Howard Stone: I Did It My Way

The Academy Award-winning documentary film, Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013) explores the careers and lives of a number of rock/pop “backup” singers. These very talented women backed up Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Sting, Stevie Wonder and other iconic rock/pop performers, but while the public may have known their voices, they were largely anonymous, performing while … Continued

Veronica Swift and Emmet Cohen Return to Vail

Young jazz stars bring spontaneity and exploration to musical storytelling If you think it’s an exaggeration to say that a talented singer’s vocal chords can do acrobatics, you have not heard Veronica Swift. Yet, the 25-year-old rising jazz star does not describe herself as a vocal acrobat. She doesn’t even refer to herself as a … Continued

Howard Stone: The Jezebel of Jazz

This year is the centennial of the birth of Anita O’Day (Anita Belle Colton), a daring jazz vocalist who developed her own style and created a vast body of innovative vocals while being tagged “The Jezebel of Jazz,” for her nonconformist ways. At mid-20th century, she was considered to be one of the top female … Continued

A Brit’s Deep Slice of New Orleans

Grammy winner Jon Cleary recounts his journey to and through The Crescent City Growing up in a small village in England, Jon Cleary made a b-line for New Orleans the minute he hit adulthood. The 56-year-old Grammy Award winner took up the guitar when he was a small child, but added the piano – and … Continued

Howard Stone: New Orleans Piano

If you were to ask most jazz fans what instrument most epitomizes New Orleans jazz, the trumpet would most likely be the answer. Actually, it should be the cornet, which Louis Armstrong and other early New Orleans jazzmen initially played, switching to the trumpet later. Another answer might be the trombone, most famously played in … Continued

7 things to know about Ann Hampton Callaway

Yes, she’s a songwriter, singer, composer, actress and pianist, but there’s more … Having juggled singing, song writing and acting throughout her storied career, it makes sense that Ann Hampton Callaway would dedicate an album to some of her favorite (well … everyone’s favorite) tunes from classic motion pictures. Jazz Goes to the Movies, Callaway’s … Continued

Howard Stone: Jazz and The Movies

The 1927 film, The Jazz Singer, was the first feature-length (not a short) “talkie” (a film with synchronized speech, singing, instrumental score and sound effects). While the title suggests that it was about a jazz crooner, the story is about a young man who wants to sing pop music instead of following in his father’s … Continued

John Pizzarelli Pays Tribute to Nat ‘King’ Cole

The charismatic guitarist turns up his vocal chords to honor one of the 20th Century’s most beloved jazz stars One of the most memorable compliments John Pizzarelli ever received was, “I don’t really like jazz music, but I like what you do.” Upon hearing this, the guitarist stopped in his tracks for a moment, wondering … Continued

Preview of the 25th Annual Vail Jazz Festival: Unforgettable

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” The life of Nathaniel Adams Coles bears witness to these words of wisdom from none other than Albert Einstein. Nat “King” Cole, as he became known, was born into an African-American family in Montgomery, Alabama, 100 years ago this … Continued

Howard Stone: The DNA of Jazz

Genetic ancestry testing is skyrocketing in popularity with more and more people attempting to learn about their genealogy. Recently there was a story in the news about Korean-American identical twin sisters that had been separated for adoption at birth. Thirty three years later they were reunited after their connection was confirmed, when each had their … Continued