Magni Wentzel was born on June 28, 1945 in Oslo, Norway, the daughter of musicians Odd Wentzel-Larsen and Åse Wentzel. She began her career at the tender age of 6 in 1951 in Totenlaget Barneteater. She trained under opera singers Erna Skaug, Almar Heggen and professor Paul Lohmann in Wiesbaden. She took guitar lessons from 1956 and released her debut jazz album That Old Feeling in 1959.
Instead of attending the first year of the newly established Statens Operahøgskole in Oslo, by 1963 Wentzel took another path, choosing to study classical guitar in Spain, Switzerland and England. She was also taught the art of jazz song under Tete Montoliu.
Strongly influenced by Aretha Franklin, she was a member of the Geir Wentzel Band playing Club 7 in Oslo. Magni collaborated extensively with a series of Oslo based musicians, such as the quartets and quintets including Einar Iversen and Egil Kapstad. Peter Gullin dedicated the album Far, Far Away Where Longing Live to her and later she worked for Opera Mobile, then portrayed the mother in The Tales of Hoffmann by Offenbach.
She has performed and recorded with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Roger Kellaway, Halvard Kausland, Ole Jacob Hansen, Carl Morten Iversen, Terje Venaas, Egil Johansen, Åse Wentzel, Art Farmer, Red Mitchell, Mads Vinding and many others.
Vocalist, guitarist and composer Magni Wentzel, the recipient of the Gammleng-prisen in 1988 and the Buddyprisen in 1998, continues to perform, compose and record at the age of 71.
Dominique Frances Eade (was born on June 16, 1958 in London, England. The daughter of an American Air Force officer and a Swiss mother, she grew up in a musical household and spent much of her childhood moving within the US and in Europe. She studied piano as a child and decided she was going to be a singer in the second grade. She picked up guitar in her teens, learning folk, pop and jazz songs and writing some of her own.
She played her first gigs in the coffee houses of Stuttgart while there in high school. Later, as an English major at Vassar, Eade sang for a time with a jazz group, Naima, which also included Poughkeepsie native Joe McPhee. Eade transferred briefly to Berklee College of Music, and then finished her degree at New England Conservatory (NEC), where pianist Ran Blake became an important mentor and performing colleague. Staying in Boston after graduation she soon began teaching at NEC.
Dominique was an active performer on the vibrant Boston jazz scene during the 80’s, forming groups with Boston-based artists including Mick Goodrick, Donald Brown and Bill Pierce. She toured the United States and Europe as a clinician and performer and in addition to her own groups, she performed contemporary classical music and was a featured soloist with Boston Musica Viva, Composers in Red Sneakers, NuClassix and jazz big bands Orange Then Blue and the Either/Orchestra.
By 1987 she became the first jazz artist to be accepted into the NEC Artist Diploma program, where she studied for two years with Dave Holland and Stanley Cowell, and in 1989 she became the first jazz performer to be awarded the New England Conservatory’s NEC Artist Diploma. In 1990, Dominique moved to New York City and released her first CD, The Ruby and the Pearl, featuring Alan Dawson and Stanley Cowell. During this time she maintained her teaching position at NEC, and performed in a variety of contexts including soloist roles in two Anthony Braxton operas, duo restaurant performances with Gene Bertoncini, and an adventurous trio with Ben Street and Kenny Wollesen.
She performed with various groups around the East Village with Mark Helias, Peter Leitch, Larry Goldings, John Medeski, Fred Hersch, Kevin Hays, James Genus, Gregory Hutchinson, and Tom Rainey. She recorded her second CD, My Resistance is Low with Bruce Barth, George Mraz, and Lewis Nash.
Prior to returning to Boston in 1996 she recorded two critically acclaimed CDs for RCA Victor, When the Wind Was Cool featuring Benny Golson, Fred Hersch, James Genus, Matt Wilson, and many others, and The Long Way Home with Dave Holland and Victor Lewis, highlighted her arranging and songwriting. She has toured the United States and Europe, then focused on composing, recording and local performances around Boston.
Dominique eventually began to reemerge in New York, first with Ran Blake, then in duos and quartets with Jed Wilson, Ben Street, Matt Wilson and Brad Shepik, all receiving critical recognition. She continues to perform, record and compose, teach at the New England Conservatory and give private lessons to the likes of Luciana Souza, Kate McGarry, Sara Lazarus, Lisa Thorson, Julie Hardy, Patrice Williamson, Kris Adams, David Devoe, Aoife O’Donovan, Roberta Gambarini and many others.
