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Born in Barcelona, our guest on 11/19/2014 has made QUITE a splash in his adopted country. Besides the fact that he just voted for the first time - as an American citizen :) Oscar Penas (I can't wait to say his last name: PEA Nyas!) is a gifted guitarist, composer and bandleader with a new CD that is, indeed, bragworthy. "Music of Departures and Returns" is full of inspirations that captivate Oscar - who has discussed the reasons why he was so drawn to Jazz after his childhood studies in Classical Music. He relished the idea of creating melodies and interacting with other musicians. Pat Metheny and Wayne Shorter were sparks that goaded him early on. Then, the music of Pixinguinha - the flamenco music of Spain that was so infused inside of him - all the ingredients that would define the intoxicating stew of Oscar's music - were taking shape. This is a gentleman who has won the "ASCAP Plus Award" - so SOMETHING's working :)
Oscar is visiting us for two reasons. One, he's performing at the prestigious Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland, in the next few days. We certainly wanted to call attention to that. Secondly, this new album, Oscar's fourth, is full of music that enriches the soul. Esperanza Spalding and Paquito D'Rivera are featured - as is producer, arranger and pianist, Gil Goldstein. He also focuses on quartet: six-string electric bassist Moto Fukushima, drummer Richie Barshay, and the world-class violinist, Sara Caswell.
Besides being an alluring guitarist - both intelligent and earthy - Oscar is a wise man. He knew that, after his education at Berklee and the New England Conservatory, he would have to stand out in the sea of sublime artistry that populates New York City. So, he dug deeply, honoring his roots and his passion for Jazz. The results will make your ears thank you :)
Allen grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and first started playing guitar at age 15. As a teen, Allen was greatly influenced by his musically talented family, which includes his uncle, Grammy winner, Gold album recipient and West Coast Blues Hall of Fame inductee (Guitarist) David "Dynamite" Vega of Graham Central Station fame. Soon Allen developed a powerful blues guitar style, and began appearing at Bay Area jam nights.
At age eighteen Allen joined his first professional band, Jack Rudy and The Blues Voodoo's playing throughout Northern California. They won the west coast "Best Unsigned Band" contest at JJ's Blues in Mountain View. Allen began making a name for himself within the local blues scene while with the Blues Voodoo's
In 1987 Allen formed Smokin' Gun, a powerful blues trio. Smokin' Gun went on to win BAM (Bay Area Music) Magazine's Battle of the Bands, being chosen over 50 other bands. This win led them to opening for such acts as Elvin Bishop, Joe Louis Walker, Edgar Winter, Leon Russell, Lowell Fulson, Lenny Williams, J.J. Malone, Cool Papa, and many others.
In 1993 Allen joined with Frankie Lee (a.k.a. Little Frankie Lee), a noted San Francisco Bay Area soul and blues artist on the road. As bandleader and music director for the Frankie Lee Band, he showed his capacity as he played his way criss-crossing the United States and Canada for five years. He not only showcased his powerful lead work, but he showed his sensitivity while backing a singer and provided leadership while maintaining a high standard of musicianship. Allen's powerful show openers and endless energy-packed finales caught the attention of many. His showmanship, stage presence, and his playing ability reflect the influences of Albert Collins, Albert King and Freddie King.
It has been several years since Tom Lagana and I have had the chance to talk. Let's just say that he's a BUSY man. Here's why: Tom's a Jazz guitarist - but also well known for his master classes in Classical. And he has performed with orchestras: he has played with the NSO, alongside Eric Idle of Monty Python. And was with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra when John Waters celebrated his 30th anniversary of "Hair Spray." He's also a composer and bandleader and he takes his teaching abilities very seriously. Towson State University (where he received his Masters of Music) and the University of Maryland are two wonderful institutions that are grateful to him.
So you see that it has been a TAD tricky to rope Tom into another interview! The last time was when we were face-to-face in a radio station's studio. And we were focusing on Tom's last CD - which is why we're catching up NOW - because he has a new one! "Vol. 1" is what this beautiful collecton is called, featuring the group with George Garzone. With Bossa, Jazz favorites and originals. Exceptional music by a seasoned and passionate artist who was mentored by the legendary Charlie Byrd. So close a relationship was theirs that Charlie hand-picked Tom to play at his favorite watering hole (also legendary), The King of France Tavern. That's where Tom & his Trio became fixtures.
There has been much that Tom has seen in his wonderfully satisfying career - early success came in the Walt Disney Jazz Band in Orlando, Florida. He also won the Sidney Lieberman Competition, an award that is usually given to pianists. Tom was the first guitarist to be honored. "Just Jazz Guitar" featured his analysis of Pat Metheny's work, which thrilled Pat. Learn more about Tom at www.tomlagana.net
Stacy Mitchhart has always been a bandleader. He developed his sound and stagecraft at the helm of four groups in his hometown of Cincinnati — climbing the pinnacle of the city’s blues scene. “I heard Springsteen, Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, but that stuff never moved me,” he recounts. “When I saw Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and B.B. King, I knew what I wanted to do." And that brings us to his 12th album, Live My Life. I get to sit with Stacy and talk about his incredible journey in music and from Cincinnati to his current hometown, Nashville.
