Now in its 39th season, the Alexander String Quartet has undergone some personnel changes, but its founding violist, Paul Yarbrough, is still in his lofty place. That will change on May 16, with Yarbrough's final performance as a member of the ASQ, in the Herbst Theater closing of the 2019–2020 San Francisco Performances Saturday Morning Series.
After Yarbrough's retirement, this summer the quartet will welcome his successor, David Samuel, a violist with a long history of working with the ASQ as a guest artist in recording and education projects. Samuel has a prestigious career as a chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral musician. He is currently associate principal violist with the Auckland (NZ) Philharmonia Orchestra, and serves on the faculty of the University of Auckland. Photo Credit: Shirley Singer
READ THE FULL San Francisco Classical Voice ARTICLE
Norwegian composer and pianist Ola Gjeilo has a musical style that is often described as cinematic and evocative, characterised by warm harmonies, flowing melodies and gently rocking, repeated figures. He is an exclusive Decca Classics recording artist, and the new album follows the highly successful Winter Songs (2017) and Ola Gjeilo (2016), which also feature Tenebrae, Voces8 and the Choir of Royal Holloway. NIGHT is his first solo piano album to be released on Decca.
Gjeilo's now presents a stunning collection of brand-new original works for solo piano, composed and performed by Gjeilo himself. NIGHT is an intimate and meditative collection of peaceful piano music, inspired by the twilight hours in the place he now calls home – New York City.
In conjunction with this release Ola has made some time today! Thursday February 28 to speak with US radio.
Game of Tones:
Microtonal Guitarist John Schneider plays the 30th iteration of PITT's Beyond 2020 Microtonal Music Festival.
Despite its modernist ring, microtonal music is not a recent phenomenon. The term was first coined over a century ago, and the concept - music using altered pitches and tuning systems to play notes not found in the standard Western twelve-tone system - has been utilized as far back as history books go. But thanks to the internet, the ease of self-education through YouTube tutorials, and the advancement of musical technology, microtonal music has evolved into an (almost) mainstream field of study and expression.
Founder of MicroFest, John Schneider is a guitarist and arranger who also writes for harp and percussion. A professor of music at Los Angeles Pierce College, Schneider also hosts the KPFK Los Angeles weekly radio program "Global Village."
From Fri., Feb. 28 to Sun., March 1, a slate of local and international groups will explore microtonality from a variety of approaches through a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, light shows, video projections, and dance, as well as lectures from experts in the field. Performers include Del Sol String Quartet (San Francisco), MikroEnsemble (Finland), Brightwork Ensemble (Los Angeles), and Pittsburgh musicians Aaron Myers-Brooks, Nuiko Wadden, and Lindsey Goodman, and many more.
READ THE FULL PGH City Paper ARTICLE
Rhythm Planet showcases mostly new releases in our playlist this week, together with some rediscoveries and remembrances along the way. On the jazz front, we hear the music of saxophonists Eric Alexander, Wayne Shorter (by Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra), and Brent Jensen; plus pianists Tim Ray, Joey Alexander's "Inner Urge", and Laurence Hobgood's lovely string-quartet version of Glen Campbell's classic song "Witchita Lineman." Vibraphonist Chris Dingman's new album is called Embrace, and we listen to "Inner Child" from it. This week's playlist also includes; Sheku Kanneh-Mason & London Symphony Orchestra / "Blow the Wind Southerly.
READ THE FULL KCRW: Rhythm Planet Article and Playlist for 2/25/20:
Joey Alexander, the Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, composer and bandleader recently unveiled 'Warna' (Verve Records). The album is primarily a collection of reflective, moving new and original music by an experienced and confident musician. Translating as "color" from Alexander's native language of Bahasa, WARNA follows four Motéma Music albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics' and readers' poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes. Joining Alexander on the new album are Larry Grenadier and Kendrick Scott, who comprise the core piano trio. On several tracks, Venezuelan-born percussion Luisito Quintero, and flautist Anne Drummond, join the burgeoning jazz pianist.
Joey sits down with 91.3KXCI: Tucson to discuss the recording. Listen to the attached file
The two Piano Concertos by Frederic Chopin recorded here have been an integral part of British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor's repertoire ever since his early teens. And this level of familiarity definitely manifests itself in his playing. There's a constant fluid limpidity and clarity to his phrasing, and an overall forward momentum shaped by delicate contours. Nothing ever sounds forced or affected, but rather seemingly moves along naturally. The slow passages are contemplative whilst the fast passages quite simply dance off the keyboard. And when a certain degree of darkness creeps into the music, his playing takes on an appropriately different mien, and the same can be said when the music takes on a highly Polonaise style.
READ THE FULL Classical Music Sentinel REVIEW
Touring solo artists come to Western Pennsylvania almost every week of the concert season. Touring orchestras, by contrast, are a real rarity. Yes, Gustav Mahler and the New York Philharmonic played in Pittsburgh before World War I, and Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic came here more than 30 years ago.
The Venice Baroque Orchestra will perform a program called "Vivaldi and the Apotheosis of the Concerto in the 18th Century" on Feb. 29 at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland. Andrew Fouts is keyed up for the Venice Baroque concert. He and his colleagues in Chatham Baroque are mainly responsible for local concerts which present baroque music in historically informed style on period-style instruments.
READ THE FULL TRIBLIVE ARTICLE
‘Love Letters' marks a different direction for the internationally celebrated artist; it offers a shift in intimacy and content and comes at a pivotal time in her career as she signs to her new record label, Mercury KX.
