Airs Monday, December 30 at 8 p.m. The Berklee College of Music in Boston has educated at least eight bandleaders playing this year's Newport Jazz Festival, and several other sidemen. So it's appropriate that the school annually sends one of its most enterprising student groups to Newport. At the Harbor Stage, Puerto Rican saxophonist Mario Castro leads a group of musicians from places as far-flung as South Korea, Israel and California, and as close as a few hours north on the Massachusetts coast.
Airs Thursday, December 12 at 8:00 p.m. Born in New York City in 1904, Fats Waller played the organ and sang in the choir of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, where his father was the minister. By the time he was a teenager, the lure of playing in the theatre and accompanying silent films transformed his passion for playing music. Over the next ten years he emerged as one of the finest stride pianists while developing his skills as an arranger and composer, making him one of the most popular performers of his era. In this episode, we listen to a 2010 SMF performance of Fats Waller's music by pianist/scholar Dick Hyman.
Airs Monday, December 9 at 8 p.m. The New York trumpet player performed with his sister, Anat, at the Newport Jazz Festival on August 7. What is it with trumpeter Avishai Cohen and triples lately? He recently recorded a pair of albums with his band Triveni, a free-swinging trio which showcases his fervent imagination. He's also one of three Cohen siblings in jazz's top echelon; Avishai invited his big sister Anat, the celebrated clarinet specialist, to join him here. Fresh off a European tour with Dave Douglas' Tea For Three project, Cohen performs with Triveni and special guests at Newport's Harbor Stage.
Airs Thursday, December 5 at 8 p.m. The lineage of great jazz musicians in Georgia goes back to the early 20th century when such renowned musicians as Fletcher Henderson came out of Atlanta University, moved to New York city and formed one of the finest big bands of all time. In this episode we feature previous Savannah Music Festival performances by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and trumpeter Marcus Printup, both of whom are from Georgia and will return to the SMF in 2011.