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Gustavo Dudamel interview w/ The Los Angeles Daily News about first film score: The Liberator


Gustavo Dudamel starts his sixth season as the Los Angeles Philharmonic's musical director on September 30. So it's hard to believe that he is only 33. In Southern California, his name and classical music have become synonymous, while his creation of the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) has brought music to underserved children throughout the community. Though a world celebrity, this Thursday at the Hollywood Bowl, Dudamel will show off a side of himself that is associated with Hollywood when he leads the Philharmonic in a suite taken from his first movie score. At the moment, the conductor thinks of himself as something of an accidental composer, who relishes the advice he received from John Williams, considered by many the greatest film composer of all time. Dudamel sat down with The Los Angeles Daily News backstage after rehearsal. READ THE INTERVIEW
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Red Hot + Bach - Cello Suite No. 1 is KCRW - Today's Top Tune


Red Hot + Bach from Sony Music Masterworks charts a new pathway into the musical universe of Johann Sebastian Bach. Through the collaboration of performers, producers, DJs and artists from around the world and across the spectrum of contemporary music, different facets of Bach's centuries-old masterpieces are transformed with fresh energy and modern virtuosity that know no limits.  Jazz legends Gary Bartz and Ron Carter re-imagine Bach's masterpiece "Cello Suite No. 1" with a sublime arrangement for bass and saxophone, and is chosen as KCRW - Los Angeles: Today's Top Tune for Monday July 28, 2014. The epitome of musical elegance, Ron Carter has been a world class bassist and cellist since the 1960s. Almost exclusively an acoustic player, Carter is among the greatest accompanists of all time and the list of people he has played with is simply too great to completely track. Heard on an unprecedented number of recordings, Carter's reputation as being possibly "the most recorded bassist in jazz history" comes from a staggering legacy . His record label includes; Atlantic, CTI, Milestone, EmArcy, Elektra, and Concord, and of course - Blue Note Records. Equally accomplished in both classical and jazz styles, Carter uses everything in his bass and cello arsenal exhibiting a prodigious technique and brilliant rhythmic and melodic sense. He is often referred to as the bass equivalent of Duke Ellington in both musical and extra-musical interests. Carter has performed as soloist, in duos, small and large group ensembles, and in symphony orchestras around the world. He has even invented his own instrument….'the piccolo bass.' Grammy Award winning alto saxophonist Gary Bartz first came to New York In 1958 at the age of 17. Charlie Parker had passed away but Miles' was in his heyday. Monk was down at the Five Spot, and Ornette Coleman just got to town. His early work with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the Charles Mingus' Workshop, Max Roach, McCoy Tyner, and Miles Davis are legendary and quickly established Bartz as the most promising alto player since Cannonball Adderley. After releasing several acclaimed albums as leader, by the late '70s Bartz was considered to be one of the ‘go to' studio musicians in Los Angeles, and by 1988 music columnist Gene Kalbacher described his guest work as "vital ear-opening sides." In the 90's Bartz produced brilliantly conceived concept albums. Recordings that would later prove to be twenty years ahead of their time, and which are now frequently used to remix on hip hop andacid jazz tracks. With over 30 recordings as a leader, and more than 100 recordings as a guest artist, Gary Bartz has taken his rightful place in the pantheon of jazz greats. His musical life has been a testimonial to his steadfast belief in the power of music to soothe, challenge, spark, and move people to think. It's box full of musical snapshots from a life lived and played with passion and stirred with both joy and sadness - by the blues.
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Time for Three's self-titled album / SFGate interview


