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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Kenny garrett levels Barbados Jazz

Kenny Garrett Brings Big Thunder to 2005 Barbados Jazz Festival
from Allaboutjazz.com

By Bill King

“If there were one defining performance that can be certified jazz and most memorable it would be the blistering session saxophonist Kenny Garrett levelled the landscape with.”

Day five, the much anticipated Alicia Keys performance was a dressy affair. Tickets sold for $120 a p

If there was one defining performance that can be certified jazz and most memorable it would be the blistering session saxophonist Kenny Garrett leveled the landscape with. Garrett plays for keeps. With Carlos McKinney at the keyboard, Chris Bond bass and Ron Bruner firing on all cylinders behind the kit - Garrett and company spanked the crowd with a fierce opener played at top speed. Ideas spilled from all directions many colliding and dispersing into fragments. Garrett knows how to entertain. Hip-hop is no sideline with the wizard as he goaded the audience into a good time call and response on the “Tick Tock Tune.” Garrett never lacerated the ears with the relentless screeching many smooth jazz saxophonists prefer. Instead, there was a method to his improvisations - there were peaks and valleys - conflict and resolution. Drummer Ron Bruner was the perfect foil. Bruner can stir more interest and heat with a repetitive rhythmic figure than most certified drum Gods. The pulse was most hypnotic causing Garrett to keep the sing along moving absent any clue to when and how it would conclude. The effect was mesmerizing. Even when the ninety-minute performance was assured and nearing the end, Garrett and Bruner drove the beat even harder.

Photo Credit
Bill King

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Air jazz Update - Ticket prices


Thursday, January 27th -   US$  45.00

Friday, January 28th -     US$  50.00

Saturday, January 29th -   US$  50.00

Season ticket: all 3 days US$135.00

Two day pass   Fri & Sat   US$  95.00

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Nicole's Sun Is Rising

With her debut CD,The Nearness of You reaching the #2
spot for five weeks and staying in the Top 10 for
over five months on the Vocal Jazz Charts in Japan,
Banister Records artist Nicole Henry, who performed
in Jamaica this past August (at the Royal Plantation
in Ocho Rios), earned the “Best New Artist award
in the retail chain HMV Japan Jazz Awards 2004.
The artist gave much thanks goes to her partnering
label, Norma Music, who imported The Nearness of You,
and to all her fans in Japan!!
Henry has also been inivted to record with the
Eddie Higgins Trio, another album "Teach Me Tonight"
will be released in Japan this March on Venus Records. 
This set was produced in NYC by Todd Barkan and Tetsuo Hara,
shortly following the artiste's performance in the Allen Room
at the new Jazz at the Lincoln Center. The release will pre-empt
her April tour of Japan with the Eddie Higgins Trio.
Nicole will spend the next few months working on another
CD for Banister Records, expected for a summer release
in the U.S. and abroad!!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Air J Jazz - Media Launch

The media launch for this year's event takes place on Thursday, January 13, at Red Bones, the Blues Cafe, Braemar Avenue, in New Kingston

Mickey & Co. Do Bossa at The Deck

Trumpeter Mickey Hanson and his band laid down a nice set of mostly bossa nova -type arrangements at The Deck alst Thursday. Hanson, along with Mallory Willams on keyboard; Larry Silvera on base, Richie Cunningham on percussion and Andrew Jackson on drums started kind of safe with a cover of 'How Could I Live" a song made famous by late reggae star Denis Brown, and "Rise" by Herb Alpert.

Set got proressively bette thereafter, with stirring renditions of Horace Silver's "Song for My Father" Jobim's "Desafinado" "I'll Drink to That Blues" and closed in rousing fashion with free-wheeling versions of "Maputo" and "Mas Que Nada"

Also on the bill were singer-guitarist Charmaine, and 70s pop-reggae hitmaker Pluto Shervington.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Zanzibar fest

Just got this email this morning.
Sounds interesting.

