreet Boys--two years on the road as the band's featured sax player--marked a major milestone in her career. She played in 50,000-seat venues throughout the United States and Europe, making professional contacts and gaining valuable experience that would serve her well in her later career as a soloist. After her return from the tour in 2001, she sent Harner a demo CD, and Verve gave her a contract. The result was an album called It Just Happens that Way, Abair's major label debut. The title of the album came from a 1962 live album by jazz saxophone great Cannonball Adderley, on which he can be heard saying, as quoted on the Verve Music Group website, "Hipness is not a state of mind. It's a fact of life. You don't decide you're hip. It just happens that way."
The album debuted to brisk sales and to critical acclaim. A single from the album titled "Lucy's" hit the number one spot on the Radio & Records chart for most airplay, and the album itself climbed to the top ten on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart. The record label began receiving fan letters from teens, an accomplishment normally reserved for pop stars. Abair has said of her debut that it was the culmination of a lifetime of work, that all of her playing and practicing and performing had been leading up to this achievement. She couldn't have been happier, too, with the success of the album at music stores and among critics, who praised it for its fresh approach to jazz. Abair was proud, not only of landing her own recording contract and playing her own compositions, but for having achieved success in a field largely dominated by men.
Abair has continued to live in Los Angeles. As for the future, she has said she plans to produce many more albums, and to one day start a family. "I grew up on the road," she explained on the Verve website, "so I think I can pull it off.... But I have to meet someone first."
by Michael Belfiore
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(born 4 January 1942, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England), also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is an English guitarist, bandleader and composer. His music includes many genres of jazz, and rock, which he coupled with an interest in Indian classical music to become one of the pioneering figures in fusion.
In 2010 guitarist Jeff Beck called him "the best guitarist alive". The Indian tabla maestro Zakir Hussain has called him "one of the greatest and one of the important musicians of our times". In 2003 McLaughlin was ranked 49th in Rolling Stone magazine list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
After contributing to several key British groups of the early sixties and making his first solo record Extrapolation (with Tony Oxley and John Surman) he moved to the USA where he played with Tony Williams's group Lifetime and then with Miles Davis on his landmark electric jazz-fusion albums In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew, A Tribute to Jack Johnson and On The Corner. His 1970s electric band, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused electric jazz and rock with Indian influences.
From a family of musicians (his mother being a concert violinist), McLaughlin studied violin and piano as a child and took up the guitar at the age of 11, exploring styles from flamenco to the jazz of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. He moved to London from Yorkshire in the early 1960s, playing with Alexis Korner and the Marzipan Twisters before moving on to Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, the Graham Bond Organisation (in 1963) and Brian Auger. During the 1960s he often had to support himself with session work which he often found unsatisfying but which enhanced his playing and sight-reading.
McLaughlin moved to the U.S. in 1969 to join Tony Williams' group Lifetime. A recording from the Record Plant, NYC, dated 25 March 1969, exists of McLaughlin jamming with Jimi Hendrix. McLaughlin recollects "we played one night, just a jam session. And we played from 2 until 8, in the morning. I thought it was a wonderful experience! I was playing an acoustic guitar with a pick-up. Um, flat-top guitar, and Jimi was playing an electric. Yeah, what a lovely time! Had he lived today, you'd find that he would be employing everything he could get his hands on, and I mean acoustic guitar, synthesizers, orchestras, voices, anything he could get his hands on he'd use!"
He played on Miles Davis' albums In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew (which has a track named after him), On The Corner, Big Fun (where he is featured soloist on "Go Ahead John") and A Tribute to Jack Johnson. In the liner notes to Jack Johnson, Davis called McLaughlin's playing "far in." McLaughlin returned to the Davis band for one night of a week-long club date, recorded and released as part of the album Live-Evil and of the Cellar Door boxed set. His reputation as a "first-call" session player grew, resulting in recordings as a sideman with Miroslav Vitous, Larry Coryell, Joe Farrell, Wayne Shorter, Carla Bley, the Rolling Stones, and others.
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