All posts by Ethan Minovitz

About Ethan Minovitz

A longtime contributor top BCDB, Ethan has become our resident research expert. Turned loose inside a database, there is nothing Ethan cannot find. Resident of the Great Northwest, Ethan is fiercely proud of his native Canada. Ethan is a professional researcher in his real life in Vancouver, BC. Ethan would love to hear from you- send a note here.

Rise of the Guardians Wins at Satellite Awards

Rise Of The Guardians

Rise Of The Guardians

Dream­works Animation’s “Rise Of The Guardians” was named Best Motion Pic­ture, Ani­mated or Mixed Media at the Satel­lite Awards, held Sun­day night by the Inter­na­tional Press Acad­emy at the Inter­con­ti­nen­tal Hotel in Bev­erly Hills.

Other nom­i­nees in the cat­e­gory were DWA’s Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, Brave (Disney*Pixar), Ice Age 4: Con­ti­nen­tal Drift (20th Cen­tury Fox Ani­ma­tion), Wreck-it Ralph (Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios) and Franken­wee­nie (Walt Dis­ney Pictures).

Two tunes from ani­mated films had been nom­i­nated for Best Orig­i­nal Song: “Learn Me Right,” per­formed by Birdy and writ­ten by Birdy & Mum­ford And Sons, from Brave, and “Love Always Comes As A Sur­prise,” per­formed by Peter Asher and writ­ten by Peter Asher and Dave Stew­art, from Mada­gas­car 3. How­ever, they lost to “Sud­denly,” per­formed by Hugh Jack­man and writ­ten by Claude-Michel Schön­berg, Alain Boubil and Her­bert Kret­zmer, from the live-action Les Misérables.

The David O. Rus­sell com­edy Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book won five awards, includ­ing Best Motion Picture.

DWA’s Rise of the Guardians Surpasses $100M Abroad

Rise Of The Guardians

Rise Of The Guardians

Rise of the Guardians” went past the $100 mil­lion bench­mark at the for­eign box office over the weekend.

A dis­tant sec­ond at the movies, the Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion movie made $20.1 mil­lion in its fifth over­seas week­end over­seas from 7,400 venues in 59 coun­tries. The total for­eign gross now stands at $119.4 million.

Dis­trib­uted by Para­mount, Rise of the Guardians opened in sec­ond place in Aus­tralia, col­lect­ing $3.7 mil­lion from 259 locations.

Bud­geted at $145 mil­lion, the ani­mated fan­tasy fea­tures the voices of Alec Bald­win and Hugh Jack­man. This week, it’s open­ing in India.

As in North Amer­ica, the live-action The Hob­bit: An Unex­pected Jour­ney topped the for­eign box office. It made $138.2 mil­lion at 18,200 screens in 56 countries.

Mean­while, the Dis­ney 3D fam­ily ani­mated film Wreck-It Ralph brought in $4.7 mil­lion in its sev­enth week in 29 coun­tries. It’s made $57.7 mil­lion in for­eign coun­tries so far. Strong North Amer­i­can results mean a world­wide total of $226.5 million.

Sony Animation’s hor­ror com­edy Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia, grossed $1.9 mil­lion at 1,755 screens in 50 over­seas coun­tries. Its total for­eign gross has reached $162 million.

Fox Animation Working On del Toro’s Book Of Life

Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro

Fox Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios is join­ing pro­ducer Guillermo del Toro and Reel FX to work on the adven­ture movie Book of Life, to be released on Octo­ber 10, 2014.

The movie was orig­i­nally named Day of the Dead after the Mex­i­can hol­i­day. How­ever, Pixar is work­ing on a film by that title.

Mex­i­can animator-director Jorge R. Gui­ter­rez is direct­ing Book of Life. He and Reel FX approached del Toro with the project.

Guiterrez’s works include Nickelodeon’s award-winning ani­mated TV series El Tigre: The Adven­tures of Manny Rivera.

Del Toro and Fox are not reveal­ing the exact sto­ry­line of Book of Life.

The Croods Coming Out of Cave at Berlin Festival

The Croods

The Croods

Dream­Works Animation’s pre­his­toric comedy-adventure movie The Croods will have its world pre­miere at the 63rd Berlin Inter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, it was revealed Thursday.

