April 2017

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Jazz as Native Language

by admin on April 25, 2017

European countries take pride in their unique takes on jazz.  While jazz found its beginnings in the United States, the weaving of various cultural aspects of Europe and Africa have made it an intriguing, “pidgin” art form.  Indeed, language (specifically pidgin) may have played a far greater role in the creation of jazz and the […]

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Post image for Jazz as Patriotic Music: James Reese Europe

Jazz as Patriotic Music: James Reese Europe

by admin on April 24, 2017

During the time of World War I in the early 1900’s, jazz music found its way from America to Europe. This was in part due to American jazz musicians being drafted to battle in countries like France and Britain. Upon their arrival they received great accolades for their cutting-edge genre – a style that seemed […]

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Soil & “Pimp” Sessions are a band known for explosive, high energy performances, aggressive playing and a stage presence that is almost wacky. Formed in Tokyo in 2001 the quintet blends Latin styles like bossa nova with bebop and American club jazz to create what they refer to as “death jazz.” After building a following […]

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Post image for The Man that Brought Free Jazz to Germany

The Man that Brought Free Jazz to Germany

by admin on April 24, 2017

Albert Manglesdorff was born in Germany in 1928 and began to play and love jazz and a young age. During this time in Germany jazz was not welcome or safe to play or listen to, especially for a 12 year old. While he didn’t mention much about jazz to his family, his older brother Emil […]

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Maria João is a jazz singer from Lisbon, Portugal who’s highly recognized for her vocal flexibility and range of improvisational skills. Although considered a jazz singer, her style reflects a process-based approach that compromises a mix of folk music and electronica, accentuating her avant-garde approach. Her primary musical partner is Portuguese pianist Mário Laginha. She has also worked […]

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When Lithuania was known as “The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic,” it was considered the “jazziest republic of the USSR,” writes Bernd Jahnke of the Vilnius Jazz Society (2015). Even after the reestablishment of the State of Lithuania in 1990, in the wake of fifty years of Soviet occupation, this statement remains true; Lithuanian jazz has […]

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Paco de Lucia is often considered among the greatest flamenco guitarists of all time. As Jazz Times puts it, “Most flamenco fans can trace the music’s history to either Before Paco or After Paco.” Indeed, De Lucia’s influence on flamenco is undeniable; he brought what was once considered a limited genre to international fame. Flamenco’s […]

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Roland Kirk, Dexter Gordon, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Stan Getz, and Chet Baker are just a few of the iconic American jazz artists who performed and recorded with the virtuosic Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen as their upright bassist. While his Danish nationality might have been viewed as a handicap, given preconceptions about the abilities […]

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Synthetic Jazz

by admin on April 24, 2017

When speaking of jazz, “natural” is a term that is thrown around rather frequently, often to ex-nominate things people don’t want to think of as jazz. By the time the Bebop era came to a close, synthetic electronic instruments could no longer be ignored by the jazz community. Could these “unnatural” instruments find their way […]

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Art Deco and the Jazz Age

by admin on April 24, 2017

Art Deco is a style of artistic design that originated in the 1920s in Western Europe and the United States. It was first exhibited in Paris at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925. Being a pivotal component in the introduction of this new international style, the exhibit name was shortened […]

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Since it was coined in the late 1990’s the term “nu-jazz” came to encompass any fusion of jazz and electronica influences. Changes within the genre have roughly paralleled the upgrades in technology we have seen in the past several decades. Recently, however, a new group of up-and-coming nu-jazz artists has surfaced, and they all seem […]

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Post image for Billy Strayhorn: An American in Paris

Billy Strayhorn: An American in Paris

by admin on April 23, 2017

Best known as ‘Duke’ Ellington’s composition partner, Billy Strayhorn, (1915-1967) contributed over three hundred songs to the Ellington songbook, including the band’s theme song, “Take The ‘A’ Train.” He was also an accomplished classical pianist, an openly gay man, a civil rights activist, and a part-time Francophile. Nicknamed ‘Sweet Pea’ for his joyous disposition, Strayhorn’s […]

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In 2002, Budapest Music Center Records released a CD called Hungarian Bebop, a collaboration between the all-Hungarian Mihály Dresch Quartet and American avant-garde saxophonist Archie Schepp. The CD blends Hungarian and American aesthetics effortlessly. The quartet’s instrumentation consists of a horn player, a violinist, a double bassist, and a drummer. The the album’s transatlantic lineup […]

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Dubbed “Klook” for the sound of his unique style of playing, Kenny Clarke was a drum pioneer who changed modern jazz and influenced bebop. Clarke developed a new way of approaching timekeeping as a drummer. Most drummers during the time were relying heavily on the bass drum to keep time for the band. This included […]

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