Witnessing the brilliance of Cecile McLorin Salvant

Last week I had the privilege of attending a show in Portland by vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, the fast emerging superstar of jazz, of whom Wynton Marsalis has said “you get a singer like this once in a generation or two.”

The show – performed at the city’s 300 seat Old Church on August 30 – was one of the more astounding jazz performances I have ever seen.  Having been to hundreds (hell, probably thousands by now) of shows over the years in venues all over the globe, that is saying something!  I came away feeling as if I witnessed contemporary “greatness” of historic proportions.

Ms. Salvant, a 28-year-old native of Miami, was elegant, breathtaking, sensitive, angry, political, intellectual, adventurous, and everything in between (and always brilliant).  So many highlights — including Aaron Diehl’s performance on the Old Church organ, accompanying her on

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September 5th, 2017

The Portland Jazz Festival

I am proud to report that I am Vice-Chair of the Board of the Portland (Oregon) Jazz Festival, now in its 11th year and which just opened last night with terrific performances by Eliane Elias and Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band. Programmed by industry veteran Don Lucoff, the Festival features an amazing array of talent in ticketed and free shows played out in performance halls and clubs all over our community.

Jazz is keeping interesting company these days. On one end of the spectrum is the ageless Ahmad Jamal, who plays tonight, and on the other is 24-year-old Cecile McLorin Salvant, who plays tomorrow night and is described by Chris Barton of the Los Angeles Times as “a rising star…whose Grammy-nominated sophomore album, ‘Woman Child,’ was one of the sharpest, most magnetic releases of 2013.” Her recording showcases a singing style in the tradition of Abbey Lincoln and Sarah Vaughan, at times even dipping into what Barton describes a “Paul Robeson-like purr” while singing Bert Williams’ “Nobody.”

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February 21st, 2014

In This Issue

This issue features an interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins; a collection of poetry devoted to the World War II era; and a new edition of “Reminiscing in Tempo,” in which the question “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940’s” is posed to Rickie Lee Jones, Chick Corea, Tom Piazza and others.

Features

In this edition of Reminiscing in Tempo,, Chick Corea, Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Piazza, Gary Giddins, Randy Brecker, Michael Cuscuna, Terry Teachout and many others answer the question, “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite recordings of the 1940’s?”

Interviews

Interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins, author of the new book "Swinging on a Star: The War Years, 1940 - 1946"

Poetry

Eight poets — John Stupp, Aurora Lewis, Michael L. Newell, Robert Nisbet, Alan Yount, Roger Singer, dan smith and Joan Donovan — write about the era of World War II

The Joys of Jazz

Award winning radio producer and host Bob Hecht shares his love of jazz through his podcasts on his site “The Joys of Jazz.” In this edition, he tells two stories; the history of the virtual anthem of World War II, “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and the friendship and musical rapport of Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong.

Short Fiction

Hannah Draper of Ottawa, Ontario is the winner of the 49th Jerry Jazz Musician New Short Fiction Award. Her story is titled "Will You Play For Me?"

Coming Soon

Three prominent scholars in a conversation about the lives of Billie Holiday, Ralph Ellison, and Langston Hughes (pictured)

Contributing writers

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