Directed by Kirk De Micco (Space Chimps) and Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon), and with the voices of Nico­las Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds, the 3D movie will be screened out of competition.

Also known as the Berli­nale, the fes­ti­val runs from Feb­ru­ary 7 to 17 next year. The Croods is sched­uled for gen­eral release March 22. Co-produced by Nick­elodeon Movies and Para­mount Pic­tures along with DWA, it will be dis­trib­uted by 20th Cen­tury Fox.

The Croods takes us back to a pre­vi­ously undis­cov­ered era in the his­tory of our planet known as the Crooda­ceous, when nature was still a work-in-progress… full of never-before-seen crea­tures and landscapes.

An old school cave­man must lead his fam­ily across a volatile pre­his­toric land­scape in search of a new home. The out­sized flora and fauna are chal­lenge enough, but the real com­pli­ca­tion arises when the fam­ily is joined by an alarm­ingly mod­ern cave­man whose search for “tomor­row” is at odds with our hero’s reliance on the tra­di­tions of yes­ter­day. The imag­i­na­tive and resource­ful new­comer helps the Croods nav­i­gate their way through the fan­tas­tic world beyond their cave.

This marks Sanders’ first work as a solo direc­tor for Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion. He had amassed a list of ani­ma­tion film cred­its for rival Disney.

Dream­Works first announced the movie — then titled Crood Awak­en­ing — in 2005 with British stu­dio Aard­man Ani­ma­tions, which had a five-picture agree­ment with Dream­Works at the time. Three films were made together. Finan­cial results proved dis­ap­point­ing, so Dream­Works and Aard­man parted ways in late Jan­u­ary 2007.

Combustible Heats up Japan Media Arts Festival

Hi No Yojin (Combustible)

Hi No Yojin (Combustible)

Kat­suhiro Ohiro’s short film  Hi No Yôjin (Com­bustible) has won the Grand Prize in the Ani­ma­tion Divi­sion of the 16th Japan Media Arts Fes­ti­val, orga­niz­ers announced Thursday.

Set in mid-18th cen­tury Edo (the old name for Tokyo), Com­bustible cen­ters on Owaka, a merchant’s daugh­ter, and her child­hood friend Mat­suyoshi. Though the two are attracted to each other, Matsuyoshi’s fam­ily has dis­owned him, forc­ing him to make a liv­ing as a fire­man. But just as their rela­tion­ship is start­ing to bloom, Owaka’s fam­ily begins to move for­ward with plans to find her a hus­band. Unable to for­get Mat­suyoshi, in a fit of crazed pas­sion, Owaka causes a huge fire to break out, burn­ing down the town. The two lovers hap­pen to cross paths again in the midst of this blaze.

The back­drop for this spec­ta­cle is one of the great fires that fre­quently occurred in the metrop­o­lis of Edo. Using tra­di­tional Nihonga (Japanese-style) paint­ings as a motif for the ani­mated images, the work metic­u­lously recre­ates the man­ners, imple­ments, and lifestyle of Toky­oites some 300 years ago. In addi­tion, by com­bin­ing hand-drawn ani­ma­tion with 3D com­puter graph­ics, the cre­ators have sought to develop an inno­v­a­tive form of expres­sion through mov­ing images.

Excel­lence Awards were given to the ani­mated fea­ture films Asura (George Akiyama and Kei­ichi Sato; Asura Film Part­ners), The Life of Budori Gusuko (Gis­aburo Sugii; The Movie Com­mit­tee) and Wolf Chil­dren (Mamoru Hosoda; “Wolf Chil­dren” Film Part­ners), as well as the short film The Great Rab­bit (Atsushi Wada; Sacre­bleu Productions/CaRTe bLaNChe).

New Face Awards were given to the short film Futon (Yoriko Mizushiri), the TV ani­ma­tion Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Sayo Yamamoto; Mon­key Punch/TMS Enter­tain­ment Co., Ltd. and the Bel­gian short Oh Willy… (Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels).

