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May 9 2014

As part of The Kennedy Center’s celebration of Blue Note Records’ 75th anniversary, NPR Music will present a live video webcast of its culminating event, Blue Note at 75, The Concert. The evening of performances by Blue Note Records artists will be available to watch at NPR Music Sunday, May 11 at 7 p.m. EST. Blue Note at 75, The Concert, co-hosted by Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran and President of Blue Note Records Don Was, brings together artists from the iconic label's present and past roster. The evening includes performances by vocalists Norah Jones and Dianne Reeves, saxophonist Joe Lovano, current Blue Note recording artist and Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran, NEA Jazz Master saxophonist Wayne Shorter and his Quartet of pianist Danilo Pérez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade; organist Dr. Lonnie Smith; NEA Jazz Masters Bobby Hutcherson, vibraphonist; Lou Donaldson, saxophonist; and McCoy Tyner, pianist; plus other special guests.

May 8 2014

Trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire delivered one of the most widely praised and discussed new Jazz albums of 2014 with the March 11 release of the imagined savior is far easier to paint, an impressive and expansive new album that The New York Times declared “brilliant” and JazzTimes magazine called “a gorgeous, moving album” adding that it is “an early candidate for the best of 2014.” Fans can now get the story behind the making of the album with a new video featuring footage from the recording studio and an interview with Ambrose. Watch the video here.

Ambrose has announced additional North American tour dates this summer that begin June 21 in Denver, Colorado and head up the west coast including a stop at PDX Jazz in Portland, Oregon on June 25. A series of performances in Canada that follow will include three shows as part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Further European tour dates in July will be announced shortly. See below for a full list of confirmed dates or visit www.ambroseakinmusire.com/concerts.

May 6 2014

In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Blue Note Records, today sees the global launch of iTunes.com/BlueNote, an iTunes destination dedicated to serving as the premiere source for Blue Note music with exclusive offerings and the goal of making every Blue Note title available in one place. Over 100 Blue Note albums will be Mastered for iTunes, ensuring delivery of the music to listeners with increased audio fidelity, more closely replicating what the artists, recording engineers, and producers intended. iTunes Radio will also feature one of the first label branded radio stations with Blue Note Radio (iTunesRadio.com/BlueNote), a station that streams tracks spanning 75 years of The Finest In Jazz.

April 23 2014

Universal Music Group is reactivating the legendary jazz label impulse! with the release of Viper’s Drag, a retro-modern opus from Henry Butler-Steven Bernstein and the Hot 9 that is due out July 15 in the U.S. The new impulse!, which was reported yesterday in The New York Times, is a division of Universal Music France headquartered in Paris that will be distributed by Blue Note Records in the U.S. The label will focus on new releases from artists including Randy Weston, Kenny Barron, Jacky Terrasson, Ran Blake, Rodney Kendrick, Sullivan Fortner, Jean-Luc Ponty/Stanley Clarke/Biréli Lagrène, Madeleine Peyroux, and a previously-unreleased live duo album from Charlie Haden and Jim Hall recorded at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1990.