"We're classically trained, but we're not saying we're a classical group at all. We're a 'new music' group" or a garage band that happens to play traditional instruments, Kendall has said. The group's second studio album, Time for Three, gives a good overview of the Tf3 musical concept: In addition to four originals, there's a Lennon-McCartney classic ("Norwegian Wood"), folk standard "Danny Boy" (with vocals courtesy of rising-star folk-pop duo Lily & Madeline), "UFO" by Coldplay, Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise" (featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein) and the Bach-inspired "Chaconne in Winter." Song-wise, the thematic throughline of the album centers on four songs from Joshua Radin's 2006 debut album, "We Were Here," with vocals courtesy the singer-songwriter. "I've known his music ever since he released his first album, and I met him in a coffee shop in New York City," Kendall said of Radin. "I told him, 'I'm a huge fan of yours. You have no idea of who I am. But have you ever thought about playing with classical musicians before?' " Radin said that he had, but didn't have a entre into that world. READ THE FULL SFgate INTERVIEW.
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Somi - The Lagos Music Salon / The Buffalo News review


Somi, The Lagos Music Salon (Okeh). Labeling this music is no easy task. Despite its frequently exotic rhythms, it's more like jazz than anything else. Despite singer and songwriter Somi's Ugandan and Rwandan descent, she was born in the United States while her father was a student here, moved at 3 to Zambia and back to Illinois, where she grew up in the late '80s. Hugh Masakela has been one of her mentors and she calls what she does "New African Jazz," which seems appropriate and nicely evocative of its difference from conventional jazz. Her voice is lovely and so is she, and in this disc for the increasingly wide-ranging and revived Okeh label she is paying tribute to what Teju Cole calls in the notes "the leading cosmopolis of the Black Atlantic. With a population now in excess of twenty-one million, it is the nerve center of all things Nigerian, the mad beating heart of West Africa, the largest city on the continent and a glimpse, both alarming and exciting, of the collective future of our urban planet." Listening to Somi's music after a pilgrimage there, we might all hope it's so. The songs here are all by Somi, except for one which uses a song by Fela Kuti. Another, a collaboration with Common and Four African Women, is a striking adaptation by Somi of an uncompromised classic by Nina Simone. For all its uncompromised lyrics, it's music in beauty's thrall all the way through and full of vocal interpolations revealing great wit and relishing laughter, too. Somi's songwriting is fine but it's her voice that enchants at all volume levels and in all registers.-Jeff Simon
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Billy Joel becomes 6th recipient of: Library of Congress 'Gershwin Prize for Popular Song'


Billy Joel has been announced as the next recipient of the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who called the 65-year-old performer "a storyteller of the highest order," broke the news on Tuesday, July 22. Billington went on to say: "There is an intimacy to his songwriting that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music,"  

Joel will receive the prize in Washington, D.C. in November and will be honored at a series of events. The singer will be just the sixth recipient of the award, which is named after songwriting brothers George and Ira Gershwin. He joins previous recipients including Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.  "The great composer George Gershwin has been a personal inspiration to me throughout my career. And the Library's decision to include me among those songwriters who have been past recipients is a milestone for me," said Joel, who's career spans 50 years and is named one of the most popular recording artists by RIAA and is the sixth top-selling artist of all time. Joel has so far won six Grammy Awards including the coveted Album of the Year for his 1978 set "52nd Street". He's also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. Still quite active, earlier this year Joel started a monthly residency at New York's Madison Square Garden that will continue for as long as there is demand.
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Myung-Whun Chung - Beethoven: Symphony No 9 / WFMT 'New Release Of the Week'


The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1948, is one of the oldest orchestras in South Korea. Myung-Whun Chung was appointed as music director in 2005, and the following year he led the orchestra in performances of the complete symphonies of Beethoven. The SPO signed a contract with Deutsche Grammophon in 2011 to release 10 albums over five years, making it the first time that an Asian orchestra has signed such an extensive contract. This recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is taken from a concert performance in December 2012 at the orchestra's home, the Seoul Arts Center. Myung-Whun Chung's Deutsche Grammophon recording Beethoven: Symphony No 9 Scherzo featuring the The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra is WFMT 'New Release Of the Week'    
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Mak Grgic - Cinema Verismo / WCRB: CD Of the Week


Many of this month's CD of the Week selections have contemplated (to one degree or another) the notion of homage. This week, Mak Grgic, a Slovenian classical guitarist, brings us Cinema Verismo. In this unique album, he highlights original arrangements of classical pieces written specifically for or featured prominently in popular cinema. Grgic spotlights Nino Rota's "Godfather's Waltz" from The Godfather, Ennio Morricone's theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and two songs fromWest Side Story, among many others. Grgic is undeniably versatile, calling upon a performance repertoire that has spanned a wide variety of genres, from avant-garde to more traditional repertoire like Brahms. According to USC's Thornton School of Music (where Grgic is currently earning a doctorate in classical guitar), in his solo debut he "wanted to transcend the idea that classical music is stiff or boring" without losing sight of the importance of the tradition and legacy of classical music. 

