Jazz 88.3 Blog
Our broadcast signal will be down TODAY (5/6), beginning around 6:30AM PACIFIC due to a planned power outtage at Mesa College, where our transmitter lives. It should last approximately 4-5 hours. The Good News? Our stream will be operating and if you have not had a chance to download the KSDS App- (Android/iPhone), well, now is the time to do so. We will keep you informed via this listing on the situation and our social media platforms. Thank you for your patience. Thursday, 6:20am
Giving Tuesday Now is today and it's a day for people to stand together to rally around the causes they care about. If the jazz music that KSDS has been playing helped soothe you in this new normal, please make a donation today. You can do so by SUPPORTING KSDS or if you would like to donate a used vehicle anywhere in the continental united states simply call 1-888-JAZZ-CAR. That's 1-888-529-9227. We appreciate your support.
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to The New Soil Ensemble! They are the next generation of Jazz and live and play right here IN SAN DIEGO! They made the cover of DOWNBEAT magazine (43rd Student Awards Issue). They are part of the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory led by Gilbert Castellanos. All of these young artists were on our Jazz Live San Diego stage back in January 2020 as part of the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory Big Band concert. We are so proud.
If you google 'silver lining' it tells you that it's the hopeful side of a situation when things are looking gloomy. Well, Let's remove the gloom and share the positivity. Let's hear about YOUR Silver Lining over the past few months as we all do our part staying home. If you go to the DONATE NOW PAGE and make a donation, you can share your silver lining in the note field. Plus, you can tell us your favorite artist as we are taking a poll. If times are tough to contribute financially we understand; simply e-mail us at email@example.com. We will then read your story and favorite musician on the air to share with San Diego and the world. Share your silver lining (and artist) today.
We are all struggling during these uncertain times. But the one thing that is certain right now is the great straight-ahead Jazz sounds of KSDS Jazz 88.3. We are supplying the music all month and we hope YOU can supply the voice. Make a Vehicle Donation of any kind (Car, Boat, RV or Plane) OR make an Online Financial Contribution. After you're done please e-mail us a Voice Memo at firstname.lastname@example.org explaining how you value KSDS, especially during this crisis. It's the KSDS JAZZ VOICE MEMO-THON! We thank you in advance.
She is remembered as "The First Lady of Song" and fittingly so. Ella Fitzgerald possessed one of the greatest voices of all time in any genre. Throughout the course of her nearly sixty year career, she sold over 40 million records. Among her many honors were 13 Grammy Awards wins, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts Medal of Honor, and The Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Her musical story began famously in 1934 with Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Fitzgerald decided to give it a try, as a dancer. She was intimidated by another dance act and at the last moment decided to sing...and won the night. In 1935 she met bandleader Chick Webb and joined his orchestra for a successful run at the Savoy Ballroom. In 1938, she recorded "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" (a song she co-wrote) and the song became one of the best selling records of the decade. With Webb's death in 1939, Ella took over as bandleader until 1942.
Fitzgerald continued to work with other orchestras, Benny Goodman and Dizzy Gillespie were just two, as well as lead her own smaller groups. She became a master scat singer, able to mimic nearly every instrument in the band. Her range spanned three octaves and the clarity of her voice unmatched. It's said she possessed perfect pitch. That voice would thrill audiences worldwide for decades, making Fitzgerald one of the most beloved singers of her generation and of generations to come. She worked with artists as diverse as Count Basie to Stevie Wonder. Her live recordings made for Verve Records remain highly acclaimed. The version of "Mack The Knife" from her album "Ella in Berlin" won a Grammy and shows off Fitzgerald's improvisational skills beautifully: she forgot the words at one point and simply improvised lyrics to great applause.
She remains an important influence on jazz singers and musicians alike and continues to be one of the best-selling jazz artists in history.
Her life and music have been the subject of books, film, and countless conversations about music, racial equality, and her legacy in both. Nina Simone, respectfully called The High Priestess of Soul left a mark on the world that is more than musical, though musicians as diverse as Elton John, Mos Def, Alicia Keys, and John Lennon have cited her influence.
Born in North Carolina, she began playing the piano when she was only three or four, playing in church and performing her first classical recital at age 12. She was a gifted pianist and had early plans to pursue a career in classical music. Simone spent the summer of 1950 at Julliard in preparation for her audition for the Curtis Institute of Music. Though she performed well in her audition, she was famously not accepted to the Cirtis Institute, something she would believe the rest of her life was the result of racial discrimination. Listening closely to her performances reveals those classical roots, blended with jazz, blues, and soul. Her debut album "Little Girl Blue", released in 1959 on Bethlehem Records remains because a classic jazz recording, included her version of "I Loves You Porgy" (her only Billboard Top 20 hit in the U.S.)
