CD of the Month

Walter Gorra Jazz

Throughout my fifteen year tenure as Music Director for KUVO Jazz, few of our CD of the Month selections have elicited as much joy and satisfaction as this month’s choice of the Walter Gorra Quartet’s debut, In Due Time I have had the pleasure of knowing the Gorra family since 2008, I have seen Walter mature as a brilliant jazz pianist and composer all the while he has pursued his family’s tradition of becoming a structural engineer.

Jazzheads

Bobby Sanabria is an amazing artist whose talents go beyond music and the Arts. His accomplishments in music and education are worthy of admiration.  To honor the centennial of the birth of maestro Leonard Bernstein, Bobby sought out the daughter of Mr. Bernstein to seek approval for him to take the music of West Side Story which as a Bronx born Puerto Rican influenced his youth after seeing the film at the historic and majestic Paradise Theater of the Bronx with his family.

Octave Music/Mack Avenue Records

One of the most unique and loved pianists of all time was Erroll Garner who like so many other legendary jazz musicians was a native son of Pittsburgh. Born into a musical family Erroll followed the lead of his older brother Linton and began playing piano while still an adolescent. He grew up idolizing another great Pittsburgh pianist, Earl “Fatha” Hines. Erroll developed complete independence of his hands allowing him to sound orchestral in his playing. Mr. Garner was gifted with an amazing memory which allowed him to overcome his inability to read or write music.

Resilience Music Alliance

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, a celebration of jazz past and present, as designated by the prestigious National Museum of American History in 2001. This year marks the centenary of the birth of one of the pioneers of vocalese, the incredible Eddie Jefferson. Born on August 3, 1918 in Pittsburgh, Eddie was shot dead after a performance at the historic Baker’s Lounge in Detroit on May 9, 1979 by a disgruntled former dancer for Jefferson who felt he was discharged by him without adequate cause.

Artist Share

Although not well known to the casual jazz fan, females have been an important part of jazz history going all the way back to the 19-teens. During the “Jazz Age” of the 1920s several ladies became popular and influential performers while several all-female ensembles and big band began forming. With the absence of men during WW2, women orchestras played a significant role keeping jazz alive. The legendary International Sweethearts of Rhythm became the first integrated big band.

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