Thursday, May 8, 2014

Gloria a jazz-mass to be recorded with crowdfunding

 Gloria is a jazz mass, a sacred music work, which essence is to celebrate humanity. Played by 4 seasoned jazzmen from Montreal (Canada), Gloria proposes a contrasted fraternal experience.
Sylvain Picard - compositions & guitar
Yannick Rieu - tenor & soprano
Maxime St-Pierre - trumpet & flugelhorn

Adrian Vedady - double-bass

This project consists in the recording of an album featuring Gloria's ten pieces jazz mass. In order to do so, all of these activities have to be done:
- Record Gloria in a state of the art studio in downtown Montréal (approx. 2 days)
- Document the recording session with video shooting and photographs
- Mix and master the recording
- Design the CD cover and booklet
- Hire a PR agent to promote a CD launch-concert
- Rent a venue with staff (sound engineer, lighting, bar, tickets)
- Offer an energizing and invigorating CD launch-concert

This self produced album will have two functions. First, with it we will be able to share this invigorating music with all. Second, it will be easier for us to book tours in America and abroad with a great CD.

A video explaining the genesis of Gloria

The actual campaign

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Announces 2013 Jazz Winners

Trumpeter Shunzo Ohno Is Awarded Overall Grand Prize

May 6, 2014 - - The International Songwriting Competition (ISC), widely recognized as the most prestigious and respected songwriting competition in the world, has today announced its 2013 winners.

ISC's highest distinction, the Grand Prize, is awarded to Japanese trumpeter Shunzo Ohno for his song "Musashi." This is the first time in the 13-year history of ISC that the Grand Prize has been awarded to a songwriter in the Jazz category.

In addition to the Grand Prize, artists Yuto Kanazawa, Rashid Lanie, and Jason Anick garner the First, Second, and Third Place wins in Jazz, one of ISC's most competitive categories.

Jazz winners were selected by recording artists Joshua Redman and Boney James. Other category judges included Imagine Dragons, Martina McBride, Josh Turner, Keane, Jon Secada, Dido, Garbage, Darryl McDaniels, James Cotton, Jason Isbell, Anoushka Shankar, Monte Lipman (Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Republic Records), Dan McCarroll (President, Warner Bros. Records), Alison Donald (Co-President, Columbia Records UK), and more.

"It is vital for songwriters to be recognized for their talents and awarded the due respect for their accomplishments," states Candace Avery, Founder and Director. "This year we have awarded our highest honor, the ISC Grand Prize, to a Jazz artist, and we applaud the importance of this genre in our musical landscape. The recipient, Shunzo Ohno, greatly deserves this honor, and ISC is proud to bestow this award on him."

Shunzo Ohno is a virtuosic jazz trumpeter and an accomplished composer and arranger. One of the leading jazz trumpeters in his native Japan by the age of 19, Ohno moved to New York City in 1974 to perform with jazz legend Art Blakey & The Messengers. Since then, he has performed and toured with many more of the world's greatest jazz artists, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Gil Evans, Larry Coryell, Machito & His Afro-Cuban Orchestra, and others. With numerous recordings under his own name as a leader, he has also appeared on over 30 more as a sideman and has collaborated on two Grammy winning recordings.

Ohno has been described as modest and seemingly shy, and he has overcome health challenges in his life that would have potentially ended any musician's career, especially a trumpet player. Surviving both a serious car accident in which his teeth and lips were permanently damaged and a later bout of throat cancer which forced him to relearn his playing, he is a testament to determination and courage, even inspiring a biography and documentary in Japan about his life.

Ohno's inspiration for the winning song came from a character in Japanese history, Musashi, who lived in the 1500-1600s. He was a writer, painter, and skilled swordsman who was undefeated. He was thought to be a deep thinker with an extreme sense of individuality and strength, and he traveled through the woods and mountains of Japan. Ohno says, "I wrote the song at a time in my life when a sense of courage was necessary. I was searching for that particular sense of courage, to be undefeated in the midst of what seemed impossible. I wanted to express that sense of being fearless in the midst of what may seem chaotic and unsupportive. I found in Musashi a pure vision of unique courage. It is my hope others might feel that sense of tenacious determination and courage - in an adventurous way."

           For a more in-depth bio, please go to

Based in the USA and established in 2002, ISC awards more than $150,000 in cash and prizes to amateur and professional songwriters around the world. A total of 68 winners from 120 countries worldwide were selected from almost 20,000 entries. The Grand Prize winner is awarded $25,000 in
cash (US) and an additional $35,000 in merchandise and services.

2013 Jazz Winners Include:

First Place
"Truth & The Abstract Blues Ft. Kurt Elling" - Yuto Kanazawa (Shirakawa City, Japan)

First Place goes to Yuto Kanazawa, a guitarist and composer who grew up in Tokyo and Fukushima, Japan. He studied at Koyo Conservatory Kobe before moving to the United States and graduating from Berklee College of Music. Kanazawa released his first album, Earthwards, from Interrobang Records featuring Grammy winning vocalist Kurt Elling on the album's final track and ISC-winning song, "Truth & the Abstract Blues." Kanazawa has been integral in The United East Jazz Quintet, a collaborative project between Korean and Japanese young jazz musicians. The band toured 12 locations in Korea and Japan, performing concerts and giving clinics for college students in June, 2013, including a sold-out concert in his hometown of Shirakawa City, Fukushima. Kanazawa is currently based in NY and recently joined the NY Jazz Workshop as the youngest member of the faculty.

