From the royal wedding, to the BBC Proms, Sheku Kanneh-Mason looks back on a breakout 2018 / Radio Times


British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason has played at the grandest of stages and broken into the UK and US top 20 – all at the age of 19. Meghan Markle has impeccable manners. Within a few weeks of marrying Prince Harry, she'd already sent out her thank-you letters – including a heartfelt one to young British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. With his stunning, emotional performance at the royal wedding, playing three pieces as the newlyweds signed the register at St George's Chapel, this unassuming Nottingham teenager seemed to encapsulate the spirit of the day and its nation-bonding mood of optimism and love. "It's a really nice letter," he reveals, with characteristic humility. "Really personal. It was an amazing experience to play at the wedding and nice to know how much the music meant to them." In providing a perfect soundtrack to the nuptials for more than 12 million viewers in Britain and many more worldwide, he may also have helped change more than just the perception of classical music in the UK and beyond. Because not only did he put the cello at the heart of a wedding in which the likes of Elton John and George Clooney played walk-on roles as guests, but he was also part of a royal celebration that had black faces to the fore, from the Rev Michael Curry, the African-American bishop who preached the sermon, to the Kingdom Choir, who sang the R&B classic, Stand by Me. Sales of his debut album Inspiration, which came out earlier this year, have not only smashed the UK charts since the wedding (he was the youngest classical cellist ever to enter the UK Top 20), but have been breaking records around the world and online, hitting number one on iTunes and Amazon. In the USA, he charted in the Billboard album top 20 (the first classical cellist to do so) and became the first classical artist to top their Emerging Artist chart – a huge accolade for any classical musician, let alone one who's yet to celebrate his 20th birthday. READ THE FULL Radio Times ARTICLE
Bookmark and Share

JD Souther will bring his country-rock stories, but also a bit of opera to the Rialto / Arizona Daily Star


The first song singer-songwriter JD Souther learned to sing was not a folk song or a country rocker. It was a famous aria from Puccini's opera "Turandot." "The first song I ever learned when I was a little kid was ‘Nessun Dorma'," said Souther, who grew up listening to his grandmother, a soprano, sing opera. "I love opera." Which explains the 72-year-old So. Cal. country-rock songwriter/troubadour's latest project. Souther, who is performing a solo acoustic show at the Rialto Theatre on Thursday, July 19, is working with the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, singer-songwriter Josh Ritter and others on an opera. Half of the album is already recorded and most of it is written, he said during a late June phone call from home in Nashville. "It's an odd group of people but it's certainly sounding great," he said. So can we expect to see it staged?  READ THE FULL Arizona Daily Star / Tucson.com ARTICLE
Bookmark and Share

Eric Whitacre will host the Los Angeles Master Chorale's 'Big Sing California' at Walt Disney Hall / Los Angeles Times


p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060; min-height: 14.0px} In addition to its infamous swimming pools and movies stars, Los Angeles is also home to a host of angelic voices. As the country's leading professional chorus and a founding resident company of The Music Center, the Los Angeles Master Chorale is proud to continue its 54-year history of choral excellence and to welcome voices from all over the vast, sprawling, cosmopolitan city to its performance home at the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall. Big Sing California Audience members in L.A. and five other cities around the state will sing along with Los Angeles Master Chorale in this concert that will be simulcast between venues; composer Eric Whitacre is the host. We will be singing a wide range of classical and popular choral music, including a brand new arrangement by Emmy Award-winning composer/arranger Ben Bram (Pitch Perfect, Glee). Four conductors will take turns at the podium to lead audiences during this 90 minute program. All the sheet music and lyrics you need will be provided in a 64-page music book, which will be available for free on the day of the event and at the rehearsals. We currently have a waitlist for Walt Disney Concert Hall, but please sign up! Between July 12 - 16, we will contact waitlisted singers in the order received when spots become available. We will also have a standby/overflow room (BP HALL) with a live feed projection for those unable to be seated in the main auditorium on the day of the event.  PROGRAM The Star-Spangled Banner · Music by Francis Scott Key, arr. Eric Whitacre Lean On Me* · Music by Bill Withers Bring Me Little Water* · Music by Lead Belly, arr. Moira Smiley Hurt · Music by Trent Reznor, arr. Eric Whitacre Sleep* · Music by Eric Whitacre Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around* · arr. Rollo Dilworth Dirait-on* · Music by Morten Lauridsen This Land Is Your Land* · Music by Woody Guthrie Heavenly Home · Music by Shawn Kirchner Stand in that River* · Music by Moira Smiley Cloudburst* · Music by Eric Whitacre Sing* · Music by Pentatonix, arr. Ben Bram Hey Jude* · Music by Paul McCartney & John Lennon (The Beatles) *Audience Participation SEE ALL ITEMS ON Los Angeles Times PAGE
Bookmark and Share

