Somi: I Represent New African Jazz

The daughter of African immigrants, jazz artist Somi is captivating audiences with her New African sound. A recipient of the TEDGlobal Scholarship, she began playing cello at a young age and allowed that instrument to shape her vocal skills. The soon to be legendary songstress Somi is releasing a brand …


Roy Hargrove: The Spirit Of Jazz Shaped Me

Photo of Roy Hargrove by John Whiting Jazz legend Sonny Rollins once said, “Improvisation is the ability to create something very spiritual, something of one’s own,” and Roy Hargrove has taken those words to heart.  In an exclusive interview with iRockJazz, multiple Grammy winner, bandleader and jazz trumpeter extraordinaire, Roy …


Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts: From A-List Side Man To Band Leader

Multi-Grammy Award winning percussionist Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts is one of the most sought after musicians in the world. Watts’ extraordinary career includes a role as Rhythm Jones in Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, a three year stint on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and a legendary Grammy run with …


CD REVIEW: Takuya Kuroda; Rising Son (Blue Note)

Since the 1950’s, Japan has been a major fan base for American jazz. This interest led to a number of Japanese musicians to migrate to the States for the express purpose of learning and performing the music. Trumpeter Teramasu Hino and alto sax player Sadao Watanabe are two Japanese artists …


Angelique Kidjo: The Power Of African Womanhood

The daughter of an actress, dancer, and theatrical producer Kidjo was born in Quidah, a coastal city in the West Africa country of Benin. Inheriting her mother’s love of performing, she made her stage debut with her mother’s theatrical troupe. She was singing professionally by her 20th birthday. Afro-funk, Reggae, …


iRock Jazz LIVE! with Bassist Christian McBride

Bassist extraodinaire, composer, arranger, educator, curator and administrator, Christian McBride, has been one of the most important and most omnipresent figures in the jazz world for 20 years. Sometimes hard to believe considering this man is not yet 40. Beginning in 1989, this Philadelphia-born bassist moved to New York City …


Dianne Reeves: My Beautiful Life and Music

Dianne Reeves is a four-time Grammy Award-winning jazz singer whose critically acclaimed body of work has spanned across three decades. To date, Reeves has delivered nineteen albums, including the soon-to-be released, Beautiful Life. Beyond her solo endeavors, she has lent her talents to myriad projects, ranging from George Duke’s From …


Being Told That We’re “Not Jazz” is The Highest Compliment

I remember hearing Bitches Brew for the first time. I was new to the Jazz scene and it seemed appropriate to first navigate Miles Davis. Up to this point in my travels, I had made stops at Kind of Blue, ‘Around Midnight,’ and Sketches of Spain, but the moment I …


iRock Jazz LIVE! with Saxophonist Tia Fuller

Jazz musicians are blessed with the desire and ability to play a genre that has a history as rich as its sound. All the greats, past and present know that it’s not enough to simply play the notes, one has to live the music and feel it with every breath. …


iRock Jazz LIVE! with “Icons Among Us” Film Producer John W. Comerford

Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense, a documentary series, looks at the Jazz music scene today. Through interviews, performance footage, and the voices of the musicians themselves, we will explore this music and the divergent influences that are shaping the world of Jazz at the beginning of the 21st …


CD Review: Terence Blanchard’s Magnetic

With a resume that goes on for days, Grammy-Award winning trumpeter, film score composer, composer and arranger, Terence Blanchard is set to release his 19th album Magnetic as a co-leader/leader in May (2013) on the Blue Note Record Label. The replacement to Wynton Marsalis in the legendary jazz group “The …

Joe Lovano photo by Jimmy Katz

CD Review: Joe Lovano’s “Us Five” Cross Culture

Composer and saxophonist Joe Lovano, a man who never fails to keep things swingin’, recently released his latest album Cross Culture. With his notorious quintet Us Five, Lovano has produced his 23rd Blue Note record. His soft, breathy and gliding tone is a sound that can be heard from a …