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The National Music Council presented their 35th annual American Eagle Awards to jazz legends Chick Corea and The Manhattan Transfer on Thursday, June 28 at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville. The American Eagle honors are presented each year in recognition of long-term contributions to American musical culture and heritage, the importance of music education and inspiration for all children, and the need to protect creators’ rights both locally and globally.
“At this year’s event, we are honoring the artists who bring life and imagination to one of our country’s most revered and treasured genres of music – jazz,” said David Sanders, Director of the National Music Council. “The time has come to celebrate the enduring legacies and versatility of Chick Corea and all the members of The Manhattan Transfer. Each has set an extraordinary standard for ongoing contribution to American musical culture and heritage, and will rightly serve as a mentor or role model for aspiring jazz artists for years to come.”
Recognized as one of music’s most influential stylists, Chick Corea has reached iconic status as a keyboardist, composer and bandleader. Corea is a DownBeat Hall of Famer and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, as well as the fourth-most nominated artist in GRAMMY® Awards history with 63 nods – and 22 wins, in addition to a number of Latin GRAMMYs. From straight-ahead to avant-garde, bebop to jazz-rock fusion, children’s songs to chamber and symphonic works, Corea has accessed an impressive repertoire of musical genres in the past fifty years since first performing with several Miles Davis bands in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Yet Corea has never been more productive than in the 21st century, whether playing acoustic piano or electric keyboards, leading multiple bands, performing solo or collaborating with a “who’s who” of music. Underscoring his long list of accomplishments, he was also named Artist of the Year three times this decade in the DownBeat Readers Poll. The Massachusetts-born musician remains a tireless creative spirit, continually reinventing himself through his art. As The New York Times noted, he is “a luminary, ebullient and eternally youthful.” Long-time friend, Hubert Laws presented Corea with the award.
A cornerstone for great pop and jazz hits, The Manhattan Transfer has built a legacy that began at the time of their very first recording 43 years ago. The legendary quartet of Alan Paul, Cheryl Bentyne, Janis Siegel and the late Tim Hauser, has been awarded 10 GRAMMY Awards of 20 nominations and has been inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame. With sold-out world tours and worldwide record sales in the millions, The Manhattan Transfer continues to bring unique and extraordinary, melodic and jazz-infused vocals to new and established audiences that span generations. With the March 2018 release of The Junction, their extraordinary contribution to American popular music continues. The award was presented by Nashville legend, Dianne Davidson, a long-time friend of the group.
The new American Eagle honorees join a “who’s who” list of cultural giants including Stephen Sondheim, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Clive Davis, Van Cliburn, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Morton Gould, Dave Brubeck, Marian Anderson, Max Roach, Lena Horne, Roy Clark, Elliott Carter, Ervin Drake, Theo Bikel, Roberta Peters, Odetta, Leonard Slatkin, Sesame Street, Hard Rock Café, and VH1’s Save the Music Foundation. In 2017, the NMC also recognized the indelible contributions of songwriter/poet, Patti Smith, country legend Crystal Gale, and comedian, musician and actor, Harry Shearer at the Nashville Summer NAMM Show.
The National Music Council celebrates these great artists in part to highlight the importance of the 5 Musical Rights developed and enumerated in cooperation with the International Music Council. These rights are that all children and adults must have the freedom and ability to: (1) express themselves musically in all freedom; (2) learn musical language and skills; (3) have access to musical involvement through participation, listening, creation and information; (4) develop their artistry and communicate through all media; (5) obtain just recognition and fair remuneration for their work.
About The National Music Council
The US Congressionally-chartered National Music Council is celebrating its 77th year as a forum for the free discussion of this country’s national music affairs and challenges. Founded in 1940 to act as a clearinghouse for the joint opinion and decision of its members and to work to strengthen the importance of music in our lives and culture, the Council’s initial membership of 13 has grown to almost 50 national music organizations, encompassing every important form of professional and commercial musical activity. Through the cooperative work of its member organizations, the National Music Council promotes and supports music and music education as an integral part of the curricula in the schools of our nation, and in the lives of its citizens. The Council provides for the exchange of information and coordination of efforts among its member organizations and speaks with one voice for the music community whenever an authoritative expression of opinion is desirable. www.musiccouncil.org
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,300 members around the world. The NAMM Foundation works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit http://www.nammfoundation.org.
We are honored and thrilled to be joining a roster of incredible jazz artists from across the globe for this year’s International Jazz Day Global Concert in St. Petersburg – April 30, 2018!
The All-Star Global Concert brings together a stellar lineup of international artists representing jazz and many other genres of music for a performance that spans styles, cultures and languages. In the spirit of International Jazz Day, each year’s All-Star Global Concert takes place in a landmark venue with rich historical significance both to the Global Host City and to the hosting nation.
The 2018 All-Star Global Concert will take place at St. Petersburg’s famed Mariinsky Theatre, home to the internationally acclaimed Mariinsky Ballet and one of the crown jewels of a city renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage sites. The 2018 Global Concert will be webcast on JazzDay.com and Facebook beginning at 19:00 GMT+3 / 4 pm US Eastern.
