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JJA Member Updates: April 2014

Apr 16th, 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 May 3, 2014.

Nancy Barell’s 222nd edition of Jazz Spotlight On Sinatra is airing now online. Nancy says: “I am featuring new releases by Carol Fredette, Bob Dorough, Bruce Barth with Steve Nelson and others. Give a listen. ”

Thomas Bellino has been named one of the Artistic Directors of a week long celebration of jazz at the Center of Arab and Mediterranean Music, Ennejma Ezzahra Palace, in Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia. The event is a collaboration between Planet Arts, The Jazz Club of Tunisia and the U.S. State Department in Tunis. The week will include workshops, performances and the creation of an international jazz ensemble directed by Douglas Purviance of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Edward Blanco was interviewed and profiled for a new documentary series on retirement sponsored and produced by Ally Bank. The series entitled “Discovering Retirement” featured Edward’s activities as a music reviewer and jazz radio host at WDNA , 88.9FM and went live on March 6th. He was the first person to be featured after a nation-wide search.

Stephanie J. Castillo  pushes forward this month with four more days of film shoots in Manhattan, involving 12 interviews, for her Thomas Chapin film project Night Bird Song. Participating in this round are bassist Ray Drummond, who recorded with Chapin, and pianist Kenny Barron, who taught at Rutgers U while Chapin was in the jazz program.

Sharonne Cohen recently published an artist profile of Montreal-based saxophonist/composer/bandleader Christine Jensen in DownBeat. She also reviewed new albums by Israeli saxophonist Eli Degibri and Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan for JazzTimes. She just covered the Jazz en Rafale festival in Montreal.

Dee Daniels, Artistic Director of the all vocal, noncompetitive, 38th Annual DeMiero Jazz Fest, is happy to report that 65 high school and college vocal jazz ensembles, plus soloists, participated in the festival this month. Performances were reviewed by renowned vocal jazz clinicians from around the country, and were recorded and videotaped with state of the art equipment provided by our technical sponsors. “This year’s guest vocalists and musicians were outstanding!”

Renetta DeBlase recently copyedited volume 2 of Nicolas Rabel’s jazz app digital books series about celebrated jazz artists, and the subject of volume 2 is jazz trumpeter, flute and clarinet player Joe Maini. Renetta is also celebrating Jazz in April by listening to many of Duke Ellington’s CDs.

JaRon Eames is promoting the Jazz history/reference book Jazz Conversation (revised and edited 2012), which recently received  a 5-star review by noted cultural critic Rex Reed.  JaRon had four classes  at Old Westbury University,  lecturing/teaching  jazz History .The JaRon Eames TV show  will air in April a conversation with the legendary Clark Terry.

Pamela Espeland spoke with Cecile McLorin Salvant for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Anne Farnsworth had an article published in the March ’14 issue of JazzEd. In “Rabid About Jazz”, she talks about her time teaching at a conservatory in Riga, Latvia, on a 2013 Fulbright Scholar Award.

Ken Franckling reviewed singer Alexis Cole’s February 28 concert at the 34th annual Sarasota Jazz Festival and the Jim Cullum Jazz Band’s South County Jazz Club March 15 concert at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center in Sarasota for JazzTimes.com.

David Franklin is performing on alto saxophone with the  Charlotte Jazz Orchestra, an 18-piece ensemble, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jon Garelick wrote about the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble and Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra for the Boston Globe; also reviewed the Bad Plus’s T” and Phil Grenadier’s Shimmer for the Globe. He also reviewed Ambrose Akinmusire’s live show, as well as new albums by Pat Metheny, John Ellis, and Amy Cervini.

Steve Griggs wrote profiles of the Earshot Jazz Education Program and saxophonist Neil Welch for Earshot Jazz.

Marcia Hillman did an interview with Pete McGuiness –trombonist/ arranger/ composer/ vocalist and big band leader– which will be appearing on AllAboutJazz.com.

