Jackie Evancho talks to WSJ about HBO's Game of Thrones theme song

Jackie Evancho and George R.R. Martin join the live Wall Street Journal Café event in celebration of HBO's Game of Thrones. They discuss the process of creating of the show's theme song, "The Rains of Castamer" and also discuss her latest album, Awakening. Watch the Wall Street Journal interview.
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The Hot Sardines - Audiophile Audition review

Music from another era but not stuck in traditional jazz jelly. This is the second big disc from The Hot Sardines, a musical magic octet (usually) who use a leader and stride piano player in the Fats Waller style, plus a hot brass section and swinging rhythm section.  The several vocals come from their one female member, who sings in both French and English. Her rendition of Fats Waller's "Your Feets Too Big" is a knockout – almost as good as Fats' original. Evan Palazzo and Miz Boucerol are evidently a pair and the founders of the hot group, which mixes sounds from New York, Paris, and New Orleans during the Prohibition era and going thru WWII and slightly beyond.  Great fun!
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Billy Childs - Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro / All About Jazz review

The latter day jazz community, by and large, has embraced songwriting icons from the other side of the fence. Numerous artists associated with jazz have visited in on Bob Dylan's iconic work, explored the dark soul of Tom Waits, reshaped the poetic work(s) of Leonard Cohen, and/or tapped into the Joni Mitchell well. But what of Laura Nyro? The woman behind such under-appreciated classics as "Stoned Soul Picnic," "And When I Die," "Eli's Comin,'" and "Wedding Bell Blues" has largely been ignored in jazz circles, but that all seems to be changing.  Now, pianist/composer/arranger Billy Childs weighs in, tipping his hat to Nyro with Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro. It's a project that, with strong label support, brilliant arrangements, and an endless parade of stars from every stylistic constellation, can't be ignored or overlooked. READ THE FULL All About Jazz REVIEW.
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Sharon Isbin's exclusive interview with Guitar World

Sharon Isbin is an anomaly. Yes, she's a female guitarist in the classical genre, and that is very rare. But even more rare and impressive is the fact that when she saw a dearth of compositions for guitar with orchestra, she found a way to have them created. For her. By some of the top composers in the world. To say she is persuasive is an understatement. To say she is a precious, virtuosic and tenacious talent is not. Currently Isbin is celebrating the imminent release of a documentary on her life and career, presented by American Public Television and set to air in November and December of 2014. The one-hour special, titled "Sharon Isbin: Troubadour," is a wonderful piece that artfully shares this artist's passion for musical creation and exploration. Isbin has a pioneering spirit and has often found a way around obstacles and embraced genre-bending projects. Guitar World had the opportunity to talk with her about Troubadour, and some of her other experiences and projects as well. READ THE FULL Guitar World INTERVIEW.
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Leonidas Kavakos on music and working with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra

This week, violinist and conductor Leonidas Kavakos is working with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra on their upcoming performance of Bach and Bruckner. In this interview, he speaks about music making, the magic of violins, working with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, his passion for archaeology, and much more. Watch the full Leonidas Kavakos interview here.
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Raleigh improvisers to revisit Terry Riley's In C / Indy Week

With a little effort, the ambient can become the active. Think of the sounds in the world around you, the sort that fill those easy-listening nature soundtracks-a crackling campfire, waves washing onto the beach, a bustling café, an all-day rain broken by occasional thunder. They can serve as immersive mood music, sure, but if you listen closely, you may begin to register the slightest differences between waves or thunderclaps. This is the kind of listening experience that In C, the iconic 1964 minimalist work of American composer Terry Riley, fosters. On November 4th at Kings in Raleigh, a ragtag group of 20 or so musicians-from symphony members to rockers and experimental improvisers-will gather to play In C, marking 50 years to the day since its premiere. Listen, and what may seem like mass madness reveals itself as two-dozen musicians making unscored, unpremeditated decisions. READ THE FULL Indy Week ARTICLE.
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Igor Levit - Bach: Partitas / review

