Tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin got his start at age 12, when he began playing in his vibraphonist father's band in Santa Cruz, Calif. That group played the Monterey Jazz Festival for three years. In 1984, McCaslin took a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston; while there, he performed regularly in the area with Ken Schaphorst's True Colors Big Band.
Guatemalan author Eduardo Halfon is this week's Alt.latino guest DJ, and he's a natural choice; his new book, The Polish Boxer, is a series of semi-autobiographical stories woven through with loving references to jazz and classical music.
Alt.latino host Jasmine Garsd had this to say about The Polish Boxer:
It's fun to stay at the ИМКА: Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring triggered an uproar at its world premiere in Paris a century ago. Now we're asking you to help celebrate the centennial by creating a dance of your own.
The band Sexmob specializes in a distinct strain of deconstructionist improvised music: jazz that aims at fun by bouncing off the walls. The quartet has tackled James Bond music, rock covers, Duke Ellington, the Macarena and exotica, plus originals from leader Steven Bernstein.
Sometimes all you need for a banging dance track is an unstoppable rhythm and a nuanced hook. Tweak the hook every couple bars, don't mess with the beat too much, and you've got a potential stomper on your hands.
Eddie Palmieri has been a force for Latin jazz since the 1950s, when he hosted the legendary mambo shows at New York's Palladium Ballroom. His groups, including the renowned La Perfecta, revolutionized Latin music in the 1960s and '70s. His records number more than 30 as a leader, and he's won nine Grammy Awards. At 76, Palmieri is still a foremost ambassador for the music he loves.
Calvin Cooke, Aubrey Ghent and brothers Darrick and Chuck Campbell are The Slide Brothers. The band's self-titled album debut album was produced by Robert Randolph, the spectacular young pedal-steel guitarist who became the first player from the Sacred Steel tradition to break out to a wider audience.
On this installment of World Café, the band plays three songs from its album and tells host David Dye about the difference between performing for the congregation at Church of the Living God and playing on club and concert stages.