The fol­low­ing were jury selec­tions in the Ani­ma­tion Divi­sion. All are from Japan unless oth­er­wise specified:

Fea­ture films: After­school Mid­nighters (Hitoshi Takekiyo), Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Dol­drey War (Toshiyuki Kubooka), Friends Naki on Mon­ster Island (Ryuichi Yagi and Takashi Yamazaki), FUSE –Mem­oirs of the Hunter Girl (Masayuki Miyaji), Rain­bow Fire­flies (Kono­suke Uda)

Short films: await­ing (Hakhyun Kim; South Korea), crazy for it (Yutaro Kubo), Deposit of Sen­ti­ment (Saori Suzuki), Grain Coupon (Xi Chen; China), Har­bor Tale (Yuichi Ito), I am alone, walk­ing on the straightroad (Masanori Okamoto), I’m also a bear (Tsu­neo Goda), KiyaKiya (Akino Kon­doh), Love Games (Yumi Yound; South Korea), My socks (Ikuo Kato), New Tokyo Ondo (Mis­aki Uwabo), No Rain No Rain­bow (Osamu Sakai), Nyosha (Liran Kapel and Yael Dekel; Israel), Pos­ses­sions (Shuhei Morita), Recruit Rhap­sody (Maho Yoshida), Sun­set Flower Bloom­ing (Yuanyuan Hu; China), The Saku­ramoto broom work­shop (Aya Tsug­e­hata), The Sar­dine Tin (Louise-Marie Colon; Bel­gium), Yon­alure: Moment to Moment (Ayaka Nakata and Yuki Sak­i­tani), 108 prayer beads (Han Han Li; China)

TV ani­ma­tions: Care­free Fairies (gdgd-partners), Kids On the Slope (Shinichiro Watan­abe), tsuri­tama (tsuri­tama partners)

The Japan Media Arts Fes­ti­val hon­ors works of excel­lence in a diverse range of media — from ani­ma­tion and
manga to games and media art. This year, a record num­ber of 3,503 works were sub­mit­ted for the fes­ti­val, includ­ing 1,502 works from 71 coun­tries and regions around the world. More appli­ca­tions had been sub­mit­ted for this, the 16th fes­ti­val, than in any year since its incep­tion in 1997.

The Exhi­bi­tion of Award-Winning Works will be held from Feb­ru­ary 13 to 24 at the National Art Cen­ter in Tokyo and other venues.

Sitar Maestro, Composer Ravi Shankar Dead at 92

RAVI SHANKAR

RAVI SHANKAR

Leg­endary sitarist and com­poser Ravi Shankar died at 4:30 p.m. Tues­day at Scripps Memo­r­ial Hos­pi­tal in La Jolla, Cal­i­for­nia, the Ravi Shankar Foun­da­tion announced. He was 92.

Over the past year, Shankar had suf­fered from upper-respiratory and heart prob­lems. He was hos­pi­tal­ized last Thurs­day after com­plain­ing of breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties. Although heart-valve replace­ment surgery was suc­cess­ful, recov­ery proved too dif­fi­cult for him, the foun­da­tion said.

Years before the Bea­t­les made him famous, Shankar helped pro­vide impro­vised music for the partly ani­mated 1957 National Film Board of Canada short A Chairy Tale, a fairy tale in the mod­ern man­ner, told with­out words by film artist Nor­man McLaren. In the film, a chair (ani­mated by Eve­lyn Lam­bart) that declines to be sat upon and a young man per­form a sort of pas de deux. A strug­gle ensues, first for mas­tery and then for understanding.

The short film was com­pletely edited before sound of the ani­ma­tion was con­sid­ered,” said Karin Gunn of the Teach Ani­ma­tion site. “At that time, the dis­tin­guished composer-performer sitarist, Ravi Shankar, had come to Mon­treal. After being invited to view the silent film, he expressed a keen inter­est in com­pos­ing the music.”

A Chairy Tale was nom­i­nated for an Oscar for Best Short Sub­ject, Live Action Sub­jects. It won the Cana­dian Film Award for Best Arts and Exper­i­men­tal, and a Spe­cial Award at the BAFTA Awards.

Shankar was India’s most esteemed musi­cal ambas­sador, and a sin­gu­lar phe­nom­e­non in the clas­si­cal music worlds of East and West. As a per­former, com­poser, teacher and writer, he did more for Indian music than any other musician.

