sábado, 22 de noviembre de 2008

Nnenna Freelon



La extraordinaria cantante, Nnenna Freelon (FECHA NACIMIENTO: 28 JULIO 1954. - NACIDA EN: CAMBRIDGE “MASSACHUSSETS”), es sin duda una de la cantantes de jazz contemporáneas mas importante. Su música tiene una calidad extraordinaria y la popularidad que ha conseguido fuera de los ámbitos exclusivamente jazzisticos, no le han desviado del camino del swing. Tres veces nominada para los premios Grammy, sintió desde muy temprana edad la llamada de la música, si bien antes de emprender la carrera profesional que le habría de llevar al sitio que ocupa en la actualidad se graduó en Servicios Sociales en la Universidad de Durham, de Carolina del Norte, y tuvo tres hijos. Estudió con Yusef Lateef y perteneció durante varios años a una banda en la que Woody Williams era el baterista. Tras una aparición estelar con Ellis Marsalis, graba su primer disco en 1992, que atrae la atención de la crítica, que rápidamente ven en ella la influencia de Sarah Vaughan. Su segundo álbum fue recibido más favorablemente, y con ocasión del tercero, incluso los más recalcitrantes detractores se vieron obligados a reconocer el extraordinario talento de la cantante y su prodigiosa voz. Freelon extrae su repertorio no sólo del jazz, sino también de la música pop y folk, asimilando dichas corrientes en una síntesis muy personal. Nnenna Freelon, sin duda, ha encontrado ya un estilo que se pone aún más de manifiesto cuando cambia de sello discográfico en 1966 e inicia un camino mucho más personal, encarnado sobre todo en su segunda grabación para Concord Jazz, Maiden Voyage (1998); en el que, entre otras cosas, expone su interés por el papel que la mujer ha de desarrollar en el ámbito musical y en la sociedad en general. En el 2000, Freelon debuta en el campo de la interpretación en What Women Want, y graba su primera producción propia, Soulcall. Freelon ha grabado y actuado con una variada gama de músicos, y un examen de ese elenco puede testimoniar acerca de los gustos de la cantante y por donde se encaminan sus pasos. Esos artistas son, entre otros, los exquisitos Kenny Barron y Herbie Hancock, Joe Beck, Christian McBride y Kirk Whalum. La voz de Freelon es rica en calidades emocionales, acompañada últimamente de un sonido fuerte. No obstante, si las circunstancias musicales así lo demandan, es capaz de dar con el tono cool aunque sensual, especialmente persuasivo cuando se trata de baladas. Su variedad de registros le permite crear desde un escenario propicio a la confidencia a otro en el que se interpretan en clave de humor clásicos del pop, del soul, del jazz o del gospel, todo en un clima de libertad en el que siempre cabe el recurso a la improvisación.
Nnenna actuó varias veces con la legendaria Julie Andrews en la "Society of Singers", en la "Ella Awards" y en "Variety's The Childre's Charity" como vocalista del grupo "Stephen Sondheim Tribute" en el Carnegie Hall de Londres y en muchos festivales, con un gran éxito. En su quinto álbum grabado para el sello discográfico Concord Records, titulado "Live", Nnenna aporta todo su talento y el resultado es un disco intimista de extraordinaria belleza. Se grabó en el "Centro de Kennedy" en Washington DC, entre el 21 y 22 de febrero de 2003. El disco resume toda una década de carrera musical, con más de 20 años en la carretera. Ha sido dos veces ganadora en los premios "Billie Holiday Award" de la prestigiosa Academia de Jazz y de los premios "Eubie Blake Award". También ha sido nominada dos veces para "Lady of Soul" de Soul Train Award. Nnenna ha realizado varias giras con importantes músicos como Ray Charles, Ellis Marsalis, Al Jarreau y George Benson entre otros.
________________________________________________________
Nnenna Freelon, (born July 28, 1954), is an American jazz singer, composer, producer, and arranger. She has been nominated for five Grammy Awards for her vocal work, and has performed and toured with such top artists as Ray Charles, Ellis Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Dianne Reeves, Diana Krall, Ramsey Lewis, George Benson, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, just to name a few.