In the 1960s, Simone used her music to address the racism in the United States. She had left her American record label and signed with a Dutch label, Philips Records. It was Philips who recorded and released her scathing "Mississippi Goddam" on the 1964 album "Nina Simone In Concert." The backlash included radio stations in the southern U.S. actually burning promotional copies of the record. But, she was undeterred and continued to use her music and voice to denounce racial discrimination, performing and speaking at major civil rights events, including the Selma to Montgomery marches.
Her voice was powerful, her piano style impeccable, and presence undeniable. Throughout her lifetime, she released over thirty albums, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and two days before her death, she was issued an Honorary Doctorate from the Curtis Institute of Music, the school that turned her away so many years before.
She was known as "Sassy" for her personality and style and known as "The Divine One" for the quality and control of her once in a lifetime voice. Sarah Vaughan joins Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald as one of the early influential jazz singers...and one of the most beloved singers in jazz history. Her sound was warm and deep, yet capable of reaching great heights, often compared to the richness of an opera diva. In fact, Betty Carter once noted that Vaughan could have "gone as far as Leontyne Price" with the proper training. Fortunately, she stayed with jazz and enjoyed a nearly fifty year career.
As with many singers of her era, Vaughan grew up singing and playing piano in church. The pop sounds of 1930's radio caught her young ears and by her mid-teens, she was (illegally) performing in Newark clubs. Vaughan's early musical success began in 1942 at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. She won the night with her version of "Body and Soul"; part of the prize was the opportunity to open for Ella Fitzgerald. As fate would have it, Vaughan's final recording was a scatting duet with Fitzgerald for Quincy Jones' 1989 release "Back On The Block." It was her only recording with Fitzgerald, bringing full circle her connection that began decades earlier when she opened for Fitzgerald at the Apollo.
Vaughan's extraordinary career yielded fifty studio albums, eight live albums, and numerous awards. She earned four Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1989, was named an NEA Jazz Master. She recorded for major labels like Decca, Columbia, and Mercury. She had exquisite musical rapport with Billy Eckstine, first working with him in Earl HInes' band, then joining Eckstine's band in 1944. From fronting larger ensembles, to her intimate trio recordings (Including "After Hours" featuring guitarist Mundell Lowe) Vaughan's command of her voice allowed her to swing fiercely and present a ballad with intense emotion. She was truly one of a kind.
Billie Holiday was one of the most influential women in jazz music. Lady Day, a nickname given to her by saxophonist Lester Young (she dubbed him Prez) patterned her singing style after instrumentalists and became known for her improvisation skill, as well as the unique quality of her voice. Holiday's life has become the stuff of jazz legend. Her turbulent childhood saw her moved from place to place, physically abused by the adults in her life, and trouble with the authorities that would last until her death in 1959. Music was her escape and that troubled young lady would contribute some of the most important compositions and recordings in jazz history.
Throughout her career, Holiday recorded now-classic records for Brunswick, Okeh, Decca, Capitol, and Columbia recording companies among others. Her first big hit, "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" in 1935 with the Teddy Wilson Orchestra, became a jazz standard. As a songwriter, Holiday collaborated on many tunes that are now part of the jazz repertoire: "Don't Explain", "Fine and Mellow", "Billie's Blues," "Lady Sings The Blues," and the unparalleled "God Bless The Child." She sold out Carnegie Hall three times, has songs in the Grammy Hall of Fame, and has influenced countless singers for decades.
Holiday was plagued by alcohol and heroin addiction; her multiple run-ins with police have also become the stuff of jazz legend. Holiday died in 1959 in a Manhattan hospital, under police guard. Her hospital room had been raided by federal authorities and she had been arrested and handcuffed for drug possession as she lay dying. Holiday didn't live to see the numerous awards and honors her work eventually received. She was nominated for 23 posthumous Grammy Awards, inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Downbeat Hall of Fame.
Like her idol Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae is remembered for her one of a kind voice and lyrical interpretation. She was an accomplished piano player and early in her career she played piano at the famed Minton's Playhouse in Harlem. It was at Minton's where she met notable jazz musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and drummer Kenny Clarke, who would become her first husband. McRae found success as a pianist in Benny Carter's band, worked with Count Basie, and made her first recording not as a vocalist, but as a pianist with Mercer Ellington's band in the mid-40s. She often accompanied herself in her early gigs as a singer.
The warmth in her voice set McRae apart. She could deliver a ballad with deep emotion, she could swing like mad, and had a command of phrasing that still inspires jazz singers today. Throughout her fifty year career, McRae toured the world, appeared at major jazz festivals, and recorded dozens of albums. Even toward the end of her career, she was recording important albums, notably "Carmen Sings Monk" and "Sarah-Dedicated To You" for Novus Records in the early 1990s.
She earned seven Grammy Award nominations over the course of her career. In 1993 she was honored with the NAACP Image Award and was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 1994.
Pat Launer's Center Stage
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