April 23, 2019

THURSDAY, APR. 23, 2020 at 8:00 PM | LITTLE ROCK

Season Sponsor: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

“This young musician and composer is at once reestablishing the artistic, cultural, and social tradition of jazz while creating an entirely new jazz language for the 21st century.”
MacArthur Foundation

April 23, 2019

THURSDAY, JAN. 30, 2020 at 8:00 PM | LITTLE ROCK

Season Sponsor: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

“An elegant force of musical invention, Fred Hersch can not be discounted in any discussion of the top contemporary jazz pianists.”
LA Times

April 23, 2019

THURSDAY, NOV. 14, 2019 at 8:00 PM | LITTLE ROCK

Season Sponsor: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

“[Marsalis’s] playing is eccentric within graceful boundaries, concerned with polyrhythm as science, history and gamesmanship, full of technique used to nonslick ends…Discipline and strategy are written deeply into the band.”
New York Times

April 23, 2019

THURSDAY, SEPT. 5, 2019 at 8:00 PM | LITTLE ROCK

Season Sponsor: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

“One of the most underrated pianists in jazz today ... Martin plays with the kind of daring and excitement that marks a distinctive personality on the keyboard.”
Washington Post

November 20, 2018

A Points South essay from the North Carolina Music Issue.

Shortly after publishing the biography John Coltrane: His Life and Music, Lewis Porter received a letter from a man who identified himself as a Coltrane. Only not, presumably, one related to the great jazz musician. His ancestors had been white farmers in North Carolina. “He said, ‘I’ve been looking into my family history,’” Porter recalled recently, “‘and I have here a bill of sale that could be interesting.’” 

November 21, 2017

An interview with Les McCann from the Kentucky Music Issue. 

All through high school the band teacher and I were very good friends. He received tickets to all the bands and brought me to concerts. I was in perfect heaven. I never said no to anything. And my mother was a fake opera singer. She’d listen to the opera every Sunday while she cleaned house and wooooo, oh my God, it was great! Everybody was into something. Right across the street from our house was the Elk’s Club, so every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night you’d hear a beautiful organ trio playing. 

November 21, 2017

A Points South essay from the Kentucky Music Issue. 

The last time I heard Jimmy Raney play was at Bellarmine College in Louisville. To know that a master like Raney had gone deaf was to know that a Rembrandt was burning. He played alone because he could no longer hear well enough to play with others.

November 10, 2007

Celebrating the idiosyncratic genius of Thelonious Monk, born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on October 10, 1917.

In a remarkable 1963 appearance with Juilliard professor and friend, Hall Overton, at the New School in New York, Monk demonstrated his technique of “bending” or “curving” notes on the piano, the most rigidly tempered of instruments. He drawled notes like a human voice and blended them (playing notes C and C-sharp at the same time, for example) to create his own dialect. Overton told the audience, “That can’t be done on piano, but you just heard it.” He then explained that Monk achieved it by adjusting his finger pressure on the keys, the way baseball pitchers do to make a ball’s path bend, curve, or dip in flight.

September 05, 2017

The lounge’s changes reflect those of Trenton, which has been hit by deindustrialization, white flight, falling property values, a cratering tax base, budget cuts, and a drop in educational resources. There is probably a recovery formula for the rest of the city somewhere in the tiny fragment of an integrated, prospering populace that materializes for the Candlelight Saturday Sabbath with its transubstantiation of mouthpiece, breath, drum skin, string, and inner ear stereocilia into camaraderie.

June 01, 2013

Some people come to the old Jazzland amusement park by way of the service road off Interstate 510, bringing their cars directly onto the grounds. Before the city stepped up security, I once saw a blue Corvette and black Chevy S-10 pull up and proceed to chase each other at top speed around the central lagoon, then disappear to the far end of the abandoned park. But if you come on foot, it’s best to slip through the hole cut in the chain-link fence, picking your way through the broken glass and shards of scrap metal in the parking lot.

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