Gary Keys, the producer, writer and director who brought history and a lively perspective to his many popular documentaries on Count Basie and Duke Ellington, died Aug. 9 in Manhattan.
The phrase “Bird lives” refers to Charlie “Bird” Parker’s iconic life as the most influential alto saxophone player in jazz.
The pianist, arranger and composer Danny Mixon is underrated on the jazz radar screen, but his music and contributions to the field are a big deal.
Before 1954, Newport, R.I., was a quiet resort town for the rich who loved sunshine, tennis, their sailboats, yachts and, of course, fresh seafood.
The swinging bands of salsa flourishing with its big brass sound leaked out into the streets from social clubs to Bronx spots such as the Carlton Terrance and Concourse Plaza to Manhattan’s Corso and Riverside Plaza.
Don’t let his wild dyed-blond Afro fool you, pianist Axel Tosca Laugart from Cuba has skills.
If you are looking for a jazz scene that scares the jazz police and causes those smooth jazz heads to run in the opposite direction, then the Vision Jazz Festival is the place.
Charenee Wade, for her debut release on Motema Music, took a bold leap by recording her interpretation of the music of Gil Scott-Heron, titled “Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson.”
Recently, the diva soprano Kathleen Battle brought her multi-octave angelic voice to the hip Blue Note jazz club.
Ornette Coleman, the multi-instrumentalist, composer and innovator whose harmonic concepts pointed jazz in a new direction, died June 11 in Manhattan.
While institutions like the Village Gate, Mikel’s and the JVC Jazz Festival have become a subject of the past tense, the tradition has continued with Jack Kleinsinger’s “Highlights in Jazz,” New York’s longest running jazz concert series.
Rome Neal, with his many persevering projects in the field of jazz, has earned him the title of the “hardest working man in jazz” as a singer, actor, producer and promoter.
Bruce Lundvall, the distinguished president of Blue Note Records, who played a major role in the world of jazz, died May 19 in Ridgewood, N.J.
B.B. King, the anointed “King of the Blues,” who took the blues from the Mississippi cotton fields to mainstream America and the world stage, died May 14. He was 89.
Wayne Shorter is an accomplished composer and superb saxophonist always in transition. Many of his compositions, such as “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum,” “Infant Eyes” and “E.S.P.,” have become jazz standards.
Percy Sledge, the blues and soul singer who had both men and women unconsciously committed to singing the lyrics to his hit song “When a Man Loves a Woman,” died in Baton Rouge, La., April 14.
Ron Scott gives us this week's "Jazz Notes".
The artist Jacob Lawrence’s “One-Way Ticket: Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North” is now on exhibit through Sept. 7 at the Museum of Modern Art.
On a misty morning of clouds, more than 1,000 people, dressed primarily in African garb, stood regally in a tremendously long line, waiting for admission into Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church to celebrate the life of Dr. Yosef Alfredo Antonio ben-Jochannan, affectionately called “Dr. Ben.”
Billie Holiday is one of the best jazz singers in history. This is not up for debate. However, she could just as easily be considered one of the best blues singers as well.
Randy Weston, the brilliant pianist and composer, will celebrate his 89th birthday at the Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St., April 2 through April 5, with sets at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
During her recent engagement at the Blue Note, it became evident Dee Dee Bridgewater is the most dynamite female jazz vocalist of this century.
The young Roy Haynes earned a reputation in his hometown of Roxbury, Mass., before Luis Russell sent him a one-way ticket to join his 18-piece band, which was engaged at Harlem’s Savory Ballroom in 1945.
Brooklyn was one of the hottest boroughs in Gotham, with jazz musicians such as Max Roach, Cecil Payne and Randy Weston all being born there and later turning the little city into a hotbed for jazz.
Clark Terry, one of the most influential trumpet and flugelhorn players for six decades, who mentored Quincy Jones, Miles Davis and Dianne Reeves, died Feb. 21 in Pine Bluff, Ark. He was 94.
The intuitive bassist and educator whose style was a perfect fit for such varied musicians from Duke Ellington to Dizzy Gillespie, Nina Simone, Cecil Taylor and Carmen McRae died Dec. 2 in his home in Montclair, N.J. He was 78.
New York’s longest running jazz concert series, Jack Kleinsinger’s “Highlights in Jazz,” kicks off its 43rd season with a 42nd anniversary gala Feb. 19, featuring vocalist Catherine Russell and her band making their debut appearance.
