Tanglewood preview, JazzArtSigns
January 1, 1970As mentioned last week, this week's newsletter is skimpier than most, my choice for the Jazz Notes column having been usurped by a Globe staffer as I was about to leave for a long weekend in Florida. There was a Jazz Notes, however: This Wednesday morning my editor asked me to whip out something quick about this year's Tanglewood Jazz Festival for Friday's paper, and when it ran it had the Jazz Notes rubric attached to it. Why said Globe staffer couldn't have been interrupted from his or her labors on the Grace Kelly piece to dash off the Tanglewood item, I don't know — staffers draw salaries for being available to do such things on short notice, after all — but that's fine with me. It means I continue a long uninterrupted streak of not having missed publishing the column.
In any case, in addition to the Tanglewood preview there's a Calendar pick featuring JazzArtSigns, Lisa Thorson's intriguing accessible-for-all jazz program featuring an improvisational painter, American Sign Language interpreters, and other bells and whistles designed to make jazz available to everyone — including the handicapped. I reviewed the show Thursday night as well, for what I thought would be today's paper. But the review appears to have been held for another day or two. So you'll have to wait until next week to read it.
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W. Marsalis, Brubeck to highlight fest at Tanglewood
By Bill Beuttler, Globe Correspondent | March 10, 2006
Wynton Marsalis and Dave Brubeck top off an impressive lineup for the sixth Tanglewood Jazz Festival, scheduled for Sept. 1-3. Tickets for the festival will go on sale next Friday.
It's become a tradition for the Labor Day weekend festival to open with some Latin heat, and this year's action gets underway Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. with the Big Three Palladium Orchestra. Founded five years ago, the orchestra celebrates three giants of Latin jazz — Machito, Tito Rodriguez, and Tito Puente — and the musical battles they waged at the Palladium Ballroom in New York in the 1950s. It is co-led by two of the maestros' sons: Machito Jr. and Tito Rodriguez Jr.
Another Tanglewood tradition is a live Saturday-afternoon taping of Marian McPartland's National Public Radio show, "Piano Jazz." This year's show is Sept. 2 at 3 p.m., held in Ozawa Hall, with McPartland joined for music and conversation by a guest to be announced.
Grammy and Pulitzer winner Marsalis takes the stage that night at 8 at the Koussevitzky Music Shed, backed by a small ensemble (also to be announced). At 17, Marsalis became the youngest musician ever admitted to Tanglewood's Berkshire Music Center, where he went on to win the Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. Marsalis's recent small-group CDs for Blue Note Records, "The Magic Hour" and "Live at the House of Tribes," showed the 44-year-old trumpeter at his most playful and earthy.
Tanglewood's Sunday afternoon headliner will be the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band, directed by trombonist, arranger-composer, and longtime Gillespie collaborator Slide Hampton. They'll go on at 2 p.m. in Ozawa Hall. Said all-stars include Jimmy Heath, Roy Hargrove, Frank Wess, Claudio Roditi, Antonio Hart, Dennis Mackrel, and Gary Smulyan, among others. Joining them at Tanglewood will be guest vocalist Roberta Gambarini.
Jazz legend Brubeck closes things out Sunday night with his longtime quartet (Bobby Militello, reeds; Michael Moore, bass; Randy Jones, drums) joined by a string symphonette, reminding us that Marsalis wasn't the first jazzman to come along with classical leanings.
Tickets, ranging in price from $17 (lawn tickets) to $75, go on sale next Friday via SymphonyCharge, 888-266-1200, or online at www.tanglewood.org. For more information, call the BSO at 617-266-1492.
© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
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Calendar Jazz Picks
Wheelock Family Theatre, 200 The Riverway, Boston. 617-879-2300. 7:30 p.m. $20, $10 students.
If you've never seen a painter and American Sign Language interpreters trading fours with jazz musicians, you ought to catch JazzArtSigns tonight. It will be just the third performance of the multimedia program since vocalist Lisa Thorson created it in 1999, after VSA arts of Massachusetts approached her about putting together a jazz concept accessible to people with disabilities. Meanwhile, Thorson came across an article about improvisational painter Nancy Ostrovsky (above). Make no mistake, though: The show is accessible to those lacking disabilities, too. "I think for the so-called jazz listening audience, I wanted people to hear what they would hear if we were playing at Scullers - that it wouldn't be that far afield," says Thorson. The extra elements aimed at the handicapped, she notes, actually enhance the show for everyone. "These universal design elements are not just for a specific group of people," Thorson says. "You can at least attempt to make them work for all of us."
Marcus Roberts Trio Wynton Marsalis introduced the jazz world to tradition-steeped pianist Roberts in the 1980s. Now Wynton's younger brother Jason is playing drums in Roberts's trio, with Roland Guerin joining them on bass. Scullers, Doubletree Guest Suites Boston, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston. 617-562-4111. 8 & 10:30 p.m. $22, $62 with dinner.
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey The dynamic young piano trio tours in support of "The Sameness of Difference," a CD whose covers range widely through material by Charles Mingus, Jimi Hendrix, Dave Brubeck, Björk, and Neil Young, among others. Regattabar, Charles Hotel, One Bennett St., Cambridge. 617-395-7757. 7:30 p.m. $15.