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On Namaskar, acclaimed percussionist Sameer Gupta (Marc Cary, Wallace Roney, Vijay Iyer) combines well known compositions from the Indian Golden Era of Bollywood with North and South India ragas, and modern American jazz in all its diversity, to craft an irresistibly beautiful artistic statement. Namaskar musically embodies the integrative spirit of our time. An original musical voice in jazz, world, and fusion music, Sameer Gupta is known as one of the few percussionists representing the traditions of American jazz on drumset, and Indian Classical music on tabla. Namaskar features a cadre of highly celebrated musicians, including pianist Marc Cary, who adds an urban inflection with his vibrant acoustic piano and fender rhodes gliding effortlessly between jazz and Indian themes, and Anindo Chatterjee, who is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest tabla masters.
Marc Cary recently performed at the Jazz Standard in New York City. Brian Pace was on hand to cover the event and provided this video report which provides a taste of Marc Cary’s electrifying live performances, as well as interview footage. Marc Cary’s latest release, Focus Trio Live 2009 is available at Motema Music.
“Really, really remarkable… Oran has touched both of our boys’ lives.” - Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber
“Makes music from all over the world accessible and fun for children to listen to and learn about.” - Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner Keitel
“Immediately connects to a child’s imagination.” -Edie Falco
“The children learn without ever knowing they are learning.” -Ken Burns
Oran Etkin, an internationally acclaimed jazz/world artist and composer whose NYC based music classes for children are endorsed by Harvey Keitel, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, will release Wake Up, Clarinet! on his new Timbalooloo label (September 14, Motema Music /Allegro-NewSound distribution). The album features performances by Jason Marsalis and Charenee Wade and is enhanced with a video of Etkin and his band performing live in concert. Watch a live concert video medley from Wake Up, Clarinet! below.
Oran Etkin has been described as a “great clarinet player” and “an excellent improviser” by the New York Times’ jazz critic Ben Ratliff and a “woodwind maestro” by PRI’s Afropop Worldwide. He has performed around the world with musicians ranging from jazz guitarist Mike Stern to rapper Wyclef Jean. His 2009 album Kelenia (Motema Music) fuses traditional Malian and Jewish music with modern jazz. Etkin brings this diverse perspective to his music for children, which incorporates rhythms and melodies from all over the world.
Oran Etkin’s Timbalooloo gets its name from a three year old boy enrolled in Etkin’s music classes, who expressed his extreme musical excitement by sitting his parents and baby brother down for a 20 minute “music class” during which he pretended to be Oran and demonstrated to his “pupils” a new instrument he called the timbalooloo. The story captures the essence of Etkin’s mission: to excite children about the wonders of music and musical instruments and encourage their creative freedom and personal ingenuity.
More info on Oran Etkin
Pre-Order Wake Up, Clarinet
Us jazz-heads are thrilled and honored to announce legendary pianist Randy Weston as the latest artist to join Motéma Music! With a career that spans over sixty years and shows no signs of slowing down, Weston will release an exceptional new album, The Storyteller, this fall.
Recorded live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, The Storyteller features new arrangements of Weston classics and includes accompaniments by Alex Blake on bass, Lewis Nash on drums, Benny Powell on trombone, TK Blue on flute & saxophones, Neil Clarke on percussion, and music by the Jazz Heritage Orchestra of Cleveland State University.
With a lifelong career collaborating with creative greats including Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and more, Weston has endless stories to share from his historic career. Not only does Weston vocalize these stories, he transcribes them. In addition to his album release, Weston is also releasing the autobiography African Rhythms in October, arranged by music journalist Willard Jenkins.
Weston’s Motéma debut The Storyteller will be released in November, and coincides with the 50th Anniversary of Weston’s landmark 1960 recording, UHURU Afrika which helped introduce jazz to Africa, and African rhythms to jazz. Weston’s most recent accolades (of the scores) include a win in the Composer category in The annual Downbeat Critics’ Poll as well as being named to the Hall of Fame joining jazz legends and piers Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. He was also inducted into ASCAP’s “Jazz Wall of Fame” this year.
We welcome Weston aboard and look forward to being a part of this exciting new chapter in his career!
Tracklisting for The Storyteller
1. African Sunrise
2. African Cookbook (Suite)
3. The Shrine
4. Loose Wig (Suite)
5. Hi Fly
Date: November 13
Venue: BMCC Performing Arts Center Tribeca, NY
The anniversary performance of UHURU Afrika will feature Weston with a 22 piece orchestra. Heads of state of 17 African nations (also turning 50) are expected to attend.
Performance dates and events in honor of Weston’s 85th year and Autobiography are scheduled throughout the fall and into the new year. Stay tuned for further details!
Meanwhile, take a look at our Randy Weston video playlist:
Tom Conrad the CTO of Pandora delivered an engaging presentation to A2IM members during Indie Week about the continued growth of the company.