He was well-known for his pio­neer­ing work in bring­ing Indian music to the West. This, how­ever, he did only after long years of ded­i­cated study under his illus­tri­ous guru, Baba Allaudin Khan, and after mak­ing a name for him­self in India.

Always ahead of his time, Shankar wrote three con­cer­tos for sitar and orches­tra, the last in 2008. He also authored violin-sitar com­po­si­tions for Yehudi Menuhin and him­self, music for flute vir­tu­oso Jean Pierre Ram­pal, music for shakuhachi mas­ter Hosan Yamamoto and koto vir­tu­oso Musumi Miyashi-ta, and col­lab­o­rated with Phillip Glass (Passages).

For­mer Bea­tle George Har­ri­son pro­duced and par­tic­i­pated in two record albums, Shankar Fam­ily & Friends and Fes­ti­val of India, both com­posed by Ravi Shankar.

Shankar also com­posed for bal­lets and films in India, Canada, Europe and the United States — the last includ­ing the movies Charly, Gandhi and the Apu Trilogy.

In the period of the awak­en­ing of the younger gen­er­a­tion in the mid-1960s, Shankar gave three mem­o­rable con­certs: the Mon­terey Pop Fes­ti­val, the Con­cert for Bangla Desh and the Wood­stock Festival.

An hon­orary mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Arts and Let­ters, Shankar was a mem­ber of the United Nations Inter­na­tional Ros­trum of com­posers. He received many awards and hon­ors from his own coun­try and from around the world, includ­ing 14 doc­tor­ates, the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vib­hushan, Desikot­tam, Padma Bhushan of 1967, the Music Coun­cil UNESCO award 1975, the Magsaysay Award from Manila, two Gram­mys, the Fukuoka grand Prize from Japan, the Polar Music Prize of 1998 and the Crys­tal award from Davos.

In 1986, he was nom­i­nated as a mem­ber of the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper house of Parliament.

Deeply moved by the plight of more than eight mil­lion refugees who came to India dur­ing the Bangla Desh Free­dom strug­gle from Pak­istan, Shankar wanted to help in any way he could. He planned to arrange a con­cert to col­lect money for the refugees.

He approached his dear friend, Har­ri­son, to help him raise money for this cause. This human­i­tar­ian con­cern from Shankar sowed the seed of the con­cept for the Con­cert for Bangla Desh. With Harrison’s help, this con­cert became the first mag­nus effort in fundrais­ing, paving the way for many oth­ers to do char­ity concerts.

His record­ing Tana Mana, released on the pri­vate Music label in 1987, brought Shankar’s music into the “New Age” with its unique method of com­bin­ing tra­di­tional instru­ments with electronics.

In 1989, he cel­e­brated his 50th year of con­cer­tiz­ing, and the Birm­ing­ham Tour­ing Opera Com­pany com­mis­sioned him to do a Music The­atre (Ghanashyam — a bro­ken branch), which cre­ated his­tory on the British arts scene.

He was born Robindra Shankar on April 7, 1920 in Varanasi, India, and was the youngest of four brothers,

Ravi Shankar has brought me a pre­cious gift, and through him, I have added a new dimen­sion to my expe­ri­ence of music. To me, his genius and his human­ity can only be com­pared to that of Mozart’s,” Menuhin reflected.

Har­ri­son once said: “Ravi Shankar is the God­fa­ther of World Music.”

Ravi Shankar is sur­vived by wife Sukanya, daugh­ter Norah Jones, daugh­ter Anoushka Shankar Wright and hus­band Joe Wright, and three grand­chil­dren and four great-grandchildren.

Take Five Jazz Great Dave Brubeck Dead at 91

Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck

Jazz pianist-composer Dave Brubeck, whose record­ing of “Take Five” sold over a mil­lion copies in 1960, died Wednes­day of heart fail­ure at Nor­walk Hos­pi­tal in Nor­walk, Con­necti­cut, near his home in Wilton, Con­necti­cut. He would have turned 92 on Thursday.

Brubeck was on his way to an appoint­ment with his car­di­ol­o­gist when he was stricken Wednes­day morn­ing, said long­time manager-producer-conductor Rus­sell Gloyd.