Many critics, musicologists and music lovers believe Glenn Gould is the supreme interpreter of the Partitas, Goldberg Variations, and other keyboard works of JS Bach. Well, to those who believe Gould was not quite the last word on Bach, this new recording by the brilliant young Igor Levit may be the perfect antidote. Gould generally employed brisk tempos and relatively little legato phrasing. Levit doesn't exactly pour on the legato, but he does give the music a more flowing manner, much like you would hear in a traditional performance of a Beethoven sonata. With a few exceptions his tempos are generally not very fast, yet he never plods or bogs down either. He is a centrist, damning as that description might sound to some. But he is an intelligent, sensitive centrist who delivers this music with consistent feeling and good taste. READ THE FULL REVIEW.
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Jonas Kaufmann - You Mean the World to Me / Classical Candor review

This disc is for fans of international superstar Jonas Kaufmann, fans of early twentieth-century stage and screen songs, and maybe fans of Romantic nostalgia as well.

German operatic singer Jonas Kaufmann says that the idea for the album You Mean the World to Me came to him at the end of a concert when he had finished singing a light number for a crowd of 20,000 delighted admirers. He thought, "Why should songs such as "You Are My Heart's Delight" and "You Mean the World to Me" be no more than encores? Why not make them and other perennial favourites the main programme?" Accordingly, we have an album that includes seventeen light songs by German, Austrian, Hungarian, Russian, and Bohemian composers, the songs presented in their original arrangements and written between 1925-1935 for the Berlin stage and screen. The tunes cover a turbulent era that included postwar economic strife, the establishment of the Weimar Republic, the close of the Roaring Twenties, the worldwide Great Depression, and the rise of Naziism. Yet through it all, people wrote and sang and listened to music: popular, folk, jazz, and classical. On the present album, Kaufmann sings for us some of his favorite popular songs of the period. READ THE FULL Classical Candor REVIEW.
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Derek Trucks' New Beginnings / Santa Barbara Independent interview

When we catch up with Derek Trucks from his New York City hotel room, he's in an especially amiable mood. One night into his final six-night run with The Allman Brothers, the guitarist is looking back with a renewed sense of self and slowly setting his sights on the next chapter. "I wasn't really sure what to expect coming into it," Trucks said, referring to the beginning of his end with the Allmans. "There are a lot of different emotions flowing around for different people, but so far so good. I think everyone's head is in the right spot." Following the band's Beacon Theatre blowout, Trucks will be a one-band man for the first time in over 15 years, turning his attention to his other long-running project, Tedeschi Trucks Band, which he copilots with wife Susan Tedeschi. Next week, they hit the road for a series of West Coast dates, which includes a stop at the Arlington Theatre on October 30th. READ THE FULL Santa Barbara Independent INTERVIEW.
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The Piano Guys - Wonders / Huffington Post interview

Music is a phenomenal creature. The power of harmonic sound provides an ever-present soundtrack to our lives. Through the greatest of joys and even the times of challenge, music - through song and sound - has the capability to unite us, define us, and undoubtedly, move us. There is no group that personifies this more at the moment than The Piano Guys. The vibrant ensemble includes pianist Jon Schmidt, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson, producer/videographer Paul Anderson, music producer Al van der Beek, and others who contribute heartily behind the scenes. This group, who began producing innovative videos together in 2011 and were signed to Sony Masterworks in 2012, has taken the online world by storm. They have done this thanks to their ability to remind us that music is much more than sound to a beat - it is an experience. Through their reimagining of classical and modern tunes, inventive mashups that challenge the perception of what music can be, and original songs, The Piano Guys have garnered the adoration of fans around the world while earning critical acclaim that grows by the day. Wonders, released Oct. 7th, is the latest offering from The Piano Guys. With the new album in tow, and their latest tour in full swing, The Piano Guys took some time to tell me more about what drives their music, and what has driven their success. Here are some words from the group who says that they're just a "bunch of ordinary guys" whose story is "a miracle." READ THE FULL Huffington Post INTERVIEW.
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Kent Nagano & Orchestra Symphonique de Montreal - Complete Beethoven Symphonies / CBC Music: First Play

The Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal has a vast recorded legacy behind them. But, there's one badge of orchestral honour that the orchestra has never worn. They've never released a complete recording of Beethoven's nine symphonies. Until now. Under music director Kent Nagano, the OSM has been gradually rolling out Beethoven recordings over the past six years. Their project culminates on Nov. 4, with the release of a boxed set that includes all five hours and forty minutes of "the nine," with a few extracts from The Creatures of Prometheus and Egmont thrown in as bonuses. To Nagano, this project represents more than just another item to cross off the bucket list. In his introduction to the new set, Nagano writes about how the Beethoven symphonies can be interpreted afresh by each new generation of listeners. So, this set offers an opportunity for new Beethoven fans to jump onboard. In celebration CBC Music: First Play is streaming the whole six-CD set for your binge-listening pleasure until November 4th. Listen to Complete Beethoven Symphonies on CBC Music: First Play.
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First Play: Orchestre symphonique de Montr?al and Kent Nagano, complete Beethoven symphonies

Sharon Isbin and Isabel Leonard to play "Salon Espanol" recital / interview

Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard will kick off a season of diverse projects with a recital featuring esteemed guitarist Sharon Isbin titled "Salon Español" that will take place on Sunday in Ridgewood, New Jersey as part of the Parlance Chamber Concerts series.

"I'd always wanted to do a recital with a classical guitarist," says Leonard, who balances concert work with opera, as well as pants parts in which she plays young men with characters such as Rosina in Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville."

With Isbin, Leonard will sing some of the most beloved Spanish-language art songs in the canon, including Manuel de Falla "Siete canciónes populares españolas" and selections from Xavier Montsalvage's "Cinco canciónes negras." There will also be a vocal adaptation of Joaquín Rodrigo's "Concerto de Aranjuez." Many of the arrangements are new and devised in collaboration between the artists. READ THE FULL INTERVIEW.
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Top 10 Albums for October

The Hot Sardines :


The Hot Sardines unleash their distinctly passionate, dazzling and inventive sound with their self-titled debut album. The electrifying record, produced by Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, Elvis Costello & The Roots), features both early jazz classics and original new Sardine compositions.  Their album launch marks a defining moment in the Sardines' evolution, which started as a slow burn fueled by a shared passion for music from another era, and escalated as the band's performances ignited the same passion in audiences all over the world.
Alisa Weilerstein :


With the Decca Classics release of her album Solo on cellist Alisa Weilerstein underscores her role as an instrumentalist with something deeply personal to say. The centerpiece of the album is the MacArthur Fellow's interpretation of Zoltán Kodály's classic Sonata for Solo Cello of 1915. Weilerstein's account of the Kodály also features in the recent film If I Stay (and on its accompanying soundtrack album); based on the best-selling novel by Gayle Forman, the movie marks Weilerstein's feature-film debut, in a cameo appearance as herself. Along with the Kodály and Spanish composer-cellist Gaspar Cassadó's Suite for Solo Cello of 1926, the CD version of Solo includes Bright Sheng's Seven Tunes Heard in China and Osvaldo Golijov's Ormaramor, highlighting Weilerstein's passion for contemporary music. A deluxe digital version of the album also includes György Ligeti's Sonata for Solo Cello and Britten's Tema Sacher, as well as Prokofiev's March arranged for solo cello by Gregor Piatigorsky. 25 NEW -  36 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC, The Romantic Hours Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Portland, Detroit, Baltimore, Denver, Austin, New Orleans, Honolulu, Canada Online: ClassicallyHip, Taintradio
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. 
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. 36 NEW  -  101 Total SYND: Tavis Smiley Direct: MOOD, Spafax Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Long Island NY, New Orleans, Albuquerque,  INTER: Canada, Australia, Spain Online: Sun Music, Taintradio, GreenArrow, Audiophile Audition, Something Else,, Naples Daily News, Union Tribune
Daniel Hope :

Escape to Paradise: The Hollywood Album

"Daniel Hope is a force to be reckoned with." Gramophone Deutsche Grammophon releases Classical BRIT-Award-winner Daniel Hope's new recording, Escape to Paradise: The Hollywood Album, in the US (The album is released in Europe a day earlier.) The British violinist has a "thriving solo career" per the New York Times, which "has been built on inventive programming and a probing interpretive style." The new release draws on Hope's extensive research into European composers - among them Eric Wolfgang Korngold, Miklós Rózsa, Hanns Eisler, and Franz Waxman to name a few - who fled fascist persecution to relocate to Los Angeles where they penned some of the 20th century's most iconic film scores. Recorded with Alexander Shelley leading the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and guest artists including vocalists Sting and Max Raabe, Hope's unprecedented new collection juxtaposes examples of the émigré composers' film and concert music with selections by those they influenced – like leading contemporary movie composers John Williams, Ennio Morricone, and Thomas Newman – in a nostalgic search for the quintessentially lavish "Hollywood sound. 40 NEW   48 Total SYND: PRI/Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Portland, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Austin, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Baltimore, Louisville, Buffalo, Canada Online: Taintradio, ClassicallyHip
The Piano Guys :


