JAZZ — Festivals! — The LOVE SUPREME JAZZ FESTIVAL — July 3-5, 2015 *UK
A truly wondrous gift for music lovers
One of music’s true originals Van Morrison’s unique and inspirational musical legacy is rooted in postwar Belfast. Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13. His nearly 6 decades in music have produced some of the best loved songs in the country. From ‘Gloria’ to ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ Van Morrison’s music is woven into the very fabric of popular music.
With one of the most revered catalogues in music history and his unparalleled talents as composer, singer and performer Morrison’s past achievements loom large. But, as throughout his extraordinary career, how that past informs his future achievements and still stirs excitement and keen anticipation.
Chaka Khan is a true Renaissance Woman. A singer, songwriter, producer, visual artist, author, actor, philanthropist, entrepreneur, activist and mother, Chaka is an international music icon who has influenced multiple generations of artists and continues to do so. From the moment she burst onto the music scene in the 1970s as the 18-year-old lead singer of the multiracial band Rufus, her powerful voice and show-stopping stage presence set her apart from any other singer, and during her 40-year career, she has developed a vast international fan base and performed on six continents.
Hugh Masekela has come to be known as a living legend in the decades since he first picked up a trumpet, and luckily for us he shows no sign of putting it down yet.
His voice has long spoken out in his country’s struggle for civil rights, whilst his soaring, joyful trumpet sound brims with warmth and bristles with elements of township jazz, hip-hop and funk. Universally considered one of the world’s all-time greatest horn players, he remains, in the words of the Independent: ‘a musician of phenomenal grace and power…still blessed with a voice that can strip the leaves from the trees.’
Terence Blanchard was an essential component of the jazz revival of the 1980s and is considered to be one of the most artistically mature musicians of his generation. Blanchard has won multiple Grammy awards, and is also known for his various compositions for cinema, including films by the legendary director Spike Lee. This year, Blanchard appeared on the DownBeat “best of” lists in four different categories: “jazz artist,” “trumpeter,” “composer,” and “jazz-album” (Magnetic, Blue Note Records, 2014).
Despite his solo career fame, Blanchard’s latest project is first and foremost a true collective. Young guitarist Charles Altura has quickly gained recognition by playing with legendary musicians, including Chick Corea. Washington Post described pianist Fabian Almazan as “a tremendous, storming talent.” When you add to the mix the tightly grooving rhythm section ofDonald Ramsey and Oscar Seaton, the result is an unparalleled combo that heads fearlessly toward new musical discoveries.
Together, the brand new group creates a musical whirlpool, combining jazz with elements of R&B, funk, and hip hop.
She’s known as the First Lady of Southern Soul for a string of gritty southern fried Top Ten R&B hits she cut at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL during the early `70s and by the end of the decade she was hailed as a disco diva for her danceable chansons such as 1976’s #1 R&B smash “Young Hearts Run Free.” Then, for twenty years, Candi Staton exclusively sang gospel music before launching an Americana career with 2006’s critically acclaimed CD “His Hands” (Bonnie `Prince’ Billy wrote the harrowing title track about domestic abuse). Now, the Alabama native is returning to her Muscle Shoals roots on the 27th album of her six-decade career, “Life Happens” (Beracah Records/Fame Records).
DIANNE REEVES is the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world. As a result of her breathtaking virtuosity, improvisational prowess, and unique jazz and R&B stylings, Reeves received the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for three consecutive recordings—a Grammy first in any vocal category.
Featured in George Clooney’s six-time Academy Award nominated “Good Night, and Good Luck,” Reeves won her fourth Best Jazz Vocal Grammy for film’s soundtrack.
Reeves has recorded and performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. She has also recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim and was a featured soloist with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. Reeves was the first Creative Chair for Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the first singer to ever perform at the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Ginger Baker was once considered the musician least likely to survive the ‘60s. And yet, in 2014, he finds himself on the ascent. The award-winning 2012 documentary Beware of Mr. Baker brought renewed attention to his singular music, fiery and self-destructive personality, and dramatic life story. Ironically, his extreme adventurousness and impulsivity—evidenced, for example, by his leaving England and moving to Nigeria in 1970 to play and record music—are the same qualities that helped make him such a versatile and continually evolving musician. Baker has long ranked among the world’s greatest drummers, and critics have deemed his recent live shows with his quartet, Jazz Confusion, some of the best work of his career. On June 24, Motéma Music releases Why?, his first new recording in 16 years.
Since forming Leeds in 2009 Submotion Orchestra have carved out their own special place in the UK’s ever-changing musical landscape. The 7 piece band’s fusion of bass heavy electronica, jazz, soul and much more besides has made them a favourite of the likes of Gilles Peterson, Trevor Nelson and Jo Whiley, whilst their live show has seen them play festivals around the world and sell out venues such as London’s famous KOKO.
