Montana Public Radio

jazz

Matt Wilson personifies the spontaneous energy of jazz. He's a drummer's drummer who seems to be everywhere at once, teaching, playing, recording, and bringing jazz to new audiences with the motto: "The answer is YES ... if it's legal."

courtesy of The Hot Sardines

Elizabeth Bougerol, co-leader and singer with The Hot Sardines, joins host John Floridis by phone to talk about the band's genesis. During their COVID-19-enforced performing hiatus, members of the band have been composing new music.

Whether she’s playing piano and singing jazzy pop songs onstage, or hosting “Saturday Night Jazz” for the Canadian CBC Music network, exuberance is the hallmark of pianist-songwriter-singer-arranger Laila Biali. The Vancouver, BC native has collaborated with Sting, Chris Botti, Paula Cole and Suzanne Vega, and has headlined festivals and venues across five continents. In May 2020, with the tour supporting her new album “Out of Dust” on hold, she’s collaborating with fellow musicians via video, calling the series of recordings “Quarantunes.”

Tom Beetz (CC-BY-2.0)

Pat Martino had been playing jazz guitar professionally for 19 years in 1980 when a severe brain aneurysm sent him into life-saving surgery - and then into life-altering amnesia. He barely recognized his own parents, let alone his guitar, and felt as if he had been "dropped cold, empty, neutral, cleansed ... naked." Martino's long journey back from that musical erasure began with his father playing back his own recordings for him. Slowly, he taught himself how to play again. By the early '90s, Martino had returned to the soul-jazz, post-bop and jazz-rock fusion scene.

He was a keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. During a career spanning six decades, Clare Fischer worked with jazz artists like George Benson and pop icons like Prince and Robert Palmer and recorded in a wide variety of settings from solo piano to heading a vocal-dominated Latin group, Salsa Picante. When he had time-off he composed some memorable jazz standards like “Pensativa” and “Morning.”

Tune in at 8 p.m., Monday, March 4 to listen to the works of this amazing musician, on another edition of “Unsung Heroes, Influential but Overlooked Masters of Modern Music.”

Tune in to "What I Like About Jazz" Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. for a live jazz concert from the University of Montana Music Recital Hall.
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Tune in to "What I Like About Jazz" Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. for a live jazz concert from the University of Montana Music Recital Hall. Listen as the UM Jazz Bands present 'Swinging Into the Holidays'. Tune in on your radio or right here at mtpr.org.

Just two years after he'd taken up the bass guitar, sixteen-year-old Nathan East found himself on the road with Barry White. The next time the phone rang, Quincy Jones was on the line. The calls kept coming, and for more than forty years, East has been holding down the bass on hit songs with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, and Daft Punk.

Kevin Porto

Erica von Kleist graduated from Julliard in 2004 with a jazz degree, and spent the next ten years in New York City working as a pianist, saxophonist and flautist, a bandleader, a theater music director, a composer, and an arranger. She collaborated with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra,  Chris Potter, Broadway star Eric Michael Krop, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Rufus Reid, and Anne Hampton Callaway, among many others.

Leni Stern
Sandrine Lee

“It has always been a political act, a practice in strength and defiance, to be a woman and a bandleader, a female electric guitarist and composer, who puts out her own albums and manages her own career..."

That's Leni Stern, German-born, New York-based electric guitarist, singer and composer.

Ellis Marsalis, Jr. is regarded by many as New Orleans’s premier modern jazz pianist. He’s been performing professionally for over fifty years, recording almost twenty albums of his own and guesting on many others, but primarily, Marsalis has focused on education, teaching at the University of New Orleans, Xavier University in Louisiana, and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.

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