Joining Jim on the broadcast will be John C. Reilly, Grammy®, Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominated artist/actor, along with live music from an All Star Americana quartet featuring Don Heffington, Greg Leisz and Don Was and lead by Buddy Miller. Other musical acts to be featured include newcomer Robert Ellis and seminal Americana artists Shelby Lynne and Lucinda Williams.
Loudon Wainwright III Family Reunion At New York's Town Hall
Loudon Wainwright III brought plenty of his talented family and friends to his May 18 performance at the prestigious Town Hall in New York City. Most of the performers on stage were also on board as collaborators on Loudon's most recent and highly praised album, Older Than My Old Man Now, released April 17.
Loudon's latest album reflects on family, as always, but more than ever on life and aging. The album and the Town Hall show both featured collaborations with his son Rufus and daughters Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche as well as Lucy's Mother, Suzzy Wainwright Roche. Also featured were Loudon's sister Sloan Wainwright and his nephew (Sloan's son) Sam McTavey. Topping off an already formidable bill of guest performers were personal friends and fellow musical collaborators: Chaim Tannenbaum, a familiar voice and player throughout Loudon's auspicious career and recent collaborator on Older Than My Old Man Now plus famed all around talent, David Mansfield, who has appeared with a Who's Who of major stars and on many of Loudon's projects including his 2010 Grammy Winning Best Traditional Folk Album High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project.
John Hammond Inducted Into New York Blues Hall of Fame
One of the world's premier blues artists, New York native John Hammond was inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 20, 2012. The New York chapter of The Blues Hall of Fame gathered at New York's legendary Kenny's Castaways to celebrate John Hammond and the other inductees for their tireless work and dedicated and ongoing contributions to this treasured American art form. This latest honor comes just one year after John was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame.
A Grammy winner and six time nominee, Hammond's illustrious career includes collaborations with John Lee Hooker, Tom Waits, Dr. John, JJ Cale, Duane Allman, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton among many many more. Catch John Hammond on stage as he continues to tour the world, please see Tour Dates >>
Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews Honored At Tulane University Commencement with President's Medal
Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews was honored at Tulane University's commencement ceremonies on Saturday May 19, 2012 with The President's Medal. The President's Medal was established in 1999 by President Scott S. Cowen. The medal is awarded at the sole discretion of the President to individuals who have distinguished themselves by their actions and who have contributed to the well-being of Tulane University or the city of New Orleans.
Previous recipients of the award include Wendell Pierce, Wynton Marsalis, Anderson Cooper, Ellen DeGeneres, James Carville, Mary Matalin, William Safire, Brian Williams and Cokie Roberts. In addition to the 2700 Graduates this year, recipients of honorary degrees also included Tulane graduate and current EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson as well as civil rights pioneer Ruby Bridges and mathematician, Peter Lax.
Dr. John and Bettye LaVette Featured Among Star Studded Cast at the Harlem Apollo's Jazz Foundation of America Fundraiser
On May 17 2012 Dr. John and Bettye LaVette performed at the historic Harlem Apollo Theatre, joining a host of luminaries from across the music and entertainment world. The night included appearances from Quincy Jones (the show's producer), U2's Bono, Macy Gray and former Saturday Night Live star Darrell Hammond, coming together for the eleventh annual Jazz Foundation of America benefit gala, A Great Night in Harlem.
For the past 22 years the Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) has played a vital role in supporting American musicians who hail from the culturally rich roots of jazz and blues. JFA's mission is to help those who have dedicated their lives to their art and then find themselves in times of crisis. The JFA handles up to 6,000 cases annually ranging from Emergency Assistance programs to providing access to essential medical providers, allowing vulnerable artists to get back on their feet and back to making music.
In addition to performances by Bettye LaVette and Dr. John, A Great Night in Harlem night opened with marching sets from The Treme Brass Band and Rebirth Brass Band - a nod to the foundation's work in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Pedrito Martinez' New Yorker Magazine Feature, Jazz Fest, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center Appearances Boost Profile
Cuban born Pedrito Martinez is becoming known as one of the world's best percussionists. Having toured widely with Yerba Buena, Pedrito has been focusing attention on his own group for the past few years and their profile is now growing faster than ever. Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Derek Trucks, Angelique Kidjo, John Scofield and many more have come by his New York shows and been converted. In the past weeks alone Pedrito has also been asked to participate in other major events across the globe.
The group just returned from dates at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival where the group performed on both the Congo Square Stage and at the Jazz Tent. While it's rare enough for anyone to perform more than once at the Festival, Pedrito also performed as a guest on sets at the Festival with Galactic, Henry Butler and Los Hombres Calientes, with whom he previously recorded two albums and toured with as a member. The buzz on Pedrito had people seeking him out at his local nightclub shows as well with Jimmy Buffett and Harrison Ford joining Jazz Fest Executive Director Quint Davis at a high energy show at Chickie Wah Wah.
Pedrito recently collaborated with James Taylor, Elton John, Jennifer Hudson, Bruno Mars, Meryl Streep, and Esperanza Spaulding at Sting's Rainforest benefit at Carnegie Hall AND with Paul Simon, Wynton Marsalis and Aaron Neville at Jazz At Lincoln Center. Upcoming shows vary from festivals like Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam and Floyd Fest to residencies at the prestigious Montreux and Umbria Jazz Festivals as well as an appearance at Newport Jazz Festival.