Second Place
"Ehlatini (The Bush)"  - Rashid Lanie (Johannesburg, South Africa)  RA

South African artist Rashid Lanie garners Second Place Winner in the Jazz category for the song "Ehlatini (The Bush)." An acclaimed pianist, composer, producer, and recording artist, Lanie performed in the World Cup 2010 Kick-Off Celebration Concert with Alicia Keyes, Angelique Kidjo, Shakira, John Legend, and Black Eyed Peas. He has also worked with Randy Brecker, Hugh Masekela, Ernie Watts, and pop artists Paul Simon, Chaka Khan, and others. He was the musical director for the launch of The Lion King album Rhythm Of The Pridelands. Lanie is well-known in South Africa not just for his musical accomplishments but also for his political activism in the fight against Apartheid. In 1992, he was commissioned to write a song celebrating Mandela's release from prison, and he has spoken at the United Nations on behalf of South African musicians. He was honored to have performed for the Dalai Lama at the 1999 Sacred Music Festival.

Third Place
"Occupy" - Jason Anick - Boston, MA, USA

One of the youngest instructors at Berklee College of Music, Anick takes home Third Place with the song "Occupy." Anick is considered "a rising star in the world of jazz violin and mandolin"- Downbeat Magazine. In addition to leading his own ensemble and performing with the Rhythm Future Quartet, Anick has been touring and recording with Grammy award-winning Nashville guitar virtuoso John Jorgenson since 2008. Talk to the abundantly gifted violinist and mandolin player Jason Anick and the phrase " jazz without borders" will invariably come up.  What the axiom means to Anick is a contemporary jazz that is stylistically inclusive in nature, a jazz that brings whatever it can to the party, unwilling to cut something out of the mix for fear of it not fitting prescribed boundaries. A demonstration of the maxim in action can be found on Anick's second album as a leader, Tipping Point, which has been gaining critical acclaim. His performances have taken him all over the world to China, Europe, and Japan and renowned venues such as The Montreal Jazz Festival, Scullers Jazz Club, Yoshi's Jazz Club, The Iridium, and The Regattabar.

In addition to these winners, 10 other deserving Jazz songs garner an Honorable Mention in the category:

"Agog" - Bruno Raberg (Lexington, MA, USA)
"Bunyips" - Tony Barnard (Sydney, NSW, Australia)
"Crossing Colors - Harmony" - Yuichiro Tokuda (Chiba, Japan)
"Dog Dance" - Jerry De Villiers Jr. (St-Hubert, QC, Canada)
"Inspiration Point" - Jason Anick (Boston, MA, USA)
"King Cyrus Enters Babylon" - Daren Burns (Sedona, AZ, USA)
"Magnetic Whale" - Luka Veselinovic (Zagreb, Croatia)
"My Lover And My Friend" - Gregg Arthur, Casper Tromp (Sydney, NSW,
"Phantom Fish" - Sérgio Galvão (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
"Top Dog" - Jens Larsen / Træben (Skjern, Denmark)

ISC is sponsored by: Presonus, Lowden Guitars, Marshall Amplification, Solid State Logic, Berklee College Of Music, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Airplay Direct, D'Addario, DiscMakers, Thayers,, Sonicbids, The Music Business Registry, Indie Venue Bible, Celebrity Access, Tunecore, Independent Mastering, George Stein, Esq., Songtrust, and Taxi.

For a complete list of 2013 ISC winners and to hear the winning songs, go to

To download low-res photos of all winners, go to
        For high-res photos, please contact Candace Avery at
ISC is now accepting entries for 2014. More information can be found at:

Highlights In Jazz Final Show Of The Season Thurs., May 8th "Brothers In Jazz"

Jack Kleinsinger’s
Highlights In Jazz
New York’s Longest Running Jazz Concert Series

Concludes it’s 42nd Season with Brothers In Jazz
starring the Heath Brothers -
Jimmy Heath and Albert “Tootie” Heath and
Peter Anderson & Will Anderson
Perform Music of the Dorsey Brothers

featuring Wycliffe Gordon
plus a surprise special guest

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 8 pm 

Tribeca Performing Arts Center
Borough of Manhattan Community College
199 Chambers Street
NYC 10007
For Immediate Release

April 14, 2014
Jack Kleinsinger’s Highlights In Jazz, New York’s longest running jazz concert series, concludes it’s 42nd season on Thursday May 8, 2014 at 8:00 PM at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at Borough Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street, NY, 10007 with a celebration of Brothers In Jazz featuring The Heath Brothers - Jimmy Heath and Albert “Tootie” Heath and Peter Anderson & Will Anderson Performing The Music of the Dorsey Brothers featuring Wycliffe Gordon plus, as in all Highlights In Jazz concerts, a surprise special guest.

