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JJA Member Updates: March 2014

Mar 12th, 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 April 3, 2014.

Brian Arsenault recently reviewed albums by Eric Van Aro, Kate McGarry & Keith Ganz, Tord Gustavsen and The Frank DiBassolo Group for The International Review of Music.

Angelika Beener returns, after a hiatus from blogging, with new features from Alternate Takes, and a new URL as well, both to debut mid-March.   Angelika gets back in gear with her brand of sociopolitical leaning music editorial with features of dynamic vocalist Lalah Hathaway and rising star harpist Brandee Younger, in time for Women’s History Month.   Angelika also has Program Notes  on Vijay Iyer, Billy Childs and The Spring Quartet on the Jazz at Lincoln Center site.


Stephanie J. Castillo‘s film project Thomas Chapin, Nightbird Song will film 12 more on-camera interviews in April, thanks to the Michael Dorf/City Winery fundraiser held in Manhattan in January. This will add more great material about Chapin’s life and music already contributed by 30 others who Stephanie interviewed on camera last July. The April interviews will include notable jazz artists Ray Drummond, Marty Erhlich, and Pablo Aslan.


Dee Daniels’ Valentine’s Day weekend at SMOKE placed her on a prestigious list of only three other vocalists invited to do a weekend in the club’s 15-year history. She and the band – Antonio Hart, Alvester Garnett, Paul Beaudry, Cyrus Chestnut (Friday), and Helen Sung (Saturday) – played  six sold out shows. They presented music from her new cd, State of the Art.

Paul de Barros headed up a jazz tour to Havana in February. “I’d always heard about the high level of music training in Cuba but was unprepared for just how poised and accomplished these kids really were.” He is currently working on a Down Beat cover about Brian Blade, then heading to New York for a March 20 celebration of Marian McPartland’s life at 92nd Street Y and March 19 panel discussion at the Leon Levy Biography Center.

Renetta DeBlase has been busy consulting ideo-libris digital publishers in France about their ongoing jazz history app project, and she sends jazz updates about the Washington, DC, jazz scene to Rich Keith, general manager of purejazzradio.org. Renetta is also listening to John Stein’s new album titled E” and to Duke Ellington’s Second Sacred Concert that features Swedish soprano Alice Babs, who died last month.

Paul Devlin was one of the curators of the exhibition Ralph Ellison: The Man and His Records which opened on March 4 at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem. On March 11, Paul  hosted an evening of Ralph Ellison on Film at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. On March 18, Paul will be part of a panel discussion at the Jazz Museum on the work of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray.

Alex Dutilh has started a “Tour de France des Clubs”, for the national public radio France Musique, doing his live broadcast from a different city every month. His show is followed at night by a live concert from there in the “Jazz Club” broadcast by Yvan Amar. The program : Ajmi in Avignon, Jazzdor in Strasbourg, L’Arrosoir un Chalon-sur-Saône, Petit Faucheux in Tours, Jazz Club in Rouen, Pannonica in Nantes.

Pamela Espeland spoke with vocalist Gregory Porter for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Ken Franckling interviewed bassist-bandleader Buster Williams for a feature article in the March issue of Hot House, and reviewed singer Freddy Cole’s February 3 concert with the Naples Jazz Orchestra at Cambier Park in Naples FL for JazzTimes.com. His February blogging included a blend of CD and Southwest Florida concert reviews.

Sid Gribetz presented a five hour radio special retrospective on Paul Quinichette, on WKCR-FM, on February 16.

Steve Griggs wrote a profile of saxophonist Anton Schwartz for Earshot Magazine. Griggs’ Panama Hotel Jazz performance at the Seattle Art Museum was featured on Jim Wilke’s Jazz Northwest program.

James Hale  has been working the jazz education beat for DownBeat lately, reporting on jazz programs at the Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers), the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music and Middle Tennessee State University. He also wrote about the growing trend in summer jazz camps for adults.

Patrick Hinely‘s photographs – one of which was chosen for the front cover – illustrate his report/review of JazzFest Berlin 2013 in the Jan/Feb/Mar 2014 issue of Cadence. In its April/May/June issue, the ongoing series of his photographs accompanied by backstories continues with “Bass Is The Place II”, featuring Barre Phillips, Mike Richmond, Barry Guy and Eberhard Weber.

Elzy Kolb interviewed George Cables for a feature in March Hot House; her JazzWomen column includes chats with Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lena Block and Jazzmeia Horn, as well as listings and CD news.

Steve Monroe‘s February Jazz Avenues for the East of the River print and capitalcommunitynews.com online editions included a preview of jazz events during Black History Month including the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, a”Lady Days” Theater for Young Audiences performance and an “Ellington at the White House”/Thinking About Jazz forum. Monroe also  reviewed performances by Avram Fefer’s Nuju Quartet and Elijah Jamal Balbed and blogged on upcoming events for the fourth annual Washington Women in Jazz Festival.

