Archive for May, 2016

After Years of Steady Collaboration, Sara Gazarek and Josh Nelson Debut as Vocal-Piano Duo with Dream in the Blue, Out August 5, 2016

Thursday, May 19th, 2016


Since 2002, vocalist Sara Gazarek and pianist Josh Nelson have nurtured an uncommonly strong musical bond. It’s no mere happenstance that Nelson played as a band member on all four of Gazarek’s albums, and she, in turn, sang on two of Nelson’s own recording projects. But over the past 18 months, this Los Angeles-based pair has taken their collaboration to a new level, touring extensively as a duo and developing a diverse repertoire that showcases their combined artistic maturation. Gazarek and Nelson recorded their new album Dream in the Blue (funded exclusively through the crowd-sourcing website as a tribute to their extraordinary partnership.  

“I remember feeling so incredibly comfortable with Josh that I held on tight and never looked back,” says Gazarek, recalling their very first gig in LA. “We’ve spent the last decade and more writing together, arranging, recording, making silly videos; essentially growing up together, personally and musically.” Nelson, in addition to citing his close rapport with Gazarek, sees Dream in the Blue as “a nice snapshot of our musical tastes in general — decidedly welcoming and accessible for a wide variety of audiences.”


Chicago Jazz Festival Announces 2016 Lineup

Monday, May 9th, 2016

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is pleased to announce the 38th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival. The Labor Day Weekend tradition will take place in Millennium Park and at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington Street) September 1-4, showcasing some of the greatest jazz artists from Chicago and around the world. The FREE admission Chicago Jazz Festival is produced by DCASE and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago (JIC).

The Chicago Jazz Festival has always taken pride in celebrating the full spectrum of jazz with a special emphasis on the city’s unique place in the music’s artistic development. This year’s programming takes a special look at that history while celebrating the artists, events and moments that continue to shape jazz today.

The range of headlining artists at the 2016 festival runs the gamut from jazz legends celebrating momentous occasions to commemorations of key contributions by lost giants, from influential modern masters to crucial new voices in the music’s continuing evolution. The roster includes revered saxophonist/composer Benny Golson, saxophonist/clarinetist Anat Cohen the John Scofield/Joe Lovano Quartet and a 95th birthday celebration for legendary percussionist Candido Camero.

In addition to these still-thriving greats, this year’s festival will look back at some of the legends that the jazz world has lost in recent years. Irreverent trio The Bad Plus will perform the music of Ornette Coleman’s 1971 album SCIENCE FICTION with saxophonists Tim Berne and Sam Newsome and trumpeter Ron Miles. Composer/arranger Carla Bley will lead the Liberation Music Orchestra, the politically-charged ensemble founded by late bassist Charlie Haden, with in-demand bassist Scott Colley filling Haden’s shoes. Rambling Boy, the 2009 documentary on Haden, will also screen as part of the festival.

The year 2016 marks the centennial of the Great Migration, the mass movement of more than 6 million African Americans from the rural South to the urban Midwest, Northeast and West that took place beginning in 1916. Chicago was a key destination for that transformative relocation, with a momentous impact on the development of jazz as a vernacular music from New Orleans and transformed into an industry in Chicago. (more…)

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