Now in their fifth decade together, The Heath Brothers, remains one of the most enduring groups performing in jazz history. First assembled in 1975, the band, which originally featured tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, bassist Percy Heath and drummer/percussionist Albert “Tootie” Heath (along with pianist Stanley Cowell) garnered international recognition with their debut Strata East recording Marching On. Since the 2005 passing of eldest brother Percy (well known for his forty year tenure with The Modern Jazz Quartet), the group has gone on with bassist David Wong, along with long time pianist Jeb Patton. Playing an engaging repertoire distinguished by the classic compositions Jimmy and the exhilarating rhythms of Tootie the ensemble persists as one of the most satisfying bands in music today, living up to the title of their 2009 Jazz Legacy CD release Endurance.

Recipient of the 1990 Highlights In Jazz Award, the annual honor presented by Kleinsinger “to celebrate living jazz artists who have made an enormous contribution to the jazz art form and are loved and respected by their fellow artists and jazz aficionados alike,” NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath, who will be making his eleventh Highlights appearance with this performance, praises  the impresario and his series, noting, ”Jack’s  a great respectful presenter over many years and we always enjoy playing for his audiences.  His concerts are both well organized and well attended.”

Sharing the bill with the Heath Brothers will be Peter and Will Anderson (Performing The Music of the Dorsey Brothers), making their third Highlights In Jazz appearance. Will Anderson declares, “My brother and I are really looking forward to this performance.  It’s going to be a dream for us to play beside Jimmy and Tootie Heath.  The Heath Brothers have been a huge inspiration to us.” The remarkable young siblings, hailed by The New York Times as “virtuosos on clarinet and saxophone,” have received widespread praise for their Off Broadway jazz productions Artie Shaw at 100, The Fabulous Dorseys and Le Jazz Hot. They will reprise their swinging renditions of compositions by big band giants Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey with an exciting ensemble featuring Wynton Marsalis Sextet/ and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra alumnus, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, who will be performing for the dedicated Highlights crowd for the  fifteenth time.

As in all Highlights In Jazz concerts the show will also feature a surprise guest, chosen from among the music’s finest players.  Some of the biggest stars in jazz who have appeared as special guests in previous years have been Eubie Blake, Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Branford Marsalis, Carmen McRae, Gerry Mulligan and George Shearing.    

Tickets for individual concerts may be ordered for $45.00, students $40.00 
Box Office 212-220-1460
Online HERE

All Shows at:
TRIBECA Performing Arts Center
Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street
TRIBECA Box Office at (212) 220-1460

Concerts produced in association with:
Borough of Manhattan Community College
199 Chambers Street
(212) 220 -1460


For Interviews, photos and general Highlights In Jazz Information Contact:

Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services
272 State Route 94 South #1 Warwick, NY 10990
T: 845-986-1677 / F: 845-986-1699

 Web Site:

Mosaic Records Issues a Spectacular 9-Disc Set of Live Performances by the Peerless Louis Armstrong: The Complete "Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and The All Stars"

Mosaic Records Issues a Spectacular 9-Disc Set of
Live Performances by the Peerless Louis Armstrong:
The Complete Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings
of Louis Armstrong and The All StarsAvailable May 20

Mosaic Also Set to Release Armstrong's
Complete '56 and '58 Newport Jazz Festival
Performances with Four LP Set:
Louis Armstrong & The All Stars: Newport 1956 &1958

There has never been a more globally beloved figure from the world of jazz than Louis "Pops/Satchmo" Armstrong. His influence on the development of both jazz and American popular music is indisputably unparalleled. A lesser-known and disturbing fact is that for the last 30 years of his life he was under attack by many critics and musicians as irrelevant, under-achieving and too heavily focused on commercial success. Now, Mosaic Records offers clear testimony to the inaccuracy and injustice of those characterizations with its spectacular Columbia and RCA Victor Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and The All Stars. A nine-disc set covering the years 1947-1958, these wonderful recordings provide crystal-clear evidence of Louis' profound artistry and majestic audience appeal from the most meaningful platform of musical scrutiny - the bandstand.

"This LP sets focuses on the complete performances by Louis Armstrong and his All Stars at the third and fifth Newport Jazz Festivals, which are two of the linchpins from our larger CD edition," says Mosaic Records co-founder, Michael Cuscuna. "Although tracks have been parceled out over the years, this 2014 set will finally present these excellent performances in the entirety and in performance order, giving us a healthy portion of previously unissued music by Louis with Trummty Young, Edmond Hall, Peanuts Hucko, Jack Teagarden, Bobby Hackett and Billy Kyle."

Mosaic is not only known for assembling collections of vitally important music by many of jazz' most immortal and influential figures, but also of establishing historical accuracy and edification of the true import of America's only indigenous art form. This set - a 12-year slice of his creative output on the worldwide stage - shows the peerless Pops to be fully in the forefront of jazz at its jubilant, transcendent and irresistible best on nearly 163 tracks of both his most popular songs along with many that are far less familiar.

