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JJA Member Updates: January 2015

Jan 19th, 2015 | 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 February 3, 2015.

Sharonne Cohen has recently reviewed albums by Johnathan Blake (Gone, but not forgotten) and Walter Smith III (Still Casual), as well as Yosvany Terry’s GRAMMY-nominated New Throned King  — all for JazzTimes magazine. She is currently working on a piece focusing on fall offerings by the diverse, vibrant Montreal jazz community.

Dee Daniels is grateful for the success of her 2014 CD release, Intimate Conversations, and appreciates the support received from jazz writers and radio DJs who helped make it happen. She presented a clinic, “Making It Real: Storytelling Through Song”, at the Jazz Education Network Conference in San Diego on January 8, and joined the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for a two-concert performance of her Pops program A Night Out With The Boys on the 9th and 10th.

Riccardo Del Fra‘s record “My Chet My Song” – Music for Jazz Quintet and Orchestra (Cristal Records) – has received outstanding reviews and awards from French and German press : Jazz Magazine CHOC, Telerama ffff, TSF Radio MUST. The bass player and composer directs the Jazz Department at the Conservatory of Paris. He will participate to the next Panama Jazz Festival – January 12-18 – playing in quartet and giving master classes.

Yvonne Ervin is producing the inaugural Tucson Jazz Festival this month from the 16th through the 28th with 16 performances and a free day-long festival on Martin Luther King Day.

Ken Franckling compiled his >The Year in Jazz review of trends and goings on during 2014 for allaboutjazz.com. Excerpts from his new book, Jazz in the Key of Light, were featured on the JazzTimes website in late November.

Ted Gioia‘s new book Love Songs: The Hidden History has been published by Oxford University Press.

Steve Griggs wrote a preview of Frank Boyd’s theater piece “Holler Sessions” for the January issue of Earshot Jazz. Steve’s new project “Listen to Seattle” was funded by a 4Culture Historic Site Specific grant. The Steve Griggs Ensemble will record “A Cup of Joe Brazil” in front of a live audience at Jack Straw Studios on January 14.

James Hale profiled the jazz program at Lawrence University and Whirlwind Recordings for the March issue of DownBeat.

Marcia Hillman has written a profile of the new record label Smoke Sessions appearing in the January 2015 issue of The NYC Jazz Record. Also published in the same issue are her reviews of five new CD releases.

Geoffrey Himes was awarded his third ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award for music articles during a November 12 ceremony at the New York Institute of Technology. Judges Matthew Shipp, Wesley Stace and Pat Irwin awarded Himes for two different articles: “The Bass Clarinet: The Low End Theory,” published in Jazz Times, and “What If the Beatles Hadn’t Broken Up: An Alternate History,” published in Paste Magazine.

Patrick Hinely attended JazzFest Berlin in November, and was the only American among the five photographers whose work was exhibited at the festival’s main hall in conjunction with the JazzFest’s 50th anniversary. His one-man exhibition at the Jazzinstitut in Darmstadt continues through January 31.

J Hunter, apart from covering the Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence show at Sanctuary for Independent Media, has been pretty much a homebody when not doing his weekly radio show “Jazz2K” on 88.3 WVCR/Albany, NY. When he HAS been home, he’s written columns for Nippertown on the Top 10 Concerts of 2014, the Top 10 Jazz Releases of 2014, and a quick shout-out to some of the best releases beyond the Top 10.

Medea Isphording Bern’s San Francisco Jazz has just been issued by Arcadia Publishing, Images of America (ISBN 978-1-4671-3287-9.) The image-rich book outlines the history of the jazz scene in San Francisco from “Terrific Street” at the turn of the 20th century through the latest sensation, Randall Kline’s SFJazz center.

Ralph Lampkin, Jr. announces two additional performances of “Celebrating Harold Arlen” starring the gifted duo that is jazz singer Martha Lorin and pianist/arranger, Jon Weber. The gigs are at Don’t tell Mama in NY on January 22nd and February 19th at 7:30 pm. Visit the website for more information: donttellmamanyc.com.

Robin Lloyd interviewed singer Ed Reed, novelist Michael Connelly and filmmaker N. C. Heikin  about the film The Sound of Redemption:  the Frank Morgan Story. Robin also interviewed saxophonist Miguel Zenon about his latest project Identities are Changeable.

Howard Mandel wrote liner notes for pianist Bob Albanese’s Time Remembered and pianist Billy Lester’s Unabridged, besides moderating the JJA’s Talking Jazz webinar on “Jazz Radio in Transition: Turning into the Future” and finalizing plans for the JJA’s programming at the Jazz Connect Conference. Mandel has also been practicing piano, figuring out blues and standards by ear, noisily though not well.

Rick Mitchell‘s book Jazz In the New Millennium was published in a limited edition in August. In October, the eBook became available nationally and internationally at digital media outlets. The book features profiles of 56 living jazz artists, from Wayne Shorter to Esperanza Spalding, written over the past 15 years for Da Camera of Houston’s Jazz Series. A second edition is tentatively due out in the summer of 2015.

Steve  Monroe’s December “Jazz Avenues” for the East of the River print and capitalcommunitynews.com online editions included reviews of performances by the Howard University Jazz Ensemble, featuring trumpeter Tom Williams, and the Mario Pavone Pulse Quintet with saxman Brian Settles. Monroe also blogged on Branford Marsalis’ new CD “In My Solitude,” Willard Jenkins being named artistic director of the DC Jazz Festival and a review of Nir Naaman’s debut CD “Independence.”

Dan Ouellette has written two DownBeat cover stories (in the December issue, Miguel Zenón and his Identities Are Changeable project and in the February issue a sit-down with jazz guitarist Mike Stern and rock guitarist Eric Johnson on their “Eclectic”  collaboration). DownBeat has also published Dan’s Blindfold Test with Gregory Porter live at the North Sea Jazz Festival this summer and a Players piece on pop-meets-jazz vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Becca Stevens, reported at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Bob Protzman has begun writing jazz CD reviews and covering the local jazz community and nationally known artists who come to Erie, PA and the region for the Erie Reader, a bi-weekly tabloid that covers politics and government news and features, as well as social issues, education, sports, arts and culture.

Scott Thompson served as “Ask The Experts” panel member for the 2015 Jazz Connect Conference in the category “Publicity, Promotion & Airplay.”

Lars Westin, of Stockholm, Sweden, has recently produced and hosted shows for the Swedish public Radio and prepared a number of CD releases  with historical (although partially previously unpublished) recordings on his own Dragon records label. He is also continuously a contributor to the Swedish jazz magazine Orkester Journalen.

Joyce Wilson is starting out 2015 with attending some pretty hip gigs. “It has been a long time since I had shared member news, but 2015 offers lots of potential for me & Jazz .  I am determined to continue  my journey of the road of Jazz by supporting & sharing this art form with all that I encounter through dialogue, words & images…”

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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