April 29, 2016 |
When the Big Easy calls, a true jazzman cannot refuse - even if he's in the throes of diaper changes and midnight feedings of his 2-week-old, first-born daughter. With North Penn High School's award-winning Navy Jazz Band slated to perform at the venerated New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this week, on a main stage - a first-ever honor for a school ensemble from outside the Crescent City - band director David DiValentino knew he had to put paternity leave on hold. His wife, he said, commanded him to "Go!
February 22, 2016 |
Lushlife is on top of the world. Or at least Raj Haldar, the Philadelphia rapper and producer who records under that name, is, perched on a window seat overlooking Center City from the 19th-floor bar at the Bellevue Philadelphia just a few days before his breakthrough album Ritualize (***) was to be released on the Western Vinyl label. Born on the day MTV was launched - Aug. 1, 1981 - Haldar is talking about growing up in Glen Ridge in Essex County in North Jersey, playing drums and writing arrangements in a high school jazz band (with future Vampire Weekend singer Ezra Koenig on saxophone)
January 6, 2016 |
Jim Kenney celebrated his inauguration as the city's 99th mayor Monday evening in a huge atrium of the Convention Center that was filled with songs from the 1960s and '70s, and featured dancing mascots, colored spotlights, and 1,500 people. "How do you like the block party?" Kenney asked to cheers. "No black tie, no gowns. We're good, we all come from neighborhoods, we know how it is. " The block party-theme celebration, necessarily indoors on a 33-degree evening, felt more like a megabar mitzvah and wrapped up around 8 p.m. after about 21/2 hours.
July 22, 2015 |
Since forming the duo called Archer Spade in 2010, trombonist Dan Blacksberg and guitarist Nick Millevoi have presented music on a fairly regular basis - but in the past, their efforts have been all about them. Their 2012 Commissioning Series featured new compositions written for them by composers Gene Coleman, Dave Soldier, and Johnny DeBlase, while their sporadic Performance Series rarely hosted a concert that didn't include Archer Spade or one of the pair's numerous other projects.
March 28, 2015 |
Kids can party Mardi Gras-style Saturday with Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards. Enjoy sounds from the Crescent City with this New Orleans jazz band. The musicians' high-energy show, blending different sounds, ranging from zydeco to bebop to swing will keep youngsters and their caretakers dancing. Jazzy Ash infuses some of her Trinidadian background in her grooves, so get ready to boogie. WXPN's Kids Corner, the Fids and Kamily Awards, and Metro Kids magazine all honored Jazzy Ash's 2014 album, Home , in year-end lists.
March 13, 2015 |
In the middle of Jazmine Sullivan's sold-out show Tuesday at the Theatre of Living Arts, she asked her family to make some noise - and met with screams from the entire venue. "There's a lot of y'all!" she said with a laugh. And the R&B songstress' show was a family affair. Despite the red smoke, backup singers, and jazz band, there was a sense of intimacy, of being in her hometown. Family, fans, and fellow artists such as rapper Chill Moody and neo-soul duo the Kindred Family Soul, all Philly natives, were in the audience.
February 5, 2013 |
As 16-year-old Alex Wood plays the jazz standard "Misty" on the piano, bassist Buster Williams hangs on every note. But it is the absence of sound he is listening for. "Allow the space and the air in the music to be part of the improvisation," says Williams - brow furrowed, bass resting on his shoulder - in the auditorium of Abington Friends School. Williams, 70, is a living legend of jazz, a sideman who has jammed with the likes of Miles Davis, Count Basie, Herbie Hancock, Sarah Vaughan, and Nancy Wilson.
October 26, 2012 |
At a glance last week, the flutes on the luncheon tables at the National Constitution Center didn't hold much promise. They were brimming with bubbly, all right. But it had a suspiciously marigold hue. And it was hard to ignore, beneath the servers' swaddling napkins, the labels on the bottles they were pouring. It was, ahem, Martinelli's (explicitly nonalcoholic!) Sparkling Cider. For the curtain-raiser, for goodness sake, for the center's ambitious exhibition "American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition"!
September 26, 2012
Jose Curbelo, 95, the Latin jazz bandleader, agent, and promoter who helped popularize the cha-cha-cha in the United States and made Tito Puente a star, died Friday of heart failure in Aventura, Fla. Mr. Curbelo was born Feb. 18, 1917, in Havana, where his American-born father played violin with the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra. "He was the last of the pioneers of the Latin jazz band era," said Freddy Montilla, whose father, Fernando Montilla, owned Montilla Records and was Mr. Curbelo's friend.
February 24, 2012 |
Now that the Super Bowl and Grammys are out of the way, movie lovers nationwide are gearing up for their TV spectacle. And in Philly, cinephiles need not celebrate the Oscars alone. Flyers legends, celebrity impersonators, and open bars await them this year. Oscar night is Sunday - 6ABC's red-carpet show for the 84th Academy Awards will begin at 7 p.m. - but a full weekend of Oscar fun begins Friday with last-minute re-screenings, pre-parties, and big-screen simulcasts. For those looking to catch up on some of the best-picture contenders, Friday could be the night to screen Steven Spielberg's War Horse or the youth odyssey The Tree of Life - or to spend some time with Hollywood's handsomest leading men, watching Brad Pitt in the baseball movie Moneyball and George Clooney in the tropical family drama The Descendants.