Hollywood action man Bruce Willis and director Robert Rodriguez teamed up for a special musical performance at an afterparty following the premiere of their new movie Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. The pair has reunited for the Sin City sequel, which they unveiled in Los Angeles on Tuesday (19Aug14), and they entertained the crowd during a bash at the city's Roosevelt Hotel after the red carpet screening.
Willis played harmonica and sang the blues as Rodriguez played guitar, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
The crowd included Willis' castmates Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke and Josh Brolin.
Coldplay rocker Chris Martin became a one-man-band to lead hundreds of fans through the streets of Sydney, Australia on Tuesday (17Jun14). The British group has jetted Down Under to film the promo for latest single A Sky Full Of Stars, and they posted an appeal for extras on Monday (16Jun14).
Hundreds of fans turned out for the shoot, and frontman Martin was pictured sporting a one-man-band contraption, complete with drum, harmonica and guitar, and leading them on a parade through the city.
After wrapping the shoot, Martin and his bandmates busked on the street, performing the song in full to thank all the fans who turned out to help.
Video footage posted online shows the crowd singing and chanting along with the band.
At the end of the short street set, Martin thanks the fans for their involvement, saying, "Give yourselves a big cheer, that was amazing! Thank you all so much. Thank you very much... We really, really appreciate everything you've given us so thank you for being here."
Actor/singer Russell Crowe showed off his musical skills on Thursday (27Mar14) as he jammed with U.S. talk show host Jimmy Fallon and his house band The Roots on a rendition of Johnny Cash's Folson Prison Blues. The Gladiator star was invited to pick up a guitar and take the microphone, with The Tonight Show host Fallon on harmonica.
Belgian jazz legend Toots Thielemans is retiring at the age of 91 after ill health forced him to scrap a concert in Antwerp for the second time in three months. The harmonica master, who enjoyed a 70-year career, announced the news on Wednesday (12Mar14), on the eve of his planned show at the city's De Roma venue. Two other gigs scheduled to take place in Antwerp have also been axed.
His agent, Veerle Van de Poel, reveals Thielemans "no longer feels strong enough to be sure of completing a concert".
She adds, "So as not to disappoint his fans, he has decided to cancel all his concerts. (He) wants to benefit from a rest richly deserved. He can look back on a beautiful and very successful international career."
Born Jean-Baptiste Frederic Isidore Thielemans, the musician landed his big break in 1950, at the age of 28, when he was invited to join Benny Goodman on tour in Europe.
He later moved to the U.S. and worked with jazz great Charlie Parker, before collaborating with the likes of Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson.
Thielemans has suffered from ailing health in recent years, but he celebrated his 90th birthday in 2012 by embarking on a world tour.
After the retirement announcement, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo reached out to Thielemans via Twitter.com, writing, "Thank you Toots. You gave us many magic moments!"
Rock legend Bruce Springsteen gave teen pop newcomer Lorde his official seal of approval on Saturday (01Mar14) by covering her hit song Royals during a concert in her New Zealand hometown. The music veteran was performing at Mt. Smart Stadium in Auckland, where he decided to treat fans to an acoustic guitar version of Royals, complete with additional notes on harmonica.
Springsteen also tweaked the lyrics to the Grammy-winning track, referring to himself as "King Bee" instead of the 17 year old's original "Queen Bee" in the chorus.
Royals is the latest cover song Springsteen has performed on tour - he also played AC/DC's Highway to Hell and the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive during recent shows Down Under.
"I'm learning to play the harmonica... On breaks from shooting, we all sit around and play music. We don't have a band yet, but that's coming, I'm sure." The Walking Dead actress Lauren Cohan is brushing up on her musical skills with the help of her castmates.
Johnny Cash and Olivia Newton-John's former musical director Richard Hayman has died in Florida, aged 93. Hayman passed away on Wednesday morning (05Feb14).
The harmonica player and arranger-turned-conductor, who founded the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's summer pops series, began his music career in the 1930s with Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonica Rascals.
He became a hit in Hollywood in the 1940s when he scored music for movies like Girl Crazy and Meet Me in St. Louis.
Flowers have been placed on his Hollywood Walk of Fame star as a tribute.
Stevie Wonder turned his annual holiday benefit into a star-studded affair on Saturday (21Dec13) as he performed his classic double album Songs In The Key Of Life in its entirety, with a little help from the likes of John Mayer and Herbie Hancock. The Superstition legend delighted guests at the House Full of Toys gala by revisiting the 37-year-old album with many of the same bandmembers who had played on the original 1976 release.
Opening the show, he told the crowd, "Truly, I wanted to do this for years... but it felt like it was meant to be right now."
He was joined by a slew of musicians throughout the three-hour-long show, including Mayer on guitar for All Day Sucker, singer India.Arie on Saturn and R&B veteran Joe on tracks like Love's in Need of Love Today.