Performing over 300 shows a year throughout these years (and most of his life), it's very fortunate that the performances offered here were recorded for posterity. Most of this can be attributed to the legendary producer George Avakian - to whom this set has been dedicated - who is responsible for nearly 70% of the material contained here. As his exclusive producer at Columbia from when Louis joined the label in 1955, George implemented the latest technological advances, which enhanced the material for both artist and label. But that sometimes demanded editing and altering the music for best commercial appeal. Mosaic has restored all of the concert recordings to their purest essence, demonstrating all of the fire and raw creativity of the music exactly as the screaming and stomping audiences heard it over 50 years ago. And as a gigantic bonus, there are 75 tracks being released for the very first time.

The set begins with the scintillating 1947 concert at New York's Town Hall, which dramatically altered Louis' live performance format to the one that would remain intact for the rest of his life. Eschewing his 16-piece big band for a smaller, more au courant ensemble, The All Stars were born. In this incarnation it was the remarkable assemblage of Jack Teagarden on trombone, clarinetist Peanuts Hucko, pianist Dick Cary, bassist Bob Haggart and two alternating drummers - George Wettling and "Big" Sid Catlett - on 20 tracks of pure joy.

A newfound gem is the 1947 Carnegie Hall concert, which sat improperly labeled in RCA's vaults for over half a century, is issued here for the very first time. Some 90 minutes of material was preserved - 18 brilliant tracks, also featuring Teagarden, Cary and Catlett, but this time with the eminent Barney Bigard on clarinet, the big bass sound of Arvell Shaw and the addition of vocalist Velma Middleton.

Photograph courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum

The Avakian sessions comprise the rest of the set. Adding a new nickname to Louis' already impressive array of monikers, Ambassador Satch was bestowed - a fitting name for the man who had become the world's foremost representative of American jazz and music in the 1950s. Performances from Amsterdam and Milan featured the new All Stars of Trummy Young on trombone, Edmond Hall on clarinet, pianist Billy Kyle and drummer Barrett Deems, along with Shaw and Middleton. The Milan performance was recorded in a theater in front of a small invited audience. The original release included fake applause, which has been removed so that only the wild response of the actual audience is heard, genuinely enhancing the immediacy of the live concert.

Three U.S. concerts are also included. The Great Chicago Concert from 1956 has been out of print for a long time, but is available again here - with additional material, fully restored and unedited (Dale Jones replaces Arvell Shaw). Two Newport Jazz Festival performances from 1956 and 1958 are here, uncut and including 28 tracks that have never been released. The 1958 concert reunited Louis with Teagarden, Hucko and cornetist Bobby Hackett, plus a most interesting item of Louis fronting The International Youth Band.

A Los Angeles studio date is included here because it was originally released as a live concert. It's a fascinating set of unedited versions of popular songs that provides an unusual and intimate glimpse of how Louis and The All Stars developed and refined their material.

There are other very special and inclusions - two never-before released tracks recorded in Ghana, one with local musicians, singers and dancers; an unreleased track from a London concert; a great version of Mack the Knife from Carnegie Hall; an interview of Louis by Edward R. Murrow that aired on the television show See It Now; another interview by Avakian, and a most remarkable item featuring Leonard Bernstein in rehearsal and performance at a 1956 Lewisohn Stadium concert with Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic - including three passes at St. Louis Blues, Bernstein chatting up the audience and Pops playing encore after encore to keep the fans happy - a real treasure that adds special luster to this wonderful collection.

But above all else, Louis' consummate artistry on his horn, the brilliance of his most singular sound, the unique infectiousness and impeccable phrasing of his luminous vocal style and the utterly irresistible appeal of one of the most delightful human beings to ever walk the earth is brought to the listener with the clarity and depth that is the hallmark of Mosaic Records. There is nothing like undiluted live performance to truly convey the heart and soul of the jazz artist, succinctly stated by Louis himself: "So, whatever they're going to say about Louis Armstrong, all they say is, 'He blows like hell every time he hits that stand.'"

As always, the striking Mosaic black and white packaging further enhances the total experience. Ricky Riccardi, the archivist for the Louis Armstrong House Museum and one of the world's foremost Armstrong experts has written an extremely enlightening and comprehensive essay. A precisely researched new discography finally clears up the confusion and inaccuracy about these dates. And in the classic Mosaic tradition, there are many outstanding vintage photographs from Louis' exalted career.

Of course, Mosaic's commitment to provide the finest audio quality is front and center on every track, under the guidance of co-producer Scott Wenzel, who summarizes this set most aptly: "The Armstrong magnetism hardly ever wavered through the years and these live performances that had him back in the driver's seat with a small group bear out the verve and genius of this great man." 

Louis Armstrong · Columbia and RCA Victor
Live Recordings of Louis Armstrong and The All Stars
Mosaic Records  ·  Release Date: May 20, 2014

This limited edition set is available exclusively from Mosaic Records.
Please visit for ordering information,
complete track listing and discography.

