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Lincoln Center presents its acclaimed series American Songbook 2010, running February 17 to 20, 2010, at the Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street in New York City. This is Lincoln Center’s 12th season celebrating the diversity of American popular song. The Allen Room possesses one of New York’s greatest settings – a stunning vista of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline that provides an evocative backdrop for the performers.Leading the week’s series is Dee Dee Bridgewater: To Billie with Love - A Celebration of Lady Day. Dee Dee Bridgewater is American jazz royalty. A two-time Grammy winner, she has sung in concert and in recordings with Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Clarke and Dexter Gordon among other jazz giants. While some can hear Ella Fitzgerald, her greatest artistic inspiration, in the way she scats and swings, Bridgewater’s delivery of each lyric is uniquely her own. Equally successful in musicals, she won a Tony for The Wiz and an Olivier for Lady Day, along with critical acclaim for roles in Sophisticated Ladies and Cabaret. In this evening of song, Bridgewater will perform songs from her new CD, Eleanora Fagan (1917-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee.The second night’s artist, Nellie McKay, is critically acclaimed for her genre-crossing compositions, brilliant wordplay and terrific melodies. She has made two critically acclaimed albums of original songs. For her new CD, McKay is doing something different: Normal as Blueberry Pie – A Tribute to Doris Day. The songs, which McKay produced and arranged as well as performed, are from the 1940s big band era through to Day’s later film career. McKay interprets a selection of songs drawn from more than 600 of Day’s recordings and finds the reservoirs of deep feeling behind the sunny smile. The third night’s show is a radical change of pace with Dirty Projectors, who defies categorization even after six albums. Described as everything from “New England soul music” to “completely strange and oddly familiar at the same time,” the Brooklyn-based band plays experimental rock that references everything from Congolese music to medieval antiphonal singing, synthesizing them into something altogether new. The group is led by David Longstreth, whose soaring vocals are paired with intricate guitar work, tight harmonies and more than a dose of genius.The final week’s show features the fabulous, unstoppable Leslie Uggams. As a child she opened for acts including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington at the Apollo Theater, then appeared at age 15 on TV's Name That Tune, catching the eye of Mitch Miller. Impressed with her vocal ability, Miller put her on Sing Along with Mitch and she entered American pop culture history, becoming the first African-American to be a regular on a national, prime-time series. Uggams went on to Broadway, earning a Tony for Hallelujah, Baby! and accolades for her work in On Golden Pond, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes and King Hedley II. She had her own musical variety show on CBS in 1970, was Emmy-nominated for her role as Kizzy in Roots, won an Emmy for her show Fantasy on NBC, and appeared in numerous feature films. Uggams tours the country appearing with major symphony orchestras and records in her splendid voice, most recently On My Way to You - The Songs of Marilyn and Alan Bergman.Since it was launched in 1998, American Songbook has been dedicated to celebrating the extraordinary achievements of the popular American songwriter from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. Spanning all styles and genres from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway to the eclecticism of today’s songwriters working in pop, cabaret, rock, folk and country, American Songbook traces the history and charts the course of the American song from its past and current forms to its future direction.For further information, visit http://new.lincolncenter.org and click on American Songbook. American Songbook 2010 - Week 3 February 17-20, 2010Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln CenterBroadway at 60th Street New York City
The 2010 Festival has jazz outreach programming in area schools and community centers scheduled on Monday through Friday, February 21-26, leading up to a series of headline concerts Thursday through Sunday, February 25-28, throughout downtown and inner Eastside Portland venues.
Lauded as one of the top North American jazz events, the 7th annual Festival features jazz masters and emerging new artists including three-time Grammy Award-winning bassist, bandleader and composer Dave Holland Quintet, Sanders, the Mingus Big Band devoted since 1993 to the musical legacy of Charles Mingus, Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, and contemporary trumpeter Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy.Additionally, Portland Jazz Festival’s annual thematic programming asks the provocative question "Is Jazz Dead (Or Has It Moved to a New Address)? – New Music from Norway," featuring North American premieres of leaders in Norway’s new and burgeoning jazz scene.
This “festival-within-a-festival” includes the avant-garde chamber jazz of the Christian Wallumrod Ensemble, the saxophone/ accordion duo of Trygve Seim & Frode Haltli, and the jazz/rock fusion of In The Country featuring Morten Qvenild (keyboards), Roger Arntzen (bass) and Pal Hausken (percussion).Complete headline concert schedule includes:
This year’s festival theme shares the title with British jazz writer Stuart Nicholson’s critically acclaimed book on the contemporary state of jazz. Nicholson confronts traditional jazz musicians and audiences who insist on narrowly defining what jazz should be, while maintaining the importance of this music as being indigenously American. Nicholson claims that such rigidly defined art alienates younger audiences from jazz, and points to the exploding scene in Europe, specifically Norway, that has developed both a new culture and audience for jazz.