Even if you can't stand Schubert or hate Handel, you can still enjoy the Proms / Evening Standard


For eight weeks of summer, the city will be alive with the sound of music thanks to the return of the Proms, one of the world's greatest classical music festivals. But what if you can't stand Schubert or harbour a hatred of Handel? Classical isn't for everyone, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the Proms. With a whole world of musical genres represented at the festival, from Argentine tango to disco-punk, this is what you can still see if you don't like classical music.

On July 19, veritable one-man jazz band Jacob Collier takes to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall, fresh from winning two awards at this year's Grammys for his debut album. He'll be teaming up with conductor Jules Buckley and the Metropole Orkest alongside some special guests.   READ THE FULL Evening Standard ARTICLE p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060; min-height: 14.0px}
Bookmark and Share

Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Pedrito Martinez play Bucharest Jazz Festival


The pianist/composer Gonzalo Rubalcaba was already a phenomenon of jazz as a young musician with a growing career in Cuba when he was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie in 1985. Since then, Piano & Keyboard Magazine has included Rubalcaba among the greatest pianists In the 20th century, alongside names like Glenn Gould, Martha Argerich and Bill Evans, winning two Grammy titles and two Latin Grammy titles.  Grammy-nominated artist Pedrito Martinez finds success in the rhythm of Cuba's swinging drums, African conga and Peru cajón. Since moving to New York in 1998, the Cuban percussionist has recorded and sang with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and has contributed to over 50 albums. Martinez is also a founding member of the famous Afro-Cuban / Afro-Beat group, Yerba Buena, with whom he tours all over the world. He is awarded the Thelonius Monk, the Sphinx Award for Excellence, and is named the Percussionist of the Year by the Association of Jazz Journalists for four years in a row. Rubalcaba & Martinez play the Bucharest Jazz Festival. Watch their performance in the attached video
Bookmark and Share

Masterworks Broadway cast recording of 'Desperate Measures', with Lauren Molina and Conor Ryan, is now available / PLAYBILL


The original cast recording of the critically acclaimed musical comedy Desperate Measures, which recently reopened at New World Stages, is now available digitally from Masterworks Broadway, with the physical CD set for release August 10. With music by David Friedman (Listen to My Heart) and lyrics by Peter Kellogg (Anna Karenina), the album is produced by Robert Sher with liner notes by Peter Filichia. The recording features Gary Marachek (Eleanor) as Father Morse, Lauren Molina (Rock of Ages) as Bella Rose, Emma Degerstedt (Smokey Joe's Cafe) as Susanna/Sister Mary Jo, Conor Ryan (Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert) as Johnny Blood, Peter Saide (Skin Tight) as Sheriff Green, and Nick Wyman (Les Misérables) as Governor von Richterhenkenpflichtgetruber with Anthony Festa (Bare at New World Stages), Celia Hottenstein (The Phantom of the Opera 25th anniversary national tour), and Tom Souhrada (Kinky Boots). The complete track listing follows: 1. The Ballad of Johnny Blood 2. The Ballad of Johnny Blood (Reprise) 3. That's Just How It Is 4. Some Day They Will Thank Me 5. Look in Your Heart 6. Look in Your Heart (Reprise) 7. It's Good to Be Alive 8. It Doesn't Hurt to Try 9. It's Getting Hot in Here 10. It's Getting Hot in Here Playoff / The Ballad of Johnny Blood (Reprise 2) 11. The Way that You Feel 12. Stop There 13. In the Dark 14. What a Night! 15. About Last Night 16. Stop There (Reprise) 17. Just for You 18. Just for Your (Reprise) 19. What is This Feeling? 20. What a Day! 21. Life Takes You by Surprise 22. It's Good to Be Alive (Reprise) 23. It's a Beautiful Day 24. Finale 25. Bows / Exit Music   p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060; min-height: 14.0px} SEE THE PLAYBILL PAGE
Bookmark and Share

