Thanks to Leif Ove Andsnes, this summer's BBC Proms will put the piano - centre stage

This summer's BBC Proms will put the piano centre stage. Edward Blakeman, the director of this year's BBC Proms said the piano could well be the biggest star of the season with nearly 30 soloists and all of Beehoven's, Prokofiev's and Ravel's concertos for the instrument being performed. "It will be a great piano celebration summer," he said. The idea of staging so much work for piano emerged because of a project by the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. They have been touring the world for four years performing all of Beethoven's five piano concertos and will do it for the final time at this year's Proms. That got organisers thinking, why not do all five of Prokofiev's piano concertos and both of Ravel's? And then of course Mozart's?  READ THE FULL guardian ARTICLE
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Hilary Hahn - 'Arts Report' interview with K-Mozart: Los Angeles

Hilary Hahn's newest album, Mozart 5, Vieuxtemps 4 - Violin Concertos, is her first recording with The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi, after performing and touring with the ensemble and conductor for many years. Released on March 31 2015, the disc is Hahn's first orchestral offering since her 2010 pairing of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto and Jennifer Higdon's Pulitzer-prize winning violin concerto, which was written for Hahn. With this new album, she returns to core violin repertoire, hot on the heels of her critically-acclaimed, Grammy-winning album of 27 commissioned short pieces, In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores, and an improvised recording with prepared pianist Hauschka, titled Silfra. K-Mozart: Los Angeles host - Nick Tyler sat down with HH on 'The Arts Report' to discuss the new album. CLICK TO LISTEN
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K-Mozart: Arts Report

Lang Lang says London is best for musicians / Evening Standard

Piano star Lang Lang has declared London the "best environment for musicians" and backed calls for a new concert hall in the capital. The Chinese virtuoso, who last night performed at the Royal Albert Hall, said it was a dream to have conductor Sir Simon Rattle calling for a new world-class concert hall before he takes up the role of London Symphony Orchestra music director in 2017. Lang Lang, 32, told the Standard: "London as a city has the best musical instruction, the best environment for musicians. There aren't many places in the world still doing well for music with cutting budgets."  When asked about calls for a new concert hall, he said: "I think it's great. For me it's always a great honour to work with maestro Simon Rattle, he's my favourite musician. To have him leading the concert hall project is a dream for us and I fully support this project."  READ THE FULL Evening Standard PIECE    
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WWOZ's live location broadcasts will take Jazz Fest 2015 far and wide /

Though WWOZ's eclectic Jazz Fest broadcast lineup isn't a perfect format fit, WDCB FM-90.9 -- "Chicago's Home for Jazz" -- carried a portion of the broadcast for the first time last year and got positive listener feedback. "We picked up almost everything they aired on the three days of the festival that we ran," said Dan Bindert, station manager. "One of the things I love about the festival is that it's not just strictly jazz. "It sounds like a party." WWOZ has presented live broadcasts of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell since 1993, first via the station's over-the-air signal at FM-90.7, and lately also by Internet stream at A network of stations like WDCB join the party by taking all or part of WWOZ's live feed for their own broadcast listeners. This year's list of simulcast carriers includes outlets in Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and California, as well as stations within easy driving distance of the Fair Grounds. "We're an hour and a half away," said Justin Martin, general manager of WUSM FM-88.5 in Hattiesburg, Miss. "A lot of our listeners end up going to the festival, but there are some that don't get to go at all. I feel like having that content available to them is super-important."   READ THE FULL ARTICLE
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Terence Blanchard & E-Collective plays Celebrity Series of Boston / WBUR - The Artery

What happens when a top-tier jazz trumpeter and composer with more than 50 soundtracks of musical storytelling experience is inspired by the "I Can't Breathe" campaign? You get Terence Blanchard's upcoming album "Breathless." Blanchard is already touring with the music from this project and his new band, The E-Collective. Ahead of the album's release on May 26, the Celebrity Series of Boston is bringing the musicians to the Berklee Performance Center on April 25 to give Bostonians a taste, sharing the bill with the Ravi Coltrane Quartet. In a recent phone interview, Blanchard explained to WBUR: Boston The Artery that the idea for this ensemble started during a film scoring project with drummer Oscar Seaton. "We had so much fun doing it," he says, "we kept saying we should put a band together." Blanchard recruited fellow New Orleans musician Donald Ramsey for bass and the pianist from "Magnetic" (his last album), Fabian Almazan. This is the first time Blanchard has collaborated with guitarist Charles Altura, who he reached out to on Facebook. "Charles was someone I met online. I heard him play and thought he was amazing."  READ THE FULL WBUR: Boston ARTICLE
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Becca Stevens Band - Perfect Animal / Village Voice Blog

