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The 2013 Detroit International Jazz Festival

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

We’ve heard of Detroit’s decline, of its bankruptcy debacle, and of those who are yet still optimistic. Even with all of those feature stories, photographs, and blog posts, there’s something that eludes you; it eludes you until the moment you set foot in the city. And then you feel it. It hits like a ton of bricks. And there’s really no better way to express whatever it is than through the music that put America on the international stage of art and culture, the music Detroit has so prolifically contributed to.

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Matt Ulery's Loom on the East Coast This Week

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

I caught up with with Chicago bassist and composer Matt Ulery in one of my favorite Logan Square cafes before he leaves for the East Coast this week. He has enjoyed quite a bit of success of late partially resulting from his most recent album Wake an Echo and the one before By a Little Light, both released on Greenleaf Records.

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For Your Consideration: Ryan Cohan's 'The River'

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

As humans, we sometimes want to pigeonhole people into one category or another. This is something I’ve spent time talking to Ryan Cohan about, and he always mentions the ebb and flow of being an active performer and composer. Both are always a part of him with some months being heavy on playing and others heavy on composing. While Cohan is certainly the composer behind The River, his facility on piano as both soloist and accompanist becomes immediately apparent.

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Who is @JazzIsTheWorst?

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

@JazzIsTheWorst might be the killingest jazz-related thing on the internet since jazz robots. It’s so killing, in fact, it has garnered followers such as Christian McBride, Nate Smith, and NPR’s A Blog Supreme.

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Justefan's 'The Prelude' EP

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

I got a chance to sit down with Justin “Justefan” Thomas the other day before his performance with Orbert Davis at the Symphony Center here in Chicago. The Baltimore native talked a bit about his choice in instrument. When he was eight, he walked into the music room and saw a xylophone sitting on two garbage cans, the perfect height for a kid. “Right from the beginning, I knew it was the instrument I wanted to play. It was like a piano you could hit!”