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JJA Member Updates: March 2013

Mar 13th, 2013 | 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 April 1, 2013.

David R. Adler has reviewed CDs by Dave King, Curtis Maconald, Antonio Sanchez, Eric Revis and others for The New York City Jazz Record. He also continues to file monthly New York @ Night concert reviews for the paper (recent subjects include Gerald Clayton, Ted Brown and François Houle). As of March 2013, David has begun writing a monthly blog post for The Village Voice, previewing the “Ten Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month.”

Bob Blumenthal’s transition from lawyer/jazz critic to full-time critic was the subject of the “Life After Law” blog.

Stephanie J. Castillo‘s 45-day Kickstarter fundraising campaign for her jazz film on “gone too soon” Thomas Chapin  started Feb. 13 and continues til March 30. She’s attempting to raise the funds on the online site so she can shoot the film this summer. The Honolulu Star Advertiser published a column on March 3 about the film going to Kickstarter, and Hawaii Public Radio’s Jazz with Don Gordon show will feature an interview with her.

Sharonne Cohen reviewed Heels Over Head, the new album by Billy Martin’s Wicked Knee, for JazzTimes. She also covered a few recent concerts by Montreal jazz musicians for DownBeat.

Suzanne Cloud has written a show called Last Call at the Downbeat about Dizzy Gillespie’s famous stint at Philadelphia’s Downbeat nightclub in November 1942. The show will open in the Red Room of the Society Hill Playhouse—507 South 8th Street in Philadelphia—on Friday Apr. 5 and run through Apr. 13 as part of PIFA, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Music by trumpeter Duane Eubanks. Tickets for the show are $25, and show time is 8 p.m.

Renetta DeBlase just finished proofreading an anthology about playright, novelist, and musician Thornton Wilder for a major university press and she enjoyed listening to Tisziji Munoz and John Medeski’s new CD titled Beauty as Beauty as well as many other CDs Tisziji has recorded.

Yvonne Ervin, JJA Vice President, recounted the story of her ill-fated yacht trip to the Newport Jazz Festival in 2005  for “Odyssey Storytelling: Not As Advertised” at the University of Arizona Museum of Art on Mar. 7. On Mar. 9 she gave the pre-concert lecture for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra concert at the University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall.

John Fenton has recently spent a month in San Francisco where he connected with the Jazz Community and witnessed and reported on the opening of the San Francisco Jazz Centre. He has also been writing liner notes for two albums, one of which is New Zealand’s Rodger Fox Big Band, which was recorded in L.A. at the Capitol Recording Studios. The other is an album by Nick Granville, a New Zealand Guitarist.

Sid Gribetz produced a centennial tribute to composer Jimmy Van Heusen, presenting a five-hour radio show on WKCR on Feb. 24, examining Van Heusen’s career and the impact of his songs on the jazz repertory.

Steve Griggs wrote a preview of the Starbucks Hot Java Cool Jazz concert and the Gust Burns/Victor Noriega CD release of 2 Trios. He also was awarded a residency at Jack Straw to record oral histories for his Joe Brazil project.

Geoffrey Himes has recently profiled Maria Schneider (JazzTimes), Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (Washington Post), Dr. John (Nashville Scene), Jerry Douglas (Paste), Don Byron (Washington Post), Joey DeFrancesco (Downbeat), Greg Thompkins (Baltimore City Paper), Johnny Adams (Oxford American), Bettye Lavette (Washington Post), the Bad Plus (Downbeat), Cedric Watson (Offbeat), Gary Clark Jr. (Paste), Del McCoury (Washington Post), David Byrne & St. Vincent (Washington Post), Carrie Rodriguez (Washington Post), Frank Zappa (Downbeat), Alejandro Escovedo (Washington Post) and Willie Nelson (Texas Music).

Thomas Jacobsen had the following book reviews published recently: IAJRC Journal (December, 2012) 86-87: Freddi Williams Evans, Congo Square, African Roots in New Orleans (2011); Journal of Folklore Research Reviews (2/6/13): John Gray, Afro-Cuban Music: A Bibliographic Guide (2012). His own book, Traditional New Orleans Jazz, Conversations with the Men Who Make the Music (LSU Press, 2011) was favorably reviewed in the Journal of Folklore Research Reviews (1/30/13).

Sanford Josephson continues to curate the “Music in the Moonlight” jazz series at the Luna Stage in West Orange, NJ.

Matthew Kassel was hired in February as a staff writer at The New York Observer.

Rudy Lu photographed the Hot Club of Detroit’s performance at the Van Dyck in Schenectady for albanyjazz.com and the Dirty Dozen Brass at the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY for albanyjazz.com and nippertown.com.

Joe Maita of Portland, Oregon, publisher of the website Jerry Jazz Musician, has re-introduced the website as a blog. Plans include the publication of more content, including quality interviews with biographers the site has long been known for, as well as art and photo essays, and original short fiction and poetry.

