JUNO Award winner Laila Biali's new album, Out of Dust features not only contributions from the singer/pianist's husband; Ben Wittman and son, but also multiple GRAMMY nominees and winners including Lisa Fisher, Alan Ferber, John Ellis, and Larnell Lewis. "There's a line from a song by the indie gospel group, Gungor, that has become like an anthem to me," Biali says. "‘He makes beautiful things out of dust.' That's where the title for the album comes from, and as a songwriter and musician, my ultimate intention and hope is to spread a little more love."
Listen to the attached Laila Biali - 88.9WUCF: Orlando FL Interview with Kayonne Riley
Michael Whalen's "Sacred Spaces" is an epic recording nearly ten years in the making. "I have been pursuing a spiritual ‘awakening' for most of my adult life. Over the past decade, I realized that I am 100 percent responsible for whatever my relationship with a ‘higher being' might be," says Whalen. Filled with sonic landscapes built from hundreds of layers of sound, "Sacred Spaces" is Michael's tour-de-force electronic project, which seamlessly blends his natural gift for melody with fresh textures and percolating rhythms. Deeply inspired by Michael's film and TV work and his love for progressive rock, "Sacred Spaces" is the ambient recording of the year.
MW spoke with 88.1WMBR: Boston, 'New Edge' host; Ken Field. Listen to the attached file
Legendary maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangaash will be collaborating with multiple Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin. The new album will give viewers a unique teaming of two classical music instruments strumming together. The album, "String For Peace", is scheduled to release on the 22nd of May on the ZOHO label (ZM 202004).
Strings For Peace is a perfect blend of various classics. Viewers will get to listen to a melodious eclectic east-west fusion of sarod and classical guitar. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Sharon Isbin have been contemplating about the east-west fashion and finally, their fusion will come to fruition. The album will contain four tracks and cover various ragas composed by Amjad Ali Khan.
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Produced by Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, and with a sound described as "an album to daydream to", Open Waters finds Todd Mosby once again embarking on a creative journey navigating through elements of Jazz, New Age, Folk and Indian music. Coming from a family of inventors (he is the co-inventor of the Imrat guitar along with Kim Schwartz and Imrat Khan), Mosby's early musical DNA was formed from his love of Bluegrass and Folk music, which eventually expanded into Fusion and Jazz.
Todd Mosby's 'Open Waters' wins the 2019 ZMR 'Best Contemporary Instrumental Album'
On ‘Archangel', Michael Shapiro breathes new life into the famous Toccata from the Fifth Organ Symphony by Victorian French composer Charles-Marie Widor with this arrangement for full orchestra named Widorama! played by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by the composer. Shapiro's arrangement of the famous Toccata, frequently used by organists for weddings and church services, brings the work into the concert hall in highly dramatic fashion. The album also includes; Concerto for Piano and Orchestra' , ‘Perlimplinito, Opera Sweet, A Lace Paper Valentine for Orchestra' , and ‘Roller Coaster for Orchestra.'
Shapiro sat down with Spokane Public Radio's James Tevenan to discuss the recording and his superb career. Listen to the attached file
If there's an air of resignation to the way pianist/composer Bley has titled the movements of her opening suite-"Life Goes On," "On," "And On," "And Then One Day"-it is belied throughout this gently gripping album by Bley's indelible wit and unsinkable sanguinity. Both are evident in her pithy liner notes, her quotes of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "The Star Spangled Banner" in the "Beautiful Telephones" suite (inspired by remarks made by the current president during his first week in the White House), her play on call-and-response in the closing suite, "Copy Cat," and the unfrantic flow of her elegant melodies and soothing harmonies. The album title could reference Bley's career (more than five decades of recording), her age (she turns 82 in May), or the longevity of this uncannily simpatico trio (25 years and counting). Touching here on the blues and there on tango, now buoyant, now contemplative, the music is richly poignant but never lugubrious, bent but not sharply angular, spacious and light but never ungrounded. Swallow's unique electric bass sound and Sheppard's stately tenor and soprano sax tones, heard in ample solo space, seamlessly lock in with Bley's eccentric phrasing as the band sublimely plays on.
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In episode 919 of "ANIMAJAZZ", conceived and conducted by BRUNO POLLACCI , broadcast TUESDAY 19 May at 20.30, on PUNTORADIO, also streaming on www.puntoradio.fm and in an immediate podcast of the evening includes; "Hot Time"; from William Susman's "Scatter My Ashes."
OCTET''s inaugural album has been recorded over the past few years with renowned engineer John Kilgore and was released by Naxos on the label Belarca. The album features the music of William Susman including two song cycles (with poems by his sister Sue Susman) Scatter My Ashes and Moving in to an Empty Space performed by soprano Mellissa Hughes, as well as his Piano Concerto and the ensemble work Camille.
"William Susman's remarkable achievement is to take the familiar instrumentation of American popular music, harmonic and rhythmic influences from jazz and Afro-Cuban music and sinuous melodic lines that are uniquely his own and weave them into something new and fresh, yet timeless and haunting. Memorable yet enigmatic, simple yet profound, Susman's music is irresistible." - John Kilgore (Grammy Award-Winning Classical Engineer)
SEE THE Punto Radio animajazz PAGE
Guitarist John Scofield celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow in an outgoing and spirited recording, made in an afternoon in New York City in March 2019 - "old school" style as Scofield says, acknowledging that more than forty years of preparation led up to it.
