Airs Thursday, May 2 at 8:00 p.m. Part One 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. Though the banjo is commonly associated with American musical styles such as country, folk and bluegrass, the stringed instrument was actually adapted from several African musicians before it developed into the modern banjo during the 20th century. One of the most renowned banjoists in the world today is Bela Fleck, who in early 2005, embarked on a trip to Africa in which he collaborated musically with some of the top musicians there. Four years later he assembled some of his favorite musicians from across the African continent and brought them over for a short tour in the United States. During this two-hour program we listen to performances by Toumani Diabate, Vusi Mahlasela, D'Gary, and Anania Ngoliga with their musical partners, and with Bela Fleck and fiddler Casey Driessen.
Airs Thursday, April 25 at 8 p.m. The sound of the Hammond B3 organ with a Leslie speaker evolved in mid 20th century America through a range of music genre's that included blues, rock, gospel and most notably, jazz. Many of the finest players on the instrument were jazz musicians and the trail they blazed is still being traveled today. During this hour we'll hear from one of today's masters, Ike Stubblefield, whose original sound on the instrument reflects not only his love for jazz but also the influence of the church, R&B, and his years play with Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. He'll be joined for this concert by his trio and Marcus Printup on Trumpet and Wycliff Gordon on Trombone.
Airs Thursday, April 18 at 8 p.m. Brazilian music has produced many creative composers and a wealth of great guitarists, but rarely do these talents reside within the same individual. One such exception is the brilliant young musician Chico Pinheiro, who was born in Sao Paolo in 1974, and has distinguished himself as a remarkable presence both in and outside the Brazilian music scene. In this episode, we listen to a 2011 SMF performance of Mr. Pinheiro with his quintet, including a duet performance with Romero Lubambo and a special guest appearance by jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves.
Airs Thursday, April 11 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, April 4 at 8 p.m. Duke Ellington is widely regarded as one of the most important composers in the history of music and his orchestra of the mid 1930's was at the beginning of its creative peak, featuring some of the finest jazz soloists in the history of the music. During the years of 1936 - 40 a series of small group sessions led by Ellington with his key sidemen, were recorded for a variety of different labels and they have all stood the test of time.