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Blue Note Jazz Fest 2013: Roy Haynes, Yasiin Bey, Amel Larrieux,Wyclef, HBEm, More- Produced By Jill Newman Productions
(Published: May 28, 2013)

Blue Note Jazz Festival


Blue Note Jazz Festival
The Blue Note
June 4, 5, 2013
131 W 3rd St. NY, NY 10012
Table $25/ Bar $15
Show 8pm & 10:30pm
Link www.bluenotejazzfestival.com/2013/05/marsha-ambrosius

Already proven as a talented, sought after songwriter and revered platinum-selling artist, Marsha Ambrosius is meeting the next challenge in her already impressive musical career by reinventing herself as a solo artist with her J Records debut disc LATE NIGHTS & EARLY MORNINGS.

Hailing from Liverpool, England, fans first got a taste of Marsha's talent as the singing half of the duo Floetry. Their 2000 debut Floetic produced signature singles like "Say Yes" and "Getting Late" as well as four Grammy nods. Following the 2005 release of their second studio album, Flo'Ology, the ladies veered creatively and personally. While the split was difficult, Marsha continued to build a name for herself as a songwriter and producer, creating "Butterflies" for the late Michael Jackson and other hits for artists such as Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Foxx and Nas. She's been nominated for a total of six Grammys and has been honored by BMI as their Songwriter of the Year.

Over the years, Marsha has stayed relevant as an artist via touring, writing/producing and mixtapes like 2007's Neo Soul is Dead, 2008's Yours Truly and 2010's Yours Sincerely. She also appeared as a featured artist on projects from Patti Labelle, The Game, Busta Rhymes, Jamie Foxx and Earth, Wind & Fire, among others. Eventually, Marsha signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records however a much-buzzed about solo debut never materialized due to creative glitches. Equipped with plenty of her own talent, she found herself being given songs from producers that were "great but not songs that made sense in relation to each other." Marsha calls her sound "honest and consistent" and it was important for her to make an album with an overall cohesive sound. She explains, "I think with an album everything has to make sense, like 'Where is this story going?'"

But that wasn't the only situation posing a challenge for Marsha. A basketball player since childhood, when her music career took off, her diet remained the same as when she was regularly active. Constantly on the road touring and promoting wasn't conducive to a healthy diet and resulted in her gaining 70 pounds in just one year. She finally got serious about her health and lost the weight safely and slowly over about a two-year period.

Now at a strong place mentally and physically, Marsha's ready to present her sound to the world. The first single, "Hope She Cheats on You (With a Basketball Player)," is an anthem that women and men can relate to. Marsha explains, "It's the reality of a bad break up. We wanna be decent human beings and say the right thing, you know, 'I wish you well.' But this is 'Everything that could go wrong for him I want it to because my ego is bruised and I'm acting out.'" There've been many songs written about heartbreak, but Marsha's approach to "Hope She Cheats on You" gets in your face rather than plays the victim.

LATE NIGHTS & EARLY MORNINGS is destined to be a classic, as Marsha offers a candid glimpse of her life and perspectives as a woman. Inspired by musical icons like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Prince, she concedes there is an overall male influence in her songwriting, such as the assertive sentiments heard on hits like "Say Yes." She explains, "My pen and my point of view has a certain aggression to it because I've listened to a lot of male influenced music, which I think makes me one of the most outspoken writers out here. Sometimes as a woman you don't wanna say what's on your mind for fear of being judged. But why wouldn't I say it like that if that's how I felt?" Musical peers recruited to contribute to the project include Alicia Keys, a reunion with Dre and Vidal (producers of "Say Yes"), Just Blaze and Focus.

While her success in the industry is already solidified, Marsha knows it's never easy to win over fans as a solo artist. Fortunately, she says, "It's like being thrown in the deep end. 'Okay I have to swim? Oh well.' I've taken that attitude and it's carried me forward."

