Ron Di Lauro receives the Oscar Peterson Award
Montreal, Friday, July 4, 2014 — Extraordinary trumpeter Ron Di Lauro is the winner of the 2014 Oscar Peterson Award. The Award will be presented to him by André Ménard, artistic director and co-founder of the Festival, at a press conference which will be held today at 1:30 p.m. in the Salle Stevie Wonder of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, and by Vic Vogel on stage, Sunday at 6 pm, before Mr. Di Lauro’s concert in L’Astral as part of the TD Jazz d’ici La Presse+ series.
Ron Di Lauro is the 26th artist to receive the Oscar Peterson Award, created on the 10th anniversary of the Festival in 1989 to salute a Canadian musician who has made outstanding contributions to jazz in this country and for the quality of his art.
Working at the heart of the national jazz scene for over 30 years, Montreal trumpeter Ron Di Lauro has made his name for both his versatility and technical mastery: from jazz to classical, stage musicals to klezmer, he is adept in all styles and now ranks among the most in-demand trumpeters in Québec. Raised on music from an early age, Di Lauro followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in taking on a career in music. From his teenaged years, he made his stage debut playing the bugle in a production of Carmen staged by his high school. He moved on to McGill University to refine his musical understanding and pursue his studies in classical trumpet. He turned towards jazz in 1980 with Vic Vogel’s Big Band, a collaboration that took him all the way to Europe, before forming a sextet with Dave Turner. In addition to his frequent recording and touring, the trumpeter has accompanied an array of renowned artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Oliver Jones, Petula Clark, Céline Dion, Ginette Reno, Gino Vannelli, Diane Dufresne and Michael Bolton. As a soloist, he’s often performed with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec and the Orchestre de Laval, and has been heard on radio, television and in film. He also teaches music at McGill University, UQAM and Université de Montréal. This year, the Festival regular returns with his tribute to the legendary Miles Davis album, Kind of Blue, hailed by fans in its first performance two years ago. Ron Di Lauro, Kind of Blue, July 6, 6 p.m., L’Astral (TD Jazz d’ici La Presse+ series).
As recipient of the Oscar Peterson Award, Ron Di Lauro follows in the footsteps of Alain Caron (2013), Peter Appleyard (2012), Jean-Pierre Zanella (2011), Don Thompson (2010), Susie Arioli (2009), Dave Young (2008), François Bourassa (2007), Yannick Rieu (2006), Bernard Primeau (2005), Diana Krall (2004), Kenny Wheeler (2003), Lorraine Desmarais (2002), Moe Kofman (2001), Charles Biddle (2000), Maynard Ferguson (1999), Guy Nadon (1998), Rob McConnell (1997), Nelson Symonds (1996), Michel Donato (1995), Paul Bley (1994), Fraser MacPherson (1993), Vic Vogel (1992), UZEB (1991), Oliver Jones (1990) and, of course, Oscar Peterson (1989).
An even better JazzAscona
(despite the rain and the World Cup)
Ascona (Switzerland) - The 30th edition of JazzAscona ended last night in the rain but in a good mood. Artistic Director Nicolas Gilliet had promised a particularly festive celebration of the festival's anniversary, and thus it was. The event offered over 240 concerts over a period of 10 days and an exciting musical program that was very much appreciated both by the audience and the critics.
Guido Casparis, the President of the festival, has declared himself very satisfied. The feedbacks from the audience, the critics and the sponsors, have been extremely positive he says. The relaxed and festive atmosphere of the festival, its unique location, the ever-improving quality of the infrastructure, the exceptional music, the originality and variety of the program make Ascona an increasingly appreciated festival on an international level, and an essential part of the cultural offerings of Ticino.
As declared by Casparis, the number of visitors reached beyond 60 thousand, (about 20% less than the year before), which is a satisfying result, given the concurrence with the World Football Cup and five evenings of rain. The five special events in the tent – such as the show of The Duke Ellington Orchestra - all of which had a cover fee were very successful. These concerts left a mark on this edition and were able to fill the Jazz Club Torre. Particularly the Tribute to Louis Armstrong with Leroy Jones, Nicholas Payton, Marcus Belgrave, Gregg Stafford and Wendell Brunious, which was the absolute highlight of the festival, attracted a big audience and filled the tent to its rim.
JazzAscona 2014 confirmed its very special feeling with the music and the musicians from New Orleans, who were more numerous than ever before. Stephen Perry, a lead figure of American tourism and the Crescent City, came to claim the Ascona Jazz Award 2014, and expressed his desire to further reinforce these ties with the aim of creating in Ascona an even more important platform for the music of New Orleans in Europe.
From his part, Artistic Director Nicolas Gilliet thanked all the musicians for their presence at the festival as well as for having faced the rain with a smile, and for having performed under difficult circumstances for rather small audiences. Gilliet expresses his satisfaction with the musical program, and observes that the decision to offer an increased variety of music is definitely the way to go for the future.
This edition of the festival registered a considerable increase in quality. Groups such as The Ella Louis Tribute Band with Eileina Dennis and Leon Brown, and musicians such as Dado Moroni, the singer Emma Pask, the duo Nikki & Jules, the Brazilian Funk Como Le Gusta, the trumpet player Kermit Ruffins and the pianist duo Paolo Alderighi and Stephanie Trick were truly bright stars of the festivals.
This year's favorite was without doubt the brilliant American singer and pianist Davina, who with her Vagabonds won the AET My Choice 2014 Audience Award. The Swiss Jazz Award was given at the beginning of the festival to the wonderful Nicole Herzog & Stewy von Wattentyl Group.
