Thursday, March 7, 2013

Two more Women In Jazz interviews for March...

Next up, I'll be interviewing two extremely creative musicians for the Women In Jazz book project, trumpeter and composer Samantha Boshnack and trumpeter and composer Nicole Rampersaud. Both are at ease is a variety of musical idioms, including jazz, free improvisation, and contemporary composition. They've each developed their own unique vernacular, and the scope of their respective projects is a bit overwhelming. And really, they're both just getting started. It may be that they're not so much redefining what it means to play jazz, but simply playing what jazz is in the 21st century.

Nicole Rampersaud
Toronto-based trumpeter, composer, and educator Nicole Rampersaud's has played with some incredible artists, including Anthony Braxton, Bob Brookmeyer, Evan Parker, Rakalam Bob Moses, Joe Morris, and many others. She performed in the New York premier of Anthony Braxton's Composition #103 for Seven Choreographed and Costumed Trumpets with Braxton conducting. Her upcoming projects include a recording of compositions for her quintet co-led with saxophonist Evan Shaw to be released on Barnyard Records.

Samantha Boshnack (photo by Daniel Sheehan)
Keyboardist, composer Wayne Horovitz has this to say about trumpeter and composer Samantha Boshnack: "Sam’s music is a blast, sometimes literally. She plays with all her heart and her projects are always about pushing herself, without a lot of concern for what’s “important” right now or where the “envelope” is. That’s something I admire in an artist. There are a lot of musicians in (Seattle), but Sam is a musician and an artist."

Boshnack leads to ensembles dedicated to performing her compositions, the Sam Boshnack Quintet and the truly awesome "alternative chamber orchestra" B'shnorkestra.

There's a lot more to be said about these two, but for the book, I will let the musicians do the talking. As always, thanks for your support of this project.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March update for Women In Jazz: Jane Monheit and Cheryl Bentyne

VERY exciting month ahead for the Women In Jazz book project. I'll be interviewing singer Jane Monheit for the book, which is exciting and opens up the door to more even more in depth discussion for the book about the voice, jazz, and the current state of the still-changing music industry. The breadth of artistry that exists among women singing jazz is staggering. Put on a record by Billie Holiday and then one by Ella Fitzgerald and you know exactly what I'm talking about. The process of crafting an interview that taps into and presents to the reader the unique perspective of an individualistic  singer (or any musician) is part of the challenge with a project like this.

Monheit has a new album coming out in April that expands her repertoire further to include compositions well outside of the American songbook, and I look forward to talking with her about this intriguing step she's taking with her music.

Also ahead this month, an interview for the book with the extraordinary singer Cheryl Bentyne, one of the four members of the jazz vocal quartet Manhattan Transfer. Bentyne has always sung an extraordinary range of musical styles with formidable technique and feeling. In an age of one-note singers, lip-syncing as the standard for quality, and pointless pyrotechnics (vocal or otherwise), it's refreshing for me to hear the musicality, emotional power, and range of expression among all the singers I've been lucky to interview for the book (including Carmen Lundy, and Sofia Rei, to name just a few). Every voice is unique.

Much more news to come. Thank you for your support.