Artist Websites


Blue Note Jazz Festival
Presents An Evening Of Spoken Word
Opener: Jennah Bell
The Highline Ballroom
June 11, 2013

431 W 16th St. NY, NY 10011
Doors 7pm - Show 9pm Tickets $25 in advance, $30 day of show
Link www.bluenotejazzfestival.com/2013/03/saul-williams

Who I am and what I do seems to vary by mod, mood, and mode of expression. I write. I act. I perform. Most of the labels that are projected onto me are seldom how I would choose to refer to myself. Yet, regardless of how much I might dodge classification, the one label that I tote freely is that of being an artist. And it is the art of self expression that has heightened my experience on this planet and fueled my understanding of love, compassion, and humanity.

I write poetry because it is the clearest and most direct expression of how I think. I take pride in being called a poet mostly because it feels like an ordination. I did not grow up thinking of myself as a poet, so it is an honor to be considered one. So far, I've written four books that fall under the category of poetry. For me, they chronicle my growth as an artist, friend, lover, father, son, and individual. My goal has never truly been to become an amazing poet, rather I have worked at becoming more expressive, thoughtful, and harmoniously balanced, and courageous enough to live my life as a poem. My writings simply chronicle my journey and vision. They are the residue of the work that I'm doing on myself.

I write music because I have found that I cannot rely on other artists, or the music industry to provide the release that I need from a days work, a night out, to inspire a mood, a movement, or simply explore the unsaid in ways that are important to me. I've sought to become self-sufficient. In music I think of myself as an explorer participating in the construction of the soundscape of the new world that is being hatched out of our dreams, hope and visions of peace and harmony... that don't necessarily mean my shit is soft though...

Acting, my first love as an artist, has allowed me insight into the nature of humanity. The many roles I have played, especially in theatre, exposed me to aspects of my own character before I even lived through enough experience to discover traits within myself. Through acting, I found an excuse to study everything from my own breathing habits, to the beats within a passage or poem, to the unexplored regions of my imagination. It taught me how to observe the distinction between someone who walks and leads with their head or chin versus someone who leads with their gut or groin. It grounded me in my voice and on stage and has helped me develop as a thinker and person. Through it all I would say that performance is my favorite medium as an artist. Yet, I have become very particular about the material I perform, thus, I create. Most of my training as an artist is in the field of acting which makes sense considering that all the other stuff often just feels like a role I'm playing.

Artist Websites
www.myspace.com/saulwilliams www.jennahbell.bandcamp.com


Blue Note Jazz Festival
BB King Blues Club & Grill
Produced By Jill Newman Productions in Assoc. w/ PM7 Entertainment
June 16, 2013
237 W 42nd St. NY, NY 10036
Show 8pm - Doors 6pm
Tickets $35.00 in advance, $40.00 day of show
Link www.bluenotejazzfestival.com/2013/04/paul-mooney

Mr. Paul Mooney was born in Louisiana and grew up in Oakland, California. As a youth, he literally ran away from home and joined the Charles Gody Circus, going down in history as the first African-American ringmaster. He was always writing comedy. He says "When I was Ringmaster, I was doing jokes I thought were funny."

Mooney's first professional gig in comedy was with Richard Pryor. He wrote most of the hilarious routines for Pryor's "Saturday Night Live" appearance, co-wrote material on the groundbreaking "Live On Sunset," "Bicentennial Nigger," and "Is It Something I Said" albums, as well as Pryor's film "Jo Jo Dancer." As head writer for the Richard Pryor show, he was responsible for the national television debuts of Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Marsha Warfield, John Witherspoon, and Tim Reid. As head writer during the first year of FOX's "In Living Color", also debuting the young Jim Carey, he also created the characters Homey the Clown, and the brothers Tom and Tom, to name a few. He co-starred with Damon Wayans and Jada Pinkett-Smith in the Spike Lee film "Bamboozled. He's presently on Showtime, Premiering his latest "Live Taping" entitled, "The Godfather Of Comedy, Paul Mooney".

