Last year, I published a post about one of the great remaining original country blues musicians, Robert Belfour.
Sadly, it was announced on the 24th of February that he had passed away at age 74. He was not insured apparently, which is a sad reality for musicians who aren't popular with massive audiences. The Memphis Blues Society is taking donations to help his family at this time. Truly a blues story being lived.
He dedicated most of his life performing the deep roots blues, and wasn't recognized until the early 2000's when he released his major recordings. He will be missed; RIP Robert.
UNESCO Goodwill ambassador Herbie Hancock has announced that this years International Jazz Day host city will be Paris, France. Last Year, it was Osaka, Japan.
April 30 has been officially announced as International Jazz Day, where a massive concert and other jazz related events take place to celebrate the contributions of this great music.
The concert will feature:
The 2015 All-Star Global Concert will feature a cast of internationally renowned jazz artists including pianists John Beasley (Music Director), A Bu, Antonio Faraò and Herbie Hancock; trumpeters Till Brönner, Ibrahim Maalouf, Hugh Masekela and Claudio Roditi; vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau, Rudy Pérez and Dianne Reeves; saxophonists Igor Butman, Ravi Coltrane, Femi Kuti, Guillaume Perret and Wayne Shorter; bassists James Genus and Marcus Miller; guitarist Lee Ritenour; drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and harmonica player Grégoire Maret.
The Huffington Post published an article discussing the realism of the Oscar winning film Whiplash, drawing how the film portrayed jazz musicians and teachers in a wrong way. In the film, an aspiring jazz drumming student gets in a heated rivalry with his instructor at a music conservatory. The film won 3 Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Film Editing, and Sound Mixing.
I do agree that the film overdid what real jazz players and instructors do; instructors don't call students names or be violent, and students have rarely (if ever) bled while practicing their instruments.
One jazz professor at Julliard, Mark Sherman, says:
"If Wynton Marsalis, who's my boss here at Juilliard, did that, called kids "cocksuckers" and badgered kids like that -- he'd be thrown out."
The good thing about the film is that is brings jazz into the big screen, something missing from today's media. And although the film went overboard with the drama for the sake of pulling in the audience, it might not have portrayed it in a way that might let people actually go out to listen or buy jazz records.
Last night a tribute concert to Bob Marley took place in Bayt Lothan (Kuwait). Three performing acts each performed a selection of covers and originals. We got together for one big jam of Marley's classic hit 'Stir It Up'.
The performers are: Amin AKA Mr. Fari, Fabrice, and Karrouhat Band (Basel Hadi, Hashim Al-Nasser, Abdulrahman Essa, Alex Abdalian, Ali Sleeq (me), and Fredrico Del Melo). Sound and audio by Sarj.