His “Take Five” was heard on the sound­track of the 1973 Ralph Bak­shi adult car­toon movie Heavy Traf­fic. As well, he com­posed for — and per­formed with his ensem­ble on — “The NASA Space Sta­tion,” a 1988 episode of the CBS TV series This Is Amer­ica, Char­lie Brown.

David War­ren Brubeck was born in Con­cord, Cal­i­for­nia on Decem­ber 6, 1920.

Des­ig­nated a “Liv­ing Leg­end” by the Library of Con­gress, he con­tin­ued to be one of the most active and pop­u­lar musi­cians in the world up until his death. In a career that has spanned more than six decades, his exper­i­ments with odd time sig­na­tures, impro­vised coun­ter­point, and dis­tinc­tive har­monies remain hall­marks of a unique musi­cal style unfazed by fad and fashion.

Born into a musi­cal fam­ily — his two older broth­ers were pro­fes­sional musi­cians — at age four he began piano lessons from his mother, a clas­si­cal pianist. When his fam­ily moved to a 45,000 acre cat­tle ranch in the foothills of the Sier­ras, his life changed dra­mat­i­cally. He stopped music lessons and began to work with his father as a cow­boy. On week­ends, he played piano with a local dance band.

He entered the Col­lege of the Pacific in Stock­ton, Cal­i­for­nia as a pre-med stu­dent with the idea of becom­ing a vet­eri­nar­ian and return­ing to ranch life. Work­ing his way through school as a pianist in local clubs, he became increas­ingly involved in jazz, and decided to switch his major to music.

After grad­u­at­ing with a bach­e­lor of music degree in 1942, he mar­ried Iola Whit­lock, who was a fel­low stu­dent at Pacific, and enlisted in the Army. While serv­ing in Europe under Gen­eral Pat­ton, he led an inte­grated GI jazz band. After his dis­charge in 1946, he began his stud­ies at Mills Col­lege with French com­poser, Dar­ius Mil­haud, who encour­aged him to intro­duce jazz ele­ments into his clas­si­cal com­po­si­tions. This exper­i­men­ta­tion of mixed gen­res led to the for­ma­tion of the Dave Brubeck Octet that included Paul Desmond, Cal Tjader and Bill Smith. In 1949, Brubeck formed an award-winning trio with Cal Tjader and Ron Crotty, and in 1951 estab­lished the Dave Brubeck Quar­tet with alto sax­o­phon­ist Paul Desmond. This his­toric col­lab­o­ra­tion lasted sev­en­teen years, and even after the dis­so­lu­tion of the “clas­sic” Quar­tet, Brubeck and Desmond fre­quently per­formed together.

The Quartet’s record­ings and con­cert appear­ances on col­lege cam­puses in the 1950s intro­duced their indi­vid­ual style to thou­sands of stu­dents, many of whom became life­long “fans.” Their audi­ences were not lim­ited to cam­puses, how­ever. The Dave Brubeck Quar­tet with Paul Desmond played in jazz clubs in major cities and toured in pack­age shows with such jazz artists as Duke Elling­ton, Ella Fitzger­ald, Char­lie Parker, Dizzy Gille­spie, Stan Getz and Gerry Mul­li­gan. They repeat­edly won top hon­ors in trade mag­a­zine critic’s and reader’s polls, includ­ing the Black news­pa­per The Pitts­burgh Courier.

In 1954, Time mag­a­zine ran a cover story about Brubeck’s remark­able ascen­dancy in the jazz world. Also in 1954, the Dave Brubeck Quar­tet “break­through” album, Jazz at Ober­lin, made the charts in Bill­board. In 2005, his CD Lon­don Flat, Lon­don Sharp was also charted by Bill­board, mak­ing Brubeck the artist who appeared on Bill­board charts over the longest period of time.

In 1958, the Quar­tet per­formed in Europe for the first time and toured Poland and the Mid­dle East for the U.S. State Depart­ment. This led to the intro­duc­tion of music from other cul­tures into the Quartet’s reper­toire. Then, in 1959, the Dave Brubeck Quar­tet recorded an exper­i­ment in time sig­na­tures, Time Out. To everyone’s sur­prise, the album sold over a mil­lion copies, and Brubeck’s Blue Rondo a la Turk, based on a Turk­ish folk rhythm, and “Take Five,” com­posed by Paul Desmond, began to appear on juke­boxes through­out the world.

