Kavita Shah brings potent mix of cultures and styles / The Boston Globe interview

You might hear the arrangement of an Indian raga on singer Kavita Shah's sparkling debut, Visions, or the prominent tabla on her version of the Stevie Wonder title track, and jump to conclusions about an immigrants' daughter on a roots trip. That wouldn't be quite right. Shah's Indian parents had little music at home save for a few LPs; her first instrument was the classical piano, and she only dabbled in Indian music training while already a jazz student at the Manhattan School of Music. You might, instead, hear the opening track, the Cape Verdean "Sodade," marvel at Shah's flawless accent, and wonder if you'd stumbled on one of Cesaria Evora's nieces. Her fluent Portuguese on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Triste" only compounds the effect. Ms. Shah performs with her group at Boston's Reggatabar tonight at 8pm.  READ THE FULL Boston Globe INTERVIEW.
Bookmark and Share

Bela Fleck & Brooklyn Rider start with a bang in Indiana

Béla Fleck's concert with Brooklyn Rider started with a bang. No, that's not just a saying. The performance, which took place in a packed Loeb Playhouse, began with the four members of Brooklyn Rider literally banging on their instruments, the same way chimps might if they encountered a violin for the first time. Last Friday night, Brooklyn Rider seemed to encounter classical music for the first time. They did not play like chimps. Fleck plucked sounds from his 1937 Gibson Mastertone like he was the wry, child-like and very talented king of the jungle. He's so used to playing great music that he makes it look almost offensively easy. He'd lean back on his chair, an intricate melody flowing from his banjo, and look over at Colin Jacobsen furiously scratching away at his violin, then over at Eric Jacobsen tapping his cello and stomping the ground - as if to say, "what on Earth is this racket?"  READ THE FULL Lafayette Journal & Courier STORY
Bookmark and Share

Argerich | Barenboim - Piano Duos is WFMT: New Release Of the Week

Reuniting after more than 15 years, renowned conductor/pianist Daniel Barenboim and pianist Martha Argerich come together on this new recording of piano duos. The two artists have a long-standing friendship that dates back to when they were children growing up in Buenos Aires and performing at the home of Ernesto Rosenthal, which was the local haven for chamber music nights. Now, the duo pairs up for this live recording which took place at Berlin's Philharmonie this past April, presenting music of Mozart, Schubert and Stravinsky. The Argerich & Barenboim - Schubert: Variations on an Original Theme in A-flat major, D 813 on Deutsche Grammophon is one of this week's New Releases Of the Week on WFMT: Chicago.   , piano
Bookmark and Share

Alain Lefevre - 24 Chopin Preludes / WUOL: Featured Album'

Frédéric Chopin, tired of the Parisian winter, grabbed a copy of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, and took his lover George Sand and her family to Majorca for a long vacation. There he wrote some of his Preludes, inspired by Bach. Alain Lefèvre‘s new recording of all 24 preludes is WUOL: Louisville - KY 'Featured Album this week.'
Bookmark and Share

Sharon Isbin - 5 Classic Albums is this week's MPR: Morning Glories

Every weekday at 10 a.m., the hosts at Classical MPR play a standout work based on the theme for the week. We call these works Morning Glories. Join us as we celebrate the artistry of Sharon Isbin - Minnesota native, and master of the classical guitar. Her path as a musician has taken her from standards of the guitar repertoire, to folk-inspired music from many countries, to collaborations with noted performers from jazz and rock. She's also recorded extensively, and five of her albums have now been reissued as a box set, which we'll sample all week on Morning Glories. Monday - Heitor Villa-Lobos: Guitar Concerto Tuesday - John Duarte: Appalachian Dreams Wednesday - Manuel Ponce: Concierto del Sur Thursday - J. S. Bach: Concerto, BWV 1041/1058 Friday - Dreams of a World (selections): Pieces that draw on folk traditions of Ireland, Spain and Israel
Bookmark and Share