Pandora has blossomed into a major player in radio. Nearly half of non-interactive streaming activity online is spent on Pandora, with more people listening to online radio over personal music files. Since launching an application for phones, Pandora’s listeners have surged as a result of having the freedom to now stream on the go. As of today Pandora has about 55 million listeners.
Pandora greatly supports independent music with half of its music streamed coming from Indies. Having a relationship with Sound Exchange, these Independents receive royalties for the music streamed as well.
A creative, innovative company, Pandora continues to make strides in the music industry, during a time of unpredictability and rapid change. Supporting the rights of artists and labels, the company provides royalties, promotion and influence. For example, Conrad explained that Pandora listeners are more likely to purchase music online, and for every one song downloaded, Pandora influences an additional four song purchases. This is an impressive number, in a time where music purchases continue to decline.
Pandora’s model has proven successful. Artists should recognize the value of their services, and make sure their music is submitted to the site for streaming. Other companies should be taking note, and keeping an eye on Pandora. They are making changes for the better, and hopefully the industry will continue to progress in this direction, realizing the necessity in supporting artists’ work.
Motema was happy to listen in on the enriching presentation, and learn so much about this impressive and inspiring company. It’s great to know that there are outlets and changes being made in the industry for the better.
Do you listen to Pandora? Have they ever influenced a purchase decision? Should other companies follow suit?
written by Gillian Driscoll
Last week A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) celebrated its 5th anniversary which coincided with Indie Week. The function featured a series of breakout discussions, guest speakers and networking opportunities. It was an action-packed week and Motema staffers attended a number of events including Think Tank, Licensing Day, Tech Day and more.
A highlight of the week was hearing about how the entertainment marketplace differs in Europe compared to the US. Europe has made strides in passing legislation to support artist rights and royalty revenues. Most notably the DEA (Digital Economy Act) was passed in the UK on June 12th, and sets in place provisions to protect against piracy, infringement as well as regulations on copyright, tv, radio and more. Read about the DEA in greater detail.
In addition France has set in place government funding in support of the music sector, and has also proposed a Google tax to raise money for creative industries.
Read the rest of this entry »
Take a peek behind the scenes of the latest album from Charnett Moffett – one of the most highly regarded bassists in jazz. Treasure offers a thematic yang to the yin of his critically acclaimed Motema debut, The Art of Improvisation, which came out in 2009. While Treasure shares the eclecticism and some of the Asian and Middle Eastern influences of The Art of Improvisation, the newer release palpably concentrates an emphasis on the swing and pulse that has earned Moffett standing ovations throughout his career.
Moffett’s ensemble features a host of great players including Rodney Holmes, Denardo Coleman, Oran Etkin and long time collaborator and guitar icon Stanley Jordan who joins in for two swinging tracks.
Geri Allen & Timeline – Live is the companion release to Flying Toward The Sound, also released on Motéma. The Timeline band represents another facet of the inspirational Geri Allen, in which she embraces the rhythmic grounding and, in fact, the very origins of syncopation through jazz in motion, with an extraordinary ensemble featuring bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Kassa Overall and tap percussionist Maurice Chestnut.
Geri Allen & Timeline – Live, is the first “live” recording of Allen’s twenty-year career, and was recorded at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and Reed College, in Portland, Oregon. These two exciting live performances feature Allen’s working quartet nimbly and ferociously interacting with each other reinventing the dialog between the dance and the drums. Timeline celebrates the dance and the music together as one.
A Heart and an Open Road is the solo debut release on Motema Music from modern day troubadour and jazz/rock/blues man Patrick Stanfield Jones. Fueled by prodigious chops honed over some thirty years as a guitarist, composer and performer, Jones fearlessly – and with a dose of humor – dives into different genres, seamlessly transitioning from one style to the next, to sing a ‘conscious cowboy’s’ saga of true love, broken hearts and life on the proverbial road.
With a voice that can caress or confront, embrace or exhort, Gregory Porter exhibits such an incredible degree of vocal mastery that no less a jazz luminary than Wynton Marsalis has gone on record to call him “a fantastic young singer,” which makes the fact that Water (out on May 11 from Motema Music) is his recording debut even more impressive.
A debut release it may be, yet Water flows with a sense of timelessness that reflects the seasoned talents of the giants of blues, gospel and soul that have influenced Porter throughout his career. Some of the singers that Porter cites as influential are familiar – Nat King Cole, Joe Williams and Donny Hathaway – and others – such as the pastor of the church he attended as a child among them – may never realize their impact on his development as an artist. While the work of singers such as Hathaway or Cole obviously helped to shape Porter’s vocal styling, his own world view, as evidenced in his seven original compositions and his striking interpretation of classic songs such as “But Beautiful” and “Skylark,” adds an emotional intensity that makes each of the CD’s eleven tracks speak so eloquently.