Alain Lefevre plays Gershwin with Tucson Symphony Orchestra / Arizona Daily Star review

Friday marked 10 years nearly to the day that Tucson Symphony Orchestra Conductor George Hanson introduced us to the French-Canadian pianist Alain Lefévre. It turned out to be a career-altering venture for both sides. In the orchestra and the Tucson community, Lefévre found willing and passionate partners to champion a little-known Canadian composer; in Lefévre, we found an artist of international stature eager to take the orchestra to a much larger audience with an internationally released, major label recording. In the first concert of Hanson's last full season in Tucson, Lefévre returned to perform the same piece he played that night in 2004 - Gershwin's jazzy, intricate and captivating Piano Concerto in F. READ THE FULL Arizona Daily Star REVIEW.
Bookmark and Share

Daniil Trifonov shines at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra / La Scena Musicale review

Any performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony is an occasion, and the performances currently at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is no exception.  On Thursday, September 25th, star pianist Daniil Trifonov joined them in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and though the material was difficult, to Daniil, it was a virtual cakewalk. READ THE FULL La Scena Musicale REVIEW.
Bookmark and Share

Kat Edmonson - The Big Picture / NPR Weekend Edition Saturday interview

Singer Kat Edmonson has always looked to the past for inspiration. Her music video for the song Rainy Day Woman, for example, evokes the technicolor days of the 1960s; with her short-bobbed hair and big eyes that peer out from under an umbrella, Edmonson looks as if she stepped out of Breakfast At Tiffany's. Her new album The Big Picture comes out September 30th and is inspired by old movies and musicals that she was infatuated with growing up . Listen to Ms. Edmonson's interview with Scott Simon on NPR: Weekend Edition Saturday.
Bookmark and Share
Kat Edmonson: 'I Hear Myself As An Instrument'

Dom Flemons to play CT's Outer Space / CTNow

Dom Flemons, formerly of the Grammy-winning folk troupe Carolina Chocolate Drops, deals in infectious, danceable fun as well as authenticity and solid musicianship, mixing his clawhammered banjo with fiddles, tight harmony vocals, woodwinds, harmonicas and even tasteful electric guitars. Prospect Hill, his debut album, offers plainspoked midtempo blues ("Hot Chicken"), second-line backbeats ("Georgia Drumbeat"), expressive, throwback rags ("San Francisco Baby") and tongue-twister romantic episodes ("It's a Good Thing") from across the American south. Dom Flemons Trio performs at Hamden, CT's Outer Space on Wednesday, October 8th at 8:30pm.
Bookmark and Share

Katarzyna Musial - Come Dance With Me / The Classical Reviewer review

Pianist Katarzyna Musiał was First Prize winner at the 2011 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition (New York) as well as a prize winner at the Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition of Contemporary Chamber Music (Cracow) and the Kay Meek Competition (Vancouver). She has also been a recipient of the Alban Berg Prize for outstanding merit (Vienna) and the Philip Cohen Award for outstanding performance musicianship (Montreal). Her new CD for Meridian Records has just been released entitled Come Dance with Me, featuring works by such diverse composers as Ginastera, Turina, Messiaen, Ernesto Lecuona, Andre Mathieu, Zygmunt Stojowski, Gershwin, Górecki and Mompou. READ THE FULL Classical Reviewer REVIEW.
Bookmark and Share

Decoding Debussy with Pierre-Laurent Aimard / NPR

Claude Debussy ignored the old rules about how to write music and in the process created a brave new world of sonic possibilities. To mark the Debussy sesquicentennial, French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard stopped by to spin a few of his favorite Debussy recordings. The 54-year-old pianist knows a few things about adventurous music himself. At age 19, Pierre Boulez chose him as the first solo pianist in the Ensemble Intercontemporain, a group devoted to avant-garde music. A year later, Aimard performed the demanding solo part in Olivier Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. These days, his repertoire ranges widely from contemporary music back to J.S. Bach. LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION
Bookmark and Share