In 1959, Brubeck pre­miered and recorded his brother Howard’s Dia­logues for Jazz Combo and Orches­tra with the New York Phil­har­monic under Leonard Bern­stein. In 1960, he com­posed “Points on Jazz” for the Amer­i­can Bal­let The­atre, and in later decades com­posed for and per­formed with the Mur­ray Louis Dance Co. His musi­cal the­ater piece, The Real Ambas­sadors, star­ring Louis Arm­strong and Car­men McRae, was recorded in 1960 and per­formed to great acclaim at the 1962 Mon­terey Jazz Festival.

Early in his career, Brubeck wrote pri­mar­ily for the Quar­tet, and some of those pieces, such as “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke,” became part of stan­dard jazz reper­toire. His first orches­tral com­po­si­tion, “Ele­men­tals,” writ­ten for an impro­vis­ing jazz combo and sym­phony orches­tra, was pre­miered and recorded in 1962.

The “clas­sic” Dave Brubeck Quar­tet with Desmond, Eugene Wright (who joined in 1958) and Joe Morello (1956) was dis­solved in Decem­ber 1967; “The Light in the Wilder­ness,” the first of many works com­bin­ing clas­si­cal and impro­vised ele­ments, was pre­miered by the Cincin­nati Sym­phony Orches­tra in Feb­ru­ary 1968 by con­duc­tor Erich Kun­zel. Brubeck’s sec­ond major work, “The Gates of Jus­tice,” a can­tata based on the words of Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. and the Old Tes­ta­ment, was also pre­miered by Kun­zel in Cincin­nati in 1969.

Bari­tone sax­o­phon­ist Gerry Mul­li­gan joined a newly formed Dave Brubeck Trio (with Jack Six, bass and Alan Daw­son, drums) in 1968, and they recorded and toured the world together for seven years. In the mid-1970’s, Brubeck per­formed with three of his musi­cal sons, Dar­ius, Chris and Dan. He later led a quar­tet that fea­tured for­mer Octet mem­ber clar­inetist Bill Smith with son Chris on elec­tric bass and Randy Jones, drums. In 1988, this group, along with for­mer bassist Eugene Wright, had the honor of accom­pa­ny­ing Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan to Moscow to per­form at the Reagan-Gorbachev Sum­mit. Since the Quartet’s first appear­ance at a State Din­ner for King Hus­sein of Jor­dan, dur­ing the John­son admin­is­tra­tion, Brubeck per­formed at The White House on many spe­cial occasions.

Through the decades that fol­lowed the dis­so­lu­tion of the “clas­sic” quar­tet, Brubeck com­posed many fully notated com­po­si­tions. These include bal­let suites, a string quar­tet, cham­ber ensem­bles, pieces for solo and duo-piano, vio­lin solos, orches­tral works and large-scale works for cho­rus and orches­tra, most notably a mass, “To Hope! A Cel­e­bra­tion”, that has been per­formed through­out the Eng­lish speak­ing world, Ger­many, Rus­sia and Aus­tria. In 2002, Clas­si­cal Brubeck was recorded with the Lon­don Sym­phony Orches­tra and Lon­don Voices. The dou­ble CD includes his Easter ora­to­rio “Beloved Son,” “Pange Lin­gua Vari­a­tions,” his excit­ing Pen­te­cost ora­to­rio, “The Voice of the Holy Spirit,” and a com­po­si­tion for string orches­tra, “Regret,” all under the baton of Gloyd, who, since 1976, was asso­ci­ated with Brubeck as con­duc­tor, pro­ducer and man­ager. Through­out his career, Brubeck con­tin­ued to exper­i­ment with inter­weav­ing jazz and clas­si­cal music. He per­formed as composer-performer with most of the major orches­tras in the United States, and with pres­ti­gious choral groups and orches­tras in Europe and America.

While increas­ingly active as a com­poser, Brubeck remained a lead­ing fig­ure in the jazz main­stream, appear­ing at jazz fes­ti­vals (recently at New­port with Wyn­ton Marsalis), record­ing (for Telarc) and tour­ing inter­na­tion­ally with today’s ver­sion of the Dave Brubeck Quar­tet — Bobby Militello, sax and flute; Randy Jones, drums; and Michael Moore, bass.

