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The Young Girls of Rochefort Sylvan Theater (National Mall) Independence Ave SW & 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20024
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Make Music Miami 2021 Miami-Dade County

New French Jazz, Classical and Contemporary Music Albums to Discover in March

For the last winter month of the year, enjoy good music with our monthly selection of Classical, Jazz and Contemporary albums!

Jazz:

Whisper of a Shadow by Yohan Giaume

Whisper of a Shadow is a tribute by Yohan Giaume, accompanied by 22 musicians, to virtuoso pianist and composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869). Exposed during his childhood to the songs of Congo Square, this New Orleans native was one of the first, if not the first, to introduce Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban rhythms – later described by jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton as "The Spanish Tinge" – to the American music tradition. This influenced its development which took the form of ragtime and then of jazz. A century and a half later, composer, arranger and trumpeter Yohan Giaume takes a similar approach to many elements. He too set himself the goal of studying the traditional music heard during his travels in their cultural context, to reveal their lineage and deep roots. It was then natural that he should visit the universe of his glorious precursor through his own compositions. His album has already received numerous positive reviews in the press on both sides of the Atlantic: find out more here

This project has been supported by the French-Americain Jazz Exchange (FAJE), a program by the FACE Foundation in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Try! by Airelle Besson

Five years after her first album Radio One, Arielle Besson returns with the same musical team to present 11 new tracks. Already recognized for her talents as a soloist trumpet player, presented in 2015 a Victoires de la Musique Jazz award, Arielle Besson is also a gifted arranger. Spontaneous and supple, the music of the eleven tracks of Try! breathes, between the trumpeter's aerial and melodic play, the pure and powerful voice of the Swedish singer Isabel Sörling, the vaporous atmospheres of the piano and keyboards and the delicacy of the drums.

Interplay -The music of Bill Evans by Diego Imbert / Alain Jean-Marie

Diego Imbert (double Bass) and Alain Jean-Marie (piano) resurrect the duet formed by Bill Evans and Eddie Gomez in the 70s. In this album, they explore freely the repertoire of Bill Evans, thanks to their harmonious musical complicity, as evoked by the first title "Interplays." 15 small pieces, 4 of which are not from the master, make up this album, emanations of beloved jazz, a bit nostalgic but daring in its layout, without any demonstrative will nor research of virtuosity.

Classical Music:

Armida, Antonia Salieri by Les Talens Lyriques & Christophe Rousset

An ardent defender of the work of Antonio Salieri (1750-1825), Christophe Rousset continues his exploration by unearthing the manuscript of a true masterpiece. This Armida, in the form in which it was created in Vienna on June 2, 1771, is a perfect synthesis of Italian and French styles. In three acts, Armida concentrates the dramatic intensity between four characters whose meeting figures the confrontation between East and West. The plasticity of its composition, its originality and its brilliance ensured Salieri's lasting reputation, which was celebrated throughout Europe.

Contralto by Nathalie Stutzman and ORFEO 55

Contralto Nathalie Stutzmann features as both a soloist and conductor of the Orfeo 55 ensemble in this new release of works by composers including Handel, Vivaldi, and Lotti. She also presents a handful of world premieres by other Baroque composers. Her lower tone is velvety and rich, and her higher register singing is equally polished. The outer sections highlight her vocal dexterity, while the instruments do much more than just support the soloist, giving the work its delightful and energetic bounce.

Planète Gold by Sofiane Pamart 

Sofiane Pamart, virtuoso pianist known for his collaborations with rappers such as Koba LaD and Vald, presents the extension of his first solo album, entitled Planète Gold. Composed as an invitation to travel, the album proposes 8 new trips, from the Sahara to Ha Long Bay via Berlin. Sofiane Pamart thus signs a masterful album, a global work imagined and composed to last in time. Defining himself as "the rap pianist," Sofiane Pamart shows a new facet of his talent with this second solo album that invites classical and rap music audiences to come together.  

Contemporary Music:

Jolas: B for Betsy by Betsy Jolas

Betsy Jolas, a 94-year-old French-American composer and figure in contemporary music, was awarded the Victoire de la Musique Classique as Composer of the Year at the 2021 ceremony for her string quartet Topeng. Fans are now given the opportunity to (re)discover her talent through her solo album Jolas: B for BetsyOfficer of the Legion of Honor, Betsy Jolas has composed for the most renowned ensembles and artists in the world and is recognized for her original music style. Unlike most composers of her generation, Jolas never encouraged a break with the past, and her keen knowledge of tradition is often felt and informs her creative drive. She has indeed spoken many times about her ambition to write expressive and beautiful music when such considerations of the past were deemed outdated. 

Betsy Jolas is a 2019 grantee of the FACE foundation Jazz & New music program with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Noûs by Philippe Leroux

The collaboration between composer Philippe Leroux and the husband-and-wife team Claude and Odile Delangle began in the early 1990s and has grown ever closer over the years. In October 2019, the three met up again for an intense few days to record Noûs, a program of works for soprano saxophone and solo piano. The record is composed of two duos between the instruments, piano solo pieces, tributes to Claude Debussy and a highly virtuosic piece for soprano saxophone. 

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