Paul Mooney came into his own with his controversial debut album "Race. "Masterpiece" continues to stir anger, laughter, and thought. His latest DVD's, Analyzing White America, Know Your History, It's the end of the World and his Latest Release Currently on Showtime, "The Godfather of Comedy, Mr. Paul Mooney. "I always drop history" he explains "It's knowledge; There's always a message in my comedy and you may not get it that night - it's like time bombs. It'll get you a week later. You'll understand."

Artist Websites


Blue Note Jazz Festival
Opener: TBA
The Highline Ballroom
June 17, 2013
431 W 16th St. NY, NY 10011
Show 8pm - Doors 6pm Tickets $20 in advance, $25 day of show
Link www.bluenotejazzfestival.com/2013/04/hypnotic-brass-ensemble

While most of today's music is overflowing with artificial elements and effects, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (HBE) offers the authenticity and attested musicianship of the eras that birthed the band's influences: jazz, funk, soul, and hip-hop. The group's fusion of these genres has created the unparalleled, mesmeric sound that has captivated audiences worldwide.

Strong familiar musical ties encouraged these eight brothers, born and raised in the crime-riddled south side of Chicago, to infiltrate their neighborhoods with brass weapons of expression to provide much-needed enlightenment and entertainment. HBE's compelling street performances transformed the group members into global celebrities who plan to continue sharing their passion for music with the hope that their spellbinding sound will inspire every individual who hears it.

Born in the '70s and early '80s into a family whose musical legacy spanned Chicago (their father, Kelan Phil Cohran, is the co-foudner of the AACM and was the lead trumpet player in eccentric jazz revolutionary Sun Ra's Arkestra), the brothers of HBE honed their talents performing on the streets of Chicago. In 1999, they began performing a new style of brass music they called "Hypnotic." After recording their first album, Flipside, they won the 2001 CPS Young Author's Award - an achievement that enabled HBE to perform at major venues and events across Chicago. With the success of its sophomore album Jupiter (2005), HBE began traveling and performing for audiences of all genres, opening up for huge acts ranging from The B-52s to Talib Kweli and collaborating with hip-hop icon Mos Def. The band also continued to release its music independently, a practice it maintains to this day with recent releases like 2011's Bulletproof Brass.

Through its music, HBE has forged business relationships with various brands outside of music. The group has received outfitting sponsorships from G-Star Clothing, Puma, Live Mechanics, Radii Shoes, and Akademics; has licensed original music to Black and Mild Tobacco; appeared as part of the soundtrack for the HBO documentary The Lazarus Effect; and even scored a spot in the soundtrack to the 2012 blockbuster The Hunger Games with its track "War." Having performed at hundreds of venues and festivals across six continents, the band continues working to fuse the better parts of every musical genre into a legacy that will shape the future of music itself.

Artist Websites


Blue Note Jazz Festival
"The Carnival Begins"
Opener: DJ SELF BB
King Blues Club & Grill
June 19, 2013
237 W 42nd St. NY, NY 10036
Show 8pm - Doors 6pm Tickets $39.50 in advance, $45.00 day of show
Link: www.bluenotejazzfestival.com/2013/04/wyclef-jean/

Lead Fugees rapper and sometime guitarist Wyclef Jean was the first member of his group to embark on a solo career, and he proved even more ambitious and eclectic on his own. As the Fugees hung in limbo, Wyclef also became hip-hop's unofficial multicultural conscience; a seemingly omnipresent activist, he assembled or participated in numerous high-profile charity benefit shows for a variety of causes, including aid for his native Haiti. The utopian one-world sensibility that fueled Wyclef's political consciousness also informed his recordings, which fused hip-hop with as many different styles of music as he could get his hands on (though, given his Caribbean roots, reggae was a particular favorite). In addition to his niche as hip-hop's foremost global citizen, Clef was also a noted producer and remixer who worked with an impressive array of pop, R&B, and hip-hop talent, including Whitney Houston, Santana, and Destiny's Child, among many others.