The Piano Guys play Hungary's Papp L?szl? Sportar?na / The Budapest Times

The Piano Guys are a quartet from the US state of Utah whose performances show that there are more than ways to "play" than hitting the keys and stepping on the pedals. They will show their unusual techniques when they arrive in Hungary on November 25 to play the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna. TPG's latest Sony Masterworks releases: Wonders, is a nod to the "Wonders of the World," at which they intend to film music videos, 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" – as well as some original compositions by ThePianoGuys.  Their previous albums – The Piano Guys and The Piano Guys 2 – continue to claim the top positions on Billboard's Classical and New Age album charts since their release. READ THE FULL Budapest Times ARTICLE
Bookmark and Share

Kavita Shah plays Boston's Regattabar / WICN Interview

On this edition of WICN: Worcester - Jazz Matinee Host Chet Williamson will be joined by singer Kavita Shah. Kavita Shah who is playing Boston's Regattabar this Tuesday November 18 is gaining a reputation as a visionary young singer, composer, and arranger. Hailed by Downbeat Magazine as the "Best Graduate Jazz Vocalist" (2012) and winner of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award (2013), Ms. Shah--a native New Yorker of Indian origin fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and French--incorporates diverse musical elements into her jazz-based repertoire. Her debut album: Visions (co-produced by guitar virtuoso Lionel Loueke) combines the sounds of the traditional Indian tablas and West African kora with those of a jazz quintet. 
Bookmark and Share

Sharon Isbin talks about new Documentary and LGBT Equality / HuffPost

This week HuffPost talked with Sharon Isbin, the multiple Grammy-winning guitarist, about the new American Public Television documentary she stars in, Sharon Isbin: Troubadour. As one of the most acclaimed classical guitarists in the world, she has made an enormous musical impact, dazzling audiences for over 30 years with more than 25 recordings, winning three Grammy Awards and covering a wide range of styles, genres and composers. The film, produced by Susan Dangel, combines performance and documentary, focusing on Isbin's groundbreaking journey, which has expanded and transformed the landscape of this instrument. The film includes interviews with Martina Navratilova, Joan Baez, Garrison Keillor, Janis Ian, Lesley Gore, Michelle Obama and many others. HuffPost talked with Isbin about this inspirational documentary and her spin on LGBT issues.  READ THE FULL ARTICLE AND LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW
Bookmark and Share

Pedrito Martinez starts continuing residency@NYC's new Latin/WorldJazz venue - Subrosa / Wall Street Journal

This week is a bonanza for Pan-American music (even beyond Rubén Blades at Jazz at Lincoln Center). The Blue Note Entertainment Group has just announced the opening of its fourth venue in Manhattan, named "Subrosa," which it informs us will be an intimate club specializing in Latin and World Jazz. The new space's high standards are being established from the get-go with a continuing residency by the irresistible Cuban percussionist and bandleader Pedrito Martinez. Meanwhile, the Blue Note itself is featuring the Brazilian pop-jazz singer-guitarist Seu Jorge over the weekend, and Town Hall is presenting Milton Nascimento, one of the living legends of Brazilian music. Yes, it's annoying that the Meatpacking/High Line district isn't adequately served by New York's subway system, but it's still at least marginally easier to get to than Havana.
Bookmark and Share

Quartetto di Cremona plays The San Antonio Chamber Music Society / Texas Public Radio interview

Quartetto di Cremona. They're coming from nearly halfway around the world to perform in San Antonio. The San Antonio Chamber Music Society is bringing the Quartetto to Temple Beth El this Sunday afternoon November 16 for an elegant, well-executed evening of chamber music.  Texas Public Radio's Jack Morgan reached Cristiano Gualco about the concert and the small northern Italian city of Cremona, with a fine musical tradition which brought together the Quartetto. Gualco said: ""We were born as a quartet in Cremona, and the violin makers Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati, the three great violin makers, they were born there, they worked in Cremona." Gualco went on: "Apparently, we have a particular kind of sound. Every time we play abroad, they tell us we have an Italian sound. And we never really understood what is an Italian sound because we don't try to make an Italian sound." LISTEN TO MORE OF THE TPR INTERVIEW with Cristiano Gualco      
Bookmark and Share

In remembrance of Jonas Salk / U-T San Diego interview with Itzhak Perlman

Itzhak Perlman traveled to La Jolla to give a recital in remembrance of the late Jonas Salk, who was born 100 years ago this fall. Salk developed the first safe and effective vaccine against polio, a disease that struck Perlman at age 4, after he had already started his career as a violinist. Perlman largely lost the use of his legs; he wears braces, and uses crutches and the scooter. Thursday was a moment for mutual admiration; the institute awarded the 69-year-old Perlman the Salk Medal for Public Service, noting all that he has done to help wipe out the last vestiges of polio, and to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated.

