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JJA Member Updates: August/September 2011

Sep 6th, 2011 | By

Here are the most recent publications and other work reported by the extremely active members of the Jazz Journalists Association. We never sleep!

Bridget Arnwine covered the Newport Jazz Festival for examiner.com.

Dave Barrett covered the Newport Jazz Festival for CBS Radio News. Among the interviews he conducted were with George Wein, Chris Brubeck, Anat Cohen, Esperanza Spalding, Hiromi, and NETIXIS CEO John Hailer.

Bob Blumenthal presented a book talk with JJA Member John Abbott at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts  as part of the Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival.  Solo, Blumenthal gave a talk at the Wellfleet, MA Public Library  as part of the Castle Hill Lecture Series; and interviewed John Santos, Jimmy Cobb and Gunther Schuller at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival in Lenox, MA.

John Chacona emerged from behind his typewriter to once again serve as onstage host for the 19th annual Erie (PA) Art Museum Blues & Jazz Festival. The headliners for the two-day festival, founded by Museum executive director John Vanco, were the Campbell Brothers and the Holly Hofmann/Mike Wofford Quartet.

Noal Cohen wrote the liner notes (with Michael Fitzgerald) for a new Gigi Gryce CD entitled Doin’ the Gigi on the Uptown Records label (UPCD 27.64). All of the material on the CD was recorded during 1960-1961 and is previously unissued, including two live sessions.

Sharonne Cohen covered the Montreal Jazz Festival for JazzTimes magazine. She also reviewed Jean-Michel Pilc’s Essential (Motéma) and Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s  (5Passion) for JazzTimes.

Tim DuRoche recently published Occasional Jazz Conjectures (Durable Goods), a collection of idiosyncratic reflections on the music’s edges and center.  Over the next year, Tim will participate in The Conversation Project (a state-wide program of Oregon Humanities), presenting “The Art of the Possible: Jazz and Communities of Memory, ” a program that looks at the music’s core values as cornerstones and tools for community engagement.  Tim continues to host “The New Thing,” a weekly show on Portland’s listener-supported KMHD, featuring free jazz and the avant-garde; as well as facilitate public conversations, including recent interviews with Esperanza Spalding and photographer Fran Kaufman.

Yvonne Ervin’s feature on bassist Steve Swallow appeared in August’s Hot House. Also last month she traveled to the New Mexico Jazz Festival in Albuquerque and Santa Fe and then to the Telluride Jazz Festival where she moderated a panel discussion titled “What is the Essence of Jazz” with Paquito D’Rivera, John Clayton and Badi Assad. She tweeted about the festivals and posted her first YouTube video reports since she has been “lurking” on the eyeJazz program training videos. This month she will be interviewing NEA Jazz Master and legendary record producer Orrin Keepnews at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

John Fenton has been writing ‘Jazz local 32’ for five months and gaining an ever wider readership. The main focus of the Jazz blog is to support the local Jazz scene and to review local artists and visiting bands. A secondary focus is to talk about the Jazz arts and posts about social justice are often woven into the mix. Fenton is also working on an anthology of New Zealand Jazz poetry with a journalist/poet friend.

Ken Franckling‘s photograph of Joe Lovano graced the program cover, posters and other collateral materials for the Stanford Jazz Workshop and the Stanford Jazz Festival’s 40th season, which ran from June 24-August 6. Ken has retired from his day job and preparing to move from Rhode Island to Florida in late October, where he intends to immerse himself in the SW Florida jazz scene and continue his writing, editing, photography and blogging on a freelance basis.

Ted Gioia‘s book The History of Jazz was recently published in a revised and expanded version by Oxford University Press. He is currently at work on a follow-up book for Oxford University Press entitled The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire.

Steve Griggs wrote feature articles about the New Orleans Creole RestaurantJazz Programs in Public SchoolsChuck Deardorf, Julian Priester, and Todd DelGiudice for Earshot Jazz. He wrote a feature article on the KPLU School of Jazz program for the August issue. He also wrote a concert review of Santana at the White River Amphitheater for the Seattle Times.

Patrick Hinely‘s 1991 photograph of Robin and Linda Williams and company warming up backstage in Lexington, Virginia has aged well, looking nice as the back cover photo for the Williams’ new album Stonewall Country: Songs from the Musical, on the Red House label. A more recent portrait of pianist Jimmy Amadie is on the front of Something Special, his new trio album on Thornton Publications Recordings, tunes from which may constitute some of the repertoire for Amadie’s first public performance in 44 years, on October 14 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Lyn Horton will be attending the October premiere in Los Angeles at the Redcat Theater of Wadada Leo Smith’s “Ten Freedom Summers,” a work commissioned by Chamber Music America. The piece takes three nights to perform. She will be doing a story for JazzTimes.com and a piece for her blog, The Paradigm of Beauty.

Thomas Jacobsen wrote a feature piece, “The Century Mark, Lionel Ferbos turns 100 this month,” for the July issue of the New Orleans jazz magOffBEAT. Ferbos (to whom Jacobsen’s new book, Traditional New Orleans Jazz, LSU Press, 2011, is dedicated) still plays at least one night a week at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe in the city’s French Quarter.

Willard Jenkins‘ and Randy Weston’s collaborative autobiography of Weston, African Rhythms (Duke University Press), received a very comprehensive review by noted writer-poet (and one of the guiding forces behind development of the NEA Jazz Masters program during his long tenure as an NEA exec.) A.B. Spellman for the current issue of Chamber Music magazine (available online at www.chamber-music.org/pdf/0711cover.pdf).  The response to African Rhythms has been extremely gratifying, with laudatory reviews across the board – including all the major jazz prints and several mainstream prints, and book signings from L.A. to Martha’s Vineyard this summer.  Stay tuned to the Independent Ear at www.openskyjazz.com/blog.