Wonder also reunited with Hancock for As, and recruited jazz musician Esperanza Spalding to play an upright bass for segments of the gig, which featured a nine-minute-long rendition of Isn't She Lovely, complete with an extended harmonica solo, reports RollingStone.com.
In between songs, the soul icon paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela and even brought young members of his family onstage to join him in the spotlight.
The string of collaborations took place two days after he teamed up with Bon Jovi rocker Richie Sambora to perform a duet on Silent Night at the 2013 Hollywood Christmas Parade.
The musicians entertained fans with a performance of popular Christmas carol Silent Night as part of the annual holiday event, and the Bon Jovi guitarist couldn't believe his luck.
He says, "It is almost beyond words. He was the guy that I emulated when I was a boy, and he taught me how to sing. It was an honour to meet your teacher. The first thing I did was whisper in his ear, 'I'm sure you get this a lot, but you were my inspiration as a singer.' The first thing he said is (sic), 'You do the first verse!'"
He can sing, cook and now he shows us that he can act. One of our favorite Idols chats with us about winning American Idol, having his own Vegas show and his upcoming role on Law & Order: SVU.
You're the first 'American Idol' winner to score a Vegas residency. We hear it’s a great show.
I really love performing in Vegas. It’s pretty awesome to have your own show room and to be a part of such a historic landscape of entertainers that have had residencies here.
What is your favorite act in Las Vegas...other than yours?
There’s so many wonderful talented entertainers. I love all the Cirque Shows. It’s like asking me what my favorite song is. It’s a really hard question. It depends on your mood.
Can you tell us a little about your role on Law & Order: SVU?
I’ve been working with an acting coach for about a year now. I have been auditioning for scripted TV. What's great about this role is that I get to play myself, and I love the show. It's one of my favorites on TV.
Would you have any desire to judge American Idol?
I know the idea has been kicked around a lot. I would love to take on that role because I know a lot about it, and I would love to help up-and-coming artists get to really successful points in their careers, which is what I think American Idol does.
How was working with Clay Aiken and Ashanti?
Those two were wonderful to work with. Ashanti is as sweet as she can be, and we just had a ball on set. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope I get to see and work with them again.
We hear you’re working on a country album.
I definitely think it will be country, soulful music. Coming from the South and Alabama, you pick up on a lot of genres. Country music was definitely a big part of my life. I’m really blessed to be able to work in Nashville and live and work in Las Vegas and Birmingham - where I'm from - and to work with wonderful country artists and writers on this next record.
Who have you enjoyed performing with the most?
That’s a tough one. I think adding blues harmonica to "Gin and Juice" with Snoop Dogg was probably one of the best moments I’ve had as an entertainer. Adding blues to rap was the most innovative thought we had. Definitely a fun moment.
Any dream future collaborator?
I'd love to work with Paul Simon. He's one of my favorite singer/songwriters. I just really love his music, and I’ve been playing it for a long time. Hopefully our paths will cross.
Word is you’re a great cook. You even own your own restaurant, Saw's Juke Joint in your native Birmingham, Alabama. What inspired you to get into the restaurant business?
Well, I used to perform in that location long before my American Idol days. I was always around restaurants and clubs. I was always a foodie. When you’re from Alabama, you're born a foodie. I love the culinary arts, music and food. It’s the perfect match. Saw's is a wonderful combination of those. Live music, jalapeno poppers stuffed with BBQ and sweet tea fried chicken. It’s a soulful venue.
Do you ever play there?
I do. I sneak in and perform some nights. It’s always fun to come back and surprise folks.
You have a couple recipes in the new Taste of Home cookbook, Recipes Across America. Where'd you learn to cook?
My grandmother and my great-grandmother were always in the kitchen. I love to cook. I love big pasta diners with friends and family. Spaghetti is one of my favorites to cook for everybody. I don’t get to cook too much because I travel a lot, but when friends or family come over, we do pasta.
What will you do for Thanksgiving dinner?
I always like to take Thanksgiving to be with my family and friends. There's a lot of great cooking around, and there's always a festive atmosphere.
Lastly, I have to ask: How did it feel to win American Idol?
You know, it was one of those feelings that I will never forget for the rest of my life. As many years as I spent as a struggling musician, it all culminated in that moment...of catching my break. I am very grateful for that.
Catch Taylor on Law & Order: SVU on NBC Wednesday, November 6 at 9PM ET.
The Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood is determined to make his London BluesFest show authentic by mastering a special harmonica harness used by his musical hero. Wood and former fellow Stones rocker Mick Taylor are set to perform together at London's Royal Albert Hall on Friday (01Nov13) to pay tribute to blues musician Jimmy Reed.
The veteran guitarist wants to ensure their performance is as authentic as possible, so he has been learning to use the same sort of harmonica harness as Reed.
Wood tells the London Evening Standard, "He is overlooked, he's not a household name. Doing this concert I'm hoping it will be a bit educational - for us and the audience. I'm going to try and get the songs as authentic as possible."
Taylor adds, "It's great to hear Ronnie play the harmonica. We're having a lot of fun."