Monday, August 6, 2012
Jeff Coffin is a saxophonist, bandleader, composer and educator. He is a three time Grammy Award winner as a member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and played with them from 1997-2010. In July 2008, Coffin began touring with Dave Matthews Band, Coffin also fronts his own group, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet. Since the late 1990's Coffin has been recording and touring with the Mu'tet. Taking the name from the word "mutation", the Mu'tet reflects Coffin's philosophy that music must change and mutate in order to evolve also Coffin has been a Yamaha Performing Artist and clinician since 2000 and has given over 300 music clinics at Colleges, Universities, High Schools and JR High Schools from Farmington, Maine to Perth, Australia and now Jeff Coffin brings his Band,energy, & talents to Blues Alley for an unforgettable experience.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Kenny Garrett is a 1978 graduate of Mackenzie High School, That same year he joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra then led by Duke's son, Mercer Ellington. Three years later he played in the Mel Lewis Orchestra, playing the music of Thad Jones, and also the Dannie Richmond Quartet, focusing on Charles Mingus's music. In 1984, he recorded his first album as a bandleader, Introducing Kenny Garrett, on the Criss Cross label. Kenny Garrett signed to the Warner Bros. Records label, and beginning with Black Hope, in 1992.. Among his notable recordings on Warner Bros. are Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane and Songbook, his first album made up entirely of his own compositions, recorded in 1997 and nominated for a Grammy Award. Kenny Garrett has performed and recorded with many jazz greats such as Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, Brian Blade, Marcus Miller, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Ron Carter, Elvin Jones, and Mulgrew Miller, and now he returns to Washington DC for three nights of fun and musical enchantment.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
While still in Cuba Arturo Sandoval, was influenced by jazz legends Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, and Dizzy Gillespie, finally meeting Dizzy later in 1977. Gillespie promptly became a mentor and colleague, playing with Arturo in concerts in Europe and Cuba and later featuring him in The United Nations Orchestra. In Cuba, Sandoval co-founded the band Irakere with Chucho Valdés and Paquito D'Rivera. They quickly became a worldwide sensation. Their appearance at the 1978 Newport Jazz Festival introduced them to American audiences and garnered them a recording contract with Columbia Records.In 2001, Arturo was featured on the album "Swingin' For The Fences" by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. He played solos in Sing, Sang, Sung and Muevos los Huesos (Move Your Bones), the latter of which let him flex his Afro Cuban jazz muscles. Today Arturo Sandoval continues to tour the world sharing his musical talents.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
James Cotton began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s.He made his first recordings as a solo artist for the Sun Records label in Memphis, Tennessee in 1953. In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, utilizing Otis Spann on piano to record between gigs with Muddy Waters' band. In the 1970s, Cotton recorded several albums with Buddah Records. Cotton played harmonica on Muddy Waters' Grammy Award winning 1977 album Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter. Cotton appeared on the cover of Living Blues magazine in 1987 in the July/August issue (#76). He was featured in the same publication's 40th anniversary issue, released in 2010 in August/September.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
At 18 Jon Faddis joined Lionel Hampton's big band before joining the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra as lead trumpet. After playing with Charles Mingus in his early 20s, Faddis became a noted studio musician in New York, appearing on many pop recordings in the late 1970s and early 1980s.In the mid-eighties,he left the studios to continue to pursue his solo career,he became the director and main trumpet soloist of the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Birthday Big Band and Dizzy's United Nation Orchestra; from 1992 to 2002,As of May 2010, Faddis leads the JFJONY, while continuing also to lead the Jon Faddis Quartet and the JFQ+2.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
At age 19, Yamaha sent Keiko Matsui to America to record an album. In 1987 Matsui recorded her solo debut LP A Drop of Water. Its success led to a deal with MCA Records. The 1990s saw Matsui's albums rising in the charts. Matsui received the Oasis award for Best Female Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year in 1999 and again in 2000. Whisper From the Mirror from 2000 showed Matsui leaving the smooth jazz style and moving towards new age with a soundscape sound(though she continued to play smooth jazz at her concerts). Over time her post-2000 albums show a more worldbeat flavor to them. Her 2005 release "Walls of Akendora," is a return to her smooth jazz roots.
Friday, April 6, 2012
When she was 17, Hiromi met Chick Corea by chance in Tokyo, and was invited to play with him at his concert the next day. After writing jingles for a few years for Japanese companies, she enrolled to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, There, she was mentored by Ahmad Jamal and had already signed with jazz label Telarc before her graduation. Since her debut in 2003, Hiromi has toured the world and appeared in numerous jazz festivals & Toured in the summer of 2010 with the Stanley Clarke Band and now she returns as Hiromi's trio initially consisted of bassist Mitch Cohn and drummer Dave DiCenso. In 2004, she recorded her second album Brain with fellow Berklee alumni bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valihora and has been recording and touring with them ever since. Bassist Anthony Jackson was guest artist on two Brain tracks and is featured on her 2011 album.