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Saxophonist Mike Casey Finds Hartford Jazz Scene A Rich Training Ground

In "The Empire Strikes Back," we meet Jedi Master Yoda hanging out on the remote, swamp-planet of Dagobah, waiting in exile for the Empire to quiet down a little. Dagobah is where Luke Skywalker trains with Yoda for the inevitable "Return of the Jedi." Mike Casey, a rising young saxophonist, sees...

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  • Free Jazz Pianist Muhal Richard Abrams Brings 70 Years Of Sounds To Wesleyan

    Free Jazz Pianist Muhal Richard Abrams Brings 70 Years Of Sounds To Wesleyan

    Where to start listening to Muhal Richard Abrams, the 86-year-old jazz pianist and composer whose quintet performs at Wesleyan University Feb. 24? Start anywhere. "Levels of Degrees and Light," his 1967 debut as a leader (specifically the 23-minute-long track "The Bird Song"), threads spoken-word...

  • Emotional We The Kings At Webster

    Emotional We The Kings At Webster

    The emotional pop rock of Florida band We The Kings conveys both energy and vulnerability. Youthful flight and urgent romance are some of the themes this band pursues. Singer Travis Clark works heaving sighs into his vocals, even when he's climbing his way to a shout. But it's not all frivolous...

  • Nat Reeves' State Of Emergency To Play At Artists Collective

    Nat Reeves' State Of Emergency To Play At Artists Collective

    Bassist, bandleader and educator Nat Reeves grew up in Virginia, but he's been part of the Hartford jazz scene for decades. Like so many musicians in the area, Reeves had some pivotal experiences playing and working beside alto giant Jackie McLean. Reeves got encouragement from McLean to share...

    • Robert Ellis At Outer Space

      Robert Ellis At Outer Space

      Texas singer/songwriter is that rare artist who hovers somewhere between Paul Simon, Randy Newman and Glen Campbell. (He does a killer cover of Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years" on his 2014 record "The Lights From the Chemical Plant.") There's the slightest touch of Urban Cowboy-ish countripolitanism...

      • New Haven Hosts 'Night Of Firsts' Chamber Opera

        New Haven Hosts 'Night Of Firsts' Chamber Opera

        A concert version of a one-act chamber opera by Igor Stravinsky is part of Orchestra New England's "A Night of Firsts" concert 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at United Church on the Green, at the corner of Temple and Elm streets in downtown New Haven. Stravinsky's "Renard," the playful tale of a deceitful fox...

        • Ambitious River Whyless At Fairfield Theater Company

          Ambitious River Whyless At Fairfield Theater Company

          River Whyless are a hard-touring bunch of Americana troubadours. This Asheville, N.C., quartet has some time off in May, but other than that they'll be playing dates all over the country between now and the summer festival season, for which they'll probably have to kick into overdrive. The band...

          • Xenia Rubinos' Layered Music Rooted In Hartford Jazz

            Xenia Rubinos' Layered Music Rooted In Hartford Jazz

            Hartford native Xenia Rubinos remembers the Monday Night Jazz concerts in Bushnell Park as events that might have happened in a previous lifetime, but they were important. After graduating from Berklee College of Music, Rubinos moved to New York and got busy: "Black Terry Cat," her second LP, draws...

          • A Maturing Ariana Grande Plays Mohegan

            A Maturing Ariana Grande Plays Mohegan

            The era of the Disney or Nickelodeon teen celebrity makes the transition to full-fledged grown-up superstar brings some awkward moments for most everyone. Singer and actress Ariana Grande almost seems to have benefited from her backlog of tween TV roles as she's moved to higher realms of success....

            • Kesha Giving Free Concert As Part Of Foxwood's 25th Anniversary

              Kesha Giving Free Concert As Part Of Foxwood's 25th Anniversary

              Everyone’s lucky at Foxwood’s 25th anniversary celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The casino will be celebrating the milestone with a ceremony, entertainment and cake at 2 p.m.; raffles and giveaways throughout the day and two free concerts in the evening — pop star Kesha in the Grand Theater at...

              • In Memoriam: A 2011 Interview With Al Jarreau

                In Memoriam: A 2011 Interview With Al Jarreau

                Editor's note: Vocalist Al Jarreau, a seven-time Grammy winner, died on Feb. 12, just two days after announcing his retirement from touring. He was 76. In late 2011, Jarreau, known for his mega-hits "We're In This Love Together," "Roof Garden" and the theme song to the television show Moonlighting...

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