Entries tagged with: Blue Note Jazz Festival

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Sergio Mendes
sergio-mendes

The 2014 Blue Note Jazz Festival runs the entire month of June at various venues around NYC. Now in its fourth year, the fest includes a wide range of music, not just strictly jazz.

Notable Shows this year include:

Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall on June 15 & 16 (tickets)

Los Lobos at Highline Ballroom on June 6 (tickets)

Sergio Mendes at BB King Blues Club on June 7 (tickets)

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 with Rich Medina at Highline Ballroom on June 10 (tickets)

Sly & Robbie with Taxi Gang & Bitty McLean at BB King Blues Club on June 29 (tickets)

Bobby McFerrin & Questlove in "musical dialogue" at Town Hall on June 13 (not on sale yet)

Reggie Watts at Town Hall on June 18 (not on sale yet)

There's also Andre Previn & Christian McBride, Diane Schuur, Michael McDonald, Ramsey Lewis & Philip Bailey, Ginger Baker and lots more. Full schedule and ticket info can be found here. here.

In related news, Aretha Franklin recently revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone that she plans to bring on Outkast's Andre 3000 as a producer for her new album which will feature covers of her favorite female singers, like Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand, and possibly Beyonce.

Wayne Shorter
IMAGE

The 2013 Blue Note Jazz Festival starts today in NYC and runs the entire month of June at various venues around the city. Now in its third year, the fest includes a wide range of music, not just strictly jazz. Tonight's kickoff (6/1) events include The Dizzie Gilespie All-Star Big Band at the festival's namesake club (tickets).

Other events at the fest: Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars on Sunday (6/2) at Brooklyn Bowl (tickets); Saul Williams at Highline Ballroom on June 11 (tickets); WyClef Jean at B.B. King Blues Club on June 19 (tickets); a free show with Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def) at Central Park Summerstage on June 24; and Wayne Shorter's 80th Birthday Celebration at Town Hall on June 28 (tickets).

For full schedule, visit the Blue Note Jazz Festival's website.

Biggie

Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) is playing the Apollo Theater on June 14 as part of the month-long Blue Note Jazz Festival (which originally announced the Mos Def show as happening on June 29). Tickets are on sale.

Today, 5/21, would have been Biggie Smalls' 40th birthday. In tribute to Biggie and Malcolm X, Yasiin Bey released a new song called "Bey", part of his continuing "Top 40 Underdog series". Hypetrack points out that the song is Bey rapping over the instrumental of Lil Tunechi's single "John (If I Die Tonight)". Listen to that, along with some just-uncovered footage of Christopher Wallace performing with Jay-Z, below...

Continue reading "Biggie would be 40 today; Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) drops "Bey" in tribute, is playing the Apollo"

Blue Note Jazz

The now-annual Blue Note Jazz Festival will sprinkle over 50 shows at venues across the city during its twenty day reign (June 10th - 30th).

"After the success of the inaugural Blue Note Jazz Festival, we decided to make this a yearly event as a way to continue expanding audiences, cultivate young talent and promote this wonderful music throughout New York City," Blue Note President Steven Bensusan said. "This year's performances go beyond jazz to include everything from flamenco, soul, and Latin to tap, blues and R&B, all with the common thread of improvisation. But the heart of the festival is and will always remain the type of jazz that we present night after night at the Blue Note club."
Highline Ballroom, B.B. King's, Central Park Summerstage, The Apollo, Henry Street Playhouse, Brooklyn Bowl and Sullivan Hall are all on board to host parts of the festival, which will feature everyone from Béla Fleck to Stephanie Mills, Bootsy Collins to Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and many, many other notables. Full list of shows, below...