Hip-hop, jazz, blues, gospel, R&B and funk are all members of the Black music family. Like its older brother blues, hip-hop comes directly from the experiences and perspective of the singer or rapper.
The 2015 Harlem Fine Arts Show, which takes place Feb. 12 through Feb. 15 at the Riverside Church in Harlem, recently kicked off with a preview reception at The New York Times Corporate Headquarters.
Upon a recent visit to Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center), it was quite evident the star of the hour was not an individual musician, but the all-inclusive New Century Jazz Quintet.
When it comes to television and film, jazz takes a backseat as the stepbrother to hip-hop, soul or pop music, so it was somewhat of a surprise when J.K. Simmons won Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for the jazz-based film “Whiplash”.
The noted percussionist Steve Kroon, who has played many jazz venues nationally and internationally, will make his debut Jan. 16 at Trumpet’s Jazz Club, 6 Depot Square, Montclair, N.J.
No one wants to be home New Year’s Eve. It is the evening of celebration, bringing in the New Year with a bang and big plans with wishes for the year.
Regardless of America’s ever-changing situation, Black music has always been its soundtrack depicting the mood of the times, from war to peace, lynchings to chain gangs, segregation, civil disobedience, integration, police brutality and nonviolent resistance.
Some of the most influential jazz musicians to ever play an instrument recorded on Blue Note Records, founded in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis, with Francis Wolff joining with them shortly afterwards.
The on-going jazz fable is the music is dying, and it has yet to reach a younger audience. Hopefully, eager enthusiasts will be able to kick six feet of dirt on this mindless concept after venturing into Minton’s to witness the collaboration with the Harlem School of the Arts Dec. 7.
The neighborhood bar in Harlem has become little more than a memory only cherished by the community’s elders.
He was called “Little Jimmy Scott,” but his heart was that of a giant.
During Russell Gunn’s recent one-nighter at the Blue Note jazz club, his music took the audience to the musical cliff’s edge, and as the pebbles fell beneath their feet, they breathlessly moved to a spiked groove.
Cassandra Wilson, the most daring of female jazz vocalists, whose style transcends categories with its infusion of soul and blues, will carry on at the Blue Note jazz club (131 W. Third St.) Oct. 16 through Oct. 19, with two shows each night at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ is one of the best films of the decade. It chronicles the life of legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry (age 89 at the time of filming) focusing on a period when he was battling diabetes-related complications while working with his young protege, pianist Justin Kauflin (then age 23).
For pianist-composer Randy Weston, jazz is more than a flow of hip music with improvisational statements, it represents the roots of Africa, the origin of jazz.
Gerald Wilson, a big band leader and trumpeter whose fountain of jazz compositions and arrangements became a pivotal force, influencing eight generations of musicians, died Sept. 8 in his home in Los Angeles.
Rain, the demon of outdoor jazz festivals, spread its hysterical tears over the Detroit Jazz Festival last week, denying bassist Stanley Clarke and Dr. Lonnie Smith’s octet the opportunity to close the festival on its Labor Day finale.
It’s very difficult for any band to maintain a high profile for an extended period of time, but saxophonist Patience Higgins and the Sugar Hill Quartet have kept Harlem swinging for more than 20 years.
John Blake Jr., who continued the early tradition of bringing the violin into the jazz arena and making its voice heard with the music of Africa to avant-garde, R&B, blues and spirituals, died Aug. 15 in Philadelphia.
Charlie Parker, the pride of Kansas City, Kan. would have been 94 on his birthday, Aug. 29. The festival named in his honor will celebrate its 22nd year Aug. 22 to Aug. 24.
The Jazz in the Valley Festival, which commences Aug. 17, has an outstanding lineup of musicians to get Big Apple jazzheads out of their city complacency and on the highway or train to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., for the 14th annual festival in Waryas Park.
When you are successful, it is easy to rest on your laurels, but a lackadaisical attitude was never a part of George Wein’s mentality, which is why his Newport Jazz Festival just celebrated its 60th year.
In the midst of this Harlem gentrification, more venues are opening their doors to live jazz. Every Thursday, the Lenox Saphire (341 Lenox Avenue at 127th Street) brightens with The Phil Young Experience and Friends.