For media information, please contact:
DL Media  ·  610-667-0501
Maureen McFadden  ·  
Don Lucoff  ·
Information and press materials (including album covers, promotional photos
and bios) on all DL Media artists can be found at our website:
Serving the finest in jazz since 1988


Sławek Dudar Quartet - Inside City- Energetic and fresh jazz from Poland

Sławek Dudar Quartet - EST - Tribute to Esbjorn Svensson Trio


SLAWEK DUDAR -- saxophone
ROBERT JARMUŻEK -- grand piano

special guests:


production - Unia Twórców
photo - Bartłomiej Bartosiewicz Anna Tomoń
montage - Bartłomiej Bartosiewicz
color grading - Bartłomiej Bartosiewicz
place: Paris


New eclectic music material from the album INSIDE CITY, is result of the over two-year-long exploration of various artistic regions and genres.

It's a set of original compositions by Sławek Dudar. Dynamism and minimalism, painting with the use of color and space, energetic solos of the guitarist, expressive and thoughtful solos of the pianist, with the support of unrestrained playing of the drummer, bass grooves and balanced solos of the saxophonist - that's what characterizes the entire album.

The new album of the band SŁAWEK DUDAR QUARTET was recorded in one of the best recording studios in Poland - RecPublica in Lubrza. The final composition line-up of the band was formed over a longer period of time.
Apart from the leader, its core member (several years in the quartet) is the drummer, Wojtek Buliński, Robert Jarmużek (pianist) - member of numerous outstanding acoustic and electric projects, and Adam Kabaciński - bassist, guitarist, producer, songwriter, open-minded electronic and acoustic instrumentalist.

The album features Jacek Zemecki (singer and composer) and Artur Lesicki (guitarist).
CD available for sale from the 2nd Feb. 2014


Nowy eklektyczny materiał muzyczny z płyty INSIDE CITY to efekt, trwającego ponad dwa lata, eksplorowania przeróżnych rejonów i gatunków muzycznych. To zbiór autorskich kompozycji Sławka Dudara. Dynamizm, nastrojowość, minimalizm, malowanie kolorami, energetyczne sola gitarzysty, ekspresyjne i przemyślane sola pianisty przy wsparciu żywiołowej gry perkusisty, groovie basu oraz wyważonych solach saksofonisty, to określenia charakteryzujące całą płytę.

Najnowsza płyta zespołu Sławek Dudar Quartet została nagrana w jednym z najlepszych studiów nagraniowych w Polsce - RecPublica w Lubrzy. Ostateczny skład zespołu formował się przez dłuższy okres. Jego trzonem, poza liderem, jest grający od kilku lat w jego kwartecie perkusista Wojtek Buliński, Robert Jarmużek, pianista obecny w wielu znakomitych projektach zarówno akustycznych, jak i elektrycznych oraz Adam Kabaciński - basista, gitarzysta, producent, autor tekstów, muzyk o szerokich horyzontach, posługujący się zarówno elektroniką, jak i instrumentami akustycznymi. Gośćmi specjalnymi płyty są: wrocławski wokalista i kompozytor Jacek Zamecki oraz gitarzysta Artur Lesicki.

Płyta dostępna w sprzedaży od: 2 lutego 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Art Pepper's Widow Laurie Tells the Rest of the Story In the Companion Volume to Classic Jazz Bio Straight Life, "ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman," To Be Published May 16

Art Pepper's Widow Laurie
Tells the Rest of the Story
In the Companion Volume to
Classic Jazz Bio Straight Life,"ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman,"
To Be Published May 16

May 5, 2014

ART Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman
Art Pepper told his sexy, sordid, and exciting true adventure stories to his lover, Laurie, who put them in a book. She quizzed him (and those who knew him) unrelentingly over seven years, editing and structuring a narrative to which she dedicated all her energy.
Straight Life by Art and Laurie Pepper (Da Capo) was published in 1979. It was a critical success and remains a classic of its kind, the subject of college literary and music studies. Laurie went on to marry Art and manage his resurgent career, touring the world with his band. "Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman" was the headline some editor gave a newspaper interview Laurie did while the band was in Australia in 1981, and she's now stolen "that perfect title" for her memoir.

ART: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman (APMCorp) describes her marriage to the deeply troubled, drug-addicted, madly gifted artist. "That marriage was the making of me," says Laurie. "Some people go to grad school or join the Marines. I married a genius who valued and inspired me and challenged me to use MY gifts. We had a difficult, powerful partnership. I had to tell that story." She says she also needs to set the record straight and clarify her role: "People think I was some kind of little wifey-saint who rescued him. And Art encouraged them in that. But he knew how truly crazy I could be. We rescued each other."

Laurie Pepper
Laurie Pepper was born in 1940 in Los Angeles to a family of radicals and artists. She grew up in New York and Los Angeles, attended U.C. Berkeley, and was photographer for the legendary L.A. Free Press during the 1960s but went astray and wound up in rehab where she met Art Pepper. Since Art's death in 1982, she has continued to produce and promote his music. Her very small label, Widow's Taste, has released a new album of previously unreleased Art Pepper performances every year since 2006.

