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Live Reviews

November 4, 2013

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival 2013

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival 2013

By IAN PATTERSON

Guinness Cork Jazz Festival Various Venues Cork Ireland October 25-28, 2013 Whether it was chance or fate is debatable but the fact is that had it not been for a cancelled bridge tournament the first Cork Jazz Festival might never have got off the ground. The 35th Guinness Cork Jazz Festival was officially launched in the Gresham Metropole Hotel, with a bit of the red carpet treatment for guests, sponsors and local dignitaries. It was an entirely appropriate setting in which to kick start four days of music and celebration: “The very first festival ...

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September 17, 2013

Detroit Jazz Festival 2013

Detroit Jazz Festival 2013

By C. ANDREW HOVAN

2013 Detroit Jazz Festivaljny: Detroit, MichiganAugust 30-September 2, 2013Summing up the modus operandi that seemed to characterize so much of the performances at this year's Detroit Jazz Festival, one might sagaciously go with the phrase 'wild abandon.' Now in its 34th year of existence, the festival still boasts the title of “largest free jazz festival in North America." Musician Chris Collins in his sophomore effort as artistic director continues to hone his skills in putting together this cumbersome smorgasbord of delights. As such, things continue to evolve and change, some for the better and some for the ...

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September 16, 2013

Down With Jazz 2013

Down With Jazz 2013

By IAN PATTERSON

Down With JazzMeeting House Squarejny: Dublin, IrelandSeptember 6-8, 2013 Father Conefrey must be turning in his grave. He's surely cursing the cruel fates, for jazz you see, is alive and kicking in Dublin. On New Year's Day 1934 Father Conefrey led a 3,000-strong protest on the streets of Mohill in County Leitrim denouncing the evils of this syncopated music. 'Down with Jazz,' 'Out With Paganism' proclaimed the banners. Jazz, Fr. Conefrey ranted, emanated from “the savages of Africa" and had been brought to Ireland by “the anti-God society, with the object of destroying morals and ...

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September 14, 2013

Chicago Jazz Festival 2013

Chicago Jazz Festival 2013

By MARK CORROTO

Chicago Jazz FestivalChicago, ILAugust 29-September 1, 2013Chicago is...You get the feeling it is a jazz city when, waiting in line at the airport, you overhear a conversation about Anthony Braxton's first meeting with Derek Bailey. Then, your suspicions are confirmed in the taxi, on the drive to the 2013 Chicago Jazz Festival when the cabbie engages you in a discussion of the major works of Eddie Harris and Gene Ammons. From Louis Armstrong's travels up the Mississippi to take up residence here, to soul jazz and the AACM, this city breathes jazz.The festival, ...

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September 4, 2013

Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival 2013

Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival 2013

By MARK HOLSTON

Crown of the Continent Guitar FestivalBigfork, MontanaAugust 26-31, 2013“Either I'm imaging things, or this festival has grown just a little in the four years since I was here last," Pat Metheny laughed as he squinted into the glare of a brace of theater lights. An SRO crowd of over 900 ecstatic fans crammed into a high-arching, rectangular tent fit for an emir's wedding hooted and clapped in response. The guitar icon's telling comments during his recent concert at the Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival in tiny Bigfork, jny: Montana provided a quick way to gauge the ...

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June 25, 2013

OFFest, Skopje, Macedonia, June 1-6, 2013

OFFest, Skopje, Macedonia, June 1-6, 2013

By NENAD GEORGIEVSKI

OFFestSkopje, MacedoniaJune 1-6, 2013Now in its 12th year, the younger sister of the Skopje Jazz Festival has been presenting a more contemporary or 21st century type of world music, where the music is a result of an accelerating fusion, a combination of local traditions with ideas and technologies from afar. It is even more than that, its umbrella has become a destination or a gathering point for a variety of forward-thinking musicians across the entire spectrum of music--from pop musician David Byrne to desert blues rockers like Tamikrest or Terakaft; from Portuguese film composer Rodrigo Leao to ...

