David Dawg Grisman – Mandolin Masters Series

David “Dawg” Grisman is a living mandolin master, and today we celebrate his contributions to bluegrass and newgrass music, as well as acoustic composition. He is so revered in the bluegrass scene to have invented his own genre of music called Dawg Music, into which we shall delve further along in this article. Dawg has…

Bill Monroe – Mandolin Masters Series

Bill Monroe is a very important figure in the world of mandolin. He helped create bluegrass music, earning him the title Father of Bluegrass. A Bit About Bluegrass Style Bluegrass is encompassed by the genre of country music, taking root in Irish, Scottish and English music while incorporating elements of jazz. These traditional music styles…

5 Famous Jazz Mandolin Players

Mandolin takes 20th century root in American bluegrass and jazz style, both of which utilize tight improvisation and quick movement. With this article we take a look at five famous mandolin players who make/made significant contributions to the jazz mandolin style.  1. Jethro Burns Kenneth Charles Burns earned the name Jethro after touring as comedic duo…
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Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington – Album Review

The rise and fall of legendary jazz musicians is an overlapping narrative of eras, styles, and historical moments. Thelonious Sphere Monk is one of the undisputed greatest American musicians of all time, though the journey to his legendary status was far from glamorous. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KshrtLXBdl8 Monk was a “musician’s musician,” praised by the artistic community, but…

The Newport Jazz Festival – A Brief History

In 1954, Newport, Rhode Island hosted the “First Annual American Jazz Festival.” It was the first time that live acts travelled and gathered in one place to perform live jazz music for an audience. An estimated 12,000 people packed themselves into the Newport Casino to see the world’s biggest names in jazz of the day:…
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Tom Harrell – American Jazz Trumpeter Bio

Tom Harrell is an American jazz trumpeter, arranger, flugelhorn player, and composer born in Urbana, Illinois on the 16th of June, 1946. Here's a sample of Tom's playing, as Wayne Escoffrey looks on, enjoying every moment of it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDshTFnBaAo Tom Harrell Bio Moving to the San Francisco Bay area at the age of 5, Tom began…
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Live Jazz and the Beauty of Improvised Performance

Jazz music is arguably the most unpredictable and visceral performance art that exists. During improvisational bouts, in the flash of a second before an improvising musician’s next note, no one—sometimes not even the musician—knows what will come next. While classical music can be deeply, profoundly expressive, and while theatre and dance can promote tension and…