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Posts Tagged ‘jazz’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

To start off the month of March, I thought we might begin with a celebration (or two)! Two of music’s great influences are soon to be 70 years old – Phil Lesh, bassist with the Grateful Dead, and Herbie Hancock, who needs no introduction.

Hancock’s birthday bash has been given the title ‘Herbie Hancock, Seven Decades: The Birthday Celebration.’ Even though the star will be turning 70 on April 12, the concert will run on September 1 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. The Associated Press says that Hancock will be joined by comedian Bill Cosby, saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, Hancock’s bandmate in Miles Davis’ famed 1960s quintet.

Of course, that isn’t the full line-up just yet. More acts will be announced as the date gets closer. And the best part about all this is that all the money made from the concert will benefit The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Gotta love a good cause.

Our second 70th birthday boy is Phil Lesh, who will also be having a special concert to celebrate. Lesh’s birthday bash is a bit sooner, kicking off on March 12 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Fransisco, CA. Lesh’s new band, Furthur, will play, along with some of the musicians from his other band, Phil Lesh & Friends.

Like Hancock’s bash, this celebration will benefit a good cause. It will help support the Unbroken Chain Foundation, which is a huge part of the Haiti earthquake relief efforts. Charityfolks.com is having a bidding auction for a VIP ticket to the show, a t-shirt for the event, a signed poster, and a meet and greet with Phil. If you win the auction, you get to help him build a float and then ride on it with him! (Oh, the things rich people will do with their money.)

Nonetheless, I’d like to wish these two birthday boys a good one! It’s great that they use their birthdays to support good causes.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Today the schedule of upcoming events from Jazz at Lincoln Center was announced, sparking much excitement from fans of the jazz entertainment world.

This season, the series will not only feature great jazz performances, but will also offer educational opportunities and broadcasts as well. The most famous of the educational opportunities is most likely WeBop, a session where parents and children can gather and experience different jazz instruments and artists. The interesting aspect of this entertainment is that guests are invited to take part in the action!

The 2010-2011 season will focus on different types of jazz from all around the world, including traditional New Orleans jazz and Afro beat jazz. Main headliners of the season are well known artists Chick Corea and Chucho Valdes.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center press release highlights some of the events from the series:

  • Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis concerts include band’s first-ever collaborations with Chick Corea and Ute Lemper.
  • New Visionary Voices series in Rose Theater features Bobby McFerrin, Dianne Reeves and Sweet Honey In The Rock.
  • New Jazz & Popular Song series, curated by Michael Feinstein, director, in The Allen Room.
  • Double bills featuring Terence Blanchard and Branford Marsalis; and Ahmad Jamal and Lee Konitz.
  • Concerts feature the music of Sarah Vaughan, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and Earl Hines and Wynton Marsalis.

These are just a select few of the concerts being held this season. For more information on the series or to order tickets, please visit the Jazz at Lincoln Center website.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Well, first thing’s first….I’m back! After a long month away from a computer, I have finally re-emerged from the darkness and have seen the light of the wonderful internet. (Funny how we rely so much on technology to live our lives, huh?)

Anyway, I will get right into the next post. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Delaware Water Gap’s 32nd annual COTA Festival, or Jazzfest, as known by the locals. Each year, surrounding local musicians get together and put on a three day festival in the heart of the Poconos, right next to the beautiful Delaware River.

The great thing about this festival is that there is so much talent in it. The local jazz musicians in the Poconos are not just any musicians — many of them are known worldwide for their great musicianship and virtuosity. Take, for example, Phil Woods, famous saxophonist who has played with many known musicians. He is also the co-founder of the COTA Festival.

Or what about Bob Dorough? You may not know his name, but you’ll know his music…conjuction, junction, what’s your function? That’s right. He wrote all the music for Schoolhouse Rock. And what a great performer he is!

Dave Leibman hits a high note at the COTA Festival. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Dave Leibman hits a high note at the COTA Festival. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

And I also want to mention Dave Leibman, a very talented, often obscure jazz saxophonist who played with many performers throughout the festival.

Perhaps two of the most interesting performances came from a local drummer named Bill Goodwin and a well-known singer named Nellie McKay. Bill Goodwin and his group performed several interesting Thelonius Monk songs, while Nellie McKay danced and dazzled her audience with her cute singing and daydreamy lyrics.

While all that music was happening, local artists gathered their best works and put them on display in tents just outside the stage area. There were photos from previous years at the festival, beautiful pieces of handmade jewelry, and even lamps made out of antique instruments. If you got tired of sitting on the hillside, you could just wander down the street to the artisans and check out their goodies.

And the food — oh! The falafel sandwiches, ice cream, and black beans with chicken and rice. Mmmm.

All in all, this year’s festival was a musical success. It may be slowly losing money, but jazz lovers in the Pocono Mountains will never let this festival die. Thanks to all the contributors throughout all three days!

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