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Live

The true jazz experience happens onstage in front of an audience—our concert and festival reviewers take you there.

Live Review: 2019 Playboy Jazz Festival

Every year the Playboy Jazz Festival, held at the 19,000-capacity Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, is a roll of the dice in regards to mainstream performances. Festival attendees looking for straight-ahead jazz this year had to patiently abide funk, Afro-futurism, world, R&B, fusion, Latin, and even rock sets. For uninitiated, unfamiliar, and curious listeners, that … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Playboy Jazz Festival”

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Concert Review: Carla Bley and Ethan Iverson at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival

There are any number of Northern California jazz festivals that have been around longer than the one in Healdsburg, but none save the granddaddy of them all in Monterey has a history thicker with interconnected relationships. The Wine Country web emanates from festival founder and guiding spirit Jessica Felix, whose longstanding friendships with jazz artists … Read More “Concert Review: Carla Bley and Ethan Iverson at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival”

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Live Review: Spoleto Festival USA 2019

There had never been anything like it before at Spoleto Festival USA—four consecutive days of 100-degree heat—and nothing like it before in Charleston, S.C., where temperatures that torrid had not previously been recorded in May. Fortunately, two of the three outdoor headliners in Spoleto’s jazz lineup skirted the worst of the heat wave: bassist and … Read More “Live Review: Spoleto Festival USA 2019”

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Concert Review: Pat Metheny Solo at Rockport Music

There is an inherent risk with a solo jazz guitar concert that rather than experiencing a tour of a verdant garden, with life flowing in all directions, an audience might be subjected to a monoculture. Proceedings can get very same-y, awfully quickly. Which is perhaps why Pat Metheny had put off doing for so long … Read More “Concert Review: Pat Metheny Solo at Rockport Music”

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Live Review: Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival Opening Night

This year it made perfect sense for the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival to honor pianist, composer, and educator Geri Allen, who performed at the festival numerous times and passed unexpectedly nearly two years ago at the age of 60. Even more appropriate was that the evening’s homage, MC’d by Dee Dee Bridgewater, was produced … Read More “Live Review: Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival Opening Night”

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Live Review: Outsiders Fest in Philadelphia

Besides the funky ferocity of his bass playing, Jamaaladeen Tacuma is famous for his eclectic sartorial ensembles. As the curator of the Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival in Philadelphia over the last five years, Tacuma has presented combinations of musicians that are as colorful and unexpected as his flashy wardrobe tends to be. For … Read More “Live Review: Outsiders Fest in Philadelphia”

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Live Review: Jason and Alicia Hall Moran in Washington

One of the perks of being artistic director at a major American performing arts venue? Putting oneself on the program. But the grand Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration wasn’t some vanity project. The collaboration between pianist Jason Moran and his mezzo-soprano wife Alicia Hall Moran premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York … Read More “Live Review: Jason and Alicia Hall Moran in Washington”

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Live Review: Savannah Music Festival 2019

Call it the Jazz at Lincoln Center influence, but the Savannah Music Festival’s annual Jazz Week (March 29-April 5) had a bit more of an educational tinge this year. Not only was the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Big Band one of 12 finalists in the annual Swing Central playoffs, SMF’s nationwide high school big … Read More “Live Review: Savannah Music Festival 2019”

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