Women have been part of jazz from its beginning. It’s a rich but complicated story framed by limited opportunity mixed with unwritten rules, sexism, and benign neglect. None of this is surprising: Generous as jazz can be, as art, it both reflects and shapes the society that produces it.
Globalization has produced many stories — not all inspiring. But having a Pakistani ensemble become a worldwide sensation by playing Paul Desmond’s immortal “Take Five,” which pianist Dave Brubeck turned into a hit nearly 50 years ago, has to be one of the most delightful — and improbable.
The 10-piece Sachal Ensemble, a group from Lahore, Pakistan, became an unlikely global sensation when the video of their performance of “Take Five,” a peculiar, swinging blend of South Asian classical music and jazz, got a million hits on YouTube. In a letter quoted in a story in Esquire Middle East, Brubeck, who got to hear it before his passing in 2012, wrote to producer Izzat Majeed: “This is the most interesting and different recording of ‘Take Five’ that I’ve ever heard… ” More …
Finding the symphony in the sound of a city
Think of the city as an orchestra – a rhythm section of cars and buses; the brass sounds of a factory; the emotions played out by a string section, told in the sounds of water; a choir of voices, perhaps in many different languages, all at once, telling stories.
In Miami, we live surrounded by those sounds. Project 305, an ambitious multimedia piece involving the New World Symphony, MIT Media Lab and Knight Foundation, will translate these kinds of Miami sounds and sights into a symphonic work.