Artist Interviews: Evans, Mendoza & Blanchard

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Photo: Stephen Laufer / KUSP

Miles Evans & Vince Mendoza

KUSP’s pick for the outright highlight of the 54th annual Monterey Jazz Festival is the performance of Sketches of Spain by the Still Ahead Orchestra conducted by Vince Mendoza and featuring Terence Blanchard. The tribute to Gil Evans and Miles Davis was preceded by performances of music from Miles Ahead and Porgy & Bess featuring more Blanchard and Gil Evans’ son, Miles. Evans, Mendoza and Blanchard (who was just about everywhere this weekend) sat down with KUSP’s Brett Taylor after the very powerful, very moving set.


Artist Interviews: India.Arie & Idan Raichel

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India.Arie & Idan Raichel took the Sunday MJF crowd to church with hymns calling for peace and unity on the Jimmy Lyons (Arena) Stage. The two discussed their Open Door project, which came out of India.Arie’s sabbatical in Israel. That’s where she connected with songwriter and producer Idan Raichel. A friendship and songwriting partnership was born. KUSP’s Brett Taylor got the details.

India.Arie:
Idan Raichel:


Artist Interviews: Next Generation Orchestra

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Photo by Stephen Laufer

The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra is a long-running crowd favorite at the Monterey Jazz Festival and year 54′s edition didn’t disappoint. Joshua Redman, Benny Green and Donny McCaslin (Benny and Donny both went through the program in their high school days) joined the Orchestra for a Jimmy Lyons (Arena) Stage set and in KUSP’s Sturgeon for an interview about the music and the program — which aims to provide jazz education to high school students in order to help develop top-notch talent.

Brett Taylor speaks with Director Paul Cantos, Anthony Fung (drummer), Chase Morrin (piano), Donny McCasslin and Benny Green.

Artist Interviews: LA High School For The Arts Big Band

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Temo Mauricio and Jeremy Corren Photo: Stephen Laufer

 One of the things that sets the Motnerey Jazz Festival apart from the countless other jazz gatherings held across the country ever year is its commitment to ushering in fresh talent with education programs and stage time. Day 3 brought the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Big Band. KUSP brought the interview with Director Jason Goldman, Ari Giancaterino (upright bass), Jeremy Corren (piano) and Temo Mauricio (trombone):


 

Artist Interviews: Donny McCaslin

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Photos: Stephen Laufer / KUSP

In addition to being a hometown hero (McCaslin grew up in Santa Cruz), Donny McCaslin has a pretty exceptional relationship with the Monterey Jazz Festival: As a youngster he was part of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra — a group he plays with this year as an elder statesman of the from. McCaslin discusses his group, his work and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with KUSP’s Brett Taylor and Larry Blood.

Artist Interviews: Berklee Flamenco

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Berklee Flamenco is a crack troupe of musicians from the Berklee College of Music. Before bringing a mix of jazz, flamenco, and Mid­dle Eastern sounds to the Garden Stage, members Ariadna Castellanos Rivas and Ali Amr spoke to KUSP’s Latin Quarter host Brett Taylor.

Photo: Stephen Laufer / KUSP

Stephen Laufer / KUSP

Ariadna Castellanos Rivas, Ali Amr, Tamir Shmerling, Enrique “Kalani” Trinidad, & Sergio Martinez.

Photo: Mike Lambert / KUSP

Qanunist and vocalist Ali Amr of Berklee Flamecnco wowed the crowd Friday night on Garden Stage.

Artist Interviews: Family Pizzarelli

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Photos: Stephen Laufer / KUSP

The John Pizzarelli Quartet’s Friday night set was a relative success: Two generations and a wife of Pizzarelli charmed the audience with full band jazz standards, guitar noodling father and son duets, and rapier wit. After the set Bucky, his son John, and John’s wife Jessica made time for KUSP in the Sturgeon. They spoke with KUSP’s own MC Brett Taylor.