Long time manager of Fourplay, Sonny Abelardo, has been involved in music his entire life. You could say music is in his blood. In fact, his grandfather, Nicanor Abelardo, Sr. was a musical prodigy, and considered one of the greatest composers in the history of the Philippines.
Nicanor Abelardo, Sr. was born in into a family of artists, and was introduced to music when he was five years old, learning the solfeggio and the banduria. At the age of 8, he composed his first work entitled “Ang Unang Buko”, which was dedicated to his grandmother. By the age of 15, Nicanor had begun playing publicly in Manila, and began teaching in local schools.
In 1916, Nicanor began studying at the University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music, and by 1924, was appointed head of the composition department at the Conservatory. Later, he ran a school for young musicians, where he molded future National Artists Antonino Buenaventura, Alfredo Lozano, and Lucino Sacramento. Then, in 1933, Nicanor Abelardo received his Master’s from the Chicago Musical College in Chicago, Illinois.
As a composition major at the University of the Philippines, he composed the melody for the university’s official anthem, U.P. Naming Mahal. The building for the College of Music at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Abelardo Hall, and the main theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, are named in his honor.
In the field of composition, he is known for his redefinition of the kundiman, bringing the genre to art-song status. Among his works were “Nasaan Ka Irog,” “Magbalik Ka Hirang,” and “Himutok.” Nicanor Abelardo died in 1934 at the age of 41, leaving a collection of more than 140 works, and a family heritage that continues today. (continue reading…)
Check out Bob James on Love Music Radio for the Dusty Groove Interview!
Fourplay had the opportunity to celebrate their 25th anniversary with Berks Jazz Fest GM, John Ernesto.
Stay tuned for the 25th anniversary album, SILVER, due to be released later this summer!
Fourplay was formed 25 years ago, born of a merging of jazz styles and instruments and expertise that forged the Berks Jazz Fest that same year.
A quarter-century later, both are matured, enhanced, reconfigured and still honoring the synergy that created them. So what better way to celebrate both silver milestones than to have Fourplay perform at Jazz Fest, which is exactly what will happen April 18, 7 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. Tickets are $49.
Three of the four current members of Fourplay — Bob James, Nathan East and Harvey Mason — have been together since the beginning, crafting the improvisational contemporary jazz sound that still identifies the quartet today.
“We were in the studio recording “Restoration,” (a cut from Grand Piano Canyon),” said keyboardist Bob James, who is generally credited for bringing the musicians together (guitarist Lee Ritenour completed the group then and worked on the first three albums). “And we knew that something special was going on. Whenever you (collaborate) you hope things will click and sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, but when the vibe is really happening, you feel it.”
Check out some exclusive behind the scenes moments from the recent recording of the
Bob James & Nathan East duet album!
Get the newest album from Bob James, LIVE at the Milliken Auditiorium…
Go behind the scenes with Fourplay, as they record their new album SILVER…
Celebrating 25 years of musical magic!
Listen to a single from the CD at www.bobjames.com!
The Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College and Tappan Zee Records are pleased to announce the USA release of the new CD Bob James Live at the Milliken Auditorium as recorded in concert with the Grammy Award winning Jazz pianist Bob James and the Bob James Quartet on May 3, 2014.
The CD features Bob James – Piano with Perry Hughes – Guitar, Clarence Penn – Drums and Nathaniel Phillips – Bass. It includes 8 extended tracks from the concert including, Blues Down Under 6:56; The Jody Grind 7:25; Skidaway 9:46; Where are You/Downtown 8:49; Night Crawler 7:07; Nautilus 7:03; Westchester Lady 6:20; Angela/Someone to Watch Over Me; 10:45.
The CD was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jack Conners, Milliken Tech Director and features concert photography by Dave Dalquist. Production of the CD was made possible with a grant to the Dennos from the Begonia Charitable Foundation and managed by Sonny Abelardo.
A few years ago, my wife Cindy and daughter, Chaia, saw Fourplay at Jazz Alley. I wasn’t able to make it for health reasons, but Cindy went, and Chaia took my place. They brought a gift for the guys, and you were so courteous and helpful; a real gentleman, and you made them feel so special. I will always be grateful for that!
This morning, in my morning devotions, I was listening to Fourplay, Live in Japan, and recalled that time, during Argentina, and many other times that I am grateful for in my life. It was a healing moment. I broke down, but it was a good breakdown! I wanted to pass that along to you. It’s amazing what music can do.