It's been two months since ChefJimi took his seat On The Couch and he will have a ton to discuss in his Blues411 Report, his anniverary, Daytona Blues Fest, the recently announced Blues Blast Award Winners and so much more...
Big Harp George is, in the real world, George Bisharat. He is 59 years old and just released his debut album entitled Chromaticism. You have to wonder where this man has been all this time and how he ended up recording his debut album at Kid Andersen's Greaseland Studio with such incredible musicians and what in the world has he been doing all these years? We'll get you all those answers as we speak with george and share music from his album.
COUCH KID NEW MUSIC features Tas Cru returning to The Couch. His initial visit was back in December of 2012 and he returns with some World Premiers from his about to be released album You Keep The Money. The album is going to be some great new music from this "Master Of The Triple Entendre" and we are lucky to be able to share it with you prior to its release.
"Musicians You Should Know"
Jean Fineberg was born on April 1, 1946, in the Bronx, NY. Jean lives near Berkeley, CA. She holds a Master’s from Penn State University and did post-graduate work in Jazz at Indiana University. She played piano at age 6, violin at 9, flute at 11, guitar at 15, and is a saxophonist, flutist, composer, and drummer. Jean recorded and performed on 50 plus albums with David Bowie, Laura Nyro, Phoebe Snow, Patti LaBelle, Chic, Sister Sledge, Isis, The Larry Elgart Orchestra, Bo Diddley, Martha and the Vandellas and The Four Tops. Her international tours include Montreux and Pori Jazz Festivals with Melba Liston and Carnegie Hall with Dizzy Gillespie and Clark Terry. She co-leads the fusion band DEUCE that recorded two albums of her original music and appeared at the NYC Kool Jazz and Monterey Jazz Festivals. She is assistant director of the Montclair Women’s Big Band and continues to energize their repertoire with her original compositions. A recipient of two ASCAP Composition Awards, an NEA Jazz Fellowship, and Meet the Composer Grants, Jean is profiled in The Saxophone Journal (cover story), Stormy Weather, American Women in Jazz, Madame Jazz, The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock & Soul (cover), For The Record, and Eden Built By Eves. Jean is a faculty member of the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, CA. and a panelist for the San Francisco Arts Council. She teaches at the California Jazz Conservatory and freelances with many ensembles, including drummer for The Party Monsters.
How does band size matter? To what extent is energy or drive written into the music? What’s the relationship between listening and leading? Today, we’ll trade fours with extraordinary Bassist Christian McBride whose low notes take him to high places. Join our conversation by calling, 347-989-8321, 11AM Eastern /8AM Pacific and “Get in on the rhythm.”
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Listen to Jazz Night in America on WBGO
All right now - it's HERE! Yours Truly turns 62 on 10/16 and is proud to have survived these years! Getting older is a luxury not afforded to everyone, so gratitude is overflowing. Believe it.
How will we celebrate on the next "Hybrid Jazz From Trish Hennessey?" By making sure that YOU get the gifts! Vel Lewis, our wonderful Hammond Master and Keyboard Wizard, is bringing autographed copies of his EP, "Colors of Soul!" That how we do in Philly, where Vel calls home. He lives in Texas now - but you cannot take "The City of Brotherly Love" outta the piano player ;) Vel will discuss the many fabulous changes in his life since his project dropped - and he'll get a chance to meet our other guest - which will delight BOTH of them!
Jere B has been a friend for a LONG time - since the WSMJ Sunday Brunches. His background is phenomenal. From Ohio, Jere is a superb drummer, bandleader of SounDoctrine (one of the original HYBRID groups!), and the CEO of his own company. OH - and he's also an ordained minister! It has been a while since B came to hang on "Hybrid Jazz" and we'd like to fix that on 10/16. Can't imagine having virtual cake and ice cream with anyone better!
We'll play some great songs and take some phone calls if the atmosphere calls for more company. HJ has always been an organic show that flows the way it's supposed to go. So, any cool surprises that should happen? WILL!
Some of the music, of course, will focus on the unbelievably breathtaking offerings of SounDoctrine - any album that you hear is a revelation - and we'll hear tunes from Vel, too. All of us in The Chat Room guarantee that you'll be UP and moving for at least part of our three-hour show!
Let's get this rolling! CELEBRATE good times!
Onaje Allan Gumbs' career spans for over 3 decades and is a sought after arranger, composer and pianist extraordinaire.
