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JJA Member Updates: November 2013

Nov 14th, 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 December 4, 2013.


David R. Adler‘s interview with Wynton Marsalis, about his Stephen Sondheim project A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair, will appear in a forthcoming issue of The Sondheim Review. David gave a short talk on Robert Glasper at Jazz Standard, to a group from the New York chapter of the Chicago Booth Alumni Club. David’s recent CD reviews in The New York City Jazz Record include Mario Pavone’s Arc Trio, Kirk Knuffke’s Chorale and Nate Radley’s Carillon.


Hrayr Attarian has been invited to present at the American Hearing Speech and Language Association’s Annual meeting in Chicago (on November 16th at 1 PM ) on the topic of “Improvisation and the Brain” together with the legendary trumpeter Louis Smith and his speech and music therapists.


Nancy Barell‘s 314th edition of JazzSpotlight On Sinatra is up. She featured many new releases and the icons of today and yesterday.


Jane Ira Bloom performs with her quartet at Jazz at Kitano, 66 Park Ave @ E. 38th St on Friday and Saturday, Nov 22 & 23 to celebrate the release of her new “all-ballads” surround-sound Blu-Ray release Sixteen Sunsets (Pure Audio 55017). She will be joined by bandmates Cameron Brown (bass), Matt Wilson (drums), and Dominic Fallacaro (piano). The stereo CD release of “Sixteen Sunsets” (OTL141) will launch on Outline Records in January 2014.


Andrea Brachfeld is preparing for her trip to Havana , Cuba to play in the festival in December. She is also getting ready to record a new jazz CD in January and has created a jazz series every Sunday in Jersey City, New Jersey which is her new home.


Stephanie J. Castillo and a Hollywood editor collaborated on a new 7 min. fundraising trailer for her documentary film Thomas Chapin, Night Bird Song. She’s written a major report about the last six months of her project and her progress.


Tim Coakley will be drumming as part of the Thanksgiving Jazz Vespers at the First Reformed Church on Nov. 24.

Renetta DeBlase listened to Aaron Myers’ new album titled Leo Rising and believes Aaron is a gifted jazz pianist and singer and composer, located in Washington, DC and playing regularly at the Black Fox Lounge. Renetta also has been asked to write reviews for CDs by Bill McBirnie and M. Pelz-Sherman.


Alex Dutilh interviewed Sonny Rollins at home, at the end of  October. This 3-hour  conversation will be the basis of a 10-hour radio program planned  for Decemben Open Jazz, his daily jazz broadcast on France Musique, France’s  national public radio. In November he is also doing live broadcasts from two major  festivals in Nevers and Reims.


Frank Forte is still working for the Dizzy Gillespie Fund  at Englewood hospital and the Jazz Foundation of America , providing medical care at the hospital and private doctors offices . Says Dr. Forte, ” This is a working program that has helped many musicians and taught us docs a bit about the life of a jazz artist.”


Ken Franckling profiled trumpeter Claudio Roditi in the November issue of Hot House. He also penned the liner notes and provided photography for The Naples Jazz Orchestra’s forthcoming debut CD, On A Misty Night. It was recorded at a Charlotte County Jazz Society concert last February 18 in Port Charlotte, FL.


Oleg Frish continues to interview legendary musicians on his tv and radio shows. Friday Night With Oleg Frish is on RTVI- the major global Russian tv network. Oleg released programs featuring  musicians Neil Sedaka, Bobby Rydell, and Gloria Gaynor as well as comedian Jackie Mason and many others.  Stephen Schwartz and Jane Powell are scheduled. Oleg’s radio programs are on WNYM -970AM and can be listened to every Saturday at 5pm ET, and online.


Steve Griggs wrote a profile of DJ Jim Wilke for November’s Earshot Jazz. His recording Panama Hotel Jazz comes out November 16 on Hip City Music and he is performing the program in Seattle high schools. He is writing a narration for Robin Holcomb’s episodic suite for middle school students based on the history of Seattle’s Washington Hall.


Geoffrey Himes has recently written features on Terence Blanchard (JazzTimes), Warren Wolf (DownBeat), Rene Marie (JazzTimes), Marc Ribot (DownBeat), George Benson (JazzTimes), Lafayette Gilchrist (Washington Post), Cyrus Chestnut (Baltimore City Paper), Lionel Loueke (JazzTimes), Ethel Ennis (Baltimore City Paper), Kobo Town (Washington Post), Sarah Jarosz (Texas Music), Bachir Attar (DownBeat), Billy Martin (DownBeat), Saint Vincent (Smithsonian), Janelle Monae (Paste), Brian Wilson (Washington Post), David Byrne (Smithsonian), Sam Baker (Texas Music), Aaron Neville (Washington Post) and Vince Gill (Nashville Scene).


Chris Kelsey celebrated this past season’s release of his album What I Say: The Electric Miles Project with an October performance at Dogwood in Beacon, NY. Also in October, Kelsey took his new trio Chonk (pronounced “chunk”) – with bassist Austin White and drummer Dave Miller – to Dogwood, in preparation for a  recording session with the band. The album will feature the group’s interpretations of tunes by Don Cherry and Thelonious Monk, and original compositions by Kelsey.


Kiyoshi Koyama will have Cecile McLorin Salvant and her pianist Aaron Diehl as special guests at NHK-FM’s nationally syndicated Jazz Tonight show on Dec.14th. The show will be taped at NHK’s Tokyo studio on Nov.28th. She will sing two songs during the show.


