Gregory Porter: influenced by Nat King Cole, Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway. Photograph: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

I’m apologising to Gregory Porter, trying to convince him that it’s not my usual form to ask musicians about what they are wearing. But Porter is dif(...)

Ibrahim on apartheid: “We understood that the struggle was for our own humanity”

Getting an answer from Abdullah Ibrahim is like drawing water from a deep well. Most experienced musicians will have their patter down, and will – ha(...)

Jay Sharp and Bazza Ranks aka Dirty Dubsters: “Our styles complement each other in a way that fell into place quickly”

Bazza Ranks and Jay Sharp are raising Ireland’s profile in a most unlikely field: reggae. As Dirty Dubsters, they record and perform with a network(...)

Tigran Hamasayan: “The tour was our way of saying that this music is still alive in Armenia and we’re bringing it back to its origins. People have been waiting for me to play in Turkey for a long time”

God, it is said, works in mysterious ways. Tigran Hamasayan certainly thinks so. In October last year, during the recording of the pianist’s latest(...)

Bitches’ crew: Snarky Puppy play more than 200 shows a year; tongues still wag about the band’s storming performance at the Sugar Club in 2014

Snarky Puppy are a jazz group. But looking at their YouTube hits, their string of best-selling albums and their shelf-load of industry awards, you’(...)

Bob Marley: his popularity spread the Rasta  gospel. Photograph: Peter Still/Redferns

Music and religion have long made for a potent mix. In the case of reggae and the Rastafari religion, the links go deep, as a new compilation from (...)

Mel Mercier: ‘A wonderful thing about gamelan music is it’s quintessential ensemble music’

The gamelan, a collection of traditional Javanese percussive instruments, has been skirting the periphery of our musical landscape for more than tw(...)

Singer Ben E King  backstage at the 11th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada in this November 11th, 2010 file photo. The R&B singer died at the age of 76 according to news reports May 1, 2015. File photograph: Steve Marcus/Reuters

Soul and R&B singer Ben E King, famous for his 1960s hit Stand By Me, has died aged 76, according to his agent.The soul singer first found fame wi(...)

Ambrose Akinmusire: chose the trumpet in the school band ‘because it had three buttons and I thought it would be easy’

Words are not always a jazz musician’s best friend, but they clearly mean a lot to Ambrose Akinmusire. The titles of his compositions – Confessions(...)

Kenneth Killeen: ‘In the case of Whiplash, which reinforces the stereotypical view of jazz, that’s not good’

In the ever-bulging calendar of festivals offering musical gratification, a unique programme is likely to grab the attention. So you would imagine (...)