The LA Times called her a “high-wire Jazz marimbist.” “It looks like she’s dancing when she plays,” Ransom said.“It just brings you into the performance and you get as wrapped up in the music playing as she is.“Maman, maman, maman,” her 3-year-old son, Raif, cries before carrying on a conversation with his mother in an adorably breathless stream of perfect French.
It’s that time of year when stubborn patches of snow finally melt, flocks of birds return north, and a host of musicians converge on Alaska’s capital city for the annual Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival.“I hope everyone will come out, and if they think they’re just jazz lovers they give classical a try, and if they think they’re just classical lovers they’ll give jazz and blues a try,” said second-year artistic director William Ransom.I haven’t heard her in person and she’s supposed to have the most extraordinary stage presence, the way she works with the audience,” Ransom said.Other headliners are violist Luke Fleming, band Doug Deming & the Jeweltones, Johnaye Kendrick of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, performer Bradley Howard, jazz pianist Gary Motley, and returning, The Vega Quartet.Ransom called Stoltzman “a legend.” A virtuoso clarinetist, he has had a prolific career, playing as a soloist for hundreds of orchestras.
In 1986, he became the first wind player to be given the Avery Fisher Prize. His wife, Mika Stoltzman, a marimba player devoted to jazz, has had an impressive career as both a live performer and a recording artist.There’s a lot to marvel at in Rhonda Ross’ Harlem home.From a purely real estate level, one could be in awe of the three-bedroom apartment’s high ceilings, original woodwork and large foyer that’s home to life-sized wooden African fertility figures.Executive director Reggie Schapp said the festival is bringing back the concert on a cruise events due to popular demand; the “Classical Lunch Cruise: ‘Eine Kleine Yacht Musik’” and the “Blues Cruise: Andrew ‘Jr. Smaller concerts like the cruises or “Strings at the Shrine” are expected to sell out fast, she said.Like previous years, there will be Brown Bag Concerts, which are free and open to the public, generally occurring on Mondays and Wednesdays.Then there’s the fact that Ross is a Ross -- daughter of living diva and music icon Diana and recording industry legend Berry Gordy -- who shares an incredible likeness to her mother; she’s all big hair, sharp cheekbones and expressive eyes.