Chucho Valdés, GoGo Penguin, Pharoah Sanders & More: The Week in Jazz

The Week in Jazz is your roundup of new and noteworthy stories from the jazz world. It’s a one-stop destination for the music news you need to know. Let’s take it from the top.



Joe Chambers in Conversation with Don Was: Joe Chambers released his new album, Samba de Maracatu, on Blue Note on February 26. The album is a nine-song set of original compositions, standards and pieces by Wayne Shorter, Bobby Hutcherson and Horace Silver. To mark the release of Samba de Maracatu, Blue Note has shared a video of the venerated drummer/vibraphonist/percussionist in conversation with label head Don Was. You can watch it via the player below. Order Samba de Maracatu here.


Chucho Valdés Launches Virtual Music School: Pianist/composer Chucho Valdés is set to return to his old passion for teaching. On March 15, he will inaugurate the Chucho Valdés Academy, his virtual music school. The Academy will offer piano and improvisation courses as well as lectures on Cuban Music and Afro-Cuban Jazz, filmed at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Click here to register.


Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott Share Single to Help Musicians in Need: Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott, whose latest collaboration Songs for Comfort and Hope was released by Sony in December 2020, have shared a version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” This version was newly arranged by Jorge Calandrelli to support musicians in need. The single is available digitally everywhere and 100% of the artists’ earnings from sales and streams will be donated to Musicians Foundation (U.S.) and Help Musicians (U.K.). Click here to download or stream.


Scientology Network Celebrates Chick Corea: The Scientology Network is currently presenting a 3-hour tribute special celebrating the life and genius of Chick Corea. The tribute special, which will be available until the end of the year, includes two full-length documentaries – Chick Corea: In the Mind of a Master and The Musician – as well as a never-before-released song titled “Future Sweet” with Corea alongside Béla Fleck, Vinnie Colaiuta and Carlitos Del Puerto. Watch the tribute via the player below.


Album Announcements

Nik Bärtsch, Entendre (ECM): Pianist/composer Nik Bärtsch offers deeper insight into his musical thinking, illuminating aspects of his playing and the nature of his modular pieces on his new solo album, out on March 19 via ECM. Entendre was recorded at the Auditorio Stelio Molo in Lugano, Switzerland, and considers listening as a dynamic process via solo polymetric pieces unfolding with heightened alertness to the subtleties to touch.


Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra, Promises (Luaka Bop): Saxophone legend Pharoah Sanders and electronic producer Floating Points (a.k.a. Sam Shepherd) have teamed up on a new album, Promises, out March 26 via Luaka Bop. This nine-part work marks the spiritual jazz icon’s first new music in ten years and was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra. Click here to check out a dedicated website for the album.


Roni Ben-Hur, Stories (Dot Time): Genre-busting guitarist/composer Roni Ben-Hur collaborated with some of the finest contemporary jazz musicians in the world on his new album, Stories, which sees him linking his early childhood memories to the world of today. The record features trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, pianist George Cables, bassist Harvie S and drummer Victor Lewis, as well as special guest vocalists Tamuz Nissim and Magos Herrera. Preorder Stories here.


GoGo Penguin, GGP/RMX (Blue Note): GoGo Penguin have announced the release of a new remix album, GGP/RMX, out May 7 via Blue Note. This is a vivid reimagination of the UK instrumental trio’s fifth and self-titled album from last year, and a collaboration with such remixers as Machinedrum, Squarepusher, Portico Quartet, Nathan Fake and more. The album announcement comes with its first single, “Atomised (Machinedrum Remix),” which you can listen to via the player below. Order GGP/RMX here.


Live Music and Festival News

Claudia Acuña International Women’s Day Concert Series: Chilean jazz singer/songwriter Claudia Acuña will be performing a two-part concert series in honor of International Women’s Day this March 6, 2021. The concerts are part of the International Women Rising Series, produced in association with Laudable Productions. The event will consist of two distinct concerts titled “Wind from the South” and “The Art of Bolero.” The concerts will feature special guests and will be broadcast live from the historic opera house at the Northampton Academy of Music in Massachusetts. Tickets here.


Second Virtual Alternative Guitar Summit Camp: The Alternative Guitar Summit will host its second virtual Camp on March 6-7. The program includes 90-minute masterclasses with guitar masters Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, Mike Stern, Adam Levy, Sheryl Bailey, Ben Monder and Joel Harrison. Click here to register and for more information. Those unable to attend the live online classes will be able to access videos of the sessions for two weeks after registration.


World-Class Lineup at the DeMiero Jazz Fest, March 4-6: The DeMiero Jazz Fest celebrates vocal jazz and takes place annually in Edmonds, Washington. Its virtual edition kicked off this past October with weekly online masterclasses and will culminate in a three-day event that will take place on March 4-6 and feature a world-class lineup. Artists scheduled to perform include Kurt Elling, Gretchen Parlato and Jane Monheit, among many others, as well as a student mass-choir consisting of hundreds of students from across the U.S. Click here for more information and tickets.


Like this article?  Get more when you subscribe.

Join Our Newsletter
Join thousands of other jazz enthusiasts and get new music, artists, album, events and more delivered to your inbox.

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz