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.
65th GRAMMY Award Winners Announced: The winners of the 65th GRAMMY Awards were announced at a pre-show ceremony and main ceremony hosted by Trevor Noah and held in Los Angeles from Crypto.com Arena, broadcast on CBS, on February 5. The winners in the five jazz categories were Samara Joy (Best Jazz Vocal Album); Wayne Shorter & Leo Genovese (Best Improvised Jazz Solo); Terri Lyne Carrington, Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, Nicholas Payton & Matthew Stevens (Best Jazz Instrumental Album); Steven Feifke, Bijon Watson and the Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra (Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album); Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring the Congra Patria Son Jarocho Collective (Best Latin Jazz Album). Jazz singer Samara Joy also won the GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist. Check out the full list of winners here.
Samara Joy on The Jennifer Hudson Show: Samara Joy, the winner of this year’s GRAMMY for Best New Artist, recently performed “Guess Who I Saw Today” on The Jennifer Hudson Show. Originally made famous by Nancy Wilson in 1960, the track is also featured on Joy’s GRAMMY-nominated album, Linger Awhile, out now on Verve Records. Watch the video of the performance via the player below and click here to listen to our recent JAZZIZ Podcast conversation with the artist.
2023 Memphis International Blues Challenge Winners Announced: The International Blues Challenge crowned its winners a Downtown Memphis’ Orpheum Theatre last week. The Houston, Texas, combo led and named after 20-year-old guitar phenom Maphias Lattin took home the title in the band category. Singer/guitarist Frank Sultana from Sydney, Australia, earned the top prize in the solo/duo category. More here.
Carol Sloane Dies: Beloved singer Carol Sloane died on January 23 at a senior care center in Stoneham, Massachusetts. She was 85. Sloane’s jazz career started in the 1950s when she shared the stage with notable jazz musicians like Coleman Hawkins, Clark Terry and Ben Webster. Her success at the 1961 Newport Jazz Festival garnered the attention of national media outlets. Recordings and regular television appearances, including The Tonight Show, brought Carol global acclaim. The albums she recorded late in her career served as a masterclass in jazz musicianship. Most recently, she had released her final album, Live at Birdland.
John Daversa on The JAZZIZ Podcast: Trumpeter/composer John Daversa was our guest on the latest episode of our JAZZIZ Podcast. In addition to other topics, we discussed his latest duo project with pianist Tal Cohen and the new album they recently released, The Art of Duo, Vol. 1. Listen to our JAZZIZ Podcast conversation with Daversa via the player below.
Vibrant New Book Tells the Story of the Saxophone: The Story of the Saxophone by Lesa Cline-Ransome with illustrations by James E. Ransome will be published by Holiday House on March 21. This latest book by the prolific children’s book creators unravels the fascinating story of how a once-reviled instrument was transported across Europe and Mexico to New Orleans. The two worked with ethnomusicologist and saxophone expert Whitney Slaten, who made his extensive saxophone collection available to Ransome to draw from.
New and Upcoming Albums
Tracye Eileen, You Hit the Spot (Honey Crystal): Chicago-based singer Tracye Eileen has released her third full-length album as a leader. Always exploring new ways to express herself, on this new album, Eileen returns to her straight-ahead jazz roots on an album of standards performed with a contemporary edge. You Hit the Spot was released last year on Honey Crystal Records.
Lakecia Benjamin, Phoenix (Whirlwind): Phoenix is the highly-anticipated new album in the musical evolution of saxophonist/composer Lakecia Benjamin. Produced by Terri Lyne Carrington, Phoenix finds her performing a program of mostly original compositions with a star-studded lineup of specially curated guests, including Dianne Reeves, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Patrice Rushen, among others.
Acute Inflections, Let Go (self-released): Acute Inflections is a duo formed by vocalist Elsasea Douglas and bassist Sadiki Pierre. Together, they breathe new life in their unique takes on a program of uplifting songs from a wide range of artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke and Andra Day on their fifth album, Let Go, which was released last year.
Yellowjackets, Parallel Motion (Mack Avenue): As Yellowjackets enter their fifth decade, they sound fresh as ever on their new album, Parallel Motion, described via a press release as “a Technicolor portrait of a working band that’s still stretching its wings.” Released last year, the album was recorded after a brief European tour and, aside from documenting a process of discovery, expresses resilience and optimism in the face of the angst and isolation that accompanied the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Live Music and Festival News
First Shakti U.S. Tour in 16 Years Announced: Global fusion alchemists Shakti, co-led by John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain, will be touring the United States for the first time in 16 years. Confirmed tour stops include Boston, Nashville, Seattle, San Francisco. Additional dates and special guests will soon be announced. Click here to check out all upcoming tour dates. The tour will be in support of the band’s upcoming album, This Moment, which will be released this summer.
Lincoln Center Year-Long Celebration of Terence Blanchard: See Me As I Am: A Year-Long Celebration of Terence Blanchard will launch in March 2023 as Lincoln Center’s first cross-campus exploration of a single artist. A collaboration of seven arts organizations, the event will celebrate Blanchard’s work across various art forms, and follows his historic staging of Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Metropolitan Opera, which won this year’s GRAMMY for Best Opera Recording, and ahead of the first coming production of Champion. More here.
Amadou & Mariam Announce U.S. Tour: Superstars of Malian music, Amadou & Mariam, will headline venerable U.S. venues such as Miner Auditorium @ SF Jazz, Le Poisson Rouge in New York City and 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. from March 14-25. Check out all tour dates here. The prolific blind African duo will be touring in support of their new live album, Eclipse, which ws released late last year and marks the 10th anniversary of their legendary concert performed completely in the dark for musicians and audiences alike at the Manchester International Festival in 2012.
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