Canadian guitar virtuoso Strat Andriotis collaborates with iconic musicians from the jazz and fusion world on Night Manager. The guests are legendary violinist Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra), famed Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and pianist Adrean Farrugia.
The album includes masterful and captivating electro-acoustic interactions between Andriotis’ guitars, Jerry Goodman’s violin and Rubalcaba’s piano. The music easily crosses boundaries between contemporary jazz, classical, progressive jazz-rock and Gypsy violin.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock announced the program for the 2019 edition of International Jazz Day that will be launched in Australia and celebrated in more than 190 countries around the world.
On April 29 and 30, a wide range of jazz performances, education programs and community service initiatives will be presented in partnership with the Melbourne Conservatorium, featuring more than a dozen celebrated jazz masters. The events on International Jazz Day itself (30 April) will culminate in an All-Star Global Concert at the Melbourne Arts Centre’s acclaimed Hamer Hall. It will be webcast via YouTube, Facebook, the United Nations and UNESCO to millions of viewers worldwide.
Influential jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock (USA) and celebrated trumpeter James Morrison (Australia) will serve as artistic co-directors of the All-Star Global Concert, and John Beasley (USA) will serve as the evening’s musical director. The concert will include performances by an international lineup of artists from more than a dozen countries.
Confirmed artists include: Cieavash Arian (Iran), William Barton (Australia), Dee Dee Bridgewater (USA), Till Brönner (Germany), A Bu (China), Igor Butman (Russian Federation), Eli Degibri (Israel), Kurt Elling (USA), Matthew Jodrell (Australia), Ledisi (USA), Eijiro Nakagawa (Japan), Mark Nightingale (United Kingdom), Chico Pinheiro (Brazil), Tineke Postma (Netherlands), Antonio Sánchez (Mexico), Nathan Schreiber (Australia), Somi (USA), Lizz Wright (USA), Tarek Yamani (Lebanon). More artists are expected to be announced.
A series of jazz performances and outreach programs will also take place in Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Sydney, Perth and other Australian cities. In the week prior to International Jazz Day, the celebration will kick off with a jazz education program for student musicians in the indigenous community of Yarrabah in Far Northern Australia, to be followed by similar programmes in Sydney for students from New South Wales public schools.
Australia’s International Jazz Day celebrations will conclude with the “Generations in Jazz” youth festival in Mount Gambier, South Australia, led by James Morrison and Kurt Elling during the first weekend of May. With the participation of more than 6,000 high school student musicians, it will the largest youth jazz festival in the world.
Thousands of other programs all over the world will celebrate jazz as a universal language of peace, among them jazz-themed films, lectures, book readings, theatre performances and panel discussions, as well as jam sessions, master classes, and radio and television broadcasts. As in previous years, a majority of International Jazz Day partner activities will focus on education and community effect, benefitting millions of students, academics, professional musicians and music lovers everywhere.
Established by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2011 at the initiative of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, and recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, International Jazz Day brings together countries and communities worldwide every 30 April to celebrate the art of jazz, highlighting its important role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination and promoting human dignity. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s official partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.
Now is an deeply satisfying album of instrumental guitar rock music by Canadian musician, educator and composer Michel Héroux. Now combines dazzling guitar hero rock, mesmerizing avant-garde jazz guitar similar to Bill Frisell’s work and skillfully-crafted progressive rock.
Personnel: Michel Héroux on guitars; Vincent Yelle on bass; and Francis Fillion on drums.
This very special 21-CD, numbered edition titled The Art Ensemble Of Chicago And Associated Ensembles brings together the ECM recordings of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and related projects including Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, Roscoe Mitchell’s Note Factory and the Transatlantic Art Ensemble, as well as groups led by Jack DeJohnette and Wadada Leo Smith.
