Tag Archives: jazz

Indaba Member Appointed Director at The Banff Centre

Here’s big news for Grammy Award nominee and Indaba Music member Vijay Iyer! This amazing pianist and composer was appointed director of The Banff Centre’s Jazz program. The Banff Centre, located in Banff, Alberta, Canada, is a globally respected arts, cultural, and educational institution and conference facility .

Congratulations from the Indaba Music Staff!

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Meet Our New Intern, Joe!


Saxophonist, Composer, Theorist… this is Joe Santa Maria and he’s our awesome new Community intern!

He’s been playing Jazz and acoustic music professionally for many years now and is branching out into the worlds of Ableton, MAX, and other modern marvels. He’s also a BIG fan of musical architecture. As an artist and a musician, he looks for interesting ways to bridge between different media to create something that exists in the physical world of the eyes as well as in the imagination.

We asked him to share his music and inspirations with the Indaba Community. Check out some of his music and a cool blog he wrote about Max Neuhaus below!

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“As You Like” Album Review

Indaba Member Adam Nussbaum’s New Group New Record: Bann’s As You Like

“As You Like” spans decades. Inhabits rustic warmth, modern edge, classy compositions, risky creative flow; everything sculpted with experienced trusting hands. A pure fresh feel on tones of old. I imagine four musicians; philosophers practiced confident carrying instrument cases scuffed from thousands of sessions. They meet up each from different corners, to play in an old warehouse space. The music tightens the bonds among them. Effortless, only communicating through vibrations yet they push and sweat knowing there is more.

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Jason Moran Receives $500,000 MacArthur Grant

One of the young visionaries of the newest jazz generation is Jason Moran. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, he soon started his own trio called The Bandwagon and began fusing different elements of music including hip-hop, r&b, rock and classical. A new sound emerged, one which has matured through several albums. A prolific composer, Jason has also written for a ballet company and for a multimedia tribute to Thelonious Monk. Jason is a well regarded sideman, sharing the stage with a large array of jazz luminaries from Ravi Coltrane to Christian McBride. This fall his continued success reached a new plateau when he was selected as a MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient. He will receive $500,000 to further his artistic horizons – with absolutely no strings attached.

With the proliferation of jazz education in the 1980s and the death of Miles Davis in 1991, jazz was effectively pushed into the lesser known realm of art music. It became less about the current creatives and more about the previous heros of the genre. Armed with their newly fashioned skills, students sought to bring the music back to the now. A beautiful thing happened—a new type of jazz was born. It wasn’t the jazz that the aging generation had come to embrace. It wasn’t even the jazz of the legendary John Coltrane, who many of the students had come to idolize. It was the jazz of the now, it was the voice of the a new generation.  Jason Moran plays a big role in that voice, and we’re proud to have had the chance to work with him here at Indaba.

You can listen to remixes of Jason’s music on his Indaba Music contest page.

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State of Jazz

By Rick

For those of you who have read my posts before, you’ll know that I am unapologetically a jazz musician. It’s what I’ve played and studied since I was a youngling. Though lately, and I don’t think I’m alone, defining exactly what “jazz” is has become difficult. Is it a style with rules, or is it a music in which “there are no wrong notes” (as the common standby goes)? Is it fair to call jazz “America’s classical music”, or is it more of a music born out of the African diaspora, as prominent jazz critics like Stanley Crouch like to tout? It’s almost impossible for it to be both, though undoubtedly the African diaspora had a large role to play in American music coming into its own. Still, this has been something of a struggle lately as I gear up to put some music I’ve written onto tape, which is probably more inspired by bands like Blonde Redhead and modern gospel artists like J Moss than it is by the traditional music of Armstrong and Ellington. So, I’ll try to parse some of my views on the state of modern jazz below:

I. Rebellion

Let’s start with irony, ironically it’s often a great place to start. In certain NYC jazz circles, the word “jazz” has a negative connotation. I’ve given it a bit of thought, and I think I’ve come up with a reason why (for me, at least) it would have one. Most of the younger musicians my age trying to break into the scene nowadays came up through the traditional channels. We studied our instruments with teachers, played in school and church, learned according to the rules we were given. In music school we were fed the generally accepted jazz curriculum where be-bop is king, and Miles and Coltrane are gods. This is where we were told, “this is jazz, this is what you’re here to play”. Surely, there were teachers who were much more enlightened than this, but as a general rule, the hard asses among them felt a personal obligation to force the idea that jazz was the holy grail of music into our souls and make us penitent musicians.

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