We’re exploring virtuoso musical performances from around the world today on Insight, with interviews and performances with a wide range of iconic performers.
First, we revisit the Andre Mehmari Trio's visit to the Insight studio on their very first West Coast tour with Brazilian Jazz music inspired by the Corner Club arts collective. Then, we look back at jazz musician Herb Alpert's interview with Gary Vercelli before a performance in Sacramento. Alpert is in his 80s and still performs with his wife, Lani Hall. We'll also hear from Dr. John Hillebrandt, who spent years reimagining a number of the well-known church hymns he grew up with. And we finish the hour with "Songs of Universal Peace," a collaboration between Ross Hammond and Jay Nair that blends classical Indian raga music with Appalachian folk and blues.
Brazilian Jazz Pianist André Mehmari Explores The Legacy Of The Corner Club
Brazilian jazz pianist Andre Mehmari and his trio stopped by the Insight studio with a live performance on their first West Coast tour. Mehmari performs with his longtime friends, percussionist Sergio Reze and bassist Neymar Dias.
Their 2019 repertoire explores the work of Clube da Esquina, an arts collective in Brazil in the late '60s and early '70s, which marked a turning point in the post bossa nova period of Brazilian music and culture. The movement was led by Milton Nascimento, who brought together dozens of artists to blend jazz, classical avant garde, bossa nova, folk and pop influences (like The Beatles). Clube da Esquina produced an album in 1972 for EMI, and the creative confluence shaped Brazilian music for a generation.
Andre Mehmari last toured the U.S. five years ago. He returned in January 2019 to support a new crowd-funded record called “Na esquina do Clube com o Sol na Cabeça” (“Sunbakeheaded at Clube da Esquina”).
Legend Herb Alpert Reflects On A Star-Studded Career Of Hits
Herb Alpert is still touring even in his 80s and performing with his wife, Grammy-winning vocalist Lani Hall. Alpert became a legendary trumpet player and composer, but he first hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1968 with the song “This Guy’s in Love With You.” He’s won nine Grammys, and his records have gone platinum 14 times and gold 15 times. He talked with CapRadio’s Gary Vercelli in September 2018, reflecting on his career and his life.
You can see Herb Alpert and Lani Hall perform at The Sofia in Sacramento on Sept. 19 and 20.
Dr. John Hillebrandt Reaches For The Ethereal On “Transcendental Hymn-Fantasies”
Dr. John Hillebrandt is a trained concert pianist. He’s also a composer and master piano teacher who plays with the Modesto Symphony Orchestra as the principal pianist and keyboardist. He’s also spent a lot of time immersed in religious hymns as a pianist and organist in church. Dr. John Hillebrandt joined Insight in October 2017 to share his two-volume project “Transcendental Hymn-Fantasies,” where he reimagines well-known hymns into 12 etudes.
In 2018, he wrote a new piece for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra called “Valley Fever” as part of their American Graffiti celebration and put together another book of Hymn Preludes, plus he has a new piano concerto in the works.
Ross Hammond & Jay Nair Blend Raga And Blues On “Songs Of Universal Peace”
Ross Hammond and Jay Nair collaborated on a record called “Songs of Universal Peace,” released in April 2018. The album blends Indian classical music and Sanskrit poetry, Appalachian folk music, blues, and improvisation. Hammond and Nair will release their second album together in November 2019.
Nair plans to launch a new public affairs and world music show on KDVS 90.3 FM in Davis later this year. You can find a list of Hammond’s upcoming shows on his events page, and you can follow Nair for the latest developments on his radio project.