What We Do
Ken Burns’ One-Note ‘Jazz’ Goes Flat Without A Latin Beat (The Washington Post)
Popular music offers a window into the society that creates it. But in "Jazz," the 10-part, 19-hour documentary that winds up its PBS run next week, filmmaker Ken Burns peered at life in the United States through a narrow window.
He has construed jazz -- and the society that created it -- almost completely in terms of black and white. In the United States of "Jazz," the Latin music and musicians who were so important to the development of this art form -- and Latinos and their culture in general -- barely merit a footnote.
Hear the World. The Globalization of Jazz (JAZZIZ Magazine)
"Jazz is known all over the world as an American musical art form and that's it. No America, no jazz,” said drummer and bandleader Art Blakey. “I've seen people try to connect it to other countries, for instance to Africa, but it doesn't have a damn thing to do with Africa."
Blakey knew a thing or two about the music and educated several generations of musicians in his rolling graduate school the Jazz Messengers. He was, of course, right.
In the beginning, there was America.
Astor Piazzolla at 100 (JAZZIZ Magazine)
Argentine composer, musician, and bandleader Astor Piazzolla, the creator of New Tango, would have celebrated his 100th birthday this March 11.
He died in 1992 at the age of 71. But by then, his music — which rewrote the rules of tango by drawing from sources as disparate as jazz, European classical music, and klezmer — had made him an international figure.
- The Sound of Change (Carnival Center Jazz Program Essay)
- Remembering Chico O'Farrill, The Man Who Dressed Up Latin Jazz in Black Tie (The Washington Post)
- No Mere Mambo King. Mario Bauzá Changed American Music (The Washington Post)