Art Ensemble of Chicago: Nice Guys (1978), Full Force, (1980), Urban Bushmen (2 CD, 1980), The Third Decade (1984) Leo Smith: Divine Love (1978) Lester Bowie: The Great Pretender (1981), All The Magic (2 CD, 1982), I Only Have Eyes for You (1985), Avant Pop (1986), Tribute to Lester (2001), Roscoe Mitchell & The Note Factory: Nine To Get Ready (1997), Transatlantic Art Ensemble/Mitchell: Composition/Improvisation 1, 2 and 3 (2004), Transatlantic Art Ensemble/Parker: Boustrophedon (2004), Roscoe Mitchell & The Note Factory: Far Side (2007), Roscoe Mitchell: Bells for the South Side (2 CD, 2015) Jack DeJohnette’s New Directions (w Lester Bowie) (1978), Jack DeJohnette’s New Directions: In Europe (w Lester Bowie) (1979), Jack DeJohnette: Made In Chicago (w Mitchell, Abrams, Threadgill) (2013)
Casey Golden Trio – Miniature (Scrampion Records, 2016)
Miniature is the third release by masterful Australian jazz pianist Casey Golden and his trio. It’s an EP featuring a single musical piece divided into four pieces.
The style is hard to define. It’s not exactly straight ahead jazz. Miniature contains jazz improvisation, classical influences and creative arrangements and structured compositions that take the music close to progressive rock.
Throughout the EP, Golden his musical colleagues plenty of opportunities to showcase their talent. The lineup includes Casey Golden on piano, keyboards, music box; Bill Williams on bass; and Ed Rodrigues on drums and percussion. Special Guest on Daniel Walsh on guitar.
Miniature is a fine example of multifaceted jazz piano craftsmanship.
Belgian keyboardist Dominique Vantomme has released a fabulous genre-defying album where progressive jazz meets psychedelic rock.
Vegir has a cutting edge sound where analog keyboards (including distorted electric piano) meet the spellbinding psychedelic guitar and effects of Michel Delville, Tony Levin’s remarkable bass and Chapman stick sounds, and the powerful, creative drumming of Maxime Lenssen.
Vegir is an exceptionally good album featuring engaging and instinctive progressive jams that highlight the beauty of electronic keyboards.
French progressive rock and jazz violinist Didier Lockwood died February 18, 2018 in Paris. He was known for his virtuosity and experimentation on the electric violin.
Didier Lockwood was born in Calais, France in 1956. He grew up in a family of artists. His father was a school and violin teacher, his mother an amateur painter, and his elder brother Francis, a talented pianist very attracted to jazz. Didier fell in love with the violin and entered the Conservatory at the age of six.
In addition to going to school and participating in swimming competitions, the young violinist attended the Conservatory and received daily private classes.
Didier Lockwood joined the Lyric Orchestra of the Théâtre Municipal de Calais at 13 years old. He was 16 when he was doubly rewarded for his efforts and his virtuosity by winning the First Prize of violin of the National Conservatory of Calais, as well as the SACEM First National Prize of contemporary music.
The young violinist admired classical music and its eminent composers. However, a new passion soon developed: improvised music and jazz. At 17, he chose the legendary progressive music band Magma rather than attending the Paris Conservatory.
In 1973, he made his debut with Magma, along with drummer Christian Vander. Lockwood recorded two albums with Magma: Theatre Du Taur Concert (1975) and Live/Hhaï (1975).
In 1976, Lockwood joined Zao, a progressive band created by two former members of Magma. He participated in two albums, Kawana (1976) and Live! (1976).
Jazz became his next focus in 1978. Lockwood worked with well known French jazz musicians: André Ceccarelli, François Jeanneau, Didier Levallet and Henri Texier.
During the 1980s, Lockwood carried out all sorts of jazz projects, ranging from string trios and quartets to solo and fusion groups. He also collaborated with UZEB, Gordon Beck, Martial Solal and Michel Petrucciani.
In 1994, he celebrated his 20 year career anniversary. The following year, he made his first American album: New York Rendez-vous.
In March 2000, he released, Tribute to Stéphane Grappelli, which received many awards since its release: Diapason d’Or, Choc Jazzman, and Selection FIP.
In the spring of 2001, Didier created, along with Indian dancer Raghunath Manet and percussionist Ri Murugan, the show Omkara, a musical encounter between jazz and Indian music.
In 2003 Lockwood released a double album titled Globe-Trotter, featuring solo and quartet performances.
In 2005, Lockwood and Caroline Casadesus, created a new show, the Jazz and the Diva that brought together jazz and classical music.
In 2009, Didier released Lockwood Brothers with his brother Francis.
After several years touring Europe alongside Mike Stern, Billy Cobham, John Abercrombie and Victor Bailey, he reformed the Didier Lockwood Group (DLG), with Jean-Marie Ecay, Paco Séry and Linley Marthe.
