Orrin Keepnews

Remembering Orrin Keepnews

Orrin Keepnews never wrote a jazz standard. He never led a band. He was never a sideman on an influential recording. And yet, Orrin Keepnews was one of the most important figures in jazz, founding multiple record labels, bringing many of the all-time greats into the spotlight, and producing a seemingly infinite quantity of classic [...]

Joey Alexander with Herbie Hancock

A Young Gentleman at the Piano

On a rainy December night, I headed to The Standard Jazz Club in Copenhagen, Denmark, co-founded and musically directed by pianist Niels Lan Doky (Berklee ’84) to see Joey Alexander, the 11-year-old pianist from Indonesia. I had arranged with his father Denny to come and see Joey play and talk to him before and after his performance. [...]

Bob Brookmeyer

Composer’s Spotlight: Bob Brookmeyer

Whenever one is asked to define jazz, it is tempting to cite great improvisers, such as Bird, Trane, Hawk, Brecker, and countless others, yet such a view would be shortsighted. Developing out of Western harmony and African rhythms, jazz reached the peak of its popularity in 1920s and ‘30s with the advent of the jazz [...]

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Jazz in India

Jazz in India has a rich history, and has had a great effect on western jazz and world music. EMERGENCE With African-American jazz artists traveling around the world, jazz began to emerge in India during the late 1920s in cities like Calcutta and Bombay. As Bombay became a metropolis, India’s freedom from British rule became [...]

Charlie Lewis

HSJF Portrait: Adjudicator Charlie Lewis Part 2

As we approach the final days before this year’s Berklee High School Jazz Festival, we at the BerkleeJazz.org staff would like to present a portrait of one of the many faces you will see at this year’s HSJF: Adjudicator Charlie Lewis. A musician of the highest caliber, Charlie Lewis is also one of Berklee’s beloved [...]

Gil Evans

Composer’s Spotlight: Gil Evans

Whenever one is asked to define jazz, it is tempting to define jazz by great jazz improvisers, Bird, Trane, Hawk, Brecker, and countless others; yet such a view would seem to be shortsighted.  Developing out of Western harmony and African rhythms, jazz reached the peak of its popularity in the 1920s and ‘30s with the [...]

A 19 year old Grace Kelly performing with trumpeter and Berklee professor Jason Palmer at Lake George Jazz Weekend a few years ago

Women of Modern Jazz

Over the years, jazz has developed thanks to the many revolutionary musicians who have influenced and inspired other musicians — an influence that has extended beyond just the realm of jazz. For example, Erykah Badu has been compared to Billie Holiday; Kimbra uses jazz elements in her modern electro-pop music. At the bottom of the page you will [...]

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Jazz Across the Pond: Milton Nascimento

For the last 50 years, Milton Nascimento has been the voice of Brazilian music. As an acclaimed songwriter and one of the most identifiable and beloved voices in Brazilian music history, the New York Times writes, “Nascimento is gifted with one of the most extraordinary voices in popular music, a benevolent tenor that floats upward [...]

Wynton Marsalis Dedicates Time to Jazz Education

Know Your Standards!

To become a well-rounded musician, there’s a lot to learn. You need to be able to read, improvise, learn about the masters, and keep your mind open to a lot of music. By listening, you will come to know common tunes, known as standards. In other articles, I’ve written about how I have attended some [...]

Tadd Dameron

Composer’s Spotlight: Tadd Dameron

Whenever one is asked to define jazz, it is tempting to cite great jazz improvisers, such as Bird, Trane, Hawk, Brecker, and countless others, yet such a view would seem to be shortsighted. Developing out of Western harmony and African rhythms, jazz reached the peak of its popularity in the 1920s and ‘30s with the [...]

          February 6, 2016