The tragic consequences of hurricane Katrina, which swept across the southern states of the USA, shook the whole country. Jazz musicians could not remain unaffected by this tragedy and the most serious damage was inflicted on the cradle of jazz, New Orleans. One of the many responses in aid of victims was a big charity concert on 17th September in the Frederick P Rose Hall on Broadway. Compered by Bill Cosby, the concert starred Wynton Marsalis, Peter Cincotti, Elvis Costello, Paquito D'Rivera, Abbey Lincoln, Diana Krall, Jon Hendricks and other famous musicians.

The Art Director of the "Jazz at Lincoln Centre" in New Orleans, Wynton Marsalis, who is himself from the city, issued this statement: "New Orleans is a unique city in America. It is the only city in the world which, in the culture of its music, architecture and festivals stood out from all others. The people of New Orleans are rooted in jazz music; we will endure because we are sure of our native city's revival. The true sympathy we have received at this difficult time demonstrates the advanced nature of our civilization. Let's show to the world the values which have made America the strongest nation on earth. We are not talking about weapons, pornography or people living in luxury. We are talking about how, in recent years, we began to lose our transcendental spiritual qualities; but this tragedy gives us the chance to reclaim them."

One of the world's great virtuoso guitarists, Al di Meola, is continuing his explorations at the borders of jazz and ethnic music

Some months after the release of his successful album with Russian Leonid Aqutin (which reached the top of the charts in Germany) he turned to the historical music of his native Italy.
This time he worked with Sardinian singer Andrea Parodi, former leader of the ethno-pop group 'Tazenda'; Parodi sings in Italian and also in the Sardinian dialect. Their collaboration goes back two years when both musicians played at a gala concert. Di Meola and Parodi first played together in August 2004 in the Sardinian city Santa Maria Navarres at the 'Rocce Rosse Blues 2004' festival when they performed the "Armentos" project. They took this project to festivals in Italy and also to Miskolc in Hungary. The debut concert was released as the album "Midsummer Night in Sardinia" announced the arrival of a new creative partnership.

Shahin Novrasly plays concerts in the USA

Summer in the USA is a season of holidays and numerous jazz festivals. Every year musicians from all parts of the planet descend on Minnesota (USA) for the 'Hot Summer Jazz Festival'. Young pianist Shahin Novrasly has already represented our country there twice; Shahin and the organizers get on so well that his presence there is becoming a habit and his name features on the festival's website as an honoured guest. Novrasly presented his own new compositions to the American audience this year.
Following the festival his trio went to New York and played a concert at the 'Sweet Rhythms' club. A recording of the concert will be released as the trio's third album. A similar project took place in the capital of Russia and was recently released as the album, "Live Concert in Moscow". Shahin said he prefers to record live concerts in the raw rather than refining them, because you can hear eg the audience's applause and other responses to the music.

Pierre Richard's Paris Jazz Sextet and Jazz Stars of Russia.

Pierre Richard's acting and his love of wine are well known, but he has other interests and talents too: we are referring here to music, to be exact, jazz music. On September 23rd and 24th in Moscow's Kutuzov Hall Club, Pierre Richard's Jazz Sextet and Jazz Stars of Russia played concerts. The first part of this extraordinary concert featured Richard's two sons, Olivier and Christophe, in the sextet playing the music of Charles Trene, Yves Montand, Joe Dassin, Serge Gainsborough and Michel Legrand. On the second day the local jazz musicians playing with their French colleagues included Igor Brill, his saxophonist sons Alexander and Dimitry and guitarist Roman Miroshnichenko.

From 6-9 October the festival 'Vilnius Jazz 2005' took place in Lithuania

The festival opened with a presentation of a joint project by the popular Lithuanian jazz group 'Dainius Pulauskas Sextet' and the Lithuanian State Symphonic Orchestra. The following day, 7 October, the Norwegian vocalist Eldbjorg Raknes, Japanese saxophonist Kazutoki Umezu and Hiviya Katan, the guitar-vocalist duet all played. On 8 October a performance by a French/Lithuanian duet displayed the benefits of creative cooperation, featuring the young but already popular and critically accepted Lithuanian Saxophonist Liudas Mockunas and French guitarist Marc Ducre. The latter's own trio played on the following day.

Fats Domino saved in New Orleans

The celebrated Rhythm and Blues pianist, 77 year old Fats Domino, was saved by his own daughter after hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the city of his birth. One of his eight children, his daughter succeeded in getting him into a boat and to a place of safety.
Fats Domino released his first record 'The Fat Man' as long ago as 1949. In 1950 it was an R'n'B chart success and in 1953 sales went gold. Between 1949 and the 1960s tens of millions of his records were sold; some featured band leader Dave Bartholomew. Fats' music was also heard in films like, "Shake Rattle and Roll", "The Big Beat" "Jamboree" and others. He played the most prestigious concert halls of the USA.

Herbie Hancock presented his new album, 'Possibilities' to an audience

With the help of friends like Annie Lennox, Carlos Santana, Sting, Joss Stone and others he plays cover versions. Hancock stated the purpose of the album was to demonstrate the infinite possibilities of creativity. To confirm this theory, Hancock brought together Latin American guitarist Santana with African vocalist Angelique Kidjo (on the track 'Safiatou'), British soul singer Joss Stone and American Blues wunderkind Jonny Lang (on U2's 'When Love Comes to Town') and he asked Paul Simon to re-work his 1975 hit 'I Do It For Your Love' and persuaded Sting to come up with a jazz version of his 1987 track 'Sister Moon'. The result was ten fresh compositions, entirely different from the original songs. Hancock compares his album 'Possibilities' to a tapestry of multi-coloured threads.