The Jazz Session #442: Bob Sneider

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Originally from Boston, guitarist Bob Sneider has called Rochester, NY, home for years. He’s built an impressive career, beginning in Chuck Mangione’s band and then through his work at the Eastman School of Music and as the leader of his own ensembles. In this interview, Sneider talks about why he didn’t go to a conservatory and how he ended up as a professional musician anyway; many of the A-list musicians he’s played with over the years; his work at the Rochester International Jazz Festival; how teaching new guitarists helps him stay at the top of his game; and the rhythm section with whom he’s played for years. Learn more at bobsneider.net.

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The Jazz Session #441: Kevin Hays

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Pianist Kevin Hays has been part of the jazz scene for decades now, playing as a leader and also as a sideman with folks like Sonny Rollins, Benny Golson, Chris Potter and many others. In this interview, Kevin talks about his career; his time off the scene in Santa Fe and how it changed his life and his playing; and his current crowdfunding project to record an album with his New Day Trio.

SUPPORT Kevin’s new album! Please visit pledgemusic.com/projects/kevinhays to donate toward the recording of Kevin’s new record. Thank you.

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The Jazz Session #440: Max Johnson

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Bassist Max Johnson is a busy man. In demand on New York City’s bluegrass scene, he’s also part of several bands focusing on improvised music. In this interview, Johnson discusses three recent albums: Big Eyed Rabbit (Not Two, 2014), The Prisoner (NoBusiness, 2014), and The Invisible Trio (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2014). He also talks about the influence of his drummer father; how he became involved in bluegrass; and why he nearly quit school because of one person but decided to finish because of another. Learn more at maxjohnsonmusic.com.

CONCERT TONIGHT: Max is playing in New York tonight, June 9th 2014 at 11:00 pm at the McKittrick Hotel, 530 W 27th St. The show is free, and features Thomas Heberer on trumpet, Michael Attias on alto saxophone, Ingrid Laubrock on tenor saxophone, Max Johnson on bass and Ziv Ravitz on drums.

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The Jazz Session #439: Giacomo Merega

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Electric bassist Giacomo Merega‘s two newest projects are both trio recordings: The Surface Of An Object (Rudi Records, 2014) and Crows And Motives (Underwolf, 2014). In this interview, Merega talks about expressing the concept of “surface” in music; why he chose the electric bass and how he is crafting his own sound; free improvisation versus composition; graphic scores and whether seeing them changes one’s appreciation of a piece of music; and his concert series. Learn more about the series on its Facebook page and at the Prospect Range site.

JOIN The Jazz Session for $5 a month here. Your membership gets you free mp3s and helps me get to NYC to record more interviews. Thanks!

The Jazz Session #438: Adison Evans

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Baritone saxophonist Adison Evans‘ life took an unexpected turn when she was called to audition for Beyonce’s band. She got the gig, and left almost immediately for the Super Bowl and a world tour. Home between tours, Evans is still committed to the jazz she studied at Juilliard. In this interview, she talks about both sides of her life — traveling with a superstar and playing improvised music. Learn more at adisjazzkitchen.com and follow her on Twitter at @adison_evans.

LIVE SHOW! You can hear Adison Evans perform on her birthday, May 29, at Scholes Street Studio, 375 Lorimer Street in Brooklyn, NY. The show starts at 8 pm and costs $10 (free for kids).

JOIN The Jazz Session for $5 a month here. Your membership gets you free mp3s and helps me get to NYC to record more interviews. Thanks!