Chris Botti Preview

ChrisBotti

Chris Botti will open the festival on the Flynn MainStage on Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 8pm. Tickets are available at the FlynnTix Regional Box Office at 153 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05401, by calling 802-86FLYNN or order online here. Below is a preview as a part of the festival’s partnership with the Burlington Writers Workshop. 

Impressive Expression

Contribution by James H. Gamble, Burlington Writers Workshop

The word “expressive” is commonly used when describing Chris Botti’s trumpet playing. It seems an apt term.  Listening to his interpretation of “Prelude in C Minor,” what strikes me most is not the drama of the piece (although Chopin can be dramatic), it’s the care and devotion he gives each note.  I mean, really, each and every note.  It’s as though in that fleeting moment it is the only note in the world.

It’s a lot of tenderness for a jazz musician.  Although that’s a pretty limiting classification for someone so diverse as Botti.  Consider that his 2012 album Impressions won the Grammy for “Best Pop Instrumental Album.”  This is a guy who’s not afraid to mix it up.  He toured extensively with Paul Simon in the ‘90s, and he’s performed with the likes of Sting, Steven Tyler, and John Mayer. On Impressions he collaborates with a range of artists, from tenor Andrea Bocelli to country star Vince Gill to rocker Mark Knopfler.  Wow.

But make no mistake, Botti has jazz in his bones.  He was inspired to take up the trumpet at the age of twelve after hearing Miles Davis. Later, he studied with the highly regarded jazz educator David Baker, the great trumpet teacher Bill Adam, jazz trumpeter Woody Shaw, and jazz saxophonist George Coleman. And in his early career he honed his skills in the company of Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, and Natalie Cole. We should not be surprised that he’s had four #1 albums on Billboard’s Jazz Albums listings.

Anyone lucky enough to see Botti when he hits the Flynn Mainstage on June 14, wrapping up the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, is in for a special treat.  What’s fun is anticipating all the possibilities.  It could be jazz, it could be pop; maybe a little classical, folk or Latin.  It won’t matter. With Chris Botti, whatever genre he chooses will be his own. And however he chooses to express it, we will be impressed.

 

 

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Chris Botti Preview

Rubblebucket Preview

Rubblebucket

Rubblebucket will perform at the Waterfront Park Tent on Saturday, June 13, $25; Doors and VT Nectar’s Grill at 5pm; Music at 6pm; Pimps of Joytime to open. Tickets are available at the FlynnTix Regional Box Office at 153 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05401, by calling 802-86FLYNN or order online here. Below is a preview as a part of the festival’s partnership with the Burlington Writers Workshop.

On this ride I’m the Captain
All my friends call me Shackleton

By Michelle Watters, Burlington Writers Workshop

Thirteen years ago I attended The Horde Festival. It was only my second live show, the first one being The Black Crowes. I was seventeen and couldn’t wait to see Lenny Cravitz in his leather pants.

Unfortunately that never came to be because I dropped acid for the first time.

The only band I can recall seeing is Rusted Root. Then the acid kicked in and Jesus himself sent me messages through Rusted Roots drumbeats. I got stuck in a port-a-potty and time stood still. I lost my shoes and somewhere along the way my jeans. By the end of the show I was in the parking lot: confused, in just my underwear, and being felt up by a Frenchman; at least I think he was speaking French. After that, I never wanted to go to a concert again.

Fast forward. I hear about Rubblebucket coming to town.

The name itself works magic on my tongue. I find myself saying, “Rumblebucket, Rubberbucket, Rubblebucket…” it wants to be a tongue twister.  What is a Rubblebucket anyway? Something in a tornado emergency kit?

A poet’s mind is never at rest when it comes to unusual wordplay. I’m not the savviest music aficionado. I don’t know what’s cool or if the word “cool” is even used anymore. I listen to easy listening seventies music like a daily anti-anxiety pill along with some early eighties thrown in like a cup of coffee. I consider my knowledge of Kraftwerk’s Autobahn to be cutting edge.

