Joshua Bell plays Wash. D.C.'s Union Station / NPR: The Protojournalist

In January 2007, Joshua Bell performed in a Washington, D.C. Metro station where over 1,000 people passed him with only a few stopping to listen. Already a widely popular performer, Bell became even more well known after this social experiment. He will play public transit once again at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station today at 12:30p to promote music education. Nine Young Arts Foundation students Bell mentored will accompany him in a program of Mendelssohn and Bach. His Sony Classical album - Bach, featuring his ensemble the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, is also released today. READ THE FULL NPR Feature HERE
Bookmark and Share

Dom Flemons releases video from new Prospect Hill album / Twangville

Dom Flemons releases a new performance video of his song, "I Can't Do It Anymore," on Twangville. Accompanied by Dante Pope and Brian Farrow, Flemons explores early R&B/rock 'n' roll on this song, which is one of the 14 tracks on his new Music Maker Relief Foundation album - Prospect Hill. A co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Flemons releases Prospect Hill as his first venture out as a solo artist. WATCH THE Twangville VIDEO HERE
Bookmark and Share

Mary Gauthier headlines Glasgow Americana Festival / Evening Times

The Glasgow Americana Festival, which enters its eighth year today, features Mary Gauthier as headliner. Back in 2007, Ms. Gauthier headlined the event and was a key factor in its early success. "To have someone of that ilk to get it up and running was a big thing," says organizer Kevin Morris. Over the years, Morris has found a growing affinity for Americana singer-songwriters in Glasgow. Featuring both local and international artists, the five-day festival attracts larger audiences each year. READ THE FULL Evening Times FEATURE HERE
Bookmark and Share

Katya releases: Moonlight on Marquis Classics

Moonlight – My favourite song on the album, starting from the classical guitar introduction and building to its dark, mysterious feel. Lux Aeterna– A challenge to sing because of its leaping octaves. This song is great because it builds up slowly to a big finish.Canzone Alla Luna – Also one of my favorites, with its wonderful melody and lyrics.Only In My Dreams – One of the most fun to sing. I could sing it over and over, and still enjoy it.You'll Find Your Home(Intermezzo)– I'm excited to have this on the album. I took part in the opera Cavaleria Rusticana a while before selecting the songs. Goodbye (Adagio) – I remember tearing up once or twice while recording it. The song moves me. I connect to the lyrics.Ave Maria – I've sung Ave Maria since I was 8, so this a real treat to have on the album. It's always been a favorite.Air on a G String – This incredible Bach melody is already so beautiful, I simply vocalised the melody, and I think it turned out very well!The Key - The most magical of all the songs on the album. I adore it. This song was so exciting for me because it is so dreamy and magical.Open Air (based on Traumerei) -Knowing that this is a very famous piece, I tried my best to do it justice. I very much adore this song. - Katya
Bookmark and Share

Jackie Evancho - Awakening / Daily Herald interview

America literally said the 14-year old Jackie Evancho had talent but remained unconvinced. "To be honest, I still don't completely believe I sound as good as everyone says I do," said Evancho, who placed second on America's Got Talent in 2010. "I never thought that I was good when I was little and until this day, I still can't stand listening to myself 'cause I don't feel like I'm really good."  Despite her own opinion, others have flocked to hear Evancho's maturing pipes. Her latest release, Awakening, includes covers of songs from U2's "With or Without You" and "The Rains of Castamere" from HBO's "Game of Thrones." It's also Evancho's first album to include original songs. READ THE FULL Daily Herald INTERVIEW.
Bookmark and Share

Karl Jenkins named Patron of Ty Cerdd / Wales Online

Karl Jenkins has been named Patron of Ty Cerdd - Music Centre Wales, an organization that supports the performance and recording of music in and of Wales. Representing over 22,000 performers, the organization provides grants and artistic advice to a wide variety of musicians. As Patron, Jenkins will serve as an ambassador for Welsh music around the world and will receive a commission in 2015.  READ THE FULL Wales Online FEATURE HERE 
Bookmark and Share