Continue reading "Blue Note Jazz Festival announces 2012 lineup"

photos by Dana (Distortion) Yavin

Bootsy Collins
Bootsy Collins

NY. yall treated a brother right last night at BB.Kings. We off to Canada now, but thanks for the love yall show us, the funk never forgets a good funkin'! Now that the Funkship is up & runnin', we plan to make many more Big Apple stops. We love, we funk! -[Bootsy Collins]
Member of James Brown's band, Parliament-Funkadelic, a solo artist, and hands down one of the most fashion-conscious men in music, Bootsy Collins played BB King's on June 26th as part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival which comes to a close tonight (6/30). The starry-eyed one's 13-piece band Funk U-Nity, which featured former P-Funk members Bernie Worrell, Blackbyrd McKnight, and Frankie Kash, shook the booties of attendees at BB King's with the help of a special, and rather surprising guest:
Bootsy Collins brought the funk and Dr. Cornel West to B.B. King on Sunday night. The former Parliament-Funkadelic bassist and his all-star Funk U-nity band... tore the roof off the packed house with the help of the Princeton professor. West declared Collins an "unadulterated genius" before performing "Don't Take My Funk," a track off Bootsy's new CD, "Tha Funk Capital of the World." West guest-stars on the album, too, as does his Obama debating partner, the Rev. Al Sharpton. -[NY Daily News]
The funkin' legend (and Dr. West) played a set of dancefloor burning grooves that included Bootsy's amp literally bursting into a cloud of smoke. Too much funky, I guess.

More pictures and a video from BB King's and all upcoming Bootsy dates are below...

Continue reading "Bootsy Collins funked up BB King's w/ his funky band & special guest Dr. Cornel West (pics & video)"

The Roots at Prospect Park in 2010 (more by David Andrako)
The Roots

Although musical options in NYC are limited on the 4th of July, you could head to Philly for the Philly Fourth of July Jam. This year's show, which is being billed as the "largest free concert in America," will feature The Roots and special guests including Earth, Wind and Fire, Michael McDonald, Estelle, Sara Bareilles, and DJ Jazzy Jeff. It runs from 7-10pm at Benjamin Franklin Parkway and will be followed by fireworks (naturally).

Meanwhile you can catch Earth, Wind and Fire in NYC tonight tonight (6/28) and Wednesday (6/29) at Beacon Theatre. It's been forty years since Earth, Wind and Fire first hit the scene, and...

Forty years later, Bailey says Earth, Wind & Fire is still in pursuit of being the best band in the world.

"We're just being the best we can be and seizing the moment we've been given," he says.

"We still practice and we still hone our craft, though we've been playing these songs thousands and thousands of times. We make sure we go back and pay attention to the little details, and our audience appreciates the attention we put into stuff."

Throughout its storied career, Earth, Wind & Fire mixed funk-seared dance jams such as "September," "Boogie Wonderland" and "Serpentine Fire" with Quiet Storm classics such as "Devotion," "Can't Hide Love" and "Keep Your Head to the Sky." Often, the Grammy-winning band stoked its sound with African and Brazilian rhythms on its way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [Calgary Herald]

Earth, Wind and Fire also have shows scheduled in Atlantic City and CT before Philly on the 4th. All dates are listed below.

The Roots have been keeping super busy as usual. In addition to planning the biggest concert in America and collaborating with countless musicians, partially related to then playing Fallon on a daily basis, they played a series of interesting shows in NYC last week. At least Questlove is taking a day off from Brooklyn Bowl.

Most of those shows were part of the ongoing Blue Note Jazz Fest. Two of them, at the Blue Note, were The Roots and Rakim performing Paid in Full in its entirety...

"With an early show and a late show, the band ran through the 10 track of the classic album with funky flawlessness. During the first show, Nelson George asked Rakim and Black Thought questions about the album's legacy and Rakim's career at the beginning and half way points. The second show featured questions from Toure, and both Dave Chappelle and Talib Kweli were in the house who had their turn posing questions as well. Very dope stuff indeed." [Okayplayer]
Check out a video from this performance below. Estelle, also on the 4th of July show, played two shows at the Blue Note last week too.

The Roots also performed at the launch of Rebuild the Dream at Town Hall on Thursday (6/23). Rebuild the Dream is a new movement to bring back the American Dream and help Americans find jobs, go to college, etc. The Town Hall event consisted of a long motivational speech and call to action interspersed with a couple performances by The Roots. Learn more at the movement's website. Video of the entire event, and the other stuff, below.

Continue reading "The Roots played w/ Rakim, hosting giant 4th of July show in Philly w/ Estelle & Earth, Wind & Fire (who are on tour now)"

Blue Note

Brian Wilson played the Highline Ballroom [Sunday] night as part of its sister club's month-long Blue Note Jazz Festival, and though the two-set show featured his entire current Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin album of Gershwin standards, it wasn't jazz, really, but no less demanding--and rewarding.