Greetings from Zanzibar and we hope that this note finds you all well.
By popular demand, here is an update for the many of you traveling to Zanzibar for Sauti za Busara (Sounds of Wisdom) Swahili Music Festival, taking place Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th February, 2005.
The main venue for this year’s festival is again in historic Stone Town: the grassy side of Zanzibar’s Old Fort (“Mambo Club”) facing Forodhani Gardens and overlooking the Indian Ocean. Fittingly described by Ian Anderson in fROOTS magazine as “the big club venue most world music festival organisers would die for”. Freshly grilled prawns, octopus, squid, fish kebabs are all prepared on site, with a bar and stalls selling local crafts.
The main aim of the festival is to showcase the wealth and diversity of Swahili music and we are proud to announce that many of East Africa’s finest groups are confirmed to participate:
DANCE / GUITAR BANDS: Kilimanjaro Band (“Wananjenje”), Zanzibar Moonlight Jazz Band
MUSIC FUSION: Saida Karoli, Manyani Nani, Sisi Tambala
HIPHOP AND URBAN MUSIC: Juma Nature & Wanaume, Wazenji Kijiwe, Klear Kut, Stara Thomas, Solo Thang, BTB, DJ Saleh
TAARAB & KIDUMBAK: Nadi Ikhwan Safaa (Malindi Taarab), Culture Musical Club, Segere Original, Sosoliso Kidumbak, Zein l’Abdin Trio, DCMA Student Group
NGOMA & TRADITIONAL MUSIC: Bi Kidude, Chibite Group, Beni ya Kilua, Black Roots, Jagwa Music (Mchiriku), Hiyari ya Moyowo (Kirumbizi), Imani Ngoma, Matimba Arts, Ngoma ya Kibati, Kidutani & Jang’ombe Nursery Schools
RELIGIOUS SUFI MUSIC: Maulidi ya Homu ya Mtendeni
THEATRE, COMEDY, ACROBATICS: Jambo Brothers, Halikuniki Comedy Group
El Tanbura Group (Egypt), Seiyun Popular Arts (Yemen), Imena (Rwanda), Ndeef Leng (Senegal), Pamuzinda (Zimbabwe)
(final festival programme pending 100% confirmations will be published end of January)
Guest of Honour for 2005 Festival is Bi Kidude, Zanzibar’s 93-year old cultural ambassador, traditional healer and bare-foot diva of taarab and unyago ngoma, who has been traveling the world to sing, drum and entertain since the 1920s.
Free admission to all before 8pm daily (standing room only)
After 8pm, residents 500/-TSh (US$0.50) (standing room only)
After 8pm, non-residents 1,000/- TSh (US $1) (standing room only)
VIP Daily Pass 5,000/- (US $5) (with seating)
VIP All Festival Pass (4 Days) 10,000/- (US $10) (with seating)
On Stone Town Zanzibar: “The pace of life is gentle, time itself seems flexible, and a combination of the surroundings and a very low level of trading hassle from genuinely friendly locals turn it into the most relaxing, stress-reducing place I've ever encountered. Turn off your mobile phone: this town should be available on the National Health”.
Ian Anderson, fROOTS Magazine
Welcome to Zanzibar for the friendliest music festival on Planet Earth!
10 – 13 February, 2005 – Sauti za Busara Festival #2
09 – 12 February, 2006 – Sauti za Busara Festival #3
Full line up, timetable of performances, more information for press/media including pictures of many of the performing artists available on request.
Hotels are filling up fast for this period so be sure to book quickly if you need accommodation in Stone Town within walking distance of the Festival. For assistance with hotel bookings, local travel and tours contact zenjtours@zanlink.com (cc to busara@zanlink.com)
SAUTI ZA BUSARA is organised by Busara Promotions - a non-governmental, non-political, non-profit cultural organisation registered in Zanzibar “to promote and develop opportunities for local and international music and performing artists within the East African region, work to strengthen the local arts infrastructure and build networks internationally, for the social, cultural and economic growth of Africa and the dhow region”.
Busara Promotions extends thanks to the following without whom the Festival would not be possible:
Ford Foundation, HIVOS, Mfuko wa Utamaduni Tanzania, Embassy of France,
Dhow Countries Music Academy, Memories of Zanzibar, fROOTS Magazine, Afropop Worldwide, Zanzibar Gallery, Zenj Travel & Tours, Alliance Francaise, Emerson & Green Hotel, Kidude Cafe, Countrywide Destination Tanzania, thephatplanet.com, and most of all to the people of Zanzibar: “Shukurani kwa kukubali kuwa tamasha hili ni letu sote na mchango wenu ndio ambao umelifanikisha.”

Air ja Jazz update

This year, Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues will showcase upcoming artistes
on a special stage located in the food court.  Performances will
commence when the main stage breaks for band changes, giving patrons
of The Festival the opportunity to enjoy these new artistes.

 Here is the Line Up for the showcase stage:

Thursday January 27th

Wide Grin


C Sharp

Friday January 28th

Rootz Underground

Wayne McGregor

Kathy Brown


Saturday January 29th

To Isis

Christine Fisher


While certainly obscure & unknown from an int'l standpoint, at least these artists should help to relieve the severe jazz deficiency in the main lineup