Despers USA practices on a big parking lot off Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y. Band members start wandering in around 6 or 7 p.m. and slowly take their places behind racks of steel drums. Like a symphony orchestra, they're organized by section — the thin tenors ringed around the outside; the big, deep, oil-drum basses toward the center; the midrange "guitars," as they're called, nearby.
Their section leader counts them in. He stops them, and then stops them again, saying the opening needs to be stronger. Eventually, they get it.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:38 pm
Brazilian singer Luciana Souza has worked in many genres, from jazz and bossa nova to classical music and even, as a small child, commercial jingles. A graduate of Berklee and the New England Conservatory of Music, Souza has been nominated for four Grammys and worked at a prolific pace. In fact, she's just released two albums of covers, Duos III and The Book of Chet; the latter finds her covering the works of Chet Baker.
Frederic Yonnet is known for bringing the harmonica to urban jazz, R&B and hip-hop. He's working on the album Reed My Lips: The Rough Cut. It's available as a digital download, but the final mix will be out next year with suggested changes from fans. Yonnet joins host Michel Martin for a special encore performance chat.
A pioneer who muddies the waters separating jazz, blues, country, soul and rock, Cassandra Wilson possesses a beautiful voice and more than three decades of musical experience. The two-time Grammy winner began her career with the M-base collective, but found success as a solo jazz singer.