Thomas Zehetmair - Schumann / WFMT: Featured Release

Founded in 1978, the Paris Chamber Orchestra quickly established its reputation as one of Europe's leading chamber orchestras. In 2012, Thomas Zehetmair was appointed the orchestra's principal conductor and artistic advisor. On this recording, made at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in February 2014, Zehetmair does double duty as both soloist and conductor. His insightful approach to music of Schumann has already been demonstrated with the Zehetmair Quartet, whose recording of two Schumann string quartets won the Gramophone Album of the Year Award in 2003. Schumann: Phantasy for Violin & Orchestra, Op 131 (15:02) by Thomas Zehetmair, violin; Paris Chamber Orchestra on ECM is a WFMT: Chicago - Featured Release. 
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Max Emanuel Cencic - Handel: Arminio / WFMT: Featured Release

This release marks the first ever complete recording of Arminio, Handel's opera of political intrigue and dynastic struggle. First staged at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, in January 1737, this first-rate opera is brought to life by a superb cast led by Max Emanuel Cencic and the period-instrument players of Armonia Atenea directed by George Petrou. Other cast members include Layla Claire, Ruxandra Dunose, Vince Yi, Juan Sancho, Xavier Sabata and Petros Magoulas. The Handel: Arminio: Overture; Minuet; Act 1, Scene 1 (8:00) from Max Emanuel Cencic's Handel: Arminio on Decca is a WFMT: Chicago - Featured Release. Layla Claire, soprano; Max Emanuel Cencic, countertenor; Armonia Atenea / George Petrou
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Q&A on artists and politics / Philadelphia Enquirer

Violinist Itzhak Perlman recently took to his Facebook page over a high-profile issue well outside of his usual realm: North Carolina House Bill 2, which eliminated various antidiscriminatory legal protections for a range of people, including those who are gay, bisexual, and transgender, and required people to use only restrooms that corresponded with the gender specified on their birth certificates. Wrote the violinist: "As my fans know, I have spent a lifetime advocating against discrimination towards those with physical disabilities and have been a vocal advocate for treating all people equally. As such, after great consideration, I have decided to cancel my May 18th concert in North Carolina with the North Carolina Symphony as a stand against House Bill 2." It's not unheard of for classical artists to enter the fray on social justice issues. But are the potential risks and rewards higher today, in our superconnected, hyperventilating climate of social media and 24-hour news channels? The Philadelphia Enquirer asked Sarah Baird Knight, a partner, along with Steven Swartz, at Brooklyn P.R. firm DOTDOTDOTMUSIC (which does not represent Perlman), to weigh in on questions raised by Perlman's not-so-silent act of silence. READ THE Philadelphia Enquirer Q&A
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Becca Stevens Trio set to play Buffalo Iron Works / ARTVOICE: EDITOR'S PICK!

Becca Stevens is a Brooklyn based singer/ composer/ multi-instrumentalist who draws upon elements of pop, indie-rock, jazz and traditional Appalachian folk. Stevens is fluent on ukulele, guitar and charango (a small Andean stringed instrument of the lute family). Rebecca is a unique composer and her arrangements embrace inventive textures and idiosyncratic melodic elements all delivered by a perfect pitch and inimitable vocal style. She is a featured vocalist on the Grammy winning Billy Childs record "Map to the Treasure: Reimaging Laura Nyro." Since 2011, Stevens has toured the world with band and also found time to collaborate with Esperanza Spalding, Snarky Puppy, David Crosby and many others. She is part of a vocal trio with Rebecca Martin, and Gretchen Parlato called Tillery. Her song "Be Still" made NPR's list of top songs of 2015 and she made the Daily Beast's 20 Amazing Under-The-Radar Albums of 2015. Stevens and her trio is set to play the Buffalo Iron Works Tonight - Thurs, May 26 @ 9pm. SEE THE ARTVOICE PAGE
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Celebrate National Radio Day - with Lara Downes - and vote for your favorite classical radio t-shirt

Each year on August 20th, National Radio Day celebrates the great invention of the radio. Highlights for 2016 include:

55 noncommercial radio stations in 35 cities across North America will participate. The #NationalRadioDay hashtag last year was trending all day on Twitter with 22,000 tweets. Instagram saw 3000 posts tagged #NationalRadioDay. If your station did something to celebrate please let us know. The goal of National Radio Day is to strengthen the radio ecosystem, highlighting all kinds of radio, but especially stations that put a focus on local service. We want to ensure that amazing noncommercial stations are included in the national conversation. Stations, now that Political season is upon us, go ahead and
Vote for your favorite classical radio T-shirt on August 20    with pianist Lara Downes.