Richard Reed Parry - Music For Heart And Breath / Classicalite interview

Richard Reed Parry recently spoke with Classicalite about his new DG album - Music For Heart And Breath. Inspired by electro-acoustic music as well as composers such as John Cage and Steve Reich, Parry directed the performers to wear stethoscopes and set tempos based on their heartrate and respiration. He came up with the idea almost 10 years ago while on tour with Arcade Fire and plans to follow up with a large work using the same concept. Parry is currently working with Bryce Dessner on a collaborative orchestral piece based on ocean waves. READ THE FULL Classicalite INTERVIEW HERE
Bookmark and Share

Anja Lechner and Francois Couturier release - Moderato cantabile on ECM

After a decade of shared work in the Tarkovsky Quartet and an ongoing alliance in the Pergolesi Project with singer Maria Pia De Vito (see the recent Il Pergolese album), German cellist Anja Lechner and French pianist Franҫois Couturier unveil their new duo. The players approach the music from different vantage points: Lechner is a classical soloist, with an uncommon interest in improvisation, Couturier a jazz musician travelling ever further from jazz. On Moderato cantabile they present their own arrangements of works by three fascinating outsiders from the margins of music history – G.I. Gurdjieff, Komitas Vardapet, and Federico Mompou. To differing degrees the music of these composers reveals influences from the east, in terms of relationship to folk music traditions and ritual and religious music, and also philosophically. The program has connections to Anja Lechner's acclaimed account of Gurdjieff's music on the earlier Chants, Hymns and Dances (recorded in 2003 with Vassilis Tsabropoulos), but the new duo has its own distinct identity, and many visits to Armenia have deepened Lechner's understanding of the contexts from which the music emerged: her cello assumes almost a singer's role in these pieces, exploring the strong melodies.  Franҫois Couturier is featured here both as player and composer and his pieces function as both contrasting and complementary elements. As the liner notes point out, "Years spent in the company of Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem seem to have reinforced a contemplative element in Couturier's own idiom as player, composer, arranger. A reflective patience is characteristic of much of his work. In his music, with or without a score, themes tend to be slowly unfolded and developed. His compositions are ‘evolutionary', open to change in the moment, and his improvisations maintain a lyrical awareness and sense of form. Unlike many improvising contemporaries he is unafraid to broach the brink of silence – making him perhaps a natural interpreter for Mompou's Música Callada." Couturier has previously played arrangements of Mompou in jazz piano trio contexts, and the Catalan composer has been an important reference for him, just as the Transcaucasian Gurdjieff and the Armenian Komitas Vardapet have been important references for Lechner. The cellist first came to understand Komitas's role in bridging Armenian secular and sacred music though her work with Tigran Mansurian. Her interpretations of Gurdjieff, meanwhile, had a powerful impact in Armenia, and inspired the foundation of the Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble (refer to ECM 2236) . Once again on Moderato Cantabile Lechner and Couturier, with their new arrangements of Komitas, Gurdjieff and Mompou, show us that this music responds to a freely interpretative approach.  Moderato cantabile was recorded in the rich acoustics of Lugano's Auditorio Radiotelevisione svizzera in November 2013, and produced by Manfred Eicher. Anja Lechner, born in Kassel, Germany, studied with Heinrich Schiff and Janos Starker. She has performed as soloist with orchestras including the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slowakische Philharmonie, and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, and plays chamber music with partners including pianists Alexei Lubimov, Silke Avenhaus and Kirill Gerstein, cellist Agnès Vesterman, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and clarinetist Reto Bieri. Lechner has premiered compositions by Tigran Mansurian, Valentin Silvestrov, Tõnu Kõrvits and Annette Focks amongst others. For 18 years she was the cellist of the Rosamunde Quartet, whose acclaimed ECM New Series albums embraced a scope of music from Joseph Haydn to Thomas Larcher. Her most recent recordings include Mansurian's Quasi Parlando and Double Concerto with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. In preparation is an album of solos and duos with Agnès Vesterman, playing compositions of Silvestrov. At home in all aspects of classical music, she is also fluent in diverse improvisational traditions, and has a long-running collaboration with bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi – documented in the film El Encuentro and on albums including Ojos Negros and Navidad de Los Andes. François Couturier began playing piano at the age of six. After completing studies in classical music and musicology in the early 1970s, he began improvising in earnest, initially taking his cue from Paul Bley, Chick Corea and Joachim Kühn. In 1980 he won France's Prix Django Reinhardt which raised his international profile, and shortly thereafter joined John McLaughlin's group, touring and recording with the English guitarist. Couturier's first appearance on ECM was on Anouar Brahem's Khomsa in 1994. From 2001, he toured widely with the oud player in trio with accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier, and is featured on the albums Le pas du chat noir and Voyage de Sahar. He also appears on Brahem's forthcoming album Souvenance: Music for oud, quartet and string orchestra. His recordings with Anja Lechner include Nostalghia – Song for Tarkovsky and Tarkovsky Quartet which incorporate his compositions as well as group improvising. Il Pergolese features his arrangements of music of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Other Couturier recordings on ECM are Poros, duets with violinist Dominique Pifarély, and the solo piano album Un jour si blanc. 
Bookmark and Share

