Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 4:03 pm
Today is International Jazz Day, as decreed by Herbie Hancock and UNESCO. The centerpiece events are two all-star concerts, held at sunrise and sunset. The sunrise show was held in Congo Square in New Orleans, seemingly a nod to the dawn of jazz. Tonight's evening program takes the "international" part of International Jazz Day quite literally:
Some of the world's most renowned musicians recently gathered in Paris and New Orleans to celebrate the first annual International Jazz Day. UNESCO, the U.N.'s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has set April 30 as a day to raise awareness of jazz music's significance and potential as a unifying voice across cultures.
In spite of the celebrations, though, in the U.S. the jazz audience continues to shrink and grow older, and the music has struggled to connect with younger generations.
I have to hand it to the Putumayo label. Since it started as a soundtrack-provider to a clothing store in the early '90s, the operation has placed racks of CDs with friendly-primitivist art by Nicola Heindl into Starbucks and Whole Foods everywhere. Putumayo is as responsible as anything for making music buyers ask "Where's the world music section?" in shops or online.
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 2:43 pm
Natural bedfellows and squatters, punk and folk music are born out of rebellion and struggle, even if they don't always stay that way. The past three decades have seen Billy Bragg, Violent Femmes, World/Inferno Friendship Society and the fiercely DIY Plan-It-X label smash together folk and punk like contra dancers in a circle pit.
Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 10:16 am
An informal poll on Twitter reveals that 18 followers prefer the version of "Watermelon Man" from Herbie Hancock's debut album Takin' Off, and 16 prefer the electric funk version of "Watermelon Man" on Head Hunters. Several others registered a "both" vote. And now, these news:
Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 9:54 am
Well known as ambassadors of reggae, Jamaican veterans Third World have been performing in one form or another since the 1970s. Despite several line-up changes over the years, the group continues to blend reggae, pop and funk for adoring audiences.
Third World has collaborated with the likes of Stevie Wonder and shared the stage with The Jackson 5 and Bob Marley and the Wailers. Dedicated to the spread of 'peace, love, and unity', the band has released 22 albums and garnered numerous awards, including the 1986 United Nations Peace Medal, and received 10 Grammy nominations.
Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 10:15 am
After falling off the podium last night in the middle of a performance with the Orchestre National de France, 84-year-old Kurt Masur has been hospitalized in Paris. A spokesperson for the orchestra says that he is expected to be released "very soon," adding that "he fell upside down onto his back because his left foot was too near the edge of the podium. It's not linked to health problems.