ART will be available from Amazon in paperback on May 16 -- on Art and Laurie's wedding anniversary. It consists of 382 pages, with approximately 100 photos and a complete index. It will sell, in the U.S., for $20.00. An E-book version will be available on June 16, and a downloadable audiobook will be released on November 16 along with a CD release of some of the key Art Pepper performances Laurie describes in the memoir. *

Advance Praise for ART

Forged at the collision point of true art and real life, this brutally honest book is an engrossing journey across the hard countries of love and loss and redemption. It inspires the belief that love can overcome all obstacles and that creative talent knows no bounds. It was impossible for me to put it down.
--Michael Connelly, Author of the Harry Bosch series of novels

"I was no angel," Laurie Pepper advises at the start of this stingingly candid memoir, and in truth she is a wonderfully devilish writer, her pen a razor dipped in sulfur, her memory a lead-lined cave from which nothing escapes or goes unexamined. Everyone who knows the skillful craftsmanship she brought to Straight Life, the masterpiece she made of Art Pepper's life, will find it here again, in service to her own story, which would be reason enough to celebrate this gripping book. But there is another: a wittingly different perspective on Art's tale--this good wife was every inch his match.
--Gary Giddins, Author of Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams and Celebrating Bird

Music, love, gossip--along with mania and addiction, pain and calamity: Laurie Pepper writes with grace and candor about all of it. Joining Straight Life as one of the best jazz lives, and telling the story behind that great story, her new book deserves all the meanings of "Art" in its title.
--Robert Pinsky, Poet

Read the introduction to ART here

Photo credits: Phil Bray (book cover), Hugh Kenny (Laurie), Herb Nolan (Laurie & Art).  

Web Sites:

Follow Laurie: Follow us on Twitter
Media Contact:
Terri Hinte
Follow: Follow us on Twitter

2014 Blue Note Jazz Festival Announces Additional Performers, Finalizes Lineup


Outdoor Performances Scheduled With
Celebrate Brooklyn! and Central Park SummerStage

Lineup Additions Include 
Ornette Coleman Celebration with Special Guests,
Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, 
Buika, Marques Toliver, Chrisette Michele, 
Lou Donaldson with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Fabrizio Sotti & Friends
Salt-N-Pepa, Maxi Priest, Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Willie Nile, 
George Porter, Jr. and More
New York, NY - May 5, 2014 - Blue Note Entertainment Group is proud to announce lineup additions for the 2014 Blue Note Jazz Festival, scheduled to take place Sunday, June 1 through Monday, June 30, with over 150 performances at more than 15 venues throughout New York City. Lineup additions include an outdoor Ornette Coleman Celebration with various special guests, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Buika, Marques Toliver, Chrisette Michele, Lou Donaldson with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Fabrizio Sotti & Friends, Salt-N-Pepa, Maxi Priest, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Willie Nile, and George Porter Jr., among others. Ticket information and a current schedule of events/locations is available on the official website,

Reinforcing the festival's underlying theme of distinctive collaborations (with pairings such as Bobby McFerrin & Questlove, André Previn & Christian McBride, and Ramsey Lewis with Philip Bailey, among others), Blue Note Jazz Festival will present "Celebrate Ornette: The Music of Ornette Coleman Featuring Denardo Coleman Vibe" in partnership with Celebrate Brooklyn! on June 12 - a free outdoor concert at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Ornette Coleman's son Denardo Coleman, an outstanding drummer who debuted on record with his father at the age of 10, convenes a deep and surprising lineup of special guests for a long-overdue exploration and celebration of Ornette's music and spirit, with his own band (Al Macdowell, bass; Tony Falanga, bass; Charles Ellerbe, guitar; Antoine Roney, sax) at the core. Special guests include Afrika Bambaataa, Bill Laswell, Bruce Hornsby, Flea, Geri Allen, Henry Threadgill, James Blood Ulmer, Joe Lovano, and Patti Smith. Additional guests will be announced in the weeks leading up to the performance.

Adding to this year's outdoor component, Blue Note Jazz Festival will continue its longstanding relationship with City Parks Foundation's SummerStage program, presenting two double bills in Central Park. These free performances will spotlight four of the most exciting and progressive crossover talents on the scene today: Spanish vocalist Buika and acclaimed vocalist/violinist Marques Toliver on June 22, as well as pianist Jon Batiste and Stay Human and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble on June 29. This marks Buika's second consecutive year headlining Blue Note Jazz Festival (following her sold out performances at The Town Hall in June 2013 and April 2014 respectively, presented by Blue Note Entertainment Group).

Several prominent festival shows have been added to various Blue Note Entertainment Group venues. Recently confirmed collaborations include: jazz icons Lou Donaldson with Dr. Lonnie Smith (Blue Note Jazz Club, June 10-11); "Sly Reimagined" - a special project with Global Noize interpreting the music of Sly & The Family Stone, featuring Jason Miles, Nona Hendryx, Maya Azucena, Falu, and Cyro Baptista (Highline Ballroom, June 8); and guitarist Fabrizio Sotti & Friends, with Tony Grey, Mino Cinelu, Algebra Blessett, M1 of Dead Prez, and Claudia Acuña, among others (Highline Ballroom, June 4). Rounding out several R&B centric shows at the festival, such as Lalah Hathaway, Ruben Studdard and Oleta Adams, vocalist Chrisette Michel will perform at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on June 27 (produced by Jill Newman Productions). Reggae icon Maxi Priest has been added to B.B. King Blues Club on June 11 (complementing other festival reggae artists such as Sly & Robbie, Monty Alexander, and Tarrus Riley). Additional shows include: Salt-N-Pepa (Highline Ballroom, June 6), Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band (B.B. King Blues Club, June 21), and Willie Nile (Highline Ballroom, June 18). 

