Wednesday, March 29, 2017

International Folk Music Festival at Berklee on March 29

Berklee College of Music presents its annual International Folk Music Festival at Berklee Performance Center at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the venue or online.

Berklee's abundant international student population is being showcased at the festival, with traditional folk music from China, Lebanon, Russia, Turkey, Belgium, Iran, Bolivia, Serbia, India, and Puerto Rico. 

In addition to the music, expect a vibrant display of traditional dance and costumes, and instruments from students' homelands.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Steve Schwartz - Thanks for the Music

In memory of Steve Schwartz, who passed away recently, here is a story below that ran in the 2012 issue of MassJazz Travel Guilde.

Steve Schwartz graced the airwaves at WGBH for nearly 27 years, enlightening listeners with his knowledge, passion and perceptiveness about jazz.

That’s why jazz lovers in Boston and around the nation were dismayed to learn that the station was eliminating his Friday night show, Jazz from Studio Four. And that Steve’s esteemed colleague, Eric Jackson, would have his nightly radio show reduced to weekends only.

Schwartz was gracious about the news, telling The Boston Globe, “It wasn’t a total surprise, but it is a loss. The station is losing a consistent format spread across the week. And the Boston jazz community is losing an important venue for musicians to promote their events.”

Meanwhile, jazz leaders were quick to praise Schwartz and reflect on his contributions.

“Steve’s shows were the most intelligent, well-crafted jazz presentations on radio,” said impresario Fred Taylor, music director at Scullers Jazz Club. “He brought a wealth of knowledge to each record he played.”

“Jazz from Studio Four has been one of my favorite radio shows over the years,” says jazz publicist Sue Auclair. “Steve has very fine musical taste and a gentle radio voice—he picks the really special pieces of music and showcases artists in a really unique way.”

“People like Eric and Steve love and know the music. To a listener like myself, it’s almost like having a History of Jazz class on the radio,” wrote pianist Danilo Perez, head of Berklee’s Global Jazz Institute.

Schwartz was “born and raised in Boston…and discovered jazz on the radio as a teenager living in southern California,” he writes on his WGBH profile, adding, “There’s always new music to discover and old music to rediscover.”

Before coming to GBH, Steve volunteered on Harvard’s WHRB and earned high praise for his jazz show, wrote Globe reporter Ernie Santosuosso.

In addition to being a stellar on-air radio host, Steve is also a talented producer.

“Steve produced many great live recordings from Scullers and other locations that went national on NPR through WBGO in New Jersey under the title Jazz Set,” says Taylor. “And he produced some wonderful live music from the WGBH studio featuring the talents of musicians living and working here in our community.”

“I really loved the recordings he did as well—many for Jazz Set,” says Auclair. “Especially memorable is his recording of the late Shirley Horn at a concert she gave at Sanders Theatre. It was the only time I’d seen Shirley away from the piano and a completely different experience watching her sing directly to the audience! At the end, everyone gave her a standing ovation . . . in tears!”

Along with Jackson, Steve has been ubiquitous on the local jazz scene, introducing acts at Berklee’s BeanTown Festival while supporting local initiatives like JazzBoston.

“Two of JazzBoston’s strongest supporters - Tom Everett, founder of Harvard’s jazz studies program, and jazz journalist and Boston native Nat Hentoff – came to us because of Steve,” says JazzBoston founder Pauline Bilsky.

Optimists hope that WGBH will reconsider its programming and restore jazz to its former presence. In the meantime, Steve remains the class act that had so many listeners tuning in every Friday night.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be on the radio playing music and producing live broadcasts for all these years,” he writes on Facebook. “Please continue to support the local Boston jazz scene. Go out to the clubs. Buy CDs and downloads. Continue to tune in to Eric Jackson. Jazz in Boston needs to survive. You can make it happen!”

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chris Botti, Darcy James Argue, Mavis Staples & Eliane Elias Performing Jazz + Blues in Massachusetts this Week

Chris Botti Performs in Lexington on March 24

MassJazz has some great suggestions for hearing live jazz and blues in Massachusetts this week, in greater Boston, Plymouth, Lexington, Cape Cod and other parts of the Commonwealth.