Ruthie Foster won the Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues Female of the Year, an honor awarded to her in 2011. In addition, Ruthie's Live at Antone's captured the DVD of the Year. Marcia Ball was honored with the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award making this her 5th win of her 14 previous Blues Music Award nominations in this category.
Formerly known as the W.C. Handy Awards, the BMAs were staged at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN, by the Memphis-based Blues Foundation. The annual event brings together Blues performers, industry representatives and fans from all over the world to celebrate the best in Blues recordings and performances from the previous year.
With over 60 categories, all ISC entries were judged by influential artists and executives across various musical genres like Tori Amos, Ozzy Ozbourne, Jeff Beck, James Cotton, Mose Allison, Toots Hibbert, and Wynonna Judd. Fellow Rosebud Artist Trombone Shorty also participated in the ISC as a judge for the Jazz category. For more information on the International Songwriter's Competition visit Songwritingcompetition.com.
Bill Frisell Receives Prestigious Doris Duke Performing Artists Award and Nominations for 2012 Jazz Awards
Adding yet another highlight to an already illustrious career, noted Jazz Guitarist/Composer/Arranger Bill Frisell has been named as one of the first Recipients of an unrestricted grant of $225,000 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Program Director Rachel Ford stated, "This first class of 21 Doris Duke Artists is known for creating work that inspires and challenges audiences from across the country, and indeed around the globe...At its heart, this award recognizes the important contributions of these performing artists to the dynamic cultural fabric of our nation." The Doris Duke Performing Artists Awards winners were drawn from the disciplines of contemporary dance, jazz, theatre and multidisciplinary and will share $5.775 million to use for artistic creation, audience development, and retirement support. Frisell and other recipients were chosen anonymously by their peers based on having demonstrated "exceptional creativity, ongoing self-challenge and the continuing potential to make significant contributions to their fields in the future." For more information on the Doris Duke Performing Artists Awards, visit DDPAA.org.
Bill has also been nominated for two Jazz Journalist Association's 2012 Jazz Awards in Guitarist of the Year and Photo of the Year categories. Already a six time winner as Guitarist of the Year, Frisell shares this year's nomination with Jon Scofield, Mary Halvorson, and Pat Metheny. Bill shares the Photo of The Year nomination with fellow Rosebud Artist Trombone Shorty among many others. This year's winners will be announced at The Blue Note, NYC on June 20. For more information, visit JJAJAZZAWARDS.org.
These accolades come on the heels of Bill's latest CD release, FLORATONE II (March 3, Savoy Jazz). This Fall, Frisell assumes duties as SFJAZZ Center's Inaugural Artistic Director (sharing responsibilities with co-directors Regina Carter, Jason Moran, John Santos and Miguel Zenón). With forty-five albums as part in his repertoire, Bill continues to tour extensively worldwide in various formats which currently include The Beautiful Dreamers, All We Are Saying: Bill Frisell Explores the Music of John Lennon, and The Great Flood - performing the musical accompaniment to Bill Morrison's movie of the same name (see shows detail). Catch Bill Frisell live on stage. Please see tour dates >>
The Blind Boys of Alabama Celebrate Amnesty International's 50th Anniversary
Inspired by Amnesty International's work and perseverance and by the Arab Spring uprising, music veteran Carl Carlton and his partners co-writer Ben Campbell, music executive/activist Jochen Wilms, and Art for Amnesty founder Bill Shipsey teamed up with The Blind Boys of Alabama and other artists such as Carly Simon, Ewan McGregor, Kris Kristofferson, Warren Haynes, Taj Mahal, and the late Levon Helm to create this tribute.
Throughout the years, The Blind Boys of Alabama have dedicated much of their energy towards important causes around the globe. It was very natural for them to partake in the "Toast To Freedom." project. Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty said, "Human rights are everybody's business. I would like to thank all the people who gave their time to make this project happen. I hope 'Toast To Freedom' will become a major source of inspiration in the coming years." For more information on the "Toast To Freedom" project, visit ToastToFreedom.org.
The legendary Blind Boys of Alabama were founded in 1939 at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind. With a career spanning more than 70 years, the Blind Boys' accolades include 5 GRAMMY Awards, a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award, and recognition from 3 U.S. Presidential Administrations. Catch the Blind Boys performing live on stage, please see Tour Dates >>
Marcia Ball Inducted Into Louisiana Music Hall of Fame
On April 22, 2012 five-time Grammy nominee Marcia Ball became the most recent inductee into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Executive Director Mike Shepherd presented Marcia with her plaque and commemorative pin before her headline performance at the Baton Rouge Earth Day Festival. Upon graciously receiving her award, Marcia shared insight to her connection with Baton Rouge, "It is my home - where I started playing music, this is where my parents met. It's where I went to college. It's where my life changed, where I had the opportunity to become the person I am and to pursue the thing I love to do the most because of the way Baton Rouge is and the way you are."
In 2010, the State of Louisiana declared that The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame is "the official honors and recognition organization, and information resource, for and about Louisiana's music, musicians and musical heritage." Since it's inception in 1979, The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame has recognized native, in-residence, and contributing artists in musical genres with deep Louisiana roots - Jazz, Blues, Dixieland, Rhythm & Blues, Rockabilly, Rock 'n' Roll, and Zydeco. Marcia Ball now shares the honor with the likes of Dr. John (Mac Rebbenack), Allen Toussaint, Mahalia Jackson, BeauSoleil, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Domino, Little Richard and Ernie K-Doe.
Marcia performed at home during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Jazz Fest, and Wednesday At The Square. Catch Marcia on a stage near you, please see Tour Dates >>