Posts Tagged ‘#Musicnews’

Jamaican Born, Grammy Nominated Maestro Dr. Monty Alexander Spotlights On Rastafarian, Thelonious Monk And The West Indian Influences Of Jazz On New Album

Dr. Monty Alexander, CD. (Hollis King Image)

Dr. Monty Alexander, CD. (Hollis King Image)

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs.  Sept. 19, 2019: Jamaica’s world-renowned, Grammy-nominated international musician, Dr. Monty Alexander, CD, celebrated his 75th birthday in style this year, releasing his new album that has already grabbed the number 1 spot on US Jazz and NACC radio a mere 2 weeks after its release.

‘Wareika Hill RastaMonk Vibrations’ is an album unlike any that Dr. Alexander has released in his more than five decades in the music business. Perhaps it is the wisdom of getting older and reflecting on one’s own musical journey that has resulted in the Mountain View, Kingston-born, Caribbean immigrant taking fans on a historical stroll down the jazz alley he has trodden, which pays tribute to the West Indian musical influences and influencers of the genre in American history.

rasta-monk-vibrations-album-cover

As Dr. Alexander tells it, the album is a compilation that encapsulates the genres of roots, reggae, ska and jazz into one album – all of which have had significant impact on his musical psyche and made him into the West Indian jazz maestro he is today.

From a child of 8 observing Rastafarians going up Wareika Hill behind his house in Mountain View and hearing the sounds of their drums, to  sneaking into the Federal Recording Studios at age 14 to play piano rhythms with the musicians accompanying Jamaican singers like Keith and Enid Laurel Aitken and others recording for producers like Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid and Chris Blackwell, and then learning of American Jazz musician Thelonious Monk from Rasta trumpeter Jackie Willacy to hearing and then meeting the North Carolina-born jazz musician, Alexander’s ‘Wareika Hill RastaMonk Vibrations’ captures it all, while paying the most profound compliment to Monk and Rastafarianism.

“Maybe it was just my childhood memories connecting the two, but I was left with a deep impression that the world of Monk and Rasta were one spirit,” commented Dr. Alexander.   “I always thought that Monk’s compositions naturally lent themselves to West Indian and Rastafarian rhythms, perhaps accidentally or perhaps because as a child in Jamaica I had unconsciously merged and fused Rastafarians with Thelonious Monk.”

The 14-track album is dedicated to Theodore Sonny Rollins and the memory of Melbourne Bob Cranshaw and includes Dr. Alexander’s adaptation of several songs written by Monk such as ‘Misterioso,’ ‘Rhythm a ning’ and ‘Nutty,’ as well as two songs Monk played but did not write: “Abide with Me,” a beloved Christian hymn, and “Bensha Swing,” which was written by Monk’s friend and drummer, the Barbadian-roots Denzil Best.

“This should have been spelled ‘Bimsha,’ which is how Barbadians refer to themselves,” said Dr. Alexander. “‘Bemsha Swing,’ Barbados and swing – the connection with Monk and Jazz and Island rhythms was there all along given that Monk vibrated with West Indian roots musicians like Herbie Nichols, Russel Procope, Matthew Gee, Blue Mitchell, Fats Navarro, “Tricky” Sam Nanton, Carmen McRae, Arthur Taylor, Leonard Gaskin and a host of others.”

Musicians Ron Blake, Wayne Escoffery, Andrae Murchison, Joe Lovano John Scofield, J.J. Shakur, Jason Brown, Obed Calvaire, Karl Wright, Leon Duncan, Courtney Panton, Junior Wedderburn, Abashani Wedderburn, Bongo Billy and Earl Appleton appear on Dr. Alexander’s new album, merging their talent with his to create an indomitable sound that is truly and distinctly ‘RastaMonk Vibrations.’

For a sample from Dr. Monty Alexander’s latest album or to hear the backstory, visit  him on YouTube or at montyalexander.com. You can also like him on Facebook at facebook.com/officialmontyalexander or keep up to date on his performances on Twitter at @montyHKE.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Felicia J. Persaud

Hard Beat Communications

718-476-3616

felicia@caribpr.com

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Baltimore On His Mind – Dr. Monty Alexander Returns To ‘Charm City’

Dr. Monty Alexander, CD.

Dr. Monty Alexander, CD.

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Tues.  July 9, 2019: Jamaica’s world-renowned jazz maestro, Dr. Monty Alexander, has Baltimore on his mind this summer.

Dr. Alexander returns to the ‘Charm City’ for a four-night performance at Baltimore’s premiere music venue, Keystone Korner at 1350 Lancaster Street Baltimore, MD 21231 from July 18th-21st.

