GLT Jazz Next

The weekly GLT Jazz Next podcast highlights up-and-coming artists and tunes deserving a bit more attention. Plus, you'll learn a little bit about the artist and stay on top of what's happening in the world of jazz.

Colin Marshall

Mucca Pazza ("Crazy Cow") founding member Rick Kubes said the forming of the 30-odd member marching band was organic.  He gives kudos to fellow founder Mark Messing, the band's original director, choreographer, and music director.

Marc Murphy

Chicago native Greg Murphy has been a fixture on the New York City jazz scene since the 1980's, performing and recording with numerous jazz luminaries.  Ahead of his show at The Promontory in Chicago August 25,
the one time Illinois State University computer science student talked with GLT's Jon Norton about his new album "Summer Breeze."  Murphy said among  the songs he recorded for the album were originals he wrote nearly 30 years ago.

A. BANKS/MRTJAZZ.COM

Mardra and Reggie Thomas are a husband-wife jazz team from DeKalb, Illinois.  Mardra is a vocalist with a theatrical background.  Reggie is a pianist and coordinator of the jazz program at Northern Illinois University.  They'll play the Front Street Music Fest in downtown Bloomington August 20, where they'll feature music from their new album "Matters of the Heart."  Reggie Thomas said he appreciates when fans refer to their recordings as "albums."

Dave Frenzia

Jazz has taken Normal native Adam Larson to nearly all points on the globe.  The U-High grad has also been on the receiving end of critical praise from high places.  Longtime Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich says Larson is “a player for whom the word ‘prodigious’ was coined.”  Despite the acclaim, Larson said he still struggles with high, self-imposed expectations.

"Sometimes during school I spent an inordinate amount of time looking at the wrong stuff.  For example, looking at other people's success as anything else but admiration and joy."

Neil Larimore Photograpy

Rico Wayne Johnson and Dove Benoit are a pair of Peorians bringing the sounds of Brazil, and other Latin American rhythms, to central Illinois. The Brazilionaires will kick off the GLT Summer Concert presented by CEFCU this Saturday June 11th in downtown Bloomington.

A few months ago, the group stopped by the GLT studios with a bunch of great local jazz musicians to play some tunes from their new CD, and talked with Bruce Bergethon about spreading sambas and boleros across the Heartland.

Jon Norton / WGLT

Matthew Mullins is a 17-year-old junior at Normal Community West High School with a passion for music bordering on obsessive.  He said he devours all types of music, but especially classic rock, blues, and jazz. 

"I actually got into jazz in general from my teacher at Normal West, Mrs. (Sarah) Williams, who introduced me to jazz.  And I had a deep appreciation for jazz around sixth grade.  I listened to all the greats ... Bill Evans ... Dave Brubeck.  Then I started expanding from there.

Elizabeth Geyer is an Australian singer/songwriter/instrumentalist who says creating albums can be a lengthy process for her.  She says she waited seven years after her last album to the record her latest.  In this Skype conversation with WGLT's Jon Norton, Geyer explains how she was inspired by Peoria multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Paul Adams to write and record her latest album, titled "The Bridge."

Matthieu Bitton

Dr. Lonnie Smith is now in his fifth decade of recording and performing as a solo act, and behind a virtual who's who of jazz legends.  Smith makes a stop in Chicago to play the Jazz Showcase this weekend (March 24-27). In a conversation with WGLT's Jon Norton, Dr. Smith says he remembers longing for a chance to make music from an early age.

To peg San Francisco based Kim Nalley as just a vocalist and songwriter would be selling her short.  She's also an actor, a featured writer in various Bay Area publications, a former club owner, and a PhD candidate in history at UC-Berkeley.  Nalley covers some of that ground with GLT's Jon Norton on this edition of GLT Jazz Next.  She begins by talking about her new album "Blues People," which was inspired by the famous book by LeRoi Jones.

New York City area native Frank Kohl was drawn to the guitar at a very young age.  He became proficient enough to be admitted to the prestigious Berklee School of Music in the 1970's, where his fellow students included fellow guitarists Pat Metheny and John Scofield.  On this edition of Jazz Next, Kohl talks to WGLT's Jon Norton about his new album "Invisible Man," how he came to love jazz, and how as a young child he says he had an "a-ha" moment watching The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show.

Raymond Van Tassel

Recent GLT Jazz Cabaret performer Roberta Donnay says when she found out as a small child that she was white, she got angry.  On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Donnay talks to Jon Norton about where that anger came from, and about her latest album of prohibition era jazz, titled "Bathtub Gin."

Trombone and conch shell player Steve Turre  has been a member of the Saturday Night Live band since 1984.  He also played in the Jazz Messengers, the band led by legendary drummer Art Blakey.  On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Turre says it was a decade earlier during his time in the Ray Charles Band where he learned the importance of of being a professional, and the importance of "giving your all" every night. 

Yan Pritzker

On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, meet a Chicago based vocalist and composer who just released her second album.  In her own words, Keri Johnsrud explains how the jazz bug found her in her rural Iowa hometown, and how that bug eventually led her to the Windy City.