The Becca Stevens Band's just-released record, Perfect Animal. "It's been out for] two whole days!" she says in a woo-hoo! tone, downplaying her genuine excitement over her third album and major label debut. "I could only have ever imagined this. I wanted to be with a group of people who supported me and the music I wanted to make," the Winston-Salem native says. "I wasn't sure if that would ever be possible with a major label, but Universal Classics made that dream come true." The support shows a lot of faith in the classical- and jazz-trained Stevens' strange brew, which can be pictured thus: St. Vincent (edgy math rock) meeting Björk (off-kilter electro folk), Esperanza Spalding (buoyant jazz classicism), and Grace Potter (smooth noodling) in Usher's studio. In a world of generic trend-jumping, Perfect Animal demonstrates that Stevens is not one to follow recipes.  READ THE FULL Village Voice Blog POST
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Emerson String Quartet lives up to its reputation@UW World Series / Seattle Times

For nearly 40 years, the Emerson String Quartet has commanded a certain reverence from music lovers. Its polished and authoritative performances, its comprehensive and mighty discography, its fearless embrace of the new and unusual as well as the classics - all have placed this string quartet high in the pantheon of chamber music. For all those reasons, the appearance of the Emersons on the International Chamber Music Series at Meany was an eagerly awaited event Tuesday evening, and the quartet did not disappoint. Even the arrival of a new cellist (Paul Watkins) in 2013 has not disrupted the ensemble's famous unity; if anything, Watkins' energetic approach has revitalized the Emerson's lineup, which includes founding violinists Philip Setzer and Eugene Drucker (alternating as first violin) and violist Lawrence Dutton. Since 2002, those three players have stood, rather than sat, for performances; the cellist necessarily performs seated (on a small podium that places him near the same height as the other three). The Meany program demonstrated the Emersons' remarkable versatility - stretching from a 17th-century Purcell "Chacony in G Minor" to a Lowell Liebermann quartet (No. 5) composed just last year. In between those extremes were two works by acknowledged quartet-writing masters, Shostakovich (his No. 7) and Beethoven (No. 15, better known as the Opus 132). READ THE FULL Seattle Times REVIEW
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Project Trio set for residency with Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra / Chicago Tribune

YouTube's power is evident in Project Trio and Greg Pattillo, whose beatbox flute videos went viral nearly eight years ago, garnering more than 20 million views. "In less than a decade, YouTube and digital media has already changed. It is ubiquitous. What YouTube has given artists today is control of their music," said Pattillo, 37. "It's amazing how the digital music medium can bring all these crosscurrents and culture together. I'm sure it's only going to change more in the next 10 years." Pattillo, Peter Seymour (bass) and Eric Stephenson (cello) are Project Trio, which kicks off a residency for Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra with "From Bach to Rock to Hip Hop" youth concerts on April 29 and 30 at Frankfort's Lincoln-Way East High School. "The second I beatbox a video game song on my flute, every kid in the room is paying attention. Sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone to draw minds in. It turns out Project Trio has no problem doing that," Pattillo said. READ THE FULL Chicago Tribune ARTICLE
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Snarky Puppy | Metropole Orkest - Sylvia /

From fulsome, modally inflected string lines ("Sintra") to the funkiest of New Orleans brass grooves ("Atchafalaya"), this first major label album from Grammy-winning, NYC-based collective Snarky Puppy, paired here with Holland's crack Metropole Orkest under their principal conductor Jules Buckley, is a brilliantly arranged and artfully executed tour de force. Penned by Snarky Puppy bassist and bandleader, Michael League, while on tour with the band, each of the album's six movements was inspired by a different forest he has spent time in, from the swamps of Louisiana and giant redwoods of northern California to the nightmarish version of childhood dreams. READ THE FULL REVIEW
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New Bela Fleck Documentary out today / American Songwriter

A multitalented musician and composer, Béla Fleck is the best or one of the best banjo players around. Fleck's new documentary - How to Write a Banjo Concerto chronicles the process of writing the banjo concerto for the Nashville Symphony. Described as "an intimate look at the process of composition and collaboration," the film gives a look not only into Fleck's creative mind, but into those of fellow performers Earl Scruggs, Chris Thile, Chick Corea, Edgar Meyer, Zakir Hussain and Fleck's wife and fellow musician Abigail Washburn. Béla Fleck: How to Write a Banjo Concerto is out today on iTunes. SEE THE American Songwriter PAGE        
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Roiling 80th birthday tribute to Terry Riley@MIT / Boston Globe

