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JJA Member Updates: November 2012

Nov 12th, 2012 | By

Looking for proof that jazz is alive and well? You’ll find the most recent publications and other work reported by the extremely active members of the Jazz Journalists Association after the jump. We never sleep! If you are a JJA member and would like your recent activities included in the next installment of Member Updates, send a brief paragraph beginning with your name to membernews@jazzjournalists.org by December 1, 2012.


Nancy Barell’s 195th edition of “Jazz Spotlight On Sinatra” is airing now. It is  now ranked 25th out of over 400 jazz stations on Live365.com. She’s also participating on a panel “The Truth About Jazz Radio” for the Jazz Connect Conference sponsored by Jazz Times in NYC in January.

Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier‘s exclusive Jazz Footage aired worldwide on CNN International on the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz from the Kennedy Center. Kenneth reports, “This is a Film project and National TV Special that I am directing and Producing. We filmed the Drum Competition and the Gala Event with the biggest names in Jazz and Blues.” www.jazzalleytv.com

Renetta DeBlase was interviewed on WCJS in Maryland by jazz singer and promoter Ms. Cres O’Neal about With Stars in My Eyes, her jazz history audiobook and e-book about Duke Ellington and Billy Taylor.  (www.renattadeblase.com).

David Evanier , author of  a biography of Tony Bennett, will be speaking “On the Life of Tony Bennett” at the Tribeca Y, 200 Hudson Street, on November 8th at noon.

J. Scott Fugate has been filming and producing videos for jazz artists via his company Jazz Evangelist Productions, and is partnered with Best of Atlanta Concerts to create BOAC TV. He likewise produces weekly jazz radio podcast for Soulandjazz.com

Mark Gridley‘s new 11th Edition of Jazz Styles (ISBN 0-205-03683-X; 514 pages, with bibliographies and discographies within 552 footnotes), with a 3-CD set of historic recordings (ISBN 0-205-03686-4), and a Demonstration CD of 157 narrated illustrations of how musicians make jazz (ISBN 0-13-601098-9), is now available for reviewers and teachers who e-mail Pearson Education (formerly Prentice-Hall) music editor Roth.wilkofsky@pearson.com.

Steve Griggs reviewed the new Marian McPartland biography by Paul de Barros in the November Earshot Jazz. Steve also applied for a Biography Fellowship Residency at CUNY to complete a biography of saxophonist Joe Brazil. He applied for a grant to create a spoken word/music performance based on the music of Oscar Holden and the novel “Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” at the historic Panama Hotel.

Janice Jarrett’s official Release Party for her CD Blue Nights & Sunshower was finally held Sunday, November 4th, 2012 in Tucson (Old Pueblo Grill). Backed up by several musicians who were on the recording (Gil Rodrigues, drums, and Mike Levy, bass) as well as Tucson’s great sidemen Sly Slipetsky (piano) and Ed DeLucia (guitar), she featured her lyrics and arrangements of songs from the CD by Kenny Barron and George Cables.

Matthew Kassel is now writing a weekly roundup of New York jazz shows for The Village Voice. He is also doing work for the newly-launched BlueNote.com, writing pieces on canonical records and interviewing musicians from the Blue Note discography. He is continuing to expand his freelance career, doing more work for The Wall Street Journal, Capital New York and other publications.

David La Rosa reviewed and photographed the 33rd annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday for The Jazz Line. He also interviewed Mack Avenue Records recording artist Tia Fuller, and produced a video interview with Kurt Elling while covering the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.


Nathea Lee will be covering the inaugural Exit 0 International Jazz Festival for her LiveJazz Journey blog . The Festival takes place November 9-11 in Cape May, New Jersey.

Howard Mandel was the “jazz room” host at the Jazz Foundation of America’s annual loft party, introducing sets Randy Weston and Lou Donaldson, among others; wrote liner notes for Charnett Moffett’s upcoming solo album The Bridge (Motéma) as well as the Tommy Flanagan/Jaki Byard duets The Magic of Two (Resonance), and lectured about writing at a New School Jazz class as well as to his “Writing about the Arts” class at NYU.

