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Charles (Charlie) Mingus Jr. (April 22, 1922–January 5, 1979) was an American composer and musician. He was hugely influential in the jazz world. First a bassist, Mingus went on to be a prolific composer, known for his affinity for collective improvisation. He greatly admired and was influenced heavily by Duke Ellington, with whom he played for a time. He is also remembered for his short temper, nicknamed "The Angry Man of Jazz."

Published in Today's Birthday

Everything changed for trumpeter  Philip Dizack when he learned to play a C major scale. An undying love for jazz and a devotion to practice eventually led him to New York City , where he attended the Manhattan School of Music, and won several awards. Philip has just released his second album as a leader: End of an Era. 

Published in Rising Star Interviews
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:07

Rest In Peace, Ravi Shankar.


Legendary sitar player, composer and the ambassador for Indian music, Pandit Ravi Shankar, has passed away at age 92.

Published in Best of the Web


olivierHappy Birthday, Olivier Messiaen!

Olivier Messiaen (December 10, 1908 – April 27, 1992) was a major French composer as well as an avid ornithologist and organist. His music drew on ancient Greek and Hindu sources and is noted for being incredibly rhythmically complex and diversely influenced. Messiaen experienced synesthesia, a condition in which different sensory experiences influenced one another. In his case, the composer perceived colors while listening to certain musical chords, and considered these experiences crucial to his compositional process.

Published in Today's Birthday
Saturday, 10 November 2012 19:05

Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin


Composer, arranger, violist Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin, has composed music for four feature films and more than a dozen short films. He has released four albums, and arranged music for artists ranging from Yo-Yo Ma and the Kronos Quartet to Jay-Z.

He has recorded as a violist with Yo-Yo Ma, The Andalucian Dogs, The Knights and with his own ensemble, Ljova and the Kontraband, featuring his wife, Inna Barmash, on vocals.

Published in Rising Star Interviews