Sunday, September 27, 2015

Beantown Jazz Festival Photo Album

The Beantown Jazz Festival is a free annual event in the heart of Boston that celebrates jazz. 

I wanted to break up the format of my posts, and share a collection of pictures from the Beantown Jazz Festival along with some music. 

George Garzone celebrates Stan Getz & John Coltrane

Beantown Jazz Festival Photo Album

David Gilmore

Listen to David Gilmore:


Omar Thomas Big Band

Us Four with Javon Jackson

Listen to Javon Jackson:


The streets of Beantown were alive

Terri Lyne Carrington Mosaic Project

George Garzone celebrates Stan Getz & John Coltrane

Listen to George Garzone:

Final Thoughts:
A picture is worth a thousand words. All photos were taken by my father, Paul Burega.


Please visit my jazz poetry blog, "Without a Poem", where I improvise a new poem everyday! I also share jazz music and art there, so stay tuned! 

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Jazz YouTube channels

YouTube is a great resource to watch how jazz greats present themselves in concert, from talking to body language to trading choruses. I wanted to share five of my favorite jazz YouTube channels that are educational for anyone from a beginning jazz enthusiast to a professional musician.



Jazz YouTube channels


The Jazz Academy YouTube Channel is the media library of educational videos produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center. This educational resource helps the public learn about, appreciate and perform jazz. Many of the videos bring in members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra or even special guests. Jazz at Lincoln Center also has a great YouTube channel for learning more about their big band and concert series. 


What I love about this channel is that the videos go into a lot of depth about the technical and artistic choices jazz musicians make while improvising. 



The Blue Note presents the best of the international jazz scene with influences ranging from contemporary jazz to Latin to  rhythm and blues in several club locations including New York City and Milan. This YouTube channel presents videos from the concerts in Milan to offer all music lovers the unique experience of the club.

Watch the Monty Alexander Trio live at the Blue Note Milano:

What I love about this channel is is the sound and video quality of the performances. This level of quality makes you think you're in Milan watching the performance firsthand. 

Watch the Robert Glasper Trio live at the Blue Note Milano:

3. NPR Music 

NPR Music is a the official YouTube channel for the NPR Music website. This channel includes the popular Tiny Desk Concerts along with live shows, documentaries and more. The channel aims to help the public learn about all aspects of music, from performance to history and more.

Watch the Vijay Iyer Trio NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert:

What I love about this channel is the wide array of music. From jazz to folk to rock, NPR offers their famous "Tiny Desk Concerts" for a fun, intimate musical experience. Vijay Iyer played a Tiny Desk concert in the same space Adele did, which creates an inclusive nature.

Watch the Terence Blanchard NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert:

4. KPLU FM

Ranked as one of the most popular public radio stations in the nation, KPLU brings award-winning local and National Public Radio news, jazz and blues to the Washington state area. This channel presents studio performances of some of the nation's best jazz, blues and songbook performers. 

Watch Arturo Sandoval play a live studio session:

What I love about this channel is clearness of the music from the studio recording. Also, I enjoy how the musicians in these videos are comfortable and interact as if there is a club full of people in front of them. 

Watch Gregory Porter play a live studio session:

5. VOA Music

The VOA Music YouTube channel showcases the best performers in American music. This channel presents live concerts with "Hamilton Live," jazz with Eric Felten in "Beyond Category," the latest music in "Border Crossings," and soul music in "Soul Lounge."

Watch Beyond Category with Kevin Eubanks:

What I love about this channel is how the "Beyond Category" videos incorporate music along with short interview segments so you can hear in practice what the musicians are talking about. 

Watch Beyond Category with Joshua Redman:

Final Thoughts: 
YouTube can be a great educational resource for learning about or listening to jazz.



Please visit my jazz poetry blog, "Without a Poem", where I improvise a new poem everyday! I also share jazz music and art there, so stay tuned! 

