2013 has ended on a decidedly happy note for one homeless man in Oakland, California. Marcus Malone was a conga player for Carlos Santana in the late '60s. He landed in legal trouble and disappeared from the music scene. Then a TV reporter doing a story on illegal dumping met Malone rummaging through trash. Santana saw the report and earlier this month, the two former band mates were reunited.
Marcus Roberts was a very young, very gifted pianist back in 1985, when Wynton Marsalis tapped him to join his band.
Six years later, Roberts went off to lead his own combo — and to write both jazz and classical music. And he taught. And he toured. And he recorded.
In fact, Marcus Roberts just released three new albums. One of them is a 12-part jazz suite. The other two take him back to the beginning: They're his first collaborations with Wynton Marsalis in 20 years.
Three hundred sixty-five. That's the number of days the Minnesota Orchestra will have gone without playing in its concert hall in 2013. The orchestra became the unwitting poster child for labor strife in the classical music world — and, to some extent, an emblem of the problems facing non-profit arts institutions across the country.
WDIY 88.1 FM "Galactic Travels" Top 20 for December, 2013. Shows #870 to #873; 5-December-2013 to 26-December-2013 Reported in non-ranked, alphanumeric order. Compiled by Bill Fox The Special Focus for December was Matt Borghi.