April 2024


Béla Fleck

Reimagining Rhapsody

Over the course of his remarkably eclectic, multiple-Grammy-winning career — one that stretches across four decades — banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck has boldly, almost defiantly, taken his five-stringed instrument to places where no banjo player has gone before. As proof, witness his latest project, Rhapsody In Blue, reinterpreting the century-old Gershwin classic with a brand new twist.

  • Kahil El'Zabar

    Heritage Ethnic Ensemble @ 50
  • DB 90th Anniversary Kickoff

    The 90 Greatest Jazz Artists of all Time
Blindfold Test

Samara Joy’s first DownBeat Blindfold Test took place on the stage of the stately Sala Bossi recital room in Bologna, Italy, with a towering 200-year old pipe organ behind her. The event was hosted by the Conservatorio Giovanni Battista Martini and attended by some 30 students, faculty and members of the public. Of the countries Joy has visited since her meteoric arrival, Italy holds a special charm. “Every time I come here, I feel so at home. It started a couple months after I graduated in July 2021 at the Umbria Jazz festival and now I’ve been to a bunch of different places: Bologna, Sardinia, and I’m going to Milan tomorrow. Like my friend Pasquale [Grasso] says, ‘The Italians, even when they speak, it sounds like music.’ I know that it’s a soulful place … .” Later the same November day, Joy performed a well-received, sold-out concert as part of the Bologna Jazz Festival.

  • Carmen McRae : “No More Blues (Chega de Saudade)” from At the Great American Music Hall (Blue Note, 1976)
  • Johnny O’Neal: “Tight” from O’Neal is Back (Abeat Records, 2016)
  • Andy & The Bey Sisters: “Everybody Loves My Baby” from ’Round Midnight (Prestige, 1965)
  • Cecile McLorin Salvant : “America the Beautiful” from TikTok video of performance before U.S. Open Women’s Final, 2023 ()
  • José James : “Little Bird” from Jazzanova: Of All The Things (Verve, 2008)
  • Roberta Gambarini: “Estate” from So In Love (Groovin’ High, 2009)
  • Alice Coltrane : “Jagadishwar” from Turiya Sings (Impulse, 2021)
  • Lizz Wright : “Stars Fell On Alabama” from Grace (Concord, 2017)
Also in this Issue
The Beat
  • Jan Garbarek
  • Amaro freitas
  • Big Chief Donald Harrison
  • NYC Winter Jazzfest @ 25
  • Jean-Philippe Allard

  • Rick Margitza Master Class
  • David Murray Transcription
  • JodyJazz DVHR Tenor Mouthpiece Review
  • Gear Box

The Hot Box
  • Charles Lloyd
  • Vijay Iyer Trio
  • Gregory Tardy
  • Francisco Mela & Zoh Amba

Historical Column
  • Mal Waldron
  • Les McCann

Indie Life
  • Jon Irabagon
  • Myles Wright

Big Bands
  • Makrokosmos Orchestra
  • Kitchen Orchestra
  • Marshall Gilkes/WDR Big Band
  • Frank Carlberg

PLUS: Dozens of album reviews, product reviews and much more!