Kat Edmonson's 'Rainy Day Woman' is Today's Top Tune on KCRW

Texas native Kat Edmonson has a sophisticated cosmopolitan sound that is reminiscent of cool jazz vocalists of the late 50's and 60's on her new album The Big PIcture. Listen to 'Rainy Day Woman' on Santa Monica: KCRW 'Today's Top Tune.'
Bookmark and Share

The Piano Guys release new music video: Batman Evolution

Holy hemiola, Batman! 50 years of music and film all rolled together in front of the cars that have become icons of super hero history. The Piano Guys love super heroes, the dramatic music that has brought them to life, and the vivid films that have made them legends. They have released a new video, Batman Evolution, which is featured on their newest release, Wonders. They used piano, cello, handheld cameras, a radio controlled helicopter, and some scrappy special effect techniques in the most creative ways possible to emulate the three epic eras of one of the greatest super heroes ever created: BATMAN! Read the full description and watch the new video from the Piano Guys: Batman Evolution.
Bookmark and Share

Somi - The Lagos Music Salon / PopMatters interivew

The warm musical wind that swept through late summer was the lush creation of a singer named Somi. Her recording, The Lagos Music Salon, is the kind of album that is rare today; a complete experience that evokes a place, an environment, a culture, and a group of people. The Lagos Music Salon pulses with African rhythms, absolutely, but it's equally centered around the kind of storytelling you might find in a Paul Simon song, the soulful singing of a Stevie Wonder song, and the improvisational adventure of jazz. Equally appropriate for careful listening or a hip party on a Saturday night, this is the kind of music that leaps so smoothly across boundaries as to make categories irrelevant. Will Layman spoke with Somi about her new album, her musical origins, and how she came to be a jazz singer who is not really a jazz singer at all. READ THE FULL PopMatters INTERVIEW.
Bookmark and Share

Bela Fleck to join Western Piedmont Symphony for 50th Year Celebration / Hickory Record

TONIGHT at 7:30pm at the J.E. Broyhill Civi Center in Lenoir, North Carolina, world renowned banjo master, Béla Fleck, will join the Western Piedmont Symphony in celebration of the 50th year. Under the direction of maestro John Gordon Ross, they will start the season off with his banjo concerto, "The Imposter." READ THE FULL Hickory Record ARTICLE.
Bookmark and Share

Brooklyn Rider kicks off music series at - Southern Exposure New Music Series.

Brooklyn Rider Almanac releases on Sept. 30 and after playing a diverse array of venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Japan's Todai-ji, the group is once again on tour, stopping Today Fri. Sep. 26 in kicking off the University of South Carolina's - Southern Exposure New Music Series. Brooklyn Rider takes its name from Der Blaue Reiter ("The Blue Rider"), the pre-World War I Munich-based artistic collective that supported expressionism in music, drama and visual arts. In the spirit of the group's cross-disciplinary vision, USC partnered with the Trenholm Artists Guild to feature an exhibition of paintings as part of the show.  READ The State
Bookmark and Share

Emerson String Quartet to play Ann Arbor's Rackham Auditorium / WKAR interview

It's safe to say that the Emerson String Quartet is among the top such ensembles on the planet. In their more than three decades of existence, the Emerson's  achievements include more than thirty acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys, the Avery Fisher Prize, Musical America's "Ensemble of the Year" and collaborations with many of the greatest artists of our time. The Emerson Quartet performs as part of the University Musical Society series at Ann Arbor's Rackham Auditorium this Saturday night at 8 p.m. Current State's Peter Whorf speaks with cellist Paul Watkins, to preview Saturday's performance and to reflect on his early days with the group when he first joined two years ago. Listen to the Lansing, Michigan: WKAR interview.
Bookmark and Share

Top 10 Albums for September

Sergio Mendes :


