Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hancock to be feted at regenerated NYC jazz festival

Feb. 27, 2010, 4:16 AM EST

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jazz legend Herbie Hancock will be feted at a belated 70th birthday bash at Carnegie Hall that will highlight the revival of a major summer jazz festival in the Big Apple.

The pianist, who turns 70 on April 12, will be joined by comedian Bill Cosby, saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, Hancock"s bandmate in Miles Davis" famed 1960s quintet, with more guests to be announced. The June 24 concert, "Herbie Hancock, Seven Decades: The Birthday Celebration," will benefit The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

"That will be a very exciting night — perhaps one of the unique nights in the history of the festival with a lot of people coming just to salute Herbie," the festival"s producer, George Wein, said Friday.

The concert will be followed by a festival first — an old-time midnight jam session paying tribute to Hancock — at the City Winery nightclub.

After lining up new sponsorship from medical technology company, CareFusion Corp., Wein has resurrected New York"s flagship summer jazz festival, which he first launched in 1972. The festival was canceled last year after Japanese electronics firm JVC withdrew its sponsorship.

Wein, who founded the first outdoor jazz festival in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1954, had envisioned retiring when he sold his company, Festival Productions, in 2007. But the new owners ran into financial difficulties, and Wein formed a new company last year to save the Newport and New York festivals.

The CareFusion Jazz Festival will make its debut from June 17 to 26 with some 45 concerts at 20 venues, including concert halls, parks, museums and libraries in four boroughs.

Carnegie Hall will be the site of three other high-profile concerts featuring trumpeter Chris Botti, Brazilian bossa nova maestro Joao Gilberto, and the trio of pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette.

There will also be several free outdoor concerts, with Latin jazz star Eddie Palmieri performing in a Bronx park and pianist McCoy Tyner"s quartet and the Stanley Clarke Band with Japanese pianist Hiromi playing at Central Park"s SummerStage.

But otherwise, Wein says that this year"s festival will take a new youth-friendly approach highlighting up-and-coming musicians like Darcy James Argue"s Secret Society, the quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing, and the jazz-hip-hop collective Revive da Live, including rapper Talib Kweli.

"We feel the future of jazz relates to the young people that are playing now," said the 84-year-old Wein. "Jazz is not a dying situation — it"s more alive than ever because there are more people playing the music than ever before."

To that end, Wein has teamed with a new generation of music presenters at venues in downtown Manhattan, Harlem and Brooklyn. The festival is paying the musicians and letting the clubs collect the gate, asking only that ticket prices be kept at a recession-friendly $15 for most events.

"It"s helping the clubs and the musicians," said Wein. "Its our own stimulus program."


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A400M bailout greeting churned on eve of EADS loss

Matthias Blamont PARIS Mon Mar 8, 2010 5:27am EST Stocks & &

PARIS (Reuters) - Investor jitters over the health of underlying EADS (EAD.PA) earnings due out on Tuesday took the shine off a long-awaited international deal to refinance the delayed Airbus A400M military transport plane, analysts said.


Shares in Airbus parent EADS rose 0.7 percent before slipping into negative territory to trade 1.25 percent lower at 15.75 euros at 1015 GMT, lagging the rest of the market.

The builder of Europe"s over-budget military transporter said on Friday it would report a 2009 loss as it clinched a 3.5 billion euro ($4.79 billion) bailout deal with buyer nations.

The deal aims to preserve 10,000 jobs but will leave the Airbus parent taking 1.8 billion euros in fresh provisions for its share of the cost hemorrhage, according to a statement.

The charge was seen at the lower end of market expectations, but investors fretted after EADS said it would push the firm into the red at both operating and net income level for 2009.

In November EADS had predicted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 2 billion euros excluding any such one-offs.

"It is positive that EADS has finally reached an agreement. The additional provisions of 1.8 billion euros are around 200 million euros less than we had anticipated," said Markus Turnwald, analyst at DZ Bank in Frankfurt.

"Nevertheless the underlying business seems to be running worse than expected. EADS has guided (for a pre-exceptional) EBIT ... of 2 billion euros. Now EADS expects the EBIT to be negative including the additional provisions of 1.8 billion."

Analysts said EADS also faces potential charges against high production costs on its largest civil project, the Airbus A380 superjumbo. The company said in November that A380 costs were higher than expected and the financial impact was under review.

EADS also said future A400M cash flow -- a key issue for company analysts -- must be negotiated, but said all parties hoped to "mitigate negative cash impacts" as far as possible.

An audit commissioned by buyer nations, a draft of which was obtained by Reuters in January, expressed concern over the EADS cash position in 2013 in the absence of a deal.

Rating agency Moody"s said the A400M agreement announced on Friday would have no impact on its A1 credit rating, however.

Sources close to the talks said the company was also still pushing to renegotiate a key inflation-adjustment clause.

Analysts polled by Reuters before the A400M deal was finalized expected a 2009 operating loss before one-offs of 694 million euros, down from 2.83 billion euros in 2008. They predicted a net loss of 43 million euros.

In January, EADS said it expected a drop of some 4 percent in group sales to 41.7 billion euros.

U.S. rival Boeing (BA.N), whose profits for 2009 topped market forecasts said last month it was seeing an improvement in demand for jetliners.

(Additional reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Sharon Lindores)

($1=.7307 Euro)