Roberta Piket‘s current CD, entitled Sides, Colors, is available as a free download to all JJA members. To receive the link to the download, e-mail Roberta at roberta@robertajazz.com. Roberta performs a solo concert at Miles’ Café on Sept. 15th to prepare for her first solo piano recording this fall. Other performances this month include free jazz at Ibeam in Brooklyn with Louie Belogenis and Billy Mintz on 9/22, a straight-ahead duo with Virginia Mayhew at Whole Foods West Orange, NJ on 9/27 and the Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival on Sept 23rd with her trio. Meanwhile her CD is getting great reviews in downbeatJazzTimes, the Swiss daily Aargauer Zeitung and The New York City Jazz Record.

Alex Rodriguez is in the midst of a cross-country road trip from Massachusetts to California as September gets underway. Later this month, he will begin the Ph.D. program in ethnomusicology at UCLA, where he aims to study the overlapping areas of jazz and Latin American music. In August, he enjoyed covering the Newport Jazz Festival for WBGO and NPR Music, and penned his first freelance assignment for the Hartford Advocate. He left his Newark-based jazz journalism posts — WBGO and the Star-Ledger — in mid-August, and looks forward to connecting with a new community of jazz enthusiasts in LA.

Mark Ruffin is the producer of the Giacomo Gates album The Revolution Will Be Jazz; The Songs of Gil Scott Heron on Savant Records. The Wall Street Journal featured a review upon its release July 19th and the AARP designated the disc on one of four albums of the week the same day.  While known as a broadcaster and writer primarily, the Gates’ release is Ruffin’s fifth album production and the third to be released.  The others were Under The Moon by New York singer Barbara Sfraga and  At Long Last George by Chicago guitarist George Freeman, featuring his brother Von Freeman, a 2012 NEA Jazz Master recipient, along with singers Kurt Elling and Rene Marie.

Mitchell Seidel reports on the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival and the Freihofer’s Jazz Festival with words and photos on the cover of the September issue of Jersey Jazz Journal.

Michal Shapiro posted a video and article on the Huffington Post regarding the lawsuit that Latin Jazz artist Bobby Sanabria is bringing against NARAS as well as video of Griot Summit at Wave Hill (also HuffPo) that shows the roots of the blues in West Africa.

Lew Shaw has written articles about the New Black Eagle Jazz Band’s appearance at the 57th Newport Jazz Festival (August 6) and their 40th anniversary observance (September 18) which have appeared in the June and September editions of The American Rag, the California-based monthly newspaper dedicated to covering vintage jazz and ragtime. The Black Eagles long run began in September 1971 aboard a retired steamship docked in Boston Harbor. Five of the original seven members are still actively involved in the more than 80 appearances the band currently makes over the course of a year.

Daniel Smith will be performing with his quartet ‘Bassoon and Beyond’ at Twins Jazz Club in Washington DC on Friday, Sept. 23rd and Saturday Sept. 24th. Featured will be selections from his recent jazz albums Blue Bassoon and Bassoon Goes Latin Jazz! A new project for 2012 is ‘Brazilian Jazz Concerto for Bassoon and Chamber Orchestra’ by famed Brazilian composer Joao MacDowell. A documentary on Joao MacDowell, soon to be aired on Brazilian TV, includes Smith talking about this new and innovative project. Further information on this concerto by interested JJA members can be obtained from the composer at   joaomacdowell@yahoo.com

Wilbert Sostre covered the Carolina International Jazz Festival in Puerto Rico for JazzTimes. He is also Working in the demo for a Jazz program for Vid 90.3, a jazz radio station located in Mayaguez Puerto Rico.

Carol Sudhalter spent August 2011 adding the finishing touches to her September/October Italian tour, which will extend from Puglia to Sardinia to Milan. Details will be posted at http://sudhalter.com.

Jack Vartoogian, together with his wife Linda, had an exhibition, “Seeing The Blues,”  of nineteen large 40″ photographs of famous and not-so famous, but nonetheless great, Blues musicians installed in the World Financial Center Winter Garden through 14 August. Included in the show were, among others, images of Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Koko Taylor, Othar Turner, and Magic Slim. The show ran in conjunction with the first annual Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival at the World Financial Center Plaza in lower Manhattan.

Jim Wilke interviewed producer Richard Burgess about the new book and CD set “Jazz – The Smithsonian Anthology” and played selections on Jazz After Hours (PRI).  He also recorded various groups at multiple locations, finishing the month at Jazz Port Townsend with seven concerts featuring Bill Holman, Paquito D’Rivera, Stefon Harris, Gerald Clayton, Benny Green and others. These concerts will air on “Jazz Northwest” on KPLU and kplu.org on Sunday afternoons.

Use our  JJA Member Directories to find  JJA members qualified to contribute to your  publication or production or to assist you with your jazz-related project.  The directories can be searched by name,  area of expertise and geographic location.

If you are a JJA Member and want your update to be included in next month’s roundup, send it to membernews@jazzjournalists.org by October 1, 2011.

If you aren’t a JJA Member yet, consider joining us. Membership is open to both Professional Journalists(writers, bloggers, photographers, videographers, web producers and others who cover jazz) and  Industry Associates (musicians, educators, presenters, promoters and others who work in the industry and support our work.)

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