Patrick Hinely is celebrating 45 years since producing and hosting his first radio program, including a run of several years on WJCT-FM in Jacksonville, his home town, where “Open Ear” first aired in the 1970s. Hinely is now in his second decade with that program on WLUR-FM in Lexington, Virginia, where it all began. “Open Ear” airs on Mondays from 5 to 6 p.m. (NYC time zone), and is streamed via wlur.wlu.edu.

Thomas Jacobsen‘s review of The International Trio’s CD, Delta Mood, appeared in the April issue of Offbeat magazine.  Jacobsen has been involved in the planning for International Jazz Day in New Orleans, where Harold Battiste will be honored as a jazz hero.

Joyce Jones and Henry (Hank) Williams of “Suga’ In My Bowl” on WBAI-FM celebrate JazzApril while also observing National Poetry Month. The April 6 artist was Langston Hughes, including an interview with Hughes scholar Arnold Rampersad. The April 13 program was a Suga’ rebroadcast featuring Amiri Baraka. The April 20 program will feature Jesus Papoleto Melendez and his association to the Nuyorican Poetry movement.

Chris Kelsey celebrated his “634th consecutive month of being awesome” by landing a Independent Music Award Best Tribute Album nomination for his band, What I Say: The Electric Miles Project. March also marks his 37th straight month of not writing for publication, adding to his previous record. “Let’s Go, Mets!”

Kiyoshi Koyama‘s weekly two-hour NHK-FM Jazz Tonight show will have pianist Alfredo Rodriguez as special guest. He will perform a few numbers during the April 18th taping at NHK studio in Tokyo. Its web site will have English song list soon.

Rudy Lu photographed and reviewed Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble commemorating Women’s History Month by playing the works of Yuko Kishimoto, Peg Delaney and Erica Seguine for albanyjazz.com. He also photographed Cassandra Wilson and Harriet Tubman for both albanyjazz.com and nippertown.com.  He also photographed the Chronicles and Alexis P. Suter  for nippertown.com and Matt Garrison for albanyjazz.com.

Doug Ramsey reported extensively from the Portland Jazz Festival with postings on Rifftides. Ramsey traveled to Los Angeles to interview arranger-composer-bandleader Bill Holman for a documentary about the arranger-composer-bandleader by film maker Kathryn King. He provided liner notes for the new Eric Alexander album Chicago Fire on High Note Records.

Daniel Smith is being featured  on Jazz Clubs Worldwide performing Horace Silver’s ’Senor Blues’ from his recent Summit album, Smokin’ Hot Bassoon Blues. It was selected as one of five tracks by various jazz artists for site visitors to vote on as “Album of the Month.” In Hawaii, NPR’s ‘Evening Jazz’ on NPR2 will feature cuts from the album along with a greeting from Daniel Smith.

Jeff Tamarkin recently interviewed bassist Nathan East on his new album and long sideman career, wrote program notes for Paquito D’Rivera’s upcoming Carnegie Hall gig, and is excited to be covering International Jazz Day in Osaka, Japan next month for JazzTimes.

Deanna Witkowski celebrated JazzApril with her trio on April 6 at Park Avenue Church in NYC; April 7 at the Bar Next Door in NYC; and, forthcoming, April 27 at the Peninsula Public Library in Long Island with a program entitled Crossing Musical Boundaries from Chopin to Cole Porter. On April 26, she plays Brazilian jazz with Monika Oliveira at Zinc Bar in NYC.

Libby York will be chatting on air with the following folks about her new CD release, Memoir: April 19 , 3:15 pm PT with Rachael Shelton, KSCO Santa Cruz; April 23, 11am ET with Bob Collins, WRHV Hofstra University; April 27, Noon ET with Michael Bourne, Singers Unlimited, WBGO; April 29, Mark Ruffin’s Real Jazz Sirius Radio Channel 67.

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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