Vocalist/composer Gabrielle Stravelli draws on influences as varied as Pink Floyd and Duke Ellington, Dolly Parton and Johnny Mercer. She discusses her new CD of standards and originals which was produced by Taylor Swift’s Music Director an early guest on Jazz Inspired, David Cook, another connection showing Stravelli’s wide musical interests.
Mike Karn started his career as a saxophonist, touring with Harry Connick, Jr., Ray Charles and others, but is now one of the busiest bass players in jazz. He discusses this shift in focus with Judy and his new gig as the bassist in John Pizzarelli's band.
Minneapolis based pianist, Rick Carlson, pursued a variety of careers before jumping in relatively late to become one of the finest musicians on the scene today. Rick Carlson’s love for Basie and joy in accompanying great singers enticed him to make music his primary focus and he is now one of the most in demand players in his beloved Minnesota and beyond.
New Orleans pianist Tom McDermott brings to life the many influences that fed the early musical scene in that most musical of cities. His original passion for ragtime came from his youth in St. Louis, but once in New Orleans, Tom put a scholarly zeal into studying his favorites--James Booker, Professor Longhair and Dr. John, as well as into discovering the lesser-known musical gems that formed the sound of New Orleans.
Celebrated Chicago based guitarist, Andy Brown discusses his love of solo playing, as well as his duo work with Howard Alden and his own band and why he left his native New York for the windy city.
Pianist/composer Mary Louise Knutson has performed with many jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, Dianne Reeves, Randy Brecker and was a finalist in the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz International Pianist Competition. She talks with Judy about making a living as a jazz musician in her native Minneapolis and what she’s learned touring with Doc Severinsen.
New Orleans banjoist/vocalist Don Vappie resisted the banjo during his early years in music but is now considered a virtuoso on the instrument. He has worked with Peggy Lee, Eric Clapton and countless others in various styles and records and produces for film and television.
Guitarist Greg Ruggiero grew up in New Mexico with swing-dancing parents who encouraged him to listen to the Great American Standards and classic jazz, something he initially resisted. Greg is now one of the most respected younger musicians on the scene and an enthusiastic proponent of the very music he initially avoided and talks to Judy about his journey from rock musician to jazz player.
Composer Miho Hazama graduated from Kunitachi College of Music in her native Japan with a bachelor’s degree in classical composition and went on to get her Masters in jazz composition from the Manhattan School of Music. Miho has won numerous awards and scholarships and has written jingles for television, although her passion is writing concert works. Now based in NYC, Miho continues to record and perform her compositions, which draw on not only her jazz and classical studies but on her wide range of musical influences.
After years away from performing because of vocal cord issues, Steven is back with his new big band CD, “The Way You Look Tonight” a throwback to the Sinatra days of swinging arrangements of the standards.
Jane Monheit’s longtime bassist, Neal Miner, has worked in many settings but especially enjoys playing with vocalists. His father, Bill Miner, was a jazz collector of the highest order. Neal discusses the influence Bill had on shaping his love of jazz and his desire to pursue a music career.
Pianist Tardo Hammer discusses his work with Annie Ross, Jon Hendricks and others and his new CD, “Simple Pleasures."
Vocalist Hilary Kole discusses her new CD, "The Judy Garland Project” and the continuing influence her father, Broadway singer, Robert Kole, has on her work.
Bassist/composer David Finck discusses his collaborations with everyone from Tony Bennett and Aretha Franklin to Rosemary Clooney and Dizzy Gillespie. He sings occasionally too, which is shown to advantage on his newest CD “Low Standards."
Clarinetist/saxophonist, Ken Peplowski had his first professional gig when still in elementary school and went on to play with everyone from Marianne Faithfull and Leon Redbone to Peggy Lee and Woody Allen. BBC2 says, “Ken Peplowski is arguably the greatest living jazz clarinetist.”
From child prodigy as a classical pianist to his own Dixieland band as an eight year old to the musician Yehudi Menuhin calls “one of the finest pianists I have ever had the pleasure of performing with."
The French/Scottish vocalist spent her young life in Paris, training four hours a day as an ice skater, with breaks for the occasional gig as a child actor. Somehow, she knew she would be a singer someday, even though that was never the focus of her life. She now lives and works in England, singing and playing accordion, performing a repertoire influenced by everyone from Edith Piaf to Billie Holiday.
Britain’s go-to guy for swinging interpretations of the standards, which he’s performed in various venues around the world, as well as a royal appearance at Buckingham Palace.
British composer/pianist discusses his new CD Story Inside and the deep influence pianist Bill Evans has had on his work.
British guitarist Sam Dunn discusses the challenges of the jazz scene in England and combining his equal passion for the music of Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass and English rock.