Students, download your application for 2017 Jazz Competition

Student Jazz Competition
Student Jazz Competition

Plans for the 2017 Student Jazz Competition have begun, and applications will be accepted through Feb. 17, 2017. This will be the seventh year for the competition – showcasing the region’s talented student jazz performers and contributing much needed financial support.

To download a flyer with more information on the competition, click here (PDF, 250K).

To download the application form, click here (PDF, 350K).

For more information on the competition, see our 2017 Student Jazz Competition page.

CD Review: "Algorithmic Society," The Girshevich Trio

Algorithmic Society
The Girshevich Trio
Tapestry Records

The Girshevich Trio
The Girshevich Trio

Here’s an intriguing recording for the adventurous jazz listener. It features then-12 year old drummer, Aleks Girsevich, father and pianist Vlad Girshevich and virtuoso, elder-statesman bassist Eddie Gomez.
The title is sort of a double-entendre—Algorithmic Society. The real definition can be stated as a formula for solving a problem. The second portion of this entendre relates to the third and fourth syllable.

All compositions are by father-pianist Vlad, an Uzbekistani by birth and now resident of Colorado. Vlad has a long history of collaboration with jazz greats such as Arturo Sandoval, Jerry Gonzalez and drummer Horacio “el Negro” Hernandez.

This is not drummer Aleks’ first CD release as the first was recorded at age 11 and entitled Tomorrow. It was favorably reviewed by Critical Jazz and All about Jazz. The current CD was made in 2014, so now Aleks is 14. On some numbers the music is augmented by a string group and on the first number, Healing the Chaos, percussionist Rony Barrak joins the trio.

Of the nine pieces, which total one hour, my two favorites were Unborn Tales played at a moderate tempo and shows talents of Alex, Vlad and Eddie Gomez to best advantage. The most complex number is Algorithmic Society an upbeat tune with tricky rhythms, again showcasing the talents of all three.

Reviewing a CD of all-new music is a challenge. I understand that there are some reviewers who will refuse to review such. However, to supplement what I was able to glean from listening, reading the liner notes and the news release which came with the CD, I called record producer Tom Burns. Tom gave me some details and referred me to father-pianist Vlad Girshevich. A summary of supplemental information was that Eddie Gomez was a visiting performer at Dazzle Club in Denver. He graciously agreed to record with Vlad and Aleks. Rehearsal with Eddie was merely a talk-through of the numbers. Roy Barrak, middle-Eastern percussionist, was a friend and agreed to sit in on the first number. A string section was added later. I learned from Vlad that Aleks is now 14 and active with his school musical activities as well.

I look forward to a glowing career from young Aleks.

Tapestry Records, PO Box 892, 60615 U. S. Highway 285, Bailey, Colorado 80421-0982
www.caprirecords.com

Applications for 2017 Jazz Fest sponsors, vendors now available

JazzPensacola currently is seeking sponsors for the 2017 Pensacola JazzFest, to be held April 1-2 in downtown Pensacola.

ehsjazzPensacola JazzFest is a FREE all-jazz festival held in historic Seville Square in downtown Pensacola.

Jazz Pensacola produces the event with assistance from a variety of corporate sponsors and community organizations. The weekend festival, held early each spring, celebrates America’s unique musical art form—jazz. Volunteers work yearlong to present this festival as their annual gift to the community. Jazz Pensacola relies upon individual and corporate donors for their essential support.

We have posted complete details on all levels of sponsorship, as well as an application form in downloadable PDF form. Click here for the form.

Jazz Pensacola also has opened the application process for food and arts & crafts vendors at the 2017 Jazz Fest. A limited number of food vendor spots are available for this popular spring event, and selection is competitive. We strive to avoid duplication of menu items and to offer a variety of food choices for festival attendees.

For complete details on the application processes for both food vendors and arts & crafts vendors, and to download vendor applications, click here.

CD Review: 'Dream Suite, Songs in Jazz and Blues On Poems By Langston Hughes'

Dream Suite
Songs in Jazz and Blues on poems by Langston Hughes
Distributed by Di-tone Records

rosenThis is an “outside the box” recording in that it is not the standard jazz CD. It features poetry by Langston Hughes set to music by composer Louis Rosen. Vocalists are Alton Fitzgerald White and Capatha Jenkins. Likely the average jazz fan will be unfamiliar with any of the principals here.

In reading about the artists in the liner notes, accompanying literature for the reviewer and on Louis Rosen’s website, I learn that all have impressive backgrounds in musical theatre. And the music reflects that genre rather than the usual jazz styling.

On first listen, it was difficult to understand all the words. However, as suggested in the liner notes, I went to Mr. Rosen’s website www.louisrosen.com and printed the poetic lyrics. It made all the difference in being able to understand appreciate not only the poetry but the music itself. Isn’t that the way with both opera and musical theatre? It helps to better understand the “story.”

The liner notes indicate that the recording was made is 2002 and the premier performance was at the Great Hall of Cooper Union in New York City in 2006.

The adventurous listener may wish to sample some of the songs by accessing Mr. Rosen’s website.
A sampling of the fourteen songs on this recording include: Harlem Night Song, Song for Billie Holiday, Hurt, Blues at Dawn and Dream Suite.