The Jazz Session #446: Akua Dixon

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Cellist Akua Dixon has just released a self-titled solo album that features arrangements she’s written for a variety of ensembles and occasions, but never had the chance to record. In this interview, Dixon talks about her career as a performer and arranger, going all the way back to the band at the Apollo; the traditional and innovative ways she arranges for string quartet; the shameful lack of African-American musicians in American orchestras today; and her time playing with many musical giants, including Max Roach. Learn more at akuadixon.com.

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The Jazz Session #443: Rudresh Mahanthappa

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Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa’s new album is Bird Calls (ACT, 2015). The album was inspired by the music of Charlie Parker, although Mahanthappa composed original music rather than play Parker’s tunes. In this interview, he talks about the reasoning behind that choice; how hearing Charlie Parker affected him as a teenager; and why the best tribute to Bird is to not play his music. Learn more about Rudresh Mahanthappa at rudreshm.com.

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The Jazz Session #436: Hilary Gardner

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Vocalist Hilary Gardner‘s latest recording is The Great City. In this interview, we talk about New York City and how it inspired the album; her long, strange trip from Wasilla, Alaska to Brooklyn; and how she finds and interprets songs. Learn more at hilarygardner.com and follow her on Twitter at @hilarygardner.

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The Jazz Session #433: Eric DiVito

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Guitarist Eric DiVito‘s new album is The Second Time Around (PJC, 2013), featuring Corcoran Holt on bass and Alyssa Falk Verheyn on drums, with guest appearances by Mavis Swan Poole and Steve Wilson. In this interview, DiVito talks about his approach to standards; the recording session and what made it work so well; finding originality in arranging; and his take on a being a jazz guitarist. Learn more at ericdivito.com and follow him on Twitter at @ericdivitomusic.

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JOIN The Jazz Session and get two free mp3s with each show plus exclusive content. Membership costs just $5/month. The money funds trips to NYC to record new episodes. Join here.

The Jazz Session #428: Shirantha Beddage

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Baritone saxophonist Shirantha Beddage’s latest album is Identity (Addo Records, 2012). In this interview, Beddage talks about searching for his identity as a musician and as an educator; his years in New York and Georgia and how they shaped his current sound; the institutionalization of jazz in the university system; and the Toronto jazz scene. Learn more at shiranthabeddage.com and follow him on Twitter at @beddagemusic.

BUY THIS ALBUM in The Jazz Session store and a portion of your purchase price will benefit the show at no additional cost to you.

JOIN the show for $5/month and get two free mp3s with each show. Join here.