Kurt's Recent Press
Warsaw Summer Jazz, which ran from 6 - 9 July, is a fairly recent offshoot of the much longer-established Warsaw Jazz Jamboree held each November by the same promoters. The venue was a converted factory in a large arts complex just outside Warsaw city centre. Well organised and consistently well attended, it  ...read more…
Grammy-award winner Branford Marsalis and his Branford Marsalis Quintet were originally scheduled to appear at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts back in May, but due to flight difficulties, this performance was rescheduled to July 31st. The audience was still packed, and the excitement level high. This tour is  ...read more…
When Branford Marsalis invited Kurt Elling to record the album Upward Spiral with his long-running quartet, he gained a front-line partner as well as a charismatic vocal lead. Elling doesn't just interpret a song, he inhabits it, drawing out its character through phrasing, note choice and tone. As the  ...read more…
This intriguing and highly original project seeks to do several things at once: first, and rather belatedly, to mark the 60th anniversary of Bird's death (which fell in 2015); second, to weave his best-known tunes together into a biographical narrative; and third, to re-imagine the tunes as if their composer  ...read more…
On paper, this doesn't sound promising: a series of Charlie Parker compositions sung by today's best-selling jazz vocalists, with lyrics based on Parker's life story. It's a tribute to the personnel involved that it works so well. The core band from David Bowie's Blackstar –  ...read more…
International Jazz Extravaganza chief executive Sindile Xulu loves to differentiate between the terms "extravaganza" and "festival". At a Durban press conference to welcome musicians to the second annual event, she again makes the distinction. Perhaps in KwaZulu-Natal it is a worthwhile variation, invoked to set this particular event apart from  ...read more…
James Joyce, in a letter to his brother Stanislaus, discussing his yet to be published volume of poems, Chamber Music, wrote: "It is a young man's book. I felt like that. It is not a book of love-verses at all, I perceive. But some of them are pretty enough  ...read more…