Sir James Galway will perform for Pope Francis during visit to Irish Republic / Belfast Telegraph


Sir James Galway is in line to perform for Pope Francis during his visit to the Republic in August, it was reported last night. The Irish Independent said that the Belfast-born flautist will join Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and performers from Riverdance in the line-up of artists at the World Meeting of Families' festival at Croke Park on August 25. Up to 15,000 overseas visitors from 114 countries are booked to attend the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Dublin between August 21 and 26. A spokeswoman for WMOF 2018 said: "Festival of Families in Croke Park will be one of the highlights of the World Meeting of Families 2018. "It will have a great line-up of community-based artists as well as some well-known local and international artists." READ THE FULL Belfast Telegraph ARTICLE p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #606060; min-height: 14.0px}
Bookmark and Share

Vijay Iyer, set for Edinburgh Festival, Q&A's with The List


Vijay Iyer, who brings his acclaimed Sextet to the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival on Tue 17 Jul, is one of the leading pianist-composers in contemporary jazz – although like many of his mentors and peers, he resists genre labels. 'Most of the elder musicians I know reject the word jazz,' he tells me over the phone from Madeira, where he is performing on his current tour. 'Henry Threadgill, Steve Coleman, Reggie Workman, Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Amiri Baraka, Butch Morris. These are people who I've worked with and learnt from. These are people who are now in their '70s or '80s, or people who have passed on, and all of them had a very broad view of creativity and music making. The sort of collaborations they did across disciplines, across media, across musical communities, that's been a mainstay in this community for many decades, it's not a new idea. I think there's always been crossover between so-called jazz and so-called pop. And the same is true between so-called jazz and so-called classical music. I keep saying so-called because these labels themselves are fictions. They don't really have any bearing on what we do as artists.' This radical openness defines Iyer's music, which dissolves boundaries between mainstream and avant-garde jazz, classical music, hip-hop, funk and electronica. He's just at home playing compositions by jazz greats like John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk as he is reinterpreting pop hits by M.I.A. or Michael Jackson. Iyer has also written concert music, such as Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, a 2013 collaboration with filmmaker Prhashant Bhargava. A 2013 MacArthur Fellow and Harvard Professor of Music, Iyer has undertaken a formidable range of projects since he emerged in the 1990s as a sideman to the innovative saxophonist Steve Coleman. In addition to various solo and group projects, Iyer has regularly collaborated with the saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, spoken word artist Mike Ladd, and the veteran avant-garde trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, with whom he recorded the beautiful duo suite A Cosmic Rhythm With Every Stroke. READ THE Q&A
Bookmark and Share

How to watch The Proms / TechRadar


Few musical events are more iconic than The Proms and if you're into classical music, it's simply an unmissable fixture in the calendar. That's why we're here to help you stream the concerts live online from wherever you may be. The 90 performances over the eight week season are packed with stars from across the world, with Kirill Petrenko with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Daniel Barenboim with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra and pianist Yuja Wang among those that catch the eye.  This year's Proms will be celebrating a number of events that took place 100 years ago, including a celebration of what would be the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein (composer of the music of Peter Pan and West Side Story), which will see a Proms debut for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, a former student of Bernstein.  Keep reading TechRadar to discover how you can watch the BBC Proms at home, on the move, or even abroad, thanks to the free live stream options 
Bookmark and Share

Lost recordings uncover John Coltrane's timeless talent / PBS: Newshour


On March 6, 1963, John Coltrane and his Classic Quartet - McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones - recorded an entire studio album at the legendary Van Gelder Studios. This music, lost recordings from one of the greats of jazz have now been found and released 55 years later on Impulse! Records. Titled Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, this is in short, the holy grail of jazz. Now rediscovered and shared with the world, the recently discovered music gives Coltrane, more than 50 years after his death, his highest ever debut on worldwide charts and in sales.  PBS: Newshour - Jeffrey Brown visits the jazz great's recording studio where the mystery began to take a listen to "Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album," which features Coltrane at the height of his powers. Read the Full Transcript & Watch the Video.
Bookmark and Share

