Jazz pianist Jeremy Kahn proudly states that he’s played with everyone from Joni Mitchell and Dizzy Gillespie to Aretha Franklin and Alvin and the Chipmunks, not to mention Barbara Cook, Charlie Haden and Max Roach. After a few years in New York City, Jeremy is back in his native Chicago and divides his time between his own concerts, teaching and playing in pit orchestras for theatrical productions. Jeremy enjoys it all and talked to Judy about how each facet of his creative life feeds the others.
Two-time Grammy winner, jazz vocalist Diane Schuur, carries on the tradition of the powerful women singers who inspired her, Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington. Her latest CD focuses on two great men who have inspired her, Stan Getz and Frank Sinatra. Her CD, I Remember You (With Love To Stan and Frank) commemorates the support--musical and otherwise--she’s gotten from both of these towering figures.
Second half of Judy’s conversation with Duke.
Guitarist Duke Robillard’s blues playing and singing have been honored with numerous awards, including a Grammy nomination. Duke is also a fan and swinging exponent of early jazz, which he celebrates on his latest CD, Duke Robillard and His Dames of Rhythm, which includes vocals by his longtime musical collaborator, Sunny Crownover, bluesy Cat Russell, sultry Maria Muldaur and a surprise appearance by Downton Abbey’sElizabeth McGovern. Duke brings it all together with his some of his favorite musicians celebrating well-known standards and lesser-known gems.
Two-time Tony winner, and Obie, Emmy and Drama Desk recipient, Andre DeShields broke out in the title role in The Wiz, followed by choreographing two shows for Bette Midler and then joining the cast in the original Broadway production of Ain’t Misbehavin’. September 2017 he opened off Broadway with Ellen Burstyn in a jazz meets Shakespeare version of As You Like It at Classic Stage Company in Manhattan.
British trumpeter talks about playing for Louis Armstrong when he was seven and playing in his family’s band, and touring America a few years later as a child star and appearing on What’s My Line and The Ed Sullivan Show.
Young Chicago pianist/organist/vocalist discusses his move to New York, his love for Oscar Peterson and Jimmy Smith and his new, as yet unnamed CD.
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.
British blues and boogie pianist, Jools Holland has collaborated with everyone from Sting to Eric Clapton to Norah Jones after jumping into a musical career at the age of fifteen with the band, Squeeze. Jools is a popular TV and radio presenter as well and his BBC Television show, Later with Jools Holland is now in its 25th year. This is the first of Judy’s two conversations with Jools Holland, which were recorded in his London home in June 2017. He talked about his varied career and his most recent CD, Piano.
The second half of Judy’s conversation with Jools.
Steinway CEO planned on a career as a concert pianist, studying at Julliard and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Artistic talent and business skills are not often paired but in Ron’s case they were. Ron talks about his transition from performer to businessman, how he wishes jazz were part of his musical training and how he feels the presentation of sophisticated music has changed over the years.
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.
Andy is considered one of best younger player on the scene, but his attitude harkens back to an earlier time when listening and learning from jazz elders was a stronger focus than a jazz degree from music school.
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.