Mak Grgic - Cinema Verismo / WCRB - Boston: CD Of the Week
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Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill / Knoxville Sentinel review


With the Carolina Chocolate Drops Dom Flemons helped to reclaim a part of folk music that was mostly lost to history. While African-American string bands were common in the early 20th century, it was a true oddity to see a trio of young players of color with banjos and guitars in the 21st century. And how many people had actually seen musicians play bones as rhythm instruments? Flemons left the ‘Drops at the end of 2013, but his love of vintage sounds has not wavered on his new release "Prospect Hill." In fact, Flemons stretches a little further out with a little more ragtime, country blues, fife and drum and hokum songs. Chocolate Drops fans will certainly miss the interplay that Flemons had with Rhiannon Giddens, Justin Robinson and, later, Hubby Jenkins, but it's good to hear Flemons stretching out on his own. Flemons is a likeable vocalist and has a style on several instruments that is so natural and adept that he could charm snakes. Aside from the singer-songwriter-sounding "Too Long I've Been Gone," Flemons keeps his style old. All that's missing from some of the songs to sound like they've come from the 1920s or ‘30s is the grit of a 78-rpm record. Highlights include the bawdy Georgia Tom Dorsey number "They Got It Fixed Right On" and "It's a Good Thing," a revival of a vintage song by the Beale Street Sheiks. There's also a peppy cover of Frank Loesser's "Have I Stayed Away Too Long?," which features a Boots Randolph-sounding sax that helps to give the song a little extra bounce, and "Grotto Beat" is a spirited fife and drum number that's built to make listeners move. While the Chocolate Drops seem to edge ever-closer to the modern age, Flemons seems happy to keep uncovering the past and just giving it a fresh voice. One isn't better than the other. It's just good to hear Flemons keep digging.
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Myung-Whun Chung - Piano Encores / WFMT 'New Release Of the Week'


The ECM New Series debut of Myung-Whun Chung features the widely-celebrated conductor as pianist. Recorded at Venice's Teatro La Fenice in July 2013, the album marks the first occasion that Chung has recorded solo. Although conducting now fully occupies his professional life, Chung (born 1953 in Seoul) made his debut as pianist with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of seven. He later studied with Maria Curcio, the last and favorite pupil of Artur Schnabel. In 1974, Chung was a prize winner in the Tchaikovsky Competition. He then began his career playing piano trios with his sisters, Kyung-Wha Chung and Myung-Wha Chung. The Schumann: Arabeske and Schubert: Impromptu in G-flat major from the Myung-Whun Chung: Piano Encores on ECM is a WFMT - Chicago / New Release Of the Week.'
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Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill / Record-Racks review


Dom Flemons may be most recognized as a member of the Grammy-winning group Carolina Chocolate Drops, but he is no stranger to solo work. On his latest project, Prospect Hill (which we're also happy to see was released on vinyl), he continues blazing down the folk path that made many music fans fall in love with him but also expands his comfort zone with extremely positive results. It's readily apparent that this album – and this career – is a true labor of love for him. As you scan through the album booklet, where most artists only cobble together a Thank You's section, Flemons has taken the time to give a full paragraph commentary on each track presented on this 14-track opus. It's this attention to detail that breathes added life into each track but also helps to bring understanding and sense of community to the folk craft that he is both trying to shine a light upon its past while also paving a road for its future. READ THE FULL Record-Racks REVIEW.
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Zofo's twenty-finger orchestra / Interview with KBIA Radio