I was five when MTV first aired, my face inches from the television as I watched the first music video, The Buggles Video Killed The Radio Star. I didn’t know then that it would be a big part of music history but I knew the feeling I got when a good music video came on.

The good ones told stories, had interesting visuals, and a beat I could wiggle to.

Fast Forward.  I’m on YouTube to checkout Rubblebucket’s music video Carousel Ride. Annakalmia’s angelic voice sings against the background of an electronic beat.  I feel like I’m watching old MTV again. Somehow they have made music videos fresh.

The lyrics are more like poetry than a pop song.

I think I was a bird in another life
Maybe that’s why I’m prone to flight
And I do like heights
When all the strongest winds are blowing my way
Then the reaper comes to take my breath away

The video itself has a retro feel channeling the I Love Lucy show’s chocolate factory episode. Chocolate soldiers drop off a conveyer belt.  A factory worker eats melted chocolate and smears it on his face. At the end, in a bizarre fantastic twist, the factory workers help what I can only describe as an anus made of flowers escape from a cage where it is being pumped full of thick pink liquid in IV bags.

On further inquiry and after finding out Annakalmia is a survivor of ovarian cancer, I deduce the big flowery thing is supposed to represent an ovary and the factory the big business of cancer treatments.

In their video Came Out of a Lady, they sport neon colors and have their heads, arms, and legs emerging from nylon, tent-like structures.  The sound of Trumpets give the song a fast jazzy feel.  The retro feel and playfulness are reminiscent of Devo’s Whip It with a smidgeon of Boy George’s Karma Chameleon. Again the depth of the lyrics are just damn good poetry.

I used to walk by the stream at night
With silver shadows everywhere
My brain like an exploding light
And wonder if it was worth my time
To sing these sings and do these things
And stumble at the every time.

All the songs on Rubblebucket’s album Survival Sounds have a playful quality combined with powerful and eloquent lyrics that tell a story about doubt, fear, survival, and, most prominently, joy.

This will be a show where acid need not apply. It will be better than chocolate (or a close second). It will definitely be better than being trapped in a hot port-a-potty.

Fun Fact:

Rubblebucket did awesome covers of The Doobie Brothers What a Fool Believes and The Beatles My Michelle.  I was named after the latter and I love The Doobie Brothers. So clearly this being my first concert in so long is kismet.

Rubblebucket is like riding a unicorn in the sunset, trumpets blaring rainbows. Saturday June 13th at The Burlington Waterfront. Be there with bells on.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rubblebucket Preview

She’ll Take You There—Mavis Staples at the Flynn

MavisStaples

 

Mavis Staples, Friday, June 12,  Flynn MainStage, $15-48, 8pm. Tickets are available at the FlynnTix Regional Box Office at 153 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05401, by calling 802-86FLYNN or order online here. Below is a preview as a part of the festival’s partnership with the Burlington Writers Workshop. 

She’ll Take You There—Mavis Staples at the Flynn

By Brett Sigurdson, Burlington Writers Workshop

For me, there isn’t any more pure encapsulation of musical joy than Mavis Staples clapping her hands in ecstasy as The Band closes its rousing rendition of “The Weight” during the Last Waltz. Lost in the music, Staples keeps the beat with her claps as the music swells behind her into the final, legendary chorus: “Take a load off, Fannie / Take a load for free.” Staples sings along with relish, adding her distinctive soulful yawps, and lifts her head skyward. As the music closes, she whispers, “Beautiful. ”

The same could be said of Staples—still a musical force at 75.

Sure, Staple Singers treasures like “I’ll Take You There,” “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me),” “Respect Yourself,” and others have cemented her status as one of our greatest gospel and soul voices. But Staples isn’t one to rest on her catalogue. She has been a prolific recording artist throughout the last decade: she’s recorded six albums since 2004, the two most recent with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and she’s still touring, keeping the Staple Singers gospel-soul magic alive.