Now following two critically acclaimed albums, Finest Hour and Fragments, Submotion Orchestra return bigger, brighter and bolder than ever with Alium; their first album for Counter Records. Released on November 3rd, Alium sees the band in an expansive mood as the interplay between their electronic and acoustic sounds has become more natural than ever, whilst Ruby Wood’s vocals continue to find new levels of emotion.
Ambrose Akinmusire, “a thrilling young trumpeter and astute bandleader [with a] unique spark in his playing” (The New Yorker), brings his artistic vision to the next level with the imagined savior is far easier to paint, his second release for Blue Note Records. The album follows his acclaimed major label debut When the Heart Emerges Glistening, which New York Times critic Nate Chinen named his #1 album of 2011, Akinmusire takes a more compositional turn on the imagined savior…, writing 12 of the 13 tracks and producing the album himself.
While Akinmusire continues to feature his extraordinary working quintet with tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, pianist Sam Harris, bassistHarish Raghavan, and drummer Justin Brown, he also broadens his palette by enlisting guitarist and fellow Northern California native Charles Altura. In addition, Akinmusire unveils gripping new collaborations with the OSSO String Quartet and flutist Elena Penderhughes, as well as vocalists Becca Stevens, Theo Bleckmann, and Cold Specks.
Bill Laurance Project
Get The Blessing
Theo Croker plays on the razor-sharp edge, merging genres and idioms. He is a “rare American jazzman, who draws on the legacy of Fela Kuti, as much as that of Miles Davis.” (Wall Street Journal)
Grandson of legendary trumpeter Doc Cheatham, Croker draws upon traditional fundamentals, then carries them forward. He “[personifies] the excitement of avant-garde jazz fusion… better than any other jazz trumpeter today.” (San Diego County News)
It was in Shanghai that Croker met legendary vocalist and producer, Dee Dee Bridgewater in October of 2009, during the Shanghai Jazz Festival, where he was playing in the big band that backed her. The two hit it off at an after-party jam and met for lunch during her next visit. By Summer 2010, they were in discussions about recording an album.
“The first thing Dee Dee said was, ‘We are not doing a jazz record,'” Croker says laughing. AfroPhysicist was the fruit of their collaboration. Featuring original compositions, Bridgewater on several tracks and a rare instance of Roy Hargrove on vocals, AfroPhysicist has made Theo Croker the hot topic within and beyond the jazz scene. In the words of Marcus Belgrave, “Theo Croker is one of the most promising and creative trumpeters on the horizon today.”
Gabby Young was born in Bath, and spent her early life in Wiltshire, surrounded by the lush countryside surrounded by the Marlborough Downs. Her imagination was able to run riot, and she and her sister were fond of hosting impromptu plays and concerts from a very young age. She was on track to become an opera singer until Jeff Buckley and the jazz greats inspired her to switch teams.
Gabby then formed her existing band, who complete the magical musical fairground we know today, using a wide range of instruments, most notably trumpet, violin, trombone, piano and accordion. Young’s avant-garde fusion of globally-influenced folk combines Balkan brass, jazz and swing in an aural antiques shop from the future to produce what has been affectionately dubbed Circus Swing by those who realised there was no existing genre to encompass Young’s sound.
Irish-born vocalist and composer Christine Tobin is based in the UK and spends her time between London and the beautiful Kent coast. Her style, although rooted in jazz, is eclectic and draws on a broad range of influences from Ireland to West Africa to Brazil (Oumou Sangare, Elis Regina etc). Her sound is rich, authentic and deeply expressive and was described by the Guardian as “Tobin’s 24 carat voice” while praising her both for the poetry of her compositions and her golden voice. Much of her repertoire is self-penned and Tobin has received many accolades for her skills as a writer and arranger. In 2012 she won a British Composer Award for ‘Sailing to Byzantium’, her settings of poems by W.B. Yeats and in August 2013 her interpretive powers were brought to the fore when she won a ‘Herald Angel Award’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for her show ‘A Thousand Kisses Deep”, her imaginative versions of Cohen classics. Also in 2013 she was shortlisted for two Parliamentary Jazz Awards, ‘Musician of the Year and ‘Album of the Year’. Romantic and radical, Christine is a musical free spirit who blurs the lines to create her own unique style that is streetwise and eclectic, earthy and ethereal. In 2008 she was named Best Vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards and she won ‘Jazz Vocalist of the Year’ at the 2014 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
Taking its name from a line in W.B. Yeats’s poem Under the Moon, Blue-Eyed Hawk is a London-based quartet that brings a wide-open improv sensibility to its melodic and richly textured original material. The band – featuring four of the UK’s most hotly tipped young performer/composers – formed in 2011 and creates highly charged and emotive music traversing art-rock, jazz, minimalist and electronic soundworlds. Performance highlights have included the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall (broadcast on BBC Radio 3), the EFG London Jazz Festival at the Southbank Centre, and dates in Stockholm, Dublin and Rotterdam. Blue-Eyed Hawk’s debut album “Under the Moon” was released on Edition Records on 15 September 2014.
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