Billy Childs - Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro / TribLive review

Pianist and arranger Billy Childs has done exactly what the title suggests on Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro. His work at creating these new versions works well because of his skill and the remarkable talent helping him. His version of "New York Tenderberry" wouldn't be so gripping without the work of singer Renee Fleming and the cello of Yo-Yo Ma. Childs' approach to "And When I Die" would not be nearly as convincing without Alison Krauss and two members of Union Station, Jerry Douglas and Dan Tyminski. Trumpeter Chris Botti helps singer Shawn Colvin give an urgency to "Save the Country." Wayne Shorter's soprano sax and Esperanza Spalding's voice elevate "Upstairs by a Chinese Lamp" to a romantic beauty. The album also features great work from Ledisi on "Stone Soul Picnic," Dianne Reeves on "To a Child" and Susan Tedeschi on "Gibson Street." All are accompanied by haunting arrangements by Childs and a rich assortment of players. Nyro's work is good enough it doesn't need much help, but Childs adds another layer of sophistication.- Bob Karlovits
Bookmark and Share

Alain Lefevre plays Gershwin with Tucson Symphony Orchestra / Arizona Daily Star review

Friday marked 10 years nearly to the day that Tucson Symphony Orchestra Conductor George Hanson introduced us to the French-Canadian pianist Alain Lefévre. It turned out to be a career-altering venture for both sides. In the orchestra and the Tucson community, Lefévre found willing and passionate partners to champion a little-known Canadian composer; in Lefévre, we found an artist of international stature eager to take the orchestra to a much larger audience with an internationally released, major label recording. In the first concert of Hanson's last full season in Tucson, Lefévre returned to perform the same piece he played that night in 2004 - Gershwin's jazzy, intricate and captivating Piano Concerto in F. READ THE FULL Arizona Daily Star REVIEW.
Bookmark and Share

Daniil Trifonov shines at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra / La Scena Musicale review

Any performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony is an occasion, and the performances currently at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is no exception.  On Thursday, September 25th, star pianist Daniil Trifonov joined them in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and though the material was difficult, to Daniil, it was a virtual cakewalk. READ THE FULL La Scena Musicale REVIEW.
Bookmark and Share

Kat Edmonson - The Big Picture / NPR Weekend Edition Saturday interview

Singer Kat Edmonson has always looked to the past for inspiration. Her music video for the song Rainy Day Woman, for example, evokes the technicolor days of the 1960s; with her short-bobbed hair and big eyes that peer out from under an umbrella, Edmonson looks as if she stepped out of Breakfast At Tiffany's. Her new album The Big Picture comes out September 30th and is inspired by old movies and musicals that she was infatuated with growing up . Listen to Ms. Edmonson's interview with Scott Simon on NPR: Weekend Edition Saturday.
Bookmark and Share
Kat Edmonson: 'I Hear Myself As An Instrument'

Top 10 Albums for October

Sergio Mendes :


"The sound of Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes has been a summer soundtrack for generations of listeners." - NPR In a career that spans more than half a century, Sérgio Mendes is an old hand at creating a unique sonic blend that electrifies a mass global audience. His knack for delivering hit after hit has made him the most successful Brazilian musician of his time. A grand conceptualizer, his well-polished talents as a pianist, composer, bandleader, vocalist and producer make him a truly singular artist. With Magic, his debut recording for the storied OKeh label, he triumphs once again, delivering a timely update on the infectious mix of Brazilian rhythms and contemporary styles from his homeland, the U.S. and elsewhere that make the Mendessound instantly recognizable.
The Bad Plus :