Allen Morrison has three pieces in the April issue of DownBeat: a profile of trombonist/composer Steve Davis; a concert review of Cassandra Wilson’s show at the Highline Ballroom reviving her classic album Blue Light ‘Til Dawn; and a review of the new album of vintage jazz and R&B by singer Catherine Russell, Bring It Back. His feature on saxophonist Craig Handy appeared in DownBeat‘s March issue.

Jennifer Odell checked in with clarinetist Evan Christopher about his latest Django a la Creole album and reviewed Glen David Andrews’ new disc, “Redemption,” for DownBeat. For Offbeat, she reported on Preservation Hall’s new brass band project and took a look back at the influence of Nas’ seminal “Illmatic” album 20 years after its release. She’s currently working with New Orleans JJA members on a program to honor Harold Battiste on International Jazz Day.

Dan Ouellette continues his efforts to get the word out on his biography Bruce Lundvall: Playing by Ear while also spending a delightful evening at Jimmy Heath’s home in Corona, Queens for the cover feature in the May issue of DownBeat. In the same issue he has a “Players” piece on Shabaka Hutchings. He’s doing promotional work for Blue Note Records on the new Bobby Hutcherson album titled Hutcherson Sanborn DeFrancesco Hart.

Thomas Pena launched Jazzdelapena.com in February of 2014: an online magazine featuring live reviews, interviews with established and emerging artists, the NY Report, commentary and weekly updates. He invites all to visit.

Arnold Jay Smith presented a second lecture at the Arnold Shaw Music Library at the University of Nevada/Las Vegas (UNLV) on  March 7.  The topic this time was “Louis In Hollywood”: film clips from movies and tv appearances by Louis Armstrong.  Included were theatre lobby cards and other Armstrong memorabilia borrowed for the occasion.  UNLV houses Prof. Smith’s vast collections in their archives.  The first lecture last Fall was “Aspects of Duke Ellington.”

Daniel SmithSmokin’ Hot Bassoon Blues pulled in immediate interest in many countries with airplay, reviews and articles. In Holland, the prestigious Radio6 (Netherlands Public Broadcasting) will feature the entire album for a period of three weeks. 12 outstanding reviews from various countries are now posted for reference on Daniel Smith’s website. Cadence magazine, along with a review, will also showcase Daniel Smith in an interview article about Smokin’ Hot Bassoon Blues in an upcoming edition.

Ron Sweetman‘s weekly jazz radio show IN A MELLOW TONE celebrated Black History Month with four special programs;Blues Queens of the ‘Twenties, Johnny Hodges, Recordings by Black Jazz & Blues Artists and Alice Coltrane.

Jeff Tamarkin is writing Carnegie Hall program notes for Trio da Paz (Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta, Duduka da Fonseca) and reviewing new CDs by Jeff Ballard Trio, David Krakauer, and Alfredo Rodriguez.

Dragan Tasic photographed Ahmad Jamal in KKl Luzern/Switzerland; Soul Jazz Alliance in Grand Casino Luzern/Switzerland; Mullbau Festival 2014, in Mullbau, Luzern/Switzerland; Ivan Paduart Trio in Grand Casino, Luzern/Switzerland.

Scott Thompson continues to grow his client list to include: Randy Weston, Bobby Sanabria, Elio Villafranca, Loston Harris, Ted Nash, Chris Washburne, Antonio Ciacca, Dion Parson, Nicole Zuraitis, and most recently, Martin Wind. Returning to his radio roots, Thompson has also been doing regular programs on WPKN ..  His show was the grand finale of the 3-day jazz marathon fundraiser.  Thompson continues to write all the monthly Playbill features for Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Jim Wilke produced three concert broadcasts in March for his Jazz Northwest show on 88.5 KPLU.  Two one-hour shows came from a performance of Duke Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder” played by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. The third was a performance by Brazilian pianist and composer Jovino Santos Neto’s Quinteto at the Seattle Art Museum. Jazz Northwest airs at 2 PM Sundays; about half the programs are from live performances.

Libby Yorks new album Memoir with Russell Malone, John DiMartino, Martin Wind, and Warren Vache drops March 24.“I first heard some of these songs on my parent’s 78s. They conjure up for me a very personal atmosphere. Warren Vache made recording our ‘Put It There, Pal’ duet the most fun I’ve had in the studio!I The Hope/ Crosby nod includes  ‘Thanks For The Memory’ with Russell at his best.  Hope you enjoy the music!”

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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One Comment to “JJA Member Updates: March 2014”

  1. Just returned from a concert and workshop in Greece and a Master Class and two concerts at Chalker’s in Toronto. I’ll be doing a festival in Italy with the Jimmy Cob trio the end of April and then I will be at Birdland with the Steve Kuhn trio on May 6th and 7th. I have many workshops which I will let you know about later in May.

    Thanks…Sheila Jordan

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