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May 18, 2013

Bray Jazz Festival 2013

Bray Jazz Festival 2013

By IAN PATTERSON

Bray Jazz FestivalBray, County WicklowIrelandMay 3-5, 2013 For many years, the picturesque town of Bray's main claim to fame has been that it's the oldest inhabited seaside town in Ireland. That is, it was the main claim to fame until Bray local lass Katie Taylor won boxing gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in the lightweight division, emptying the pubs of Guinness on that heady August day and forever putting Bray well and truly on the map. The Bray Jazz Festival, which was celebrating its 14th edition over the Bank Holiday weekend Festival, is also ...

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April 15, 2013

Cape Town Jazz Festival 2013

Cape Town Jazz Festival 2013

By DAN BILAWSKY

Cape Town Jazz Festival 2013Cape Town, South AfricaApril 5-6, 2013Music has the power to transport those on the receiving end to another place, but the terms of travel are usually figurative in nature. For four North American journalists, however, the figurative took fantastic form with an offer to visit Cape Town, soak in the culture of South Africa, and review the Cape Town Jazz Festival. When oh-so-rare opportunities like this come knocking at your door, you don't simply answer; you pinch yourself, clear your calendar and pack your bags. The festival itself is a ...

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March 26, 2013

Burghausen Jazz Festival 2013

Burghausen Jazz Festival 2013

By JOHN KELMAN

Burghausen Jazz Festival Burghausen, Germany March 12-17, 2013 Located almost exactly halfway along the border of the province of Bavaria (located in Germany's southeast) and Austria, the town of Burghausen might seem an odd place for a jazz festival, especially one now celebrating its 44th year. But this town of just 18,000 people, located literally a stone's throw (or a quick bridge walk) away from Austria, has long been a wealthy town, thanks to the Wacker chemical company. But just as is true with oil-rich Norway, having money in no way ensures that it will be used ...

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January 2, 2013

ECM: A Cultural Archeology

ECM: A Cultural Archeology

By JOHN KELMAN

ECM: A Cultural ArcheologyHaus der KunstMünchen, GermanyNovember 23, 2012-February 10, 2013A trip to München (Munich) is a bit like a pilgrimage for fans of Germany's ECM label, especially right now, with the city's Haus der Kunst hosting a three-month exhibition, ECM: A Cultural Archeology, celebrating the music of this nearly 44 year-old label on the cusp of founder and primary producer Manfred Eicher's 70th birthday in 2013. The exhibition, curated by Okwui Enwezor and Markus Müller, combines visuals that include video performances and plenty of still images from the label's massive archives, with historical information ...

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December 27, 2012

Penang Island Jazz Festival 2012

Penang Island Jazz Festival 2012

By IAN PATTERSON

9th Penang Island Jazz FestivalBayview HotelPenang, MalaysiaNovember 29--December 2, 2012 From pickup at the airport at 10.30pm to personal send-off five days later at 4.00am, Paul Augustin, the Director of the Penang Island Jazz Festival, is what you could call the perfect host. It's this personal touch--instilled in the festival staff's ethos--that sets the PIJF apart from many bigger and more famous festivals. It's no surprise therefore, with such personal attention the norm, that the good vibes translate to the musicians and from the musicians to the audience. Augustin has a good handle on what ...

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December 17, 2012

Barcelona Voll-Damm Jazz Festival: Barcelona, Spain, November 24-30, 2012

Barcelona Voll-Damm Jazz Festival: Barcelona, Spain, November 24-30, 2012

By BRUCE LINDSAY

Barcelona Voll-Damm International Jazz FestivalBarcelona, SpainNovember 24-30, 2012Sometimes picking a few festival highlights is easy. A big name turns on the charm, one or two young Turks announce their arrival on the scene, someone famous steps up at a jam session--the rest is okay, just nothing special. The Barcelona Voll-Damm Internacional Jazz Festival makes the process frustratingly difficult--it's a festival full of highlights, surprises and memorable moments, and the 2012 incarnation--the 44--proved to be no exception. Big names featured in abundance--pianists Chick Corea and Brad Mehldau both gave concerts in the final week; saxophonist Sonny Rollins, bassist/vocalist ...

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