Eddie Daniels is no slouch in new salute to Egberto Gismonti / All About Jazz


When Resonance Records' George Klabin pitched Eddie Daniels on this project saluting Egberto Gismonti, the legendary reedist was enthused yet somewhat trepidatious. Gismonti's music-a sui generis form of fantasia that proves evocative in its blending of Brazilian forms, a jazz harmonist's argot, and European classical languages-is no easy nut to crack or translate. But Daniels, of course, is no slouch. A doyen of the clarinet and an expert at navigating tricky divides like the potentially deadly jazz-classical fault line, he proved more than up to the task.  Heart Of Brazil finds Daniels primarily interpreting music that Gismonti produced in the '70s and early '80s. The settings, put together by the likes of ace arrangers Ted Nash, Kuno Schmid, and Josh Nelson, are ravishing; the core quartet-Daniels, Nelson on piano, Kevin Axt on bass, and Mauricio Zottarelli on drums-sets the music aloft; and the strings of the Harlem Quartet prove absolutely integral, weaving in, out, around, and through these spellbinding songs. Once merely a hypothetical dream project for Klabin, his aspirations have been realized and, perhaps, exceeded.  READ THE FULL All About Jazz REVIEW
Bookmark and Share

Bill Murray!! yes, THAT Bill Murray is coming to Omaha / World-Herald


Bill Murray is coming to Omaha. Yes, that one. Peter Venkman. Carl Spackler. Phil Connors. Bob Harris. Bob Wiley. Steve Zissou. Murray will bring a live performance of his classical and literary mash-up album, "New Worlds," to the Holland Performing Arts Center on Sept. 30. It's a new addition to the Omaha Performing Arts season, which starts in September. "New Worlds" features Murray performing with cellist Jan Vogler and other musicians. During the show, which explores American values and the bridges artists have built between American and Europe, Murray sings songs from "West Side Story," Van Morrison and George Gershwin, and he also reads selections from Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain. The "New Worlds" album was released last year.   SEE THE Omaha World-Herald PAGE
Bookmark and Share
SEE TOP 100 STORIES

Top 10 Albums for July

John Coltrane :

Both Directions at Once - The Lost Album

On March 6, 1963, John Coltrane and his Classic Quartet - McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones - recorded an entire studio album at the legendary Van Gelder Studios. This music, which features unheard originals, will finally be released 55 years later. This is, in short, the holy grail of jazz. Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album will be released on June 29 on Impulse! Records, Coltrane's final and most creative label home. The first week of March in 1963 was busy for John Coltrane. He was in the midst of a two-week run at Birdland and was gearing up to record the famed John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album, which he did on March 7. But there was a session the day before that was the stuff of legend, until now. On Wednesday, March 6, Coltrane and the quartet went to Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, NJ and cut a complete album's worth of material, including several original compositions that were never recorded elsewhere.  They spent the day committing these to tape, taking time with some, rehearsing them two, three times, playing them in different ways and in different configurations.
Lee Konitz, Dan Tepfer :

Decade

Having first performed together in 2007, acclaimed Jazz musicians Lee Konitz and Dan Tepfer join forces to release their Sophomore duo album,'Decade, on Verve Records. The album will be released digitally on 7/6 and is available for pre-order now. The duo will'play two NYC dates on July 26 and 27 at the Jazz Gallery, where they first performed together, in light of the album release.' Decade'marks ten years since the duo's first and only release together in 2008, the critically acclaimed,'Duos with Lee, lending to its title. Having spent the intermittent years individually touring across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia both as a duo and in larger settings, Konitz and Tepfer have developed a deep complicity that is evident on the upcoming album.'
Ray Chen :

The Golden Age

Deemed one of today's most charismatic and compelling young violinists, Ray Chen reveals his new album The Golden Age – a thrilling collection of chamber and orchestral works – to be released on June 8. It is his first recording on Decca Classics since signing to the label last year. The Violinist handpicked a selection of works for the upcoming album, all of which celebrate the "golden age" of the violin – not only in terms of repertoire, but also in terms of performance style and ingenuity. The centrepiece is Max Bruch's Violin Concerto, performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Robert Trevino and recorded in August last year.
Madeleine Peyroux :