Long considered Russia’s cultural capital, St. Petersburg has played an important role in the popularization and development of jazz in Russia. The country’s jazz scene was born in 1927 in St. Petersburg with the appearance of the “First Concert Jazz Band” at the St. Petersburg State Capella, followed by the creation of the first jazz collective in 1929. Moreover, St. Petersburg is the only city in the country to have a Jazz Philharmonic Hall, founded in 1989.
The 2018 All-Star Global Concert will feature nearly three dozen acclaimed artists representing 14 countries. Herbie Hancock (USA) and Igor Butman (Russia) will serve as co-artistic directors, and John Beasley (USA) will serve as musical director. Additional confirmed artists include: Cyrille Aimée (France), Oleg Akkuratov (Russia), Till Brönner (Germany), Oleg Butman (Russia), Terri Lyne Carrington (USA), Joey DeFrancesco (USA), Fatoumata Diawara (Mali), Vadim Eilenkrig (Russia), Kurt Elling (USA), Antonio Faraò (Italy), James Genus (USA), Robert Glasper (USA), David Goloschyokin (Russia), Hassan Hakmoun (Morocco), Gilad Hekselman (Israel), Horacio Hernandez (Cuba), Taku Hirano (Japan), Anatoly Kroll (Russia), Gaoyang Li (China), Rudresh Mahanthappa (USA), The Manhattan Transfer (USA), Branford Marsalis (USA), James Morrison (Australia), Moscow Jazz Orchestra (Russia), Makoto Ozone (Japan), Danilo Pérez (Panama), Dianne Reeves (USA), Lee Ritenour (USA), Luciana Souza (Brazil) and Ben Williams (USA), among others…
The Manhattan Transfer is THRILLED to announce the release of their latest album, THE JUNCTION! Remembering Tim Hauser and welcoming Trist Curless, The Manhattan Transfer has embraced new dynamic and fresh possibilities for their legendary sound in this eclectic new recording produced by five-time Grammy winner Mervyn Warren.
“The concept behind THE JUNCTION is this special meeting place – a junction merging our four and a half decade musical legacy with something new,” says Alan Paul. “It wasn’t exactly a seamless transition because Tim is irreplaceable, he and Trist are very different singers. We weren’t looking to replace Tim’s unique personality, but found in Trist someone who could add a new element to the group, and take care of the bottom of the quartet with his true bass.”
“It’s a whole different ball game, but one we feel is still musically very viable and exciting,” Janis Siegel adds.
Curless reflects, “My personal desire was that the album would sound like The Manhattan Transfer, keeping with what they’ve done, but bringing a new energy that would come naturally with my strengths as an artist, becoming a part of theirs.”
The songs The Manhattan Transfer have chosen are rife with cool new musical twists and Warren’s sparkling vocal arrangements, perfectly reflect the band’s forward-thinking aesthetic.
Cheryl Bentyne penned sly lyrics to saxophonist Grace Kelly’s moody, film noir-ish “Blues for Harry Bosch” which reference numerous classic detective movies. Paul co-write “Swing Balboa (Down on Riverside)” mixing the classic Balboa swing sound with edgy, modern electro-swing. Siegel co-wrote and sings lead on the hip, uptempo Shake Your Boogie (Galactic Vocal Version), whose story cleverly incorporates a playful element of Star Wars. And Curless brings us to The Junction – an homage to the TMT classic Tuxedo Junction.
TMT finds new joy in harmonizing the classic rap of Us3’s early 90’s hip-hop/jazz hit “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” – based on Herbie Hancock’s soul-jazz treasure “Cantaloop Island” – which the quartet fashions into Cantaloop (Flip Out!). They also bring newfound pleasures and a party energy to the crowd pleaser, Tequila: The Way of the Booze, with lyrics by Paul. Balancing these optimistic bursts are more pointed social commentaries – XTC’s The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul and Rickie Lee Jones’ harmonically dissonant Ugly Man.
“As the work on this album reflects — democracy is the fabric of the group. It has been from the beginning,” says Bentyne. “We all have a different take on music and appreciate different styles, so each member brings something to the table that is unique. We have tremendous faith in that process. This album is completely us, a true snapshot of who we are right now, having survived so many hardships, but looking forward to exciting new chapters in the band’s story. We give great credit to Mervyn Warren, without whom this project would not have come together as beautifully as it did. His participation, oversight, brilliant arrangements and production helped us make one of our strongest musical statements ever.”
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On reARRANGEMENTS OF SHADOWS, veteran vocalist CHERYL BENTYNE re–imagines songs by the iconic Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. Widely known for her 38 years as part of the renowned vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, Bentyne is also a solo performer with over a dozen CDs under her own name as well as several collaborative projects with other singers and instrumentalists.
Sondheim’s lyrics are often di cult to sing outside the context of his shows. It takes an artist of Bentyne’s stature to create her own fully realized, personal context from Sondheim’s often di cult lyrics.
The ten tunes that comprise reARRANGEMENTS OF SHADOWS are mostly well–known to theater a cionados. To create a fresh, new take for each song and an exciting, unpredictable dynamic for the entire project, she enlisted the help of several of the most innovative jazz arrangers around today. The diverse approaches of each arranger all coalesce into a uni ed soundscape by Bentyne’s melli uous vocal quality and incandescent emotional honesty.
reARRANGEMENTS OF SHADOWS will be available in stores and online everywhere.
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