Monthly Archives: May 2015

Marcus Belgrave, jazz trumpeter, dies at age of 78

Marcus BelgraveMarcus Belgrave, a jazz trumpeter who graced stages and studios with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Cocker and Motown artists galore, has died. He was 78.

Belgrave came to Detroit in 1962 and became a studio musician for Motown Records, playing on hits including My Girl and Dancing in the Street.

Hazelette Crosby-Robinson, a cousin of Belgrave’s wife Joan Belgrave, said the musician died on Sunday at an Ann Arbor care facility. The cause of death was heart failure.

Belgrave remained active on the Detroit and international jazz scenes up until his death. He started playing professionally at 12 and joined the Ray Charles Band in the late 1950s.

Source: The Guardian (UK)

Melissa Tham: The Singlish-speaking jazz singer

Melissa Tham
Photo: Hon Jing Yi

SINGAPORE — When we heard jazz artiste Melissa Tham perform with the Christy Smith Quartet at the Singapore International Jazz Festival earlier this year, the singer’s rich, emotive vocals made jazz music seem far more accessible than one thought possible. Interestingly, while Tham comes across as your regular, endearing Singaporean girl — who is not afraid to flaunt it — with a love of jazz, she likes “all kinds of music, lah”.

“It’s nice sometimes when I listen to something on YouTube, or someone tells me to check some person out,” said the 29-year-old. “But I’ve always felt most at home with jazz or, specifically, swing. I like that feeling when I listen to Frank Sinatra — that swagger. I really like that feeling because it makes me feel so shiok!”

Source: Today Online

NYT Saxophonist-Composer Bob Belden Dies at 58

Lost-Jazz-Shrines-for-Ticketing-Site-Event-PageBob Belden, a jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, bandleader and record producer who was both a historian of the music and a force in moving it forward, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 58

He died three days after having a heart attack, said his sister, Beth Belden Harmstone.

Engaged and opinionated, Mr. Belden was part reformist and part conservationist. As a bandleader and record maker, he often looked for ways to connect the jazz tradition to other energies. In February he performed in Tehran with his group Animation, in a concert brought about in part by the American nonprofit organization Search for Common Ground. It was the first time an American musician had played in Iran since 1979.

Source: New York Times