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Minneapolis musician selected for Doris Duke Artist Award

 
Minneapolis native, New York-based pianist and composer Craig Taborn among 13 jazz artists to receive 2014 Doris Duke Foundation awards
 

 

Earlier this week, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) announced the first-ever recipients of the Doris Duke Impact Awards and the third group of individuals to receive Doris Duke Artist Awards. According to the press release, “both awards are part of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, a special ten-year initiative of the foundation to empower, invest in and celebrate artists by offering flexible, multi-year funding in response to financial challenges that are specific to the performing arts. Doris Duke Artist Award recipients receive $275,000, and Doris Duke Impact Award recipients receive $80,000. Since commencing in April 2012, the program has awarded a total of $18.1 million to artists in the fields of jazz, dance and theater.” The 2014 jazz related award recipients are:
2014 Doris Duke Artist Awards

Oliver Lake
Steve Lehman
Roscoe Mitchell
Zeena Parkins
Craig Taborn
Randy Weston

2014 Doris Duke Impact Awards

Muhal Richard Abrams
Ambrose Akinmusire
Steve Coleman
Ben Monder
Aruán Ortiz
Matana Roberts
Jen Shyu

 

Pianist and composer Craig Taborn is multi-talented in the realms of straight-ahead and free jazz. Continue Reading →

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Well-traveled Craig Taborn speaks on homecoming gig, new album and more

 

 

In a big push forward, Golden Valley, Minnesota prodigy, Craig Taborn’s new album, Chants, (ECM) will be released on April 23. This will be followed by a tour which will be aided by a big headlining mini-festival, “Heroic Frenzies: The Music of Craig Taborn” on Friday, April 26 at the Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater in Minneapolis. The Walker was one of 11 Chamber Music of America (CMA) 2013 nonprofit presenting jazz grantees and as a result will be presenting the Craig Taborn Trio. A total of $116,875 was distributed by the CMA— which is the national network for ensemble musicians— to assist with concert-associated costs. In the past, the Walker has presented the music of provocative and influential jazz pianists-composers Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer. Continue Reading →

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Ronnie Laws and Tom Browne: Jazz-funk giants joined forces at Dakota

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

“Always There” (1975) and “Funkin’ for Jamaica” (1979) are legendary songs for Ronnie Laws and Tom Browne, respectively. A member of a musical family — brother Hubert Laws on flute and sisters Eloise Laws and Debra Laws as vocalists —Ronnie taught himself the alto sax at age 11, and he studied music both in high school and at Stephen F. Austin and Texas Southern Universities. He relocated from his native Texas to Los Angeles in 1970, and after receiving his formative training with jazz pianist Walter Bishop, Jr. and organist Doug Cann, Laws also worked with such legends as the Jazz Crusaders and Hugh Masekela. Before signing a solo record deal with Blue Note Records in the mid-1970s, Laws also was an early member of Earth, Wind and Fire. Produced by the Crusaders’ Wayne Henderson, Laws’ breakout debut album, Pressure Sensitive (1975), featured his first hit “Always There.” That song is considered one of the most popular crossover hits of the late 1970s and sounds just as fresh today. Continue Reading →

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