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Monty Alexander, Randy Weston, Malika Zarra, Rene Marie, and JC Stylles Are Among Nominees
Of The 11th Independent Music Awards
Artists Among More Than 300 Self-Released & Independent Label Artists Nominated
Recordings by Motéma artists Monty Alexander, Randy Weston, Malika Zarra, René Marie, and JC Stylles are among the nominees named by Music Resource Group (MRG) for The 11th Independent Music Awards (The IMAs), the influential awards program for independent bands and fans.
Two Motéma projects were nominated in the “Live Performance Album” category, both of which were recorded live at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola: Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express Live! (which was nominated for Best Reggae Album at this years 54th Annual Grammy Awards, and spent multiple weeks at #1 in both world and jazz radio charts on JazzWeek), and NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston & his African Rhythms Sextet’s The Storyteller. Motéma is also represented with two projects in the “Jazz Album” category: Vocalist René Marie’s outrageous emancipation proclamation: Black Lace Freudian Slip and Australian guitar ace JC Stylles, whose critically acclaimed break-out album Exhilaration & Other States was hailed by All Music Guide as, “a highly charged state of musical pleasure, presenting a range of styles that work well on Exhilaration And Other States,-a state worth exploring.” In the “World Beat Album” category, Moroccan artist Malika Zarra is honored for her outstanding CD Berber Taxi, which gained major radio and press attention including multiple weeks at #1 on the JazzWeek world music chart. Zarra & Marie were also honored last week with awards from SESAC.
These nominations recognize the diversity and excellence on Motéma Music’s growing roster of award-winning jazz, and visionary jazz, world and other creative musicians.
About The IMAs
Representing the broad spectrum of today’s global independent music scene, the Nominees in over 70 Song, Album, Music Video and Design categories were culled from thousands of submissions from North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe.
Winners will be determined by a panel of 77 influential artist and industry judges including Keith Richards, Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, Suzanne Vega, Joshua Redman, Tori Amos, Michael Franti, Bettye LaVette, Del McCoury, Ozzy Osbourne, Shelby Lynne, Alan Light (Live From The Artists Den), Kevin Lyman (Warped Tour), Bill Bragin (Lincoln Center), Sara Beesley (Joe’s Pub), Chris Diaz (Knitting Factory Entertainment), and Evan Schlansky (American Songwriter). The results will be announced in April 2012.
In addition to industry-determined Winners, music fans from around the world have until Friday, July 20, 2012 to cast their votes at The IMA Vox Pop Jukebox to determine the fan-selected program winners.
For details and to see a complete list of Nominees and Judges visit: TheIndependentMusicAwards.com
More About Motéma’s Nominees
Monty Alexander just completed a sold out two-week residency at the renowned Blue Note, celebrating the pianist’s 50 years in music. Time Out New York hails, “Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander has built a comfortable niche for himself by doing something that few other pianists with his credentials would attempt: He makes the reggae backbeat a base for swinging improvisation.”
Randy Weston, has been celebrating a remarkable year in music. The NEA Jazz Master and 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, who’s received multiple awards and honors this year, premiers his Guggenheim Fellow project, “An African Nubian Suite” on April 8th at NYU’s Skirball Center for Performing Arts. Weston composed the piece, with funding from his Guggenheim fellowship, which pays tribute to the Nubians, the first human race on earth and the oldest of the great civilizations in Africa. See details on the show here.
Rene Marie’s Black Lace Freudian Slip, nominated for Jazz Album has received consistent critical acclaim and made it into many 2011 “Best of” lists including JazzTimes and Jazz Police. Marie also made the short list for the JazzTimes 2011 Expanded Critics’ Poll for Female Artist and Christopher Loudon hailed the album as “one of last year’s most exciting jazz vocal releases.”
Malika Zarra brings a unique point of view to her recording Berber Taxi, nominated for World Beat Album. Born in Morocco, raised in France, and now thriving in the polyglot metropolis of New York City, this gifted composer, producer and singer has invented a new Moroccan urban-world-jazz sound by tastefully using traditional North African chaâbi, Berber and Gnawa polyrhythms to underpin her distinctly contemporary urban compositions, all the while maintaining a sophisticated improvisational modern approach. French Culture Guide calls the singer, “a multi-cultural shape-shifter.”
JC Stylles, mixing a range of R&B and pop tunes with jazz standards, expands the guitar/organ trio into exciting new territory on Exhilaration & Other States, nominated for Jazz Album. The Australian-born guitarist serves up a mix of relentless swing, relaxed grooves and beautiful ballads on this recording. Jazz Inside hails, “JC Stylles and his trio swing out strong!”
Motéma congratulates all its artists nominated for the Independent Music Awards. For more information on the nominated artists and to sample their music please visit www.motema.com and www.independentmusicawards.com/imanominee/11th
Please vote for your favorites in the Vox Pop Jukebox and spread the word.
Motema captivates the night this month with two label showcases, first at the esteemed Healdsburg Jazz Festival in California June 9th, followed by a night of world music at Joe’s Pub in New York June 13th.
Thursday June 9th see Geri Allen, Marc Cary, Babatunde Lea and other special guests at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival for an unforgettable night of music at the Raven Theater. The event showcases some of Motema’s celebrated artists who have garnered a strong presence in the jazz world. The triple bill features a solo recital by revered pianist Geri Allen, pianist Marc Cary with his ensemble, and powerhouse drummer Babatunde Lea.
On June 13th world music comes to Joe’s Pub for this Motema Night featuring Moroccan urban-world-jazz singer Malika Zarra, Oran Etkin’s Malian jazz group Kelenia, and the African and Caribbean drumming rhythms of the Koko Jones Band. Come out and experience this international music celebration. Tickets are $12.00 and available for purchase here. The event is part of the 30th anniversary of the Blue Note Jazz Festival.
Zarra has a warm and caressing presence, and she introduced this traditional song that she learned from her mother by telling of how in remote villages, sometimes one hopes that a taxi will come from far away, bringing love. But the song also operates as a metaphor for Zarra’s own inner journey through Morocco, France and New York City. She grew up listening to traditional music in her home, but was introduced to jazz after the family moved to France, where her formal musical studies began. Throughout the evening, the cadences of Arabic and Berber dialects sat easily within the sophisticated arrangements, as did the modalities of the melodies. By the end of her set, the audience was thoroughly entranced.
Check out the live footage of Malika Zarra performing live the title track from her Motema album Berber Taxi:
Malika Zarra is an inspiring new international voice, who is both influenced by jazz and is bringing her own culture and creativity to the melting pot. Born in Morocco, raised in France, and now thriving in the polyglot metropolis of New York City, this gifted composer, producer and singer has invented a new Moroccan urban-world-jazz by tastefully using traditional North African chaâbi, Berber and Gnawa polyrhythms to underpin her distinctly contemporary urban compositions, all the while maintaining a sophisticated improvisational modern jazz approach.
Joining other fresh New York faces of the international jazz scene, such as Afro-Latin bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding, Zarra’s sultry multi-lingual vocals move effortlessly between Berber, Moroccan Arabic, French, and English.
Click below to get a free download of the title track from her album Berber Taxi
With the release of Berber Taxi on April 12th, 2011 by Motéma Music (home to legendary innovators Randy Weston and Geri Allen, and powerhouse newcomers such as Gregory Porter (GRAMMY®-nominated for Best Jazz CD on his debut release), Zarra takes her rightful place as an important world-jazz artist on New York’s multicultural music scene.
Below you can watch a live performance of “Run” by Malika Zarra at Joe’s Pub in New York. What do you think of her jazz/world fusion? Let us know in the comments!