At Boston's MIT, a welcome and ambitious new series called Sounding, curated by composer Evan Ziporyn, has bookended its inaugural season with celebrations of two icons of American experimental music, beginning with a program devoted to Alvin Lucier and culminating on Saturday night with a roiling and joyful 80th birthday tribute to minimalist pioneer Terry Riley. Back in 1964, Riley's "In C" received considerable attention. It's pulse-based, hypnotic sound evolved into a new style and a break from the European postwar avant-garde.   READ THE FULL Boston Globe ARTICLE
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Sharon Isbin is 2015 ELLNORA artist-in-residence / Grateful Web

On September 10, 11, and 12, 2015, an array of guitarists will gather for the sixth ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival, presented by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The event will once again will present distinctive and influential players from around the globe including Rodrigo y Gabriela, Punch Brothers, Los Lobos, Bucky and John Pizzarelli, Dan Zanes, and Drive-By Truckers, John Scofield and Jon Cleary, Valerie June, Andy McKee, Earth, David Hidalgo and Marc Ribot, and Jessica Lea Mayfield.
This year's ELLNORA artist-in-residence is Triple Grammy Award-winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin. An ELLNORA alum whose incredible career has included over 25 albums and the distinction of founding the Juilliard School's guitar department and overseeing the Aspen Music Festival, Isbin is also a noted author, recipient of Guitar Player's "Best Classical Guitarist" award, and subject of the one-hour documentary Sharon Isbin: Troubadour.  READ THE FULL Grateful Web ARTICLE
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Top 10 Albums for April

Snarky Puppy | Metropole Orkest :


When Snarky Puppy won a Grammy in January of 2014, the question I was asked most was, "Was this on your bucket list of things to do before you die?" And my answer to each of them was, actually, no. I have only one thing on my list. The only thing I want to do before I die is make an album with an orchestra. It had been a topic of discussion for three months at that time. During the October 2013 recording sessions for "We Like It Here" in Utrecht, our good friend Friederike Darius had invited two of the Metropole Orkest's managers to join us as guests. Within ten minutes of the performance's end, we had already crafted a plan to make a record together. Sometimes life is that easy. Not always, not most of time, but every once in a while, it is. 15 TOTAL SYND: Jazz Variations Markets include: Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans, Detroit, Albuquerque, Canada Online: MOJA, artsdesk
David Sanborn :

Time and the River

After saxophonist David Sanborn recorded the well-received Quartette Humaine acoustic jazz album with pianist Bob James as a one-off for OKeh Records in 2013, the label continued the conversation with the renowned six-time Grammy winning alto sax star who released eight gold albums and one platinum. That exchange led to Sanborn to link up with his old collaborative friend, electric bassist Marcus Miller, to serve as producer in creating the superb jazz-meets-R&B recording Time and the River. "I felt like I was in good hands," says Sanborn. "Marcus can cover all the bases-as arranger, composer, instrumentalist, producer-and since we have a lot of history together, working together was like shorthand." 16 NEW  87 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours Markets include: New York, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Miami, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, Houston, Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Orlando, Memphis, Albuquerque, San Antonio, El Paso, Omaha, Raleigh NC, Honolulu, Toronto, Vancouver, UK Online: Jazz From Gallery 41, GreenArrow, MOJA, JazzBreakfast, TheJazzIntersection,, JazzWeekly 40 JazzWeek ADD's Reported by New World 'n' Jazz Promo
Hilary Hahn :

Mozart 5, Vieuxtemps 4 - Violin Concertos

After touring together for many years, Paavo Järvi joins Hilary Hahn's on her new DG album, Mozart 5, Vieuxtemps 4 - Violin Concertos. This is Hahn's first recording with The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Paavo Järvi and is the violinist's first orchestral offering since her 2010 pairing of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto and Jennifer Higdon's Pulitzer-prize winning violin concerto, which was written for Hahn. With this new album, she returns to core violin repertoire on the heels of the Grammy-win for 'In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores,' Mozart 5, Vieuxtemps 4 are two concertos that have been part of Hahn's repertoire since she was ten years old.  24 NEW  90 TOTAL SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, St. Louis, Portland, Houston, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Denver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Austin, Memphis, Louisville, Albuquerque, Columbus OH, Madison, Honolulu, Canada Online: ClassicallyHip, Taintradio
David Chesky :

Jazz in the New Harmonic Quintet - Primal Scream

Once again pianist/composer David Chesky courts a dark, masterful muse on this second recording by his Jazz in the New Harmonic quintet. The noirish atmosphere prevails from his first dissonant stabs at the keyboard with cool solos from veteran jazz artists Javon Jackson and Jeremy Pelt, while Peter Washington and Billy Drummond lock down the time. This is a different kind of cool jazz, one that grooves along steadily. Close your eyes and you can feel the pulse of the New York streets colliding with 21st century ethereal classical harmony. 18 NEW  33 Total Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Portland, Baltimore, Albuquerque, Knoxville TN, San Antonio, El Paso, Rochester NY, Harford & New Haven CT, Madison WI Online: Jazz From Gallery 41, Party 934, KUHS
Angele Dubeau & La Pieta :

