Blues musician to return to Sheffield
ONE of the last remaining legends of Louisiana’s so-called golden generation is to return to the region.
Lil’ Jimmy Reed comes from the same generation of musicians as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf who influenced the style of The Rolling Stones.
Born on a bend on the Mississippi river, Reed picked cotton in the Deep South as a youth and lived through the era of segregation.
He plays at Greystones in Sheffield on July 6. For more information and tickets visit www.mygreystones.co.uk MANY people only discover later on in life what it is they want to do. Wynton Marsalis knew he was going to be a musician by the time he was just eight years old.
Although given the fact he was born into a world filled with mellifluous musical notes, it perhaps comes as little less of a surprise. “My father was a musician and I grew up in New Orleans in an environment where music was everywhere,” he says. “I loved being around jazz musicians, I loved the way they talked. I liked the musicians before I even liked the music.”
Although it wasn’t long before the music, too, held him in its thrall. At the age of eight he performed traditional New Orleans music in a church band, led by legendary banjoist Danny Barker.
It was the start of a musical career that has seen him work with some of the grandees, not only of jazz, but modern music including Dizzy Gillespie, Willie Nelson and Eric Clapton.
Jamie Cullum cited him as one of his musical inspirations saying of Marsalis: “He’s an excellent ambassador of jazz, a mentor for kids and a 21st-century Duke Ellington – nothing more, nothing less.”
Marsalis is both an adroit trumpet player and a big band leader and later this month he’s bringing this unique sound to the Royal Hall, in Harrogate, when he will be performing with the New York-based Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, of which he is musical director.
The band launches its UK tour in Harrogate and the show will encompass pretty much the entire history of modern jazz from bebop to the dance floor, featuring big band arrangements of popular classics.
The concert also celebrates the 75th anniversary of the iconic American record label Blue Note, which Marsalis is signed to. Blue Note became to jazz what Sun Records was to rock ‘n’ roll.
In its early days the label was dedicated to recording more traditional jazz but after the Second World War it switched its attention more towards modern jazz, recording work by bebop pioneers such as Thelonious Monk and Fats Navarro. “Blue Note started out with Sidney Bechet’s Summertime which was their first hit and over the years they’ve recorded all kinds of jazz music, from New Orleans music to boogie woogie,” says Marsalis.
They have also had some iconic names on their label over the years including Herbie Hancock, Dexter Gordon and Art Blakey. “In the late Sixties it began working with a younger generation of musicians and it’s still going strong today.”
Marsalis was brought up with jazz music and quickly gravitated towards it. “I listened to pop music and