Didier Lockwood received numerous accolades and awards, including Les Victoires de la Musique, le Django d’or, le Prix de la Sacem et de l’Académie du Jazz and Knight of the Legion of Honor and Officer of National Merit and Arts and Letters.
Few keyboardists in jazz history matched the creativity and eclecticism of Joe Zawinul. He was a true innovator in the world of jazz and one of the originators of today’s world fusion sounds.
Joe Zawinul was born on July 7, 1932, in Kirchbach, a small village near Vienna. His first instrument was the accordion. At the age of 12, he started to learn the piano, which became his main instrument. After World War II, Zawinul continued his musical education at the prestigious Vienna Conservatory. He moved to the United States in 1959 on a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
In the United States, he inevitably became involved in jazz, playing as a sideman to artists such as Slide Hampton, Dinah Washington, and Cannonball Adderley. He met and collaborated with Miles Davis while the latter was moving into his electric era and was essential in the outcome of Bitches Brew (1970), Davis’ first electric project.
After releasing his debut solo album on Atlantic in 1970, Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter put together one of the most important jazz groups of the 1970s, Weather Report. Drawing on the power and theatricality of rock and R&B, while maintaining allegiance to jazz and the pure spirit of improvisation, they were pioneers of the fusion movement of that decade while carving out their own unique niche.
Even though band members came and went, Weather Report’s spirit prevailed over the course of 17 albums, including the groundbreaking Black Market and the enormously popular Heavy Weather, which included Zawinul’s infectious song “Birdland.” That song, in versions by Weather Report, Manhattan Transfer and Quincy Jones, won separate Grammy awards in three successive decades. Weather Report itself won a Grammy for its live album, 8:30.
In 1985, after he and Shorter finally agreed to go in separate musical directions, Zawinul continued to create adventurous new grooves in the group known as Weather Update and then the Zawinul Syndicate, whose albums included My People in 1996 and the two-CD, World Tour in 1998.
Other special projects included an adventurous solo electronic album, Dialects (1986), and work as producer and arranger on Salif Keita’s landmark album, Amen (1991). Meanwhile, as another side project of his creative life, Zawinul also pursued classical composition, writing his ambitious Stories Of The Danube in 1993 and working with renowned classical pianist Friedrich Gulda. His special solo project “Mauthausen,” released in Europe in 2000, is a memorial for the victims of the Holocaust, and was performed on the site of the Austrian concentration camp after which it is named.
Zawinul had honorary doctorates from Berklee School of Music, and is the official Austrian goodwill ambassador to 17 African nations. In January 2002, Zawinul received the first International Jazz Award, co-presented by the International Jazz Festival Organization and the International Association of Jazz Educators. In 2002, he released the CD Faces & Places.
The live album Vienna Nights came out in 2005.
Zawinul was a pioneer in the use of electronic keyboards, ranging from synthesizers to samplers. He incorporated global sounds into his keyboards, developing cutting edge world fusion.
Joe Zawinul died in Vienna on 7 August 7, 2007.
To You with Love (Strand, 1959)
Money in the Pocket (Atlantic, 1966) Rise & Fall of Third Stream (Vortex, 1968) Zawinul (Atlantic, 1971) Dialects (Columbia, 1986)
The Immigrants (Columbia, 1988)
Black Water (Columbia, 1989)
Lost Tribes (Columbia, 1992) My People (ESC, 1996)
Stories of the Danube (Polygram, 1996) World Tour (ESC, 1997)
Mauthausen – Vom großen Sterben hören (ESC, 2000)
Faces & Places (ESC, 2002)
Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate – Vienna Nights – Live at Joe Zawinul’s Birdland (Heads Up, 2005) Brown Street (Heads Up, 2006) 75 (Heads Up, 2008)
British organist Kit Downes is set to release a new album titled Obsidian (ECM records) on January 19, 2018. Obsidian features Kit Downes on church organs and Tom Challenger on tenor saxophone.
In November 2016 producer Sun Chung followed Downes to three English churches: the Snape Church of John the Baptist, Bromeswell St Edmund Church and Union Chapel Church in Islington, London. Downes played the church organs in these very different acoustic spaces. Most of the album is solo organ work. He is joined on one piece, “Modern Gods” by saxophonist Tom Challenger.