The son of a minister, Nelust Wyclef Jean was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, on October 17, 1972. When he was nine, his family moved to the Marlborough projects in Brooklyn, NY; by his teenage years, Jean had moved to New Jersey, taken up the guitar, and begun studying jazz through his high school's music department. In 1987, he also joined a rap group with his cousin Prakazrel Michel (aka Pras) and Michel's high-school classmate Lauryn Hill. Initially calling themselves the Tranzlator Crew, they evolved into the Fugees, a name taken from slang for Haitian refugees. The trio signed with Ruffhouse Records in 1993 and released their debut album, Blunted on Reality, the following year; it attracted little notice, thanks to an inappropriate hardcore stance that the group wore like an ill-fitting suit. But the Fugees hit their stride on the follow-up, The Score, ignoring popular trends and crafting an eclectic, bohemian masterpiece that sounded like nothing else on the hip-hop landscape in 1996. Thanks to hit singles like "Fu-Gee-La" and "Killing Me Softly," The Score became a chart-topping phenomenon; in fact, with sales of over six million copies, it still ranks as one of the biggest-selling rap albums of all time.

Wyclef Jean was the first Fugee to declare plans for a solo project, setting to work soon after the group completed its supporting tours. Released in the summer of 1997, The Carnival (full title: Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars) was even more musically ambitious than The Score. Its roster of guests included not only the remainder of the Fugees, but also Jean's siblings (who performed together in the duo Melky Sedeck), Cuban legend Celia Cruz, New Orleans funk mainstays the Neville Brothers, and Bob Marley's female backing vocalists the I Threes. The breadth of his ambition was further in evidence on the album's two hit singles; "We Trying to Stay Alive" recast the Bee Gees' signature disco tune as a ghetto empowerment anthem, and the Grammy-nominated "Gone Till November" was recorded with part of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Those two songs helped push The Carnival into a Top 20, triple-platinum showing, and most reviews were naturally quite positive.

In the wake of The Carnival, Wyclef stepped up his outside work for other artists; over the next few years, he collaborated as a producer, songwriter, and/or remixer with a typically diverse list of artists: Destiny's Child ("No No No"), Sublime, Simply Red, Whitney Houston (the title track of her My Love Is Your Love album), dancehall reggae star Bounty Killer, Cypress Hill, Michael Jackson, Eric Benet, Mya, Santana ("Maria Maria"), Tevin Campbell, the Black Eyed Peas, Kimberly Scott, Sinead O'Connor, Mick Jagger, and Canibus. Clef also served as Canibus' manager for a short time in 1998; prior to their split, a report surfaced that Wyclef had pulled a gun on Blaze editor Jesse Washington over a negative Canibus review the magazine was slated to run (Wyclef vehemently denied the accusation, and no charges were filed).

By the time Wyclef began work on his second solo album, rumors were flying about tension between individual Fugees, and despite their denials, the fact that no follow-up to The Score was in sight seemed to lend credence to all the speculation. Although Wyclef had previously announced he would put off his sophomore effort until after the next Fugees album, he was well into the project by early 2000, giving an early release the antipolice brutality track "Diallo" (with guest vocals from Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour) via the Internet. The full album, titled The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, was released toward the end of the summer and entered the charts at number nine. Besides N'Dour, guests this time around included Mary J. Blige (on the Grammy-nominated duet "911"), Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Rogers, and even wrestling star the Rock ("It Doesn't Matter"); Clef also threw in a left-field cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." This time around, some critics suggested that Wyclef's sprawling ambitions were growing messy, but the record went platinum nonetheless. Shortly after its release, he also started up his own record label, Yclef.