Panasonic chose his song, "Dare To Dream", as the theme for their tenth anniversary celebration of Kid Witness News. Gumbs has composed, arranged and performed the original score for the Showtime film, Override, directed by actor and producer Danny Glover and is also a NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Jazz Artist for his album, "Remember Their Innocence".
His signature arrangements are: Woody Shaw (Rosewood), Phyllis Hyman (Betcha By Golly Wow and The Answer is You) and for Stanley Jordan (The Lady in My Life) to name a few.
We are pleased to present his latest release: Bloodlife - A collection of solo performances based on melodies composed by Ronald Shannon Jackson. This album is an eclectic collection of melodies created by the venerable drummer/composer Ronald Shannon Jackson (1940-2013) and combined with masterful improvisations on solo piano by the Legendary Onaje Allan Gumbs. http://www.onajeallangumbs.com/
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Gerald Wilson, a bandleader, trumpeter, composer, arranger and educator whose multifaceted career reached from the swing era of the 1930s to the diverse jazz sounds of the 21st century, has died. He was 96.
Wilson, who had been in declining health, died Monday at his home in Los Angeles, two weeks after contracting pneumonia, said his son, jazz guitarist Anthony Wilson.
In a lifetime that spanned a substantial portion of the history of jazz, Wilson's combination of articulate composition skills with a far-reaching creative vision carried him successfully through each of the music's successive new evolutions.
Offering up a fresh and exhilarating vibe with his full length debut Nothing Between Us, trumpeter and composer Sam Hankins draws on a powerhouse resume as a music educator and R&B/jazz sideman that includes multiple awards as a middle school bandleader and performances with numerous legendary artists, including Al Jarreau, Clark Terry, The O’Jays, The Temptations, The Dells, The Impressions, Aretha Franklin and the Glenn Miller Big Band.
Armed with an impressive array of degrees and multi-faceted musical credentials, the multi talented Oklahoma born and raised, Chicago based musician is widely recognized in educational circles for his tenure as Band Director at Edison Middle School, where he led numerous ensembles from 1995 through 2006. Hankins led a struggling band program with limited participation into one of the premier middle school instrumental music programs in the United States. During his first year as Band Director, he led two bands to place first in division ratings in the State Music Competitions. The program subsequently earned extensive recognition as one of the premier middle school band programs in Illinois and nationwide by winning numerous Division I ratings, State and National awards and recognitions.
During this time, Hankins was invited to be a Guest Conductor for Jazz and Concert bands as well as a guest soloist. He also founded, organized and directed The East Central Illinois Jazz Institute, a summer jazz camp of approximately 20 students from throughout east-central Illinois. In 1998, he received The White House Letter recognizing the Edison Middle School Band Program signed by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Septembet 10 - Jazz Pianist/Composer - Bob Mamet
Chicago Born, Bob Mamet, is an internationally acclaimed Jazz pianist and composer. He has composed music for over a hundred projects in T.V. film, and advertising, in addition to touring as a sideman and bandleader.
Bob's distinctive mixture of Jazz styles and composition caught the ear of the major record labels, and in 1994 he signed with Atlantic Records. Bob recorded three highly successful albums for Atlantic, plus additional recordings for Sony and Warner Brothers.
His collaborations with artists such as Alex Acuna, Larry Carlton, Eric Marienthal, Gerald Albright, David Benoit and many other top artists led Jazziz magazine to proclaim him a "brilliant composer" who gives his players "an intelligent, thoughtful, and vibrant musical landscape in which to work."
He has been described as a "master of melody and structure" by The San Francisco Chronicle; "adventurous… sparkling… intriguing" by Jazz Times Magazine; and the Chicago Sun Times calls him simply "The Natural."
Bob Mamet will soon be releasing his 5th CD, “London House Blues”, on the BluJazz label. Featuring original compositions as well as standards and classics from the Great American Songbook and Post-Bop eras, the album serves as a tribute to the famed artists who frequented the legendary Chicago Jazz club in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
Jiggley Jones, the project, came about in late 2007. Since then, while developing his new venture, he has worked with industry pros like former Shania Twain bandleader and Nashville based producer Terry Wendt, and LA based producer Chris Tristram, a former bassist for Capitol Records recording artist Marjorie Fair.
Jiggley has had consistent radio airplay overseas in Europe, Asia and Australia, having hundreds of stations a week spin his music for many months straight. His internet radio success has been equally successful gaining and holding Top 5 spots in two separate categories on the Roots Music Report charts. His videos have gained over a quarter of a million views to date and his live performances have taken him from New York, to Philadelphia, to Virginia, and down to Nashville where he performed at BB King’s during the CMA Festival. He’s played the legendary Bitter End in NYC, the fabulous World Café in Wilmington, De. and the renowned South Street region of Philadelphia to mention a few. His song “Baby Blue” from his independent release has also been picked up by one of the premier karaoke brokers.