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.
Registration for the 12th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition Is Now Open: The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) is encouraging solo vocalists from around the world to submit their entries for the 12th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition before September 5, 2023. Click here to submit your entry. The Top Five Finalists will be announced in the Fall of 2023 and will perform at NJPAC in front of a live audience and before a distinguished panel of judges at NJPAC on November 19.
Norah Jones Little Broken Hearts Deluxe Edition: Norah Jones will release an Expanded Deluxe Edition of her acclaimed 2012 album, Little Broken Hearts, on June 2. Curated by Jones and Eli Wolf, and produced by Danger Mouse, the new 31-track edition includes rare bonus tracks, alternate versions, remixes and a previously-unreleased liver version of the album, recorded for Austin City Limits in 2012.
44th Annual Blues Music Awards Winners: The winners of the 44th Annual Blues Music Awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Renasant Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 11. The evening’s top award winners were Buddy Guy, Albert Castiglia and John Németh, each earning two awards. Buddy Guy’s The Blues Don’t Lie picked up Album of the Year and Contemporary Blues Album. Castiglia won Blues Rock Album as well as Blues Rock Artist. Németh’s May Be the Last Time nabbed Best Traditional Blues Album, and he was also awarded Instrumentalist Harmonica. Check out the full list of winners here.
Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia Share Animated Video: Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia have released a new full-length collaboration, As We Speak, which united influences from Indian classical music, Western classical music and bluegrass. The album includes Meyer’s composition “Motion,” which is accompanied by a new animated video illustrated and directed by Maya Sassoon. Watch it via the player below.
New Charlie Parker Collection: Bird in LA is a new 28-track collection of mostly unreleased and rare recordings by Charlie Parker, originally recorded between 1945 and 1952, and presented chronologically. The collection will be released for streaming and download for the first time, and in a 4-LP black vinyl box set on May 19 via Verve/UMe, highlighting the trailblazing saxophonist’s prolific and historic first trips to Los Angeles and documenting an exciting time for the birth of bebop.
Ari Joshua, Meeting of the Minds (Music Factory): Guitarist Ari Joshua released Meeting of the Minds, featuring 27 original soulful segments reflecting on themes of relationships, knowledge and space. The music on the album represents only a small window into the unique body of work recorded in this Woodstock, New York session with Ari Joshua, Billy Martin, John Medeski, and Jason Fraticelli.
Derrick Gardner & The Jazz Prophets, Pan Africa (Impact Jazz): Derrick Gardner and his steadfast ensemble, the Jazz Prophets, recently shared their groundbreaking new artistic endeavor, Pan Africa. The album was inspired by the trumpet great’s life-changing visit to Ghana and finds him paying homage to his ancestors on a riveting release that is rooted in the spirit and traditions of the African diaspora.
Arturo O’Farrill, Legacies (Blue Note): Arturo O’Farrill offers a nine-song program of renditions of classic compositions plus one original on his new album, Legacies, released on Blue Note Records. The album finds him juxtaposing stunning solo piano flights and dynamic trio performances with O’Farrill accompanied by his son, drummer Zack O’Farrill, and bassist Liany Mateo.
Esbjörn Svensson, HOME.S. (ACT): HOME.S. is a never-before-heard Esbjörn Svensson solo piano album. Recently rediscovered, these recordings were made only a few weeks before the Nordic jazz trailblazer’s sudden passing in 2008. While best known as an influential innovator of the jazz piano trio, these recordings showcase his art and playing in a more intimate and focused setting for the first, and possibly, only time.
Live Music and Festival News
Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer and Shahzad Ismaily at The Town Hall, September 14: Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer and Shahzad Ismaily will perform music from their newly-released album collaboration, Love in Exile, at Manhattan’s Town Hall on September 14. Tickets here. Love In Exile was released earlier this year on Verve Records and finds the three musicians forging a unique sound to create a lush and haunting collaborative soundscape of meditation and yearning.
Michele Rosewoman to Receive M³’s Lifetime Achievement Award: Mutual Mentorship for Musicians (M³), the innovative platform created by multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu and vocalist Sara Serpa with a mission to elevate and empower women and non-binary jazz and creative musicians, will present its 2nd Annual Lifetime Achievement Award to jazz pianist Michele Rosewoman on June 13 at the National Museum in Harlem. The ceremony will include world premieres of M³’s 5th Cohort Duo Commissions, including video and music works created by mostly women, non-binary and BIPOC musicians. More here.
More 2023 DC JazzFest Names Announced: The DC Jazz Festival has announced additions to the lineup for the 19th Annual DC JazzFest, which will take place on August 30-September 3. Those added include Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, Big Chief Donald Harrison, NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland Trio with Kevin Eubanks and Eric Harland, and Etienne Charles & Creole Soul, among others. More here.
Shoshana Bean Residency at Manhattan’s Midnight Theatre: Singer/songwriter Shoshana Bean will take audiences on a musical journey of honesty, exploration and celebration of life, art and friendship in her debut residency at Manhattan’s newly-opened Midnight Theatre. Performances will take place on May 25-27 and tickets are available here.
Featured photo courtesy of Blue Note Records.
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