What Makes Being a Musician So Great

Musicians are often the envy of the working world, and for good reason. Seriously, can you think of a more entertaining career? I doubt it. Here are a few solid reasons why music makers have the greatest jobs ever.

  1. Gratification and recognition. Your fans and peers express true interest and appreciation.
  2. Acceptance. Everyone wants to be accepted and have a sense of belonging somewhere in the world. Musicians are no exception and the music world is a very large and diverse place.
  3. Set your own hours. No punching a clock here. Just show up and do what you love every day.
  4. Day-to day variety. Not looking at the same cubicle’s interior every day. Something new every single day and this is how great memories are made.
  5. Meet and hang out with other cool musicians. Musicians are by far the most creative people on the planet. It is how their brains literally work and makes them exceptional at their craft.
  6. Inspire others. We all are looking for some inspiration at times and many times listening to a certain song or watching a performer can trigger some great inspiring life moments.

What about you? Why did you become a musician? Why do you think that being a musician is the greatest job ever? Have you had some great Gigs that you’d like to tell us about? Any tips you have for other aspiring musicians? Leave your most excellent comments below!

What is Night is Alive’s Daily Dose of Jazz?

What if you could get access to some of the best music that jazz has to offer? Now, what if you could get that same lavish jazz music on a daily basis? You can, all thanks to Night is Alive’s Daily Dose of Jazz!

Check back here everyday to see which one of our extravagant musicians are being featured. From Willie Jones III and his amazing drum skills, Jeff Rupert’s swaying saxophone solos, Bill Cunliffe’s Grammy-winning piano playing or Donald Vega’s crowd-pleasing piano performances, you’re not going to want to miss out on any of this music.

Remember, there’s a free new song rotated in everyday, meaning you always have access to fresh, abundant jazz music; all at your fingertips. All for free.

Now, how’s that for a #LushLife?

Ralph Moore Performs A John Coltrane Tribute

John Coltrane was a legend in his own right. Easily considered one of the greatest musicians of the modern era, Coltrane revolutionized jazz with his intense improvisations, multi-tonic changes and globally inspired sound.

Ralph Moore is a legend as well. The tenor saxophonist is known for his solid, straight-ahead and inspiring style. He’s a heavyweight in the jazz world and he’s played alongside amazing musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Roy Hargrove and Oscar Peterson.

Both men have forged solid jazz legacies in their own memorable and unique ways.

On Saturday, March 16, Ralph Moore had the chance to honor the man who influenced his tenor sax tone and playing style—John Coltrane.

Moore and his quartet headlined the 47th annual Lakeland Jazz Festival with a tribute to John Coltrane at 8 P.M. The Ralph Moore Quartet featured Moore on tenor sax, Xavier Davis on piano, Rodney Whitaker on acoustic bass and Sean Dobbins on drums.

A special pre-concert discussion with the quartet took place at 7 P.M. Hosted by WCPN radio host Dan Polletta, this portion of the show was only for ticket holders.

Post written by Devon F.


photo: Benjamin Lehman http://benjaminlehman.com

Real Jazz With Willie Jones III

Downbeat magazine wrote a fantastic piece on our very own Willie Jones III. The 49- year-old drummer, who just sold out two shows at the famous Blues Alley nightclub in Washington, D.C, had this to say about his new album My Point Is… (WJ3):

“The common ground for these musicians is that they all love to play in a style that some would call hard-bop or straight ahead—what I’d call real jazz.  Real jazz to me has the rhythmic feel of swinging. You can improvise, but change the rhythm base, and the style is different. It’s great if blues is in it, but there doesn’t necessarily have to be. The groove basis for jazz is the ride cymbal.  If I want to play r&b or funk, then the emphasis will be on the backbeat with the snare drum and hi-hat.  I can do that.”

The high-ranking jazz drummer, who is currently touring across the United States and Europe, is best known for his time performing with the Roy Hargrove’s quintet.  Willie Jones III is also well respected in the jazz industry.  

Ted Panken, the writer of the three-page spread on Willie Jones III, dives into discussing everything from Jones’ ideas on the future of jazz, how he handles booking gigs, being a bandleader and running his own recording studio WJ3 Records, as well as Jones’ major musical influences in his life.

For those looking to read more about Willie Jones III and discover how a top-tier jazz artist lives and works in our modern age, head over to DownBeat.com and read Willie Jones III Merges Swing and Swagger by Ted Panken!  

Willie Jones III Quintet @ Blues Alley

Willie Jones III Quintet @ Blues Alley

On February 27 the Willie Jones III Quintet will be performing at the world-renowned Blues Alley.  Few venues have the history and vibe as this DC club.   Founded in 1965, Blues Alley is the oldest continuing jazz supper club in the nation, and it has all the grit and clout to prove it.  Walking down the alley to the club sets the tone for the experience that Blues Alley has become.

Located in Georgetown,  Blues Alley resides in an 18th-century red brick carriage house that only adds to the appeal for concert goers.  The air inside the club changes your perspective of time and space.  Blues Alley makes you feel like you are in the 1920s and 30s listening to great jazz musicians. It has featured such amazing artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Grover Washington Jr., Ramsey Lewis, Charlie Byrd, Maynard Ferguson, and Eva Cassidy.  Blues Alley is open seven days a week and is also known for its extraordinary menu, specializing in authentic Creole cuisine, steak, and seafood dishes creating a food pallet that compliments the music perfectly.

Willie Jones III Quintet with Ralph Moore, a well-respected saxophonist, Eddie Henderson, a popular trumpet player, Alex Claffy, a young and extremely talented bassist, Victor Gould, a prominent pianist, will be performing at Blues Alley on February 27th.  Willie Jones III is known for his musical brilliance and style on the drums.  He has made a name for himself through his exceptional control, speed and texture he brings to the drums.  He has performed, toured, and recorded with Horace Silver, Roy Hargrove, Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, and Herbie Hancock to name a few.  Jones also played on Arturo Sandoval’s Grammy-winning album Hot House (1998).  Willie Jones III fits perfectly with other greats who have played the famous Blues Alley.

This concert is a fantastic opportunity to see a tremendous group of musicians at a world-renowned club.   The Willie Jones III Quintet on the 27th will be another example of the extraordinary talent that performs at the great Blues Alley. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.bluesalley.com/events.cfm.

Blog post written by Michael Brigger, published by Jeffrey Swan

Ron Carter: Mr. 2,221…and Counting

If you love jazz, but you don’t know who Ron Carter is, you really don’t love jazz.

Why do we say that?

Because Ron Carter is one of the most prolific, innovative and influential bassists in jazz history.
He’s also played with a number of the greats. From Lena Horne to B.B. King, Miles Davis to even A Tribe Called Quest, Mr. Carter’s talent has transcended a variety of genres.

Carter was born in Ferndale, Michigan on May 4, 1937. He started playing cello at age ten, and later switched to the double bass. He went on to play during his time at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and the Manhattan School of Music in the Big Apple.

His professional career in music started with gigs playing bass for Jaki Byard and Chico Hamilton. Carter hit the big time in 1963 when he became a member of the classic and acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. In it, he played alongside Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams. He played with the group until 1968. During his time, he recorded two albums with them—Seven Steps to Heaven in 1963 and E.S.P. in 1965.

After his quartet time, Carter went on to forge a number of musical partnerships and was a member of the New York Jazz Quartet. He also was a sideman on many Blue Note recordings playing with Freddie Hubbard, Duke Pearson, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver and many others.

In a career which spans more than 50 years, Carter has more than 2,221 albums to his credit. He’s the most recorded jazz bassist history and was recognized for it by The Guinness Book of World Records in 2016. At 81, Carter is still teaching and performing.

So far as his style, it’s been described as such.

“What makes Carter so unique is the fact that describing his style is more comparable to describing the entire jazz genre—it includes a grandiose and diverse spectrum of sophisticated music that has evolved over the past several decades. Carter has been at the forefront of various jazz movements, from bebop to bossa nova, straight-ahead to experimental. If that weren’t enough, he has thrived in virtually every form of ensemble playing from conservation-driven duos to quartets to big bands. He has played the bass lines that all students of jazz have to learn and does so with impeccable tone, technique, and temperament.”

Ryan Madora

Bass Players to Know: Ron Carter, notreble.com

Sept. 15, 2017

Night is Alive’s own Donald Vega performs on piano with Carter’s Golden Striker Trio.

This just goes to show the caliber of the great talent that we work with. In a nutshell, we represent legends who have been inspired, mentored and celebrated by jazz greats, and we’d love to share their unique sounds with you—and the world.

Learn more about what we do and who we represent.

Night is Alive’s own Kathy Salem is committed to supporting the future of jazz

Pictured from left to right:
Aaron Watson, Lead Alto Sax; Zachary Mighty, Lead Trumpet; Edwin Mompremier, Piano; Avion Wright, Drums.

When she isn’t managing some of the nation’s most inventive and respected jazz musicians, Kathy Salem, the Managing Director of Night is Alive, is helping to ensure that the aspirations of college musicians become a reality.

Last week, four young men at Florida A&M University became the inaugural recipients of the Kathy Salem Jazz Scholarship. These individuals were recognized for their merits on campus and on stage. The winners were Aaron Watson who plays lead alto sax, Zachary Mighty who is a lead trumpet player, Edwin Mompremier who plays piano and Avion Wright who is a drummer.

They all received a scholarship for (insert amount).

All four scholarship recipients are members of Florida A&M University’s Jazz Ensemble. This ensemble is ranked nationally among the top collegiate Jazz Ensembles and has been invited to participate at most Jazz Festivals across the country. It is composed of eighteen musicians selected from approximately four hundred musicians in the total university band program.  The Jazz Ensemble is noted for its diversity of styles and very capable jazz musicians.

Ms. Salem started the scholarship because she believes that it is important to foster the talents of the next generation of jazz musicians. This scholarship is a way for her to give back while supporting the genre of music that she loves so much.

Night is Alive is proud of these young men, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them musically.

 

Order Willie Jones III Tickets Today

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Drummer Willie Jones III is best experienced front row, and “full throttle.” His latest release is Groundwork featuring compositions by Cedar Walton,  Eric Reed and Buster Williams.

When Willie was still living in LA, Billy Higgins told him: “Don’t wait for somebody else to decide when you are ready to be a leader.”  Well… Willie is now one of the world’s leading jazz drummers and a brilliant leader.

Eric Reed says: “Willie has a west-coast swagger to his swing that isn’t lackadaisical and a New York edge that isn’t overwhelming. There is nothing academic about Willie on the bandstand.”  With the band Willie has put together for this gig, we will be hearing what Willie calls… Straight-Swingin’-Real-Jazz!

Featuring

Willie Jones III, drums
Eric Reed, piano
Ralph Moore, tenor saxophone
Mike Olmos, trumpet
Mike Gurrola, bass

ORDER TICKETS HERE: https://jazzbakery.org/events/willie-jones-iii-wj3

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