Inevitable Western

The Bad Plus - bassist Reid Anderson, pianist EthanIverson, and drummer David King - release their tenth studio recording, Inevitable Western, is comprised entirely of originals and continues the band's committed belief in what Nate Chinen of The New York Times dubbed ‘avant-garde populism' - the idea that serious music can be as engaging and accessible as it is forward-thinking and provocative. Inevitable Western sees the group exploring the same set of aesthetic principles that fired their inception: an exploration of myriad musical forms born of jazz and advanced using any sonic source that forwards music that is uniquely The Bad Plus. The spark continues on tracks like Anderson's lyrical "Do It Again" and the post-rock twists and turns of King's "Gold Prisms Incorporated." This is an album where pop, blues and folk meld with classic melodies and rhythmic innovation into that rarest of hybrids: intelligent music for themasses. 19 New 'ON' 108 Total SYND: 60 Second CD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, Seattle, Cleveland, Houston, Portland, Denver, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Boulder CO, Berkeley CA, Las Vegas, San Antonio, El Paso, Honolulu, Canada, UK Online: Taintradio, MOJA, GreenArrow, WGOE,, Jazz From Gallery 41, Good Music Speaks, Jazz Man, Willamette Week
Billy Childs :

Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro

When the Grammy-winning Composer/Arranger/Pianist Billy Childs was 11 years old, his older sisters introduced him to the work of Hall Of Fame singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. Her blend of Broadway-inspired melodies, jazz improvisation and socially conscious lyrics have stayed with him. Now he has returned to this early source of inspiration, conceiving and orchestrating Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro, an all-star interpretation of this songwriter's beloved works. Released by Masterworks, Mr. Childs leads guests include - Renee Fleming, Esperanza Spalding, Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss, Ledisi and Wayne Shorter. 22 NEW 'ON'  -  71 Total SYND: PBS/Tavis Smiley, NPR/Weekend Edition, VOA/Jazz America, Dial Global, The Midnight Special, UnderCurrents  Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Madison WI, Honolulu Online & Press: Downbeat, Taintradio, Jazz From Gallery 41, MOJA, CD Insight, TribLive
Brooklyn Rider :

The Brooklyn Rider Almanac

Brooklyn Rider -"the future of chamber music," according to Strings magazine-celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall with a major multi-disciplinary project called the Brooklyn Rider Almanac, beginning with a new Mercury Classics album of specially commissioned work from a diverse group of composers, set for worldwide release on September 30. In the cross-disciplinary spirit of Der Blaue Reiter ("The Blue Rider"), the legendary European artistic collective that is the group's namesake, each work-by musicians including Bill Frisell, Padma Newsome, Vijay Iyer, Aoife O'Donovan, Glenn Kotche from the Grammy Award-winning rock band Wilco, and Greg Saunier from the rock band Deerhoof-is inspired by a creative muse of the composer's choice from the past half-century, ranging from groundbreaking composer Igor Stravinsky to king of funk James Brown to Mississippi novelist William Faulkner to iconic choreographer Mark Morris. 27 NEW  31 Total SYND: NPR, Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM Markets include: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Denver, Austin, Louisville KY Online: Taintradio
Leif Ove Andsnes :

The Beethoven Journey - Piano Con5/Choral Fantasy

"Effortless brilliance and scrupulous integrity, affecting naturalness and self-effacing beauty"  - The New York Times Four years in the making, the celebrated Beethoven Journey has now reached its crowning season. An intense collaborative project between Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the heart of the journeyhas been the recording of all five of Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Concerti and his Choral Fantasy, with the final albumscheduled for release by Sony Classical on September 16. Over the four years Leif Ove Andsnes has also made Beethoven's concerti the focus of his attention on stage with over 150 performances in 55 cities and 22 countries. With the start of the 2014 / 15 season Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra embark on a year of high-profile residencies that will see them perform the complete cycle of concerti in Hamburg, Bonn, Lucerne, Vienna, Paris, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo and London (full performance listings below).  A third and integral part of the Beethoven Journey is an ambitious education project series entitled Feel the Music that gives children with hearing impairment the chance to experience music both in personal workshops and on the concert platform together with Andsnes and the orchestra. 36 NEW  -  44 Total SYND: PRI/Classical 24 Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis Minneapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, Austin, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Memphis Online: Taintradio, Classical Hip, MusiClassical
Somi :

