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dreamscapes

Chris Potter

I first saw Chris Potter in the early 1990s when he was travelling with Red Rodney, a trumpet player who was one of the last players to play with Charlie Parker before he died. Red Rodney was doing a gig in St. Louis at the Majestic Hotel but this kid on tenor saxophone was the […]

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Jaleel Shaw

I first met Jaleel Shaw in the 90s when he was still a high school kid. He was an up-and-coming saxophonist, and came to the Antonio Hart show I was playing in. A lot of time passed, and then we were classmates in the graduate program at the Manhattan School of Music. Along with Miguel […]

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Christian Sands

About three years ago, I had the good fortune to be roaming the jazz circuit in Greenwich Village in New York, and I wound up at the Village Vanguard. Christian McBride was being featured all that week with his new trio and he was doing the grueling Friday three-show haul. The young man on piano […]

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Berstein/Goldings/Stewart

One of my favourite groups of recent years has without a doubt been the organ trio made up of organist Larry Goldings, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Bill Stewart. All three musicians are highly in demand in the international jazz scene. Peter Bernstein has worked with Brad Mehldau, Joshua Redman, and Bobby Hutcherson, and studied with […]

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The Internet

I love The Internet, a neo-soul group full of young black talent. The band started out as Syd the Kyd and Matt Martians. They created the album Feel Good after Syd helped Odd Future produce a few records. When it was time to take Feel Good on tour, Syd and Matt put The Internet together. […]

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Ari Hoenig

There are plenty of great jazz drummers today, but only a few who have distinguished themselves from the pack and evolved truly unique styles. Ari Hoenig is undeniably one of the few. Born in 1973 in Philadelphia, Hoenig is the son of musicians and began learning piano and violin at the age of four. At […]

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Jamie Cullum

It’s not easy establishing yourself as a jazz vocalist. You have to know the lineage of the art form, find your spot in a changing jazz scene, and develop your own sound and style. Among the up-and-comers, British vocalist-pianist Jamie Cullum stands out on my to-see list. His charisma and style compliment his badass piano […]

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The Pedrito Martinez Group

Cuban-born percussionist Pedrito Martinez is no stranger to high levels of musicianship and diversity, whether performing as a sideman or bandleader. He began performing in the mid-80s, at the age of 11, with legendary Cuban rumba groups such as Los Muñequitos de Matanzas from the age of 11. In 1998, he came to Canada to […]

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Benny Green

One of my favourite piano players is the brilliant jazz pianist, Benny Green. If you haven’t checked out Mr Green, go listen to him. Wait—maybe read this first! Born in 1963 in New York City, Benny Green grew up in Berkeley, California where he started taking piano lessons at seven years old. He moved back […]

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Hiatus Kaiyote

I’m going to tell you about a band that I dig so much, that I’m driving seven hours to Minneapolis to hear them play for the second time—in the middle of the week in October, no less. If you ask around the Desautels Faculty of Music these days, you’ll find a good number of us […]

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Jonathan Kreisberg

New York-based Jonathan Kreisberg has carved out a place for himself in jazz guitar royalty, both as a leader and as an irreplaceable fixture in Dr Lonnie Smith’s working trio. (Lonnie Smith knows something about picking guitar players: he played on George Benson’s first two records…) Not only does Kreisberg have virtuoso technique, but he […]

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Kneebody

I like bands. I like the idea of a bunch of dudes traveling the country together in a van playing music. These dudes sound only like themselves, and that sound, forged over years of playing in loud, sweaty clubs, is what keeps us all coming back. Record after record, tour after tour. These folkloric musical […]

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The San Francisco Jazz Collective

Jazz is a new art form now. If you want to know the state of the art form, you check out who’s playing in the San Francisco Jazz Collective. It’s an elite team—all the artists are at the cutting edge of their field. Even being a sub is a high honor! The SF Jazz Collective […]

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Booker Little

The list of musical figures whose lives were cut short is a lengthy one. For some their lives ended in an accident, others traveled a more self-destructive path, and still others were overtaken by a tragic set of circumstances. Booker Little seems to fall into the last of those categories. Little was one of the […]

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Grant Stewart and Eric Alexander: Reeds and Deeds

There are so many great contemporary artists out there with their own unique vision of this music. If I could bring anybody I wanted to Winnipeg, it would be Grant Stewart and Eric Alexander, two of the greatest modern tenor players, each of whom have absorbed and filtered the history of the instrument through their […]

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Pedrito Martinez Group

If you ever find yourself in New York City on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, take a walk down 8th Ave from Columbus Circle, and stop in to Guantanamera, a Cuban restaurant featuring one of the baddest bands in New York, The Pedrito Martinez Group. Pedrito is one of the world’s pre-eminent congueros and batá […]

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Youn Sun Nah

Youn Sun Nah. I imagine that is a name most of you are hearing for the first time. I recently discovered this artist-visionary-vocalist when I clicked on a link in a promotional email from her booking agent. Lucky for me that I did! While Youn Sun Nah is relatively unknown to most of us in […]

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Mark Guiliana

Mark Guiliana is one of the most accomplished drummers on the jazz scene today. He has played with many of the modern luminaries of the music, including Jason Lindner, Lionel Loueke, and bassist Avishai Cohen. He recently began a duo project with Brad Mehldau, “Mehliana.” Guiliana was born in Florham Park, New Jersey, in 1980, […]

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Chris Potter

Chris Potter is one of the greatest saxophonists alive today. He has performed and recorded with the who’s who in jazz—Pat Metheny, Kenny Werner, Ray Brown, Paul Motian, the Mingus Big Band, and countless others. The jazz elder statesman Dave Liebman has called him simply “one of the best musicians around.” Chris was born in […]

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Tomasz Stanko

I was rather surprised while checking out the TV drama Homeland on Netflix one recent night. As the opening credits rolled, I heard the unmistakable sound of Polish trumpet player and composer Tomasz Stanko playing the theme music. A master of mood, Stanko’s sound is dark, grainy, and intense—a perfect fit for the show. What […]

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