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Interviews

Jazz’s best journalists ask questions and jazz’s best artists answer them.

Sheila Jordan, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Veronica Swift: Three Generations of Vocal Jazz

One of the many highlights of the 40th Detroit Jazz Festival was a freewheeling conversation in the Talk Tent between three charismatic female vocalists. The eldest, 91-year-old Sheila Jordan (still a mere 90 at the time of this interview), is a Detroit native who burst onto the New York scene in the ’50s, struggled through … Read More “Sheila Jordan, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Veronica Swift: Three Generations of Vocal Jazz”

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Veronica Swift: The Real Deal

Veronica Swift’s raw talent was derived from the perfect blend of nature and nurture. She’s the daughter of pianist Hod O’Brien and jazz vocalist Stephanie Nakasian. Veronica was drenched in good jazz from birth and she’s a natural, a beautiful young woman with heart and soul and drive, whose tenure at the University of Miami’s … Read More “Veronica Swift: The Real Deal”

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Johnathan Blake: Fascinated by Rhythm

Despite his roots in Philadelphia, Johnathan Blake is the quintessential New York City jazz drummer. He’s played with a virtual who’s-who of the jazz scene; the list is too long even for online reproduction but includes Tom Harrell, Kenny Barron, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, and the Maria Schneider Orchestra. The son of … Read More “Johnathan Blake: Fascinated by Rhythm”

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Nile Rodgers: From Jazz Roots

There’s a story Nile Rodgers likes to share, an early career lesson. It was at the onset of the 1970s; the precocious guitarist—still a teenager yet already with years of classical and jazz training under his belt—was starting to get calls for gigs. “$15 was the going rate for pickup gigs back then,” he relates. … Read More “Nile Rodgers: From Jazz Roots”

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George Benson Tells Marcus Miller Like It Is

I love hanging out with George Benson. He loves music and he loves life. And he unapologetically enjoys the finer things in life. Walking through George’s estate outside of Phoenix, Arizona, you marvel at the material signs of his success: gold and platinum records hanging on the walls, the Maybach car in the garage. But you … Read More “George Benson Tells Marcus Miller Like It Is”

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Marcus Shelby: Jazz & Baseball

Marcus Shelby loves baseball. His Facebook posts tend to be daily updates on the ups and downs of his favorite team, the San Francisco Giants, who are currently in rebuilding mode and therefore experiencing more of the latter than the former. The bassist and composer’s appreciation for the sport recently resulted in new music for … Read More “Marcus Shelby: Jazz & Baseball”

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