Shai Maestro,talented 27-year-old pianist and a composer, has earned his spurs being a part of Avishai Cohen's band. Now he has a band of his own--Shai Maestro Trio (although he says it's not his" band but theirs": Shai, Jorge Roeder and Ziv Ravitz). The group has released two albums so far--in 2012 Shai Maestro Trio and in 2013 The Road to Ithaca. In this interview, taken at Enter Music Festival, Shai shared his thoughts not only about his music, but also about going through the process of becoming an authentic musician and expressing uniqueness of being a human through music. ...read more
This interview was originally published at One Final Note in October 2002. When one reflects on the innovators who were fundamental in propelling the second wave of the new music movement in the 1960s, Bill Dixon's name always appears near the top of the list. His accomplishments as a musician and educator are vast, a small sampling of which includes his work as architect of the Jazz Composers' Guild in 1964; the formation of the Black Music Division at Bennington College, Visiting Professor in the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin, and Distinguished Visitor in the ...read more
Jazz has long conciliated a sonic language that speaks of the nubilous, mystifying aspects of the human journey. Through jazz, we find the evocation of diverse emotions of the human spirit--depression, happiness, pain and love--sonically conjured through its dissonant chords and jagged rhythmic constructions. Indeed, the deepest and most hidden emotions are provoked and dealt with, sensitizing a greater awareness about ourselves which can elicit self-reflection and divine peace. In this way, a jazz piece can have a spiritually anodynic or healing power. I recall that many jazz musicians had strong ties to the church; some whose music ...read more
Benny Golson's timeless ballad, I Remember Clifford" is but one measure of the reverence and love with which Clifford Brown was regarded by musicians, friends, family, and fans. The affection in which he was held during his lifetime was made all the more poignant by his untimely death at the peak of his rapidly advancing career. Over the years, legends and myths have grown up around Brownie, and, although most are based on loving memories, many of the details of his life were lost in the shuffle. Don Glanden, pianist and Division Head of Graduate Jazz Studies at The University ...read more
Saxophonist Jon Irabagon likes challenges in music; likes attempting different things. He's not opposed to things traditional, but would prefer to come at music and sounds from different angles. He enjoys the journey; enjoys experiencing the results. At 35, he's on the go all the time, ubiquitous on the jny: New York City music scene. In the next minute, he's often off to Europe on tour with one of his own groups or playing as a sideman. Not long after he came to New York from jny: Chicago in 2001, he was there for the birth of Mostly ...read more
Kris Bowers is a pristine example of what the term prodigy embodies. In 2011, at the tender age of 22, he became the winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. Bowers also received an astute musical education at Julliard School of Music in New York--receiving a Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in Film Scoring and Jazz Performance before reaching the age of 25. Yet Bowers' style is not limited to traditional jazz. It is also shaped by the diverse musical genres he listened to on the radio as a kid, which makes his sound intriguing. He can ...read more
The drummer, percussionist and composer Erland Dahlen is one of the most proficient musicians of the Nordic jazz community. His collaborations with top ranking musicians, such as Nils Petter Molvaer, Stian Westerhus, Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang, as well as his solo projects, have an unmistakable rhythmic signature owing to his singular instrumental voice. The natural roundness and the musicality of his drums as well as the spatiality of the cymbals and bells create an inspiring rhythmical halo. Dahlen's solo album Rolling Bomber (Hubro Records, 2012) combines the drum work with the electronic sequencing in a multi-layered rhythmical ...read more
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