Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jazz Pianist Billy Taylor, Rest in Peace


Legendary jazz pianist, composer and educator Dr. Billy Taylor died on December 28, 2010 at age 89.  He was long admired throughout his career as an innovative musician who composed over 300 tunes.

Taylor had an illustrious career as a jazz pianist, getting his start with the Ben Webster Quartet in New York City, and was later the house pianist for the famous Birdland Jazz Club, sitting in Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and others.

Dr. Taylor has long been associated with the Music Department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he got his masters and Ph.D in education.  In 1982, Billy helped found the Jazz in July program at UMass/Amherst, combining master classes, mentorship and live performances by esteemed faculty members and invited guests.

National Public Radio has a thorough tribute to Taylor, who was a longtime host of Jazz Alive on NPR stations.  The New York Times also wrote a feature story on Taylor's life.

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.

For tourist information, visit MassVacation.com.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Liberty Hotel in Boston swings into New Year Sinatra-Style


Boston's Liberty Hotel is swinging in the New Year with an extravaganza of Vegas-style entertainment by the Sinatra Band, plus live DJs, dancing, specialty cocktails and culinary delights.  The event is for ages 21 and over, and begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 each and can be ordered online.

Overnight packages at the hotel are also available by calling 866 507-5245 or visiting the Liberty Hotel website.

The Sinatra Band features veteran jazz greats Al Vega Trio with Adam Herbert.

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.

For tourist information, visit MassVacation.com.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Night Boston Celebrates New Year's Eve with Great Jazz Throughout the City

Photo courtesy of First Night Boston


The 35th celebration of First Night Boston, North America's largest and oldest New Year's arts festival, has a generous sprinkling of jazz performances throughout the evening, according to spokeswoman Joyce Linehan.  Among the featured performers: 


The Lionel Loueke Trio at Berklee Performance Center
Praised by his mentor Herbie Hancock as "a musical painter," jazz guitarist Lionel Loueke combines harmonic sophistication, soaring melody, a deep knowledge of African music, and conventional and extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound of his own. Originally from the small West African nation of Benin, Loueke has enjoyed a meteoric rise recently. In 2008 and 2009, he was picked as top Rising Star guitarist in Down Beat magazine. After his initial to exposure to jazz in Benin, Loueke attended the National Institute of Art in Ivory Coast. In 1994 he left to pursue jazz studies at the American School of Modern Music in Paris, then came to the U.S. on a scholarship to Berklee. This performance, a partnership between First Night, Berklee College of Music and 89.7 WGBH, will be broadcast live in Boston on 89.7 and on stations across the country as part of NPR’s annual New Year’s Eve broadcast “Toast of the Nation.” Led by a Berklee-trained pianist, The Takeshi Ohbayashi Quartet will open. (Loueke 7:45 and 9:30 p.m., Ohbayashi 6:30 p.m.)

Shimon Ben-Shir and Friends at the Boston Public Library Rabb Hall, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Bassist and composer Shimon Ben-Shir brings together a group of seasoned and accomplished musicians to take listeners on a musical journey that cover the globe. Whether it’s to a cool oasis, a hot Latin party or a grooving Middle Eastern affair, the music transports the listener to places they’ve never been but will want to visit again and again. The compositions are warm, lyrical, inviting and memorable. (Presented by the Consulate General of Israel to New England)

Live, Laugh, Love: A New Year’s Cabaret at the Park Plaza Terrace Room, 9:30 p.m.
All of life’s important lessons can be learned from show tunes, so come to the cabaret, old chum! First Night hosts some of Boston’s best loved theatre artists doing what they do best – singing their hearts out. Join Neil A. Casey, Kerry A. Dowling, and Maureen Keiller, all accompanied by Nick Connell to ring in 2011 with favorite Broadway songs.

The Boston Saxophone Quartet at CityPlace, 6 and 7:30 p.m.
The Boston Saxophone Quartet is a unique blend of musicians combining a tremendous range of repertoire and individual experience in wind performance. Members of the BSQ have performed with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra and leading Broadway theaters throughout New England. The BSQ offers a wide repertoire: swing, ragtime, jazz, The Beatles, and all the way back to the Renaissance.

New England Conservatory Youth Jazz Orchestra at First Church, 4 p.m
The Youth Jazz Orchestra is a new ensemble that debuted in September 2008 at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School. The Orchestra is directed by celebrated jazz artist Ken Schaphorst, who chairs NEC's college jazz studies department and directs the college-level jazz orchestra. Some of New England’s most talented and committed high school musicians will light up First Night with their big band sound!

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.
For tourist information, visit MassVacation.com


Monday, December 27, 2010

Bart Weisman Jazz Group Celebrates New Year's Eve on Cape Cod


Jazz drummer Bart Weisman and his group is kicking off New Year's on the Cape with a show at the Riverway Lobster House restaurant in South Yarmouth, Cape Cod, on Friday, December 31, 2010 starting at 8:15 p.m.

The group features vocalist Carol Syeth and also features Weisman on drums, Mark Borgmann on piano, and Ron Ormsby on.  Weisman, founder and director of the Provincetown Jazz Festival each August,  is one of the leading exponents of live jazz on Cape Cod.

For year round jazz throughout Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.

For information on visiting Cape Cod, click here.

For tourist information on Massachusetts, visit MassVacation.com.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jazz on New Year's Eve: The Beehive in Boston Celebrates in Style


Celebrate 2011 in style at The Beehive's 4th Annual New Year's Eve Extravaganza,  featuring live entertainment and dancing to Akashic Record starring vocalists Marsha Lubin and Nephtaliem aka Nephrok.