The Beach Boys' beloved creative genius brought a 12-piece band of multi-instrumentalists/vocalists--and a local female string section--and all lived up to his contention that it's one of his best bands ever.

The Gershwin album, which was conceived under the aegis of his hero George Gershwin's estate, led off the second set--the first being a breathtaking recreation of Beach Boys classics ranging from the ultra-romantic 1963 ballad "Surfer Girl," his first composition, to the symphonic "Heroes And Villains" of 1967. While Wilson's ability to sing his signature falsetto vocal leads and harmonies is long gone, guitarist Jeff Foskett was downright spooky in mimicking it on hits like "Don't Worry Baby" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice." [Examiner]

As mentioned in that review, Brian Wilson's three shows at Highline Ballroom this week are part of the ongoing and inaugural Blue Note Jazz Festival, a month-long celebration of Blue Note's 30th Anniversary. The fest includes a ton of shows including the recent Aloe Blacc, Idle Warship, and Larry Graham gigs. Brian finished his run Tuesday night, while, Dave Brubeck (who just turned 90) and George Wein & the Newport All-Stars each began their own three-night run at Blue Note Jazz Club. Advanced tickets to the Dave Brubeck shows are sold out, but you can line up to sit be at the bar on a first come, first served basis (if you're 21+). Tickets are still on sale for George Wein.

Blue NoteThe festival also includes many other shows we've mentioned before including the Jimmy Scott shows at The Blue Note on June 23. Tickets are still on sale.

The recently mentioned Bjorkestra show at Highline Ballroom on June 14 is also part of the festival. As discussed, tickets are on sale and can be purchased with a 50% discount by using the access code "BIGBAND."

The Chaka Khan shows at BB King's on June 18 are also part of the festival. Tickets are still on sale.

The festival also includes the Roy Ayers and Pete Rock show at Highline Ballroom on June 22. Tickets are still on sale.

Bootsy Collins
Bootsy

Bootsy Collins, who just played Bonnaroo, brings his previously announced Blue Note festival show to BB King's on June 26....

"Bootsy Collins was just one more band on our to-do list -- we didn't expect him to nearly steal the whole festival. After an annoying hour-plus wait that had the crowd chanting "bullshit," Collins instantly won the fans back in his favor by bringing THA FUNK. Everything was on the one after that. Lead guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight melted minds, while original P-Funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell provided the ballast. A special mid-set run found the band tackling classics by P-Funk, Jimi Hendrix, and Sly and The Family Stone." [American Songwriter]
Tickets are still available for the NYC show.

Tickets are also still on sale for the two Roberta Flack shows at BB King's on June 24.

Questlove is presenting Mo' Meta Blues I at The Blue Note on June 20 and 21. Both days consist of an early show and a late show. Mo' Meta Blues I features Questlove on drums/electronics, Booker T on organ/keyboards/vocals, Eric Krasno on guitar, and Christian McBridge on bass. Tickets are on sale.

The following night (6/23), The Roots will present Mo' Meta Blues II - Paid In Full 25th Anniversary featuring Black Thought and Rakim at The Blue Note. There will also be an early and a late show. Advance tickets for table reservations are sold out, but you can still get in at the bar on a first come, first served basis (if you're 21+).

English R&B singer-songwriter, rapper and record producer Estelle plays two shows at Blue Note on June 24, her only upcoming appearances. Tickets are still on sale.

Al Kooper & Organ-asm play BB King's on June 29. Tickets are on sale.

"The Music of Stax Records" featuring Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, Eddie Floyd and Lester Snell is happening on June 26 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets are on sale.

Last but not least, we want to highlight the Dances of Vice presentred Powerhouse Stomp II: a musical tribute to the classic cartoons of the 1920s, '30s, and '40s on June 29 at Highline Ballroom featuring Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra. Sounds fun and tickets are on sale.

Check the Blue Note Jazz Festival's website for the full schedule. A selection of related videos below..

Continue reading "Blue Note Jazz Fest continues -- Brian Wilson, Dave Brubeck, Bootsy Collins, The Roots, Roberta Flack, Estelle & more"