The inspiration for artistic director Bill Royston’s selection of these three Norwegian groups stems from his direct exposure to Norway’s jazz scene while travelling as part of an international delegation invited by the Norwegian government in 2008 to experience the major Scandinavian summer festivals.
“I found a rich and vibrant scene, featuring unconventional performers reinterpreting the American musical legacy and building a whole new jazz lexicon. I’m thrilled to share this discovery with our Jazz Festival audience,” says Royston. “The featured American jazz artists are intended as a counterpoint to the work of these exciting Norwegian musicians.”
Each of the Norwegian artists represents the vast diversity of Nordic music that has risen from an improvisational gumbo derived from jazz, classical, rock, folk, and even country music styles — pianist Christian Wallumrød, classically trained, performs haunting improvisations in a chamber music setting with an ensemble of cello, violin, Baroque harp, trumpet, percussion and piano; Trygve Seim, who performed with his large ensemble at the 2007 Portland Jazz Festival, has an impressive ability to combine unusual instrumentation like the present saxophone and accordion duo with Frode Haltli; the trio of In The Country comes from a more pop music base that blends jazz improvisation with driving rock rhythms and electronic experimentation. The diverse artists and their music hold a common bond that writer Nicholson refers to as the “Nordic Tone”, recognized by deep elongated notes at the center driven by pulsating rhythms and adventurous improvisations around the edge.
“Mingus and Coltrane always superseded traditional forms to create their own sound. They were above the fray, and the Mingus Big Band and Pharoah Sanders continue this legacy. Contemporary innovators like Dave Douglas, Luciana Souza and Dave Holland constantly strive to go beyond the limits of traditional jazz,” states Royston. “Similarly, the Norwegian artists have carefully studied American jazz, and developed a distinctive sound. They are the new visionaries, and this festival will affirm for Americans that a new jazz is very much alive!”
Jazz Education and Outreach
Jazz education and outreach events include performances of The Incredible Journey of Jazz, a Black History Month celebration staged in Portland area middle schools each February. The 60-minute musical/theater piece was originally developed by Portland State University professor and pianist Darrell Grant and the Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute.
The performance features seven actors and musicians who each play multiple roles in depicting the experiences of African-Americans through the history of jazz. Early scenes have students communicating through African rhythms, and then follow the evolution from gospel, blues, ragtime, Dixieland and New Orleans. Eventually, we witness the migration of Black Americans up the Mississippi River to Chicago and other industrial centers with the big band sounds of Ellington and Basie, to the bebop of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, contemporary experimentation of Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman, and ultimately to rap and hip hop.
Another key outreach component is the popular Jazz Conversations, one-on-one interviews with jazz headliners and members of the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA). These interviews are presented before a live audience in the intimate PCPA ArtBar throughout the festival. The sessions are recorded by KMHD-FM, Portland’s jazz radio station, for later broadcast and subsequently are available on the Portland Jazz Festival website, pdxjazz.com, for general listeners.
PDX Jazz Members have the advantage of reserving the best seats during the exclusive pre-sale period from October 13 – October 26. New and renewing members can join any time.
Starting Tuesday, October 27 at 10:00 AM PST Portland Jazz Festival tickets will be available to the general public at all TicketMaster locations, by calling 503-228-JAZZ (5299), or online at pdxjazz.com. Those who sign up for the PDX Jazz mailing list will receive the first notification when tickets go on sale to the public.
Founded in 2003, PDX Jazz, Portland’s jazz membership organization, presents both regional and international jazz artists throughout the year. Dedicated to nurturing jazz musicians and audiences, PDX Jazz is best known for its critically acclaimed Portland Jazz Festival. PDX Jazz also presents nearly 200 performances annually showcasing Portland jazz artists with the ongoing series PDX Jazz @ RiverPlace (RiverPlace Hotel) and PDX Jazz @ the ArtBar (Portland Center for the Performing Arts), as well as the annual PDX Jazz @ RiverFest each August along Portland’s South Waterfront.
The PDX Jazz office is located at 133 SW 2nd Ave in Portland.
For more information call 503-338-5299 or go to: www.pdxjazz.com
The city/town of Timbuktu, Mali, was one of those places of legend that it was impossible to get to, that is until the turn of the 19th century, when French and British explorers finally set foot in the place. But it is probably the best known thing about this landlocked West African country straddling both desert and jungle.
The golden city in the middle of nowhere was only made of adobe and dust, a largish town with the great river Niger on the one side and the great Sahara desert on the other.
Caravans from the salt mines brought the valuable edible rocks to the boats waiting on the river in exchange for other goods. The glorious city of treasure was a myth, or so it seemed to the west, but it's what westerners knew of as a place in Mali. That's is until the Festival Au Desert began.