Like Forrest Gump, the Staple Singers story links with some of the 20th century’s greatest musicians and historical figures.

The Cliff’s Notes version:

Roebuck “Pops” Staples was born and raised near Cleveland, Mississippi, and toiled the fields of the legendary Dockery Farms, the same plantation that saw blues godfathers like Son House, Howling’ Wolf, Robert Johnson, and Honeyboy Edwards pass through. At Dockery, Pops learned to play guitar at the feet of the legendary Charley Patton. In the mid-30s, he and his family—wife Oceola and children Cleotha and Pervis—joined the Great Migration north to Chicago, where Mavis and sister Yvonne were born. He joined a gospel group, the Trumpet Jubilees, but, frustrated that the group couldn’t get traction, he vowed he’d sing with his children instead, teaching them to harmonize on “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” to the accompaniment of a $7 guitar.

As the Staple Singers acclaim grew from Chicago churches to major festivals, the group performed with 60s folk singers like Bob Dylan—he once proposed to Mavis—and traveled with Martin Luther King. Their sound fit well into the worlds of folk and activism.

Held together with Pop’s twangy guitar lines, Mavis’s soulful growl, and the siblings’ stirring harmonies, the band forged a singular identity despite moving from straight gospel to soul to funk through the 60s and 70s.

African American issues were always at the heart of the music. The Staple Singers sound was inspirational and empowering during the turbulent Civil Rights era. Yet the sound always retained something of the Mississippi Delta’s rural soul. In a sense, their music was always both forward looking and backward looking.

For Mavis Staples, there’s comfort in the past and the future. Her live shows still possess a sound informed by Pops’s twangy guitar, but her most recent albums have been grounded in folk and rock as much as gospel and soul.

“I’m always willing to try new things,” Staples told People Magazine earlier this year. “And ready. I just felt like, I got to keep moving, got to keep up with the times.”

No matter what she’s singing, Staples brings the pure musical joy to the performance, and I can’t wait to hear her deliver it at the Flynn June 12.

 

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on She’ll Take You There—Mavis Staples at the Flynn

Jazz Junior Preview

Jazz Junior

Jazz Junior with Christian McBride Trio, Friday, June 12,  FlynnSpace $10; 3-4pm. Tickets are available at the FlynnTix Regional Box Office at 153 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05401, by calling 802-86FLYNN or order online here. Below is a preview as a part of the festival’s partnership with the Burlington Writers Workshop. 

Contribution by JD Fox, Burlington Writers Workshop

Jazz. noun, often attributive \ˈjaz\ : a type of American music with lively rhythms and melodies that are often made up by musicians as they play. (source: Merriam-Webster online).

Okay, now we know all we need to know about Jazz. Right?

Hmmm. A lot of music has rhythms, melodies, and improvisation. “American” and “lively” don’t exactly add much either, do they?

My musical tastes have grown like tree rings, adding and expanding my appreciation without my ever discarding the core. I remember:

Sitting in an egg speaker chair at my dad’s house listening to David Seville and the Chipmunks “Witch Doctor.” I sang out loud (and very loud), proud that I knew all the lyrics. “Beep Beep” by The Playmates occupied my audio world, too.

Pulling  the flimsy “It’s a Super-Spectacular Day” record from Mad Magazine and listening to it over and over again to ensure I heard all the possible versions, which incredibly and mysteriously changed with each playing.

Listening to my Dad’s old vinyl: Moody Blues, Simon and Garfunkel, Rod Stewart. Through him, I also heard the Star Wars soundtrack, that just released cassette playing during many car trips.

Sneaking my step-brother’s 8-tracks from his room: AC/DC, Styx, and The Cars among them.

But no Jazz.

I turned 13 the year MTV launched, that month actually, so music videos heavily influenced my musical choices: A Flock of Seagulls, Human League, and Devo, to name just a few. I started regularly buying records. In addition to MTV, my friends helped shape those purchases, turning me on to their own favorites:

Iron Maiden from Mark Combs, Alan Parsons Project from Tom Polkabla, and the incredible concept album “Pink World” by Planet P Project from Scott Tullis. I’m not sure who exposed me to Rush, as it seems like all of us just had simply always liked them.

