Pianist Helen Sung represents the latest chapter of great piano players to come out of the Lone Star State of Texas. Her musical journey began in Houston where studied classical piano at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts; a school that is rapidly producing many of the most important jazz musicians of this current generation of players; names that include Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Eric Harland and Evertte Harp among others. It wasn’t until her arrival at the University of Texas in Austin however that she discovered the world of jazz while attending a Harry Connick Jr. concert. It was that concert that provided the spark and compelled Sung to make the leap from the classical world into the jazz world. Read more »
For over a century traditional hotbed cities for jazz like New Orleans, New York, Detroit and Philadelphia have attracted generations of musicians the world over; Musicians seeking to add their names and voices to this rich tradition. Well step aside, as we see upstart communities across the country becoming important touchstones for jazz in their own right. Monica Ramey is a vocalist, born in a small town in Indiana. She studied music in Chicago, IL. After school Ramey moved to Music City, USA; Nashville, Tennessee in pursuit of a career in jazz. Her debut recording is titled, Make Someone Happy.
So how does someone from a small Indiana town make jazz a career pursuit? Monica explains.
Bob Dylan is one of the true icons of Americana. Following in the footsteps of folk music hero Woody Guthrie, Dylan’s body of work as an artist tells the story of what it is to be American. His lyrics and melodies have reached the hearts and minds of many musicians, yet it is a voice that interestingly enough has not been explored by many jazz musicians.
Pianist, vocalist, radio host and jazz musician Ben Sidran grew up in the time of Dylan’s heyday of the sixties as a fan. After years of recording, Sidran has finally pulled together a menu of Dylan compositions in one project whose stories are as relevant today as they were when they were first penned. The recording is called “Dylan Different” on Bonsai Music. Read more »
Jazz music is a twentieth century invention that stands on the history of everything that came before it. Included in that history is the influence of European classical music. It is no mystery why some of today’s musicians and composers seek to blend the two genres as we’ve heard over the years in the works of people such as Gil Evans, Don Sebesky, Wayne Shorter among others. Read more »