Lara will record an exclusive track for the winning station! 
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Kent Nagano Q&A with Global News

Maestro Kent Nagano is considered one of the most inspiring and exciting music conductors in the world – and you've got to have pretty good stamina to keep up with him. Nagano, who is currently the musical director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO), is performing his final concerts of the 2015-2016 season, but there won't be any down time for the musicians or the maestro. Upcoming, Nagano will be conducting seven concerts over three days. Global's Tim Sargeant sits down exclusively with Nagano. The world famous conductor and opera administrator said - "It's a lot of work, a lot of rehearsals and a tremendous amount of artistic tension, but it's fun and we all look forward to this."   SEE THE Global News PAGE & WATCH VIDEO
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Rufus Wainwright - Take All My Loves / Las Vegas Weekly review

Two new albums-Anohni's Hopelessness and Rufus Wainwright's have have rattled my brain open. Wainwright' s Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets-have slapped me from my comfort zone, like the aural equivalent of the red pill. When I first saw the cover of Wainwright's Take All My Loves-featuring its maker in full Elizabethan drag-I figured he'd finally lost it. As a longtime Wainwright devotee, I'd grown frustrated with the increasingly operatic flourish of his work, often wishing he'd kept his epic ambition in check. Who could've predicted that the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death would inspire his leanest-sounding album in years? Well, as lean as an album incorporating classical arias, German folksong and a sonnet-delivering William Shatner can be. Like Hopelessness, Take All My Loves is a slithering creature I haven't fully grasped yet, but any album that tempts you to read more poetry must be remarkable. SEE BOTH REVIEWS ON THE  Las Vegas Weekly PAGE
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Snarky Puppy plays Denver's Ogden Theatre / HeyReverb

It's hard to pinpoint a modern act as talented and prolific as the fusion collective Snarky Puppy. This year, the band earned their 2nd Grammy (for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album) and released their eleventh studio effort, "Culcha Vulcha." Armed with their usual arsenal of heavyweight players and cerebral compositions, the ensemble was eager to please a polite sold-out crowd on Tuesday night at the Ogden Theatre. The music of Snarky Puppy is not something your body reacts to so much as your mind. Much time is spent deciphering the patterns of bassist and bandleader Michael League, whose playing consistently jumps between time signatures and places minimalist accents in all the odd places. By the time you think you have it figured out, they are on to the next song. READ THE FULL HeyReverb ARTICLE
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John Schmidt & Steven Sharp Nelson sit down with billboard

"I think we could write a book on serendipity, I think we really can. Just all the way through: how we met, how we came together, the tunes we put out and the ideas that come." That's John Schmidt, a, well, piano guy, who, along with partner Steven Sharp Nelson (a cello guy …), recently visited Billboard's New York studios. Together the duo forms the backbone of the Piano Guys, a collective from Utah that's built an audience of more than 1.75 million on YouTube – a bigger following on the platform than Justin Timberlake or Jennifer Lopez. READ THE FULL billboard ARTICLE & WATCH VIDEO        
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William S. Burroughs' upcoming 'Let Me Hang You' features music by Bill Frisell / American Songwriter

57 years after the publication of William S. Burroughs' seminal novel Naked Lunch, and 19 years after the death of the legendary writer, Let Me Hang You, a compilation of Burroughs reading the most outrageous sections of the book set to experimental music, is slated for a July 17 release.  The project, led by Hal Willner and James Grauerholz and featuring music by Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz and Eyvind Kang, was unfortunately swept under the rug for decades. At the end of his life, Burroughs recorded himself reading sections of the book, particularly those most explicitly dealing with the drug use and sexual debauchery which characterize the novel, in varying voices. READ THE FULL American Songwriter ARTICLE
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The Clarinotts. Creating unusual legacy for their instrument / The New York Times

