September, 2011

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

September 2011


Ran greets old friend and jazz legend Randy Weston at the Boston Public Library on September 28. The pianist, 85, who Ran first encountered the Lenox School of Jazz in the late 1950s, was in town for two days to perform and read from his new autobiography, African Rhythms. Weston’s appearance was sponsored by NEA Jazz Masters Live and the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, whose artistic director is Danilo Perez. Read more about it here.

Photo credit: John Campopiano

Shadow of Doubt at NEC

annual Halloween concert

shadowRan and coproducer Aaron Hartley celebrate Halloween this year by staging a musical and cinematic tribute in honor of Alfred Hitchcock and Claude Chabrol at the New England Conservatory.

This year’s concert focuses on two films: Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and Chabrol’s Le Boucher (1970). The films have a lot in common: Both take place in suffocating small-town settings include the viewpoint of a child whose world is clouded by the “shadow of a doubt” when they realize an admired adult may be a murderer.

Students and faculty of NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation department — along with guests — perform in response to the plots, moods, scenes, spirit, and music of these two films as clips appear onscreen.

The October 31 concert starts at 8 p.m. in Jordan Hall, and it’s free. Read more about it on NEC’s website.

Marty Yaseen Live

in NYC

Ran’s friend Marty Yaseen, a vocalist and lyricist, performs Saturday, October 22 at 8 p.m. with guitarist John Stein at the 5C Cultural Center in New York City. The 5C is located at 5th St. and Avenue C.

Duo Album Nears Release

Whirlpool, with Dominique Eade

dominiqueRan’s long-awaited duet album with vocalist Dominique Eade, Whirlpool, will be released by the Jazz Project label on October 28.

Dominique is on the faculty with Ran at the New England Conservatory, and the two have often performed together over the years. The album features 13 songs recorded at sessions in 2004 and 2008, including “Dearly Beloved” (Jerome Kern), “The Pawnbroker” (Quincy Jones), “Out of this World” (Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer), and Eade’s “Go Gently to the Water.”

We’ll have more details, including ordering information, in next month’s issue.

New Concert Date

April 30 in Kalamazoo

abbeyRan will perform a tribute to Abbey Lincoln on April 30 in Kalamazoo, Michigan — her hometown — as part of the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival.

The festival runs from April 26 to May 13, and tickets go on sale in January. Read more about the festival here.

As he prepares for the show, Ran is interested in getting in touch with anyone who knew Abbey well in Kalamazoo. If that describes you or anyone you know, please contact Ran at

Ran’s latest album, Grey December – Live in Rome, is available from Tompkins Square Records, Amazon, iTunes, and other retailers. The album of solo piano was recorded Dec. 16 at the Casa Del Jazz in Rome.

Ran’s book, The Primacy of the Ear, is available on The book outlines Ran’s philosophy on development of the ear and explains how musical memory is the key to becoming a more potent musician and shaping a personal musical style.

To learn more about studying at NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation department, please visit the department’s website or contact Department Chairperson Hankus Netsky.

We’ll see you in October.

Vol. 7, No. 9

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