Airs Thursday, May 23 at 8 p.m. Tucked between Togo to the west and Nigeria on the east, the West African nation of Benin is one of the smallest on the continent, yet it has produced one of Africa's finest contemporary musicians. During the Spring of 2011, we premiered a special production featuring guitarist Lionel Loueke in a seven-piece ensemble under the direction of Robert Sadin. Working together, Sadin and Loueke crafted an extraordinary hour-long set built around original compositions and an array of stunning instrumentalists: Sadin conducted cellist Vincent Segal, violinist Mark Feldman, multi-reed and wind player Charles Pillow, along with Walter Blanding on bass clarinet, percussionists Cyro Baptista and Thioko Diagne, while Loueke sang and played guitar.
Airs Thursday, May 16 at 8 p.m. There have been many outstanding piano trios throughout the history of jazz, each with its own signature sound. There is the majestic swing of the Oscar Peterson Trio, the classy bop of the Hank Jones Trio, the great independence of the Bill Evans Trio, and the powerful virtuosity of Bud Powell's trios. Each great jazz piano trio brought something slightly different into the fold, combining swing, group interaction, and musical dynamics in unique ways. In this episode, we listen to one of the finest contemporary jazz piano trios, the Bill Charlap Trio, in concert at the 2011 Savannah Music Festival with special guest Houston Person. Part two of two.
Airs Thursday, May 3 at 8:00 p.m. Part Two of Two: Banjoist Bela Fleck performs alongside exceptional African musicians such as Toumani Diabate, Vusi Mahlasela, D'Gary, Anania Ngoliga and others. Recorded at the Trustees Theater during the Savannah Music Festival. Bela Fleck is often considered the premier banjo player in the world. While he is probably best known for his group The Flecktones, his musical projects have included straight-ahead and progressive bluegrass, as well as collaborations with jazz pianist Chick Corea, bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, and Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, among others.