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JJA Member Updates: February 2014

Feb 13th, 2014 | 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 March 3, 2014.

Nancy Barell‘s 219th Edition of “Jazz Spotlight on Sinatra” is airing now. It features new releases from Ed Reed, The Thrasher Dream Trio, Sue Maskeleris, Wayne Wallace and others. As always the icons of today and yesterday are given a lot of play.

Jane Ira Bloom performs with her Wingwalker Quartet featuring long-time bandmates Dawn Clement piano, Mark Helias bass, and Bobby Previte drums on Sunday, Feb 16, 8:30pm at the Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village, NYC.

Philip Booth recently wrote several pieces for JazzTimes, including a feature on Spirogyra, and Gearhead columns on John Patitucci’s educational initiatives, and the art of the ride cymbal; for the latter, he interviewed Jimmy Cobb and Peter Erskine. He covered the Sunshine Music & Blues Festival for Relix, and continues to contribute reviews to JazzTimes, Jazziz and Relix. Booth, a bassist, played the Clearwater Jazz Festival with his band, Acme Jazz Garage.

Andrea Brachfeld played at the Havana Jazz Festival in December. She performed with Bobby Carcassés and Yasek Manzano. She recently recorded a CD with Bill O’ Connell, Rufus Reid, Winard Harper and Wycliffe Gordon which will be released this spring. Andrea was asked to participate in the International Flute Festival in Lima , Peru in May and at the Fim Festival in Ecuador in October when she will also be returning to Cuba.

Stephanie J. Castillo and City Winery NYC celebrated the late Thomas Chapin and her film project on him with a “Remembering Thomas Chapin” concert and fundraiser on Jan. 20. More than 20 renowned jazz performers created a wonderful night for some 250 City Winery ticket holders. She posted this sample video of performances. Castillo, an EMMY-winning filmmaker, is preparing for a second round of filming in March in NYC.

Renetta DeBlase is scheduled to proofread and check volume 2 in Nicolas Rabel’s jazz app series for children published by ideo-libris and she will listen to John Stein’s latest CD titled “Emotion.” Renetta also enjoys editing general nonfiction books.

Brett Delmage‘s OttawaJazzScene.ca published a comprehensive 2013 retrospective of the jazz and improvised music scene in the Ottawa-Gatineau region by writer Alayne McGregor. The report covers venues, live music series, CDs released, festivals presenting jazz, deaths of major local jazz people, and new initiatives, in both words and photos.

Yvonne Ervin had a feature story on Nicholas Payton in the January issue of Hot House and was elected Chairperson of the Board of the Tucson Jazz Music Foundation.

Ken Franckling wrote liner notes for singer-songwriter-cornetist Al Basile’s Duke Robillard-produced Swing jazz CD. Swing n’ Strings is Basile’s 10th recording as a leader and the second strictly jazz project in a discography that ranges from the blues and soul-jazz to Swing.

Steve Griggs previewed the 2014 Portland Jazz Festival and reviewed David Keller’s new book “The Blue Note: Seattle’s Black Musicians’ Union, A Pictorial History” for Earshot Jazz. Griggs will also perform Panama Hotel Jazz for the Seattle Art Museum’s Art of Jazz Series on February 13.

Thomas Jacobsen had two CD reviews published in the January issue of Offbeat magazine:  The Flute Mastery of Frank Wess (Progressive) and Rick Trolsen’s New Orleans Po’ Boys (Lort Records).  His book, The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970-2000, is due out from LSU Press soon.

Sanford Josephson will talk about alto saxophonist Norris Turney at the February 20th meeting of the Duke Ellington Society. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at Saint Peter’s Church, 54th St. & Lexington Ave. in New York. Josephson will read from “Duke’s Man”, the chapter on Turney in his book, Jazz Notes: Interviews Across the Generations (Praeger/ABC-Clio). He will also play some recordings by Turney and may be joined by some other former Ellingtonians.

