All About Jazz

BIRTHDAY: Jazz Musician of the Day: Sammy Nestico

All About Jazz is celebrating Sammy Nestico's birthday today! At the age of 17, Sammy Nestico became the staff arranger for ABC radio station, WCAE, Pittsburgh, Pa. He received his B.S. degree in music education from Duquesne University, and has been honored three times by the school with an honorary Doctor of Music degree, the Distinguished Alumni award, and in 1994, he was inducted into the ?Century Club?. North Texas State also presented him with special music awards in 1978, 1979 and 1980... Read more...

MUSIC INDUSTRY: Independent Venue Week to Debut in Us This Summer

Independent Venue Week will make its US debut this July 9-15 in cities across the county. The wildly popular UK edition of Independent Venue Week launched in 2014 with Colin Greenwood of Radiohead as its ambassador. Independent Venue Week, a celebration of independently owned and run music venues, debuts in the U.S. this July 9-15. The fifth UK week is currently underway. Sponsored by the BBC, its ambassadors include Adrian Utley of Portishead, Nadine Shah, Jamie Cullum, esteemed UK concertgoer Big Jeff Johns, and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels...

CAREER: Ins and Outs of Biographies, Press Releases and Press Kits

This week on the Music Business Weekly podcast, Michael Brandvold discusses the importance of an artist's biography, press releases and a press kit with Wade Sutton of the Rocket To The Stars artists services firm. You'll learn the importance of finding the right story and what should and shouldn't be part of each part of any press kit...

TRENDS: Best Buy Ends CD Sales, Target Demands New Terms

CD sales fell 18.5% last year, as steaming became the dominant format for more and more U.S. consumers. But this substantial decline could accelerate as Best Buys says it will stop selling all CDs; and Target will reportedly follow suit, unless labels agree to more favorable terms. Best Buy has told labels that it will stop selling CDs in July, Billboard reports. While a fraction of its former self, the once dominate retailer still sold $40 million CDs annually, according to sources. Best Buy has reportedly agreed to continue to sell vinyl for at least the next two years, in part because of a partnership with turntable manufacturers...

WEBSITE: All About Jazz Relaunches with Splashy New Design

With the recent relaunch of Jazz Near You, we turned our attention to All About Jazz, transforming hundreds of pages to a modern design with larger photos and improved readability. In addition to a spacious new look and brand new pages, the website is easier to navigate and administer, and boasts new features including the placement of a local events calendar (powered by Jazz Near You) on the All About Jazz home page...

BIRTHDAY: Jazz Musician of the Day: Bill Mays

All About Jazz is celebrating Bill Mays' birthday today! Pianists, composer and arranger Bill Mays, born February 5, 1944, came from a musical family. In his northern California home, music was always present; his dad was a minister, and his mother, a homemaker. "Gospel music was the first music I heard,' Bill recalls. 'Dad played the trombone, guitar and harmonica (at the same time!), piano and organ, and I have vivid memories of him playing the accordion while my mom sang... Read more...

VIDEO / DVD: Blossom Dearie: Sings Broadway

Russ Garcia probably wasn't the best choice to arrange Blossom Dearie's 1960 album, Soubrette Sings Broadway Hit Songs. The show tunes are dated for 1960 (most are from forgettable shows of the 1930s and '40s), many of the songs could be classified as novelty numbers, and the arrangements are too cute by half. In some respects, that was the fault of the album's concept. A soubrette is an actress or other female performer playing a lively, flirtatious role in a play. In other words, the corny songs were typically sung by a female performer lamenting about the show's love interest...

BIRTHDAY: Jazz Musician of the Day: Jutta Hipp

All About Jazz is celebrating Jutta Hipp's birthday today! EARLY CAREER IN GERMANY She had been active as a professional pianist in her native Germany from 1946 on, was a member of the Hans Koller Quartet in the early 1950s and from 1954-55 led her own combo, The Jutta Hipp Quintet. Members of her Frankfurt/Main based band included Emil Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund, and, on occasion, guitarist Atilla Zoller... Read more...

BIRTHDAY: Jazz Musician of the Day: Lil Hardin Armstrong

All About Jazz is celebrating Lil Hardin Armstrong's birthday today! Lil Hardin helped introduce America to jazz music. She was a dedicated jazz pianist, who established a reputation as "Hot Miss Lil," one of the few female band ensemble members of the 1920's. She played on many of the first jazz recordings ever made and she wrote many of the early songs of the jazz era. Though she might be identified in the jazz world as the wife of Louis Armstrong, she was much more than that... Read more...