But no jazz.

I discovered a lot of music on my own. On a whim, I picked up Skinny Puppy’s “Tormentor” CD Single and became hooked on Industrial, getting all of their albums and many other brilliant artists in that genre. From a Skinny Puppy forum, I found out about the unclassifiable but always captivating Legendary Pink Dots. Both Puppy and Dots remain perennial favorites.

Onward into EBM like Project Pitchfork, VNV Nation, and Funker Vogt. Metal, too, unlike I had heard before, such as Dark Tranquillity, …And Oceans, and Hollenthon.

My husband gave me new appreciation for female singers, such as Tina Turner, Kate Bush, Debora Iyall (Romeo Void), and Deborah Harry (Blondie).

Somewhere along the way I discovered Noise: power, rhythmic, ambient. I developed a fondness for artists like Ah Cama-Sotz, This Morn’ Omina, and Winterkalte, as well as such niche record labels like Ant-Zen, Hands Productions, and Hymen.

But still no Jazz.

I’m looking forward to correcting this gap come this Friday when the Discover Jazz Festival brings Jazz Junior to FlynnSpace. Both a performance and an intro to Jazz, this geared-towards-kids event should prove to be audibly illuminating for music fans and music seekers of all ages.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Jazz Junior Preview

2015 Artist-in-Residence Christian McBride

ChristianMcBrideTrio

The Artist-in-Residence program invites celebrated jazz musicians to spend time in our community, participate in local music education, and further engage festivalgoers, local groups, and social service agencies. This year, Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride joins us for a week-long residency in our beautiful city.

Check out his full schedule here:

Meet the Artist imageMeet the Artist Session with Aaron Goldberg
Tuesday, June 9, 5:30-6:15pm, FlynnSpace
Christian McBride will interview this evening’s headliner.
Free and open to the public.

 

 

Record image

DJ Brother Mister

Tuesday, June 9, 8-10pm Nectar’s
Christian McBride aka DJ Brother Mister spins p;d school soul and funk.
$12 at the door, 21+

 

 

Listening Session (headphone image)

Listening Session
Wednesday, June 10, 6:30-7:30pm, Amy E Tarrant Gallery
Curated and led by Christian McBride
Free and open to the public

 

 

Meet the Artist imageMeet the Artist Session with Mimi Jones

Thursday, June 11, 5:30-6:15pm, FlynnSpace
Hosted by Critic-in-Residence Bob Blumenthal
Free and open to the public

 


Nadias kids at Flynn WEBJazz Junior
with Christian McBride Trio
Friday, June 12, 3-4pm, FlynnSpace
$10 per person

 

 

Meet the Artist imageMeet the Artist Session with Christian McBride
Saturday, June 13, 5:30-6:15pm, FlynnSpace
Hosted by Critic-in-Residence Bob Blumenthal
Free and open to the public

 

 

brunch1

Sunday Brunch Benefit
Sunday, June 14, 11-12:30pm, Sound End Kitchen
$50 per person
We invite you to a Sunday Morning Brunch to benefit the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival’s Artist-in-Residence Program. The program invites celebrated jazz musicians to spend time in our community, participate in local music education, and further engage festivalgoers, local groups, and social service agencies.

 

More about Christian McBride:
The Grammy®-winning bandleader, composer, arranger, and educator has performed on over 300 albums and led a variety of brilliant ensembles, in addition to collaborations with Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, and Pat Metheny.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2015 Artist-in-Residence Christian McBride

Preview: Robert Randolph and The Family Band

Robert Randolph photo

Robert Randolph and The Family Band will perform at the Waterfront Park Tent on Thursday, June 11, $30; Doors and VT Nectar’s Grill at 5pm; Music at 6pm; Matt Schofield to open. Tickets are available at the FlynnTix Regional Box Office at 153 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05401, by calling 802-86FLYNN or order online here. Below is a preview as a part of the festival’s partnership with the Burlington Writers Workshop. 