Please subscribe to Kind of Pink and Purple by email (top right of the page) and follow on other social media: TwitterTumblrInstagramGoogle PlusPinterest


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jazz Quotes 3

In the midst of starting out the school year, I wanted to share some quotes and music in hopes of relating to all of our hectic lives.



Jazz Quotes 3

1. Paul Desmond
Writing is like jazz. It can be learned but it can't be taught. 
Listen to "East of the Sun":

2. Oscar Peterson
You don’t need any prologues, you just play. If you have something to say of any worth then people will listen to you 
Listen to "Hymn To Freedom":

3. Duke Ellington
What is music to you? What would you be without music? Music is everything. 
Listen to "The Tattooed Bride": 

4. Ella Fitzgerald 
It isn't where you came from, it's where you're going that counts. 
Listen to "Cheek To Cheek": 

5. Coleman Hawkins
If you don't make mistakes you aren't really trying.
Listen to "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes": 

Final Thoughts: 
Sometimes the best life advice can come from music when we just listen.

Coleman Hawkins

Please visit my jazz poetry blog, "Without a Poem", where I improvise a new poem everyday! I also share jazz music and art there, so stay tuned! 

Please subscribe to Kind of Pink and Purple by email (top right of the page) and follow on other social media: TwitterTumblrInstagramGoogle PlusPinterest

Sunday, September 6, 2015

It is how we stand

Today was my third and final day at the Detroit Jazz Festival. This free festival celebrates jazz and sets a precedent for all cities that art and music are vital to communities.

Eddie Daniels

I had the good fortune of seeing a "Dizzy and me" JazzTalk with Dave Usher and moderator Bob Porter; the 2015 Detroit Jazz Festival Homecoming band led by Spencer Barefield with soloist Harvey Thompson featuring James Carter, David McMurray, Dave Young and Djalio Dakate Keitar; the World Premiere of Danilo Perez's Detroit World Suite; Eddie Daniels' jazz version of Vivaldi's Four Seasons for Detroit with the Detroit Jazz Festival String Orchestra and original narration from Douglas Preston; the John Scofield Joe Lovano Quartet; and a screening of "Charlie Haden Rambling Boy" directed by Reto Caduff.

Read my preview of the festival as well as Day 1 and Day 2 of the festival. 

It is how we stand

First, I went to a "Dizzy and me" JazzTalk with Dave Usher and moderator Bob Porter. Usher told the story of how at age 14 he met the jazz giant and forged a 50-year friendship. During those years, Dave Usher helped form Dee Gee Records while also producing Dizzy’s records and traveling the world with him.

Listen to "School Days" from one of the first Dee Gee albums:

Detroit Homecoming Band

Following, I attended the 2015 Detroit Jazz Festival Homecoming band led by Spencer Barefield with soloist Harvey Thompson featuring James Carter, David McMurray, Dave Young and Djalio Dakate Keitar. I have been lucky enough to see James Carter perform numerous times throughout the course of the festival, showcasing his skills on tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet and flute! Carter's playing encapsulates the 'Detroit' style of saxophone playing - aggressive, passionate and raw. 

Watch James Carter perform, "I Can't Give You Anything But Love":

James Carter

Detroit World Suite big band

Next, I went to the World Premiere of Danilo Perez's Detroit World Suite. Perez joined forces with the Detroit Wayne State University Big Band and students from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, as well as his family members. A highlight of the set was Perez's composition "Children of the Light" from his album Children of the Light with Brian Blade and John Patitucci, arranged for Detroit by a Wayne State University student. 

Watch the Children of the Light trio perform:


Danilo Perez

Eddie Daniels

Then, I went to Eddie Daniels' jazz version of Vivaldi's Four Seasons for Detroit with the Detroit Jazz Festival String Orchestra and original narration from Douglas Preston. I loved the incorporation of jazz and strings, it reminded me of my favorite album Charlie Parker with Strings. Eddie Daniels has immense fluidity in his melodic line that allowed him to make the virtuosic jumps and skips written in the score. 