VIDEO / DVD: James P. Johnson and “Carolina Shout”

Today, February 2, is the birthday of James P. Johnson (1894-1955), who developed stride piano as an art form within an art form. In his time, piano cutting contests were proving grounds -- most often in Harlem apartments -- where competing pianists showed their stuff. If James P was playing, their stuff was likely not to be good enough. Johnson's most famous composition was 'Carolina Shout,' a test of a pianist's swing, power and rhythm. He recorded it several times. Many pianists, critics and jazz historians consider this 1921 version his best...

VIDEO / DVD: STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Keyon Harrold Comes Home

This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring trumpeter Keyon Harrold, who will be coming back home to perform next Wednesday, February 7 and Thursday, February 8 at Jazz at the Bistro. Harrold, who grew up in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, has been in the spotlight recently thanks to the release in September of The Mugician, his second album as a leader. Featuring guest appearances from guitarist and singer Gary Clark Jr., rapper Big K.R.I.T., R&b vocalist bilal, keyboardist robert glasper, multi-instrumentalist georgia anne muldrow, and more, the album has been well-received by fans and critics, with reviews calling it a 'vibrant and wide-reaching set of tunes' (AllMusic.com) and praising it for 'redefining the textures and sounds of traditional jazz' (Salon.com)...

CAREER: How to Market College Gigs

When on tour, college towns can represent a great opportunity for artists looking to book shows, but attracting the college demographic carries with it its own set of challenges. Here we look at how to effectively market to a college audience. Guest post from the TuneCore Blog in collaboration with the students at Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University...

CAREER: How to Land a Record Deal

While many emerging artists have chosen to eschew labels, there are still a number of advantages to having the backing of a traditional label. Here we delve into how artists can refine their approach when it comes to trying to land a record deal. Guest post by Simon Tam of Last Stop Booking Two of the best performing articles I've ever written were Unsolicited Music Demos: How to Get in the Door of a Record Label and Record Labels That Accept Unsolicited Demos. This has consistently been the case for nearly five years. It shows that artists are still desperate in trying to unlock the secrets of getting a record deal. The points I made in those pieces are still relevant and I would suggest reading those first...

MUSIC INDUSTRY: Is Rock on Music's Endangered List?

In the wake the recent Grammy Awards, Fred Jacobs bemoans the decline of rock music as a genre, something which has been on a steady downhill slide for years, but also carries with it the potential for a resurgence. Guest post by Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media Maybe the Grammys first went off the rails back in 1989, the first year they decided to honor Heavy Metal. Strangely, the award that year went to the flute-infused sounds of Jethro Tull. For the Rock genre at this awards show devoted to music, it's been going downhill ever since...

RADIO: JazzWeek Radio Chart: February 5, 2018

All About Jazz publishes the weekly JazzWeek radio chart. Discover new releases, track chart movement, and learn what is being played on jazz radio stations around the United States. Enjoy! TW LW 2W Artist TW LW Move Add Rpts Peak Wks 1 5 1 Chick Corea + Steve Gadd Band Chinese Butterfly (Concord...

RECORDING: Jump City Music Announces the New Album "Toot Suite" from Trumpeter Bob Wagner

Jump City Music is thrilled to announce the release of the debut solo album from trumpeter Bob Wagner. Toot Suite will be available from bwtpt.com in January as well as on all major musical distribution platforms (iTunes, Amazon, etc) shortly thereafter. Toot Suite, written by composer/pianist Claude Bolling, combines creative improvisations, jazzy syncopations and beautiful melodies into six separate, but musically related movements. Originally recorded in 1980 by Bolling and virtuoso trumpeter Maurice Andre, Toot Suite's opening lines will be instantly recognized by many as the theme for NPR's popular long-running Diane Rehm Show...

BIRTHDAY: Jazz Musician of the Day: Stan Getz

All About Jazz is celebrating Stan Getz's birthday today! Beginnings... Stan Getz was born at St. Vincent\'s Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Feb. 2, 1927. He had one brother, Robert, who was born on October 30, 1932. His parents had come from the Kiev area in the Ukraine in 1903, tired and fearful of the Pogroms. The Getz family had first settled in West Philadelphia, but moved to New York City after Stan\'s fraternal uncle told them there were better jobs in New York... Read more...

VIDEO / DVD: Videos: Three Guitar Masters

Since it's Friday, I thought I'd end the week by sharing with you three separate videos of true jazz guitar masters -- Louis Stewart, Joe Pass and Lenny Breau. I think you'll agree that all three are at their finest here. In each case, I found videos you wouldn't be able to stop watching even if you had to go...

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