At the 2013 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, every sort of performer was welcome. But the festival grounds were at the center of a much wider celebration of Louisiana music that continued during, around and after the last two weekends.
Jazz history is a living document, with its sounds continuously morphing to its times, and the business around it trying to keep up. So we present news, views and other random acts of journalism concerning the documentary record being rewritten right now.
Pianist and composer John Beasley isn't exactly a household name. But he's now been tapped twice to direct many of them during the star-studded International Jazz Day concert. So is it difficult to play "jazz police" in an ancient church in Istanbul?
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.
The pianist and composer/arranger was a prime mover in the international musical exchange that was Havana in the middle of the 20th Century. Late in his career, he enjoyed a new wave of fame as his accomplishments came to light anew. The father of Chucho Valdés, he was 94.
The legacy of the late hip-hop producer extended far beyond the beats he painstakingly created. Since his death, it's also found artistic kinship in a generation of young jazz artists looking to square their instrumental training with their love of all modern music.
More than 25 years ago, the New-York-based musician pioneered a new vocabulary of ensemble interaction he called conduction. Since then, Morris, also a cornet player, directed more than 5,000 musicians around the world in real-time group improvisations. He was 65.
The singer's new album isn't quite a jazz record, but it comes from someone who has obviously studied a lot of jazz, on and off the bandstand. James, a "huge John Coltrane freak," reflects on the time he got to tour with Coltrane's pianist.
The death of 22-year-old pianist Austin Peralta prematurely ended a rapidly expanding career. A child prodigy, at the end of his teenage years he cut Endless Planets, an album which showed a jazz-trained musician just beginning to utilize the enormity of the tones and rhythms around him.
Top ten deaths to listen to before you jazz, Blue Note's branding and Marian on Mary Lou. Plus, Dave Liebman recalls his former employer, Miles Davis; 51 gateway albums; Ambrose Akinmusire drops some knowledge; four bloggers on blogging; Dave Holland at large and LCD Soundsystem meets trumpet.
Much like his father before him, French spent decades leading the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, a group in existence for more than 100 years. His outspoken, colorful personality made him a stalwart of the local music scene — and briefly won him national attention, too.
This weekend, New York's Central Park hosted Jazz And Colors, a massive concert where 30 different groups all played the same 18 songs. But it was more than just a spectacle, and way more than just a jazz festival. See photos from throughout the park.
RIP Ted Curson, a new jazz singer, the Jazz Composers Collective's modern history, Hurricane Sandy and downtown New York and Miles Davis in 1985. Plus: a Branford Marsalis interview, Arbors Records' Mat Domber, and what the Pittsburgh Steelers radio announcer does in his spare time.
On Tuesday night, pianist Jason Moran hosted an Election Night Jam at the Kennedy Center, where he mixed American classic tunes and campaign songs new and old. It represents the latest chapter in jazz's engagement with politics, including a few "presidential" nominations.
This week's news features the making of ELEW, another "jazz is dead" debate, and Chicago music history from long ago and the present day alike. Plus, Ron Carter on bass evolution, Phil Schaap on economics, a new Wayne Shorter album and Miles Davis for Japanese liquor.