On Wednesday evening, July 15, singer Laura Ann Singh and guitarist Kevin Harding of Quatro Na Bossa came to our studios at 88.9 WCVE to play some music and talk a little bit about what they have planned for Friday evening’s (7/18) Guitar and Other Strings Concert at VCU. In case you missed their segment, you can listen to it here. They performed music by Chico Buarque, Dorival Caymmi, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa.
Guitarist Randy Johnston has been living and working in New York since 1981, playing guitar with some iconic jazz musicians: the late singer Etta Jones, tenor saxophonist Houston Person, legendary bebop alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson and just about every influential Hammond B-3 organist you can think of (Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Shirley Scott, and Joey Defrancesco make up a partial list).
On April 18th, saxophonist J. Plunky Branch celebrated forty years of leading his ensemble “Plunky & Oneness” with a gala affair at the historic Hippodrome Theatre in Jackson Ward. Plunky’s music is expansive, reflecting a wide range of influences including rhythm and blues, African music, avant garde jazz, go-go, hip-hop, and funk. Over the last four decades, he’s composed hundreds of songs, recorded more than two dozen albums and has performed for audiences all over the world.
Trombonist Steve Davis will be featured in the next concert in the Richmond Jazz Society Guest Educators Series Tuesday evening, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Capitol Ale House at 623 East Main Street. Davis was the last musician to join Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and discusses the lessons he learned with Blakey's band and from two of his other important musical mentors - Jackie Mclean and Chic Corea.
Rene Marie is an artist familiar to many of our listeners because she used to live and perform in Richmond. In the years since she moved away, she has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and with each new release has become more assured of her own artistic vision. Her most recent recordings have veered away from the standard songs that populate most jazz albums, instead focusing on her own songs. It came as something of a surprise that her new recording was a tribute album. It’s called “I Wanna Be Evil – With Love to Eartha Kitt.”
I spoke with Kevin Harding, the guitarist from Quatro na Bossa, about the band’s latest release, “Bossa Nossa.” The background behind the selections is interesting and tells a lot about the history of 20th century Brazilian music, touching on Luis Bonfa, Dorival Caymmi, Joao Gilberto, Joao Donato and other important Brazilian innovators.
Saxophonist James Gates has just released a new cd called “Gates Wide Open.” Gates is a native Richmonder who has played with many jazz greats, including Walter Bishop, Jr. and Art Blakey. He currently runs the jazz program at Virginia State University but hasn’t let his performing career slide.
He’s playing a CD release party tonight (5/14) at Capitol Ale House, part of the Richmond Jazz Society’s Guest Educator Concert series.
Glows in the Dark is a band led by Richmond-based guitarist and composer Scott Burton. The band has the instrumentation of a typical jazz quintet, but the music is anything but typical. The repertoire ranges from cinematic grooves inspired by soundtracks of horror flicks, crime films and kung-fu movies to more abstract avant-garde textures.