The incorporation of spoken word was particularly poignant, as it told the struggles of Detroit in a hopeful way: "The music is the voice of our struggle, it is how we stand and reach for the light."

Listen to "Just Friends" from Charlie Parker with Strings:

John Scofield Joe Lovano Quartet

Afterwards, I saw the John Scofield Joe Lovano Quartet. Originally formed in the 1980s, this quartet represents a reunion between two masters of their instruments, guitar and saxophone respectively. The group paid tribute to the late Ornette Coleman through original songs as well as sparkling, energetic improvisations. 

Watch Joe Lovano perform:

Joe Lovano


Finally, I saw a screening of "Charlie Haden Rambling Boy". Directed by Reto Caduff, the film explored the legacy and influence of the bass player, bandleader and composer whose spiritual beliefs about music bringing socio-political changes uplifted his work with his Liberation Jazz Orchestra, as well as his bands with Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett. Several members of the Liberation Jazz Orchestra were present to talk about Haden, including Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Joe Lovano, Matt Wilson and Joe Daley as well as Haden's wife, Ruth Cameron. What I didn't know about Haden was that he started out playing country and bluegrass music in the rural country. 

Watch the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra with Carla Bley play "Throughout":

Final Thoughts: 
The hope and pride of Detroit certainly has taught me that music and the arts are how a city comes to stand tall. The 2015 Detroit Festival has been a remarkable experience, and I cannot help but come away from it with a new outlook on community, music and optimism. 

Danilo Perez

Please visit my jazz poetry blog, "Without a Poem", where I improvise a new poem everyday! I also share jazz music and art there, so stay tuned! Today inspired my haiku, "Light".

Please subscribe to Kind of Pink and Purple by email (top right of the page) and follow on other social media: TwitterTumblrInstagramGoogle PlusPinterest

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bright moments

Today was my second day at the Detroit Jazz Festival. With over twelve straight hours of experiencing live music, there have been many bright moments to share.

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band

I had the good fortune of seeing the JazzTimes clarinet calisthenics JazzTalk featuring Wendell Harrison, Paquito D'Rivera and Gordon Goodwin with moderator Ken Peplowski; Anat Cohen 'Celebrando Brazil' from Rio to Minas; Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band; the Mack Avenue SuperBand featuring Christian McBride, Gary Burton, Kirk Whalum, Tia Fuller, Christian Sands, Carl Allen and Freddie Hendrix; Rudresh Mahanthappa 'Bird Calls'; Eddie Daniels and the Wondertwins performance/ interview with host Lars Bjorn; Steve Turre/ Rahsaan Roland Kirk birthday celebration with special guest James Carter; Paquito D'Rivera; Maria Schneider Orchestra; and a film screening of "Rahsaan Roland Kirk - The Curse of the Three Sided Dream". 

Read my preview of the festival and Day 1 of the festival. 



Bright moments

Day 2 at the Detroit Jazz Festival

(L to R) Wendell Harrison, Paquito D'Rivera, Gordon Goodwin, Ken Peplowski

First I attended the JazzTimes clarinet calisthenics JazzTalk featuring Wendell Harrison, Paquito D'Rivera and Gordon Goodwin with moderator Ken Peplowski. During the talk, the musicians reflected on Benny Goodman's lasting influence on the clarinet and big band music.

Watch Benny Goodman play, "Sweet Georgia Brown":

(L to R) Anat Cohen, Linda Oh

Next, I caught Anat Cohen's 'Celebrando Brazil' from Rio to Minas. Originally from Israel, Cohen melds her native influences with her love of Brazilian music as well as traditional swing music. 

 Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band

One highlight of the day was seeing Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. I was taken away from the enormous sound the band creates, as well as Gordon's masterful compositions. My favorite piece was "Back Row Politics", which comedically featured the trumpet section dueling with the flutes in the reed section. 