The Grammy-nominated international musician will be joined for this performance by bassist J.J. Shakur and drummer Jason Brown. The concert is sure to take fans through a musical journey within Alexander’s own ‘brand of jazz’ that features not just traditional jazz that purists have come to know and love but the rhythm of his homeland, including calypso, reggae, mento and other island music. As with his performances, fans are sure to get into the beat while jazz purists are certain to be baptized into true fans of ‘Alexander’s jazz’

Tickets for the shows start at US$30 can be obtained here. Showtime on opening night, Thursday, July 18th, is 7 and 9 p.m., respectively while performances for Friday and Saturday July 19th and July 20th are starts at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., respectively. On Sunday, July 21st, fans can catch Alexander’s performances at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Alexander, CD, late last year received an honorary Doctorate of Letters of the University of the West Indies Mona Campus. Born Montgomery Bernard Alexander on D-Day in Kingston, Jamaica in 1944, the musical virtuoso has five decades of performances and over 70 CDs under his belt.  Alexander began his musical career at age four by playing Christmas carols by ear. He is now most widely known as an upper echelon master of the swinging piano trio function as he has demonstrated with several top-shelf groups, including iconic units with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, and with the legendary bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis.

Dr. Alexander also performs frequently with Harlem-Kingston Express, a double trio in which he coalesces his love for hard-swinging jazz with musical flavors that reflect his Jamaican heritage, shifting between an acoustic trio and master Jamaican practitioners of electric bass and drums.

At 75, he continues to tour the world relentlessly with various projects, delighting a global audience drawn to his vibrant personality and soulful message.

For more on Dr. Monty Alexander and his amazing brand of jazz, visit him on YouTube or at montyalexander.com. You can also like him on Facebook at facebook.com/officialmontyalexander or keep up to date on his performance on Twitter at @montyHKE.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Felicia Persaud

Hard Beat Communications

718-476-3616

felicia@caribpr.com

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A Benefit For Music And Education In The UVI Is Set For St. John

Hyenah

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. May 6, 2019: Less than two years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria slammed into the U.S. Virgin Islands, a technology, media and entertainment company that calls the islands home, is focused on helping the music students at the University of The Virgin Islands who were directly impacted by the disaster.

Intellectual Global Concepts, (IGC), has teamed up with The Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis, The RTPark, The University of The Virgin Islands, (UVI) and Grammy-Award winning Jazz Drummer, Dion Parson to present the first “Music Is Life” benefit.

The free event, with Eventbrite RSVP required for entry, is set to get underway at 5 p.m. on May 18th and run through 12:30 a.m. on May 19th at the St. John Bayfront at The Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis, 10-41 Estate Carolina in Coral Bay, St. John.

This event has a limited number of attendees and will be held in an enclosed area, so music fans must register for entry only on Eventbrite or donate US $10-50 for a variety of donation packages, including T-shirts and free drinks at the venue.

All event proceeds and sponsor donations will go to UVI for hurricane relief, music education and recruiting students for performance ensembles through the music program at the UVI campuses. Since 2017 the UVI’s music program has been led by Grammy Award-winning NYC renowned drummer and USVI native, Dion Parson.

“The UVI Music Program offers an amazing opportunity for students attending the University of the Virgin Islands to earn the honor to teach within the K-12 arena, providing local jobs, furthering the music culture in the USVI and continuing to bolster the local communities,” said IGC executives. “We are proud to be able to support this program through scholarship funding for additional university expenses such as fees, housing and books and supplies.”

The May 18th event will feature world renowned South African electronic music maestro, Hyenah, who is known for his elusive identity, top charting tracks on ‘Resident Advisor,’ and his performances at top clubs across the globe. Additionally, the event will showcase USVI’s own Cool Session Brass Band and the SHUT Down Band along with DJ Mike Swells of NYC and local fire dancers and a drum circle.

Event attendees will also be able to experience the local culture with several amazing food vendors and various local merchants placed throughout the venue and the online Silent Auction at 32auctions.com/musicislife, that features a fantastic selection of prizes, with winners of the auction announced live at the event.

Taxis will be available to bring guests to the venue and back for US $6 each way, while boat operators will offer trips from St. Thomas to St. John throughout the entirety of the event along with late night options for transportation after the event ends.

For more information see Facebook at facebook.com/musicislifeusvi/ and Eventbrite at usvimusicislife.eventbrite.com

Sponsors interested in collaborating with IGC on this event can contact organizers at musicislifeusvi@gmail.com.

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