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  • Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    Steve Reich is a featured composer at this year's Modfest, an annual festival at Vassar College celebrating the music, art, poetry, and film of the 20th and 21st centuries. Modfest 2009 began late last week and runs through February 13, with a total of 18 events, including two all-Reich concerts, a conversation with the composer, a dance performance of works set to his music, a film screening and discussion, and a lecture about Reich's music.

    Journal Topics: On Tour Artist News Film Dance
  • Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    Nonesuch Records is pleased to announce the release of The Bright Mississippi, Allen Toussaint’s first solo album in more than a decade, on April 21, 2009. Produced by friend and frequent collaborator Joe Henry, the record includes songs by jazz greats like Jelly Roll Morton, Django Reinhardt, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn. Toussaint and Henry created a band of highly regarded musicians for the sessions: clarinetist Don Byron, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, guitarist Marc Ribot, bassist David Piltch, and percussionist Jay Bellerose; Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman each join Toussaint for a track as well.

    Journal Topics: Album Release Artist News
  • Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    Rokia Traoré's new album, Tchamantché, features nine tunes Traoré penned herself, plus her unique take on Billie Holiday's "The Man I Love." NPR has chosen the track as today's Song of the Day, with Banning Eyre exclaiming that the Malian singer "sets a new standard" with her interpretation of the famous tune. "Traoré briefly shows off her impressive range of vocal colors, just enough to let listeners know what she can do, with all the cool of a jazz master and all the mystery of an African diva." On Tchamantché, says Eyre, "Traoré makes her strongest and most personal statement yet."

    Journal Topics: Radio
  • Monday, January 26, 2009

    John Adams has been named the first-ever Creative Chair of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, beginning next season, the orchestra's first with Music Director Designate Gustavo Dudamel. "John’s work, vision and big knowledge of all music, especially new music, is so deep," says Dudamel. The 2009/10 season gets under way with an Opening Night Gala concert, pairing Mahler's First Symphony with the world premiere of Adams's City Noir. As Creative Chair, the composer curates the West Coast: Left Coast festival, beginning late November, with a residency by Kronos Quartet; a new work by Thomas Newman; a jazz trio with Joshua Redman; and concerts led by Adams.

    Journal Topics: On Tour Artist News
  • Monday, January 26, 2009

    Kronos Quartet has been named the sole Perspectives artist in Carnegie Hall 2009/10 concert season. Perspectives: Kronos Quartet will feature five concerts over the course of the season, and the Quartet will lead a Professional Training Workshop through The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. Kronos has also been made the ensemble-in-residency for next season's West Coast: Left Coast festival at Disney Hall, curated by John Adams as the LA Philharmonic's first creative director. This season, Kronos has been added to the roster for the MusicNOW festival, premiering a piece by Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry.

    Journal Topics: On Tour Artist News
  • Monday, January 26, 2009

    Rokia Traoré's new album, Tchamantché, has been dubbed "a Malian masterpiece" by NPR's All Songs Considered. In the show's latest episode, host Bob Boilen describes Traoré as "a gorgeous singer from Mali" and calls Tchamantché "a graceful and tender record" with "an extraordinary vibe."

    Journal Topics: Reviews Radio
  • Monday, January 26, 2009

    Joshua Redman brought the complete Compass Double Trio out last week for shows from New York City to Boston to Albany. The Boston Globe says Redman "put on the show of his life" at Boston's Berklee Performance Center. "Redman has always been an entertaining musician, but Thursday he played more confidently and powerfully than ever." The Boston Herald says that with "four of the best rhythm section players in the business ... Redman navigated a constantly changing rhythmscape with the serene intensity that has marked his career." The Schenectady Daily Gazette describes the Friday night set in Albany as "50 minutes that encapsulated the history of
    post-Sonny Rollins jazz" and reached "heights only the best jazz bands
    can reach."

    Journal Topics: On Tour Reviews
  • Monday, January 26, 2009

    Pat Metheny has composed and performed new music for The New Group's revival of Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, directed by Scott Elliott and starring Lili Taylor and Jena Malone. Previews begin tomorrow night, with the official opening night on February 19. The play will run at New York's New Group @ Theatre Row on 42nd Street through April 18. Pat recorded his solo guitar score on an 1860s instrument contemporary to the play's Civil War-era setting.

    Journal Topics: Artist News
  • Friday, January 23, 2009

    Philip Glass and Kronos Quartet give the Calgary premiere of Glass's Dracula  ... Miami City Ballet performs Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room, set to music by Glass, at New York's City Center ... Atlanta Opera gives that city's premiere of Glass's Akhnaten ... Juilliard's FOCUS! festival begins with Adams's Son of Chamber Symphony ... Richard Goode performs Chopin and Bach in Ann Arbor ... Youssou N'Dour and the Super Étoile band perform at Glasgow's Celtic Connections ... Joshua Redman concludes his run with the full Compass Double Trio in Albany ... New York City Ballet performs a new work set to Reich's Triple Quartet ... and more ...

    Journal Topics: Weekend Events
  • Friday, January 23, 2009

    Tonight marks the opening of The Juilliard School's annual FOCUS! festival, with a concert by the New Juilliard Ensemble featuring John Adams's Son of Chamber Symphony. Adams's inclusion in this concert and throughout the festival proceedings reflects its theme this year of California: A Century of New Music. Two major highlights of FOCUS! 2009 are the world premiere of Adams’s String Quartet, performed by the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and the festival's culminating event: a semi-staged production of Adams's opera The Death of Klinghoffer, with the Juilliard Opera Center led by the composer.

    Journal Topics: On Tour
  • Friday, January 23, 2009

    Youssou N'Dour and the Super Étoile band join the festivities at Glasgow's annual Celtic Connections when they headline a concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Auditorium tonight. Scotland's Sunday Herald recently profiled Youssou, calling him "one of the world's most soulful singers," possessing "a fluttering, virtuoso voice of extraordinary power," and standing out as "one of world music's few genuine superstars." Scotland's STV asserts that, of all the scores of artists performing at the two-week festival, "Youssou N'Dour will without doubt prove to be one of the main draws."

    Journal Topics: On Tour
  • Friday, January 23, 2009

    Rokia Traoré's Tchamantché has been nominated for the Victoires de la Musique award as Best World Music Album of the Year. The award, similar to the Grammys in the United States, recognizes the best in music from France. Rokia, the daughter of a Malian diplomat, has lived everywhere from North Africa to the Middle East to Europe, as well as in the Malian capital, Bamako, and now calls Paris home.

    Journal Topics: Artist News

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