It was a family affair last January at the Musikverein here, when Ernst Ottensamer and his two sons joined the Vienna Philharmonic for the world premiere of Ivan Eröd's "Triple Concerto." The work was tailor-made to the soloists, all clarinetists. Melodies slithered over a minor-mode atmospheric orchestra, only to cede to undulating figures in which one had the impression of hearing one giant woodwind instrument. The classical music world is not foreign to dynasties, from the Mozarts to modern conducting clans such as the Järvis and Jurowskis. And ensembles consisting exclusively of instruments in the clarinet family have gained in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic since the mid-20th century. But the Ottensamers, who perform together as The Clarinotts, are creating an unusual legacy for their instrument and expanding the repertoire. Last January, the trio made its debut recording on the Deutsche Grammophon/Mercury Classics label, performing everything from opera transcriptions to bossa nova. A month later, the group's album "The Clarinotts" was selected as album of the week on both the Boston radio station WCRB and the Berlin radio station RBB. The album adopts the theme of "on stage," which extends from opera to film. READ THE FULL New York Times REVIEW
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Snarky Puppy - Culcha Vulcha / HOTPress review

Snarky Puppy will have you barking with joy. A vehicle for Texas jazz graduate Michael League, the project is multifaceted. They are frighteningly prolific. Snarky Puppy have already won a brace of Grammys (for best contemporary jazz and instrumental albums) while Culcha Vulcha is their second long-player in six months. It is brash and forceful, brimming with winning melodies and endlessly sophisticated in its breakdowns and interludes. Yet so much is going on here that it can be initially overwhelming, with the listener sent pinging between decades and genres with an enthusiasm bordering on manic. Cumulatively the effect is akin to attending a dinner party with a headache; everything is that bit too loud, too bright, too overbearing. Culcha Vulcha's conundrum, in the end, is that it cannot decide whether to sidle alongside the listener or cudgel them into submission. Less of the latter might have been a better option... READ THE FULL Hotpress REVIEW
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Top 10 Albums for May

Snarky Puppy :

Culcha Vulcha

Snarky Puppy will release their eleventh album and first true studio album in eight years on April 29 via GroundUP Music/Universal Music Classics. Dubbed Culcha Vulcha, the record was recorded at Donic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, TX for a week, and nine new tracks. The album title refers to how we-the Western civilized world-have all become slaves to Pop culture, consuming as many messages to "buy", "be" and "get" as possible. We circle above and wait to swoop in and ravenously eat or "consume" as much messaging as possible so we can feel "full" and satisfied that we are "cool," losing our sense of self-confidence and self-acceptance as we are. 10 NEW  202 Total SYND: NPR/First Listen & World Cafe, PRI/Jazz After Hours, WFMT: JazzNet, Sing Out!, Jazz Variations, CBC Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, Seattle, Portland, St. Louis, Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, San Diego, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Albuquerque, Madison WI, Boulder CO, Buffalo, Raleigh NC, Omaha NE, Wichita, El Paso, Honolulu, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver INTER: Canada, UK, Italy, Australia Online: MOJA, JAZZfm, Taintradio, SoulandJazz, Jazz Weekly, Jambands, GreenArrow, stereoboard,, allmusic, animaJazz, Sun Music, DubEra, JamBase, JazzViews, Metro, Mainline, HOTPress, Rhapsody 47 Jazzweek ADD's
Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Ensemble :

Sing Me Home

The latest album by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble will surprise and delight, with guest performers and imaginative sounds that transform the traditional musical landscape. Sing Me Home is the sixth album by the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble and its founding member and guiding light Yo-Yo Ma. Available from Sony Music Masterworks. Sing Me Homeis a companion album, developed and recorded alongside The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, a documentary feature from Oscar® and Emmy-winning director Morgan Neville that tells the story of the Ensemble and Silkroad, its parent organization. The Music of Strangers is slated for theatrical release in June. 13 NEW  158 Total SYND: NPR/ATC & Thistle & Shamrock, APM/Performance Today, PRI/C24, Echoes & The World, Sing Out!, Jazzfm Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Detroit, Denver, Baltimore, New Orleans, San Diego, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Louisville, Wichita, Montreal, Vancouver, Amsterdam INTER: Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Australia Online: axs, CCTV,, MOVE - Maneater, The Bluegrass Situation Mother Jones, HuffPost,, Musicas Imaginadas, allmusic, Bass Player, Wall Street Journal, MusicTAP, Musical Shapes, SONGLiNES, Yam Mag,, PopMatters, Taintradio,,, JazzTimes  
Rufus Wainwright :

