WFMT: Chicago 's Candice Agree writes....From the age of 3, CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe toiled at a keyboard-not in typing, as unintended preparation for his 13 years at the Washington Post, but in studying classical piano in Delmar, a suburb of Albany, NY. Although he loved playing, his interest in current events and politics pulled him into a journalism career. No stranger to Chicago, in 2008, O'Keefe was in Grant Park the night that Barack Obama was elected president. O'Keefe, 37, is about to become a fixture in the White House press room, as he will cover the Biden administration for the TV network he joined in 2018. But he has never left his first passion far behind. He shared some musical memories with us before taking on his new assignment at CBS News as Senior White House & Political Correspondent. Photo courtesy CBS News)
READ Candice Agree's Q&A with Ed O'Keefe.
Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Helias 'Some Kind Of Tomorrow' was Reviewed by JAZZ VIEWS Sammy Stein, who wrote........
Saxophone player Jane Ira Bloom and bass player Mark Helias are long-time collaborators. This album was born out of the need to create music in such a unique time where live audiences and in-person studio recordings were impossible. Recorded remotely from their homes, the music stands as a departure from any kind of release they have done together as all tracks are completely improvised. The resulting sound is raw, intimate, and fearless.
I asked Jane Ira Bloom about the recording, and she explained, " Given how we had to make this made Mark and I rely on the most basic aspect of our collaborative impulse – our two sets of ears. Mark and I have known one another for over 40 years. We first met in New Haven CT in the 1970s, and when you think about it, you build up so much shared vocabulary when you've played with someone over such a long time.
We really didn't plan this recording. It happened because we needed to improvise with one another and so the music emerged from a different place than normal when you plan a recording project."
READ THE FULL JAZZ VIEWS REVIEW
An ensemble that attracts rave reviews and sell-out crowds at prestigious venues everywhere from Vienna to New York, the sensational Signum Saxophone Quartet presents their first Deutsche Grammophon album. Featuring inventive arrangements of music by composers from Dowland to Peter Gregson, as well as Guillermo Lago's Sarajevo, a saxophone quartet original, Echoes showcases the full potential of the saxophone – a modern instrument more than capable of capturing the echoes of the past.
For January 19, 2021, the Signum Saxophone Quartet: Echoes is the WFMT: Chicago 'Featured New Release.'
"the Monet of the classical guitar" Sharon Isbin, returns to Montana Public Radio's - Musician's Spotlight to talk technique, collaboration and guitar diplomacy with host John Floridis. Isbin's accomplishments involve big numbers: she has recorded more than 30 albums, premiered 80 new works by composers like John Corigliano, Joseph Schwantner and Lukas Foss, performed as a soloist with over 200 orchestras around the world, appeared on numerous television and radio programs, hit #2 on Billboard, and won dozens of prestigious honors and awards. Montana Public Radio's Musician's Spotlight will Broadcast this segment on Tuesday 1/19/2021.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE & LISTEN
TFOV Founder - Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck writes.....RE-INVENTIONS takes talent and a lot of courage to take world-renowned and treasured classical pieces by the masters and rework them into your vision. After hearing this album, I think you will agree that Robin should put the crown on her head because she proves why she is piano music royalty.
The 2 LP set is a beautiful translucent smokey marble with three sides of music. The sound for instrumental piano is exceptional. I would think most instrumental music is well suited for the vinyl format. Of course, when you have an equally exceptional musician such as Robin Spielberg performing, the sound is that much more beautiful and defined.
Robin Spielberg has poured her heart and soul into this music, which becomes apparent quite readily. Track after track you have the opportunity to revisit classic compositions and the old blended with the new reborn into several variations. The color, ambiance, and heavenly beauty of this music is brilliantly performed. I can guarantee if you appreciate piano solo music, you will fall in love with RE-INVENTIONS. I know it did not take me long!
READ THE FULL Final on Vinyl REVIEW
THE Violin Channel writes......The United States Marine Band commissioned American composer Peter Boyer for special fanfare at Biden/Harris Inauguration, to be performed at the U.S. Capitol on January 20th, 2021. Boyer's new work, "Fanfare for Tomorrow," will be performed as part of the one hour prelude music of the inauguration, conducted by Colonel Jason K. Fettig., the Marine Band's Director.
The piece was originally for solo French horn, was commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra. Boyer significantly expanded and developed it for a full concert band for this inaugural commission.
The United States Marine Band, the "The President's Own," is America's oldest continuously active musical organization. It is said that debuted in 1801 for Thomas Jefferson's inauguration. "I had just over a week to compose and orchestrate the piece," Boyer said. "Col. Jason Fettig had cautioned me about writing too high for the brass, due to the very cold conditions in which the piece would be performed outdoors. I had just a few hours to create and deliver this lower key version of the piece to the Marine Band. Happily, It seems to have worked out well!"
