Jazz

Jazz great Branford Marsalis joins the State of Things to speak about his work.
Palma Kolansky

Grammy-award winning artist Branford Marsalis is one of the world’s leading jazz artists. In a career spanning more than three decades, the saxophonist has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music across an array of genres. 

D-Town Brass Performance
D-Town Brass / http://www.reverbnation.com/dtownbrass

  Andy McGowan is making his mark on Durham with the restaurant Geer Street Garden, but by night, he and, sometimes, 15 of his closest friends form D-Town Brass and jam until the early hours. They’ve just released two albums, “UR” and “Golden Belt.”

bennygolson.com

North Carolina Central University became the first university in the state to offer a jazz degree in 1977. The university has since been a force on a state and national level in keeping the jazz scene alive.

The university is now throwing its 23rd annual Jazz Festival this week. Ira Wiggins, director of their jazz department, founded the festival in 1990 with hopes of creating a space for students to meet and learn from seasoned jazz musicians. This year the festival features jazz artists Carl Allen and Benny Golson. Benny Golson is a world-renowned saxophonist, composer, and producers.  Ira Wiggins and Benny Golson join Host Frank Stasio to talk about the state of jazz education today, and give us a sneak peek of the festival.

beyucaffe.com

Organist Gary Brunotte has been playing music since he picked up an accordion at age 9. He went on to study and teach at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, and has been writing, arranging, performing and recording ever since. 

John Coltrane’s music blossomed during his time in Philadelphia and New York, but his roots are in High Point, NC where he played music at church and in the high school band.

One year ago, a jazz advocacy program called the Art of Cool Project started having a monthly concert series at an art gallery in Durham.  Today, that project has expanded to Raleigh and is living up to its mission of creating spaces for jazz artists to perform and supporting musicians financially.

There was never any doubt that Yolanda Rabun was cut out for the spotlight. She attended a performing arts high school in Atlanta, GA where she honed her singing and acting skills.  She continued to perform while attending law school where she soon learned that the courtroom is just another kind of theater.

 Branford Marsalis
Photo Credit: branfordmarsalis.com

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis is a living legend in the jazz music world. The Grammy Award-winner has been busy with composing original music for the Broadway production of “Mountaintop,” a narrative that imagines the last night of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before his assassination in Memphis, TN.

Marsalis also just completed production on a new album called “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy,” a collaboration with pianist Joey Calderazzo, a fellow Durham resident. This week, Marsalis will be honored with a North Carolina Award, the state’s highest civilian honor.

He joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the latest achievements in his esteemed career.

Jon Herington
www.jonherington.com

Jon Herington has played with Steely Dan for 11 years. His guitar stylings are masterful interpretations of the famous rock band's iconic songs. He appears with Steely Dan tonight in Durham, but first he joins host Frank Stasio in our studio to play some original compositions from his solo CD “Shine, Shine, Shine” and discuss how a guy who grew up on jazz keeps a legendary rock sound going.

Jazz artist Branford Marsalis
courtesy of the artist

Saxophone master and Durham resident Branford Marsalis has never shied away from a challenge when it comes to tackling music.  The jazz legend's latest undertaking incorporates his sax into the classical music traditions of South America in a show called "Marsalis Brasilianos: Villa Lobos, Milhaud and the New Worlds of Brazilian Modernism."  

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