Take All My Loves - 9 Shakespeare Sonnets

Rufus Wainwright celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in typically dramatic fashion by releasing a unique collection of nine sonnets in stunning performances by both actors and vocalists. Set for release on 22 April on Deutsche Grammophon, it also marks the first collaboration between Rufus and Marius de Vries since they co-produced the epic Want albums. The performers on this new recording include vocalists Florence Welch, Martha Wainwright, Anna Prohaska and, of course, Rufus himself, as well as actors Siân Phillips, Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher and William Shatner. 38 NEW  64 Total SYND: NPR/First Listen, PRI/24, CBC Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco,, Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Columbus OH, Honolulu Online: AccuRadio, Taintradio INTER: Canada, UK
The Sachal Ensemble :

Song of Lahore

"Song Of Lahore" is the latest feature-length documentary from Oscar-winning documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Set in Lahore, Pakistan and New York City, the story follows the members of Pakistan's Sachal Ensemble, a group of master musicians who find international recognition after decades of being forced underground by dictators and religious extremists. Universal Music Classics was enlisted to create not a "soundtrack" to the movie in the traditional sense. Rather, what will be available as a standalone music piece is a companion album to the film, called Sounds Of Lahore. In effect, the album is an "East Meets West" concept project. These songs originate from Pakistan, India, the United States and Jamaica; and all of them are centered on the theme of universal love and hope. The way in which through music, we find the light within the darkness. The album is produced by Grammy-winning producer Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, Al Green, Willie Nelson, Robert Glasper, Elvis Costello). 32 Total  54 Total SYND: NPR, UnderCurrents Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Portland, Albuquerque, Madison WI, Hartford CT, Montreal INTER: Canada, India, Pakistan Online: Jambase, The American Bazaar, Slant, desiVibe,, Variety, Huffington Post, Daily Times, Thne Express Tribune, The News International
Sonny Rollins :

Holding the Stage - Road Shows, vol. 4

For his new album Holding the Stage: Road Shows, vol. 4, the great tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins once again taps into his vast archives of his own concert recordings to compile superior performances for release in the acclaimed Road Shows series. The album encompasses some 33 years (1979-2012) yet coheres with all of the compelling logic and narrative force of an extended Sonny solo. Released by Doxy Records with Sony Music Masterworks - OKeh, this recording is truly a treasure chest that includes tunes Rollins has never before recorded and musical relationships previously undocumented. "This album consists of various periods of my career, with something for everybody," says Rollins. "It's who I am, and the music represents just about every aspect of what I do." 11 NEW  112 Total SYND: NPR/Fresh Air, Voice of America, Stingray Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Cleveland, Houston, Detroit, Portland, Minneapolis, Denver, San Diego, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, San Antonio, Hartford CT, Madison WI, Honolulu INTER: Canada, UK, Netherlands Online: Taintradio, Jazz Weekly, MOJA, SoulandJazz, KUHS, Radio Valencia, Jazz From Gallery 41, Classicalite, GreenArrow, Jazz Views, Sun Music, Alphen Stad, theguardian, Rhapsody 43 Jazzweek ADD's
Michelle Willis :

See Us Through

See Us Through is the stunning new album by Canadian singer-songwriter, Michelle Willis. It's a collection of poignant and intimate songs that together create an astonishing work. Out May 13th on GroundUP Music/Universal Classics, See Us Through is an album of surprises, with many tracks moving from soft harmonizing to grand, choir-like build-ups. At the center is Willis and her stop-you-in-your-tracks voice, made more powerful thanks to her thoughtful, introspective lyrics. 11 NEW  13 Total SYND: CBC Markets include: Milwaukee, Albuquerque, Fort Wayne IN, Middletown CT, Monroe CT, Sharon CT, Springfield PA, Stevens Point WI, Girdwood AK, Edmonton CAN Online: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Albare :