READ THE FULL Violin Channel ARTICLE
Hollywood Soapbox - John Soltes writes......Arturo O'Farrill, who heads The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, has always brought the real world into his musical compositions, and that's especially true of his latest release, Four Questions, featuring well-known academic Dr. Cornel West. The album was met with acclaim in 2020 and received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album.
The title of the album is pulled from the original composition featuring West on the album. The 16-minute piece pairs the academic's voice with the measured musical musings of the orchestra. Surrounding this central tune are other songs that speak to the versatility of O'Farrill's creative output, including "Baby Jack," "Jazz Twins," "Clump, Unclump" and the "A Still, Small Voice" series.
"What happened was I had been very interested in Dr. West's speaking for many, many years," O'Farrill said in a recent phone interview. "You can't help but be aware of Dr. West, and periodically he would come to a show. And I'd see him in the audience."
READ THE FULL Hollywood Soapbox ARTICLE
An ensemble that attracts rave reviews and sell-out crowds at prestigious venues everywhere from Vienna to New York, the sensational SIGNUM saxophone quartet are now set to present their first Deutsche Grammophon album.
"The London-based trio The Comet Is Coming-made up of the saxophonist King Shabaka, the percussionist Betamax, and the keyboardist Danalogue-thrusts empyrean jazz into an apocalyptic future, where raucous psych rock and danceable electro-grooves ride lush tenor lines to outer space.
Ezinma talks with COMPLEX about life as a musical renegade
Posted: November 10, 2020 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
The Internet's viral violinist wants the world to see beyond her social media persona.
This feature is one of a two-part Ray-Ban series that highlights the brand's connection to timeless, authentic artists who display courage and creativity in their work and output everyday. More than just musicians, these icons-in-the-making are also thought leaders, purposefully using their art to build people up, support their global communities, and to help people clearly see the best in themselves. Read on to see how they're accomplishing these goals in style.
On an overcast Monday, violinist Ezinma, affectionately known as Ezi, invites Complex into her Brooklyn home to talk about her life as a musical renegade. With an engaging smile that spreads ear to ear, she sits back in an accent chair, donning a pair of light gray Ray-Ban Clubmaster Oval Optics that complement her yellow outfit, and beams, "Let's go!"
Now world famous, Ezi has played alongside some of music's biggest artists. But things weren't always like that for the virtuoso. Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, the classically-trained Ezi never "in a million years" saw herself as a world class musician. In fact, she never dreamed of becoming an artist at all. "Growing up in a place like Nebraska, you don't really see artists," says Ezi looking out the window. "I had no concept of what it was to even be a musician. To be honest, it [was] always a struggling artist thing, so it was something that I never, ever imagined could've been possible."
While Ezi began playing the violin at only three years old, it wasn't until the age of 19 that it became clear the classical instrument had to be a part of life-professionally and personally. "I was at the University of Nebraska, studying biochemistry and math," she recalls. "I was doing pre-medicine because I thought I was going to be a doctor." But halfway through her pre-med track, Ezi realized medicine didn't match up with who she really was nor who she wanted to be.
"I think the universe has this weird way of working so that you keep being pulled back to what your purpose is," Ezi continues. "I was doing medicine because my dad, [a] typical West Indian dad, was like, ‘That's not a real job, to be a musician. You need to be a doctor or a lawyer. Maybe a dentist, maybe a dermatologist, but those are your choices.'"
Violin sensation, Ezinma, releases "Drummer Bae," (Decca Records) an imaginative medley of cherished Christmas melodies. The holiday single was produced by Brandon Korn (Travis Scott) and Steven Epstein (Wynton Marsalis) and its available everywhere now. You can listen to "Drummer Bae" and watch the accompanying video here.
Ezinma's style is a blend of virtuosic melodies and symphonic soundscapes with hard hitting beats-a classical-fusion that is cinematic, orchestral and anthemic. This fusion, is fully showcased on "Drummer Bae" as Ezinma expertly weaves together, in her own unique way, classics such as "Little Drummer Boy," "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," and "Joy To The World." Her EP, Classical Bae, is set for release on February 6th and it succinctly displays her talent as she reimagines music from the classical greats (Beethoven, Bach and Vivaldi) with her own hip-hop infused style.
Today, violin sensation, Ezinma, announces the release of "Beethoven Pleads The Fifth," (Decca Records) an exhilarating and thumping reimagination of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Produced by Brandon Korn (Travis Scott, DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne) and Steven Epstein (Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Placido Domingo) the re-envisioned hip-hop infused classical track is from her upcoming un-titled EP and the accompanying video is out now.