With no Fugees reunion in sight, Wyclef began preparing his third solo album, Masquerade, in 2001; he also appeared in the Jamaican gangster flick Shottas, and, sadly, suffered the death of his father in a home accident. Masquerade was released in the summer of 2002, and in addition to the usual worldbeat fusions, it found Wyclef reworking songs by Bob Dylan and Frankie Valli, and featured guest shots from Tom Jones and Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari. Masquerade entered the charts at number six, proving that Wyclef's freewheeling approach still held quite a bit of appeal. One year later, he returned with The Preacher's Son, and also released an album of traditional Haitian Creole music, Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101. His debut solo album got its sequel in 2007 when Carnival, Vol. 2: Memoirs of an Immigrant hit the shelves. The album had a diverse and lengthy guest list, with Akon, Mary J. Blige, Norah Jones, Shakira, Paul Simon, and Sizzla being just some of the names involved. Two years later he returned with Toussaint St. Jean: From the Hut, To the Projects, To the Mansion, a mixtape that found Wyclef rapping rather than singing.

Artist Websites


Blue Note Jazz Festival
BB King Blues Club & Grill
Produced By Jill Newman Productions & Blisslife
June 20, 2013
237 W 42nd St. NY, NY 10036
Show 8pm - Doors 6pm Tickets $35.00 in advance, $40.00 day of show
Info link: www.bluenotejazzfestival.com/2013/03/amel-larrieux/

"Ice Cream Everyday" (Blisslife Records), Amel's upcoming fourth solo album, is slated for release in 2013. An urban chanteuse by birth, Amel Larrieux grew up in a West Village "artists building" in New York City, her parents exposing her early to a community of artists and artistic experience that would mold her eclectic sensibilities. At the age of 18, sure that she wanted to express herself musically, Amel wrote and demoed a song, which led to her pairing with Bryce Wilson to for the duo Groove Theory. As lead vocalist and co-writer for the group, she enjoyed success with "Tell Me," which broke the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 and the top five on the R&B charts before being certified gold in October 1995.

Released in April, 2006, "Morning" (Blisslife Records) was Amel's third solo album. She used it as an opportunity to explore the endless range of promise and potential - as well as the disappointments - in being human. "Weary," the first single from this album, was inspired by a friend's experience and was composed for independent people who long for someone with whom they can share life's trials and tribulations.

Flying high with a Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals Grammy nomination for her work on Stanley Clarke's "Where is The Love," Amel Larrieux stretched her wings in "Bravebird" (Blisslife Records), her second solo work that was released in 2004, rising courageously into atmosphere untouched by her contemporaries. The ballad "For Real" pulses with the beat of early Prince, offering a classic, unabashed ode to the human heart. In "Bravebird," Amel mourns female circumcision by describing a fearless victim who fled her native Somalia for the U.S.

In her solo debut in 2000, "Infinite Possibilities" (Epic Records), Amel fuses a range of genres - R&B, soul, hip-hop, jazz and folk, with flashes of Middle Eastern, West African, and Indian styles. Its single "Get Up" is an ode to working people that became a modern anthem and magnet for the growing legion of Amel's fans. Amel has contributed to film, soundtracks, writing and singing in such films as Barbershop, Love Jones, Down To Earth, Sunset Park, Takers, and Why Did I Get Married...

Equal to Amel's vocal and writing talent is her alluring beauty and eclectic style. She has been spotlighted as a style maven in Essence, Honey, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Lucky Magazine, Trace, The Fader and other magazines and was also featured in the Coach anniversary print campaign. More recently her vocal talent and beauty have been ventral to Coca-Cola's "Keep It Real" campaign in television, radio and print ads. She is also a trained dancer and a dedicated yoga enthusiast. She is happily married to manager, producer and musical collaborator Laru Larrieux and they are proud parents of two girls, Sanji-Rei and Sky.

Artist Websites


Blue Note Jazz Festival
ALICIA HALL MORAN & the motown project
The Highline Ballroom
June 21, 2013
431 W 16th St. NY, NY 10011
Show 8pm - Doors 6pm
Tickets $25 in advance, $30 day of show
Link www.bluenotejazzfestival.com/2013/04/alicia-hall-moran-the-motown-project

Mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran is gaining international recognition for her technical virtuosity and brilliant interpretation of song. Embracing a broad musical repertoire, including classical and avant-garde, Jazz, and Broadway, she pushes the boundaries of music-in concerts and collaborations noted for their flair, intelligence, and audacity.

