Nicholas Payton

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Bill Cosby May 31 performances at Orchestra Hall to be rescheduled

 

 

Not unlike, some of the jazz artists that Bill Cosby admires, who have mastered their own personal sound and genius approach to improvisation, he, too has mastered those same skills associated with the art of making people laugh with him, and at the same time made that art form look deceptively simple. His prowess as an all-around entertainer is undeniable, so when he comes to town, it’s usually considered a must-see occasion. The 76-year-old veteran comedian, actor, author, and avid jazz supporter was scheduled to bring his signature style of stand-up comedy to Orchestra Hall for two solo shows on Saturday, May 31, but according to a May 14 press release from Orchestra Hall, the shows were cancelled by the performer due to lower than anticipated ticket sales. The intention is to reschedule in the future. Since his 1963 appearance on The Tonight Show, he has entertained audiences with his roles in I Spy, The Electric Company, and the iconic Cosby Show. Continue Reading →

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Memorable musical moments from 2013

 

 
People have a huge thirst for connection. How well a song or an experience stays with you can be as easy as answering the question, does this art have resonance, or not? If I were to put together a musically inspired compilation of this year’s wide sampling of recorded music that I’ve heard and the live music that I’ve experienced this year, it would include an amazing group of talented artists who continue to challenge themselves as they give us something creative and personal. As I surf the memories of my mind from this year I can’t help but start at the beginning. To kick off 2013 in spectacular fashion was Minneapolis native and Blue Note Records artist Jose James who performed music
from his album No Beginning No End. Continue Reading →

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Legendary guitarist performing at the Dakota pursuing degree in music therapy

 

 

Jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan is world renowned for his unique two-handed guitar technique (also known as the touch technique, or two-handed tapping) and will return to the Twin Cities to play a special solo guitar set at the Dakota on July 18. The 50-something Chicago native lives in Sedona, Arizona and lately has been playing with a number of jam bands, by way of guest spots with musicians such as Dave Matthews and Phil Lesh. In the midst of all his musical activities, Jordan is actively involved in the area of music therapy. He’s extremely passionate about his work with kids and people in pain and participates in clinics across the country. Jordan is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in music therapy from Arizona State University. Continue Reading →

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Three jazz artists producing quality material

 

 

 

What does it mean to work with a high level of musicality? Three cutting-edge musicians with new albums out — veteran artists Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, and rising star Gerald Clayton —certainly know the answer to that question. And for their enduring creative efforts, their passionate music is wooing the world. Trumpeter Payton, bassist McBride, and pianist Clayton, all composers and bandleaders in their own rights, as well as Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated artists, also continue to capture the attention of critics the world over with some of the most accessible new music that I’ve heard this year, so far. They may not be appearing on bandstands with their own bands at our local jazz clubs in support of their albums anytime soon, but at least two of them are no strangers to the Jazz Showcase bandstand in Chicago. Continue Reading →

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The SF JAZZ Collective at Dakota March 19

 

 

 

The SF JAZZ Collective returns to the Dakota on March 19 for one of the most anticipated musical performances of the year. The world-class ensemble will feature the repertoire of Chick Corea, legendary keyboardist and new compositions. The SF JAZZ Collective, an award-winning all-star octet includes saxophonist David Sánchez and drummer Obed Calvaire, founding member and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, trombonist Robin Eubanks, pianist Edward Simon and bassist Matt Penman. SFJAZZ is a jazz presenting and educational institution based in San Francisco — a nonprofit devoted to jazz, showcasing jazz and encouraging the development of jazz. thro

The MSR caught up with famed vibraphonist-composer-educator Stefon Harris (SH) on his SF JAZZ tour bus to talk about SF JAZZ Collective, rising star vibraphonists, his other projects, and the presidential election. Continue Reading →

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Best albums of 2011 make for optimism about 2012

 

 

As the year 2011 ends and 2012 begins, one word comes to mind: optimistic. Optimistic is how I feel. Kind of like the song “Optimistic,” sung by the Sounds of Blackness and written by Jimmy Jam for his mother. It’s one of my favorite songs. And I’ve told Jimmy so. Continue Reading →

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