Brubeck was a Duke Elling­ton Fel­low at Yale Uni­ver­sity and held numer­ous hon­orary degrees from Amer­i­can, Cana­dian, Eng­lish and Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties, includ­ing an Hon­orary Doc­tor­ate in Sacred The­ol­ogy from Fri­bourg Uni­ver­sity, Switzerland.

He received national and inter­na­tional recog­ni­tion, includ­ing the National Medal of the Arts pre­sented by Pres­i­dent Clin­ton, a Life­time Achieve­ment Award from National Acad­emy of Record­ing Arts and Sci­ences, the Smith­son­ian Medal, and a star on the Hol­ly­wood Walk of Fame. In 2000, the National Endow­ment for the Arts declared him a Jazz Mas­ter. His inter­na­tional hon­ors include Austria’s high­est award for the Arts, a cita­tion from the French gov­ern­ment, and the Boc­coni Medal from Italy.

Brubeck served as chair­man of The Brubeck Insti­tute, estab­lished in his honor by his alma mater, the Uni­ver­sity of the Pacific in Stockton.

Dave Brubeck is sur­vived by his wife Iola; four sons; daugh­ter Cather­ine Yagh­siz­ian; and sev­eral grand­chil­dren and great-grandchildren.

He was antic­i­pat­ing a 92nd birth­day con­cert. The per­for­mance in Water­bury, Con­necti­cut will go on, but in the form of a tribute.

Three “Simpsons” Episodes Nominated for WGA Award

The Simpsons

The Simp­sons

Three episodes of “The Simp­sons” are among the five nom­i­nees for the Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica Award in the cat­e­gory of animation.

The three are “Hol­i­days of Future Passed,” writ­ten by J. Stew­art Burns; “Ned and Edna’s Blend Agenda,” writ­ten by Jeff West­brook; and “Tree­house of Hor­ror XXIII,” writ­ten by David Man­del and Brian Kelley.

Also up for a WGA Award are “A Farewell to Arms” (Futu­rama), writ­ten by Josh Wein­stein, and “Forget-Me-Not” (Fam­ily Guy), writ­ten by David A. Goodman.

In the Tele­vi­sion Graphic Ani­ma­tion cat­e­gory, the nom­i­nees are “CBS News Ani­ma­tions,” ani­ma­tion by David Rosen, and “The Oscars” (Sun­day Morn­ing with Charles Osgood), ani­ma­tion by Bob Pook, CBS.

The Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica, West (WGAW) and the Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica, East (WGAE) jointly announced on Thurs­day nom­i­na­tions for out­stand­ing achieve­ment in TV, news, radio, pro­mo­tional writ­ing, and graphic ani­ma­tion dur­ing the 2012 season.

The awards will be pre­sented jointly in all com­pet­i­tive cat­e­gories dur­ing simul­ta­ne­ous cer­e­monies Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 17 in New York at the B.B. King Blues Club and in Los Ange­les at the JW Mar­riott L.A. LIVE. For more infor­ma­tion, visit www.wga.org or www.wgaeast.org.

Brave, Muppets Animated Film Music Nominated For ’13 Grammys

Grammy

Grammy

Tunes from such ani­mated or partly ani­mated films as Pixar’s Brave and Disney’s The Mup­pets are up for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.

Nom­i­na­tions were announced Wednes­day night by The Record­ing Academy.

For Best Song Writ­ten For Visual Media, the nom­i­nees include “Learn Me Right” (from Brave), writ­ten by Mum­ford & Sons (per­formed by Birdy and Mum­ford & Sons) and “Man Or Mup­pet” (from The Mup­pets), writ­ten by Bret McKen­zie and per­formed by Jason Segel and Walter.

The Mup­pets (Var­i­ous Artists), on Walt Dis­ney Records, is up for a Grammy for Best Com­pi­la­tion Sound­track For Visual Media.

Nom­i­nated for Best Score Sound­track For Visual Media is The Adven­tures Of Tintin — The Secret Of The Uni­corn, com­posed by John Williams. It’s on the Sony Clas­si­cal label.