Wolfram Knauer‘s new book on the life and music of Charlie Parker is out in early February. The book, published by Reclam Publishers, is simply titled Charlie Parker; it is available in German only.

Kiyoshi Koyama‘s weekly two-hour NHK-FM “Jazz Tonight” show will have singer Roberta Gambarini as special guest. She will perform two songs during the February 20th taping at NHK studio in Tokyo.

Howard Mandel moderated a JJA panel on “Engaging the Gatekeepers” at the JazzConnect conference, and welcomed attendees to the JJA-JazzConnect-New School party at (le) Poisson Rouge prior to WinterJazz Fest #10. He wrote about Henry Threadgill’s performance tribute to Butch Morris on his blog ArtsJournal.com/JazzBeyondJazz, also posting photos by Santa Istvan Csaba and his own texts there about the 2014 NEA Jazz Masters ceremonies and one night of the Alt-Guitar Summit, plus his recommended records of 2013.

Fran Morris Rosman, Executive Director of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, wants all JJA folks to know that The Foundation will be sponsoring a JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH poster contest, open to kids in grades 4 – 12.  The winning posters will be donated to the Smithsonian. The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation is the proud founding funder of JAM.

Steve Monroe‘s  January “Jazz Avenues” for the East of the River print and capitalcommunitynews.com online editions included a review of new venue Chez Billy and a group led by saxophonist Herb Scott. Monroe also blogged at jazzavenues.wordpress.com on jazz movies T” at the Library of Congress and Black February; Music is an Open Door, part of a tribute show for Lawrence “Butch” Morris, and on performances by Avram Fefer and Elijah Jamal Balbed.

Jennifer Odell interviewed Jon Batiste about “Social Music” and his vision for the National Jazz Museum, previewed the Spring Quartet’s New Orleans appearance, and covered a brewing copyright dispute over the Paramount Wonder Cabinet for Offbeat magazine. For DownBeat, she reviewed new discs from John Hebert and Revolutionary Snake Ensemble. Jennifer’s currently working with Jackie Harris and her local JJA colleagues to plan programs highlighting International Jazz Day New Orleans.

Dan Ouellette‘s biography on the legendary jazz exec Bruce Lundvall (Bruce Lundvall: Playing by Ear) has finally arrived from the printers and is available through Dan’s project website, his Facebook page, and soon via Amazon.

Leslie Pintchik wrote the liner notes for Bruce Barth’s upcoming CD Daybreak, which will be released on February 25th on the Savant record label.  As pianist and composer, her own upcoming CD In The Nature Of Things (featuring Steve Wilson, Ron Horton, Scott Hardy, Michael Sarin and Satoshi Takeishi) will be released on March 25th.

Doug Ramsey wrote the liner essay for Chicago Fire, the new Eric Alexander CD acknowledging the tenor man’s formative early experience in the Windy City and paying tribute to its tenor sax tradition.

Daniel Smith’s Summit album, Smokin’ Hot Bassoon Blues, was sent to over 600 reviewers and radio outlets to prepare for the Feb.11th release date. Interest in this groundbreaking recording has already started up, with several outstanding reviews. Daniel is also working with Brazilian composer Joao MacDowell on his next project, ‘Brazilian Jazz Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra’.

Jeff Tamarkin interviewed Gary Burton for M: Music & Musicians magazine and is working on program notes for the Zawinul Legacy Band and an Ellington’s Sacred Music concert at Carnegie Hall.

Wesley J. Watkins recently returned from The Jazz & Democracy Project®’s third international tour with the U.S. State Department where he inspired middle and high school youth in Haiti. The handout for the Jazz as a Metaphor for Democratic Participation workshop has now been translated into three languages: Spanish (for a previous State Dept. trip to Haiti), Braille (for a workshop in NYC) and now French. Stay tuned for J&D website updates about the trip.

Deanna Witkowski is touring in North and South Carolina with daily performances from February 16-22, including a solo concert to benefit the music department at UNC Asheville.


Member Updates are edited by Michael J. West.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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