Milan Records today releases THE NEW POPE (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK FROM THE SKY – HBO – CANAL+ SERIES produced by FREMANTLE'S THE APARTMENT and WILDSIDE, co-produced with HAUT ET COURT TV and THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO) with music by LELE MARCHITELLI.
Referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele," Jake Shimabukuro is a true virtuoso, and exhibits his talents once again with the release of ‘Trio', available February 14th through Music Theories Recordings.
Twenty-five albums into a prolific and varied career, Michel Camilo has lots to talk about / JazzTimes
Posted: February 3, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
You don't get an answer when you ask Michel Camilo a question, you get a story-like the one about how he gravitated toward the piano as a child growing up in the Dominican Republic. "When I turned almost five, that Christmas my mother and father gave me a very tiny accordion," says the now 65-year-old pianist, bandleader, and composer. "Luckily it was in tune, so I was able to pick out the melody to ‘Silent Night' by ear. I discovered the notes on my own. Then the next one I played was ‘Happy Birthday.' The family said, ‘Wow!' because I was learning really fast. My uncle could also play accordion, and just by watching him, I was picking up everything. Then, by the time I was six, I started coming up with my own melodies. It was natural to me. My parents noticed it and hired a professional musician, who used to come to my home. I would sit with him and play my new songs: simple melodies yet with a structure. I was writing all kinds of things." (photo: Frankie Celenza)
Pianist, bandleader, and composer Michel Camilo (photo: Frankie Celenza)
You don't get an answer when you ask Michel Camilo a question, you get a story-like the one about how he gravitated toward the piano as a child growing up in the Dominican Republic.
"When I turned almost five, that Christmas my mother and father gave me a very tiny accordion," says the now 65-year-old pianist, bandleader, and composer. "Luckily it was in tune, so I was able to pick out the melody to ‘Silent Night' by ear. I discovered the notes on my own. Then the next one I played was ‘Happy Birthday.' The family said, ‘Wow!' because I was learning really fast. My uncle could also play accordion, and just by watching him, I was picking up everything. Then, by the time I was six, I started coming up with my own melodies. It was natural to me. My parents noticed it and hired a professional musician, who used to come to my home. I would sit with him and play my new songs: simple melodies yet with a structure. I was writing all kinds of things.
"But my first love was piano," Camilo continues. "My grandparents had one of those old uprights, which all of us would play. I didn't know how to play the piano well. I just moved my right hand, but not the left yet, because I was used to playing the accordion. Then when I was nine, I asked my parents to send me to the conservatory, and they made a deal with me: If I did well the first year, they would buy my first piano. And I did great! That first year, believe it or not, to practice I drew the keyboard on a piece of cardboard, because I could hear in my head all the notes. My teachers were wonderful, and by the time I turned 16, I was already a member of the National Symphony Orchestra, playing the piano parts and the percussion parts as well."
Then there are the stories behind the songs on Camilo's latest album, Essence. It's his 25th in all, and a very special one to him. For the release, he assembled a big band-only his third big-band recording-to revisit, with new arrangements, some of his favorite compositions from throughout his 35-year recording career. Three of the 11 tracks were inspired by drummers and percussionists who have figured prominently in his life: "And Sammy Walked In," the leadoff track, is a nod to Sammy Figueroa, the conguero in Camilo's first sextet, back in the days when he held forth regularly at the long-defunct jazz club Mikell's on Manhattan's Upper West Side, while "Mongo's Blues" is for Mongo Santamaría.
"He was my neighbor," Camilo recalls of the latter musician. "I was always asking him to tell me stories about 52nd Street, the scene at the clubs and him coming up in the ranks and his encounters with all the legends of jazz, including Coltrane. He told me about ‘Afro Blue' and [Herbie Hancock's] ‘Watermelon Man,'" a Top 10 single for Santamaría.
And then there's "Repercussions," Camilo's tribute to Art Blakey. "Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers used to play at Mikell's too," he says. "He didn't play at the Vanguard, which would have been what you expected. All the youngsters, we would be in the audience, hanging out and listening to him, and he would go around the tables and find out who was an up-and-coming musician. I was one of those. One night, he came to my table and said, ‘You're a pianist? Do you want to sit in?' And he pulled me out from my table. I said, ‘What do we play?' He told me, ‘No, that's not the way it works.' I said, ‘How does it work?' He said, ‘You dig your own grave and we bury you in it.'"
"As usual, Camilo's pianism is remarkable, not only where technique is concerned, but moreover, for the range and beauty of his sound. The many moods Camilo conveys could not be achieved without his control of the instrument at its most intimate level." Billboard
"Camilo's playing has a Classical feel, making full use of his left hand and exhibiting phenomenal control of dynamics. Thunderous chords yielded seamlessly to exquisitely soft passages, and a stupendous end to the medley earned Camilo a standing ovation." The Boston Globe
OKeh is proud to release GRAMMY, Emmy, and Latin GRAMMY Award winning pianist and composer Michel Camilo's new album, What's Up? The project is the Dominican Republic-born musician's debut for the label and is OKeh's second overall release as part of the new re-launch initiative via Sony Classical, which focuses on documenting "Global Expressions in Jazz." Produced by Camilo and recorded by also GRAMMY Award winning engineer Phil Magnotti the 11 tracks provide a stunning demonstration of the pianist's originality, spotlighting seven original compositions and four arrangements of jazz and Latin standards. Tracks include: 'Alone Together,' an exploration of Cole Porter's 'Love For Sale' and a deep soulful re-discovery of Compay Segundo's 'Chan Chan,' as well as in Camilo's own words, "my take on the perpetual polyrhythmic intricacies of 'Take Five' - as a personal nod of admiration and awe to the legacy of legendary master Dave Brubeck."
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