Legendary jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis has been accumulating a series of honors with the upcoming NEA's Jazz Masters Award being one of the most prestigious yet. He and his brood of familial, musical superstars recently played D.C.'s Kennedy Center, and that recording has been released as the album Music Redeems that unites The Marsalis Family with guests such as honorary offspring, Harry Connick, Jr.
The project's profits will fund The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a New Orleans-based organization dedicated to keeping the arts lively for young people. Speaking for the family is genre-versatile saxophonist Branford Marsalis who brings us up to date on the center, his father, the performance, and other topics including Miles Davis.
Also included in this post is an interview with Peter Cincotti who experienced one of the most surprising and best career 180s of the last few years. Originally produced and presented as a light "easy listening" artist and contemporary of singers such as Michael Bublé, Peter empowered himself through his very strong East Of Angel Town, one of the best pop singer-songwriter albums of 2009 in the States (it was released in 2007 overseas). Peter Cincotti is on the same playing field as Billy Joel, his keyboard chops giving The Piano Man a hard run for his money. The album's most solidly written and best performed tracks include "Lay Your Body Down (Goodbye Philadelphia)," "Cinderella Beautiful," "December Boys," "Another Falling Star," "Broken Children," and the title track whose dead-on description of the L.A. club scene is like "Zanzibar" on steroids. Peter discusses that project while taking us on a tour of his career and things East of Angel Town and beyond
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