An Editor’s Overview
Having somewhat recently moved to northern New Jersey, I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to check out some of the jazz clubs that have long defined New York City culture. Although some of the more prominent venues have moved from their original spots, each one still fills you with a sense of Manhattan’s rich music history, and the thick atmosphere generally radiates an invigorating spirit.
The biggest band in the land tears up the road map and comes up with its most ambitious album to date. "We're usually like Motörhead meets the Beatles," the group's drummer says. "But this one is really Motörhead meets Sgt. Pepper's."
Naomi and her twin sister, keyboardist/vocalist Lisa-Kaindé Diaz, make up the group Ibeyi (“ee-bay-ee”), which means “twins” in their ancestral language of Yoruba. The duo’s recently released second album, Ash, is a delicious blend of acoustic hand percussion, layered voices, keyboards, and other electronic sounds that intermingle within a mix of Yoruba folk, American soul, French pop, and Afro-Cuban funk.
It’s rare that a band can survive with the same lineup beyond the first few albums, but the same five musicians who make up 311 have been thriving together for more than twenty-five years. The group has managed to remain a staple of both radio and the summer touring circuit, and every other year since 2010 it’s thrown a huge performance/celebration for diehard fans on its own unofficial holiday, 311 Day.
The popular Canadian band knew he could play the drums. When they learned he was a good hang—and a great singer—the deal was sealed.
Being in the band for the infamous Spider-Man show on Broadway required him to nail his cues as packed houses hung on to every wild moment of a sensational live-action musical circus. It’s all in the bag of tricks for today’s working pro, whose duties require single-minded preparation, nerves of steel, and the ability to make up a perfect part in the blink of an eye.
The multi-instrumentalist claims to develop his chops only as far as the music dictates. But only is a deceiving word, given the distinctness and the success of the work he’s created with many important contemporary artists, and in many different ways.
The 2017 deaths of Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks and singer/keyboardist Gregg Allman hit the rock world pretty damn hard. But few could have felt the loss more than the man who was there from the very beginning.
Becoming a truly great listener will improve your value as a musician. We ask the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Brian Chase and MD Pro Panelist George Marsh to help get you there.
No touring musician is exempt from the grueling demands of life on the road. Whether he’s playing sold-out arenas with John Mayer or Eric Clapton or hip clubs with Robert Cray or the Verbs, Steve Jordan has ten things that he always keeps close by. “They keep me sane and fit,” he says.
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