Other new partner events include two additional film screenings at IFC Center, featuring a director's cut of Nelson George's Finding the Funk  documentary on June 12 and The Pleasures of Being Out of Step, a documentary profile of legendary jazz writer and civil libertarian Nat Hentoff, June 25 through July 1; four performances at DROM, featuring AbrazOs OrchestrA (June 5), Florencia Gonzalez (June 11), Quantic (June 13), and Pacheco + Annie Chen (June 15); Rockwood Music Hall performances featuring Mark Guiliana's Beat Music on June 5 and a residency by Glen David Andrews spanning June 11, 18, and 25; George Porter, Jr. & The Runnin' Pardners at Brooklyn Bowl on June 20; and a performance by Sadao Watanabe at Asia Society on June 25.

Please visit for the most current public lineup and schedule (including various late night and brunch shows that have been added to Blue Note Jazz Club, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill and Lucille's Bar & Grill at B.B. King Blues Club schedules).
About Blue Note Entertainment Group:
Blue Note Entertainment Group, founded in 1981 by Danny Bensusan, is a multi-faceted entertainment company that owns and operates New York's Blue Note Jazz Club, B.B. King Blues Club, and the Highline Ballroom; The Howard Theatre (Washington D.C.); and Blue Note Jazz Clubs Worldwide (Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan and Milan, Italy). The company also programs the Regattabar Jazz Club (Cambridge, MA). Blue Note Entertainment Group presents shows outside of its club network. The annual Blue Note Jazz Festival was established in 2011 and has since grown to feature over 150 concerts at more than 15 venues throughout New York City each June. Subsidiaries of Blue Note Entertainment Group include the GRAMMY®-nominated record label Half Note Records, whose catalogue includes over fifty titles recorded live at New York's Blue Note Jazz Club, as well as Blue Note Management Group.

For all media inquiries, please contact:
Jordy Freed, Director of Marketing & Publicity
Blue Note Jazz Festival, Blue Note Jazz Club,
Blue Note Entertainment Group

ITALY: jazzColours: CONTENTS May 2014 (Year VII, issue n. 5)

4 - Highlights
8 - Mikolaj Trzaska
quando yass vuol dire libertà
14 - Federico Ughi
il battito lunare dell'avanguardia
19 - Joachim Badenhorst
la foresta dei suoni pungenti
23 - jazz&arts: Anne Ierardi
i toni autentici del jazz
26 - Recensioni CD Focus on: Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra
"Matter Anti-Matter"
I 5 dischi imprescindibili di
Aaron Parks
33 Black&White:
Pat Metheny Unity Group
"Kin (<-->)"
(e inoltre: DKV+Gustafsson/Pupillo/Nilssen-Love, Blaser/Delbecq/Hemingway, Ceccarelli/Pilc/Bramerie, Jane Ira Bloom, Nir Felder, Stefano Pastor/Charlotte Hug, Giovanni DiDomenico & Akira Sakata, Ibrahim Maalouf, Tran(ce)formation Quartet, PJ5, Dan Weiss, Erdmann/Rohrer/Courtois/Möbus)
34 - Eventuali

Saturday, May 3, 2014

SOMI Breaks New Ground on Her Major Label Debut "The Lagos Music Salon" - Available August 5 on OKeh Records

SOMI Breaks New Ground on Her Major Label Debut
The Lagos Music Salon - Available August 5 on OKeh Records

New African Jazz and Soul Inspired 
by a Journey to Lagos, Nigeria

Featuring Guest Artists Common and Angelique Kidjo


"A potent brew from the first sip to the last drop." - NPR, All Things Considered 
"All elegance and awe...utterly captivating!" - Billboard 

Few contemporary albums bare as particular a narrative as The Lagos Music Salon. The new album by the superb chanteuse Somi, finds her breaking new ground with a hybrid style of music that organically integrates the essence of jazz and soul with the musical depth of her African heritage. "It's the first time ever that I put all other pursuits on hold to focus solely on the creative process," says Somi, who decided to move to Lagos, Nigeria from her New York home base without a game plan but with a passionate desire to find a new direction for her vision and voice.

The Lagos Music Salon marks Somi's major label debut for Sony's OKeh Records and features a range of originals that are sublimely melodic, percussively textured.  A socially informed and adventurous vocalist, Somi sings with a soulful beauty about her experiences in Lagos. While there, she kept a journal of her observations and collaborated with a community of musicians, writers and artists who helped her to envision what would become The Lagos Music Salon.

The album covers a broad swath of styles and features a number of carefully matched guest performances. These include a fast-paced groove with Afro-pop sensibilities on the Fela Kuti-inspired "Lady Revisited" with Angelique Kidjo, and a rap-inflected cinematic reflection on Africa's pollution, "When Rivers Cry," that features Common.

Also in the mix are field recording snippets, including an exchange at the Lagos airport with an immigration officer, heated rally cries from the Occupy Nigeria protests, and a parabolic story of an over-skilled monkey.

