Activist Singer’s 80th Birthday Celebrated During Black History Month
“I think she was the greatest female artist of the 20th century” – Elton John
“I always loved the passion in her voice. She’s inspired me as a composer, a pianist, a singer and as a woman with a voice.” – Alicia Keys
“Nina Simone’s impact on both jazz and culture will remain monumental; there was simply no one like her..” – Bonnie Raitt
“She was ahead of her time as a concert-level piano player who sang, wrote and spoke her mind…I aspire to be more like her.” – india.arie
NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, commemorates the life and music of Nina Simone on the occasion of the singer’s 80th birthday and celebrates the iconic High Priestess of Soul as the label’s Artist of the Month for February 2013.
Nina Simone, who would’ve turned 80 on February 21, was a strong and vocal civil rights advocate who carried the message of universal rights and personal empowerment, freedom, equality and dignity throughout her career. Whether it was political or emotional or personal, she never failed to tell the truth through her music.
One of the most powerful and uncompromising artists of the 20th century, Nina Simone was a natural talent who developed into a virtuosic performer–an ineffable song stylist with concert hall piano skills and a transcendental on-stage presence. Singer, songwriter, arranger, and pianist, Nina wove classical, blues, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, folk, gospel, torch songs and world music into a body of work as eclectic as it is incomparable.
She began her career as a recording artist in 1958 with her version of “I Loves You, Porgy,” from George and Ira Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess,” her first US chart success, and made more than 40 albums before her death, at 70, in France on April 21, 2003.
On the Legacy Recordings site, fans and collectors will find access a variety of comprehensive Nina Simone titles including: Nina Simone – The Complete RCA Album Collection ; To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story (a four-disc set including DVD); The Essential Nina Simone ; Playlist: The Very Best of Nina Simon and, in time for Valentine’s Day, Nina Simone – Love Songs , a specially-curated collection of the artist’s most sensual and romantic recordings.
In 2008, Legacy Recordings released To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story , a deluxe four-disc (three CDs + DVD) box set that stands as the most comprehensive and wide-ranging collection of Nina Simone’s music ever compiled. Containing 51 audio tracks – eight of them previously unreleased – the collection covered her recording years from 1957 to 1993 for the Bethlehem, Colpix, Philips, RCA (for whom she cut nine LPs that are considered the pinnacle of her output), CTI, and Elektra record labels, plus another nine performances on the 23-minute documentary DVD.
“Nina Simone was one of those controversial figures American pop music puts forward from time to time,” wrote Ed Ward in his liner notes for To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story . “To see this African-American woman get angry about the racial situation in her country, right there on stage, was a shock to people who’d come to hear her sing ‘I Loves You, Porgy.’ Not that she cared; she figured that it was the artist’s job to deliver the truth, and if the truth hurt, so be it. Of course, events wound up proving her right, but she never stopped being prickly about one thing or another. It was just part of who she was, and part of why her music has endured while that of some of her contemporaries has faded: she’s still contemporary.”
SOURCE Legacy Recordings
Web Site: http://www.legacyrecordings.com
Categories: Entertainment Tags: arranger, blues, classical, Elektra, folk, George Gershwin, gospel, I Loves You Porgy, Ira Gershwin, Jazz, Legacy Recordings, Nina Simone, performer, Pianist, piano, pop, R&B, RCA, Singer, songwriter, Sony Music Entertainment, The Nina Simone Story, To Be Free
Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances Friday, January 6 at 9 p.m. on PBS
“An American in Paris,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” and Hancock’s improvisation on a Gershwin standard fill the bill
NEW YORK, Dec. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and Creative Chair for Jazz Herbie Hancock launched the LA Phil’s 2011/12 season with a sparkling George Gershwin gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall in September. “This is the first time as a professional musician that I’ll be playing a piece that’s essentially classical music with jazz overtones with a symphony orchestra, and what a symphony orchestra it is!” marvels Hancock just before the concert, referring to his keyboard work in Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”
Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin , featuring that classic piece as well as “An American in Paris” and Hancock’s unique improvisation on the great standard “Someone to Watch Over Me,” airs on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances Friday, January 6 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).
Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. For nearly 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local arts programming to the New York community.
Since his early teens, Gershwin had been enamored with the music he heard uptown in Harlem, quickly becoming the center of the jazz universe. His first attempt at a serious composition, the mini-opera Blue Monday, a story about characters in a Harlem nightclub was a flop and received only one performance.
Upon seeing the opera, band leader Paul Whiteman was enthused enough to commission Gershwin to write a concert piece in the jazz idiom for a program of American music, and Gershwin, was emboldened to take it on. As he later explained, “I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America – of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness.”
Rhapsody was introduced on February 12, 1924, with the composer as soloist in Ferde Grofe’s orchestration for jazz band. The piece made an indelible mark on the history of American music, on the fraternity of serious composers and performers – many of whom were present at the premiere – and on Gershwin himself, for its enthusiastic reception encouraged him to other and more serious projects.