Watch Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat band play, "Hit The Ground Running":

 Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band trumpet section

Mack Avenue SuperBand

Afterwards I caught the Mack Avenue SuperBand featuring Christian McBride, Gary Burton, Kirk Whalum, Tia Fuller, Christian Sands, Carl Allen and Freddie Hendrix. This band brings together many of the solo artists from the jazz label Mack Avenue Records, in a creative new setting. 

Rudresh Mahanthappa 

Rudresh Mahanthappa paid tribute to Charlie Parker with a series of original compositions at the Detroit Jazz Festival. What's amazing is that even while paying tribute, Mahanthappa never sounds like Parker. In fact, he has his own defined phrasing, sound and time-feel.

Watch Mahanthappa on NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert:

Following, in the interview with Eddie Daniels and the Wondertwins both speculated the outcome of the Benny's Threads performance from opening night. The ending thought was that by utilizing original compositions, world-class improvisers, spoken word, clothing and dance, Goodman's legacy was honored by moving ahead, just as Goodman would have wanted.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk birthday celebration

Next, I saw the Steve Turre/ Rahsaan Roland Kirk birthday celebration with special guest James Carter. Kirk was known for playing multiple instruments, often all at once. Turre admitted that there had to be three horn players on the stage to do what Kirk could do as a single person. A highlight of the set was the Kirk song, "Bright Moments", which imparted Kirk's wise words that each moment of life is bright and joyful. 

Watch Rahsaan Roland Kirk play, "Serenade to a Cuckoo":

Rahsaan Roland Kirk birthday celebration

Paquito D'Rivera mixed classical and jazz music while playing with special guest Anat Cohen. I have seen D'Rivera multiple times, but his energy and passion for exciting the audience always captivates. 

Maria Schneider Orchestra

It is always a pleasure to see the Maria Schneider Orchestra. At this particular concert, Schnieder brought out some older pieces from her album Sky Blue as well as recent compositions from her latest album The Thompson Fields. Each soloist improvised with a narrative matching the original storyline, from imitating bird calls to storms.

Maria Schneider Orchestra



Closing off the night was a screening of "Rahsaan Roland Kirk - The Curse of the Three Sided Dream". Following the screening, filmmaker Adam Kahan, wife Dorthaan Kirk, musician Steve Turre and poet Betty Neals participated in a Q&A. What was most interesting to learn about Kirk was that everything he did was based on his dreams - from playing three saxophones at once to changing his name, his dreams guided him through life. 

Watch Rahsaan Roland Kirk play, "Bologna":

Final Thoughts: 
Music aside, some of the brightest moments I have witnessed at the festival have been the kind exchanges between old and new friends in this wonderful city.

In downtown Detroit

Please visit my jazz poetry blog, "Without a Poem", where I improvise a new poem everyday! I also share jazz music and art there, so stay tuned! Today inspired my poem, "To be me". 

Please subscribe to Kind of Pink and Purple by email (top right of the page) and follow on other social media: TwitterTumblrInstagramGoogle PlusPinterest

More posts on my experiences are forthcoming. 


Friday, September 4, 2015

I choose Detroit

This year I have the amazing opportunity to be a journalist for the Detroit Jazz Festival. The world's largest free jazz festival, Detroit hosts an array of world class acts. Read my preview of the festival here

My first day of the festival included seeing "Benny's Threads" featuring Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, author Douglas Preston, the Wonder twins, Eddie Daniels, Paquito D'Rivera, Ken Peplowski and Anat Cohen; the Pat Metheny Trio with Antonio Sanchez, Scott Colley and special guest Kenny Garrett; a Marcus Belgrave celebration jam session with James Carter, Gary Bartz, Joan Belgrave and Steve Turre; and much more.

Pat Metheny

I choose Detroit
Day 1 at the Detroit Jazz Festival

Band at the VIP party

First, I had the good fortune of attending the opening night VIP party. The event was catered by local restaurants and included a house band that played standards such as "Footprints".

