In the world of jazz — be it free, mainstream or other more personal styles — 72-year-old Andrew Cyrille is known for drawing vivid sonic pictures and making incendiary rhythms with his drum set. Still, not many know of Cyrille's Haitian-American origins. And, though the culture of Haiti has spawned a compelling musical relationship with both American jazz and the music on islands closer to it (see Cuba, Guadeloupe and Martinique), this connection is equally obscure to many north of Congo Square.
It's turning out to be a great year for jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette.
In January, he was named an NEA Jazz Master for lifetime achievement. He began celebrating his 70th birthday early — it's August 9 — by going on a short performance tour this month with his old friends, Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke. The celebration continues this summer, as he tours Europe with the Keith Jarrett trio. As if that's not enough, he also released one of the best albums of the year in any genre, Sound Travels.
Drummer Jack DeJohnette was 23 when he made his first recording with The Charles Lloyd Quartet in 1966. Since that time, he's been a driving force in the world of jazz. This year, DeJohnette will celebrate his birthday all year long — the big day is actually August 9 — with special events, including his current tour with his old friends Chick Corea (piano) and Stanley Clarke (bass).
Today on Latin Roots from World Cafe, NPR's Jasmine Garsd discusses the history of Reggaeton. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Garsd spent her teenage years hooked on Argentine rock. Garsd moved to the U.S. after high school and quickly encountered an eclectic mix of American music; now, she co-hosts NPR's Alt.Latino with Felix Contreras.
Named the JJA Guitarist of the Year in June 2011, Russell Malone hails from Albany, Geo. Malone grew up absorbing music from his bedrock, the church, as well as popular blues and country tunes on radio and TV. For his golden-toned melodies played in octaves (try that some time!) and more, Malone is heavily influenced by Wes Montgomery.