News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More

Thomas Swan

Miles Davis

Miles Davis and Chet Baker Come to Life on Film >>

Two of jazz's greatest trumpet players, Miles Davis and Chet Baker, will both be coming back to life in new films due out this spring. Both are set to be played by noted Hollywood actors. In Born to be Blue, due out in theaters March 25, Ethan Hawke portrays the troubled trumpeter of the 50s and 60s Chet Baker. In Miles Ahead, House of Lies star Don Cheadle co-wrote, directed and stars as jazz god Miles Davis.

Lou Diamond Phillips

Lou Diamond Phillips Play 'Burning Desire' Makes Debut >>

Lou Diamond Phillips' career has somehow for decades now managed to avoid the death knell. No matter how many times it has looked as if the end were near, he has managed to rebound and go in a different direction. The new Lou Diamond Phillips is a Tony Award Nominee and, now, a playwright as well. His play, Burning Desire is set to debut at the Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury, Ct. Once again, Phillips' career is alive and healthy.

George Martin

George Martin Dies at Age 90 >>

It's a sobering thought to consider what popular music would be like without George Martin. He signed the Fab Four to his little Parlophone and helped to enrich and expand their sound. He gave them a chance and became the architect for the magic that was to come.Though they knew what they wanted to say, it was George Martin who helped bring out on record what John, Paul, George and Ringo had in their heads. We have lost George but not really. He is there always. Though he only lived to age 90, he will forever remain in our hearts and on our minds because he produced one of the greatest rock bands ever.

Sarah Vaughn

Sarah Vaughn to Get Forever Stamp >>

Legendary jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughn was loved and adored by millions of fans. She has sold books and records in the millions. Now, the postal service is honoring the singer who died in 1990 at the age of 66 is being honored with a new postage stamp. To coincide with the new stamp, Resonance Records will be releasing a 2-cd concert, with the cooperation of NPR entitled Sarah Vaughan-Live At Rosy's, New Orleans on March 25.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan New Album and Tour >>

For Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour to live up to its name, it needs a constant supply of new dates and it got those. Dylan's Reps announced a new series of US dates beginning in June in support of his new album Fallen Angel. The album is the follow up to last years album of Frank Sinatra covers Shadows in the Night. The 74 year old Dylan will finish up his tour commitments in Japan in April and reappear back on the road in June in the state of Washington.

Salman Khan

"Make up Your Mind, Salman. Marry Her or Not" >>

Salman Khan is one of the highest paid actors in the world. He has legions of fans everywhere, and could probably keep the prime minister of India waiting and not suffer much of a backlash as a result. However, when it comes to his parents, Salman still has to toe the line. I guess it should come as no surprise that his parents, Salim and Salma, have given Salman an April deadline to decide whether or not is going to marry long-time girlfriend Iulia Vantur.

Brian Dennehy

EXCLUSIVE: Classicalite Q&A with Brian Dennehy >>

An interview is a complicated, intoxicating beast. You rarely ever know who will be presented in front of you. Sure, you know their name, seen their film, read their book or listened to their CD but these are flesh and blood human beings we are talking about. They are only predictable in their unpredictability. I knew deep down in my bones my newest interview Brian Dennehy would, well, be Brian Dennehy. Star of stage and screen, Mr. Dennehy could be anyway he wants to be and who could blame him? He's Brian Dennehy. He has chased Rambo, wandered through a Peter Greenaway film, found the fountain of youth in Cocoon and its sequel.

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone to Make Film With Brad Pitt? >>

Whether this is true or just amateur teenaged gossip reporting remains to be seen. However, the rumors are swirling around that Deepika Padukone will next star opposite Brad Pitt in a yet unnamed project. This may be way too early to even consider since Deepika has not even finished her XXX commitment yet. The idea of Deepika starring opposite Brad Pitt has many in the Indian media doing cartwheels in excitement.

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone Has Dinner >>

Is Deepika Padukone cementing the bonds she has formed while in Hollywood filming her debut XXX? Recently, the Bajiro Mastani star was seen out to dinner with the film's co-producer and star Vin Diesel, co-stars Nina Dobrev, former star of the CW TV show Vampire Diaries, as well as other cast members and director DJ Caruso.

Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington Brings the Jazz to the NYC >>

Coming or going, LA based saxophonist Kamasi Washington can do no wrong at the moment. One of the hottest names in jazz at the moment, Washington has put together quite a string of commercial and critical successes that have sent his career rocketing into overdrive. Washington brought the buzz .and the jazz recently back to New York City to showcase to the 1400 gathered what it is and, if it's not, why it should be.

Thomas Chapin

The Sad Story of Thomas Chapin >>

A new documentary, titled Night Bird Song, about the troubled life saxophonist/flutist Thomas Chapin will make its world premiere this month at the Real Art Ways in Hartford, Ct, on March 6 at 2 p.m. and at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan on March 13. Four years in the making, the documentary traces Chapin's ascendency to the top and his crash and the tragedy of his death due to leukemia at the age of 40.

George Kennedy

Actor George Kennedy Dies at Age 91 >>

George Kennedy, a familar face in supporting roles in both movies and television, has passed away at the age of 91. From Charade to The Naked Gun movies to the Paul Newman classic Cool Hand Luke, Mr. Kennedy seldom played the leads in films but you were well aware of his presence. He was not only a large man in stature but was equally sized in his talent as well. The George Kennedys are what make cinema great and we have lost a giant, one of the last of the great all-time character actors. His grand son confirmed that the burly, beloved actor passed away on Sunday of natural causes.

Miles Davis

Book Explores Miles Davis' 'Bitches Brew' Period >>

In 1970, jazz legend Miles Davis was at his creative peak. He was about to enter the studio to record one of the greatest jazz albums ever recorded, the provactively titled double album Bitches Brew. Although it would sharply divide the jazz world, due largely to the fact Davis would use scalding electrics to his scintillating style, it became a defining moment for him. Strangely enough, there has never been a book documenting the album that would change jazz, until now. Author Victor Svorinch presents Listen to This: Miles Davis and Bitches Brew.

Ella Fitzgerald

Verve Records Celebrates 60 Year >>

To celebrate its 60th anniversary this year, Verve Records plans to reissue several of its seminal of its releases throughout the decades of its existence. The list is a veritable who's who of jazz. Planned reissues.include such luminaries as Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Smith, Stan Getz and Ella Fitzgerald.

Boozoo Chavis

Classicalite Reviews Robert Mugge's 'The Kingdom of Zydeco' >>

Robert Mugge seemingly doesn't believe in cutting, unless absolutely necessary. This is not a criticism, although it may sound like it. Starting out, his lingering camera, feels a tadbit awkward. You wait for the cutaway to something else. It does happen but it takes a little bit. Musical performances are similar. When someone in Mr. Mugge's films starts a performance of a song, you can guarantee that you are going to hear the whole song before his camera flees the scene. Mr. Mugge takes you there and you see the story, in this case The Kingdom of Zydeco, unfold as it did before his eyes.

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