Robin Lloyd MC’d the Eastside Jazz Club’s annual extravaganza at the Bellevue (WA) Marriott Courtyard Hotel, delivered a brief but pithy introduction to the sneak preview showing of “Lady Be Good:  Instrumental Women in Jazz” for Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Film Festival, and featured previews of Latin jazz artists appearing at the Earshot Jazz Festival on her “Jazz Caliente” blog for KPLU, including an interview with Omar Sosa.


Mark Lomanno recently began a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in jazz studies and ethnomusicology at Swarthmore College. New publications include an article on Afro/Canarian jazz) and a feature essay on Cécile McLorin Salvant’s new album WomanChild for his blog, “The Rhythm of Study.” Upcoming work includes interviews with the LeBoeuf Brothers and pianist Craig Taborn, an essay on pianist Marc Cary’s new albums, and several book and recording reviews.


Howard Mandel moderated the second monthly JJA “Talking Jazz” webinar on “Arts Journalism Today”; spoke about writing to New School Jazz students; interviewed Amir ElSaffar for DownBeat; wrote liner notes for bassist/composer Ark Ovrutski’s new album;  had drummer Reggie Nicholson as a guest lecturer in his NYU “Rock, Soul, Salsa” class; attended performances honoring Sun Ra at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and spent a week in Chicago where he heard Myra Melford, Erwin Helfer, Dee Alexander and an Electronic Sound Studio noise-improv jam.


Ralph A. Miriello covered live performances of Chick Corea’s Vigil and Dianne Reeves’ group at the Stamford Columbus Park Jazz Series; Cassandra Wilson at SUNY PAC in Purchase, NY,, John Hollenback’s Claudia Quintet at the Firehouse 12 in New Haven and reviewed albums by Steve Gadd (Gadditiude), Steve Turre (The Bones of Art), and John di Martino (Turnaround) in his blog and on the Huffington Post.


Dan Morgenstern‘s review of new Charlie Parker biographies (by Stanley Crouch and Chuck Haddix), plus mention of new edition of Gary Giddins’ Celebrating Bird, appeared in the Oct. 26 Wall Street Journal.


Allen Morrison recently interviewed pianist Eric Reed and Jazz at Lincoln Center VP for Education Todd Stoll for an article about JALC’s newest educational initiative, an online Jazz Academy, to be published in the January DownBeat.  His reviews of new albums by Tierney Sutton and Chuck Israels will appear in the same issue. His feature profile of DownBeat Readers Poll winner Donald Fagen appeared in the December DownBeat, along with reviews of seven new CDs by jazz singers.


Arnold Jay Smith presented the initial lecture of a series as a prelude to his collections being sent into the Archives at University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). The topic was “Aspects of Duke Ellington.”  Covered were some of Ellington’s Train Songs, the Sacred Concerts and Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life.”  Punctuating were rare videos of Ellington.


Daniel Smith‘s new album, Smokin’ Hot Bassoon Blues, is nearing completion for a February, 2014 release on the Summit label. The recording contains 12 selections performed by an all-star ensemble featuring Daniel Smith on bassoon, Dutch pianist Robert Bosscher on piano, Michael O’Brien on bass and Vincent Ector on drums. Special guests include Ron Jackson on guitar, Neil Clarke on Latin percussion, Efrat Shapira on violin, Greg ‘Organ Monk’ Lewis on Jazz Organ, and Frank Senior on vocals.


Karl Stober has joined the staff of Paris’s new music magazine Couleurs Jazz. He will be doing a feature on the links between jazz and rock in the career of Donald Fagen (Steely Dan). The trailer for his documentary concerning addiction and creativity is out. Actual filming starts in late January 2014. He will be publishing interviews in Cadence International Magazine on vocalist Lyn Stanley, jazz band Sasha’s Bloc, and  a feature/interview on “French Madonna” Patricia Kaas.


Jeff Tamarkin interviewed George Benson for M: Music & Musicians magazine and has been busy reviewing recent releases from Cyrus Chestnut, Al Di Meola, Jon Batiste and several more.


Greg Thomas published a feature on Quincy Jones in the August-September issue of UPTOWN, highlighting Q’s perennial love of jazz.  He and scholar Paul Devlin led a Listening Party at Jazz at Lincoln Center  in which classic blues queens such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Ida Cox, and Dinah Washington were viewed through the prism of the ideas of the late writer Albert Murray. Greg also continues to produce jazz shows through G&J Productions.


Jim Wilke was involved in the 25th Earshot Jazz Festival, interviewing director John Gilbreath, and recording concerts by Bill Ramsey and Kareem Kandi that aired on Jazz Northwest (KPLU).  Jim also recorded concerts by the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra featuring Ingrid  Jensen and the Jim Knapp Orchestra for future broadcasts and was emcee for five festival concerts.   Jim’s Jazz After Hours  program on PRI begins its 30th year in November.


Joyce Wilson is continuing her editorial work with W. Royal Stokes on transcribing selected jazz, blues and beyond profile articles and reviews from his archive of four decades of journalism for his in-progress W. Royal Stokes Reader. When not transcribing she tries to make time to support the many jazz musicians that may be in town on tour. Up next, it is a jazz thang, her blog, which she hopes to have up by year end on the WrappedinJazz website.


Deanna Witkowski plays with the Westchester Jazz Orchestra in their only local appearance for 2013-14 on November 16 at the Irvington Town Hall Theater. Her trio will perform at the JEN Conference in Dallas on January 10. Her new bimonthly solo piano video series features music (so far!) by Jerome Kern, Oscar Levant, and Lou Reed, and can be accessed via deannajazz.com.

Member Updates are edited by Michael J. 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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