Ms. Moran's boldly original work transcends expectations while upholding the traditions of her ancestors and teachers-from her great uncle Hall Johnson, the legendary choral director, composer and interpreter of Negro Spiritual, to her esteemed vocal coaches, Shirley Verrett, Adele Addison, Hilda Harris, David Jones and Warren Wilson. Despite her classical training, Ms. Moran is not bound to the classical repertoire. In her critically-acclaimed performances, she creates dynamic and sensual musical worlds where the lyricism of Marvin Gaye and the high-drama of Puccini collide.

Ms. Moran appeared in the ensemble of the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess wherein she also performed the role of Bess as an understudy-and for six weeks, as the scheduled Wednesday night alternate-to Audra McDonald.

Ms. Moran's singularly innovative work, The Motown Project, has been thrilling audiences across the United States. As musicologist Guthrie Ramsey observes, "the idea of thinking about Motown recordings as a Schubertian song cycle winding through the stages and associated emotions of a love affair-from declamation, assurance, doubt, disappointment, to anger-[is] brilliant."

Along with her husband, the pianist Jason Moran, she was artist in residence in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, curating BLEED, a five-day performance cycle that juxtaposed song, dance, poetry, lecture, diary, film, video, and journalism with a survey of the Morans' past collaborations in the musical and visual arts. Writing in The New York Times, the critic Ben Ratliff deemed Bleed "extraordinary in breadth, depth, planning and execution; if you'd seen the Morans only as imposing musicians, it's time to expand that view."

Ms. Moran was an artist-in-residence at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, and has been commissioned by Art Basel Miami. She co-authored and improvised vocal music for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's award-winningChapel/Chapter. Her column on classical music, Suite Sounds, appeared weekly in the New York Amsterdam News.

Artist Websites


Blue Note Jazz Festival
YASIIN BEY (fka Mos Def)
Openers: TBA
Central Park Summerstage
June 24, 2013
Free Concert
Showtime 7pm
Directions http://goo.gl/maps/o1lo4
Link http://bluenotejazzfestival.com/2013/04/yasiin-bey-fka-mos-def-and-openers-tbd/

One of the most versatile artists of his time, Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def) has become an international sensation in theater, film, television, and the music industry. Bey began his professional music career as Mos Def in 1994. Since that time, he has worked both as a solo artist and in collaboration with artists such as Talib Kweli, Kanye West, The Roots, The Black Keys, and many others. He has received six GRAMMY nominations, including Best Rap Album in 2010 for his newest release, The Ecstatic, which debuted at number nine on theBillboard 200 chart. Also, in 2012 The Source ranked Bey as number 23 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time.

Artist Websites


Blue Note Jazz Festival
The Blue Note
June 27, 28, 29, 2013
131 W 3rd St. NY, NY 10012
Bar $30/Table $45
Sets @ 8:00pm & 10:30pm
Link www.bluenotejazzfestival.com/2013/05/roy-haynes/

Roy Haynes is the pulse of legendary jazz. For over 50 years Roy Haynes has influenced and innovated, shaping some of the greatest recordings in jazz while his joyous drumming with the legends of the genre altered the very fabric and direction of jazz improvisation.

Louis Armstrong. Lester Young. Charlie Parker. Thelonius Monk. Sarah Vaughn. Miles Davis. John Coltrane. Dizzy Gillespie. Bud Powell. Ella Fitzgerald. Stan Getz. Chick Corea. Pat Metheny. The list goes on and on as does Roy's unflagging energy and marvelous invention.

With his latest group of 20-something cohorts, Roy sends his "Hard Swing" to a timeless place. Haynes elevates the performances of his FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH BAND matching fire stroke for fire stroke, thrill for thrill, a tremendous give and take between the generations fueled by masterful musicianship and youthful abandon.