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João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira was born on June 10, 1931 in Juazeiro, Bahia, Brazil. From an early age, music was a part of his life with his grandfather buying him his first guitar at the age of 14. During high school he teamed up with some of his classmates to form a small band and was influenced by Brazilian popular songs, American jazz, and even some opera, among other genres. After trying his luck as a radio singer in Salvador, Bahia he was recruited in 1950 as lead singer of the vocal quintet Garotos da Lua (Moon Boys) and moved to Rio de Janeiro. A year and a half later, he was dismissed from the group for his lack of discipline, showing up late to rehearsals or not at all.
João Gilberto’s first recordings were released in Brazil as two-song 78-rpm singles between 1951 and 1959. In the 1960s, Brazilian singles evolved to the “double compact” format, and João would release some EPs in this new format, which carried 4 songs on a 45-rpm record. For seven years, Gilberto’s career was at a low ebb. He rarely had any work, was dependent on his friends for living quarters, and fell into chronic depression. Eventually, in 1955 he was rescued from this rut by Luiz Telles, leader of the vocal group Quitandinha Serenaders, where he blossomed musically. His first bossa nova song was Bim-Bom, written as Gilberto watched passing laundresses on the banks of the Sao Francisco River balance loads of clothes on their heads.
This style, which Gilberto introduced in 1957, created a sensation in the musical circles of Rio’s Zona Sul, and many young guitarists sought to imitate it. It was first heard on record in 1958 in a recording of Chega de Saudade, a song by Jobim and Vinicius de Morais. With this success launching his career and the bossa nova craze, João featured new songs by a younger generation of performer/composers such as Carlos Lyra and Roberto Menescal on two more albums. By 1962, bossa nova had been embraced by North American jazz musicians such as Herbie Mann, Charlie Byrd, and Stan Getz, who invited Gilberto and Jobim to collaborate on what became one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, Getz/Gilberto. Through this album, Gilberto’s then wife Astrud—who had never sung professionally prior to this recording session became an international star, and the Jobim/de Moraes composition The Girl from Ipanema became a worldwide pop music standard.
Gilberto went on to work with Claus Ogerman, Clare Fischer, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Maria Bethânia among other collaborations. He won a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 2000 for his album João Voz E Violão. Singer, guitarist and composer João Gilberto continues to perform, record and composer.
Yolande Bavan was born on June 1, 1942 in Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka. She toured Australia and Asia as a singer with Graeme Bell’s band early in her career. She is best known for replacing Annie Ross in the legendary jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross after Ross was forced to leave the group due to poor health in 1962. She recorded three albums, all live recordings, with the group under the name of Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan. In 1964, she and Dave Lambert left the group, effectively ending the trio.
She appeared on “To Tell the Truth” in 1962 and in a rare feat, the singing group appeared and sang This Could Be The Start (of something big). In 1969,Peter Ivers and she made an album for Epic Records, called Knight of the Blue Communion. Bavan provided vocals for Weather Report’s 1972 album I Sing The Body Electric, and has made several recorded appearances in musicals including Salvation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Bernarda Alba. She has performed in films, and continues to plays and currently continues to perform.
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Carmen Souza was born in Lisbon, Spain on May 20, 1981 of Cape Verdean heritage speaking Creole, the Cape Verde dialect and Portuguese. In her teens she sang professionally in a Lusophone Gospel Choir. Musicians like Luis Morais, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and Diana Krall were some of her inspirations. Theo Pas’cal, her producer and mentor and one of the best bass players in Portugal, discovered her talent and introduced her to jazz, fusion and other contemporary sounds that markedly influenced her musical development.
Working with Theo in 2003, two years later Carmen released to critical acclaim her debut album Ess ê nha Cabo Verde that combined Creole, African and Cape Verde rhythms like Batuke, Morna, and Cola djon with her jazz contemporary influences. The album led to her international breakthrough performance at the WOMAD at Reading Festival of the same year.
Her sophomore album Verdade she co-produced and is featured on Wurlitzer and guitar. She returned in 2010 with the impressive Protegid (Protected) that continued to push the limits of what constitutes the Cape Verdean music, world music and jazz. The expressive voice, versatile style of vocalist Carmen Souza continues to perform, record and tour.
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