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Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez bring their history to the stage

The second-Saturday Jazz Fest appearance by Havana-born pianist Alfredo Rodriguez and percussionist Pedrito Martinez marks a visit by two of the most talented musicians in the world, in an unusual […]

Cuba’s Havana Jazz Festival: Divorced in 1960 but still madly in love

Politics divides, but jazz unites. —Ronell Johnson, Preservation Hall Jazz Band trombonist. The Havana Jazz Festival is probably best-known as the place where Dizzy Gillespie first heard Irakere, whose members […]

Love and Passion: Cuban Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval’s Musical Imagination

ARTURO SANDOVAL: SATURDAY, APRIL 30—ZATARAIN’S WWOZ JAZZ TENT, 5:35 P.M.   There are precious few musicians in the world as fully realized as Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. His formidable improvisational […]

Bobby Womack Writes the Songs the Whole World Sings

In 1963, Bobby Dwayne Womack was just 19 when he wrote “It’s All Over Now”—inspired by his uncle’s woman troubles—for he and his brothers’ band, The Valentinos. Although the song […]

Bill Summers: Jazz Fest Focus

Bill Summers’ place in the jazz firmament was set the moment he tooted on a beer bottle tuned to C in the introduction to Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man” in 1973. […]

Bryan Lee, My Lady Don’t Love My Lady (Justin Time)

Bryan Lee might have come into this world a cheesehead up in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, but as soon as he heard those great, long-distance blues radio shows as a little […]

Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend

Although France may have only produced two jazz musicians of real genius, those two  musicians alone give France pretty respectable bragging rights: Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. Their quintet recordings […]

Fest Focus: Mavis Staples

Imagine a young Bob Dylan and an equally young Mavis Staples—married. It could have happened, according to Mavis. She recently told the story via telephone from her Chicago condo that faces cold Lake Michigan.