Master Guitarist ALBARE and his friend pianist, composer, arranger Joe Chindamo were sitting in a London Cafe during the Summer of 2014 while on tour, and Joe asked Albare "don't you think it's time you do an album with a string orchestra'" And because of Albare's love for the movies of his childhood, this conversation became the genesis of "DREAMTIME". Albare and Chindamo, who arranges, conducts the orchestra, and plays piano on this collection, set a Dream Like mood that takes us on a musical journey, recreating visual images in our mind of these movie classics. There is some serious playing by ALBARE on this CD, reminiscent of the great Wes Montgomery CTI recordings, with the string and horn arrangements evoking memories of those written by Don Sebesky, Claus Ogerman, Eumir Deodato, and Oliver Nelson. 15 NEW  69 Total SYND: Voice of America, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, Miami, Portland, New Orleans, Denver, Baltimore, San Diego, Minneapolis, Hartford CT, Knoxville TN, Honolulu Online: MOJA, Taintradio, Jazz Weekly, Jazz From Gallery 41 20 Jazzweek ADD's
Renato Braz :


saudade is the debut U.S. album by acclaimed Brazilian singer/guitarist Renato Braz, accompanied by the Paul Winter Consort, with special guests Dori Caymmi, Ivan Lins, and the Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble from Russia. The album features 14 of the most beautiful songs born in Brazil, songs by Dori Caymmi, Edu Lobo, Ivan Lins, Chico Barque, Tom Jobim, Noel Rosa, Theo de Barros, Mario Gil, and Oscar Castro-Neves. Renato Braz has roots in all three of Brazil's cultures: Indian, African, and European. His parents are Guarani Indians from Mato Grosso; his mother remarried a baiano from Bahia in the northeast of Brazil, where the African tradition is still deep; and Renato has lived many years in São Paulo, where the Portuguese tradition predominates. Producer Paul Winter says:  "Renato is the most complete Brazilian I've ever known." 14 NEW  23 TOTAL Markets include: Philadelphia, Cleveland, Houston, Denver, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA, Boulder CO, Hartford CT, Fort Wayne IN., Honolulu Online: bestofbrazil, Taintradio, GURU
Jane Ira Bloom :

Early Americans

You never know what American original soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom is going to do next. After the success of her 2014 all-ballads release "Sixteen Sunsets" Bloom shifts into another gear showcasing the kinetic energy of her acclaimed trio playing with the musicians that she knows best on Early Americans (OTL142). It's her first trio album, sixteenth as leader and sixth recording on the Outline label. Her sound is like no other on the straight horn and she lets it fly on every track. She's joined by long-time bandmates Mark Helias on bass & drummer Bobby Previte and with over fifty years of shared musical history together the album is sure to be a winner. Bloom's collaboration with Helias dates back to the mid 70's in New Haven CT and her unique chemistry with Previte has been ongoing since 2000. She brought the group together in summer 2015 to Avatar Studio B in NYC to capture their breathtaking sound in both stereo and surround-sound with renowned audio engineer Jim Anderson. The album features twelve Bloom originals ranging from the rhythmic drive of "Song Patrol" and "Singing The Triangle" to the spare melancholy of "Mind Gray River." She closes the album with a signature solo rendition of the American songbook classic, Bernstein & Sondheim's "Somewhere." World-renowned portrait photographer Brigitte Lacombe contributes a stunning cover image of Bloom. "Playing in threes" has always held a special fascination for jazz artists - it offers the possibility that something can be slightly off balance and that's just what fires the imagination of players like Bloom, Helias, & Previte. With Early Americans Jane Ira Bloom stands in the vanguard of her generation carving out new territory in the heart of the jazz tradition. Don't miss this trio of "fearless jazz explorers who share a commitment to beauty & adventure."
Cypress String Quartet :

Beethoven: The Early String Quartets

The Cypress String Quartet (Cecily Ward, violin; Tom Stone, violin; Ethan Filner, viola; and Jennifer Kloetzel, cello) releaseS the group's recording of Beethoven's Early Quartets on AVIE Records. The Cypress String Quartet completes its cycle of the genre's greatest oeuvre with this 2-CD set of Beethoven's six groundbreaking quartets, Op. 18, alongside a reissue of its 2012 self-released recording of Beethoven's Late Quartets. For the past several seasons, the Cypress String Quartet has immersed itself in performing Beethoven on tours throughout the United States and Europe as well as recording all 16 works plus the "Grande Fugue" (Große Fuge). The completion of the Beethoven cycle recording is a fitting celebration of the Bay Area-based ensemble's 20th anniversary as well as the group's valedictory season: the Cypress String Quartet's final performance will take place in June 2016, preceded by a Beethoven celebration performing all of the quartets throughout the city of San Francisco in May. 24 Total  71 Total SYND: Classical 24, CBC Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Omaha, Hartford, Madison WI, Canada Online: AccuRadio, Taintradio