JJA Member Updates: August 2014
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 email@example.com by September 3, 2014.
Pamela Espeland just finished writing the artist bios for the Monterey Jazz Festival program. While previewing a concert by virtuoso French double-bassist Francois Rabbath for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, she interviewed one of Rabbath’s students, jazz bassist Rufus Reid. She spoke with conductor Andrew Litton about his new Oscar Peterson tribute recording for MinnPost and her blog bebopified.
Steve Griggs began his residency at the Seattle Public Library with support from Chamber Music America. The Steve Griggs Ensemble will present “Panama Hotel Jazz” and “A Cup of Joe Brazil” at nine library branches over the next six months. “Panama” explores the Japanese-American incarceration during WWII and “Brazil” examines the relationship of the Detroit-born saxophonist (1927 – 1961) with John Coltrane. The National Park Service also awarded Steve a grant to present “Panama Hotel Jazz” at four sites in the Seattle area.
James Hale profiled five jazz industry heavyweights who graduated with music degrees but eschewed performing for a different career path. The article runs in DownBeat’s annual Student Music Guide. For the same issue, he wrote about Portland State University’s jazz program and the new Jazz Forward Competition launched in conjunction with the Portland Jazz Festival.
Thomas Jacobsen attended the annual conference of the International Clarinet Association and its “ClarinetFest” in Baton Rouge and the annual “Satchmo SummerFest” in New Orleans. His article profiling veteran guitarist Warren Battiste appeared in the August issue of Offbeat magazine. Jacobsen and his wife will be moving to St. Louis, Mo. in mid-September after residing for a quarter century in New Orleans. Please note that he can now be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
George Korval located 1960s Harlem soul vocalist Paul Sindab, who recorded with the percussionist/arranger Sticks Evans, and helped arrange for Paul’s first concert in 40+ years on July 12 at the Dig Deeper series in Brooklyn, NY.
Joe Maita of Jerry Jazz Musician interviewed Louis Armstrong biographer Thomas Brothers for www.jerryjazz.com. He also posed the question “What are three or four of your favorite jazz recordings from the 1960s” to critics and musicians. Giddins, Morgenstern, Mandel, Teachout, John McLaughlin and many others responded. Also published original jazz-themed short stories and poetry, including those by commissioned jazz short-fiction writer Arya Jenkins.
Howard Mandel wrote liner notes to Russ Johnson’s cd Still Out To Lunch, and posts at his blog Jazz Beyond Jazz on ArtsJournal.com about several concerts and venues in Chicago, where he’s relocated. He also blogged, hosted a Facebook thread and guested on WNYC’s Soundcheck regarding The New Yorker’s publication of a so-called parody entitled “Sonny Rollins: In His Own Words,” which was anything but that.
Rick Mitchell’s book Jazz In the New Millennium: Live and Well was published August 1 by Dharma Moon Press in partnership with Da Camera of Houston. It profiles nearly 60 living jazz artists, from Randy Weston, Roy Haynes and Wayne Shorter to Jason Moran, Robert Glasper and Esperanza Spalding, based on interviews Mitchell has done in the past 15 years for the Da Camera Jazz Series, and features color photos by Pin Lim. It is available at Mitchell’s website.
Steve Monroe’s July Jazz Avenues for the East of the River print and capitalcommunitynews.com online editions included previews of events featuring vocalists Integriti Reeves, Emy Tseng, Akua Allrich, Sharon Clark, Lori Williams and Alison Crockett and reviews of performances by the new Washington Renaissance Orchestra and Sakoto Fujii. Monroe also blogged on the DC Jazz Festival in review, the new recording by saxophonist B.J. Simmons and a personal thank you to George Coleman, NEA 2015 Jazz Master.
Patricia Myers of Scottsdale, AZ, is reviewing the Paris jazz scene for the 17th summer for Allaboutjazz.com, where 10 years of her Paris Jazz Diary views are archived. She checked out the best of 30+ venues, just as she regularly does 50+ Phoenix-area venues. At home, her AZ Jazz Updates are emailed monthly to more than 2,000 recipients and soon also will be posted on a new Arizona music-scene website.
Dan Ouellette worked on an upcoming DownBeat feature on Jason Moran regarding both his new album on Blue Note, All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller, and his May multimedia Chicago Symphony Center commission, Looks of a Lot, with designer Theaster Gates and the 25-piece Kenwood Academy Jazz Band. Two chapters from Dan’s biography Bruce Lundvall: Playing by Ear, on Cassandra Wilson and Eva Cassidy, appear in JazzTimes’ September issue.
Leslie Pintchik wrote the liner notes for Duologue, the Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash duo CD, released on August 5th on the MCG Jazz record label. Later in the month, she will be performing with her trio in Boston at Scullers Jazz Club on August 27th.
Mitchell Seidel received a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists New Jersey chapter when the monthly magazine Jersey Jazz took the top spot in the newsletter category of the SPJ-NJ annual competition in June. Busy on the festival circuit as well, his coverage of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival in June and M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest in July will appear in Jersey Jazz’s September issue. Coverage of the rain-dampened Newport Jazz Festival’s 60th anniversary in August to follow.
Daniel Smith is now set to move ahead with musical projects for 2015 and thereafter. New developments include his latest CD, Smokin’ Hot Bassoon Blues, being submitted for Grammy consideration in five categories; a jazz-oriented, three-movement concerto to be composed and dedicated to him by British composer Simon Proctor, and a new release set for 2015 – Jazz Suite for Bassoon by British composer Steve Gray. TBA shortly will be live performances for the USA and Europe for 2015.
Bradley M. Stone’s program, “The Creative Source”, currently airs on www.soulandjazz.com, featuring progressive jazz and fusion, new releases, current artists, original composition. He was nominated this year for “Programmer of the Year” for Internet/Non-terrestrial radio by JazzWeek. He just attended the Jazzaldia Festival in San Sebastian, Spain. He continues to serve on the San Jose Jazz Advisory Board and Jazz Organ Fellowship Board of Directors.
Jeff Tamarkin is working on program notes for all three of Bill Frisell’s 2014-15 shows at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Antonio Terzo just published a thicker summer issue of jazzColours, an Italian digital email-zine, this time featuring multi-reedist Martin Küchen and the spiritual in music, German pianist Michael Wollny and his new piano trio, Ty Citerman’s new perspective on klezmer, and vocalist Sofia Jernberg’s grey area between text and sound. He has been running jazzColours for seven years, with the contributions of a great staff of editors.
Jim Wilke will be stepping down as host and producer of PRI’s Jazz After Hours after this summer. As program director, Jim received the JJA’s Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award in 2013. He has hosted the show heard on over 70 stations nationwide every weekend since 1984. New host Jeff Hanley has sat in several times this summer and will become regular host in October. Jim will continue producing Jazz Northwest for KPLU and location recording.
Karim Yengsep is beginning “Silk Road Bebop” as part of Kazakh Radio’s Jazz Review program. The series aims to study the relationship between jazz and traditional music of the Central Asian region. He hopes to share the results at the 43rd World Conference of the International Council for Traditional Music that is scheduled to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan in July 2015.
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.)
• • •