When you were growing up did you play classical music? Did you have your own instrument? The classical classical duo Zofo - made up of Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi - play one piano. At the same time. KBIA's Trevor Harris  recently talked with the duo by phone about the nature of playing one piano with four hands, the process of commissioning new music for their repertoire and their new CD Zoforbit. Their name Zofo is shorthand for twenty-finger orchestra. The duo has been performing together since 2009. Along the way they have performed at Carnegie Hall, garnered two Grammy nominations and comissoned eleven works for one piano, four hands. Performing together they coax a surprisingly wide range of sounds from their Steinway.   The duo's third CD release is Zoforbit: A Space Odyssey on the Sono Luminus label. It features Urmas Sisask's Piano Sonata op. 24 for four hands; Gustav Holst's The Planets, George Crumb's Makrokosmos IV: Cosmic Dances for Amplified Piano, Four Hands; and David Lang's Gravity. The duo recently sat down with KBIA - Columbia MO's Trevor Harris to discuss the new album and their winning collaboration. 
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Richard Reed Parry - Music for Heart and Breath / San Jose Mercury News interview


There's nothing unusual about a rock star indulging in a side project. But Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry explores particularly challenging musical avenues, and his new album, Music for Heart and Breath (Deutsche Grammophon), his debut as a neo-classical composer, proves to be extraordinarily enthralling and deceptively intricate. The music arose from a fascinating concept -- having the musicians play in time to their heartbeats or breathing. Within an ensemble, you might imagine that the result would be chaotic and cacophonous. In fact, the opposite is true. Parry's music throughout is immersive and profoundly soothing. READ THE FULL San Jose Mercury News INTERVIEW.
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Top 10 Albums for July

Time for Three :

Self-Titled

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. 44 NEW   98 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Echoes & Classical 24, FolkScene Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle, Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Austin, Denver, New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Albuquerque, Louisville, Columbus & Toledo OH Online & Press: the indie, Violinist.com, Classically Hip, wildmansteve, Taintradio
Gabriel Kahane :

The Ambassador

From Die Hard to the architecture of Richard Neutra and R.M. Schindler, from Blade Runner to the fiction of James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler, and from fires, riots, and earthquakes to the lives of so many Americans who have looked to Southern California as a panacea, Gabriel Kahane's The Ambassador (Masterworks)draws its inspiration from a multitude of sources to tell intimate, human stories against the backdrop of Los Angeles architecture and popular culture.  42 TOTAL Markets include: New York, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Cleveland, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Honolulu Online & Press: The NYTimes  
Various :

Red Hot + Bach

Red Hot + Bach charts a new pathway into the musical universe of Johann Sebastian Bach. Through the collaboration of performers, producers, DJs and artists from around the world and across the spectrum of contemporary music, different facets of Bach's centuries-old masterpieces are transformed with fresh energy and modern virtuosity that know no limits. The creators of Red Hot + Bach embrace Bach as a living artistic force, as real and as vital today as he was when he lived (1685-1750). They range across nineteen freely imagined tracks from mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile (Nickel Creek, The Punch Brothers), singer/songwriters Gabriel Kahane and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), jazz legend Ron Carter, DJ/producer King Britt and the Icelandic band amiina, to imaginative classical artists such as the Kronos Quartet, composer Max Richter, violinist Daniel Hope and organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter.  33 NEW   46 TOTAL SYND: NPR/Hearts Of Space, PRI/Echoes & Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Minneapolis, Portland, Denver, New Orleans, Detroit, Albuquerque, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee Online & Press:  Taintradio, MOJA, Bass Musician Magazine
The 442s :

Self-Titled

Genre-defying 21st century acoustic quartet - The 442s release their debut recording combining a virtuosic blend of musicianship, singing, improvisation and whistle solos. The 442s are quickly gaining a substantial following throughout the U.S. The band includes a violinist and cellist from the world-renowned St. Louis Symphony, plus two of the most accomplished jazz musicians in St. Louis. Performing the innovative original compositions of Adam Maness, who plays piano, guitar, accordion, melodica and glockenspiel in the group, The 442s features violinist Shawn Weil, cellist Bjorn Ranheim, and bassist Sydney Rodway. Famed vocalist, Erin Bode, appears frequently with the group and is also featured on the new album.  12 NEW ON - 47 Total SYND: Classical 24, Out Of the Woods Markets include: New York, Houston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Denver, Austin, Berkeley CA, San Antonio Online: wildmansteve, Taintradio, RadioFreeAmerica
Richard Reed Parry :

