Recently on A Blog Supreme, pianist and blogger Kurt Ellenberger expressed doubt that audiences for jazz can continue to grow, writing that audience development is "a tall order that seems insurmountable." Although this alarm bell has been sounded by jazz writers for at least seven decades, musicians stubbornly seem to keep on playing, and new fans keep on discovering the music.
Two-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones has been pushing down musical boundaries for over four decades with her hauntingly beautiful voice and fearless experimentation. She has carved out a unique path in music, collaborating with artists from Alison Krauss to Dr. John.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:50 pm
My two-week stay in Europe ended earlier this week with a stroke of luck: My German father-in-law gave me his beautiful old violin, the one he's played since he was 11. But getting it back safely to the U.S. was more of a problem than I imagined.
In March, indie-folk band The David Wax Museum spent a week bringing enthusiastic performances, infectious joy and butchered Mandarin phrases to China. This compelling mini-documentary chronicles the band's trip as "cultural ambassadors" at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology. In an email, band-member Suz Slezak explains how the trip came about:
The Philadelphia Orchestra has just wrapped up a 10-day visit to China, its seventh trip to the country over the past four decades.
But this trip was different.
The orchestra is preparing to come out of bankruptcy, and this tour was about its survival. It hopes to balance its books by building new audiences and new revenues in the world's second-largest economy.
Cheb i Sabbah's life traces an almost fairy-tale perfect path through the evolution of what's now called world music. Born in Algeria in 1947, he absorbed the Judeo-Arabic Andalusian music of his local culture before he joined the '60s rebellion and became a 17-year-old DJ playing soul 45s in Paris. By the end of the decade, he'd moved to New York and become friends with trumpeter Don Cherry, famous for his association with Ornette Coleman and a pioneer in the concept of multicultural music.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 9:20 am
Led by Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt, ethereal folk-rock group The Pines makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Paramount Theater in Bristol, Tenn./Va. As a young boy growing up Iowa, Ramsey watched as his father â€” producer and guitarist Bo Ramsey â€” helped craft the definitive alt-country sound alongside Lucinda Williams.