Perlman took time to speak at length with U-T San Diego about his life and art update: READ THE Times of San Diego REVIEW
Bookmark and Share

Young musicians take center stage with PROJECT Trio

Toledo's classical music scene next week will focus intensely on youth music education - both performers designing programs to interest and inspire young audiences, and youthful performers revealing their capabilities in concerts and recitals. Topping the list is PROJECT Trio coming to Bowling Green State University for a residency and to Toledo for several youth concerts Nov. 19-22. Their big marquee appearance will be at 8 p.m. Nov. 22 in Kobacker Hall. PT will work with musicians at high school and college level in a variety of settings locally and will also appear as special guest artists during the Toledo Symphony's Young People's concerts, the first of the season on Nov. 29 in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle.   PT's lates release: Instrumental is a continuation of their journey of exploration of contrasting musical genres, Instrumental features 11 tracks of rhythmically charged PROJECT Trio originals and covers ranging from classical to gypsy jazz, Brazilian and slow jams. The originals include Djangish, an homage to the great Django Reinhardt,  Shir and 2against3, both with the classic PROJECT Trio sound, and Sloeberry Jam, a slow jam with a hip-hop/pop/gospel feel.   Four more originals, 99 Mondays, The Anthem, BBR and Now were made with a new voice inspired by the sounds of today.  The album is balanced by an eclectic collection of covers including, Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5, the classic Brazilian "Chorro" song Andre de Sapato Novo, and a PROJECT Trio rendition of Saint-Saëns' Bacchanale from Sampson and Delilah.  READ THE FULL Toledo Blade Article
Bookmark and Share

Top 10 Albums for November

Bill Frisell :

Guitar in the Space Age

"May you never hear surf music again." – Jimi Hendrix "Space is the place." – Sun Ra Just when you think you've got guitarist-composer Bill Frisell all figured out, confident in your expectations, this American original shakes things up with a heretofore unexpected glimpse into those layers of consciousness which inform his rootsy, inclusive, oh so personal style of musical outreach. Because while Bill Frisell is capable of routinely navigating the most harrowing ascents into the outer reaches of the improvisational Ionosphere without once ever flinching, there emerge at regular intervals suggestions of something more childlike and elemental; a sensibility which revels in expressions of earnest, unadorned directness-the aesthetic poetry of an impressionistic painter who is unafraid to distill things down to their most folkish, heartfelt essence.  27 NEW 'ON' -  93 Total SYND: PRI/Jazz After Hours Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, Denver, Houston, Detroit, Austin, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Madison WI, Honolulu, Canada Online: Taintradio, Jazz From Gallery 41, GreenArrow
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. 18 New 'ON'  96 Total Markets include: New York, San Francisco, Cleveland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Houston, Portland, Denver, St. Louis, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Long Island NY, Albuquerque, Orlando, San Antonio, El Paso, Madison WI, Toronto Online: GeenArrow, Taintradio, Audiophile Audition, Live 365
Ludovico Einaudi :


"The seemingly simple but strangely affecting music of Ludovico Einaudi defies pigeonholing…expect to feel transported and mesmerized by (his) artfully wrought compositions." - Daily Telegraph Stanze (rooms) is a cycle of 16 pieces, and each is a musical space separated from the others like the rooms of a house. It's the diary of a journey, with the aim to achieve the maximum expression using the least possible. This is how award-winning composer Ludovico Einaudi describes Stanze, his first cycle of ballads for solo instrument originally composed for piano over the course of three years. After having listened to the performance of some songs performed on electric harp by Cecilia Chailly (the sister of conductor Riccardo Chailly), Einaudi decided to entrust the playing of the whole project to her, privileging her instrument for the entire album. 7 NEW -  42 Total SYND: NPR/Hearts Of Space, Galaxie Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, Baltimore, Portland, Berkeley CA, Canada Online: Taintradio, Live 365
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
Sharon Isbin :