"The sound of Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes has been a summer soundtrack for generations of listeners." - NPR In a career that spans more than half a century, Sérgio Mendes is an old hand at creating a unique sonic blend that electrifies a mass global audience. His knack for delivering hit after hit has made him the most successful Brazilian musician of his time. A grand conceptualizer, his well-polished talents as a pianist, composer, bandleader, vocalist and producer make him a truly singular artist. With Magic, his debut recording for the storied OKeh label, he triumphs once again, delivering a timely update on the infectious mix of Brazilian rhythms and contemporary styles from his homeland, the U.S. and elsewhere that make the Mendessound instantly recognizable.
The Bad Plus :

Inevitable Western

The Bad Plus - bassist Reid Anderson, pianist EthanIverson, and drummer David King - release their tenth studio recording, Inevitable Western, is comprised entirely of originals and continues the band's committed belief in what Nate Chinen of The New York Times dubbed ‘avant-garde populism' - the idea that serious music can be as engaging and accessible as it is forward-thinking and provocative. Inevitable Western sees the group exploring the same set of aesthetic principles that fired their inception: an exploration of myriad musical forms born of jazz and advanced using any sonic source that forwards music that is uniquely The Bad Plus. The spark continues on tracks like Anderson's lyrical "Do It Again" and the post-rock twists and turns of King's "Gold Prisms Incorporated." This is an album where pop, blues and folk meld with classic melodies and rhythmic innovation into that rarest of hybrids: intelligent music for themasses.
Billy Childs :

Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro

When the Grammy-winning Composer/Arranger/Pianist Billy Childs was 11 years old, his older sisters introduced him to the work of Hall Of Fame singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. Her blend of Broadway-inspired melodies, jazz improvisation and socially conscious lyrics have stayed with him. Now he has returned to this early source of inspiration, conceiving and orchestrating Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro, an all-star interpretation of this songwriter's beloved works. Released by Masterworks, Mr. Childs leads guests include - Renee Fleming, Esperanza Spalding, Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss, Ledisi and Wayne Shorter. 22 NEW 'ON'  -  71 Total SYND: PBS/Tavis Smiley, NPR/Weekend Edition, VOA/Jazz America, Dial Global, The Midnight Special, UnderCurrents  Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Madison WI, Honolulu Online & Press: Downbeat, Taintradio, Jazz From Gallery 41, MOJA, CD Insight, TribLive
Brooklyn Rider :

The Brooklyn Rider Almanac

Brooklyn Rider -"the future of chamber music," according to Strings magazine-celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall with a major multi-disciplinary project called the Brooklyn Rider Almanac, beginning with a new Mercury Classics album of specially commissioned work from a diverse group of composers, set for worldwide release on September 30. In the cross-disciplinary spirit of Der Blaue Reiter ("The Blue Rider"), the legendary European artistic collective that is the group's namesake, each work-by musicians including Bill Frisell, Padma Newsome, Vijay Iyer, Aoife O'Donovan, Glenn Kotche from the Grammy Award-winning rock band Wilco, and Greg Saunier from the rock band Deerhoof-is inspired by a creative muse of the composer's choice from the past half-century, ranging from groundbreaking composer Igor Stravinsky to king of funk James Brown to Mississippi novelist William Faulkner to iconic choreographer Mark Morris. 27 NEW  31 Total SYND: NPR, Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Denver, Austin, Louisville KY Online: Taintradio
Somi :

The Lagos Music Salon

Few contemporary albums bare as particular a narrative as The Lagos Music Salon. The new album by the superb chanteuse Somi, finds her breaking new ground with a hybrid style of music that organically integrates the essence of jazz and soul with the musical depth of her African heritage. "It's the first time ever that I put all other pursuits on hold to focus solely on the creative process," says Somi, who decided to move to Lagos, Nigeria from her New York home base without a game plan but with a passionate desire to find a new direction for her vision and voice.  15 NEW ON - 92 Total SYND: NPR/All Things Considered & Weekend Edition Sunday, PRI/Jazz After Hours, UnderCurrents  Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, Cleveland, Minneapolis, San Diego, Houston, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Baltimore, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Berkeley CA, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Buffalo, Honolulu INTER: UK Press & Online: Huffington Post, PopMatters, Downbeat, Jazz From Gallery 41, AXS, Critical Jazz, Live 365, Step Tempest, Wondering Sound, iRock Jazz, Taintradio,, Okayafrica, All About Jazz, MOJA, New World Buzz
Bebel Gilberto :