The Lagos Music Salon

Few contemporary albums bare as particular a narrative as The Lagos Music Salon. The new album by the superb chanteuse Somi, finds her breaking new ground with a hybrid style of music that organically integrates the essence of jazz and soul with the musical depth of her African heritage. "It's the first time ever that I put all other pursuits on hold to focus solely on the creative process," says Somi, who decided to move to Lagos, Nigeria from her New York home base without a game plan but with a passionate desire to find a new direction for her vision and voice.  15 NEW ON - 92 Total SYND: NPR/All Things Considered & Weekend Edition Sunday, PRI/Jazz After Hours, UnderCurrents  Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, Cleveland, Minneapolis, San Diego, Houston, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Baltimore, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Berkeley CA, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Buffalo, Honolulu INTER: UK Press & Online: Huffington Post, PopMatters, Downbeat, Jazz From Gallery 41, AXS, Critical Jazz, Live 365, Step Tempest, Wondering Sound, iRock Jazz, Taintradio,, Okayafrica, All About Jazz, MOJA, New World Buzz
Bebel Gilberto :


World renowned, multi-Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Bebel Gilberto will heat up the summer season with her trademark blend of warm Brazilian rhythms and ethereal vocals when her first new studio album in five years, Tudo, is released August 19 on Portrait/Sony Music Masterworks.    The intoxicating new 12-track collection celebrates Gilberto's penchant for sonically transporting listeners to Brazil, with bright, incandescent bossa nova-infused melodies, lyrics about love, and a lilting performance style that has earned her a devoted fanbase worldwide.   20 NEW   79 TOTAL SYND: NPR/First Listen Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Wash DC., Cleveland, Seattle, Miami, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, San Diego, Orlando, San Antonio, Memphis, Albuquerque, Berkeley CA Madison WI, Honolulu, Canada, Brazil + Online
Time for Three :


Time for Three – violinist Zachary (Zach) De Pue, violinist Nicolas (Nick) Kendall and double-bassist Ranaan Meyer – defy traditional genre classification happily and infectiously, with an uncommon mix of virtuosity, creativity and showmanship.  The American trio who thrive on originality will release their Universal Music Classics self-titled debut. The album showcases not only the trio's melody-rich string weave but also its unique flair for collaboration.  It was these compelling qualities that led Universal Music Classics to sign the trio as their first U.S. act to their newly branded label.   Time For Three features tracks co-produced by Rob Moose from Bon Iver and Grammy-winning producer David Lai, and memorable pairings with pop singer-songwriter Joshua Radin, jazz saxophone icon Branford Marsalis,  Decca's young cello star Alisa Weilerstein, ukulele ace Jake Shimabukuro, and folk-pop sister duo Lily & Madeleine. 10 NEW   161 TOTAL SYND: PRI/Echoes & Classical 24, APM/Performance Today, UnderCurrents, FolkScene, The Midnight Special Direct: SiriusXM, MOOD Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Austin, Denver, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Louisville, Columbus & Toledo OH Online & Press: the indie,, Classically Hip, wildmansteve, Taintradio, NYTimes, Giocosity,
Dom Flemons :

Prospect Hill

Dom Flemons - founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and American Songster - will release his third solo album'Prospect Hill' on July 22 on Music Maker Relief Foundation. 'Prospect Hill' finds Flemons digging deeply into ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern folk music, string band music, jug band music, fife and drum music, and ballads idioms with showmanship and humor, reintrepreting the music to suite 21st century audiences.
Kent Nagano | Diana Damrau :


One day, Kent Nagano was listening carefully as his wife was singing a children's song to their daughter.  The song told a chapter of Japanese history previously unknown to him: It told of emotion, tenderness, love – and bitterness. The song originated from a period when Japan had to open up to the West. At this time, Japan was suffering from overpopulation, starvation and poverty. In Japan, the songs that enchanted Nagano are commonly known as SHOKA, or school hymns. They are based on famous Japanese poetry, but are composed in the Western musical style.  The songs' haunting, mysterious beauty have continued to entice all generations since their creation making them actual and vividly relevant to our modern world. 26 Total SYND: Classical 24 Direct: Music Choice Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis, Cleveland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Denver, Detroit, Baltimore, Honolulu Online: RadioIO