It was a trip to Paris that inspired Gershwin to work in earnest on a recent commission he had received from the New York Philharmonic, one that would capture in music the tumult of Paris’ streets with their distinctive taxi horns, and create a concert work that didn’t center on the piano.
Back in New York, Gershwin finished An American in Paris , which he subtitled “A Tone Poem for Orchestra.” In an interview in the August 18, 1928 edition of Musical America, he said of the work: “this new piece, really a rhapsodic ballet, is the most modern music I have ever attempted.” He also gave a brief “program note” of the work:
An American in Paris was wildly successful with audiences – and Hollywood – and established Gershwin as an original voice in concert halls worldwide, a voice that resonates to this day.
“Someone to Watch Over Me” was composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin for the musical Oh, Kay! (1926), where it was introduced by British star Gertrude Lawrence. It has been performed by numerous artists in both popular and jazz versions.
After the LA Phil’s opening night gala, The Los Angeles Times noted admiringly, “The L.A. Philharmonic is noted for its flexibility, and the solo riffs were jazzy, authentic and unself-conscious, all of which is a real rarity in the symphonic world.”
Concurrently serving as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (his third season), the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Dudamel’s musical leadership spans three continents.
Beyond the forty-three weeks of his yearly schedule, he also guest conducts with a few of the world’s greatest orchestras each season. This season he returns to the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic, along with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris and the Israel Philharmonic. He also returns to La Scala, where he regularly conducts, for a performance of Mahler Symphony No. 2.
Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres. His illustrious career has spanned five decades and 14 Grammys, including Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters.
Hancock also maintains a thriving career outside the performing stage and recording studio. Recently named by the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Creative Chair for Jazz, he currently also serves as Institute Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and he’s a founder of The International Committee of Artists for Peace. Hancock was made a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in July of 2011.
In 2010, Hancock released the critically-acclaimed, multiple Grammy-winning CD, Herbie Hancock’s The Imagine Project. Utilizing the universal language of music to express its central themes of peace and global responsibility, the ‘Imagine’ project features a stellar group of musicians.
Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET, Bernard Fleisher Moving Images, WDR in cooperation with ARTE, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, and C Major.
Great Performances is funded by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Vivian Milstein, Jody and John Arnhold, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, public television viewers, and PBS.
Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin is directed by Enrique Sanchez Lansch. Producer: Bernhard Fleischer. Producer for WDR/ARTE: Lothar Mattner. For Great Performances , John Walker is producer; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.
Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.
New York’s WNET is America’s flagship public media outlet, bringing quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. The parent company of public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET produces such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Noah Comprende and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through SundayArts, Reel 13, NJ Today and the new online newsmagazine MetroFocus.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (www.laphil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (www.hollywoodbowl.com). The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from October through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.
Categories: Entertainment Tags: A Tone Poem for Orchestra, America, An American in Paris, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, ARTE, Blue Monday, C Major, classical, Ferde Grofe, George Gershwin, Gertrude Lawrence, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Gustavo Dudamel, Harlem, Herbie Hancock, Hollywood, Ira Gershwin, Jazz, keyboard, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Music, New York Philharmonic, Oh Kay, Orchestra, Paris, Paul Whiteman, PBS, Rhapsody in Blue, River, Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Someone to Watch Over Me, symphony, The Imagine Project, The Joni Letters, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The National Endowment of the Arts, The Starr Foundation, Thelonious Monk, THIRTEEN's Great Performances, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Walt Disney Concert Hall, WDR, WNET
NEW COLLECTION BRINGS THE CHAIRMAN’S ICONIC RECORDINGS WITH CAPITOL AND REPRISE TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER
Single-Disc Features 23 Sinatra All-Time Favorites; Deluxe 2-CD Adds Out-of-Print Concert Recording
Available November 1
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — For the first time, Frank Sinatra’s greatest recordings for Capitol Records and his own Reprise Records have been gathered for one stellar collection. Sinatra: Best of the Best will be released in single-disc and deluxe 2CD packages on November 1 (October 31 internationally), with insightful track notes written by Frank Sinatra Jr. On the same date, both configurations will also be available for download purchase from all major digital service providers.
Best of the Best‘s chronological tracklist leads with 1953′s “I’ve Got The World On A String,” followed by 12 other classic tracks Sinatra recorded for Capitol between 1953 and 1960, including “Young At Heart,” “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “All The Way,” and “Come Fly With Me,” as well as the Sinatra recording that is the theme of “Married With Children,” “Love And Marriage.” 10 of Sinatra’s best Reprise recordings, released between 1962 and 1980, are also featured, including “Night And Day,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words),” “Strangers In The Night,” “My Way,” and “Theme From New York, New York.” Best of the Best‘s 2CD version adds a previously out-of-print and sought-after Seattle concert recording, and is packaged in a lift-top box with an expanded booklet and 6 postcards.
At Capitol Records, Frank Sinatra pioneered his landmark ‘concept’ albums. Working with arrangers such as Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Gordon Jenkins and singing the songs of Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, and Rodgers and Hart, to name a few, set Sinatra’s recordings apart from those of all other vocalists of the 20th century and quite possibly all time.
