Happy New Year everyone, and best wishes for 2015!
Through the years, I’ve always admired the special loyalty and relentless commitment that artists apply to their craft. With this idea in mind, I sat myself down and wrote this column about what I found to be some of the most fascinating songs/albums/artists/concerts of 2014. Continue Reading →
“I’m glad we didn’t go to the park. We’re stuck in here together,” Dianne Reeves said at the end of her scorching hot set inside the Amsterdam Bar and Hall on Saturday night, June 28, to close the 16th annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival in St. Paul. It’s estimated that 20,000 attended the free festivities that took place at various outdoor and indoor locations. With the rain on Saturday came a change of venue for the Reeves concert, from outdoor to indoor, but despite all that, it turned out to be a good thing. Continue Reading →
As the summer of 2014 is upon us, and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival is happening this weekend, June 26-28 in downtown St. Paul in Mears Park and nearby clubs, now is the time to show your love for the art and music made by the distinctive voices soon-to-be heard at this year’s TC Jazz Fest, celebrating its 16th year and established track record of attracting over 30,000 music lovers. And here’s more good news, Metro Transit is offering free rides to the festival on Friday and Saturday.
So, what does 21st century jazz sound like coming from the cosmopolitan cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis? We’re about to find out. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
A Michael Jackson cover makes the United Kingdom top ten hits charts. A music video of the song was aired on a cable music channel. The song helped the artist that did the cover earn Grammy best artist consideration. Kenya McGuire Johnson left her career several years ago as an educator, clinical instructor and higher education administrator and took “a massive leap of faith.” Now Kenya, the jazz/R&B singer — who uses only her first name professionally — is now working on her third CD. The young musician recently spoke with the MSR by phone from her Chicago home. “I did a lot of music growing up” in Denver, Colorado, including being active in choirs, and jazz bands, recalls Kenya, who has been singing since the age of eight. While in college, she was a member of the Howard University Gospel Choir. Continue Reading →
Planning your holiday entertainment? Wondering about young African American female singers on the rise? Want to get caught up on Down Beat’s Reader’s Poll results? No problem.
MN Orchestra labor dispute bad news for jazz lovers
Well, first of all, you may not have heard, but the Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA) has cancelled or rescheduled concerts until next season. Continue Reading →
The summer festival season is upon us. Would you believe there is a complete listing for over 175 festivals? Yes, folks, it’s the truth. Just take a look at the 2012 May issue of DownBeat magazine. Both fans and musicians are gearing up for globetrotting around the festival circuit. Continue Reading →