Live Music: The Thelonious Monk 2014 International Jazz Competition Gala

By Don Heckman Hollywood, CA. The 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition came to a dramatic conclusion Sunday night in a All-Star Gala event at Dolby Hall in Hollywood. This year, the Competition was for trumpet players. And the three finalists each offered a display of their considerable skills in a setting that allowed each… Read More Live Music: The Thelonious Monk 2014 International Jazz Competition Gala

Live Music: George Benson Salutes Nat “King” Cole at the Hollywood Bowl

By Don Heckman Hollywood, CA. George Benson’s tribute to Nat “King” Cole at the Hollywood Bowl Wednesday night was a major musical effort. He could have simply performed a program of Cole-related songs with a small group comparable to the classic Cole Trio. Instead, Benson and the L.A. Phil elected – as Cole occasionally did… Read More Live Music: George Benson Salutes Nat “King” Cole at the Hollywood Bowl

The Playboy Jazz Festival: The First Ladies of the Skins

The 2012 Playboy Jazz Festival, which takes place at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, features the rare presence of three world class female jazz drummers.  Writer/musician Devon Wendell describes his reaction when he first saw the Festival line up.   By Devon Wendell Growing up, I always thought of the drums as being this potent… Read More The Playboy Jazz Festival: The First Ladies of the Skins

Konik’s Commentary: “Jazz Is Dead, Part 2: Performing Artists”

By Michael Konik We’ve previously discussed how poor programming choices on jazz radio are unintentionally sabotaging the medium’s noble mission to “keep jazz alive.” But terrestrial radio, an increasingly irrelevant distribution channel in the age of the Internet and satellites, isn’t the only culprit in our music’s alleged “death.” Some of jazz’s most effective assassins… Read More Konik’s Commentary: “Jazz Is Dead, Part 2: Performing Artists”

Live Jazz: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl

By Tony Gieske The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra nestled under the royal purple proscenium of the Hollywood Bowl as if the two were meant for each other. And the band rang with delight like wedding bells. The bandleader, Wynton Marsalis, stood up occasionally at his post in the trumpet section to announce a number,… Read More Live Jazz: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl

The Playboy Jazz Festival (Saturday) at the Hollywood Bowl

By Michael Katz The first day of the Playboy Jazz Festival on Saturday presented a panoply of talented musicians to blow away the persistent marine layer that had enveloped the Hollywood Bowl, providing a joyful party for all. At the same time it caused one to think about the relationship between musicianship and showmanship, and… Read More The Playboy Jazz Festival (Saturday) at the Hollywood Bowl