Jazz Beat: Oscar Peterson, Poncho Sanchez, Pete Escovedo ...

Piano virtuoso Peterson picks up prestigious award.

Canadian piano great Oscar Peterson, 74, will receive the International Music Prize 2000 from the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization at a ceremony Nov. 10 in Germany, according to the Montreal Gazette. Past winners of the prize include singer Miriam Makeba, composerLeonard Bernstein, sitarist Ravi Shankar and singer Cesaria Evora. ...

Latin jazz icons Poncho Sanchez and Pete Escovedo will perform simultaneously on opposite coasts Saturday (July 15) in an event Concord Records is calling Coast to Coast Picante. Conga master Sanchez will play at the Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing Festival for a special event titled "Que Es? What is Latin Music?" Meanwhile, Escovedo will take his drum beats to San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall. Along with Sanchez's show, Lincoln Center will host a panel discussion on Latin music, give dance lessons and present performances by Grupo Imagen, Aztex, Francisco Ulloa and Cuban flutist Maraca. The Omar Sosa Quintet and Los Moscsos will join Escovedo for his San Francisco show. ...

Ahi-Nama has released albums from three Cuban artists who are beginning to find popularity beyond their native island. The young 12-member group Bomboleo released No Que Bueno Esta, which combines hip-hop, house and Eurobeat with traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms. Laito Jr. sings the sonora on Sarandonga, and Maraca takes his years of experience with Chucho Valdés' Irakere to create the multigenre album Descarga Total!. ...

Those purchasing the live double-CD set from guitarist Pat Metheny's trio (including bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Bill Stewart), due from Warner Bros. in the fall, will have the opportunity to download a third CD's worth of Metheny music from the Internet via a mechanism yet to be determined. Stay tuned for more details. ...

Artists including the late saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., singer Dianne Reeves, ex-Police-man Sting and soul/R&B artist Chaka Khan perform the music of Brazilian star Ivan Lins on A Love Affair, coming out on Telarc in the fall. ...

"Space Cowboys," a sci-fi spoof from director and jazz pianist Clint Eastwood that will hit screens next month, has some juicy tunes on its soundtrack: Saxophonist Joshua Redman performs "Hit the Road Jack," "The Second Time Around" (with strings) and "The Best Is Yet To Come"; pianist Brad Mehldau does Neil Young's "Old Man," Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years" and the Who's "My Generation"; organist Larry Goldings and sax funkster Maceo Parker play "Last Night"; and Willie Nelson sings "Still Crazy ..." and "Young at Heart." Country singer Chad Brock's version of "Take It to the Limit" will be available for downloading. The movie stars Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner and Donald Sutherland. ...

A CD purportedly containing the first recorded solos of alto sax genius Eric Dolphy will come out on Capitol Records in early August. The Original Ellington Suite, a previously unreleased Pacific Jazz album, is a 1958 date by the Chico Hamilton Quintet featuring guitarist John Pisano, cellist Nate Gershman, bassist Hal Gaylor and drummer Hamilton. They play "In a Mellow Tone," "Azure," "I'm Beginning to See the Light" and other Ellington staples. ...

Capitol also will release Chet Baker Quartet Live, Vol. 1, which contains two live performances: one in L.A. in 1953 and the other in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1954. The L.A. set, featuring the tunes "All the Things You Are," "Maid in Mexico," "My Funny Valentine," "Isn't It Romantic?" and "This Time the Dream's on Me," has never been released. The other show, recorded in 1954 at the University of Michigan, was previously issued as the Pacific Jazz album Jazz at Ann Arbor. Baker's quartet consisted of pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Carson Smith and drummers Larry Bunker and Bob Neel. The Chico Hamilton and Baker CDs are produced by Michael Cuscuna. ...

Vocalist Dianne Reeves is among the list of performers and patrons the Los Angeles Jazz Society will honor at the 18th annual Tribute and Award Dinner on Sept. 10. The other honorees include saxophonist Teddy Edwards, drummer Lee Young, saxophonist Ann Patterson, drummer Kevin Kanner and former Abell Fine Pianos owner David L. Abell, for his longtime support of the Los Angeles Jazz community. ...

Violinist Regina Carter, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson and alto man Richie Cole will get the Jazzthere Festival in Oakland, Calif., off to a rip-roaring start July 28. The three-day affair also features sax man Teddy Edwards, piano thunderer McCoy Tyner and the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Grover Mitchell. Performances are at the Convention Center, except for some free shows that are at the City Center Stage. For more information, check the fest's Web site (www.oaklandjazzthere.org/schedule.html). ...

Todd Barkan, the irascible producer who ran the legendary San Francisco Keystone Korner club from 1972–83, has been named creative director of 32 Records, the repackaging specialist that has had huge success with its "Jazz for ..." series (Jazz for a Lazy Day, Jazz for the Open Road, Jazz for Those Peaceful Moments, etc.). Barkan lately has been producing CDs for Fantasy, Concord and other labels. ...

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard is the new artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance in Los Angeles. The institute is now part of the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. Blanchard, whose latest CD is Wandering Moon (Sony Classical), has lately been an in-demand film composer. He recently scored "Love & Basketball" and Spike Lee's next film, "Bamboozled." At the Monk Institute, a two-year scholarship program, Blanchard will oversee the Jazz Performance Ensemble and provide direction in other creative areas. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report