All About Jazz

VIDEO / DVD: STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Spotlight on the Dirty Dozen Brass Band

This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who will be back in St. Louis to perform next Thursday, July 12 at the Old Rock House. Founded in 1977 in New Orleans, the DDBB helped reinvigorate the city's brass band tradition by incorporating modern jazz, funk, and other genres, inspiring a new generation of players, bands and fans in the process...

CAREER: Guide to Increase Conversion Rate of Your Music Website

While you likely have a website, are you really getting the most out of it? Here we explore changes you can make to optimize your site that will produce more results from fans already visiting your site. Guest post Josh Wardini of The Music Entrepreneaur Are you interested in selling more music? Then you'll love this post, via Josh Wardini. Is there something you'd like to share with the community? You can learn more here. Now, let's catch up with Josh...

AWARD / GRANT: Grammy 2019 Deadlines and Dates: Submissions Now Open

Submissions for the 2019 61st Annual Grammy Awards are now open. To help navigate the process, we've created this quick guide and list of deadlines, dates and links new rules and more information. THE PROCESS RULE CHANGES The Recording Academy is increasing the number of nominees in the big 'General Field' Grammy categories- Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist- from five to eight. 'This change will better reflect the large number of entries in these categories and allow voters greater flexibility when selecting this year's best recordings,' the Academy said in a statement (learn more here)...

RECORDING: Pianist, Vocalist and Arranger Jeremy Sassoon Releases Live Album from Pizzaexpress Jazz Club in Soho

The highly dexterous pianist, first-rate vocalist and expert arranger Jeremy Sassoon presents a vibrant live recording of a sell-out show alongside an exciting band of special guest musicians at Soho's famous PizzaExpress Jazz Club, the iconic venue in the heart of London's West End. Fully capturing the charged atmosphere of the evening's live event, Jeremy Sassoon And Friends Live features a diverse repertoire of songs, including an evocative interpretation of the Glen Campbell classic "Wichita Lineman," performed as a tribute to Campbell's passing which occurred around the time of the concert. Further homages are paid to the late Walter Becker of m: Steely Dan through Sassoon's renditions of the songs "FM" and "Peg," as well as a unique and exceptional version of the Beatles "Eleanor Rigby" performed in an inimitable style...

RECORDING: Miriam Ast and Victor Gutierrez Release "Secret Songs" on Mons Records

2nd July 2018 marks the release of Secret Songs, the new album from German vocalist Miriam Ast and Spanish pianist Victor Gutierrez, released on Thilo Berg's esteemed label Mons Records. Recently winning the Best Vocalist award at the Bucharest International Jazz Competition 2017 and reaching the semi-final of the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition in the same year, Miriam Ast cites artists such as m: Diana Krall, m: Sarah Vaughan, m: Jamie Cullum, m: Norma Winstone and m: Kurt Elling as major influences. Initially gaining a BA in singing and saxophone in Mainz, Germany before graduating from the Royal Academy with an MA distinction, Ast studied under Welsh jazz singer Nia Lynn, composer and arranger Pete Churchill and the British jazz icon Norma Winstone. She is now inspiring the next generation of up and coming artists as a senior lecturer at Leeds College of Music. As part of the acclaimed London Vocal Project, she has performed at venues such as the 606 Club, Pizza Express Jazz Club, the EFG London Jazz Festival and the Cambridge International Jazz Festival. Previously, Miriam was a member of the prestigious Bundesjazzorchester (the German National Youth Jazz Orchestra), and in September 2013 was awarded the Young German Jazz Award Osnabruck with the band The Ropesh...

BIRTHDAY: Jazz Musician of the Day: Louie Bellson

All About Jazz is celebrating Louie Bellson's birthday today! One of the world's greatest drummers, Louie Bellson has been an exciting crowd pleaser for over 60 years. A well-respected educator and one of the nicest people in the music business, the still-active Louie Bellson is a class act. Born Luigi Paolino Balassoni, Bellson won a nationwide Gene Krupa drum contest in 1940 and was heard by Tommy Dorsey, who was quite impressed. The drummer started at the top in 1941... Read more...

OBITUARY: Henry Butler, 1948-2018

The gifted New Orleans pianist Henry Butler has died. He was 69. Noted for virtuosity at the keyboard and soulful depth as a singer, Butler pursued his career primarily in his home city, with frequent tours overseas. Blinded by glaucoma as an infant, he excelled academically at all levels and dazzled other musicians with his skill. In recent years, Butler lived in the Bronx borough of New York City. In today's New York Times, Jon Pareles' obituary of Butler contains video of the pianist discussing and playing a classic Scott Joplin composition...

INTERVIEW: Django Festival Allstars

One of the best kept secrets in jazz is the Django Festival Allstars. Formed in 2002, they recapture the joyous and nostalgic sound of gypsy jazz made popular in jny: Paris by m: Django Reinhardt and m: Stephane Grappelli just before World War II. It's infectious music, and once you hear it, you get caught up in the bounce and conversational quality of the instrumental exchanges...

MUSIC INDUSTRY: What is Article 13? What Did Today's Vote Mean for Music?

The vote by the EU Parliament Thursday to open debate on Article 13, sweeping legislation that revamps copyright law, is seen as a setback for the music industry. But what is exactly is Article 13 and what does today's vote mean for musicians and the music industry? What Is Article 13? Article 13, also known as the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market and the EU Copyright Directive, is a proposed directive designed to modernize and standardize copyright law across the European Union. It would also provide additional protections for rights holders...