Executive Chef Rebecca Newell's delectable buffet of eclectic hors d'oeuvres and desserts, with influences from Europe, the Mediterranean and good ol' Americana, all served in a cocktail setting. 

The Beehive has one of the most extensive champagne lists in New England.  For a full schedule of music at the Beehive, click here.
 
For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com

For tourist information, visit MassVacation.com.



Friday, December 24, 2010

WGBH and Berklee Kick off national broadcast of Toast of the Nation with Lionel Loueke Trio


For the seventh consecutive year,  WGBH Radio - 89.7  kicks off the Toast of the Nation show hosted by National Public Radio on New Year's Eve, starting at 8:00 p.m. with the Lionel Loueke Trio at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston.

"This is a multi-venue, across time zones, celebration with jazz the featured music of the event," says Stephen Charbonneau, Assistant Program Director at WGBH.  The program features jazz bands coast to coast, and is broadcast around the world.

Loueke's performance is part of Boston's First Night Celebrations welcoming the New Year.  Kicking off the celebration at the Berklee Performance Center is virtuoso jazz pianist Takeshi Ohbayashi, who kicks off the festivities at 6:30 p.m.

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com

For tourist information, visit MassVacation.com.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Year's Eve Jazz: Sculler's in Boston featuring Pieces of a Dream


Sculler's Jazz Club at the Doubletree Guest Suites-Boston is hosting a New Year's Eve celebration featuring Pieces of a Dream on Friday, December 31, 2010 at 8:00 p.m..

Formed in Philadelphia in 1976, Pieces of a Dream is a storied jazz ensemble known for its innovation and authentic jazz roots.  It takes its name from a Stanley Turrentine tune.

The Early Party Package to the show includes a four-course gourmet dinner in the Green Room (dinner reservations from 5:30-6:30 p.m.) followed by the performance by Pieces of a Dream.  Cost per couple is $309.00, and can be purchased online.

Tickets to the show, without the dinner package, are available to the 8:00 p.m. and the 11:00 p.m. shows. (The late night package is sold out.)

In addition, the Doubletree is offering a premium two-room suite and a New Year's Day breakfast buffet and overnight parking, for only $99.00.  For reservations and more information, call 617 562-4111.

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com

For tourism information, visit MassVacation.com.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fulani Haynes Performs Jazz Holiday Show at Cafe Tatant in Boston on December 23


Boston Jazz vocalist Fulani Haynes is performing a special holiday show with the Jazz Collaborative at Cafe Tatant at the Roxbury Center for the Arts in Boston on Thursday, December 23, 2010. 

The newly-opened jazz dinner club is located in Dudley Square in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., dinner is served at 7:00 p.m. and the music begins at 7:30 p.m. 

Tickets to the show are $19. The price for the show and the dinner is $39 per person, or $69 for a couple, and reservations can be made online.

A jazz singer for over thirty years, Fulani Haynes has performed with numerous jazz bands and theatre troupes throughout New England, and is praised for her musical portraits of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.

For more details on Cafe Tetant and upcoming shows in 2011, click here.

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.

For tourist information, visit MassVacation.com.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Aardvark Jazz Orchestra's 38th annual Christmas Concert at Boston's Emmanuel Church on December 18


The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, directed by trumpeter Mark Harvey, performs its 38th annual Christmas Concert this Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. at the Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay.  Admission is $15 at the door.

The band's first concert  took place in 1973, and since then the orchestra has raised funds for various local charities and educational groups.  This year's recipient is the Boston Public Quartet music education program at the James A. Chittick Elementary School in Mattapan.

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Either/Orchestra Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Concert at the Regent Theatre on December 16


The Either/Orchestra is celebrating 25 years of incredible jazz with a concert at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 general admission and $15 for students and can be ordered online.

The 25-member orchestra, founded by Russ Gershon in 1985, features an all-star line-up of musicians who have played with the orchestra over the past quarter century.

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two Jazz Shows at Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge on Friday, December 17



Jazz pianist and composer Kevin Harris and his trio - known as the Kevin Harris Project - perform at the Jazz Club of the Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.   Harris is a gifted composer whose influences range from Thelonius Monk and Keith Jarrett to Daniel Perez and Frederic Chopin.

Then  jazz vocalist Valerie Stephen takes the stage at 9:00 p.m. for a Tribute to Nina Simone.  Stephens captures the finesse and the fury of Simone, whose iconic music captured a tumultuous time in American life.

 Tickets to each show are $15, or $25 for both shows, and can be ordered online.  Also, discounts apply for seniors, students and members of the Center.

For more details on the Jazz Club, located at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center on 41 Second Street in East Cambridge, click here.

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com

For tourist information, visit MassVacation.com.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rockport Music Presents Jazz Pianist David Benoit Performing A Charlie Brown Christmas on December 14


Innovative jazz pianist David Benoit and his trio are performing the music to A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts on Tuesday, December 14, 2010, at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets to the show are $25.00 to $46.00 and can be purchased online or by calling 978 546-7391.

A pioneer of the smooth jazz genre, Benoit has long been passionate about the music of Peanuts composer Vince Guaraldi and has made numerous recordings related to Peanuts.

For a complete schedule of concerts at the Shalin Liu Performance center, visit Rockport Music.

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.

For tourist information, visit MassVacation.com.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jazz Vocalist Rajdulari Barnes Performing in Boston on December 9


Jazz singer Rajdulari Barnes is performing at the new Cafe Tatant jazz dinner club at the Roxbury Center for the Arts on Thursday, December 9, 2010.  She'll be performing with her group, the Rajdulari Jazz Project.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m., dinner is served at 7:00 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $39 for meal and music per person, or $69 per couple.  Tickets for the show only, without dinner, are $19.

For more information, please call 617 849-6322.

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.