Classically trained vocalist Solitaire Miles has the range and sound that echoes the musings of jazz singer Anita O'Day and Ella Fitzgerald, and opera singer Fredericka Van Staad. Her brilliantly recorded albums Born To Be Blue and Melancholy reflect her complex ideas and multifaceted influences. But equally impressive are her paintings, one of which is of President Obama that was accepted by the White House. Café Jazz host and Department of History professor Dr. Brian Clardy spoke with her by telephone about her work and views on the future of jazz as an art form. A shortened version of this interview aired on Café Jazz Wednesday, March 13. The interview above is the longer, full version.

Chicago area pianist, composer, and band leader Kelly Brand has been on the music scene for well over a decade and a half entertaining jazz lovers with her innovative compositions and arrangements. Her original compositions, as well as her covers of musicians like Bobby Hutcherson, have enthralled listeners from the concert stage to her stellar recordings. Murray State History Professor and host of Café Jazz Dr. Brian Clardy spoke with her via telephone in an interview that was aired recently on the Wednesday night broadcast. Hear is the full interview. Discover more of her work at kellybrand.com.

Meet Jazz Pianist, Paducah Native, Jon Cowherd

Mar 4, 2013

Kate Lochte continues our series of interviews with young people of western Kentucky who are finding success “out there” in major markets.  This time we meet a co-founder of the Brian Blade Fellowship Band, Jon Cowherd.

Pianist Jon Cowherd is a member of jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson's band, and his instrumental work has graced albums by the likes of Rosanne Cash, Lizz Wright, Iggy Pop, Marc Cohn, Mark Olson and Victoria Williams. He tours with Ms. Wilson, Rosanne Cash and also his Fellowship Band, which he co-founded with percussionist /bandleader Brian Blade with whom he discovered musical brotherhood while both were students at Loyola University in New Orleans. 

Café Jazz host Dr. Brian Clardy recently spoke with jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti, for A Café Jazz Christmas with Brian Clardy (aired: 12/19 at 9 p.m.). They talk about Taylor's influences, memories of Dave Brubeck and improving as a young musician into adulthood. Taylor began studying the piano at the age of four and recorded his first album at the age of 14, titled Tays Groove. He was recently nominated for two Grammy Awards and lives in New York City. Brian spoke with Taylor Eigsti over the phone.

RIP Von Freeman, Chicago jazz legend, who passed away at 88 today. (Article from Chicago Tribune). We pulled this commentary from the archives by Cafe Jazz host Brian Clardy, recorded in 2007.

Earl Lavon Freeman, one of Chicago's most influential Jazz elders, has been playing tenor saxophone since the 1930s. Dr. Brian Clardy talks about why Von Freeman defines the meaning of celebrity.