In 1960, Frank Sinatra realized a dream when he founded Reprise Records. Sinatra was one of the first to recognize the value of artists owning their master recordings. The new label gave him the artistic and business freedom he longed for in his recording career.
At Reprise, Sinatra collaborated with new arrangers such as Johnny Mandel, Don Costa, and Quincy Jones, as well making albums with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
During his years of recording for Capitol and Reprise, Sinatra was also making concert appearances around the world and starring in hit movies, including From Here To Eternity, Pal Joey, High Society, and The Manchurian Candidate.
Sinatra loved and found comfort in recording music, once saying “I adore making records. I’d rather do that than almost anything else. You can never do anything in life quite on your own – you don’t live on your own little island. Making a record is as near as you can get to it – although, of course, the arranger and the orchestra play an enormous part. But once you’re on that record singing, it’s you and you alone.”
Tina Sinatra recalls the ambience that was present in the studio while her father recorded saying, “I remember his command, it was palpable, you could feel the energy in the room. It was like this vacuum of power, all eyes were always on him. It was very similar to seeing him on stage.”
Frank Sinatra Jr. fondly remembers his father’s legendary sessions for Capitol and Reprise, saying “There was a tremendous level of excitement-air of expectation-every time he recorded. Everyone knew they were making the best records around. How could they miss? They had the best singer, best arrangers, best musicians, best engineers, and the best studios in town.”
Nancy Sinatra Jr. recalls the excitement of her father’s recording sessions at Capitol, saying, “I came to sessions whenever I could. We would go to dinner at the Villa Capri and then we would drive to Capitol. Attending record sessions at Capitol was like going to a concert today-it was the hottest ticket that you could get your hands on; it was fantastic. It was great for him to have a small audience in the room and everything was live. The orchestra was in the room and everybody as a result of that did their best. There was magic in those studios and that building.”
Frank Sinatra is one of the world’s most recognizable, admired and influential artists of all time, with a vast catalogue of music that is a soundtrack for our lives. Long acclaimed as the world’s greatest performer of popular music, he is the artist who set the standard for all others to follow. More than a singer, he was an actor, recording artist, nightclub and concert star, radio and television personality and, on occasion, producer, director and conductor. Besides recording nearly 1,500 songs, he starred in some 60 motion pictures.
A beloved entertainer for six decades, Sinatra earned three Oscars, three Golden Globes (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award), ten personal Grammys (and a total of 20 for his albums), an Emmy, a Peabody and the Kennedy Center Honors Award. A generous charitable contributor, he was honored with the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In addition, Sinatra was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor and the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’ highest civilian award.
Frank Sinatra has been called the most popular entertainer of the 20th century. His popularity and legions of fans around the world span all ages and demographic groups.
Sinatra: Best of the Best (CD; digital)
1. I’ve Got The World On A String
2. My Funny Valentine
3. Young At Heart
4. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
5. Love And Marriage
6. You Make Me Feel So Young
7. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
8. The Lady Is A Tramp
10. All The Way
11. Come Fly With Me
12. Angel Eyes
13. Nice ‘N’ Easy
14. Night And Day
15. The Way You Look Tonight
16. My Kind Of Town
17. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)
18. It Was A Very Good Year
19. Strangers In The Night
20. Summer Wind
21. That’s Life
22. My Way
23. Theme From New York, New York
Sinatra: Best of the Best (2CD; digital)
CD1: same as above
CD2 – IN CONCERT Live In Seattle (out-of-print)
1. Introduction/You Make Me Feel So Young
2. It Happened In Monterey
3. At Long Last Love
4. I Get A Kick Out Of You
5. Just One Of Those Things
6. A Foggy Day
7. The Lady Is A Tramp
8. They Can’t Take That Away From Me
9. I Won’t Dance
10. Sinatra Dialogue
11. When Your Lover Has Gone
12. Violets For Your Furs
13. My Funny Valentine
14. Glad To Be Unhappy
15. One For My Baby
16. The Tender Trap
17. Hey Jealous Lover
18. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
19. Oh! Look At Me Now
Web Site: http://www.sinatra.com
Categories: Entertainment Tags: All The Way, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Best of the Best, Billy May, Capital Records, CD, Cecil B. DeMille, Cole Porter, Come Fly With Me, Congressional Gold Medal, Count Basie, digital, Don Costa, Duke Ellington, entertainer, Fly Me To The Moon, Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jr., From Here To Eternity, George Gershwin, Golden Globe, Gordon Jenkins, High Society, Humanitarian, I've Got The World On A String, In Other Words, Ira Gershwin, Jean Hersholt, Johnny Mandel, Love And Marriage, Married With Children, My Way, Nancy Sinatra Jr., Nelson Riddle, Night And Day, Oscar, Pal Joey, Quincy Jones, Reprise Records, Rodgers and Hart, Sinatra, Strangers In The Night, The Boss, The Chairman, The Manchurian Candidate, The Way You Look Tonight, Theme From New York, Tina Sinatra, You Make Me Feel So Young, Young At Heart