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JJA Member Updates: June 2014

Jun 15th, 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 July 3, 2014.

David R. Adler recently wrote profiles of reedist Doug Wieselman and guitarist-turned-pundit Charles Johnson for JazzTimes. His feature on pianist Kris Davis is currently in the works for the magazine. David also spoke at the Strathmore Jazz Samba Project in Bethesda, MD. In addition, David’s teaching duties at Queens College-CUNY have been extended to year-round, so he looks forward to greeting another graduate class in jazz history this September.

Andrea Canter recently completed artist bios and edits for the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival program. Her photos of Billy Hart and Allen Touissaint were published in the May issue of DownBeat. She continues to write for Jazz Police and blogs at Jazzink.

Stephanie J. Castillo had to take an hiatus from working on her film Thomas Chapin, Night Bird Song, due to a death in her family. She resumes work on the scripting of the documentary this month. An April shoot of twelve interviews will now be added to her scripting content as she heads into a season of scriptwriting.

Dee Daniels completed her first year as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Vocal Jazz department of the Aaron Copeland School of Music, Queens College in May. New York performance events included a June  concert at the Dizzy Gillespie Auditorium with Mike Longo and the NY State of the Art Jazz Ensemble, and the .taping for JAZZ TV at the QPTV studios with her trio (Carlton Holmes, piano; Paul Beaudry, bass; and Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax, drums).
Brett Delmage and Alayne McGregor published the results of the first OttawaJazzScene.ca Jazz Favourites Poll in May. 350 Ottawa-area jazz listeners and musicians registered and participated, choosing their favourite jazz venues, radio shows, big bands, locally produced CDs, festivals, and more. The purpose of the poll was to highlight the successes of the local scene. Respondents’ comments, and an explanation of how the poll was designed and the results validated were included in the twelve-part series.

Yvonne Ervin and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild announced her appointment as Executive Director of the new Tucson Jazz Festival (Jan. 16-25, 2015) at an event featuring the award-winning Tucson Jazz Institute’s Concord Ensemble.  She was also elected President of the Board of the Tucson Jazz Music Foundation, the support organization of the Tucson Jazz Institute.  Her feature story on Danilo Perez appears in the June issue of Hot House.

Pamela Espeland wrote about jazz and poetry for NPR during National Poetry Month. She previewed saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa’s collaboration with Minneapolis-based Ragamala Dance for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Nikos Fotakis tries to keep up with the growing number of small, “home-cooked” jazz festivals popping up in Greece, which affirm that there is a new generation of Greek jazz musicians that are among the best in Europe. His reports and comments on these festivals appear regularly in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini, but recently, his interview with the great singer Maria Farantouri (the voice of Charles Lloyd’s “Greek Project”) made Melbourne’s Neos Kosmos.

Andrew Gilbert wrote the Bobby Hutcherson cover story for the May issue of JazzTimes; contributed stories on Kendra Shank/John Stowell, Regina Carter, and Sylvia Cuenca/Jared Gold/Paul Bollenback for the San Jose Mercury News; reviewed Jeff Denson and Joshua White’s I’ll Fly Away for KQED’s California Report; and profiled The Bad Plus for the San Francisco Chronicle.

George Grella is excited that Bloomsbury accepted his proposal on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew for the next set of their 33 1/3 books on individual record albums. This will be the first one they’ll publish on a jazz topic, and current publication date is Spring 2016.

Steve Griggs will present ten performances at branches of the Seattle Public Library through the Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Program. The residency is titled “Songs of Unsung Seattle.” Steve also wrote the narrative for a program of new music by Robin Holcomb based on the history of Seattle’s Washington Hall. Steve wrote a preview of Burn List and a review of Dee Daniels’ latest recording for Earshot Jazz.

J Hunter didn’t get out a lot in May: He emceed Kendra Shank & John Stowell’s wonderfully intimate show at Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary and did an interview with percussionist Scott Feiner before his show at the Falcon in Marlboro, NY. Primarily, J has been focusing on his radio show “Jazz2K,” which celebrated its first anniversary on  June 3rd. (The sophomore season unfolds Tuesdays from 6-8pm Eastern time!)

Thomas Jacobsen reviewed saxophonist Aurora Nealand’s latest CD, Aurora Nealand & the Royal Roses, in the June issue of OFFBEAT magazine.  He also interviewed veteran guitarist Warren Battiste for a feature article to appear in OFFBEAT.  The fall catalogue of the Louisiana State University Press has just appeared and announces the October release of Jacobsen’s book, The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970-2000:  A Personal Retrospective.

Ellen Johnson finished mastering her release, Form & formless, featuring Larry Koonse and John Stowell for an October 2014 release. Her biography Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan (Rowman and Littlefield) will be released in September. She continues teaching jazz vocal classes and will be offering a special workshop in the fall on Billie Holiday and Lester Young for the Jazzschool at the California Jazz Conservatory.

Kiyoshi Koyama‘s weekly two-hour NHK-FM show Jazz Tonight show will have pianist Hiromi and Edward Simon as special guests. Hiromi will perform solo piano version of “Spirit” from her recent album Alive.

Howard Mandel wrote liner notes for guitarist Ron Jackson’s Akustic InventYours solo guitar album, an article for the American Composers Orchestra about its Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, several blog posts, and concluded his spring semester of “The Arts: Jazz” and “Writing About The Arts” at NYU. He was on a panel about “Ornette Coleman and the Five Spot Café” with writer David Lee and saxophonist Stacy Dillard at the New School.

Chuck Obuchowski interviewed drummer Pheeroan akLaff May 27 for WWUH 91.3 FM at The University of Hartford (CT). Chuck is now preparing for WWUH‘s six live concert broadcasts of the Monday Night Jazz in Bushnell Park series in Hartford, beginning July 7. The free outdoor series was founded in 1967; WWUH has produced live broadcasts from the park since the 1970s.

Dan Ouellette has written a Q&A feature with José James for eMusic’s Wondering Sound online magazine as well as a Q&A with Joe Lovano for an upcoming issue of DownBeat. Two chapters from his book, Bruce Lundvall: Playing by Ear, will be excerpted in JazzTimes‘ September Women in Jazz issue. In May, he also contributed to a radio interview on the legacy of Blue Note Records for Voice of America.

Karl Stober is currently working on several projects, such as his documentary A Dark Romance – Addition & Creativity. He’s also working on a documentary concerning the Chitlin Circuit as he finishes a feature article for Cadence Magazine on the same subject with the help of author Preston Lauterbach. He is also finishing up interviews on John Densmore’s new book, Helen Sung, and possibly a blues piece for Coulleurs Jazz.

Libby York appears at The Jazz Showcase, Chicago, June 17 with Jeremy Kahn, piano, Larry Kohut, bass, Eric Schneider, tenor sax & clarinet. The show is co -sponsored by WDCB. Her new CD Memoir  has had raves from The New Yorker, JazzTimes and The Times of London.

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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