When you read enough about the early lives of jazz musicians, you begin to spot a trend. A lot of artists caught the music bug from their parents.
With instruments and musicians around the house, it's easy for kids to grow curious about playing. But that's not nearly the whole story. Sometimes parents are the first teachers. Other times, parental guidance doesn't fully kick in until much later.
Saxophonist Jerry Dodgion has played with just about everyone in the jazz world throughout his long career. In 1955, Dodgion joined Benny Carter in Las Vegas for the opening of the Moulin Rouge, and in the late '50s, he played with both Frank Sinatra and the Red Norvo quintet.
Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 12:59 pm
Singer Jimmy Scott died of natural causes Thursday morning at his home in Las Vegas at age 88, according to his booking agent, Jean-Pierre Leduc.
Scott suffered from Kallmann's syndrome, a lifelong affliction that prevented his body from maturing through puberty. The condition slowed his growth, leaving his stature at 4 feet 11 inches until his late 30s. It also affected his vocal cords, giving him a high voice that was often misidentified as a woman's.
About two years ago, playwright David Henry Hwang turned down an offer to write a play about the brief life and suicide of Army Pvt. Danny Chen.
But an opera? He couldn't refuse.
"This is a story with big emotions, big primary colors in a way, and big plot events," says Hwang, who wrote the libretto for An American Soldier, a new hourlong opera commissioned by Washington National Opera.
The Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma presented their fifth series of concerts this season on Monday, April 7th at All Soul's Episcopal Church and on Tuesday, April 8th at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. The program, entitled And Legions will Rise featured works variously scored for clarinet, strings and marimba by Carl Maria von Weber, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Louis Spohr and Edward Knight and takes its name from the Title of the final piece of the program by Kevin Puts.
The World Cup begins Thursday in Brazil amid controversy concerning FIFA (soccer's governing body) and Brazil's preparations for the month-long event. The music of the World Cup has also been contentious, and on this episode of Latin Roots from World Cafe, Billboard's Judy Cantor-Navas explains the difference between the official "theme song" and the official "anthem."
We'll hear both pieces of music and discuss how the largely Portuguese-speaking Brazilian population feels about official music that's not in its language.
"Goooooooooaal!!" (Isn't that a lovely sound? It just makes one feel better, somehow.) The 2014 FIFA World Cup is now underway, as everyone and his brother knows, and our second-hour theme on the next edition of All This Jazz has been accordingly devised.
The concerto. It's a musical recipe more than 400 years old but composers still cook with it. And why shouldn't they? We still seem to crave the sound of a virtuosic soloist playing with (and often against) an orchestra. As in centuries past, virtuosos still inspire, and in many cases commission, composers to write some of their best music, which can push an instrument to its creative limit.