About 10 years ago, around the turn of this century, the Festival of the Desert was born. It is a cross between Lollapalooza and Burning Man festivals (which are not in Timbuktu) but in the desert about a 60 miles to the northwest called Essakane, which is truly the middle of nowhere about two hours from Timbuktu.Created in January 2001, the Festival Au Desert is held every year in January -- this year from January 7 - 9, 2010. This festival has its origin in the big traditional Tuareg festivities, as Takoubelt in Kidal and Temakannit in Timbuktu, which, for a long time, was a place for decision-making and to exchange of information among the different communities. At the beginning, there were Tuareg dances, singing, poetry, camel rides and games.
Today, the Festival is opened to the world at large and welcomes artists not only from other Malian regions, other African countries, but also from Europe and the rest of the world. During the three days, around 30 groups from around the world present their art.
The only way you can get there -- if you aren’t a fabulously wealthy rock star or industrialist and can travel by helicopter -- is to take a 4x4 or jeep from Timbuktu, which has an airport; Air Mali adds a couple of flights to their twice a week schedule to Mali’s capital of Bamako, via the nicer city of Mopti, just for the festival.
It’s possible to take a boat down the Niger or you can take a bus, a trip that lasts a full day of travelling the 350 miles over mostly dirt roads, and with the State department saying that some Tauregs have decided that holding Americans for ransom is a responsible career opportunity… Flying is the only option.Once you get there, you have to take a look at Timbuktu, which is actually a pretty decent town, although the souvenir salesmen will follow you wherever you go throughout your stay. There isn’t much there, although the Libyan government is investing a ton of money in the place, building a huge, grand hotel right on northern edge of town, which may or may not be open by 2011.
And once you get to Essakane, the tour company will escort you to your tent; there are no hotels there, and for the next three days you will "rough it” in a luxurious way. To preserve the traditional aspect of the festival you cannot setup your own tent; you are provided with Taureg tents. However, you are free to setup your tent inside the ones provided -- if it fits.Bring batteries for equipment since the number of plug-in spots are few. Also bring tweezers, sleeping bag and torch light. Make sure you drink two liters of water a day during the festival. And do not forget, it can get cold at night (5 to 10°c) depending on the year.
The cream of the Sub-Saharan music scene shows up, and it doesn’t really matter if you’ve ever heard of Salif Keita or Ousmane Kouyat or any of the other musicians, they’re all really good. But still, to see Keita is a real treat.
Scheduled for the 10th anniversary festival are:
Tamnana, Tabol , Igbayen, Tachidialt, Tindé, Shallo, Kabalala, Takamba Super Khoumeissa, and Amanar de Kidal. They all represent different styles of music and dance traditional to the regions of Northern Mali (mainly tuareg). All of them are confirmed and will be performing on the small stage called “Scène Dune”, which is a stage designed on the traditional style on the sand. Malian national artists;Salif Keita (TBC) , Afel Bocoum (C), Vieux Farka Touré (C), Oumou Sangare (C), Amadou & Mariam (C) ,Tinariwen (C), Tartit (C), Terakaft (C), Habib Koïté (TBC), Cheick Tidiane Seck (C);Toumani Diabaté (C), Bassekou Kouyaté (C), Kassé Mady Diabaté (TBC), Fantani Touré (C) ,Baba Salah (TBC), Haira Arby (C), Tialé Arby (C); Mangala Camara (TBC), Ahmed Fofana (C), Africa percussion (TBC).
Performing on the main stage. African artists:
Special Niger: Mamar Kassey, Tarbiat, Etrane Finatawa, Koudede, Rhissa Ag Wanagli , Kel Assouf (TBC)
Mauritanie: Dimi Mint Abba/ Noura Mint Seymali (TBC)
Sénégal: Viviane N’dour (TBC)
Ethiopie: Manalemosh DIBO (TBC)
Performing on the main stage. International artists:
Dick et Hnatr (Authentic Kanak group from Nouvelle Caledonia) (TBC)Leni Stern Band (USA, Maroc, Sénégal) (C),Harper Simon (USA) (C),Dady Dasty ( Martinique ) (C),The Sway Machinery USA) (C)Paul Oakenfold (Dj et spectacle Laser) USA (TBC)Matzik ( France) en création avec Mamar Kassey (TBC)Nouvelle R (France) (TBC)Jean Marc Phillips (France) (TBC)Quimi Portet (Catalogne) (C)Performing on the main stage.
Deacon (Animal Collective) (C)Gang Gang Dance (C)Performing on the small stage at late night Permanent animation:
Malian Military Band (TBC)Maak Spirit ( Belgique) (C) Discovering
Sept Etoiles de Diré (C)Oumar Konaté et Annane Sy (C)
The main American specialist in this area is Palace Travel of Philadelphia.
Fulani Travel in Dolgellau Wales, UK also books trips there: http://www.fulanitravel.co.uk/
They both partner with local companies who can be found at the Festival’s website: http://www.festival-au-desert.org/
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