World renowned, multi-Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Bebel Gilberto will heat up the summer season with her trademark blend of warm Brazilian rhythms and ethereal vocals when her first new studio album in five years, Tudo, is released August 19 on Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks.    The intoxicating new 12-track collection celebrates Gilberto's penchant for sonically transporting listeners to Brazil, with bright, incandescent bossa nova-infused melodies, lyrics about love, and a lilting performance style that has earned her a devoted fanbase worldwide.   20 NEW   79 TOTAL SYND: NPR/First Listen Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC., Cleveland, Seattle, Miami, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, San Diego, Orlando, San Antonio, Memphis, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA Madison WI, Honolulu, Canada, Brazil + Online
Time for Three :


Time for Three – violinist Zachary (Zach) De Pue, violinist Nicolas (Nick) Kendall and double-bassist Ranaan Meyer – defy traditional genre classification happily and infectiously, with an uncommon mix of virtuosity, creativity and showmanship.  The American trio who thrive on originality will release their Universal Music Classics self-titled debut. The album showcases not only the trio's melody-rich string weave but also its unique flair for collaboration.  It was these compelling qualities that led Universal Music Classics to sign the trio as their first U.S. act to their newly branded label.   Time For Three features tracks co-produced by Rob Moose from Bon Iver and Grammy-winning producer David Lai, and memorable pairings with pop singer-songwriter Joshua Radin, jazz saxophone icon Branford Marsalis,  Decca's young cello star Alisa Weilerstein, ukulele ace Jake Shimabukuro, and folk-pop sister duo Lily & Madeleine. 10 NEW   161 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Echoes & Classical 24, APM/Performance Today, UnderCurrents, FolkScene, The Midnight Special Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Austin, Denver, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Louisville, Columbus & Toledo OH Online & Press: the indie,, Classically Hip, wildmansteve, Taintradio, NYTimes, Giocosity,
Dom Flemons :

Prospect Hill

Dom Flemons - founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and American Songster - will release his third solo album'Prospect Hill' on July 22 on Music Maker Relief Foundation. 'Prospect Hill' finds Flemons digging deeply into ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern folk music, string band music, jug band music, fife and drum music, and ballads idioms with showmanship and humor, reintrepreting the music to suite 21st century audiences.
Kent Nagano :


One day, Kent Nagano was listening carefully as his wife was singing a children's song to their daughter.  The song told a chapter of Japanese history previously unknown to him: It told of emotion, tenderness, love – and bitterness. The song originated from a period when Japan had to open up to the West. At this time, Japan was suffering from overpopulation, starvation and poverty. In Japan, the songs that enchanted Nagano are commonly known as SHOKA, or school hymns. They are based on famous Japanese poetry, but are composed in the Western musical style.  The songs' haunting, mysterious beauty have continued to entice all generations since their creation making them actual and vividly relevant to our modern world. 26 Total SYND: Classical 24 Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis, Cleveland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Denver, Detroit, Baltimore, Honolulu Online: RadioIO
Kat Edmonson :

The Big Picture

Kat Edmonson announces October tour dates in support of her third album, The Big Picture out September 30 via Sony Music Masterworks. A full tour will follow in early 2015. Edmonson's premiere track "Rainy Day Woman" is available via iTunes HERE and for streaming on SoundCloud HERE.  Check out her new video album trailer HERE. The album is her label debut and was recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney) in his Los Angeles studio. Of the album, Edmonson states, "There's no particular theme, but there are some commonalities, one of which is my ever-underlying influence from motion pictures and film scores. I have always felt that music and film go hand in hand, because that was how I was first exposed to music-from old movies and musicals-and to me there wasn't a separation between an actor acting, dancing and singing." See full tour dates below.