May 15, 2015 |
At a time when most jazz artists can work a lifetime with little more than modest recognition for their efforts, Esperanza Spalding has achieved remarkable success at age 30. The bassist/vocalist has demonstrated her versatility, showing off her acoustic jazz chops on her 2011 release, Chamber Music Society , and her R&B songwriting skills on its 2012 companion piece, Radio Music Society. She's netted four Grammys, including her notorious besting of Justin Bieber for the 2011 best new artist award.
October 5, 2014 |
Esperanza Spalding is still a few weeks shy of her 30th birthday, which makes her accomplishments to date all the more remarkable. Over the course of four albums, the bassist and vocalist has confidently balanced her passion for jazz, cultivated at Berklee College of Music, with a love of the R&B and pop music she grew up listening to. She has enjoyed a degree of crossover success rare in the jazz realm, culminating in her 2011 best new artist Grammy...
August 1, 2014 |
Alita Moses has come a long way from singing tunes from The Little Mermaid (and songs of her own invention) in the bath as a child. But she grew up with a Broadway performer for a mother and a music professor/singer for a father, so it's not surprising that Moses, 20, found her way to the spotlight. "I've honestly been surrounded by music my entire life," said Moses, a senior at the University of the Arts majoring in vocal jazz studies. In Philadelphia, Moses has performed with UArts music school director Marc Dicciani's salsa ensemble and the Z Big Band, another group affiliated with the university.
January 24, 2014 |
TELEVISED entertainment award shows, like the MTV VMAs, American Music Awards and Golden Globes, have captured surprisingly big - even "best in a decade" - ratings this season, scoring especially well with advertiser-coveted 18- to-49-year-olds. Will Sunday's Grammy telecast (8 p.m., on CBS) likewise win viewing love - and tweets - and help restore pop music's mass-media prestige in the process? Could happen, if the event delivers the same performance tingle and thrill of victory as the best TV talent contests - the new live entertainment standard by which even award galas are being judged.
November 8, 2013 |
Over his 30-year career, Bobby McFerrin has explored the full range of the human voice. Best known for his 1988 pop-philosophy novelty hit "Don't Worry, Be Happy," McFerrin has performed in symphony halls and on jazz stages, winning 10 Grammy Awards and collaborating with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea, Quincy Jones, and Wynton Marsalis. With his new album, Spirityouall , McFerrin returns to his roots with a collection of spirituals and traditional songs inspired by his deep Christian faith and by his father, Robert McFerrin Sr., a pioneering opera singer and interpreter of Negro spirituals.
November 8, 2013 |
VOCAL WIZARD Bobby McFerrin likes to plan ahead to make each album and tour a special event. But, arguably, no project has been longer in gestation than "spirityouall," his fresh, frisky take on spirituals, which the world-hopping (Roxborough-based) artist issued recently in recorded form and performs live Sunday at the Kimmel Center. It's a creative venture that has taken most of his 63 years to bring to the table. "The template is 'Deep River,' an album of spirituals my father [opera singer Robert McFerrin Sr.]
October 11, 2013
A YOUTH GROUP affiliated with the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts has been invited to a prestigious music event in Tennessee later this month but needs financial help to get there. But we're not talking about all that much money - maybe $5,000 altogether for airfare. The Clef Club is hyped about getting the students in the Youth Jazz Ambassador Ensemble onstage at the Berklee City Music Network Conference from Oct. 28 to 30 in Memphis, which will increase the kids' chances of getting scholarships to the Berklee College of Music.
October 4, 2013 |
A stagehand strike has forced the cancellation of Carnegie Hall's Wednesday night black-tie gala season-opener, at which the Philadelphia Orchestra was to have been the featured ensemble. The stagehands, represented by Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, were working under a contract that expired Aug. 31, and called a strike at 8 a.m., according to a union statement. "Carnegie Hall sincerely regrets any inconvenience this strike will cause our artists, concertgoers, and everyone with whom we work," said Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic Director of Carnegie Hall.
October 2, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Another "phoenix moment" for the Philadelphia Orchestra? That's how Carnegie Hall's director of artistic planning, Jeremy Geffen, describes the orchestra's arrival Wednesday to open the 2013-14 season in New York City's august concert venue, whose audiences and management cheered the orchestra through its bankruptcy. Slots don't come any more prestigious than opening night. The concert promises guaranteed star power with violinist Joshua Bell and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, now in his second season with the Philadelphians.
April 4, 2013 |
AUSTIN, Texas - On a sunny afternoon at her first South by Southwest music festival, Lianne La Havas is singing about the used guitar she's accompanying herself on at that very moment. "Found myself in a second," sings the 23-year-old songwriter, fresh off the plane from the Tooting section of southwest London. "Found myself in a secondhand guitar. " The song is "Is Your Love Big Enough?", the title track to the debut album by La Havas, who plays World Cafe Live on Sunday. It's also the tune Stevie Wonder sang to her when he left her a voicemail message.