Artist Websites


Blue Note Jazz Festival
June 30, 2013
131 W 3rd St. NY, NY 10012
Bar $20/Table $35
Sets @ 8:00pm & 10:30pm
Link: www.bluenote.net/newyork/schedule/moreinfo.cgi?id=11170

After a twenty-two year absence from recording Andy Bey returned with four albums that have become a permanent part of the musical landscape. The 2005 Grammy Nominated American Song is a delicious celebration of one of America's great gifts to the music world: The American Songbook. On his new release Ain't Necessarily So Bey brings the energy of live performance to compositions by the gods of American Songwriting. Insiders have always known about Andy Bey. Given his limited output of studio recordings, live performances were the source of Bey's reputation as singer.

Aretha Franklin reminisces about the nights when Andy and The Bey Sisters worked the Village in New York: "Soon as I finished my gig I'd run over to hear them. Andy never got the recognition he deserved . . . jazz originals . . . brilliant and precious." Like the playground legend who never made it to the NBA, Andy Bey was almost consigned to the fading murmurs of those who caught him in Paris in '59, or Birdland in the mid '60s.

There are few left who remember when Lena, Nina and Carmen crowded into Harlem's Shalimar to hear Bey light it up. That tantalizing footage of Andy Bey and his sisters delighting a crowd of Parisian partygoers in the Chet Baker documentary Let's Get Lost, gives us a clue of the years of brilliance that were never committed to vinyl. One can only imagine what we've missed. But, we have been blessed with four records that have changed how we think of Jazz vocals.

Decades intervened between those after hours below the radar sessions and the 1996 recordings presented on "Ain't Necessarily So". But the vivid performances haven't dimmed. Like so many before him, British vocalist Jamie Cullum described what it's like to fall under Bey's spell: "Andy Bey was at Ronnie Scott's and I saw him six nights in a row. I got into a huge amount of debt going to see Andy Bey. What I love about him is that he creates an atmosphere. As soon as he opens his mouth, you're transported to another place."

A recording of standards has become the default option for artists in search of an audience or a late career boost. A new cadre of singers has been anointed keepers of the Songbook flame. But as The New Yorker observed, the proof is in the listening: "The "jazz vocal section of your record store is probably dominated by young white singers , but Andy Bey an African-American veteran has made this year's record to beat." Andy Bey's live performance, on Ain't Necessarily So makes the point that the best performers raise the standards by drawing more from a song than the obvious. At 67 Andy Bey is one of the last major performers with a personal connection to the era. But he refuses to be bound by precedent. He invests these eight songs with an accumulation of musical sensibilities that make them sound as if they were born yesterday. The songs may be standards, but the interpretations are by no means routine. As People magazine confirmed "American song has met an American Master."

The release of an Andy Bey recording is a cause for celebration. During the last five decades Bey's deeply engaging four octave baritone voice has taken on the character of a musical instrument. Was that a bowed bass or a ship's horn through the fog? An Alto flute or cascading water? Since the critical acclaim surrounding the release of Ballads, Blues and Bey in 1996, much attention has been paid to the fact that Andy Bey did not record as a leader for over two decades. His absence was, as Newsday put it, "like having Ella Fitzgerald take a vow of silence." But the truth is that Mr. Bey did not aspire to be a star, he strove to be an artist. And he has actively engaged in cultivating and manifesting his gift during his entire lifetime. Bey approaches the discipline like the great musician he is. But, his performances are more than musical exercises. Frank Wess says "What's special about Andy Bey is that he knows how to tell the story." Al Pryor in Jazziz wrote that Bey "reminds us of how emotionally powerful the great American song can be." Bey's four albums since his reemergence have become legend.

Andy Bey has been hailed as a cultural phenomenon, and has been applauded by the tastemakers of contemporary music. From Pharrell Williams to Mos Def, and Jamie Cullum, Andy Bey has become an icon for the next generation, many of whom attend his performances not only for the pure pleasure, but also for enlightenment at the feet of a master.

Andy Bey will have a new, Solo CD, to be released on HighNote Records June, 2013. "The World According To Andy Bey," will surely be a treasure the world will embrace.


More Information: http://www.bluenotejazzfest.com

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