Listen to Wayne Shorter play, "Footprints":

(L to R) Anat Cohen, Eddie Daniels, Ken Peplowski, Paquito D'Rivera

Following, I went to "Benny's Threads" featuring Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, author Douglas Preston, the Wonder twins, Eddie Daniels, Paquito D'Rivera, Ken Peplowski and Anat Cohen.
Preston recalled how when he lived with his rich aunt, Benny Goodman could be heard practicing in the penthouse next to him. When Goodman passed, his aunt gave Goodman's suits to Preston. This caused Preston to bring the suits to Detroit to show the audience.

Benny's Threads

Preston added a spoken word portion of the program referencing Benny Goodman's upbringing, the history of the Savoy Ballroom, as well as Goodman's legacy of having the first racially integrated band when master pianist Teddy Wilson joined Goodman with drummer Gene Krupa to form a trio.

Listen to Benny Goodman play, "Stomping at the Savoy":

The Wonder Twins 

Adding dance to the mix, the Wonder twins moved in sync with one another mixing swing era footing with hip-hop style isolations during Benny's Threads. Music and dance are often described as "the perfect marriage", and I enjoyed seeing how all these arts, spoken word, music and dance, were intertwined.

(L to R) Anat Cohen, Eddie Daniels, Ken Peplowski

During Benny's Threads each clarinetist had the opportunity to be showcased. From trading fours, to duo performances, to having a solo piece, each clarinetist built on Goodman's legacy in their own way. It was amazing to see the individuality and fluidity between the clarinetists; no two had the same sound. 

Benny's Threads reminds me of the Three Clarinets:

(L to R) Eddie Daniels, Ken Peplowski, Paquito D'Rivera

The highlight of the act was an electric rendition of Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin High" between Eddie Daniels and Ken Peplowski. Both musicians built off of each other's energy, propelling each traded chorus forward in a bebop style.

Listen to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie play, "Groovin High":

(L to R) Pat Metheny, Antonio Sanches, Kenny Garrett, Scott Colley

Next, I saw the Pat Metheny Trio with Antonio Sanchez, Scott Colley and special guest Kenny Garrett. As Artist in Residence, Metheny is performing several times with different groups over the course of the festival. 

Pat Metheny and Antonio Sanchez

Metheny's power is in his cool sound and gliding, melodic lines. A standout of the set included his popular song, "James", where Metheny weaved in and out of the melody during his solo. This element of simplicity, playing with melodicism, allowed Metheny to branch out rhythmically and harmonically to build his solos.

Watch Metheny perform, "James":

(L to R) Kenny Garrett and Scott Colley

Detroit's own, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, joined Metheny for a few songs. I have seen Garrett perform several times with his own quartet at the Regattabar, so it was interesting to hear him in another context. The excitement of Metheny and Garrett's combined playing caused the audience to give standing ovations after each solo!

James Carter at the Marcus Belgrave celebration

Ending the night, I went to a jam session celebrating the legacy of Detroit's own Marcus Belgrave. Trumpeter Belgrave was known for being a master jam session musician as well as a colleague among such luminaries as Ray Charles. Belgrave passed away this year, causing James Carter, Gary Bartz,  Steve Turre, Joan Belgrave and others to play various songs from his career to honor him. 

Watch Marcus Belgrave play, "Body and Soul":

Final Thoughts: 
Throughout the course of my first day, the phrase "I choose Detroit" was used as a sign of pride for the festival, but also for this beautiful city full of warmth, music and joy. 

I choose Detroit

Please visit my jazz poetry blog, "Without a Poem", where I improvise a new poem everyday! I also share jazz music and art there, so stay tuned! Today inspired my poem, "Beautiful". 

Please subscribe to Kind of Pink and Purple by email (top right of the page) and follow on other social media: TwitterTumblrInstagramGoogle PlusPinterest

More posts on my experiences are forthcoming.