Second Generation Photography

Philadelphia native Sam Taylor is a talented young tenor player now immersed in the New York City jazz community.  On this edition of Jazz Next,  Taylor talks with GLT's Jon Norton via Skype from his home in New York about absorbing the soulful sounds of his hometown, and about his debut album, My Future Just Passed.

Bob Coscuello

Trumpeter, vocalist, and composer Ginetta M is the leader of the jazzy, funky New York City based Ginetta's Vendetta.  She also records under the moniker Ginetta M.  On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Ginetta tells Jon Norton her latest album as Ginetta M is Little Big Horn. She says the title is a nod to Native American culture, and a reference to her instrument of choice, the "pocket" trumpet.

After 27 years with the vocal ensemble New York Voices, vocalist Kim Nazarian has finally released an album under her own name.  On this edition of Jazz Next, Nazarian tells WGLT's Jon Norton that recording with family for her debut release was comforting, and about the joyful feeling she gets when singing with New York Voices.

Jacob Blickenstaff

Hammond B3 master Adam Scone has has been a sideman in a diverse array of settings.  Among others, he's played in the bands of jazz legend Lou Donaldson and roots rocker JJ Grey & Mofro.  The title of Scone's latest album as a leader is "I Scream Scone." 

Deborah Feingold

Mitchel Forman was born in Brooklyn and attended the presigious Manhattan School of Music.  As a young man, he played in the band of jazz legend Gerry Mulligan.  Later, he played with other legends including Wayne Shorter and John McLaughlin.  He's also recorded as a solo artist for Windham Hill Records.  GLT's Jon Norton talked with Foreman via Skype from his home in Simi Valley California. 

Michelle Stella

Vocalist and George Mason University Jazz Director Darden Purcell returns to Central IL this Thursday night for a "one-off" 7:00 P.M performance at the Iron Post in Urbana.  Her backing band will include saxophonist Chip McNeill, her 4 year mentor at the University of Illinois, where she received a D.M.A. in Jazz studies.  GLT's Jon Norton caught up with Purcell via Skype last week from her home in the Washington D.C. area.

Michael Farrell

If you ask him, and Jon Norton did, Mort Weiss will tell you he's the best clarinet player in the world.  Norton and the feisty Weiss covered many other topics and ideas as well on this edition of GLT Jazz Next. 

They also played songs from his his CD "Mort Weiss is a Jazz Reality Show," a reference to the drama he's experienced in his 80 years of life.

Ramsey Lewis Hit Puts Him In 'The In Crowd'

Oct 19, 2015
Andy Colwell / Penn State

Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis says, in part, he can thank a coffee shop waitress for pointing him toward the song that helped make him a household name. In his own words, Lewis talks about the transformative effect of 'The In Crowd' that hit number 5 on the Billboard pop charts 50 years ago this month.

Jimmy Katz

Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander was a sideman for jazz greats including B3 master Charles Earland and pianist Harold Mabern.  On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Jon Norton talks with Alexander about Mabern, who he calls a mentor, the importance of learning on the bandstand, and about his early connection to central Illinois.

Joanne Mathiasen

Vocalist Michelle Lordi grew up listening to the great jazz combos in the clubs of her hometown of Philadelphia.  B3 great Trudy Pitts was a particular favorite. But she was also enamored with jazz legends Chet Baker and Blossom Dearie.  On this edition of Jazz Next, Lordi talks with GLT's Jon Norton about her new album "Drive," the sometimes tense relationship between vocalists and instrumentalists, and how she approaches her craft.

On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, we catch up with Portland, Oregon based Dan Wilensky, who talks about his his new album titled "Made in Portland," and about the thriving jazz scene in Portland that reminds him of his time living in New York City. You can purchase "Made in Portland" at: http://www.danwilensky.com/

Vocalist and lyricist Lorraine Feather has been quite busy in the last few years. In addition to recording and performing as a solo artist, she's been performing as part of a duo called "Nouveau Stride" with talented young stride pianist Stephanie Trick. She's also self produced a number of video's to accompany her CD's, including a fully animated video of a Fats Waller adaptation that played in 35 festivals internationally. Recently GLT's Jon Norton caught up with Lorraine Feather via Skype from her home in Washington state.

Vocalist and songwriter Dee Dee McNeil's new release is a straight jazz recording of mostly original songs. On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, McNeil talks with Jon Norton about her new album "Storyteller,">which is available at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/deedeemcneil3. She also talks about her time as a writer with Motown Records, and about her time in the jazz/spoken group Watts Prophets, and how the issues they were writing about in the early 1970's are still relevant today.

When Jon Norton last talked with Mark Winkler, the Los Angeles based vocalist and songwriter had just released two tribute albums. One paying homage to Laura Nyro, the other a salute to 1950's west coast jazz. On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Norton talks via Skype with Winkler about his latest album that includes his own songs alongside those of those of George Gershwin, Dave Frishberg, and Paul Simon. We start with the title track to the album "Jazz and Other Four Letter Words.”

It's time to catch up with jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut. This Baltimore native has a new album titled "A Million Colors in Your Mind." On this edition of GLT Jazz Next, Chestnut talks about the genesis of the album's title, why he chose to record with older players, and how those players helped evolved his sound. This podcast was produced by Jon Norton.