The incredible success story known as - The Piano Guys, four talented dads from Utah, release their fourth studio album entitled Wonders on Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks. Not only has TPG climbed the Great Wall of China for one video, they have also landed atop the Billboard charts, sold out tour dates around the world, accrued a massive social media following and scored YouTube viewership at 500 million views. Wonders, a nod to the "Wonders of the World," features successful single/video releases from the past year such as, "Let It Go," "Kung Fu Piano: Cello Ascends," "Don't You Worry Child," and "Story of my Life." It also includes new songs with strong familiarity – "Batman Evolution" (The Piano Guys' take on various Batman themes over the years), a mash-up that incorporates melodies from Dave Matthews Band's huge hit "Ants Marching / Beethoven Ode to Joy," and Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." 17 Total SYND: PRI/Echoes, Sixty Second CD, The Bill Miller Show Markets include: Cleveland, Berkeley CA Online: HLN, Humboldt 101
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. 19 New 'ON' 108 Total SYND: 60 Second CD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, Seattle, Cleveland, Houston, Portland, Denver, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Boulder CO, Berkeley CA, Las Vegas, San Antonio, El Paso, Honolulu, Canada, UK Online: Taintradio, MOJA, GreenArrow, WGOE,, Jazz From Gallery 41, Good Music Speaks, Jazz Man, Willamette Week
Jackie Evancho :


Platinum-selling, 14-year-old vocal sensation Jackie Evancho releases her third studio album, Awakening. Produced by Nick Patrick, Awakening is Evancho's first album under her recent worldwide recording agreement with Sony Music Masterworks imprint Portrait. The release will be supported by an International tour, a new PBS Special (set to air in December) and appearances on America's Got Talent (9/10), Today Show (9/22) and Queen Latifah (10/2). Awakening signals some new directions for Evancho. Without foregoing the beautiful and lush classical-crossover compositions for which she has become famous, and extends her stylistic reach with contemporary material on songs such as the haunting folk song "The Rains of Castamere" from HBO's hit series Game of Thrones, her version of U2's "With or Without You," and several original songs including the anthem "Take Me There" and "Open Fields of Grace." 22 NEW -  29 Total SYND: CBC Direct: Music Choice Markets include: Philadelphia, Wash DC, St. Louis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Canada Online: ClassicallyHip, Taintradio, Daily Herald
Tre Voci :

Takemitsu / Debussy / Gubaidulina

Kim Kashkashian, who won a Grammy last year with her solo viola Kurtág/Ligeti disc, returns with a new trio. Tre Voci includes Italian-American flutist Marina Piccinini and Israeli harpist Sivan Magen. All three musicians have been acknowledged for bringing a new voice to their instruments. Kashkashian, Piccinini and Magen first played together at the 2010 Marlboro Music Festival, and agreed that the potential of this combination was too great to limit it to a single season. Since then they have been developing their repertoire which, on this compelling first release it revolves around Debussy's 1915 "Sonata for flute, viola and harp" and its influence, most directly felt in Takemitsu's shimmering "And then I knew 'twas Wind". 26 NEW  -  35 Total SYND: PRI/Classical 24 & Echoes Direct: Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, Austin, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans Online: Taintradio, Jazz From Gallery 41, ClassicallyHip 
Johnny Cash :

Look Again To The Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears

Of all the dozens of albums released by Johnny Cash during his nearly half-century career, 1964's Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian was among the closest to the artist's heart. A concept album focusing on the mistreatment and marginalization of the Native American people throughout the history of the United States, its eight songs-among them "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," a #3 hit single for Cash on the Billboard country chart-spoke in frank and poetic language of the hardships and intolerance they endured.