MUSIC INDUSTRY: Stem Offers Digital Music Distribution Alternative

Founded in 2015, Stem.is is a unique digital aggregator which submits your music to all major streaming services and, unlike most other digital aggregators, has a more streamlined payment process, meaning you and your collaborators can earn royalties with fewer accounting hassles. Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0...

MUSIC INDUSTRY: How to Add Personality to Your Email Campaigns

When it comes to promoting a show or event, email is your best friend, as it still yields a higher return on investment than many forms of promotion. For emails to be effective, however, they need to grab readers attention. Here we look at how. Guest post by Tamisha McQuilkin from the Eventbrite blog...

RECORDING: Jan Hammer to Release "Seasons PT. 1" on July 20

On July 20, after a nearly 10 year-long hiatus,m: Jan Hammer -- whose extensive body of work has spanned the musical spectrum from jazz to prog to classical to pop -- will release Seasons Pt. 1, a compilation of existing musical sketches that Jan developed into full length compositions and selections that were created just for this album. Why the delay? Laughing, Hammer emphatically says, 'It's about time...

FESTIVAL: 5th Annual Charlie Parker Celebration: An Array of Musical Performances, Tributes and Education - 10 Days of Jazz from August 16-25, 2018

The Charlie Parker Celebration returns and will celebrate its 5th anniversary. Helping celebrate the 5th anniversary will be a local, multi-talented treasure, who has become a national and international entertainer, while spreading the word of Kansas City jazz. The treasure and one of this year's Artist-in-Residence is Lonnie McFadden, a singer, trumpeter and tap dancer. Add 'producer' to his portfolio. McFadden will do all of the above at this year's Charlie Parker Celebration (CPC) and produce the Celebration's signature concert, Charlie Parker - Past, Present, Future, Aug. 25. Joining McFadden as an Artist-in-Residence (AIR) will be Grammy winner Tivon Pennicott. Both will participate in many of this year's feature events and the jazz crawl (20+ performances at 14 jazz clubs or venues during the 10-day event...

BIRTHDAY: Jazz Musician of the Day: Derrick Hodge

All About Jazz is celebrating Derrick Hodge's birthday today! Derrick Hodge began studying electric guitar at the age of 7, inspired by the playing of West Philadelphia's Beulah Baptist Church choir's bassist, Joel Ruffiin. A year later, Hodge switched to electric bass guitar and began playing in the elementary school concert band and orchestra. In junior high, he was introduced to the upright contrabass. At the time... Read more...

VIDEO / DVD: Videos: Jazz Guitars Galore

Last evening, before New York's July 4th fireworks, I was roaming around YouTube looking at footage of great jazz guitarists. Rather than tell you what I found, why don't I show you [pictured above, from left, are Johnny Guarnieri, Carol Stevens, Barry Galbraith and Milt Hinton in After Hours]... Here are guitarists Jimmy Raney and Scott Henderson in 1993 playing How Deep Is the Ocean...

BIRTHDAY: Jazz Musician of the Day: Mike Mainieri

All About Jazz is celebrating Mike Mainieri's birthday today! Primarily recognized as an award-winning, jazz vibraphonist, Mike Mainieri's equally remarkable talents as producer, arranger, and composer have contributed to shaping the cutting-edge in music. Throughout his fruitful career -- now spanning almost five decades -- Mike has collaborated with the world's most formidable jazz player's produced numerous albums, and discovered a host of innovative, young talent... Read more...

OBITUARY: Bill Watrous Has Died

Trombonist Bill Watrous died yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 79. Celebrated for his skill, range and speed, Watrous employed those attributes in a career that began with Billy Butterfield and included work with the big bands of Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and Johnny Richards. In the early 1970s he recorded with his own big band, Manhattan Wildlife Refuge. Fellow trombonists admired Watrous for his technical achievement, but they may have envied him equally for his way with ballads. One of his best known performances was of 'A Time For Love' from his album of Johnny Mandel compositions...

OBITUARY: Bill Watrous (1939-2018)

Bill Watrous, a jazz trombonist who came up in the 1960s just as jazz was fading and the trombone was transitioning into studio orchestras and funk-soul groups such as the Jazz Crusaders and Kool and the Gang, died on July 2, 2018. He was 79. Watrous's finest work was on ballads. His singing trombone style on slow tunes was achingly melodic and glossy smooth, a pristine sound matched only by a handful of other players in the '60s and beyond, most notably Urbie Green and Carl Fontana. As Watrous played a ballad, one could hear his soul pressing through the mouthpiece, making it impossible to ignore the beauty of his tone and articulation...

TRENDS: Average Musician is Earning Less Than Ever [new Study]

In some unfortunate although perhaps not surprising recent news, a new study has revealed that, apart from those operating at the top rung of the business, the average musician is now pulling down less income from their work than ever before. Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0 I don't think that anyone would deny that, unless you've reached the top rungs of the business, being an everyday musician is a tough job. The problem is that it seems to be getting tougher than ever to be an average musician though, as a new study from the Music Industry Research Association (MIRA) discovered...

MUSIC INDUSTRY: Getting the Most out of Criticism of Your Music

Humans, for the most part, don't often take criticism particularly well, and having someone pass judgement on your music can seem especially personal. Here we look at how make the most out of criticism and turn it into a positive source for growth. Guest post by Patrick McGuire of Soundfly's Flypaper...

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