Ralph Miriello wrote reviews for both his blog and the Huffington Post on recent releases including trumpeter Tom Harrell’s Number Five; tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin’s Casting for Gravity; baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan on Smul’s Paradise, Joy Road, and The American Composer Institute’s Ellington Saxophone Encounters; guitarist John Abercrombie’s Within a Song; and multi-reed artist Scott Robinson Bronze Nemesis.

Steve Monroe‘s October “Jazz Avenues” for the Mid-City DC edition of capitalcommunitynews.com included information about H.R. 2823, the pending jazz preservation and education legislation; performer Charles Rahmat Woods reviewing a John Coltrane Tribute; and a coda for the late guitarist Jerry Gordon. Monroe also reviewed and blogged on a D.C. screening of the jazz film Oxygen for the Ears and previewed a November concert honoring Jerry Gordon by guitarists Rick Whitehead and Paul Wingo.

Jennifer Odell’s Downbeat cover story, “No Guts, No Glory,” about Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and the making of For True, was selected for inclusion in the 2012 Best Music Writing anthology. She caught up with Troy again this fall to discuss his upcoming project with Raphael Saadiq for Downbeat‘s upcoming Readers Poll issue. Jennifer also reviewed new releases by Maceo Parker, Roni Ben-Hur and Santi Debriano.

John Pietaro, vibraphonist/percussionist, will be performing with international poet Erika Dagnino’s ensemble at Boulevard Books Cafe 11/14 (in a duet setting). He will also be with Karl Berger’s Improviser’s Orchestra at Shapeshifter Lab 11/18. Pietaro’s new quartet the Red Microphone are in rehearsal for recording of their debut CD, The Red Microphone Speaks, a collection of new music/free jazz/protest songs.

Lenore Raphael‘s latest recording Loverly, with guitar great Howard Alden, is now in the first round of voting for a GRAMMY nomination as “Best Jazz Instrumental recording.” She is also now artistic director for a new jazz series, West 64th Street Jazz, co-sponsored by the NY Society for Ethical Culture. The third concert will be on Friday, November 16th with guest artist Harry Allen. For more information contact swinginfox@swinginfox.com

Arnold Jay Smith continues his memoirs of the exciting Cuban encounter of 1977. The group Irakere and its members, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval as well as their leader Chucho Valdes got their premiere airing in the U.S.A when AJay brought back tapes of their music leading to their defections. He is in the throes of negotiating a home for his massive archives and collections with a major western university.

Charles Suhor spoke at the September convention of the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors (IAJRC) on “Jazz Musicians in Strip Clubs in Post-WWII New Orleans.” His article titled “Four Vignettes: Jazz in Postwar New Orleans” was published in the summer issue of IAJRC Journal. His obituary of drummer Reed Vaughan appeared in AllAboutJazz.com.

Bert Vuijsje has written the English liner notes for the album Miles Davis: So What – The Complete 1960 Amsterdam Concerts. This double CD with never before released recordings from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (two concerts, with John Coltrane and Sonny Stitt, respectively) is part of the Jazz at the Concertgebouw series of the Dutch Jazz Archive. The complete series has just been awarded an Edison, for the best historical jazz production of 2012.

Joyce M. Wilson had the opportunity of meeting drummer Lewis Nash earlier this year at the Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival. Since then their paths have crossed again, this time at the 55th Monterey Jazz Festival. After our brief re-introduction, he granted Joyce an interview…November is her month for sharing the hot news of what is happening in jazz.

Deanna Witkowski recently returned to New York after teaching for seven weeks at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in Tamil Nadu, India. On Nov 18, she plays with guitarist Paul Meyers at Cornelia Street Cafe. Witkowski is also newly appointed artist-in-residence at Park Avenue Christian Church: on Dec 2, her trio leads in morning worship; on Dec 19, her new choral work will premiere at the Park’s Christmas Gala concert. Visit deannajazz.com for more information.

JJA Member Updates are compiled and edited by Mike West with assistance from Tanya Ellerbee.

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 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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