5 Classic Albums

Sharon Isbin - Troubadour is a one-hour documentary portrait of the world's premier classical guitarist, shows us a trailblazing performer and teacher who over the course of her career has broken through numerous barriers to rise to the top of a traditionally male-dominated field. The film, produced by Susan Dangel, explores what it takes to nurture a dream against all odds to become a world class musician. It will be presented by American Public Television for broadcast on nearly 200 public television stations throughout the US this November-December 2014, and released on DVD/Blu-ray by Video Artists International. In coordination with the documentary broadcasts, Warner Classics will release five of Isbin's most popular albums in a single box. The set brings together cornerstones of the guitar concerto repertoire by Rodrigo and Villa-Lobos, arrangements of perennial Baroque favorites, concertos by Christopher Rouse and Tan Dun that were written for Isbin herself (and featured in the documentary) and two imaginatively-programmed recital discs including the GrammyTM Award-winning Dreams of a World.  29 NEW -  73 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Portland, Detroit, Baltimore, Denver, Pittsburgh, Austin, New Orleans, Memphis, Louisville, Honolulu, Canada Online: Huffington Post, Taintradio, MusicGuy
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
Anne Akiko Meyers :

The American Masters

On September 30th, celebrated violinist Anne Akiko Meyers will release The American Masters internationally on eOne.  This recording, Anne's 30th, features world premieres of two pieces written for her: Mason Bates's Violin Concerto and the Lullaby for Natalie by Oscar and Grammy Award winning composer John Corigliano. Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, a staple of the violin repertoire, and the most popular American concerto for violin and orchestra is also featured on this recording.  Leonard Slatkin, a champion of all three composers, conducts the London Symphony Orchestra. 36 NEW -  81 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Portland, Detroit, Denver, Pittsburgh, Austin, Louisville, Madison WI, Honolulu, Canada Online: Classical Candor, Audiophile Audition, all about jazz, Taintradio, ClassicallyHip, News & Observer
The Hilliard Ensemble :


Having recorded more than 20 albums for ECM since the mid-'80s, the Hilliard Ensemble caps its sublime discography before retirement with a final release: Transeamus: English Carols and Motets, a collection of polyphony – in two, three and four parts – from the 15th-century. The album's main title translates as "we travel on," fitting as a nod of goodbye from one of the most venturesome and beloved of classical vocal groups. Also fitting is the fact that this British vocal quartet's very first recording included music from the court of Henry VIII, so Transeamus brings their odyssey through the ages full circle. The album includes many of the group's favorite pieces from this era, including previously unrecorded items from its concert programs by the likes of John Plummer, Walter Lambe and William Cornysh. More of the album's works are by composers rendered anonymous by time, yet all of this music is rich with enduring personality. 28 NEW -  48 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Detroit, Baltimore, Denver, Pittsburgh, Austin, New Orleans, Louisville, Canada Online: ClassicallyHip
Alain Lefevre :

Chopin - 24 Preludes

Like many young keyboard players today, Chopin was exposed to Bach's set of preludes and fugues in each major and minor key, the Well-Tempered Clavier. We can only assume that this is what sparked Chopin's imagination and led to the 24 Preludes. But unlike Bach's sprawling work, each Chopin prelude is a study in economy and brevity. Though miniatures, performing the 24 Preludes is no small task. In his latest recording, Montreal-based pianist and composer Alain Lefèvre tackles the works with a wide range of expression, from the melodic simplicity of the fourth prelude to the tenderness of the "Raindrop" prelude. Rounding out the recording is Padre Antonio Soler's Sonata in D minor No. 24. Lefèvre makes a compelling case for the nearly forgotten 18th-century Spanish composer, who wrote a huge number of keyboard sonatas. 43 New 'ON'  45 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Madison WI, Canada Online: Taintradio