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Photo credit: Legends Eyes How would you introduce the reinvented Lisa McClendon to others? I would introduce the reinvention of Lisa McClendon as a rebirthing of the era of Ella Fitzgerald, the area when music had its own language and a timeless sound. How many albums did you have in the gospel arena throughout the…

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Blair Underwood is a very busy man these days. He’s not only scheduled to return to the ABC drama, Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” but he is gearing up to portray a troubled jazz musician in an upcoming play and deliver the commencement speech for the American InterContinental University’s graduating class. Paradise Blue, a play by…

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then seasoned jazz trumpeter Rob Juice’s performances pay homage to the influence of the legendary jazzman Miles Davis. According to Juice he is, “flirtatively” true to the Miles Davis tradition of trumpet playing. “Miles had a way of playing his horn …  it was how he lean[ed] his notes. You…

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While reading Ted Gioia’s jazz.com blog about the ever-dwindling audience of American jazz lovers, I considered a question both jazz enthusiasts and detractors could appreciate: is playing jazz simply played out? While such a question might seem dodgy, as it highlights the decline of what many people in the international community consider America’s greatest contribution…

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August Greene — a hybrid of hip-hop and contemporary jazz featuring rapper Common, jazz pianist Robert Glasper and drummer Karriem Riggins — made their ONE Musicfest debut on Sunday, Sept. 9, in Atlanta. The musicians shared a long working relationship before joining forces and releasing their self-titled debut album on March 9.  They are not a braggadocious…

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Incredibly talented. Classically trained. And capable of singing opera in seven languages all describe music phenom Bilal. Bilal Sayeed Oliver is a creative and unique artist with an immense range of talent that it makes it difficult to categorize his sound. Having attended New York’s New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he received…

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Music producer Phalon Alexander, known by fans around the world as Jazze Pha, has filed for bankruptcy. Having worked with our favorites artists, including Usher, Missy Elliot, Mary J. Blige, Ciara and Lil Wayne, he is now in more than a half million dollars in debt. Here’s what we learnedVia theJasmineBRAND.com: His assets include $3k in his…

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Last fall, Will Smith revisited his love for hip-hop for the first time in 10 years, appearing on the remix of Bomba Estéreo’s “Fiesta.” During a recent segment on the BBC talk show “The Graham Norton Show,” the 47-year-old actor revealed his plans for a bigger music comeback, which includes new music and a reunion tour with,…

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Hailing from Chicago’s South Side, renowned jazz vocalist Zemrah has played every classic hot spot in the city from the Cotton Club to the Saber Room to Mr. Rickey’s Millionaire Room and more. With a unique technique all her own that she refers to as “twisting the song,” Zemrah effortlessly infuses her shows with a…

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The house Jason Orr built 20 years ago, FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival, continues to highlight black excellence. Orr never announces any performers, and that’s by design. Acts like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Raphael Saadiq, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jamie Foxx, OutKast, Goodie Mob, Van Hunt, Donnie, Algebra, Anthony David, Public Enemy, Biz Markie, Eric Roberson,…

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The music, born out of the heart and soul of Louisiana before it migrated north in the early 20th century, has been dubbed “America’s one true artform.”
But when glancing at many of the nation’s most acclaimed musical institutions of higher learning, such as the Berklee College of Music, the makeup of the faculty does not reflect the origins of this popular and praised form of expression.

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