Category: Articles

In Mississippi, America’s most revolutionary mayor

Al Jazeera America, September 19, 2013 JACKSON, Miss. — On July 1, Chokwe Lumumba, an attorney with a long record of black radical activism, took office as mayor of Jackson. His inauguration took place in the gleaming convention center that sprang up four years ago in the state capital’s mostly deserted downtown. A crowd of […]

Sarod master reimagines the raga

Boston Globe, September 13, 2013 Indian classical music is ancient, codified, rigorous, and refined, yet its spirit dwells in the inspiration and personality of individuals. Because ragas are at once systematic — each is built on a signature ascending and descending scale — and improvised, every performance adds to the body of knowledge, yet no […]

Jorge Drexler puts his music in his listeners’ hands

Boston Globe, September 7, 2013 The singer Jorge Drexler is known for his skill at combinations. Like Caetano Veloso, one of his idols, he combines South American folk with the great modern songwriting tradition of Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. He started as a doctor in his native Uruguay but is now, at 48, an […]

“Learning to Listen,” by Gary Burton (book review)

Boston Globe, September 4, 2013 In the mid-1980s, Gary Burton was just entering middle age, but he’d had experiences as a jazz player to fill several lifetimes. Duke Ellington had treated him with kindness, Milt Jackson with suspicion, Miles Davis with a death threat. He’d endured the mercurial tendencies of Stan Getz, in whose band […]

With new album, Marc Cary pays tribute to his mentor

Boston Globe, August 22, 2013 NEW YORK – A solo recording is a watershed event for a jazz musician, one that usually comes many years or even decades into one’s career. It marks a commercial risk, as record labels and concert bookers often hesitate to back a solo project. More than that, it represents creative […]

Nathalie Pires: the fresh face of fado

Boston Globe, July 25, 2013 NEW YORK — “When I’m in Portugal, I’m an American,” says Nathalie Pires. “And when I’m in America, I’m Portuguese.” It isn’t a complaint about being caught between two worlds. Rather, for the 27-year-old fado singer from Perth Amboy, N.J., it’s a statement of fact that captures her memories all […]

Ravid Kahalani’s musical journey returns to his roots

Boston Globe, July 4, 2013 In retrospect, it was a narrow escape. Ravid Kahalani, singer and multi-instrumentalist, kinetic performer, restless explorer of genres and traditions, and an Israeli Jew from Tel Aviv, could have stayed on the path he embarked on a few years ago, and become a virtuoso performer of Serbian Orthodox liturgical singing. […]