Music For the Heart and Breath

Music For the Heart and Breath is Richard Reed Parry´s debut as a neo-classical composer, inspired by the likes of Steve Reich and Brian Eno. Parry is well known for his work as a multi-instrumentalist with the critically acclaimed, Grammy award winning alternative rock band, Arcade Fire. The concept behind Heart and Breath is that every musician involved in the piece generates his own tempo by listening to his/her pulse during the performance. Fragile and intimate, these stunningly created pieces are the result of a conceptual compositional approach that reflects Parry's deep love of music, and his philosophy that music and nature can by explicitly linked. 20 NEW   29 TOTAL SYND: NPR/Weekend Edition Sunday, PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Austin Online & Press: Paste Magazine, NME, Taintradio, Wondering Sound, Billboard
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.
Milos :

Aranjuez

Celebrated guitarist Miloš Karadaglić releases his fourth U.S. recording, Aranjuez, July 8th on Deutsche Grammophon/Mercury Classics.  Already a #1 charting record in the UK and France, Aranjuez pays tribute to the great composers and musicians who placed the modern classical guitar firmly on the international stage. Miloš takes the Concierto de Aranguez as the starting point for a journey across the Spanish landscape, celebrating the music of Joaquín Rodrigo and Manuel de Falla. 65 NEW - 73 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, St. Louis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, Honolulu, Canada Online: MusiClassical, Classically Hip, Taintradio, WGOE
Gustavo Santaolalla :

Camino

Gustavo Santaolalla's solo instrumental album Ronroco was a game-changer for the visionary artist when it was released in 1998. Camino, released by Sony Music Masterworks is the long-awaited follow up to that album – a rich, beautifully crafted instrumental journey illuminating Santaolalla's unmistakable sound. Camino again features the Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning composer playing the ronroco, his signature 10-string Andean folk instrument similar to the charango, as well as other instruments that he has mastered including the guitar, guitarron, oud, cuatro, toba violin, and bouzouki. The album includes 12 new tracks, along with one of the featured tracks from Santaolalla's recent BAFTA Games-nominated soundtrack to Sony PlayStation's The Last of Us. 21 Total Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Houston, Portland, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA Online: Taintradio, All Music, Ohio.fm
Magos Herrera | Javier Limon :

Dawn

Every relationship is about the commingling of two unique sensibilities into one harmonious experience. Dawn is a musical romance, bringing together the passion and rhythmic drive of Flamenco with the sultry sophistication and alluring wit of Jazz. As the title implies, Dawn, marks a bold beginning for the partnership between the Mexican-born Jazz vocalist Magos Herrera and the young Spanish Flamenco innovator Javier Limón.  19 NEW ON - 26 Total Markets include: Boston, St. Louis, Milwaukee Inter: Canada, UK Press & Online: NYTimes, Taintradio, examiner, Hot House, AXS, Blogcritics
John Holloway :

Pavans and Fantasies from the Age of Dowland

The composition of Lachrimae Pavans, one of the great works in the canon of English chamber music, was begun in Denmark at the end of the 16th century, while John Dowland was working as a lutenist at the court of King Christian IV. A unique seven-part work developing a theme from Dowland's famous song "Flow my teares" and exploring all its contrapuntal and harmonic possibilities, it is also music of persuasive emotional power. "How well he seems to have understood the power of music to move us," writes John Holloway in the liner notes, and "to express otherwise inexpressible emotions. He called them ‘passionate pavans', and within the stately constrained movements of the slow dance, passions are indeed to be found." 18 New 'ON'  32 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, Detroit, Austin Online: Taintradio, Strad, Gapplegate, Classically Hip
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