Ludovico Einaudi - Portrait

Portrait is a string of recordings presenting contemporary composers with a unique musical signature. Ludovico Einaudi is one of them. A music that captivates the listener, a sonic landscape to discover"says Angèle Dubeau. Driven by the works of this grand and prolific Italian composer, the internationally renowned violinist shares once again her passion with the excellent musicians of her string orchestra, La Pietà. For her 39th album in career, Angèle Dubeau offers a unique revisit to Ludovico Einaudi's music, "changing its texture, rethinking its character, while bringing a new sonic dimension." 25 NEW  61 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: Music Choice, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Austin, New Orleans, Memphis, Albuquerque, Columbus OH, Canada Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip
Twin Danger :


Bound by a mutual love for juxtaposed musical influences, spanning Black Sabbath to Chet Baker, to iconic film scores,Twin Danger melds noir jazz with midnight blues and cinematicgrooves. The "dark, sexy" (VH1) new brainchild of Stuart Matthewman, GRAMMY-winning co-founder and multi-instrumentalist of Sade, and vocalist Vanessa Bley of Brooklyn-based alt-rock outfit Beast Patrol, release their self-titled debut album on April 21, 2015 (Decca/Universal Classics). 16 NEW  118 TOTAL SYND: CBC, Jazz Variations, Sixty Second CD Direct: Stingray Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Houston, Portland, San Diego, Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, Long Is. NY, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Madison WI, Raleigh NC, Honolulu Online: GreenArrow, Jazz From Gallery 41, Taintradio, Eclectic Chair, The Jazz Intersection, GreenArrow, Sun Music, Live 365 INTER: Canada, The Netherlands
Valentina Lisitsa :

Plays Philip Glass

Cutting-edge pianist meets trendsetting composer: Valentina Lisitsa, whose artistry has bewitched audiences around the world, is releasing a double album selection of works for solo piano by Philip Glass, whose brand of minimalism has made him one of the most influential composers of our time. Valentina Lisitsa plays Philip Glass (Decca) is a stunning collection of Glass's piano works, performed by Lisitsa with the grace and understanding of a true minimalist interpreter.  25 NEW   31 TOTAL SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Baltimore, Houston, Austin, New Orleans, Detroit, Canada Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip
Tony Succar :

Unity - The Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson

Fueled by his relentless commitment, quiet determination and passionate faith in the loving message behind much of Michael Jackson's music, producer/multi-instrumentalist/arranger Tony Succar has thoughtfully created Unity: The Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson. The result is Jackson's timeless pop and R&B tunes, such as "Thriller," "Billie Jean," and "I Want You Back" married with glorious salsa and tropical rhythms, resulting in innovative, vibrant arrangements that snap to life with exhilarating energy. Unity will be released April 14 on Universal Music Classics in collaboration with Universal Music Latin Entertainment.  21 NEW  60 TOTAL SYND: PRI/The World Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Miami, Atlanta, Portland, Houston, San Antonio, Orlando, El Paso Online: Jazz From Gallery 41, Taintradio, Music Times, Party 934
Becca Stevens Band :

Perfect Animal

Becca Stevens is one of the most talented young artists in any genre – the New York Times says she is "a vocalist and guitarist who balances deep melody against lyrical caprice." With the new Becca Stevens Band album Perfect Animal, coming April 7th on Universal Music Classics, she has sharpened her voice as a songwriter and bandleader. Stevens filters her myriad influences (indie rock, R&B, jazz, West African music, folk) into a singular, electrifying sound on Perfect Animal. The album is produced by "recordist"Scott Solter(St. Vincent, Mountain Goats, Spoon) and mixed by Matt Pence (Midlake, Yuck, Here We Go Magic). Solter helped the band capture the energy they bring to live shows as well as a musical weight and intensity that had always bubbled under the surface.
Jesse Cook :

One World

Jesse Cook releases his new, highly anticipated album ONE WORLD on Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). One World is the most sonically diverse and distinctive disc in Cook's vast and varied catalogue, which has earned 11 Juno nominations and one win for 2000's Free Fall. On these 11 instrumentals, programmed beats and dusty electronic textures are interwoven with syncopated handclaps, deep dubby basslines and popping percussion. Sitars and violin share the space with Jesse's unique guitar stylings along with synthesizers and sound effects.  The overall feel of One World is just that, an in depth musical journey of exotic world music. 8 TOTAL SYND: Jazz Variations Markets include: Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Madison Online: GreenArrow