"I'm excited about this album," Somi says. "I allowed myself to abandon the boundaries of my comfort zone, but that gave me the room to explore and play with new ideas and inspiration. Some people see me as an African artist and not jazz, while others see me as a jazz artist influenced by Africa. But I'm not focused on genre. My intent is to be honest with the songs and where they take me."
  photo credit: Glynis Carpenter

Born in Illinois, the daughter of immigrants from Uganda and Rwanda, Somi's dramatic Salon story started ironically and sadly on the release date of her 2009 album, If the Rains Come First, when her beloved father passed away.

"I had to weather the storm of his passing," Somi says. "The loss was so sobering that I began to question my own life's legacy and path. My dearest mentor Hugh Masekela knew about my personal loss and subsequent desire for change. He also knew that, more than ever, I wished I could move 'home' to Africa. Something about the idea seemed like it might be a way to get closer to my father's spirit and my own heart. It was Uncle Hugh that reminded me that to be a musician is to be a global citizen and that I should always listen to my heart should it long to travel. 'Stop thinking about it as a move,' he said, 'Think of it as an opportunity to spend time with another part of your global audience.' That's when I decided to make the bold choice of moving to Lagos. A true Africanist, I believe my father is proud of that choice."

While she spent part of her youth in Africa with her parents, Somi hadn't lived there since her first year out of college when she landed a medical anthropology research fellowship in Kenya and Tanzania. After frequent holiday visits and touring extensively on the continent (visiting over 12 countries with her band), Somi fell in love with Lagos, "where there's a huge volume of cultural production, including literature, film and fashion - let alone music," she says. "For an artist, it is a very exciting place. There's an energy there that reminds me of New York. Twenty million people live there-it's cosmopolitan, fast, hard and yet so inspiring."

While Somi's goal was to live in Lagos for 15 months she ended up being there for 18 months. She began her journey with an international teaching artist residency at a university in Ilorin, Nigeria while also doing occasional European shows to keep her career visible. After six months, Somi began to realize the impact of her choice to be in Lagos. "Initially I was a little panicked," she says. "Was I going to disappear? Would people forget about me? But after months of writing in my journal, I discovered a body of work was emerging."

Somi set out to work on her new material, but Lagos doesn't have the cultural infrastructure of small clubs like New York. "I needed to develop my work and test it on Nigerian audiences," says Somi. "So I started producing intimate salons at art galleries and other nontraditional venues in Lagos where I would perform my new music. It grew into a series where I'd invite local artists to perform as well. That work greatly enriched my experience, challenged me to think more about African notions of cultural intimacy, and gave birth to The Lagos Music Salon concept."

Somi accumulated a collection of music steeped in the culture of Lagos and collaborated with two colleagues who share co-producer credit with her on The Lagos Music Salon: Lagos musician Cobhams Asuquo (who happens to be blind and is impressively self-taught) and New York's Keith Witty. "Cobhams has a deep understanding of traditional African music as well as strong pop sensibilities," Somi says. "And Keith, the modern jazz head on the project, made sure the artful sense of the music was always privileged amidst the African pop influences."

In New York, they assembled Somi's core band: drummer Otis Brown III, pianist Toru Dodo, guitarist Liberty Ellman, background vocalist Alicia Olatuja, and bassist Michael Olatuja. Guests to the ensemble include acclaimed Nigerian-American trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire who blows a moving, melancholic solo through "Brown Round Things," an original lamenting the prostitutes Somi observed in Lagos; and rising-star trumpeter, Etienne Charles, who arranged the horn section for the celebratory, pop-tinged "Akobi: First Born S(u)n."

Somi weaves through the collection of captivating songs with a socio/cultural poignancy. The R&B-vibed "Two Dollar Day" tells the story of a domestic worker Somi met during the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protests and who struggles because of the oil-rich government's decision to hike fuel prices 200 percent. While the provocative "Four. One. Nine." takes its name from the police criminal code for the Nigerian email swindles, Somi likens the scam to fraudulent love affairs, while a friend offers her a tongue-in-cheek reprimand about unsavory men. The most dynamic piece is the bass line-driven "Four African Women," inspired by a Nina Simone original. It's a sketch of four African women who each experienced a different hardship-genocide, skin bleaching, circumcision, prostitution.

Other highlights include the percussive, string quartet-colored tune "Ankara Sundays," the sobering "Last Song" and the gently swinging love song "Ginger Me Slowly" about playfully telling forthright men how to romantically treat their woman. There are also two versions of the upbeat original "Love Juju."

"Juju is African magic," Somi explains. "Throughout the album, I'm singing about the magic of Lagos and the spell it cast on my heart."

A TED Global Fellow and also founder of the New Africa Live nonprofit that champions African artists, Somi has for the last decade carved out a career of singing and being an activist. On The Lagos Music Salon, the best album of her young career, she magically combines the two facets of her life. As for her adopted city, she says, "It was a euphoric new place for me, an important journey. I wanted to tell honest stories in the spirit of gratitude." 

Somi · The Lagos Music Salon
OKeh  ·  Release Date: August 5, 2014  
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