For centuries, the country turned its back on black musicians — including the jazz artists whose creations embodied freedom and empowerment. Today, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival is one of Africa’s largest musical gatherings. Here are five musicians who played the festival this year.
Onstage in Orvieto, Italy, the trombonist, composer and fabulist Mauro Ottolini and his Sousaphonix play music for his science-fiction tale Bix Factor. Then, in Perugia, J.P. Jofre plays the tango with a string orchestra in an opera house from the 1700s. Hear them on JazzSet.
Mosaic Records has released Classic Earl Hines Sessions 1928-1945, a seven-disc showcase for the jazz pianist and bandleader. Hines’ right hand played lines in bright, clear octaves — and his left hand had a mind of its own.
The Smithsonian Museum of American History kickstarted its annual campaign with a day of performances and discussions. In a morning ceremony, drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and pianist Randy Weston officially donated artifacts from their personal collections.
The country’s jazz scene is young, but it’s hit the world stage quickly thanks in large part to public funding. For Norwegian musicians, it literally pays to dream big — and to write lots of grant applications.
Fast hands, cymbals that shimmer, drop-kicks on the bass drum; these two drummers appreciate each other. Albert “Tootie” Heath performs in a trio with Ethan Iverson (The Bad Plus) and Ben Street (Danilo Perez Trio), followed by Wilson’s Arts & Crafts quartet, in Surround Sound on JazzSet.
Corea’s “Spain” has an epic quality to it, as it draws from Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and joyous flamenco hoedowns to weave an extended narrative. At the opening night of the SFJAZZ Center, he guest solos in a new arrangement of the piece with a house band made up of all-stars.
Classically trained Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf has played with everyone from Sting to Salif Keita. While most trumpets have three valves, his has four, allowing him to play the quarter-tones that characterize Middle Eastern music and the “blue notes” of jazz.