Steve Monroe‘s February Jazz Avenues for the Mid-City DC edition of capitalcommunitynews.com included a remembrance of Sonny Stitt for Black History Month, reviews of Hill Center Jazz with bassist Eric Wheeler’s group and Sankofa Cafe jazz with vocalist Imani Grace and friends. Monroe also reviewed and blogged on the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in Rockville and a Carl Grubbs concert near Baltimore.

Jennifer Odell reviewed new biographies on Kid Ory (John McCusker) and Marian McPartland (Paul deBarros), and profiled the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp for Downbeat’s April issue. She’s currently writing about cellist Helen Gillet, who records her first duet album with Astral Project’s James Singleton this month, and a new campaign at Sweet Home New Orleans aimed at teaching artists music business skills such as accessing alternative revenue streams.

John Pietaro will engage in final production details on the debut disc by his quartet The Red Microphone (w/Ras Moshe, Rocco John Iacovone, Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic). He will also perform with Moshe at the Firehouse Space, Brooklyn NY, Mar. 14, and the Brecht Forum, NYC, Mar. 17.

Doug Ramsey posted extensive coverage of the Portland Jazz Festival on his Rifftides blog.

Ron Scott was a panelist with musicians Bob Cranshaw, Bertha Hope, Arun Luthra, John Mosca, 802 Recording Vice President John O’Connor, and musician educator/author Dr. Lewis Porter. The panel discussion entitled “Coming Together as One: Fighting for Your Rights on the NYC Club Scene,” and jazz concert featuring the Lou Donaldson Quartet with Keisha St. Joan, hosted by Justice for Jazz Artists (J4JA) and AFM, Local 802, at St. Peter’s Church on Feb. 1, with about 200 people in attendance.

Arnold Jay Smith and Richard Lowenthal are presenting a new series at New Jersey City University. Each semester Profs Smith & Lowenthal invite a guest to speak to their combined classes on topics related to their profession, i.e., jazz. Entitled “2 on 1,” guests have included drummer Kenny Washington, trumpeters Jimmy Owens and Jon Faddis, and bassist Larry Ridley. In addition, Smith’s archives will be housed in the Arnold Shaw Music Library at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Daniel Smith and his ensemble “Bassoon and Beyond” will perform Wednesday, April 24th, at the Kitano in NYC and on Wednesday, May 29th at the Brooklyn VA Hospital as part of their ‘Cancer Survivor’s Day’. Brazilian Jazz Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra is currently being written for Daniel by Brazilian composer Joao MacDowell. Updates on this project will appear over the next weeks and months. Other performances will be announced shortly.

Carol Sudhalter completed with great satisfaction her SPARC grant project, partnering musically with seniors who read or sang their favorite poems, songs or stories. From late February to mid-March she toured Lombardy (Milan, Codogno), Piemonte (Saluzzo, Cuneo), Lazio (Rome, Sta Marinella) and Puglia (Bisceglie, Bari, Molfetta, Taranto), playing with fine musicians such as Hammond Organist Vito Di Modugno, and giving masterclasses in English diction for Singers and in jazz improv.

Jeff Tamarkin is writing program notes for the Wynton/JLCO/Crosby, Stills & Nash benefit show at JALC and the Vijay Iyer and Jenny Scheinman gigs at Carnegie Hall. He interviewed Wayne Shorter for M: Music & Musicians magazine, and recently wrote press bios for Tommy Igoe, David Chesky, Bobby McFerrin and Claus Waidtløw.

Pedro Tavares interviewed for Le Cool Lisboa some of the musicians performing in this year’s Festival Rescaldo: Joana Sá and José Luís Martins “Almost a Song”, Luís Lopes Noise Guitar Solo and Pop Dell’Arte. He also previewed other concerts, namely one by Jason Moran and one by Ballister, and published a report about Clean Feed Records for the weekly Portuguese newspaper Sol.

Richard Vacca, author of The Boston Jazz Chronicles, is mining his mountain of research, and publishing one item of Boston jazz history per day on his blog. The Boston Jazz Chronicles has been nominated for a 2012 award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research by the ARSC.

David Wild contributed liner notes to Sun Ship: The Complete Sessions, a Coltrane Quartet release due out in March. The John Coltrane Reference (coauthored with Lewis Porter, Chris DeVito, Wolf Schmaler, and Yasuhiro Fujioka) has been reissued as a paperback. David and brother (bassist) Ken recently played LA’s Vitellos with Larry Koonse, guitar; Rob Lockart, sax and Ralph Humphrey, drums. Dave played two fundraisers for the Central Texas Jazz Society with saxophonist Ed Calle in February.

Jim Wilke recorded and produced concert broadcasts of Greta Matassa and Dmitri Matheny groups at Seattle Art Museum for KPLU. Jim was profiled in the Dec. 21 edition of The Seattle Times to mark his 30 years of network jazz programs, the last 28 years with Jazz After Hours on Public Radio International. Jazz After Hours was named the top nationally syndicated jazz radio program in the annual Critics’ Poll in the March issue of JazzTimes magazine.

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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