'On My Own' single from Anthem

Madeleine Peyroux's new album, Anthem, finds the singer-songwriter collaborating with writers/musicians Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Lana Del Rey, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Brian MacLeod (Sara Bareilles, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner, Ziggy Marley) and David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, David and David, Sheryl Crow), who are also the basic rhythm section players on the album. Together, they cast a sober, poetic, and at times philosophical eye on the current state of the world. 
Leonard Bernstein :

The Best of Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein unquestionably was one of the most astonishing and magnetic personalities in the world of music. He bestrode the musical scene in the second half of the 20th century like few others: composer, conductor, pianist, educator; but it was as a great communicator – of music and through music – that every facet of his life and legacy is bound together. He was a Renaissance man, a multifaceted genius, but it was his career as a composer that meant the very most to him. Deutsche Grammophon joins the Bernstein centennial celebrations with a range of offerings including box sets, LPs and new recordings. The Best of Bernstein is a 3-CD compilation featuring some of Bernstein's very best recordings for Deutsche Grammophon. This album is only available to classical radio stations at an exclusive rate to support fund drives and even includes a special note of thanks to listeners and donors for their support. The album is programmed as a celebration of Bernstein's work as both a composer and conductor and features excerpts from Candide and West Side Story as well as ever-popular works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Gershwin, Mozart, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and others.
Pitbull ft. Leona Lewis :

Gotti - Original Soundtrack

The album features the film's original score music by GRAMMY® Award-winning, multi-platinum international music icon, business entrepreneur and motivational Armando Christian Perez, aka Pitbull, and his long-time Grammy-winning producer Jorge Gomez. The project marks Pitbull's first assignment scoring a motion picture soundtrack. The soundtrack also includes three solo Pitbull tracks, one of them being the single "AMORE" featuring Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Leona Lewis. "Everything about Pitbull - his style, creativity, and culture make his scoring of Gotti - the perfect marriage of the artist and the material," stated John Travolta.
Danny Elfman :

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

One of the most acclaimed and distinctive film composers of his generation, four-time Academy Award® nominee Danny Elfman collaborates once again with director Gus Van Sant with his original score for Van Sant's new Amazon Studios film Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot.  Opening nationwide July 13, the film is a based on John Callahan, one of the most iconic American cartoonists, and his one-of-a-kind story of struggle and redemption. Sony Classical releases the film's original soundtrack recording on July 13.
John Williams :

A Life in Music

A Life in Music celebrates the London Symphony Orchestra's collaboration with John Williams that spans over 40 years, going back to Star Wars in 1977. Out May 4 (International Star Wars Day), this release features Williams's most iconic film scores, including the LSO's first ever recording of "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter as well as a world premiere recording of the Theme from Schindler's List for solo cello.
Joshua Bell :

Bruch - Scottish Fantasy w/ASMF

A new Sony Classical release from Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell showcases two masterpieces from romantic composer Max Bruch. Available June 22, the album features Bell's first recording of the virtuosic Scottish Fantasy as well as a new recording of the Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, which he first recorded over thirty years ago with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Sir Neville Marriner. Now, as Music Director of the Academy, Bell both performs and directs the orchestra, and offers a fresh take on the Bruch Concerto in addition to a thrilling performance of the Scottish Fantasy. 
Robin McKelle :

Melodic Canvas

An Enigmatic Sound, a Storyteller's Narrative and a Live Performance Style Imbued with Rat Pack Moxie Singer and Writer Robin McKelle is a Genre-Blurring Musical Alchemist, Taking Listeners on a Sonic Trip to the Old South, Sprinkling in Hints of the Motown Era or Even a Sade Album, and Mixing it Together to Create Her Inspiring Melodic Canvas' of Soul, Jazz, Gospel and More. On her new album - Melodic Canvas, McKelle is empowered by not trying to fit into a box, and the music is deeply textured, rich, and authentic. Melodic Canvas is also a timely social commentary, from the struggling teen in ‘Lyla' to the immigrant tale of ‘Simple Man'; the moments of social awareness, in ‘Yes We Can Can' (an Allen Toussaint cover featuring Chris Potter) and ‘It Won't End Up', are wise and inspiring without feeling heavy-handed; on first single ‘Do You Believe', McKelle questions religion, hate, misogyny.
SEE TOP 100 PROJECTS