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.
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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.
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‘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.
Robin McKelle is pleased to announce the February 14th, 2020 release of her new album Alterations. Vocalist Robin McKelle delves into the catalogue of some of the most celebrated women of song, interpreting these masterworks through the lens of the jazz idiom. On Alterations, McKelle follows in a long tradition of female song interpreters, lending her sultry vocal stylings to classics by a diverse list of female innovators including Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carol King, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Lana Del Ray. McKelle is joined on this release by a group of consummate musicians including co-producer, pianist and arranger Shedrick Mitchell, acoustic and electric bassist Richie Goods, drummer Charles Haynes, guitarist Nir Felder. In addition, esteemed saxophonist Keith Loftis is featured on McKelle's sole original composition on this release, "Head High"; and renowned trumpeter Marquis Hill is featured on Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die". The first single from Alterations, McKelle's rendition of Sade's "No Ordinary Love", will be released in late January. Alterations will be released on Doxie Records and distributed and marketed by the Orchard.
An Enigmatic Sound, a Storyteller's Narrative and a Live Performance Style Imbued with Rat Pack Moxie Singer and Writer Robin McKelle is a Genre-Blurring Musical Alchemist, Taking Listeners on a Sonic Trip to the Old South, Sprinkling in Hints of the Motown Era or Even a Sade Album, and Mixing it Together to Create Her Inspiring Melodic Canvas' of Soul, Jazz, Gospel and More. On her new album - Melodic Canvas, McKelle is empowered by not trying to fit into a box, and the music is deeply textured, rich, and authentic. Melodic Canvas is also a timely social commentary, from the struggling teen in ‘Lyla' to the immigrant tale of ‘Simple Man'; the moments of social awareness, in ‘Yes We Can Can' (an Allen Toussaint cover featuring Chris Potter) and ‘It Won't End Up', are wise and inspiring without feeling heavy-handed; on first single ‘Do You Believe', McKelle questions religion, hate, misogyny.
Robin McKelle might have called this album The Real McKelle. "It's the record I've always dreamed of making. Not that there was anything stopping me in the past, it's simply that things panned out differently." The singer herself wrote most of the songs on this new production, a contemporary blend of soul and rhythm 'n' blues that avoids today's retro tendencies. "I love that music so much that I couldn't see myself doing something ‘in the style of…". I grew up listening to Nina Simone and Gladys Knight. I sang their classics and what I enjoy most today is building my own repertoire in that same soulful vein." Soul Flower mainly consists of original tracks along with a few covers, including an upbeat Walk On By.
21 NEW 78 Total Stations/Shows
SYND: CBC Music Direct: MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle, Cleveland, Portland, Austin, New Orleans, Long Is. NY, El Paso, Rochester NY, Madison WI, Hartford CT, Canada Online: RadioIO, The Jazz Intersection, Green Arrow Radio, Hot Time Radio Show, otticFM, Taintradio, Live 365, Paul Leslie Hour, Blues and Beyond, Jazzweekly, GURU
Robin McKelle comes out swinging on her second disc of big band jazz, Modern Antique. The bassist plucks some fat, rich chords, the pianist skitters over the keys, and McKelle herself confidently scats over the melody while the horn section eggs her on. The mood is playfully flirtatious, just this side of naughty. The entire combo is having so much fun and so are you that the tune is almost over before you realize it's an ingenious re-arrangement of Steve Miller's seventies classic, "Abracadabra."
2 New 'ON' this week: 140 Total
Peak: #19 Jazzweek SYND: WFMT: Jazz w/Bob Parlocha, PRI: Jazz After Hours, Jazz Variations, Music of Your Life, Sixty Second CD, The Bill Miller Show Networks: CBC, GPB, KPR Direct: XM: Real Jazz, Bloomberg Radio Markets include: Los Angeles, Boston, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Houston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore, Detroit, Las Vegas, San Diego, Long Island NY, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, Orlando, Raleigh NC, Tucson AZ, Sacramento, Wichita, Omaha, CANADA
On her newest release: Mess Around, Robin McKelle's warm contralto surrounds a first class rhythm 'n' blues record. After two albums devoted to big-band jazz and swing - Introducing Robin McKelle (2006) and Modern Antique (2008), Mess Around is a departure drawing from artists and groups such as The Bee Gees, Leonard Cohen, Doc Pomus, Willie Dixon and The Beatles. The aesthetic choices lend a wealth of meaning and consistency to the session, led by McKelle.
4 New ON this week: 163 Total Synd: Jazz Inspired, PRI/Jazz After Hours, WFMT/Jazz with Bob Parlocha, Sixty Second CD Direct: SiriusXM: Real Jazz & NPR Now(Jazz Inspired) Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Wash DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, Denver, Portland, Baltimore, San Diego, Detroit, Las Vegas, San Diego, New Orleans, Memphis, Sacramento & Berekeley CA, Salt Lake, Austin TX, Orlando, Canada Online: The Jazzintersecion.com, RadioIO, Taintradio, Live 365, RadioIO
Having worked with Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Michael McDonald, Wayne Shorter, Jon Secada & others, Robin McKelle now releases her debut album that broadens the boundaries of retro-swing. Introducing Robin McKelle evokes the spirit of 1940's America, while retaining an edge that speaks of a new time. With its balance of swing and balladry, the album heralds the arrival of a peerless interpretive artist.
1 New "ON" this week: 148 Total
SYND: NPR: Morning Edition, Bob Parlocha's Jazz Sat Network, The Bill Miller Show, Anything Goes Markets include: Los Angeles, Boston, Wash DC, Seattle(ADI), Houston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis, Baltimore, San Diego, Portland(ADI), Long Island(NYC:ADI), Las Vegas, Salt Lake, Louisville, Buffalo, Rochester, Raleigh NC, Australia, The Netherlands