Laura Benanti shares new single & music video
her take on the Jonas Brothers' chart-topping hit "Sucker"
The Tony® Award-Winning star will donate 100% of her earnings from the recording to foodcorps on the heels of Laura's social media campaign #sunshinesongs new music video is a moving tribute that celebrates families, loved ones & essential workers during an unprecedented time of the new track and video.
Day 12: "The United Nations" - The path of bringing this project to life ended up being a unique mixture of blood, sweat and tears - often feeling like every fiber of the world around us was resisting any tiny step ahead, relentlessly attempting to hold us back - together with shockingly uplifting moments of almost absurd amounts of support just dropped on us out of the blue.
One of these absurd moments came when we received a call from the Assistant General Secretary at the United Nations and International Affairs asking if we would like to come speak about our Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project and perform a concert inspired by the 10 Acts for the Global Compact on Refugees and Migrants, in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights in NYC (to which we said - YES!!!!!!). Having the chance to perform for and later speak with and get to know an audience filled with NGO's from around the world - all doing much-needed work in the world of refugees - lifted our hearts and spirits, and proved also to be very useful in connecting us with a support system for the various unexpected needs that popped up throughout the remainder of our year of travels (such as calling up HER ROYAL HIGHNESS Elizabeth of the Danish-German royalty to help us find a Danish-Arabic-English translator last-minute from her castle on the Baltic Sea… - Whaaaaaaa????!!! YUP! That really happened!!!! We're still picking our jaws up off the ground a year later after that one!). (SURPRISE EMOJI) It was quite heartening and encouraging to know that we were connected to a network of humans doing beautiful things all around the world every moment of every day - ready at a moment's notice to jump to one another's aid.
Today's clip is taken from our closing selection from that evening's performance at the United Nations: a meditative excerpt taken from the "Quartet for the End of Time" - a piece written by Olivier Messaien while he was imprisoned in a German POW camp during the Second World War. Rather than close this concert with a standard and expected rousing or virtuosic final selection, we instead chose to end with a contemplative musical prayer which blended both Messaien's dreams of a more just society in a time after the end of Time, together with the injunction of the 10th Act in the Global Compact on Refugees and Migrants - which seeks to one day build a rights-based world which eliminates the reasons behind humans becoming refugees, and one which offers the possibility of free, voluntary, protected, transparent, and accountable global migration.
Day 13: "The Ramazanis" - One of the goals of this project was to immerse ourselves in and learn from all of the different types of music we came in contact with along our journey. These little musical glimpses into other cultures served as the inspiration for the project's commissioned work Novel Voices by our project's composer, Fernando Arroyo Lascurain (coming out soon on our Novel Voices album!).
Please enjoy this clip of our new friends, the Ramazanis, singing a song from their native country: Congo. We had a blast breaking apart the rhythms in this song during our musical workshop, in order to build an entirely new rhythmic piece by overlapping and clapping the different rhythms simultaneously and polyphonically. (And let it be known: the Ramazanis put these conservatory-trained musicians to shame with their complex rhythmic abilities!!)
Day 14: "Mkimbizi [refugee in Swahili]" - The Democratic Republic of Congo is notoriously known as the "Rape Capital of the World," where the prevalence and intensity of all forms of sexual violence has been described as the worst on our planet. In the US report on Human Rights Practices, the DRC was reported as a country where security forces and numerous armed groups continue to kill, abduct, torture, and rape civilians, and burn and destroy villages. The security forces and armed groups continue to use sexual violence with impunity as weapons of war and to humiliate and punish victims, families, and communities.
Numerous people are fleeing the country for these many reasons. Nestor shared with us about the road they had to take in order to arrive to the US. We will be sharing more about the Congo conflicts in our future posts related to the work of RefuSHE @WeAreRefuSHE - another non-profit we are partnering with who provides incredible help to refugee girls and women fleeing Congo and the surrounding countries into Kenya.
Day 15 - 16: "Lost in Translation" - Securing translators at each of the locations we visited in order to ensure our thoughts and workshop ideas were communicated clearly across multiple languages was just one of the many challenges we faced along the way… After our originally-appointed translator had a last-minute change of plans, finding a Swahili translator in New Jersey for our Novel Voices workshop on Oct. 4th, was close to impossible. We were almost a whole hour into our #RAP workshop when Regina, a NJ resident originally from Kenya, arrived to save the day - rescuing us from our embarrassing efforts of speaking French, gesturing and acting, in an attempt to relay the story of Romeo and Juliet across three languages! (LAUGHING EMOJI)
Hilarious attempt to explain Romeo and Juliet through gestures and giggles. Through this hour-long (and frustrating!) experience of not being able to understand or speak the same language, we got a tiny taste of how our new refugee friends must feel when starting their new lives in a new country: trapped in a new existence of not being able to understand anything and not able to explain or express themselves fully to others around them.
The Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project, created and directed by the Carr-Petrova Duo, is designed to give voice and visibility, through music and film, to the lives and struggles of both local and international refugee communities, and to encourage audiences and artists alike to become connected and involved.
Produced & Narrated by Max Horowitz - Crossover Media
This content, as well as the related podcast, are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) for redistribution and adaptation.
The Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project, created and directed by the Carr-Petrova Duo, is a project designed to give voice and visibility, through music and film, to the lives and struggles of both local and international refugee communities, and to encourage audiences and artists alike to become connected and involved. Since August 2018, it has brought free, interactive classical music concerts and workshops to displaced populations while increasing awareness of and raising support for both U.S.-based and international refugee-aid programs.