 

A Revival with Robert Randolph and the Family Band

 

Contribution by Brett Sigurdson, Burlington Writers Workshop

There’s always a moment in a Robert Randolph and the Family Band show when the jubilant lap steel frontman jumps up from his chair to dance. Lost in the music, he gyrates as his bandmates jam, returning to his seat only to complete another dazzling solo on his pedal steel guitar. The moment of the dance always comes at the apotheosis of a song, when the drums, bass, and organ all rise to meet the wails of his screeching sacred steel and the air in the room suddenly fills with so much electricity that it seems the audience has been plugged into the sound system itself. It reminds me of the scene from the original Blues Brothers film when “Pastor” James Brown performs “That Old Landmark” from the pulpit and congregants begin high-kicking in the aisles in total rapture.

This allusion, it turns out, is fitting.

Growing up the son of a deacon and minister, Randolph grew up in the House of God, a pentecostal church. He learned to play “sacred steel”—an integral part of the church’s worship music—at 17. The sound of the steel guitar is meant to lead services through emphasis to services and testimony, to provide energy to songs and the offering processions, and even help in healing.

Like a Randolph concert—or the James Brown scene—House of God services can erupt in revelatory musical experiences. Just watch a clip from the Arhoolie Foundation’s “Sacred Steel” documentary. It’s fascinating to see how Randolph’s sound—and the concert experience it creates—has such visible roots in his upbringing.

That’s why it’s so fitting that Robert Randolph and the Family Band are headlining the Waterfront Park Tent: he brings the possibility of a tent revival every time he performs. And that’s why this is a show not to be missed.

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Preview: Robert Randolph and The Family Band

Waterfront Tent Shows Bring Live Music Lakeside

Twilight Photo of Tent

The Waterfront Tent shows bring live music lakeside. Tickets are available at the FlynnTix Regional Box Office at 153 Main Street in Burlington, by calling 802-86-FLYNN or online here.

Robert Randolph photoRobert Randolph and The Family Band kick it off on Thursday, June 11 with British blues guitarist Matt Schofield to open. Visit the show page here.

RubblebucketRubblebucket is a Brooklyn band with Vermont roots, bringing their wild tour to Burlington on Saturday, June 13. Pimps of Joytime to open. Visit the show page here.

 

 

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Waterfront Tent Shows Bring Live Music Lakeside

Welcoming music fans of all ages!

Photo of young music fans

An important part of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival is providing programming for everyone in our community and that includes the youngest of music fans! Check out all the opportunities for kids at the 2015 festival here:

Free live music on the Church Street Marketplace is a great way to introduce the kids to the local music scene. When the kids get restless, you can just keep on boppin’ up Church Street!

Kids 5 and under get into Waterfront Tent shows FREE!
Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Thursday, June 11, 5pm
Rubblebucket, Saturday, June 13, 5pm

Jazz Junior with Christian McBride Trio, Friday, June 12 at 3pm, FlynnSpace, 147 Main Street, Burlington, VT
Bring the whole family to FlynnSpace to learn about the uniquely American art form that is jazz. This is not your typical jazz show: the informal setting and general admission seating will allow for a more relaxed atmosphere. You can even bring snacks!
Host of NPR’s Jazz Night In America, Christian McBride is a Grammy®-winning bandleader, composer, arranger, and educator, has performed on over 300 albums, and led a variety of brilliant ensembles, in addition to collaborations with Sonny Rollins, Sting, The Roots, Pat Metheny, and many others. With pianist Christian Sands and drummer Jerome Jennings, McBride leads an energized and youthful unit ready to lead the audience in discovering jazz.

Over 500 student musicians perform on Church Street over the 10 days of the festival. Special thanks to the student, parents, and music educator who help make it happen!

Posted in News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Welcoming music fans of all ages!