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MUSIC NEWS: Will I Am And Hillary Clinton To Do Rap Concert In China

Will.I.am of the Black Eyed Peas met with former white house first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington DC, where it was announced that Will I Am will direct a concert in Beijing later this year, to highlight the importance of educational and cultural ties between the United States and China.

The concert will celebrate US–China educational and cultural exchanges, with a performance by will.I.am and other American and Chinese pop stars, who will support President Obama’s “100,000 Strong Initiative.”

President Obama launched the “100,000 Strong Initiative” in May of 2010. The program aims to dramatically increase and diversify the number of American students studying in China.

“In order to become responsible global citizens, young people need to experience the world around them,” will.i.am said. “Kids from underserved communities rarely have the opportunity to study and travel abroad, and we want to change that. We must make sure that American students have the cultural awareness and skills necessary to succeed in a global economy.”

The concert is being organized by Americans Promoting Study Abroad, which is a US-based nonprofit organization offering full scholarships to public high school students for language and cultural studies in China.

Proceeds from the concert will be donated to support and operate programs abroad for underserved American students studying in China.
source: allhiphop.com


REAL TALK: David Grohl of the Foo Fighters Kicks Fan Out Of Concert.


Music News: Nas Doing A Free Concert TODAY!

Today (June 2), Nas will performing live at the Gansevoort Plaza in New York City as part of Bacardi Rums “Like It Live, Like It Together” kick-off event.

The free concert is hosted by Elvis Duran and features New York’s Power 105.1 morning show host, DJ Envy, on the turntables.

The Queensbridge legend will hit the stage as part of an effort to help Bacardi bring people together for an experience that turns online “likes” (expressed via Facebook) into real life moments for fans across the country. To kick off the campaign, Bacardi will present top “likes” ranging from food, cocktails, and entertainment by God’s Son.

With no RSVP required, if you’re in the New York City area be sure to stop by the Gansevoort Plaza on 9th Ave & Gansevoort Street to enjoy a free show from Esco. —Nicole LoPresti


Article: Hip-hop violinist Jeff “Maestro” Hughes to play at Coffee at The Point at the Five Points Jazz Festival in Denver Saturday by Sam DeLeo


Talented. Handsome. And a symphony soloist. At age 10.

Talk about having to live up to your early promise.

“It was surreal,” Jeff “Maestro” Hughes said recently while recalling his solo violin performance with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

“I mean, I was submerged in the classical world; I was really working hard to accomplish this kind of thing, to make those auditions, to get myself in front of the symphony. But it was still unbelievable.”

Hughes, now 26, is one of the headliners at Saturday’s Five Points Jazz Festival, performing at Coffee at The Point at 6 p.m.

He’s performed at Denver Nuggets halftime shows and a Democratic National Convention party for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. He also played at the 2008 Grammy Awards with the Foo Fighters.

The Denver native credits his mother for his early immersion in music. She enrolled her 3-year-old son in the Denver Talent Education Program, now the Denver School of the Arts, and he “learned to play like all the other 3-year-olds there,” joked Hughes. “Around that time I saw a performance on TV by Itzhak Perlman, and that really made an impression on me, also.”

With Perlman and Isaac Stern as influences, Hughes won a fellowship to study with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington while still in high school. He then earned a scholarship to the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music and, like many college students, discovered worlds of new music.

He found voice for his violin amid hip-hop and jazz beats, and his influences stretched from Stephane Grappelli to Jean-Luc Ponty.

“I listened to all sorts of different music so that I could take jazz, hip-hop, classical, funk and blend them together,” said Hughes. “Like jazz musicians, I like to improvise in a song; like a hip-hop MC, I like to freestyle. But the music is also classical in that I take a riff and develop and repeat it until it’s something different than (what) you first heard

Erica Brown & Friends are set to play at Five Points Plaza during the Jazz Festival Saturday. (Alexis Clements, Provided by Erica Brown )introduced.”

If forced to put his music into a genre, Hughes reluctantly agrees to call it “modern electric instrumental music.” In the course of a song, he might perform unaccompanied Bach over a DJ playing a breakbeat, then shift wildly to “War Pigs,” by Black Sabbath, or a Beatles song before returning to the classical riff.

And a jazz festival is the natural home for such a gumbo of music.

In its eighth year, the Five Points Jazz Festival carries on the neighborhood’s rich history with the music. Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday led a roster of greats who played on The Rossonian Hotel’s stage at 27th and Welton streets. Duke Ellington is rumored to have written “Satin Doll” in a house on Curtis Street in Five Points.

But what is often overlooked is that classical music was a first passion for many jazz players.

Like Hughes, Purnell Steen — who performs on the main stage Saturday at 2:30 p.m. — was introduced to classical music at a young age by his mother.

“I had a dream of walking out on the stage at Carnegie Hall, flipping up my coattails and sitting down at the piano to thunderous applause,” said Steen. He enrolled in the music school at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1959, hoping to become a classical musician.

“I was encouraged to teach instead. I was told ‘Negroes don’t play classical music’ — there were those kinds of forces then,” said Steen. “But you had to be nutty,

If forced to put his music into a genre, Jeff “Maestro” Hughes reluctantly agrees he would call it “modern electric instrumental music.” (Provided by Five Points Jazz Festival)and if you’re a true dedicated musician, you’re nutty. Music is a passion that becomes the driving force in your life, and it can’t be stopped.”

That driving force continues in the annual festival — and in young talents such as Hughes, who take it in new directions.

“I would love to work with the symphony again some time because that’s where my roots are,” he said. “But I just want to keep writing good music, to keep performing, to keep growing.”

FIVE POINTS JAZZ FESTIVAL.
Various venues along Welton Street. Activities begin at noon, performances at 1 p.m. Free;

1 p.m.: Curtis Fuller Sextet, Main Stage

Ronneka Cox & Tenia Nelson, Pianorama at Crossroads

Five Points Jazz Festival Heritage Orchestra (youth band), Cervantes’ Other Side

2 p.m.: Adam Bodine Trio, Coffee at The Point

Conjuntos Colores Salsa Latin Jazz Band, Five Points Plaza

2:30 p.m.: Purnell Steen and Le Jazz Machine, Main Stage

Gayle Leali and Jesse Dawkins, Pianorama at Crossroads

3 p.m.: Five Points Jazz Festival Combo (youth band), Cervantes’ Other Side

4 p.m.: Five Points Jazz Festival Tribute Awards, Main Stage

Andalus Jazz Express, Coffee at The Point

Freddy Rodriquez and the Jazz Connection, Five Points Plaza

Billy Wallace and Bobby Greene, Pianorama at Crossroads

4:45 p.m.: Wende Harston and the Hank Troy Quartet, Main Stage

5:30 p.m.: Neil Bridge & Steven Denny, Pianorama at Crossroads

6 p.m. Maestro Hughes, Coffee at The Point

Erica Brown & Friends, Five Points Plaza

6:30 p.m. Bob Montgomery and the Al Hermann Quintet, Main Stage

SOURCE:

http://www.denverpost.com/music/ci_18090532


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