One critic described her as "a spell-binding professional, who rivets attention with her glorious, cultivated voice and canny stagecraft". She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Ellington Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Apollo Theater, Montreux Jazz Festival, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and more.
Nnenna Freelon was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Charles and Frances Pierce, and as a young woman she sang extensively in her community and the Union Baptist Church and at St. Paul AM. She has a brother Melvin and a sister named Debbie. Nnenna graduated from Simmons College in Boston, with a degree in health care administration. For a while worked for the Durham County Hospital Corporation, Durham, North Carolina. The Kennedy Center interview with Nnenna: "I started singing in the church, like so many others. . . ." She suggests that her influences included several "not famous people," as well as such familiar names as Nina Simone and Billy Eckstine, artists whose records her parents played at home. "Its important to expose your children to a wide musical environment," she says, grateful that her parents did just that. Nnenna followed her grandmother's sage advice regarding those singing aspirations. "I did something that my grandmother told me: 'bloom where you're planted’, "don't get on a bus and go to New York or L.A., sing where you are."
In 1990, Nnenna Freelon went to the Southern Arts Federation’s jazz meeting and met Ellis Marsalis. "That was a big turning point. At that time, I had been singing for seven years. Ellis is an educator and he wanted to nurture and help. What I didn’t know at the time was that George Butler of Columbia Records was looking for a female singer. Ellis asked me for a package of materials. I had my little local press kit and my little tape with original music. Two years later, I was signed to Columbia Records.” She was in her late 30s when she made her debut CD, Nnenna Freelon, for Columbia Records in 1992. The label dropped her in 1994, and Concord Records signed her in 1996.
In Maiden Voyage (1998), she leaves behind standard and comfortable conventions and releases an inner spirit that allows her to creatively soar to a higher dimension. Watch out! When a woman reaches this point there's no telling what will come next. Freelon's seventh album is Tales of Wonder (2002), covers hit songs written and/or recorded by Stevie Wonder. She considers him one of the greatest artists of our time and describes how his music easily became her music, as it touched her life throughout the years. "A lot of Stevie Wonder's music is on the level of many other unique artists like Duke Ellington, like Thelonius Monk. When you hear Stevie, you know that's who it is. I put him in a genius class, he's fabulous." On her Grammy-nominated release, Blueprint of a Lady: Sketches of Billie Holiday (2005), which comes highly recommended, Freelon pays tribute to the quintessential jazz vocalist Billie Holiday in the best possible way—without imitation and putting her own interpretations on material written by or associated with Lady Day. Her band, adjusted to fit the mood of each song, skillfully complements her at every turn. With Freelon is a group of veteran jazz artists who give her album a welcome presence. Tenor saxophonist Dave Ellis, trumpeter Christian Scott, and flutist Mary Fettig add stellar musical partnerships to the program. Freelon's long-term quartet of Brandon McCune, Wayne Bachelor, Kinah Boto, and Beverly Botsford provide cohesive accompaniment that serves as an intuitive accompaniment for her vocal offerings.
Nnenna Freelon will tour with the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary Band on a 54-date, 10-week tour of the United States starting January 8, 2008. The band features trumpeter Terence Blanchard, pianist Benny Green, saxophonist James Moody, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott. Nnenna is a very common ibo name.

Discografía
1992 - Nnenna Freelon - Jazz
1993 - Heritage - Jazz
1994 - Listen - Jazz
1996 - Shaking Free - Jazz
1998 - Maiden Voyage - Jazz
2000 - Soulcall - Jazz
2002 - Tales of Wonder - Jazz
2003 - Church - Songs of Soul and InspirationVarious Artists - Ooh Child - Gospel
2003 - Live at The Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. - Jazz
2005 - Blueprint of a Lady - Jazz
2008 - Better Than Anything - Jazz

ACTUAL JAZZ

ACTUAL JAZZ
Volver al comienzo