The 31st. Edition of JazzAscona will take place from June 26 to July 4, 2015.
SULTANS OF STRING – NEW YORK CD RELEASE
w/ special guest Anwar Kurshid (Oscar winning Life of Pi)
LE POISSON ROUGE – WED JUNE 4, 10PM
Sultans of String CD Release w/ special guest Anwar Khurshid
Wed June 4, 2014 -- 10:00pm (doors 9:30pm)
Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St, New York City
$12 adv / $15 (212) 505-3474 www.lepoissonrouge.com
On June 4, 2014, JUNO (Canada’s Grammy) Nominees/2x CFMA winners, Sultans of String, bring their high octane folk-jazz-worldbeat mash-up to music hotspot, Le Poisson Rouge! For this special performance, these string wizards meet the electricity of special guest, sitar master Anwar Khurshid.
Anwar's music has been featured in Oscar-winning film Life of Pi as well as The Love Guru. He’s performed across Europe, North America and Asia – and with musicians from a bevy of stylings, including Jazz, African, Middle Eastern, Blues, Japanese and Chinese music. This innovative collaboration with Sultans of String serves up a spicy musical passport that defies categorization.
Known for dizzying roots music jams, poly-rhythms and revved up riffs, the Sultans of String sound can't be pinned down -- it's Sable Island meets the Silk Road, with detours through the Gypsy-Jazz coffeehouses of Eastern Europe, next an East Coast Kitchen Party, then over to the bustling markets of Cuba and India! Fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar while a funky bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound.
Kicking things off as a dynamic duo playing tiny cafes in 2007, this fiercely talented and hardworking indie act has been on a meteoric rise, with an astonishing number of awards and accolades in tow. Invitations to play world stages and with such legendary artists as The Chieftains, Livingston Taylor, and David Bromberg are recent highlights. The Chieftains’ very own Paddy Moloney also appears on their brand new CD, Symphony!
Sultans of String are represented in the US by acclaimed promoter and former A&R man, David Wilkes (Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, Bela Fleck). "I have worked with numerous top ten chart songs and #1 Pop Billboard and Country music hits”, Wilkes says. “In all that time, I have not worked with composers more talented than Chris McKhool and Kevin Laliberté from Sultans of String. Not only are they a superb writing team, they are also amazing arrangers & musicians.Symphony! is a gigantic leap forward."
Sultans of String are led by JUNO-nominated 6-string violinist Chris McKhool (Jesse Cook, Pavlo) who grew up in a Lebanese-Egyptian (Makhoul) house bursting with music and diversity. Growing up, Chris was fed a steady diet of delicious musicality alongside Middle Eastern cuisine and violin lessons.
When McKhool first heard founding guitarist Kevin Laliberté’s rumba rhythm, their musical synergy created Sultans of String’s signature sound – the intimate and playful relationship between violin and guitar. From this rich foundation, the duo has grown, featuring such amazing musical friends as Cuban percussionist Chendy Leon (Alex Cuba), as well as special guests such as folk-pop darlings, Dala, The Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney and now, sitar virtuoso Anwar Khurshid.
The Louis Armstrong House Museum
Announces Special One-Month-Only Exhibit
The Louis Armstrong House Museum
Announces Special One-Month-Only Exhibit:
The Real Ambassadors for Jazz Appreciation Month
This April, the Louis Armstrong House Museum is celebrating “The Real Ambassadors” with a special one-month-only exhibit featuring never-before-seen photographs and rare artifacts from the world's largest Archives devoted to a single jazz musician, the great Louis Armstrong. The exhibit will feature artifacts including Jack Bradley photographs from the original 1961 sessions, scanned from the original negatives; Louis's sheet music parts; along with a telegram from Dave and Iola Brubeck; Iola Brubeck's script; and more.
In 1961, Louis Armstrong recorded “The Real Ambassadors”, one of the most challenging albums of his entire career. Written by Dave and Iola Brubeck, it featured some striking songs with pointed statements about politics and the struggle for Civil Rights in the United States at the time. In addition to Armstrong's own band, the All Stars, Louis was joined by Dave Brubeck's quartet, the exciting vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and legendary vocalist Carmen McRae.
On "They Say I Look Like God," a pained Armstrong sung about race, "When will that great day come? When everyone is One / And there will be no more misery / When God tells man he's really free." Armstrong's performance left the other musicians in tears. On "The Real Ambassador," a frisky Armstrong sang, "Though I represent the government / the government don't represent some policies I'm for." Armstrong, who just turned 60, turned in one of his most wistful vocals on Brubeck's enduring "Summer Song" while the famed Satchmo trumpet wailed furiously on numbers like "Remember Who You Are" and "Blow Satchmo."
Jeff Lofton wins "Best Horn Player"
Austin Chronicle's Austin Music Awards
Austin - Jazz trumpeter Jeff Lofton will accept his award for "Best Horn Player" at the Austin Music Awards tonight at the Austin Convention Center in the heart of SXSW. Presented by the Austin Chronicle, the Austin Music Awards are voted on by the public and the awards show airs locally on public access TV channel 10 and streams online at www.ChannelAustin.org. Lofton was also placed second in the "Best Jazz Band" category
Lofton studied composition at the University of South Carolina and moved to Austin in 2007 at the age of 40. Since then he's been voted Best Jazz Band at the '10-'11 Austin Music Awards; January 15, 2009 was named "Jeff Lofton Day" by the City of Austin; and he was inducted into the Texas Music Museum. His album, "Jazz to the People," made the 2009 top albums lists for the Austin Chronicle and KUT. The Austin American-Statesman's 2010 Out and About 500: Music list noted his "ubiquitous presence and articulate advocacy."