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

Find year round details on live jazz in Massachusetts at MassJazz.com.

For details about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.

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. 
For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.
For visitor information, go to MassVacation.com

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 www.fineartscenter.com/musicanddance.
For year round jazz in Massachusetts visit MassJazz.com.

For visitor information, go to MassVacation.com. 

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 MassJazz.com.

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

For year round jazz, visit MassJazz.com.

To find out about visiting  Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Live Jazz & Blues in Massachusetts this Saturday, February 25, 2017

Looking for some quality music in Massachusetts this weekend?  Check out these live jazz and blues shows taking place around the state from the February calendar on MassJazz.com.

Saturday, February 25:

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play
Mechanics Hall
321 Main Street, Worcester

Sugar Ray & the Bluetones
Amazing Things Art Center
160 Hollis Street, Framingham

Third Life Studio
33 Union Square, Somerville

Greg Hopkins Sextet
Spire Center for the Performing Arts
25 ½ Court Street, Plymouth

Other than Boston
Darryl’s Corner Bar + Kitchen
604 Columbus Avenue
South End, Boston

Here is a full list of jazz clubs in Massachusetts and concert venues.  See what's happening near you!

For information about visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Berklee High School Jazz Festival is Saturday, February 11 in Boston

The annual Berklee High School Jazz Festival is taking place on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston's Back Bay.

The largest event of its kind in the United States, the festival is free and open to the public.

The festival features big bands, combos, and vocal jazz ensembles from around the U.S. and other countries performing and competing throughout the day. 

All ensembles are adjudicated by a panel of Berklee’s top faculty and will receive a written critique of their performance. Top-ranked ensembles will be awarded partial scholarships to Berklee’s FiveWeek Summer Performance Program, and individual students are invited to audition for tuition scholarships towards the full-time program or our Five Week Summer Performance Program.

Massachusetts has a vibrant jazz community throughout the year.  Find details at MassJazz.com.

For information on visiting Massachusetts, go to MassVacation.com

Friday, February 3, 2017

John Kordalewski Trio performing at Third Life Studio in Somerville on February 4

Jazz pianist John Kordalewski and his trio perform at the Third Life Studio in Somerville at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2017.  He is accompanied by Carlos Pino on bass and Kesvian Naidoo on drums.

Tickets to the show are $15 and can be purchased online or at the venue. 

John is the originator of the Makanda Project, an all-star jazz band devoted to the compositions of the late Makanda Ken McIntyre

The concert is part of the Mandorla Music Series, which represents the diversity and spectrum of jazz.  

Find year round information on live jazz throughout Massachusetts at MassJazz.com.

For visitor information go to MassVacation.com

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Live Jazz, Blues & World Music this February in Massachusetts

Miguel Zenon

Massachusetts is offering amazing live jazz, blues and world music throughout the month of February, according to MassJazz.  See schedule here

Atop the schedule are two shows on Friday, February 10:  saxophonist Miguel Zenon and his quartet perform at Villa Victoria in Boston’s South End, while jazz vocalist Regina Carter, performing her show, Simply Ella, at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, 

Other great performers include Mindi Abair, Linda Eder, Beantown Swing Orchestra, Paula Cole, Dianne Reeves, Cyrille Aimee, Bebel Gilberto, John Scofield and Chris Brubeck.

Check out these jazz clubs and concert halls for more details on the venues.

For year round live music in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com

For visitor information, go to MassVacation.com

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 Berklee Chinese New Year Concert

Yazhi Guo

The annual Chinese New Year Concert at Berklee is taking place at 8:00 pm. on January 31, 2017 at the Berklee Performance Center at 136 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston's Back Bay.

Tickets are $12 at the door. 

The concert is an annual celebration among Chinese and other Asian populations at Berklee. A collaboration between the Chinese Student and Scholar Association and Bridge the Gap, this year's concert aims to connect cultures and musicians, and to bridge the cultural gap between Western and Eastern music. 

The development of Chinese music will be condensed into a 90-minute program, with unique arrangements of both Chinese folk songs and pop music, along with dance and other forms of performance, to show the audience a brand new perspective on China.

Find out more about Berklee College of Music. Read story on Chinese pop star and Berklee alumni Leehom Wong

For year round information on live jazz, blues and world music in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com

Monday, January 16, 2017

Boston University Commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with Duke Ellington Concert

Photo of Randall Keith Horton by Conor Doherty, courtesy of BU Today

Boston composer, arranger and musician Randall Keith Horton is presenting at concert entitled "Hope, Despair and the Blues," in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 16 at the GSU Metcalf Ballroom at Boston University.

The concert features music of the Sacred Concerts of Duke Ellington performed by BU’s Big Band and the Inner Strength Gospel Choir and conducted by Mr. Horton.  

Read a full description of the concert, and of Horton's connections to Boston and to Ellington, at BU Today

Also, read this address by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the importance of jazz, delivered at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1964, courtesy of Jazz 91.9, Atlanta's jazz station.  

A signifiant collection of Martin Luther King's writings and materials is housed at Boston University's Martin Gotlieb Archival Research Center

For year round jazz in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com

Friday, January 13, 2017

Blues legend Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson Performs at Bull Run Restaurant on January14

Legendary blues artists Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson is performing at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, Massachusetts at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2017.  Tickets to the concert are available online or at the venue.

The Mississippi native moved to Chicago in the 1970s and helped showcase the city's strong blues tradition along with Otis Rush.

Here is a schedule of upcoming performances at Bull Run.

For year round information on jazz and blues in Massachusetts, visit MassJazz.com.

Find visitor information at MassVacation.com or MerrimackValley.org.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

4th annual Narrows Blues Festival in Fall River on January 13

The 4th annual Narrows Blues Festival, featuring top blues artists, is taking place on Friday, January 13, 2017 at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River.

Tickets can be purchased online for $32 in advance and $37 the day of the show.

This year's festival includes the Eric Gales Band, Davino and the Vagabonds, Nick Schnebelen and Jimmy Bez Blues Band.

Here is a full schedule of upcoming concerts at the Narrows Center for the Arts.

Find more live jazz and blues in Massachusetts in January here.

For visitor information, go to MassVacation.com

Friday, January 6, 2017

MassJazz Posts Dozens of Live Jazz & Blues Performances in Massachusetts in January 2017

There are dozens of live jazz & blues performances in January taking place throughout Massachusetts, according to MassJazz.  They range from concerts featuring trumpeter Christian Scott, guitarist Pat Metheny, Italian vocalist Roberta Gambarini and guitarist John Abercrombie to night jazz sessions in local jazz clubs, restaurants and hotels.

In the greater Boston area, you can find jazz every night at the week at places like Top of the Hub, Darryl's Corner Bar + Kitchen, The Beehive, Wally's and others.  Here is a full list of jazz clubs in Massachusetts.

Find details on Massachusetts' vibrant jazz community by visiting MassJazz.com.

For visitor information, go to MassVacation.com.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Berklee College of Music Student Pens Song about Equal Pay for Women

Mina Alali, a student at the Berklee College of Music, has written a new single, "22 Cents Less," which calls for closing the income wage gap between men and women in the United States.

The music video for the song was filmed in Boston, where Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bipartisan pay equity bill on August 1, 2016, to ensure equal pay for comparable work for all Massachusetts workers and equal opportunities to earn competitive salaries in the workplace.  The bill passed unanimously by both legislative branches,

"If young girls hear this song and are inspired to advocate for themselves someday, I will consider it a great success," states Mina. "People are used to hearing about the wage gap on the news and in political settings but we don't often hear about it on YouTube or on the radio."

Here is the video.

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...