Archive for June, 2012
Saxophone-legend Kenny G may have been the headliner for the first night of Syracuse Jazz Fest on Friday, but Grammy-nominated vocalist Gregory Porter stole the show.
A self-described preachers kid, Gregory impressed those in attendance at Jamesville Beach with songs such as Be Good, On My Way to Harlem, and Mother’s Song. These Sophistasoultastic cuts conjure up images of the Cosby Show of the 80s, Spike Lee’s early films and even the choreography of Garth Fagan.
His song-writing is vivid and his performance high spirited.
To call Porter a jazz singer may be restrictive. His mature and robust sound may be jazz, but it’s corseted in soul and the cadence of his church rearing.
Some singers are vanguards. Nat had it. Donny had it. Ray had it. Sam had it. Stevie has it and yes Porter too, has that vibe of a pioneer.
Jazz Fest Producer Frank Malfitano even said he was one of the most talented jazz singers of the last 3 decades.
During the finale Porter mesmerized the crowd with 1960 What, a homage to cities such as Detroit. Coincidentally, Malfitano used to produce that city’s Jazz Fest.
New fans showered Porter with appreciation during an impromptu meet-and-greet beside the stage following his set. Many shared their disbelief that they weren’t familiar with this man.
From now on his reputation in Syracuse is all good.
To see a video from Porter’s Be Good, which was shot in Baltimore, visit his website.
Here are some photographs from Syracuse’s celebration of World Refugee Day.
Kenny G made a return to Syracuse last night for Jazz Fest. The Festival, produced by Frank Malfitano, is celebrating 30 years. G is a crowd favorite and helped pack the crowd in at Jamesville Beach (a new venue this year). Besides being a best-selling smooth jazz artist, he is known for his long notes (he made it to the Guinness Book a few years ago).
Believe the Hype.
Future stars of debate met Thursday evening at Bethany Baptist Church for the Heightened Youth Perpetuating Excellence (H.Y.P.E.) Program. Students from area schools argued the pros and cons of social media with an emphasis upon areas subjects such as education and politics.
The program was coordinated by media personality George Kilpatrick and the debate was moderated by Donna Satcher-Jackson.
Musician-turned actor Ice-T gives a behind music view of the rap game in the new documentary “The Art of Rap.” He spoke in a recent interview about the changes in Hip Hop and the evolution of MCs.
Below listen to the unique flow of Big Daddy Kane. Kane came to Syracuse a few years ago and is included in the film.