Wednesday, March 22
Celebrity Series of Boston presents
Stave Sessions w/ Melissa Aldana Trio
Berklee College of Music
160 Massachusetts Avenue

Jazz and Blues Open Jam Session
Spire Center for the Performing Arts
25 ½ Court Street, Plymouth

Thursday, March 23
Celebrity Series of Boston presents
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
Berklee College of Music
160 Massachusetts Avenue

Fred Hersch Trio
Scullers Jazz Club
400 Soldiers Field Road
Allston, Boston

Friday, March 24
Mavis Staples
Cabot Theatre
286 Cabot Street, Beverly

Christ Botti
Cary Memorial Hall
1605 Mass Avenue, Lexington

Saturday, March 25
Eliane Elias
Berklee Performance Center
136 Mass Avenue
Back Bay, Boston

Sunday, March 26
Cape Conservatory CJazz
Cape Cod Museum of Art
60 Hope Lane
Dennis, Cape Cod

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Joshua Redman's Still Dreaming Tour Comes to Berklee Performance Center on Sunday, March 19

Joshua Redman, Brian Blade, Scott Colley and Ron Miles are in concert at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 19, 2017. 
Tickets range from $28 to $56 and can be purchased online or at the venue the night of the show.   The concert is presented by World Music/CRASHarts!
Called the Still Dreaming tour, it is a tribute to his father, legendary sax player Dewey Redman, and features new compositions inspired by his father's band. 
Prior to the concert, at 6:30 p.m., there is a free talk with Bob Blumenthal, Grammy-winning author and journalist,taking place  in the Davis Room on the second floor of the Berklee Performance Center. 
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

36th Jazz Showcase at UMass/Amherst Features Movie Soundtracks on March 9

UMass/Amherst Department of Music and Dance presents its 36th annual Jazz Showcase of the department’s top instrumental and vocal jazz ensembles, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9  in the Fine Arts Center, Bowker Auditorium.
The showcase includes performances by Jazz Ensemble I, Chapel Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Jazz Ensemble and student and faculty soloists.
The ensembles are directed by professors Jeffrey W. Holmes, Catherine Jensen-Hole, Thomas Giampietro and Felipe Salles and graduate students.
This year's showcase features works from a variety of movie soundtracks, including blockbusters like “Star Wars,” “The Godfather,” “The Lion King” and “Rocky,” along with selections from the Austin Powers and James Bond series.
Ticket are $3 for UMass students; $5 for other students, seniors & children; and $10 for the general public. Tickets may be purchased at the Fine Arts Center Box Office, by phone at 413/545-2511, or online at
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Live Music in Massachusetts this Week features Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas, Madeleine Peyroux & Ricki Lee Jones, Mary Wilson, Kenny Barron, New Black Eagle Jazz Band, Gary Burton & Makoto Ozone and Duke Robillard

There is some amazing live jazz, soul and blues taking place in Massachusetts in the first week of March, according to

Performers range from female stars like Mary Wilson (of the Supremes), Madeleine Peyroux and Ricki Lee Jones, to jazz greats like Joe Lovano & Dave Douglass, Kenny Barron, New Black Eagle Jazz Band, Gary Burton & Makoto Ozone, and blues legend Duke Robillard. 

March 2
Madeleine Peyroux and Ricki Lee Jones
The Wilbur Theatre
246 Tremont Street, Boston

March 2
Joe Lovano & Dave Douglass Quintet
Charles Hotel
Harvard Square, Cambridge

March 3-4
Mary Wilson of the Supremes
Scullers Jazz Club
400 Soldiers Field Road
Allston, Boston

March 3-4
Kenny Barron Trio
Charles Hotel
Harvard Square, Cambridge

March 4
New Black Eagle Jazz Band
Amazing Things Art Center
160 Hollis Street, Framingham

March 5
Gary Burton and Makoto Ozone Duets
Berklee Performance Center
136 Mass Avenue
Back Bay, Boston

March 5
Duke Robillard
Bull Run Restaurant
Route 2A, Shirley

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Sun Broadcasting Corp Launches Sun Music Live Shows at Wally's Cafe Jazz Club this Fall

Sun Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) has begun production of Sun Music Live. The inaugural shows set at  Wally’s CafĂ©  in Boston will f...