For the fifth year, nom­i­na­tions for the annual Grammy Awards were announced on prime­time tele­vi­sion as part of The GRAMMY Nom­i­na­tions Con­cert Live!! — Count­down To Music’s Biggest Night, a one-hour CBS enter­tain­ment spe­cial broad­cast live for the first time ever from Bridge­stone Arena in Nashville.

The Black Keys’ Dan Auer­bach, Fun., Jay-Z, Mum­ford & Sons, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West topped the nom­i­na­tions with six each; the Black Keys, Chick Corea and Miguel each gar­nered five nods; and pro­ducer Jeff Bhasker, mas­ter­ing engi­neer Bob Lud­wig and Nas are each up for four awards.

The Grammy Awards process once again has pro­duced a diverse and impres­sive list of nom­i­na­tions across mul­ti­ple gen­res,” said Neil Port­now, pres­i­dent and CEO of The Record­ing Acad­emy. “This year’s nom­i­nees truly rep­re­sent an excep­tional and vibrant cre­ative com­mu­nity that exem­pli­fies some of the high­est lev­els of artistry and excel­lence in their respec­tive fields. Com­bined with the fifth year of our prime­time nom­i­na­tions spe­cial, we’re off to an excit­ing start on the road to Music’s Biggest Night, the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, on Feb­ru­ary 10.”

This year’s Grammy Awards process reg­is­tered more than 17,000 sub­mis­sions over a 12-month eli­gi­bil­ity period (Octo­ber 1, 2011 to Sep­tem­ber 30, 2012). Grammy bal­lots for the final round of vot­ing will be mailed Decem­ber 19 to the vot­ing mem­bers of The Record­ing Acad­emy. They are due back to the account­ing firm of Deloitte by Jan­u­ary 16, when they will be tab­u­lated and the results kept secret until the 55th Grammy telecast.

The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will be held at Sta­ples Cen­ter in Los Ange­les and once again will be broad­cast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 sur­round sound on CBS from 8 to 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Netflix, Disney Announce Feature Film Agreement

Walt Disney Studios

Walt Dis­ney Studios

Net­flix Inc. and The Walt Dis­ney Com­pany announced Tues­day a new multi-year licens­ing agree­ment that will make Net­flix the exclu­sive United States sub­scrip­tion tele­vi­sion ser­vice for first-run ani­mated and live-action fea­ture films from The Walt Dis­ney Studios.

Begin­ning with its 2016 the­atri­cally released fea­ture films, new Dis­ney, Walt Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios, Pixar Ani­ma­tion Stu­dios, Mar­vel Stu­dios and Dis­ney­na­ture titles will be made avail­able for Net­flix mem­bers to watch instantly in the pay TV win­dow on mul­ti­ple plat­forms, includ­ing tele­vi­sion, tablets, com­put­ers and mobile phones. Also included in the agree­ment are high-profile Dis­ney direct-to-video new releases, which will be made avail­able on Net­flix start­ing in 2013.

Sep­a­rately, Dis­ney and Net­flix have reached agree­ment on a multi-year cat­a­log deal that brought to U.S. Net­flix mem­bers Tues­day such beloved Dis­ney movies as the ani­mated Dumbo, Poc­a­hon­tas and Alice in Won­der­land.

Dis­ney and Net­flix have shared a long and mutu­ally ben­e­fi­cial rela­tion­ship and this deal will bring to our sub­scribers, in the first pay TV win­dow, some of the highest-quality, most imag­i­na­tive fam­ily films being made today,” said Ted Saran­dos, chief con­tent offi­cer at Net­flix. “It’s a bold leap for­ward for Inter­net tele­vi­sion, and we are incred­i­bly pleased and proud this iconic fam­ily brand is team­ing with Net­flix to make it happen.”

With this cutting-edge agree­ment, we are thrilled to take our highly val­ued rela­tion­ship with Net­flix to the next level by adding Disney’s pre­mier films to their pro­gram­ming lineup,” said Disney-ABC Domes­tic Tele­vi­sion pres­i­dent Jan­ice Marinelli. “Net­flix con­tin­ues to meet the demands of its sub­scribers in today’s rapidly evolv­ing dig­i­tal land­scape, and we are delighted that they will have much ear­lier access to our top-quality and enter­tain­ing slate,” she continued.

Finan­cial terms of the agree­ment were not disclosed.