FEATURE: Aubrey Johnson Boldly Breaks The Rules – Downbeat

January 21, 2021Features, Press Reel

By Stephanie Jones, Downbeat During the past decade, vocalist Aubrey Johnson has explored different chambers of her artistry and performed with an array of musicians, including singers Bobby McFerrin and Sara Serpa, as well as Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra. Johnson’s leader debut, Unraveled (Outside In)—a program featuring original compositions and new sextet arrangements of … Read More

FEATURE: The 8-Bit Big Band on Something Else!

January 21, 2021Features, Press Reel

By Ross Boissoneau, Something Else! Then there’s the disc from the 8-Bit Big Band: Released on Jan. 8, Backwards Compatible explores the further reaches of the so-called Great Video Game Songbook. The third such album from Tony-nominated Charlie Rosen, his inspiration is some of the most beloved video game franchises of all time: Sonic the … Read More

FEATURE: Mariel Bildsten Delivers Sturdy ‘Backbone’ – Downbeat

January 13, 2021Features, Press Reel, Uncategorized

By Stephanie Jones, Downbeat Trombonist Mariel Bildsten began developing ideas for her debut album in 2019, aiming to reflect different dimensions of her artistry, particularly her skills as an arranger. “I’m not super interested in just playing tunes for the tune’s sake,” said Bildsten, referencing the impetus for crafting Backbone (Outside In). Read this feature … Read More

Crate Digging: Young Artists to Be on the Lookout For: Mariel Bildsten – JAZZIZ MAGAZINE

January 8, 2021Features, Press Reel

By Matt Micucci, JAZZIZ Mariel Bildsten has honed her craft for years within a wide range of styles and settings, including as lead trombonist in Arturo O’Farrill’s acclaimed Afro-Jazz Orchestra. Backbone displays her exceptional talents as arranger and bandleader, as well as her admiration for the jazz tradition, through fine arrangements of handpicked classics and … Read More

FEATURE: Papo Vázquez, Latin jazz pioneer out of North Philly, still keeps his hometown close – The Philadelphia Inquirer

January 7, 2021Features, Press Reel

By Shaun Brady, The Philadelphia Inquirer On the cover of his latest album, Chapter 10: Breaking Cover, Latin jazz pioneer Papo Vázquez has most of his face obscured by a face mask. But peering out over the skull-and-crossed-trombones logo of his long-running band, the Mighty Pirates Troubadours, the bandleader still manages to convey much of … Read More

FEATURE: Chien Chien Lu and The Roy Ayers Effect – Downbeat

December 4, 2020Features, Press Reel

By Alexa Peters, Downbeat Before 2012, Chien Chien Lu had never heard jazz. Having spent her childhood taking piano lessons and playing marimba in prominent orchestras, the Taiwanese-born vibraphonist was well-studied in contemporary percussion, but her musical diet was that of her country’s—primarily classical, Taiwanese traditional music, Chinese pop and K-pop. Read more here.   … Read More

FEATURE: Chien Chien Lu Finds Her Musical ‘Path’ – Downbeat

December 3, 2020Features, Press Reel

by Alexa Peters, Downbeat Before 2012, Chien Chien Lu had never heard jazz. Having spent her childhood taking piano lessons and playing marimba in prominent orchestras, the Taiwanese-born vibraphonist was well-studied in contemporary percussion, but her musical diet was that of her country’s—primarily classical, Taiwanese traditional music, Chinese pop and K-pop. Less than a decade … Read More